Valentine’s Day is lame. After this statement I am sure you instantly labeled me a disgruntled, single woman who has lost all hope in love. This is an incorrect assessment as actually I am a true romantic who loves fervently, yet I can wholeheartedly understand the initial reaction and placing me in the cold-hearted category. Regardless, hear me out as I have a multitude of sensible reasons for disliking V-Day. The first issue is the pressure to show love with overly priced red roses or tacky jewelry just because a national day, primarily benefiting large corporations, has been declared. (Honestly, I rather be surprised with sunflowers on a random Wednesday in May which demonstrate authentic admiration versus my sweets acting only because they were bombarded by Hallmark commercials.) A month before the holiday the market is a horrifying, overly done mess. Heart shaped balloons, ginormous, scratchy stuffed animals, and boxes of those awful tasteless, chalk like candies with stupid sayings attack your being immediately upon entry. Yet, my biggest gripe is its origins do not represent the best of love. In ancient Rome men tried to attract women by literally hitting them with animal hides they had recently sacrificed which as a bonus also supposedly aided with fertility. (As a side note…engaging in normal conversation would have been a more appealing as well as successful approach.) There was a matchmaking lottery where of course the men drew names of women who would be their forever partner. (This in fact probably sucked for both sexes as no one had a choice on their life match.) My favorite factoid is the holiday’s name sakes, three in total, were all violently executed. (Nothing says ‘Happy Love Day’ like a beheading, right?) In honor of this silly holiday a song questioning devotion seems fitting.
Connor Roff’s music video “Wishing Well” depicts an LGBTQ+ relationship. It is wonderful to see representations of true life within art, especially since inclusivity needs to be valued more intently. Yet, the orientation of the partnership really doesn’t matter as Roff has skillfully created a tune that is completely relatable since all relationships have the same frustrating challenges. That is an exceptional accomplishment and it’s not just the content that is pleasing. The vocals are alluring while also being haunting in their seriousness. There are echoes of Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Charlie Puth and James Arthur. The bluey rock guitar is soothing with the right mix of thickness and jangle. The video is masterfully edited with interesting abstract animation that has the perfect symbolism focused on how a relationship can leave you spinning, retreating, flying high in bouts of turbulence, blinded, drowning, or even swallowed up, especially if the dynamic is unbalanced. The other thematic element is the importance of introspection where Roff discovers his self-worth proclaiming, “I thought you were my wishing well. Maybe you still are. Cover up those scars. What happened to my wishing well?”
Love is complicated enough without the pressures of Valentine’s Day. My advice is do not get wrapped up in all the ridiculousness. Eat chocolate, write your sweetheart something beautiful, make love and know this is just one day out of the 365 that you can show affection and care. (See, I’m not that jaded after all.)