I love Valentine’s Day. It is the day when, along with every other couple in the land, you can reaffirm your undying love for your partner. You can shower them with beautiful gifts and offer up cards with heart-felt and intimate verse… No. It’s no good. I can’t keep up the pretence any longer. I abhor Valentine’s Day. I despise it. I loathe it. It is the work of Beelzebub. Or at least, Beelzebub’s marketing department. I could go on. In fact, I will.
But where to begin? Let’s go with Valentine’s gifts. They are all meant to say ‘I love you’ but really, I fear these gifts say something else entirely…
Flowers: a gift that symbolises the undying love one person has for another. A gift that drops petals all over your table and dies in three days, leaving you with a handful of wizened old stems and a dribble of discoloured liquid in a dusty vessel. Sounds more like a metaphor for sex, to me.
Chocolates: the sumptuous box of confectionery that shows just how much you love them. Until they eat them all, put on a couple of pounds, break out in spots and then you love them just a tiny bit less.
No. It’s no good. I can’t keep up the pretence any longer. I abhor Valentine’s Day. I despise it. I loathe it.
Dinner out: A lavish demonstration of your desire to spend time in each other’s company. Packed into the local Italian like battery hens, with an annoying bloke attempting to play violin in the corner, the tiniest rose in history chucked next to the largest bill in history, and no one daring to mention they fancy a McDonalds instead.
Underwear: an intimate, wonderful gesture of how attractive you still find your partner. A set of underwear in a size you were eight years ago before two children and many evening raids into the kids’ treat box, and which instantly makes you wonder how bad the chafing will be and whether you can get away with wearing it under your trackie bottoms.
A ceramic bear holding a teeny-weeny scroll that says ‘I love you’. You are with a moron. Leave them now. Do not pass go. Do not collect the stuffed bears, the padded cards or the heart-shaped picture frame with his face in it that he has given you for the past three Valentine’s days. Just keep running.
This year, I will, as every year, be ignoring Valentine’s Day. I will revel in my flower-less, chocolate-free, skimpy pants-free day and recite my favourite Valentine’s Day rhyme:
Roses are red,
That much is easy.
But bugger off Valentine,
You’re making me queasy.