Today, I have received no less than THREE emails from various websites informing me that a) there is still time to book a restaurant, b) not to forget to buy my ‘sweetheart’ *vomit* a card, and c) that there are many saucy ‘intimate’ gifts available…all for the dreaded Valentine’s Day.
Now, for starters, I am pretty sure that by my reckoning, Valentine’s Day is at least 3 weeks away – and hell, my birthday is before then, which is WAY more important! All of that apart, why the HELL would I want to go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day? Why pay more when you can pay less? Even Toptable states that reward points can’t be spent on the 12th – 14th February.
Retailers/hospitality just know that they’re going to rake it in from all those poor unfortunate souls who don’t have a romantic bone in their body.
And yes, I do mean that! Where the hell is the romance in undergoing the same formulaic ritual as millions of other couples? Meal, flowers, wine/champagne, chocolates, cuddly toys, candles, cards, maybe a hotel. I mean, really – don’t people do this on other nights of the year? If you really love someone, why choose the same day as everyone else to show it?
This isn’t because I’m a smug (nearly) married or anything – I’ve always been like this. I have never felt the looming dread of a Valentine’s Day hanging over me just because I’m single and that I’m suddenly going to feel inadequate because of all the couples, and on the flip-side I have never felt the need to be all coupley when I haven’t been single! Last year, me and The Man did a big posh meal for our two closest mates – one who has always been single for as long as I’ve known him (15 years), and the other who was single at the time and always feels a failure when she is. It was a great night! I remember a couple of years before that (still while I’ve been with The Man) I took the same girlie friend out to a club so that she wouldn’t have a chance to feel sorry for herself.
When I mention my views to friends, they accuse me of not being romantic, and that really isn’t true. I am romantic, terribly so, and The Man is even more romantic than me. But we feel happy that we love each other every day (even though sometimes we hate each other) and our romantic gestures are personal, thoughtful and at a time that means something to us if we feel the lure of ‘an occasion’ to look forward to – eg birthdays and anniversaries.
The only very Valentine’s Day gesture that I ever really bought into, that genuinely brought a smile to my face was about 13 years ago when a huge bunch of my favourite flowers were left on my doorstep first thing in the morning with no card. I was very single at the time and to this day, I am unsure of who left them there, although I had a vague inkling. But that is very different to the commercial expectation of people who are already coupled-up!
So, if not buying into the hugely lucrative commercial aspect of Valentine’s Day makes me unromantic, I guess I must be. And nothing will change that.