I learned in a pub quiz (a fantastic source of completely objective knowledge, surely) the other night that 90% of the population dislike or hate February 14th.
It really is a frightful cliche to be anti-Valentine’s Day. Sorry kids. The main reasons for people’s disliking of the event appear to be (a) of the moralising “Valentine’s Day is so commercial – you can celebrate your love any day of the year, y’know” variety or (b) of the resentful “Maw. No one loves ME” type.
To the folk who fall into my first category, I’d question whether they practice what they preach and actually do celebrate love on any other day. Do you really go out for special meals or buy your loved one gifts so spontaneously? Probably not. The pressures of modern life don’t really cater for that, so it’s nice that there’s one day a year specifically designated for it.
In a way though, these people are right. The vampires from Buffy the Vampire Slayer like to murder and/or scare shitless the inhabitants of Sunnydale on any given day, but on Halloween, they stay in their tombs and put their feet up. Perhaps we could treat Valentine’s Day in a similar fashion: ignoring the distractions of romance all day but going out for nice dinners and enjoying adventurous sex every other day of the year.
As for the lonely folk: lose the ego. Don’t worry about what you’re getting but instead think about the epistles or flowers or other gestures you can send to other people. You want what Harry Hill calls ‘ego puff-points’ but you’re not giving any to anyone else. You’re too embarrassed about what they’ll say if they figure out it’s you who sent it. So just send the shit out. To anyone. You don’t even have to fancy them. It’s a nice gesture, you’ll make old Arseface feel good and if you believe in the ‘eb and flow’ model of reality, you’ll get a heap of niceties in return.
Having said all of this, the Valentine’s Day of your humble narrator was a little excruciating. I tried to get flowers sent to two of my London friends (the horror critic, Alex, because he’s an impossibly lonely loser and to the artist/actor, Adele Geddes, because I want to put my penis between her breasts and rub it up and down) but found that it was impossible due to the vast quantity of other flowers being driven around the city today. It sounds silly now to assume that such a service would be available on Valentine’s Day, but I kinda figured that the florists would be expecting last-minute orders from the nation’s dog-house men and would have taken on extra staff and grown extra flowers so that easy money could be made. Like they do with pine trees at Christmas.
I did however, purchase a single red one, from a florist on Byers Road for my cohabiting and lavender-scented chum, Stuart. It made me feel pretty OK, walking around the West End with a rose. It looked sartorially splendid against my tweed jacket as much as anything, but also because middleaged women kept giving me “Awww. That’s sweet” looks.
But, alas, Valentine’s Day (or VD) is over for now. Time to get back to the hatin’.