Oh look, a cliche: a single woman writing about how much she hates Valentine’s Day. And about how she hates it because it’s all so commercialised blah blah blah. But I really do, and you won’t stifle my freedom of speech, damn you.
There is nothing less romantic than Valentine’s Day. Or rather, how you’re supposed to do Valentine’s Day. I don’t like pink. I don’t like red roses. I don’t like heart motifs. Cuddly toys can get to fuck. I like chocolate, but Valentine’s Day chocolate is over-processed and tastes like shit. And comes in pink, heart-shaped boxes. Please see above.
A romantic gesture is, surely, one that shows how well someone knows you. Not one that says ‘here, have a teddy bear holding a pink placard that says ‘I wuv you’, because despite having spent a reasonable amount of time with you I apparently believe you will want something that belongs in the bedroom of an eight year old girl’.
A boyfriend once turned up on my doorstep holding a single, browning, dogeared red rose that he’d evidently picked up at a garage. And what’s awful is that this wasn’t an entirely half-arsed gesture. He’d felt the need to ‘do’ Valentine’s Day, but left it so late this sad little flower was the best he could find. I knew he’d tried, and accepted the gift with smiles and grace, but couldn’t help feeling that if he’d had three seconds of original thought he’d have sacked off the Hallmark pressure and got me a Tunnocks teacake instead. The 18 month relationship was doomed from that point on.
(“A Tunnocks teacake?” you say. “That’s not very romantic.” To which I would reply: you’ve clearly been eating them wrong.)
Valentine’s Day isn’t romantic. It’s a simulacrum of romance. What’s less romantic than being ushered into a set of specific, one-size-fits-all motions? Card, flowers, dinner, a blow job later on; and that’s it for the rest of the year apart from birthdays and anniversaries. That’s not romance, that’s a stand-up routine from a 1970s working men’s club.
Does this sound ungrateful? I don’t care. I would genuinely rather receive nothing on 14 February than something that will break my heart slightly at how little my current bunk-up knows me. If you can’t override the urge to purchase sugary pink goo, there are apparently thousands of women out there who are have been suckered into wanting it. I can’t point you towards any because thankfully none of them are my friends.
And if you absolutely have to give me a dozen long-stemmed red roses, do it in the middle of June. That way I’ll know you mean it, rather than having felt badgered into it by societal bunkum.