It’s not that easy to like Valentine’s Day. Or is that just me? It still has the connotations of a day of national confirmation of general unpopularity, partly because I was never a beautiful, cool sixteen year old, which is basically what you need to be in order to take full advantage of a day based on the declarations of love from any number of amorous admirers. It is not an earth-shattering revelation that gawky, weird-looking geeks are not bombarded with cards or flowers – I was once the excited recipricant of a lovely bunch of roses that were actually destined for a friend of mine – but the amorous admirer was far too shy to present them to her in person, so I was chosen as a sort of boquet-mule. And this is not even my worst Valentine’s day experience.
But it’s not just bitterness on my part that colours my dislike of the day. The whole thing has become a corporate-sponsored day of tat-giving, where people who have perfectly happy and otherwise sane relationships are forced to give what turns into a fairly insincere display of affection via the medium of an overpriced box of chocolates and some uninspired flowers.
Here is my V-day action plan for sane people who do not wish to be sucked in to the whole gift-wrapped farce.
Firstly – accept that even if the other person in the relationship states outright that the whole thing is a corporate-sponsored-farce and they want no part of it, this is very rarely true. What they may actually mean (and I speak from experience here,) is ‘Yes yes, it is all very silly, but on the other hand I do like chocolates and flowers. And wine. Although I object on moral principle, I would very much like you to demonstrate your great affection for me by partaking in the madness. And if you do not, I shall sulk emphatically, from the vantage point of my moral highground.’
Secondly – if you are single, celebrate the fact by choosing yourself decent chocolate, wine (or beer, or a nice soft drink, whatever) and a nice bunch of flowers which do not look as if they have been run over. You will have a nice evening and avoid disappointment.
Thirdly – avoid shopping at the last minute in a supermarket (with the exception of Waitrose, where the staff are so helpful they’d probably make you a card if they’d sold out – although that would be a bit weird.) You will only get over-priced, dropped-on-the-floor-a-few-times chocolate, and will be left with the kind of card with a greeting so trite, or inappropriate, that is likely to result in it being turned into a weapon and used against you.
Fourthly – avoid irony, unless it really, really is funny, and obvious. There is a fine line between a pithy comment on the ridiculous nature of Valentine’s day, and just buying a huge cuddly gorilla clutching a rose.
Fifthly – (well, that is an unexpectedly awkward word, ) If in doubt, cut a regular item into a heart-shape. We have all, as a society, been brainwashed to believe that the heart symbol is the ultimate expression of undying love. Cut toast, photos, omelettes, official documents etc all into heart shapes and watch your True Love melt into gasps of adoration with minimum effort on your part.
There’s still a week to go, so have a look at some of the cool stuff I’ve found rooting around on Folksy this week:
It’s good to get straight to the point, right? This ‘I like your face’ print does just that: (shop here)
A bit of a Mo-ment: (shop here)
A card for the Pride and Prejudice fans here:
This one may induce swooning, fits of the vapors, etc.
I’ve been out scouting in local shops for good Valentines’ Day stuff too. If you are local to Bedford, watch out for tomorrow’s blog for the ‘festival of sentimentality’ special.