I know Christmas is a bonanza time for deaths, divorces and breakdowns. But Valentines Day must run a close second.
Like the festive season, Valentines is fraught with expectations, hopes, fears and resentments.
I can understand it being a day for single people; a day for the shy to declare their love anonymously; a time of the Trickster.
But it has become a compulsory celebration for anyone in a couple. Kind of like a universal anniversary. Or the horses’ birthday.
And what makes me even sadder about this, is the fact that, like an anniversary, it is driven mostly by women. Look at how many sit-coms have based an episode on HIM forgetting an anniversary/Valentines.
I’ve known women who have been angry with their husbands for not getting them anything. I’ve known a woman to ask around for a good florist for her partner to order her flowers from. I’ve known women to just about buy the flowers and chocolates and sign the card on his behalf.
To what end, I cry! To what end.
Now, despite the well-worn groove of cynicism that the dating scene has gouged into my heart, I am still a romantic. I embrace spontaneity. When I feel something for someone, I tell them, and try to make my words original and lovely. Plonk me in front of a champagne glass, with a charming companion, and I will flirt and sparkle and go gooey with the best of them. Yet I find nothing remotely romantic about this Valentines palaver. Not because it’s “got too commercial”: it was ALWAYS commercial. Marketing didn’t come down in the last shower. Just ask any lawyer about the Carbolic Smoke Ball.
Valentines has become some kind of test for men (at least in the straight scene). It has also become a competition between straight women to see who got the bigger flowers/shinier jewelry/best restaurant. And it is an excuse for the non-partnered/unhappily partnered to wallow in self-pity and put up passive-aggressive Facebook memes about receiving the usual nothing.
Grow up the lot of you!
I’m just as romantically lonely as the next person. I yearn for a loving relationship. But that loneliness isn’t going to be cured by a Valentines text from some random dude, or a bunch of poxy flowers from the local supermarket. And if I were lucky enough to be in that loving relationship I hope for, I wouldn’t give a rat’s testicle if he marked Valentines Day. I would hope he would surprise me regularly: not with flowers, but with wit, insights,small gestures of respect and care, and the occasional lewd suggestion!
To all the lonely hearts out there: may you find the love you yearn for.
And not kill it with the Valentine Ultimatum.