I should state that before you read this, this is not just a single man's bitter perspective on a day that I am somewhat excluded from. It is easy to write off any complaints about valentines day as the ramblings of a lonely spinster that can't stand the sight of happy couples, but this is not the case. Whether you are single, in a relationship or married...this is a day that carries feelings of inadequacy, pressure and dissatisfaction to the masses. Between the over exposure to tacky valentines decor/advertisements and being forced to emote on demand, these are my top reasons for hating this appauling exploitation;
- £££££££- This is a day in which businesses utilise the mounting social pressures of "tradition" to force people to spend their money on their worthlessly tacky shit, in a forced gesture to prove to their significant others that they care. I'm not some mental "911 was an inside job" conspiracy theorist type, but I often think that valentines day was invented by the card, chocolate and florist companies to keep them afloat during a notoriously slow business period. People will spend ludacrous amounts of money (that they probably don't have) on pointless presents and expensive restaurants in a desperate effort to avoid looking cheap, therefore proving that they must care. This is particularly tragic amongst those that are in painfully mundane relationships. I cringe at the thought of an obviously unhappy couple getting reservations at an expensive restaurant, eating in silence, exchanging empty ritual "happy valentines day" gestures and returning home to have depressingly brief, yearly missionary sex.
- Hideously tacky gifts- Valentines day is a time that allows any kind of business vendor to shamelessly cash in on the event by embarrasingly trying to tie in their products with a valentines theme. I once genuinely saw a cafe selling heart shaped burgers on Valentines day at accordingly inflated prices. Nothing says "I love you" like a heart shaped road kill esque piece of meaty gristle in a bap! Traditional valentines gifts are equally awful, and require absoloutely no thought. How is a heart shaped box filled with oily chocolates or a mass produced teddy bear holding a love heart (probably made in a piss soaked sweat shop by children) a good way to convey the way that you feel about somebody?
- Valentines cards- Yes it's that special time of year where card manufacturing companies forcefully imply that a card with a meretricious slogan is a nescessity, and if you don't receive one...you might as well just fucking kill yourself. Not only have the card companies targeted those in relationships, but they have also cornered the single market into sending nameless cards to people that they are unable to communicate their feeling with. I pity those that anonymously send valentines cards to the object of their affection, desperately hoping that the recipient will realise their identity and discover their true feelings for them. Sadly this will not happen, the recipient will convince themselves that the card is from somebody more desirable and would probably be frankly insulted if they knew the true source of the card!
- Expectation-It doesn't matter how much effort you to go to for valentines day, it will never be enough! Some smug Casanova bastard will have annoyingly raised the bar on romance, therefore making anything you do look inferior by comparison. A few years ago I was suckered into participating in the valentines day tradition, and bought presents (DVD's and books....no tacky Valentines shit!) for a girlfriend, and took her out for the night. What did I get in return? The girlfriend was horrfied that I hadn't bothered to get her a card, and spent the whole night sulking. What more do you want? Maybe next time I'll do a Van Gogh and cut off my penis and seal it in a pretty heart shaped box, satisfied?!!
- Why just one day a year?- Don't get me wrong I am not a particularly romantic guy...but I don't understand why there is a specific date on which you should show your partner how you feel about them. If you don't conform to the concept of Valentines day and buy presents and cards, does this cancel out anything nice that you've done in the last 364 days?
Finally, to all the single people dreading the thought of another valentines day passing them by unmarked, MAN UP and realise that you are letting yourself be made to feel like this. There are 364 other days in the year for you to meet somebody special, be glad that you don't have to join in with this shallow celebration of "love"(money).
Happy unimaginative, consumer orientated and entirely arbitrary, manipulative and shallow interpretation of romance day everybody.
Be my valentine?
Be my valentine?