Be My Valentine on Feb 15th?

Valentine’s Day Massacre…. of your Wallet by Gemma Clark

Prove your love on Valentine’s Day or should I call it Farcical Day?

Valentine’s Day is an over-commercialised lie we have rammed down our throats every single year. Stereotypes are forced upon us in every shop window creating a bubble of expectation that we are pressured into adhering to.
I’ve done my research and gotten opinions from both hopeless romantics, fools that buy into this con (literally!) and people like me, who have seen the light and refuse to partake in such a ridiculous waste of time and money.
1. The ‘Gifts’
Ahhh the gifts, the gifts… where to start!
A gift is meant to be a heartfelt gesture to make someone feel special. Yet the only thing ‘special’ are the offers on chocolate on the 15th of Feb.
Girls love chocolate (guys too, if we’re breaking gender stereotypes), but there is nothing personal about a box of chocolates. No, not even one’s with cute little hearts or your name on them (M&M’s have cornered that market of late). Or a bouquet of flowers. Not those cheap one’s from the petrol station, not the £100 bouquet with the bow the size of a small child. These are never good gifts on their own. Not even if you are giving them to a florist or a chocolatier. Actually, especially if that’s who you are giving them to.
The problem with Valentine’s Day gifts is that they are so temporal and devoid of feeling. Chocolate boxes are empty by the end of the night and flowers wither and die. There are better gifts to get people but shops shove love hearts adorned with everything down our throats and it’s irritating for those that would rather give/receive something, anything more personal.

2. The Pressure!!
Oh my GOD the pressure! The idea that you have to buy some meaningless tat for someone should be a quandary reserved for parents and their offspring’s birthdays. You shouldn’t have to buy someone something; you should want to buy them things that will make them genuinely happy.
Society dictates that on this particular day, above all other 364, your loved one deserves to be showered with saccharine, pink teddies, cloyingly fragranced flowers and rose petals that will have wilted by the morning. Which is just not true. There are better ways to show your beloved that they are special and I can think of a dozen that don’t involve the sting of rose thorns nipping me in the bum from a bed strewn with them.

3. Expectation vs. Reality
As indicated in my previous argument, there is a pressure in place on Valentine’s Day. You build up this unattainable standard for yourself because that’s what you expect in return.
Now, I’m no romanti-sceptic. I may be rolling solo these days but I’ve had two relatively serious, long term relationships. But the whole idea of Valentine’s Day never enamoured me and to this day, all I feel is pity for the poor sods that have to pander to the whim of society and fork out for a day that is simply an excuse to extort money from suckers who feel pressured into it.
I’ve been on Valentine’s Day dates and they were so contrived and forced (and OK, so the guy turned out to be a complete moron) but the whole thing just felt like something we had to do. So as we sat over that curry (possibly not the meal of choice for romance) and we were both thinking the same thing; “I’d rather be back at your place playing COD and eating cookies wearing slippers instead of this monkey suit!”

4. The RIDICULOUS Cost of Everything
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Why oh why, is everything so expensive on Valentine’s Day?? Set menus at every restaurant, charging you the earth for the same mediocre meal you would be eating on any other night of the week!
Don’t even get me started on chocolate. Literally everything will be half price on the 15th for all the singletons to (if you believe the stereotype) binge out on in a post V Day Netflix-and-solo-chill night, perhaps accompanied by a large Domino’s pizza for one or maybe a collection of everyone’s favourite gentlemen; Jack (Daniel’s), Johnnie (Walker), Ben & Jerry. Some diet coke might make it in there, if it’s lucky.

5. The “Cute” *ahem* “Ew” Factor
People. Can we please desist with the games of tonsil tennis across the table at dinner on V Day?? I mean seriously, is it entirely necessary to suck face over your shared red velvet cheesecake, or chocolate lava cake or whatever? Really? That sh*t ain’t cute, it’s disgusting! You know that those slurping sounds can be heard at the table next to you, right? They are not contained within the little bubble of love you’ve created around yourselves. There are likely to be diners that are on their 20th V Day together and are there, not out of a shared love of Italian cuisine, but rather out of an inexorable bending to the will of societal pressures (see 3!!) and are there out of lack of will power to fight culture!

TO CONCLUDE… If you feel like you’ve got to wait until a saint (Valentine) tells you that you can show affection to the one you’re with then you don’t deserve to be with them. And if you choose to buy into that culture, you’re a love heart-shaped mug!
Do yourself a favour. Surprise your loved one every so often, perhaps a bar of their favourite choccies, a blanket fort, maybe even just giving them the remote from time to time. Make them feel loved all year round by showering them with a million little gestures – and save yourself a fortune on Valentine’s Day by getting them a card and giving them a cuddle on the sofa!