Happy February 15th everyone! No longer must we be bombarded with adverts for gifts which crawl down to the bottom of the gender stereotype box to die. No longer must we be assaulted with the despair inducing juxtaposition of both underwear and chocolates on sale prices. No longer must we fear to be left alone in case we send ourselves flowers from a ‘secret admirer’ (who may or may not closely resemble Ryan Gosling or Mila Kunis).
I love jewellery, chocolate, flowers, underwear, and love. But I really do not like Valentine’s Day. Apart from thinking Valentine’s Day is the worst of all holidays for mindless capitalist consumerism, I have a nasty suspicion that dedicating one set day of the year to romance enables bad boyfriends, and for that matter bad girlfriends, to spend 364 days a year kicking romance in the groin.
Yesterday was the fourth Valentine’s Day I have spent with Boyfriend. Having spent four years with me, he knows me well enough to realise that just because I dislike designated romance doesn’t mean I want to miss out on the opportunity to have a nice dinner. This year however we decided to wait until the weekend to celebrate for a number of reasons which – tongue in cheek alert – basically boil down to me being an awesome friend and an even more awesome girlfriend. Boyfriend was out with his friends. My friends were out with their boyfriends. So last night was the first eve of February 14th that I have spent alone in quite some time. And surprise, surprise, I didn’t like it.
My initial plans to exercise and work on my dissertation were clearly the delusions of a mad woman. I chose carbohydrates. Lots of them. And Mad Men. Lots of it. I found myself slipping from a (don’t laugh too loudly) strong independent woman to more of a Bridget Jones type stock character, all because of the date on the calendar. Mainly I was just bored and depressed at yet another student night spent without vodka and dancing (god damn third year) but I was getting sympathy messages from various friends as though Boyfriend had not simply gone out without me on a Thursday night but broken up with me and in a particularly harsh fashion; via text maybe, or on a Post-it Note like something out of Sex and the City.
In many ways my evening would have been less miserable had I really been single, as from the constant stream of Instagram photos of sympathy gifts from concerned relatives of single Facebook and Twitter friends, I can only deduce that it is the singletons rather than the smug-marrieds who are the target market of all the Valentine’s Day merchandise. (Boyfriend bought me a packet of Mini Eggs, but I think technically they are more to do with Jesus than Cupid and so don’t really count as official Valentine’s Day produce.)
Right now I’m waiting for drunken Boyfriend to stumble home. Because sometimes love is more to do with being prepared to clean the remains of a Subway sandwich – fresh or partially digested – from the floor than buying someone two dozen red roses. Roses die. Clean carpets are forever.
So happy February 15th ladies and gentleman! Take off those suspender belts and forced smiles, buy a large amount of on-offer heart shaped sweets, and try to remember that love cannot be bought in handy portable boxes – even if they are filled with chocolate.
And if that isn’t cheering enough we can all look forward to Easter advertising now. Because nothing says “good job rising from the dead” like a toasted Hot Cross Bun or a Creme Egg.