Before I begin I would just like to make it clear that I am not one of those ‘non-conformist’ types. You know the sort that ridicule happy occasions like Christmas and Easter because of their capitalist nature that dictates that ultimately when the dust settles the only ones really celebrating are the debt collectors. The sort of people that go through enough cigarettes a day to make Dot Cotton look like a ‘social smoker’ and that wear so much dark clothing that the last time I looked at one I genuinely thought that I was asleep. Rest assured I am not one of those deodorant shunning, My Chemical Romance loving people. However, perhaps due to my current financial situation coupled with the fact that the last time I entered into anything remotely resembling a meaningful relationship with the fairer sex was when Gordon Brown was still calling the shots I just don’t get Valentine’s Day. I’m clearly in a minority though because with the exception of New Year’s Day it’s the most celebrated holiday in the world, even if we don’t actually get the day-off for it!
The first thing about this plastic holiday that utterly baffles me is its origin. Legend has it that many years ago a priest began illegally marrying soldiers under the Roman Empire, which had forbid such acts. Probably due to an increase in domestic abuse cases, baby daddy’s and the sales of whatever the Roman Empires equivalent of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was the authorities caught the priest and sentenced him to the only fate worse than an un-dissolvable marriage to Barbara Windsor, the fate was death of course. While locked up the priest was said to have healed his jailer’s daughter and before his death sent her a letter titled ‘From your Valentine’, the priests name was of course Valentine and so it all began. The holiday’s beginnings alone are enough to make me shriek, it’s been scientifically proven that people back then didn’t live very long. If we are to assume that our priest was around 30 years of age while also assuming that the letter in question had any romantic connotations then we can come to the conclusion that he was likely courting a 12 year old.
Does that still sound romantic? I’ve never understood the romantic connotations that sometimes go along with death. One party dying isn’t romantic it’s a tragedy and it damns the relationship to having no future because without both parties in the same realm of existence the relationship is going to fall apart faster than a soufflé in a paddling pool.
The way in which the routes behind the foundation of this holiday have been completely misconstrued leads me perfectly to my next problem, the symbolism behind it makes no sense. Valentine’s Day is often characterized with the image of obese babies shooting arrows with hearts on the tip at people. I can promise you that if Cupid, or anybody else for that matter, shot me in the crotch with an arrow in the shape of Halle Berry’s beautiful head then I would still feel inclined to act in a manner that would have me placed in a cell next door to our priest friend mentioned earlier. A few years ago my cousin shot me in the leg with a plastic arrow, fired from an ages 3-12 bow and that still hurt. You wonder why I’m not exactly thrilled by the concept of a baby blasting me with a man sized arrow, from a man sized bow and aiming for my heart, theirs your answer. Speaking of hearts, why do they look that way on all of the promotional merchandise? Granted, having a blood drenched organ that’s shaped like an inbred potato and pulsates like a speaker at the nightclub I was in last night isn’t exactly the most appealing image ever but give us some credit.
Don’t even start me on the God-awful rom-coms that illustrate the holiday. You know, the ones that either star Hugh Grant or have somebody like Jennifer Lopez staring whimsically at me on the cover in a desperate attempt to convince viewers such as myself that people at least 2 divisions above me in the League of Good Looks can actually have romance problems as well. By the way, I’m not a fan of most of these films in question.
The previous things mentioned may all seem a little bit harsh and like I’m maybe splitting hairs but have you ever thought about the events themselves that couples or relationship hopefuls take part in on this day? If where totally honest, this holiday is essentially about giving and receiving gifts and special treatment from a person you love or a person that you are desperate to be with. Although the gift giving is often reciprocal a lot of the donkey work that goes with it is not. Honestly how many times does the female of the relationship book the restaurant, arrange the fancy transportation, order champagne, get the musicians to sing ‘your song’, book the hotel, throw roses on the bed and then dip their hand into their already sparsely populated wallet to pay for the whole thing? From what couples I know on a personal level have told me, this is rare. This whole tradition just seems to go against the ideals that a lot of women will spend the other 364 days of the year claiming that they live by, that their ‘independent’ that they ‘don’t want a man spending money on them to make them happy’, they’re not ‘goldiggers’ or ‘chancers’ and any other philosophy that reads like a Destiny’s Child lyric book.
Which leads me to my final question; what is the point? Surely if a man and a woman or a same sex couple are in love they don’t need one lousy day in February to prove it? If they do then maybe they should question why they are together and if someone feels the need to participate in such acts in order to win somebody over then they should probably question why and what it is that their actually chasing.
It’s a recipe for disaster when a man or woman take somebody out and that person sits their taking the drinks, enjoying the compliments and all the VIP treatment only to then a few days later tell the person that they ‘just want them as a friend?’. I assume they mean the sort of friend that whenever they socialise with them they can afford to leave their wallet in the house. Just last year I had a member of the fairer sex pull that exact stunt on me and it’s not sour grapes but I am around £25 poorer for the experience and have only now realised that underneath the beautiful exterior she’s about as desirable as a hog roast at a Bar mitzvah. This incident actually took place around 2 months after Valentine’s Day 2012 but the sentiment is there. The point I’m trying to make is that this holiday is a breeding ground for such scams where one half of the arrangement can leave with a free evening and a brownie point to their ego, while the other leaves with a hole in their bank account that you could park your car in and the type of ‘what the hell just happened!?’ reaction that’s usually reserved for after a mugging.
In closing I would again like to state that I am not against this holiday I just simply do not understand it. Perhaps in a few years if I find somebody crazy enough to call themselves ‘Mrs Bozz’ I will reveal myself to be just like the Hugh Grant characters of the films mentioned earlier in that ‘I’m really not that bad’ and like one of those Care-Bear’s all I really needed was a hug. Alas the holiday though I may not agree with I defend to the death anybody’s right to celebrate it as would a number of like-minded Brits. This is just as well because apparently in 2011 over 100 people in Malaysia were arrested for doing just that…