Roses are red, Violets are blue. Bucking the trend of Valentine’s induced fury.

The 14th February. A day that bears the brunt of nationwide hatred. For those in love it is deemed a marketing ploy promoted by Clinton’s and the like, and for those who aren’t the day serves as a gloomy reminder that we are just as alone as we were last year. So who does enjoy this seemingly macabre and down-right insensitive holiday (other than Clinton Card’s manager that is)? Well, at the not-so-slight risk of being beaten up by members of each camp of haters outlined above, I do. And, more importantly, so should you.

I’ll admit that Cupid’s most beloved of days is a little easier not to hate if you’re ‘in a relationship.’ Particularly, and here I am about to conform to every stereotype going and absolutely no rules of feminism, if you’re a girl. Somehow the girl seems to get the better end of the deal on Valentine’s day. I like to think that this is because we’re more organised. The majority of coupled-up girls will have drawn hearts around the 14th Feb as soon as they invested in this year’s diary, the more fanatical will have coloured these in. In pink. Fanatics or not, however, us girls know when this day is approaching, even before the tacky signs in card shops scream ‘don’t forget Valentine’s day’ at innocent passersby.

So we will have bought our card, maybe even a small gift, weeks before the deadline and will be dropping less than subtle reminders that make more noise than hand grenades all over the place to our lovable rogues. Only the cleverest man will pick up on these. The not so clever are left to scramble around at the Tesco checkout at 0900 on the day, before the roses run out. As a result of this blatant disregard to this most sacred of days the man is left to sort out Valentine’s Day plans, just as a little test – and don’t believe any girl who tells you it’s not a test – to see how much you care.

But, at the end of all that pressure is a day that’s just a bit more special than your average one. It’s a day to gaze into each other’s eyes, to whisper sweet nothings, to hold hands, to tell someone you love them, and to celebrate that. So for those in relationships Valentine’s Day is a day to be celebrated with flowers – who doesn’t like them? Maybe some food, maybe some wine – or champers if you’re very very lucky – and some serious after-hours activity. So, what’s not to love?

For those who are single bringing ourselves to enjoy this day without even a tinge of bitterness is a tiny bit trickier. But, it can be done, even if the postman doesn’t bring you a red enveloped anonymous card and, even if he does and it’s only from your Mother. So, whilst it’s definitely easier to view Valentine’s Day with a sense of impending doom every time it rears its head, perhaps this attitude is a little narrow-minded. Maybe it’s time to start viewing the 14th February as a celebratory day rather than a test or an enemy. A celebration of lovers or of friends, either way lets smell the roses. Even if they’re the girls standing next to you.

The 14th February brings everyone closer together, particularly if you’re single, perhaps more so. For who hasn’t got together with the girls with multiple chick-flicks, a good few bottles of wine, some face masks, some nail varnish and a possible karaoke machine? And who doesn’t love that? As they say misery loves company. For the singleton Valentine’s Day is a climax for the social calendar. Business is a must, if only so that it will stop us from falling into a deep depression as we notice the PDAs of every other living soul and their partner. So, with some degree of obsession, we arrange coffee dates, lunches, dinners and evenings out, or in, with any other single folk we know. And there really isn’t anything wrong with that. In fact it’s probably more fun than enforced affection in Coupledom. Oops, sorry, I know I said no bitterness. So for the single girl – or boy, but somehow I feel they’re less bothered about the absence of pink hearts in their diaries – Valentine’s is just a good excuse to get together with the common aim of oblivion in mind.

 

Louise Gundry

Image Credit – Phisches