Valentines_Day_Chocolates_from_2005 john hritz

Sophie Capaldi asks: what is Valentines Day all about, anyway?

Last year I found myself enjoying a walk along the pier on a sunny February afternoon. It was lovely, really nice. Until I noticed I was surrounded by about a million couples. “What’s going on?” I thought. And then it dawned on me: Valentine’s Day. In a tiny little town where at least one in ten of St Andrews graduates marries a fellow alumnus, is there anywhere statistically worse to be on Valentine’s Day? I’ve never done the pier jump, but I came quite close to it that day.

Last year, my flatmate and I baked a red velvet cake and then proceeded to eat it all, and if a friend hadn’t told us that Tesco had run out of Ben & Jerry’s, our ‘boyfriend-less’ binge would have continued. It’s just as well we banned our favourite drink of choice, too—red wine, simply because it is red—otherwise that night could have been even more tragic than it already was.

Who even is St Valentine? We should make a bigger deal of other Saints’ days like we do with St Patrick’s: St Andrew’s Day, St George’s Day, the patron Saint of Wales; so badly represented that I cannot pluck his name from my mind… I’m sure Alex Salmond would love sending out ‘Happy Scotland Day’ cards. A day on which everyone in Scotland is happy regardless of his or her relationship status is, I think, much better than V-Day’s members-only exclusivity.

I am thoroughly enjoying the growing trend of ‘Valentine’s Vendetta’ cards, which bear amusing little phrases such as, “If you’re single and you know it, pet your cat” or simply, “I love me” on their covers. And did you know that February 14th isn’t just the date of St Valentine’s death? It is also Ferris Wheel Day, Blood Donor Day, and Pet Theft Awareness Day. I swear I didn’t even make that up—Google it.

So perhaps you are reading this thinking that you don’t actually associate V-Day with vomit and you are in fact intending on buying your girlfriend/ boyfriend/ library crush a card. That’s nice. I am not going to preach about which cards are just the right amount of cute without being nauseating, but I was thrilled when I convinced my flatmate—who, since last year has moved over to the dark side—to buy her boyfriend a card that reads “I Dig You” with a picture of a spade.

All I’m saying is that the day after V-Day is World Whale Day —which is a much bigger deal— and I’m really looking forward to it.


Sophie Capaldi


Image credits: John Hritz, Ann Arbor, MI, USA