An anonymous article on the stresses that come with preparing for Valentines day, especially if this is your first time with a date!


Saint Valentine’s Day: Originally an official church feast day, set on February 14th, Valentine’s Day commemorated the martyrdom of several saints going under the name of Valentine. It became a day associated with romance during the middle ages, and eventually the 18th century came up with the idea of capitalizing on all this love in the air and decided to turn it into the day you buy flowers and chocolate… that is if you have a valentine.

For me Valentine’s Day has always been only one thing: the day I remember that I’m single. It is that wonderful day I run into red hearts, red roses and red confectionary everywhere. I remember all my past affairs, dates and one-night stands and get that mope-y feeling in my stomach. At some point during the day mourning my single life intensifies so much that I walk into the store and buy heart shaped chocolates for my friends to cheer myself up by playing the chocolate fairy for the rest of the day.

heart

Not this year.

The year of 2016 decided to be generous and I will not be single on Valentine’s Day. This occurrence is rather scary. Having acquired my license to pretend to be an adult for the rest of my life only recently, I still believe that this might be my first and last Valentine’s Day for quite a while; therefore, I want to get it right. The rest of this story is about me falling right into the trap of consumption as Valentine’s Day approaches closer and closer.

10 days to Valentine’s…

 I walk up to my boyfriend and cast a threatening glance in his direction. I tell him he’d better be planning something great for this Valentine’s. “I’m writing an article on it!” I say.

9 days…

 “I managed to book us for a four course special at Place A,” he says. “We could have gone to Place B, but I doubt you want to have dinner at 9 o’clock,” he adds. I look at him in astonishment. “Is everything already booked up?” I ask. He nods.

Now, I know we all live in a small town, but as a person used to making dinner bookings either on the same day or the night before, I was quite surprised that people made sure to book out all the restaurants for Valentine’s that much in advance.

8 days…

 I open up my email and immediately get bombarded by promotional newsletters. ASOS is offering “gifts for him”, and I don’t mind procrastinating for another hour, so I follow the link. The selection and the prices are astounding. ASOS offers me one unaffordable watch after the other in addition to grooming kits and men’s toiletry bags for £50. I give up on ASOS and head to other places for gifts…

7 days…

Valentine’s Day would not be complete without giving your S.O. a valentine. I head to Paperchase to casually pick up a card, but instead spend a dumbfounded 20 minutes in front of the shelves. There are all kinds of cards: cards that are so cute they’d make you puke, cheeky cards, cards for friends, cards that fold out into boxes. I feel like I am in an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress”. Some of the cards have so much cheese in them that I feel embarrassed. Others make sexist jokes that make me cringe… and then there are cards with cringe-worthy attempts at wordplay. I end up landing on a card with cute egg drawings and run to the cashier before my head explodes.

vv6 days…

Boyfriend’s gift arrives in the mail. I get so excited about it that I shove it in my flat mate’s face. I pack it and keep raving until my flatmate stops me with a rather disturbing question: “Is he getting you anything?” I fall silent. I imagine how imperfect my perfect Valentine’s Day would turn if he didn’t get me anything. At this point I am so invested in getting it right that I am slowly turning into a Valentine’s version of a hysterical bride. It seems as if a wrong step could ruin my relationship. “I hope so,” I tell my flatmate and swallow down the discomfort.

5 days…

 I am having a quick lunch in between lectures. I furiously type out a presentation, wolfing down some coffee and pancakes at the same time, (it is pancake day!) A guy and a girl sit down at the table next to me and start talking. I hear the word “Valentine’s” and tune in. He complains about his last Valentine’s Day. He made his girlfriend breakfast, but she did not do anything for him. When he asked her why, she answered that he’d told her he didn’t “do” Valentine’s Day just a week ago. His friend nods at the story and keeps scrolling through Instagram. I gulp down some more coffee and wonder why he thought that making breakfast for someone was such a special act. I remember that loving your SO should not be a once a year event and that Valentine’s Day should not be about counting favors… right before rushing back into the consumer haze.

4 days…

I pick up a red dress that I bought a week ago. Later in the day my friend convinces me to buy a blue dress. Now I am confused as to which dress I should freeze my ovaries off in on Sunday.  The blue dress is warmer by one degree, but Valentine’s Day calls for red. I consult five different friends and to my demise all of them tell me that I should wear red. I sigh and think of how much I wanted to get it right. Red it is then.

3 days…

It is Friday, and so far I have shelled out a bit less than £100 on this day. The sound of the four course special scares me, and not just because of the cost. Now I am afraid of eating too much, afraid of being too cold in that perfect dress and afraid of being the only one taking part in the practice of gift exchange. I may emerge out of this week broke and with pneumonia; but the real question is: Is it worth it? I do not know just yet, and the only way to answer it would be to live through Sunday.

 

 

Anonymous

 

 

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay.