I have found that the 14th February seems to bring out an often hidden side to people. Some reasonably normal friends suddenly turn into sop monsters, heading out to buy the latest CD of love songs and brandishing fluffy teddy bears in your face; other reasonably normal friends turn into snarling monsters, leaping down your throat at the mere mention of love and hearts and flowers.
It’s probably not too much of a stretch to realise that that the former are those people in relationships and the latter are those currently single.
Personally I’m not incredibly fussed about the day. I’m not bothered about going out for an over-priced meal, sitting with smug-marrieds and people with no sense of appropriate public displays of affection (by the way, there are no appropriate PDAs, keep it behind closed doors people). I don’t want a barbershop quartet sent to work. I’m pretty happy with a card, not one the size of my head, just your average card that says “Hi. I love you. And I have used this day to make extra special mention of that even though I tell you all the time anyway.”
I’ve done Valentine’s Day single before, and whilst it isn’t a barrel of laughs, it is actually much easier because there is no expectation from anyone else that you’re going to have an embarrassingly large bouquet of flowers turn up at reception at lunchtime. When you are with someone you start to view the question “Are you doing anything for Valentine’s Day?” with increasing hostility as you try to pitch your answer according to the person that’s asked it. Is this a lover or a hater? If they’re a lover are they going to judge you a little bit for not really doing anything? If they’re a hater are they equally going to judge you for not taking advantage of a romantic day (I point blank refuse to call it a holiday, a) it is not a holiday and b) I am not American) when it’s on offer?
Oh the stress.
Cast your mind back to last year. People asked me all day long what I was doing and what The Person had done for the special day. I was forced to admit that not only was I not doing anything (not surprising given that we live 3 hours away from each other) but I hadn’t received anything either. No my friends, last year, despite being with someone, I still received no token of appreciation from my love. One
When it came to a game of not expecting anything to expecting and not receiving, I know which side I’d rather be batting for.
So whether you’re a lover or a hater I hope you enjoy tomorrow – whether it be just another Tuesday or a day of over-the-top romance.
(And maybe say a little prayer for The Person that he hasn’t messed it up this year.)