My Crummy Valentine – The Distressing Truth About Valentine’s Day And Romantic Love
I am a hopeless romantic. That doesn’t mean that I try to be romantic but I’m a bit rubbish at it. It means that when it comes to romance, I have a different definition to most people when February 14th rolls around. That is why I despise Valentine’s Day.
This isn’t just because it’s the one day of the year women can demand flowers and chocolates and necklaces from you and you are considered a twat if you don’t provide them. Men can’t blame women for that. If an opportunity to institute a day when we could demand a steak dinner, beer and a blowjob and our ladies would be considered heartless cows for not providing them, we’d be all over that opportunity like a rash. Your birthday is no guarantee, after all. This is just human nature.
What’s that? We already have that day? March 14th, Steak and BJ day. Well yes, except that we don’t. Not really. How many women have heard of it? And of those that have heard of it, how many would feel guilty for not observing it? Rather than, say, laughing in their bloke’s face and saying “Nice try sunshine, better luck next time”. Exactly.
You’d think that, me being a man, I would hate Valentine’s Day because of all the gooey schmaltz that goes along with it. You know, the giant Hallmark cards the size of a grown man with vivid red love hearts embossed on them. Teddy bears covered in sticky plasters with tags in their ears bearing the massage “I love you so much it hurts all over”. That kind of thing. Okay, I’ll admit that these are not my favourite items in the world, but they are not the reason I hate the 14th of February.
There are two main reasons I hate Valentine’s Day. The first is that it is mechanized and regimented romance. Romance without any heart or soul. Valentine’s Day is to real romance what World War One is to a high spirited sword fighting duel at Heidelberg University.
To me, the key point about romance -proper romance- is that it should be spontaneous and special. Doing something for your loved one can never be spontaneous or special if you do it on the same day as everyone else. A day that’s been heavily advertised in every shop and supermarket across the land for an entire month.
Romance shouldn’t be soppy and simpering. It should be a little mischievous. Let’s say you are in a bar with your young lady and she takes a shine to the unusual glass her drink has been served in. If she distracts the barman while you nick her one of those unusual glasses, that’s romance. I find that doing something a bit naughty together when you’re out often ensures that you do something really naughty together when you get back in the house. Or even before you get back in the house if you’re in the mood for a bit of Al Fresco.
The second reason I hate Valentine’s Day is actually just old fashioned pedantry. All you cozy couples out there getting cards and booking candlelit dinners? Valentine’s Day isn’t for you. It’s supposed to be a day for unrequited love. Mysterious cards declaring burning anonymous longing. Not a yearly reminder for showing each other the sort of consideration you should show each other in little ways all year round, but don’t because you’re too self- centred and lazy.
I can say all these things with impunity because my lovely and long suffering missus also hates Valentine’s Day. But let’s just say she didn’t. What would I do if she absolutely adored the idea? Well, if that were the case then you wouldn’t be able to move in our house for champagne, chocolates and teddy bears come February 14th. Because if something is important to the one you love, then it’s important full stop.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2014