Valentine. Saint or Twat?

Here it comes: another Valentine’s Day. Another day of most righteous lurve. 24 hours of  deep dish luuurvin’ that surely no livin’, lovin’ lady could possibly resist. The law of lurve insists that this be the day when the lurve light gets turned on to the max and lo, all our lovin’ be expressed in a most deep and right-on manner until we’re all just a worn out, breathless heap of lurve on the ground. Soaked to the skin with all that passion. Passion and romance. Passion and romance and lurve. Passion and romance and lurve and false hope and wasted money. Never forget the wasted money.

 
If I had my way I would ban Valentine’s Day (of course I would, you must know me by now). Better yet, I’d take it out into the woods and bury it in a shallow grave. I wouldn’t have to think twice. I would start with a ban on Valentine’s cards because seeing all that waste of card and ink stacked up in the aisles of shops makes me want to weep. I would ban those stupid fucking teddy bears, the ones clutching fat, faux velvet hearts which read “I Love You” or “Be My Valentine” or “Don’t Date Me, I’m Mentally Ill”; if you like giving them you are creepy, if you like receiving them you are a cretin. I would ban overpriced chocolates in the shape of hearts and indeed any confectionary that has been temporarily re-shaped just to give some specky flop a slightly better chance of getting laid. Trust me – it never did this specky flop any good.

 
Then I would move on to the more worrying aspects of this most be-shitted of days. For instance, I simply cannot find a single good excuse for countries like Ethiopia and Kenya producing vast quantities of red roses just for one day of the year; roses farmed by people on the verge of extreme poverty and then sold to people on the verge of extreme stupidity, for massively inflated sums and usually panic bought on the 14th itself (because we all know that these roses never last as long as they say they will and by the morning of the 16th will look like the kind of roses you find on the set of a cheap horror movie).

 
I would ban restaurants from creating a ‘Special Romance Set Menu’ with a ‘complementary’ glass of pink fizz; a set menu formed of the most unimaginative dishes and price marked to ensure that some poor sod probably has to sell a testicle just to pay for it all. If you’re going to have a heart shaped pudding then the main course should be an actual heart. A pig’s heart, still twitching, on a plain white plate, with a flag flapping from an oozing ventricle that simply says “I Fucking Love You”. And anyone caught playing a violin or wandering around with a plastic bucket of cheap roses would be fired from a cannon, through a sheet of tempered, industrial glass and then on into space.

 
You think I’m being cynical, don’t you? You think I’m being bitter and a kill-joy but surely even you must see that Valentine’s Day is nothing but an exercise in pure, undiluted cynicism. If so then I’m technically being cynical about cynicism; which means I’m actually being rather positive. Who would have to invent a day to love each other more when at the same time so much effort is wasted and so many hearts are broken?

 
I once fancied a girl who used to get on the bus on my way to school. A friend claimed he knew her address, so one damp Valentine’s Day morning I caught 2 buses and walked for 20 minutes to put a card and a rose on her doorstep. Just writing that gives me the creeps, but it’s true. She never acknowledged it. Never even went to the effort of even acknowledging my existence. I suppose I could have been subjected to ridicule from the back seat for weeks on end, but I was granted some mercy. I wonder what she’s up to. I think her name was Charlotte. Or was it Caroline? I wonder if she’s happily married or on her second divorce or her ninth child. Or whether, grieving over a love she would never know, she’s piled on the pounds, grown a moustache and now lives in a house filled with incontinent budgies.

 
But I don’t mind, really, I don’t. For all I know she didn’t even live there and some deluded pensioner kept my card for years, along with the desiccated remains of a single red rose. I’m really not bitter, but that experience taught me something very important and I want to pass that on to you: Valentine’s Day doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change anything. I love my ‘the wife’ so very, very much but that doesn’t magically multiply at a minute past midnight on the 14th because if it did then it would also have to shrink back to ‘normal’ 24 hours later.

 

St Valentine shouldn’t be the patron saint of romance. He should be the patron saint of hopeless gestures, lost causes and burning a hole in your own pocket. He should also be patron saint of vomit and buckets. If I save my best or most sincere for that one day of the year then it makes a mockery of the rest of it.

 
Anyway, I say all this but rest assured I’ll still make an effort for Valentine’s Day, otherwise you probably won’t hear from me again and my remains will be found many years from now out in the woods, you know, in a shallow grave. He might be a twat but if love is going to work then St Valentine will always get to win.

 
G B Hewitt. 13.02.2019

 

 

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