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Gah: Valentine’s Day

Today is Saint Valentine’s day. This is my least favourite of the national holidays, which is a sad thing to say for someone as romantic as I. However, I believe Valentine’s day has as little to do with love as Easter has to do with the Easter bunny. It’s just another event, hyped up with capitalism. If it were in human form, it would be the cretinous Jude Law, or Keira Knightly, brandishing sly and insincere looks of love and chalky sweets that say ‘Be Mine’ and ‘You Complete Me’. That’s not the only reason I loathe it.

In the movies, on Valentine’s day, the male protagonists make these grand gestures to their significant others and significant hopefuls. They write messages in the sky, they take their girls to baseball games and pay for the hot dogs, they buy flowers and chocolates or go together with their lovers to the beach to sit under a blanket and look up at the stars – my personal favourite. While most of these gestures are superficial and do not mean the guy isn’t beating up or cheating on their beau the other 364 days of the year, when I was younger, I used to look at movies and want them to be real. I realise this contradicts the cynicism of my opening paragraph and suggests that I still want this. I don’t. I think love shouldn’t need to be reinforced one day of the year through materialism, but looking at movies as a child gave me the false idea that these gestures meant anything.

Anyway, this week, surrounding the who-ha that V-day has unsettled, I’ve been thinking about my own disastrous personal experiences relating to Valentine’s day which I wanted to share. Enjoy:

  • When I was in primary school, I had the biggest ‘crush’ on a boy called Daniel Watson for about three years. He was dreamy, apparently, though I look back at the memory and laugh about it. In those three years, I attempted several advances to make him realise I liked him. I gave him heart shaped sweets, and I wrote him secret messages; all of which he stamped on and tore up. One year, on Valentine’s day, I bought – with my mother’s money – a nice card and some chocolates, intending to give them to him but reality hit: ‘I know, without a doubt, that this bozo will barely look at the card before tearing it up and he won’t appreciate the chocolates. What is the point’. So, I ended up giving them to Anthony Grant, who was the second dreamy guy in the school.
  • My mother would send me V day cards every year under the pretense that they from a secret admirer, even though they were written in her recognisably messy handwriting… I knew it was her but she never admitted it. She doesn’t send these to me anymore. I expect this is because she thinks I have plenty admirers now that I am grown up. Sadly, this is not the case.
  • I received a card once from a lover in my teens. He bought it for me only because his mother said it was a good idea.
  • My first long-term boyfriend was never a romantic person. On the last Valentine’s day we spent together, I ended up taking HIM out for food, and bought HIM flowers, and then he gave them back to me!
  • My current boyfriend, Tom, made me a wonderful Valentine’s card last year with an ornate, mounted origami figure on the front. I kept this for a long time near my computer at work so I could look at it and marvel at how thoughtful and creative the boy is. And then somebody stole it, possibly so they, too, could marvel at how thoughtful my boyfriend is.  Or else to bring me a little bit of misery for a moment.

Oh brother… Thank things for Tom, that is all I can say. Every day with him feels like an affectionate, queasy and puke-inducing romantic holiday. Aww. Have a great puke-inducing holiday with YOUR lover(s)!

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