And if you’re single, it’s just another way to have your nose rubbed right in it.
But if you’re in a long-term relationship or are married then it’s a minefield. If your wife or girlfriend says those fateful words, “Oh, don’t get me anything”, you’d damn well better get something, unless you like living in the shed with the spiders.
The boss has some pretty strident opinions when it comes to Valentine’s Day, basically “If you want to buy me flowers or take me out to dinner then do it on any day apart from February 14 when someone’s told you to.”
I like the cut of her jib, so on the day itself it’s become a sort of tradition that we celebrate it the only way we know how when you’re 27 years into a relationship that produced two wonderful kids who’ve flown the nest, with an exchange of tasteful, pre-watershed cards and a firm handshake.
To me, Valentine’s Day has all the validity of any other made-up occasion you care to mention, like Steak and BJ Day. Look it up, it’s a thing – March 14. Hands up if you’ve found yourself feeling incredibly self-conscious in a restaurant with your partner thanks to someone marching around the tables selling single flowers wrapped in cellophane. Oh, so that’s all of you. They don’t particularly want to carry it around all night, you certainly don’t want to buy it, yet you feel like the worst partner in the world if you say a polite “No thanks”.
It’s like when restaurants employ a magician who performs illusions at the table when all you want to do is inhale your sticky toffee pudding. “Good evening, sir, would you like to see a card trick?” “No I ****ing wouldn’t”.
Valentine’s Day’s a bit like nuclear war (which at the time of writing we’re teetering on the brink of), there are no winners or losers, just survivors. So why wait until February 14 to do that thing they like? Why not on February 21, April 4 or July 22? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.