I hadn’t even said goodbye to the January blues before my next dose of hell was being shoved in my face – Valentine’s Day.
Before February had even begun, I was being inundated with emails from a variety of retailers urging me to buy tacky personalised cards, trays of chocolates and enough rosebuds to put the Chelsea Flower Show to shame.
Why is it that we are encouraged to spend an obscene amount of money on the ones we love on 14th of every February? This is a question that crosses my mind on an annual basis.
To adhere to stereotypes, the woman in the relationship is to be romanced by her partner, usually with lavish gifts and expensive dinner dates. I work at a jewellery store and I feel genuinely sorry for the confused and overwhelmed men that come in with absolutely no idea of what they want, often giving me the brief of ‘sparkly’.
If two people have genuine feelings for each other, spending time together should surely be enough and should not be dictated by what the calendar says. Does a huge, overstuffed and poorly made teddy bear clutching a heart really indicate someone’s love?
Of course, days such as this keep the card and flower business in top shape. On one website, I found a bouquet of a dozen red roses, a teddy holding an ‘I love you’ embellished heart and a card to total £50.
Fifty pounds! That could feed you for around two weeks (by my budgeting) or buy you around 15 pints of cider on Albert Road… Just saying.
Putting the happy couples to one side, Valentine’s Day has a nasty way of making single pringles feel exceptionally inadequate.
Nights out with friends or going for a meal and drinks is a popular option for those who aren’t in a relationship and are lucky enough to be able to dodge the purse-stripping side of the day. However, it often seems that it makes some single people feel nostalgic and usually not in a good way.
On more than one occasion, I have spent the day with friends and the conversation has turned to exes and what they did and why we hate them and who they’re with now and how SHE has got it all to look forward to… Just us girls then? Oops.
When it comes down to it, your other half should know how much they mean to you 365 days a year, without the need for poorly made goods and unintentional fasting for a couple of weeks after shelling out the remainder of your overdraft.
My top tip for Valentine’s Day? Wine. Always wine.
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