Valentine Schmalentine

There are two types of singletons on Valentine’s day: Those who brush the dust off their Celine Dion album and soak their chocolate-wrapper-covered-duvets with their tears of angst, and those who decide that a box of triple chocolate muffins fills their hearts more than someone else ever could (they’re more available than relationships anyway). Luckily, I don’t fit into either of those categories; thinking about it, I don’t fit into any of the Valentine’s stereotypes. Surely I’m not alone when I just go about my day to day life on February the 14th? Perhaps I may crumble under Cupid’s pressure and open up that biscuit tin (in my defence, it’s been taunting me from that cupboard for months) and fall asleep to the depressing-croons of Lana Del Rey, but who doesn’t? Honestly, I’m not bitter at all.

If there was anything Shania Twain taught me, it was not to be impressed by a rocket scientist, Brad Pitt or a guy with a car, so excuse me if (according to my friends) I have ‘high standards’. But 1) Who defined what high standards are? and 2) Why is it such a taboo to have an idea of what you want? It’s not uncommon to hear the cries of ‘Oh my God! Facial piercings! Ew!’ – Yet if I want someone who could keep up with me at the gym, someone who either has a KISS or AC/DC shirt in their wardrobe, or a love for reading – who on earth do I think I am? Surely I can’t afford to be this picky?  My reputable love of books already proceeds me, but recently I’ve found myself curled up on my bed, reading the likes of ‘Looking for Alaska’, ‘Perks of a Being a Wallflower’, ‘The Fault in our Stars’ and ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ which has opened my eyes to what Valentine’s day has forgotten: Romance isn’t always a fairytale.

Every year leading up to the 14th, shops smother their displays with what they think we need (really, who doesn’t need a mould to make heart-shaped eggs?). Marketing directors of this generation, I applaud you: convincing the nation that bulk-buying endless boxes of sickly-sweet, chocolate hearts (that represent their sickly-sweet ‘love’), ripping the petals off poor beings who are just trying to photosynthesise, and that increasing the risk of injury from dimmed lighting is necessary isn’t the easiest thing to do. Well, you’ve achieved it. Who would’ve thought that years ago, letters were handwritten and sent to each other – even more shockingly, the couples had actually written down their feelings. I’d say that was a miracle in itself, these days some of our more romantic sayings of ‘You’re well fit’ just can’t compare. I’m not saying that I’m longing for a mud-soaked love letter directly sent from the trenches, surprisingly, I’m not even saying that I’d want anything at all, but after reading these books? Eating biscuits from the tin is romantic enough for me.

You’ve got to be pessimistic to be optimistic, because after enduring a day’s worth of tweets and statuses of declarations of love, simply think of the half price chocolates waiting for us on the 15th. Heaven.

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