As a perennial singleton, I have taken note of, and sometimes participated in, the bitterness that engulfs a fair portion of our society around the 6th or 7th week of every year.
I’m talking of the Anti-Valentine’s league, that coalition of morose individuals who seem hell bent on naysaying anything joyous to do with the 14th of February. I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s myself, but to indulge hopelessly in self-loathing and hatred of those intent on luvvy-doveying it up seems to shoot somewhat wide of the mark.
Sure, you may be single. I myself have, due to long distance relationships and fortuitous timing (think of all the money and effort I’ve saved) been alone on Valentine’s almost every year. But unless you’re going to drunkenly wander the streets, heckling couples and smashing restaurant windows, you’re only harming yourself.
‘Oh,’ you say, ‘but I’m not some sad, deranged individual, I just don’t like the way this spurious holiday (albeit, with perhaps a little basis in fact) has been dreamt up by marketing departments to shift chocolates and greetings cards, and to pack restaurants and bars and cinemas’.
But you are forgetting it can also just be a quiet night in, or a romantic stroll, or something equally unsullied by commerce.
Worse still, by going to ‘ironic’ anti-valentines events, or singles nights (please, do not go to this one) strung together along the same threadbare theme, the Antis are simply buying into the same marketing gimmick by the back door. They’re even producing anti-valentines cards now, for St Val’s sake.
For some people, the day itself actually means something. In the press of our modern lives, couples sometimes do need an excuse to have a little time to themselves, just as a secularised Christmas is a good excuse to party and see friends, and Easter is a four-day chocolate and bank holiday bender.
Some say it’s a girls’ holiday really. But remember guys; there is always steak and blow-job day if that’s all you’re after.
Let the couples have their fun, they’ll only feel it more when they’re hollow, soulless singletons again too. For myself I’ll probably spend the evening as I spend most evenings, not purposefully ignoring the date, just truthfully unaware.
The writer is a single journalist, living in London. 27 y.o., non-smoker, good sense of humour. All his own teeth. Etc. Partial to cocktails…