Saturday, 6 February 2010

You can keep your Valentine's Day pity


It was only when displays of red decorative tack appeared in my local supermarket that I even realised that the dreaded day was approaching. I bet you’re thinking: “Poor girl!” Well, hold that thought, because you don’t actually have to feel sorry for me.

The day is a dreaded one, not because I’m a sad and lonely singleton, but because everyone expects me to be one. It’s the anticipation of the sympathetic looks that will inevitably follow my answer to the question “What did you do for Valentine’s Day?”

Is there some sort of legal requirement that says you must be in a relationship at all times, especially on 14th February? If so, the cupid coppers better slap on the handcuffs (as long as they’re not heart-shaped). I’m likely to end up getting additional time.

I suppose I could better understand all the hoo-ha if all of us could literally only express our love on one day in the year, but that isn’t the case. Oh, hang on, maybe someone better versed in relationships should confirm that. Anyone? The question is: what do couples do for the rest of the year? Are they all stony-faced automata who reveal no emotion at all? If so, all I can say is that 15th February must be highly depressing. If not (which I suspect is the case), then what is the big deal? We’re all individuals so I’m not quite sure why many expect everyone to do as they do.

Those who impose their issues and insecurities on me imagine me to be desperately lonely and craving a man because I’m not doing anything special on Valentine’s Day – Bridget Jones has a lot to answer for.

It can’t possibly mean that I’m just fickle and get bored within mere months of being in a relationship – no, I must be desperately hoping for a knight to arrive on a horse. I reckon it’s some sort of conspiracy that involves the Tories and their proposal for tax breaks for married couples. Of course, the rest of us don’t deserve tax breaks because we contribute nothing. But, I’m not bitter, as the discount is far from substantial. Certainly not enough to comfort the likes of Mrs Tiger Woods and Mrs John Terry.

Some of us don’t get the appeal of long-term relationships and others would do well to simply accept that and move on rather than trying to convert people like some unhinged evangelist. Maybe I should start retaliating with my opinion on serial monogamists and then we’ll see who comes out unscathed.

Although, I can’t really be too critical: the chat shows I love so much would be nothing were it not for dysfunctional relationships. “My best friend’s cousin’s mother took my man so I stole her dog.”

And poor divorce lawyers would be twiddling their thumbs.

So, I won’t be doing anything special on Valentine’s Day and feel no compulsion to conform. If I want to get into a relationship, I will. In the meantime, I am perfectly capable of cooking meals for myself and buying my own jewellery and could do without a cheap supermarket card that will end up in the recycling bin. Thanks all the same. Read more by Shermaine.