The anticipation which builds in the lead up to 14 February is weird. Flaunting of desires or facing dread. Very little in between. “Valentines is a crock of sh*t” appeared in my Facebook thread. Scroll down and there sits a photo of a necklace with a fancy stone in it. The caption reading “I have the greatest man ever”. I have never had a particular distaste for this day of romance. Nor have I ever cherished the opportunity for a quick accumulation of brownie points for being ‘so thoughtful’. Sitting on the fence for this day is not only an accurate demonstration of my attitude, but it’s uncommon and therefore very appealing. Did I celebrate? Damn straight I did. Like a boss I did. But before this tale is told, let’s wind back the clock.
Luckily for me, someone working at history.com has condensed the basics into a short film. Let’s try in one hundred words or less. Originating in Rome before being Christianised to celebrate more than one saint named Valentine. All characters who had reputations for different deeds. Gaining huge romantic momentum in 18th century England with card exchange and now most recently commercialised by jewellers during the 1980s in the USA. Boom! That wasn’t even fifty words. For anyone who likes murder, Christian propaganda or filthy commercialisation tactics, I encourage you to explore this brutal history further.
My favourite fun fact comes out of twentieth century Japan. This romantic element, according to Wikipedia, forcefully encourages resentful office ladies to give chocolates to all the men. This is due to a mistranslation of the western custom by a chocolate company executive. Soon enough though, males were encouraged to give back at least three times the bounty or face the shame of being a jerk. I wonder if the older Japanese males complain on Valentine’s about how back in the day “the women just gave us chocolate and went back to minding their own business, stopping only to fetch us more coffee”.
So how was St Valentine’s Day celebrated in 2014 by this Blank man? Simply by putting myself in the shoes of the exhausted, committed male. What would he do if circumstances were different? No significant other to shower in gifts, nobody to make feel ‘special’. Would he be assembling secret admirer packages? Or would he be spread out miserably, contemplating his lonely existence? No, not a boss-man. He would be revelling in this delightful space. First step then, off to the shops. Time to buy all those treats which, though life-threateningly high in processed sugars and salts, are just so damn good. Especially if there is an accompanying element of spite against that last girl who was always trying to force salad down your face.
Is it possible to wash down a whole frozen pizza with over a litre of coke? Yes. Is it possible to leave the mess strewn all about the lounge without feeling like a pig? Yes again. Is it possible to invite all the single ladies into your private space without actually having to worry about them being there? Not only is it possible. Just to show off, I rented a cheesy action flick whilst eating cheesy left overs off the cushions.
All of these tasks are straight forward. The gem was an open invite to any single gals who wanted interactive on-line romance. I could extend some love without having to spend any money or leave the haven of the couch. Being the sophisticated gentlemen type, I first pondered the creep-factor in this move. After two seconds of deliberation I advertised:
“As a special one off Valentine’s treat, I shall be spread out on the couch (wearing my best tuxedo) ready for interactive romance. To let you know how great you look in that thing you just bought. Or how much I understand that stuff which you say… all the time. Just PM what are you wearing and we’ll take it from there. I can be naughty/nice. Don’t be shy, I’m smooth as shit.”
The results from this campaign have been filed under confidential. I will however divulge that in rounding up the day’s events I reflected with a contented sigh.. Valentines is OK. I didn’t feel pathetic, I didn’t get uncomfortable in the face of love-birds flapping gaily. I was just fine. I imagine next year that I will be just fine again. My only real concern was for those who declared so aggressively how awesome or devastating the whole experience is. I don’t react well to unnecessary suffering nor boasting. One news clip which helped me regain faith in the human capacity to make the best of a bad situation was titled 2014 Free Divorce Valentines Contest. A real heart warmer and a triumph of marketing genius on behalf of Bentley Law.
With the event done and dusted for another year, I would like to encourage my readers to become excited for the next day of celebrations coming up in autumn. Not Easter, not Mother’s day. It’s an unofficial holiday held on the fourteenth of March. It involves intimacy and steak. You may have heard. If not, do your own research. With the majority of Valentines’ being met at the expenses of male wallets, this day gives rise to an awesome opportunity to express gratitude for such masculine thoughtfulness.
Big hugs and love from all at Blank. Thanks for being my Valentine every day of the year.