Valentine’s Day. Again. I really didn’t want to launch off into a huge tirade about it, as I would undoubtedly sound like some bitter and twisted sod complaining because he hasn’t got a girl this year. Again. But maybe for the first time, my gripe is actually with the day itself, and not the fact I’m single (which I may still be bitter and twisted about).

The whole compulsory gift giving aspect just doesn’t fit into my notion of good gifts at all, which applies equally to Christmas, and at a lesser extent to birthdays. For me, the best gifts I ever give are the ones where I see something and makes me think of someone else, how much they would love it, and how really they should have it. And so I buy it for them because I think it’s right that they should have it; it just fits with my idea of what the world should be like. That’s a good gift. Now, admittedly, you can always buy someone flowers or chocolates provided you know their tastes, but regarding anything else, being being told to buy them gifts at these certain pre-allocated times each year seems to be rather destructive to the process of giving gifts in the first place.

Toby was pointing out to me just how simple the commercial giants (the guys who invented Valentine’s Day – you remember it is an artificial creation, since it’s really exactly the same as the other 365 this year) make it for us blokes. Wander into a shop like Clinton’s, grab a card and one of the pre-made packages (ranging from a soft toy and chocolates to furry handcuffs and kinky dice, depending on your preference), and pull out your wallet. That’s it, job done. How terribly romantic. Of course, the more you love somone, obviously the more you want to spend on them, so you just buy two packs, or maybe one from each shelf. You know, to show how much to care about them.

Now, no doubt if I wasn’t single, I’d be hurriedly finalising those last minute plans for some romantic evening too, but honestly that’s really not what I’d want. Ideally, I’d take her out on Friday and Sunday (see, it’s not that I’m just cheap!) but we’d spend Saturday together inside, away from the throngs of Valentiners. Why would I want to reserve those displays of affection for just one day in the entire year anyway? As Voltaire (one of the dying breed of true romantics) sings, if you really love someone, then “it feels like every day’s our anniversary”.