I'll just put it right out there: I hate Valentine's Day. Hate it. "Oh but it's such a sweet, romantic day and the perfect excuse to show someone you love them!" Bollocks. It's an excuse for the likes of Hallmark and Cadbury to make some money between Christmas and Easter. It's an excuse for people not to express love and affection for their other half except when a predetermined special occasion tells them to. For me, it's an excuse to stay inside and lock the door.
Why so bitter? It can't just be an objection to commercialism, otherwise why go all in for Halloween, which is about scaring people (sadism?), or St Patrick's Day, which is basically about getting drunk (woohoo!)? Well, it's not entirely, although I do genuinely feel saddened by the knowledge that there are people out there who only tell their partner that they love them when society says that it's acceptable to do so rather than every single day. For me, Valentine's Day is an entirely more sinister affair...
You see, without going into great detail, every time the Yorkshireman and I have attempted to celebrate Valentine's Day in the past, someone has inevitably been maimed or injured. Examples include an emergency operation (exchanging cards through a haze of anesthesia - how romantic!) and a very bad diagnosis for a family member (leaving a romantic movie halfway through to take that call made the day all the more special!). Quite frankly I'm surprised neither of us has been run over by a bus yet. And so as time has gone by, the Yorkshireman and I, both fairly romantic souls at the best of times, have shunned Valentine's Day and the horror that comes with it.
It was therefore with interest that I read this Wikipedia article on AntiCupid. I have long suspected Cupid was evil but this perhaps makes more sense, especially if AntiCupid has taken to maiming the body as well as eating the soul.
And so, for me, February 14th is just that - another day in the middle of February, all the worse this year for having the audacity to also be a Monday. Should you receive a dozen red roses, a romantic dinner or a cute cuddly toy from your beloved tomorrow, I wish you well and hope that you feel cherished and loved. As for me, the phrase "Happy Valentine's Day!" will not pass my lips and I'll be double-checking for Acme anvils and pianos hanging precariously out of upper windows on my way to work.