Seven reasons why it's better being single on Valentine's Day
1. Please yourself
On Valentine’s Day, you will be doing exactly what you want to do. Whether it’s hang gliding, bell ringing or sitting in a onesie watching Game of Thrones, you’re pleasing yourself. What you’re NOT doing is sitting elbow-to-elbow with a load of self-conscious couples eating a meal you’ve paid three times the normal price for.
2. (Don’t) say it with flowers
Flowers say a thousand words. But what they usually say is “can’t be arsed”. If you’re looking at a woman wander up the street with an armful of depressed looking freesias you’re looking at someone whose other half has to have a good long think before they can remember her surname.
3. Surprise, surprise
There are always some people who go a bit overboard with the effort. So determined are they to make the event a once in a lifetime unforgettable experience that you feel under the kind of pressure that only cardiac surgeons usually experience. Also, you get enormous cheek-ache after about twenty minutes with the effort of looking both surprised and delighted in a sort of Munch’s ‘The Scream” face (if he’d just been on a hot air balloon ride while being serenaded by the Dagenham Girl Pipers playing “And I Will Always Love You”).
4. The Post-Mortem
These same people are the ones who then demand an inquest into exactly how much you enjoyed it. “So were you surprised? Was it a real surprise? Did you enjoy the Victoria sponge in the shape of your childhood cocker spaniel? I was thinking I should have made it a cheesecake. Should I have done cheesecake? I should, shouldn't I? OH IT WAS A DISASTER, WASN’T IT…”
5. But it’s Valentine’s…
On Valentine’s day the majority of couples buy into one of the biggest mass marketing schemes the world has ever known. Even Hell’s Angels feel inadequate unless they’ve bought their other halves a padded pink teddy bear and stuck a pink carnation in their Snakebite. As the recipient of a Valentine’s Day gift, you’re not getting anything you want, you’re not even getting what the other sender thinks you might like; what you are getting is what Valentine’s Day sells. Gift tags should come with the words “I’m sorry but this was the least horrible thing in the shop,” or “You should have seen the rest of it.”
6. Waiting staff
When you walk into a restaurant with your loved one on Valentine’s night every waiter and waitress is looking at you and thinking “blimey. Wouldn’t have put them together.” And then they give you the coy sympathy glance of one who knows you are going to have to go home and have Performance Sex to make all this worth it, when what you’d actually rather be doing is sitting in your onesie watching Game of Thrones (see above).
NB: This is all made much worse if it is an Italian restaurant and they’re waving that big pepper grinder around.
As someone who is not engaging with this nonsense, you will have the unalloyed joy the next morning in the office of sparking a competitive duel of Venus and Serena Williams-like ferocity. “So, Nigel,” you can say, wafting casually past his desk, “Melanie tells me Phil got her an eternity ring for Valentine’s. Lucky woman, eh? What was it you said you’d got Samantha? Tickets to see You and Yours on Ice?” If you invent increasingly lavish gifts you can get the entire office in a frothing lather of envy and inadequacy by coffee time.