Lucas Oakeley

I Love Love: A Defence of Valentine's Day

Lucas Oakeley
I Love Love: A Defence of Valentine's Day

Why is it that whenever February 14th starts to rear its ruddy cherubic head – and boxes of Cadbury’s Roses start going two-for-one in the Co-Op – that everyone instantaneously decides to channel their inner Marxist and make it their solemn duty to remind themselves and everyone around them that Valentine’s Day is nothing more than propaganda created by bourgeoisie businesses in order to uphold the capitalist mode of production, as they yet again take advantage of the unwary and hopelessly romantic proletariat? I don’t really know. I mean, no-one is actively forcing anyone to take part are they? Cupid hasn’t got his bow and arrow to your temple telling you to buy your other half a jar of Lush scrub has he? Blink twice if he has.

I’m just confused as to why nobody feels the need to pipe up about over-priced confectionaries when Christmas or Birthdays come about, but there seems to be something about the L-word (love, not Lizard Lounge) that gets people incredibly aggravated. In fact, as a visual aid I’ve provided a Venn Diagram of just the type of person who gets especially heated about V-Day:

Yeah, they sound like a right laugh, don’t they? Now, I’m not a complete idiot and I do know that more often than not the 14th of February is generally a time where that-really-nice-restaurant-you-walked-past-on-your-third-date-and-said-it’d-be-great-if-you-could-go-there-maybe-one-day-in-the-future will rise their reservations to an extortionate amount of money and try and charge you an extra £3 for lobbing a strawberry in your prosecco glass, but the eye-watering sum you’d have to shell out will more often than not at least match the mouth-watering food on offer. Just like the fact that you, yourself tend to make the extra effort for the big day (Lynx Africa, and all), the speciality menus on offer at some restaurants can be the perfect opportunity for a Chef to showcase some of their more out-there culinary creations. And sometimes it’s just bloody nice to treat yourself and the person you like kissing.

Speaking of professions, you know who else really needs Valentine’s Day? Greeting Card Writers, that’s who. Anniversaries and Birthdays are obviously great business, but if it wasn’t for the arrival of St Valentine in February, then the lowly Card Writer would truly be in dire-straits in these barren winter months. After all, there’s only so many “Congratulations on Scraping a 2:1” cards that a human being can manufacture. That poor word smith relies on the lusty loins of men and women all over the world to participate in their strange annual mating ritual of exchanging stiff pieces of paper (duly followed by a sexual act of some sort) in order to keep his family fed. By belittling Valentine’s Day you are therefore not only greatly diminishing your own chances of getting a little nooky, but you’re also actively stealing warmth and comfort from a Greeting Card Writer’s Tiny Tim or Tammy. That makes you a Valentine’s Scrooge. And that makes you a bastard.

When it all boils down to it, Valentine’s Day is just an excuse for you to tell your significant that you genuinely care about them and that you like the way their face looks and you think they’re more than alright. Yes, it’s something that you should do everyday, but sometimes it’s nice to make this specific day – be it’s origins as contrived as they are – that little bit extra special. You don’t even have to buy anything, you massive cheapskate. Just give that special someone a little gesture to show them that you appreciate their presence in your life.

Everyone has become so vitriolic about roses and flowers and limousines and reservations at The Cowshed (and wow, mate you really have gone all-out) that we’ve forgotten the one thing that Valentine’s is actually supposed to be about: celebrating love. And I, for one, absolutely love love. And I’d love for you to love love, too.