Monday, February 19, 2007


Valentines Day should be banned and legislation is needed immediately to criminalise it. The proposal for the outlawing of Valentine’s Day celebrations is a campaign waiting to be launched and it will undoubtedly get mass public support. I am calling to arms all those like-minded citizens who are frustrated, lovesick or financially insolvent as a result of this unwanted feast day. Think of all the thousands upon thousands of soft middle ground votes that would be drawn to such a stance if some clever politician ran with the idea! Forget pronouncements on transport, crime, taxation, education and health. Lets talk direct to the nation on an issue where there is widespread support and lets put an end to this annual day of unbridled insanity.

Does anyone disagree with me? Lets face it, for single people (of which I am not one) every February 14th is filled with lonesome thoughts of what could have been, what was and not what isn’t, or what mightn’t ever happen. For non-single people, Valentines Day is a massive hassle which leads men to making an annual bags of it by underestimating the significance of the event, and leads women to getting the hump and whimpering down the phone to each other with sobs along the lines of ‘if he can’t make the effort on the one day of the year well then I just don’t know anymore….’, etc etc.

A gay friend of mine who has been known to don a pair of pink tights on pride marches and attach inflated condoms to his head, is now at the stage of wearing sackcloth and ashes on Valentines Day because it has sucked all the fun, joy, spontaneity and romance out of his relationship on a yearly basis. So just who benefits from this madness? Teddy bear and confectionary companies, card manufacturers and a heap of overpriced restaurants with tacky heart-shaped balloons. Does anybody genuinely look forward to the event? How many times have you leapt out of your bed on a Valentines morning, skipped down the stairs like an excited puppy in anticipation of a large red envelope landing on your door mat only to be crushed by the sledgehammer realisation that nobody, yes nobody, would bother their backside to send you a card. Wouldn’t you be happier without that stark reminder of your undeniable unattractiveness?

I once was the recipient of an anonymous Valentines Card which I have to admit did cheer me up on a particularly dreary February day in the mid 1990s when I trudged home from college through the crowds of seemingly endless muppets weighed down with flowers and chocolates. On arriving home, a red envelope was waiting for me with a typically cryptic message inside that implied it was from someone that had shared that journey home with me on occasion. Having innocently quizzed various fellow female (and male) passengers over the course of a few months and having gotten a succession of raised eyebrows and raised fists in reply, I gave up my search. It now transpires, all of ten years later, that it was actually sent by my little sister as a prank! This all came out while shopping for a card with her last week. The only secret admirer I ever had was my little sister, egged on by my mother, who held back tears of laughter as she penned the supposedly forlorn lovesick verses of a distant fan. Needless to say I laughed it off when she chuckled as she told me the real story behind the card, but something inside me wanted to poke her in the eye with a rose and run over her with a postal van.

Last week my sister was actually searching in vain for a Valentines card that said something along the lines of ‘Its Valentines Day and I know you love me and I think you are nice in a have-a-cup-of-tea-with-now-and-again-in-a-very-public-place sort of way’. She of course is someone whose annual task is to break somebody’s heart, generally someone who likes her a whole lot more than she likes them. However most of us circle February 14th in our diaries and write ‘Get heart danced on’. It is the most contrived and unnecessary event of the year and it needs to go. It actually outranks St Patricks Day because at least our patron saint’s day has retained a small element of religious and spiritual observance. Valentines Day hasn’t as much as retained the word ‘saint’ in its title! And by the way – how many people genuinely expect an engagement ring to be produced on the day but are disappointed year after year after year? In an amendment to my proposal, the word ‘ring’ should also be banned in the month of February.

Either way I’m sure that most people got through the festivities relatively unscathed, apart from the casualties of an empty wallet or a punctured heart. And remember it’s a good twelve months away now so you can relax in the knowledge that we have an entire year to exact our revenge and make Ireland a Valentine-free zone. If we don’t succeed then we can simply boycott the event and pretend that it doesn’t exist. However the weaker ones amongst us will still send prank cards or wait impatiently with rolling pins in hand to inquire of their partners of the whereabouts of the big red heart-shaped folding thing that all of your friends in work got! I suppose all of us deep inside still weep a little when we have yet another cardless mid-February morn – it doesn’t have to be that way you know. What about a ‘Make Valentine History’ campaign? It has a certain ring to it.
Did someone mention a ring?