Loose Men on: Valentine’s Day

Before we go any further I’d better set out my stall in regards to this so-called holiday. Now, hate is a rather strong word. So I feel entirely justified in saying I hate Valentine’s Day. If you are a fan, that’s fine, you can just stop reading now and go and live your shallow life. I mean, sociopathic mental instability is rather treatable these days after all.

For many, the problems begin early – with Valentine’s, that is, not being mental. In my case it was no exception. You know that chubby kid who would always send gushingly revealing Valentine’s cards to the prettiest girl in school, even though he had about as much chance of success as Andy Murray does of ever winning a major tennis tournament? Yeah? Well, that was me.

Suffice to say that being rejected more frequently than an anorexic’s lunch tends to leave psychological, and sometimes – such as February 14 2001 (see Sarah, I told you I’d never forget you) – physical ones also. Still, lesson learned and all that. Obviously I blame the greetings-card companies for propagating the delusion that you can actually ‘love’ somebody else. Call me Mr Sceptical, but ‘love’ just seems to be bourgeois lingo for a combination of platonic ape-ish sociability and the purely biological reaction you experience when someone lets you enact nasty things to them with your tufted glory-parts. Nevertheless, the entire concept has been packaged and presented for consumption, and by and large we’ve all been only too happy to oblige.

It literally baffles me how we are coerced into participating in such a bullshit production of emotion. At any given time on the dreaded day both established and fledgling couples can be found, eating the same food at garishly themed restaurants, swapping the same overpriced tat, gazing around with hunched shoulders and sheepish expressions. You can practically see the despair in their eyes, an expression not dissimilar to those sported by victims of torture or visitors to the Copper Rooms. They all know it’s a lie, but “we must follow the crowd”.

In spite of this, recently singled individuals still claim a god-given right to be even more miserable. Any other day of the year and they would deal with the break-up with a modicum of decency. Instead it seems the planets have aligned to generate particularly bad conditions of emotional hangover. These self pitying wraiths suck in air and give out pure, selfish desolation. Brand names and vivid imaginations are their closest chance of satisfaction.

The final sufferers are perhaps nearest to liberation, the ‘singles to mingle’. Unfortunately, social stigma means this group is often shunned on Valentine’s, a bit like when crazed dictators tried to stop the Arab Spring, or else disappear under the radar of commercial targeting.

And yet, amongst these myriad states of approach, the underlying goal remains the same. Namely, hang around long enough and hope to end up thrashing around on top of your poor unsuspecting partner, like a hopelessly floppy salmon caught between the furry jaws of a grizzly bear. Yes, oddly enough, that is how I see the female genitalia: resembling the fuzzy cavitas oralis of some horrific wild animal (Freud me all you like).

This is the elephant in the room. On a fundamental level, human relationships are based on breeding. The sooner this is widely acknowledged the better, because the fact of the matter is, if you need a designated day to treat your ‘beloved’, you are clearly so utterly devoid of imagination, sentiment and romance that your significant other probably has five digits and an identical twin sister living opposite. In these instances, a special night out constitutes buying a fresh tub of Vaseline. Such idiocy needs gently guiding back to reality.

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