The premise for Valentine’s Day is really rather simple. A begrudged sexually frustrated celibate male in a stagnant long term relationship realises it’s time to flick the charm switch so he clumsily gets a booking at his fifth choice restaurant, because reservations are full. He combs his hair, puts on that shirt reserved for both weddings and funerals and burps his way through three courses of unimaginative conversation. He arrives home, rose petals on the bed, Sade smooth operating the airwaves, a quick bump and grind, “Hey, you slimed yet?” followed by a grunt, a post-coital shit and the loud cacophonous snores that only a bottle of R300 bottle of wine can inspire. And they said romance was dead. When February is reaching a financial precipice, Hallmark decided to throw a deceitful curveball at the monetary male jugular all in the name of “love and honour”. “Heres a teddy bear holding a heart; so obviously I love you.” Saint Valentine is murdering angel puppies as we speak because this trash is in his name.
It all originally started when Saint Valentine wrote a love letter shortly before his execution in ancient Rome (How weirdly fitting is that?). He’d been illegally marrying soldiers, who at the time were condemned from any nuptials. It developed in the Middle Ages, when flowers were given as courtly love flourished. I can liken the Crusaders to a large part of my high-school career when I think about it. Gallantly standing in uniform, awaiting courtship and the presentation of a single rose from an admirer, then receiving nothing, crying myself to vomit in the bathroom, picking up my defeated body and heading into battle (or just Afrikaans taal). The bitter disappointment of walking away empty handed, crushing my every heart string and small inkling of self confidence. Ah to be young again!
But often this historic tradition does serve as a launch pad for great romantic entanglement. Lovers entwined while picnicking atop a magnificent vista, feeding each other strawberries and predictably sharing the same strand of spaghetti. The exchanging of gifts and store bought cards and a night of passionate love making, and then staring longingly into each other’s souls as slumber slowly falls upon them. Only to awake on the 15th, mildly hungover, still in the (now dried) wet patch, a bout of morning breath and the ensuing work day to look forward to. “Just 365 days until the next one babe, wont you hand me the nose hair trimmer?”
You see if you really cared, if love really simmered through your every limb and that significant other still inspired those heart flutters, then every day should be as precious as the next. It’s a lovely excuse to splurge, but lobster thermidor and blue moon sex doesn’t spawn happy relationships. Its far too easy to get caught in the abyss that as long as the 14th is littered with chocolates and heart shaped disposables then everything is grand. Pick a few random days in March, wake up early, throw your dong in her Corn Flakes and put whipped cream on your nipples and say “Bitch I love you”. Make the effort, live the dream, have sex at least once in the rain: that is true romance, not this bullshit you see adorning every shelf in major supermarkets.
*As an addendum I would like to say to my girlfriend “Baby I love you. Your breakfast, for the most part, is genital-free, and we will celebrate every day with love, passion and respect (i.e. blowjobs)”
*Follow @Stroobz on Twitter as he sleeps on the couch for the next few days because of this article, and tries to run a pole dancing workshop in North Korea.