Feast of St Valentine
St Valentine, a Roman Catholic priest who was the patron saint of lovers and was beheaded on February 14 by the Romans… the stuff of romance, for sure. Today the remains of St Valentine lay in a shrine in the Whitefriar Carmelite Church in Dublin. You can see it on entering the church on the right hand side.
So I start this rant post with a sad statement, going through primary and Secondary school, I never received a valentine card, not once! Not from someone I knew or someone I didn’t know. … I never had a secret admirer. Even that annoying, self-righteous, smug “Irene” (names have been changed) had got not one, but two! Two Valentine cards! One card was one of those big padded ones, you know the ones I mean, all red and huge and padded with teddy-bears and everything. I concluded that either Irene’s mother had sent them or Irene was just a whore. I settled on option 2, it made more sense.
I was useless, no-one fancied me, there was no opportunity to even look at a boy as I went to an all-girls school, boys were aliens, objects that Sr. Mercy warned us away from, especially boys with ‘spiked hair and earrings’…hell, it was the late 80s, EVERY boy had spiked hair and earrings! I was going to die an old maid.
This cruelty was going to continue into my adult singleton life, now it was Facebook’s turn to cruelly taunt me, with ‘friends’ boasting ‘oh look what my man/babe/love of my life/moneybags bought me for Valentines!’ or thanking their man/babe/honeybunch/sugarlips on a post for all to see (even though man/babe/honeybunch/show-off was sitting right there on the couch beside them!)…what rubbish.
Valentine’s Day is a rip-off. It is expensive, it has commercialisation stamped with a great big fat Hallmark stamp. Flowers, chocolates, restaurants, jewellery and cards, they all increase significantly in price in the lead up to Valentines. If you are consciously coupling (so Gwyneth) for Valentine’s night, let it be a night you just spend at home eating a cooked meal or take-away, slobbing in your nightwear. (yep the secret’s out, EVERYONE is a slob when at home and changed into their pjs… and boys let me tell you, no woman on this God given green earth sits around in Lingerie in seductive poses when at home after a long day at work)
Why do we have to have a romantic meal just because it’s Valentine’s Day and commercialism dictates we do? Happy Capitalistic couples day!
What about the singletons, I was one for many years, this day is just a reminder that you are on your own and nobody loves you, “damn is that another wrinkle on my face?!” Oh great, now I realise I look 96 years of age to boot! I was Bridget Jones, I smoked, drank too much, had the same type of pyjamas and I was the same age as her when the first film came out.
Let’s take the mandatory romantic over-priced meal in a crowded restaurant, full of couples who rarely go out on any other night of the year. Many years ago, long before I met hubby, I went out for a meal with a boyfriend to an Indian Restaurant in Dublin. After all, what says romance more than a curried, chilli, garlic, onion breath? Table was booked for 8pm, got the booze to our table a few minutes later, starters arrived about 25 minutes later. Okay that was a bit slow, but being the night it was, it was busy and everyone was on their best behaviour in front of their respective dates, we didn’t mind.
It had started so well too, the rest of our order, well that took a little longer. They couldn’t cope, they were obviously unused to this amount of people, all at once. Eventually we called over the guy in the suit who took our order, not sure if he was Manager/owner/man who walked off the street, asked him would we be waiting much longer, which I thought was reasonable to ask as it was 10:30pm at this stage, he disappeared, in fairness apologising as he went (we think he was apologising, it was definitely muttering of some kind). A couple on the table beside us was having the same issue, as they grabbed man off the street, err I mean waiter and enquired about their wait time.
Man in suit re-appeared asking us if we would like to order some more wine. Hell, yes! We agreed we needed it, the first bottle had been downed by us both, trying to quench our hunger! Then it dawned on me…Ah ha! I intelligently exclaimed, “Maybe this was a ruse, so we’d buy more bottles of wine?” We decided we were too tipsy to care, (please remember I was drinking on a practically empty stomach).
We made eye contact with the other couple who had been left to starve by the people who had the power whether we ate or not (the restaurant staff). We smiled over at each other, making small chat, agreeing that hunger would drive us to start gnawing away at the plastic flower in the middle of the table. Oh what fun!
When man in suit came back with our second bottle, he explained that the kitchen had a mix up and he apologised again (we think, again, we cared less at this stage, damn the wine was tasting better each gulp!) He reached into his top pocket to make a note that we would not be charged for dessert. At this point, I will add, I rarely eat dessert, I’m more of a starter, main, person, but it looks like I will have to accept the frozen box delivered dessert that was on offer… lucky me! Next thing man in suit pulled our order out of his top pocket, he hadn’t given it to the kitchen at all! I was now convinced he was man off the street! All in all we got to eat about 11:15pm, in fairness the food was tasty!
Proposing on St Valentine’s day… this is such a cliché, yet millions still do it. The only pro to getting proposed to on St Valentine’s day is that you will at least remember the date! I mean you can embrace the cliché, if that’s your bag. Buy over-priced half dead roses and sweeties for your sweet, do as you please. It’s the commercialisation of your love.