IF you hadn’t noticed, February is already upon us and it’s that time of year when the world divides into two categories: The A Team and The V Team.
It’s a given that all members, regardless of which team you’re batting for, know what I’m talking about here. Valentine’s Day. Love it or loathe it, the Moonpig adverts are in full swing and M&S meal deals have suddenly gone up to £15.
For The A Team – that’s the Anti-Valentine’s – February 14 is merely another day of the calendar year. Members can usually be discovered sniggering in the card aisle in Tesco at the overpriced and over-worded greetings cards ranging from ‘You light up my life’ (how original) to ‘Happy Val Day Sexy’ – yes, I’ve done the research – because, clearly, being elliptical is much more romantic.
Not all members are singletons however. There are couples who refuse to join in the charade, like my Gran for example, who would bring out the same Valentine’s card year in year out in protest to paying the preposterous prices. Frugality at its finest. Evidently they didn’t have those 7p Smartprice cards in her day. Who said romance was dead?
So for The A Team, the coming Tuesday will be spent indoors acting blasé, like it’s ‘just another Tuesday night’ watching Come Dine With Me and the likes with the ‘Reduced to Clear’ chocolate you picked up on the commute home from work.
Whereas over on The V Team, life gets a bit more complicated this month. For new couples, it’s the dilemma of how much is too much? Will a mere box of Thornton’s suffice when he’s bought you jewellery? Or do you feign a smile when you’re on the receiving end of those chocolates and you’ve splashed out on him? It’s all about balance, and I’m talking bank wise. Set a limit and stick to it.
Of course, greetings cards are equally as problematic. Is it okay to opt for the ‘One I Love’ card if you haven’t even said those crucial words face to face? Is tongue-in-cheek more of a cop out? You see my point. If in doubt, go for a blank one so you’re not limited and thus embarrassment is avoided.
And then there’s the big day itself. Now chauffeur driven cars to a top notch restaurant are all well and good if you aim to wow, but hasn’t this ‘holiday’ been Americanised enough already? The subtler the better. An ‘I heart you’ toast imprint would win me over any day.
And it isn’t just the Western civilisation who celebrates Valentine’s, albeit not to such extremes. Take East Asia for example when the women buy men the chocolate, gasp, and they buy women ‘non-candy’ gifts. Clearly somebody needs to have a quiet word. And for bachelors in East Asia, they wait a bit longer to mourn their single life until April 14, where they then drown their sorrows so to speak, not as us Brits would, but instead with a large plate of black noodles. Yum?
So this is the point where we arrive at crossroads, strictly metaphorical mind. If you’re heading for Valentine’s valley then off you pop, just remember to bring all of your bank cards and a bit of loose change to tip your chauffeur.
If not and the dreaded ‘Singlesville’ looms, take the high road. Whining and moping is the ultimate no-no, as is wailing to a dusty copy of Bridget Jones that rears its head around this year. Spend it with single friends if going it alone sparks the fear of God in you.
Me? I’ll be enjoying a nice bowl of black noodles.