Guest post I wrote for Gridlock Magazine via the fabulous Ben Wakeling of ‘Goodbye Pert Breasts‘ fame.
Despite what the adverts would have you believe, not every woman loves Valentine’s Day – as Gemma Ray explains
I hate Valentine’s Day. Hate it with a passion. No, I’m not some crazy old spinster sitting in my man-hating lair stroking my dozen cats, I’m a happily married 30 year old woman with a husband I adore. I just hate Valentines Day. Do you know why? It’s a reminder. A big fat heart shaped blatant reminder to my husband that he needs to make some romantic effort. And I don’t like reminders. I’m sick of giving reminders. So, Valentine’s Day is banned in our house this year.
“So, you don’t want a card or anything?” He chirps up over breakfast this morning.
“YEAH! Brilliant! FANTASTIC!” I jump up, squealing and clapping; egging the baby on to join in on my sarcastic little dance and tune as I wave a tea towel like a helicopter round my head, thrust my hips in a circular motion and attempt a little jig. “A card? WOOO HOOOOOOO! YEAH a card! Amazeballs! YIPPEE!” then I sit down suddenly, look him in the eye menacingly and snarl “Of course I don’t want a card. Do you?”
“No do I heck!”
“Why? Why don’t you want a card?”
“Because it’s shit innit?”
“And we’ve talked about it now so it wouldn’t be a surprise would it?”
He said the magic words. Surprise.
There is no surprise on Valentine’s Day. Same rubbish, different year. Delete as appropriate: overpriced red roses/meal in local restaurant twice normal price/crap card with heart, soppy bears and cringey poem/cheap, slutty lacy underwear (probably too small). It’s ridiculous and stupid that we put a date in our diary to be spontaneously romantic. How ironic? And moronic.
There’s such high expectations on February 14th. Why are blokes expected to shell out a small fortune on elaborate and expensive gifts for this one day a year? Why is it OK for girls to give their guys total unusable tat like novelty red boxers or a crappy heart-clutching doey-eyed soft toy? Save yourself the money and bother girls. He’d be happy with a BJ and a bit of peace when the match is on. If only it were that simple for the girls though. I’ve witnessed grown women cry at their lack of gifts, or have a full on tantrum because the flowers delivered to the office weren’t what they expected. You see, Valentine’s Day isn’t about what you boys buy or do. Oh no, it’s about how much jealousy it provokes in others. Seriously. I’ve just been in a well known supermarket watching grown men almost cry over Valentines flowers. You could see the stress and misery etched in their faces. “Which ones to choose?” “Which ones will most likely help me to get laid?” There’s no point though. They won’t be good enough. And we’ll wriggle out of the sex thing. We’re good at that.
In my gaffe, we made an agreement a few years ago. It was at that point in the relationship where you don’t like each other more than you actually like each other – the bit where you get married. Yeah that was it. Well, we agreed not to bother with it, and in not celebrating Valentines Day I don’t set myself up for disappointment. My husband is a last minute kind of guy. If I allowed this Valentine nonsense into our lives I would be the one left with the last bunch in the shop, the half melted chocolates and the crappy bargain basement card. So, I’m not setting him up for certain Valentine cardiac failure.
The blokes in my office think I’m a dream. Not expecting the whole sorry romantic song and dance today. The truth is, I’m a nightmare. My husband isn’t getting off that easily. If I allowed him this one day of the year to be romantic, he’d get off scott free on all the other days of the year wouldn’t he? I’d have no come back when I bring up the “You never think of me and my needs” argument or the “You’re never romantic” “You’re never spontaneous” fights which I do enjoy winning every time.
So, today you won’t find me pouring over hand written expressions of love, scoffing down chocolates or cutting my fingers on long stemmed roses. I’ll be curled up at home, glass of wine in hand, nestled into my husband’s manly chest, listening to the relaxed thud thud thud of his heartbeat as he sinks into the sofa. He will unwind, safe in the knowledge that he’s not pissed me off completely by failing at this impossible Utopian 14th February task. He’s off the hook. For now. He’s got 365 other chances this year to sweep me off my feet with love and romance. Although someone needs to tell my gorgeous, yet grotesque husband that dangling his wangle in front of my eyes and bottling a week’s worth of farts does not count as nor constitute to being romantic!