In defence of Valentines day... sort of.

Do you celebrate Valentines Day? I ask a colleague. “Why yes, I’m going to stand naked on a balcony and recite poetry to my adoring boyfriend down below” she says deadpan while I consider whether eating boiled eggs by candlelight could be construed as romantic (yes).

I consider my own views about the blessed day and they’re a somewhat mixed bag: On the one hand I don’t endorse it in anyway. Are we so devoid of genuine emotion that we need a card company to remind us we should probably go out for a romantic dinner once a year and make pallid gestures over stale breadsticks? On the other I would be disappointed not to get a card.

The truth is we all know Valentines Day is tacky and a bit insincere and honestly if I never see another teddy bear clutching a pink heart again it will be too soon. But who am I to turn my nose up at a day dedicated to L O V E love? I LOVE love. Plus – any excuse to go for a three-course dinner at Pizza Express, am I right ladies?

We’ve had a cold, wet 2018 thus far. We’ve had anger and marching and the building of walls. We could all do with a little bit of love.

If your beef with V Day is the fact that it’s really a party for the card companies, then why not make your own? Stick it to the man using pritt stick and a pack of felt tips. Don’t want to pay for exorbitantly priced flowers? Helloooo origami. Last longer anyway. Don’t fancy Pizza Express with all its two for one specials and flaccid helium balloons (are you mad?!)? Grab V Day by the frying pan and whip up some pancakes (the way to any girl’s heart).

Being single is no excuse to shun the sacred day either. In my heady uni days I was a firm advocate of spending it with friends. We’d consume an unholy cocktail of gin and chocolate, put James Blunt on full blast and profess our undying love for one another until we fell asleep on the sofa and started dribbling.

Having experienced a rich array of Valentines Days – some good, some bad, some truly ugly (the less said about 2014 the better), I’ve decided that for me – it should be less heart shaped chocolates and more thoughtful gestures and showing someone you really bloody care (I know right – vom). But I do think it’s great that there’s a day dedicated to telling someone you love that they absolutely rock. In an ideal world we should be doing this everyday – but what better time to start than 14th February?

Romantic gestures don’t have to be contrived: Get up five minutes early to make your favourite person a cup of tea – that’s about the most romantic thing I can fathom right now. Text your best friend to let her know how much she means to you. Or better – send her a card – that’s a way to turn V Day on it’s head – celebrate SISTERHOOD in all it’s glory. Surprise somebody by waiting outside their office until they finish work (NB this could be construed as slightly stalker-ish so proceed with caution – no lurking around in dark alleys or hiding behind walls). Buy the big issue guy standing opposite the tube a cup of coffee. Tell your boss you like her shoes. Call your mum and have a chat. Get yourself a cookie.

This year I plan on celebrating V Day unabashedly – I’m going to do ALL of the above -because who am I kidding? I LOVE a romantic gesture (yep might even hide behind a wall). While I think I might just about resist the urge to buy the King a teddy bear from Clinton Cards en route home tonight, he might be served some pancakes if he’s lucky.

Sarah Barratt