Characterised as the month of cleansing and refinement, February is strategically placed to allow one to reflect on the financial disorder, mental pandemonium and emotional chaos that a new year brings, whilst allowing for the preparation of flourishing blossoms, innovative births and new beginnings. Being the shortest month of the calendar, one would be mistaken to think that it is overlooked for its stature, as it poignantly marks the birth of literary celebrity Charles Dickens, not forgetting the evolutionary genius, Charles Darwin. Nonetheless, despite the birth of the cinema and the various National days, most would agree with Jim Gaffingan, when he eloquently said that ‘Without Valentine’s Day, February would be….well January!’
Cupid, draw back your bow!
Valentine’s Day is almost certainly, the most controversial and emotionally charged day of the year. Like a duel between two cowboys at sundown, it often comes down to a square off, between those who hope that any insignificant and capitalist gestures ricochet over the heads of most, alongside others who use the 14th, as a day to figuratively shoot their love directly to the heart of the one they desire. Traditionally notorious for the young man who uses a bow and arrow to spread love, Valentine’s is a day for amorous declarations, romantic gestures, warm fuzzy feelings, flowers and chocolates. It is a prosperous day for those in the diamond, flower, card or confectionary industry, a fantastic opportunity for the ‘shy guy or girl’ to express interest and a chance for couples to focus on each other.
Sharing the love with Facebook likes
Due to the mixed emotions, you will more than likely find that your social networking sites will be littered with amorous comments, arrogant bragging and perhaps certain events the compel you to hit the like button. Inspired by the different viewpoints and to avoid certain ‘Great Expectations’, we have compiled a non- exhaustive list of the stereotypical types you may encounter, alongside the wilted petals, conspicuous messages and eccentric gestures.
• Romeo and Juliet
Whether it is the affectionate gaze, childish giggle, or the gentlemanly gestures, these individuals emanate love to the outside world. Free from conflict, jealousy or variance, she can expect the bouquet of striking roses, expensive token jewellery and the pre-booked romantic meal, as well as being irritatingly labelled the ‘luckiest girl in the world’ by her work colleagues. In return, he will receive the sterling cufflinks, romantic card and teddy bear, (that may give rise to a few smirks and ego-bashing comments from his friends). Not to worry though, as the cherry on the cake will be the requested sexy lingerie left for desert.
• ‘Lover not a Fighter’
An extension of the above, this couple may catch you attention in the restaurant as they seductively play footsie under the table, or on the train as their eyes lock and they passionately kiss. However, sadly when the bubble bursts and they re-enter their apartment with the bills laid out on the table, dishes by the sink and clothes strewn all over the floor, the mood may change. Making a day that had all the potential of a sexual treat, quickly descend into a painful night on the sofa, or more dramatically, a call to the police.
• Love Scrooge
These individuals abhor the ‘fake’ sentimental comments and financial gestures of Valentine’s Day. He or she will most probably use capitalist justifications as to why they refuse to pay for anything associated with cupid. Arguing either that they have never celebrated this commercial stunt, or that the expression of love should not be restricted to just the one day, they will receive a large audience that will nod in agreement. However, if you scratch the surface, you will find that some of them already share their love with multiple partners, some rarely give compliments and regurgitate the same argument over Christmas/birthdays and a few do not actually have one specific day or occasion where they materially express their love for their partner.
• The Pretender
Trademark comments made by the pretender may include statements such as ‘my letterbox cannot handle the strain from the post this morning’ or ‘I really don’t know who sent this card?’ In an attempt to rebuild their ego, they will have eccentric fictitious stories based around potential male stalkers who send numerous gifts, or the mysterious girl who overdid it with the flowers she sent. After spending the days before in preparation, they will spend hours looking at their phone waiting for responses to the numerous texts they have sent out and run home after work in an attempt to at least get some cyber love and attention.
• The Singleton
Remaining realistic and keeping expectations to a minimum, the singleton can go one of two ways. Some will align Valentines with every other day and show extreme gratitude to the random text’s cards and attention they receive. Viewing happy couples endearingly and passing on observations and opinions without jealously and malice, they embrace and move on from the temporary disappointment, by getting a dose of Brad Pitt or Vin Diesel on the big screen. On the flip side, there are the sensitive and bitter singletons, who spend the day upsetting some with their dismissive snide remarks and irritating others as they wallow in pity. Delving deep into a tub of ice-cream after a pig-out session, they are at danger to being a complete amalgamation of the negative ones above, completing forgetting that it is only one day.
Stereotypical rating: 7/10 Amorously overrated