Soapbox – Valentines Day


Not blinded by love or fake holidays, Lauren McKeown vents about the day cupid walks the earth

I am a person who hates occasions. Any excuse for the card companies to pressurise me into forfeiting a fiver reserved for a hot chicken roll imbues me with disgust. Valentine’s Day is in a league of its own on my scale of personal distaste.

Forgive me for sounding bitter, but I just can’t see why the type of insipid, lacklustre relationship that thrives on the exchange of cheap chocolates for a doe-eyed furry rabbit warrants an annual celebration. Studies have shown that the significant other, for whom you’ve just bought a card containing a personalised message from Cliff Richard, is 50 per cent more likely to be cheating on you.

As human beings, it’s not in our nature to be complete monogamists. By tying ourselves down, we have a greater chance of getting the ride, but is it really worth the sheer banality of having to tell someone they’re “the only one for you” when deep down you’re imagining giving your lab partner a veering-on-erotic neck massage? Of course not and neither is a day celebrating the falsities of life worth anyone’s time.

Valentine’s serves a sole purpose and that is to make everyone who is not in a relationship feeling as if there’s something wrong with them. After one breakup I had a very positive attitude. I got my hair done in town, felt brand new, ready to take on whatever life threw at me. I then reached the vicinity of the red-heart-emblazoned hallmark to face an army of love-struck musicians brandishing their violins, killing me softly with their rendition of ‘All by Myself’.

The people who celebrate Valentine’s sicken me more than the day itself. Tweenies who have been “meeting” for over a whole month, online lovers, don’t get me started on the seedy old men casually perusing through La Senza. Most types of lovey-dovey relationships that mark Valentine’s Day are neither exciting nor substantial. C’mon people, where’s the good old-fashioned love of masochism and love games, of something you can’t have?

Valentine’s Day is merely the feast day of dishonesty and people who live a lie. Those who actually go against the grain and refrain from uttering those three fatal words (unless they mean them) should be commended for not lying to themselves. A good friend told me that nobody would ever want me after this rant was published. I value her honesty. It’s safe to say that a hot chicken roll will be my Valentine this year. But hey, my relationship with dodgy college food has always been one built on pure, honest love.