By Bunmi Sofola

“TUESDAY, February 14, is the day I dread,” wrote in Victoria who called herself a self-opinionated modern middle-aged survivor! “Valentine’s Day is when the populace is cruelly divided into winners and losers. You can easily spot the winners – those smug creeps swanning around with a self-satisfied smile on their faces, like the cat that got the cream.

They’re the ones who have flowers delivered to their office, or who already know they have been invited out for a ‘special treat’ on St. Val’s evening. The ones who got a hand-delivered cards or special delivery presents. Or the ones who woke up to find a saucy e- card had plopped into their in-box overnight. Yuck!

“The rest of us, the so-called losers in love – will spend the day, superficially behaving as normal, acting as if we have better things to do than drink choice wines and eat romantic dinners by candle light. But deep down, we’ll be experiencing that mixture of jealousy and impotent rage that only comes on St. Valentine’s day – because we’ve been unfairly categorised as rejects, yet again. Tossed on the stockpile of non-essential singletons. Destined never to rise to the dizzy heights of being an object of love, or even an object of fumbled lust.

“I loathed the banality of Valentine’s Day, the horrible notion of designating one day in the year; that occasion to declare our love for another person. It seems so arbitrary. A fake ‘celebration’ exploited by greeting cards manufacturers and florists. As for the romantic concept of anonymity, that vanished decades ago.

These days, hand-made cards, designer chocolates, exotic flowers and tasteful – not tarty knickers are so expensive we want to make sure the lucky recipient knows who coughed up, so we sign our names on the package.

“Valentine’s Day started before the Middle Ages – even Chauser wrote about it: The Victorians celebrated it by sending beautiful hand-painted cards with lacy cut -outs of birds and flowers. But back in those days, sex was something that happened after marriage. Romantic love really existed, and these cards were one way to express the unsayable, and perhaps win a woman’s heart. In the modern world of sexting and e- mails about sexual conquests in the workplace, what’s so special about coughing up for a mass-produced Valentine card, or an over-priced bunch of roses at your local supermarket?

“My hatred of Valentine’s Day started as a teenager. With my ugly specs, braided hair and wonky teeth, I was never going to be the stuff of anyone’s dreams. In my mind I was a winner, an individual, someone whose potential hadn’t yet been spotted by any local member of the opposite sex. Even so, every Valentine’s day was torture – the day when all the ‘normal’ girls gloated and made the rest of us feel awkward and miserable because we weren’t wearing padded bras and didn’t have a

cheap card from some spotty bloke who, thanks to hand-outs from their parents could buy cards so they could get into our knickers.

“Although by the time I was 16, I had managed to score a few real cards, sadly these were mostly sent by boys who were so creepy I chucked their attempts at romance straight in the bin. These vulgar offerings weren’t worthy of a kiss! Over the years, I have come to associate Valentine’s Day with lying and deception. I’ve often given cards to men I’m fed up with, just for a quiet life. It’s polite, isn’t it? Real love, true passion, has been downgraded into this bland marketing opportunity.

I might make a tunny card for my partner, but it will celebrate his quirky shortcomings, not his sexual prowess in bed. As for going out, it’s the worst night of the year to be in a restaurant. At exactly the same time, your favourite restaurant will fill up with slightly embarrassed couples who will start the evening whispering, ‘then gradually run out

of things to say to each other, before swiftly degenerating into bored mutual silence

“Between each couple will be a sad single rose in a glass, bravely trying to convey a feeling of gorgeous romance. In the background, smoochy music will attempt to paper over the cracks in these flimsy relationships. I mean, how many times can you endure a loop of Chris de Burgh’s Lady In Red, Bryan Adams’ (Everything I do) I Do It For You and – the killer track that often makes me gag – Whitney Houston burbling I Will

Always Love You?

“Instead, on Valentine’s Day, why not celebrate friendships – our relationships that don’t rely on sex? I shall be spending Valentine’s day evening having a meal with one of my ex-husbands and his very nice wife, together with my partner of ten years, an old friend and her sister. We’ve known each other for ever, and it will be an evening of laughter. As a society, we need to connect more with our friends. Research shows that the number of people we count as ‘close’ has diminished drastically over the past decade. There’s a worrying number

of people who now say they have no one special in their lives at all, and more of us than ever are living alone.

“Valentine’s Day should be an opportunity for us to reach out and be friendlier to each other. To hell with the roses, the chocolates, the smutty cards and the frilly pants – why not hug a total stranger on Tuesday? That’s what modern love should be about!”

Who Is The True Parent? (Humour)

A couple are divorcing and go to court over their children. The judge asks them to state their reasons for claiming sole custody. “The children are mine,” the wife argues passionately. “I carried them for nine months each and spent hours in labour, while he didn’t do anything. “

The judge nods thoughtfully, recognising the validity of her case. But, in order to be fair, he asked for the husband’s side of things too. “Your honour,” the husband says, “If you put money in the vending machine and a can of drink pops out, does that can then belong to the machine?”

Bad Timing (Humour)

A couple have a teenage son called William. One day, William arranges to go out for the afternoon, so his parents decide to make the most of the time alone and have sex in the living room. But, just as they get down to it, the door bell rings. Reluctantly, the

man pulls on his clothes and answers the door. A youth is standing there. “Is Willy in?” The lad asks. “It was … “ the man mutters under his breath “ … until I had to answer the door.”


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