Before Valentine’s Day became flag shipped as a “Hallmark Holiday”, this day used to be celebrated as a pagan fertility festival (Lupercalia) where men would strip naked and whip women to improve their fertility. Weird how this day has evolved from primal whippage to a day designed to chisel spare cash out of lovers worldwide.
All that aside, let’s move on to 5 Valentine’s Day clichés.
1. Declaring February 14 as Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D)
For all the singletons out there, posting self-indulgent Facebook statuses about consumerism, your perpetual loneliness or happy couples make you vomit is a huge cliché. Being single on this day doesn’t mean the world is going to end. It’s really not that big of a deal. Sure, seeing happy couples make a show of themselves can be disgustingly galling so why not gather a couple of your girlfriends and have a girl’s night out? Or gather your guy friends and have a boy’s night out? Single or not, you can still have fun without spamming the Twittersphere with #ForeverAlone.
2. Making Expensive Restaurant Reservations
Getting reservations on the 14th is beyond brutal. Almost every (good) restaurant will be booked and overcrowded with married couples that only go on dates once a year. Ambiance, service and food will more than likely being worst than usual and you might be knocking elbows with the couple beside you. Romantic, right? As an alternative, challenge yourself and surprise your S.O by cooking dinner! It doesn’t have to be fancy. The effort will go a long way.
3. Gifting Self-Made Coupon Books
You may think of yourself as brilliant for creating a book full of coupons that say “Good for one massage”, “Win One Argument”, or “Bubble Bath for Two” but let’s get real. When you get down to the nitty gritty, exchanging coupons for sex sounds like prostitution and letting someone win an argument is just silly (especially if they were wrong). Practical DIY gifts are great but coupon books tend to get dusty.
4. Outsourcing your emotions to Hallmark
There’s nothing more cliché than receiving a thoughtless card written by some greasy haired, weird looking, middle-aged dude sitting in a cubicle at the Hallmark headquarters. We may not all be able to conjure poems like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s, “How Do I Love Thee” but something simple written from you will definitely be more appreciated unless they turn out like the science comic below.
5. Flowers and Chocolates
In my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide (for him & her) I mentioned chocolates as a classic gift. As cliché as they are, I should have mentioned that gifts under this category should be considered as “plus ones” to accent other presents you might be giving. Instead of the typical roses, opt for her favourite flowers or her favourite kind of chocolate rather than the assorted ones.
Good luck and stay clear from the predictable!