Is it just me or does Valentine's Day get more OTT every year? Once upon a time it was just cards, roses and the occasional fluffy pink "teddy" (in every sense of the word) but now it's personalised star maps, digital radios, spa days, scratch off posters, heart shaped egg boards and hand-casting moulding kits. Check those last three out on Amazon if you don't believe me!
Of course if you are single at this time of the Great Love In, whether by choice or necessity, it can feel even worse than Christmas. At least then you can probably find the odd relative or friend (odd often being the word) to help get you through the day and make you feel less of a Social Pariah, but who can you call on February 14th without it costing a month's wages and/or risking the chance of an embarrassing visit to your GP?
As it happens, I try to treat Valentine's Day in exactly the same way as I do Christmas Day which is basically to ignore it and actually it's a lot easier to manage. For a start, you can listen to the radio or watch telly without knowing that it's Valentine's Day at all. Try doing that on Christmas Day when you can't find a space in the ether that is not taken up with a Pan Pipes version of Last Christmas, the Uncut Version of Santa Claus The Movie or cute kids talking about playing the Christmas version of Minecraft on their PlayStation. (I might have got my tech muddled up there. I'm a bit Old School when it comes to these things.)
I don't eat anything special at Christmas so I certainly don't feel the need to eat anything special on Valentine's Day and although I may feel like I'm the object of scorn for not consuming vast quantities of frozen pigs in blankets, no one gives a hoot if my table is not laden with chocolate-dipped strawberries, red velvet cookies and seared duck with ginger mash. (Check out the recipes here if you really want to!)
But until then I will continue to convince myself that February 14th is just the day that falls between February 13th and February 15th and look forward to Boxing Day!