Valentine’s Day, etc. etc.

By Charlotte Hope, Lifestyle Editor @TLE_Lifestyle

Have you planned something wonderful with your other half for Valentine’s Day? Are you going to a hotel restaurant for a six course tasting menu and champagne, and is he going to get down on one knee as a keyboard player taps out a John Legend song? What a treat.

Valentine’s Day is a source of so much wriggling, in my friendship group at least. One of my best friends is going to the theatre with her boyfriend of five years but when asked “what are you doing on Valentine’s Day?” she immediately prefixed this information with “it’s not for Valentine’s Day but…” Another of my friends has a boyfriend but they’re refusing to acknowledge the event or even see each other on Saturday, where normally they might have done something pleasant. She invited me to her house to ‘drink Prosecco and cry’. Whilst I don’t need Valentine’s Day to do that, just any Saturday afternoon, I’m probably going to take her up on the offer. Someone else is offering a birthday celebration where we stick a middle finger up to the red and pink tinged occasion and have lunch and get a bit drunk in a pub. All tempting.

Critics love to throw out the idea that St. Valentine would be horrified by the bastardisation of his name in order to sell more scented candles and red roses, but how can we know? In my capacity of ‘excellent journalist’, I did a cursory Google search to try and read up about St Val himself, but it seems like there’s not that much information. By that I mean there’s absolutely loads of information, but I haven’t sifted through it. Who knows if he’s be pissed off with everyone using his name to spend money? He might have got wrapped up in it himself, enjoying the widespread use of his name, using it to launch his own clothing brand like some sort of Kanye West. He could do a novelty Valentine’s rap song with Meghan Trainor and open a shopping centre in North London. Or, you know, maybe that’s bordering on blasphemy. Sorry, Kanye.

Whatever happens, this Valentine’s Day will no doubt be better than last. Having broken up with my long term boyfriend earlier that week (and sliding his present to him wordlessly over the table, before packing a bag) I then had to work in a restaurant serving a tasting menu, with a gentleman four feet away from me playing John Legend songs on a keyboard. Three couples got engaged. To borrow the sentiment from About a Boy, which may or may not be one of my favourite films, the more the merrier. This year I’ll be with good friends and good foods, and I definitely can’t complain about that. Plus, by Monday 16th, delicious chocolates will invariably be on the reduced shelves. Everyone’s a winner.

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