I hate Valentine Day, hate it with a passion. It has nothing to do with being single, I hate it all the time. Always have. It is complete and utter commercial clap-trap.
The price of chocolate, flowers, etc all goes up. It’s impossible to get a table at a decent restaurant, and even if you do manage to book a table, it won’t be a romantic dinner for two. There is nothing romantic about brushing elbows with the next table because the restaurant (wanting to capitalise on the romance bullshit) have crammed in an extra dozen or so tables.
I really hate Valentine Day. I’d rather a guy showed me he loved me the other 364 days of the year, in little (cost nothing) ways, than make some grand romantic gesture on one day because they feel they have to. Don’t waste money buying me flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s when if you wait three days you can buy me three times as much for the same money. It’s insane.
I’ve always been like this, even at school where everyone makes a big deal, and you are made to participate in card swaps, I was the person who refused to accept cards. Especially when there were kids who felt bad because no-one gave them a card. Urgh. The whole thing just makes me crazy.
I actually broke up with an ex because of Valentine Day. In the run up he’d been asking me what I wanted, and I explained quite calmly and reasonably that I didn’t want anything, not even a card. And I wouldn’t be getting him anything. I told him how much I dislike the day, and that it is basically commercial nonsense made-up to wheedle more money out of people for no reason. I had this same conversation with him at least twice a week for about four weeks running up to Valentine’s.
So imagine my surprise when he turns up at my place on Valentine Day, with presents, one of those hideous giant cards, wine, and tells me he’s taking me out to dinner. I tried to be gracious about it; I went and got changed into a pretty dress, I gushed over my present (which was actually pretty cool), enthused about the wine, and thanked him for the card. Maybe you can see the road-bump coming, have you guessed what caused the argument…..
I stand up to get my coat so we can go to the restaurant (after displaying the hideous card on a windowsill), he frowns, and says “Where’s mine?” Exactly those words…… “Where’s mine?” I have to admit, I think my mouth fell open in shock. I stared at him lost for words, well I wasn’t actually lost for words, my inner voice was just screaming curse words so loud I couldn’t manage to form a coherent sentence. I think my first actual words were to ask if he was kidding, closely followed by a comment on his intelligence and parentage.
I’m not sure how we ended up still going to the restaurant but it really wasn’t the best idea. We’d been lucky enough to catch one of their booths, now under normal circumstances their booths were great. They’re rounded, with a round table so you can sort of snuggle. However, under these circumstances it wasn’t good. We were sat so far apart we might actually have been trying to join the couples at the tables next to us, while we glared at each other with folded arms. I at least managed to be polite to the waiter, a frazzled looking young man, who cheerfully asked if either of us had the vegetarian option, and would we like red or white wine with our meal. (Another thing I hate about restaurants on Valentine Day are the bloody set menus – grrrrr). After he brought us our wine, he disappeared again in a hurry. After gulping down half of his glass of wine he finally spoke to me,
“I can’t believe you. Who does that.”
I took a deep breath before I answered, desperate not to cause a scene, “I’m not sure what you can’t believe, we discussed this more than once. I told you I wasn’t, and that you shouldn’t.”
He threw back the rest of his wine and slammed his glass on the table, causing the couple at the next table to jump, “That’s all you’re going to say? I told you so?”
I picked up my glass, and sipped my wine, doing my best to ignore him. He continued glaring at me, as he waved his empty wine glass at the waiter. The starter was basic pate and toast but it tasted nice, and they didn’t have to worry about it getting cold. However, it did nothing to soak up the booze, and one of us was drinking like a fish.
The real trouble started with his fourth glass, I still hadn’t spoken again. The waiter was now practically sprinting away any time he had to stop by our table, and the couple next to us had shifted their table away from us slightly, and moved their chairs so they had their back to us. We’d just had our main course put in front of us, and to say it was underwhelming would be generous. If you’d put both plates together it still wouldn’t have made a decent portion. I just sat looking at it, trying not to say what I was thinking but I didn’t need to, he said it……loudly.
“What a bloody waste of money. Are you kidding me with this shit?” He looked up trying to catch the waiter but he’d mysteriously vanished, he glared at me. “Are you happy now, you fucking bitch?”
The restaurant went silent, and I felt anger flash through me. I knew my face and ears must have been bright red because I felt the rush of heat from the anger. I stood up pushing away from the table, but of course being in the booth, it was the table that moved, dumping his dinner, both glasses of wine, and our water into his lap. “Happy? I am now.” And I walked away, apologising to the waiter and slipping him a tenner on my way out the door.
I got as far as the next corner before my breathing slowed down. And then to the surprise of everyone within earshot, I yelled out a number of my favourite curse words, calling him every name I could come up with. By the time I’d finished I was completely over him, and I started laughing. I got home, chucked the card in the recycling, opened the wine, and put a film on.
I really hate Valentine Day.