Valentine’s Day just makes me see red

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

My most despised day of the year comes round again next week.

No readers, not my birthday, although I’m never too happy to see that date in the calendar either. I’m talking of course, about Valentine’s Day.

The minute the shops are done with their Christmas tack, the red and white Valentine’s rubbish is brought out to make us singletons feel inadequate.

Every supermarket has an aisle dedicated to loveheart- print boxers and chocolates emblazoned with ‘I Love You’ and my favourite restaurants start emailing me, urging me to spent ‘the most romantic day of the year’ with them.

What a load of commercially driven rubbish.

And no, I don’t only hate Valentine’s Day because I currently don’t have a significant other. I hated it when I was married too. It was the only time my ex-husband would bother to buy me flowers and I was never too keen on the gesture he’d picked up at the corner shop on his way home.

The idea of picking a random date in the calendar and saying this is the day for romance, is one that offends me. Why that day? Why not celebrate love and romance on February 15? Or every day of every year?

The day is a made-up celebration from the shops to fill the gap between Christmas and Mother’s Day - which is a very significant day by the way - and is purely a money spinner.

While now I don’t care that I spend Valentine’s Day on the couch with ‘Coronation Street’ and a family-sized vat of ice cream, there was a time I was a bit sad about being alone when seemingly the whole world was sharing bowls of pasta ‘Lady and the Tramp’ style.

When my ex-husband and I got a divorce many moons ago I dreaded my first Valentine’s Day as a single.

So I was shocked to find a red envelope on my doorstep on Valentine’s Day. The lovely card was signed by ‘a secret admirer’ and I spent months racking my brains trying to think who it could be. Even the postman was under suspicion for a while.

And the cards continued for three years, so I was a bit disappointed not to get one on year four.

I told this to my mother - who admitted it was her the whole time and she decided to stop wasting her money.

So there you have it- even my mother thinks romantic gestures are wasted on me!