Sunday, 5 February 2012

valentine's, shmalentine's?

It's nearly upon us.  The one day 99% of singletons dread.  Or maybe you're not single, but you still hate it.

That's right - Valentine's day falls on the 14th of this month.  But you already knew that didn't you?  Of course you did.

It seems as though you can't escape Valentine's day, even if you want to.  What was once a card and bouquet of flowers occasion has now become a diamond necklace, kinky undies and champagne affair.  It's true - Valentine's Day is the latest victim of Americanisation, alongside Halloween.  I remember when I was a child, trick and treating for penny sweets satisfied me, but now October 31st is now all pinatas, taffy apples and pumpkin pie.

When V day comes along, shop windows are awash with sickly sweet displays of teddy bears clutching onto hearts bearing clichéd messages, stacks of ribbon-wrapped boxes of luxury chocolates, "I <3 U" balloons and mounds of annoying fluff.  Apart from making the singles amongst us feel a mixture of impending doom/jealousy/anger/nausea, it makes those in a relationship sweat, as they feel obliged to buy for their beau.  After all, if you don't get them a present, they'll think you don't love them, won't they?

I remember when I was about 11, a boy from school gave me a single white rose on Valentine's day.  I was overjoyed, I was flattered by the attention - even if he did push a note through my door the next day saying "It only cost 50 fucking pence anyway" after I told him the feelings weren't reciprocated.

The fact is, people are no longer satisfied with small gestures on Valentine's day.  If your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't shower you with gifts it must mean they don't love you, mustn't it?

So, if we now expect presents from our other halves, why oh why do they get it so wrong when it comes to choosing something that we like?  It almost makes us doubt they see us as their "soul-mate".  For someone who you spend so much of your time with, you think they'd know you inside out.  But nope, their presents say otherwise.

Sorry, if I sound like an ungrateful bitch, but it seems as though most men are incapable of present buying.    If they're going to spend their money, they may as well buy something you'd truly appreciate.  So if you'd like your BF to buy you something you really want, leave this page accidentally-on-purpose open, hoping they'll have a read and take the hint...

N.B- Fellas, below is a simple breakdown of the mistakes you make when buying presents for Valentine's day.  If you want to be in your girlfriend's good books, take note.  It will pay off.  Yes, in that way, you dirty minded scoundrels.  


WHAT MEN BUY US: Something lacy and racy (and maybe crotchless)

WHAT WE REALLY WANT: Pretty silk pyjamas

For some reason, men are attracted to tacky underwear like moths are attracted to light, like bluebottles are attracted to dog poo.  We've all experienced walking past an Ann Summers' window with a BF.  Their eyes are instantly glued to it, and you all of a sudden feel extremely inadequate next to the mannequins (who aren't  even real women) with  their perfect breasts and pert bottoms, all trussed up in babydolls and fuck-me pumps.

If you were a foot taller and two stone lighter, you may not feel so much hatred towards kinky bedroom attire.  The facts are, you are 5 foot nothing and enjoy chocolate far, far too much.  When you try it on, what looked like sexy enticing negligee on the hanger, ends up being a fancy bit of string which effectively cuts through your pale sun-starved flesh like you're a piece of human cheese, barely covering your nipples.

At least if you could save the thong to use as an eye-patch if you ever went out as a pirate for fancy dress?  Hmm.  Maybe not.


WHAT MEN BUY US: Britney Spear's "Fantasy" perfume (or any other celebrity fragrance come to that)

WHAT WE REALLY WANT: A haute-class eau de parfum
OK, I have nothing against Britney's perfume.  As far as fragrances go, it ticks all the right boxes.  Or should I say it ticks the one crucial box- it smells pleasant.  But, Febreze smells nice doesn't it?  Same goes for Fairy washing up liquid and freshly baked pies.

The truth is, what we really want is a special perfume.  One that comes in packaging so gorgeous, we refuse to throw it out.  We even refuse to throw the bottle out when it's empty just because it's so pretty.  One we can use sparingly and on special occasions - the perfect finishing touch to go with a beautiful party dress, making us feel like princesses as we waltz out the front door, like a ballerina walking on feather light clouds.

Yes, a 13 year old would be ecstatic with a bottle of Britney, but we were thinking something more along the lines of Jimmy Choo, Chanel or Viktor + Rolf.  Not the first perfume you see on the special offers stand in Boots.


WHAT MEN BUY US: A box of Cadbury's Milk Tray

WHAT WE REALLY WANT: A gourmet selection of chocolates in cute packaging

Just like a pleasant perfume, good chocolate has one defining feature.  It should taste nice, and to us women, all chocolate tastes nice, really.  Even really cheap chocolate.  Freddos were only 10p and they tasted amazing.

But rocking up on Valentine's day with a box of Cadbury's Milk Tray, is well just, disappointing.  The one day in the year you can really spoil us, at least make the effort to find something we wouldn't normally buy for ourselves.  Because, let's be honest, we'd buy ourselves a box of Milk Tray when we're enduring PMT.   Actually, we'd probably buy ourselves a box of Thorntons.  

Push the boat out and be adventurous.  Find us a box of chocolate with exotic, unusual flavours - don't just pick up the first box you see on the section in ASDA dedicated to February 14th.  Crème-brulee, twice roasted coffee bean, champagne truffle, summer berry torte.  You get the picture.


WHAT MEN BUY US: A bunch of daffodils grabbed last minute from the garage

WHAT WE REALLY WANT: A dozen red roses

The worst possible present to get your girlfriend.  

Not only does it show us you haven't put much thought into our present, it probably shows us you forgot it was even Valentine's day until your girlfriend text you "cant wait 2 c u tnite babe, happy valentines day gawjus xx".  Shit, better run to the garage.

If there's one present to give that proves romance isn't dead, is a bouquet of beautiful flowers.  Forget the wilting and sad looking arrangements in Aldi - what we'd really love is a dozen roses from Interflora.  Red.  Wrapped in pointless cellophane and tied with a red silk ribbon.  Soppy message attached.  Delivered to our house, or even to our work if you want us to feel extra smug that we have such a thoughtful, loving boyfriend.


WHAT MEN BUY US: Anything from Claire's Accessories

WHAT WE REALLY WANT: A simple, classic piece of jewellery

Perhaps the most embarrassing present to give your girlfriend.  Not only would you have looked extremely strange looking through jewellery in a shop for pre-pubescent girls, you pick something we wouldn't dream of wearing.  

Neon loops - do you think we are living in the 1980s?  Faux-silver and gold chains which go all knotty and green after the first wear, complete with chihuahua pendant - you do realise I'm 21 and not 12?  Belly button bar - I don't even have my belly button pierced!!!!

However, a dainty, inconspicuous box containing a simple piece of jewellery is sure to impress.  Even if it's a pair of gold studs, we'll be overjoyed you've taken the effort to choose something we can cherish forever.

Happy Valentine's day shopping!

Peace + love



  1. this was hilarious! I loved reading this. This is my first year without my bf on valentines day as he is now my ex and I am dreading the day, however, reading this just cheered me up. THANKS! xx

    1. glad it brought a smile to your face! who needs a boyfriend on valentine's day? buy yourself a big tub of ben and jerry's and spend the night watching sex and the city, no boyfriend = no hassle! :) xx

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