The Obligatory VD Post

What is your favourite thing about Valentine’s Day? For some people, it’s the roses. For others, it’s the lingerie. For some people, trying to find their favourite thing about Valentine’s Day is like trying to find their favourite thing about a traffic pile-up. For me it’s this, and simply this: the initials spell out VD.

Think about it. Both types of VD are emblematic of the darker side of love. Venereal Disease is what happens when passion turns green and oozy. And Valentine’s Day is what happens when passion turns pink and schmaltzy. One of the two tries to sell you a fantasy; the other tends not to appear until after your fantasy’s been purchased. Venereal Disease and Valentine’s Day – they really are equally bad.

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday. Monday mornings, painful at the best of times, are worse still when you throw in some VD. Think of your worst ever Monday morning commute. Next to a VD Monday morning, it’s a prance through a field of daisies. Think of your worst ever Monday morning meeting. Next to a VD Monday morning, it’s a sit-in with Mahatma Gandhi. A VD Monday is constructed solely from the fragments of broken dreams and held together with a tear-and-saccharinity based resin. It’s barely worth getting up for.

Do I feel this way just because I’m single? Errr… yes, mostly. But I would counter that those who actually celebrate V-Day are in the minority. Most of my coupled friends regard it with a studied indifference. They don’t need to exchange fluffy heart cushions embroidered to resemble their buttocks to prove that they’re loved up.

Valentine’s Day can only work if a) you’re at a very specific stage of a relationship; b) you both have a taste for the cliché trappings of romance; and c) you’re insufferably, slappably smug. For that, we’re only talking about 1 or 2% of the population, tops, and I’m sure we don’t need a whole day in their honour. We might as well spend today celebrating tall people who’ve recently had a pay rise and like cheese.

I would love to make a principled anti-Valentine’s stance that didn’t come across as merely bitter, but that’s the bad thing about being single at this time of year. Much as you would like to think of yourself as somebody authentically non-materialistic, the world will just think you’re a little bit sad because you didn’t get any cards.

Down with VD. You can’t cure it on a permanent basis but you can at least alleviate the symptoms. Staying in bed all day might be a start…


About Abi Millar

British freelance journalist living in the Netherlands
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