“It’s a Hallmark holiday” claim the skeptics. You need a card, a present, a meal in a restaurant. You’re obliged to spend, spend, spend.
But Valentine’s Day precedes consumerism, corporations, greeting cards, civilisation and even Christianity. It is an expression of what it is to be human. While every day pressures squeeze the romance out of life, Valentine’s day is an island of corny indulgence in a giant sea of cynicism.
One early attempt at valentine romance, saw me commit several days to preparation. Roses, a three course meal, as exotic as a slightly green eighteen year old could muster and on top of that a singing waiter (an extroverted mate dressed up) to serve the food.
In retrospect the menu was bizarre. Raw cauliflower and carrots with a mayonnaise and curry powder dip. For the main course a slightly watery stir fried rice dish (I didn’t have a strainer to strain the rice). This was laced with an over generous helping of chilli peppers, all teenage boys first learn to cook with chilli peppers. For dessert strawberries and bananas with a chocolate dip. Ah the deep hormonal motivations of eighteen...