Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is upon us

As you may be mildly aware, we are about to enter the Valentine’s Day zone.

Please note where the apostrophe goes in Valentine’s Day. There was only one St Valentine. I realise you might be hoping to receive several valentines but that’s still no reason to abuse grammar. I find such knowledge remarkably sexy, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Even when I am loved up I’m not a lover of Valentine’s Day. I like the idea behind such days – celebrating something that brings us joy, in the same way I enjoy Christmas in a non-religious manner (family, friends, ham sandwiches and pav for breakfast on Boxing Day). However, I don’t enjoy being bullied into purchasing overpriced things in order to look like a halfway decent person. Possibly this is because I am not a halfway decent person.

Fans of Valentine’s Day would and do say my iffy feelings about it are because I don’t have a partner – obviously rampant jealousy is behind my bitter spinster ranting, and not the questioning of blatant consumerism disguised as affection. Single people can’t be happy, is the message I’m getting.

I don’t like the sense of competition that ensues – what did you get? How much did you spend? The ludicrous assumption your partner doesn’t love you if they don’t get you an expensive declaration of their love on a day dictated by convention is just nonsense. Isn’t that a bit like assuming only people who get married are committed to each other (which the divorce rate does rather contradict)?

I am remarkably keen on receiving flowers, chocolate (the good chocolate, mind you), delicious romantic cash and other gifts from those who adore my magnificent person – I just prefer these things to be proffered on a day that doesn’t dictate it. Insanely I feel it means more when someone does something nice because they want to. Not because society expects it. I shake my fist at you, societal pressure, and try to resist your oppressive weight.

I do think if you’re going to embrace Valentine’s Day, then you need to do it with creativity and a good sense of humour. I once gave a beautifully wrapped head of broccoli to a young man who sadly merely appeared somewhat puzzled by what I’d done to his favourite vegetable. Obviously not a keeper but at least I got a great deal of enjoyment out of playing with his food.

Are you a lover or a fighter of Valentine’s Day? Ever sent yourself flowers to look popular? And have you considered vegetables as the new and edible alternative?

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).