Jan 30, 2017 | Copy, feminism, Fun, women

I have always, like most normal people, been completely disgusted by Valentine’s Day. It’s a big ol’ corporate trick (that we fall for every single year) to get us to spend even MORE money we don’t have on shit we most certainly do not need. Seriously, when was the last time one of those plush grey From Me To You bears clutching a red sateen heart served any other purpose than to painfully remind you of the douche of an ex who gave it to you? It’s also ruthlessly cruel in that it excludes single people and reminds them that they’re worth less than non-single people (great message we’re sending to the kids, there) and, even if you are in a relationship, you really should not need a day that you share with the rest of the population to remind your partner that you do, in fact, think they’re spiffy.

It’s also not all that great for this here second wave of feminism we’re currently surfing. The onus often seems to be on the boys to cough up for gifts. If we are truly working towards real equality, shouldn’t the girls be responsible for showing their love via the medium of pointless heart-shaped crap too? The answer is no, because NOBODY should have to prove their love that way, whatever their gender.

IT’S POINTLESS. It is literally the most nothing-y of holidays. International Talk Like A Pirate Day is of more national importance than Valentine’s Day.

To escape the stupidity, I often bugger off to Devon with some friends over “Valentine’s Weekend”, thus reclaiming it as JUST A NORMAL WEEKEND WHERE FUN STUFF ACTUALLY HAPPENS. It’s like a hen do without the hen – truly the best kind – and it never fails to perk me up. When I met my boyfriend, I made my stance on Valentine’s perfectly clear: I don’t like it, and I will often not be spending it with you. I like anniversaries and birthdays and Christmas (hey, I’m not a monster), but not national Spend Money On Crap Day. Like most boys, he also considered it stupid so was happy to never celebrate it.

However, come 14th February, he saw his colleagues booking trips to Paris and bulk-buying the red roses and panicked. Maybe I’d been bluffing? Maybe I was going to be REALLY RATHER CROSS if he ignored Valentine’s Day? So he panic-bought a velveteen, heart-shaped box of chocolates and a bunch of pretty flowers and slept easy. He woke me up the following morning (already a bold move), beaming proudly, proffering said gifts. While I was touched (“WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? IF THIS GETS OUT I’LL BE RUINED.”), I still mercilessly ridiculed him for succumbing to peer-pressure and corporate greed. We have pared it back to an exchange of funny cards now, which brings me to my actual point…

I will admit that I do find one thing quite enjoyable about the 14th Feb: the design work that appears at this time of year. Every year the Valentine’s comedy gets better and better, with niche copywriters and designers putting their talents to hilarious use all over my social media networks. I LOVE a funny Valentine’s Instagram post, so I’m going to be putting together a few of my favourites (they’re all Copy Kat originals apart from one…can you guess which, I wonder?) and releasing them over the week running up to the 14th.

How am I spending Valentine’s Day this year? Well, not in Devon. I will in fact be in Cape Town celebrating a very old (the friendship, not the friend) friend’s marriage. It’s a family wedding, so on the actual 14th I will be having dinner with my boyfriend…and my Mum and Dad. Romantic, eh? The tradition lives on…


  1. Jan Case

    Geoff and I have never given each other Valentines presents, but I will ‘fess up that we exchange cards! I like the funny ones too and hope I get to see your contributions!!!

  2. John Pawson

    I sort of like Valentines day… apologies. We don’t go mad and spend a whole load of money we can’t afford on each other or anything, but I think its nice to have a day to take a step back, take off the work hat and the parent hat and actually concentrate on ourselves for once. I’m totally with you on not buying crap that we don’t need – the valentines specific mugs, valentines confetti and valentines cushions I saw in Tesco today have “more money than sense” written all over them. But it’s not about the presents (just as its not about presents at Christmas, but about being together as a family… ahhhhhhhh (and the food… and yeh the presents)). And, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for equality, but sometimes us blokes like to be chivalrous too, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that really. I do wholeheartedly agree that talk like a pirate day is better. But then I would. Apparently I’m the spitting image of Steve the Pirate from Dodgeball.

  3. Copy Kat Creative

    John, you are an excellent supporter of my blog/business, thank you for responding!

    Aw, I feel like I’ve pissed all over your Valentine-shaped chips! You are MORE than entitled to enjoy Valentine’s Day, let no soul tell you different. You may enjoy any holiday you like – you may do so while sitting in your pants in front of the telly eating Toblerone and heckling ‘Antiques Roadshow’ if you so wish (just me?).

    What I would counter your argument with, for the sake of variety, is that between birthdays, Christmas AND anniversaries (especially if you’re married, you probably keep an anniversary of some sort), don’t we have enough excuses to buy one another presents? I would put the question to the universe, is one more day of material expectation really necessary? Do we have to “do” love en masse each year?

    I completely agree that – especially given the pressures of work and kids – time for just the pair of you should absolutely be prioritised (all the husband points for you!) but I just wonder if we have to bore the socks of all of those chaps happily enjoying a solo life of youth, freedom and all-night-sex–and-drug-benders (this still happens right? It’s been a while since I was single…) while we’re at it? It feels like an extension of the Single Bashing Movement from the era of ‘Bridget Jones’ and ‘Friends’. Perhaps the answer is to encourage the nation to keep their Valentine’s celebrations a little more private? Maybe we need to instigate some sort of nation-wide social media penalty for flooding our Instagram pages with too many love hearts and sincere gooey hashtags (#luckylady #bestboyfeva #spoiltgirl)? I’ll email Theresa May immediately.

    Your point about chivalry is well noted. I know that much as I might be repulsed by velveteen boxes of chocolates (not flowers though, I LOVE FLOWERS), it might give my boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/polyamorous love triangle a warm and fuzzy feeling to gift me something of that nature. Tradition can be very comforting, after all. I am actually pretty traditional – if I were to ever get hitched, I would want churches and veils and mothers in big hats: the works. I just don’t think anyone should feel obligated to follow Valentine’s traditions. I’m not really feeling this “old ball and chain” role of the girlfriend sat at home in her rollers, tapping her nails on the the table, awaiting a showering of gifts because the card companies decided to invent a £1.9 billion industry that we didn’t really need.

    What was my point again?

    PS You do look a little like Steve the Pirate. This makes me happy.
    PPS You are a hopeless romantic and should NEVER apologise for being so. It’s a rare gift.


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