Valentine, Schmalentine! – EKSTEEN BLABBER

Valentine, Schmalentine!

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O M G! It is THAT time of the year again!

Everywhere I go I see red ribbons, red balloons, red roses, red underwear. (OK, I’ll withdraw the last one – I don’t actually mind red underwear). Every radio station I tune to has some form of competition on, normally something along the lines of “show us how much you love your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/spouse/spouse equivalent/partner/stukkie/skelmpie/whatever and you could win big prizes.

It is quite obvious to me that retailers are exploiting to the max what is supposed to be a romantic day. What is even more obvious is that every second fool is falling for it.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating that Valentine’s Day be ignored, but I must acknowledge that the way it is being celebrated in general has a painful effect on my rectal muscles.

On the other hand, if I had my way I would ban Valentine’s Day, mother’s day, father’s day, Easter as well as Christmas tomorrow. Not for any religious or political reasons, of course, but I will ban all businesses from using and abusing these special events to suit their pockets.

If I am pushed and have to keep at least one of them it would be father’s day, I think. But then again, I might be ever so slightly biased.

For decades now I have watched in horror as retailers, restaurants and other businesses go from bad to worse year after year in an effort to fleece the average consumer out of some hard-earned cash that could have been put to much better use. And as I have already mentioned, it concerns me that consumers allow this to happen to them.

Obviously I write from a male point of view, so I will understand if you accuse me of being one-sided on the matter. But come on boys, are we not the ones that are being pushed to the limit by advertisements as well as a few – or sometimes a lot of – well-timed hints from the female of the species? After all, how are you going to feel when you find out that ALL her friends got flowers, cards, chocolates, gifts and jewellery, but she was SO embarrassed because she had nothing to show on the 14th of February?

It’s this guilt trip, man. Women are masters at making you out to be the villain when in fact you may be the only sane one on the block. Who on earth wants to fork out three to four times the normal price for a bunch of flowers on one day of the year when the same amount could have bought you forgiveness or even a good time three or four times during the year?

It’s just not fair, I tell you!

My advice? Do the sensible thing. Discuss it with her and come to an agreement that neither of you are into this commercialism thing and will therefore not spend any money on presents for each other.

Then, while she is not watching, go out, buy the most expensive flower arrangement you can afford, get some chocolates and book a table in a restaurant. It may be the only way to save your relationship (or even your life).

Happy Valentine’s Day!