Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2011

Something goes badly wrong in February. Actually, it all starts on 2 January, once all the tinsel and Christmas crackers are off the shelves. I, of course, start working on the marketing of Valentine merchandise sometime in July. Mugs with hearts, cushions with hearts, loo roll with hearts. Everything has to have a heart on it come February. If it doesn’t have a heart, it isn’t sellable.

Being Northern, I struggle with sentimentality and its associated nonsense.  I always have. It hasn’t always gone down well.

The Peacock wife, for instance, claimed to hate Valentine’s Day, insisting it was nothing but a marketeer’s dream. I took her at her word and didn’t get her  a card, let alone a heart stamped present.  She refused to speak to me for a week. I did ask her where, if she took the whole thing so seriously, my present was. She said it was traditional for the man to show his appreciation. Funny how women can turn into Victorian traditionalists in February each year.

If she was right, it doesn’t explain Kelly and her attempt at domesticity. The year before last, Kelly, the team secretary, made her boyfriend heart-shaped custard creams. She brought them into work, ten beautifully heart-shaped biscuits with a sticky custard centre, all presented  in a heart shaped tin of course (just in case, she explained, her boyfriend had booked them a dirty weekend away.) I had thought her relatively intelligent, until then.

Women are so, well, soppy.

Of course, the media doesn’t help.  All those articles on what to buy your loved one (never buy red knickers) and romantic weekends (Ramsgate is hipper than Paris, apparently) just make it worse. If you don’t get at least one card on February 14th, you may as well chuck yourself under a train, is the underlying message.

If I believed my own marketing malarkey, I’d have chucked myself under a train a long time ago.

I’ll keep an eye on the post tomorrow, though. Just in case.


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