There was the planned romantic dinner which somehow slowly sloped through the doors of McDonalds, the surprisingly non-awkward Valentines spent with someone I had been dating for all of three days, and the year I woke up in a hotel room in Barcelona with my parents to a sweet but fairly pathetic Valentines card from them (Forever Alone 2009).
Regardless, whether this year you will spend it as a very aware single, an extremely pressured partner or a potentially disappointed other half it (usually depends on gender which of those two categories you will inevitably fall into); it is hard to ignore the pressure to make something of February 14th.
Valentines’ Day is that inevitable date every year when the city of Dublin descends into panic-induced chaos, while those in relationships scramble to buy the last bunch of flowers from that woman on Grafton Street who seems invisible for the other 364 days of the year, and watches and cologne they originally turned their nose up at while Christmas shopping. If, on the other hand, the 14th of February happens to find you single, you desperately flick through your entire phone book instead, searching for someone not in love to share three bottles of wine with and dissect how heinous the opposite/same sex really are.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about love and romantic gestures and your other half being unable to say no to spending Thursday night with you (why does it always seem to fall on a Thursday?), but not spending that extra Valentines’ Day hundred on booking a (normally reasonably priced) hotel room or an hour begging the receptionist of Chapter One to give you a last minute table, will not ruin your relationship. Nor will spending the night thinking about how the dating world has scorned you achieve anything other than a feverish hangover and unnecessary depressing memories of Valentines’ Day.
Whether already taken or happily unattached this year, use Thursday to do something completely unrelated to the big V: this year February 14th coincides with Dublin Chinese New Year festival (in association with the Lighthouse Cinema), the 12 Points music festival in Project Arts Centre, and the first night of the Jameson International Film Festival. And to be fair ladies, with Danny Devito in town for it, who needs love anyway?