Love is in the air: A grump’s guide to Valentine’s Day

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This week, Dubai’s very own Grumpy Old Raver takes on Valentine’s Day (and the terrible gifts that often crop up as a result of the celebration).

Make. It. Stop. The index finger on my right hand has worn down to a stump in the past few weeks. Why? I’ve been deleting endless e-mails about Valentine’s Day promotions.

There’s been an absolute deluge of fluffy guff dropping into my inbox about Valentine’s offers from restaurants, bars, salons, clothes shops, shoe shops, florists, confectioners and everyone else – even
dentists – who see February 14 as a way to rinse cash out of the gullible.

To be honest, my hand did waver before deleting the promotion from the dentist because each Valentine’s e-mail has made me grind my teeth a little bit more. If this were the old days when paper press releases were mailed out, Dubai would be responsible for wiping several forests off the face of the Earth by now.

How best to describe St Valentine’s Day? At the risk of sounding unromantic, it’s a con. A swizz. A swindle. It’s a mug’s game.

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Consider this, ladies: if you really need to wait for St Valentine’s Day to roll around for your other half to make you feel special, you’re with the wrong guy. If he makes you feel special on February 14 but gets right on your nerves for the rest of the year, yup, you’re with the wrong guy.

A bit like believing in Santa Claus, St Valentine’s Day was fun when you were in school. Just like you were oblivious to the fact it was your dad who ate the cookies and binned the carrots left out for Santa and his reindeer, who knew it was your mum who sent you a Valentine’s card all through those primary school years? Then in secondary school it was a right laugh writing huge heart-shaped cards to the bad boys you secretly fancied, filled with acronyms designed to make them blush (A.D.I.D.A.S. being the perennial favourite) and which would have got you grounded for two weeks if your parents ever found out what you’d written.

The flatmates – One Who Shall Remain Nameless and The Cub – and I are all happily single. For those girls who’re permanently in relationships, it really is a state of being – both ‘happily’ and ‘single’ can sit together in the same sentence without being an oxymoron.

Discussing the whole Valentine’s schnizzle over a few lemonades the other night, we agreed that we’re not bitter at this time of year; we’re actually relieved. For even when you’re in a relationship, there’s nowt worse than being on the receiving end of a naff Valentine’s Day present.

So in the name of sisterhood, here’s our advice on the appropriate response to his Valentine’s Day actions…

1. If he sends you a giant teddy bear clutching a love heart… send him packing back to mummy and ditch him.

2. If he gives you chocolates but warns you not to eat them in case you put on weight… make him stand in front of the mirror, laugh and ditch him.

3. If the best he can come up with is flowers and a fancy meal… know that the same cash could probably have got you a nice weekend away, and ditch him.

4. If he sends a huge bouquet of flowers to your work… know it’s more about him showing off to your workmates than you, and ditch him.

5. If he proposes on St Valentine’s Day… send him off to look for some originality. And ditch him.

6. If you get home to discover rose petals strewn throughout your apartment… tell him he’d better have also bought you a Dyson. And ditch him.

7. If he’s done more than one or all of the above… launch him (or yourself) over the balcony.

But maybe that’s just us. True love does conquer all – just not the cynicism of three single Glaswegian chicks.

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