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How To Treat Your VD
Member Name: miwa
Advantages: Lots of chocolate about
Disadvantages: Lots of friends desperate for love
For single people, Feburary 14th can be a right pain in the backside. Your mum will be asking when you're going to get a significant other, your friends will be in lovey-dovey mode chattering about this their boyfriend does and that their girlfriend does, and your bed can feel colder than the heart of a corperate marketing agent.
In my opinion, even when you are with someone on the big VD (Valentine's Day, not Venereal Disease, though that Venn diagram has a bit of overlap in my experience) it can be a bit of a let down. The culture surrounding VD, borrowed from our American cousins mostly, can be a lot of building yourself up for disappointment. Ultimately, love doesn't equal money, but when you take that out of the equation, how does it all add up?
Especially when it comes to cards or gifts, there is a lot of pressure to out-do what your partner may or may not be buying you, or with encouragement from friends, family or the TV, you may make an expensive or cheesy purchase you later regret.
My advice, if I can be so arrogant to assume you'd be interested in it, is that with or without a partner, keep it low-key and personal.
For example, make cards, don't buy them - they are so expensive for something you're just going to throw away. You can print off pictures of your holiday together off Facebook onto special card and write a message inside - they'll appreciate that more than a generic card with a love-heart in the center and a Hallmark poem inside. For an extra disturbing factor, combine you and your partners' photo at morphthing.com (or similar) and use it as the front of your card - you could even write "this is your future now" inside. (Perhaps this idea is best left as a joke...)
If you're with a partner, you don't have to break the bank or enroll yourself in a cookery course to make them chocolates. Sometimes it's the little things that count in the long-term: listening to them (really listening, not just pretending to), having a laugh over something, whether it be a DVD or an outing, and having a nice meal together that you can both enjoy (that doesn't mean you have to book a 5* restaurant! Home cooking is something that most people enjoy, whether something simple like breakfast in bed, or something more elaborate, like baked goods). Even something like doing chores they hate for them (ironing, hoovering, the washing up) can be a really useful gift. But ultimately, it's quality, not quantity, that counts: make your time together special, however much you have to spend. No dramatic sunsets, teddy bears, diamonds or bouquet of roses included.
For single people - who needs a partner when you can treat yourself? You can have everything a couple has with half the hassle on Valentine's Day - eat well, enjoy yourself, have a laugh, enrich your life in some small way. A lot of your friends are going to be having awkward gift-exchanges or even more awkward sex, so relax. Show some self-love!
As for couples with children... well, good luck.
Even though it's a day of consumerism, love is an important part of life and one we should celebrate more than once a year. Tell someone you love them regularly, whether it's yourself, a relative, a friend, or indeed, your partner. Love doesn't have to be sexy, expensive, sappy or loud to be real and tangible. Don't wait til February 14th to tell someone just how much you adore and appreciate them.
Summary: My view on Valentine's Day