Come on, remove that petulant pout, suppress that cynical mutter of, “valentine-schmalentine” and admit that, deep down, you love it too. Who cares if it has become overly commercialised?  Hasn’t everything?  So drop the Hallmark-hate, stop boycotting bouquets, and quit with the sudden intolerance for chocolate.  As for being single?  So what?  I’m single and I still love the idea of Valentine’s Day.  I’m charmed by overpriced, long-stemmed, single red roses wrapped in strong brown paper and tied with twine, all standing proud in a bucket outside Narcissus Florist.  I can almost hear their blousy-petaled rebuke, firmly saying, “are you really going to walk on by and not buy?” At the local café, I fall head over heels for the heart shaped shortbread, which, of course, I’m going to have with my coffee: Happy Valentine’s Day to me!  Are we being manipulated to spend money?  Probably, but we’ve all been influenced by causes less worthy than love.  Buy into it, make it, write it, send it, carve initials into a tree trunk, hug him, kiss her and, above all, if you’ve been told by your significant other, “sure it’s only a load of old codswallop,” whatever you do, don’t believe them.

I Wouldn’t Thank You For A Valentine, by Liz Lochhead

I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine.

I won’t wake up early wondering if the postman’s been.

Should 10 red-padded satin hearts arrive with sticky sickly saccharine

Sentiments in very vulgar verses I wouldn’t wonder if you meant them.

Two dozen anonymous Interflora red roses?

I’d not bother to swither over who sent them!

I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine.


Scrawl SWALK across the envelope

I’d just say ‘Same Auld story

I canny be bothered deciphering it –

I’m up to hear with Amore!

The whole Valentine’s Day thing is trivial and commercial,

A cue for unleashing clichés and candyheart motifs to which I personally am not partial.’

Take more than singing Telegrams, or pints of Chanel Five, or sweets,

To get me ordering oysters or ironing my black satin sheets.

I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine.


If you sent me a solitaire and promises solemn,

Took out an ad in the Guardian Personal Column

Saying something very soppy such as ‘Who Loves Ya, Poo?

I’ll tell you, I do, Fozzy bear, that’s who!’

You’d entirely fail to charm me, in fact I’d detest it

I wouldn’t be eighteen again for anything, I’m glad I’m past it.

I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine.


If you sent me a single orchid, or a pair of Janet Reger’s

In a heart-shaped box and declared your Love Eternal

I’d say I’d rather not be caught dead in them they were

Politically suspect and I’d rather something thermal.

If you hired a plane and blazed our love in a banner across the skies;

If you bought me something flimsy in a flatteringly wrong size;

If you sent me a postcard with three Xs and told me how you felt

I wouldn’t thank you, I’d melt.

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