OPINION: Valentine's Day - a modern day minefield
Ahhh, Valentine's Day.
Historically, the feast of St Valentine's, which become associated with love in the 14th century thanks to English wordsmith, Geoffrey Chaucer and his mates, who were apparently into practising courtly love.
Which, from the sounds of it was a Middle Ages version of rock stars and groupies, with the nobility being the rock stars of the time.
Over the centuries, it evolved into a celebration of romance, and in the 18th century, devoted couples began giving each other flowers, presumably before giving each other horrible 18th century diseases.
Today, it's much the same. The one day of the year, where love is the only focus. Which seems a little odd.
Call me cynical, you're probably right and it's clearly easier to have some cynicism when you're facing Valentine's Day on your own, for not the first time in your adult life.
Chocolates, flowers, jewellery - all passed over in the name of love. It's like another birthday or Christmas, but anyone single isn't invited.
The day has long been a commercially driven excuse to get off your behind and show that girl who loves you that you love her in return, with a nice little gift.
Hopefully, for the sake of relationships everywhere, this happens more than once a year?
Surely this is something that should be done randomly, whenever, wherever the feeling strikes. July 6th - bought the missus a Bon Jovi CD and asked them to put a red ribbon around it...that kind of thing.
You hate Bon Jovi, but you do it, because you see it and you know she loves it and you buy it, because she not only puts up with you, she actually adores you.
I'm not saying I'm perfect. I wouldn't be single and dateless on Valentine's Day if I was perfect.
But being single gives me more of a platform to say this stuff.
What do couples in long-term relationships do? I'm asking because I've never been in that situation? Is it even a thing? Does anyone even care any more, or is the caring more about hoping he doesn't keep you awake with his snoring again all night.
I first tried out my "Valentine's Day is rubbish" line with a girlfriend when I was 20.
I gave her poem, handwritten, about why Valentine's Day was stupid and that I loved her every day of the year.
That was the worst Valentine's Day ever. I learned a valuable lesson that day. Sometimes it's best to keep those thoughts to yourself, especially and I need to make this very clear, if your partner loves chocolates, flowers, jewellery and the idea of a romantic candlelit Valentine's Day dinner.
Not some crappy poem by some pimply country bloke, without the connections or skill with words of the very romantic Mr Chaucer.
There's a lot of pressure too. Especially for the couples - making sure it's perfect, everything's right. The gift is right, the flowers are the ones they like and you don't both go home at the end of the night thinking, 'well, that was no different than any other time'.
There's even pressure on the singles. Say you've been chatting to someone online or there's something brewing with the girl that works in the deli at Woolies. Valentine's Day approaches and you start freaking out. Expectation.
Do I say anything? Will she be upset if I don't say something? Do I ask her out? Will I ruin everything if I do that? Am I reading more into some harmless chat than there actually is? Is she just being nice?
It's a godforsaken minefield.
Roll on February 15, when everything goes back to normal.