In Summary
  • The first thing that can go very badly on Valentine’s Day is if you have two women who expect you to spend the day with them.
  • Since it’s a Wednesday you can’t say you are off to play your usual round of golf.
  • The men who will be on the golf course on Wednesday evening will be divorcees, single men, men who have been married for 30+ years and don’t care (neither do their spouses), and caddies.

The perfect Valentine’s Day is if she wakes up and says, “This commercialisation of love is claptrap. It’s an obscene way for marketers to capitalise on our gullibility. It’s not even based on the philosophy of love. I don’t think I want to be party to this elaborate nonsense. What I’m saying is, we will no longer acknowledge Valentine’s Day. We are better than that. I’ve gone to the bathroom. Talk later and have a wonderful day.”

It’s safe to say that that is unlikely to happen – and even if it does, trust me when I say that she won’t mean it. It’s like when women say, “I’m not big on celebrating my birthday.” These are just things women say to fill their mouths with words. It’s your duty not to take them seriously. So no, there is no scenario conceivable where she will say she hates if you sent flowers or had dinner by a flickering candle. Neither will she return the jewellery you sent or laugh at your (attempt at) poetry. So Valentine’s Day is happening to you. Sorry.

What does this mean for humanity and for you? Unfortunately, humanity has its own set of problems, so it doesn’t care. But what it means for you is that you can change the course of the day. How? By knowing how badly it might go beforehand so that you do things differently.

The first thing that can go very badly on Valentine’s Day is if you have two women who expect you to spend the day with them. Since it’s a Wednesday you can’t say you are off to play your usual round of golf. The men who will be on the golf course on Wednesday evening will be divorcees, single men, men who have been married for 30+ years and don’t care (neither do their spouses), and caddies. You could leave town. Or you could “leave town.” How do you get into this situation in the first place? When you made someone else believe that you would take a bullet for them. Now you are caught like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming tragedy. Anyway, that’s your problem; we have bigger fish to fry here. Good luck.

Let’s assume you didn’t assure anyone that you would take a bullet for them. The next worst thing that could happen to you is to only realise it’s Valentine’s Day when you get to the office and you see the new lady from procurement, the one who dresses like Auntie Damaris, in a red dress. You will say, “Whoa, Magdalene, what’s the occasion?” And she will say, “My man and I take Valentine’s Day very seriously.”

It is now 10:23am. You have a meeting at 10:30am, so you send a text to Sweets (that’s what you should call her when you have been an ass). “Hi sweets, I was resisting being corny all morning but I have succumbed to the fake pressures of this day, so happy Valentine’s to you, my long banana smoothie.” Then you get into the meeting and lie about numbers, cooking them up as you go (you will be found out one day, you wait).

An hour later you walk out and Sweets hasn’t replied, which could mean two things: she has eloped with someone who remembered Valentine’s Day, or she is sulking. Since she can’t elope with someone else because she’s the one taking care of her diabetic mother, she must be sulking. You call her. “Waah, this Valentine’s Day should end asap,” you say lamely. “You should see what Magdalene is wearing. A red dress!” She will ask with cold disinterest, “Who is Magdalene?” Then you will say, “The new lady from procurement, the one from Mt Elgon who likes whistling in the office?” She will pause and say, “You never told me about Magdalene!” You will protest that you did. “No, I don’t forget girls from your office. I haven’t forgotten Linda from sales.” (Oh, she is definitely sulking if she brought up Linda from sales.) So you retreat. “I... I could have sworn I told you about Magdalene.” She says, “Well, it wasn’t me you told.” (Ha!) You change the topic. “Are you having a good morning, my love?” She says, “I am. Let’s talk later. I’m getting into a meeting now.”

From there it will be downhill because you will say you really can’t deal with all that sulking, that you are a busy man who has numbers to cook. But you aren’t settled because a wise man once told you that if the madam isn’t happy, neither will you be. You finally call a florist to order flowers and they ask you, “What kind of flowers would you like?” “Roses.” “We are out of roses. Any other?” Since you are a villager, you only know roses, you don’t know any other flowers, so you enlist the boss’s PA (she knows everything) to help you get flowers at short notice. It eventually costs you a pretty penny but you send flowers over to her office. It thaws things some. In the afternoon, at around 4pm, you send her a message: “You want to grab dinner tonight?” She says “It’s cool, I’d rather have some quiet time at home.” So you foolishly don’t do anything. You have dinner at home but it’s like eating with Mussolini. The day is ruined. She sleeps facing the wall.

Looking back, you realised that the point where she said she’d rather have a quiet time at home is the point where you should have insisted and said no, we are going for dinner, you will love it. She wanted to be convinced.

So just avoid this drama. Send flowers. Have an elaborate dinner. You can even try to write a poem, even if it starts with “Roses are red, violets are blue…” You will be surprised that that silly poem is the one thing she will say touched her the most. Yeah, I know; women are strange.