Valentine’s Day has become so successful in recent years that the United Nations Committee for the Development of Pointless Festivities has decided to celebrate it 12 times a year. This means that the 14th of every month will hereafter be celebrated as Valentine’s Day. Representatives of the 11 months argued their cases, stating that February was being given preferential treatment although it had fewer days in the month than January or August or indeed even June. Calendular discrimination was alleged, political incorrectness evoked and a ban on exclusivity demanded.
February’s representative, a short bald man with yellow teeth (or a height-challenged, non-hirsute male person, if you prefer) was shouted down by the others when he suggested that he would use his veto power to shout down the idea. ‘You don’t have a veto,’ pointed out April, adjusting her hair, not wanting to look a fool.
Where will this leave those romantic couples who live from Valentine to Valentine? The question, ‘Will you be my Valentine?’ is likely to be met with ‘Oh no! Not again. Wasn’t I your Valentine last month? Why can’t I be your Benedictine or Santa Claus or Bambi this time?’
Perhaps that is being excessively cynical. Those assured of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners a dozen times a year might look upon this as a blessing. They now have to worry only about the other 353 days.
But what about the Valentiner as opposed to the Valentinee? He has to fork out for the above-mentioned flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners; if he doesn’t, just what will the neighbours think?
Hence the suggestion that the 12 days be split between the couple – one paying for six and the other paying for half a dozen. There is a possibility then that couples on the verge of breaking up might stay together because one of them hasn’t paid his or her share. Can there be anything more romantic?
The concept has, however, gone beyond romantic love. Parents wish their children Happy Valentine’s Day, teachers wish their students, barbers wish their customers, the driver who almost knocks a cyclist down wishes him. Perhaps this is where the arithmetic helps. The 12 days could be split among different groups – Valentine’s Day (teachers, lawyers, doctors, lift operators), Valentine’s Day (bakers, carpet manufacturers) and so on.
This is the price Valentine’s Day has to pay for being so successful. Other special days come but once a year, from Secretary’s Day to Christmas, Window Cleaner’s Day, Diwali and even birthdays – unless you were born on February 29. That’ll be fodder for another column.