Let's face it, Valentine's day is a capitalist charade attempting to squeeze yet another few quid out of the consumers pocket and I feel 'so' sorry for those couples panicking over how to express their love for their significant other. Thank goodness I’m single. I say as I bury myself in a tear-drenched pillow, yearning for this antagonising day to end. Torn between the endless reasons why I’m still single and cusses towards the one who bestowed such a day upon society.
But what gets me through it are the many obscurities of this day. Here are my top 10 heart-throbbing facts about Valentine's day.
#10 The first Valentine Card came from Prison
Prisoner of war Charles, Duke of Orleans was the first to send a 'Valentine’s card'. He sent it to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. His message read;
"Je suis desja d’amour tanné, Ma tres doulce Valentinée"
Translated meaning "I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine."
#09 Valentine is not the Number one day for Proposals
You’ll be shocked to learn Valentine's Day is not the most popular day to propose. That crown goes to Christmas day. Shocker! Also considering this is a leap year, Valentine's day is competing with February 29. Move over Valentine's haha!
#08 Money Money Money
Valentine's day is a lucrative holiday, so lucrative it is estimated that Ireland is likely to spend €70 million on valentines day treats and gifts according to the Irish Times. Yea, being single will save us money!
#07 Anti-Valentines Day Rebrand
What was that; "Being single will save you money this Valentines" Eh, think again!
Organisers and companies are re-marketing the day to focus on ‘Singles.’ Major cities are running anti-Valentines events which include Dublin’s The Sugar Club who will mark the day with the 15th anniversary of the Rocky Horror Picture Show Ireland. Companies have also launched Anti-Valentines merchandise.
Ariana Grande’s released a “Thank U, Next” range of t-Shirts, heart-shaped pillows and custom candy. So looks like being single isn’t going to save us much money after all.
#06 For The Love of Pets
Now, what about our beloved Pets! You’ll be surprised to learn that pets make up almost 20% of the Valentines spend. In Ireland that could be close to €3.5M in 2020. But spending on your pet makes perfect sense.
No stronger bond exists than between us and our non-human companion, who loves us more unconditionally than anything else in the world.
#05 Threesome Gift-giving?
Not exactly, but about a quarter of Americans purchase Valentine day gifts for more than one person according to finder.com. Huh! I’d be happy with just one Valentine, but maybe I'm old fashioned!
#4 The Statistical Curse of Valentine Marriage's
Maybe not the most romantic day of the year after all. Well not for your perfect day at least. It may be an easy anniversary date to remember, however you might not need to remember it for long. Research by the University of Melbourne has shown a trend in marriages taking place on Valentines Day (among other novelty dates ) having an 18-36% chance of divorce.
By the 5th anniversary, 11% of surveyed marriages had failed. By the 9th Anniversary, 21% failed. Yikes!
Did you know on Valentine's day, Elton John married Renate Blauel (div 3 years) and Liam Gallagher married Nicole Appleton (div 5 years) Yikes!
#03 A ‘spanking’ origin
One theory about valentines day according to history.com came from the Roman festival of Lupercalia. A festival that involved a goat sacrifice followed by making strips from the goat hide dipped in blood. Roman women were spanked (well okay, ‘gently slapped’) with these strips all in the hope of increasing fertility. Wow, the Romans were a quirky bunch!
#02 Free PornHub Premium
PornHub is offering a Valentines treat for their visitors with free access to PornHub Premium for the whole day. Darn, I don’t finish work until 6! If you are in New York you can also pop along to Pornhubs “Pop-Up” Store selling Pornhub branded valentines merchandise. Well, that's one way to support your favourite porn star I guess. By the way… if your mates are late to the pub… you know why!
#1 Finland Friends Day
Finland celebrates a very different kind of holiday on February 14. Known as Ystävänpäivä it translates as Friends Day. Now, I’m on board with this. The concept takes a platonic approach where one celebrates the love of friendship, not of romance.
Let's face it, your friends can sometimes be more solid than lovers.
But what if your lover is also your best friend? The Dream!