Why anti-Valentine's deals annoy me even more than Valentine’s Day
'For every venue that organises an evening of romance, there is another that has a singles’ night planned'
Allow me to start by saying that I do have a sense of humour and I have never been someone who particularly cared about Valentine’s Day. But while I appreciate that people in marketing do have a job to do, I cannot bear anti-Valentine’s Day promotions.
There are plenty of people who love going out to enjoy a candlelit meal, complete with roses, chocolates and heart-eyed teddy bears, come February 14. But for every venue that organises an evening of romance, there is another that has a singles’ night planned, which usually comes with unlimited pink drinks and deals targeting “the girls”.
“Enjoy complimentary drinks with your girl gang,” reads one email that dropped into my inbox this week, advertising an anti-Valentine’s Day deal.
“Ladies can enjoy free flow of signature drinks,” another says.
But these kinds of events can go one step further. Case in point: a taco place in the US is offering singles the chance to set their ex’s belongings on fire.
Torchy’s Tacos in Austin, Texas, is hosting a “Salty Singles Day”, where participants can take items of their former partner’s clothing to be set alight. You will then walk away with a “Taco Love” T-shirt. Although I will admit to loving the name, it all seems a bit patronising and gimmicky, no?
It perpetuates a romcom stereotype that, in the wake of any kind of break-up, the only way to reclaim your get-up-and-go is to destroy anything that reminds you of a significant other … cue movie montage. It also buys into the idea that the worst possible thing for anyone, but mainly women, is to be single on Valentine’s Day.
Meanwhile, in other locations, single women are encouraged to get manicures that read “Y-O-U-R” and “L-O-S-S” and take framed photos of their ex to a smash room to “destroy the way he broke your heart”. Yawn. It is tongue in cheek, I am sure, but it may simply be the pronouns that grate. If we had a few more she and her, they or theirs, in there, perhaps it would jar a little less.
There is one anti-Valentine’s Day deal I can get on board with, however. A Sydney restaurateur is offering a “dead love degustation” menu, complete with a dead rose. I’ll admit that on first read, I made a snap judgment. “Oh, OK, single people get dead flowers and sadness? Brilliant.” But I was wrong – the reasoning behind chef Opel Khan’s Metisse menu is much more earnest.
He says “love should be celebrated all year round” and not only on February 14. “Food is love … my food is French, the most romantic cuisine in the world,” Khan said. “It should be celebrated all the time.”
Let’s all be a little more like Khan. Scrap the Dh3,000 menus, extortionate hotel rooms and naff soft toys, and celebrate love all year round. And reader, if you want to live a little movie moment and set fire to an ex’s clothes, do it any day of the year … and not to get a free T-shirt from a taco joint.
Updated: February 13, 2020 05:03 PM