How to… do Valentine's Day without cringing

How to Live Wild
by Clemmie Fraser with artwork by Michalis Christodoulou
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Valentine’s Day is not at all wild; rather it is tired and annoying. But if nothing happens at all and it is ignored, then feelings of rage and despair over one’s life and state of relationship bubble up uncontrollably and cause a terrible re-evaluation of the status quo. Which is NEVER good. How to cope?

Firstly, you will NOT need any of the following:

  • 12 red roses with some wilting baby’s breath from the garage that have been flown in refrigerated freight planes from the Gambia
  • Soft toys, amusing slippers, scented candles, perfume, makeup, underwear, massage vouchers, etc
  • Weekends at spas, cosy pubs or anything offering a ‘Valentine’s Special Deal’

And Most Importantly:

  • No dinner à deux anywhere… Otherwise you risk sitting in a silent restaurant, paying over the odds with other couples all desperately trying not to talk about the children wondering what you are doing with your life.

With the don’t-dos out of the way, the rest becomes very simple.

In order to avoid any whiff of cheesiness, or worse, uncomfortable discussions about feelings, you need to stick to two rules when it comes to gifting the beloved.

Either it must be unbelievably extravagant:

  • A safari
  • Skiing in Jackson Hole (staying in the Aman, of course)
  • A stonkingly large piece of jewellery that breaks the neck to wear and bank balance to buy
  • 5 tons of cashmere anything
  • A vintage Porsche
  • Vast bouquets of SEASONAL flowers. And lots of them. The sitting room should look like the Lindo Wing after an oligarch’s daughter has just given birth.

Or cheap but thoughtful:

  • A digital photo book of your relationship’s greatest hits
  • Picking her up from work in a cab
  • Books of any description – you may even buy poetry if you are careful
  • A non-cheesy/non-sexy card, along the lines of ‘I Hate Everyone, But I Quite Like YOU’
  • A takeaway and free use of the TV remote control (with no eye-rolling when Masterchef is chosen)
  • No expectation of sex

Voila. If you stick to these rules you will survive Valentine’s Day with minimum fuss and stress.