It’s the biggest selling opportunity for retailers after Christmas. A chance to sell us crappy pink and red things as a signifier for a society that has been brainwashed with the bleach of consumerism. I despair at the thought that one’s love for a partner is measured with a bouquet of semi-wilted red roses, a box of chocolates or a stupid teddy bear. The lack of imagination and the numbing sense of conformity are the real killers of our day-to-day existence and love lives. But yet many will go and buy those items designed by committee and targeted to our inner emotional fuckwit.
Thankfully being a gay man makes things a little bit easier, as retailers haven’t totally got round into creating non gender specific gifts for this “occasion”. Everything is geared towards the bad karma of a straight relationship and trying to wipe off months of spousal neglect with a diamond or some flowers. With lovers and boyfriends I’ve never had many rules, bar from DO NOT BUY ME ANYTHING FOR VALENTINES OR YOU ARE OUT OF THE DOOR rule.
So let’s have a giggle at the kind of crud retailers want us to buy in the belief that somehow our other half will fall in love with us even more and will never leave us.
Oh look…socks, chocolate, champagne, flowers, underwear and perfume oh and a moustache grooming certificate? It seems like they had some stock left from Christmas and thought they’d give it a February twist.
Having a look at the different websites one gender stereotype is the most troubling. That of a passive girlfriend that waits to open her presents in her new “sexy” lingerie (top marks M&S and John Lewis). So do people still respond positively to this old-fashioned stereotyping?
Here’s a random but representative selection:
Marks and Spencer
House of Fraser
Fortnum and Mason