How Do I Fleece Thee This Valentine’s Day? – Let Me Count The Ways

February 12, 2010

Ah… Valentine’s Day. It’s a time for lovers, young and old, in relationships new and established. But not for you, the lovelorn, the undesirable, the recently dumped and the widowed. You’ve been firmly shut out. But there is good news. Let me show you the ways those same lovers will be relieved of their hard earned by buying cheap tat and expensive jewellery to prove their love. They’ll also be at restaurants where special ‘Valentine’ menus will be offered at inflated prices. Knowing you’ll have no part in this circus should bring a smile to your face.

OK, then. Let’s start with the usual suspects:


A selection of valentine cards


Valentine chocolates in heart shaped boxes


A single red rose

Cuddly toys

Cuddly toy for valentine's day

Moving swiftly, we arrive at music stores raiding their back catalogues to cobble together as many awful chick flick DVDs and romantic compilation CDs as they can stuff in a corner of the store, bedecked in red and/or pink. Even Seasick Steve, the redneck bluesman has got in on the act with a special edition mini album of love. You’ll know the world is coming to an end when Lemmy from Motorhead decides to pop one out.

Detail of advertising poster for romantic DVDs and CDs on sale at HMV

Saving the best ‘til last, I bring a selection of the most gratuitous use of the words ‘Valentine’ and the colours red and pink to sell just about anything. This category is particularly pleasing when you see it slapped on items you’d normally take for everyday use. I found an absolute treasure trove in Tesco’s and took photos for you at great risk, because in 21st century Britain, a photographer is in danger of being taken for a potential terrorist on a reconnaissance. At the very least, I would’ve been escorted out of the store.

First item is a Valentine ribbon. This is not just any red ribbon you could buy at a Haberdashery; this is a special Valentine ribbon whose powers can help you lasso your soul mate. Valentine ribbon will not be held responsible for any charges levied against you for stalking, kidnapping and tying up your object of desire.

Valentine ribbon on sale at Tesco's

What better way to end your romantic meal than washing the dishes together and drying them with a Valentine towel. If you also manage to limit your use of water and use an environmentally friendly washing up liquid like Ecover, you’ll score many brownie points and possibly a shag.

Valentine's tea towel on sale in Tesco's

You thought crackers were only for Christmas. Well you’re wrong. Very wrong. And so is this:

Valentine crackers on sale at Tesco's

I mustn’t forget to include Asda, because they managed to produce this baby:

A pack of cherries at Asda with a valentine sticker

Time is short I know, but if you’d like to alert me to some Valentine tat on t’internet, I’d be happy to have a look. Well, I say I’d be happy to have a look, but I expect to be totally, totally appalled.



  1. Love your schpiel about how sad is valentine’s day – however – there’s money to be made being anti-valentine’s day as well – there no escape!!

    until next time

    • Yes, it’s extremely irritating, though some of the anti valentine tat can be quite entertaining. I just ignore the whole damned thing, saving money and more importantly, my sanity.

  2. Ah, National Singles Awareness Day! Like meals for one ASDA and Tesco’s should do a Valentine’s Day cracker for one.

    Also, like birthday socks that can only be worn one day a year, surely one Valentine’s Day tea towel would be enough.

    • You’ve been away far too long, To55er. I always welcome your insightful comments and I enjoy commenting on yours. Nice to have you back.

  3. I really don’t want to think about Lemmy “popping one out!”

    • That was an unfortunate turn of phrase. I hope that vision sustains you through the weekend ahead!

  4. blimey hell its hard enough loving yourself all of the time let alone anyone else!!!

    i treat myself in honour of myself.. truth be told its a great feeling and a good excuse to eat a whole box of chocs on valentines day..tehee

    • I eat chocolate almost every day, so I don’t need any more excuses, but I like the way you’re thinking. Dezireable is a very good name and appropriate for this subject. Thanks for your comments.

  5. ew… couples crackers. that is bad bad bad

    • It is, isn’t it? Nothing more to say here.

  6. My husband and I kibosh-ed the commercialized Valentine’s Day routine years ago. My whole family and his also tossed the commercialized Christmas and Easter out the window too.

    What I’m wondering is why did you post that first comment above with the spammy cafepress link it it? I would have removed the link.

    • Thanks for having a look at my blog and making a comment, timethief. I really appreciate it. My friend had put the link to illustrate the growing commercialisation of the anti Valentine camp. It was done in good faith and was not meant to be spammy, but I’m learning all the time with this blogging game. I will remove links like that in the future.

      • It’s up to you whether you remove such links or not. I was just curious and now I understand why you left this one.

  7. Great topic choice, and happy 100th post! (Also terrific blog name.) I’m with tt on it. I think as you grow older you don’t fall for the sales pitches as easily. I sure remember what a big deal it was in Elementary school, though!

    • Yes, it probably is an age thing, because you realise that there is more than one way to do things and more than one way to live. It was certainly a big deal when I was in my teens and twenties, as I think it was for almost everyone.

  8. I hope i get the love duck!!!!
    For anyone looking for a last min gift?

    I was in town after many months to buy a birthday pressie for a friend. Clintons was packed and the queue was out of the door of people mainly buying valentines goodies. Next thing was the flowers – valentines flowers (roses) all over the shopping centre. I managed to resist temptation at every turn and had a little smirk on my face when i recalled this blog.

    My partner and I have decided I will be buying the roses on Monday and she will be buying them Tues – (when they will be half the price me hopes 😉 it shouldn’t have to be Valentines day to get your loved ones something nice! )

    • Thanks for that ant. I’m sure you’ll have a lovely Valentine’s day. If my post bought back happy(?) memories, then my work is done!

  9. Love it! You really can spin just about anything in to being about Valentine’s Day. I must say though, the towels are cute!
    What a great post for the 100th.

    • Thanks for that Sarah. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I worry about your taste in towels though.

  10. Hubby and I vowed long ago to celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s every day of the year *except* on the 14th of February! We hate, loath and detest the rampant commercialism and refuse to buy into it, far better to have spur of the moment moments that are meaningful and personal and show how much we really appreciate each other. Cool post …Vive la revolution!

    • Thanks for having a look, Kiwidutch and for making your comments. This post seems to have hit a nerve with a lot of people. It’s good to know we are all so sensible!

  11. haha this post was wonderful. It is most definitely an overdone holiday, thus making us non-single persons expect something, when really, we shouldn’t at all. It’s another day. Show your Significant Other that you love them every day, you don’t need a holiday for that! Cheers my friend. Great post.


    • Nice to have you on board, Kymlee. I’m glad you liked my post. I agree with you 100% about Valentine’s day. You can show love on any day you like, if you want to. It doesn’t have to be that one.

  12. I totally think that there’s a gap in the market for anti valentines tat!!!! it’l b like them asda cherries, cept it’l be pizza or a bottle of cheap wine and it’l say: buy 1, get nothing free, eat them all urself and proceed to our gym membership section – “ur a lonely fool anyhoe so u might as well join! but dont worry if u dont turn into a scarlet johannsen, NOBODY’S LOOKING ANYWAY!!! “

    • That’s funny, Elizebeth. Scarlet Johannsen indeed.

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