There’s a couple of days left before the most confounding saints day of the year. Trust an Italian to mess with matters of the heart. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for romance – but there’s nothing like obligation to kill the buzz.

Like shooting fish in a barrel, everyone from the flower shops, to the restaurants, to the drug stores with their last-minute-I-forgot-give-me-that-heart-shaped-box-of-shitty-chocolate – all lay in wait, knowing that whether we feel like it or not – we have to step up.

And what about those who have lost love or are ‘alone’ on this blessed feast day. Hallmark’s got nothing for them but a reminder of what they were already feeling – regardless of its validity.

At school, back in the day, we taped envelopes on the front of our desks and measured our popularity by how many little cardboard “be mine” cards were dropped in. This was a sure fire way to build self esteem – at least for the kid with the swimming pool, or the girl who had reached puberty.

I’ve been through dozens of these days, but I am still unclear on the protocol. Is it solely the guy’s responsibility? What is the real expectation? And the whole business of giving mother’s gifts? That just seems weird.

In high school I remember spending big money on a pink Lacoste shirt for my girl friend. She dumped me a week later, for another guy. What was I thinking? What was she thinking? I know what the other guy was thinking.

Maybe Valentine’s just represents a culmination of all the goofiness and dysfunction of romantic love crammed into 24 hours. The swelling or breaking of heart, as we stumble in or fall out, causes thought that defies rationality and behaviour that betrays normal, lucid conduct.  Best of luck with that.