Suckers for love
I would have to say that this year's Valentine's Day will be my best one yet. Why, I hear you ask? No, i'm not expecting to wake up to a dozen red roses. Nor am I being whisked away to Paris. But I am engaged to be married. My boyfriend is now my fiance, I have a beautiful ring and hopefully we're going to live happily ever after. Yes, this year I'm definitely feeling the love a little more than I did on my previous 27 Valentine's Days.
But not even my present domestic bliss can disguise the fact that love is scarily expensive. And that Valentine's Day is just another romantic rip-off. A single red rose, tied with a ribbon, will likely set you back a fiver (why anyone would want just one is beyond me). Head out for dinner on the night and chances are you'll be cheated, sorry I mean TREATed, to a 'special' set menu for two - special in that your favourite dish is nowhere to be found and for one night only the price has shot up by 20%. Not even my peachy love life makes me think all this commercial sentiment is anything but a con.
And it's not just on Valentine's Day that we get stung for being in love. The day I got engaged was a pretty pricey affair too - OK, more so for my fiance but my own purse took a bit of a hammering too. First came the celebratory lunch at the restaurant overlooking my favourite beach, which had just become the scene of the 'financial crime'. He bought lunch and I bought the champers. Next came telling the parents, and of course, you need bubbles to toast the good news. Then came the second celebratory meal of the day, with two more bottles of the fizzy stuff. Ring aside, that one LOVEly day cost us at least £250.
But that's nothing compared to what our romance is about to cost us. We want to get married surrounded by our closest family and friends and we'd like to do it somewhere pretty. Trouble is, it turns out we've got nearly 150 guests. And feeding and watering that small army, keeping them entertained and having them all photographed is going to cost us an absolute shedload. Even the fainstest whisper of the W word is enough to send the flower bill tripling. The cheapest packages we can find are working out at around £75 a head but realistically, we're probably looking at closer to £100 per head - damn corkage!! You try multiplying those kind of numbers by 150 and being anything other than cynical about the romantic rip-off that Valentine's Day is all about!