It’s Valentine’s Day. This is your official reminder. If you’ve forgotten this crucial date in the floral industry’s calendar and it’s after 5pm, don’t panic, just tell your partner you’ve always been opposed to the commercialisation of love for corporate profit and save yourself a lot of last-minute scrambling, while you drive around in a flurry looking for a service station that still has a bunch of wilted, off-colour chrysanthemums.
The conscientious objector angle is probably the most fiscally responsible for the home budget. There are some downsides – you might look like a cold-hearted scrooge – but you never know, that kind of penny-pinching might be a turn-on for your partner.
Perhaps you’re dating someone who’s in charge of cutting the funding for preschools, or maybe your other half is the person who decided to keep soft drink the same price but sell it in a smaller-size can. Or, possibly, your partner is the person who sets the prices for parking in the city? In that case, proceed with the above option.
If your partner isn’t Mr Burns from The Simpsons then you might need to get a present together. Lucky for you, I’m well versed in big results for minimal effort Valentine’s Day gifts.
Please learn from my mistakes though. I have embarrassed myself greatly in the past on Valentine’s Day. In high school I arranged for a single rose to be sent to the school of a boy I’d spied on the train. His name was Brad. We’d never spoken, but that didn’t hold me back. I found a florist and arranged for the rose to be accompanied with a note that had the chorus from Viva Forever by the Spice Girls written on it. I didn’t add my name to the card.
That afternoon on the train, one of his friends approached me and said, “Did you send Brad a flower with some Natalie Imbruglia lyrics in the card?” As much as I wanted to help him improve his music knowledge I could tell from his tone that neither he nor Brad were impressed by my gift.
I replied with “No, not me, that’s a weird thing to do, I’ll ask around and see if I can find out who did it.” The friend rolled his eyes and walked back up the carriage to Brad.
Nowadays, I’m a smooth operator. I still like to be creative and budget-aware when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts. This is my jewel-in-the-crown, red-hot Valentine’s Day tip. Get a nice piece of paper and in your neatest handwriting, write out the lyrics to “your song”, buy a plain picture frame from Big W and you’ve got yourself a very impressive gift for about $8. Sorry to get all Better Homes and Gardens on you, but a good idea is a good idea.
Everyone goes out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, so it’s going to be impossible to get a booking anywhere other than your local Chinese or Sizzler today. Therefore, I recommend fish and chips on a picnic blanket at Wynnum, takeaway sushi in the Botanic Gardens or staying home and slow-cooking a spaghetti bolognese.
Good luck today and as a very wise friend once said to me, “Let’s get the next train home Mel, Brad and his friends are on this one.”
As originally published in The Courier Mail
I’m performing my new show ‘Bring a Plate’ at the Brisbane Comedy Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival details here