WHO said romance is dead? Me, that’s who. And if it’s not, it should be.

Another Valentine’s Day has been and gone. Praise be for small mercies.

If ever there was a consumerist gimmick concocted to force us into squandering our hard earned cash, then St Valentine’s Day must be it.

But it’s not alone, there’s loads of these ‘celebration days’ forced upon us every year, compelling us to join in and literally, buy in to them.

Take Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, even Pancake Day. Traditionally known as Shrove Tuesday, which in its original form was derived from the word shrive, meaning “confess”. This was formerly an opportunity for religious types to indulge in a bit of self-examination before deciding what wrongs they needed to repent.

Now, here in 2015, it’s a chance for manufacturers of chocolate spread and pancake mix to bump up their profits ten-fold in one day.

Because of this crazed commercialism, I feel like my life is a revolving door of Christmas Days, Valentine’s Days, Easter Sundays and Hallowee’ens. How often have you heard the phrase ‘where has the time gone?’ when you find yourself at the end of another year?

I’ll tell you where it’s gone, it’s been swallowed up by the incessant down-throat-shoving marketing campaigns of supermarkets and big businesses who all want to cash-in on whatever ‘tradition’ is upon us.

And so this month it was St Valentine’s Day. The one time of the year when you can really show your other half just how much you love them. The rest of the time you can largely ignore them, fight, bicker and spend your days picking up their crusty undercrackers or cleaning their toothpaste off the sink.

There are various theories and ideas of where Valentine’s Day derives from. Less romanticised versions of the origins of St Valentine’s Day come from the ancient Roman festival ‘Lupercalia’ which celebrated the start of spring by pairing off women with men by lottery. These days that practice is better known as human trafficking.

How Sweet.

The most widely-recognised stories of origin believe it to have begun as a celebration of various early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various ‘Valentines’ that belonged to February 14, and thus became embedded into popular culture.

The most popular account is that of Saint Valentine of Rome who was apparently imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.

According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. The widely-accepted embellishment to this story goes that just before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell and voila, humans were forever bound to buying chocolates and roses and cards for their other halves.

See the connection? No, me either.

Valentine’s Day gifts are out of control and utterly pointless (according to me). Top of the romance-gift-list is the predictable bunch of red roses which results in many half-witted woman falling over themselves with gratitude.

I wonder if they know that typically 100 million roses are grown especially for Valentine’s Day, emitting somewhere in the region of 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide on this very ‘special’ day. Not to mention how much those green-fingered global gardeners are raking in from you blindly bulk buying something which, in four days, will be as lifeless as the unimaginative ‘romantic’ gesture they were bought for.

Take off the rose-tinted spectacles, people. It’s all a big con.