Ah Valentine’s day. The date in the calendar which is either filled with heart-felt emotion along with an over-sized, and over-priced, card and present, or a painful heart-breaking day that yawns on for what feels like an eternity.
Or you may be one of the ones who doesn’t actually know or care what day it is, which in itself could land you in trouble, until you go online and see a vomit-inducing array of over-the-top statuses.
But how can a day that celebrates the most essential of human emotion – love – divide opinion so drastically?
It’s probably something to do with the c-word – commercialism.
People have come to either love or loathe what St Valentine now represents, partly because every retail outlet in existence wants to get in on the action (no, not that kind of action).
Thankfully, there’s a lesser-known but equally romantic saint you can celebrate instead – Raphael, patron saint of matchmaking and ‘happy meetings’.
So, regardless of which camp you fall into, why not give someone who’s looking for love a gentle nudge in the right direction?
MM has been doing some matchmaking of its own this week to varying degrees of success.
One of the MM team secured a date for the weekend (and a fourth date at that) with a lady friend from his home town.
He charmed her via the age-old tradition of, well, text message with the irresistible and offer of ‘dinner and a movie?’
Another of our reporters took the plunge and waltzed into a café to ask out the girl he had admired from afar for weeks, but alas he didn’t get lucky.
She may have declined his advances but at least he bothered to try, as he manfully said ahead of the big ask: “If I don’t ask her out, I’m not giving her the chance to say yes.”
Although it didn’t work out for him this is the mindset we all ought to have, if only for one day of the year.
So in honour of St Raphael, and to spread the love, we urge Mancunians to play cupid and persuade a family member, friend of work colleague to chat to the object of their affection.
Just imagine the dizzying surge of love that would ensue if even a small percentage of these quests were successful.
And playing matchmaker doesn’t mean you’re deprived of your usual Valentine’s Day – you can still spend it however you like.
All we ask is that, if welcomed, you attempt to put the romantic wheels in motion, whether for yourself or someone else.
For those who may be nursing a broken heart, good old St Raphael is out to help you too – as he’s also the patron saint of healing.
From everyone at MM, regardless of what you’re up to, we wish you a very happy Valentine’s, or Raphael’s, Day!
Picture courtesy of photophilde via Flickr, with thanks