LAURA CARTLEDGE: Feelings can’t be summed up with stationery and I think that’s great

THERE are many reasons Valentine’s Day riles me.

Firstly, I’m just the right side of stubborn – I like to think – which means I don’t argue for the sake of it, but also don’t like being told what to do.

It took me 22-and-a-bit years to say the ‘L’ word to someone who wasn’t related.

That was a big enough step without me having to send a card once a year to reconfirm it.

Mandatory affection seems like a bizarre contradiction.

But, cards are nice. Liking someone is nice.

This is the point we cut to an image of me standing, looking hopeless, in the stationery aisle. Any stationery aisle. All of the stationery aisles.

I’d rather make something, but when you spend all the time between work and sleep with someone, it makes it tricky.

So here we are.

On one side there’s the all-singing, all-dancing, bears-cuddling, book-sized cards and on the other, the overly soppy, pass-the-bucket variety.

Both are eye-wateringly expensive and say nothing about ‘us’ at all.

There are no dinosaur puns, no references to our castle obsession or our unique macaroni recipe.

I realise all of those may be a bit too specific, but my point is in there somewhere.

Another reason I dislike everything heart-shaped and chocolate-flavoured about February 14 is that it’s already an important day.

And the cuddly toys, balloons and bouquets shouldn’t be allowed to distract from my dad’s birthday.

Chances I have of finding a fitting card for that are under the mountain of rubbish romantic ones.

Can we go to a restaurant to celebrate? No.

Candlelit and extortionate isn’t really fitting for our family of four.

Instead both occasions have to be marked in our special own way – which is how it should be.