So-called Hallmark Holidays such as Valentine's Day, with bleach advertisers even getting on board, shimmer with the very best of intentions, but the crudeness of brands piggybacking on their popularity really dilutes their brand equity.
Globally, marriage is not always something to celebrate. While some 350 couples a day decide to tie the knot in the UK, around the world 41,000 girls every day enter into a union they didn't choose. That's one girl every two seconds married against her will.
If you were one of the lucky couples to get engaged over Valentine's Day weekend, congratulations! This is a special and exciting time, and no doubt thoughts of engagement parties and wedding preparations are already providing hours of anticipation and joy.
Even if your loved one says, "Oh don't worry about getting something, I'm not bothered," this does not give you Carte Blanche to buy nothing. It is something that is likely to be held against you for quite some time, possibly decades.
Contrary to my assumption, at the playgroups I went to, many children (well, only girls) were being encouraged by mothers to make cards for their fathers. The thought of getting a Valentine's Day card from my daughter makes my skin crawl.
"How did those hearts get in there?", we hear you cry! The seemingly impossible feat is actually quite easy when you know how. Impress that special someone with these sweet treats from Cupcake Jemma or enjoy all to yourself (you can't be sad when you're holding a cupcake)!
Eventually Daniel got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Soon after came one the worst days of my life however. Our local authority forced me to take a mental capacity test - and then told me I didn't have capacity to decide to marry the love of my life.
The forced sex element of the Fifty Shades plot has caused a lot of controversy, but it is, and always has been, a key ingredient in female sexual fantasy. A 1987 review carried out by Carol Thurston found that 54% of erotic romance novels included the rape of the lead female character.
I went through each organ and ticked or denied permission depending on how 'weird' it felt. Later I realised I was being silly - I would be dead, and there was nothing weird about saving or prolonging a life, or giving someone sight. Even if it felt odd ticking the box to say they could have my corneas.
I hope that your heart-shaped selection box doesn't give you the runs. I hope that this weekend you and your loved one collaborate on a magnum opus of love poetry that would put literary greats like John Keats and Mick Hucknall to shame. But, really, don't you think it's time we stopped enabling Valentine's Day?
Even though we might hear about the risks time and again, it's important that we keep an eye on our connected lives as much as our wallets or handbags.
While I admit that I don't have a huge problem with Valentine's Day as a whole and am quite looking forward to the plans I have with my cute man on Saturday, I don't agree that Valentine's Day should be the only day you go out of your way for the one you care about.
You already have everything in you: you are embodying a soul. Your soul has come here to express, to create, to experiment, to love - but mainly your soul is a loving being. And the most important thing in terms of love, is loving yourself.
Why do I think Valentine's Day is ace? Well, because I see no harm in spending an extra day paying special attention to the most important person in my life. If you don't want to do the same, well your beef is probably with something larger than old Saint Valentine.
Without love our empathy always falls short, and without full-bodied empathy we cannot act in true selflessness, consequently, we will not fix the deep seated issues we face as a species. It makes sense that unless we reclaim love from its hegemonic interpretations, in order to love ourselves, to love others and to love planet, our work for social change will always be burdened.
Thousands of miles away on the arid plains of Africa, the male Spotted Hyena will have to endure yet another annual sprinkling of emotional salt onto his giant, year-round, sensitive wound.