A gift website hoping to cash in on Valentine's Day angst is encouraging women to send themselves 'jealousy cards' before February 14.
Gift It Now says that it will post romantic Valentine's Day cards from a fictional man on February 12, "just in time to remind boyfriends and husbands of the annual celebration of love two days later".
The mystery man's name, 'George Valentine', is as improbable as his photograph (think all-American-boy meets Zoolander), making us wonder how many hapless significant others are supposed to fall for this (and if they did, surely they would be so endearingly guileless that it would neutralise their forgetfulness?).
The company even says that this bizarre attention-seeking act is about gently reminding lazy boyfriends and husbands to "appreciate" their girlfriends and wives.
"It's also a not-so-subtle reminder for blokes to appreciate their girlfriends or wives. When your girlfriend is getting attention from another man, it tends to make you go the extra mile to impress," says Josh Armstrong in a press release.
Is this really what Valentine’s Day has come to?
St Valentine's Day, which began as a Christian celebration of Saint Valentinus and became associated with romantic love in the Middle Ages, long ago evolved from an opportunity for lovers to express their emotions through handwritten notes into a commercial juggernaut.
As if mass-produced greeting cards weren’t bad enough, men and women are now being told that appreciative partners should be surprising them with scenic helicopter flights or a getaway to the Great Barrier Reef (just two of the Valentine's Day gift suggestions on the Gift It Now site).
The company claims that 14 per cent of women in Australia already send themselves a card, flowers or chocolate on Valentine's Day, "presumably to either reward themselves or make their partners jealous".
Even if this unlikely statistic has any merit, "jealousy cards" are like an arrow through the heart of St Valentine, turning an innocent opportunity to be romantic into a breeding ground of insecurity and manipulation.
- MoneyHow to spot the tell-tale signs of financial abuse
Take 5Today 9:25am