On a quest to discover the social norms around Valentines Day in New Zealand, our resident Northern Irish reporter Ian Allen seeks advice from a team of construction workers over smoko on the Pak 'n Save site near Blenheim.
Valentines Day is yet another scam by large corporate companies to squeeze every last dollar out of poor, working-class people, a group of construction workers have decided.
The four Kiwi blokes waxed lyrical about the most romantic day of the year during smoko yesterday.
They agreed over their sandwiches that Valentines Day tomorrow was another expense they couldn't afford.
Labourer Lance Clarkson, married 17 years, said Valentines Day had become compulsory.
"If you don't get your wife a Valentines card, you get a slap," he said.
Colleague Wayne Tupe, married over 30 years, had seen plenty of Valentines Days.
"I've missed a few too," he said.
Mr Tupe said the day was for young couples and their "puppy love".
He used to buy his wife flowers, he said. "She used to get the odd rose. Now I get my wife to cook me tea. It's just another day, I'm not even sure what date it's on.
"I remember my wedding anniversary because I write it in my diary at the start of every year because I get in trouble if I forget that.
"When you have been married that long and love each other, it doesn't matter what day it is," Mr Tupe added in a rare tender moment.
"I suppose it's telling them you still love them. Although it's another expense we don't need."
Unless you can find a rose garden, added workmate Terry Crafar.
"Red roses keep everybody happy and smiling," he said.
Single man Mr Crafar was going to the Clubs of Marlborough for a beer on Thursday after work, he said.
"I used to be into it but not now," he said.
"I just go with the flow."
Troy Elliott said he hated Valentines Day because his birthday was also on February 14.
"I always have to get my girlfriend a present on my birthday."
Mr Elliott would probably buy her flowers this year, he said.
"Flowers are always a winner."
He had taken his girlfriend out for dinner and bought Valentines Day cards in the past. "All that sort of crap. It's just a way for companies to make more money."
- The Marlborough Express
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