Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Today's is written by Southern Highland News journalist Briannah Devlin. Ah February 14, the couple Olympics where people feel pressured into bowing down to some overtly commercial idea of going above and beyond. Perhaps I could be considered a Grinch when it comes to Valentine's Day - signs of overpriced roses, cliched teddy bears, jewellery promotions, cheesy cards and romantic memorabilia make me roll my eyes and shudder. But unlike the green creature, my heart is not two sizes too small, and I won't have an epiphany that will make it grow three sizes, and make me want to save it. I also won't steal all of the Valentine novelties and push them off a cliff. Come on, I am not that dramatic and also, who has the time? Some might be reading this and wondering if this bee in my bonnet arises from me being single, let me assure you, it has not. As I have grown up, the idea of a Valentine was cute, especially in high school, wondering if someone will buy me a rose from the school's stall. Now? Give me a break - that magical sheen has well and truly worn off - all I see is its over-commercialised and cliched soul. It's when the costs of flowers increases, and good luck if you actually have an important occasion that falls within its orbit, because restaurants and other venues are packed. I struggle with why so much pressure is put on this day for people to celebrate, and go above and beyond in gestures. However, in saying that, it's an opportunity for businesses to get back on their feet after the past few years, which I can get behind. I have heard people say it reminds them to celebrate their love, which I suppose might be fair enough when life gets busy, but is a reminder needed in the first place? What about birthdays, anniversaries or just being spontaneous and going above and beyond randomly because you love someone? Perhaps this next point comes from being in my 20s and on social media, but I feel like the essence of what Valentine's Day is supposed to be about gets lost and makes people turn into peacocks. It has become a performative competition, where people want to show off how much they love their partner through romantic getaways, elaborate bouquets, thoughtful presents and filming their reactions for the sake of likes and social media validation. I do not have an issue with people spoiling others and making them feel special. I just think it can be done at any time of the year and quite frankly, can be done cheaper outside of that and Christmas and the other commercialised occasions. Where does this leave me and my cynicism? Purchasing non-roses for my sister, giving one to my mum and missing my beagle who I said goodbye to in 2022, who I have always said was my true valentine. Oh, and also reaching out to my girlfriends, my other true valentines. In 2023, the Voice of Real Australia newsletter will hit your inbox on Mondays and Fridays. Pawfect wedding: Wally and Lily exchange bow wow vows in aid of a good cause Dating costs singles $42.5 billion. Is it better to go solo and save? Property showdown: Did boomers, gen X or millennials have it easier?