Oh goody, it’s that time of year again. Everywhere I look there are pink hearts flowing out of every shop window and TV advert, all of those style/beauty websites I subscribe to are sending me ideas for the ‘perfect Valentines nails’ and ‘gift ideas for him’, and once again, for the sixth year in a row (sob), I find myself alone and not even a hope of a card softly dropping onto my doormat on February 14th.
BUT, this year I thought I’d try to avoid my annual rant about the awful commercialism and contrived nature of Valentines Day. I thought I’d try to squash down the barely-concealed feelings of bitterness and jealousy that usually rise up to the surface at this time of year. I could harp on about how I couldn’t think of anything worse than going to a restaurant full of loads of other couples all trying to be super-romantic where everyone looks like they feel they should be on the verge of proposing. I could analyse how most girls will claim to hate V-Day and yet will throw a strop if their boyfriend takes this at face value and doesn’t even buy a card. But no, this year I’m breaking the mould.
In a bid to have a more positive outlook on love and life as a whole (and yes this might be in part a result of being pegged as an ‘angry single girl who seems to hate everyone in relationships’), I thought I’d try something different. So, in an attempt to focus on and cherish what I have or have had, here is a summary of all of the romantic gestures I have experienced. Ever.
- I once contracted a stomach bug at the house of the object of my affections. He even saw me throw up through my nose (btw I really wouldn’t recommend this as a good way of being sick). BUT, instead of running for the hills, he sent me a teddy from the Bear Factory with a little first aid cross on it, complete with a note saying ‘this is a medicinal bear’. Awwwww!!! The fact that this bear then turned into my punch bag for whenever a member of the opposite sex pissed me off should probably be overlooked. Not surprisingly this bear is looking rather squished these days…
- One guy brought me bacon sandwiches and cupcakes on a Sunday morning to cure me of my hangover, and I didn’t even ask him to!
- My French ex paid for a luxury Tahitian villa, complete with hot tub and ocean view, for New Years Eve. The fact that he then used this occasion to casually mention the fact that he was buggering off to New Zealand for 6 months put a slight shadow over the event, and thinking about it the ocean view might just have been a blow-softener, but hey it was romantic up until that point!
- I’ve been led down a candle-lit staircase into a candle-lit room to find my birthday presents sitting alongside a heap of flowers
- One guy gave me his Abercrombie hoodie because I was cold. As a teenager this was a pretty big deal
- I’ve been on the receiving end of five marriage proposals. Fine, these were all a result of the guys in question having eaten my chocolate brownies (and no they didn’t contain any hallucinogenic substances), but I’m beginning to scrape the barrel now
- I’ve had the words ‘I love you’ said to me a few times, but I’m pretty sure at least two of them don’t count as one guy was permanently high or drunk and the other was 17 (I hasten to add that I was also 17 at the time, teenagers really aren’t my scene any more!)
- Someone carried me across a puddle so I didn’t ruin my suede strappy sandals – literally swept me off my feet! (I know, I’m gagging too, apologies for the poor turn of phrase)
- Really beginning to struggle here…
- Ooh I know! The Frenchie told me that he loved me because I was good in the kitchen. If that doesn’t scream modern-day romance I don’t know what does…
- The Australian wanted to marry me. He offered to pay me. He wanted a visa… Hmmm ok I don’t think that one counts either. Argh!
- Must. Stay. Positive.
- Someone once told me I looked like Summer from The OC, which may not count as romantic but it was definitely a compliment! This was then swiftly ruined by the guy stating that this was the only reason he’d wanted to be my boyfriend. Ouch.
- I think someone once bought me a present when it wasn’t my birthday or Christmas, but then again that could have been me treating myself or my mum being nice to me…
- Oh I give up
Well… it would seem that the last 25 years have been rather low on the romantic gesture front. Or, maybe this is just normal. Maybe I’m not the only once who’s life is devoid of red roses and string quartets and thoughtful gifts and poetry recitals. Perhaps our perception of romance has been swayed by Hollywood. And then add to that a good dollop of British reserve and sarcasm: it’s hardly surprising if my tally of romantic gestures is about average.
So, Happy Valentines Day everyone! If you have a special someone to share it with, I do genuinely hope that you have a lovely time together and aren’t overcome with cynicism about the whole thing. If you’re a bona fide member of the Lonely Hearts Club, team up with other members and remember that couples aren’t the only ones who can go to restaurants and eat chocolate and get laid and feel good about themselves. Don’t sit at home with a bottle of wine and the full Richard Curtis DVD collection. This will only result in texting your ex and feeling like an idiot the next day. And definitely DO NOT get absolutely hammered and sleep with a fellow single colleague. This will only bring you untold pain and misery, not to mention an awkward working environment.
Go forth and be merry!