So with Christmas having been just 51 days ago, the retailers and florists of the world go in to over drive yet again in an attempt to bully us all into even more financial outlay in order to prove our eternal love for our partners. A brief monetary rest bite after the new year celebrations and the promise of tighter financial controls go out the the window as flowers, chocolates and a bottle of bubbly are double the usual price, the £10 meal deal at M&S is now £20 and strangely enough the price of gold and silver appears to have risen drastically especially when sold by Ernest Jones or Leslie Davis. It seems that no product escapes the valentine theme as I can buy heart shaped plates to eat our valentine dinner off, heart shaped napkins to wipe our mouths with and a heart shaped photo frame to put our favourite photo in. I can buy heart shaped candles to put on our table which is strewn with heart shaped confetti and heart shaped coasters to put our champagne flutes on. Nothing, it seems screams “love” more than a personalised moon pig card, a heart shaped pair of heatable hand warmers or ‘ now that’s what I call love songs… Vol 3’ double cd. Having set the table with all things heart shaped we sat down to our valentines meal of a McDonald’s burger and chips plus a few chicken nuggets washed down with a diet coke. On a plate you understand, we’re not pikeys. You see like every other lady in the world, my woman loves things like jewellery and perfume and is happy to have these lavished upon her,but when it comes to fine dining she is as happy with a McDonald’s as she is with fine dining cuisine and actually, rather than either of us slogging our guts out making a meal after a hard day at work, we both had a chilled night as a result. After this we opened a bottle of bubbly and sat down to watch our choice of valentines movie: “Ted”. Perhaps this isn’t everyone’s idea of a romantic night in and I’m sure that many reading this will have sat down to dinner with the violinist stood next to the table, proposed to their loved one over desert or even suspended a bed sheet over a road bridge with an I love you message written on it, but I can honestly say that sitting down to a bite to eat followed by some nice champers and a jolly good laugh was actually a great way to spend the evening. And I’d be happy to do the same every year.
There’s a lot of pressure on valentines day to buy the right gift(s),get the right card and prepare a love themed evening. The stakes are very high and of course not doing any of the above get you instantly labeled unromantic but a quick straw poll around the office revealed that only one of us bothered to buy flowers, one completely forgot it was valentines and the rest said stuff like ‘ we don’t bother with all that anymore’ . I once worked with a guy who’s girlfriend dumped him on Feb 15th because even though he bought her some sexy lingerie, he chose from the more raunchy selection at Ann summers and completely mis read what she was into. What hacked her off the most though wasn’t that this particular ensemble was too revealing, what angered her the most was that it was the wrong size. It turned out that she simply couldn’t get her head around the fact that he bought her a size 14 outfit when she was a 12. There was seemingly no problem with it containing chains and some firm leather buckles, this was totally fine, but the fact that he got her size wrong proved to be the final nail in the coffin of their relationship. I happened to bump into this woman about a year ago and without being unkind she’d need to loose about 3stone before she could get into a size 18 yet alone a 12. But as far as valentines mistakes go surely few will become as legendary as that of Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend of the Olympic blade runner Oscar Pistorius who’s attempted valentines surprise ended up with her receiving 3 fatal gunshot wounds to the head and a few more to the body for good measure. The police statements that have been released would suggest that she was in the bathroom when he mistook her for a burglar and shot her 3 times through the bathroom door and then another 3 just to make sure. Tragically it seems that despite going into the bathroom to slip into something sexy for him, the only thing she slipped into was a coma. I’ve found it quite interesting that neither Piers Morgan or anyone else has taken to Facebook or twitter this week blaming gun ownership for this tragedy. He pulled the trigger, he shot her. It’s his fault, not the gun.
So this got me thinking about what other valentine days have gone badly wrong and what other trouble have people got themselves into in an attempt to keep their loved one feeling even more loved. By a country mile my favourite of these is a woman who wanted to act out a role play where she was abducted off the street and taken back to an unknown location and ….. Well, you can imagine the rest. Her husband had taken the day off work so as to wait for her to go and get her lunch and when she did he pounced. He grabbed her from behind, whispered into her ear that is was actually him and not a real life sicko and in broad daylight took her back to his nearby parked car where he stripped her naked and gaffer taped her mouth shut before throwing her onto the back seat of his car and driving off. Clearly what with it being the middle of the day and in a public place this was witnessed by many people who immediately called the police, and within minutes his car was being followed by armed response officers determined to solve the crime. The guy had to then pull over, explain himself as nothing more than a guy desperate to please his woman,while she had the indignity of having several cops gawping a her and pulling the tape off her mouth to make sure she was ok. The reports suggest that they will probably both be charged with wasting police time and causing an affray even though they were both (very) willing participants. There are a number of things that intrigue me about this situation. At what point does someone approach their partner with an abduction type fetish, why wait for valentines day of all days to carry it out and why in broad daylight where the chances of getting caught are pretty high?!
Marriage proposals on this day seem to be the done thing too. Now personally I think that proposal on this day is a little cheesy and hardly personal but I appreciate that I’m probably in a minority of one thinking this and judging by the amount of videos to watch on you tube the majority of menkind believes that not only doing it on this day is a good idea but also doing it in public is even better. Schmaltzy and cutesy as it is to see the newly engaged woman fall into the arms of her fiancé, there is a kind of car crash attraction of watching the ones that don’t go as planned. How does someone get it so wrong to actually go to all the time and trouble of arranging an on field proposal at half time during a football match only to discover that the lady says no? And surely she could say yes so as to not embarrass the guy in such a public way? It’s said that St.Valentine himself died on 14th February,as no doubt have the dreams of many guys rejected on this day. On the whole, I don’t think that just one day out of a whole year is too much time to spend making a fuss of your loved one. It’s pretty easy to take for granted the person or people that we are closest to, and so to taking a few moments to remind them that you love them is a pretty cool thing to do. Whilst valentines is clearly an important date in the lives of womankind, I have to confess to preferring the 14th March and am looking forward to it immensely.