Love it or hate it, V day takes so much energy out of people.
Oh, how I used to love feeling miserable on Valentine's Day! A black day in my life calendar's, a cruel reminder I was alone and unloved. What a relief to have outgrown these ludicrous self-imposed pressures.
It feels pretty good to be light hearted on Valentine's day. And if you want to have a right old laugh go inside a Paperchase a day before V DAY and marvel at the swarms of (ridiculously good looking! ) men fretting over what card would the loved one be most satisfied with.
I went there with my friend the other day and felt really tempted to use some of my newly learnt 'attract-love-into-your -love' techniques, which involves striking up a conversation with a man and asking something silly like 'Do you think this card is made of recycled paper?', whilst harbouring the most seductive smile ever known to humans. But looking at all the men's concerned faces I realised that was a mission doomed to fail. And anyway, that wasn't why I was in Paperchase for. I was in Paperchase to look for a 'neutral' Valentine's card - the kind of card you give to someone you've only just started dating - in an attempt to save my friend from the embarrassment of giving her date a card which implied too much sentiment.
After reading numerous advice books and having failed at more-than-I'd-like-to-admit attempts of relationships over the past 6 years of singleton-ness, I figured that much: she must stop herself from giving too much away on V Day. An almost impossible mission though. Noisy love declarations everywhere. Nothing simple like: 'Happy V Day. Best, x '. There were hearts given away, hearts stolen, hearts halved in two by arrows, hearts serenading, hearts holding hands, hearts promising each other eternal love, hearts and hearts and hearts and hearts!... It took us a while until we found something with a democratic message: Circle the one option which applies to you. Phew, crisis averted. By the time we got to the till, the mile long queue of (ridiculously good looking - I hope they have single twin brothers!) men had shrinked. I didn't get to ask anyone about the recycled paper, but that felt good. All I could picture for myself that evening was a cup of tea and an early night. No V Day date was just fine with me.
The thing with Valentine's day is that it's a bit like marmite: you either love it or hate it. But how about being neutral to it?...