Dug this one up from the archives… enjoy…!
To the Single Girl (SG), Valentines Day (VD) can be about as welcome as an STI – and as impossible to ignore. However, although VD could be construed as a conspiracy against the fabulously free, forced to witness the lovers exchanging bodily fluids on street corners, the lurve songs on the radio and every retail outlet literally making you see nothing but red – there are a few survival strategies that can help.
1. Close observation of your attached friends will reveal that VD has much in common with Christmas, its closest over-commercialised and thus fundamentally message-lost neighbour (Baby Jesus and Love being drowned by a sea of tack). Any event demanding jollity as a prerequisite rarely is jolly – even if it involves presents (25th December) or, in the case of VD, sex. The pressure to perform amidst heightened expectation will almost always lead to disappointment, and not just in the bedroom. Those who pine for restaurants and rings will inevitably have a commitment phobic partner who will dissolve into such a panic that they either ditch them or forget about the occasion altogether and after a screaming row offer a peace offering of some dead flowers from the local garage. Vice versa will be true for those who believe that the VD experience is overrated and should be ignored – their beloved will be going all out to impress, and just as much discord will ensue.
2. In the unlikely event your attached acquaintances actually appear to relish VD, and are of the obnoxious ilk who perpetually flaunt their blinged-up left hand whilst glorying in their over-priced plans, then let them have their moment and simply tune out their chatter. For their excitement is simply because they don’t have as much of a life and don’t get out as often as an SG. They and their disposable income are tied up with the demands of other people, both large and small. You, on the other hand, get to play after midnight if you so wish, since you do not have a partner lacking the stamina or a babysitter on double time, both desperate to return home.
3. The SG too has reason to celebrate the 14th February – being single means that everything is possible. You may still end up with Bradley Cooper; the smug girl who sits opposite you at work cannot, as she is too tied up taking trips to IKEA with Wayne from IT.
4. You also have the option to make mischief with your attached work colleagues, and ensure they, not you, are possessed by the green-eyed monster. If you really feel the need to fight back by showing off something tangible from someone who loves you, employ the reciprocal arrangement. You and a friend send each other a delivery of flowers/chocolates/gift of your choosing to the office, and when it arrives you can be as mysterious as you like.
5. There is nothing wrong with marking the day with acts of kindness to people who will always love you and never ditch or divorce you – your friends and family. You are at liberty not to comply with the big VD commercial cabal, but you can embrace it if you feel the urge, and make calls and give chocolates to all those who mean something to you.
6. Of course a bullish perspective on VD can sometimes be hard to attain for an SG, especially for those recently single. If you suspect it is going to be tough, don’t put yourself in harm’s way of cooing couples wrestling with an unappetising set menu in an overcrowded restaurant, and instead give yourself the chance of finding fun. Attend a house party for singles, or go with fellow SGs and your gay best friends to a nightclub of the pink pound persuasion.
7. If your relatives are going through a tactful phase you can even visit them. The best 14th February I’ve ever had was the one I spent with my Dad, who needed a wingman to a mind-blowingly good party. My enjoyment of the evening was further enhanced by what I had viewed from my cabbage (taxi-cab) window enroute – a queue of grumpy couples for Aberdeen Angus steak house, the restaurant chain so dubious that every other day of the year it is the sole realm of particularly clueless tourists.
8. You the SG has the advantage of not having to succumb to any pressure that is attached to VD. Give yourself a break – this is the one of the few days of the year where you are absolutely allowed to stay in. The ‘special someone’ gets to be you – a bit of self-pampering is no bad thing, and you can actually take charge of what you really want. You can just have a ‘big duvet’ moment in front of a DVD, accompanied by the delicious dessert and/or rabbit of your choice (always keep spare batteries). If you long for love from a partner, you need to start by loving yourself before someone else will properly, so indulge yourself this 14th February.
9. Unlike many an attached soul, you will wake up this Friday having not had to fake anything the night before and wallet intact.
10. Best of all, you have reached February 15th, a date which is always a cause for celebration and congratulation. You have made it through the worst six weeks of the year – the Christmas cash flow issues, the dark long nights. You’ve got over VD and can move on to the pleasures of Spring and those long Summer nights so tailor made for SG footloose and fancy free fun.