Welcome to Valentine hell

As anyone who knows me knows, I am a single woman.  This is my choice.  It is how I choose to be. I have two great kids, fantastic friends and a wonderful and loving family.

Today is Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year.  So they say.  I’m off work this week.  It’s only Monday as I write this and already I’ve had to sit through endless programmes and adverts showing everything from dramatic wedding proposals to romance courtesy of M&S for only 20 quid. Heck, even google are at it.  Check out the cutesie-wootsie little video on their homepage.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I’m not unromantic.  In fact I can be quite a little sweetie-pie when I choose.  I love romantic things. An unexpected little note that says “I love you.”  Sitting together with that someone special on a beach as the sun goes down.  The light touch of the person you desire on the small of your back.  Even a look across a crowded room between just you two that makes the proverbial butterflies take flight and do loops in your stomach.  These things can make me melt like butter.

But the awful, forced romanticism of Valentine’s day makes me want to poke myself repeatedly in the eye with a rusty old fork.

ImageRomantic

I used to work in pubs many moons back and on VD (as I’ll call it from now on) I’d see men who miserably propped the bar up week in, week out or, worse, spend every Friday night leering lasciviously at any young girl who came within twenty yards.  To celebrate VD, these self-same men would turn up with their wife or girlfriend in an attempt to romance her for one night of the year.  They’d have been down the Tasmi Balti for a nice meal and would round the evening off with a pint of Wobbly Bob, a Malibu and pineapple, and a rose that he bought for a fiver from a man with a bucket.  How romantic.

My best friend, after being single for all of 37 seconds, has recently found herself a new man.  This chap makes my friend giddy to such an alarming degree that I’ve taken to calling her Maria Von Trapp, so twirly and sing-song-y is she about him.  I can only sit agog and watch as she gushes like a busted water main about the joys of enjoying their first VD together.

I wish my friend and her chap a lovely day together.  As I do for all the loved-up, blissfully happy couples out there.  I wish them joy every single day of the year.  Just don’t ask me to buy in to a day decreed romantic by Hallmark and Marks & Spencer.

Now excuse me while I down a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and wail along to an old Del Amitri cassette.  “Be my downfaaaaalllll………be my undooooing, be my slow road to ruin, tonight” Hic!

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Seventh time lucky!

I’ve just had one of those over-the-garden-fence conversations with my next door neighbour that brought to mind something that famous clever clogs Samuel Johnson once said

“Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience”

I can testify to the truth of this, having been someone’s second wife in a marriage that was ultimately doomed.

But, having been a second wife, I can understand the feeling of optimism that this time it’s all going to be alright as you swan down the aisle to make your vows that this one will last forever and ever. Amen. Continue reading

“You’re next!”

A guy I know who’s been single for many years following his second divorce has recently fallen in love.  He’s like a giddy teenager and has started telling people they may need to buy a big hat.  It’s lovely to see.  It really is.

It’s also been very unfortunate for me.  This is because it’s prompted people to start looking at me with a knowing look  and saying, “Oooh, you’re next!” as if there’s a conveyor belt of older, single people that I’m on and I’m next to be processed. Continue reading