In which our reluctant hero gets all romantic. Or something.
You have to love Valentine’s Day, don’t you? No? Anyone? Thought not.
Hot on the heels of the five months that was the nightmare before Christmas, armies of confused blokes were back on the streets attempting yet more panic-driven “thoughtful” purchases.
Coincidentally, business at petrol stations is booming. Ripen at home daffodils and King Size Mars bars providing the much-needed defibrillator to Blighty’s moribund economy. Well, it’s either that or a box of reduced Ferrero Rocher from Sainsbury’s local. Who says romance is dead?
Queues, a hundred people deep, formed at Marks and Spencer. Every basket contained a reassuringly expensive ready meal to be lovingly microwaved to within an inch of its life to impress the shopper’s significant-ish other. Yes, that’ll work mate. Nice one.
No wonder the infamous 1929 massacre occurred. Al Capone was probably just stocking up on Percy Pigs at the Chicago Marks and Sparks only to completely lose it half an hour after failing to get anywhere near a till.
Then there’s the unforgivable crime of emailing Steve Wright (in the afternoon) with ill-thought-out requests for Ed Sheeran, or other similar banal tosh written for people who don’t like music, to reassure themselves that after several months of “ups and downs” everything is OK again. Of course it is. You won’t make it to Easter.
Sadly, it’s not just the grownups caught up in this yearly nonsense, sponsored by Clintons.
On Tuesday evening, I caught our five-year-old daughter, fuelled by an overdose of chocolate spread pancakes, churning out Valentine’s Day cards long past her bedtime.
The following morning, she dished out six or seven of the carefully made creations to various boys and girls in reception class.
Sadly (or perhaps pleasingly as it saves me going round to have “a word”) she didn’t receive any in return. At least the hastily cobbled together effort that I made on behalf of mum, dad and little bro’ was appreciated.
It’s perhaps a sign of the over-commercialisation of absolutely bloody everything that five-year-olds are even thinking about this.
At various points over the past year, she has announced plans to get married. The lucky other halves have varied and have been plentiful. I think thst this is what’s known as “playing the field” in dating speak, although I had always assumed that the expression was about football.
First off, she was going to marry her little brother and move next door. Fortunately, the house is now off the market and the boy is usally “a load of bother” which put an end to that and saved us a chat with the local courts.
Then it was a girl that she was as thick as thieves with in nursery. That broke off when they ended up in different classes the following year. And then came the boys. One of Wednesday’s cards was for a boy that she likes but “some of the other girls actually love him.” Blimey.
She had another strong candidate for a prospective spouse for a while. Serious it was too.
When I asked why she wanted to marry this particular little boy, the reasons she gave were that he was always nice to her, always kind and always wants to play with her. Aww. He’s a lovely little boy too, although I suspect that marriage may not ultimately be on the cards for reasons she probably doesn’t quite understand yet. This one ended as she got fed up of him pretending to be a Transformer. Ultimately, she didn’t think that he could change.
Still, it’s reassuring to learn that our little girl is finding qualities that generally make for a nice person attractive at such a young age. Give it another ten years or so and she’ll most likely be attracted to complete idiots just so she can moan about them, like all the girls did when I was at school. Well, that’s my excuse for not becoming properly romantically entangled until University and I’m sticking to it.
In a last gap, slightly desperate, attempt to prove that I’m not the battle-weary ageing cynic that most of you think that I am (and you would be right) I will end with a poem. A romantic poem no less. About Roses. And disaster. Probably.
Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue,
I’m rubbish at writing poems,
So this will have to do.