Sunday, 28 January 2007

Love is in the Air


Did you know it's nearly Valentines Day? How can you fail not to? Whenever I go into a shop I'm confronted with huge red cardboard display boards, full of cards proclaiming "To my husband", "To my wonderful girlfriend", "To the one I love", "To my special someone", "To the bird I'm shagging behind my wifes back". That's without the twee displays of teddy bears all wearing "Be Mine" T-shirts, stuffed cuddly gorillas (?) holding roses, keyrings that play "Love is in the Air" when you go within a foot of them and, my personal favourite, wonderfully tacky plastic effect roses in a vase. I admit the last one was spotted in the 99p shop in Lewisham but even so.......form an orderly queue please.



I'm not averse to Valentines Day - or love even. I've gone gooey in my time, especially when I was 17 when my then boyfriend presented me with a hanky soaked in his aftershave "so you can smell me even when we're apart". Nice. David's Valentines presents have been - and are - wonderful. For our first Valentines Day together he gave me a fluffy heartshaped hot water bottle cover. I got the hot water bottle for my birthday but that's besides the point. I loved it and still have it, it's now stuffed with pot pourri and sitting fragrantly on my pillow. Last year I got a Swavo....Swarsk.....crystal heart pendant, a slap up dinner and some serious loving on our return home.



What I'm whinging about, I suppose, is the fact that it's shoved in our faces from New Years Day onwards. It's fine for those of us who have partners (oh how I hate that word......I also hate "my other half" as if it suggests that you're not whole unless you're together....gggrrrr) but a very lonely time for those who don't. I count myself very lucky that I have a man I can buy soppy presents and a card for......but I don't rub others noses in it.



Last year, a friend (who shall remain nameless) went out and practically prostituted herself on 1 February in a bar in town just so she could ensnare a man for Valentines Day. She managed to hold onto him (his name was John and he kept fish. Real ones, everywhere, in tanks. He boased that his house looked like one of those walk through tunnels in the London Aquarium) in the lead up to the big day and on the day itself, presented him with a 3 foot high padded card with a picture of a girly mouse eating a bit of cheese seductively, an £89.99 pump thing for his main tank he told her he fancied getting, a pair of boxer shorts with red lipstick kisses all over them AND matching socks and told him she was taking him out to the Chop House for dinner at 8pm that night. He accepted the card, pants and socks with alacrity, the pump thing with a fair amount of glee and told her he'd meet her at the restaurant at ten to eight. Suffice to say, he didn't turn up and she was left sobbing into a plate of lamb cutlets and mash. She saw him, a week later, in Pets at Home in Blackheath with an aged relative, an harrassed expression and a very broken looking pump in his hands......as she ducked down behind the bunnies she heard him say "I've only had it a week - it shot out of its holder and has cracked my tank - I've had water and guppies everywhere". Some consolation, however slight although she felt sorry for the deceased guppies.



This year she's decided to wait and see what happens on the run up to the big day and, if nothing does, will buy herself a singing key ring, a box of chocolates and a nice bit of fish.

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Dulwichmum

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.