The 14th of February is the day of the year where couples (or those with dates lining up to take them out) get to feel sorry for singles and singles end up feeling sorry for themselves. For some reason not having a date on that particular night (a Monday, this year, for goodness’ sake), accompanied with something red, tacky and heart-shaped, means that you are missing out. Well, on what is about to be my third single Valentine’s Day in a row, I can’t say I’m too bothered.
When I was at school and girls started talking to boys, I felt left out. I didn’t talk to boys unless they talked to me and that was pretty rare. When other girls started kissing said boys and getting cards sent to them on Valentine’s Day, I hoped one day I’d be lucky enough to receive one too.
And that I did. In fact, I had four whole years of them. Flowers, cards, dates, a bit of romance every year ... but from what I can remember, I could never see what all the fuss was about. For most of those years we were in a long-distance relationship, so time together was always short and sickly yet wonderfully sweet - but Valentine’s Day was always a bit of a disappointment.
For a start, the restaurants we went to were always a disaster; from the time I asked for no chilli and got ignored, ending up spending the duration of the meal running to the bathroom in case I was sick, to the time at TGI Friday (seriously, could we not do better?) where my steak was so pink I was convinced it was still alive. The presents usually bankrupted me, and I was already spending a fortune on National Rail to get me there in the first place. We were more romantic with each other for the rest of the year simply because we were soppy romantic types (yes, me! I really was!), but the minute it was necessary for us to be blissfully happy and movie-type-love-esque, something had to go wrong.
Being single on Cupid’s favourite day is a different matter. You get to arrange a night out with the girls, a night in with the girls – or just nothing at all (like I said, it is a Monday). It really doesn’t matter. No pressure, no expectation, just another night in or out. Of course, if you do happen to bag yourself a date – the chances are probably slightly increased at this time of year, not that I’d know from personal experience – it’s a little Brucie bonus and everyone’s happy. Until they forget to cook your steak, obviously.
So please, couples – don’t feel bad for us. We actually have it pretty good. And singles, stop judging your entire future love life on the basis that you don’t have a date on the 14th February. You probably didn’t have one on the 13th either, did you? It’s really no different from any Saturday night, other than the fact that it’ll be even harder to get a table and you’re more likely to pull someone purely for the sake of it. Didn’t you do that last weekend? Yes, exactly. Plus, more importantly, you don’t want a hangover at work on Tuesday.
Oh, and note to self: next time, if there ever is one - have a romantic night in. In fact, avoid dinner altogether and head straight for dessert. That was always the best bit. Read more by Judy.