Life: Valentines Love Story or  Horror Story?

 

It’s February the month of L.O.V.E. The cynical ones amongst you will say its commercial nonsense and perhaps it is, but I’ll admit, I wouldn’t be averse to a secret admirer popping out of the woodwork and declaring his undying love for me. Struggling up the steps to my front door under the weight of a vulgar, padded, satin Care Bear card the size of a single mattress, filled with enough schmultzy words to make you want to dry retch, but equally enough to make you feel loved on this most romantic, albeit commercial of days.

The last Valentines I received was my from Godson, he never fails to tell me he loves me, he’s at that tender age, where it’s not embarrassing for a boy to show his feelings, this will soon change – hopefully only temporarily. Prior to receiving regular romantic fixes from an 8-year-old, my previous Valentine card was from a stalker.
I
handed the cheap card to the police along with all the other creepy notes he had kindly sent me. They were written on A4 lined paper and stuffed into used envelopes, the previous addressees/victims details scrubbed out and replaced with my name, tardily scribbled on the front. Had he bothered to pay attention to his handwriting, spent more than £1 on a card and harangued me with good quality stationery, he might have stood a chance.

I can’t say I have ever had a particularly romantic gesture bestowed upon me for Valentine’s day. For years I used to receive an anonymous card with a Worthing postmark on the envelope. It was terribly exciting and I always wondered if he would ever make himself known to me, only to find out that the cards were actually from my parents. Yes, they actually thought it would be a good idea – WTF? – to drive to Worthing and post their emotionally vulnerable teenage daughter a fictitious Valentines card six years in a row. And my dad wonders why I had therapy?

As for Valentine’s dates, there are two that come to mind, and not for the right reasons. Number one was a very unromantic curry with an ex. We were on the brink of breaking up and we should have just broken up or gotten a takeaway. We most definitely shouldn’t have marked the occasion by going through the motions in public and putting ourselves through the agony of a King Prawn Shaslik for two.

The second memorable Valentines was a first date with a guy I met one Saturday afternoon in the pub watching the rugby. It wasn’t a particularly sober afternoon and so giving him my number was a mistake in itself. When I got a text a couple of days later saying it was cheesy and predictable but did I fancy going out that evening, even though it was Valentines night, I should have listened to my intuition and just said no. I didn’t, he could have been the love of my life. He wasn’t, and the date was as awful as one might have expected. I turned down the chance to go and watch Brighton and Hove Albion play that night, I’m not a huge football fan, but looking back on it, even if I’d have had to have spent 90 minutes standing outside in the lashing rain naked, forced to chant support for the opposition amongst the home crowd and then gotten Arsenal tattooed across my face, it would have been a better evening. Needless to say, we are not in touch.

Contrary to what you and even I now believe, my life has not been completely devoid of romance, it just does seem that Valentines is somewhat doomed for me. This is just a short list, there are some other memorable Valentines tales I could have relayed, but I think I could labour the point and start to sound cynical [sic].
So what now? The big day is looming, what will this Valentine’s day bring for me, a horror story or a love story? An old flame from my school days has just made contact with me, when I say old flame, I mean I followed him around admiring the curvature of his bottom in his tight Stapress. He went out with all my friends and I prattled around in the background trying to get his attention. But thanks to social media we are enjoying a little flirtation and who knows if he reads this he might just rock up at my front door with a Care Bear card…..
S.W.A.L.K Xx

This article also appeared in the Brighton and Hove Independent and The Huffington Post

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