Sunday, 13 February 2011
Collins Dictionary Definition of Valentine: (person to whom one sends) a romantic card on St Valentine’s Day
NB: no mention of the following words – Red, Pink, Chocolate, Teddy, Overpriced Meal in Restaurant with Nervous and Repressed Atmosphere.
Miss Musing’s Definition of Valentine: A most pointless homage to a rather horrendous and tragic tale of one man and his overbearing love for some floozy… Irritatingly in-your-face if single and irritatingly pressure-laden if you are in a relationship. Why not introduce St Heathcliff’s Day if we’re so into celebrating tragic, lost lovers?
So February has fallen upon us quicker than you can say ‘cold snap’. The scent of garage-purchased roses hangs heavy in the air. The price of House Wine in any given restaurant/gastro pub rockets before our very eyes. If you so happen to be out for an evening with a male friend; no sooner have you laid your coat upon the back of your chair then you spy a presumptuous waiter rushing over to romance your table with mood-setting candles. It must be Valentines Day fellow musers!
Before we go on, I feel I must mention that, in keeping with my traditional song lyric-inspired Blog titles, I have chosen a slightly ‘lovey’ rock and roll line inspired by White Lies, my recent rediscovered addiction. Under no circumstances does this represent any kind of yearning for any certain Boy of Dreams and the undoubtedly wonderful and romantic Val Day he may or may not be planning for his lucky GF. Absolutely not. Definitely not. Awkward silence…
Now I’m not one to rain on the parades of the mass Valentine’s revellers. I know many of my nearest and dearest simply see Val Day as an excuse to treat their partner and make them feel special/make sure their partner treats them and makes them feel special. Mummy Musing is one of these people, she may be intent on money-saving this year, but she is all over the flowers and teddy bears. And that’s awesome if you’re reading this Mother Dearest, I judge not. I on the other hand prefer to simply pass the day by with no thoughts or nods to any of it. This is most notably because I have experienced quite the catalogue of Valentine’s Day disasters in my past love-lives; thus leading me to believe Val Day is, in fact, best spent either alone, with friends and wine or dancing/marketing your arse off at The Place (my favourite Val memory). But upon reading the origins of this celebration, the alleged secret marriages, healing miracles by pain of death, the unrequited love (not to mention all that terrible business with Al Capone)…now that kind of tragedy, I can get on board with. But I suppose that’s the side of me that thinks hung dead roses and wax-drenched Black Tower bottles are really rather gorgeous bedroom decorations.
I must admit, this year I am mostly looking forward to not having to stand, staring like a bewildered mental in the middle of Paperchase, trying to decide on a card for someone who is not quite my boyfriend, but I have had some sort of romantic relations with. This is after the tormented week I had spent chewing MMH’s ear off about whether to purchase said card or not if said romantic relation is not my boyfriend,
‘It’s just a card,’ said MMH
‘It’s NEVER just a card,’ I replied, both rather bewildered and mental.
The scene was set; the Michelin-starred Japanese feast was being very much enjoyed by both myself and my no-necked date (yes, him). Conversation was (sort of) flowing and a trip to a Comedy Club in Central followed, including a stint from Tom Deacon (that twat off of the 519 show on Radio 1). A short walk through Trafalgar square dodging the rose-shoving tramps hoping for a couple of quid in the name of love, and the evening ended with a rather abrupt kiss at Embankment and the exchange of a stupid card with a glittery gingerbread man motif. In exchange for no card back as it happens. In fact the short-lived affair pretty much ended just around the time Val day did. I have always wondered if the card had anything to do with it. I suspect it was probably more my poor attempts at hiding my waning interest in No-Neck, but I still maintain it is NEVER just a card. Either way, Gally was there just three days later to swiftly pick up the pieces, only to drop them casually into a million little pieces all-too-soon after. Don’t choke on those imported Peacock-feathers you have no use for now Gally will you?!
Of course, Val Day simply wouldn’t be Val Day if I weren’t to mention my most disastrous memoir concerning my last long-termer we shall simply call Gormless. Hopefully by the end of this, you might have laughed, you will have pulled either a sad or confused face. But mostly, you will probably understand why I have chosen to erase this person from my life since our split 3 years ago.
As a naïve young 23 year old at the time I wasn’t aware of many things. I wasn’t aware that my homemade Cheetara costume wasn’t particularly flattering or, in fact well put together. I also wasn’t aware that blondes actually don’t always have more fun, or that it probably isn’t a great sign for you to suggest a dramatically styled ‘break’ a mere 6 months into a relationship. Nonetheless, there was me and there was Gormless and we fitted together a bit like the worst-crafted jigsaw puzzle of all time. He had pursued me for a while; I had finally given in after realising I probably wasn’t going to get his friend after all (please dear God let me NOT do this again), and here we were 4 months on, watching the Eastenders omnibus (I HATE soaps) with me trying to work out the potential negatives in Gormless’ decision to move back to the Westcountry due to his appalling lack of financial management.
I had decided to use Valentines, on this one occasion, as a way of injecting a bit of spontaneous romance back into our relationship (or should I say, into our relationship). I had recalled a dear ex of mine who had teased me all week during the Uni-years saying he wasn’t prepared to celebrate the ‘commercial piece of shit that was Valentine’s Day’; only to turn up at my door unexpectedly with a rose and a wonderful home-made card, followed by a spontaneous moment of passion on the freezer. Good times. I felt these special moments (minus the freezer) could be recreated with my cardboard-cut-out of a new boyfriend. Like I said, I was naïve. So, knowing that on this particular year, the big V would fall on Gormless’ scheduled Wednesday off, I booked the day off myself and started fantasising about romantic strolls and candle-lit sweet nothings.
Cut to Val day and my morning make-up routine is rudely interrupted by a phone call. I was insane enough to think Gormless was probably too excited to hold it all in for another hour as his name flashed up on my phone at 9am. This is what I remember of the conversation.
Gormless: ‘Hi tiny, you OK?’
Miss Musing: ‘Hi, yeah I’m cool what time you coming round?’
Gormless: ‘OK, so I’ve been a dickhead and you probably will be really mad but, like, I have no clothes to wear so I’ve got to stay here and do some washing.’
Miss Musing (not so cool now): ‘*@$£%$%:$%£::*^:*%’
Gormless: ‘I know, I’m sorry, but I can’t come round till I have washed and dried my clothes.’
Miss Musing: ‘But what if your clothes aren’t even dry by tonight? What if they never dry? Will I never see you again?’
Gormless: ‘They will be. I’ve got a card and everything.’
Miss Musing: ‘Can I not come over to yours?’
Gormless: ‘Um, I would come and get you, but like, I have no clothes to wear in the car. I reckon I’ll be over by 4 is that OK?’
Miss Musing: ‘Fine, whatever, see you later’.
There was more to it than that I’m sure but yes, the long and short of it was, that my Val day plans were scuppered by my idiot boyfriend’s inability to organise his washing loads. Never before, or since, have I been so cruelly shoved downwards on the priority list for the sake of household duties. Is it any wonder my tastes lean towards dwellers of The Shire these days? If they were stuck for garments, they could simply improvise with a potato sack and some rope. No need for shoes even.
Needless to say Val day was never quite the same after that. For starters, Gormless actually turned up nearer 5.30pm that evening, then preceded to actually believe that a pathetic card made up for the washing incident. Still, the Chinese was lovely, almost as lovely as Jason Orange at The Brits that we all sat watching, cosily.
I will I could tell you that our affair ended about as abruptly as my libido/general interest in my other half that evening. But alas, I stupidly stuck with Gormless and his, ahem, Bold ambitions for a further misery-packed ten months with nowt but an intense crush on Lee Mead to get me through the dark times. Brilliant, that’s a year of being 23 I’ll never see again. He, of course, has moved on and moved in with a girlfriend of about 2 years now from what I hear. I hope she’s a dab hand with the washing machine if nothing else.
Right, rant over. And hopefully you smiled, and understood!
I guess really it is unhuman of me to be so cold about Val Day when there really does seem to be a lot of love in the air at the moment and I am finally starting to feel marginally like my old self again. Just today, I cried a little at the end of Pocahontas knowing, full well, that wild horses could not have stopped me from getting on that boat with John Smith. Plus there has been a second glimpse of Fit Ginge On A Train, leading me to hope our paths will cross again soon, for just long enough for me to be brave, learn from my previous procrastinations and make that move.
Not to mention the ‘Curious Incident of the Chav in the Daytime’, who followed me along the road in his bashed-up car on the way to work yesterday morning shouting ‘Cleopatra, Cleopatra, you’ve got one chance on this planet.’
Yes, that’s right, one chance on this planet to refrain from putting one foot in your pikey car, tempting as it is I think I’ll pass thank you very much. Also, curb-crawling borders on harassment you absolute lame excuse for a man. One chance? Thank God for my belief in Reincarnation then! And if that is my only chance indeed, I think I’d rather be enjoying a meal far away from you, mostly featuring my own pancreas. Twat.
I suppose there isn’t much more for me to say other than to break my rule and acknowledge the Big V by wishing you all a Very Happy Valentines Day wherever you are (especially you). Whether it’s a candy-striped, chocolate-guzzling day of love or a hideous excuse to stick the fingers up to relationships and get on the dance floor, may we all be thankful for the love we have and be hopeful for the love we deserve.