Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Valentines Schmalentines

Valentine's Day sucks ass. No matter single or in love. It is just a load of rose red chocolate coated rubbish. My hate for it began as far back as 1987:

I was 14 and completely and utterly smitten with a boy called Gavin Robinson. Like all good heartthrobs, he had a fringe that bit too long, huge green-ish eyes and a lopsided (verging on smug) grin. Determined to make him notice me (how could he not, with my dishwater blonde hair, the ENORMOUS gap between my front teeth and my famine victim legs?) I set about WOWING him with my Valentine's day plan.

I'd saved up my pocket money, splurged on a massive Garfield card and duly spent a good week decorating it in crude rhymes and stickers. Then I posted it, having done great detective work and found out his address (yes, I looked him up in the phone book. It was that era).

But me being me, I just couldn't wait for him to do all things according to my great 'plan': receive this anonymous card, deduce it was from me, immediately call me, declare his love and take me to Speranzas (Belfast's relatively new pizzeria for a Funghi and coke).

So on Valentine's night, I picked up the phone and nervously rang him, 'disguising' my voice to make it a few octaves lower. Clever eh? I was hoping to prompt young Gavin into action - namely, becoming my boyfriend.

He picked up.

"Hello Gavin... this is..... Linda here."
"I don't know any Lindas."
"You do. From the bus home."
"With erm... dark hair. I sit at the back."
"No, I really don't know any Lindas."
I cut in. "Anyway, did you get any Valentine's cards?" 

(Waits with baited breath).

"Yeah... erm... 8. Yeah, 8 and a chocolate heart."

I gulped. 8????? Feck.

"Yeah... but did you get any that were really class?" (NB 'class' meant 'great' in Belfast slang. Apparently still does).

Gavin paused for what felt like FOREVER and then said, " A few. I did get one from Suzanne though... but I burnt it."

I stopped breathing. Then remembered I wasn't meant to be Suzanne. I was Linda.

"Oh right.. yeah. I don't know er.. her. Any Suzannes. I'm Linda. Gotta go. Bye."

Then I hung up and died of shame - never admitting to anyone that my love had been so callously rebuked. This little story could sum up most of my romantic life - little did I know it. Gavin himself, (last seen in Belfast around 1996 - still hot) admitted to me when I was 16 and he 18, that he had in fact kept the card and not burnt it - he knew that it was me on the phone all along. You might think that this confession made me feel better - and momentarily it did. But for 2 years I thought the boy hated me, whilst all I did was dream of 'Robo' whisking me off to the school dance. *Sighs*

So, me and Valentines - we aren't great mates. Husband avoids it - usually is working. One Valentine's I went to the movies to see The Hours - by myself. Not the most uplifting of films, especially when you are the ONLY single person in the cinema. I wanted to scream, 'I have a boyfriend,' but just bought comfort food instead.

So in spirit of all things anti-Valentine, I thought I'd look back on all things vaguely romantic and give you single gals a guide to the 6 types of men that are out there, that you must AVOID at all costs. They usually fit into one of these categories - some maybe cross over into both. (Scary). If you find anyone outside these types - marry him.

And ladies, who needs a bloke anyway? Grab a mate and a curry and you're set.

No. 1 The HOT boy

So hot that you literally can't think of anything else but having sex with him. You don't want him to speak, you just want to rip all his clothes off and rub belly buttons. His lips are so perfect that (to quote Purple Rain) they would make a lollipop too happy. And you. There is another reason you don't want him to speak: he is as thick as champ. He is so vacant, you aren't sure he can read. But god, did I mention how hot he is? You try every which way to make him funny, interesting, witty - but actually he is only these things when you are sinking your 12th vodka tonic. Have sex with him then delete his number. Never ever go for dinner, or you'll slit your wrists before the main course.

No. 2 The NICE guy.

He is your best mate. You cried on him when FLIRT boy never called you back - because how could he NOT want you?? He is always there as your surrogate boyfriend, date for ANOTHER WEDDING and you once snogged his face off because goddammit - you are meant to be together aren't you?? He is so kind and thoughtful and all your flatmates love him and you've known him forever, since you both were on that graduate scheme... and it would just be perfect, completely PERFECT - but for the small matter that you fancy a dead frog more. He either has stubby hands/white socks/over bite/ a small chin/tiny eyes/ a stocky body and you like tall or tall and you like stocky - whatever it is, he aint your match. No matter how many times your buddies tell you it should be. Just don't lead this one on - and beware, he'll meet a girl who likes him back and will ditch you in seconds.

No. 3 The FLIRT.

There is something electric when you are near him. He stares in your eyes, finds any excuse to touch you, send you cheeky emails/texts and leads you completely.... up the garden path. You and the other 35 million ladeez he is making feel 'special.' Signs to watch for - he will never admit to having any feelings for you - he'll let you do all the talking. Then when he has got you where he wants you, and you are putty in his hands, he'll be like, 'what? I thought we were just good mates?' All you are, is a notch on his EGO belt. Refuse to give in - no matter how sexy his eyes are, or how much blarney he'll spin you. The minute you have sex, you won't see his too-cool-for-school trainers for dust. He's on to the next conquest. This man is the wannabe George Clooney of his mates, no matter how much he tells you he wants to 'find the one.' AVOID like the plague.

No. 4 The AMBITIOUS boy

He is amazing. All you ever wanted in a man. He is just SO attentive. And funny and charming and gorgeous and.... he sees you once a month. Not because he is afraid of commitment, no, it is just he is SO busy. With work, and rugby/football and his buddies and his sick Gran and his job - did he mention that he is line for promotion? This boy is everything you want - for 24 hours and then he gone. He'll keep you hanging just enough for you to think that yes, he is your boyfriend. Isn't he? but in true Mr Big style - he'll never meet your mates, usually see you after dark and tends to have sex and then call you a cab (even offering to pay which makes you feel SO good). He does want you obvs, just completely and utterly on his terms. Run for the hills.

No. 5 The BOYF from back home.

Is he the one that got away? I mean, you gave him your virginity and every Xmas when you see him you can't help wondering, should you have dumped him second term of Uni in? What if you'd stayed together? Because he gets you - he knows you in a way that no one else ever has... And remember Stu's party when you both did that beer funnel? Or the camping trip to the Lakes where the tent caught fire? Or the time you had sex in his dad's car and got gear stick burns on your thigh? But he just looks SO good (is it the semi-beard, the tie?) and he is doing really well, bought a flat in Kilburn, still makes you laugh... Where is his number? What's that - a 'save the date' email? The fecker is only getting hitched. Oh well... Trust me - he never got away. You let him go - for a good reason. Probably plenty of them.


Things were going well. You've even had a mini break. He bought you flowers and met your Mum. The sex is... who cares about sex, when you have SO MUCH IN COMMON? The dates are fun. He likes art house cinema, you like art house cinema. He hates red peppers but likes green - just like you. You both love Thai food, dogs, fry ups, The Guardian, Olive magazine and onesies. Plus it is SO great because you both enjoy doing lots of exciting things all round London - biking and the London Eye, Columbia Road market, theatre, movies, clubbing, picnics, salsa lessons, mate's dinner parties etc etc etc etc - it is all really safe and NICE. So NICE. But deep down in the pit of your stomach you wish he wouldn't try and touch you in the morning and ultimately you want to pretend that you never found the ring in the drawer, and when he asks you'll have to say yes, when really you want to have sex with the photocopy boy on floor 21. But that is just relationships isn't it? NO. RUN.

Happy V day!



Anonymous said...

I just love to read your tales of your teenage/younger years, like broken hearted in Berlin. It's not cos you were awkward, who wasn't? It's your honesty and knowing whatever I was doing, you were there with me in spirit. Could you pop your life into a book? I'd buy it! xxx

Anonymous said...

Love this post! Thanks for the laughts:)