I write this with a pussy between my legs.
Seriously, our house cat, Toby, has finally decided to shun his laddish ways and show some affection and he has wedged his way in-between my laptop and thighs, nestling down for some love somewhere between machine, flesh and sofa. Who can blame him? Loneliness strikes even the strongest amongst us from time to time. I have been single since pretty much forever. It’s becoming (worryingly) a real defining feature of who I am. Hell, I’m even starting to make a career out of it, as anyone who saw my cabaret ‘Song Of The Single Girl’ last year will testify. I’m actually a little concerned about what my life would be like if I actually ever do get a boyfriend. God, that will be a dark day. I’ll suddenly have to invest in lots of matching underwear. I’ll need to become fairly intimate with my waxing lady. I’ll have to *shudder* stop drinking pints in public. I will have nothing to joke about and also I will have to shave my legs. Let’s hope it happens in Summer, we need the extra warmth in the Winter.
So, as I consistently make so many jokes about being uncoupled up, I wouldn’t be worth my single salt unless I whacked up a blog post about Valentine’s Day. Yes, at this time of year like ominous clockwork, single people groan as red and pink hearts start creeping into all shops, even in the chocolate on top of your cappuccino and Pizza Express starts emailing you Valentine’s Vouchers. I mean, seriously, why put this day in February?! Way to kick us when we’re down- we’re cold, we still have no money from Christmas, we’re depressed because January may be as well entitled ‘Dietuary’, and we’ve finally rinsed the last of the December glitter out of our hair. Still I suppose at least we’re all wearing 16 layers to soften the blow. BECAUSE IT’S THAT COLD. Everywhere, like a new year salt rubbed into a seemingly everlasting wound, couples are smugly doing some excellent pretend moaning about how “we hate Valentine’s Day”, “It’s such a consumer holiday” and “I mean what do you get a boy for Valentine’s day?!” whilst us one-person wonders sympathetically smile over the photocopier and say things we imagine are helpful, “….tickets to something nice?….a trip to Rick Stein’s restaurant? A PLASTER CAST OF HIS PENIS?” Granted, it’s difficult not to feel slightly left out and wounded.
However. This year I say, with no sense of sarcasm, I say, let’s dare. Let’s do it. This year I say, let’s SHUN this cynicism! Singles, lets unite! Let us brush off this bitterness and step out into the rose-tinted sunlight!
And here’s why.
The crux of it is this: I SHOULD hate it. I have never once been taken out on Valentine’s night, nor have I ever received a real Valentine’s card or a bunch of Valentine’s bloom’s- the year I had surgery on my heart on Valentine’s Day doesn’t count. (True story. I actually had my cronky little ticker mended on Valentine’s Day one year spending it in a haze of general anaesthetic and roses. I KNOW RIGHT!) But, the thing is, even though none of these things have happened to me YET, I live and yearn in blissful, wide-eyed hope. One day I hope to be one of those girls actually wearing matching underwear, a set that’s full of the promise of seduction and goosebumps. I hope to seek out the perfect silly present for someone that will allude to a perfect,private in-joke. I hope to one day, indulge in the unadulterated cheese of it all, I MEAN IT, brie, camembert AND stilton worthy. JARLSBERGING HELL! Because one day, I hope to truly celebrate love, in all it’s wonderful, poetic, sonnet-making glory. Surely above anything on this planet, it is THE thing worth celebrating in all forms? Be that boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, family, wives, brothers, sisters, husbands and hell, even pets (Toby was just giving me a particularly withering stare, I promise I’m not a mental cat woman. I always think if I were to end up alone, I wouldn’t be so bloody cliché as to have cats. Nah, I would have something like snakes. Or iguanas. OR OWLS!!!! MENTAL OWL LADY YEAH!! Anyway….)
Besides, since when did we get so cynical about love? Surely love is always a thing worth celebrating, worth dedicating a day to? I don’t agree with spunking thousands and thousands of pounds on a wedding, but to make someone feel special for the day by paying them some attention, looking after them and making them laugh with a twinkle in your eye that’s just for them, surely that’s worth something? If we’re truly cynical about love as a concept, surely it just comes from a melancholy green-eyed longing. It has and continues to inspire the world’s greatest, artists, musicians, poets, writers and philosophers. It is what separates us from Toby and all his animal worldly pals (though anyone who recently saw those rhinos on David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ chirpsing each other may say different to that.) Granted, we shouldn’t need a prescribed reason or a particular day to make us appreciate, spoil and say ‘cheers’ to those around us who we love, but as a little reminder, I don’t think it hurts.
So I boldly declare, I go where no single woman has gone before; cast off the shackles of yesteryear and LET US LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY. Let it be a celebration of all the love in our lives, wherever it may come from, love of family, friends as well as those we choose for our partners through life. Pick a pal, grab your girlfriend, give your parents a ring and let them know you love them. Round up a rowdy group of chums and go to a Traffic Light Night in Soho, buy your colleagues a box of Krispy Kremes, treat your Mum to afternoon tea, take your brother to a brilliant comedy gig, buy your Toby a multipack of Whiskas! And if you still can’t do that, without sounding really shit and new-age, treat it as a day to love yourself. With absolutely no sense of bloody-bridget-bloody-jones irony. Buy yourself the Valentine’s present you’d otherwise buy someone else. Take yourself to the Valentino exhibition at Somerset House, buy YOURSELF that beautiful set of underwear to wear for no-one else but you (shaved legs or non), have the courage to have a drink in a pub or bar by yourself and soak up the atmosphere (for those of your scoffing- I’ve done this three times recently- it’s waaaaay nicer than having a coffee alone, and seriously, it feels delicious, because you can be whoever you want to be through the eyes of strangers. Go on, I dare you, try it.)
Seize it! Love you and all around. Feel your cockles warm and let your heart swell.
And if all else fails, Sainsburys have got posh gin on special offer: http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/#/grocery-categories/Gin_in_Sainsburys.html?_foo=oo
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.
Love from Katie.
p.s if anyone reading this WOULD like to send me Valentine’s day gifts/a bottle of the posh gin/take me out on my first Valentine’s Day Date, message me on Twitter, and I’ll happily oblige.