14th February, Fabulous, The Sun

VALENTINE’S Day and I were not always a perfect match, to put it lightly.

Years of single Februarys had left me deflated and cynical.

When I finally did find myself in a relationship and with plans on February 14, it wasn’t the night I’d expected.

Instead, that Valentine’s Day spelled out the end for our relationship.

In fact, it went one step further than that and killed it dead. Then stamped on it, just to really make its point.

Let me set the scene: I had planned for this date with military degrees of precision.

We would be alone in the house. I would be wearing a clingy dress in deep scarlet velvet, teamed with the perfect red lipstick.

There would be a lighting scheme (not a very sophisticated one, but a definite plan nevertheless).

He would come over and cook us a meal. Armed with a lifetime of watching other people do February 14 the right way, I knew what to do; I had this covered.

Only, I didn’t and absolutely none of it went to plan.

I had spent the day alternatively preparing every last detail and anxiously staring at the clock. Finally, it was time and he was due to arrive. Everything was perfect, except for the fact that he wasn’t there.

He was late. When he did eventually turn up, an hour behind schedule, he wasn’t exactly apologetic. Instead, he seemed ambivalent about being there at all. Cool and distant, he didn’t notice the effort I had made (the red dress failing to raise so much as an eyebrow).

Then there was the home cooked meal: not the dining experience imagined, but rather a microwave meal produced from a plastic bag (and not the M&S kind, before you ask, either).

Disappointed by the evening’s turn, we ate in silence, prodding the watery contents of our plates. The pressure of expected romance did nothing to alleviate the tension.

Not to be defeated, I was determined to turn things around. I threw back the contents of my glass of wine, stamped a smile on my face and tried to restart the conversation.

My relentless chatter proved only to be a convincing impersonation of the village idiot.


I moved round to his side of the table to cosy up on his lap. He saw me coming and quickly moved. I suggested we move things to the next room. We did: the lounge.


We spent the rest of the night watching Deal Or No Deal.

It would have been hard to make things any clearer: we weren’t destined for great love.

In fact, by the end of that night, even liking each other felt like a push. We barely managed it.

The inevitable break up didn’t come for another few weeks, requiring a diligent amount of denial on both sides, given how clear that Valentine’s Day had made it: dead pigeons could generate more chemistry than we managed to.

It took me another few years before I managed to find someone that would deliver the Valentine’s I had hoped for then. Suffice to say, there will be no Deal Or No Deal involved.