Your heart is a stone yet you have to emote desire for someone you associate mainly with domestic drudgery and poorly wrapped fridge cheese
Valentines Day looms. Some will be waiting with wobbly knickered excitement, straining to spend the GDP of pre-referendum Britain on polyester boxers and fairground-grade teddy bears bulk shipped from the Korean Republic, each one a potentially fatal cocktail of EU-banned flame retardants and dyes.
But for the rest of us Valentines is just another fucking chore to add to the list of never ending fucking things we have to do because if we don’t society will judge us to be the monsters we secretly suspect we might actually be.
So we go along with it. On the morning of the 14th February we spend 0.356 seconds considering making a homemade card before schlepping to Hallmark to buy one with a pre-printed message of generic affection. Or perhaps we’ll buy an ironic card with a picture of a 1950s couple saying ‘fuck off’ or something.
Then we give thanks to the god of Amazon Same Day Delivery and order that HBO box set we’ve been wanting to watch for ages. We wrap it with a scrap of leftover Christmas paper and a bit of tin foil and fix it with masking tape because we can’t find the sellotape.
A little time later we panic as we realise we haven’t arranged the obligatory meal and it’s too cold to pull the picnic stunt we usually use when we forget to organise a birthday treat. But when our partner confesses to not arranging anything either we descend into an arctic, relationship-shaking, three-hour sulk.
That evening, staring joylessly at each other over the peri peri chicken, we struggle to think of a line of conversation that doesn’t being with “Did you remember to pay the / feed the / order the / clean the…” and so eat in silence, flanked on the left by a table of 26 riotous singletons and on the right by a couple who appear moments from climax.
Back home, we have transactional sex in front of Question Time and try to remember the last time we had an orgasm without David Dimbleby’s disappointed tones in our ears.