For 364 days of the year I consider myself to be a perfectly rational person.
I wake up, have a scroll through Instagram, complete the morning ablutions and squint at the council bill that’s dropped through my letter box. On the tube I smile (albeit through gritted teeth) at the resident cuddling couple on my train and while at work, in between dissecting the celebrity gossip on the Mail Online, I dash off a few emails. I return home, feed myself in front of the TV and after my final Instagram bedtime-reading I place my head on my pillow, allowing myself to fall asleep happy in the knowledge that I have successfully completed another adult day.
So why does this perfectly mature routine of functionality become so obliterated on the 14th day of February?
Every pitiful Valentine’s is the same. I rise from my solitary slumber, acutely aware of the vast expanse of cold, untouched, unlived in mattress next to me. My Instagram feed offers no solace as my retinas are bombarded with heart shaped chocolates and rose emojis. A small prickle of single-self-doubt encroaches upon my half waking state. I stumble in to the shower.
Having dressed, I approach my letterbox with the naïve and tentative anticipation of a child looking under the tree on Christmas eve. And, when I discover that the anonymous valentine’s day card that I had pinned all of my hopes and dreams on has failed to materialise, the familiar veil of childish embarrassment descends. Why on earth did I get my hopes up? Who even has my address other than bill companies, anyway? This crushing feeling soon transmogrifies into a cauldron of fury. After all… it is much easier to be angry at the world, than embarrassed at your own vain hope.
I storm from my house as paroxysms of disbelief and consternation rattle through my bones.
On the tube I am stuck somewhere in Dante’s seventh circle of hell. Surrounded by blossoming bouquets and copulating couples, my singledom has never felt so profoundly prevalent or perpetual. Murderous thoughts are the only thing that keep me company.
At work, things get worse. Not an email is sent. I spend my day consulting my phone, waiting for an ardent message from that special someone to light up my screen, and by extension, my life.
I commute home. More couples. More internal death threats.
Back in my house, I spoon out half of the ‘dinner-for-two’ ready-meal and collapse in front of the TV.
This will not do. I should be out at a restaurant being wined and dined, for God’s sake! Instead of my frumpy pyjamas, I should be wearing a inappropriately low cut top with a gorgeous bra to match.
Bras. Shit. That reminds me. How will I ever be able to buy myself underwear again? This is my window of opportunity, the only day in my whole fucking calendar where I can replenish my sexy underwear.
My internal monologue starts to titter... “Just get it for yourself if no one else will. You manage to on every other day of the year…”
Have you completely lost your mind?
Crotchless pants are a gift to be bestowed upon a partner, by another loving partner. AND I DON’T HAVE ONE OF THOSE. Now I will be stuck in these lumpy dumpy undies for the rest of my life. I will be buried in them. I will lie in my single sad plot in some desolate graveyard clad in this hideous excuse for lingerie and my head stone will read, “Died as she lived. Alone, and in a sensible pair of gusseted knickers.”
Enough is enough.
So, in this year of 2018 I propose a revolt. We do not need a declaration, written, verbal, edible, or otherwise to confirm just how brilliant and loved we are. Let’s take this in to our own hands, and on the 14th February cast aside your loved one, liked one, and a kinda-think-alright one, to celebrate something much more important… you.
So, fuck it!
Write yourself a card, take yourself for a slap up meal, or buy yourself that set of sexy Fruity Booty underwear you have been drooling over since you got your last pay cheque.
Illustration: Rachel Campbell @the_illustratice