Last year I spent Valentine’s Day lounging around in my pyjamas, taking Buzzfeed quizzes such as “Are You Cool?” and “Which Spice Girl Are You” whilst stuffing my face with popcorn.
This year I hope to spend it the same way, but perhaps with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s by my side. Why? Because, despite the fact that I have a boyfriend, I couldn’t care less about the pink, sugar coated load of codswallop that Valentine’s Day has become. Every February, amongst shop windows full of cheap strawberry-scented candles, frilly knickers sets and mass-produced, melancholy looking teddy bears just longing to be loved, there are dozens of glossy magazines with big, bubble-gum pink headlines promising to tell you about the best romantic getaways, cutest couple days out and how to put the “buzz” back in to your sex life, whatever that means…
Perhaps you’re a fan of heart-shaped helium balloons, glittery bubble bath and a bunch of service station carnations. If so, fair enough, but for many of us, whether single or smug, the over commercialised run up to V-Day is extremely boring, not to mention vomit inducing. No I don’t want a ‘You Complete Me’ drinks coaster. Nor do I fancy receiving a Mr & Mrs eggcup set. Forget rose petals, ditch the cheap deluxe box of chocolates and prepare to do something really, really different on the 14th by choosing your victim, picking from the following list of six worst Valentine’s Day dates, and dragging them along. Alternatively, any of these antics can be carried out alone. Just a word of warning; don’t be surprised if taking my advice leaves you even more sad and single than you were before.
Photo credit: Kombination
1. Spaghetti Bolognese and a glass (or three) of red wine. This delicious yet dangerous meal is more sloppy than soppy, especially when consumed whilst wearing white. Think purple wine-stained teeth, sauce-splattered shirts and deciding how to slurp spaghetti without looking like some sort of strange space creature with tentacles. A sure-fire way to stop any sexiness.
2. A solo Valentine’s Day viewing of Fifty Shades of Grey. If you’re not sitting next to a giggling group of girls, you’ll most certainly bump in to one of your Grandma’s book club buddies in the front row or, even worse, a fellow lone cinemagoer with a strange grin on his or her face. Wear dark glasses, keep your hood up and avoid eye contact at all costs.
3. EX4 nightclub. For those of you who have yet to experience the delights of this place in Exeter, you’ll be interested to learn that not only does it serve a splendid selection of VK’s and cheap vodka, but it also provides you with an “exotic dance” of your choice. Just ask the leather clad chap at the door and he’ll “sort you out”.
4. An awkward amateur heavy metal gig. Yes, maybe the ‘Screaming Pigs’ band playing in the pub around the corner are the next big thing, but chances are that you’ll leave the venue with chronic tinnitus, the lingering smell of booze and other peoples’ body odour in your hair. You’ll probably spend the night standing and swaying on the spot whilst dodging the occasional head-banging old bloke and struggling to make conversation with your date above the scratchy guitar riffs and raucous, blood-curdling chorus.
5. A paddling pool in your parents’ back garden complete with drinks served by your little brother. Add fairy liquid for extra bubbles, close your eyes and pretend you’re in the Jacuzzi of a 5-star hotel in Ibiza. It may not be romantic, but it’s certainly affordable.
6. Any kind of birthday party, especially your own. Whether it’s a great grandmother’s birthday tea or a flatmate’s 21st night out, if you still don’t know your date very well, the risk of awkwardness is extremely high. What if no one turns up? Will you get too drunk and choke on a cocktail sausage? Is Uncle Steve going to ask if you’re both “boyfriend and girlfriend” yet, in front of the whole family?
If you’ve experienced any of the above worst date ideas, rather than sheepishly turn a deep shade of pink (which would at least be appropriate for Valentine’s day) embrace the embarrassment. Spilling spaghetti on your new top isn’t as cringe inducing as buying a human sized, lavender scented bear complete with a “Keep Me In You Heart <3” card and, let’s face it, the Bolognese option is a damn sight saucier.