In which love is a many splendid thing.

Printed 12/02/09.

You may not realise this, but last week's column was a remarkable feat of restraint.

Do you know how hard it is to NOT write about snow?

Very, that's the answer. When there is snow to be written about, it is very hard not to write about snow.

But in the noble name of not being a cliché, I withheld.

After all, if you wanted to read a load of predictable snowy enthusiasm coupled with lavish use of the exclamation mark, you will have just looked at facebook (for anyone really curious as to what they missed, the whole article would have consisted of the word SNOW! in five-inch high letters, with a footnote reading "Lauren Bravo has gone to steal a sledge off a six-year-old").

So this week, once again, I'll refrain from the following: a) remarking on how ridiculous we are that we can't get a few trains to run when the Russians and the Canadians and the Eskimos put up with actual snow all the ruddy time, b) following that with, "but actually we all know the government are incompetent on purpose because they know we all love a good day off, Rah for Britain!", c) bemoaning a lack of suitable footwear for snowy shenanigans, d) using the words "adverse", "thermal" or "since records began".

And because, for your sakes, I'm exercising such a lot of self-control, I'm afraid I'll have to revert to another columnist cliché.

Ready for it? Guessed it already? Smelt the chemically-developed waft of chocolate, roses and love wafting off the specially-impregnated page?

Valentine's Day, folks. Shall we all shudder together, and throw a pillow at something happy? Feels better, doesn't it?

To affectionately plagarise the original queen of the romcom, Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that Men hate Valentine's Day when they're in a relationship, and Women hate Valentine's Day when they're not.

Anyone with a simple grasp of logic will grasp, therefore, that this adds up to a worldwide gender imbalance in which no couple can be happy, single women everywhere must eat Sara Lee gateau under a duvet, and nobody wins. In the fairground of the calendar year, Valentine's Day is the waltzer – garish, nausea-inducing, yet managing to look like everyone on it is having the time of their lives.

I'm not asking for pity, though. Now that more and more people are boarding the cynicism wagon (terminates at Bitterville via Bridget Jones junction), there's no shortage of anti-valentines events to go and be single at. The best one I've spotted is a Guilty Pleasures night at Brick Lane bowling alley – presumably a chance for us all to regress to primary school age (and a time before love meant more than shared Pick-n-mix), drink Panda Pops, play British Bulldog and slowdance to Shania Twain with whoever looks least sweaty.

No, the singletons aren't the ones I'll be feeling sorry for on Saturday. We get to go out, scream "I have no love, I MUST HAVE THINGS!" and throw a month's rent at Topshop.

The people I'll be feeling sorry for are the people unwrapping any of the following: a teddy. A heart-shaped pillow. A teddy holding a heart-shaped pillow reading "I wuv you". A plaque inscribed with a fake declaration from an unspecified authority, claiming you are the World's Best/Foxiest/Least likely to get dumped for a promo girl Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Spouse/Fertility Donor. Likewise underwear made of candy. Or underwear made of rash-inducing Primark polyester. Or underwear with anything, anything at all, written on it in glitter. A signet ring with his initials on it (presumably so that the imprint on his jaw reminds him who he is when he finally comes round). Anything you know came free with the weekend paper. Did I mention a teddy?

I assume that right now, up and down the country, thousands of happy other halves are practising their grateful grimaces in preparation for the big unveil. While the miserable other halves slump with their faces pressed against the wall outside Clintons, wondering if unconditional love is really worth getting 'Babez' inscribed on a diamante iPod case.

Call me a spiteful spinster, but I've always privately thought that if it takes a musical cuddly rabbit for them to tell you they love you… they probably don't.

Still, it's not all gloom – if you're very lucky, there might be more snow next week.