By the time you’re reading this, St Valentine will have been and gone again for another year, and you’ll be picking up rose petals, or little bits of your heart, from whence they were scattered before trying to remember how to make pancakes.
But as I’m writing this at the beginning of the week (coo-ee, future! How’s that milder weather treating you?) we’re going to have a look at a nice list of romantic things… that really aren’t romantic at all.
This shouldn't need to be said, so I'm loath to waste too much page space on it. But if your Valentine is over the age of 14, any form of stuffed toy is tantamount to giving them a note that reads "secretly, I think you are an idiot," wrapped up in a polyester bow. Clintons have lied to you. Wise up.
Valentine's-specific novelty items
This includes World's Best Girlfriend plaques, heart-bedecked kitchenware and anything else with your current relationship status emblazoned across it. Now, we all know you're madly in love and will live happily after f'rever and ever and so this concern needn't bother you in the slightest, but still I ask you to consider: if you break up, will she still be able to get some use out of it?
She’d have to overcome a wave of emotion every time she wore it/drank from it, of course, but when you've spent the princely sum of £14.99 on a trinket, having it burnt in a sacrificial bonfire because it said STACY and GAZ 4EVA across it in glitter just seems like a waste.
Get your fleece on! We're going for a long walk somewhere scenic, where we will hold hands and laugh at nothing in particular and kiss as the early evening light glints attractively through branches overhead!
What's that? You've got a blister and your nose is running, and we don't live near a heath or moor so we have to have a romantic walk round the block to Londis? And the couple in front is significantly more attractive and laughing far more at nothing in particular than we are? Oh. Let's go home and eat biscuits.
Remember slow-dancing? If memory serves, I last did it to the Backstreet Boys at my year seven leavers’ disco. It was the special brand of slow dancing where you stand as far apart from each other as possible while maintaining physical contact – fingertips on shoulders, fingertips on hips – and twelve classmates gather round taking photos on disposable cameras and jeering.
I’m aware another type of slow dancing exists because I’ve seen it on telly, in rom-coms from the 80s and reality TV wedding shows, but so far in my six-odd years of adulthood (or six odd years of adulthood, if you prefer) I’ve never witnessed it with my eyes.
We all know about the oyster's supposed aphrodisiac effects (they’re full of zinc, the ‘hey lady, let’s have babies’ mineral, and Casanova reportedly woofed a modest 50 for breakfast of a morning).
But aside from their phlegmy texture and the inevitable chorus of slurping that accompanies them, oysters fail on the romance-o-meter because you must spend the twelve hours afterwards continually assessing your stomach wellbeing in the faint fear you’ve had a dodgy one.
Which, let’s face it, you might already be doing with regards to your date.