I’ve celebrated Valentines Day only once, when I attempted to cook a romantic meal for an ex. It was a pretty big deal for someone like me, whose signature dish is egg in a cup, or tomato soup with crisps as croutons – and I was keen to get everything just right.
Valentines Day wasn’t and still isn’t something I’ve ever truly been fussed about, but I was in a new relationship, it was exciting and unfamiliar and my head was filled with romantic clichés.
I wanted the moon to hit my eye like a big pizza pie as much as I wanted to go all Lady and the Tramp over a bowl of spaghetti – and I was willing to pull out all the stops to get it.
We’ve all heard the saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right?
Oh no. What I discovered that night is that when they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, they don’t mean instantly.
The way to a man’s heart is not through the toilet door, shouting down the hall for more bog roll.
The way to a man’s heart, is not asking him to turn the TV up so he can’t hear you retching.
It’s not a table covered in heart shaped confetti and a three course meal peppered with salmonella.
Nor is it writhing uncomfortably in your seat with glazed bloodshot eyes, trying to pass off your feverous sweaty brow and shaking hands as nervous romantic trepidation.
Shouting about how annoyed you are that you’ve basically spent £35 for the pleasure of sitting on your own toilet, re-reading the instructions on the back of a shampoo bottle all night.
Discreetly lighting another scented candle to “make things cosy” because you know full well that digging the Glade Plug-In out from under the sink would be the final fragrant nail in the coffin of this nightmarish evening.
No, in my experience the way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach at all, and if you ever find yourself on a date that ends with a last minute dash for Dioralyte instead of Durex, you’ll know exactly what I mean.