Call me a hopeless romantic, but I adore Valentine's Day, and all it entails. Sitting elbow to elbow with 50 other couples all competing to be the most in love out of everyone in the packed restaurant. Trying to look attractive while swallowing oysters (aka thick snot) and gulping down the £50-a-head set menu (including a glass of Prosecco) before the second sitting begins. Sharing the Tube with competitive bunches of roses (thorns on) that are bigger than I am. Receiving a card showing that my beloved has paid £4.50 for someone else's profound and thoughtful words about snuggling (in rhyming verse). Really, what's not to love?
OK, you've got me: I don't like Valentine's Day, and neither, if you're honest, do you. Will your boyfriend (and it is, increasingly, a male obligation) really not show affection without being bullied by the combined forces of Hallmark Cards, M&S, Pizza Express and the Daily Mail? Would it honestly be a slap in the face to be expected to eat or drink anything on 14 February that isn't pink? Do you even like roses?
Put me down for next year's IoS Smug List, but I know that my boyfriend loves me because last weekend he insulated my loft. In turn, he knows that pink clashes with my hair and that if I ever found cheap, plastic filth like moonpig.com in his browser history I would dump him in a heartbeat. (NB: he's welcome to cook me dinner on any other night of the year, however – just as long as it's not pink.)
On the plus side, while the love drones follow orders and crowd into restaurants, that does leave the coast clear for the rest of us to have fun. I plan to order a curry for one (which will be delivered in an instant as couples all pretend for one day to prefer smoked salmon instead) and then go out dancing at my local gay bar, where I hope that the stage will be free while all the civilly (and less civilly) partnered squeeze into the tapas restaurant down the road. Mine's a pint, please, and hold the pink straw.