Well, Happy Valentines Day then. I wish I could muster more enthusiasm but its never been a priority for me. Disappointment hit me early in life when what I thought was a witty little poem crashed and burned. I didn't write it; I copied it from a 1974 issue of Punch magazine. I think it may have been the line, 'and when the moonlight flits across your...... ' which failed to find any romantic resonance with the unfortunate recipient. I wept no tears when Punch went out of business.
I set the tone early in marriage by refusing to bow to the commercial outreach of schmaltzy corporate America by doing nothing. So set is that trend now that if I were to pop up with a dozen roses and a dinner booking it would be viewed with deep suspicion and result in the sort of intense questioning not seen since that frightful scene with Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man.
Of course, those who took the other fork in the road marked, 'what do you mean it's Valentines Day tomorrow.... bloody hell,' have made a neverending rod for their own back. I wish them luck. You can never get it 100% right. The shame is, the vast majority of men can't stand the whole charade and would much prefer to make their own gestures at a time and place of their own choosing.
For those stuck on their own I wouldn't worry. It's not such a bad place to be. It's a bit of a shame that you'll probably end up dribbling down your shirt in a nursing home with no visitors but it could be worse; well, probably not.
Thing is, people, (especially, but not only young people), don't much talk to one another. The concept of going to the pub and chatting to girls is dead and buried. Some girls have told me they would quite like to be chatted up, not having ever experienced it but then that would require them to go to a pub, something else which is in steep decline. It baffles me how a fast dating app like Tinder can be acceptable but talking to a stranger off the cuff is deemed to be odd, unusual or something 'your parents did.' Part of the fun and challenge of the game was to strike up a conversation, get blown away and try again. They don't know what they're missing because the truth is, one half of the population has lost it's sense of fun and social courage and the other half wishes they would man up and just bloody ask the question.
Anyway, for all you lads on your own tonight, here's Norman to jolly things along.