So, Valentine's Day is upon us again. I've never been an enthusiastic subscriber to this kitsch rubbish. My line is "everyday is Valentine's Day in this house darling." Having started at the beginning of the marriage as I meant to go on if I turned up with a bunch of roses and a restaurant reservation it would be greeted with great suspicion by Mrs Flashbang who would immediately be on the front foot with the number of a divorce lawyer in one hand and a frying pan in the other.
In fact, for those who feel boxed in Mole in this piece over at Slope has the right idea. He heartily recommends a number of options ranging from getting yourself arrested to getting kidnapped by Mexican drug lords. Actually, I would have though that getting the wife kidnapped by Mexican drug lords would be a more elegant and less intrusive solution.
Still there will be some young, and old, blades out there who feel they just have to do the right thing and lads, good luck to all of you. For some of you, you will soar to the green sunlit uplands of romance; for the rest, there is only downside when you fail to meet her dizzy expectations and more importantly, those of her mother and friends. Your actions will be dissected, debated and discussed for weeks by text, phone and email. You meanwhile will end up confused and bewildered but yes, the best of intentions can blow up in your face just as surely as if she was an AQ suicide bomber.
Dinnae worry though, Crumble is here to help. Rule no 1, bin the restaurant. Go to a restaurant and you're setting yourself up for failure on an epic scale. Nervous, wine list anxiety attack, credit card limit scare, that being-watched-by-everyone-in-the-room syndrome, overdoing it on the cheap, (or stupidly expensive), Red Aggravator from Chile and slurring your words........ it goes on.
Instead, dine in. She won't care what you cook or how badly you do it. As long as you try your best, light some candles and make some sort of gesture to good hygienic practice she'll love you forever. There is no credit card or restaurant in the world that can replicate the warm glow she'll feel of her man taking care of her.
With candles we need music and here we go into overdrive. Just for you, the definitive track list for St Valentine's Day and love ever after and you won't, let me tell you, get this off your average radio DJ who spends his day gibbering utter rubbish like a Macau monkey.
Chanson de Matin Edward Elgar
Salut d'amour Edward Elgar
Some Enchanted Evening Rogers & Hammerstein
They Didn't Believe Me Ambrose & His Orchestra
True Love (From High Society) Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly
Manhattan Ella Fitzgerald
C'est Si Bon (It's So Good) Cyntia M.
The Way You Look Tonight Fred Astaire
Hello Dolly Louis Armstrong
When I'm Sixty Four Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
L'amore sei tu (I will always Love You) Katherine Jenkins
Oh Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
Can't Help Falling in Love Elvis Presley
I'm Into Something Good Hermans Hermits
Without You Harry Nilsson
You don't Have To Say You Love Me Dusty Springfield
The Wonder of You Elvis Presley
A World of Our Own The Seekers
Singing in the Rain Gene Kelly
We Have All The Time In The World Louis Armstrong
I Haven't Told Her, She Hasn't Told Me Peter Sellers
Nailed that then. Just pick up the ring on your way home and we've boxed that off. Tomorrow, I'll have a list for all those of you for whom it didn't work out.
By the way, it's a full moon tonight. Why do I keep thinking of that Credence Clearwater Revival song...........
Onward & upward lads!