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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Schmalintine’s Day

A quick google shows me that St Valentine was a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. Sounds like a right plum. He died on February 14th and left a farewell note to the jailer’s daughter, signing it ‘from your Valentine.’

What would this chap think to know his name has been turned by Clinton Cards into a means for them to survive the dip in sales between Christmas and Easter, I wonder.

Valentine’s Day is a test. If you don’t buy a dozen red roses, a giant fluffy teddy and an over sized card, you have failed as a husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/mistress/admirer/human being. You should be ashamed of yourself.

No, Clinton Cards, you should be ashamed of yourself. Love isn’t a who-got-the-biggest-teddy-bear contest. You’ve gone and ruined a perfectly good idea haven’t you?

There’s two sides of the fence to sit about Valentine’s Day. There’s the cool gang, sitting, gloating, on the ‘we don’t ‘do’ Valentine’s Day' side. Women who declare it a commercialised media frenzy, and opt out, much to the relief of their otherwise fretting other halfs.

And then there’s the ‘we do, so you better’ crowd. Woman expecting, wishing, hoping to be romanced in every possible way. Bring on the full works – flowers, dinner, rose petals adorning the satin sheets of their boudoir. And why not? They clean their men’s pants all year long, a thankless task, why shouldn’t they enjoy an albeit forced day of romance…

Unfortunately for my boyfriend, I pretend to be in the former, cool, group, but secretly I’m in the latter, making Valentine’s Day a bit tricky for him as he tries to please every side of my personality.

‘I don’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day,’ I declared triumphantly a week before. ‘Great,’ he replied, ‘then we can go to that party.’

Hmph. Talked myself out a night of romance there didn’t I. Nice one Kim.

Then, a few days later, he brings up the party.

‘I don’t want to go to the stupid party!’ I tantrumed. Of course. What part of ‘yes, let’s go to that party’ made him think I wanted to go?

I don’t want Clinton Cards to profit from our love, but I do want lots of attention. Last year, Gareth gave me this blog, following a comment weeks earlier that I missed writing. I was bowled over – a gift that ticked so many boxes – he showed he was thoughtful, that he gave unusual and useful gifts and that he had ears. All good things in a man. Especially the ears.

A year on, how would his actions compare?

As he kept ‘fooling’ me into thinking he had nothing planned, by telling me he had nothing planned, I did begin to think he was a one hit wonder.

Oh, the cad. We had salmon and eggs for candlelit breakfast, accompanied by a Tesco Value valentine’s card, inscribed with some Enrique Iglesias lyrics about being my, er, hero. This year’s practical gift came in the shape of a heart rate monitor, for when I run. Lucky I wasn’t wearing it when I got the card, (did I mention the bar code was bigger than the heart) as I’m sure my heart rate was through the roof.

We watched the rugby, during which I gamely drank 3 pints of Aspells cider. It’s strong. Then we got fish and chips and sat on a hill overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Now before you go and stick your fingers down your throat at my romantic day, let me assure you we didn’t go home to a wild night of passion. After a combination of three really strong pints of cider on an empty stomach and some batter wrapped fish, I felt passionate about nothing but vomiting. Gareth’s a lucky man.

But it was still the best Valentines Day I’ve ever had. Can we do this every month, I asked the next day? Why wait until Clinton tells us to?

Yes darling, he replied. But let’s change the name. Knowing what a strop I’d have been in if he hadn’t pulled out all the stops, despite me declaring I didn’t ‘do’ Valentine’s Day, Gareth’s come up with a new name for our monthly Valentine’s day.

The Keep Kim Kosha Day, or the KKK for short.

Well, it does have a certain ring to it. I think I’ll wear white.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I blame Jennifer Aniston

Hollywood projects an unreasonable example of what we should expect from our partners and, as I found out this morning, creates thunderstorms where once there was sunshine.

I blame Jennifer Aniston. She had to go and have floaty hair and be all watchable didn’t she? So despite the fact I like festivals and being gobby and climbing trees, I also like Jennifer Aniston rom-coms.

The latest ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ serves to knock the confidence any woman has in her man. He’s either going to refuse to marry you, or marry you then cheat on you, or cheat on you, or be a pizza scoffing, fat bellied pig, or cheat on you, or all of the above.

My boyfriend was none of the above until I saw this film, to which he came with me to see because he is none of the above. My girlfriend had seen it without me at the weekend so I had no one to watch it with. He stepped up, not even complaining. I think he wanted an excuse to eat ice cream.

I left the cinema feeling bewildered and like I’d been pummeled with the information that all men were jerks and if your heart wasn’t breaking now it certainly would one day. When he cheats on you.

So I woke up the next morning in a bit of a sulk and caused an argument. Then once the argument was in the air, I wanted to retract it, I wanted to rewind time, because I suddenly felt like a fruit loop, like a high maintenance girlfriend, the kind you see having a go at their poor fellas in Asda. My boyfriend was understandably confused by my outburst and said he felt a little lost as to what to do to solve matters.

It was clear only the moon on a stick was going to be good enough for this little madam.

Obviously, I’m not so ignorant to think that this is all Jennifer Aniston’s fault. I do think popular culture has a lot to answer for, but I'll hold my hand up and take at least 2% of the blame myself, for being led by idealistic movies. Films portray an unrealistic fairytale ending. One where the guy does whatever it takes, and the girl doesn’t come across as loopy. But that’s not real life.

Even love songs and poems help create the illusion in women’s minds that somewhere out there is some kind of fantastical love so immense and overpowering that if you haven’t got it there must be something pretty wrong with you. If you’re in a relationship where you find yourselves discussing the merits of the smell of Lenor and whether you want sausages for dinner, then you’ve somehow failed, because Jenifer Aniston doesn’t discuss Lenor. Or sausages.

But after a lot of soul searching today and after feeling like a bit of a fool for suggesting my quite romantic boyfriend doesn’t love me because he hasn’t done any grand sweeping gestures for a while, I’ve come to the realisation that actually this is my fairytale. I’d rather discuss Lenor, which, I’ll have you know, makes your clothes smell just lovely, than have some guy arrive on a horse with a rose between his teeth. I’d think he was a right knob.

I like reality. I like sausages and Lenor and I don’t want the milk tray man. So that’s it. No more bloody rom coms. They’re dangerous.
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