VD. The most singularly repellent concept since the tall gladiator sandal. ‘So what are you doing on Valentine’s Day?’ Well, actually I’m off to Carpets 4 Less on the Ring Road to talk about bedroom flooring. After that I’m going to make some guacamole for lunch and watch Mr Selfridge on repeat. I might even knock myself out and paint my nails.
Banal? Not half as much as the morons who phone into Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs. You’d be forgiven for dry retching over the couple who are sitting up in bed eating homemade heart-shaped jam tarts this morning. Or the woman bleating about her rock, soulmate, king, kindred twin and yin to her yang, Derek from Luton. ‘He’s my world’ she whines into the voicemail. And you live that close to an Easy Jet terminal? You need to get out more.
I’m floored by how many level-headed people believe in the concept of soulmates. In a world population of 7.4 billion, the chances of meeting The One is enough to make the law of probability calculator burst into flames. It suggests there’s some divine order and pattern to everything, which I know is a terribly popular viewpoint amongst people who frequent middle class festivals in a spirit of mindfulness and gratitude.
In my view, people come together for far more grounded reasons. Opportunity and timing is a big one. Then there’s shared values, sex, economic need and, of course, that big driver, dysfunction. Believe in the power love, by all means. That’s real, tangible and life-changing. But soulmates? The idea of ‘prescribed by the universe’ partnerships is a concept peddled by sociopaths, desperate seekers and people who carry special stones around. It’s about as credible as the upcoming nuptials of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall. And there are so many elements of that union that I neither understand nor want to think about.
For any woman feeling bereft today, feel lucky you were born now. I love a Pagan festival as much as the next non-believer, but the Roman three day extravaganza, Lupercalia, is where today’s cutesy lovefest actually originates. Allow me to explain. A group of weirdos congregated near a cave, sacrificed a goat and a dog and then whipped some women with the hides of the animals they’d just slain to ‘increase their fertility’. After that they all put the keys to their chariots in a pot and drew lots on who’d get who for coupling. Now that’s a shit Valentine’s Day.
Pass the Ben and Jerrys and Netflix yourself into a coma, people. It’s only 24 hours.