I did it… my way

Forever taking a Balenciaga sledgehammer to accepted norms, Ali MacKinnon takes on Valentine’s Day, the “most sickening day of the year”…

valentine's day

Here we go again: Valentine’s Day. I can’t remember when the last time I went on a straight-up date was. Come to think of it, I never have. Dates happen in Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City, and are universally the source of utter disaster, embarrassment and self-loathing. So the very idea of going out with someone on Valentine’s Day fills me with revulsion, and I retire into the delightful world of parody. In sixth form Valentine’s Day was a candle-lit sandwich in a children’s playpark with my best friend, a model, and her boyfriend from Southampton. The candle was the air-freshening kind from Sainsbury’s, the sandwich was from Subway, and the model was (for some reason) the lead singer in Chantelle’s band. All together now:

Do do do, Do you surrender One white flag Up there in heaven Lie lie lie Down here beside me Ba-e-ay-e-ay-e-a-by

A highly prepossessing soundtrack. Considering myself an expert in Valentine’s-day-massacring, here is what I will call a cynic’s survival kit for the most sickening day of the year.


Look 1:  “Shamela”

Dressing-gown, £9 off eBay

Marmite stains, £3.29

Wine, £2.58 from Sainsbury’s

Shamela sulks in her room with the phone off the hook refusing to see anyone all night. She wallows in self-pity and enjoys it. Later, she will gobble a wee fistful of Valium, wake up on Tuesday and continue with her otherwise happy, sexually fulfilling and eventful life.


Look 2: “Greg”

Jacket: Oxfam doorstep

Trousers: inherited

Beer: flat, half-drunk, floating cigarette-butt

Greg slumps alone at the bar until time is called. Not exactly a Casanova, Greg nevertheless puts on the air of having been summarily dumped. In reality he spent the morning at a police station being fitted with an electronic tag, because “she” finally found him hiding in her cupboards. After two months. He is now faced with an existential dilemma: drink himself into unconsciousness here, or serenade her under her balcony? The choice is in fact an easy one, and Greg is hurled into the gutter at half twelve.


Look 3: “Peewee”

Model: who cares?

Spicy Italian sub with foxxxy gherkins, olives, and onions or else: £1.99 from Subway

Peewee was desperate to recreate the super-glamorous Valentine’s Day he read about in his favourite fashion blog. Sadly he doesn’t have any real models to hand because London Fashion Week starts on Friday, so he’s cut one out of the pages of Vogue. She’s much more manageable than the real thing. Peewee doesn’t need to listen to her throwing up into the canal. He’s brought her and his Sub of the Day to a favourite trysting spot: the playpark in the corner of Jesus Green. The world smiles upon him. Maybe he’ll take her out to Fez later. Maybe he’ll do a line of coke off her face. The possibilities are endless.