A Most Miserable Valentine’s Day

He’s Back. BEN DALTON consoles Cambridge’s singletons this Valentine’s day.

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‘Feb Fourteenth is finally upon us, may we once again dance the flaming fandango of passion whilst teething ‘pon the thorns of love’s first rose. Let many the quavering lip be again strained to form the traditionally conical comic-strip smooch, and arms be raised firmly to the horizontal aboard water-vesssels worldwide whilst their proprietors ejaculate words like “flying!” and “Jack!”‘ So trills the unbroken voice of the blissfully infatuated.

So frollocking a tone might also have found itself in the throats of the solitary few of us, had we not been too fat/ugly/with-commitment-issues/male-thrush-suffering/sex-addicted/sex-phobic/needy/smelly to merit this most pinacle of human bonds.

So then let us, The Rejected (the arguably necessary antithesis to the boyband guilty of ‘Glad You Came’), take shelter in our own misery. Heed the following counsels for a Valentine’s so miserable that it’ll cheer you up.



Buy Yourself Flowers

Pick a particularly putrid garland so that you can begin to watch the flowers wilt and die as soon as you get home without even having to starve them from water for a few days: this will save you both time and the unwanted happiness of accidentally catching a whiff of fresh bloom upon awakening. Place them on your window sill so that they cut the morbid silhouette of rot and decay against a backdrop of snow and young, clasped mittens falling mid-giggle back into the white for the ‘coupled-snow-angels-holding-hands’ manoeuvre.  Marvel at this visual as the perfect metaphor for your be-sooted heart. Swap the usual velvets of Barry Manilow for the sound of your bedder’s Dyson as she vacuums from your toilet floor the Fallen Petals Of Despair.

Google Your Problems

As it’s possible that you will find yourself alone with the internet this Valentine’s day, why not provoke it into delivering you your most terminal prognosis yet. Throw into Google your most damning attributes (eg: ‘lonely, student, acne, poor hygiene, father problems, will I ever marry?’) – or put them into clear, cohesive sentences if you’d prefer to ‘go posh’ and ask Jeeves – and wait for the search to lead you to Yahoo answers, which you must then take as the gospel truth. Watch magically as the internet tells you, without any irony, that you are at risk of developing alcoholism, cold sores, glandular fever, low self esteem and acute IBS whilst confirming that, just as you thought, you do indeed have deep-set complexes relating to your old pa.

Go On A Date With Your Couple Friends

As it happens, Jasmine and Henry, love’s latest young dream and proud winners of the Yearbook’s ‘most likely to marry, have children and live happily ever after’ category, have taken pity on you and invited you to join them for the Jamie’s Italian set Valentine’s menu. They ‘finish each other’s…’ ‘sentences?’, own a joint National Trust membership which they use to ‘browse their dream homes’ upon weekends, adopt animals for each other on a near weekly basis and prize themselves on liking all of the same vegetables, except for carrots which Jasmine adores and to which Henry is allergic. Since Henry has reminded you that, for them, ‘every day is Valentine’s Day’, you don’t need to feel at all guilty about crashing their alone time. Take this opportunity by all means. Whince as a rogue yet randy foot brushes past yours accidentally on its way to footsy, and enjoy the spotlight of being the only three-pronged table in the restaurant. Henry might smile on with an ‘it’s strange how you haven’t found anyone here… most people meet their future spouse at uni you know?’ Use such dialogue as a muse to sink deeper still into a state of delicious melancholy.

Third Wheelin’

Make A Loved One Out Of Household Objects

Anyone who has seen Castaway will be versed in the vitality of the relationship between Wilson – the broken football with a drawn-on face – and the forlorn, aggressively hirsute Tom Hanks. Take a leaf out of this book, and make friends with a favourite pillow, shoe box or slinky. Add raisins for eyes, grass for eye-lashes and shower-plug pubes for a moustache. As for the mouth, steal your mate’s gilfriend’s lipstick whilst they’re out at a romantic re-screening of ‘Lady And The Tramp’ and simply scrawl it on. Don’t forget to curl the corners of the lips upwards in pursuit of the most radiant of grins; this will add the extra gut-kick that even your lifeless, possibly cardboard bedfellow is having a better time than you are.

Love at first sight

Research Alternative Methods Of ‘Love’

We’ve all seen the documentary where the woman gets married to a fairground ride (the sort where ‘thrill seekers’ sit in a line, as uninterested and vacant as elderly women sat under hairdryers at the barber’s, before being whirled around à la washing-machine gormlessly by a huge lever). Before our very eyes, she engages in fully fledged eros with its pistons before tearfully bidding it farewell and leaving the theme park only to fall head over heels in love with a wooden picket fence. Whilst one can hardly refer to such relations as orthodox, the emotional strength depicted in the admittedly Channel 4 production cannot be denied. Maybe you’re asking too much looking for your soul’s counterpart amongst the human race. Accept that you just aren’t good enough, order an IKEA catalogue, and see what takes your fancy. Don’t be afraid to explore.

Call Your Mom

And now for the finale: a call to Mummy. She picks up, sounding concerned. If there’s anything a Mother loves, it’s a call on Valentine’s Day to confirm she’s never going to get any grandchildren. Try to ignore the clinking of glass in the background which betrays Dad’s fumbling around with the aromatic oils ready to treat his wife to a sensual Valentine’s massage. Try even harder to ignore the mental image of be-Yfronted Dad lying on the bed next to said oils with a cocked knee and red rose in his mouth. Not only are you a huge dissapointment, you’re also currently stopping your own parents from getting some. Revel in this feeling for a moment after hanging up.

And there you have it. Next to every silver-lined, sunset-silhouetted, honey-moon cloud is a sleet storm in which you can therapeutically immerge yourself every once in a while. If you’re planning on a downer this Valentine’s, I urge you to do it with the afore-suggested immoderation. You never know, given the winds of irony are blowing your way, your wailing might even attract a fellow lonely heart to drop you a Hermes. After all, nothing is more attractive than theatrically executed self-pity.