How soon after a long and terrible battle can you ask your troops to march out and wage war again? Even in the most tyrannical of regimes, I am confident that atleast a fortnight’s break is acceptable, since it is not the enemy who has declared war, but the commanders themselves!
A few women still queue up outside the High Street Kensington H&M at nine thirty every morning, refusing to believe the Boxing Day sale is over before they could make their twenty third visit. Some stores are still threatening to kill you if you don’t drop in before this weekend, when the 90% off tag will drop, along with the item it is attached to, into the vast abyss where fashion hibernates till little girls become grandmas. (Note assumptions about exclusive feminine associations of fashion, compulsory heterosexuality and reproduction, and an assumption about the continuance of the same for many years in the preceding sentence.) Everyone still has three Selfridges bags that they haven’t had time to open and peep into and wonder why they bought whatever is in there. For God’s sake, the Starbucks red cups have still not vanished and the Harrods Sale is on for another 23.5 hours!
Why then are they already recruiting my purse for Valentine’s Day?????
Chocolate Christmas trees have become chocolate hearts, pink roses are everywhere, Velvet, satin, suede, cardboard and toilet paper packing adorns every shop window. Pret a Manger has shamelessly stopped donating 5p each time you buy soup, and has printed a huge pink heart on its takeaway bags, which bald old men carry around turned the other way round (Note disrespect for the elderly, assumption of the decline of their libido, and general callousness in the preceding statement) Toblerone has a rose stem printed along its body, posters are inviting men to gift a Brazilian Wax to their sweethearts (“Here my love, unbearable pain just for you!”) restaurants are offering bookings (they offered New Year Eve bookings starting early October, and were closed on Dec 31), and the godforsaken ATM machines, not to be left behind, are showing huge pink hearts on their screens when nobody’s using them (a closer look reveals that they are asking us to memorise their emergency numbers by “heart” so sweet, isn’t it?) Bye Bye 2005. Buy Buy 2006.
Ok. So there’s no escaping the madness. And being a Zone 1 junkie, am likely to run into it again and again. Not a penny am I spending on these thingummys (except take my diddle diddle darling Wendigo out for dinner). Drat! Valentine’s Day in London is no time to be alone! Maybe if I sleep on the night of the thirteenth in right earnest, I will wake up on the fifteenth. Sigh. SIGH.