Saturday, February 14, 2009

That V word

I don't think I know many romantic novelists who actually look forward to Valentine's Day. You get asked more stupid questions this time of year than any other, and you can't go ten feet without tripping over some Valentine's promo (apostrophe there? No? Who cares).

On this most unromantic of Hallmark holidays I tend to get pretty cranky anyway, and am never more than five minutes from a "How about demonstrating your love with something a little more personal and imaginative than some overpriced roses and tacky lingerie? If you really love each other, try demonstrating it on the other 364 days of the year. And don't do it in public, because if I hear one more public declaration of love today I'm going to vomit," type rant.

And hey, where's the Hallmark holiday celebrating all those people who've managed to get through another whole 365 days and nights without someone to go home to?

Dammit, I started ranting. Anyway, here's the actual point. Since I'm fed up with all the hearts-and-flowers crap infesting Facebook and everywhere else I go, here's an idea. Tell me your worst Valentines story. The best (well, worst) gets a prize: a PDF download of my super-sexy new release, After The Fall, in which my heroine has suffered seven years of marriage to a Neo-Puritan, who considers any display of affection, public or not, to be vaguely obscene.

You have until, ooh, let's say Thursday, which is when I should be getting my author copies! Leave your stories in the Comments (and if it's really bad, you can always log on anonymously!).

Have an unromantic day.


  1. I'm am totally with you on Valentine's Day rant. No stories to tell though. LOL. Good Luck Everyone!

  2. Anonymous6:01 pm

    I'm a widow. I married my childhood sweetheart at the age of 17, and he died of cancer 27 years later. That was 6 years ago, but Valentines Day brings back alot of bittersweet memories.

  3. Anonymous8:10 pm

    i have no one speacil to spend it with but my kids do psmper me

  4. The one time I had a boyfriend on Valentine's day, I arranged a meal, got in some lovely wine and chocolates, booked the day off work so we could spent it together, really went all out...

    ...And he showed up at my house at ten in the evening, downed all the wine and passed out in my bed. Didn't even give me a generic red rose. I'm not sure he even knew it was Valentine's day.

  5. I remember one Valentine's Day when I was still at school. The postman came to the door with this amazing, huge, satin-covered heart-shaped box of chocolates, with a message saying "Happy Valentine's Day, love ??"

    I was so excited. I was a teenager, obviously, and this was a dream come true. I speculated all day about who had sent it to me: the tall, gorgeous basketball player who'd asked me out on one date and then never again? The shy clever boy who let me copy his maths homework? My pen pal from another state, who I'd met and developed a major crush on on a singing weekend? The distant, talented actor who'd been the lead in the school play when I'd had a walk-on part?

    I led a delicious day staring at everyone at school and wondering. I sampled one precious chocolate that night before bed and dreamed about my secret admirer.

    The following afternoon, someone touched my shoulder in the hallway. It was S., the intensely boring, spotty guy with an aversion to soap, who I always tried to be nice to because lots of other people didn't, and besides, he might not have any social graces but at least he liked Tolkein.

    "Did you get my present?" he asked me. And my fantasies came crashing down around my head while I frantically tried to figure out the best way of letting him down gently.

    Needless to say, I've always sort of identified with Lisa Simpson in the episode where Ralph Wiggam gives her the Valentine's card.

    And while I was at school, my dog snuck upstairs and ate the rest of the chocolates.

    I still admire his bravery, even if it was doomed.

  6. Don't talk to me about bad Valentines! My first year at university an anonymous bouquet of 22 red roses were delivered to the office for me in the morning. AT lunchtime a single red rose was delivered (same guy) with a message asking me to meet him at a restaurant. I was intrigued and pretty excited. So I got all dressed up that evening, sprayed myself with my flatmate's perfume, tottered off in my flatmate's heels that were too big for me and rubbed, to the restaurant. Table was booked. Sat there... sat there... sat there some more. Had a coke (couldn't afford wine, I was a student). One whole hour of my life I wasted sitting in this restaurant waiting for the mystery guy to turn up while loved up couples watched em pityingly. Never found out who it was so never worked out whether it was a cruel joke or he just bottled it because I looked too out of his league. (I've always preferred to go with the latter, but I fear it could be the former)
    22 years later and every Valentine's day the humiliation comes back to me...