People will call it V-Day. They'll take solace in the fact that Valentine's Day abbreviates to VD. They'll call it singles awareness day, which abbreviates to SAD, appropriately enough. Saint Valentine suffered a lot of hate when he was alive, and he suffers even more now, with people taking comfort in the fact the he died a horrific, violent death.
Let me tell you a story.
On Valentine's Day in 2008, I walked into town. I had a drink on my own in the bar (there were paper hearts everywhere). In the corner was a psychic woman. She was giving free palmistry and tarot readings. As I was one of the only people in the bar, I was offered a chance to speak to her before anyone else turned up. I did.
She told me I would be with the girl I had a crush on within six months - but I wasn't. She mentioned that my crush at the time had a lot of problems moving on from a previous relationship and would find it difficult. But, as for that girl, whenever I talk to her she never mentions any previous relationships. She also told me that someone named Mary would become important. She hasn't, although she picked up on an M, and I know a Mary, so that was the connection she made. She also mentioned someone whose name may begin with J, like a Jessica or a Joanne would. She hasn't either. She mentioned two psychic crosses on my hand, although I thought they looked more like Christian crosses. She also mentioned that my grandmother may die soon. She hasn't.
These things didn't happen.
But I am with a girl. A girl I love. And... she did have problems moving on from her previous relationship, but I helped her do that.
But I now know two people, one of whom begins with M, and one of whom begins with J. And they are very significant too.
But two Christian crosses have relevance. I go to one church and my girlfriend goes to another, but we share in the love of Christ together.
Oh, and as for my grandmother... she is alive. But my grandfather died almost exactly six months after she did the reading. My mother, who I mentioned to the psychic lady, sent a text to my girlfriend, who told me while we were in France.
The psychic lady may have gotten certain elements wrong; to all intents and purposes she made a prediction which didn't quite come true. But this situation I'm in now - the one that's led up to this point, the one in which I am sitting in my girlfriend's parents' living room, in Oxford, having returned from a romantic weekend in Bath, staying at a Hilton hotel, no less, reflecting on my life in the past, present and future - that situation... well, it's one I'm okay with.
I also asked her what "Innocent Loverboy" meant. The cards wouldn't tell her, or me, almost as if I had to make my own decision. Well, that is something that I have done... with very little problem.
So, whether you are celebrating or commiserating the fact that it's Valentine's Day at the moment, let me give you this one message...