7.30 pm the previous evening
Take some female garments and fling them indiscriminately around your bedroom.
Get up and make yourself a romantic breakfast, complete with roses, sparkling wine and a clumsy attempt at poetry.
Get dressed. Go out to your car and proceed to rev the engine and honk the horn for half an hour.
Drive into town. Remember to open the door for yourself like a gentleman.
Walk around several clothes shops in utter misery.
Sink three pints at the first opportunity. Tell yourself that if you were any sort of boyfriend you’d be in the Maldives in a five-star hotel and not in some dingy pub. Adopt a hang-dog expression.
Tell yourself you’re overreacting, that you hate Valentine’s Day anyway and admit that you can’t be bothered with any of it and you only go along with it to make yourself happy.
Have another pint.
Remember that you’ve got the car. Swear under your breath. Assure yourself that there’s no problem, that was part of the plan, and you’ll get home in style, whatever the cost.
Ignore Burger King, Pizza Hut and all the other places you actually want to visit and take a table in the newly opened haute cuisine restaurant next door.
Ask for a bottle of champagne and tell yourself that you can order whatever you want. Pretend not to be horrified when the bill arrives. Leave a large tip to impress yourself with your generosity.
Upon returning from the restaurant, ignore your desire to watch the football, play the guitar, etc. Instead put on your least favourite romantic film and hold in flatulence to the point of agony.
Wrap your entire duvet around six freshly-filled hot water bottles.
Gingerly get into bed without disturbing them, cover one foot with the remaining duvet and drift off into a bad-tempered, indigestion-riddled sleep.