A rising tide of red and pink heralds Valentine’s Day. Instore and online … there’s no escape. The only day of the year to show your other half real love. Flowers, candles, dinner for two. Heaven help the blokes who don’t get their spontaneous heartfelt feelings right, and on time. All I want is a bucket. No ice this time. A shade of blue will offset the yellow of my bile.
Roses are red
Once, during my student nursing days, I helped a florist with Valentine’s Day deliveries. What could be nicer than delivering love instead of bedpans? Perfect velvety red roses mostly, swathed in yards of cellophane. And the ladies? Snatched their bouquets, busy counting to ensure twelve roses present and correct. I didn’t hold out much hope for the amorous prospects of the lads who’d dared to be different. Were they insane? Didn’t they know that nothing but roses cuts it on Valentine’s Day?
Naughty gifts are good, maybe underwear but nothing too scratchy or slimy. Throw in a few cable ties and it’s a night to remember. 50 Shades of Grey changed everything. A vapid, virginal heroine leaves college and becomes a submissive. They couldn’t print the book fast enough. Kindle ensured nobody at the pool could see what you were reading, but I didn’t have one. A heady blend of fantasy, wealthy porn and titillating sexual violence fired up new excitement in mammies everywhere. Off came the shackles of sexual repression and on went furry handcuffs. Sex shops in Dublin rode the recession in a blaze of cracking whips. DHL vans prowled the suburbs and new estates in country towns making discreet deliveries.
50 Shades of Valentines
Valentine’s Day specials start at 5.30pm to get the work crowd straight in. Two more sittings to go, lots of extra tables butted up against each other for added intimacy. No time to linger. It’s a busy night. Off with you, go see 50 Shades of Grey, hand in hand. Dare you order vanilla ice cream without blushing and giggling?. Dinner wasn’t that filling, even if the bought-in chocolate dessert was yummy.
Movies rarely live up to books, do they? Sam Taylor-Johnson directs this one. Was the mum of four was drafted in, from the obscurity of motherhood, to lend some credibility and ‘artiness’ to the movie? She’d complained of being side-lined til now. Will Beyoncé’s creepy, dragging version of Crazy in Love set the tone for the night? Ellie Goulding tries for a sensual frisson:
‘You’re the light, you’re the night
You’re the color of my blood
You’re the cure, you’re the pain.’
Go right ahead, if you like being blindfolded, handcuffed, whipped and beaten. Sex has a varied menu for grown-ups but violence against women is never right. No matter how you colour it submission beyond the bedroom is red flag territory. I remember vividly the contract Anastasia signed. That page dropped out of my book, blew away, right around the swimming pool. I had to gallop off to retrieve it. Anyway, Ms Steele eventually walks away from Mr Grey when she finds it’s a bit much.
Black and white
What about fellas, used to porn in the privacy of their own homes, watching it in public? How can they measure up to Mr Grey? Perhaps that’s what those offshore accounts are about. You’d need a decent stash of cash for a fair crack of the whip on a Saturday. It’s hard for men who dream of cuddles, and the promise of a fry-up. Women demand more.
And that, my friends – that’s the black and white of it.
And now, watch this and smile!
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