Love blossoms every day of the year

It’s painstaking, ironing a million little pleats. But the red dress has to be just right. Beads of sweat form on her forehead. She’s hunched offer the ironing board, making sure that every crease is just so.

Lifting and turning the fabric as if it were the Shroud of Turin, she runs her hands along the folds with so much reverence you would think she was touching the hem of Christ’s garment.

Ironing done, she drapes the frock over a wooden hanger and puts it in her cupboard, making sure to push all the rest of her clothes into a tight corner. The outfit that will change her life forever deserves pride of place.

A pair of Cinderella sandals sit pretty in the corner, catching a few rays from the 6am sun and glistening with quiet purpose. These are the shoes that will walk her into her destiny.

Quickly, the girl jumps into the shower, her mind bursting with possibilities. Maybe he’ll ask me to be his girlfriend. Or propose! He might whisk me off to a private island. I’ll carry my passport just in case.

The wheels turn furiously in her head as she shaves her legs, bikini line and underarms. She grabs the body scrub and rubs it into every inch of her skin. By the time the bath is done, she’s glistening just like her shoes.

Humming a few bars of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’, she douses herself in rose scented lotion, adds a spritz of perfume for good measure and then gets dressed. Black lace goes under and her pretty, pleated red ensemble goes over. She slips on a pair of Diamante earrings and clasps a sliver chain around her neck. A heart shaped pendant rests suggestively between her breasts. It’s is not lust on her mind… it’s lurv.

Finally, she carefully removes her headscarf and is pleased to see that her set has survived the night. A bit of hairspray and she’s good to go.

Teetering out of the door in her strappy sandals, she grabs a single red rose from the bouquet she bought herself, puts it between her teeth and runs down the stairs, eager to meet the man of her dreams.

But when she gets to the meeting point, Mr Right is not there. She calls him but he doesn’t pick up. Ten minutes go by, then 15…30…an hour. Nothing doing. She calls him again. He sends a text message: “Sorry, something came up. I can’t make it.”

Devastated, she spends the rest of the day, walking around town in her red dress and her red shoes, with a limp red rose hanging loosely in her hand. The very picture of dejection.

Every time I spot a lady in red, clutching the obligatory rose and wandering about as if searching for love lost, this is what I Imagine. A desperate female in a manipulative world that has fed her the line that true love can only germinate or blossom on one day a year.

That’s so not true ladies (and gents). Love springs eternal every minute of the day, every day of the year. In the grander scheme of things, it’s the days before and after that count the most. And to prove it, this year I’m doing my ‘all red everything’ dinner on Friday the 13th. Seems fitting, seeing as St Valentine is dead. Have a good one y’all.