I convinced myself that this year’s lack of Valentine’s Day cards was due to my recent change of address. Not that in previous years I’ve had much trouble wading through the post.

I’m usually the one sending them out – channelling the creative powers of an entire cottage industry, crafting a card with a year’s worth of consideration, and carelessly spending a crazy amount of money on a gift as romantic as it is wrong.

An ex-girlfriend suffered the brunt of my love some years ago, when one such romantic gesture marked the beginning of the end for our relationship.

Not content buying roses, chocolates or – rather surprisingly – slutty underwear, I got wood. And not in the way you might expect on Valentine’s Day. I actually bought two trees in “Lover’s Wood”, Scotland – planted to “symbolise our love”, not intended to scare the crap out of my Valentine. Needless to say, it was the last we spent together.

And so this year I thought I would spare womankind my kindness – less through choice, I suppose, than circumstance – and enjoy a vomit-less Valentine’s without the crafts, the cards, the crazy gifts.

There could be no less romantic excursion on Valentine’s weekend, I thought, than a city break with my mum and my sister. Unless of course the city is Paris.

And that’s where I found myself last weekend. In the exquisite opera district, and a hotel room that sleeps three, where the question, “voulez vous couchez avec moi?” decides who gets the single bed and who shares the double.

It was the Valentine’s I’d wished for – unromantic, though no less wrong; spent with two women, albeit members of my immediate family; and cheaper – I don’t doubt – than two trees in Lover’s Wood or whatever gratuitous gift I would have given my poor, unsuspecting Valentine.

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