Blimey, four consecutive Valentine's Days with the same person. Not only is this easily a personal best, but I suspect it might also be a world record. If you know any couple who has stayed together as long as me and my girlfriend then do let me know. It is against God and nature, but somehow it is still working!
Do remember that for me, rather like a dog (in so many ways), in relationship terms one year is equal to about forty years for a normal person. So it really is noteworthy. Ring up the McWhirter twins and Roy Castle and let them know. What do you mean they're not answering?
If you've read my book "How Not To Grow Up" ( which is being republished with a new cover in March
) then you'll know that early on in my relationship I learned that one of my girlfriend's ambitions was to build a pyramid out of Ferrero Rocher on a tray, like in the famous "Ambassador's Reception" advert. I found this quite a charming ambition, partly because it wouldn't be all that hard a thing to achieve and it's nice to have an achievable ambition (to be fair it was just one thing on her list - she doesn't have the paucity of ambition of Gary Sparrow). As a romantic gesture that first Valentine's Day that we were together (very early on in our relationship) I bought her a single Ferrero Rocher chocolate and said that I would buy her another every year until she had enough to build her pyramid. Obviously this would take a while and by the time she had enough for the job the early chocolates would probably have rotted and she'd have to make a pyramid out of dessicated and mould-ridden sweetmeats. But that would be a fitting metaphor for the prospects of long term love, so it was still a good gesture. Romance and realism combined in a devastatingly accurate representation of the personality of the man she was getting together with.
To up the stakes a little and to give her a chance of building the pyramid before I was an old, old man, dessicated and mouldy myself, on our second Valentine's Day I bought her two Ferrero Rocher chocolates (not only that I should add, she also got a nice gift and a card). Last year I had to decide, is each year going to bring one more Ferrero Rocher chocolate or am I going to double the chocolates each time. Given my track record in previous relationships I thought it was probably a good idea for the number to build exponentially so in 2010 she got four Ferrero Rocher (as it's hard to buy the chocolates in small numbers and to make up for the disappointment of not being allowed to eat them until they are dessicated and mouldy I tend to give her the whole box, but she has to keep the set number aside).
So this morning I bought her 8 more Ferrero Rocher to add to the 7 she already has. Not yet enough to build an impressive pyramid, but she's on the way.
This is all very well and good for now, but it will make the years to come quite interesting. Next year she will get a regular sized box of 16 Ferrero Rocher and the year afterwards 32. In 2014 I will have to buy 64 chocolates and to be honest she will probably have enough to build a lavish pyramid, but now the convention will have been established and in 2015 she will get 64 Ferrero Rocher, none of which she'll be able to eat and then the next year 128, then 256 (she'll now be keeping over 500 chocolates). If we are still together in the year 2020 I will be buying her 2048 Ferrero Rocher and if the relationship lasts until 2030, by my reckoning she will be receiving 2,097,152 unpleasant tasting, testicle shaped, gold wrapped chocolates. The consequences of this romantic gesture may very well bankrupt me, but I can't see anyway out now. The only real options are to slowly fill the house with chocolates we can't ever eat or for me to chuck her before all this gets out of hand. It would be a shame to end a relationship just because of a romantic gesture that has got out of hand.
I suppose we could also build a full scale pyramid out of Ferrero Rocher and live inside it. We might get some sponsorship. We also might get quite cold and wet. And by the time we had one full scale pyramid, thanks to the irresistible march of exponential mathematics the next year we'd have two pyramids, then the next year four and it wouldn't be long before we needed space for a couple of million full size mouldy dessicated chocolate pyramids. There would really be no way to stop it. The country would grind to a halt, but on the positive side the Ferrero Rocher company would be doing pretty well out of it. It's worth investing in some shares now.
The point is that romance is all very well and good, but I really should have thought this through when I started. But in the early stages of romance anything seems possible.