Feeling the love

Okay, so it’s Valentine’s day, and what better way to spend it than with a good film, a good meal and a great magnum of fantastic wine all enjoyed while snuggled together on the sofa with the (admittedly gas) fire roaring and a duvet thrown over your legs to warm against the winter chill.

Admittedly, the film enjoyed in the Simpson house tonight will be Jurassic Park, which is sort of romantic. If you’re a dinosaur. Or a weirdo. Or just hopelessly in love with Sam Neill (I’m not even trying to hide that anymore). And the meal with be my famous Cajun Caesar salad – which sounds like it should be horrible, but is the most wonderful food ever. And wine will be some delicious Cava I’ve been saving since Christmas.

After a horribly stressful week which finally settled down yesterday, I’m looking forward to some R&R.

Currently I’m looking at spending Valentine’s evening on my own, but I’m still going to spend it in my fanciest new underwear underneath my cutest PJs, eating and drinking and indulging in all my favourite things. And why not?

So what kicked off my solo love-in?

A well meaning friend gave me a copy of ‘The Man Diet’ as preparation for my return to the world of dating pending my upcoming divorce. I’m currently fighting the battle to punch that friend in the face.

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the gesture, but really!?

The Man Diet isn’t entirely a bad book. The author, Zoe Strimpel, makes many good points and highlights some all too familiar behavioural patterns. But honestly, after 50 pages I was losing the will to live. It’s not so much a self help book but rather a very misogynistic tome on what women are doing wrong when it comes to relationships.

This is a trend that disturbs me a great deal. A quick walk around our local Waterstone;s this week raised the same point – there are a slew of self-help books for women all highlighting what they are doing wrong and what they need to change about themselves and what they need to do to bag their man and keep him.

I didn’t see one single book like that aimed at men.

And believe me, some of the guys I’ve dated over the years could do with one of those books.

So, do women really have more issues than men? Are we really stuck in the dark ages where we believe that a man in perfect and women need to change to be what the man wants? Or is it all a clever marketing ploy that targets the female insecurity which has been built up over centauries of suppression?

I suspect it’s the latter.

As a person (not just as a woman) I know what’s wrong with me, but I’m also fortunate enough to be able to see what’s right with me too. And let’s be honest, I’m smart, I’m talented, I’m funny and I’m petty damn hot to boot. So I’ll be chucking that book in the bin and spending the night enjoying my own company (ah, ok, so maybe I’ll just perve over Sam Neill instead) and not joining the New Year rush for self-‘help’ books that are only going to make the majority of us feel worse about ourselves.

So off you go my pretties, enjoy your Valentines, and remember, if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you are with.

See you next week.

C

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