When it comes to matters of the heart I'm as misunderstood as that green faced witch in Wicked the Musical. Castigated as a contemptuous romance killer, I take a zero tolerance attitude on cheese.
Valentine's Day leaves me cold. Disneyland proposals make me greener than a night on snakebite black. And I'd happily chuck Hallmark's entire collection of "To my beautiful wife/girlfriend/person I'm shagging behind my partner's back" cards in an industrial sized shredder.
Before you write me off as a bitter cat lady destined to become a professional garden gnome collector, let me explain.
Presenting your lover with a generic bunch of roses or stuffed woodland creature requires very little thought. There's no originality. No imagination. It's just a bandwagon style jump onto the mid February showmance charade.
Whether it's a special occasion or you're just one of those people who enjoys Disney's 'It's a small world' with no trace of irony, I can't be doing with twee. Filling your Facebook feed with schmaltzy quotes like a crack addled My Little Pony doesn't make you a more committed romantic. Enthusiastic snogging on the Kings Cross escalators before 9am won't make you a shoo-in for the next Romeo and Juliet remake. It just puts innocent bystanders off their breakfast bagels.
I do appreciate some couples genuinely enjoy the syrupy romance usually associated with low budget American teen flicks. If that's you then please, feel free to ride that sugar almond cloud mobile into a haze of heart shaped picture frames and Me to You Bears. (But do it privately. Family beer gardens are no place for tongues.)
Personally I don't care for slushy poetry or men who dedicate that Bruno Mars song to the chick they're currently bonking. I'm not into public displays of affection and I don't do candlelit baths with rose petals that stick to your bum. Despite this hatred of all things saccharin, I maintain I'm just as romantic as the girls who squeal like a Care Bear over pictures of babies in flowerpots.
Take weddings for example. Admittedly they've become something of an overpriced circus parade in recent years, but you know what? I genuinely love a good marriage ceremony. Not the bog roll inspired dresses or tacky shot glasses emblazoned with the happy couples' beaming faces. I mean the vows, the emotion packed speeches and the general buzz of champagne flavoured sanguinity that goes with the whole she-bang. After all that love (and usually several units of alcohol) I'm the first to dissolve into snivelly panda eyed tears.
I've been on the dating scene nearly 10 years now. That's almost a decade of misread signals, awkward silences and the occasional bouts of inconsolable heartbreak. Frankly it's enough to make anyone jaded. But for all my cynicism, I remain cautiously optimistic that Prince Uncharming is out there. He won't buy me a £5000 diamond rock or a 27 tier wedding cake. Instead he'll make me laugh and not judge when I substitute breakfast cereal with three jam doughnuts.
So you see? I am a softie after all. Just don't gaze into my eyes and liken them to blue sparkling whirlpools. I'll fall off the bed laughing.