ST VALENTINE'S Day: Love it or hate it. It's hard to ignore it completely. Christmas is over. The dark month of January past. And although many of us are still digging snow (no, not here in Dublin), it's time to remember that florists too, have to eat.
Single and unattached? The day seems designed to mock you. In a long term relationship? February 14th can pass like any normal day. Unless you're showered daily, with flowers and insanely soppy cards.
Didn't think so.
Let's face it. Those big gestures - incredibly romantic or hilariously disastrous - usually happen during that honeymoon period of a relationship. But just how extravagant can you make that bouquet? How much money will you drop on that candlelit dinner?
Ready to raise the bar, gentlemen?
Because along with Christmas, St Valentine's Day is one of the most popular days for popping the question!
But what to do! Hide the ring in her food? Apart from the fact that it's a bit overdone, she might choke to death. And if you want a real story for your grandchildren, you might like to get a bit more creative.
I know of one couple who tried their hand at deep sea diving one Valentine's Day. A first for both of them, they got kitted out, and dived with a fully-qualified instructor.
A little nervous, she found it helped to concentrate on everything she needed to do. Breathing correctly, moving carefully, following the instructor's clear signals, once they reached the sea bed.
So when her boyfriend swam over to her, and showed her a ring, she thought it was a piece of rubbish he'd just found. When he realised that she wasn't catching his drift, he decided he'd spell it out for her.
'I' he mimed, pointing to himself, 'Love', this time making the little heart shaped gesture with his hands, 'You', and pointed to her.
She nodded and gave him a little wave, pointing to a shoal of beautiful fish swimming nearby.
Undeterred, he made one last attempt. In order to keep his balance, he grabbed hold of the bewildered instructor, and managed to force himself onto one knee. Then he held up the ring.
The girl got such a shock, she started to hyperventilate. Then she began to black out. The instructor stepped in, cut the session short, and got the two of them back to the surface as soon as he safely could.
Later, she said yes. They have two children now. Still together.
But they haven't been diving since.
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