Most of us know that falling in love requires little more skill than falling into a swimming pool and has the same impact: total immersion and runny mascara. Some people, such as Tom Daley, do this more gracefully than others, and you will never see him with runny mascara (footnote: when he’s in his work clothes no-one is ever looking at his eyes. This is an example of drawing the eye from flaws, and focusing on assets, as demonstrated by Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp has eight legs). You can easily spot two people in love in a restaurant as (a) it is unlikely to be the Wing Wah All You Can Eat Buffet and (b) they are content to sit opposite each other and stare into the other’s eyes (footnote: unless they are simply practicing for a staring contest. A staring contest is not suitable for contact lens wearers, or the blind. Other staring-related advice is that you should never stare at a gorilla. I realize that for many of us the opportunities to do this are quite limited. I once had a friend who was allergic to cows. She wasn’t a dairy farmer so this was a fairly easy scenario that could be avoided, unlike button phobia – koumpounophobia – which is quite common and quite disabling as buttons are everywhere including: in button shops, and on men’s shirts. Men’s flies used to be button-fastened until the late 19th century when the zipper was invented. Sadly the ability to universally remember to do one’s zip up has not yet been invented. Omphalophobia – the fear of belly buttons – is also hard to avoid during good weather, especially in Coventry. Coventry city centre is not, as some people think, just where you go for the court or probation service. It has many other attractions such as Primark).
You know when you are in love with someone as birds suddenly appear every time they are near and stars fall down from the sky every time they walk by.
Loving someone is quite different and means that both parties may have forgotten that on the day the person they love was born the angels sprinkled moon dust in their hair of gold and starlight in their eyes of blue, but they can’t really imagine being with anyone else. Being loved can get you through several challenging but low-level scrapes such as:
- “Forgetting” to put out the bins
- Buying food when you should have bought flowers and vice versa (footnote: men will rarely get this one right so they should buy both food and flowers. Broccoli is not really a flower)
You can easily tell if people love each other, but are not actually in the first flush of love with each other, as (a) they are more likely to be in the Wing Wah All You Can Eat Buffet and (b) they are content to sit adjacent to each other so that they don’t have to stare into each other’s eyes. They will only stare at each other when discussing the bins issue.
The people who are most in love are not couples at all, but the rest of the world. Since 1998 the English have come to love practically everyone. It is now perfectly acceptable to tell people we love them even though some of us have grown up knowing that this, like urinating in the presence of other people, staying in bed in the day when you aren’t ill, and making tea in a mug, is not generally acceptable. The easiest way to do this is now simply to choose one of the following phrases “Love you, babe” or “Love you, man”. It is also now acceptable for even straight men to tell people how much they love other men, shown only recently in an episode of Luther where Idris Elba, apparently not drunk, tells his girlfriend OUT LOUD that he loves his Sargeant. AND HIS SERGEANT IS STANDING THERE. (footnote: Luther stars Idris Elba who is off of The Wire and is, to everyone’s surprise, English. This is because there are no black American actors. Luther has a ridiculously quirky girlfriend with no friends and a non-job. Girlfriends in police shows are usually small and attractive yet have no friends and non-jobs. Non-jobs will usually be in a shop or office where it appears that customers cannot get in, but serial killers can). Older people will be confused and unsettled by the “love you” development and will assume that they have cancer and are dying but no-one has told them yet.
Falling out of love however is far more tricky. Falling out of love happens in one of the following ways:
- You wake up one morning and realize that you are no longer in love with the person in the bed next to you because the bins aren’t out and there is a packet of spaghetti in a vase
- You wake up one morning and find that your bins are out, and there are flowers in a vase although no partner in the bed next to you and realise it’s time you fell out of love.
To help you fall out of love you must decide on whether you want to “move on” or wallow. Wallowing involves:
- Listening to the radio. Commercial radio is good for this as your ex will already have paid them to play Adele all day, but most effective will be BBC Radio 2’s Sunday Love Songs:Steve Wright: “now here’s a letter from John in Grimsby who wants us to play something by Michael Bublé for Sue. John and Sue met when they were just kids and although some non-specific tragedy separated them and they both went on to make two other people miserable, they recently met again on Facebook and realised that their love was as strong as ever. John says ‘At the end of the day Sue is literally the true love of my life. Each morning my heart literally stops whenever I wake up and see her literally lying next to me. She has literally been my rock this past six weeks and i love her more than ever‘”
You: “oh fuck off” (throws rock at radio)(footnote: if you want to have a record played on SLS for the person you are in love with, you must describe them as your “rock”. This is not a Rock Hudson of course, but an actual rock. We didn’t know that a person could be a rock until Princess Di told us about her butler, and although we generally don’t all have butlers, we do like to have a rock)
- Not wearing waterproof mascara. No-one can see your pain unless you draw attention to it
- Having increasingly implausible fantasy scenarios about your ex. For example, he is a gay but closeted famous songwriter, who falls in love with you, a beautiful, wealthy American. You know the marriage is doomed, but you love him! Eventually you can stand his infidelity no more, and you run away to, say, Paris. Sadly, he has an horrific accident – query horse-riding – and loses, let’s say, a leg, so you race back to nurse him. Tragically, you then get emphysema, so to prove your love, you hook him up with your builder. You’ll die of course, but so will he! (footnote: some readers may recognise the similarities to the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely starring Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd)