Valentine's Arbitrage

Stairs - Sophie

The biggest arbitrage opportunity of the romantic world (that's s.x to you) is here. Welcome to Valentine's Day.

The setting: Covent Garden station.

The beeping doors open ---------------- (one dash per beep), the beeping doors shut ---------------- and you follow the ridiculous queue to the lifts.

But this is no normal day. The women of London crave the romantic and upscale establishments the area has to offer and fill every inch of the underground station and now, the lifts aren't working. The exits are about to be sealed.

Running to champagne bottles and members clubs they try and save themselves from being locked alone in the dark smelly tube station.

I don't know if you've ever braved these stairs, but if you haven't at least been training for a marathon, you might as well roll over and die. And this, my friends, is Valentine's Day for single women in London.

We cling to the hopes of being swept off our feet on this day, and wait for a lift to take us there. The lucky few are raised to the heights of romance, and the rest are left waiting in the dark. Of those waiting there are two categories: the roll over and die group (who get pissed and wake up praying they used a condom), and those brave enough to take the stairs.

Women, it's open season, on your a.s.

Valentine's Day. When the battling troops of despondent women indulge in empty pleasures trying to over compensate for the lack of a partner to act out this commercialised farce.

Translation for all you men out there: easy pickin's. If you'd like to be one such empty pleasure you are in poll position. There's a gap in the market. Lots and lots of gaps, running around our fair city, positively gaping. At every cuddly bear with outstretched arms ("I love you this much"), at every pink heart declaring self affirming mush (or the price of a romantic dinner for only £20), the gulf grows wider and your odds get better.

Without being vulgar but making sure we're on the same page, I am taking about the female body part you men think about the most. Our hearts.

Yes I know you cynical chaps thought I was referring to something else, but before you lose your belief in profiting from this, let me establish a very direct correlation between the two. This is the difference between some girl's pole position over you (with a big guy in the corner making sure you don't touch) and being where you really want to be.

As Taoists would say: Be the pole.

The great thing for you guys is of course, that the girl you couldn't get all year round will suddenly allow you a time-limited window of opportunity in the day's free for all. She may start the day decidedly contented (content with contempt) but as the white roses begin to pile on other's desks and the restaurants fill with starry eyed couples, she'll find herself at the pub feeling like the queuing pensioners outside Northern Rock.

Now girls: If you don't want to be shot down by the scrawny guy in marketing here's how to brave the steps:

  • Buy yourself a new piece of jewelery. The one you'd love as a gift but realise it ain't gonna happen. (This is relevant to women with rubbish boyfriends too.)
  • Treat yourself and a friend to dinner at The Wolseley.
  • Go to the opera (let's face it, finding a  boyfriend who'd go is quite hard when times are good) but you can be comforted by the fact they exist when you get there.
  • Have a champagne lunch with a girlfriend followed by a massage from a tall Swedish guy with big strong hands. I guarantee you'll float into work positively glowing.

If you take the time to climb all those steps and add a few more of personal fancy, you'll have a very good Valentine's Day.

If you will not heed this advice and and up sloshed, let me throw you a life line: Get drunk with a fit lipstick lesbi.n.

It's the only drunken s.x you'll never regret, with the added bonus of not getting pregnant, ruining your reputation at work with a colleague, and feeling soft skin on your delicate face rather than stubble.

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