A final year DIT student, Herb Blanchett, has been forced into a secondary spate of Valentine's gift-purchasing for his girlfriend so as to make amends for his original, terrible Valentine's Day gifts.
Mr. Blanchett, speaking to CollegeTimes, described himself as 'an old-school romantic'. "I like to imagine I'm sort of a bit like that Byron fella, or what people thought Ronan Keating was like before they found out about his affair. Seeing as it was me and Claudine's first Valentine's Day as an actual couple I wanted to make it really special. Well, it's really our third, having progressed from being each other's booty call in 2017 and then 'fuck buddies' last year, but I thought I should make it special. And, I was convinced I had, I thought to myself, 'What gift would a pre-affair Ronan Keating have bought'." Mr. Blanchett stared down at the handheld hoover beside him, still unboxed, the decorative ribbon still attached. "... But alas."
"Obviously now, I can see things from her perspective - it'd be impossible not to really given that she spent four hours last night systematically explaining why it was the worst Valentine's gift she'd ever received. I just thought well..." Mr. Blanchett picked up the still boxed hoover, forlornly tracing his finger over a section of the packaging which read 'includes three different detachable nozzles'. He sighed heavily. "Never mind, I'm in the doghouse now though, eh? So just as well this thing has [reading] 'unrivalled suction power'," he began, before losing faith in his own attempt at a joke, "to you know, clean up the shit and things... What with it being a doghouse and - "
We interrupted Herb Blanchett to explain that we got what he was saying. At this point Herb Blanchett put the box down and was quiet for about 3 minutes.
When asked how he and Claudine had first met, he initially demurred saying "Ah ya know, it's a pretty standard story really." When pressed, he explained that they'd met at a public support group meeting for survivors of seafaring disasters. He told us that, as a child, he and his family had been aboard a car ferry that had crashed and sunk. They barely managed to make it off the vessel alive. He said that he'd spent years trying to come to terms with the residual psychological trauma and that he would often go to such public support meetings for comfort and solidarity. "And, well it was at one of those meetings that I first saw Claudine, and well, we just got talking."
We asked whether he would feel comfortable sharing with us what had happened in Claudine's past to drive her to attend a support group for survivors of seafaring disasters, he said, "Hmm, oh no she was never in any accident or anything, she just used to go to them as, in her words, with so many emotionally vulnerable men around, it was a great place to 'get pipe'... She's a lovely girl."
He went on to explain how he had spent the majority of today scouring shops trying to find something that he could get her to atone for his original, foolhardy Valentine's gift.
"I've narrowed it down to either a large teddy bear with a love heart stitched into its abdomen - it's been heavily discounted, given that it's post Valentine's Day, so that's a strong plus point in its favour - or just a One4All voucher as, well, I've become disillusioned with my ability to buy gifts after, ya know." He gazed down at the compact box containing the compact hoover at his feet, before sighing again. "I've lost the receipt too ya see. Still though it's my sister's 21st coming up soon," he tapped the box, "So it may come in handy after all, who knows."