Noelle McCarthy
Noelle McCarthy is a Herald columnist

Noelle McCarthy: Happy hunting on Valentine's Day

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

This Monday, I am going to find true love. Or rather true love is going to find me. I've never met true love before, so I'm not sure what it looks like, having mistaken it in the past for both hot stuff and a bit of alright.

But I'll know it when I see it come Monday. True love may not know who I am, or what I'm up to either though, so to maximise the chances of an encounter, I'm getting it down on paper, and letting true love know where I'll be.

Hopefully it's both Auckland based, and GPS-conversant, because at this stage, Monday looks like a Hobson St, High St and New Lynn trifecta, with a fifteen minute diversion on Ponsonby Rd.

Postal addresses to follow via Facebook, and I should also be trackable via the relevant iPhone app on the day.

A surfeit of forward-planning is a turn off, I realise, but Cupid is an overgrown baby with a crossbow and I must do all in my power to help baby's arrow fly swift and true.

It's Valentine's Day on Monday and I'm damned if I'm hiding on love.

I've done so in the past, I'll admit. I've spent many Valentine's Days on the lam. I've laughed at it, scorned it, pocketed from it handsomely when I was a waitress, but this year I've finally figured it out.

Valentine's Day is a cynical commercial enterprise on the surface, but it's really a treasure hunt in disguise. If love really is "out there" as they say, like a bunch of lost keys, or a hidden stash of drugs, then Valentine's Day is the perfect day to seek it out.

That is the day on which love is looking too you see, so, to use a charming kiwi-ism, it's simply a matter of hooking up. Forget about the cards and the flowers, this is a day to go searching, and from there it's point and shoot.

Get organised, get scouting, plan your route. You may want a gun dog to help you out. A smart little spaniel, or a labrador.

I'm expecting a big day. Every man who comes into my orbit on Monday will get a piercing once-over, if not the actual glad eye. Every commuter, courier, delivery boy, bus driver, barista and pensioner will be scrutinised.

We're dealing with a large volume of raw data here, there's significant foot traffic on High St alone. The busier thoroughfares like Hobson St will require a systematic methodology and a sharp focus. I'll deploy a gaydar for Ponsonby Rd.

The catch-all approach is a blunt instrument to a certain extent, I admit, but hey, you work with what you've got. I'm keeping my mind open, and my eyes peeled, and I'm ruling nothing out. If love is listening, this is a rout.

And how will I know when I've found what I'm looking for? Easy. You always do.

As a girl called Juliet said, "My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words. Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound." "Romeo, I'd know him anywhere," in other words.

But in order to find him in the first place, you've also got to have a bit of luck on your side. Love, like any grand design, needs a gesture of good faith from the universe in order to come off well.

It's there in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, one of the best novels ever written about love.

"If love is to be unforgettable, fortuities must immediately start fluttering down to it like birds to Saint Francis of Assisi's shoulders." Milan Kundera is not kind to lovers as a rule, but he knows what they need.

Love needs luck in pigeon numbers, look for it perhaps in Freyberg Square? Or down in the Viaduct, among the screaming, teeming seagulls.

Wherever you look for it this Monday, I wish you great luck. If the fortuities do not flutter this Valentine's Day, well, there's always Colin Firth.

- NZ Herald

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