The following is a system for working out if someone loves you, without having to take the risk of telling them you love them first. It also somewhat insulates them from exposure. Somewhat.

Send them an anonymous letter to the effect of “Look, I love you – but I value our friendship, so to avoid fucking it up, please work with me here and anonymously send a sheet of paper with [whatever] on it, to the address of the person that YOU love. Thank you for your cooperation – and thanks in advance for understanding that I can never admit that it was me who sent this message.”

They then send their love [whatever] on a sheet of paper – safe in the knowledge that this crush, if it’s not you, will just think the random message is… some kind of weird marketing… BUT IF IT IS YOU, you’ll have the proof you need to finally approach them with confidence – in the office/ on the park bench/ at your sibling’s house – whatever!! You can also pretend to your grandchildren, that the timing of your advance was a complete coincidence, and that neither you nor their grandmother know anything more of the pathetic missive or its author. But for an enormous vulnerability to pranking – THIS IS AN INFALLIBLE SYSTEM!!

The good thing about it is – if they don’t write back – you can just think to yourself – it’s not that they don’t love ME – they just didn’t like the SYSTEM and that’s why I haven’t heard back – you avoid getting hurt by any difficult realities, completely!

Another good thing is… So – supposing you want to avoid being pranked… Well if someone asked you to send a “5” to them in the post. You could send them a standard catalogue – in somewhat telling packaging, but a catalogue with the page number five circled. Your average loser who hasn’t sent you the original message, will not have sufficient interest to notice such a sign – and even a prankster would not be obsessed enough to look for any tiny marking to suggest that this is from you… Only love goes in search of minutiae – the stronger the love, the smaller the details can be. NB: I am unlikely to send either the phishing or the reply correspondance so please don’t take a bent page corner on a Habitat pamphlet as my consent, OK? Apart from anything else, you’ll look ridiculous in court.


The more acute of you may have noticed that as a pro-woman, I have no need for such a system, when generalised simpering can pretty much garner the same clarification with minimal embarrassment. What, therefore could be my motive in inventing it?

Well, I’ll level with you, Dear Reader – I’m Head of Marketing at Habitat. And I actually am. We took an honest inventory of the traditional marketing model and recognised that when it comes to shifting tea-lights, Niezsche was probably right when he noted – “That for which we find words, is something already dead in our hearts.”

Y’see, you don’t get anywhere in this game by overtly stating selling points these days – the market’s now at such a level of saturation that to get results – one has to completely conflate humanity’s most desperate of drives with our comparatively trifling consumer effluvia. And if I know you, like I think I do, Beloved Customer, there’s an emptiness in your soul, partly installed by… other marketing… that’s currently ripe for monetisation. If we can insinuate ourselves into that part of your brain, most susceptible to delusion – the love basket – then we can ensure that our customers, not only take cheerful delivery of our egregious junkmail, but also inspect every page, front and back for clues as to where their lost happiness may be found. In fact, it is our ardent wish, that in future, society will be so spiritually bankrupt and socially inept, that the receipt of a tampered with Habitat leaflet alone, will, in itself constitute a reckless and passionate relationship. This, we estimate will lead to a 3 fold increase in sales of Welsh Dressers.

And we know you know that what we know about you is accurate. You feel abandoned by society at large, shipwrecked in your own life – marooned in an armchair and poleaxed by culture into blandly watching friends and family drift off into the starless night all around… And we here at Habitat, sympathise, really we do… but unfortunately, Valued Buyer these pedal-bins ain’t gonna pedal themselves… So do you see? I come here not as enemy, but as Frendl – the self assembling rocking chair – that cradles the human body from infancy into adulthood and beyond.


The doggedly persistent of you will have noticed… Habitat furniture’s a bit of a niche market for an online small business such as mine. No, I’ll be honest with you – and we are in the business of honesty here – I do most of my dealings on Amazon. I used the first lil’ story there as a cute facade for what I fabricated in the next lil’ story – that there’s actually a cynical sales tactic going on behind the scenes, which in itself, I’m afraid, was a second cute, if more incisive facade, to conceal the third and Actual, most flagrant marketing ploy of the piece… Which is – if you shop online, using my Amazon link, I get a percentage of everything you buy. I actually mean it – if you use this link when you buy stuff on Amazon – it doesn’t cost you any more, and I won’t find out who you are – but I get a commission! With which I can write more articles that at once sustain and critique our ruinous culture!

Yes, I realise I’m as bad as Habitat in exploiting, not the Universal desire to be loved, but that for a comrade with whom to mock the Capitalistic forces that enslave us… But… you know… I can probably live with that… It’s intellectual indefensible – but also – about the best I can come up with at the moment…

Thank you for your support and please rest assured that as well as doing these, I will also be trying to dismantle the system from within. Plus if you love me, please send me a 777! As system-inventor, I can’t reply, you understand – but with or without your assistance, the injection of this new found hope into my handling of junkmail will enliven the process immensely!

Amazon link –