Sunday, 10 February 2013

Will You Be My Valentine?

I’ve been alive for…ooh, quite a while now, and have never, ever, received a Valentine card from a mystery admirer.  Okay, I’m probably a bit long in the tooth these days, but hearing my teenage daughter chatting excitedly about this commercialized day of romance sent me crashing backwards in time.  Back, back, back, to those heady days of hanging around the letterbox in my parents’ hallway.  Would a rush of red envelopes addressed to moi and covered in SWALK graffiti plop onto the hall carpet?  The unbearable excitement as the postman delivered a cascade of mail…

‘What are you doing?’ my mother would enquire to my lurking self as she appeared, kitten heels clicking, dressing gown swishing, to scoop up the delivery.  There then followed muttered oaths about too many brown envelopes, and why hadn’t Interflora delivered?  Oh yes, even though she was married, she expected Father Bryant to have organized an annual bouquet in exchange for ironing his shirts 365 days of the year.

Women are hopeless romantics.  And men are…well, not.  They aren’t programmed like women.  They don’t pass a shop window and melt at the sight of a teddy bear holding a velvety rose in paws embroidered with red hearts.  They don’t stop and gaze at a brightly lit window of sparkly earrings or necklaces and think, ‘Gosh I have a sudden urge to splurge on the wife/girlfriend/fiancée/partner/earth mother to my beautiful child.  Nor do they pause outside Thornton’s and deliberate whether to spoil the missus with decadent chocolate and a professionally iced personal message.

When I first met Mr V, for our first Valentine Day he organized the most stupendous, extravagant, mind-blowingly vast bouquet of flowers.  It took several vases to accommodate all the stems.  ‘Oh. My. God,’ I kept shrieking as I floated around the house in a state of euphoria. ‘There is a romantic man who walks upon this planet – and he’s all mine,’ followed by much gleeful cackling.  What Mr V didn’t tell me was that those flowers were to last for every subsequent Valentine Day that has rolled around ever since.  ‘Do you know how much they cost!’ he gasps even now, which ever so slightly took the edge of that long ago exhilaration.

Never mind ladies.  With a bit of luck, a last minute bunch of roses will be thrust up our noses.  And we’ll ignore the fact that they are curled up supermarket flowers with an oops half price yellow sticker upon the cellophane.  Which reminds me.  A man, who shall remain unnamed, was asked by his friend if he’d bought his wife anything for Valentine’s Day.  ‘Yes,’ said the man who shall remain unnamed, ‘I’ve bought her a belt and a bag.’  ‘That was very kind of you,’ said the friend, ‘I hope she appreciates it.’  ‘So do I,’ said the friend who shall remain unnamed, ‘and hopefully the vacuum cleaner will work better now.’



  1. I've only ever had one anonymous card. And actually I'm the one that usually wakes up and remembers it's Valentine's Day - Hubby says I beat the romance out of him *sigh*

  2. Oh but to have had that one anonymous card lucky! And as for hubby, you are not alone!