Sunday, 15 February 2015

Valentine's Day

So did you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day?  For those of you who are newly married, or about to be married, or have recently got engaged, or just found the love of your life and walking around in a happy haze…no doubt you were all swamped with your favourite perfumes, bouquets, satin undies, and possibly even a romantic weekend away.  If so, that’s fabulous, and long may it last.  For those of you who have husbands who regard February 14th as just another day, come closer because I want to give you a hug.  And if you are single, I’ll hug you too.
          Actually, I shouldn’t do Mr V down.  To be fair to him, he did remember it was Valentine’s Day.  And I nearly fainted when a box was delivered containing a dozen red roses.  Regrettably they turned out to be for my daughter.
          ‘Oooh, aren’t they lovely,’ I said admiringly.
          ‘That reminds me,’ said my husband, and he presented me with a card in the traditional red envelope.
          ‘Thanks,’ I grinned.  ‘And, um, is there anything else?’
          ‘Anything else?’ he frowned.
          Ah, bless him.  He was pretending.  Any second now he’d take his hands from behind his back and trill, “Da-daaaaaa!”  And he’d put two bunched-up fists in front of me before playfully saying, “Guess which hand?”  And I’d touch the left one and he’d say, “Correct!” And there, nestling in the palm of his hand would be diamond earrings.  All right, pearl earrings.  Okay, cubic zirconia studs.  I’m not fussy.  If it sparkles, it will still make me happy.
          ‘What time do you need a lift to the station?’ asked my husband, yawning widely.  Clearly the card and the card alone had been the big romantic gesture.  Meanwhile my daughter had another audition to attend in her bid for entry into a drama school.  I looked at the clock on the oven.  Another two minutes and we needed to dash off to London.  I grabbed my handbag and coat.
          At the station, I got out of the car and then, as an afterthought, leant back in.
          ‘Flowers,’ I murmured seductively.
          My husband looked startled.  As well he might.  The last time I spoke in a seductive voice to him was…ooh…I can’t remember.
          ‘I’d like some flowers.’
          ‘Yes. You know. Those things with long green stems and lots of petals at one end.’
          I hastily shut the car door before my husband could splutter any further incredulities.  Forty-five minutes later we were heading out of Barons Court tube station (no, I’ve never heard of it before either) and suddenly I was plunged into the most romantic moment I have ever witnessed.  A distraught man, his arms full of blooms – and when I say ‘full’ I mean full to the point where he was almost staggering under the sheer weight of them – was hurrying towards the platform.
          ‘Wait!’ he called to somebody.
          I craned my neck.  Oh my goodness.  Had he had a lover’s tiff?  Was this a moment full of red hearts and love declarations in order to win back the woman he simply couldn’t live without?  I watched in fascination as a charged towards the tube.  It turned out there was no woman and he just hadn’t wanted to miss his connection.  But nothing could take away the fact that later some lucky lady was going to be absolutely ecstatic with two hundred quid’s worth of flower power.
          Three hours later Mr V greeted my daughter and me at the station.  I opened the passenger door and slid in.  Just as I was reaching for my seatbelt, my husband thrust six red roses into my free hand.
          ‘Flowers,’ he beamed.
          ‘Awwww, how romantic,’ I cooed.  Well you have to milk the moment. After all, it doesn’t happen very often.
          ‘Enjoy them.’
          ‘Oh I will, I will,’ I said, plunging my nose into the petals and sniffing in delight.
          Naturally the romance didn’t last further than five seconds.  ‘They certainly cost enough,’ said Mr V sounding irked.  ‘Twelve quid! Absolute daylight robbery. A total rip off.’
          Viva la romance!  Which reminds me.
          A husband and wife had been married for seventy years and had no secrets – except for one.  In the depths of her wardrobe, the wife had kept a shoe box that she’d forbidden her husband to ever open.  On her deathbed, the woman gave her husband permission to open the box.  Inside was a crocheted doll and one hundred thousand pounds.
          ‘My mother said the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue,’ she explained, ‘and that instead it was better to keep quiet and crochet a doll.’
          Her husband was touched.  Just one doll in the box!  So his wife had only ever been cross with him once.
          ‘But where did all this money come from?’ he asked.
          ‘Oh,’ she explained, ‘that’s the money I made from selling the dolls…’


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