Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day dedicated to smug lovers, that’s loathed by singletons the world over.
When I was about 12 I had two very sweet boys competing for my affections. We’ll call them M and J. One Valentine’s Day they both showered me with poems and little presents. Then M made this grand declaration of love in the playground in front of all my friends. I was mortified. I ran off to the toilets to cry. I still don’t like a big scene, so it’s no surprise that I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.
Eating out on Valentine’s is normally a disaster. The restaurant is at capacity and the waiting staff, hugely flustered, are rushed off their feet. Married couples spend the entire evening desperately trying to not talk about the kids because today they’re supposed to be sexy. It’s all so forced.
There’s huge pressure to be romantic. You must be ROMANTIC! scream all the magazines and TV adverts. Your beloved will think you don’t love them unless you smother them in flowers and champagne and diamonds!
I once worked with a girl that sent herself flowers to the office on V Day because she wanted people to think she was in demand. She didn’t skimp either.
I just don’t subscribe to any of this. Yes, I’ve had my share of roses but I value every day romance (and I prefer peonies). Running a bubble bath, giving a foot massage or bringing me a cup of tea in bed are all worth brownie points! Little things all year round are surely better than an extortionate bouquet and naff heart-shaped box of chocolates on a grey day in February? I expect this makes me sound very stiff upper lip and cold. I’m not at all! I’m very tactile and demonstrative… I love hearts and flowers. I just don’t like a stage and a spotlight.
We almost always stay in now, actively avoiding the crowds. Maybe I’ll buy the M&S Meal Deal – not because I love Valentine’s Day but because I love M&S. And to be fair we do always buy cards. To skip it altogether seems like buying a one way ticket to Splitsville.
Besides, my husband is some kind of card buying wizard. He always buys brilliant cards. It doesn’t matter if I think I’ve found the best card in the world I am always the runner up. And I guess I’m secretly quite happy about this.
My favourite is most likely the one he gave me two or three years ago (I still have it). I don’t really go in for all that Roses are red, Violets are blue shenanigans… my boy knows exactly what I want to hear.