It’s Valentines Day. A day to celebrate love.
Common perception is we need to gift our girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives.
Flowers, chocolates, engagement rings, watches, more flowers, dinner, a massage, a day at the park or maybe a stuffed, bear shaped, fire hazard with ‘ I LOVE YOU’ written on it.
Valentine’s Day is huge.
There are those of us who see it as a day to stop and appreciate the ones we love. Show them how we feel. We’re all busy right? So sometimes we need to stop and take that time to show another person how we feel, we almost need to be forced to stop because life drags us along to a million different places at a million miles an hour. So a day where we stop and love is appealing.
Others see it as over commercialised and potentially it’s become so big that it’s no longer remotely romantic. Sitting in a restaurant full of men who have scooped their women off for a ‘romantic’ dinner because they live in fear that if they don’t …. Trouble will come at them like a dark shit storm from hell. And you know what? It probably will. Or that horribly awkward moment where a violinist, dressed as cupid, walks up to your table and starts playing some Vivaldi to the people adjacent to you. And everything goes quiet. And you watch some bumbling desperate propose to their fidgety looking partner. Arseholes of unhappiness, like me, sigh with disappointment as the word ‘yes’ falls from their lips. Desperately wishing we could be witness to one of those horrifically awkward “I’m sorry. But no thanks” moments. Sharing the exact second a human loses their dignity and all their future hopes of happiness in one foul swoop.
OMG. I’m a bitter old bastard.
Lying in bed with Andrew the other night we talked about Valentines Day.
“Babe? Do we do Valentines Day?”
Not one to miss the opportunity of receiving a pair of Louboutins, my reply was “I don’t know? Do we?” My thought though was ‘Oh god. I hope not. Because I spent all my spare money and energy on procrastination and gin. Not sure I’ve got the capacity to have to think about purchasing gifts’
A very sensible question. We are in a new relationship. It’s pretty important that he gets this right. I mean, imagine mumbling along into such a day. We wake up. Me sitting in bed with that lusty expectant look on my face, all Beyoncé bed head and puppy dog eyes, waiting to be showered in flowers and cheap underwear. Only to be met by the RSM sticking to his normal routine. Up. Eyes in. Shit. Shower. Shave. Dog out. Protein. Housework. Run. Protein … You see where this is going, creature of routine and discipline.
Well. Luckily for Andrew, I don’t do Valentines Day. Well not the conventional way.
My view on Valentine’s Day is we should embrace it. But not in the over commercialised way we have, like slaves to advertising, evolved into.
For me it’s about gentle subtleties. Giving the kids a little more love. Thanking my mum for all the years of help and support. Thinking about my gorgeous Dad. Texting my brother and saying ‘Hey’ and giving Archie a huge bowl of chicken, his favourite, and smiling at him because he’s never ever let me down (except for that time we stayed and Andy’s Mum and Dads and he shit all over the kitchen and then smeared it up the walls in a sort of dirty protest to not being allowed to sleep with me)
I, of course, know exactly what to get for my man on Valentines Day. I just spent my Saturday reorganising his drawers ensuring everything is folded with military precision and later I’ll use a ruler to make sure his toothbrush and toothpaste are of an equal distance apart. Then, I’ll feed him. I’m good like that. It’s the little things. The things I know he’ll appreciate more than the last bunch of flowers from a garage forecourt I picked up last minute because, whoops I forgot.
My main gift to him will be to always try that little bit harder to make him happy. In the way he makes me happy. Through kindness, respect, support and laughter.
Because that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?
Whatever you choose to do, remember that.
And listen to this …