Do you ‘do’ Valentine’s Day?

My husband and I don’t do Valentine’s day.

It wasn’t something we contracted previously before getting married. It wasn’t something we both decided and agreed on. We didn’t say “Oh, we don’t like soppy things like that” or “we should love each other everyday, not just on the 14th of February.”

I think it’s nice that there is a day on which people celebrate love by giving each other tasty things and colourful plants. They say men are visual but I think all humans are visual. What woman isn’t swayed by a nicely dressed significant other who smells fantastic and is presenting an array of colourful flowers, just for her? Not me for sure.

I like pretty presents. During our first few weeks of marriage my husband used to buy me lots of presents. Expensive bracelets, high quality perfume, a pair of ghd straighteners which I could never afford and which, now I know, he couldn’t afford either. First class train tickets to London. Giant boxes of chocolate (which I let my family eat because I was watching my figure), a giant cream cake (seriously, do you WANT a fat wife?), a tray of colourful cupcakes (say whaaaat). He wanted to impress me. He didn’t know he’d already impressed me with his clean cut fashion and his smell and his infectious smile. But I wouldn’t say no to the other things.

My mother, pragmatic as always, said, “he’ll stop opening the car door for you soon.”

Two years later, he has stopped doing it. I guess he doesn’t need to ‘impress’ me anymore. But sometimes he does. When it’s a special occasion. Like when we escaped the family and went to a retro cafe and I wore lipstick and a flowing dress and he wore his expensive coat and the cashmere sweater that I love.

My husband hates hearts. I don’t know if its a ‘macho’ thing, or if he is still a bit immature (he is 24). He gets irritated by them.

“If I see a heart,” he said once, impassioned, “I’ll… I’ll punch it in the face!”

I found this so hilarious that I laughed about it for three days straight. I still laugh about this. I am chuckling away to myself as I type.

So yes. We don’t do Valentine’s day. We don’t schedule dates. We don’t plan holidays. We don’t get gifts. We just never think about that. It doesn’t matter to either of us. we aren’t the celebratory type. We aren’t mushy, and can be awkward demonstrating our love.

Do I, as a woman who can be emotional sometimes all the time, ever feel bad about it?

Honestly, hand on heart honest, I don’t.

 

Some people feel very low about Valentine’s Day. They feel more lonely, surrounded by loving couples. It is a day that can exclude a lot of members of our society, even though it is not only meant to celebrate romantic love, but all love.

To other people, Valentine’s Day is pointless, ridiculous consumerism and a way for the capitalists to make their capital gains.

To me, Valentine’s Day is the sweet day Katy Carr and her siblings exchanged heartwarming (and sometimes chuckle-worthy) poems by a roaring fire, surrounded by comfort and love.

What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day? Do you ‘do’ Valentine’s Day, or would you ‘do’ it?

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A Summer’s Day

We wake up early, throw our covers back. The air is tantalisingly temperate. No cold toes.

A tentative tiptoe on the floorboards.

No rush of icy draft.

A sigh of relief.

Scarpering feet on the laminate outside, a rush for the bathroom.

“Wake up kids!”, shouts the father from downstairs.

They wake up, because it’s summer and there’s no school.

Visions of sunny beaches, bare legs, feet rustling through dry, cool grass. Daisies to pick, their white faces tinged with purple and sunny smiles upturned to the bright sky. Buttercups nodding in the breeze, shining yellow.

“Do you like butter?”

Do you like butter?”

Images shared over the breakfast table. Licks of ice cream. Wild dreams under a canopy of trees. Adventures in faraway lands, at the bottom of the garden. Cake in the park. Sprinkles of duck food over a pond. Swimming in the sunshine. Sunsets that are stretched out over a long evening. Curtains billowing in the breeze. Dust mites swirling.

Breakfast is had. Dishes are washed. Children are dressed. Never mind Billie has some jam on her cheek. Race for the front door. A little scuffle about who is going to sit in the middle seat. Mother straightening herself before the mirror. Father rattling keys. Fall out the door. Get in the car.

Quick, hurry.

A cloud appears.

Oh. It’s raining.

Hard droplets hit the windscreen, as miserable clouds roll up.

Pack yourselves indoors. It’s not going to clear soon. Warm wind rushes through the house. Socks are pulled on. Books are scattered off bookshelves.

A British Summer’s day.

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