Ok, I’ll admit it.
I don’t do Valentines Day.
There, I said it.
In fact, I happen to think it’s the least romantic day of the year. And I call myself a writer of happy endings!
And it’s not just because I’ve never received a card at Valentines – let alone anything else. Ever. Even before I decided I didn’t like the Hallmark sentimentality. I don’t think I’ve ever been that type of girl – the type of girl who is sent flowers or cards at Valentines – although when I was younger, I desperately wanted to be that type of girl. Cue sad violin music.
I remember clearly the Valentines Day before the man who would become my husband and I started dating. We were working together and he received flowers from a soon to be ex-girlfriend. He was mortified. I’m still not sure whether it was the surprise (he doesn’t like surprises), or the fact that she’d blown that much money, or that girls aren’t supposed to buy guys flowers. Whatever. He hated it and they split very soon after. I think they were probably already in the processes of splitting – hence the flowers.
By the time the next Valentines Day came about we’d been together for about 8 months. He asked whether I wanted to do anything, and copped the (first of many over the years) soapbox stance about how the food is worse on Valentines Day, the price of everything goes up, and how there’s no romance or spontaneity in being told that on this day you should show your partner that you love her/him.
To me, it’s like New Year’s Eve: when you’re told that you have to party and have a good time because it’s New Year’s Eve. I don’t like being told what to do, and when.
Now before you go and assume that I’m not romantic, that’s absolutely not the case. I absolutely believe in romance – I have to: I’m in the business of writing happy endings. Nor is it the case that hubby doesn’t do the occasional flower thing – usually though, it’s when I least expect it, and most need it. Like the time when I went in for some nasty girly surgery and he brought me two bunches of flowers: herbs for his wife, and daisies for his lover. Awwwww.
So when I say I don’t do Valentines Day, what I really mean is I don’t do all the card, flowers, expensive set menu brouhaha of it.
But, when you’ve been together for a while when domestic business, as usual, takes over, days like Valentines and anniversaries are little reminders that every so often your relationship needs to be put front and centre.
Sometimes in the whirl of work, bills, mortgages, homework, family stuff, you need a reminder about why you’re together. And Valentines is good for that.
To me, it’s about the sentiment, not the expenditure.
We won’t share cards. But we will share a joke – about the flowers he ordered from that florist in Canberra. It’s the same florist he’s ordered from each year for the last 28 years who never delivers. Somehow I think the delivery will go astray again this year.