How was your weekend?
Full of romance…or full of washing?
Valentine’s Day. Every year on February 14th, a lot of us exchange cards, gifts or make some sort of a romantic effort with their special ‘valentine.’ This day of romance has established it’s name from St Valentine, the Christian martyr, who was hanging about in the 5th century, presumably clocking up lots of brownie points from his wife.
I have been through many phases with Valentine’s day. At primary school, it wasn’t on my radar at all – until year 6 where a Valentine’s postal system was introduced. I didn’t get one, but I wasn’t bothered. One year later I was bothered. Why was it all the popular girls got a card from the same predictable popular boys? Why was I never considered? Hmph. At least I had a great circle of girl friends – we not only made cards for each other, we swapped letters at least twice a day, whatever the occasion. That’s true love right there.
By year 8 I was now the one sending cards. Still not receiving them; but with excited giggles, purchasing a card in town for my absolute crush at the time and then agonising over what to write in it…eventually making it so anonymous that even MI5 wouldn’t be able to trace where it had come from. Bit of a waste, especially if your crush thinks it must be from leggy Lisa over there, with her platform Kickers and blonde highlights. By year 9 the tables had turned once again. I was mortified to have received a bunch of roses from the quiet spotty boy at the back of my tutor group. With a bright red face I turned round and muttered “thanks” (after being prompted in a patronising tone by leggy Lisa). As they wouldn’t fit in my locker I had to carry them around all day. The next day I decided to make myself look as unattractive as possible – I couldn’t cope with the fame of being publicly fancied. I didn’t wash my hair and I put on some red lipstick with heavy black eyeliner and a long skirt. Bad move: the goths and the skaters were all over me: within days I was being awkwardly asked out through a friend of a friend of a friend.
In year 10 my friend and I felt obliged to purchase Lynx body sets for our pubescent steady boyfriends of two weeks. Year 11 they were given their favourite CD and a snog. We in turn received the same CD and an awkward grope.
Then came the years where Valentine’s day was either a traffic light party in the Student’s Union, whilst necking pale cheap lager and vodka shots; or a romantic dinner for two. Somehow by then, we were all taught how to behave on this obligatory occasion and found it to be great fun, rather lovely or both.
Then came parenthood. Reflecting on our experience of St Valentine’s day over the years, we quickly realise the following:
- Leggy Lisa had 4 kids, about ten years ago whilst we were necking those pints and dancing to The Darkness in the Student Union.
- There is no point being anonymous to your Valentine, there is nothing to hide from your true love once you are a parent.
- There is hardly any time to pick a card in Tesco with a hungry toddler in the trolley, let alone agonise over the various designs and wording.
- To receive flowers from anyone, no matter how spotty they are, will make your day.
- Putting on lipstick badly will not make you look less attractive: putting on any makeup at all will make you look like a different person.
- Not washing your hair is a standard look no one will notice.
- Lynx body sets still remind you of being scared to kiss a boy and are therefore no good for your confidence or sex life.
- You really need to copy that CD onto your iTunes and take it to the charity shop to make room for more baby items.
- An awkward grope from your chosen love will make your day.
- A romantic dinner for two is pizza and Netflix: and if toddler is asleep, it is pretty darn perfect.
Happy Valentine’s Day all!