Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day - Is that a card I see before me?

Hurray, we are the other side of that romantic watershed of Valentine’s Day. Judging by the number of sheepish looking men I met at 6.30 a.m. on the morning of the 14th, who were clutching red roses outside the local flower shop, there were a fair number of people (predominantly male) who were caught unaware by the fact that Valentine’s Day fell on a Monday. My own hopes were not high as I overheard Husband asking the Drama Queens what date Valentine’s Day was? I had to restrain myself from shrieking “It’s not a moveable feast”. To be fair we had agreed a no present pact, but I did fear he might have interpreted this as a ‘get out of jail free’ card, rather than a chance to display romantic fervour untainted by material excess. Fortunately for the marital relationship, he came through with the goods by taking me out for a glass of pink champagne which ticked romantic and entertaining boxes.

I think my attitude to Valentine’s Day is a product of my teenage years where early February was dominated by twin concerns, a) how to find a suitably romantic, sensitive but not soppy, card to send to whatever benighted Glaswegian teenager my fancy had lit upon – and the stress of disguising handwriting as the horror of being discovered would have been too much to bear, and b) worry about whether I was ever going to be a recipient of one of these anonymous offerings – just for the record I do have to hold up my hand to receiving one card. The really sad fact is I am pretty sure it came from my mother and the cleaning lady acting in concerned concert.

I was flummoxed when we moved to America where the concept of sending just one Valentine is completely alien – as for anonymous longings forget it, you sign your name with pride. I discovered all three of the Drama Queens, who were in primary school at that point, were required to produce a Valentine’s card for every member of the class. Lovely for producing mass love ins, less good for creating a sense of anticipation around the whole event. Any emotional highs experienced I think would probably be down to the sugar consumed as the result of the candy attached to each card rather than flutterings of unrequited love.

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