So I got lovely handmade Valentine cards from the girls, which really was very thoughtful of them. Tilly told me that I could take it to work if I wanted. I will of course. I will also treasure these innocent expressions of love from the two people who love me most. Which is just as well because elsewhere in this house it was a massive #valentinefail. We’ve been married oooh let me think about 7 years I guess and we both sort of forgot about cards. Or chocolates. Or actually that it was in fact Valentines Day.
My nanny got red roses and a card but then again she’s not married yet. Give it time I said. (I’m nice like that).
This made me think about other things that tell you the romance is, if not dead, then certainly in need of de-fibrillation:
1. You speak to each other about 3 times a day, but almost every conversation is about bills, kids or who’s turn it is to put the bins out.
2. A quiet evening in involves one of you catching up on Eastenders (me) whilst the other watches the football (him). Meeting in the kitchen occasionally for snacks and wine (me) and beer (him). We are in no way stereotypical.
3. The only flowers that get bought are primroses at the garden centre because it’s a nice thing for the girls to plant.
4. You get a handheld electric whisk for Christmas (yes okay even if I did ask for it)
5. He gets 4 new tyres on the car (they were on the verge of illegal, it was a practical gift).
6. You have candlelit suppers when the fuse box trips and you’re plunged into darkness before one of you finds the torch (which is NEVER where I left it) and attempts to fix the problem, which is never simple because the fuse box is located in the single most inconvenient place in our house and involves climbing over bags of coal and several bicycles.
You know I’m right. Got any more?
This is the bit where I reassure all my relatives who read this that of course the romance isn’t dead, we love each other now as much as we did when we got married, it’s just taking a sabbatical whilst the children are young and we are both too exhausted with looking after them, doing our jobs and keeping body and soul together to have much time for faffing around with candles (unless required due to power cut) and flowers (unless the girls are planting them). Which is another way of saying, it’s not bad it’s just life.
And in fact him indoors did do a good job of harvesting our gorgeous roses that grow in the garden last summer and that sort of counts doesn’t it?
Valentine’s Day is an odd concept really isn’t it? Created after a saint who was martyred, with a very tenuous connection to romantic love depending on which St. Valentine you actually think it’s for, since there are a few. One of them was martyred in Africa along with some companions and his head was preserved and venerated in the abbey of New Minster in Winchester. A story I rather like for various reasons.
I think it’s importance declines with age. In one of my first PR jobs I worked at a well known London agency and myself and about 4 others decided one drunken night that we would not go through the humiliation of NO FLOWERS on Valentine’s Day. We actually all arranged to have roses delivered to each other, so come the Great Day of Humiliation, the receptionist happily called up to tell us of the great delivery. We were all adorned with magnificent blooms. We kept up the pretence of not knowing who would have bought us all such lovely flowers for quite some time. It was a very good day.
But these days romance can be found in being given a lie in on a Saturday morning, or a nice glass of wine after a particularly challenging day with the girls, or a phonecall that says ‘happy valentine’s day, I love you’ with no mention of bills, or kids or bins. That’s pretty good really.