It’s the 13th of February and I am under pressure: under pressure to have a plan (a card, a meal, a bottle of wine, anything) for tomorrow.
Perhaps it’s just that I don’t want to be forced into it - forced to share a cramped restaurant or to see my husband pay ridiculous prices for roses (a lover maybe, but a husband never). Give me a box of chocolates or a simple bunch of tulips on any OTHER day and I’d be thrilled.
You see, it’s complicated.
The cynical side of me wants to step back from the whole syrupy wave of advertising. Who wants to be reminded that they are so gullible? The romantic side of me wants to enjoy an occasion when I am made to feel special. Who doesn’t? Then my superstitious side (can I have three sides?) doesn’t want to tempt fate, or the gods, or cupid by self-consciously ignoring February 14th. Would you?
As a couple we have developed a curiously Irish solution. We celebrate the valentine sentiment but not always on the day. We come at it obliquely, furtively, from the side so-to-speak.
So, we didn’t get engaged on Valentine’s Day but settled on a few days before. That took everyone by surprise. And not during a romantic dinner, but rather during Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Dracula’ in the Savoy cinema. That certainly took me by surprise. The ring was in a carton of popcorn. Risky, yes, but a ring in a velvet box would have been too simple!
But the problem with coming at something sideways is that out of all the Valentine’s Days my husband and I have shared, and there have been quite a few, neither of us can remember any one in particular- a bit like New Year’s Eves. In fact, the most memorable Valentine’s Day was when I went into premature labour with child number four, and my other three – then aged 5, 4 and 2 each brought a smiling giant daisy to the hospital to me.
Maybe tomorrow we will try and celebrate it on the day. So, I am under pressure: under pressure to have a plan (a card, a meal, a bottle of wine, anything) …