I've noticed there are a few of these out there. Never one to be outdone - or to lose the opportunity to make use of something I've already written - here is 'one I made earlier' for a local magazine...
Ah, Valentine’s Day is upon us. Others might wax lyrical about moonlight, candles, and romantic walks, but this date was always more about the anticipation than the reality for me.
Pre-Children? I used to see it as a day of Opportunity.
I knew that the chance to wake up, stare lovingly into my beloved’s eyes, and exchange a gentle kiss (or whatever - though let's be honest, probably not the 'whatever'), before eating a leisurely breakfast whilst sipping a Nespresso and perusing the morning papers was unlikely if it wasn’t the weekend.
I knew too that if it did fall on a workday, the mid-morning phone call from reception was more likely to be one berating me for forgetting to pick up a delivery, than to be a request to come down and collect an enormous bunch of red roses, which I could then stand proudly on my desk, proclaiming to all my colleagues ‘Oh yessss! I’m SOOOO worth it!’.
And finally, I knew that if I did manage to make it out of the office at a reasonable hour, looking even remotely presentable, that the romantic dinner planned weeks ago was probably going to be replaced with a baked potato and a dvd because my other half was working late on a deal, and ‘let’s face it, darling, the boss is still in the office, so really I’ve got no choice in this market…’
The point is though, Pre-Children, Valentine’s Day could be like that. It might be like that.
Now though, Post-Children, things work out a little differently. Anticipation? Who has the time?
This year, Valentine’s Day in our household will probably work as follows.
I am hoping to give Husband a card. Give, not send. I will have intended to post it, but along with the thankyou letters for the childrens’ Christmas presents, it will still be loitering un-stamped and un-sent in ‘dispatch’ where we keep the keys for the front door.
I may even get to give the card – and who knows, perhaps even a kiss (steady…) - before the Boys thunder in to wake us, demanding milk, the potty, a story, cereal, mediation in the matter of who gets to use the Power Ranger Communicator first, and a trip to the circus instead of a day at school.
If lucky, I will then be presented with a home-made card from both of them, and if even luckier, Husband will present me with a card bought not from WH Smith but from Paperchase or somewhere with a design section that sells glittery prints.
And that, most likely, will be it. Flowers? So last year, darling; and apparently trendsetters like Sam and Dave don’t go to the expense anyway. Dinner? At those prices, and have you seen how much a babysitter costs these days?
And frankly, by not going out I get to have a drink earlier, to eat later (‘Yes madam, of course we have a table on Valentine’s Day. Will the 6.30pm sitting suit you?’) and not pay for a taxi home.
Whoever said Romance was dead?