What’s this? Two posts in quick succession? What a new and novel concept.
On the subject of novel concepts, it was Valentine’s Day yesterday. I still can’t work out how I feel about it – I remember being being unnecessarily cynical about it as teenager but I can never quite work out why. I seem to remember my first boyfriend sacked me off shortly before the big day, so it probably spans from that. Either way, that was when I was 14 – but for some reason I’ve always eyed up the bunches of roses and soppy cards with a modicum of bitterness.
Actually bitterness is probably the entirely wrong word to use. Indifference is probably closer to my actual emotions surrounding the day. I mean, I actually really like the idea of having a day dedicated to love – being a secret romantic, having an excuse to go massively overboard for someone I love is actually really appealing to me. The only problem that I’ve had with that is that I’ve not have anyone to spoil for the last few Valentine’s days.
I know, I know. Put your violin down.
This year, however, I have a conundrum that I have never faced before – I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO CELEBRATE IT ANY MORE.
I mean obviously I know how to celebrate it – the precedent is food, flowers and booze which is more than acceptable – but I seem to have created a great deal of politics about it in my own mind. How do you know when it’s the right time to acknowledge it? How overboard can I go for someone who I haven’t been seeing for that long? How quickly can a first class stamp get from Basingstoke to Kettering? IS IT TOO SOON TO USE THE L WORD?!
Speaking of going overboard, I met Mr Cruise in June (on a cruise. I wasn’t an extra in Mission Impossible) and even though I’ve been seeing him since then, we didn’t really mention Valentine’s Day until the actual day itself. We didn’t exchange gifts or go out for dinner – and I don’t think either of us particularly minded. The closest we got was binge watching the entire first series of Stranger Things over two evenings last week, which is TOTALLY FINE BY ME (because Oh. My. God). He text me shortly after midnight and wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day before I did (which was definitely a test) but aside from that it was just really just another ordinary day for us. Being long distance, it can be a bit of a nightmare trying to juggle our jobs so we can see each other at the best of times, so throwing a specific day into the mixture just adds to the pressure and for me, would taint the sincerity if we had actually done something for each other.
I really don’t want to be one of those people who says “ugh, I really don’t like Valentine’s Day”, because I do – like I said, I really love the idea of having a day to dedicate to romance. I know that the majority of people celebrate it as a couple, but this year I’ve seen a few “Palentines” knocking around, which I think is a fantastic alternative if you’re not celebrating with a partner. The bit I can’t stand is the tacky slogans and obnoxiously large, heart-wielding stuffed animals that seem to make an appearance every year, and I’ve seen the entire range of rings that Pandora has to offer just by scrolling through my Facebook timeline.
I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t enormously bothered seeing all the photos and declarations of love dribbled all over social media, because it did occur to me that I might be. Was I jealous? If I’m being honest then yeah, a little – but I think that’s more to do with the fact that I don’t see my valentine all that often anyway, rather than the fact that I wasn’t with him on this particular day. On the whole it was actually really lovely to see couples embracing the day for what it was and, as it was my mum’s birthday on the same day, I still got to go out for a nice meal.
Strangely this post hasn’t really gone the way I thought it would. I was kind of expecting to come up with a bunch of reasons as to why I don’t like Valentine’s Day and turn it into a bit of an amusing rant, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that yeah, it’s not so bad after all. This probably doesn’t make for as much of an entertaining read, but if it’s any consolation, it’s made me feel a bit more positive towards something.
That is until next year, when I will inevitably walk up and down the seasonal isle in Sainsbury’s in early February, grumbling under my breath about how crap and tacky the whole ordeal is, stubbornly avoiding purchasing or wearing anything red or pink and yet still half hoping I’ll come home to a large bunch of roses when the 14th rolls around.
Thanks for reading!