Someone tells me it is Valentine’s day today. I confess, I woke up this morning (after emerging from a haze of pukey, ploppy days with the kids – norovirus, anyone?) and had totally forgotten that today was the 14th February. This is even more ridiculous considering all of the Valentine’s-themed work I’ve been doing lately.
My memories of Valentine’s day are girls at school either obsessing over what their boyfriends will get them, or positively berating the day (if they happened to be single). One of my most lasting memories was my friend Jo painting her nails black one year in a protest to Valentine’s day. I have no idea why she was so cross with ‘love’ that year, but it hasn’t left my memory and never fails to bring a smile to my face. Jo is very much the opposite these days. I only ever see her in pink or red nail varnish.
Historically, Ian and I have never really celebrated the occasion. The first Valentine’s day we had as a couple was back in 2006. I was a second-year nursing student up in Lancaster and Ian was based in our home town of (south) London. He was only 23 and was eagerly badgering me for clues about what I would like to mark the occasion with. I briefed him that I had absolutely no expectations of gifts or anything for Valentine’s, as ‘I don’t do Valentine’s day’, being the alternative, anti-mainstream kinda girl that I (am) was.
Anyway, after a day of lectures, I arrived home that day to find my house mates all giddy about a delivery that had arrived for me. I went up to my room to find a gorgeous little vase full of flowers, accompanied by a card and chocolate. Ian had had it delivered from London, and I’ll be honest, it really did make me feel like one special lady that day! Another memory from that year was the ‘Valentine’s beef’ that his mum packed for him to bring up to cook for me. It must have been on the weekend following Valentine’s day that he drove up from London, armed with a cool bag full of food to cook from M&S. Included was some marinated steak, which we have since referred to fondly as the ‘Valentine’s beef’.
Since then, Ian has always made me feel special on occasions – he’s actually more romantic than I give him credit for. It isn’t just the occasions either. He does little everyday things which shows that he cares and I believe these little things are all part of the concept of ‘romance’ too. I will also add that I am sometimes so caught up with doing a zillion other things that I fail to notice or acknowledge the little things that he does, which is pretty rubbish on my part. Bad wife *slap on the wrists*.
Getting back to today, I donned my heart earrings (thanks Jo – I told you she is a changed woman) and rushed to the supermarket, as we were nearly out of all food, owing to nobody doing any shopping while I’ve been at home with pukey kids. It wasn’t until I got back and remembered that it was Friday 13th yesterday that it suddenly clicked that today must be Valentine’s day. Whoops! My mother-in-law informed me that she had received a box of chocolates from my father-in-law (who has been holed up in bed with norovirus also, so where he magicked these from, I do not know). At this point, Ian came over and wished me ‘happy Valentine’s day’ with a kiss.
We’re having a takeaway tonight, and probably a glass of wine with it. I rarely drink these days, so this really will be special! We may fall asleep watching a film and Ian may get up to the kids tonight instead of me. I doubt it. This is about as romantic as it gets these days, but its cool. I don’t have any expectations, particularly as I forgot it myself.
So that’s my obligatory Valentine’s day post. I’ll leave you with this recent (pretty un-romantic) photo of Ian and I. It is a rare photo of us together these days, and I thought I would embellish it (using my best PicMonkey ‘skills’) with a little ‘happy Valentine’s day’ message, complete with a pair of lips in the same shade of lipstick I was also wearing to the shops this morning. Not quite black nail varnish, but nearly-black lips. Only because I like the colour.
What do you do to mark the occasion? Will you heading out for a candlelit dinner tonight? Will you treat yourselves to some fine champagne? Is there such a thing as non-fine champagne? Would love to hear all about it.