...more guinea-pig hunting than Scarlet & Violet bouquets in the Green household
It’s not all hearts and flowers in the Green household this month
CHEERS. THAT IS WHAT MY FRIEND’S VALENTINE’S CARD SAID.
To T, Happy Valentine’s Day. Cheers, Nes. Which is up there with Alpha Male’s wedding speech in which the sum total of his romantic chat was, “Green knows I love her.”
Obviously, I was looking for some choked-up talk of true devotion, maybe even a bit of I’m-the-luckiest-manin-the-world chat. I would have welcomed a few silent (but strong) Obama-style tears trickling down his cheeks.
But no, Alpha Male just moved on to thank his dad for coming... 29 years ago. Hmm.
At this time of year, the teenage romantic in me can’t help but have her expectations raised sky-high by all the scarlet hearts that dance around the shops and our screens.
It’s just when those expectations meet reality (let’s say a card from One Stop which has googly eyes on it), that BAM, it’s relationship napalm.
Oh, AM was romantic in the beginning. On our first Valentine’s Day he scaled the walls of my student house like a Milk Tray Man (Google it, millennials). I was happily typing up my dissertation when suddenly 16st of breathless, dishevelled and, I suspect, slightly inebriated student tumbled in through the window. He became comically entangled in my Laura Ashley curtains à la Paddington Bear. Once unravelled, it became clear his leg was bleeding from an injury sustained on the ascent (leaving smears of blood on the wall that led to our eventual loss of deposit) and that the chocolates were, well, squished. Still, romantic. Then there were the needy years, where I deemed a conspicuous display of devotion validation of AM’S love. Once, Valentine’s Day fell on a Wednesday, the same day as rugby training. He booked a fancy restaurant (score), so I assumed he’d forgone practice. Nope. We were the early-bird sitting. AM had obviously briefed the waiters to race us through all the courses at breakneck speed. We were on pudding by 6.59pm.
PRESENTS ARE ANOTHER WORLD OF PRESSURE/ PAIN.
My friend Sophia was excited when her boyfriend said he’d got her something special (she was hoping for a diamond solitaire). After leading her blindfolded to the bedroom, anticipation building, she was proudly presented with some Halfords hubcaps. And my friend P, who isn’t into the whole Valentine’s thing, nevertheless decided to send her boyfriend some cakes to show willing. She didn’t really read the details and they arrived a this testosteronedrenched workplace, in a Little Bo Pee p-type basket with a big blue bow and her innocent message: ‘Happy muffin munching’. He had to slink back to his desk to hoots of barely concealed mirth from colleagues. Now, I’m long enough in the incisors to realise Valentine’s Day has become less about true love and more about ways to make you buy stuff. I totally get that the dozen red roses you buy on the 13th and the 15th are twice the price on the 14th. But if AM doesn’t get them then, he’s never going to buy them. My friend who stopped her boyfriend buying overpriced blooms, saying she’d have them on an ‘unvalentine’s day’, is still waiting, 12 years later.
I can see that the daily tokens of affection are more important than artisan chocolates, yellow diamonds or heart-sprinkled cashmere (though they’d be nice). And that braving the undergrowth in the dark to recapture a lost guinea pig is more precious.
So, in return, AM, I want to send you a heartfelt message on this special day…
Day. Kind regards, Green.
“The teenage romantic in me has her expectations raised sky-high”