Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar

“One final love letter to all the Valentines I’ve loved before”

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Ihave a confession to make. You’ll groan. You’ll probably think I’ve been brainwashe­d by Hallmark or that, for someone with the surname Love,

I’m just plain unimaginat­ive. But here goes: I love Valentine’s Day. Always have and always will. From my very first love letter to the overpriced set-menu dinners and exorbitant­ly expensive flowers, I shamelessl­y love the fuss of it all.

But after this one, there won’t be any new Valentines for me. That’s the plan, anyway, because I’m getting married next month! And while of course that means I’ve got my Valentine’s date locked in for life, it’s not quite the same as that sought-after, elusive, totally-meaningles­sbut-you-still-want-to-hear-it “will you be my Valentine?” – is it?

There will be no more breath-holding when a bunch of roses is delivered to my workplace and I hope or wonder if they’re for me. No more freeing up February 14 and getting everything waxed, plucked and preened just in case. No more crying myself to sleep because the boy I’d convinced myself secretly loved me did not, in fact, even know my name.

From the romance to the heartbreak­s, every Valentine has led me to where

I am now: sickeningl­y happy to be spending this V Day on the couch in my PJS, getting Uber Eats with my soon-to-be husband. So, for the final Valentine’s Day before this bacheloret­te is officially off the market, I want to write one final love letter to all the Valentines I’ve loved before.

To my first Valentine, who stuffed my locker full of chocolates and teddy bears (and the home-room teacher who rolled her eyes and told me I’d forget his name by the time I was 30): Thank you for being the first person to make me feel

“To the one whose heart I broke: I’m sorry. To the one who broke mine: Thank you”

loved, special and important. You were pretty special. If only I could remember your name…

To the boy who sent a gerbera to my Year 9 classroom: While I’m pretty sure you were trying to embarrass me, thank you for giving me my very first gift of a single flower. How poignant that act would turn out to be in my life.

To the one who said he loved me, but that I was too loud, too outgoing and too confident: Thank you for teaching me never to let anyone tell me I’m “too” anything, and that no-one else’s insecuriti­es should ever dull my sparkle.

To the one whose heart I broke: I’m sorry. Perhaps too little, too late, but I really am. (I also see on Insta you have a super-hot girlfriend now, so high-five, man!)

To the one who broke mine: Thank you. Not for the blindside, the cheating, or the months and months of tears and gut-wrenching pain. But for teaching me what I wanted and just how fiercely I could love somebody, so that I would never settle for anything less. Thank you for breaking up with me so I would be single when the producers of a little show called The Bacheloret­te called and asked if I’d be interested in applying.

And to the rebound: Thanks for the fun.

So now, I close the book on the traditiona­l Valentine’s part of my life.

But don’t get me wrong, I will still celebrate this mushy, commercial, silly holiday every year and 100 per cent expect flowers from my husband forever. Love is literally in my name. He knew what he was getting into.

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