Gone are the days of writing my boyfriends name all over my pencil case to only scratch it out 2 weeks later. Or stare dreamily out the science lab window asking my friend if when he asked me if I wanted a meat pie from the shops that it meant he really, really loved me or just semi liked me. Or writing our names on paper and working out the percentage of how much he loved me. God, I actually did that. Valentine’s day for me is just any other day and not the day that I want flowers or chocolate or just random red stuff brought home for the sake of it. Love should be something that is always there and shown through simple gestures and not all that stuff.
Currently, my Pinterest and Facebook is blowing up with pictures of flowers, love hearts, recipes for pink frosted cupcakes and heart-shaped fluffy decorations I can hang in my home to let my husband know how much I love him. It is lovely that people gush over their partners and shower them with expensive flowers and gifts but nothing erks me more than my husband feeling obliged to buy me flowers because a stupid day tells him to.
It is highly doubtful my husband will buy me flowers ever again after the last time anyhow. He used to work night shifts, came home at 6.30am one morning with flowers and the first thing I said was “what have you done?”. That kind of killed the flower sitch for me for, well, ever. But if I was to be brought flowers ever again in the near future I don’t want it to be Valentines Day. I don’t want my husband to feel that because everyone else is doing it and the shops are screaming at him to do it he must or it clearly means the kill the love switch has been flicked and our relationship is doomed for eternity. I want him to do it because he just thought of his own accord, not because it was shoved down his throat.
Why do we need 1 special day? And do I really want masses of roses anyway?
There is a lot of stories that bring Valentines Day back through Christianity from the legend of St Valentine who didn’t agree with the ruling that the young soldiers were not allowed to marry and so he performed marriage ceremonies in secret. But it is believed to go back further than that and was originally a pagan event called Lupercalia. These pagan festivals were wildly popular with the Romans and included men stripping naked and using whips on the young maidens to increase their fertility. I am not sure exactly how that works but apparently, it was a whacking good time and the Christians obviously thought so too. It is unclear whether St Valentine was real or just a lovely cover up to join in the festivities. None the less, I should probably be incredibly grateful that all I get is a good morning kiss and not a whip on the bum.
Apart from the fact that flowers are ridiculously overpriced anyway and more so on this particular day, but does nothing say I love you more than flowers that die within at least 4 days of purchase? I mean flowers don’t last long. They are beautiful but they die, very quickly. How do I feel about the fact that this gesture of love and affection will be withered and smelly in such a short period?
I am not a heartless, unromantic bitch. Which you are probably thinking around about now. I love a good rom-com and I am all for spending quality time with my husband if you know what I mean, but just not like this. We have been together for 19 years this year and funnily enough, our anniversary is coming up just days before Valentines Day. We actually don’t know the date that we became boyfriend and girlfriend so we made it up. It was somewhere between mid-January and mid-February so we just picked 10th February. I think 10 is a nice number and it was hard to actually decipher what exactly was the moment we started going together or going round or whatever. After 19 years, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 4 houses later it is important that the love is alive all year round. Well for the most part anyway. We are not perfect and there is a good chunk of fighting, crying and many death stares between the love moments. So here is my married couples version of not doing Valentine’s Day and stuff you should just do throughout the year instead of all the expensive red stuff that dies and ends up in the bin.
- Dinner Date at Home – Most nights is dinner with the kids so often on the weekend we will wait until the kids are in bed and have dinner just the 2 of us. Sometimes a nice bottle of wine will go with yummy takeaway or cooked meal but it is a chance to stop and talk and perhaps have more of a conversation than just spitting out 3 words, being interrupted and then forgetting what you were talking about. You may surprise yourself and realise you actually have a lot to say to each other and, shock horror, you have things to talk about other than the kids!
- Helping Each Other around the house – I think I love my husband most when we both work as a team. We are both busy and just doing little things that help each other out is so thoughtful and far more meaningful than chocolates. You don’t get more romantic than doing an extra load of washing so that the entire household has empty dirty clothes baskets. Taking out the garbage and cleaning up the dog poo in the yard. Picking up milk on the way home. Taking on the basic chores of the house and sharing the load is awesome and shows each other we both respect and appreciate how busy we all are and we all have to make a contribution to make it work. Teamwork equals serious love in my books.
- Morning Coffee – I am not a fussy person and I am not going to ask for bacon and eggs on Saturday, but whoever gets up first puts the kettle on and brings the other a coffee in bed. This to me is pure appreciation and love. What beats that? They got up and not only made themselves one but thought of you in the process. Huge win in my books.
- Letting You Sleep In – Most mornings sleep ins are a distant and fond memory and we both try to get up around the same time. But there are mornings that the other person just does not move and woken person leaves the non-moving person. That feeling of waking up and rolling over and the clock saying it is 9.30am is like rainbows and lollipops and really all the chocolates in the world can’t make up for that. I don’t think anything beats my husband saying thank you, I really needed that and feeling good that he now feels good. If you can make your partner feel good then another huge win.
- Hugs – It is funny how over time it can be so easy to just assume you know that you both love each other. The daily grind keeps moving and so does the family. I cuddle and kiss the kids so often and then realise I haven’t even given my husband a hug for days. We have a thing in our house that even if one of us is going to the shops for 10 minutes the kids need a cuddle and kiss and to be honest as annoying as it can be when you just want to get out the door, it is quite simply the sweetest thing in the world. They love it when they see us hug and then they laugh and want a family cuddle. This type of stuff fills my heart just like a box of Cadbury Favourites would quite easily fill my tummy. It is seriously gooey caramel filled awesomeness that fills my heart with happiness. Keep the hugs coming.
Some from this old, now 38 year old wiser woman you have more than enough stuff to go off to keep the love alive all year round instead of just one single day. Or mix it up a bit and buy flowers and chocolates on 15th February because first they will be cheaper and secondly it’s not Valentines Day and you are being original! Or if none of this tickles your fancy get back to the days of Lupercalia and really enjoy where it all started. But that is probably something for another blog altogether so I think I will just leave it right there.
Tell the people you love they are loved and are important. As many days as you can.