I have a little confession to make, I have never had a valentines, nope never until now that is (my boyfriend is probably sneakily reading this oh hey!) I’m 28 and this year is the first year I am in a relationship that falls on the 14th February, well technically that’s a wee lie I was with someone last year but he was cheating on me and decided to spend Valentines with her and not me, I wasn’t too fussed as I am stubborn and tend not to want to break a habit of a life time (humour is my coping mechanism not sure if you noticed yet?) and I’ve had girl mates asking me ooh so where is he taking you? what have you brought him? and I’m like does it really matter? Does it mean I don’t care enough about him that I haven’t come up with this elaborate evening of affection (can’t be using the L word just yet ha!) This got me thinking about this day were you’re either made to feel unloved or you should be lounging around in sexy lingerie being made sweet sweet love to by your significant other.
Growing up in my family home as a child around this time of year was confusing, my Mother was a florist by trade and would often in my late teens be working every hour around this time to get bouquets of flower made and sent out to swooning couples declaring their undying love for each other. Where as on the other hand for my Father it marked the death of his Father my Grandfather who I never met, it’s still a tough one for my dad to articulate. So on a day were we are supposedly meant to show are trustiest intent and deepest love its tarnished with an air of sadness in my family over something that directly affects the people I love. So I have never really seen it as a day of romance, of getting what you want or being told you are loved, my father was obviously affectionate to my mother buying her a card and probably an extra packet of fags and some heart shaped chocolates, but it was a day growing up that you struggled through because ultimately my father found it hard.
I never really needed to value or ear mark the day as anything special in my calendar it was hard for me to understand my dad loosing his dad until the moment I lost my mother, I realised that Valentines day isn’t really special until you’ve lost something that is of value to you because the one you love can’t be loved, showered in affection or taken to the pictures, now doesn’t that sound depressing, don’t get me wrong you can use it as a day to bestow all the heart shaped chocolates on your significant other, take the time to love yourself, go out with girl mates but for me its a tough day of watching my Father solider on through his new life, A life with out my Mother now I give a tremendous about of fucks about my family and my father everyday of the year but its the holidays, celebrations were things and feelings stick out like sore thumbs.
He still buys my mother flowers every week, picks up heart shape stones and keeps then in a jar when he’s at work and occasionally will change the box in which her ashes reside in to give her a different look, because that’s what real love is, it’s heart breaking and its more then just the amount of gifts you get given, its more then how much they’ve spent on that fancy steak dinner, it’s way more then bragging about your relationship and showing off. Its the things you do on a daily basis behind closed doors. Its waking up every morning before work to put the fairy lights on in the dark near your wife’s ashes so you don’t feel so alone and that’s why I give a slight fuck about Valentines because it stands out to me to be a day where I need to show the people around me a little bit of love, as I did last year I have brought my dad a thinking of you card because I am and sometimes it’s nice to know someone is acknowledging in your tough times and anyway who doesn’t love a nice card.
Maybe because I have never had the worry of getting this wrong or the burden or pressure of making someone feel loved on this day I can objectively stand on the outside looking down on this so called day of love and realise that really it’s just another day like any other we should spend everyday making the person we’ve chosen feel loved, respected and wanted.
So however you choose to spend your Valentines and there is no wrong or right way, I will be spending the evening before with my lovely fella probably laughing at stupid jokes and eating too much, just make sure its about the person and not about what you didn’t get, take the time to give yourself a little TLC and appreciate the fact love is a wonderful thing.