Be my Valentine


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Why do we make such a fuss of Valentine’s day?


Why not? I would counter question. Yes, it is a commercial “foefie” and yes, there are people who go totally overboard with expensive jewellery, hot airballoon trips, spa days, kilograms of chocolates and overpriced bunches of roses.


Even at school the kids were celebrating Valentine’s day – wearing red and pink and treating their teachers to little gifts of handpicked flowers, home made biscuits or creamy chocolates. It was so heartwarming to see all these innocent little ones, dressed in their Sunday school best, hugging their friends and excitedly discussing each others’ outfits. Cailin even got a little teddy bear in a gift bag, from a not-so-secret-admirer. She just wants to be friends, but the poor boy lives in hope….


Valentines’ day gives you an opportunity to show the one you love, that you really do value them. That they fill a special place in your heart and in your life. Because, let’s face it, we take each other for granted at the best of times. And, from my own experience, husband and wife have two different lives during the week. While I am doing grocery shopping, sorting washing, planning dinner, running errands and being “mom’s taxi”, my husband is managing staff, attending meetings and planning budgets. In some ways our lives are worlds apart and at the end of each day, we have to bury our stresses till the next morning. So we are a bit like passing ships in the night.


In my single days Valentine’s day, for obvious reasons, had a very different “feel” to it. In high school, on the morning of Valentine’s day, we would post a Valentine’s card in a cardboard postbox placed in front of the hall. Throughout the course of the morning, these cards (and little gifts) would be delivered to our classes. Sadly, I remember the total disappointment and disbelieve, when, on many occasions, I got nothing. No anonymous card decorated with red hearts, no red foil wrapped chocolate heart, no fancy fabric rose or pink helium balloon.   It was of course even worse when my best friend broke the record for most cards received in our class. Nothing like feeling like the ugly step sister. Oh boy, life and love can be so cruel.


At least as I got older, Valentine’s day became a lot more exciting. The days when little gestures were oh so romantic! A handwritten note with a white teddy bear left on someone’s desk, a fresh rose delivered via a friend. And then the overwhelming joy of actually receiving something! The disbelieve when the guy you had your eye on actually likes you back.   Or the knot in your stomach when the bunch of flowers is signed by “an admirer.” And finally, when you find the person who is your person, there are candelight dinners and romantic movies with popcorn and slush puppies. Cards are exchanged with words of undying love and ever after commitment. The stuff fairy tales are made of. And you don’t mind paying for overpriced roses or fancy restaurants.


Now that the girls are old enough to also understand Valentine’s day, it is so much fun celebrating this day of love with them. It is also important for them to see that their parents love each other and spoil each other. But they also need to realise that it is important for mom and dad to spend some time as a couple too, as that is what they were before they had you! So last night, we had a family dinner, with chocolates and candles and fancy cutlery. Before kissing them goodbye to go off to the theatre.


Out on a school night? Such rebels.