I stepped into the supermarket last weekend to pick up a pint of milk, well 6 pints actually as one pint in our house does not go far. The first thing to hit me was the huge display of flowers particularly red roses; followed by the rows and rows of funny, rude and soppy cards. Also tucked into the display were bottles of bubbly, boxes of bonbons and bubble bath to remind even the most unromantic soul that Valentine’s day is just around the corner.
I am not expecting much in the way of cards or gifts on the day itself as Sexy Sporty Dad is not the most demonstrative romantic. In fact when I mentioned we might be away staying with family overnight that day and asked if it would upset any surprise plans he might have, he looked most confused. He has obviously not been to any shops in the past week as he struggled to follow my train of thought.
Valentine’s Day and the association with lovers may date back to the fourteenth Century and possibly to the writings of Chaucer although who St Valentine actually was is hotly disputed. Some claim he was a priest or a bishop who married persecuted Christians in secret, which links to the notion he married Roman soldiers against the will of the Roman Army. Stories also tell of him being one of 14 martyrs killed in Roman Africa or some say he was a Spanish hermit. Whoever Valentine was he or they have left a legacy of love that remains even today. Naturally this has been revived more by greedy marketing men than through a real sense of meaning, but it gives us a chance to admit to our feelings when sometimes it is too difficult to say.
What I would question is the tapered feel that the day is all about one person and one solitary date in the diary. Love to me is a wide ongoing generous emotion open to more than just my husband. I have three children who also command copious care and devotion. Coming from a large now extended family all demanding affection and attention, and lucky enough to have a huge circle who need my friendship and fondness, I need bounteous supplies of what we call love to go around. As any mother with many children will tell you; love is the one commodity that the more you spread the more you have to give.
Being romantic may be a must according to the marketing men and rose growers but youth find it difficult to give and receive this very basic need; love. My boys are about to embark on their own love lives with all the turbulent confusion and emotion this will lead them. No 1 Son had a long term girlfriend whom he worshipped and spent many hours and money on gifts for her. One time he cut a rose from one of my plants, just a young bud beginning to bloom which he presented her with in front of the whole street. The poor embarrassed girl unsure of how to react to the sentiment took the rose home and a few days later dumped him. They did go back out on and off for 18 months but finally what love there was petered out and he has been left with a severely dented ego and heart.
Middle Son also romantically inclined; struggled to persuade a certain young lady to go out with him, although she did mention to his friends that she was keen. He spent his whole allowance on an expensive necklace last Valentine’s day. Too shy to give it to her he persuaded her tutor, against the teacher’s and our advice to hand it to the girl. By the end of the day Middle son’s romantic gesture was the joke of the whole school. When the girl came round to accepting his offer to go out, he was still hurting too much from the humiliation to agree and they have not spoken since.
Mini Son having seen the extravagantly generous actions of his big brothers presented his little girlfriend with a bunch of flowers that he too had spent his pocket money on. We knocked on the door and asked for her, as she appeared he thrust them into her hand with not a word. Taking them from him she burst out laughing before rushing back inside.
It must be so difficult for children growing up to learn how to express themselves if the sentiments are met with derision and scorn. Maybe Sexy Sporty Dad has lost his romance after a similar rebuff. Sometimes he does amaze me by some unexpected gesture so I know there is still a thread of romantic blood left flowing deep within his heart. I hope my boys pick themselves up from these falls and build on what they too must have buried deep within rather than loose it like their father. I had better take them all to a card shop before Tuesday and try and guess who their affections are directed at this year, or better still send them with their father.
The language of love has changed from how I remember. I used to send messages to special people, and admit I still do signing it lol but meaning lots of love. The children now all use this same term but they think it stands for laugh out loud. I have no problem with laughing quietly or out loud but when I wish to offer my love to some lucky recipient, I do not want them chuckling inappropriately. I will add a joke or funny comment or even a smiley face if I want them to laugh.
My love and card will obviously go to one person but to all my children, family, friends and readers I also send lots of love. My words of love to all I know come from the military wives song “wherever you are my love will keep you safe.”
I also wish to say a sad farewell to Whitney Huston who has died. Her songs and album have special meaning for Sexy Sporty Dad and I. It was her tape; we had them in those days, he romantically lent me in order to meet up again when I returned it. We did meet up but I am not sure I ever really returned it, if I dig through the BC box; before children, I guess I may find it.
If you want a divine meal to serve him up try the slow roasted lamb from : http://tiggy-tea.blogspot.com/ not much chance of tete-a-tete as the whole family will want to join in.