Valentines Day brings out my inner curmudgeon. It’s a huge, huge con. Today I was buying fruit and veg when a man came to the counter next to me bearing a box full of gorgeous orchids. “That should make you popular,” I joked.
“It’ll just about get me back to square 1,” he snorted. “You know what it’s like.”
Valentines Day is nothing but a marketing technique designed to sell a large number of roses, a vast amount of chocolate and a forest full of greeting cards. Oh, and things that sparkle, naturally. It bugs me because of the expectation. Buying flowers, chocolates or diamonds for your beloved because you know you will catch hell if you don’t is not romance. It’s pure pavlovian behaviour. Woof.
In the spirit of positivity, then, let me tell you what romance is, rather than what it’s not, and put my inner curmudgeon back where she belongs.
Romance is your husband shaving your legs for you when you’re pregnant and can no longer reach them yourself.
Romance is your partner calling up a friend you’ve been fighting with and handing you the phone, telling you to sort it out before you break the friendship.
Romance is cooking you your favourite dinner when you’ve had a rough day.
It’s letting you sleep in when you’re tired.
It’s getting creative in the kitchen to find ways to make your favourite dishes minus the things you’re allergic to.
It’s knowing you better than you know yourself.
It’s encouraging you to do the things you don’t want to do, that he knows will make you feel better (like exercising).
It’s managing your paperwork for you, when organisation is not your strong suit.
It’s knowing when you need food, a hug, or a good tickle, and supplying them in liberal quantities.
It’s building an aviary to implement your mad plan to have a sugar glider as a pet, and then extending the aviary when you decide to get two.
Romance is buying you a book you didn’t know existed that you now can’t put down because it speaks directly to your soul.
Romance is knowing exactly who you are, and giving you everything you need to be the best and happiest person you can be. Diamonds and roses don’t even come close.