When it comes to real life, I am as unromantic as they come. I like the idea of romance. I like the thought of a handsome prince riding up to my turret and whisking me away to a far-off land filled with roses, wine and kittens. But, the reality of being romantic is one of effort and hard work.
After the prince has whisked, and it all becomes routine, it is too much effort to think up those sickeningly cute gestures and it is too much effort to be on one’s best behaviour in the hope of a romantic treat being showered upon you. I actually can’t be arsed. I would rather run myself a bubble bath, pour myself a glass of something fruity and light my own candles than have someone else do it for me.
It is even more effort and hard work to be romantic on a fixed day of the year when you might be riddled with spots, bloated and generally feeling like crap. Singles, the obligatory ‘love’ day is just as bad if you are in a relationship: the pressure of actually having to get on with each other is immense. What if it is one of those days where you just can’t stand the sight of one another? You know, those days when you consider whether going to prison for life would really be such a bad thing if it means you have that momentary pleasure of bashing his head in with his games console.
As the years go by, Valentine’s Day is frankly a drain on my time, patience and finances. I realise that referring to it as being a drain on my finances implies that I am some kind of Valentine’s whore, sending out hundreds of cards. But no, what I mean is: I buy ONE card. Just the one, and every year it seems to get more and more extortionate. Yesterday, I went into the usual shop and feeling totally uninspired by all the red and, oddly, gold, I went to the ‘blank’ cards section and found something plain and simple.£2.75 it cost me. £2.75! And that is cheaper than the actual ‘branded’ Valentine’s Day cards. This is the tenth one that I have bought him, so that’s a mighty good bottle of wine I could have had, but instead it’s all gone into the recycling.
And then there is the onerous task of thinking of something to write. Yes, I love you. Yes, let’s stay together (even if it is for the sake of the cat). Yes, be my valentine. I mean, after 10 years, it’s all been said! What more could I possibly say? I can hardly write the truth; “Dear Valentine, please sort your dirty washing and stop leaving teabags in the sink or else you are going to die,” can I?
Some of you may shout at me, saying “at least you have someone who gets you a card”, as many people have indeed already shouted at me. Well, gee whiz, so I get a card from someone who has to get me a card because it’s what one does, and neither of us is willing to make a stand and not get a card and face the wrath of the other. One year, it would be nice to get a card from someone else (and not my mother).
We gave up on presents a long time ago, we gave up on going out soon after and then, after that, we stopped bothering to even mark it in any way at home. So, he sits hunched in front of his games console and I relax in my bubble bath – dreaming about the prince who will come and be my house slave whilst I am out and about crusading against Valentine’s Day. Read more by Naomi.