Sunday, February 15, 2009

Schmalintine’s Day

A quick google shows me that St Valentine was a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. Sounds like a right plum. He died on February 14th and left a farewell note to the jailer’s daughter, signing it ‘from your Valentine.’

What would this chap think to know his name has been turned by Clinton Cards into a means for them to survive the dip in sales between Christmas and Easter, I wonder.

Valentine’s Day is a test. If you don’t buy a dozen red roses, a giant fluffy teddy and an over sized card, you have failed as a husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/mistress/admirer/human being. You should be ashamed of yourself.

No, Clinton Cards, you should be ashamed of yourself. Love isn’t a who-got-the-biggest-teddy-bear contest. You’ve gone and ruined a perfectly good idea haven’t you?

There’s two sides of the fence to sit about Valentine’s Day. There’s the cool gang, sitting, gloating, on the ‘we don’t ‘do’ Valentine’s Day' side. Women who declare it a commercialised media frenzy, and opt out, much to the relief of their otherwise fretting other halfs.

And then there’s the ‘we do, so you better’ crowd. Woman expecting, wishing, hoping to be romanced in every possible way. Bring on the full works – flowers, dinner, rose petals adorning the satin sheets of their boudoir. And why not? They clean their men’s pants all year long, a thankless task, why shouldn’t they enjoy an albeit forced day of romance…

Unfortunately for my boyfriend, I pretend to be in the former, cool, group, but secretly I’m in the latter, making Valentine’s Day a bit tricky for him as he tries to please every side of my personality.

‘I don’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day,’ I declared triumphantly a week before. ‘Great,’ he replied, ‘then we can go to that party.’

Hmph. Talked myself out a night of romance there didn’t I. Nice one Kim.

Then, a few days later, he brings up the party.

‘I don’t want to go to the stupid party!’ I tantrumed. Of course. What part of ‘yes, let’s go to that party’ made him think I wanted to go?

I don’t want Clinton Cards to profit from our love, but I do want lots of attention. Last year, Gareth gave me this blog, following a comment weeks earlier that I missed writing. I was bowled over – a gift that ticked so many boxes – he showed he was thoughtful, that he gave unusual and useful gifts and that he had ears. All good things in a man. Especially the ears.

A year on, how would his actions compare?

As he kept ‘fooling’ me into thinking he had nothing planned, by telling me he had nothing planned, I did begin to think he was a one hit wonder.

Oh, the cad. We had salmon and eggs for candlelit breakfast, accompanied by a Tesco Value valentine’s card, inscribed with some Enrique Iglesias lyrics about being my, er, hero. This year’s practical gift came in the shape of a heart rate monitor, for when I run. Lucky I wasn’t wearing it when I got the card, (did I mention the bar code was bigger than the heart) as I’m sure my heart rate was through the roof.

We watched the rugby, during which I gamely drank 3 pints of Aspells cider. It’s strong. Then we got fish and chips and sat on a hill overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Now before you go and stick your fingers down your throat at my romantic day, let me assure you we didn’t go home to a wild night of passion. After a combination of three really strong pints of cider on an empty stomach and some batter wrapped fish, I felt passionate about nothing but vomiting. Gareth’s a lucky man.

But it was still the best Valentines Day I’ve ever had. Can we do this every month, I asked the next day? Why wait until Clinton tells us to?

Yes darling, he replied. But let’s change the name. Knowing what a strop I’d have been in if he hadn’t pulled out all the stops, despite me declaring I didn’t ‘do’ Valentine’s Day, Gareth’s come up with a new name for our monthly Valentine’s day.

The Keep Kim Kosha Day, or the KKK for short.

Well, it does have a certain ring to it. I think I’ll wear white.


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