The curious thing about Valentine’s Day is me. growing up I was the drama queen in class. Outspoken and fast-tongued and so, I begrudgingly stepped aside as the more, err… demure little girls lapped up Valentine’s cards and shy blushing glances from bare-faced little boys. I didn’t go by unnoticed, I had a few little crushes, but these shows never ran over the 14th of February. I am the Liz Lemon of my generation, and St. Val’s is the stupid people’s version of Anna Howard Shaw Day.
One year I actually received a box of chocolates in the mail (DODGY!). When I was sure there was no threat of anthrax, I analysed the anona-mouse handwriting and concluded that my very cute present must have been from my very cute best friend. I got my dad to take me to the supermarket to pick up a single rose and similar cute card for my sweet friend who wouldn’t let me be sad on the saddest day of all. It turned out, after her thorough insistence on not having sent the gift, that this one time (only) the gift was from a real boy who later accepted responsibility for the act after never hearing back from me. He was in the army, and got his sister to make the delivery on his behalf. How very vintage!
Later years proved more awesome. My dwindling group of single friends and I had an amazing Singles Valentine’s Day dinner complete with tacky tacky TACKY gifts, a shared plate of oysters with bubbly and movie quiz. It was beautiful and fun! I received a set of salt and pepper shakers and 4 gaudy heart candles that remain untouched to this day. This was followed up with a high tea at the Mount Nelson the year thereafter. This year we wrote fake love letters. Last year my bestie and I hooked up for a tongue in cheek fondue and a soppy movie. It’s always been great fun, and kept self-loathing at bay.
Now, finally, for the first time in my life I’m not a single portion on the last summer’s 14th. With a all the theatricality and meticulous planning that has gone into Valentine’s the last couple of years, I would have expected myself to be sweating over big surprises and wanting to pull the one that tops it all. Instead I dread the thought of entertaining a fluffy (mutty) white satin bellied bear with asymmetrical eyes in my otherwise colour-schemed room. Roses (especially red ones) are SO eighties and I am already a widely professed chocolate nonchalant (urgh!). Instead of a stiff well-mannered flashy dinner, this year, I earnestly desire more than anything else, a good long cuddle, and maybe a movie. I’m so grateful I’m not the only one.