Valentine’s Day is creeping up on us like those sneaky extra kilos that just appear as little dimples on your thighs when you forget to pay attention to them. That’s if you’re currently between relationship partners. If you find yourself in love, are being followed around by twittering bluebirds and a little choir of fat singing cherubs, then Valentine’s Day is wafting towards you like a cloud of salted caramel-flavoured candy floss. Any way you look at it, Valentine’s Day is just down the street at the local café sipping patiently on a Freezachino.
Now if you’re anything like me when I’m at my most cynical, you see Valentine’s Day as a marketing and money-making ploy that gives shops the opportunity to sell flaccid roses and cheesy heart-shaped chocolates at three times their normal price. And it gives restaurants the chance to add 37 more tables to their establishments, hike up their prices by 70% and serve lukewarm semi-congealed gravy-covered meat. As you’ve probably gathered, my Mister and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Until this year.
This year I’m turning over a new rose leaf and we’re going to get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day along with all the manufacturers of little red teddies and the guys at the robots selling over-stuffed satin hearts. We’re going to buy each other dodgy little presents ( no chocolates please – we’re both on a diet), spend too much money on mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards featuring fluffy little kittens proclaiming our ever-lasting and undying love for one another, and we’re going out to dinner. This year we’ll be romantic if it kills us!
Why the sudden change of heart (I really do apologise for the pun – it was definitely not intentional)? The reasons are two-fold: firstly, we have a seven-month old baby whom we love dearly but we haven’t been out without her in, oh about seven months (16 months if you count the time I was pregnant with her and wasn’t allowed to drink wine or eat Brie cheese). So we definitely could do with some romantic husband-and-wife time and leave mommy and daddy at home. Secondly, the Mister and I have been together for 16 years this year and married for 10. In my book that’s a feat well worth celebrating. And if we don’t celebrate our not having left each other, then who will?
So we’re going full-on cheese with the hearts, candles, flowers and restaurant. But your Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a main course of Cheddar with a side-order of Pecorino: you can do it ‘classy-like’ too, or just differently. I’ve seen some really interesting gifts for Valentine’s Day: fancy computer mice for the digitally-interested, fabulous bottles of wine and gorgeous handbags. And if you need some Valentine’s Day inspiration, have a peek at our newsletter for this month and at the Essentials magazine website. Whatever you decide for this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re spending it with a partner, friends or alone, take some time to celebrate it, in all it’s delicious cheesiness.