So it’s Valentines Day – I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s day, I never have been to be honest and I will therefore share my favourite quote .. “I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon”.
Facebook is filled with hearts and flowers and declarations of love – and its barely lunchtime … there will be more to come this afternoon and this evening and then those across the pond will join in. And of course (to the joy of my Wedding Photographer friends) tomorrow will be all about the brand new Engagements because, lets face it, Valentines Day, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve are the times that the most proposals happen … men can be just a little bit predictable and unimaginative. I’m glad we have something fizzy in the fridge to drink later because I will need it !
Don’t get me wrong I like a bit of Romance, I like surprise gifts and impromptu flowers, nice meals out and the odd unexpected bag of Haribos or jelly beans.. and trust me when I say I can happily ball my eyes out at a even the most cheesy Rom Com but I not so keen on occasions where you are told you ought to be Romantic – its a bit too fake and prescriptive and just too lacking in spontaneity. When I was single it was a day I dreaded, it was worse than getting an invite with “and guest” on it, or better yet an invite without “and guest” because the person assumed you wouldn’t even manage to drum up a plus one to bring along. It was as bad as a patronising conversation with what Bridget Jones always called the “smug married” people. I used to enjoy going out with a good girlfriend for a gossip and a few glasses of wine and of course as someone once said to me if you are a single person out on Valentines day in a bar you can probably guarantee all the people there are single too.
For the geeks – here are a few statistics about Valentines Day – 85% of Valentines Day cards are bought by women (no kidding), 11,000 babies are conceived on average each year on Valentines Day (no surprise there) and 53% of women would end a relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentines day (seriously ?? – Birthday or Christmas perhaps but not a Hallmark holiday!)
But something changed a few years ago when I had a daughter and as soon as she could scribble she started to make me little Valentine’s cards and give me notes saying I love you and all sorts of other little tokens that were just the cutest little acts of love. For example this morning I got the sweetest little card from her …
and I realised that Valentines day doesn’t have to be about having a wife or husband or boyfriend or girlfriend. It doesn’t have to be about being single or in a relationship. It can just be about doing something nice for someone you care about. You can have a Valentine from your child, or your friend or your pet or even yourself .. its really just something that makes you smile.