I hope you know what today is … it’s never too late.
Check the calendar. Yep, it’s February 14th. For those of you without a single romantic bone in your body, today is Valentine’s Day. The Feast of Saint Valentine, to be precise. Lots of different stories and accounts exist about the origins of the man and the event, but I like this version the best. My research tells me he was executed for (amongst other things) conducting marriage services for soldiers, because it was illegal for them to marry back then. Legend has it he placed his hand on the blind daughter of the judge who sentenced him to death, and restored her sight. I think she visited him on death row, and got a crush on him. Just before his execution, he penned a letter to that lucky young lady, it was signed ‘Your Valentine’. Awwww, nice mate, that’s the Aussie way of attacking things. Marrying soldiers (forbidden love), curing the blind (selfless love) and writing schmaltzy letters (cheesy love) … no wonder they made you a saint buddy, you are my kinda guy.
You’ve read here before that I’m not a fan of all the garbage that goes with most of our holidays, official and unofficial. Hot Cross buns on sale from December 26th, Australia Day board shorts made in China, a four-month lead-in to Christmas with ‘one-time-only’ sales to suck us in, and Halloween in the Land Down Under – don’t get me started. But Valentine’s Day, I’m in! I always have been. Sure, for many or most, it’s about money, business and taking advantage of those who’ll spend their hard-earned on anything. For me and my precious other in our partnership (I’d like to think we’re more like Forrest Gump and Jenny, or like Shrek and Fiona, than we are Harry and Meghan), we’re yet to miss a Val’s Day in the 30 years we’ve known each other. Now I’ve written a cheque that I’ll happily have to cash forever, hopefully I’ll never forget to honour Feb 14th.
We’ve never been the ‘big diamond ring’, or ‘car-wrapped-in-a-ribbon-in-the-driveway’ for a present type of people (not many chalkies are, I’m betting), the celebration du jour go-to items for Mr and Mrs T are always Caramel Snows (her) and Cherry Liqueur chocs (me) – with a romantic dinner and maybe catching a movie to ice the deal and pay homage to Saint Valentine. With somewhere between one and three tin lids occupying much of our time for the past 23 years, the chance for a big weekend away doesn’t come around very often. Maybe we’ll ‘go big’ once number 3 leaves the nest next year. I did find a ‘twenty roses for twenty five bucks’ deal at an outlet last year, which certainly got me in the good books. We’ve been having an unofficial competition for almost forever to find a humorous card for each other too, but now that I know how to send video gif’s on my mobile phone as a message, I think the battle for Valentine ’s Day supremacy is likely to go my way for the next little while.
Whilst it’s easy to refuse to buy Hot Cross Buns three months early, the forces of all those love hearts make it hard for me to resist getting caught up in everything Valentine’s Day. Not sure if that makes me a pathetic romantic at heart, or just getting sucked in. Either way, Valentine’s Day is here to stay for me. HVD to all of you out there as well, I hope you and your loved one honour the memory of St Val and his heroic efforts all those centuries ago. I’ll spare you a thought as I chow down on my cherry liqueur chocs J