Monday 14 February 2011: Hulk SMASH!
Valentine's; hearts; boxes of chocolates; a dozen red roses; pink cards with teddy bears on; protestations of love; special menus; schmaltz on the radio. It's amazing what card companies and the emdia can create.
"Ooh, look at him, on a Valentine's rant, he's not 'romantic'!"
Well, this annual event will attempt to set that straight once again. Because if doddering along for 364 days a year without any sight of true, unashamed, altruisitic love, followed by one day of complying with social norms is anyone's idea of 'romance', then no, I'm not romantic.
However, if buying the love of your life flowers that are sent to her work every so often (completely randomly, sometimes one week after the other, sometimes a couple of months apart) with a message on the card reading 'just cos'; if sending her cards and postcards you see when out and about at equally random intervals with a personal scribe inside about how you feel; if going out for a nice meal with no specific purpose other than to enjoy each other's company and talk all night; if calling her at work in the afternoon sometimes just because you want to hear her voice; if buying presents just because the moment you see an item you picture the smile on her face; if any of that is 'romance' then yes, I am romantic.
And, dare I say it, more romantic than rushing to the card shop the day before the 14th because you have to. I had a friend once whose boyfriend she complained about incessantly. Always out golfing or drinking with his buddies and simply calling her, when drunk, to fulfil the lust the alcohol had built up. And she actually said one day, "Oh but he's so romantic. He got me some roses for Valentine's".
If you show your love as often as possible (I realise that hourly and daily might not always be the case, let's face it, people fall out and 24/7 love would be a little tiring and, well, creepy...) and still indulge in Valentine's, then good, I am happy for you, and long may it continue. If you've simply made token efforts the rest of the year and think you have salved your conscience by acting romantic when you've been told to, then grow a spine and realise how important that other person is and that it's perfectly okay to show them that you love them outside the 14th of February, and it's even okay to show it in front of other people. Honestly. Try it. You might feel better about yourself, and I can guarantee your partner will feel better about you.
Romance cannot be over-rated. Romance can be over-stated. Be, don't act according to a script.
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The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
eden ahbez, "Nature Boy" (1948)
Happy Valentine's... ;)