Ah Valentines Day. You are a funny little duck aren’t you? On the one hand I rather despise the red satin heart of you and on the other hell hath no fury like me should Cupid decide to shoot his arrows in the wrong direction. I have high expectations you see. Not of diamonds and Agent Provocateur lingerie. But of sentiment and emotion. I don’t want presents, I want feelings and conversation. Time and acknowledgment. Hands that cup my face before I am kissed.
Dear Valentines Day I would like to re-invent you. I want to banish the tawdry and say ta-ra to the tacky and deliver to every woman in the land the merest smidgen of precious feeling. For what if we gently shifted the focus on this day of hearts and made it about friendship and personal well-being? What if today we delivered a box of Strawberry Shortbread Hearts to our best friend, phoned Dad to tell him we love him and took the afternoon off to take a long bath and a country walk, holding hands and talking about all our tomorrows? No Dine-In’s, cheap red roses or meaningless cards but real togetherness. Plans for time spent together or a night without the television, just talking. Gosh I like talking. Talking is my favorite thing in the world.
So yes. A quiet night, blanketed in pure intimacy please. Perhaps a little cupcake or two baked with love?
A love letter stitched or scrawled on to a vintage handkerchief, like this one by artist Rosalind Wyatt…
A rose and ylang-ylang scented Epsom Salt bath and my favorite Rumi love poem, read out loud.
The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along…
Or the honour of sitting next to someone reading in companionable silence. For me, tonight, the corny romantic innocence of The Rose-Garden Husband complete with a heroine who finds that love can no more be imagined, than it can be quelled when it finally arrives in the most unlikely of cloaks. A light-hearted read to enjoy while he puzzles over another Agatha Christie mystery and we both sip at one perfect glass of wine.
So yes, let’s re-invent Valentines Day and let it not be heavy with anticipation of satin seduction and aphrodisiacs. Let it instead be a reminder to treat each other gently, be kind and let the intimacy of all the years gone by tell their own story.
Happy Valentines Day Housekeepers.