If there is one thing I do not do, and I mean really don’t do – it’s Valentine’s!
I can’t stand it.
I hate the idea of being forced to say or do something special just to keep the commercial wheels of our society turning.
It doesn’t mean anything if you are told to do it.
I hate it.
Luckily Jo knows this.
Luckier still, she gets it – or at least she has accepted it.
I have always argued that I am someone who will say to her openly (when no one is listening) that I love her. I argue that I do, sometimes buy her flowers. Occasionally I do take her out. Maybe I don’t do these things all the time, but I do them more than once a year and most importantly of all – I do them because I want to.
Because I mean it.
That’s how it is supposed to be isn’t it?
And so it is that I never usually get Jo anything, or do anything special on Valentine’s Day, and likewise I neither expect nor receive anything back.
This is good.
As part of this understanding I will occasionally (very occasionally) surprise Jo by doing something on the day itself. This is because of my argument. Jo knows that if I actually get her something on February 14th then I truly want her to know that I love her, rather than just fulfilling my expected duty.
I realised this year that it is now almost 9 years since I last bought her something on the day – the necklace that I dragged my butt across London to buy from the independent jewellers near Covent Garden, that Jo had casually mentioned she loved some months earlier. You see now what I am saying – I’m not completely un-romantic.
Also I remembered that although I do, in fact, regularly buy my wife flowers from the local supermarket (2 bunches for £5 – bargain), I haven’t actually dug deep in the wallet for some nice flowers for quite some time too.
This year I dug deep and got some proper florist’s flowers delivered to Jo at School. I knew she would love that.
I got Tulips because I just couldn’t buy Roses – they are just too cheesy, and also because Jo loves Tulips.
I sat back and waited – Nothing could possibly go wrong.
Then on Sunday – Jo got ill.
Very ill – I’ll not go into details but decisions had to be made about whether to sit or kneel at the toilet and sometimes it was close. (I should point out that Jo is recovering and should be fine in a day or two).
By this morning she was planted firmly in bed and declared herself going nowhere. Jo was having a day off, the first for a long, long, time – on the one day that I needed her to be there. I told her that maybe she was being a bit hasty. She looked fine to me – maybe she ought to go in? I pointed out to her how upset all the kids in her class would be at her absence. I said the supply teacher would be rubbish and completely undermine all her work this year – NOTHING.
Jo was going nowhere but was even more upset about it than she had previously been. I had to go to work.
I made a couple of calls to School and left for the day.
One of Jo’s friends dropped the flowers round to her tonight. It wasn’t the same.
Apparently they are very nice but as she had to walk all the way to the door to get them, she is now too tired to enjoy them. Also I was making too much noise washing up and it isn’t fair that I got to eat today. Bless her, she really is feeling rough.
Never mind – I’ll try again in 2020.