Tomorrow we see the dawn of one of Hallmark’s most peculiar creations: Valentine’s Day.
Cue bouquets of flowers on special offer, biologically inaccurate hearts plastered on every shop window and a reasonable sized gang of men looking slightly panicked in the underwear section of M&S desperately trying to figure out the difference between a plunge and a push up.
Give it up as a good effort lads; no woman really wants a lacy, skimpy, itchy girdle bought at the last minute any way and I’m not sure any of us even know the difference. Just be with us instead, k?
I’ve always found Valentine’s Day a funny one. Old St Valentine would surely be less than impressed with the way a day supposedly meant to celebrate love has been commercialised, packaged up with a bow on top and shovelled down the public’s throats so blatantly in an attempt to make as much money as possible by selling cards and M&S meal deals (to clarify, the meal deal situ doesn’t bother me that much – their New York cheesecake is to die for!)
Surely we don’t need just one day a year to show someone how much we love them?
Surely we also don’t need just one day a year to show how much we love ourselves?
I’ve always seen V- Day as a perfect excuse to look after myself.
My first experience of Valentine’s Day at eight years old taught me the immortal mantra of if you want something done, just do it yourself.
I was in year 3 and I thought why limit myself to just one fella, why not go all out with this Valentine’s Day malarkey?!
I distinctly remember my mum helping me stay up the night before to hand craft the home-made trinkets I would be giving three lucky lads; a large Cadbury’s Crème Egg wrapped in red paper stuck to a paper heart emblazoned with their name lovingly scribed in glitter. What is not to love, I ask you?
The next day after dishing out my heart in three beautifully packaged gestures of goodwill, I received only one Valentine in return; a small teddy bear smelling suspiciously of cigarette smoke and an out of date packet of gummy sweets. And they say romance is dead.
What lesson did little Rebecca learn that day? That Valentine’s Day can be rubbish and that you should always keep and eat the three Cadbury’s Crème Eggs yourself. End of.
Not only is this day an opportunity to regale you with tales of lessons learnt, Valentine’s Day, or more importantly the 14th of February, also happens to be a special day in our household.
My mum and dad got married on Valentine’s Day; this was completely unrelated to the date and purely because Wales were playing rugby every other weekend in February in the year 1981 so they needed to make sure people would show up.
That’s right, this year my parents will have been married for a really bloody impressive thirty eight years.
Ma and Pops are wonderful.
I hear people say about how lucky they are to have such great parents but seriously, other rents have got absolutely nothing on this pair. My brothers and I owe so much to them; they have worked so hard and loved us so hard from the moment we burst on the scene and have continued to always support us with every hair-brained scheme, every new idea, every crazy drama, every heart break and every dream. I’d be nothing without this wonderful duo and I will never be able to thank them enough for making me the person I am today.
With that being said, I thought I know how they would like to spend their anniversary; with their youngest child of course!
NK is away for work this week so I thought I’d rock up, hang out and generally interrupt everything with the best intentions- being the baby of the family and the loudest, this has always been second nature so why stop now?!
That’s right folks, this Valentine’s Day I’ll be third wheeling with Mum and Dad…
I jest, of course.
They will be glad of the peace and quiet for a change so the dog and I will share that M&S meal deal special for one and let those kids have fun.
If I turn out to be half as great as my parents are then I will be one happy gal.
Happy Anniversary you gorgeous pair, you da bomb.
I hope you take this Valentine’s Day and every other day of the year to tell people you love ‘em. Whether it is your partner, your girl gang, your best friend, your parents, your siblings, your family or your pet. I have sent the dog a crème egg in red paper this year but have yet to hear back- she’s such a heartbreaker.
I hope next time you see them; you grab them and hold them tight.
Most importantly, I hope you use this Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse to take some time for loving yourself (not specifically implying the way the Biebs refers to it but by all means, crack on).
Whether it is setting time aside to read your book you haven’t picked up in two weeks, running a bath and watching the entire series of Project Runway in one fell swoop, calling your best friend and laughing till you cry, eating all the chocolate in sight and loving every bite because your body deserves food or even being with that special person who makes your heart swell, I hope this Valentine’s Day is a good one for you.
In the immortal words of Donna and Tom Haverford, I urge you to treat yo’self. You really deserve it.