Well I have been hiding from blog land lately. I have been reading and making occasional comments but I haven’t been in the right head space to write, there is too much happening everywhere and it is all a little overwhelming. I couldn’t bring myself to write about trite and trivial matters yet I didn’t want to focus on the sadness around. Today, after reading post after post about Valentines Day, I decided it was time to ease my way back into blogging with a random post about Valentines Day.
Valentines Day has never been a big thing for me. I guess that as an Aussie, it is a tradition that we haven’t fully embraced, but attempt occasionally. I have a vague memory of a teacher giving all of the kids in my class little heart shaped lollies (oops, I should say candy if I am referring to the Valentines Hearts!), but I can’t remember if they were for Valentines Day or if they were merely bribes. The important part is that we got lollies.
My next memory of Valentines Day was from High School when I was in year 8, when I was 13. My friend had a crush on a boy and wanted to let him know but didn’t have the guts. She couldn’t bring herself to tell him directly and didn’t want me to tell him for her, so I convinced her to write him a love letter. She would only write one if I wrote one too – to a different boy. I slept over at her house and we stayed up late writing odes to the ‘loves of our lives’, well to the love of her life and to his best mate! We then borrowed some perfume from her sisters room to douse the letters with some heady fragrance. We arrived at school early the next day to anonymously deliver the letters to their lockers. Clearly the letters weren’t that anonymous, or it was the teenage girls that can’t ever keep a secret, but by recess, everyone knew who wrote the letters. It wasn’t entirely a bad thing that the secret was out, my friend was ‘going out’ with her crush by lunch time and it was a relationship that lasted almost 15 years! Although I wasn’t romantically inclined toward the recipient of my secret love letter, I did end up going out with him at a later stage, very briefly (a number of times). In fact he was the first boy I ever kissed, but that is another story entirely…
My next Valentines Adventure was in my final year of High School. A few girl friends and I decided that there was no way that a boy would surprise us, so we decided to surprise each other. We all wrote a ‘love letter’ to a friend telling them how much we loved them and how important they were in our lives. Of course we addressed them anonymously and did another early morning locker drop just to cause a sensation in the common room. Despite the letters being fake Valentines, it did show how much we loved each other and the sentiment was sweet. The commotion was even better when the not-popular girls received a Valentine and no one knew if they were real or fake – by year 12 we were much better at keeping secrets!
The following year I was in my first real relationship, but it was a relationship that was doomed from the beginning. We were both moving away to study, I was 17 and heading to Melbourne and he was 18 and moving to the other side of the country – to Perth. We were together for 3 whole months. I moved to Melbourne during January, but went ‘home’ weekends. The Valentines weekend was our last together. We had decided no gifts, only cards. As a girl, I had found a beautiful card and had written my about my undying love for him and how much I would miss him, oh how I wished he was moving to Melbourne and would I ever see you again – I am pretty sure that I wrote an essay inside that card. He insisted that we not open the cards until we had said our last goodbyes. With many tears we said our final goodbyes. I sat on the train all alone and opened my card, hoping and wishing for some heartfelt sentiments, any sentiments really. Do you know what was in the card? I should have known from looking at the outside of the card that it wouldn’t be heartfelt, it was a funny card with a cartoon on the front. On the inside it simply said, ‘Good Bye!’ I was devastated – bastard!
By the next year, I was well and truly over him – I was with the real love of my life. Man-child and I had been together for over 4 months by the time Valentines Day rolled around and 4 months was a world record as far as relationships went for me. We had been apart for a few days and missed each other terribly so I caught the bus and train back to Melbourne so that we could spend the evening together. We had a picnic on the beach in Port Melbourne, watching the sun set over the bay. It was wonderful, but I remember that as soon as the sun set, the wind picked up and it was too cold to stay out so we walked back to the city. Not so romantic, but still memorable. That was really the last time we did anything for Valentines Day.
From there Valentines Day simply ceased to exist. I really don’t mind, I don’t need the chocolates or the flowers and I am far to practical to go for sexy lingerie. I prefer spontaneous gift giving (not that that happens much these days either) or practical purchases.
Now that the kids are older, they know that Valentines Day exists. They don’t understand it, but know that somehow there are presents involved for people you love. As boy-child was helping me sort through the gift cupboard to find toys to donate to the schools bush fire appeal, he found a pair of shrink wrapped ‘horny devil’ boxer shorts that he was intrigued by. I have no idea why we had them, perhaps they came with a package ordered online. Anyway, he gave them to man-child and then proceeded to open and ‘re-inflate’ them for him. We found a flying insect craft set that boy-child gave to girl-child and then he claimed a car set for himself. I wasn’t left out – as this gift finding frenzy was occurring, man-child and girl-child had headed out to have the car cleaned outside AND inside! A clean car the day after it was serviced and the headlights were fixed – I scored for Valentines Day!
Happy Valentines Day people.