By Melinda Fargo of What Mel Did
After years of enduring the Saint Valentine’s Day holiday, I may finally be ready to wave the white flag and surrender. Finally listen to the universe when it calls to say ‘Enough, already, stop doing this to yourself.’ I may take heed and just stay in bed this coming 14th day of February.
Not that I want to, mind you. We Pisceans are a romantic lot —compulsive, optimistic dreamers who believe just one more penny in the slot machine will spew out the romantic jackpot.
My first foray into the world of amour was when I wrote a love letter to the French teacher I had a mad crush on. Sure of my anonymity, I placed the letter on his desk early that Valentine’s morning. My humiliation was not quite complete when he picked the thing up, looked straight at me and then slipped it into the drawer he saved for recycling. Since we were not as ‘eco-aware’ back then, this is a euphemismistic way of saying he slipped it into the drawer reserved for scrap paper (or later incineration, depending on the level of obscenities snotty nosed students had penned). No, the humiliation was complete when my love letter was returned to me via my Form Teacher, annotated in red pen where my spelling and grammar had been corrected. Ouch.
Still romantically irrepressible, although I had become a bit of a tomboy in the intervening years, there was the beautiful Valentine’s Day where I awoke to, admittedly, only one envelope on the doormat. But what an envelope. Inside were 15 individual envelopes and they tumbled to my feet in the multi-colored hues of love. Pink, red, blue & pink, silver, white, red again. On and on. Just lovely. My tomboyish antics meant I had a lot of friends who were boys—boys who clearly had seen my feminine allure beneath the dungarees and bike grease. The Post-It attached to each envelope bearing a different girl’s name didn’t quite make sense until I got to the note from Steve which read: “Hey, babe, be a sweetie and address and hand these around for me.” Being ‘one of the boys’ that day was not all it was cracked up to be.
To a time now where I am an older, wiser working girl and, delightfully, in a steady relationship, looking forward to Saint Valentine’s Day with a fluttering heart. On the day, one red rose arrived at my door with a card full of giddy-making words signed off, “You know who.” If curiosity killed the cat, then ‘meow,’ because I rang the florist just to make absolutely certain ‘I did know who’ had sent me my romantic gift. Heart beating fast, I was gratified and relieved to learn that the steady boyfriend had not let me down. Nor had he let down Fiona, Kate, Linda or Susan. The florist thought I was the steady’s secretary checking that the right flowers had been sent to the right girl. (Don’t. Just don’t.)
Thereafter, Valentine’s Day did go fairly well(ish) for a while, so we can fast forward over the delicious man who took me to The Ritz one Valentine’s day and wanted to pay in Luncheon Vouchers. For those of you across the pond or too young to remember Luncheon Vouchers, it is the equivalent of asking to pay with offer coupons from 600 McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes.
And the time I asked my husband not to make a fuss on Valentine’s Day since I knew he loved me and didn’t have to prove it with ’stuff.’ Suffice it to say, some men don’t need telling twice not to spend money and not to make an effort. On that fateful day, my husband had done nothing, bought nothing and couldn’t understand why I was making something out of nothing when all he had done was fulfill my wishes. The poor sod had a point.
So, holding my hand up to the part I played in disappointing Valentine’s Days historically, I have come to realize it is nigh impossible for mere mortals to try and compete with the romantic and commercial love served up to us by movies and media. It is also nonsensical to eschew the love shown to us every day by making partners and potential partners jump through impossible hoops and tests on Valentine’s Day.
Let us therefore take the pressure off ourselves this Valentine’s Day and just relax already. And whatever the damned day looks like, let’s just call it love and have done with it.
Thank you, universe, I’m hanging up now.
About the Author
Melinda (‘Mel’) first came to social media attention via the wonderfully intelligent and witty posts on her stylish blog – HerMelness Speaks…Out. After the departure of her last child, Melinda started a new personal blog, What Mel Did, to reflect her changing reality and a place to ‘just write’ authentically again. Through her blogging, Melinda was talent spotted and enlisted as a monthly columnist for the UK’s largest regional newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press and is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the news and editorial website, Post-40 Bloggers, which features and publicizes free of charge quality work of talented bloggers and writers aged 40+. To pay the bills, Melinda is a project management professional and remains a widow. However, she will marry Denzel Washington after the sudden and unexpected disappearance of any of his wives. Follow Mel on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or on her Post-40 Blogger Twitter and Facebook accounts.