‘Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn’, so the Stone Roses sang on 90’s tune ‘Good Times.’ Pretty sure someone else has said that in the past too.
So when I realised on Monday that the following day was Valentine’s Day, and I’d brought my wife the square root of zero, I literally feared for my life.
Out I dashed into Basingstoke town centre on a desperate lunchtime salvation mission. Into Card Factory I dashed. The walls were plastered with Valentine’s Day paraphernalia; heart shaped cushions, heart shaped picture frames, heart shaped, well, everything really.
I was overwhelmed. My mind lurched back to my secondary school days and the realisation that, when 14 February hit every year, I was completely undesirable to the entire female population. Perhaps my apathy to Valentine’s Day is down to this, subliminally?
My eyes refocus on the task ahead – picking a card. Only I look ahead and realise I’m in front of the ‘Dear Husband’ cards. Oops. If I was that way inclined, then Sainsbury’s would have been the way to go, for they were advertising a range of same-sex cards this year. Good effort, JS.
But what does a good Valentine’s Day card look like when you’re nearly a decade deep into marriage? Pure cheese? A bit of humour?
I picked up a card. It talked of love being like a boat sailing on the ocean. Hopefully it’s not destined to crash fatally into an iceberg, like the topic of my daughter’s school project this term (fun fact, I now know EVERYTHING about the Titanic).
One card revealed ‘love unlocks much happiness and we have found the key. You are, and always will be, the only one for me.’ I’m laughing out loud here, in the middle of the shop.
I make a selection (relatively uncheesey but not 100% fromage-free), then pick up some red roses and chocolate en route back to the office, safe in the knowledge I at least won’t be empty handed on the big day. It’s relief, rather any sense that I’ve done something good for my partner. In reality, I feel a bit cheated that I’ve succumbed to the retailers plan of spending my hard-earned cash on what is basically a non-event, in my opinion.
According to online payment processor Worldpay, the U.K. will spend £128 million on Valentine’s Day this year. I kind of like the idea of kids giving a card to ‘someone special’ at school, or even adults that don’t quite have the confidence to pop the question to someone they’ve admired from afar for all too long. But for me, a married man of nine years, the novelty is definitely wearing off.
Plus this year Valentine’s Day fell on a Tuesday, which is the night I play five a side. What’s a man to do?!
I looked at all the options. I weighed up whether to instead spoil Maria with a slap up meal for two. Poundland were offering a three course meal for £7 and it looked delightful. Hmm. Nothing says I love you quite like a £7 meal deal from Poundland.
Perhaps not. So I decided instead to go to football after all. We got hammered, and I was livid. I came home, where Maria was watching Moorside – the chilling tale of the little girl Shannon Matthews who was kidnapped by her mum and hidden at her uncle’s house. It was a joyous evening.
Concerned we were doing something wrong, we discussed our approach to Valentine’s Day. We agreed we’re on the same page as each other – it’s everyone else on Facebook who’s wrong. I love her. We’re different, but we’re the same, and it works.
So I guess the point I’m trying to make is that, if you have someone you love, love them. However that ‘love’ works for you, do that. Because it obviously works.
I should write that in a card. Excuse me while I email the Card Factory with a business proposal…