The mere mention of Valentine’s Day sends me back to my days in Secondary school and the buzz of excitement about Valentine cards.
Anticipation of the big day would start the minute February arrived and after-school activity centred on visiting all the card shops in town to gaze in secret hope at all the heart covered cards, especially the big cushioned ones that were displayed in their boxes on high shelves well away from our sticky, chalky fingers.
It was always about two days before the big day that the first Valentine would do the rounds in the classroom as one of the girls rushed in with a HUGE envelope ~ her cheeks flushed and matching the love hearts and the red S.W.A.L.K. that was now like a patchwork of romance.
I’d laugh and smile with the rest of them as I read the card with its flowery rhymes, hand-drawn hearts and the inevitable Guess Who?
Year after year after year, I’d watch our letter box with aching hope but it wasn’t to be. Of course, my sympathetic mother tried sending me a few but I had to tell her that there was no use trying to cod me and she eventually gave me that knowing look of hers …..
While I’ll never know how many of the school day Valentine’s Day cards were real or mothered, I know for sure that I’m facing into yet another no-show Valentine’s Day. Hubby, of almost twenty-five years, scoffs at Valentine’s Day and contends that it’s all a racket to sell chocolates and red roses and that love isn’t a one day wonder that comes SWALKing in on February 14th.
Oh I know he’s right, I know, I know, I know …..
Now, lest you think I haven’t learned to cope with this, let me assure you that I am Ms. Valentine when it comes to forward planning for the no-show day. This year, I’ve already stocked up on heart-shaped chocolate marshmallows, hanging heart ear rings, a fascinating book called Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper by Alexandra Harris and a ticket to my heart throb, Finbar Wright’s Valentine Eve Concert at the Theatre Royal in Waterford.
So go on tell me what Valentine’s Day was like for you as a teenager?