Hello dear readers!
Love is the greatest thing, the oldest yet the latest thing.
Or so the song says anyway. In this time of ideologically driven austerity coupled with my own less than perfect health and subsequent joblessness, it’s also something else. Something that, personally at least, seems more profound than any song lyrics.
It’s bloody expensive.
Now before you start to shout me down or pelt me with rotten tomatoes I should just mention that I am not against the concept of love. Not in the slightest. I am after all, a deliriously happily married man. A man who is lucky enough to have met and wed his perfect life partner. A woman I am head over (w)heels about. Nope, no problems with love here.
It’s not even me just being the stereotypical fiscally-careful-tightwad of a Yorkshireman that is so often portrayed in popular culture (well a bit, maybe). No, the thing that gets me, especially as we Valentines Day, is how commercialised the whole concept of romance has become.
A rose by any other name may well smell as sweet but at the moment they’re going for a tenner a pop. That’s for one flower by the way. A flower that will be dead within a week or two.
Chocolates, wine, collections of popular love ballads spanning back decades that have had the last year’s big hits shoved in there so that the CD isn’t the same as the previous incarnation played on shuffle. All of these are being coloured pink and being pushed front and centre. Some seem to have been hoiked in price, others to be available on special Valentine’s Day deals. All of it is a money grab.
Life Is Like A...
Do we need it though? Does a rose prove anything? Is a box of chocolates a lovely heartfelt gift, or a last minute panic buy because someone (not me) forgot what day it was but had to fill the car up and grabbed the first thing he could find at the petrol station (still not me)?
There’s a part of me that would cheerfully forgo the day of St Valentine (look him up by the way, interesting chap). There’s a part of me that resents being herded to the shops to buy the trappings of the day just in order to prove something that I and hopefully my wonderful wife, Tina both know. There’s a part of me that says that I don’t need a special day to be put to one side to do this proving.
Let’s be honest though. I am going to cave. I am going to do something to mark the occasion. I’m not sure what that will be just yet (checks date) but I do know it will have to be a little more low key than in previous years, when gifts, meals out, and even the odd flower, were pretty much par for the course. This year, mainly because of the money situation, I think the Rankins might stay in. Perhaps we can cook. Have a nice ‘ten pound’ candlelit dinner and, just to show just how much I love the woman, maybe even put on an atrociously saccharine romantic ‘comedy’. I’ll even resist the urge to boo. (I reserve the right to watch something with explosions and car chases the next day however).
I am still of the opinion though that doing these things on s specific date because everyone else is doing the same things on the same day is the antithesis of romance. I therefore reserve the right to maybe buy some flowers or chocolates or things of a pink nature not because it’s expected, not because it’s traditional but just… because.
Until next time...