Whatever your relationship status may be, there is no avoiding the stifling volume of red hearts and loved – up caricatures glaring at us, creepily from shop and restaurant window displays as February 14th looms.
Unlike a lot of people these days, I enjoy Valentines Day, not because I want my husband to spend money on me or anything vastly romantic to happen but because I like people spreading love rather than the usual anger, bitterness and negativity that seem to plague our newspapers and social media.
Lately I have heard and read so many opinions on how overrated Valentines Day is and how it is too commercial. I do agree with this and whilst researching for this post I have come across countless “Perfect Valentine Date Guides.” The sickly cliché examples are, in my opinion, the exact reason Valentines Day becomes overrated. These ideal date scenarios that in reality are nothing what they say on the tin! I am here to expose the truth behind the “perfect Valentine dates” especially if you are a parent of a young family:
Food and Drink
There are various angles in terms of dates and gestures involving food and drink for Valentine’s Day. Here are some of the most common and reasons they actually become problematic rather than romantic:
Eating out: A hot, peaceful dinner where you can sit for the whole entirety of my meal without having to leave the table to change a nappy/break up a brawl or see to another toddler emergency sounds like bliss to any parent. However I would still gladly take that hellish meal time over a Valentines meal out. Your average restaurant takes bookings at least a month prior to February 14th. Commonly, if a table is still available, the restaurant aims to pack customers in like sardines leaving you suffocatingly close to the couple next to you to the point of intimacy. You are surrounded by other couples which is great, if like me, you like to play the “what’s their story?” game (involves elaborate story making regarding how many dates, children or no children? an affair? heading for divorce? etc) However ultimately, immensely aggravating when trying to enjoy a meal with your partner surrounded by bickering, excessively loving or just slightly odd, other couples.
A Romantic Home Cooked Meal: In all my years of marriage the extent of my husband’s culinary skills have reached the heights of Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodle, which even then I felt was too watery. My own cooking skills are of a high standard, my husband is always grateful for his meals and is complimentary. However the idea of cooking a “romantic meal” for Valentine’s Day feels like the least appealing idea ever. In the depths of the front room lies my dining table, usually the dumping ground for toddler/childhood paraphernalia. Yes, I could clear it all, light some candles, bring out that posh cutlery from my aunt to eat with and make the most divine meal. However ultimately, I will be sat in my front room with Buzz Light Year staring at me menacingly from the toy box, my dog dribbling on my knee waiting for a scrap and frequent interruptions from 3 small creatures traipsing through the front room to use the toilet, asking for a drink, whining they can’t sleep and general parenting duties will resume. Romantic? Let’s not forget the washing up!
Picnic: The whole picnic idea always makes me feel slightly queasy. There’s nothing more off-putting than scotch egg and sausage roll breath on a date, plus February is not really ideal picnic weather in the UK is it? Nonetheless I have stumbled across an equally nauseating variation of the outdoor picnic, which is the indoor picnic. It does sound idyllic, a little folding basket with all the essentials and a bottle of champagne but again, if you are a parent, where is this taking place? On the living room floor surrounded by dinosaurs, Barbie and the family pet? Also who actually owns one of those pretentious picnic baskets, the closest food hold-all system in my house being either my daughter’s Trolls lunchbox or my trusty Aldi bag for life.
Breakfast in Bed: Crumbs on the bed sheets, 3 children in the bed or hearing said 3 children screaming down stairs whilst I enjoy my “peaceful breakfast in bed.” Need I elaborate more?
Valentine’s Themed Gifts
I am aware I may be coming across as a slightly, spoilt madam about the whole Valentine’s Day spirit of giving. Nonetheless I would much rather my husband spend his money on anything other than the following which in my opinion are overrated and cringe-worthy.
- Fluffy Teddy bears holding “I love you” hearts/balloons
- Balloons in general
- Singing fluffy teddy bears, holding hearts/balloons, crooning away repeatedly to Elvis when you press their paw…
- Roses – as much as I love flowers, I do not wish my husband to send us into mounting debt for a dozen of the thorny beauties.
Public Displays of Affection via Social Media
Brace yourself. Here they come, the endless photos on Instagram of candle lit baths with gnarly toe nails peeping out at the end, couple selfies of that couple you know despise each other at the best of times and garish arrangements of milk tray/Blossom Hill, accompanied with the captions “how spoilt am I?”
Once again social media at it’s ugliest. Enticing other’s to either compete in the bragging war of Valentine love or to simply feel hopeless and even more lonely. Personally I am glad my husband is not on social media and that we have never had to declare our undying love to one another online. We equally know how much we love each other without the need to express it via Facebook and involving the town and country!
Paths of Rose Petals: Seriously who is cleaning that mess up…seeing as though my husband wouldn’t be able to locate the Hoover if his life depended on it…I guess that’s me! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Serenading: I have mentioned this recently on my social media sites… is there anything more uncomfortable than somebody singing acoustic to you unless they are in fact an international song writer/musician. Even then, one to one, I still find this hideously squeamish. Do you try to maintain eye contact? Do you clap or sway along? Do you close your eyes? Or do you just wait for the ground to open up to escape the enormity of this unbearable cringe-fest.
So there we have my overrated Valentines gestures. You may be viewing me as an unromantic soul but that would be so far from the truth. I do feel Valentine’s day is a special day and a great day for those to show other’s how much they mean to them. Although I have never been materialistic and do not wish my husband to shower me with unnecessary gifts, the gifts I have recieved from my husband over the years may have been smaller in price and opinion, compared to other people’s elaborate displays on social media but nonetheless are always held so special to me. Likewise he has sponatneously bought me flowers throughout our relationships and we love nothing better than a great night out drinking in an old backstreet pub with a kebab on the way home.
I would love to hear some of your funny/diastarous Valentine’s stories! Feel free to add your comments! Sending you all lots of love this Valentine’s Day!