Valentine’s is always a conflicted day. First, it is an American import used by shops and super markets to off load a ridiculous amount of sweets, cards, and merchandise on a weary public. Second, it’s tokenist in nature in that it aims to trivialize a complex thing like love. Third, there’s an element of compulsion about it because if you don’t do it, then do you really love your partner?
Every year that this day comes around, I am both angry and curious at the same time. Angry because what Mark and I have together can not be reduced to a twee message on a card, and it can not be bought by a box of sweets. Curious, because I’m wondering what he’ll do.
I do love the big oaf more than I can say, and that’s never going to make it across the brain-finger barrier. That love is a complex, shifting, ever-changing thing that goes from “get naked now, I want your penis” to a three-hour cuddle session on a boring Thursday night in front of the television. It goes from the carnal to the cerebral; from the twee to the abstract.
Valentine’s day is about pressing an obese elephant into a thimble sized hole. Still, we did it simple today. I made him a mix on Spotify for him, and he brought me a card and a box of chocolates. Embarrassed at our minimalism about it, we sat down to watch the telly together. His finger in my hair and his other arm resting on my chest means far, far more than the tokens.
Later we’re off to a formal to celebrate this Valentine’s day. Wish us luck.