My OH, bless him, has the occasional Hallmark moment, but isn’t the most romantic person in the world – which is absolutely fine, since neither am I.
If I’m absolutely honest I find protestations of love, and soppy gestures, and lavish gifts all a bit cringey. Although I always appreciate it when the fella steps out of his own comfort zone and takes a well-intentioned stab at romance. Trouble is, it just never seems to work out as planned – particularly on Valentine’s Day.
When OH and I first got together 10 years ago it came up in conversation how much I hated carnations (no offense to all you carnation fans out there – but they just don’t do it for me). I told him that, if he ever gave me carnations, I’d view it as a deliberate insult. So imagine my surprise when, that very Valentine’s Day, he presented me with a goofy grin, and a big bunch of red carnations.
‘Gee… thanks,’ I replied wryly, trying to figure out if he was being funny, or sending me a message. ‘I thought you’d be pleased,’ he replied, looking confused. Now I was baffled. ‘To get carnations?’ I replied. ‘They’re not…’ he started, then he peered closer, and his eyes widened. ‘Oh.’
We’d vowed not to buy each other presents, agreeing that Valentine’s Day was awkward and over-commercialised. But after being bombarded by advertising hype all day, OH had crumpled. In his post-work panic he’d rushed into the nearest florist, and grabbed the first bunch of ‘red roses’ he’d seen. Except, you guessed it, they were actually my floral nemesis.
We had a good laugh about the mix-up though – I even kept the carnations for a few days (purely for comedy value).
Then, a few years later, he arrived home with another bouquet. This time they were actually red, and actually roses – they just weren’t actually alive. They were a bunch of fake flowers, complete with faux water droplets glued to the pretend petals.
‘They looked so real in the store,’ OH muttered quietly. He looked so crushed, I didn’t know what to do first – laugh, or give him a hug!
This year we renewed our pact not to buy gifts, but when OH came through the door earlier this evening, shaking his head, I knew something was up. ‘What now?’ I laughed.
‘I know we said no gifts, but I couldn’t come home with nothing,’ he began.
Still wary from the red roses debacle, he’d stopped off at the last minute and grabbed some white roses instead. On the way home he’d smelled the bouquet, only to notice a distinct lack of scent. He’d pulled over, and turned on the interior light – and realised he’d done it again…
Here they are in all their silk and plastic glory – my Valentine’s Day bouquet! I also got a bag of fizzy sweets, a bottle of Coca-Cola, and some honey roasted cashew nuts – the finest fare offered by the local service station.
So I’d like to say thanks to my OH for the lovely thought – and for making me laugh. I’ll take that over a bunch of real roses any day!!