Neither OH nor I are particularly romantic.
To me, romance isn’t about the grand gestures (although, obviously, they’re very nice too), it’s about the little things you do for each other every day. Like running a bath when you know the other one has had a tough day or making a yummy meal, or keeping the kids quiet downstairs so your partner can have an extra half an hour in bed.
But our casual approach to the day hasn’t prevented some Valentine’s Day mishaps along the way.
When OH and I first met I told how much I hated carnations. Like, hated carnations. So you can imagine my confusion when, on our first Valentine’s Day, he thrust a bunch of the red frilly flowers at me. ‘Ummmm…. thank you?’ I replied, trying to figure out if this was a joke or an insult.
‘You don’t like them?’ he replied. ‘It’s so lovely that you bought flowers, but… carnations?’ I replied.
His face dropped. ‘Wait, what?’ he grabbed them back and looked more closely at them. ‘Oh,’ he replied, sheepishly. ‘I thought they were roses. No wonder they were so cheap… ‘
Another year we agreed we weren’t going to buy each other anything but at the last moment OH panicked and swung by the service station on his way home. ‘I know we said we weren’t going to,’ he announced, ‘but… here you go!’
He handed me a bunch of red silk roses, complete with fake plastic dewdrops glistening on the petals. ‘Thank you,’ I replied. ‘Erm… you do realise these roses aren’t real, right?’
‘Of course,’ he blustered. ‘I figured this way they’d last forever and… ‘ he trailed off awkwardly and sighed: ‘No. I didn’t realise they were fake.’
The following year, still wary from Fake-Flowergate, he changed tack and picked up a lovely bunch of white roses instead. Stopping to smell them, he realised there wasn’t much in the way of fragrance. You guessed it – silk flowers again.
Luckily, he’d also bought some backup presents – a bottle of Coca-Cola, a bag of sweets and a packet of honey-roasted nuts. Don’t be jealous.
But, do you know what? After nearly 20 Valentine’s Days together, those are the three that still stand out in my mind. Because they weren’t perfect, but they were real and they me laugh and were much more in tune with our low-maintenance, self-deprecating relationship than any mushy platitudes, or over-the-top gestures would have been.
However you’re spending your Valentine’s Day, I hope you have a great one!
Don’t forget to read my post about ‘How to Make Your Valentine’s Flowers Last‘.