If you’ve been watching the supermarket shelves during the past few weeks then you’ll know Easter is coming up soon. But you probably knew that in January, when they started putting Hot Cross Buns and Easter eggs on the shelves.
Oh, and you may have also realised it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow.
Yep, tomorrow’s the day when people show their love for someone by buying them a plush toy with “I love you” printed on its chest, along with a greeting card someone else has already filled with clichés.
Can you think of anything more romantic?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m as romantic as the next person. But I refuse to let a total stranger at Hallmark tell me what to say. If I was buying a card for my wife (we’ve agreed to forget about them this year), it would be blank. Well, apart from “Australia – $5.95” printed on the back.
Unfortunately I’d then spend the next hour staring at the card, trying to come up with the perfect way to say “I love you” without actually writing “I love you”. Unlike practically every other Hallmark event, you can’t screw this one up because there’s so much riding on it. (I’m just waiting for the pet industry to start cashing on the whole thing and start advertising exclusive Valentine’s Day dog houses.)
In the end I’d probably do something like this:
Outside: “How can I tell you how much I love you in a greeting card?”
Inside: “There are no words…”
The gift has even more riding on it, because choosing the wrong thing translates to “You don’t love me because you don’t even know what I like”. (Note: this only happens on Valentine’s Day, and possibly birthdays. And other time they’re fine with whatever you bought them as long as you kept the receipt.)
And let me tell you that even when you’ve been together for a while (14 years in our case), it doesn’t get any easier. If anything it gets harder because you worry you bought them something similar before.
We haven’t bought each other anything yet. We may do it tomorrow, we may not. But that’s not what Valentine’s Day is all about.
It’s all about us.