Does Cupid work overtime?
Do you feel somewhat daft writing a Valentine's card to your partner of so many years? I mean, it's one thing being 20-something or even younger with not a care in the world, and a whole afternoon to yourself to skim through the cards displayed at your stationery with your perfect him in mind and a fluttering heart as you ruminate which one he'd like best... and it's another if you're balancing shopping bags and a shrieking toddler.
And it's even further removed if you're wondering about next Sunday's menu as your youngest is bringing his new girlfriend to lunch. I mean, can you imagine if your hubby showed off that cheeky Valentine card around the table just then? Conjuring up the scenario is probably enough to make you dart out of that shop double quick.
For one thing, even the content inside those red hot greetings cards is something you would probably balk at nowadays. The most audacious it got, back when Valentine's was all about Cupids and darting arrows, was a she-devil trying to bend the arrow's curve.
Nowadays, the she-devil is dressed down like a Dita von Teese impersonator, the arrow is probably a phallic symbol done up to the nines, and Cupid is probably somewhere far away hiding in red-faced embarrassment after reading what's been written to catch the reader's attention and breath.
Thing is, even your lovesick heartthrob gets dirty socks, but you rarely stop to think of those when you're still 'dating'. It's all about having fun, romancing, having more fun and romancing some more. It's when you settle to live life together that the crux of the matter slaps you straight in the face, and you suddenly realise he/she does not quite like pasta as much as you do; that his/her socks are really smelly; that his/her penchant for collecting boxes can get slightly out of hand; and that his/her knack of smacking lips together loudly after drinking a hot drink is not quite so cute once you hear it each and every morning... ever after.
I wonder... do Valentine's Day Cupids work overtime for whoever is supposed to be committed lock, stock and barrel? If you've been married donkey's years and have forgotten the last time you even considered sending your hubby a V Day card, what could make you change your mind this time round?
Sure, you go out to dinner every so often to enjoy quiet time together, away from it all, but does chit chat elevate itself anywhere above the taste of the spaghetti, the latest skirmish between your siblings or the new kennel that you need hubby to get you before the dog packs up and leaves to seek fortune elsewhere? I have yet to see a long-term couple knotting fingers over the seasoning shakers and feeding each other champagne, let alone throwing kisses across the table.
So, no... when the years have rolled by and things have become somewhat staid, you probably wouldn't think of sending your better half a Valentine's Day card. But should things get that dull and serious?
My firm belief is that it shouldn't, and you have to watch yourself in case you slip easily into that 'be as it may' attitude that spells out 'take it or leave it'. With the current trend of separations, the easiest option seems to be 'leave it'. It takes firm commitment to keep things going on excitedly, even on long-term agreements.
Have you ever watched an elderly couple walking along a promenade, hand in hand? There is something particularly poignant about the scene. Watching a young couple does not really evoke such a sentiment.
So when you reach that age in life, you wouldn't want to have so many lost chances yelling out at you from the past, would you? You want to know that you went ahead and were adventurous one day. That you were courageous enough to say "I love you"; that whatever your children's age, you were never embarrassed about showing your partner your tender loving care. And each and every St Valentine's is as good an excuse as any to make up for lost time. Surprise your better half, won't you? What the heck... that cheeky Valentine card could just about make their day after all.