February 14, 2014, by Eve
Romance: I Peed in a Café
Once we get over the artifice, the Americanisation, of Valentine’s Day we can start looking at the bizarre V Day merchandise which fits pace and parcel (and a nice pink bow) with the whole Love thing. The giving of gifts is never a bad thing but Valentine’s Day seem to imply that a gift represents how someone feels. It’s rather like saying ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ when you don’t mean it. Giving a box of chocolates, a pretty bouquet of roses, a freaky teddy bear with cross-eyes, or an impractical item of undergarment is not an emotion; emotionally it means very little.
I’m not saying that chocolates or underwear is bad. I’m all for being bought expensive items – I’m not materialistic but I’m willing to accept any offering to the Temple of Me. What this boils down to is whether physical items, or expensive events, can really symbolise internal emotions.
On the Romantic Dream Day scale my Valentine’s Day, so far, hasn’t been great. No pianist to play for me as I dressed; no long spa treatments; no slow-motion running across daisy patterned meadows (Note to Valentine’s Day Boss: Maybe changing the date to summer would be a viable business move).
Reality was waking up in the morning and, after swopping cards and gifts, getting head-butted in the mouth and sobbing over a bloody lip. Then, walking into town, I managed to get croissant flakes all over me like a French four year old.
We escaped the rain by slipping into a café. He pronounced it as Brassiere Patisserie (which wasn’t quite right). The tea tasted like hot water and milk and I only managed half my scrambled eggs because I started feeling sick (I’m eating my chocolates as I write and my stomach’s feeling a bit wobbly). The toilet was literally two steps away from where we sat making it extremely off putting – both inside and outside the lavatory. Inside I could hear the bustle and chatter of the café and was terrified someone would open the door by mistake. I felt like I was peeing in the café. A gross thought (and a grossly ambiguous sentence).
We thought a romantic stool around Nottingham’s treasured Wollaton Park might be just what this Valentine’s Day called for. It had started raining again and the wind was blowing even more furiously. We were wet and cold. And only had one stale roll to feed the ducks. Pretty soon a couple of seagull bullies turned up and we decided to move on.
Bad tea, bad weather – we hadn’t scored many Valentine’s points. We’d be pretty low on the league tables. I mean, he didn’t even buy me flowers!
Is that what Valentine’s Day is about? A day of dreamy, romantic activities and a check list of romantic presents? I thought it was about Love and Caring and those soppy things – I don’t remember seeing them for sale in Sainsbury’s.
What I’m trying to get at is it doesn’t matter what you do or what you give – this should be a day (if we’re going to accept this day is a Day at all) should be about true feelings. There’s no point going through the motions if you don’t mean it.
So forget the stormy weather, the forgotten flowers, if you’re with someone you care about that should be good enough. And, having said that, I’ve actually realised that today has been the perfect Valentine’s Day.
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