So it was that schmaltzy, red-and-pink-bedecked, money-making holiday yesterday. The one that got us excited as high school girls when we’d spray perfume on paper and send red enveloped letters to the boys, hopingwishinghoping to get one back. I think I eventually got one in my final year, when I (finally) had my first boyfriend. Luckily Valentine’s Day was before I found out he’d kissed my best friend’s sister at a party we were both at, causing wild throes of fury and teenage angst and a rapid end to our budding affair.
I don’t think I was all that perturbed, really. I remember kissing him in his bedroom while looking around his room and thinking that his choice in posters was poor. It was never meant to be. We became good friends after and he married a lovely girl and had two sweet children and then died of colon cancer way, way too young. I stray.
Valentine’s Day at The All Girl’s Boarding School was A Big Thing. The dining room was decorated by the Std 9’s and breakfast consisted of everything pink – milk, rice crispies, French Toast. With the amount of red colouring used, my stomach is probably still a deeper shade of red than it should be. Then, at break time, roses were handed out, in front of everybody, from the boys at our brother school, down the road. Mortifying for some, glorious for others. Me? I was on the non-receiving, but only partially-mortified side. Of course I’d have loved to get an enormous bunch of them. What 16-year old wouldn’t?
And now? Nope, no pink milk, no bated breath waiting for my name to be called in the quad, just (age-induced?) cynicism at the commercialism of it all. I almost wore my red shirt yesterday and then realised, in the nick of time, and put on a white one instead.
BUT… I had lovely drinks near the sea in the muggy heat of last night beneath the pink-lit ferris wheel with two dear friends, while we watched happy, loving, couples, some in co-ordinated clothing (seriously! Snigger) and pondered over all sorts of things, old and new. When I got home I should’ve bated my breath. Because there I found a well-timed (but non-Valentine) parcel from overseas. Thank you Angela! A little fluffy donkey and a bag of gum sweets shaped like sharks. Just perfect for Valentine’s Day.
So today I am wearing my red shirt, and my wooden heart bead necklace and my breath is bated with what’s to come next.
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