Wheaton’s Way

Valentine's, schmalentine's

Valentine’s Day is this Friday. Cupid readies his bow on 14 Feb. and romance is in the air.

I must admit, I can’t actually recall being in a relationship – ever – around this time of the year. I’m sure I have been, but it isn’t jumpin’ out at me. It always seemed that things conveniently (or inconveniently) broke up between birthdays, Christmas and, yes, Valentine’s Day. Contrary to popular belief, men ain’t that jazzed about having their English corrected on a regular basis.

That didn’t stop me from having my fun on 14 Feb. A couple of (many) times I would send flowers anonymously to a crush, which unlike the scripts of every Hallmark movie, never amounted to anything.

Only once did I reveal to one of my potential suitors that ‘twas I who had sent the red rose token to him. He responded by giving me a big hug and saying, “Awww…that is so sweet!” [Insert “I’ve always wanted a sister” here.]

In recent years, I’ve saved my money. Those flowers have ended up working out like my luck at the tables in the casino … and I don’t even get dinner and a show.

As I’ve become older and less interested in making an impression (the stilettos in my closet have been replaced by the full resplendent range of Skechers on the market), Valentine’s Day is no longer marked on my calendar. I wouldn’t be aware of it at all, if it wasn’t for the swath of red packages on the supermarket shelves come early January.

I had pretty much forgotten about it, in fact, until I was reminded at a barbeque event on the beach in January.

I was standing in line for some food, and a man I knew was standing behind me. We got into the usual niceties, “How have you been?” and so forth, and then things got more interesting.

“So … Vicki … can I ask you something?”

“Sure, of course!” I replied.

“Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?”

Wow! This was out of nowhere. I mean, I had put a bit of extra effort into my hair and makeup that night and my ensemble was more stylish than usual. Perhaps the magazines were correct – love yourself more and others will notice.

“Errr … I’m not sure. I’ll have to check my calendar,” I said, blushing under the moonlit sky.

In my head, I was already making the mani/pedi appointments and wondering if undiluted Clorox bleach, when applied directly to the teeth, would whiten them up.

“Okay, well if you’re free, I’d love to have you host my show …”

Ah. The penny droppeth.

“So, this isn’t you asking me out on a date?”

“Well, I’ll get you dinner.”

Classic.

Now, you’re probably all thinking that I went running off in tears, tripping in the sand and ending up with my face in a plate of saucy chicken. Nothing could be further from the truth. I thought the whole thing was absolutely hilarious. It so perfectly summed up my romantic history, that I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. I even warned the gentleman who had made the asexual advances that I could not keep this to myself.

Probably realising that this outcome was preferable to screaming and crying, he gave me his blessing and I went scurrying off into the night to find anyone who would give me five minutes.

Yes, Valentine’s Day can be romantic and wonderful if you are in a great relationship and I don’t begrudge anyone the flowers, chocolates, Champagne and dinners – but give me a good belly laugh any day. That’s what I love.

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