Valentine’s Day. Hallmark Day. Potato, potato?

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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Another Valentine’s Day has rolled around to assail our senses with love hearts, shiny balloons, white teddy bears and tacky lingerie everywhere to be seen. There’s no safe place to rest your eyes in the shops. Women, who’ve spent the past week fantasizing about two dozen roses arriving at their workplace and practicing their “surprised yet smug” face, wait anxiously for the arrival of said flowers, the cost of which on this one particular day in February rivals that of gold bullion. In the evening, restaurants will be chock-a-block with couples under intense pressure to make this the most romantic night of the year, forced to select from an overpriced three-course set menu and having to choose from two timed sittings. If the couples can shoulder the burden and avoid a fight, they will go home and then try to make the most scheduled lovemaking of the year mind-blowingly perfect.

I suspect this plan is a fool’s errand.

It’s too much pressure. It’s too much of a “script” to follow. And how can that be romantic?

So, if you, like me, feel that Valentine’s Day is an unromantic, commercial rip off, and you happen to have a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day, do you celebrate it? Do you go all out? Do you make a smaller gesture of some kind? Or do you flat out refuse to acknowledge it?

However, as the die-hard romantic that I am, there’s no point in me denying that I get off on all the love and the tenderness and the ardour of the day. I can’t help getting sucked in, just a little. I’m more than happy to bathe myself in the disgustingly schmaltzy sugary sweetness of it all! Well, just a wee bit, anyway ☺

This all goes back, I believe, to high school. (Strap yourself in now for a short episode of Vintage Lara history, starring Teenage Angst.) High school was not a great place for me. I was a nerdy, pimply, shy girl with giant metal glasses and no desire to impress the boys with sexual favours, unlike many of my classmates. I had several male friends, and a few very intense crushes, but little-to-zero romantic interest directed my way.

Every year, it was customary for the Year 12 students to run a Valentine’s day florist stall. People would buy a rose for their girlfriend or boyfriend, with a special message on a card, or even send one anonymously to the secret apple of their eye. And every year, on the 14th of February, I am sure that nearly every single student would hold their breath, desperately praying that someone thought they were special enough to be presented with a rose. And every year, all the popular, pretty, and, let’s not deny it, the sluttish girls would receive one, two, three, six! roses. And cards, and poems. Sometimes bunches of flowers. And each year I, hiding behind my giant mental glasses with my head bent over my desk, crushingly went home sans rose. *Cue violins.

Anyhoo, eventually by late Year 11, I had procured myself a darling, equally nerdy, genius (as in, literally a genius) high school boyfriend. And come Valentine’s Day in Year 12, I received a bunch of a dozen, beautiful, long stemmed red roses. You can only imagine my delight! My little 17-year-old heart soared, my shortsighted eyes welled with tears of joy, and I proudly carried those roses around all day long, with all the girls oohing and aahing over them. It was heaven, and I felt special, and loved, and important.

This, dear lovers, is the power you hold in your hands. Every day, not just on February 14th. You can make someone’s heart soar at any age, and the world can certainly do with more heart soaring in my opinion. So, even if you don’t agree with Valentine’s Day as a concept, if your special one does, you can make his or her day by playing along. It doesn’t have to be a grand, dramatic gesture, or even ridiculously expensive roses – just an acknowledgement is enough to make someone feel a million dollars. And – this is key, people – you’ll get some good nookie out of it. And the world can certainly do with more nookie.

Here are some Valentine ideas, which you can also use all year round:

• Leave little love notes for your loved one to find – maybe around the house after you’ve left for work (on the bathroom mirror, on the pillow), in their letterbox if you don’t live with them, or if he or she is going away for work, put a note in their suitcase with a little token gift that they will love. Then, claim your sexy time.

• Meet at lunchtime, grab some sandwiches and maybe a couple of cupcakes and go and eat in a pretty park or by the water – makeshift picnic! Hold hands, talk, make out. Then, go home and get it on.

• Give “gifts” of handwritten vouchers of things you can do, rather than purchase, i.e., a massage, breakfast in bed, a sexy fantasy, a day spent together, sex focused completely on your partner … The list could go on. Watch your partner go googly eyed at you and then, take their pants off.

• Cook dinner together, no TV, just music, food, wine and each other. Then, do it on the kitchen bench.

• Just say the things you feel. Tell your darling what they mean to you, how you feel, how sexy and irresistible they are to your eye. Tell your woman how beautiful she is, how adored she is, show her that all you want is her. Tell your man how strong and attractive he is, how you appreciate all he does for you, how desperately you want him. And if you can’t say it, you can always write it down. Handwritten notes and cards are something rare these days, but very special. Behold your beloved as they become dizzy with lust, and then, take them from behind*.

*On second thoughts, that may not be the best advice for everyone’s beloved, but I trust you to adjust the scenario accordingly.

I wish you all a beautiful Valentine’s Day, and beyond. The time for romance is now, people. Spread the love around, get sexy and enjoy!


Lara xxx

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