Well, Valentine’s Day struck again. For the third year running I forgot the flamin day was upon me. I wrote no cards, wrapped no presents and was blissfully oblivious of the puke-inducing heart balloons and lovey dovey mush which was all-singing and all-dancing on the High Street for the last however many weeks. I mean “Bog Off”, we’ve just had Christmas!
The morning of February 14th was just like any other morning. I hit the snooze button too hard so the entire alarm clock shut off. Hubby happily trotted off downstairs to make brekfast (He is one of those weird morning people; psycho) My daughter was quick to follow (Psycho in training) whilst my son and I festered in our respective beds, refusing to kick off the covers until forcibly removed. Eventually, I was dressed for work and in a zombie-like state, headed for the door. That’s when I saw it. A white envelope with Hubby’s handwriting sticking through the letterbox. Still I did not twig. I opened it up and was serenaded by a chorus of frogs croaking Sonny & Cher’s ‘I got you babe’. Ahh crap!
Having heard the tune, Hubby poked his head round the kitchen door. “Happy Valentines Day” he beamed. The kids raced down the stairs to look at my card and enquire as to the whereabouts of theirs? All eyes were on me expectantly and I panicked. Hubby’s face fell. He knew. He told me not to worry about it and then hurried off to write a card for both kids; luckily I keep an emergency stash of cards. I hung my head in shame. I am a failure in the romance stakes!
After a manic day at work, I arrived at the kids day-care centre to find my daughter in raptures. She had recieved a beautiful Valentines card, a heart encrusted gift box containing a Thornton’s chocolate heart lolly and a lovely heart bracelet cushioned in shredded pink crepe paper and red heart confetti. I was impressed! I never got a Valentine until I was fourteen years old. It was then that I realised that I had missed the opportunity to make it up to Hubby by buying or even making him a card. I am a terrible Valentine!
I bundled the kids into the car and dashed home. I had little under an hour before he was due back and a thought had struck my melon….candlelit meal. The children had to forfeit their bath and instead I put them in their pyjamas and set them up with supper and a playstation game on the proviso that they play nicely in their room whilst Mummy and Daddy eat. They could not believe their luck!
What to cook? Naked fridge and sparse freezer greeted me. A Post It note on the fridge door reminding me to go shopping looked down at me in disdain. Will just have to make do with what we have got! Now, candles…who am I kidding? I’m not one of those candle chicks, erm…tea lights from a two year old dodgy crimbo pressie will be alright! Finally, wine. Depleted supplies over New Year; will have to eek out the final dregs from Saturday nights vodka bottle. Mixer? Oh damn…Vodka and Vimto it is then.
Half an hour later and I hear Hubby’s key turn in the front door lock. I quickly lit the last tea light, fluffed my hair and dashed to meet him. “Something burning”? he asked. The smoke detector shrilled out the response before I could answer. The door upstairs slammed with screams of “FIRE” just audible over the alarm. I ran to the oven while Hubby went upstairs to tell the kids that everything was OK and there was no need to lie on the floor with the door shut (we have them well trained now).
A few minutes later and Hubby joined me at the table. He looked round curiously at the ‘candles’ and then down at his plate of cremated chicken dippers and baked beans. “Romantic” I shrugged sheepishly. His face creased up followed by a bellow of laughter so powerful that it blew out a tea-light. I was relieved; apparently I was forgiven. “So, where are my flowers”? I asked, then ducked a low-flying chicken dipper.