I do not know whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not. Some countries do – some don’t. Some people make a great deal of it and others ignore it. I have always enjoyed it as a delightful piece of sentimental nonsense.
As a child we were always compiling a list of people to whom we would give or post valentine cards to – all our classmates, all out family friends, and all the relatives nearby. The cardboard cards we got from Hallmark professed affection and as long as everyone got one, no-one felt unloved. I have often wondered if any of the old things were ever kept.
Now that I am retired I do not participate in the desperate bonhomie of commerce or science. I can reduce my contacts to those I like – and I have done so quite deliberately. I do not need to seek their approval of affection, and would regard a valentine as an intrusion from me to them. I reserve the card and the small present for my wife, and if I am clever enough to purchase chocolates or wine I get my fair share of them as well. I mean, sentiment is all very well, but sentiment plus chocolate has to be better, right?
But Valentine’s Day is too close to Christmas, Chinese New Year, and Easter to make sweets a comfortable thing. I would much appreciate a tradition that gave pickled herring or chili or cracker biscuits to the loved one. Is there no Dutch or Mexican saint that could be called upon to set the menu? Or are they all engaged writing snippy little memes for Facebook to belittle Donald Trump?
Ah, well, the chocolate will have to do. Fortunately we are not a jewellery family, nor am I expected to give furs, motor cars, or apartment buildings as tokens of love. I could probably manage a bondwood caravan and a ferret, but.