Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?

The WordPress Challenge this week is this:

“My first date with the person who ended up being my (fortunate?) wife was the day after Valentine’s. We’d thought about getting together for a while, but meeting in the run-up to this organized heart-shaped extravaganza felt at once tacky and stressful. Would we just be auditioning each other for an upcoming candle-lit dinner? Our annual un-Valentine’s has since become an inside joke and a beloved ritual.

What’s your Valentine’s story?”

ice caps

Love this one …

Hello dear friends

There is a Valentine’s movie going through my life as I sit here to write today about Valentine’s Day.

In it are 43 years of celebrating Valentine’s Day with my husband in a variety of ways …  or not at all depending on what was happening in our lives at the time.

The beginning of this movie would show Geoff and I as we inadvertently held our engagement party on 14th February 1971. There would be family and friends at my parent’s house having fun: laughing, eating and drinking as the night wore on. Everyone was all dressed up in their best finery … as engagement parties tended to be in those days of beautiful frocks and formal gatherings. All of this would be accompanied by the Beatles and the rock music of that time. 

I wore a cerise coloured long dress which I made myself especially for the occasion.

We were in love! Young. Innocent. My beautiful solitaire diamond was catching the light very easily. I was helping it along by flashing it whenever I got the opportunity. The world was my oyster. What could possible go wrong from here? So naive …

588826The next year of the movie would show a Valentine’s Day with a pregnant wife who had no idea how she could fall pregnant so easily when she had hardly been married for five minutes (it was six weeks in reality). But this wife was now five months pregnant after marrying the previous September. We went out for a meal for our Valentine’s Day because I was too tired to cook after work.

And as each year went by, the movie would chop and change between various scenarios: Geoff giving me a single rose …  me giving Geoff a card but he giving me nothing … a dinner date while my mother minded the two children …  no thought for Valentines as I was in hospital. … me buying some romantic things (from a Cheapie shop) to put on the dinner table that night or Geoff surprising me at times with a bunch of flowers. Very few cards to show however.

The movie would go to an occasional special treat such as a weekend in the mountains at a themed Bed and Breakfast. Soft romantic violin music would waft through the cool mountain air at this point.

The theme I had chosen was a 1930s style love theme with a canopied bed and a real gramophone player that actually played old records. The room was filled with treasures from that era. When we arrived, the owner of the B & B brought us home-made cake and a pot of brewed coffee to have on the verandah to begin our lovely weekend.

A photo taken on our rainy wedding day after we were married and leaving the church.

A photo taken on our rainy wedding day after we were married and leaving the church.

But then again there would be times when we were too busy or too stressed dealing with teenagers to even remember that it was Valentine’s Day and the day would pass with a routine born of tedium and ‘just getting through.’

And the movie would then play sad music … times of disharmony and not being sure we even wanted to be together. We are wishing each other a perfunctory “Happy Valentine’s Day” as we struggle to be nice to each other.

Then the movie of the next years would fly by in a blur of working, doing housework, eating out whenever we pleased, not bothering too much with Valentine’s Day as the children had left home and married. Good times but not times when Valentine’s Day was big for us. Too much freedom all year round!

As the movie comes close to its end, we find we are retired and it is … TODAY.

The scene is the bedroom early in the morning. Birds are chirping and the day is fresh and bright.

Geoff is making me a cup of tea to have in bed. No thought of anything too romantic at this hour for us retirees folks. Valentine’s Day is at the back of my mind, but can I even be bothered mentioning it? Geoff has no idea on earth that it is a romantic day! It is the furthermost thing from his mind.

As he leaves the room after the cuppa, I decide to remind him in a matter-of-fact way: “You know it’s Valentine’s Day today.” Geoff turns and says to me in the same tone: “Oh, Happy Valentine’s Day Theresa.” I too reply in kind.

Then, in the most romantic gesture he has made so far today he says: “I think we’ll go out for morning tea later.”

The music crescendos… the movie is coming to a loving end after a lifetime of Valentine Days as Geoff turns and heads into the kitchen to put on the porridge for breakfast …

It’s just ANOTHER Valentine’s Day … and we’re still together … and it is okay.

To visit more stories: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/writing-challenge-valentine/