Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Memories

When I was at school, Valentine’s Day was when you yearned to get anonymous cards in the post from secret admirers. In reality, if you were lucky, you got an anonymous card with a fabricated postmark sent as a spoof by one of your friends. Unless you had the kind of mum who sent you a Valentine’s card just to make you look good in front of your friends... this was boarding school after all, with post given out by the form teacher before school started for the day.... the anticipation, the suspense, the let down if your name wasn't called, those tell-tale red envelopes the envy of the unlucky no-post-today girls.

At university Valentine’s Day continued to be a non-event. Forget about secret admirers – if you were lucky enough to have a boyfriend when the fatal day came round, you discovered he wasn’t the romantic sort, or else got it completely wrong with pink carnations from the petrol station, instead of the single red rose he gave to the other girl in the student house we shared – true...how dare he! That one didn’t last more than a few weeks more!

When I finally met my husband, it turned out he wasn’t much of a fan of conventional and artificial celebrations of romance either; but he made up for it in hugs and ‘I love you' s all year round, so Valentines’ day swiftly passed out of my range of vision as a major event. We invented a fun little tradition of drawing red hearts on each others hand for the day and left it at that.

Except now our girls are picking up on Valentines’ Day as a special day – Middle Daughter in particular who loves any kind of occasion. She spent yesterday making cards for all the family and her best friends, made heart biscuits with each person’s initial iced in pink. She made sure to wear red and white to school – seems to be the South African way of celebrating Valentine’s Day at school and at work. Both girls joined in with our red hearts on hands again, though our son declined the offer. They get to wear civvies at his school today, but I don’t think a 13 year old's credibility stretches to red hearts drawn on hands!

So I feel a bit of a humbug when it comes to my Red Velvet Heart collection of gorgeous hearts... I spend all year looking for my favourite heart products; Valentine’s Day is the big day for people to give heart gifts and here I am neither giving or receiving a heart myself except in DIY form... still I reckon that hearts are for all year round, not just for February 14th, so I'm not too distressed about it! Middle Daughter's heart biscuits were delicious by the way, as well as beautiful and made with love.

What about you? Are you a big fan of Valentine's or does the day go by unnoticed?


  1. We're also ones for year-round love and hugs, rather than artificial celebrations of love, but we did get mementoes from the two youngest - made at school!

  2. OMG I remember the trauma of V Day at school... I don't think I got a proper V-Day card till I was in university! And memorably, one year a boyfriend dumped me on V-Day :o) So I think it's fair to say V-Day passes pretty unnoticved at Chez Cooksister (although for the past few years I have had a V-Day lunch or dinner on the day for all my single friends!)

  3. Now that we've "gone Paleo", no more boxes of candy 'round here... but Bear did get me some lovely flowers!

    My funniest school Valentine memory was around 4th grade, when I decided to get Valentine's Day cards for everyone in my class, so that no one felt left out (I hated that feeling).

    There were 23 kids in my class, and I bought a packet of those postcard-type kids valentines, and set about writing them. I was horrified when I'd done them all, to find out there were only 22! I counted and re-counted, went over and over my list of kids in the class, and couldn't figure out who I'd left out. I was nearly in tears when my mom came by to see how things were progressing, and she said, "You did count yourself, didn't you?"

    Gah! Math is not my strong point, obviously.



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