It’s been a busy start to the New Year and I don’t know about you, but I’m fairly shocked at the idea of it being mid-February already. How did that happen?
If you’re anything like me, you will have made numerous promises to yourself to take it easy and enjoy quiet time, following which you will have ignored these statements entirely and proceeded to run around like a headless chicken trying to be all things to all people at all times. The up-side is that I’ve enjoyed some pretty decent nights out culminating in what can only be described as a decadent, ‘party like it’s 1999’, alcohol-fuelled whirlwind trip to NYC last week with some of our oldest friends. In my defence, this particular brand of guilt-free hedonism was long overdue following a period of hard work and intense parenting as my son enters the dreaded ‘terrible twos’ phase of his young life. My birthday was the perfect opportunity for his doting grandparents to step in and give his long-suffering mum and dad a chance to remember what a full night’s sleep feels like, in a fancy hotel, followed by breakfast mimosas and a wander through Central Park, amongst other things…
So, here we are again, refreshed, recharged and ready to hit the ground running. Next on the annual calendar of Hallmark events is obviously Valentine’s Day tomorrow. What do people think about this, I ask myself? Firstly, this has to be one of the most obvious times in which hypocrisy can be liberally applied depending on one’s own circumstances. Being happily married and in a long-term relationship with Mr Ross for the past ten years, I am the perfect example of what I like to call ‘coupled smugness’ which means that we can snub our noses at Valentine’s Day and tell ourselves obnoxious things, including but not limited to:
- “Every day is Valentine’s Day with you, darling!”
- “No amount of cards, sonnets or flowers could adequately express my undying devotion to you, my love!”
- “Every day I love you more and more!”
Et cetera, et cetera… any of the above can be punctuated with Spandeau Ballet’s seminal work, True, for added effect.
In reality, whilst the underlying sentiment may indeed be true of all the above (haha…aha ha) in reality it is the little things which make all the difference to everyday happiness. Good communication; doing a crappy job for the other person when you know they hate doing it themselves; changing stinky nappies when the other person looks like they’re ready to expire from the last one…the list is endless. Still, if the mood strikes you, Valentine’s Day is a good reminder to take the opportunity and tell your better half all the nice things you usually forget to say.
Now, for the other side of the fence. Calling all singles out there! How incredibly annoying is Valentine’s Day? Every shop window plastered in red hearts, every restaurant hiking up their prices and every table at that restaurant taken up by smarmy couples mooning over each other. Nauseating, simply nauseating. I’m pretty sure that I ranted – at length – about Valentine’s Day being a pointless date on the calendar designed to fuel card sales for large companies wishing to profit from people’s gullibility when I was single. That is all still true! Rock on, my single friends! The amount of pressure that such a splashy event places on people to conform to the rest of society and find someone – anyone – by Valentine’s, just so that you can sit and eat pasta with them and not feel left out is ridiculous. Real and lasting happiness with another person doesn’t depend on some man-made date, or indeed any deadline. Equally, personal happiness is not dependent on being with another person. There’s a certain satisfaction to be found in the knowledge that you went it alone and didn’t settle for, or stay in, a relationship which wouldn’t make you happy. See my previous post on calculated change: the same applies here. When you find the right person, it’s fantastic, but if you never find, or haven’t yet found the right person but are happy in your own skin, that’s fantastic too.
This can now be followed up by Chaka Khan’s inimitable work, I’m Every Woman.
Til next time….