Hallmark Cards Day

Valentines Day, or as I prefer to call it, Florists Benevolant Day, what a load of tosh.

Gentlemen, let me offer my wisdom garnered of 27 years married toil, make an arse of this Valentines Day, make a big arse of this Valentines Day and you will never again be tormented by this outrageous assault on your wallet, this thinly disguised Hallmark Cards marketing campaign to women, this tosh…

I saw bunches of one red rose and some green leaves on sale in our local Tesco Express last night for £20 – fuck off Tesco, shame on you.

In February 1981 I had been “walking out” for four months with the woman who was to become forever the main beneficiary of my monthly stipend when our first Valentines Day came around on the calendar, I could not forget that Valentines Day was on its way as she’d been reminding me of the date since Christmas, she has an older sister and the competition between them for the biggest boyfriends Christmas present/Valentines card was intense.

February 13th I kept reminding myself to pop out to the newsagents over the road from our office to buy a bloody Valentines card, but things got in the way and I didn’t so that at 6pm as I was leaving the office I suddenly realised that I hadn’t done the task that I’d had fore-notice of six weeks ago.

I dashed across the road even as the shopkeeper was locking the doors for the night, rushed in and picked up the very last Valentines Day card in the shop, success at last, saved the day, such good fortune.

Now I admit that it was a small card and if I had had more of a choice I would not have necessarily picked this one, ok I admit, it could actually have been a gift tag rather than a greetings card but it had its own little envelope and everything, and it was the last one in the shop and all the other shops on my way home were now shut, such was my quandary.

The very next day she was on the phone first thing.

To summarise that hour long phone call, she was not happy, not happy at all, her sister had received a huge Valentines Day card from her boyfriend, huge it was, the poor old postman had strained his back carrying it up their path and they’d had to take the door off its hinges to get it in the house. My card however was surely just the gift tag to a very expensive present that had become detached somewhere in the postal mechanism wasn’t that the story ?

It was my lifebelt in stormy waters but I ignored it, “No” I replied, “That is the card itself, thats your Valentines Day card”.

She never stopped talking about it, she has still not stopped talking about it, women have a cast iron memory for things like that, fortunately for me she has not stopped talking about it for every year when Valentines Day comes around and the talk in our house turns to the purchase of pseudo anonymous admirer greetings cards she brings up the subject of the day when I bought her a Valentines Day gift tag and tried to pretend it was a proper greetings card, my response every year is on the lines of “If you’re so ungrateful then I’m not going to buy you one this year”.

And I never have, “You didn’t like the last one I bought you” is what I say, “I’m not wasting my money on another one”.

Works every time.


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