January - the most depressing of all the months - is finally coming to a close. Woohoo, we made it. February is upon us and with it comes romance inducing Valentine’s Day.
The origin of Valentine’s Day is little known. One version of the story is that Saint Valentine was a priest from Rome who lived in the third century AD. The Emperor at the time had banned marriages because, according to him, married men made bad soldiers. Presumably they were too gooey eyed. Saint Valentine is said to have arranged marriages in secret until the Emperor rumbled him and sent him to prison. While in prison, Saint Valentine apparently fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her a love letter signed ‘from your Valentine’ on February 14th, the day of his execution, as a goodbye.
Some people avoid Valentine’s Day like the plague, claiming that it’s just another holiday pushed on us by greetings card companies and florists as a way to boost sales. It does make it difficult to get a table at a restaurant, and the average person does have to remortgage their house each year to afford the customary bunch of red roses but, despite this, I rather like it.
At my school they put a post box up in the main entrance hall in the run up to Valentine’s so people could drop cards in. Perfect if you had the hots for someone but, in your crippling teenage awkwardness, couldn’t bring yourself to even glance in their direction let alone go over and tell them. For a whole week the school would be abuzz with excitement and nausea as kids agonised over whether to send a card to the person they had been dreaming about all term or not. Someone would then go around interrupting chemistry lessons to deliver the cards to the fanciable, and everyone would gaze in admiration at the people lucky enough to get any.
As an adult it’s a nice annual reminder to bring a bit of romance to your relationship. No one is saying that you have to go out and do battle in your local restaurant or spend a month’s wages on flowers, but using Valentine’s as an excuse to show your other half how much they mean to you can never be a bad thing. When you’re juggling all the usual life interruptions such as a job, a hectic social calendar, gym sessions, your weekly crossword group, pantomime rehearsals and falconry lessons, it can be difficult to find time to devote a whole evening to gazing into your lover’s eyes. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to turn down invitations unquestioned so why not put it to good use.
If you’re the present giving type, Silly Cushions is offering you the chance to give your beloved something really personal. If you love the way your girlfriend makes a weird humming noise when she’s reading the newspaper, or you think it’s really cute how your husband always leaves you a little bit of milk so you can have your morning cup of tea - whatever it is - put it on a cushion to let them know.