what women want

 

Valentine’s Day; I can’t say it’s my favourite occasion of the year. But somewhere deep inside, beyond layer upon layer of past disappointments and calamities, my ‘Inner Romantic’ was quietly hopeful. In fact, I might go as far to say, she was a little bit excited about the prospect of going for a slap-up meal with her darling husband – a rarity for us parents of three. With the big day almost treading on our heels, my husband decided to reserve a table at a local Japanese restaurant. We hadn’t been there before, but we thought we’d give it go. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

 

The days fell from the calendar until Saint Valentine’s himself arrived at our door with an almighty knock. On went our glad rags and off we ventured into the harsh cold of the night. We huddled arm-in-arm until we arrived at the busy restaurant. With icicles dangling from our nose, we were somewhat relieved to reach our final destination. As we pushed through the glass door, we were greeted by a young waiter with a single rose. “Aw, thank you!” I gushed, clutching hold of the delicately-wrapped flower. “So far, so good!” My ‘Inner Romantic’ smiled. Could this be a Valentine’s Day victory? We were promptly guided through the bustling bistro over to a table for two, tastefully decorated with bamboo placemats and a scented candle. As we gazed into each other’s flame-dancing eyes, we became lost in the moment. It felt amazing to finally spend quality time together, minus the hustles and bustles of everyday life. It felt so good to be… sardined in a cramped restaurant, surrounded by loved-up zealots gazing nauseatingly into each other’s eyes whilst ‘Simply Red’ played on one long, tortuous loop. 

 

 

And enter my “Inner Cynic”

 

 

My ‘Inner Cynic’ wasn’t so enthralled by the fact that our tables were placed so close together, either. So damn close together that we could hear every diminutive detail of our neighbouring diner’s conversations. I know the Japenese like to utilise their space effectively, but this was ridiculous! We were literally sat on top of each other. Every time we tried to engage in our own conversation, our brains became so muddled by what seemed to be a hundred conversations happening all at one time, we gave up and resorted to silence. Awkward silence. “Wine will make it better!” I reassured myself. Only the wine menu had done a disappearing act along with the waiter, and we were left waiting for what felt like hours. By this point, I had pulled my coat on again because it was borderline baltic. “Does this place have central heating or what?” I groaned, growing more and more agitated with every minute that ticked by. “It doesn’t seem to!” my husband replied, pulling his scarf tighter around his neck.

 

My ‘Inner Romantic’ slumped down in her chair with her head in her hands. Deep down, she knew the night was unsalvageable, but yet this didn’t stop her from trying. “I will make a success of Valentine’s night! I will make a success of Valentine’s night!” she chanted, eager for us to become as cliche as the lip-locking lovers that surround us. The food!” she shrieked. “Surely the food can restore your faith in this walk-in refrigerator sushi restaurant?” she suggested, encouragingly.

 

As we shivered like penguins in the arctic winds, the only faith we were holding onto was NOT FREEZING TO DEATH! Needless to say, the food was pretty appalling too … and cold! Naturally, seeing as there was an HOUR wait between each course! In fact, by the time each course arrived – ala tousled waiter – we were stone-cold sober again. It was one dish of disappointment after the other, and we couldn’t even get drunk and pretend we were having a good time.  After three and half hours of shivering our arse off and resisting the temptation to eat our table legs between courses, we pulled on our coats begrudging handed over the hefty bill and made a swift exit.

 

What a disappointment!

What a calamity!

 

“I told you so!” my ‘Inner Cynic’ teased, with a smile as smug as can be. “Valentine’s Day is overrated anyway!” she quipped, sticking the knife in and twisting it further. As much as I hated to admit it, she was right. Valentines Day is overrated. My ‘Inner Romantic’ may as well pack up her bag of optimism and head back to whatever fantasy land she came from!

 

Okay, maybe it wasn’t so bad? I mean, we didn’t freeze to death, we hadn’t – by this point – experienced the toilet-friending ‘food poisoning’, and although I acted like a petulant child for the most part of the night, my husband was still talking to me  …Just! Plus, the night was still young. We still had time to salvage this ‘slowly creeping up the list of worst valentine’s EVER’ 

 

Valentine's

 

With disappointment looming over us, we decided to head to the cocktail bar and drown our sorrows over a mojito, or five! Mojito’s make everything better, right? It’s true; It was during my 2nd mojito that I experienced an epiphany…

 

Why was I getting so worked up about this one day? 

 

 

This one MASSIVELY ‘overly-rated’ day in which we are expected to show our love by exchanging a string of undesired gifts and fancy surprises. It’s false. It’s not reality. It’s, yet another, overly-commercialised facade in which we are expected to conform. 

 

Valentine’s Day is not a true representation of what love is. So why do we put ourselves in ‘forced’ situations and pretend to be the happiest couple amongst a sea of frauds? For the sake of this concept, we call Valentine’s? To show each other that we do have a romantic bone in our body? Because that’s what society tells us to do? Because the other 364 days aren’t as important? Hypothetically speaking, it should be “Valentine’s Day” every day of the year, minus the garage-bought roses and cheap champagne. We could do away with those! 

 

The sad reality is that I had spent so much of the evening damning things for not going to ‘hallmark perfection’ that I had forgotten to enjoy the moment. I had spent so much time glaring enviously at the other starry-eyed lovers – who didn’t seem half as frozen – I had forgotten to embrace “our time”. It’s like my ‘Inner Cynic’ had poured venom over our entire date, and turned everything into doom and despair. Thinking back; the chicken and gravy dish wasn’t so bad. I mean, it was hardly a Japanese delicacy, but it was edible. And, don’t tell anyone, but the Simply Red’s ‘ultimate love collection’ even had my foot tapping at times. The waiter, as inexperienced as he was, seemed genuinely apologetic for his lack of attentiveness. And perhaps the frostiness of my own heart was making me feel so cold? 

 

Frosty hearts aside, there is nothing hallmark about my love for my husband. Quite the opposite, in fact. But perhaps that’s what I love so much about it.  

 

My Darling Husband, I love you for being YOU. The unromantic, clumsy Klutz that you are. Let’s do away with the cheesy Valentine cliches. It’s those little things you do that make me feel whole…

 

I love you for those little fibs you tell to make me feel good…

bad cook cartoon

I love you for taking romantic baths with me even though you HATE them…

 

couple in the bath cartoon

 

I love you for ordering pizza so I don’t have to cook …

 

couple eating pizzas

 

I love you for being my ‘HOT WATER BOTTLE’ on a cold winter’s night …

spooning couple cartoon

 I love you for allowing me to be a blanket thief …

 

duvet hog cartoon

 

I love you for those ‘out of the blue’ cuddles …

cute couple hugging cartoon

I love you for letting me choose the film on movie night …

 

crying at rom com cartoon

I love you for your SPONTINIETY …

jumping naked cartoon

 

I love you for feeding my addiction …

 

tea addict cartoon

And most of all, I love you for making every day just that little more special …

cute couple cartoon

Our Valentine’s Day may have gone down like a lead balloon. Heck, it even made the “Worst Valentine’s day” wall of fame. But that doesn’t matter. Valentine’s day will come and go; flowers die, balloons deflate and cliches grow old. But our love? Our love will always remain.

 

Oh, dear Lord! That sounded like something out of a sappy Hallmark card. Somebody, please hit me, QUICK!

 

 

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