As you can see, when abbreviated, Valentine's Day doesn't sound quite as romantic when associated with Venereal Disease and a visit to the clinic. Perhaps this is why Love Chunks and I rarely celebrate it.
No, not because we both regularly catch VD dear reader, but because we loathe the idea of being forced and harangued by screaming advertisers, all media and huge conglomerates as to when we have to be officially and extrovertingly romantic.
The bushfire tragedies and the fact that VD fell on a Saturday would have been extremely annoying for purveyers of over-priced, non-smelling, miniscule rose buds, dodgy greeting cards and foil balloons. Not only were most people electing to donate whatever money they would have wasted on impressing their Main Squeezes to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal but also because there'd be no point paying for bouquets and teddy bears to be hand-delivered as a means of showing off when it was a weekend and there'd be no co-workers to feel jealous or inadequate when said loved one got a call to come on down to the Reception Desk to pick up their poncy petals and appear more cherished as a result.
I honestly feel a bit sorry for blokes at VD time. No, stay with me, dear reader, not those who stray and end up with a raging case of the old fella itches, but those who are in happy and stable relationships and yet are continually peppered from all directions with advice on how to be more romantic, surprise her with gifts, be more thoughtful, change the bog roll when there's only a quarter of a square and that line of glue left; blah blah yawn. How come it is the men who are under pressure to surprise their partners and 'rediscover romance' but us girls get away scot-free? (By the way, who was this Scot and why did he always escape responsibility?)
Why aren't we women also being urged to surprise our loved one with flowers (or, let's face it, a year of lawn mowing and whipper snippering), choccies (replace with boutique beer and corn chips) or fancy meals out (think wide-screen tv, blissful silence and begging to provide them with sexual favours at every waking moment or quarter time break: whichever is most appropriate).
I'll stand up and admit that I too am guilty of forgetting that LC might also want a bit of romance in his life. We had our 14th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago and I completely forgot about it until my nine year old daughter reminded me and my husband walked in with a funny card that was filled with his most heart-warming and beautiful sentiments inside.
On Saturday, I disappointed him yet again. No cards, no red-heart-shaped underwear, pancakes or cute cocoa coffee froth but a whining, "Love Chunks, would you mind taking a look at my head? It feels really itchy."
And sure enough he found them. Head lice. Heaps of the critters; crawling, eating, flinging out their infernally evil eggs faster than a detoxing card sharp at the craps table. Yes, at forty years of age, I was suffering my first case of the creepy crawlies despite picking out at least twenty infestations from Sapphire's head over the past five years.
Without even a tiny sigh of self-pity, Love Chunks grabbed the lice comb, flicked on every light in the living room and sat me between his knees ready for a nit-pick. For the next hour he painstakingly searched, found, caught and squashed every louse on my scone and picked off each single, super-glue- sticky egg from every strand of hair.
It was boring, painful and gave both of us sore eyes and cricked necks. Nits are itchy, invasive and disgusting, yet being the Picker (as I often am with Sapphire) or the Pickee (the role Love Chunks was 'enjoying') makes the process a rather intimate one. Frequent but gentle combing, his breath lightly on my neck and me placing my trust in him entirely. "Don't worry, I'll get all the little buggers out." That's romance.
He checked everywhere and ensured that not a single egg or nit was left. True perfectionist behaviour that I was lucky to be the recipient of.
....as I am every morning when he wakes up first, grinds the beans and makes us both the nicest cup of coffee ever.
....as I am when he tirelessly gets up to soothe Sapphire when she wakes up from a nightmare, or is thirsty, wondering what that weird buzzing noise is in the street or loses her pillow.
.....as I am when he cooks nine out of ten meals for us, works tirelessly to set up the complicated things like the shed, the gym, the bbq, the watering system, the storage solutions.
.....as I am when he reaches for my hand just before he falls asleep and I still feel so honoured that it's mine he wants to hold after all this time.