Valentines’ Night Bait and Switch


I don’t think it’s greatly cynical to feel that Valentines day is basically an opportunity for sellers of cards, roses and chocolates to bilk the rest of us out of money we may not be able to afford to spend. Then again, I am quite bitter; once my mother sent me a Valentines’ card because she knew I wouldn’t get any. How do I know this? Because she told me the next day. Contemplate that worrying mixture of apparent contempt for my esteem, coupled with realism and any other worrying psychological overtones you’d care to add.

This year, I agreed with my wife that we wouldn’t do anything special for the 14th. With most of our money being saved for our daughter’s future, we shouldn’t be spending it on non-essential dinners and wine. (Essential dinners and wine are a different proposition entirely.) I was therefore shocked and surprised when my wife arrived at the office this lunchtime and gave me not just my lunch, but two Valentine cards, one containing a voucher for a free manicure at a swanky salon.

I suppose two cards means on average we both got one, so maybe I’m off the hook on this score.

Returning home this evening, I arrived to an enormous casserole dish full of rice and beans that my wife had been baking. This was based on a recipe we obtained while in Canada last October, and was just as good as I remembered.

After that, it was simple to give our daughter her bath, then put her to bed while reading her some more of Declare. So far, so romantic, if you enjoy the gradual spreading of broccoli in a layer approaching one molecule of thickness across the entire apartment, followed by reading an inappropriate piece of fiction to a very small child. But the evening was not over yet – my wife had a final treat in store.

Unfortunately, that treat was for us to watch Hudson Hawk, a Bruce Willis film that’s quite high in the league of so-bad-it’s-actually-pretty-awful, even though it has Andie MacDowell and her infinity of teeth, Bruce Willis’ hair, and Richard E Grant and Sandra Bernhard chewing the scenery. I may have neglected to buy a present, but I have tolerated the very worst of the late 1980s. That counts for something. Right?


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