Forget Valentine's day. For Mama's resident Guilty Mother, there's nothing more romantic than a mix tape
Words Jo Wimble-Groves
I probably don’t have to tell you but Valentine’s Day is approaching. But if you are thinking about scrambling to grab a reservation at The Ivy, I say: don’t bother. I’m not a hopeless romantic, I’m a bad romantic.
I don’t mean to be a spoilsport, but for me, Valentine’s day is overrated. It’s all become too much. I wonder if even Saint Valentine himself would approve. The high street will be throwing love and romance everywhere, trying to ram it down everyone’s throats. People holding hands or gazing into each other’s eyes while they stroll in the park. No thanks. Valentine’s day is just a time where commercialism is forcing us to prove our devotion.
Things just seemed so much easier in the nineties. Wasn’t it just more fun then? Valentine’s day was for one thing and one thing only – to tell someone you have been eyeing for a while that you have a massive crush on them. It was a good rule of thumb not to spend much money on a card. Any card would do. Handmade if possible, smothered with the scent of Impulse on the inside. How could a spotty teenage boy resist? There was always a chance that the poor guy might pass out from the overwhelming stench of perfume, but hey, you have to make a good impression if you are going to win his heart. Just think, a little more Corey Haim and a little less
Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.
Alternatively, remember mix tapes? Nothing says ‘I fancy you’ more than a mix tape. All those 90s R&B hits. We were spoilt for choice. SWV ‘Right Here’, Robin S ‘Show Me Love, ‘Jump’ by Kris Kross and don’t forget to add Boyz II Men as the final song. Need I say more? He would be a fool to decline your impressive swooning skills.
So this valentine’s day, promise me you won’t go out? Just stay in and make a mix tape.
Either way, valentine card or mix tape, you just hope and pray with a belly full of butterflies that he will get the message. Just don’t go overboard with your obsession or he’ll think you are some kind of stalker. Not cool. All you wish for is for him to, one day, invite you to meet him in the town shopping center to walk around. What a dream.
Back to the present day and I know my husband loves me. Love is when I fall asleep on the sofa and wake in my own dribble and he still wants to kiss me. Love is when he watches me demolish an entire family sized bag of tangy cheese Doritos on my own. He looks at me but doesn’t comment, even though we both know that it is pure greed. It is love of the purest kind. The times I put my jeans on and they feel too tight. I tell him that they must have shrunk in the wash. He mumbles and walks off. We both know the truth of why they are snug but he’s too kind to say so. Those damn Doritos again. I can’t understand how I’m putting on weight when I have switched from wine to G&Ts (less calories – tick) and I went for two runs this month (tick). Apparently, this is not a sufficient health and lifestyle commitment. What does he know?
Now you might be thinking “What woman doesn’t love romance?” Well, I don’t mind the odd romantic comedy, but seriously, get those rose petals away from me. The thought of someone playing the fiddle while I eat. No thanks. I love small gestures, like a handwritten card or a trip to the cinema but I don’t need a gift. We don’t need to hold hands (maybe just on special occasions) and we don’t need to spend the entire day together. We need separation to survive.
For the majority of us with busy lives, we want to feel loved and appreciated all year round, not just when someone tells us to. So there you have it. The lowdown of what it’s like to be a woman who doesn’t love romance. No flowers or chocolate hearts please. I prefer to get my own flowers these days, as let’s be honest, no one wants a bunch of lilies or yellow carnations. We want peonies and hydrangeas.