Deep in the perpetually joyous realm you inhabit, could you pop over and have a chat to St Francis?
I am pretty sure that your spirit of spreading love throughout humanity is so necessary that if you did not exist we would have to invent you.
But the speed and volume of the GrabOnes and DowntownForTwo specials now pinging me through cyberspace makes me feel that this spirit isn’t quite being fully realized.
Up on the side of Assisi’s snowy mountain home, I’m pretty confident that St Francis would have woken up on the 13th and told everyone that he dreamed last night that every dinner was poisoned. A real downer guy, obviously destined to be single, but a necessary corrective.
If one happens to be lucky enough to have someone brimming with sustained belovedness in your life, maybe champagne isn’t completely compulsory. We can still signify that they are our sun – and yes it really does usually involve going out to dinner somehow. If you don’t think so, you better have a really good second plan.
This year, St Valentine, we are going to put love first, rather than conform to someone else’s idea of how best to prove that love. If we go out, we’re going to choose a restaurant we know and love, and eat the things we know and love. If that means sushi, schnitzel or avo on toast, then so be it.
Or we are going to let them know beforehand that we are going to spread the blanket out on the beach under a Pohutukawa, and there will be rich evidence that some thought was put into it.
There will be no plastic gas-filled love hearts. There will be none of those scent-eradicated Ecuadorian roses. There will be no lobster. There will be fewer of the trapping gender constraints and St Valentines Day tropes for either male or female. But hey, while it’s too hot for chocolates, it’s not the Day of The Dead, so get to it.
There will be time, booked in advance, with all devices turned off. There may well be a physical card with something heartfelt that signifies that the other is always the intended.
Patriarchy will not be unwound with a few daily amendments. On the other hand don’t think you can get away with “forgetting” this day. Or they’ll make sure you never forget it afterwards. It’s time to show some actual feeling.
I am preparing mentally and logistically already. And I am letting the beloved know that I am in planning for it.
St Valentine, help me let them know my intent.