Blaise Tapp writes: As is often the case, I am full of good intentions such as going somewhere other than the bargain card shop this year to buy my beloved a token of my everlasting commitment and devotion. It had also crossed my mind to push the boat out and present Mrs Tapp with a red rose for every year we have been together but have you seen how much 26 roses cost?
The long-suffering other half will definitely get something that fits in one of the many vases that occupy a space next to the Lidl bags underneath the sink but they might be tulips. Red ones of course. Not buying flowers on February 14 isn’t really an option for me and while not doing so wouldn’t necessarily lead to us having ‘words’, I would most definitely receive a disappointed look usually reserved for whenever I forget to put the bins out.
When you have been together for as long as we have, the ground rules are well established and, unless one has a meat and potato pie between the ears, there should be a decent understanding of what will and won’t do.
In our house, the personal message inside a Valentine’s card is crucial. It cannot be the same as the previous year’s and it must never, ever be written in blue Biro as that’s what people use to do a shopping list. Apparently.
It also pays to check the back of the card to make sure the price has been removed because nothing undermines a proclamation of undying love more than a big blue 89p sticker.
I always sign my name rather than scribble ‘Guess Who?’ or ‘An Admirer’ because not only is that more than a little creepy but who else would write ‘well done for putting up with me for another year’?
Cards are usually exchanged in the kitchen as we wolf down our Marmite on toast and whatever cereal the children have left us.
Romantic meals are a thing of the past, especially on a week night when bedtimes are never ending and the only thing you want to do is listen to Mary Nightingale read the headlines before heading up the wooden hill.
During our many years together we have ventured out for a bite to eat on the night itself once or twice, but restaurants are rammed with loved-up couples, many of whom are clearly in the early stages of a relationship and are therefore trying way too hard to impress.
There’s always one show-off on Valentine’s Day; he usually wears a turtleneck or a sports jacket, or both, and you can guarantee he’ll be the one to hire a fella with a moustache and guitar to serenade his date. If you’re really unlucky, he might even get down on one knee.
Although there is clearly money to be made from the day, I have always refrained from bleating about how it’s a creation of the greetings card industry, because that is a tired old argument, often made by those who have never kissed a girl.
Yes there are another 364 days a year to tell your life partner or the boy or girl in accounts how much they mean to you, but in the middle of a miserable winter, a bright card with a red heart on it is usually guaranteed to put a much needed smile on any face.
There are plenty of things wrong with the world right now but Valentine’s Day isn’t one of them. I’d better not forget to buy those flowers.