To tell you the truth I had never received a Valentine's card in my youth or until I got married. As my then-husband was not much of a romantic, I didn't get one then either. The first occasion I ever received one is almost too embarrassing to mention.
It happened while Bernard and I were married and lived on the farm. My children attended a Catholic prep school in Limerick where I took them by car every day. Sometimes in the afternoon, waiting for them to come out of the building, I talked to an old gentleman who collected his grandson. We chatted about the school, the weather, and gardening. So that fine Valentine Day this man gave me a Valentine card, which read "To the one I am dreaming about."
Lovely to be admired and desired but really this day of free passes to express in a card what could not otherwise be mentioned made for one awkward situation. Apparently my children and marriage, and the 30 years between us might just be overcome by an admission of boyish longing.
Mortified, yet tickled pink as well, I took it home to Bernard who was working on the farmyard. He was aghast. I think that's when he first learned about the existence of Valentine's.
"If you ask me, it's all one big commercial American hype over nothing," he called down from his tractor, scratching his head. And ever the lyrical poet, he added, "Just another day for selling things at a time of year which would otherwise be very quiet with Christmas over and Easter far away. Just like the fad of Mother's Day."
With that clarified, he put his woolly cap back on and turned back to the matter at hand, pushing back the manure on the yard. Needless to say, I never got one from him even after that, but I have received quite a few since I left him.
So, do you leave a man who doesn't give you Valentine's cards or flowers for that matter? In the long run, a man who sees no purpose in romance or affectionate gestures is undoubtedly worse than an old codger who hits on you on a schoolyard.
After I left Bernard, I started a dating agency to find a new partner,
make money while skimming off the cream.
Excerpt from: Next Time Lucky: Confessions of a Dating Guru