Two years ago, I wrote a brief summary of how I had managed to maintain romance etc. etc. on Valentine’s Day throughout the years.
Last year, it went a bit wrong after a little silliness in the Village Pub. That was not my fault, apart from the bits of it that were my fault, so no blame can really be attached to me. I am determined to get it right this year.
We sit at the dining table.
Dinner is beef. Beef is one of the most romantic meals that there is; there is something primal about the red juices that ooze from the flesh, plus a cow has udders which are basically breasts. I carve the beef. There is a nagging feeling that perhaps somebody might have gone a little over the top on the beef purchase, viz the size of joint (see picture), but then it is Valentine’s Day, and a Sunday and all, and to worry about beef size would be the action of a tightwad.
Actually, I have got more interested in Valentine’s Day as I have got older. I KNOW that it is just a commercial card-selling fake festival, and I KNOW that it is really for young people, and I KNOW that the original aim was more to be all mysterious and anonymous with a distant object of affection who you hoped might one day reciprocate. There are people that go on and on about the fact that if you need a specific ‘day’ to celebrate romance then by definition that is rubbish.
But when all is said and done, I defy anybody to say that it is really a bad thing to be prompted to dedicate some time and effort, to have some special time set aside, to be able to sit down for a wonderful meal and wine with somebody with whom – whilst you might not be feeling the first hot flush of a relationship – you’ve spent some of the best years of your life.
“Could you pass the horseradish please?” asks Short Tony.
I pass the horseradish. The beef – even when I have finished carving – still looks alarmingly substantial. I worry about space in the fridge and what I will do with all this beef. The LTLP and Mrs Short Tony sip their drinks in silence.
“Been in the Village Pub for a few pints, I must admit,” admits Short Tony.
“I had a couple in the Social Club,” I co-admit.
“Did he get you anything lavish this year then?” the LTLP asks Mrs Short Tony, with the relentlessly optimistic air of Jan Moir’s agent pitching a short lifestyle piece to ‘Leather Bears’ magazine.
There is a bit more silence. We eat our beef.