Right now, those of you who know me, may well be thinking that Valentine’s Day and all its associated ephemera are really not my bag. And you’d not be wrong. But then those of you who know me really well, may indeed know that I love to celebrate Valentine’s Day…..in my own way……
Since we got together, Adam and I have honed a little tradition for this day. Not fond of the overly commercial excuse to remind each other that we love one another (and we certainly remember just how pantsy it was when we were single), we decided to do things our own way. Now, maybe you won’t think this is romantic at all, and I’m not suggesting everyone celebrate today this way (although I certainly believe it is the BEST way to celebrate today), but I just thought I’d share how we ‘do Valentines’ in the hope of inspiring those who might like to move away from the more conventional way…..
We did Valentines this year on Saturday, mainly because we were so excited about it, and also because it meant we had a much longer evening to enjoy it than on a week day. There’s a real formula to our Valentine’s Day, and I can’t see us ever budging from it….here are the vital ingredients:
1. The entertainment
For our Valentine’s Day entertainment, we like to choose a film to watch at home on the sofa (snuggled up). The main thing in the choice of said film is that it should NOT be conventionally romantic. Having chosen Lost Boys and Big Trouble in Little China as our last two Valentines films, we have a sort of criteria: the film should ideally involve scariness (in a silly way), datedness (ideally we want something from the 80’s), and certainly an air of the utterly ridiculous.
This year, we really wanted to incorporate a Sci-Fi element, and so after asking for advice from our most discerning (*cough*) film buff friends, we arrived at a decision: Lifeforce.
Lifeforce is a 1985 classic, directed by Tobe Hooper and based on the novel The Space Vampires, published in 1976, by Colin Wilson. There really is everything we could want in this film….. Space Vampires….. a comet threatening the planet….. Zombie Apocalypse…… a romance between an alien and a human (or is he?….)….. and, PATRICK STEWART.
We really did excel ourselves this year…… I can’t think how we can top this next year.
2. The food
This bit is very important, and in fact we haven’t wavered in our choice since starting this tradition. The meal should be ordered in, and no time spent slaving over preparation or dish-washing. We have always opted for a Chinese take out, although any style of take away will do. It should have a feast-like quality (you will see we didn’t hold back, with our entire coffee table laden with naughty treats), and the idea isn’t to sit together over candle light and enjoy some decadent menu (plenty of other days for that), but to enjoy over-eating an obscene amount of non-healthy food. You can use plates, cutlery and such of course (we’re not complete barbarians).
3. The drinks
This is where a smidgen of sophistication can slip in…. if you were going to choose Fish and Chips for your take away meal of choice then I would say a pot of tea would both elegantly partner this and also enter very much into the spirit of the festivities. We usually go for wine though, and because I can’t drink anything else, a nice one. This year we went for the rather lovely Crying Vine Shiraz. The spicy and berry-rich flavour was enough to match our rather greasy menu and its mish-mash of flavours, and there was something about the name that fitted our not-commercially-romantic theme.
4. The mood
Now I’m a big tea-light fan all of the time, so lighting a few candles is allowed, providing they are not in the shape of hearts or sickly-sweet-scented (that would ruin your enjoyment of the food of course). We don’t get AT ALL dressed up for our Valentines either, and more to the point, it’s important to wear something comfortable to allow sofa snuggling (read: slobbing) and of course plenty of ‘give’ for that big meal. I did make an effort to put a bit of make up on (never without the mascara anyway) and comb my hair, but there isn’t really much point glamming up for this kind of night, when we are both mainly looking at the space vampires and zombies on the screen anyway.
Now I know this will sound horribly unromantic to plenty of you, and perhaps you’ll feel sorry for us even that we are ‘missing out’ on red roses, heart-wielding teddy bears and Marks and Spencer’s special sparkling rosé. And it’s fair to say that our traditional Valentines is indeed a rebellion against the commercially acceptable modes of expressing romance. But in honesty, we really value this day because it’s sort of a way of us saying we *can* be all romantical, but we don’t need to follow anyone else’s rules of how to do so.
So, er, Happy Valentine’s / Zombie Apocalypse / Rip-off-Red-Roses Day everyone!