Valentine’s Day massacred

The plan was there was no plan. Did that constitute a plan? [shrug]

I was up an hour and a half before She was. That was fine – I didn’t want to face a sexless Valentine’s gesture when She woke. I’d laid the table for breakfast, as I do that most days, when She came downstairs and put an envelope on my place mat at the kitchen table.

Me: Ah …
I’d loosely anticipated something like this, but hadn’t really factored it into my lack of plan.
Me: I was feeling guilt tripped enough by the early morning DJ.
He’d been reading out Valentine’s Day dedications. I’d sent a text of my own.


When the DJ suggested Cold little heart by Michael Kiwanuka I had a feeling he was calling my tribe a bunch of miserable buggers.

Maybe I did want Her to remember. Maybe I wanted the fissure to be openly recognised. Maybe I’m always spoiling for a fight, but just don’t have the balls to start one.
Her: Yeah. I have mixed feelings about the over-commercialism too, but I just thought seeing as I’m neglecting you in so many other ways …
I wasn’t biting. I saw no benefit to even acknowledging Her acknowledging that. A card. How nice. That makes it all ok, doesn’t it? Admitting you’re an addict might be the first of 12 steps but it’s worth little more than a stamp if there’s no intention to take a second. Anyway …
Me: It’s not the commercialism. It’s the obligation.

It’s not really the obligation. The truth is I’m an incurable romantic. Deep down I kind of like Valentine’s Day. I’m not great a fan of the schmaltz, but scrape that aside, and cut through the heart shaped bunting and there’s a chocolate covered strawberry centre that has some value.

My real objection to Her marking Valentine’s Day at all is that it’s a limp excuse to break from normality. Why is this day different from any other? Why, just because a Catholic martyr is commemorated, and because huge profits are made by greetings card companies and florists, should one express their devotion, attraction, love, lust, (call it what you will) for someone any more than any other day. If She wanted to make a conciliatory gesture, why rely on Hallmark to pick the day?

The conversation didn’t go much further.

I made Her cup of tea and re-filled my own.
I spotted the cat had thrown-up by its basket so I cleared up the vomit.
I took the recycling out, realising I needed to retrieve the bins from the front of the house after yesterday’s collection.
I made my toast.
Eventually I got round to opening the envelope and looking at the card


I drink a lot of tea, and that’s where the humour was. All the same, I was tempted to retort that I don’t get to dunk my biscuit, but I held my tongue.

She finished Her breakfast and got ready for work. I found something to do in another part of the house, avoiding the leave-for-work goodbye kiss. (In our marriage, kisses are rationed to 4 or 5 pecks each week. No more. This would have been one of them.) She called goodbye and left.

For little reason other than twisted amusement, I checked Her underwear drawer, just on the off chance She’d decided to wear the Infamous Red Underwear. She’s said too often that She doesn’t see the point in wearing nice underwear to work, and even on Valentine’s day, when She’d admitted neglecting me in so many other ways, She obviously still held that view.

Later in the day when I was feeling a little more objective, I mused on Her phrasing.
… I’m neglecting you in so many other ways …
There’s good in there. Kind of. And something curious.
The good bit is that She acknowledges She is neglecting me. Granted I’ve made virtually no attempt to initiate sex for years, but as I’ve explained before, Dear Reader, when I tried to initiate my advances were rejected more often than not. And when should I initiate? When I’m feeling horny? Because that would be twice a day, every day, except weekends when it could be several times a day. Or should I become a mind reader and initiate when She’s horny … which as far as I can tell is 2 or 3 times a year. No.
The key point here is that She considers the neglect to be Her responsibility. I don’t disagree. Whether that realisation manifests itself in action … well, I honestly have little hope of that.
The curious bit is in so many other ways. In what ways is She neglecting me other than sex? Really I only care about one way.

Come 9:30pm we were sat on separate sofas.
She was buried in the solitary glow of Her iPad, analysing the seasonal fluctuations of our electricity bill.
I turned the TV on.
An hour later, after an episode of House of Cards, (the one where Janine tells Zoe how she’d fucked and sucked politicians for news stories, and Zoe then goads Frank into fucking her just for information before confronting him with that reality) I passed Her the remote.
Me: I’ll leave you with this.
Her: Are you going to bed?
I probably grunted acknowledgement. I honestly don’t know. Valentine’s Day was dead in the water.

12 Responses to “Valentine’s Day massacred”

  1. Too many times I have been in that situation during my stagnant marriage. Felt so liberating when I finally left her. I know everyone’s circumstances are different, but you can’t live in a situation like that for ever. I feel for you.

  2. If I were you, at this point in time, after your gift has remained in her drawer too many times, I’d throw out the red lingerie myself. It causes too much emotional flogging that you don’t need. xo

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