Saint Valentine's day has come and gone, dear reader.
Ian and I had a fabulous time. He came home from work at around 18:30 and within forty minutes, we were in the car, on our way to Izzi. As we wound our way through the busy streets of Edinburgh, Ian began telling me about a man he'd seen earlier, on leaving Waverley train station, offering free hugs, holding a sign, saying so, above his head.
I thought to myself, ah, that's sweet but really didn't pay much more attention to it other than Ian and I exchanging comments, much along the lines of it being a lovely thing to do on Saint Valentine's day when lots of people would be going without.
Then I felt horribly smug. On leaving the car for the restaurant, I asked Ian for a hug and a kiss, just to make me feel better.
We had a lovely evening, noshing on fabulous Japanese food. No booze, though. I'm on antibiotics for my chest infection and Ian was driving. No dessert, either, the starter and the main courses being more than either of us could take.
We eventually got home, snuggled up on the sofa and let the evening drift by, hugs plentiful.
Then, this morning, I had an email from Ian, sending me to a web site with a news story about the man offering free hugs. Click here to read it. It mentions a clip from You Tube which can be seen by clicking here and from there I found a news story on You Tube about the free hugs affair.
I was moved to tears. Really, I was. What kind of a society do we live in where people are afraid of hugging one another and where such actions are deemed wrong? And as those tears rolled down my face, all I could think of was my looking forward to Ian's return this evening - and hugging him.
From You Tube, I turned to my fellow bloggers for insight, inspiration and other takes on the day for lovers. I found the things Graham, Krafty and Enda had to say most interesting and provocative.
Questioning oneself is a good thing to do and I try to do it daily. So today, I'm asking myself why a man (namely me) who tells himself he's never part of the herd, goes along with the rest of society and joins in with the nonsense that is Saint Valentine's Day? Well, I suppose, for its comedic value. I tell Ian that I love him every day. I buy him gifts and flowers from time to time. We kiss and hug at the drop of a hat and often do romantic things for one another.
So this is funny?
No, I'm explaining why I'm not part of the herd to which I so strongly object. I don't do romantic things one day a year. Really. I do them far more often than that (and I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet, here, or anything else). The thing I really adore about Saint Valentine's day is the anonymous cards people send. And I join in with spoof offers of love and sex. I suppose I send about half a dozen each year. I sometimes get one or two back. And that's why I play along with Hallmark's marketing campaign.
So, again, I'm asking myself, is romance dead?
I don't want to feel smug. I'm grateful that I live with a man who loves me, a man with whom I'm more in love every day. And I'll hug anyone. Oh, and I'm not just nice to my beau on 14th February. I do my best to show my love for him, and, hopefully, for others, every day of the year.
From Rome, to Madrid, to Paris. On the breeze.