This week we have to write about the most irritating aspect of Valentine’s Day:

In my opinion, Valentine’s Day is perpetuated by the greetings card industry for their own profit (remember when they tried to flog cards for ‘Grandparent’s Day’ which never took off?).  Valentine’s cards start arriving in the shops every year around the middle of January, making you feel compelled to buy one for your nearest and dearest.   Sam has been sending me one for as long as I’ve known him (39 years), so I always feel as though I have to return the favour…

But oh, remember the agony of being a teenager and wondering if any Valentine’s cards would arrive?  I went to an all-girls school, and so those elusive red heart-studded cards were sadly missing from my life when I needed them the most.  It was no good looking inside my desk in case I’d missed a card stating the sender’s undying devotion, although if I’d been a lesbian I’m sure I might have had a more positive outcome.

Three years ago we decided to have a Valentine’s dinner at our local Café Rouge.  Sam was halfway into his lobster soup when he had an allergic reaction to it – he started talking gibberish, and then fainted and fell to the floor.  He’d never eaten lobster before and has never eaten it since!  The manager phoned for an ambulance, who asked whether the patient was breathing.  When it was confirmed that  Sam was indeed still respiring, we were told we would have to wait about 25 minutes for an ambulance.  I took him to hospital myself in our car just to get him checked over.  We’ve never gone back into Café Rouge since.

As far as I’m concerned, the whole concept of the Valentine’s Day card palaver is irritating, and a right royal waste of money.  The trouble is… I can’t stop buying the bloody things.

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