If you are married, engaged to or dating a farmer, you will probably be familiar with Valentine’s weekend on the farm. If you’re new to it, i.e. in the first throws of love, your expectations are probably still high. God love you. If you are a seasoned veteran, or married for, let’s say, nine years, you know that no matter how much you try, the following scene is forever repeated.
When the cows start calving, the farmer is still half alert to his whereabouts, whilst he spends his day running between the calving house, the parlour and the calf pens, he is still aware that there is life outside the yard, in the house perhaps. This my friends is February. By March, life is such a blur and you are so sleep deprived that St. Patrick himself or the Easter bunny might have taken up residence and you’ll not notice. So, in February, like it or not, we celebrate St. Valentines day and with it comes the obligation to do something lovely for your loved one. I say obligation because it has become a bit of a chore. Not so because we are a couple who are not in love but because we’re a couple who despite our protestations about the event, still feel obliged to tick thee Valentines box. And it most always ends in, well, something akin to misery.
My expectations around Valentines have depreciated on a yearly basis since that first bunch of flowers delivered to the office. Mortified, I told him in future, that we could skip Valentines day or postpone it until all the cows were calved. I was trying to be a nice girlfriend and him being of the male variety and instinctive when it comes to understanding what a woman wants when she says ‘don’t mind me’ continued yearly to do something lovely for Valentines Day. Sigh.
I really do think there is a line in selling farmer’s chocolates and flowers for the wife when he goes to pick up his supplies at the local creamery. Two bags of ration, a bucket and roses for herself ahem. So every year the conversation goes along these lines;
Me: Look, there’s really no need to bring me anything this year, you’re under enough pressure.
Himself: Ah no, sur, if we can’t go out (don’t even try to organize a night out) can’t I get you something?
Me: Honestly, let’s not this year, I’ll make us a nice dinner, with wine. Bring wine. No wait, there’s wine here. No need to bring anything.
Himself: Oh right, instead of wine? Some flowers?
Me: Not at all. You’re fine, just go to the vets and bring on the (insert medicines needed) and whatever you do, don’t bring flowers or chocolates.
Himself: You want chocolates?
Me: I don’t want anything!
Himself: (Exasperated) No chocolates so.
Me: Look, if you’re in the supermarket, bring a small bar of nice chocolate, we can share.
Himself: (now knowing that he is in the minefield and everywhere he looks is garage flowers, cheap chocs and roses says) What kind of chocolate?
WHAT KIND OF CHOCOLATE?
DID YOU JUST ASK ME WHAT KIND OF CHOCOLATE?
I’ll leave you there in your imaginations to imagine the nuclear energy that might have been harnessed following that explosion. It’s the same every year. St Valentine, or Hallmark or whatever you’re calling yourself these days, you have a lot to answer for.
Happy Valentine’s Weekend whatever the day throws at you.
(Notice: No farmers were harmed in the writing of this post)