Valentine’s day is like an old Disney animation come to life.
The sun is shining. Birds are singing. Flowers are blooming. Well-trained, woodland creatures help out with household chores. And cash registers all over the world are set to ring to the sound of young love. It’s truly the perfect day for the celebration of couple-hood.
Until you become a mom.
Then the sun gets covered by smog-filled clouds. Flowers wither under the overpowering stench of sleep-deprived misery. And the sweet sounds of birds get snuffed out by boisterous, ankle-biting, pint-sized demons who once lived inside my uterus.
A classic, feel-good romance is transformed into a thrilling horror of Hitchcockian proportions. And suddenly, I’m the crazy, cackling villain in my own love story.
The Valentine’s Day I once knew, as a young woman in love, is circling the drain. Times have changed. And my needs have too. Send back those dozen roses. Chuck those chocolate-covered strawberries in the bin. And spare me the whole candle-lit dinner extravaganza. Here is my secret wish list filled with all the things I’m truly lusting after.
#1: My romantic playlist: The underrated sounds of silence
No Celine Dion. No Kenny G. No DDLJ. All I want to listen to, on this glorious day of love, are my own thoughts. I want to be able to hear pins dropping. I want to pick up the sound of leaves falling two streets away. To hear ants bustling about as they collect crumbs.
What I don’t want to hear is the slamming of doors or the loud dropping of shoes on the floor. No whining for sugary treats and the random shrieking for absolutely no reason. This Valentine’s day, I don’t want jewellery. Silence is golden enough.
#2: My spa indulgence: uninterrupted bathing time
A romantic couple’s massage sounds lovely on paper. But to be honest, what I really want is a whole minute under the shower spray without someone banging at the door asking me how much longer. I’d like to wash my hair. And then remember I washed it. Not wash it a second time because my brain is too foggy to remember it.
And I especially don’t want my husband’s urgent interruptions asking where the sticky tape is (It’s not hiding in a wet shower with me, for sure!).
#3: My special bonding time: No Paw Patrol or Peppa pig
The thought of cuddling with my husband on the couch and watching a TV programme that doesn’t include a talking pig or crime-fighting cartoon dogs is sheer bliss. I would like total control of the TV remote. For 30 whole minutes. Wow. I just got goosebumps.
#4: A romantic meal: That isn’t pizza, dosa or batter-fried batter fried
I would like to eat food likes like an adult. In a place filled with other adults. With cloth napkins and clean, silver cutlery. No packets of ketchup flying about. No tiny elbows landing in my food. No brightly coloured clowns or paper-wrapped food served in plastic trays. And oh, this is very important, my crisp, white shirt is carefully shielded from any attacks from greasy food stains. Do such places even exist? I have faint recollections, but I can’t be too sure.
#5: My perfect V day gift: Sleep
No 6.30 am school bus alarms. No tiny bodies using me as a mattress. Or a trampoline. Or demanding water at all odd hours of the night. No one opening the curtains, so sunlight hits me straight in the face. Followed by this announcement: “It’s morning, I’m hungry, why are you still sleeping, don’t you love me anymore?”
I just want to sleep. In a bed. Alone. With zero interruptions. Does anyone know any genies granting wishes?
To all the wide-eyed, eager young couples in love, enjoy your childless Valentine’s Day, while you can. Soon, your life will be chaos. And romance will be just another genre in a bookshop you can’t visit anymore. But that’s okay. For then, you’ll start to appreciate the truly finer things in life. Which is everything you took for granted before?
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!