It is Valentine’s Day on Monday, a day much despised by the husband but one that I FORCE him to celebrate. I have a thing about celebrating these days, I do not care how commercial they are, because I grew up with a father that was the MOST unsentimental person ever. He once was incredibly proud of himself because he remembered to buy my mother a birthday card – only problem was that he forgot to write anything in it. Yes, dear reader, he gave her a blank card.
My mother laughed, I did not.
I also have a new appreciation of these occasions having been deprived of fun stuff for the last two years so yes, I have high hopes for this year’s day of lurrrrrve (JUST PUTTING IT OUT THERE). The husband, despite his dislike of V Day, is a great gift buyer, the one year for Valentine’s Day he bought me this Laura Ashley dress from Reminiscene (that fab vintage store in Melville).
It fitted like a glove and I loved it so much, I wore it for my publicity photos for my third book Delilah Now Trending.
Have I ever told you the story of how the Husband and I met? It was at university in the drama department at UKZN PMB…
I was a third year drama student, he was a fresher (having spent two glorious years in the army). We had to do a kind of induction for the first years so I was dressed as a dominatrix, in a corset with fishnets (obviously – just what the first years needed) and my friend Tombie Auret was dressed as a clown. I was sitting on top of a wall downstairs in the green room of the fabulous Hexagon Theatre in Pietermaritzburg, casually cracking my whip. The husband spotted me, and rumour has it, decided that I was the woman for him.
We circled each other for the better part of six months (he was dating someone else at the time – a very gorgeous blonde) and then finally got together properly during a touring production of Macbeth and Things Fall Apart (I was Lady M, he was MacDuff). Fun fact, we had a fabulous young director called Vee Baxter who organized the production which was MASSIVELY exciting for all of us, and Vee might actually teach the daughter next year.
We were absolutely MAD about each other and could be found to be – in the words of Mammy Keyes in Again, Rachel, ‘ateing the face off each other’ in various venues all over the Hex (belated apologies to all our friends who had to witness this).
Later on in the year, the husband was cast as Rodin’s Thinker in the dance programme and had to be covered in white paint and sit semi-naked on stage every night (yum!) while I danced and naturally, I would offer to help him put on and take off his white paint. There was a rather jolly after party at the end of the run and I fibbed to my parents and said I was spending the night with a friend and then spent the night with Himself.
However, his parents had come down to watch the dance programme and turned up at his flat the next morning. We heard a flatmate saying – in a high-pitched, panicked voice – “let me see if he’s awake.” Arghhhhhhhh! His parents did not know about me and had never met me, and I certainly did not want to meet them like that. There was only one solution. He bundled me into the cupboard and threw my clothes in after me.
He robotically greeted his parents whilst I tried not to make a sound in the cupboard and wriggled my way into a jersey so that I wouldn’t be COMPLETELY starkers if I were discovered. His parents had never seen his flat and were exclaiming over the size of the room. Next thing I heard his mother say:
“Oh there’s so much cupboard space.”
At this point I was praying to the patron saint of sluts that I would not be discovered.
The husband lent against my cupboard and opened the one next to it. “Yes,” sed he, “LOADS of cupboard space.”
After what felt like TEN years they left.
Best cure for a hangover ever.
Afterwards the flatmate said: “Wow, I just thought your parents were very chilled about the whole situation.”
And later on, when they had heard the story, my MIL said, “He was so out of it, I was worried he was on drugs.”
Yes, everyone did hear the story later on because our best man and BIL related it at our wedding.
The Tinder Swindler. Another con-man story but wow, just wow. The man is a classic narcissist and it’s easy to see how these women got sucked into helping him. What has shocked me more than his behaviour is the victim blaming on the socials. Never say never, dear readers, it could happen to you.
OBVIOUSLY Again, Rachel by our gorgeous Marian Keyes. This is the PERFECT gift for both GALENTINE’S DAY (on Sunday – where we celebrate our girlfriends) and VALENTINE’S DAY on Monday.
Lord, but I was so determined to eek that book out. I sniffed it and stroked it and saved it until Saturday night but once I started that was it, I got so caught up in what had happened to Rachel and Luke and the rest of the Walsh family over the last 25 years that I HAD to know what happened. Reader, I finished all six hundred glorious pages of it by Sunday evening, I was BEREFT and had the worst book hangover EVAH.
Luckily, some book post arrived to cheer me up. A lovely man from Jonathan Ball Publishers dropped off a copy of Exposure by Louis Greenberg and I am now tucking into that.
To end off, I would like to say that although the Husband is the great love of my life, I have many other loves – my kids, my siblings, their spouses and their offspring, my extended family, my beautiful friends (here’s looking at you Westcliff Wives, the RWF group, the Awesome Foursome and all my bookish and TV writer friends), Poppy, Nigel and Jinx, coffee and what would my life be without books, books and more books?
So, on Monday, I will celebrate everyone and everything in my life that I love and that brings me joy. Happy Valentine’s Day and happy reading! xxx