Well, not all of them, obviously. But I’m not making a botanical point here, merely signalling that today’s post is a Valentine’s Day-themed affair. No, not affair. Oh, you know what I mean.
Last year’s attempt at using Valentine’s Day to re-assure my perforce long-distance other half was less than an unqualified success. I would have been better advised, this year, to send my red-heart-encrusted missive on Friday so that it might arrive on the correct day, or earlier. However, that would have required a degree of forward-planning that I’ve never really mastered, and so I popped it in the postbox yesterday. With a fair wind it might arrive tomorrow. Or at such later date as the random whim of the Royal Mail may determine. Valentine’s Days, along with birthdays and Christmas, won’t keep. Early is fine. Late is frowned upon. Perhaps it’s my scientific training, but I’ve never really been able to get to grips with a sense of accuracy that only extends on one side of a fixed point. To me, plus or minus some reasonable margin of error seems the proper way to deal with such matters. A Valentine’s card that arrives tomorrow is surely more accurately targeted than one which arrives two days early. But I feel myself to be batting on a wicket that’s not so much a losing one as a vicious turner deliberately roughed up by some fast bowler’s follow through.
So I have failed yet again to meet my wife’s strict expectations in the delivery of Valentine’s Day greetings. An improvement on last year, I hope, but not the three-star service I should have been aiming for. Not that the matter of accurate timing is entirely at the crux of the issue, to be honest. It really only arises because I’m in Manchester, and she’s not. This is now the 13th month of this less-than-ideal marital arrangement. How are we faring?
I feel that the question is one fraught with danger. If I suggest that we’re in fact faring rather well – that indeed the separate lives we are obliged to lead do not seem to be impinging on the strength of our relationship, but rather that the clearest effects are on how quickly the service intervals on my car seem to come around, and that the sensitivity of my finances to the international oil price is greater than it might otherwise have been, you will say that I’m a fellow in whom the proper romantic stirrings have been substituted for a dry and callous obsession with accounting. If, on the other hand, I conclude that our marriage is buckling under the strain of excessive use of the M6 and the M40, you will accuse me of being more interested in my career than in my matrimonial health.
Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter which of these I choose, for one simple and rather obvious fact. You don’t know me, and I don’t really care what you think. On the other hand my wife, who still does know me albeit perhaps now more vaguely than I might wish, will never read my conclusions anyway. Her interest in my blog is of the same order as my interest in her beloved CSI, be it in Miami, New York, Las Vegas, or indeed any other crime-ridden American city. Bugger-all.
That’s a pity, because she’ll never read this confirmation of how much I love her, 200 miles of the British countryside notwithstanding. She’ll have to wait until tomorrow, or possibly even later, to find out. Whenever, in fact, the Royal Mail eventually gets around to delivering that bloody card.