A Valentines Day to remember…

It comes along each year, sometimes with the maximum of fuss but in less than 24 hours, it’s over.

The build up to Valentines Day can often seem stressful, especially when you’ve put a lot of effort into something for your other half only for it to be quickly forgotten.

For Penny Clayson, a 51-year-old Business manager from Southsea, the romance of Valentine’s Day stays with her all year round.

“10 years ago my husband proposed on Valentines Day,” she says, “It was completely out of the blue and we’ve been happily married ever since.”

Perhaps proposals are somewhat of a cliché on this day, but for Clifford, 26 it was quite the reverse.

He says that as he and his girlfriend were walking along the beach in the morning she suddenly dropped down on one knee and popped the question to him!

“I had absolutely no idea Gemma was going to propose, it was amazing.

“I know that it’s an old tradition for a woman to propose to a man on that day, but I’m so impressed that she actually did it!”

Whilst there were no proposals or wedding bells for him, 25-year-old Ben said that his most memorable Valentines Day was the first one spent with his girlfriend after they had moved in together.

“Claire and I had just moved into our first house so I had prepared a candle-lit dinner for her when she came home from work and she loved it.”

He insists the magic of their first house was enough to make their day so special.

But for some, the day isn’t full of film-inspiring romance and the reality can often mean that there’s little to remember.

“I honestly don’t have anything memorable to share!” says criminology student Billy.

“I’ve never been in a relationship on Valentines Day and never really made any effort.”

But is it just singletons that are desensitised by a day of love?

Even those in a relationship are uninterested and bored by it as 20-year-old Charlotte proves when she says she hates the 14th.

“I think Valentine’s Day is pointless.

“Last year my boyfriend and I went halves on some Xbox games and spent all night playing Call of Duty, that is my idea of romance.”

I’m starting to think that romance really is dead as my other interviewees recall unexciting and unsentimental stories that could’ve been on any other day of the year.

23-year-old Adam mundanely reminisces about the gig he went to last year.

“I’d been waiting to see this band for ages and since I’d never really given Valentines Day a second thought, I barely noticed what day it was.”

Similarly, languages student Kate tells me: “Last year my boyfriend had gone to a gig with his friends so I ended up in Babylon too drunk to even remember his name!”

Maybe getting drunk with your mates is the new thing to do on this day and it seems 20-year-old Tash can certainly relate to this.

She tells me: “My two best mates and I were single, so we drowned our sorrows by getting very, very drunk on wine at Nandos.

“In the end, I actually had a brilliant day.”

It seems even spending time with family is better than the typical soppy stuff.

Mum of one, Helen says: “Boyfriends have all been on and off.

“It probably sounds a bit rubbish but my favourite Valentines Day memory is of seeing my daughters face light up when she received her first Valentine’s card.

“She still doesn’t know it was from me!”

But what about those memories that aren’t so great and you remember for all the wrong reasons?

Sometimes that “extra special” day is one that you would much rather forget.

“I had this huge surprise planned for my girlfriend last year,” says 16-year-old Tom.

“We hadn’t been seeing each other long but I really liked her and wanted to make her feel special.

“I couldn’t believe it when she told me it was over because she had realised she was gay!”

Sometimes a memorable Valentines Day just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


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