However much you may like to, it's pretty hard to ignore it is Valentine's Day. Unless you are a hermit living in the hills with only goats as company, you will at least have an inkling about a nauseatingly commercial day and that there are more people holding hands than normal.
I don't actually mind.
When I was a singleton, I was quite against Valentine's day. Well, that was if I didn't have plans involving a boy, in which case it was next only to birthdays and Christmas. It seemed a way of spinning out money and encouraging people to rub salt into the single person's wounds. I would do things with girl friends, in the tongue-in-cheek way. There was one quite lovely year at university where my friend Rachel and I went to the beach for a walk and then had dinner. We bought a cheap bottle of Cava and drank it out of mugs in our art studios and hunted out some half-price heart shaped chocolates. I can't recall but I imagine we then just got pissed in the pub later and ranted about men and how come they were so bloody, well, men-like.
Since having a child, I don't even have that. Many friends are married or in stable relationships. They have their chosen partner to be soppy with. Friends not quite at that stage are busy with enjoying life, and I see them less and less. Not deliberatley, but life moves on. I no longer have the freedom to dance the night away and join them in berating the latest dastardly catch over dinner. My trips out revolve around wherever has space for a buggy and doesn't mind a backdrop of shrieking baby. Also, I am a single mummy. My ex-partner has very little involvement and our lives though do cross over, are infrequent and though civil, not heartfelt. Don't get me wrong, I have days when I am bitter and slightly devasted that things did not turn out like the stuff of dreams, but most days I just don't care.
The thing is, I quite like my life on my own.
I have found true love. It might not be the stuff that is traditionally celebrated on 14th February, but something I celebrate day in and day out. And I haven't quite given up hope. At heart, I am still a romantic. I am cyncial that Mr Darcy will come riding through my front door, wet shirt and all, but it's nice to dream. Whether he does or not, I am at peace with being on my lonesome. Today is just another day. Do I wish someone had brought me breakfast in bed and some red roses? Yes. Do I wish that I had a loving partner by my side to share my highs and my lows? Yes. Would I say no to physical affection? No. Do I wish my child was brought into the world in true love as a union of two lovers? Of course. But, life doesn't always turn out how you expect it to.
And right now, I think I'll take waking up to a dribbly toothy grin.