Lou's Women: Getting all loved up for Valentine's Day
Lou's Women are getting all loved up on Valentine's Day – at least they hope they are.
Of course we'd all love to be floating along on a gondola, whispering sweet nothings to our significant other – but it's blooming cold, even in Venice, at this time of year.
Most of us will be working this Thursday – February 14 – so we will have to make do with a celebration closer to home.
But does it have to involve a costly dinner out in a crowded restaurant and dozens of red roses?
My own idea of Valentine heaven is for my other half to do the cooking.
And my special request – he does know this – is for his spicy version of corned beef hash.
He adds chillis and some secret ingredients divulged to him by his late mother.
Hopefully there will be a nicely arranged table with candlelight – maybe an amusing but affectionate card.
But the thought and time that goes into preparing the meal is all I need for a gift.
The day has its serious side – because it is named after St Valentine, a martyr from Roman times, who was jailed for performing weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden to marry, and for caring for Christians.
The story goes that, while in prison, he healed and fell in love with the daughter of his jailer and, before he was executed, he is said to have written a farewell to her "from your Valentine".
But like Easter, which has its basis in another grisly death, it now gives us an excuse for a celebration to brighten our lives.
Find out how Lou's Women want to be treated by their partners on Thursday – and add your own ideas – below.
Willenhall social worker Stacey Senior says: "I and my partner have agreed not to celebrate it this year. We show affection and appreciation for each other every day because we're always working together as a team and making the most of what we have. We won't be lining Mr Hallmark's pockets when we can be spending (or saving) the money on things that really count. In the past we have both felt obliged but this year were doing things our way rather than fitting in with tradition!"
Former Stourbridge language coordinator Irina James, now living and working in South Korea, says: "I enjoy Valentine's Day, apart from the obvious marketing overflow and commercialism. I think it is an opportunity to share some much needed TLC in these, often depressing, times. Unfortunately my partner can be very unromantic, 'weep for me sisters'."
Kinver zumba teacher Lou Thomas says: "I would like a card covered in hearts with a romantic verse, red roses, a meal out with candles and a sparkly present please!"
Halesowen ace tennis player Pat Bailey says: "I think it's a bit of fun. I am too old for the romantic serious stuff .... I like to send things anonymously. Trouble is they always know it's me."
Kidderminster midwife Ellie Wright says: "Always good to keep romance alive, that's what I say. It's all so easy to let things slide. Before now we have had a nice meal at home in front of the fire, or a meal for two from M and S. Sometimes we do an IOU and go away for a weekend. We often don't go out for a meal on the 14th as prices get silly but make it another night instead. Mike always buys me flowers bless him, that's all I want, and we both exchange funny cards. Why not have Valentines night every night?"
Health and safety manager Elaine James, from Cookley, near Kidderminster, says: "I think the more we have to celebrate the more meaningful life is. Valentine's Day is given as a day of celebration to mark the love in a relationship. However, it is only meaningful or enjoyable if you have a partner to share it with. I think it's one of those celebrations that can depress people who are without anyone and feeling a bit unloved. Another way of looking at it is if you love someone then you should be showing that love all year round anyway."
Wombourne conservationist Sheena Hamilton says: "I don't like all those smutty cards – it was never meant to be a joke because it's named after St Valentine, who was a martyr. I think 'secret admirer' type cards are a nice thing and for husband and wife to exchange tokens of their love. It's a day when people can show how much they love each other."
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