I’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day every year since I turned 16.
Some years have included dashing from the train station to a local Indian restaurant to eat poppadoms, drink wine, and laugh about how brilliant we are with my friends, some years have involved tequila shots and traffic light parties in bars, and other years have involved Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense. Y’know, with boys and three course meals and flowers.
Y’see, I’m a big believer in Valentine’s Day. To me it’s a time to celebrate the people (or the person) we love most, to recognise the importance of taking time away from chores and working late, to just focus on the most simple and joyful human emotion – love.
It is the perfect post-Christmas occasion to feel warm and fuzzy inside. To break away from January blues and focus on the good stuff.
It’s an excuse to make fancier-than-average plans, to eat too much, to drink too much and to centre your attentions on making someone else feel like they are enough.
Like they are loved, like they have purpose, like actually – despite everything morbid and dark and terrifying going on in the world right now – they have someone who supports them and brings them happiness, even in the hardest of times.
Which is why, in a couple of weeks, I will pull on a new gingham jumpsuit (obvs I haven’t bought this yet, I’ve just pictured it in my head with a string of heart-eye emojis), slide into a pair of heels, curl my hair and wear one spritz too much perfume, to head out to our local Thai restaurant.
I’ll leave my phone at home, and I’ll order cocktails that would usually feel just a bit too expensive, and I’ll just enjoy being lost in conversations with Chris about cats, our upcoming trip to LA, and our weird neighbour who likes to play the clarinet at 10pm every night. Whilst eating our weight in massaman curry and a pad thai, obvs.
We don’t have an anniversary, so to us Valentine’s Day is our time to forget everything and anyone else, and appreciate time together.
To actually bother making plans and booking a table rather than just saying ‘heh, we should go out soon’ and then realising three years have passed and we’re still sitting on the sofa watching repeats of the Big Bang Theory over pesto and pasta.
Last year I went v wild and surprised Chris with a holiday to New York, so this year I’ve chosen a personalised print to remember the time we spent together, that I’m hoping will feel just as special (with the added bonus that there’ll be no jet lag, lols).
I’ve chosen Chris a dreamy gold foil print (I know pal, classic blogger cliche times four hundred and ninety-two over here), a) because it’s super pretty, b) because it’s beautifully made and c) because we’re focusing on trying to sass up the house a little bit this year.
But also d) because it’s personal to us. The print is from my fave online marketplace – notonthehighstreet.com (from a small business called BRAMBLER) – and features a little outline of Manhattan along with a quote that I wrote especially for it: ‘ Love is eating takeout pizza in a hotel bed in New York City’, because that’s always been my favourite moment with Chris.
Curling up in pyjamas in a hotel room in the middle of Manhattan, with feet that feel an awful lot like they’ve walked 7543864375 miles, watching back-to-back documentaries on the National Geographic channel, whilst eating a $12 pepperoni pie from a pizza shop down the street.
It’s not particularly glamorous, but it’s our favourite little tradition. Something that I know other people wouldn’t get. Like HEY, you’re in New York, one of the greatest cities in the whole entire world and you’re just going to stay in bed and watch TV?
But that’s why I love it. Because it’s so us. It’s something that we can keep forever that’ll always remind us of the moments we treasure the most.
I also love that it’s from a small UK business, so I know that I am supporting other self-employed people who just want a chance to do what they love for a living.
So why should you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Because in a world full of daily wtf Donald Trump news, social media envy and Piers Morgan, surely we could all do with a little love to help make the light shining at the end of the tunnel seem a little brighter.
Head over to Twitter and tweet your own #LoveIsReal moment, tagging @notonthehighst for your chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on a thoughtful, unique gift this Valentine’s Day.
This post was kindly sponsored by notonthehighstreet.com, but all soppy gross love chat and opinions all very much my own.