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Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

While I’m all in favor of love and romance and kindness, Valentine’s Day has always felt too commercial to me. When I was growing up it was almost unheard of in Australia. We certainly didn’t exchange cards or do school projects making valentines. It’s very much a recent  phenomenon here, driven mainly by TV and other commercial groups.

So I’m a bit of a grinch about the day. To me, romance and love should be celebrated whenever the mood strikes you, and you shouldn’t have to buy presents, like perfect-looking red roses that have no scent, and chocolates. Chocolates are for everyone, to be eaten and enjoyed at any time, whether you’re in a happy relationship or not.

And that’s another thing  I dislike — the “couple-ness” of Valentines Day, the implication that if you’re single, or widowed or divorced, then you’re some kind of loser.

So go out and subvert the message — give chocolates or flowers or even just a hug to anyone you care about — your gran, the  retired teacher  who taught you so well, the old bloke across the road who watches out for you and brings in your bins, the librarians who work so hard to find you the right book, and who are defending people’s right to read whatever they like.  There are plenty more you could add to this list, but you get the idea.  Valentines’ Day should be a “Love Actually” kind of day — and if you haven’t seen that movie, watch it.

But I don’t feel that, as a romance writer I can let the day pass Completely unnoticed. So here’s a cute little cartoon that I pinched off Facebook. 
Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Loranne
Loranne
5 months ago

Love the cartoon!
You’re correct re the roses with no scent & the vast commercialization of the day. It’s always a good day to tell those dear to you that you love them! And many are alone with no companion (except perhaps a four footed furry one!)
Keep writing! I love your books.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
5 months ago
Reply to  Loranne

Thanks, Loranne — it’s cute, isn’t it? And yes, tell people how much you care.

Constance
Constance
5 months ago

Has “Galentines Day” hit Australia yet? Supposedly for women to show their female friends how much they care – while, of course, spending money on cards, gifts, spa visits, etc. I’m not a grinch, but these “Hallmark holidays” (as they’re often called in the US) just disgust me. My mother used to take cookies to the nearest nursing home for the elderly residents on Valentines Day, and my sister and I each do that now. (I’m the only one who actually bakes them, but that’s another story!) And “Love Actually” is one of my all-time favorite movies — for any… Read more »

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
5 months ago
Reply to  Constance

Thanks Constance. I’ve never heard of Galantines. While it’s a nice idea — my female friends are wonderful, I don’t want to be associated with any commercial “holiday” thanks, and it seems as though the moment one is announced, commercial forces take it over.
I love what your mother did, baking cookies for an old people’s home, and it’s wonderful that you continue that tradition she started.

Enisa
Enisa
5 months ago

Hi Anne. I’m like you in believing love isn’t only for couples. Love isn’t only romantic, after all. There is love between a parent and child, love between friends, grandparents, siblings, for example, and each should be acknowledged and celebrated. A simple gift from the heart is more appreciated, in my opinion.
I love that cartoon. So cute!

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
5 months ago
Reply to  Enisa

Absolutely spot on, Enisa — there are so many types of love and we should value them all. And even if we don’t give a gift, speaking genuine words of appreciation is a wonderful thing to do.

Christine Edinburgh
Christine Edinburgh
5 months ago

Love the C3PO cartoon, thank you for that.

I completely ignored Valentines this year. Previous years I have handed out gluten free shortbread hearts (they come in a box from the health food shop and all year round) to colleagues in the office at elevenses – always went down well.

Another colleague used to leave the tiny rolls of Love Heart sweets on everyone’s desk. There was no distinction given to male or female, equal sugar to everyone. That is my kind of love.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
5 months ago

Thanks, Christine — what a lovely thing to do. A small appreciation of all your work colleagues must really improve the atmosphere at work, I think.

Liz Fielding
Liz Fielding
5 months ago

Gosh, Anne, the trophies look amazing! And sooooo many! All thoroughly deserved.

Anne
Anne
5 months ago
Reply to  Liz Fielding

Thanks, Liz — the members of ARRA have been very kind to me.
Would have liked a RITA statue to go with them, but you have several of them — and very well deserved they are, too.