Valentine’s Day

On February 14th 1995 I was trying to convince my primary schol friends that I’d done the right thing.

For reasons that I can’t recall, we all agreed I simply must break up with Lachlan O’Leary. They just didn’t agree with my timing. The day BEFORE Valentine’s Day? We all knew that he’d been shopping with his mum and purchased a VERY EXPENSIVE ceramic vase and a bunch of flowers that he was planning to give to me! For goodness sake, why couldn’t I just THINK OF THE VASE AND FLOWERS! The day before I told one of them to tell him it was over. It seemed cruel to hold his hand at recess for one more day just to get a vase and flowers. That vase and flowers would have only brought me guilt and shame.

On February 14th 2005 I was trying to concentrate on booking appointments and answering the phones.

My fellow receptionist and I had already spent a good half hour fawning over the dozen roses I’d just been delivered. Days before we’d bemoaned the commercialization of Valentine’s Day, declaring it all bullshit. But when those roses arrived, and they weren’t for the boss lady upstairs, but had my name on them, I smiled all day. I kept them for as long as I could, before drying them to make potpourri.

On February 14th 2013, I was running through Garema Place at night dressed in two hoodies under a long coat with jeans and joggers, trying to balance one bag and two drink trays full of McDonalds.

I was in Canberra for work with two of the kids and a nanna from Schmoebs. They’d scored free tickets to see a play at the last minute, so I rushed them to the theatre, took their hoodies and coats and reassured them I’d be back at intermission with some dinner. The closest McDonalds was out of Chocolate Frappes, so not wanting to disappoint my very tired and hungry charges, I ran a few blocks to the next one. All the restaurants I passed were full of couples, unusual for a Wednesday night in Canberra. Then I saw the roses and the couples…

I laughed at how ridiculous I must look. I laughed because I didn’t care how I looked. I wasn’t playing the same game, I wasn’t even in the same world as those couples. I loved my world, I was hanging out with two cool kids who’d met the Prime Minister the day before.

On February 14th, 2014, I’m sitting here under the Dome in the State Library of Victoria. This week I’ve been rejected twice. It hasn’t been all totally lovely in the big city. But back on the horse, eh? There’s plenty more fish in the sea, aren’t there? I’m a horse-riding fisher-woman, aren’t I? I’m going to canter along on that damned horse whilst casting my fishing rod out into a nearby river. Or I’ll sit on a horse on a fucken fishing trawler. So tonight, Dear Readers, it’s on with the blue dress! Out I venture, in my (seemingly) never-ending quest to find good dance floors and decent fellows!


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