I am 31 years old. I no longer walk extra-slowly past the house of dream-boat sixth formers. I am a confident, mature woman. I don’t need to sit casually by the phone so that if someone calls I can force myself to wait three rings before snatching it up with a faux-nonchalent ” ‘lo?” I am a married mother of three. I have no interest in flirtations and dalliances.
In addition to the above, I have been back at work for less than a month, and so far know around three people. So for the love of all things heart-shaped, why on earth did I walk past the post room precisely nineteen times today? Why did I half-expect to be summoned to reception to collect a bouquet of wilting roses? Because it’s sodding Valentine’s day, that’s why. And I haven’t quite got over being the girl at junior school who never got a card. Sally Trent always got at least ten cards, plus a box or two of chocolates (Sally Trent also put out for any boy on the ski-ing trip with a ten franc note and a bar of Milka, but at the time I didn’t have the knowledge to connect the two events).
Because ultimately don’t we all just want approval from people? Isn’t that why we blog, seek comments, update our facebook status, send chain e-mails challenging our friends to ‘send this back if you count me as one of your soulmates’? Doesn’t a Valentine; whether it’s from our lover, husband, girlfriend, children or guinea-pig, give us that reassurance that someone rates us highly? And as that craving for approval undoubtedly extends to the workplace, you’ve got two choices; work your butt off and hope it’s reflected in your appraisal, or do a Sally Trent and wait for the office Valentines to pour in.
Photo credit: Elbphoto