And so it begins... SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY. Do you dread it? Many do. A few don't. And a lot simply don't care. [As I see it, anyway.] I have to confess that I don't like the day. Never did, whether I was in a "loved up" phase of my life, or the opposite; whether the object of romantic attention, or not. Of course, well all know that the greetings card companies adore today -- as do chocolate producers, and Mr Florist [as I first noted with bitterness when I realised the price of 18 red roses... never again...] For what it's worth, I'd consider myself very much a romantic [even if some times I admit so begrudgingly]... but to be a true romantic, surely it has to be initiated by the self, rather than by expectation or tradition? That's my basic view, I think, and always was. [Of course, I may be entirely wrong in my view...] But anyway, chums; it's been my observation that most of us simply don't do well on this day of days, either "losing" or "breaking even", as it were -- hence this post, which is, I hope, the closest I will ever come to pontification on here [though don't hold your breath...] The way I see it, of all of us aware of today: -- Those happily single are indifferent. -- Those unhappily single or who've lost their soul-mate have their feelings of loneliness reinforced. -- Some partners fret that they haven't done enough to be romantic, or be seen to be so. -- Some partners end up disappointed that they haven't been spoiled enough. -- Then there are those who are fed up with too much attention from their partner; and those who are in empty relationships but daren't admit it to others or themselves: they often like to put on a big show, but still aren't happy... Et cetera. That leaves a rather slim number, a very thin percentage, who actually truly like today... If you are one of those, then fair play to you, and sincerely, enjoy the day. But for those of us who are a little cheesed off, depressed or even downright tearful because of today, let's hope it goes quickly, without too much pain or damage. Tomorrow, of course, is delicious: tomorrow means those who despise today are as far away from Valentine's Day as they can be...! Long story short: YOU CAN LOVE LOVE... AND NOT LOVE VALENTINE'S DAY. Good to keep in mind. Maybe? I think so. Because, after all: TRUE LOVE, BEING ETERNAL, REQUIRES NO SPECIAL DAY. So there.