My mother and father rarely bought birthday, Valentine’s Day or anniversary cards for each other: they used to say that they wished each other a happy day every day of the year. My husband and I have been married 7 years today, and whilst we do exchange cards and mark the day with time spent together, it’s not always a hearts, flowers and roses affair. To an outsider, ours might seem to be an ordinary life indeed, but it’s not, it’s an extraordinary life of constant love and affection and for me, the sense that I am valued above all other things.
Oscar Wilde said: ““How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?” It’s not a problem I’ve ever had to face. We joke that he’s only following an instruction given to him by my Mom – “Look after her” – but it’s more than that.
Our Anniversary celebrations today consisted of lunch together, a mooch round a bookshop and an afternoon relaxing at home, which was interrupted only briefly by a visit from my Dad, who brought flowers. It makes me smile that he did this: the only time I remember him taking flowers to my Mom was when he worked as a gardener and had had a very big job to do, clearing a garden. He brought home a van full of flowers, wrapped in a bed sheet, and said “Don’t say I never bring you flowers.” Much laughter ensued and it was never forgotten – another extraordinary day in another ordinary life.