Oh God. It’s here again. Valentines Day. I hate it.
Being the absolutely hopeless romantics that we are (the keywords here being “absolutely hopeless”), the current Mrs Masher and I don’t subscribe to all that nonsense. Yes, it was alright and a bit of fun when we were stepping out together, but now that we are married, it seems a bit pointless. It’s all about commercialism now.
But I won’t go on about it when Bren has already made the case far better than I could.
But, I’ve received – and sent – a few cards in my time and I won’t deny that there is a bit of a thrill to arrive at work in the morning and find a card sitting on your desk. To find yourself looking around the ladies in the office and wondering who it could be adds a bit of excitement to one’s day. It could also lead to a sexual harassment case, when they all complain to the boss that you keep winking at them with a knowing smile and a gleam in your eye.
As a young man, I was always awkward around girls. I was shy and I lacked the courage to talk and to flirt with them – a courage I have in abundance now, now that it’s too bloody late.
I remember when I was about 18 and working for the GPO, we would have our tea-breaks in the canteen on the fourth floor. The operators – all female of course – would have their tea breaks in the same canteen. They would sit on a long table on one side of the room and we engineers would sit on another that went down the centre of the room.
One February 14th, as I bought my cup of tea, the lady on the till gave me a card. “One of the girls asked me to give you this”, she said with a smile. There were cheers from all the guys around me as I sat down and I was reluctantly cajoled into opening it. The writing inside was definitely female and it said something along the lines of “Admiring you from afar. Love from Headset No.12”
“Who’s Headset number 12? “, one of the blokes shouted across to the operators’ table.
“She’s not here yet. Her break is in five minutes.”
That was the longest five minutes ever, as the guys constantly ribbed me. Eventually she turned up and looked somewhat surprised at all the attention she was receiving as she stood in the queue. It was evident that she was quite shy too.
The lady behind the till gave her a card, which she too was forced to open in front of everybody. She looked confused as to who the card could be from and then all the girls on the table pointed to me.
It was obviously a set up and the both of us went beetroot red at the embarrassment of it all, as everybody laughed and cheered.
It was all done in good humour and I took it as such.
But me and Headset 12? We never ever spoke a single word to each other.