Folks, Long Suffering Wife would be the first to admit that I'm not the romantic type. Happily, neither is she, so we don't "do” Valentines' Day.
Even better, we'll never be one of those couples who spend every spare minute snuggling together and gushing twee sentiments like, "I wuv you hunny bunny”, to which the other replies, "And I wuv 'oo too snooky wooky ookums.”
Excuse me for a moment while I hurl up breakfast.
Oddly enough, it was vomit that brought my mate's parents together back in the distant 1960s. Bob was a farm boy when he met Fay, a Sydney girl who'd just got a job on a remote island.
Now, Bob was a bear of a man, while Fay could best be described as elfin, but he liked the cut of Fay's jib and being a romantic lad from the scrub immediately asked her to go fishing. Which just goes to show how much he must have liked her.
Fay quickly discovered that being tossed around on a choppy sea didn't really agree with her and started throwing up a weeks' worth of breakfasts, leaving Bob to do all the fishing. Fortunately, the extra burley in the water attracted a record number of large reef fish and soon, with Fay convulsing over the side of the boat, Bob puttered back to the island. Hefting her over his shoulder like a half empty sack, Bob carted his date to a nearby palm tree where she lay retching while he cleaned the fish.
Afterwards he sat down next to her and, thoughtfully holding her hair away from her mouth as she spit up, announced, "You'll do for me.” Fay gave him a feeble smile and threw up again.
They were married soon afterwards and stuck together through thick and thin, although they never went fishing together again.
So, this Valentine's Day, I won't be showering Long Suffering Wife with flowers and chocolates, but she knows, deep down, that if she's ever throwing up, I love her enough to hold the hair away from her mouth.
Softie that I am.