neutral winter outfit

cream faux sheepskin coat

I’m not what you’d call a particularly romantic person.

Don’t get me wrong: I like flowers, and chocolates, and all of that traditionally “romantic” stuff as much as the next person, it’s just… Well, put it this way: you know when Kris Humphries proposed to Kim Kardashian by scattering rose petals all over the floor, and when Kim walked in, she was all, “OMG!” and just stared at it for a couple of minutes? Did anyone else wonder if what she was REALLY thinking was, “FFS, that’s going to take FOREVER to clean up!” Because that’s what I would’ve been thinking.

One day during the Christmas holiday, when I was feeling particularly stressed out by everything that was going on, Terry came to me and told me he’d cleared out the kitchen cupboards. I have never loved him more than I did in that moment, and that, to me, is what “romance” is all about: it’s about understanding exactly what it is the other person needs at that moment, and then doing your best to provide it for them – even if it’s not February 14th, and it’s not conventionally “romantic”. (And, er, even if it involves cleaning cupboards, apparently.)

Right now, what Terry and I both need is a holiday, and given that we’d rather have that than the chocolates and flowers, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.  And, you know, when we go on holiday, we will  do all of those conventionally “romantic” things, too. There will be candlelit dinners and moonlit walks, and if one of us decides to throw rose petals all over the room, the other one will call room service and have them come and deal with it.* It just won’t happen on February 14th, is all. On THAT day… well, we might go out to dinner, or open a bottle of champagne at home. We’re not actively opposed to the idea, after all: because who could ever object to champagne?

If it doesn’t happen, however, and we end up just having our usual Sunday night at home, well, that’ll be fine, too. This is why you’re not going to be seeing any Valentine’s gift guides, or that kind of thing around here this week. I just can’t make myself care about it. I know that sounds terrible, and it’s not like I’m one of those people who goes around saying, “You shouldn’t need a special day to show you love somebody!” or anything like that,(I mean, it IS true, but it’s also a bit obnoxious, really, when people get all self-righteous about it, isn’t it?) but I guess we can add Valentine’s Day to the list of things that more or less pass me by – this year, at least.

I DO still want those shoes, though: that’s SORT of Valentine’s-related, isn’t it?

(*I’m joking, by the way: given that I’m the kind of person who’d be bothered by the rose petals, you probably won’t be surprised to know I’m ALSO the kind of person who’d clean them up herself, so as not to have to bother the cleaning staff.)

(I also used to make the bed before they came in every morning, but I managed to wean myself off it, because they do it better than me, and I like finding out how they’re going to arrange my nightie this time…)

red hair and neutral outfit

 dress    shoes  coat (absolutely ancient, but sort-of similar here)

 P.S. I’m wearing sunglasses in these photos because… THIS. And also because, full disclosure, I wasn’t wearing makeup other than lipstick, and no one needs to see the bags under my eyes right now, trust me on this.

27 Comments
  1. I couldn’t agree more with you! This year Valentine’s will pass me by and I don’t really care, I mean there’s always next year to feel a little bit more in the mood for it! x

    Jodie // Jodie Loue

  2. I’m with you. I’d definitely just rather hang out together, maybe order a pizza, and then do all the romantic stuff some other time. In fact I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what we’ll do.

  3. Yep, I feel the same. I do think it’s silly that people feel obliged to do all of that stuff on that particular day, when every restaurant in town is overcharging rubbish set menus for the privilege. Life should be about romantic moments when they count, as far as I’m concerned… I expect we’ll be at home with a home-cooked meal and an episode of Mad Men (so near the end now!), just like most other Sundays. And I wouldn’t change that, particularly not when my friend once ate ostrich as part of a Valentines set menu (that cost well over £100, I might add).

  4. Oh, I hate Valentine’s Day. It always feels so forced and fake. I honestly just want the clearanced candy afterwards and I am one happy camper. I do think I am going to try to do something for someone though. You know? Just do something nice to show love that isn’t buying something expensive.

  5. Yeah… I agree. It’s not like I’m opposed to these holidays, it’s just that I don’t really CARE. (Except for the discount chocolate the week after Valentine’s Day. I am ALL OVER that ;))

    Mr Science and I have been together for 6 years and we still don’t actually give gifts to each other at any kind of holiday. We take vacations or go out for dinner or pick up little gifts randomly throughout the year. I like that it takes the pressure off of celebrations and, like you said, gives us the chance to focus on what we want/need at that moment—like time away from work.

  6. Beautiful outfit! I want a coat like that!!! I feel the same way about Valentine’s Day. It should be about giving one another what we need as individuals and just spending time together. When I come home and he has done the laundry or mopped the floor, it does more for me than a box of chocolates ever would. The candy, flowers and stuffed animals are all fine, and we will definitely do that for our daughter, but hubby and I just really need that time together now, a bit of a break from everyday life, which has become too overwhelming and nerve-wracking lately. I hate the idea of spending money on material stuff simply because someone somewhere at some time proclaimed that we should on this specific day.

  7. For me, I like celebrating the various holidays elementary school style: themed, and candy, and giving little gifts to your friends. Whether that be Valentines, Christmas, St. Patrick’s, Earth Day… I just like them because they break up the monotony of every day life, not that they dictate what I’m suppose to do or feel. So for Vday this year we are going to see DeadPool and watch the Walking Dead. Hooray, best weekend ever 😉

    I hope your holiday is amazing! My husband and I have some credit with an airline and we are trying to figure out a mini trip as well.

  8. I agree on Valentine’s Day, and agree with you on Terry cleaning the cupboards – that is romantic and shows not only that he loves you, but that he knows you.
    Your winter outfits have all been fabulous, so I’m not sure why you don’t like it when you have all those wonderful clothes to wear.

    1. I have seasonal affective disorder and get very depressed due to the lack of daylight, and we’ve also had a lot of quite serious issues to deal with this winter – it’s not something that clothes can really fix, unfortunately!

      1. Have you tried light therapy? I suffer from SAD also and bought a light box this year because I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. It has helped me quite a bit. About 20 minutes in the a.m. while I’m getting ready for the day has helped fight the winter/no sunlight/gray-day blues. There are many to choose from; this is just an example of the one I purchased. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JF3G08?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

  9. I still make the bed every morning in a hotel especially when we’re about to check out. I also used to look after my Niece a couple of days a week when she was small and my Brother had a cleaner – I had to physically leave the house when she came round because I felt embarrassed incase she was judging the lack of cleanliness that we were paying her to deal with. It’s like a sickness!!

      1. The first couple of times i was embarassed too, so i popped out to the store to buy bread then milk then for a run, but i got used to it and now i like read/work and it’s not bad. She’s working , I’m working nothing bad about that. Or i got to do my nails/go to gym or actually do something.

  10. Love this Amber… this is my 3rd year single since being married… and well I just about got to thinking about valentines today… (The day its self just reminds me how undateable I must be…. Giggling here!) I have decided that I am going to send my totally rocking (because they are my Rock) friends… this on valentines day….https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ellie+goulding+standing+with+an+army&view=detail&mid=114812D14456E2FACA8C114812D14456E2FACA8C&FORM=VIRE1..
    : When I read about the beautiful way you talk about your Terry and the way he clearly gets the real you…. I suppose the lyrics apply to any great relationship!

    You are so right… its about the day to day… the small stuff… and yet a friend once said to me years ago….. “anyone can be lovely… its how they are in a crisis … thats when it really counts”… You guys have something magical xx

  11. Is this the sheep-chasing outfit? Because now I have a full visual and I am happy 🙂

    Also: we never do Valentine’s Day stuff either.

  12. My only valentines post this year included an outfit that had a flannel and joggers in it (the night in outfit) so you can see I don’t make to much fuss either. On actual valentines I’ll be getting my hair dyed back to blonde and coming home to watch a movie and have Alfredo. I’m buying my husband a present but only because he never buys things for himself so if I don’t take advantage of every present giving holiday he won’t get anything new during the year. (Last year he even got an Easter present because he was dragging out replacing his work shoes)

  13. I completely agree with you. It’s not that I hate Valentine’s Day or anything… I just don’t really care. Oh I totally understand about the cupboards: for my birthday this year, my husband did a big clean of the main floor of our house and I nearly cried with happiness haha. Anyway, I hope you get your holiday and some sun very soon!

  14. Absolutely LOVED this post Amber. I would love for my hubby to clean my kitchen cupboards out but I would need to re-do them afterwards! He does try I suppose. I am not for Valentines Day at all, I am not against it either but it is just not for me!

    Carrie xo
    http://www.cazmosworld.com/

  15. We don’t celebrate Valentines Day and we never have done. Likewise we don’t make a massive fuss over our own birthday or Christmas presents to each other as we tend to buy things all year round that we know the other would like – last week he ordered me a new head torch which I can’t wait to try out. DH says he won’t be told when to be romantic by “hallmark cards”, ha ha!

    This Valentines Day I’ll be in Portsmouth with friends running a half-marathon and my husband will be on the golf course 🙂

    1. We’re the same: I know a lot of people think it’s really awful of us, but some years rather than buying each other Christmas gifts, we just put the money towards a holiday instead, or even a meal out or something like that. We both find gift-shopping quite stressful, so the fewer we have to find the better, and we don’t really need any more “stuff”, so it makes sense to us to spend the money on something else, even although I know people think it’s quite shocking!

      1. i really dislike thinking about money or managing them or making financial budget or plans . So one time after i spent a weekend working on an unexpected deadline just before my holiday which we hadn’t planned and i was sure it was gonna be something lame/staycation my husband who is equally averse to planning events had bought a trip to vienna (flight- hotel, all chosen byhim ) . it was the best gift ever! last minute, strudels, everything!

  16. The best gift my husband ever gave me was a dishwasher. I am appreciative every time I push that button and the thing washes the dishes so I don’t have to do it.

  17. Is a cleaner that expensive in uk? I mean i like spending a bit of money and being more mindful of other purchase for someone to clean the house twice a month. I am an organiser but i hate boring stuff , vacuuming cleaning the windows mirrors floors tiles etc. I can re-do the things i want just so if the big basics are done . It has spared our relationship so much since i m no longer angry at my less-then-neurotic ( like me) husband because he didn’t wipe the counters or left dirty shirts allover the house ( because it so much less for me to do i m not overburdened)
    That being said i got the urge last evening to re-organise some drawers (using our ikea acrylic boxes which i found out here about! ) and in the meantime my husband cooked a meal because he saw i was stressed and i got zen by organising so he did it as a surprise ! more romantic than rosepetals ! 🙂

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