NWS member Liz Harris shares a very different Valentine's Day gift...
The children were very young - 2 and 3 - we had no money at all, and a house that needed a lot of work done on it. There certainly was nothing to spend on luxuries.
When I woke up on the morning of the 14th February - later than usual because the boys had had a disturbed night - I saw that my husband had already got up.
Trotting downstairs, bleary-eyed, I tried not to hope that he'd bought me some chocolates or flowers: I knew that we didn't have a penny to spare. I looked around the downstairs of the house, but he was nowhere to be seen, so I began to get breakfast ready for the boys.
Just before they'd finished their breakfast, I heard my husband return. He came straight into the kitchen and put a white plastic bag on to the table in front of me. It was the sort of bag that you get given in a butcher's shop. I looked at it curiously, wondering what it was: I hadn't asked him to get me anything from the shops. And there was no ribbon on it, nor a bow, which would have suggested that it was a gift.
"It's for you," he said. "Happy Valentine's Day."
Inside were 2lbs of lamb cutlets.
I LOVE lamb, but my husband has always LOATHED it. He has never been able to eat it and he can't even bear the smell of lamb cooking. I have never cooked lamb when he's in the house; not even when he's away for a short period of time as the smell lingers.
I cooked the cutlets that night, and the boys and I ate them. I enjoyed every single minute of my treat. As for my husband, he chose to do some of the things that needed to be done to the outside of the house during the following couple of weeks.
Now, whenever I smell lamb cooking, be it in a house or in a restaurant, I think back to that Valentine's Day about 27 years ago, which was the last time that I cooked lamb when my husband was likely to be around.
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