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My Funny Valentine

VickMY FRIEND asked me about my plans for Valentine’s Day last week. I answered that I was spending it with the love of my life.

I explained that the love of my life has let me down on many occasions; breaking my heart one weekend, making me feel on top of the world the next. I said that ‘She’ has made me cry, scream and punch walls. ‘She’ has lead me on for months before leaving me gobsmacked and heartbroken in the middle of North London last summer.

We’ve been together for 28 years now. Some have been great and some have been truly terrible. We’ve traveled across the country together; I’ve driven for miles just to be with ‘Her’.

Every year ‘She’ costs me thousands of pounds (I always pay for us to see each other) and sometimes ‘She’ has been worth every penny. Sometimes ‘She’ has been heartless, leaving me dumbstruck in places like Brighton, Stoke, Southampton etc.

My friend questioned why I’ve stuck by my love. My friend can see the pain in my eyes as I contemplate a cold Tuesday evening with ‘Her’ – Valentine’s Day. I explain that I’m not full of excitement to see ‘Her’, if anything I’m apprehensive. My friend says that’s not how someone should be planning Valentine’s Day. You should be excited at the prospect of spending an evening with your true love, dining at a fancy restaurant or having cocktails in a cosy bar – not shivering, wiping my nose and wearing six layers of clothes.

I explain that I am more determined than ever to spend Valentine’s Day with ‘Her’. I tell my friend about how we went to London together last May and my love let me down. I explain the cost of the trip and how everything felt like it had been snatched away.

“That must be awful.”

It was, but I ended our date with a few cans on a bench with some friends, looking back on the last year with ‘Her’. Remembering the good times, trying desperately to forget that ‘She’ had let me down that day.

“You went all the way to London, and ‘She’ didn’t turn up?”

Not really, no. It was disappointing but I’ve already booked a hotel for the same weekend this year. Just in case ‘She’ wants to go again. I know ‘She’ won’t let me down this time.

“How can you say ‘She’ won’t let you down? It sounds like ‘She’ does it a lot.”

‘She’ does. I tell my friend how I felt cheated on during a trip to Norfolk at the end of the summer; reasons too painful to explain. It’s all resolved now though, I explain.

My friend feels sorry for me; I can tell. But the fact is, I’ll spend every damn Valentine’s Day I can with my love. ‘She’ has hurt me a lot but ‘She’ has also made everything ok again soon after.

I also explain that I’m not the only one in love with ‘Her’. ‘She’ has loads of us.

“Loads of you?”

Yes, and we’re all as infatuated as each other. We all go through what I’ve been through. We all accept it as part and parcel of being in love with ‘Her’. We know ‘She’ will hurt us, but we also know ‘She’ will have us screaming at the top of our lungs at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.

“I don’t get it.”

Well, you wouldn’t. Not unless you’d met ‘Her’. Not unless you’d spent a sunny afternoon in ‘Her’ presence. ‘She’ doesn’t ask for flowers or chocolates; ‘She’ just wants me to be there for ‘Her’. And I will be.

‘Til death us do part.

Because, my friend, ‘She’ is Sheffield Wednesday.

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About the author, Victoria