Wednesday, February 14, 2018
A Valentine Worth Waiting For...by Sheila Claydon
So it's my turn to post on Valentine's Day again! Not surprising really as I always post on the 14th of every month. Last year I wrote in detail about the history behind Valentine's Day. How it started off as a pagan fertility ritual which segued into a feast day in the Catholic Calendar of Saints when a third century Pope named 14 February Saint Valentine's Day. However it wasn't until the Middle Ages that the poet Chaucer linked St Valentine with romantic love. Now, centuries later, it's hearts and roses all the way...or is it?
I thought so, but then I write romantic novels so I would, wouldn't I. And remembering back to my own long ago youth, I thought all young girls longed for a valentine card to land on their doormat. I thought they spent a lot of time yearning for romance and Mr Right, but a recent conversation with some modern teenagers has shown me otherwise. While they are happy to be part of a mixed sex friendship group, like it in fact, they are not looking for a boyfriend. I was fascinated so I kept listening.
One of the best comments was, 'why would I want to tie myself down with a boyfriend when I'm this young? There is a great big world out there full of things I haven't seen or don't know yet. I want a career too, so I've a lot of studying and learning to do. Being exclusive to a boy would get in the way of all that, and it might mean I wouldn't see so much of my friends either. I'd rather just be part of a fun group until I'm much older.'
These are all beautiful, bright, confident girls. They don't know it of course, because their teenage hormones often tell them otherwise, so sometimes they beat themselves up about their looks, their figures, their exam results...but on good days, when they look in the mirror they know, and they also know when the boys in their group ask them for a date.
Sometimes one of them succumbs for one date, or several, but never more. Then it's back to the friendship group, boys and all, where they variously do things like skating, sailing, horse riding, hiking, playing sport, eating pizza, having sleepovers (the girls), playing musical instruments, singing, experimenting with hair and make-up, watching films, baking, reading, discussing life...
So off you go St Valentine. The young girls of the twenty-first century might want romance eventually...but not yet! They have too much to see and to do before they take it seriously, and they are quite right. It is a big and interesting world out there and they have a lot of living to do.
In my book Remembering Rose, the heroine is also looking for more. What is different about her is that she already has exactly what she needs, she just can't see it even though it's right under her nose. There isn't a valentine in the book, but there is love...real love...the sort of love worth waiting for. The sort of love I hope all those beautiful girls find one day...when they are ready.
Golden Girl is a Books We Love March release where another of Sheila Claydon's heroines finds love - but not until she's ready.
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