My Valentine


Valentine’s day at work is often an nonentity. If the married staff celebrate at all it’s at home. Valentine’s Day for them does not consist of extravagant public expressions of their affection. With my recent change in branch I became the only single person in a branch of four women. Suddenly I become the centre of attention for those who had a passion for matchmaking.

Valentine’s day loomed large and the other staff start asking awkward questions about what I’m up to on Valentine’s Day. Nothing, like every other Valentine’s Day I’ve survived.  I start feeling the anticipation that they were expressing  and began to dread the mail delivery…any delivery on the Friday before Valentine’s.

And then it happens, a card arrives in internal mail.  It was beautiful, glossy white with the sheen of a pearl.  This was no ordinary office message, this was something special.  Instantly all the married women have gathered to deduce who has sent me the card, someone in the library or perhaps in council?  They waited impatiently as I carefully open this potential social letter bomb.

For a moment, unrecordable in timepieces,  I thought, “Who would send me a Valentine?”.  Sucked into the group fantasy of romantic gestures, my brain froze in panic.  When I pulled the card out of the elvelope my fears were only confirmed.

More pearlised cardboard wrapped with a red satin ribbon embossed with silver hearts.  The whole this was lovingly sealed with sealing wax also embossed with a heart.  The gaggle croon and chuckle at how “…lucky I am to receive such a lovely Valentine”. 

By now I was having suspicions.  I don’t know any men who would send such an ornate card.  This was a woman’s work and I had a feeling what it is for.  But the sealing wax  had the stumped.  I didn’t want to rip the card open to prove my theory and yet their presence as clucking ravenous poultry was unnerving.

As the squarking continued I pulled out a stanley knife and carefully cut away under the seal and revealed the wedding invitation from a friend at another library. 

I live in hope of teaching my fellow staff members that Valentine Day, in fact any over romantic gesture is not for me.












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