If you think about it, few 'holidays' are as controversial as Valentine's Day. After all, you don't see many people calling Christmas 'cheesy' or getting seriously worked up over the pros and cons of Diwali? My own mother thinks Valentine's Day is incredibly cheesy, while my husband has no problem using the opportunity to be romantic and do something special. Vastly different viewpoints there.
In fact, growing up in India, you heard a lot of unusual things about Valentine's Day. So, here, your Valentine's Fact of the Year:
There was a story going around when I was younger, about members of a very right-wing group who were so opposed to the moral degradation Valentine's Day obviously represents that they went around beating up couples who were caught hugging, kissing or - heaven forbid - holding hands in public.
The cool thing about it, though, was that apparently one year a group of volunteers banded together and actually went around protecting the couples on Valentine's Day. Like, you know. Beating up the bullies.
I enjoy that part of the story very much.
Romance in fiction can be just as controversial, as any member of the Edward/Bella/Jacob Twilight love battle will tell you. And I think it can get people so worked up simply because it matters so much to us. I don't know about you, but relationships in fiction, when done well, fascinate me. Any kind of relationship, it doesn't necessarily have to be romantic (though I do have a special soft spot for those!)
So I try to remember that every time I write. Character relationships matter. Without them, a story feels flat and hollow.
And as a final note on the theme of love, romance and relationships, here are a few wedding photos - at last!
That's us, unable to keep straight faces as we sign the register. So much for great solemnity on the occasion!
After the ceremony. My smile looks a little manic, but it's probably because I'd been smiling non-stop for photos for the last half hour.
That's me with my bridesmaids. You probably can't tell from this photo, but literally seconds before the camera clicked, we were all squealing because Lindsey (the blonde one) had just stepped on an enormous earthworm.
And that was my wedding. Well, more or less. I don't think Blogger would cope with all the photos.
How did you spend your Valentine's Days?