The Crystallised cookies, from A. and V. with love

The Code to Love

The Code to Love
Hey you lovely angel,

How did your Valentine?s week go? Did you enjoy every second of it? Did you whisper the special three words to ?the one? more often than usual? Did you spend a romantic night in intimate conversations, passionate kisses, and ceaseless affection?

Well, though I?ve also had the habit of celebrating Valentine’s Day before, today I don?t really perceive it as much of a big deal. The whole hype surrounding it now seems anything but genuine – with girls and boys rushing out to buy huge heart-shaped balloons, rose bouquets, and little sweet souvenirs (also incorporating little red hearts somewhere within them) just cos? they have to. Undoubtedly, love has been highly commercialised, promoted by media in the most materialistic and grotesque possible way. ?Get him the new Armani scent and he will love you forever?; ?You want to make her feel special?? Go and get her some dazzling Victoria?s Secret red lingerie from the latest collection?. Yes, go on, purchase few ?luxurious? items to proclaim your tender love.

The thing is that it isn?t only media that have turned love into a commercial product. We have also somehow developed the weird habit of thinking about love in quite money-oriented way, feeling obliged to track down the perfect present to surprise the love of our lives?

A week ago, having already had spotted quite a few heart-shaped objects offered by the street merchants, as well as having heard the ideas of my friends for how they were going to surprise their partners, I decided to pursue a different path and rebel against the highly commercialised celebration of love. I chose to dress my attitude and wear my behaviour in blue ? the colour that was going to differentiate my boyfriend and I from all the couples dressed in red.

Frankly, only a few years ago I would have used the day as the perfect and most legitimate excuse to pick up a delightful red outfit and paint my nails in delicate raspberry red; to go on a wild shopping spree to discover the perfect present for him; to spend hours cooking special gourmet dishes and decorating the flat with scented candles (beware – cleaning wax is something you would not really want to put yourself through); to purchase brand new lingerie to spice up the night and make the whole Valentine?s experience simply unforgettable.

Today, I cannot even come up with an appropriate justification for the clichéd behaviour I was exhibiting. For me Valentine?s Day did matter and I had to use all my energy and creativity to turn it into something that my partner would always remember. But, you know, partners sometimes do leave your life (especially in your early 20?s) and so do the hopes that their heart will always melt in the thought of your never-ending efforts to make them smile.

Two years later I completely get it ? the boy that I was previously dating had entirely different vision of love and life. And our visions never really crossed each other. My incessant attempts to please him were a result of my ceaseless strive to attain perfection and receive approval for it. However, in reality, pleasing someone who sees life painted in different colours is simply mission impossible. Back in the day my colour of love was red and so was my overall behaviour and perception of my relationship. And his? It certainly was anything but red.

The events from the past have completely changed my attitude when being in a relationship. Love is not about being mainstream and going for the cliché, it?s about turning your relationship into something exquisite that will differentiate you two as a couple from the rest of the world painted in ?red?.

Today, thousands of miles stand between my current boyfriend and I. We didn?t get the chance to spend our first Valentine?s Day together, which I regard as a positive sign, having in mind my scepticism towards the day and all that it stands for. Instead of staying by myself at my flat, however, I decided to put my biggest smile on and go out to a few parties. I craved so badly to escape the stereotypical love atmosphere of the week that when B.M. invited me to join her to an anti-valentine?s themed party I was all in for it.Yes, the night before the 14th I was lured into the world of Ballantine?s Make an Impression party – an event serving as the antipode of everything that Valentine?s Day stands for.

From the very entrance I was overwhelmed by the cool and dispassionate ambiance of the room, evoking anything but affection. Electro – opera tunes were floating in the air, completing the overall gloomy atmosphere.

Rather than expressing tender behaviour the night before Valentine?s Day, the guests were drinking and chatting undisrupted by the high-pitched voice of the opera singer who was performing commercial tracks in the most unusual way. I looked down to check on my dress which only reminded me of the colour I had chosen for the night and indeed for my fashion rebellion against the celebration; the colour that intended to differentiate my boyfriend and I from the other ?Valentine?s? did nothing but to blend me in the crowd and help me dissolve into the blue haze that was filing my surroundings. Yes, Ballantine?s choice of colour was also blue ? lights, decoration, clothes of staff.

I was swaying under the huge blue spheres that were hanging from the ceiling, reminding of the vast universe and our small existence within it. I was dancing and thinking how uncomfortable my shoes were and inappropriate my dress was. Rather than at a cocktail, I ended up in a rather cliquy party were people new each other, drank excessively, laughed at quite random jokes, and distancing themselves from everything the Valentine?s Day and indeed love stood for.

I was sipping from my vodka lime cocktail, trying to numb the suffocating feeling that this wasn?t the right place for me to be. My mind was running wild until it finally hit me ? it wasn?t the blue colour that was overwhelming with its presence, but rather the ?blue? feeling that has settled in. The #makeanimpression motto of the party slowly started losing its meaning; rather than action provoking it remained precisely that a motto, that no one really pursued; we all had somehow blended perfectly well under the common feelings of aloofness and detachment.

Well, I do know that I have affection issues. I do realise that uttering something more than ?I miss you? is rather challenging for me. I find it exceptionally difficult to express my emotions without making awkward pauses in between, which of course can get quite frustrating especially for the person I date. Weirdly enough, though I was attending a party which celebrated the opposite of Valentine?s day, a party where my outfit helped me fit perfectly well, I?ve never felt more alone.

The morning after I was still feeling rather blue, completely not in the mood of leaving my flat. Not until B.?s best friend called me and asked me to meet up. It turned out that B. has prepared a sweet surprise for me. When I got the huge bag I already knew what I?d find inside – heart shaped items, probably a lot of chocolate (yes, I do love chocolate) and wine. The perfect present for the day you might say. Probably if you are keen on the celebration. Don?t get me wrong, I did appreciate his effort to make me smile. And he did for a second, until I started doubting how well he knew me. He knew that I wasn?t an affectionate person, why all the effort to surprise me with items which I?ll neither understand nor appreciate? For a second I thought that the story was repeating; for a second I thought that B. and I didn?t knew each other well enough, that him and I didn?t have what I?d regard as special. Until a little yellow envelope caught my eye.

I opened it hastily to only find out that rather than letters two lines of random digits were scribbled on the card.

My annoyance was exchanged with excitement. I took out my telephone; in a short text message B. had confirmed my guess ? the digits were a code. I forgot about the red-dish present, and just like that my previous doubts regarding my relationship evaporated?

Not really fond of numbers, my brain simply blocked. But I was happy. B. did know me after all and my initial assumptions ? yes they were simply wrong. I was staring at the digits and though I had no clue how ?to read? them I had a perfect idea what I wanted them to say.

And my hopes were answered. He?s told me through a code what we?ve never really had the guts to tell each other before. And my heart jumped with joy. What a better way to say ?I love you? (Phew ? I said it) through a code to a person who has remarkably unhealthy issues with it? These few random digits made me feel safe, and inundated my body with too many emotions at once. When the puzzle was solved (it turned out that it was a T9 code) I did respond to B. after a little hesitation. Yes, via text. But still, I finally had the courage to take the first step towards opening up to him and actually confessing how I really feel.

The same night I went out again, this time to celebrate St. Valentine?s day. My blue mood was all gone, but my decision to make myself (and B) stand out from the crowd remained. I put on my blue-est top and entered the piano bar.

This time the haze was red, hearts were hanging from the ceiling, and the staff- yes they were also wearing red. The evergreen hits were giving the final touch to the love atmosphere, adding to the hopeless romantic mood of the room. Rather than chatting and drinking excessively, the guests of the bar were couples, holding hands and quietly whispering to each other.

And though I was again by myself, a few little digits were rolling before my eyes. And suddenly I felt more with someone than anyone else in the room.

This time ?the blue? differentiated ?us? from the crowd, shortening the physical and spiritual distance between, making me grin at the thought of our small little loving world that we have somehow managed to create.

Yes, this year?s Valentine?s day was dressed in blue and quite extraordinary whatsoever.

How did your Valentine?s Day go?

With lots of love,

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