The Universal Language

15 Feb

Unless you had your head buried in the sand you will know that yesterday was Valentine’s Day (or as the boys in my office call it, Singles Awareness Day). You couldn’t move for flowers and cards in the shops, and there were some really sweet gestures seen across the capital. Dinners, dates, even text messages to just make that person that they were thinking of feel special. It kinda gives you the fuzzies, doesn’t it?

Some days make me think that the world has truly gone mad and yesterday did feature highly as of them when an infographic was circulated round the office from a guy who had designed it to propose to his girlfriend. It talked about the idea of meeting a soulmate and that statistics of finding someone and settling down, and the qualities he loved about her.
Read here…

Aaaaah, said a few. But most people thought it was cheesy, and the world of social media going a bit mad. Whatever would have happened if she had said no? The idea of asking someone such a big question must be nerve wracking at the best of times, let alone having an audience of the whole world with the heads swiveled to watch you and see how this one pans out. I personally think that although a bit mental, it was a really sweet gesture and the sort of thing that must have been very personal to her. And by the way, she said yes.

They say romance is dead and chivalry is long gone, and down in London underground you see a microcosm of society that often makes you feel like this is the truth. People are horribly rude to each other and men shove you out-of-the-way to get on the packed train while women roll their enormous suitcases over your feet without care, but then you see the good side of humanity. Yesterday I practically had a five-minute cuddle with a perfect stranger who jumped on the tube right at the last-minute and was pressed up against me for the duration of the journey. It made me think of how people on the tube never make eye contact let alone smile, and how uncomfortable people would be if someone in a bear suit got on and started dishing out free hugs. It kept me amused for the whole journey, while my face was pressed into someone’s unwashed hair.

Last night there was a really old man sitting in a seat on the train, and you couldn’t see his face because he had such a big bunch of roses placed on his lap. Whoever was getting those would have a smile on their face, and it made me think that actually, despite the fact that it is designed to boost business (in Japan there is a tradition where women give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. This was started by one of the big confectionary companies there, and caught on) it is a nice reminder to tell those you love that you love them. Even if you do it every other day of the year, sometimes we forget to say what we really think.

My sister and I always get each other a Valentine’s card. I can’t remember how long ago this started, but we have done it year in year out to make the other one feel good. Last year when she was living in San Diego I made sure I sent her one, and this year we exchanged them as normal. I always write it with my right hand so she ‘doesnt know’ who it’s from. It makes the whole thing more fun.

Some facts about Valentine’s Day, and love:

The Italian city of Verona, where Romeo and Juliet was set, gets over 1000 love letters to Juliet a year. it just goes to show that we still believe in love, however jaded some people might have become.

see the full infographic at

Nothing is known about the saint who gives the day its name other than he was buried north of Rome on this date.

The oldest surviving love poem to date was written in clay around 3500 BC.

Happy Wednesday 🙂


15 Responses to “The Universal Language”

  1. visitingmissouri February 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Wait, Julia gets a 1000 letters every year? You’d think all the romantic ladies who gave up on real love and are trying to scramble the last sanity in their brains to write and post a letter (I have no respect for people that write letters, as you can see) would send Romeo that last sparkle of life. Also, you reminded me to wash my hair tonight. Thanks!

  2. visitingmissouri February 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    ” while my face was pressed into someone’s unwashed hair.”

    I’m using public transport tomorrow. I’m not letting people smell my hair when they won’t smell roses.

  3. gojulesgo February 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Happy belated Valentine’s Day, Tinkerbelle! I love that you write you sister’s cards with your right hand. LOL (And yay lefties!!)

  4. susielindau February 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I didn’t realize that Valentine’s Day was such a worldwide occasion. I always look forward to it. I hope yours was special – with lots of x’s and o’s!!

  5. observingthescene February 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Lovely post! Sometimes it’s embarrassing to bare your soul to even admit you think things like that, but I find a bit of humility a bit satisfying, and sort of “centering.” Sort of like recalibrating your watch.

  6. mamanne February 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    I love that you send a card to your sister! I actually got a card in the mail from a friend yesterday, and it really made my day!!

  7. dfountain11 February 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    So Cute! Thanks for posting this.

  8. prenin February 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    Hope you had a lovely Valentines day hun! 🙂

    Love and hugs my sweet munchkin friend! 🙂


  9. breezyk February 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    In answer to your question of “what would happen if she’d said no”, I give you the following:

  10. egills February 16, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    We don’t really do Valentines Day, I have a huge aversion to commercialisation – especially when it involves Clinton Cards making a profit. That said, what a lovely infographic… I love that he’s enough of a geek to do the whole number crunching ( and congratulations to them both ).

  11. happydancecat February 16, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Very cute post. Yes, it seems there an extremely fine balance between cynicism and romanticism in all of us on V-Day. But after completing a very successful Kindness Mission I’ve decided no matter how cynical they may be, very few people will say no to flowers on Valentine’s!


  12. Rach @ This Italian Family February 17, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    Aww you have China on that map… “Wo ai ni”! 🙂 I love that you point out that not everyone is jaded about love. So true. 🙂

    • Trupti March 13, 2012 at 2:05 am #

      I love it! Another in Lakhota ( Sioux is a bit of a weird generalization for some of us) is a term of eaednrment. Like many other cultures, it\’s not really natural to say something so direct as I love you. It\’s more indirect in at least my culture.I spoke in Lakhota at my wedding and started my prayer/song with Mahassanni (that an is really a very nasal ah sound). It translates to something close to My second skin and means that you wrap yourself in your lover as close to you as, well, a second skin.

  13. Deboshree February 22, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    Such an awesome post! Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s. 😀

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