I think it stems (do you like the pun there?) from when I was at school. I went to an all girls' boarding school, and our letters were delivered into alphabetical pigeon holes. I was unfortunate enough to share the same pigeon hole with one of the most stunning girls in the school.
So 14th February would roll around, and the pigeon hole was literally overflowing with red envelopes of every shape and size. I would go through the pile, as I was always there before her (as she was way too cool to get there early). And of course none of them were for me.
Living in hope of a Valentine's card
Actually I tell a lie. One was always for me. The envelope was always quite large, which attracted some interest from my friends. I would open it, secretly knowing what I was going to find, but hoping I was wrong. It was the same every year. Inside would be one of those flowery written cards saying "To our darling daughter".
Pretty obvious then who that card was from - no "secret admirer" to dream about there. So not exactly cool, but I did love my parents for doing it.
Have I got a secret admirer?
From then on, I have had a few occasions where I've received a card from what I hoped was a secret admirer, and not an attempt by my mum and dad to boost their daughter's flagging confidence.
There's one that I've kept, because I never worked out exactly who it was from, but I was pretty sure that it was from Mel Gibson. (This was 1980s, so long before his public meltdown and loss of good looks.) I wrote to him to thank him, but never got a reply.
A case of mistaken identity
Once at University an enormous bunch of roses turned up at my faculty with a card with just a question mark on it. My boyfriend at the time was pretty upset, as he had certainly not sent them. He had already given me a special red Rizla packet for my roll ups instead. Classy!
So who was this magnificent bouquet from? Well I never found out, because it turned out the flowers weren't for me, but for another Amanda at the University. Totally gutted but the boyfriend was delighted.
A not-so romantic mini-break
When my husband and I first met, he was very romantic. Or at least he was for the first year. It pretty much petered out after that. Although I remember one year he surprised me with a romantic trip for two to Venice. I was thrilled. That was until we arrived at the hotel to find that he had arranged for another couple to join us, as the husband was his best mate!
The two of them proceeded to do a bar-crawl around the most romantic city in the world, whilst the other wife and I tagged along. Did I mention that I was pregnant at the time, so couldn't even join in?
Valentine's cards from my kids
Perhaps this year will be different. I know that my boys won't let me down. So at least I will have one card to open, with probably a drawing of me on the front, normally with green hair and a fat tummy.
Happy Valentine's Day to you all!
Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director