Friday, 14 February 2014

You're off, By God!

I remember a few months into my relationship with Scott we were having a leisurely mooch around town on a Saturday afternoon in early February…(you remember those pre child Saturday afternoons don’t you???)

Anyway, I hadn’t even noticed that town was littered with valentine’s parafonelia...heart balloons, teddy bears claiming their love for you, chocolates, flowers…you know the drill. Scott out of the blue tentatively asked for my opinion on valentine’s day…clearly trying to figure out whether he was going to have to endure the annual misery that most men have to go through every year with the pointless purchasing of cards, flowers, meals out. All at the most ridiculously inflated prices.

I toyed with the idea of winding him up for a while and telling him that I thought it was the most romantic time of the year and a time for a man to show his true feelings. But I just couldn’t do it…even my desire for a good wind up couldn’t make me say the words out loud that I love Valentine’s day.

For me a sign of true love is when Scott takes our little boy downstairs at 7am on a weekend and lets me sleep in an extra few hours when I have been out on the vino the previous night! I certainly don’t need a card and a bunch of flowers on a specific day to prove that love. But I know that’s just my opinion and I fully appreciate that I am often in the minority, and that some couples love to take the opportunity of Valentines days to show the world and each other how much they care…but it’s not for me thanks…

However, every now and then I see or read something that makes me feel the full force of what passion and love is and really moves me…and recently I read a letter sent from Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor on the breakup of their marriage. Not a very romantic subject on valentine’s day I hear you say, but have a read of the below letter. I might be bias as he was a truly great Welsh man, but for me it just oozes love and passion and the last few words of the first paragraph literally made my heart skip a beat.

Anyway, whatever you are doing today I hope you have a good one…Me…I am having a night in with my husband, a curry and a DVD....Did I mention that his best mate Gary is also joining us…very cosy!!!

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were both already married when they fell in love on the set of Cleopatra in 1962; in 1964, with divorces finalised, they wed and became one of the most bankable couples in Hollywood history. Nine years later, as their extravagant and famously tempestuous relationship crumbled, Taylor gave Burton his marching orders—the following letter was his response.

A year after he wrote it, they divorced; 16 months after that, they wed each other again. Their second marriage lasted just 9 months.
(Source: Debbie Moore; Image: Taylor and Burton, via.)
June 25, 1973

So My Lumps,

You're off, by God!

I can barely believe it since I am so unaccustomed to anybody leaving me. But reflectively I wonder why nobody did so before. All I care about—honest to God—is that you are happy and I don't much care who you'll find happiness with. I mean as long as he's a friendly bloke and treats you nice and kind. If he doesn't I'll come at him with a hammer and clinker. God's eye may be on the sparrow but my eye will always be on you. Never forget your strange virtues. Never forget that underneath that veneer of raucous language is a remarkable and puritanical LADY. I am a smashing bore and why you've stuck by me so long is an indication of your loyalty. I shall miss you with passion and wild regret.

You may rest assured that I will not have affairs with any other female. I shall gloom a lot and stare morosely into unimaginable distances and act a bit—probably on the stage—to keep me in booze and butter, but chiefly and above all I shall write. Not about you, I hasten to add. No Millerinski Me, with a double M. There are many other and ludicrous and human comedies to constitute my shroud.

I'll leave it to you to announce the parting of the ways while I shall never say or write one word except this valedictory note to you. Try and look after yourself. Much love. Don't forget that you are probably the greatest actress in the world. I wish I could borrow a minute portion of your passion and commitment, but there you are—cold is cold as ice is ice.

You can buy the Letters of Note book from all major book stores and on-line from the usual places...its a bit pricey but a great book to keep and dip into whenever you feel like a great read...
Let me know what you think about Valentines I being an old Grump or do you guys also think it is a bit of commercial nonsense..?

Thanks for reading..

Rhiannon xx

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