Valentine's Day is a saviour for WEEKEND columnist Nikki Owen
Kiss chase. When I was a kid, we used to play kiss chase in the playground at our Catholic primary school. It was mental.
The girls, come the 14th February, would arrive at school psyched. This was our time.
We would get these lads if it was the last thing we would do – and often it was.
See, we didn't play kiss chase for the romance. We played kiss chase for the sweet smell of running victory.
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Because if you managed to catch up to a lad and kiss him, it meant you were fast and as girls back then at our school, running, along with acing our spellings and beating the lads at football, was our day job see.
We always ran. There was no time for anything else. But every now and then the boys would surprise us. In a sea of limbs, one of them would stop and smile.
Or one might kiss us back and we'd blink, frozen to the spot. And, every now and then, they'd send cards, maybe a chocolate bar, anonymously and we'd frown and wonder what was going on.
We didn't have time for this, we'd think, we were running, our school lives were too stacked for anything else.
Come 2013, and while granted, I don't chase lads anymore because a) I'm married, and b) I'm not that fast now, nothing's changed.
By which I mean, life is still stacked.
That's why, for me, Valentine's Day is a saviour. Valentine's Day is like an island in the sea – it turns up just when you need it.
The thing about life is that it's mental, utterly, crazily mental. Work, school runs, bills, friends, emails, Facebook, pegging it everywhere, making ends meet.
Finding time for anything else in the middle of all that is like trying to find my contact lense in the snow – practically impossible.
So when critics moan Valentine's is just one day, and that we should show love all year round, sure, I agree with them.
But how do you get the time to show it to even remember?
That's why, when you're drowning in day-to-day stuff and you see an island, you grab on to it, hurling yourself up on to the sand, heaving down great gulps of air.
That's Valentine's, because even if it is just for one day, it might just save you from drowning.
Follow Nikki's blog at http://www.nikkiowen.wordpress.com