Social skirmishes

St Valentine’s day, when office thoughts turn to love. During the morning tea break, a few become all wistful about past romances or how they met their current partners. Some talk about what they have booked for the evening meals, cinema, a visit to a favourite play. A bunch of flowers turns up for someone who has been married less than a year.

The rest of us cynics begin to compose our joke Valentine’s card for one of the business development team, who fancies himself a bit. Flash suit, flash car and a lecherous manner after a few drinks. A few poetical flourishes our thrown around: “All Thoughts, all Passions, all Delights, Whatever stirs this mortal Frame, All are but Ministers of Love, (Wordsworth), “Love o’ careless love, I hear my spirit sob in each blood cell”, (Lowell) “I love you the more that I believe you have liked me for my own sake and for nothing else” (Keats) or my favourite by E E Cummings “Somewhere I have never travelled gladly beyond your eyes have their silence”.

But of course these are too nice. There are a few crude ones and some attempts on play on social work words, difficult to do but you have to admire a poem that juxtaposes outreach, multi-agency, holistic and “snog behind the car park”.

Finally we settle on the familiar “Roses are red, violets are blue, I am so in love with a dishy bloke like you”.

Then a stern voice warns: “Have any of you read Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd? A man goes mad through love of a woman who sends him a Valantine’s card for a joke.”

What happens to him we ask?

“He shoots himself after killing her returning lover.”

So we quickly put the card in an envelope, seal it with a lipsticky kiss and put it in the internal mail. Here’s hoping.

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