The cover of the local paper’s Saturday magazine insert didn’t look promising this weekend – a stylized heart, pierced by Cupid’s arrow, with love birds tweeting about and roses for extra decoration, and “how do I love thee” plastered across the middle. The teaser below reads: “Let me count the ways – six south Australians reveal what touches their heart”.
Oh no, I thought. Here we go for a dose of schmaltzy, ageist heteronormativity, with a side serve of excluding singles for good measure, all in honour of Valentine’s Day.
But The Advertiser surprised me.
The five stories inside feature a mother’s love for baby, a young gay man and his partner, a woman and her guide dog, a man who loves sport, and a wife and husband who have just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Each of the stories shows how the the person’s love is part of their lives; the sports lover talks about taking his son with him to matches, and acknowledges how his wife makes it possible, the gay man talks about the meals his partner cooks for him. It’s all about love as a part of life, rather than some overhyped unreal romanticism about the one perfect person for you.
Fortunately for my on-going assessment that there’s good reason for The Advertiser to be tabloid sized, further into the magazine there’s a column about what men should wear and do for Valentine’s Day, and what women should wear and do (not available on-line). It’s all about him giving her very expensive gifts, and her getting dressed up in sexy lingerie. Sigh.