And we were going to be so cynical and 21st century about the whole St. Valentine's Day thing. After all, we don't need to swell the profits at Hallmark cards to express our feelings, do we?
But then this came into my life:
A quick note of explanation is probably necessary for Americans and all other forrin-types. Marmite is, by appearance, a by-product from the road-building industry. It's a thick, dark brown, almost black, goo; a yeast extract you could use for waterproofing your coracle, if you were that way inclined. And had a coracle.
It's rich, salty, tangy and hearty. And, to use the vernacular popular in certain places, it totally rocks. Gosh. I'm actually watering at the mouth ever so slightly. As a child it was one of the few things I'd touch, so between the ages of 4 and 12 I consumed enough to float a frigate.
This is a special limited-edition version of Marmite for St. Valentine's Day, with a tiny bit of champagne added to the recipe for no justifiable reason whatsoever. I like it just for that.
I haven't yet opened the jar. As far as Katie is concerned, when I brought this home last night I may as well have smuggled Polonium-210 into the house. She doesn't just dislike Marmite - I think she feels a little uncomfortable at the thought of it being within 50 feet. In fact, I had to distract her with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and some Gordon Ramsay chocs.
Katie isn't alone in feeling like this. You see, Marmite polarises opinion like nothing else. People do not "like" Marmite. They evangelise about it. Other people do not just feel ambivalent. They strike it out as the food substance of the Devil. The word "Marmite" has now been taken to refer to anything that divides opinion.
I suppose when you think about it I can see the Marmite-haters' point. It doesn't look at all appetising. The smell is overpowering and the taste is all-or-nothing. It's actually quite easy to despise. But despite that, there are some people (me included) who love it with a passion.
Is that the point? Faults aside, can everyone find someone who loves them?
Maybe that's what today is all about.