This year I have lined up a special Valentine’s Day treat for Rachel.
We are off for a romantic weekend in Wales.
More specifically, Rachel will be spending a good chunk of February 14 with my sister and nieces while I head off with my brother-in-law to the pubs of Cardiff’s Mill Lane and elsewhere ahead of the Wales v England 6N match at the Millennium Stadium.
I have a ticket for the match.
The problem is the anxiety is already starting to build.
It was bad enough last Sunday waiting to watch the opening Welsh match against Scotland on TV. I needed distraction, so by lunchtime I’d already been shopping, done some washing, ironed a load of shirts and cleaned the bathroom and there was still another 2 hours before kick-off.
Now that I know I’m actually going to the match I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on other stuff.
What if we lose against an unfancied England side?
What if all the promise and progress of the last 12 months evaporates in 80 depressing minutes?
What if we go back to being no-hopers?
More importantly, what if we win?
I can handle being serial losers. I’m struggling with having a rugby team capable of winning consistently and winning well.
I’m afflicted by this damned tricky mix of pessimism and optimism again. I know we should win, but I’m doing a pretty good job of convincing myself that we can’t win.
The fear and loathing will continue to build until 5.30pm on Saturday – kick-off time – at which point I’ll be too busy shouting at 15 men in red to care.
I will make it up to Rachel – for our unromantic weekend, obviously. I can’t do anything about being a Welsh rugby fan