Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My [Alternative] Valentine's Day

What is Valentine's Day all about?  That depends on who you ask.

The guy in my go-to liquor/wine shop locally told me he had 2-3 women come in to their store within the span of one afternoon earlier this week all furious and asking the question "What is WRONG with men today!?". This led to a phone conversation with LawSchoolGirl whereupon I speculated at least one of those women had been subjected to a panicky preemptory Valentine's Day Dump. She assured me there is no metric by which such behavior is allowable. A pre-holiday breakup can only take place at least 2 weeks prior to said holiday and still qualify as anything less than chicken sh*t. That is a pretty low bar, all things considered.

Anyway. Most folks who are blissfully unaware of such masculine shenanigans will agree, a legitimate Valentine's celebration will essentially include some sort of nice meal, chocolates, flowers and/or a card.

I mostly agree. I don't like trying to eat at restaurants on Valentine's though. Too many two tops with folks lingering over wine and special order soufflés, meaning the poor wait staff are working extra hard for smaller tips and, importantly, not out schmoozing with their own sweeties.
(click on the following poem to see a larger version you can actually read..)
My idea is to prepare a nice local home made meal for my honey. At some point I will raise a toast to those Texas chefs and restauranteurs who are still in the race for a James Beard award, hopeful that m/any of them will get home in time to at least share an exhausted kiss with their Significant Other tonight. Go Texan - read about who is in the running from our area here.

Candy is dandy, but I am off chocolates for a while. Two reasons. I am trying (hard!) not to be forced into the realm of all elastic waisted or muu-muu style outfits. Secondly, and this I am serious about, the fact that the vast majority of chocolate involves the use of child slave labor really puts a huge buzz kill on the whole enjoying chocolates deal. Unless you are careful to buy Fair Trade chocolates, much of the cocoa in the chocolate we buy in the US is harvested using child labor. Share the love - take a minute to tell Hershey, M&M/Mars and Nestle to stop labor rights abuses now. Take action on this at International Labor Rights Forum here.

Flowers? Well maybe you'll try planting some rather than buying cut flowers this year? Or giving your love a flowering plant that can eventually be planted outside? Not only do the bees need our help, but the thousands of poor women who harvest most of those last minute grocery store bouquets are forced to work out in the fields while they are being sprayed with pesticides. They don't get health benefits and reportedly many are sexually abused.  Rarely are they allowed to organize to protect their rights. So yeah, if you can ignore their plight then, sure, have fun with your cut flowers. (As with chocolates, this does not apply to Fair Trade flowers - check with the vendor if you aren't sure where those flowers came from)

A card? My favorite Valentine's Day cards are also home styled. I am not personally acquainted with anybody working at Hallmark or American Greetings either one, so I don't find it reasonable to rely upon them to sum up my feelings, especially not with rhyming couplets. When it comes to telling somebody I love them, I think putting that into my own words, and as importantly, demonstrating that with my actions, is where it is at for Valentine's Day.So from me to you, a shared glimpse of the flowers blooming out back, along with a warm wish that however and with whomever you spend your time on Valentine's Day, you will be reminded you are a very special person, and are loved for who you are. Finally, the Mommy in me begs you to please accept this message however it is delivered and from whoever it is that takes the time and energy to see that you get it. Sure I hope we will all be careful with flowers and chocolates and worker's rights. The bottom line is, or it ought to be, there is no wrong way to say I love you!


PassivePastry said...

happy love love day!

i am eating a heart-shaped mangia pizza and watching downloaded, ummmmm, borrowed movies with my ex/good pal who is running the marathon tomorrow and has to "carbo-load"
and i get to partake!

TexasDeb said...

Wow - nothing says love like carbohydrates. And heart shaped carbs? Swoooooon!

Good luck to your pal in the marathon and good work to you for staying friendly and helping him prepare.

Happy happy right back to ya!

glutenfreeforgood said...

Lovely post with beautiful sentiments (and a touch of ever-needed humor). Great poem as well.


TexasDeb said...

Melissa - welcome to AustinAgrodolce! Thanks for your kind words. I got the poem from the fine folks at Knopf publishing in one of their email newsletters.

Besides cooking and gardening (and blogging about both) I really am happiest with my nose in a book.

Hope you had a lovely V-Day!