Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Please Don't Give Me Roses!

Did you know that the roses you buy from that corner store or shi-shi florist don't even have a scent? Yep they are bred to not smell like a rose or anything for that matter. Allegedly fragrant roses die faster. I discovered this little fact while watching CBS Sunday Morning this past Sunday. So how ironic is it that the one flower most sought out, bought, wrapped and sent to thousands, shoot millions of women on this day has no smell and furthermore will die faster in environments over 60 degrees... of course that would be most places in which humans can thrive especially in the middle of February during snow and sleet storms. But who cares about any of that? As long as they get their long stems on Valentine's Day all these semantics can go to pot, which btw is where those long green thornless stems will be by February 18. Oh yes by February 18th, if not before, all this hype about love, commitment and romance will go back to where it once lived-- in the imagination and desires of women (and men) looking for love in all the wrong places. Frankly I learned at a very young age that Valentines Day is just like Easter (and later to my horror, like Santa-centered Christmases) in that it's a capitalist ideal to commodify love, romance and friendship.

My first Valentine's Day memories are of my dad every February 14th coming home from work with two small red satin hearts filled with Brach's chocolates for my sister and I and one huge box for my mommy that was filled with all kinds of crème filled delights. Getting these gifts didn't show or prove my father's love for me but if anything it was a reminder of the love he had for us—his three ladies. Frankly at least once or twice every week my dad would bring home a treat for us whether it was a pack of lifesavers or some lanyard to make our butterfly key chains-- every week was like Valentine’s for us and no matter how big or small the gift we always acted like we just got a fricking dollhouse or a new bike. We were overjoyed because we liked knowing that even at work we were still foremost on his mind and plus we were greedy girls too!

For whatever strange, cosmic reasons I am usually single on Valentine’s Day and usually, especially this year, quite forgetful that the 14th of February is Cupid’s moment to get his swerve on. That is until I'm out and about. For like three years straight I found myself hanging out with my good friend T on February 14th. At the time we worked together and would always be out and about drinking beer, watching basketball and so it was business as usual for us until we hit the lounges or the bars. There would always be throngs of women at tables talking loud, wearing either red or pink and drinking like nobody’s business. This would seem off because at the locales we would hang, there would never be large groups of women (or even men for that matter) and surely not so many in pink sweaters. I remember one year we went to this spot in SOHO that no one really knew about to get a drink and upon entering we saw like damn near every table filled with women and they were talking loud about not needing a man to be happy and taking shots of tequila to wash down their obvious joy at being single independent. I looked at T and we both laughed and toasted to not being sucked into the lunacy of what this day came to mean for so many women and men.

In 1996 I was dating this dude and I remember asking him what he wanted to do for Valentine’s Day and he said “nothing.” I looked at him like damn could you be a little more specific. But he quickly asked me, “Isn’t everyday you’re with me Valentine’s Day? Don’t I give you flowers and sweets every week? Did I not give you a massage and run a hot aromatherapy bath for you last week? Didn’t I make you a love mixtape for you last month and aren’t we going away to a Connecticut B&B next month? Do we really need to do something on Valentine’s Day when the prices have been jacked up for everything? I was shocked not by the bluntness of his words but how honestly and consistently he had infused love, intimacy and romance into our love life almost daily. And I tell you, that Valentine's Day he cooked dinner for me and we watched TV and listened to jungle music all night and it was great. Ever since then I have been upfront with the men that I date and told them that I really don't care about V-day, but how I expect our relationship to embody all that ish that Valentine's Day promotes for one day everyday. And it's worked out just wonderfully.

Some men get it. Some men don't. This year has been particularly insightful for me because I think I have been more open about my needs to certain suitors and even to my male friends just because as I get older, I'm learning that being vulnerable ain't half bad. Although that can be misconstrued too like when this ex, who after flaking on me three times when I needed his help during a crisis, asked for my help to sell the engagement ring he got his ex-fiance. Or when I asked Mr. J to come over to cuddle and he emailed me back that he would have to pass (as if we were playing poker or something) and then ended up blogging the next day about how he wants to give me more but couldn’t. I swear technology is taking over as the roses of the future—quick, easy and detached.

Seriously, at the end of the day not only do I not want roses, I don’t even like them-- such a boring cliché. I mean what is passion without the scent of sweat, of flowers, of perfume, of a homecooked meal? What is love without ardor? At the end of the day, and the beginning too, I want intimacy, honesty, support, comfort and I want to laugh. I want to hear your voice on the end of the line, I want to feel your breath on the back of my neck, I want you to act on your thoughts and not be afraid.

Shout out to Bill, Greg, Kiani and Karen G. who have all requested that I write more personal posts about life, love and myself. So here’s the first one. Tell me what you think.

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24 Comments:

Anonymous emmie johnson said...

A wonderful and very original post. Straight from your heart. You are absolutely right, ultimately what matters is intimacy, honesty, support, comfort and happiness which can be attained when you receive true love in life.
Peep into my blog on friendship greeting cards for some beautiful e-greeting cards and friendly tips.

2/15/2007 4:19 AM

 
Anonymous Honeybrngur! said...

Women all puffed up and cazy out trying to be seen on Valentine's day is so damn pathetic. I'm single and I'm okay with it. I actually enjoyed my V-day sending and receiving cards from my family and friends. Then I went to Staples and bought a binder to start my wish book project. I always get myself exactly what I want on any holiday anyway. LOL I got a little melancholy toward the end when I heard that someone I'm close to had her heart mangled by her love interest. But overall it was an improvement from 2006. That year I watched Sex in the City alone nursing bronchitus. I cried and coughed comparing Carrie and Bigg to a drama filled relationship I had recently ended. It was a full blown pity party. LOL In a relationship continuity of all the good stuff that got you two together in the first place makes it feel like Valentines day any day ya'll are together. So placing too much on the one day theatrics is just wack. I hate roses too and have to be hardcore PMSing for the chocolate. But in the future when I do hook up with my intended sweetie I'm sure we'll have our own way of making it work for us.

2/15/2007 11:36 AM

 
Blogger The Very Reverend Ace Clemmons, Jr. said...

great post!!

2/15/2007 12:10 PM

 
Blogger Hot Grrrl said...

THANKS for the love y'all! I guess I will start to do more posts in this 'I'ma get open on you' vibe.

Honeybrngurl: As much as I too love Sex and The City, that Carrie and Big relationship and all her shoes and all that sex-- I mean who lives like that? Surely not us honeybrown grrrls from the hood!!! Okay well maybe the shoes yes, but that going to Paris after your true love will set you up every time cause Lord knows I can't even get dudes to meet me in Harlem forget about anotha country!:)

2/15/2007 2:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many thanks to those friends of yours who encouraged you to get personal because on a subject like "Valentine's Day," it's almost inevitable... it's an opportunity for us all, single/married/and everything in-between, to look at ourselves and examine the love in our lives.
I never liked valentine's day, but in the beginning of my dating career, felt pressure from friends, society, and images men on the subway platform with flowers, women running around with pink this and red that... to partake in some of the 'festivities.' If I had a boyfriend, I'd put his flowers in a vase and eat his chocolate (i LOVE chocolate anyway!), and when friends said "happy valentines day", i'd say "yeah, you too :-)" ... but all with a tinge of resentment.
As I got older (and I'm still only 25) but, in leaving the girl behind and accepting the woman, I learned to stop pretending to celebrate holidays i didn't agree with. And was absolutely DELIGHTED last year on valentine's day when my boyfriend approached me hesitantly with that heavy question: "what do u want to do for Vday?" I said "I don't really celebrate it" and he said "really? me neither." and it's such a good thing because when there are no expectations, we are free to express our love for eachother in creative ways every single day of the year.
I know that I'm LUCKY to have found him, though, so i don't knock the holiday in general, it's just my choice not to say "happy v-day to you too" anymore,... but everyone is different and a lot of people need a day like that as an excuse/impetus to rekindle a flame, or reach out to a family member, or even come out of the closet! (as one of my friends did this Feb. 14th)
As we celebrate love and eachother though, let's try, like hotnessgrrl suggested, to do it more often, JUST BECAUSE.
And also, let's be more contientious of the controversial consequences of our contributions to capitalist holidays.
Not only do we save money by not frivilously buying flowers and chocolate, but we decrease demand for these things, which come from industries ridden with child slave labor and poverty wages all over the planet. I never thought about this before reading the transcript of "Democracy Now's" (alternative news broadcast) valentine's day transcript.
PLEASE check it out!! democracynow.org
It made me want to cut down on flowers and chocolate more than anything else that ever bothered me (killing living things, fat, pimples... etc.)
Thanks for the blog, lady! Your story was inspiring, and because it was so personal, we were able to see you shine as a writer!
Love to all!
~sibongile

2/15/2007 8:51 PM

 
Anonymous Isisara said...

Okay, I'm even more in love with the Hotness than before. First of all, yes to the soul searching, heart-opening, chest-baring piece on love. We like knowing a bit more of who you are, altho that does shine through in all your writing anyway!

2/16/2007 12:00 PM

 
Blogger Feisty One said...

Are you coming to the Brooklyn Blogfest? May 10th at 8 p.m. at the Old Stone House in Park Slope. Fifth Avenue and 3rd street. Email: louise_crawford@yahoo.com to RSVP
Check otbkb.com or otbkb.com/the_brooklyn_blogfest/

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Blogger Marisue said...

Just a word about roses-The fragrance that a rose produces requires energy. Staying alive requires energy. People prefer ($buy$) roses that last longer, so growers have bred roses that put all their energy into staying alive. Prior to this you might have gotten two days out of a rose, now some roses can last up to a week. So which do YOU prefer? A rose that smells good and dies the next day, or one that lives for a week and has no fragrance? Pair them with sweet smelling baby's breath or lilies if you want something to smell!

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