Love and Friendship
I know I should hate Valentine's Day the same way I hate New Years Eve - it's such a lose/lose situation. You're either overpaying for a dinner that doesn't feel that romantic, or you're feeling bad that you don't have a date who would overpay for your dinner. It seems like it's all about spending money to express a sentiment that at its sincerest shouldn't involve money at all.
But have you ever seen a sixteen year old boy walking down the street with a single rose wrapped in plastic? I just love it. I can't help it, despite being single for the majority of my V Days, it's always been my favorite holiday. Hearts and red and chocolate and flowers, these are a few of my favorite things. I just don't see how I could hate a holiday where THIS is the traditional gift:
Maybe I like it because it's not just about romance for me. I love the idea of a day dedicated to telling all the people you love that they are truly hearted. I've always liked the Spanish version -
de Amor y Amistad (day of love and friendship) because really the friendship v-day memories are some of my favorites:
- The Valentine's Day in college when a much more flirtatious and outgoing friend convinced me to send a flower ("get him a lily, roses are boring!") to a boy I'd been staring at all semester with a card that read 'hey lover this is more than a crush' (I don't remember if she was as supportive of me using the lyrics from an LL Cool J song).
- First year out of college, flipping through the Guardian with a friend looking for something different to do on v-day. All I know is that by the end of the night Lisa had won a bullwhip at a lesbian strip club.
- And then there were the Valentines Making Parties. Started by the aforementioned winner of the bullwhip when she was in college, the annual party continued in San Francisco, where we would cut up magazines and make inspirational wall hangings from promotional salsa club cards and fancy magazines. Lisa's kept the party going for 17 years (currently hosted in DC) and I recently started up my own version here.
I love seasonal fabrics, but it's hard to invest the time in say, a Christmas quilt made from Christmas fabrics if it's only going to be used a couple weeks out of the year. So on a trip to my local quilting store it occurred to me I could use lots of valentines fabrics for bunting to string up at the V-day party. I went a little overboard on the amount of fabric and ended up with about 25 yards of bunting - so I sent some to Lisa, in a fancy box I lined with some of my favorite Liberty fabric.
She was surprised when she opened it, wondering why I had made her 45 pairs of funny little underwear.
J was just too in love with some of the fabric that had kittens in teacups, so she got something out of it too:
I went small with my party this year, and the snowstorm made it even smaller than intended, but that didn't stop me from decorating up a storm!
I got some help hanging the bunting:
We got a little hearts-y with the food too. We did some cream-filled chocolate cupcakes:
Some heart-shaped baked lavash brushed with olive oil, turkish spices and salt.
Strawberry lemonade, because we've got to use these ice cube trays at least once a year
J set up her decorating table:
and the party was on!
Everyone got to submit one card for judging, and I think I'm supposed to make cupcakes for the winner - so please state a preference for one of the following!
1. The crafty rose:
2. The googly-eyed tiger
3. The Dowager Kittens
4. The Russian
5. Full Hearts Can't Lose
Hope you get a moment to contemplate some love and friendship this Thursday, and don't forget those heart-shaped chocolate boxes are 40% off on Friday and taste just as good!