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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cheap Vday (Without Looking Cheap)

Let's see, i have never really been "big bang" impressed during Valentine's thus there was never an expectation of anything on February the 14th.

I remember when i was 13 when i just entered Secondary school, i had a crush on a senior 3 years older and vice versa.

I gave him heart shaped Ferro Rochor chocolates, and he secretly slipped a bag of red gummy bears into my school bag. "Sweets for my Sweet."

He put in particular effort in picking out all the red gummy bears amongst other colours and i had to be the ball buster by telling him "red is my least favourite flavour".

Till the end of high school year, my heart shaped Ferro Rochor remained frozen in his freezer.

At 15, i received a BIG (at that time) Valentine's present.....from a girl.
She was a junior in Judo (2 years younger) and she is homosexual. It wasn't a romantic present, but it was practical.
It was a boom box, and no, it didn't come with a self compiled music cd (that tells me how i feel about you).

She was also very thoughtful in hand delivering it to me at home than have me carry it box and all from school back home. I thought "wow, girls make better lovers! They are very generous! And i don't have to sleep with them."

Then there was another Valentine's present...from ANOTHER girl. Though i rejected her advances, we ended up being best friends. This is only possible with a woman. Men can never be your best friend after being rejected because they will still want to be getting into your pants.

Ironically, she gave me a pendant of a boy and girl kissing. In white gold, no less (affirmed my thoughts that women make better, non calculating lovers).

Age 15 must be my 桃花 period (must be the switch from glasses to contact lens, shorter skirts and cooler school bag), because i also received my FIRST bouquet of flowers. From a boy.
We went to Sentosa as a huge group of friends and he (who had a crush on me) surprised me with the bouquet. He is a great guy and loves doing romantic things like these (including writing love letters to me daily, spraying his perfume on it before presenting). Alas, i am not attracted to short guys. I'm sorta relieved that it wasn't puberty that stunt his growth because 10 years later, he hasn't grown any much taller. Otherwise i would regret spurning him.

My first bouquet experience, however, was disappointing.

1) It's troublesome to be carrying it around all day, it's akin to carrying a baby. One you can't leave behind, one that needs a seat of its own, one that needs both hands.

2) He may be romantic, but he has a bad eye for design. I don't want to sound like an ungrateful bitch but it was hideous with big leaves and bright orange flowers. It looked like the sort in a nerd's office, if he decides to have a bouquet.

So i wince, grimace and say 'thanks'. I knew then, flowers don't make me swoon and giddy with love. I won't be spending $10,000 on flowers at my wedding.

My 15 year old fashion is gaudy too (hey,'we're going to the beach! Tie-dye pants!) and the creepy Chi-na hitman-looking guy in the background? Unfortunately, he was part of the group. I suspect he's either in love with me, or in love with the guy beside me.

At 16, i remember looking longingly at the crush who didn't like me back and feeling pangs of jealousy as i see him diligently colouring an art peice for his crush, racing against time to finish it in time for Valentine's.

She later broke his heart, 10 years on he now messages me on Facebook. (ooooh yeaaaa *pumps fist in air* Vengeance is so sweet. )

Like a diamond ring (the bigger the better), on Valentine's, it's the competition of who's bouquet is bigger on Orchard Road. It's inevitable really, even if you do appreciate whatever small bouquet he got you. However when you are standing side-by-side with another couple, you can't help by notice (or compare) their bouquet. Like how two men stand at a urinal, their eyes can't help but be drawn beside for a quick glance.

For women, it's a "hah! My boyfriend is more generous than yours. He is willing to spend more on my flowers than yours." Same concept with the diamond ring.

After that first bouquet in high school, i've not received flowers anymore (other than when i was hospitalized: which i must admit, having flowers delivered really speeds up recovery!)

Graduation is also another occasion a girl should be presented flowers. I remember feeling very left out at my graduation. I sucked my snot up and told myself it's ok, i don't need flowers from any guy, i can afford my own luxuries when i am more successful than any of these girls here.

I don't need flowers to be told how much i am loved. I don't need flowers to substantiate my existence. However, when you least expect them, it's the sweetest thing of all.

Flowers are not necessary, but for the stubborn men who say they will not give into societal norms in buying flowers for Valentine's. i hope you are doing them on other days.

It is a romantic gesture and women need to be romanced.

However, flowers are NOT PRACTICAL.

Like all these Forever Friends bears and Precious Moments figurines i receive during Valentine's. Exorbitantly priced, they collect dust.
Also not practical are the over-priced EVERYTHING on Valentine's. My younger brother is very smart (inherited from elder sister). He sent my mum to the wet market to order him 20 roses. She obediently went to the market and screamed when the seller told her "$68." Seller even said it's cheap compared to florists who would sell them at $88. My mother said, "No. I do not need them packaged. I will buy only the roses. Without the baby breaths, without the wrapping."

She then continued to haggle, from $2.50 a rose to $2 for one. Switching the country of import. India is cheaper than China.

So my mum came home and conveyed the message to my brother. My brother nodded and said he could get them wrapped himself for $0.20. My brother who attempted wrapping a teddy bear & cross in a box the last time ended up making the entire gift looking like a coffin/graveyard will attempt MAKING A BOUQUET!!

I told him, forget it. A stalk a day till Valentine's Day. It rhymes and it's romantic! Valentine's day is 2 days from now, i think he has to speed it up and give a stalk every few hours perhaps.

For many years we've always ate reunion dinners at home. In the last 2 years, we ate out. Comparing the amount of money we spent eating out as compared to eating home, it was MUCH MORE enjoyable eating at home. No crowds, food quality wasn't much to shout about and all at a price quadruple that of what we'll spend at home.
That's my displeasure with the restaurant at Reunion dinner.
Similarly with Valentine's dinner. I know where i'll get quality food at affordable prices.

Cleaned out!

The sauces are great, the rice is buttery, the calamari is springy yet soft, the fish is juicy. I love the moist brownie with vanilla ice-cream BEST!
My dad too.

Not having a Valentine's, i brought my parents because i knew the platter for two can be shared amongst 3! 

My mum had a choice between a rich suitor and my dad (not rich, but sincere). She settled for the latter and 30 years on, my dad still honours her.

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