Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The men in my family...and I get the feeling that most men, unless they are very carefully taught...seem lost when it comes to gift-giving for women. Particularly during holidays like Valentines day. I'm sort of the same way. It's part of my odd brain chemistry or architecture that I tend to think more like a man at times. But I was very carefully taught.

I've simplified my gift giving and it's much easier now. I send things I make here on the farm. Goat milk fudge, wild-crafted jam and jelly, and home-made soaps and skin creams. They are the humble gifts of my hands and my heart. I offer them with love and hope they are taken in the spirit in which they are given.

Part of the confusion, I believe, is that women come in two different flavors as far as what they like to receive. Some women are practical. Some are more moved by gesture. You can cover both by being aware as to which type of woman you are dealing with. Practical women are okay with gesture-oriented gifts like flowers and perfume. Gesture-oriented women are trickier. You can really stick your foot in you mouth giving a gesture-oriented woman something with a cord.

And, of course, the worst thing of all, is to do nothing. We don't believe for a minute that you just "forgot".

I came along late in my parent's lives. By that time, my father had his gift-giving technique as far as my mother was concerned, down to a fine if predictable science. He would bring home African Violets for her. She seemed to really love the little plants and the window sills were always covered with them. Valentines or her birthday or their wedding anniversary merited the addition of a bottle of her favorite perfume. Either Chanel #5 or Joy. And sometimes a box of Baci or Almond Roca.

My mother, like me, was not the sort to turn her nose up at practical gifts. She loved the African Violets, Baci and perfume, but Christmas meant things with cords. I, too, love to get things with cords. Preferably power tools. Ouuu baby...bring on the major appliances and skilsaws and watch my knees buckle.

One Christmas, Mother got a microwave oven from Dad. It was enormous and one of the first models to come out. She was thrilled and we all had a great time exploring how many sorts of food items the thing could ruin before deciding it did rice, baked potatoes and bacon very nicely.

My sister, Simone, is of the other sort of woman. She is a blonde goddess of taste, beauty and breeding. When she walks in the room, everyone stares at her. Men want her to the point of stupefaction and women want to scratch her green eyes out. Or at the very least just bask in her reflected glory.

My sister is Byron's woman. The "walks in beauty like the night" sort of woman. The sort of woman who is a muse to poets, whose very visage inspires great works of arts in celebration of her beauty. I'm more the gal from Shakespeare's sonnet 130. "My mistress, when she walks, treads the ground." Yes, that's me. In my men's size 10 duck boots.

Quite frankly, if you misinterpret a woman like my sister as being the sort of woman who enjoys getting something with a cord, you deserve every bit of hot, steaming scorn that comes your way. You idiot. That will be a very expensive hole to dig out of. 3 carats or a trip to Paris expensive. So don't fuck up, okay?

I remember those little African Violets. How sweet they were and how delicate a gift to come from my big, strong Daddy. When my mother was dying from cancer, we fixed up the downstairs "florida room" so that she could stay home while she was dying. Like the violets, my father seemed much more fragile suddenly.

Every one of those window sills was littered with African Violets. We ran out of places to put them. I still weep when I see one.

That's love poetry.


  1. kaliblue said...
    I'm so with you sister, on the gift thing:-). I just ain't fancy smancy here. Bet those duck boots are comfortable and ya don't have to complain none about pain from em either:-). I like gifts that I can use or eat *giggles*.
    Happy Valentine's Day..
    Chris said...
    I remember going ga-ga when I first saw Simone wearing a scuba diver's wet suit in the 1986 movie "The Patriot." And this was when I was 11 years old.

    Happy Valentine's Day
    Rosie said...
    There you have it. Chris knows from personal experience the effect my sister has on men. It's really uncanny. And she doesn't seem to age. She still looks as great as she did in 1986. Typical first-born. Piggying up all the good genes.
    Anne Johnson said...
    After 20 years of marriage my husband finally hit it on the head. He got me a silk orchid in a pot. It looks real. It's the only plant I've ever had that didn't die in my hands.
    seejanemom said...

    YOU HAD ME AT "GOAT'S MILK FUDGE"...I stopped being able to concentrate after I read that.

    ...I'll have to lie down and come back and read the rest later, at which time, I AM CERTAIN YOU WILL HAVE RECTIFIED THE HIDEOUS OVERSIGHT OF THE ABSENCE OF A RECIPE.........
    seejanemom said...
    Since I recovered myself....I realized that that was BEAAAUTifully written.

    Just beautiful.

    (And remember, its Food Porn FRIDAY, not Sneak Up Food Porn Weekday Whenever. Throws me off.)
    Velociman said...
    A great post. I love it when a writer is poignant without being maudlin.

    And, of course, I shall refrain from any Simone comments, it being Valentine's Day and all!

    Had me at the goat's milk fudge, too.
    Rosie said...
    Hey Jane...I could give you the recipe but then I'd havta kill you. No...I think Betsy and I are putting together a joint Food Porn article on goat milk products. She sent me this amazing goat cheese crabmeat recipe I've been perfecting a chocolate goatcheese cheesecake that's really promising. But I'll include that recipe on that Food Porn article.

    Thanks, V-man! Praise from you is always appreciated. I'll have to send you some fudge once I get enough milk to start the Jammery going again.
    BBC said...
    Hot women are something to admire from afar. They expect more than a hand made card or poem. Or a little spading in the garden. Or a simple I love you.

    They are not as great in bed as they think they are either.
    bluemountainmama said...
    what a great post for this day....i love the part about the african violets...and how they bring back those memories of your mom when you see them. i tear up when i see certain things that remind me of my grandmothers. i love receiving pottable plants...even more so than flowers. and the gifts YOU give are the BEST to receive. i love handmade things, especially food and natural body products! also- so neat that you played all those instruments...i grew up immersed in old time music and love it.
    seejanemom said...;_ylt=AiqntwOXjQ8DhPOjPCEU2ouWSbYF

    GOAT MILK ICE CREAM LINK....I hope you can go commence to CHURNIN'!!!!!!!!
    Anonymous said...

    Was it good for y'all too? Yeah, darlins: all y'all.

    Current music: Beethoven, opus 135. Current attitude: plentiful. What would you like it on? I oughta run a deli: quick lunch midtown: why not?

    Oh my gracious. I just stopped in to say I quoted this on the phone this morning to my daughter, who is majorly besmitten; beautifully done, Rosie.

    Hmmph. Silly machine doesn't know besmitten. I admit to trifflin with the language now and again, but really.

    Oh Hell.

    It's me again


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