Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Be My Valentine

Won't you, please? Consider this my little folded cardboard love-note dropped into the construction-paper-covered shoebox on your desk.

So, this year, Alex and I agreed on a very low spending limit, to try and take some of the commercialism out of this Greeting-Card-Company-imposed "holiday." That, and we're broke. In the past, we've made these agreements, say, for example, at Christmas, but as it turns out, sometimes we lie. So this year solemn promises were made, using stump-water and the toenails of a barn-owl under moonlight. We take that kind of thing seriously in these parts. That kind of thing, and Dwight Yoakam-inspired finger foods.

The way I approached the issue was to get creative in the kitchen, knowing that nothing pleases my man quite like Food That Would Like To Kill Him Dead. I fired up the mixer, and whomped up some shortbread, which, in case you didn't know, is just butter, sugar, and flour. Oh, and a little salt. You know, for the health benefits.

And since that probably wasn't enough to stop a grown man's heart, I thoughtfully melted some toffee bars with some heavy cream, to make shortbread topping. And once I'd done that, I couldn't very well NOT crumble up more toffee bars on top of all that, could I? Could I?

I cut it into bars, packaged it all up into a cute little red canister, and stuffed it clumsily into a shiny gift-bag with some heartsy tissue paper, and I was done. Very creative and thoughtful, I reckoned--I mean, I love him so much I made him something delicious, but I ALSO love him enough not to have made enough of it to kill him at one sitting. I'm good like that. (And if you'd like a pictorial on how to do the chocolate-toffee 2-layer topping for the shortbread, you can start here.)

As it turns out, I wasn't the only one who got creative. Alex came home and presented me with this haul:
Some of it is obvious--you can see the rose, the candle, and the card. The pile of stuff on the right is pretty good. It's a stack of mementos that we never got on our honeymoon, because at the time, we were so traumatized by this particular honeymoon destination that we pretty much just tried to block it all out. Thankfully, the second half of that trip was spent in Manhattan, which went a long way toward repressing the memories of the Poconos resort that we booked sight unseen. I'm guessing that all of their bookings are done sight unseen, because if you saw what we saw on that fateful vacation, you would run, and run FAST and FAR in the opposite direction. Alex wrote to them and requested these keepsakes, on the premise that we visited there on our honeymoon and it was "an unforgettable experience." Woefully, that is true, because it all came rushing back. It's been six years now, and I'm just starting to be able to laugh about it. I think I need to write more about The Honeymoon of Horror. Maybe tomorrow. Yes, if I can keep from having nightmares tonight, I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

I may also post the contents of that paperwork on the left, there, because that, my friends, is an original poem by my husband, done in a strikingly similar style to that of Dr. Suess. I guess all those readings of "The Lorax" this week have not been in vain. Yup, he gets bonus points for poetry--even bad poetry. Even--maybe even especially--poetry that contains rhymes using the words "taint" and "porn," while still managing to make me smile and say, "Awwwwww."

Yes, folks, my husband. A born romantic. I hope you all had as sweet a day as I did, and that you never have a trip that is anything like the first half of our honeymoon, and that if you DO, you're with someone you love, and can laugh about it later. Years later.


  1. So sweet, the two of you!!! Since there is not a special someone in my life right now, my dad bought me a 3 foot. pink, stuffed Poodle for Valentine's Day. He usually gets all of us girls something chocolate, so this was a nice present. I will have to post a picture of it on my blog as I have been a little behind there lately.

  2. Um, I gotta ask. Campagne glass shaped bathtub? Heart shaped bed?

    Oh, had you only Jews in your community, they could have told you to avoid the Poconos at all cost. We do have added value in the vacation avoidage biz!

  3. kim--my dad always "did" Valentine's Day for his girls, too--even after we were married! That's probably why I'm not totally cynical about the day.

    margalit--close. Oh, so tragically close. If only we had sought the advice of, oh...ANYONE. Even looking at the stuff they sent Alex this week, I am stunned that they can get away with it! It goes way beyond false advertising or "bait and switch."

  4. My shoe-box crafted Valentine Day card repository is shaped like a ROBOT. A ROBOT COVERED IN SHINY TIN FOIL THAT SAYS "YUM! YUM! YUM!" WHEN YOU PUT YOUR CARD IN HIS MOUTH!

    (Mostly because the slot in which you put the cards is where his mouth would be if he were a real robot).

  5. Hey, considering some of your recent graphics, I'm just glad it's his *mouth*. Although, the flying monkeys toon? EXACTLY how I pictured it in my own mind. You bring imagination to life, Dave.

  6. Oh no! I was researching the Poconos for my upcoming honeymoon....Ack! I want to hear the horror story please!

    You gotta love the man that can write dirty poetry...

    Happy Belated V. Day :)


  7. I would {heart} a husband like that. And even though I am female, I would also {heart} a wife if she made me toffeee covered shortbread.

  8. My ex and I did the Poconos honeymoon (one of the Caesar's ones, not Penn Hills) in 1988. I remember the dark room, the round bed (I wondered where they got sheets) and the pool in our room. It was also very hot that week, so it was fun to have a fake fire. But it was kind of boring actually, I ended up driving somewhere to get alcohol (for my ex) and getting the car washed from the shaving cream decorations.

    Seems like another lifetime ago.

    I'd love to hear your stories.

  9. TSM-terrifically superiorily mediocreFebruary 15, 2007 at 8:32 AM

    Nice score!

    *I* got a new Windows for Vday-because my hacker version has been crashing constantly and hubby thought he'd pony up the big bucks to prove his love to me. Also so I wouldn't throw this computer through the wall.

  10. I have never had the "spending limit" for holidays work. Never.

    It's a nice feeling to get a gift for someone even if you'd prefer they didn't have to pony up to do so for you. But they're thinking the same thing.

    Then Bam!, before you know it you have 2 copies of "Grease" and 8 pounds of chocolate.


    I must see the poem. Pleeeeeeeease... will it help if I threaten to call the police if you don't? :)

  12. hillbilly swamp may want the poem... (I admit I'm interested too), but what I REALLY want is the toffee covered shortbread recipe. That looks divine! (I did try printing off the photo version on flickr but somehow it will be hard to get it into my recipe box.) Could you please post it or email it to me???

  13. If a man can create a poem, any kind of poem..much LESS use the words, porn and taint....well, he would be pretty much perfect in my book

  14. OH the adorableness that is your daughter - and your sweetie pie of a hubby too!! :)

    Glad you had a good day!

  15. Those are the best kinds of presents.

    Especially the poem. Which I am dying to see.

  16. oh dawg! I am starting to feel bad. All I did was give the wife a smack on the ass and tell her to roll over..


    But we did not do anything near like what you did. Exchanged a couple of e-cards for the 'holiday'.

  17. Belinda, Looks yummy. Exactly how much of each ingredient (Sugar, Flour, etc)? I would love to make this.
    Cathy Waller