Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Land of Hearts & Flowers

Each year, I make it a point to celebrate the futility and ridiculousness that is Valentine's Day. I guess I'm getting a head start here as it's not even Feburary yet. A number of exchanges I've had lately have reminded me of ths insignificance of VD and how it's more important to be true to oneself. I reserve a special time on these holidays for appreciating exactly how retarded the the day is because it's one of those holidays which promote guilt and obligation to be in a relationship. I appreciate this, then I do something healthy for myself.

Don't get me wrong, being in a relationship (a good one) can be a wonderful thing, but I don't believe that we need the added pressure of feeling guilty or odd because we are not in one. It's natural to pair up for most people, just let it happen when it will. Surround yourself with people who enjoy what you do and enjoy life at the same time. If something is meant to arise it will. Besides you usually are more attractive when you're naturally happy inside and out (contrary to what women of my mother's generation insisted - having a plastic smile on your face and an outlook of pasted on optimism will only lead to a nervous breakdown or reworking of your values further down the line). I'm convinced that there was a reason why alcohol and perscription drugs were real big sells among women during the Eisenhower years. When you live on a steady diet of denial you must supplement your intake with vitamin Z.

Women are consistently bombarded with messages that tell them, that they are nothing if they don't have a partner, husband or boyfriend. (Guys can get these same messages too about partnering with women, but not to the extent that women do). Even the a stallwart feminist may believe that you must act or be a certain way in order to attract a man.

I'm of the belief that there are plenty of good men and women out there. Or at least there's someone for everyone. It's better to establish a partnership with someone who has goals, values and loves that are similar to (though not necessarily exactly like your own). So it's better to wait and choose the right one rather than to settle for what lands on your plate the first or even second, third or fourth time. I envy those young people who know exactly what they want and what's good for them at so tender an age. So many young people assume that they must weather out a relationship that is not going well or is destructive in some way. I'm the first to admit that I did exactly this. How many people were encouraged by elders or their church to stay in a marriage where abuse is prevalent (sometimes including the abuse of the man). The church or elders' rationale was that if the couple had faith and weathered the storm the other person would eventually come around. While this may have been the case for some, it's not so for countless others. Human nature being what it is, selfish and destructive people are usually not easily open to change.

And saving people... that's the business of the person who needs to be saved. Ever read F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night? There's a happy little valentine for you.

In the meantime enjoy a nice healthy Chicken Salad.

1 1/2 c cubed chicken breast
1/3 c. roasted cashews
1/4 c. golden raisins
1/3 c. chopped red onions
1/2 c. drained chopped pineapple bits
1/2 c. chopped marinated red peppers drained
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp yellow curry
2-3 tbsp fresh orange juice
3 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and salt
1/2 lb baby spinach leaves washed.

In a small bowl combine the orange zest, yellow curry, fresh orange juice, and extra virgin olive oil to make a dressing. Toss the dressing with the remaining ingredients with the exception of the spinach. Serve the chicken salad on top of the spinach leaves or roll up with the leaves in a tasty whole wheat tortilla.

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