Tag Archives: inspirational

I hope you don’t get flowers and chocolates

My son is the best boyfriend.

Now stop that. I don’t mean that in a Phil Donahue kind of way. We are not Tasmanian/*insert your country’s backwards, my-brother-is-my-uncle state here.*

I mean that I did done raised my boy right and he understands that it is just as important to show his love on the other 364 days of the year as it is on Valentine’s Day.   And the true measure of love isn’t in the cost of the gift that he gives, it is in the actions he displays even when Hallmark doesn’t tell him to.

(I started this post back in February and probably got distracted by lots of shiny things and fairy floss, but I think the sentiment is still valid even though it is a little late.)

So I am hoping that on Valentine’s Day, you didn’t get roses and chocolates.

Now don’t get me wrong, just because I believe in the over commercialisation of the holidays in order for companies to sell us more things we don’t need, doesn’t mean that I don’t love the holidays like Charlie Sheen loves snorting coke off a hookers arse. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I hope that you end up miserable in a corner, crying because your significant other didn’t think to get you anything on Valentine’s Day.

It means that I think that you are worth way more than standard, no-brainer gifts. I hope that the gifts you receive required thought and/or effort. And here’s where the title of this post becomes a little less ‘call child services’ and a little more ‘give that lady a parenting medal’; my son remembered that months previously he was watching Man Vs Pin with his girlfriend and she had commented on how much she would like to make a ‘Cloud Light’. She hadn’t gotten around to it with all her uni studies and so he made her a cloud light, complete with little hearts raining from it.

cloud

My husband refuses to buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day, he says that he would rather grow me roses than buy me them so that I can have them whenever I want. He believes it is the thought and effort that shows how much he loves me, not the one off flashy gifts. So I often get a nice chai latte in bed on the weekend, or we go out to brunch because he knows that I am part Hobbit and brunch is my favourite meal of the day, or for a drive because he loves indulging my love of seeing new places. And I also get shiny things, but oftentimes we go shopping together after having lunch out so that I can choose the exact piece I want.

And although he doesn’t like Valentine’s Day, he acknowledges it because it makes me happy (in the same way I don’t celebrate his birthday because it makes him happy that I respect that he doesn’t do holidays). So this year, while he was out I built a fort in our room. I dragged the TV to the foot of the bed and used sheets to make a fort for us to watch telly and laugh and giggle like teenagers in. I used post-it notes to make an 8-bit heart on the bed and wrote something I love about him on each one. And I cut roses from the garden that I had been tending because I know he loves rose gardens, they remind him of his grandmother’s house in England. And for the record:

BEST VALENTINE’S DAY EVER!

Fort snuggles and laughter are the best kind of snuggles and laughter.

So if you got chocolates, I hope they were your favourite chocolates, and if you got flowers, I hope he cut them from the garden he tends because he knows you love fresh cut flowers or he bought the ones you love in your favourite colour instead of standard red, long stemmed roses (unless red, long stemmed roses are your favourites). Above all, I hope you were treated like you are the most precious person in your partner’s life and they remembered the things that make you happy and tried to bring a smile to your face.

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Just because it isn’t real, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

My 14 year old daughter is writing a paper at the moment about Freedom and she was discussing with the family how she was going to compare the ‘Kony 2012’ movement with the women’s rights movement. And during this discussion on how ideas start and spread I pulled out one of my favourite Gloria Steinem quotes:

gloria_steinem_quote

And then I gave her a wonderful one by Jane Goodall:

Jane_Goodall_Inspirational_Quote_EnvironmentAnd finally, before I left to give my son a driving lesson I pulled out a deep and awesome quote that teaches us that small, every day acts make a difference, but I didn’t tell her who said it until afterwards.

gandalfAfter hearing this she nodded and said “Yeah, I like that. It’s really good.”

I asked “Do you know who said that?”

“No” she replied, looking enquiringly.

“Gandalf.”

She tilted her head and looked at me as if I had been no help whatsoever and I was just being silly.

Now I take exception to this notion she seemed to convey that imaginary people can’t be deep and inspirational. Or right. Because he is right. Just because he isn’t real doesn’t make the point any less valid. I reminded her that a very real man had that thought and wrote it down, in the same way that a Jane Goodall or Gloria Steinham did. Tolkien just did it under the guise of fiction. Fiction I might add that has graced the bookshelves and movie screens of generations for over 60 years and sold over 150 million copies in print and grossed $871,530,324 worldwide at the box office. * Fiction that makes wise thoughts and lessons about the human condition accessible to the masses.

Paraphrasing Chesterton, Neil Gaiman said “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

The Brown Coats showed us that it is important to stand together and fight; and even if you don’t win the battle – you don’t have to give in and live life like those who oppress you have won the war.

Malcolm shows us that there is strength in protecting those who are important to you. Compassion doesn’t mean weakness or softness of character.

Zoe shows us that women can stand alongside men as equals, without apology for who they are or explanation for their belief that they have every right to do so.

Inara teaches us that there is beauty and power in owning your choices, values and sexuality.

Kaylee reminds us that there is beauty in the world around us no matter where or when we are and that attitude does not have to be dictated by circumstance.

Wash is particularly important in showing our young girls that men can love and respect a strong woman and find her attractive without trying to control or dominate her. **

Simon is a constant reminder that family is of the utmost importance and that we should travel to the ends of the ‘Verse to make sure that family, in all its forms, know that we love them and will protect them from harm.

And River is instrumental in showing us that no matter how broken we are, we can kill people with our minds we can still make connections the best way we know how, be a valued member of a community of people. And through the broken pieces of our lives and minds, stand up and kick arse when pushed too far.

And Jane. Jane reminds us that no matter what happens, assholes can be tolerated and useful in life as long as you remember to be cautious about their motivations and loyalties.

So read your children fairy tales. Immerse your teenagers in dragons and wizards and space cowboys. The most important lessons are waiting for them dressed in robes or carrying rings or flying a spaceship.


*According to Wikipedia. Please don’t tell my Uni lecturers that I quoted a Wiki as a credible source. I’m not sure if they can issue a failing grade for this blog post, but I don’t want to risk it.

**Also, Joss, you know that I love you, your work and your feminism to pieces but I’m waiting for my written apology for killing Wash. I still haven’t come to terms with his death and I’m not sure I ever will. Go stand in a corner and think about what you have done.