Love and Smallgoods

With this being the love issue, I’m not entirely sure I’m the most qualified writer to speak on the subject but I do love food, so maybe that’s enough.

You’ve heard me go on about Valentine’s Day being called ‘amateur night’ by professionals who work in the restaurant industry…tables for two who make bookings at restaurants they don’t normally go to (or book tables at multiple restaurants, don’t even get me started on why that’s poor form), look nervous, order to impress rather than for pleasure and leave before the soufflé has had time to rise. Personally, I have no idea how anyone expects to have a romantic moment with their beloved after stuffing themselves with a five course degustation and several of bottles of wine, but whatever floats your boat.

Maybe I’ve become less cynical with time, but this year, on this particular themed issue I feel like I want to say ‘Do whatever makes you and yours happy.’ If that’s to get gussied up and step out on the town with your hot date in tow, to down oysters AND champagne AND foie gras AND chocolate, then *hic* by all means.

And there’s something to be said for having a meal at a restaurant that has some significance. But only do it because you want to*, not because you should. In other words, be thoughtful. Rather than succumbing to the greeting card expectations of the occasion, how about buying all of the foods you both like and having a picnic on the lounge room floor, volunteering to feed those less fortunate, or if you can’t settle on focusing your attention on one, how about cooking a meal with friends? After all, what better an excuse to show your nearest and dearest a little love.

A magazine I write for recently asked me to share a romantic anecdote relating to Valentines Day and I told them that while I don’t really buy into the whole day and what it represents, I appreciated the guy who knew me well enough to not buy me a bouquet of flowers, but a package of spectacular (just as rosy) smallgoods instead.

This rant might seem a bit like a bunch of disconnected thoughts but what links them together is that sometimes it really is the thought that counts.

Even more so that the invisible expectations we have projected on us by commerce, showing someone that you know them well enough to figure out what makes them smile is a wonderful thing.

*and have a stomach made from cast iron, because…yeesh.

Melissa Leong: