Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cut out cut flowers at Valentines...

I have a problem with cut flowers. I know it goes against all romantic notions, but the truth is that I find the whole concept to be wasteful and destructive and far too indulgent. My idea of indulgence is chocolate. Now that is a luxury worth savoring! There's a great idea for a Valentine gift... hint hint

Ok - the thing is that I do love flowers. In Ghana I have the privilege of being surrounded by gorgeous bouganvillia (sp.?) bushes, hanging heavy with all shades of pink flowers, and oleander trees and the famous birds of paradise. I love all of them. But to me the thought of cutting them, for the purpose of shoving them into an ugly glass vase to watch them perish over the next few days is futile, not to mention sadistic. Why?! Enjoy them in nature! Take a walk in a park!
That was my rant for the day.

Valentine's Day as a 'holiday' is also another strange one. In Nigeria, all the men in an office bring cakes into the office for all the ladies. I like that idea, mostly because it involves cake. But i find the whole thing is blown far out of proportion in West Africa. A typical Valentine card costs 20,000 cedis, or about $2 - however in context, this is almost double the minimum wage per day in Ghana. Do we need to be promoting an empty holiday to a 'Highly Impoverished Poor Country - HIPC' (which Ghana declared itself officially a few years ago), whereby the commercial side of love is marketed without any historical background, to a naive and impressionable market?

I believe a kiss and hug daily would do all of us a world of good instead.
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