Talk is Cheap

February 11th

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I haven’t watched much TV this week, but the little I’ve caught has been littered with horrific commercials trying to convince the men of America that all women want is a tacky diamond heart necklace. If there is one thing I can stand by this Valentine’s Day it is that I do not want diamonds. (Not that this is really an issue; just making a point.) Roses and chocolate don’t do it for me either.

Local wildflowers, not shipped in from Ecuador where children work in flower factories removing thorns — are always sweet.

As for jewelry, I love it and wear it daily.  I even wear earrings and a bracelet to the gym most days. Bling makes me feel girly and pretty; I don’t like taking it off to go to bed, but I do so grudgingly.  Yet my idea of bling typically doesn’t sparkle and certainly doesn’t come from Jared.  I have given away my silver Tiffany jewelry for just that reason.  Tastes change with time,  and these days what I wear most comes with a story. My favorite necklace came from Cameroon. My favorite earrings I bought at a Balinese nonprofit event benefiting female aritisans. My favorite bracelets came from Namibia and from my grandmother. My grannie’s bracelet is sterling silver with chunks of turquoise, handmade by a Native American craftsman my grandfather has been purchasing jewelry from for 40 years. This piece they bought on Route 66 on their way to Arizona. See? Tell me that isn’t an awesome story.

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Don’t get me wrong; I’m not immune to the “wants.” There are a pair of earrings at Tiffany right now that I have my eye on, in part because they aren’t something I imagine I’d see regularly on others.  Yeah. I’m fickle. I know.

As for the chocolate, I’d rather have a container of medjool dates and a chunk of sharp cheese. My mother? She’d love the chocolate. And the roses. And the diamonds. Women vary but being thoughtful is universally charming.

So, while I am sending Valentine’s cards as a way to remind my friends and family how much I love them, I’m not buying into the rest of the holiday hype. There is nothing more fantastically frugal than love. Local, sustainable, handmade — they make me a happy hippie.

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~K

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15 Responses

  1. We have a strict no gift, flowers, candy rule in our house for Valentines Day. And I’m with you on the flowers, roses don’t do it for me at all. They’re depressing because they die so quickly, and as Outkast famously said: “Roses really smell like poo poo”. 🙂

    I’m getting my husband a card (or maybe making one?) and we’ll just have a regular day.

  2. Be still my heart — that red AMOR card is AWESOME! We have our wedding anniversary and V day all in one week — so we tend to half celebrate both … kinda like having Christmas and your birthday in the same week! Hope your V day is scrumptious!

  3. Your valentine’s are great!! I handmade my valentines too. It felt more special that way. And I would have to say my favorite jewelry is the jewelry that my Mom and Gram wore… better than anything new any day!!

  4. Love your handmade cards! Quality time is my fave Valentine’s gift and the love of my family & friends. Love your thoughtful, frugal gifts.

  5. Great cards! This year for us Valentines Day is all about spending time together, and making more time for each other throughout the year.

  6. I love jewelry but it doesn’t have to be expensive, most of times I bought it at local fairs.
    Nice cards, btw.

  7. Unrelated to your post today, I just finished a wonderful, heart breaking book Half a Yellow Sun by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie. I had to tell you about it. http://www.halfofayellowsun.com/
    Put it on your list.

  8. You mean you don’t love the Jane Seymour “Open Hearts” Collection?

    Dear Jane,

    Thank you for submitting your drawing. We have all collectively put your 3rd-grade level painting on the fridge to show how proud of you we are. Unfortunately, we will be unable to buy your shitty jewelry no matter how powerful you think the suggested metaphor may be. Please feel free to continue drawing the same brush stroke in the same color over and over like a damn mental patient and politely leave us alone. This includes your commercials.

    Sincerely,
    The Entire Universe

  9. These cards are fabulous, and very you..

  10. Right? Those friggen Jared commercials make me barf. And who are these people that want jewelry full of hearts? FUGLY.

    I do think I’d like a container of Trader Joe’s chocolate peanut butter cups though. That’d be too awesome.

  11. I love your Frida cards! But I hear ya on the disgusting guilt-laden commercialism of the season. A jewelry store in my store is intent on convincing men that what their wives and girlfriends really want is a gold plated rose. Ridiculous!

  12. Loving all the Frida. I’m with you – skip the diamonds and roses for me, please. I’d rather have something unique from etsy and some tulips, maybe. But I won’t pass up the chocolate!! : )

  13. What delightful Valentine cards, Kelli. You always have such lovely card ideas and the results of your efforts are always wonderful.

    Like you, I don’t get excited about the ubiquitous Valentine tokens and have asked my husband not to give me flowers, candy, or even jewelry this year. Instead, we’ve signed up for a special photography opportunity at the Butterfly Garden at Tucson Botanical Gardens. Together, we’ll learn to improve our photography skills in a small group of 5 people and guided by an expert. Time together doing something we both enjoy is our Valentine treat for each other this year.

  14. What a wonderful post. I do have some “normal” jewelry my weeding band and engagement ring, but they are classic simple and absolutely thoughtful from my husband. Everything else is unique whether I made it, bought it from an artisan or an antique store. My favorite bracelt m friend picked up for me in Kenya from a Magadi woman, she gets me some everytime she goes (for me and the littles).
    I think it’s great to send those cards and show your feelings, instead of buying the first thing you see at Walmart. You are a fabulous Happy Hippie!

  15. Yay Kelli! I love that this is your view on Valentines Day. My husband and I hate the commercialism of this holiday so much that we don’t actually even celebrate it. I hate those stupid heart necklaces. So glad there are other ladies out there who don’t buy into all that stupid stuff that’s pushed on us every year.

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