Food is love

Colin's very Photoshopped and very ridiculous Valentine of himself and Cat Cat (note Jack and I lurking in the background). iPhone photo by me.

Colin’s very Photoshopped and very ridiculous Valentine of himself and Cat Cat (note Jack and I lurking in the background). iPhone photo by me.

So among the list of holidays I celebrate with DIY spirit and A-type personality enthusiasm, Valentine’s Day rates pretty low. It’s true that chocolate is one of my primary food groups, but I don’t need an excuse to eat it and I certainly don’t need someone else to buy it for me. I’m not all that into expensive jewelry either. Or browbeating my boyfriend into buying stuff to prove his love for me.

But when the paper’s executive editor, Ryan Miller, proposed that the office celebrate Valentine’s Day the old-fashioned way, with hand-crafted valentines placed in hand-crafted boxes on our desks it seemed like a cute enough idea.

Most of the staff threw a Post-It note with a heart sketched onto it on a coffee mug, or, in Colin’s case, IMG_2115scratched over the word “Trash” on his trash can and instead wrote the word “Love.” I was enamored by a photo of a young female mountain lion rescued on the beach in Montaña de Oro and wound up printing out about a dozen copies of the photo of the mountain lion looking bedraggled and angry and pasting those on a cardboard box in the hopes that someone would take the hint and give me a pet for Valentine’s Day (an idea Colin did not approve of).Our publisher had a giant robot sitting on his desk, which people could use to deposit their Valentines, and of which I was extremely jealous.

Colin appreciated the opportunity to utilize his hard-won Photoshopping skills and I figured I would utilize the opportunity to showcase my hard-won sarcasm skills. (Apparently I was far from the only person who this particular approach.) My plan was to make Pepto IMG_2128 IMG_2129Bismol-pink sugar cookies decorated with the least romantic words and phrases I could think of. Unfortunately this required me to spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen and as anyone who knows me even moderately well can confirm, I am chaos, disaster, and destruction in the kitchen. Unless I’m making a pie, which I’m told makes sense because following very precise instructions perfectly suits my A-type personality.

After I threw the cookie dough on the counter lamenting the fact that it responded nothing like pie crust because it refused to remain the shape of a t-rex Colin was forced to take over.

“I don’t even like Valentine’s Day!” I was howling. The cats were howling as well (because I was in the kitchen and they figured that I might as well feed them) and all in all it was not a positive experience.

Colin took over, which is usually the case where kitchen endeavors are concerned.

Once everything had been properly baked he retired to the living room to put lipstick kisses on his IMG_2119 IMG_2117Valentines. This required borrowing my old lipstick, which I never wound up using because makeup just feels strange to me, puckering up his lips, kissing cards, and then reapplying the lipstick at least three or four times before he was done.

IMG_2127In the kitchen I took one look at the deformed cookies the oven had produced and decided to just embrace the grotesque. I slathered strawberry frosting over everything, wrote inappropriate messages on them, and decided to call it a day. Or night. It was 11 p.m. by the time I was finished. Colin was dozing on the beanbag. I don’t know what the cats were doing but at least it wasn’t screaming at me for food. And I stared with wonder and delight at the ugliest and probably worst tasting cookies I’d ever seen.




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