Sira-sira store: Valentine reload-A A +A
By Ober Khok
Friday, February 15, 2013
HOW did you survive Valentine’s Day?
I’m asking because flower vendors, florists and other humans who specialize in making Valentine’s Day memorable also manage to drain our pockets. As my friend Illustracio puts it: “Hold up ni sa atubangan, sa adlawng tutok.”
Pannon, my nephew who studies in a speak-English-only school, asked: “What does that mean, uncle?”
It’s hold up at high noon or in broad daylight, son! Truly, it’s “roses are red, violets are blue” and so am I, that’s who. But what man does not want to shower love on a day set aside especially for the hearts? Answer: Only those who don’t have money, but that is copping out.
You can show love even if you have no money. There are creative ways to reassure a loved one that he or she still matters. However, for those who have a little reserved cash in a dollar account or have gold bars stashed in a bank vault, the easiest way was to buy flowers and treat the girlfriend (mostly) to a romantic dinner.
One neighbor booked a surprise package for his wife. On Valentine’s Day, he drove her to Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu for the special treat. She enjoyed the dinner at Feria, he told me. Rich guys have it all. “It was worth it,” he said.
As for Illustracio, he “booked” a space in Jollibee for his wife and two children.
Since it was a cheap treat, he had money to spare for a trip to the mall to watch a movie.
Taking the jeepney home, I noticed that most of my co-passengers had something on their hands. One guy was protecting the pink balloon heart attached to a stick and three stalks of red anthuriums. Another, a woman who seemed to be in her 30s, was holding a bouquet as if she were a beauty queen.
Two young lovers were unmindful of us as they sat near the entrance of the vehicle.
They pecked and flirted, cooed and cuddled, but all the while the girl was holding the long-stemmed American rose that her boyfriend presumably gave her as a gift.
The young girl beside me had a big bunch of red roses and a box of chocolates—she couldn’t resist it. She took one bonbon and ate it, then called someone on her cell phone. My fertile mind reconstructed what happened earlier in the day.
Her boyfriend dropped the flowers and sweets, instructing the security guard to deliver them to his girlfriend. The lady was the envy of her loveless officemates—or at least to those who think that being hitched is the sole purpose of life.
She jumped with joy upon receiving the gift and lost no time in showing everyone the flowers she received.
Her friends urged her to open the box and she dutifully complied. She discovered it was a box of expensive Swiss chocolates. But she didn’t share it with her friends and her friends, of course, understood. And now here she was talking to her boyfriend on the phone. Ah, love.
Most streets looked happy—and why shouldn’t they? There were stalls selling roses, mums, gerberas, orchids and anthuriums, all waiting to be arranged by the vendor. In a way, the streets celebrated Valentine’s Day also.
The short season of love is costly. I just hope that love will last longer the roses, chocolates and cute boxes that briefly make life colorful.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 16, 2013.