Illustration by FPJC
Sonskyn and I lived in Centurion, South Africa from late 2002 to late 2004. We stayed in a two bedroom flat (with our friend, Koning) with a beautiful view of the sunset. Our place had an open door to all our friends and, seeing that most of them were back in their parents’ houses (several of us had just returned from working in Scotland together), there was a constant flow of company. Sonskyn and I are social people, so we enjoyed this. Still, we have our ups and downs like any couple and I recall a period when I was especially hungry for romance.
I hinted at it. I threw the lack of it around like an accusation when we’d argue. I’d fantasize about all the dramatic gestures he could make for me…if he wanted to. Did he just not love me as much as I loved him? Why, though I felt with all my heart that he did, wasn’t I sated?
I was driving along the N4 from Centurion to Wonderboom one morning and just as I was cresting the hill overlooking Pretoria, a realization came to me. I still associate the idea with the view. If I wanted romance, I should do something romantic. I shouldn’t waste my energy being frustrated with Sonskyn for not scratching my romantic itch. I should scratch it myself and show him how nice it could be in the process;). I spent the rest of the morning scheming.
First I had to kick Koning out for the night- easy enough. Then I found rose pedals at a florist, scribbled a cute little poem alluding to what was to come and had a friend come with me to drop off the car keys with my note so Sonskyn could get home. As he approached the car that evening to leave, he noticed a few stray pedals on the ground by the driver’s side…then a few more scattered on the driver’s seat…
He came into the apartment, which was aglow with scattered candles and petals. He laughed nervously when he saw me in silk…
We had a lovely evening. We laughed, we smiled and we had a taste of romance. I was sated.
That decision and that evening changed me in a sense. The success tuned me in to a power I have – the power of free will. Sometimes things happen that are beyond our control, but our response to those circumstances are very much in our control. Remember, Sonskyn may not have been in the mood for romance that night. He may have come home and told me he loved me and the gesture, but just didn’t have the stuffing for a high-level emotional evening. He may not have reciprocated. His response was beyond my control. But, knowing that the gesture had never been selfless anyway, I hope I would have chosen to find happiness in the idea that he did love me and the gesture. If I forgave him for not being in the same place as me I bet he’d have appreciated it even more.
Last week a post from Annakate at La Aguacate inspired me to shake up my shopping cart with some different veggies. I picked up some fresh fish and on Monday night I cooked. I not only cooked, I glided around the kitchen, cleaning up as I went along and really enjoying the process. At some point it all just looked so beautiful that the need to be romantic took over and, on a random Monday night, Sonskyn and I had a romantic (though late:)) dinner. I saw the Pretoria skyline in my mind’s eye all the while.
1. I cleaned as I cooked so I could relax and enjoy sitting down to the meal.
2. Fresh ingredients and the A.V.C.T.. I couldn’t remember for the life of me what endives were called but they looked like they’d be tasty sauteed…
3. You see the cous cous there? Just sitting there ready for the kettle water?
4. Totally forgot to make it.
5. But that’s ok because it gave a new twist to our leftover lunches:)
- Fresh Fish
- Shredded Parmesan
- Cilantro – 1 bunch
- a couple of tablespoons of flour (salt & pepper to taste)
Finely chop pecans (can use A.V.C.T.) and about 1/3 of the cilantro. Mix with Parmesan. Lightly dust fish with flour to dry and then dip into egg wash before coating with pecan mixture. Cook in pan with EVOO at medium heat. Flip when browned. Let rest on paper towel before serving on bed of cilantro.
I halved endives and sauteed them in the pan after the fish. Those, a chunk of mozzerella and a half tomato each were our sides…you could obviously do something different.
I hope my story inspires you to create a little romance for Valentine’s Day…it can mean so much more than those commercializing the holiday would lead you to believe. And, if romantic love isn’t in the cards this year, please remember that you are free to express Agápe, Philia, and/or Storge at your will. I hope your week is filled with love! 🙂