I do not hate Valentine’s Day. I do not see it as an attack against single people. I do not (think I have ever) put pressure on my S.O. to make Valentine’s Day a “thing”, though I admit I secretly would look forward to a day when I KNEW I would see some romance (it’s kinda like how as a kid you look forward to your birthday because you KNOW there’s gonna be cake).
Nowadays I’m just ambivalent about the 14th of February. In fact I remember the year I realized Valentine’s Day is just another day, which means it may not be that special. Or rather, it may be special in how un-special it is.
It was 2007. I had been dumped the week before (Retrospectively pissed about that one. That’s just classless. And it’s not like the guy was cheap). I was also REALLY sick with (come to find out) mono.
But wait. There’s more.
In addition to being freshly dumped and feeling sick as a dog, I had been subpoenaed. Specifically, I had been rear-ended by a speeding ditz on a cellphone with a kid and a dog in her convertible’s back-seat (neither of which were hers…In fact, I don’t even think the car was hers). Due to the amount of damage she had done and how fast she was going and her driving priors, this was an automatic “you’re going to court” thing. And, of course, the hearing was scheduled for Valentine’s Day.
Gets better, though.
The ditz never showed up! That’s right: I spent ALL DAY while sick and newly single-against-my-will in a major city’s courthouse (btw, I highly recommend NOT visiting any place that’s within spitting distance of juvie or whose exterior landscaping consists solely of “barbed wire”). And again, why did I do this? BECAUSE THE PERSON FORCING ME TO BE THERE STOOD ME UP! Granted, since she stood everyone else up at the end of the day a bench warrant was issued. Still. Definite low point.
Now I just take the Scarlet O’Hara approach: “[Valentine’s Day] is another day.”
But if you wanna pull out all the stops, go for it! If you wanna make a nice dinner, or dessert, or a really nice reservation–do it! If you think your grown-ass significant other honestly needs a four-foot teddy bear–buy one! If you want some suggestions for things to cook, see the below:
- Oysters (raw oysters are a traditional aphrodisiac. If you don’t like raw, you can also roast them–see photo below)
- Duck (it’s rich. It’s slightly gamey. It’s magical.) Duck l’orange is probably *the* classic way to cook it but you can get creative.
- Coq au vin (I made this once…actually for a Valentine’s Day dinner–pre blog days, hence no pictures. Especially for those on a budget, this really isn’t *that* bad–it’s just chicken in wine. But it’s French, so be prepared to use every pot and pan you own.)
- Anything involving puff pastry (you can do something savory or sweet(er). One advantage is that you can do individual-sized portions which look very elegant.)
- Chocolate (another aphrodisiac. As faithful readers know, TTENG does not like sweet desserts. So, I recommend something closer to a torte, or truffles.)
- Don’t totally cheap out on the alcohol (if you choose to buy it). If you want some budget-friendly-but-nice red wine recommendations…I can hook you up.
Whether you take these suggestions or do something else (or nothing at all), whether you’re in a relationship or single, whether you’re a hopeless romantic or an unapologetic cynic, Happy Valentine’s Day from TTENG.