Saturday, February 13, 2010

What's YOUR Valentine Tradition?

When I was single, there were two holidays I dreaded: New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. Those just always seemed to me to be the two days that you were meant to spend the evening with someone you were deeply in love with, and it seemed that was exactly what everyone but me did. The New Year's Eve problem was one easily solved: I flew to Vegas about 7pm (it's less than an hour's flight for me), gambled until about 2am, and flew back home. No one at the blackjack table knew nor cared that you were there by yourself. And since I talk to people in elevators, I never had any problem yapping the night away with the others at the tables.

Now Valentine's Day was a whole 'nother problem: who would bring me chocolates, roses, and profess their undying love for me?

More than 20 years later, here I am happily married, get the roses usually somewhat unceremoniously dumped onto the counter, and still no romantic gestures of undying love. I know my husband loves me; but I long ago learned to accept that he's not a demonstrative man, and I no longer wait for those romantic candlelit dinners for two followed by champagne and bubble baths together. So how do we celebrate Valentine's Day?
Yes, you're reading the right logo. For 20 years, Marc and I have gone to dinner every Valentine's Day at IHOP. Told ya I wasn't married to the romantic type, lol. Actually, it's not as bad as it seems, and is kind of romantic is a warped way.

It all started on one of our first Valentine's Days together as a couple. As some of you may know, my husband is a CPA. If you know your calendar well enough, you know that February 14th falls dead in the height of tax season - where Marc is working 7 days a week, 12-16 hours a day (wait, don't I always do that year-round?), and this is one of the only nights before April 15th that I can even count of him for dinner at all. When we first moved into the area in which we currently live, the town was small, and the need for reservations for dinner on a Saturday night unnecessary. We didn't think too much about picking out a restaurant in advance, and insuring that we could celebrate by making a dinner reservation. We just figured we'd go to our favorite steakhouse, and given that it was a holiday, would probably have to wait 20-30 minutes for a table.

Wrong. 2+ hour wait at the restaurant of our choice. Ixnay on that idea, move on to our 2nd choice. No better there either. After checking a few restaurants and finding hellacious waits everywhere, tired and hungry, we decided to chuck the notion of a nice dinner and just grab a bite to eat at Denny's. As we walked up to the front door, there was actually a sign taped to the door that they were out of meat. Denny's? Out of meat? Who'd have thunk you couldn't even get a burger on Valentine's Day!!!

Since our dinner options were rapidly becoming cereal at home, we decided to hop across the street to IHOP. Surely no one went to IHOP, and how likely would it be that they'd run out of pancake batter? Fortunately for us, the only souls inside looked like they were on a field trip from the closest retirement home, and there was still plenty of food available with no wait. We laughed about how "romantic" our night was, and it was so off the wall that it had to become a tradition. So it was, and so it shall remain.

What's your favorite Valentine's story?


  1. We call Valentine's day "friend's day" here in Finland :) So I don't usually even celebrate it with my husband but my daughter (7 yo) made cards to her friends at school.

  2. Oh! I like "Friends Day" much better - so much less pressure :)


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