V-Day + 1


I hope everyone made it through Valentine’s Day in one piece.

I’ve never been much for celebrating the day, even when in a relationship. Now that I am not currently in one, it doesn’t bother me in the least that I had no Valentine this year. I’ve always thought the tradition of wasting one’s money on manufactured sentiment a bit goofy.

Granted, spending a romantic day with the one you love isn’t such a bad thing, but if it takes a semi-national holiday to compel your parter to express his feelings, well… you’re in for some trouble.

I spent my Valentine’s Day waiting on about 14 couples– some happy, others bored, and a few downright uncomfortable. When one happily-partnered woman asked me how my Valentine felt about my working on such a special night, I just smiled and didn’t answer. When she brought up the subject again, I changed the subject. I wasn’t so much upset about not having a Valentine as I was that this woman wasn’t getting the fact that I prefer not to talk about my relationship history at work.

At the end of their meal, the woman’s boyfriend/lover/husband got up to go to the restroom and, as I came to the table to re-fold his napkin, she asked me if I was going to cook my Valentine a special dinner when I got home. At midnight? After eight hours of running around in a restaurant?

I looked at her rather sadly, bowed my head a moment, and said, “Well… he’s dead.” And then I walked away.

No more questions. But they did leave me a little extra in the tip. I hope she thinks twice about prying next time.

I decided that my next relationship will be with someone who’d be willing to spend at least one Valentine’s Day having dinner the way I want to:

We will make reservations at two restaurants well in advance. On Valentine’s Day, we will call each restaurant and reduce the number of our party from two to one. No explanations necessary. We shall dine separately, alone– he in one restaurant and I in another. He can behave however he chooses. I plan to look as convincing as possible as the man whose lover has left him on Valentine’s Day, but who felt determined to honor the hard-to-get resrvation anyway. I will sit quietly with a glass of wine or two, barely touch my $100 prix fixe menu items, and give misty-eyed smiles to as many couples as I can, taking a mental tally of how many people I can make squirm.

After dinner, my boyfriend and I will meet up for a drink, maybe a burger, and compare notes.

That is my idea of a great Valentine’s Day.

What’s yours?

About Michael Procopio

I write about food and am very fond of Edward Gorey. And gin.
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