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February 8, 2011

I don’t mean to bother you but I’m in distress
There’s danger of me losing all of my happiness

– Sam Cooke

Restaurants are gearing up for Valentine’s Day. And who can blame them?  Lots of people are out there looking for romance. Besides dancing, eating is one of the most sensuous activities you can engage in while fully dressed. And while not everyone can dance, almost everyone can eat. It’s no wonder that restaurants fill up, even when they overcharge for limited holiday menus.

Generally I’m a fan of smaller menus. But by and large this is because small menus encourage less waste, which keeps prices moderate. Small menus also mean a chef needs to put their best food forward. So instead of offering 12 different chicken dishes, a top restaurant will only offer the one they think is most delicious.

But romance is all about celebrating the special je ne sais quoi of your lover and the intangible and unique things that create sparks between just the two of you and nobody else.

There is nothing special or unique about being served the same food as every other romantic fool in the restaurant of your choice on Valentine’s Day. And if you tell me that it’s not about the food I can accept that, although you are not getting off the hook yet.

Whoever came up with Valentine’s Day didn’t really think it through. They should have made it more like Labor Day (the first Monday of September) or Memorial Day (the last Monday of May). Instead it’s more like Christmas, tied to one specific calendar date. The problem is that unlike Christmas, nobody gets a day off for Valentine’s Day.

This year February 14 is a Monday.

You may wish it were on Friday or Saturday. Maybe you are one of those romantics who like to serve breakfast in bed and who dream of a Sunday morning Valentine’s Day to really strut your stuff. But wishing doesn’t make it so.

Tough noogies. Valentine’s Day is on Monday this year. Just to be clear, Friday is February 11, Saturday is February 12, and Sunday is February 13. One cannot just move holidays to another day of the week just because it is more convenient. It is fine and good to take the person you love out for dinner this weekend, but don’t think for a moment you are celebrating Valentine’s Day.

And if you have a lover who cares about these things, don’t think for a second that you can skip doing something on Monday just because you went out to dinner on Saturday. Because you can’t. This is how it works. I urge you to not fall into the trap of being forced to celebrate this minor holiday twice.

To make matters worse, nobody wants to go out on Monday night. Monday is the one day some restaurants keep their doors closed. There are even people who won’t order fish in a restaurant on Monday out of concern with its freshness. And who has time to make a romantic meal at home on a weeknight?

Um, well, you do. See if you can pick up what I’m putting down.


Candles are nice. Clothing is optional, especially since the meal is a bit messy. You can lick fingers. There is no need to drive. No waiter will interrupt your conversation or control the pace of your meal. There aren’t any diners at the next table who may hear some of your private thoughts said aloud.

There is no skill required for this cooking task at all. Zero. It requires boiling water. If you want a baked potato, that just requires turning on an oven. Seriously. Should you need any specific guidance, ask away. I am glad to help.

Remember, even if other people are making a similar dinner to yours on Valentines Day, the one you make will be all your own. And it will be great. I promise.

Just a friendly reminder that the profussor will be giving a pop quiz sometime soon. And thanks to the largesse of CSN Stores, the person who first correctly completes the answer sheet will be awarded a $45 gift certificate. Click here for all the details. Now go study (and make sure you are on the FLB twitter feed and Facebook page).


2 Comments leave one →
  1. tracy permalink
    February 8, 2011 10:52 am

    I dont mind valentines day, as it’s “my” holiday. It’s my birthday. So I get to enjoy that special festive feel every year on my birthday. The hard part is that like you write, everyone goes out to dinner for V-day. This sucks for me, as the last thing I want to do for my own birthday is cook. I cook just about every night. My b/f doesnt cook anything other than eggs and grilled cheese. Neither of which I want as a birthday dinner. So I have to think far in advance about where I want to eat on my birthday so that we can get a reservation. I still havent decided where I want to go, I may decide to stay in and do a seafood fondue this year instead.

  2. February 8, 2011 11:23 am

    Last year I ditched the Man for his sister and we high-tailed it to Austin, TX–it was a three day weekend with a well-placed President’s Day. For two or three years before that we had takeout sushi on V-day, so maybe this year we’ll return to those ways. We’ve only had Yoshi Sushi in Latham so far – do you have other suggestions? [I used a question mark on purpose.]

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