“Each day is Valentine’s Day…”

by Katie Pizzuto on February 10, 2011

in candy,Celebrations/Festivals,Cooking,Wine

You’ve got to hand it to those crafty marketing gurus who managed to turn Valentine’s Day into the money-making faux lovefest that it is today. There is nothing—absolutely nothing—like dueling for reservations at a restaurant that is bound to serve a limited “special” menu (from which they’ll no doubt run out of half the items), rushing to buy a dozen wallet-gouging roses scheduled to die within 4 days, being guilted into spending a paycheck on some piece of jewelry that Jared has been peddling for a month straight, and pacing up and down your local pharmacy aisles as if the weight of choosing the right card was unbearable, all so you can hopefully (if she doesn’t drink too much and pass out) get some. I like pre-scheduled displays of love about as much as I like an un-anesthetized tooth extraction…maybe even less. Last time I checked, romance existed in a sort of self-contained state of organic spontaneity.

Perhaps it’s age that reprioritizes shit in our hearts, I’m not really sure. What I am sure of is that I find it much more romantic if my husband remembers to pick up a pint of my favorite ice cream if he knows I’ve had a week in the weeds, than if he buys me a ubiquitous box of mediocre chocolate on Valentine’s Day. A random act of kindness—an unexpected gesture of thoughtfulness— however small, beats the crap out of an LED-candlelight dinner at Luigi’s every time. In fact, I have this vague memory of being on a date with the poor sod who would eventually become my husband. We were in his little Toyota MR2 (with a stick shift), on our way to a movie…or dinner…or drinks…or who knows what. What I remember was that he had his right arm around my shoulders the whole time he drove, forcing him to shift gears with his left hand. An awkward maneuver at best, a dangerous (albeit romantic) moving violation at worst. Then, of course, eventually you get married and god forbid the moron tries doing that again, you find yourself berating him for being wreckless—that’s the blinding sucker punch marriage can deliver to romance.

Food and wine are inextricably linked with Valentine’s Day, of course, to the point of one very inundated Gonzo email inbox. “Romantic Cocktails,” “Wine Apps for your Valentine,” “Chandon Asks, What Would Cupid Do?” and the list goes on. But what I want to entice my readers to do is eschew all the media-hyped merriment and show your love on some random Tuesday. Veto the damned thing and think about writing a love note with a Sharpie and scotch-taping it to the fridge instead. Then rethink that whole food/wine thing…

It may just as easily be the sound of a lover whispering in our ear, or the sound of a champagne cork being popped, and the gurgle of the bubbles hitting the glass. Whether it is an oyster slipping from its shell to your mouth, or someone engaging you in a kiss, the sensuality of food is what makes it a turn on, not which day you eat it. Once an amazing meal has been prepared, served and eaten, once the warmth of the wine and spices are pulsing in your blood, and once the anticipation of a kiss enters your soul, only then will you know that any day has the potential and capacity to become a display of love.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristi February 10, 2011

“Once an amazing meal has been prepared, served and eaten, once the warmth of the wine and spices are pulsing in your blood, and once the anticipation of a kiss enters your soul, only then will you know that any day has the potential and capacity to become a display of love.”

Beautiful, Katie. And I couldn’t agree with you more. Wishing a Happy Valentines Day to you – everyday!

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2 Jen February 11, 2011

LOVE that!!!! Hate Valentine’s Day! Made up holiday to sell cards, flowers and candy!! Hahah.

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3 Eric February 11, 2011

Excellent post, Katie! I’ve always loved your writing style. And I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always thought of Valentine’s Day in exactly the same way. Valentine Days happen spontaneously, when you least expect them, and those are the ones you never forget.

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4 Zinhead February 11, 2011

Right on! If you can’t show love every day then don’t bother at all.

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5 linsey February 11, 2011

Totally agree … but on this occasion its the first Valentine’s day on the same continent with my new hubby … dammit I want a special day, even if it is a day earlier.

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6 Don February 11, 2011

I guess it is my role to be the antagonist. A role I find myself playing more and more these days…wonder why? Anyway, I actually like Valentines Day. We have built a family tradition out of it by playing a rousing game of Chutes and Ladders believe it or not. there are 100 squares on the board. We tape a piece of candy or a quarter or a little prize on each square. Then the kids spin the spinner and begin to remove the items from the squares. After a game or two the squares are mostly empty so we have the boys split the remains up equally. It sounds silly, but as late as last year I had all four boys wanting to play the game. That is at ages 21, 18, 15, and 10. This year the two oldest will drop out :( . One is married and living in another city, and the 22 year old…well is 22 and he feels a little silly about it. At the end of the game we give them each a present. Something small. I remember the year we got them all 2 foot long plastic alligators! My youngest slept with his for weeks. We have since graduated to CDs, DVDs and Video Games, but they all love Valentines Day.

I also like to get my sweetie a little something special for the day. Whether it is some flowers, I cook some steaks on the grill, or some cards with a little candy or a book she has wanted, it is always nice and good to remember that special someone in a fun and loving way. I agree spontaneity is good, and I do that too, but Valentines Day gives me the excuse to have fun with the kids and remember my wife and all she means to me. So I kinda like the day for those reasons.

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7 Katie Pizzuto February 12, 2011

Well said Don, and at least you are doing your own spin on it, but i really do think that the beauty of those types of moments would be even greater if you did them April 12th or such “just because”. Know what i mean?

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8 FrankoT February 11, 2011

I guess you need Valentine’s Day when sensuality is not much a part of your life. Modern living has a tendency to bury such an instinct but we abusers of fine things know otherwise, right?

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9 Katie Pizzuto February 12, 2011

Would definitely agree that modern living tends to bury that instinct…all the more reason to try to unearth it on a more regular basis and for a reason better than “the calendar told me to.”

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10 PintofStout February 14, 2011

Practically have to schedule the sensuality in our Blackberries, right? It would be a good habit to form, though, taking time out to appreciate and focus on – that’s a concept, right there – the special folks in our lives.

I commandeered this post at my own blog; hope you don’t mind.

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11 Katie Pizzuto February 14, 2011

Hell, no, I don’t mind! And you absolutely nailed it with “In this age of information, the message is the first casualty.” Well said!!

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12 Joe February 14, 2011

The wife and I still pretty much veto the holiday, referring to it as “non-descript mid February situation”. We used to go to a pool hall and drink beer or do something as non-sappy as possible.

With the little one thrown into the fold this year, the wife sprung for a card from my baby daughter to me, with a scribble for a name. Sunuvabitch. I guess I’m roped in now. Hopefully, we’ll pass on a sentiment of silliness towards this “holiday” to our kid and get her to do as you say- do something nice when someone else isn’t expecting it.

However, I am going to drink some ballin’ grower Champagne tonight, and you couldn’t get me to break down and pop that bottle on any random Tuesday…

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13 Coupe 60 February 14, 2011

I’ll be showin my wife my “Situation” tonight….

we went with a bottle of 2005 Match Butterdragon Cab…mmm mmm good

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14 Katie Pizzuto February 14, 2011

Super jealous, although that Champagne should BE the occasion, it shouldn’t REQUIRE an occasion :)

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15 Heavy Pete February 15, 2011

“I find it much more romantic if my husband remembers to pick up a pint of my favorite ice cream if he knows I’ve had a week in the weeds, than if he buys me a ubiquitous box of mediocre chocolate on Valentine’s Day.”

Oh yes. Though we had a long hiatus in-between (during which we remained friends): one of the initial reasons for which I fell so hard for the love of my life was a simple, innocuous moment during the spring of 1990…our first time around…where, anticipating my visit, she filled her little dormitory ‘fridge with Coors Light; a beer that she and all her friends had dismissed as puerile, base redneckery.

HP

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16 PintofStout February 15, 2011

So did you fall so hard because of her taste in beer or that it was all for you?

I’m just mildly kidding, of course. Whatever those little reasons are, they are always the most important that point directly to the soul of the person that we latch onto.

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17 Katie Pizzuto February 16, 2011

I’m pretty sure Pete would now consider Coors Light puerile, base redneckery too given the beers I watch him put down, LOL, but my guess is that it meant so much because despite her aversion to the stuff she was willing to stockpile it just for him. Kinda like when I make sauerkraut for my mother-in-law :)

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18 linsey February 17, 2011

My valentine pressie to the ‘old’ man – bag of Swedish Fish – he loves those lil buggers…

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