I know what everyone says about Valentine's Day: it's a Hallmark holiday -- which it is, sort of; unless you're in a relationship, it's just another day, only more painful -- which is really a matter of personal choice, really.
Honestly, I had my share of lousy Valentine's Days before I met Dirtman. I was the lady who babysat for couples or who worked the extra hours (on salary) so my co-workers could leave early to prepare for their "big night."
So I've put in my time, so to speak, and feel no guilt about sharing fond Valentine memories. If you are lonely and bitter over Valentines Day, I will offer this one insight before relating this year's experience: Mr. or Mrs. Right very rarely arrives driving a cool car, sporting perfect hair and flouting the perfect body. Usually they say stupid things when you first meet them. They might be a little scruffy. They will be flawed. Here's a news flash: so are you.
Give me a diamond in the rough anytime over a slick player.
As for us two diamonds in the rough (I'm quite sure we'll never be anything but), this is one of those holidays that over the years has become a sort of passing nod to what already exists. Past years have featured events requiring major planning and/or considerable cash. The story of our meeting and proposal is here, for those of you who haven't heard this ad nauseum already. What I didn't add to this post was that when we got home, after Dirtman's proposal ad ran, my paper did a feature on us that they sent out to the Associated Press. This resulted in our 15 minutes of fame -- that was quite enough for me, thankyouverymuch -- and our story appearing in some tabloid opposite a photo of a woman wearing a macaroni hat.
So, really, these day less is more. Dirtman found a good price on a couple sirloin steaks but, really, these days it's a treat if the meal features any meat whatsoever. The Heirs don't ask what's for dinner anymore; they ask if there will be any meat at dinner. They will cancel plans if there is meat for dinner. They find other things to do on bean and grain night.
With a little planning, this was actually a very frugal meal, but I couldn't have asked for more. Sirloin steak on the grill (just briefly, thank you) (Take that, PETA!), baked potato, salad with spring greens, grape tomatoes and feta cheese -- all cooked by Dirtman and not using every single pot in the kitchen. And he did the dishes.
Let me repeat that: He did the dishes.
While I knitted. And began sniffling. It had to happen. The hacking a snorting that has been going on around here all week had to hit me eventually and, as the evening wore on, I began to feel worse and worse.
NOTE: I have to mention here that at night, Dirtman usually watches television in the living room by himself. The reason is that he surfs around so much, you end up watching everything on a half screen all night. Plus I usually watch what I want, then turn it off and read, rather than continually searching for some inane broadcast to waste my time. (Ahem).
So we sat and watched The Hallmark Channel. Dirtman started watching the Hallmark Channel over the past Christmas season and every now and then, amidst the sound of football games, car screeches and bombs exploding, comes the noise of cheesy music over women weeping that is the trademark sound of the Hallmark Channel.
I might add that I strongly dislike the Hallmark Channel. But I had my knitting, so I wasn't focusing too much on the formula plotline and trite dialogue.
I know better than to commit to any program while watching with Dirtman. True to form, five minutes later we're watching Pushing Tin on a half screen. I've now hit the sneezing, hacking, wheezing and moaning portion of the flu. The King and I flashes briefly on the screen -- obviously an error since Dirtman hates all musicals except Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and 1776 -- and I'm fading fast. Back to Hallmark where women are weeping and violins are screeching.
It's 9:30 p.m.
I put down the knitting and get up. "I'm done."
"Goin' to bed?" He sounds relieved. I can't blame him. I was probably drowning out the TV.
And so it goes, my friends. We're a wild bunch here at Linguini on the Ceiling.