VALENTINE’S DAY INVASION
Neither Polar Vortex, Sochi Olympics or NY Fashion Week can stop it, so it’s coming whether you like it or not and this year it coincides with the Presidents Day weekend, which means an extra day to make the magic last. But that’s assuming that you’ll be making magic at all this weekend and not making regrettable, clumsy mistakes; which begs the question: Are you ready for Valentine’s Day?
I know, I know you’re still paying off the Target card for the myriad of sweaters, juicers, cutlery sets, lamps and bric a brac you showered on loved ones for Christmas, but that was so last year and besides, it’s no other upcoming holidays on the calendar that’s going to tax your bank account.
Easter isn’t til the Spring and that’s a mostly religious day which doesn’t entail much consumerism outside of those ill-fitting suits and Stacey Adam hard bottoms that kids are still paraded around in at church, while the top-secret National Beyonce Day (Bey Day), which is rumored to be slated for late March, hasn’t moved past the discussion stages with Mrs. Obama and Mrs Carter; at least that’s what my “mole” on the “inside” says (wink wink).
In an effort to reset your Valentine’s Day thinking, perhaps we should begin by clarifying it in your head. The American calendar calls Valentine’s day an observation and not a holiday, because holiday is too strong a word, like calling Beiber ’bout it or Kanye genius, though there is actual history of two Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine.
In fact, St. Valentine the martyr is celebrated in various Christian denominations on February 14th and marked with the custom of writing Valentine’s Letters to loved ones, though for the most part, it’s nothing major.
To the validation of the vast conspiracy theory camp, it actually was the greeting card companies that morphed a very minor observation marked with “love letters” and turned it into the monster we now know. Ignore it you might try, but like an ex-girlfriend at an art opening, you will definitely catch it out the corner of your eye.
Stop into Rite Aide for discount snacks, Altoids or lip balm and it’s everywhere with the store literally swathed in red candy boxes and Teddy Bears. Turn on the tele and companies are plying you with guilt, shame, pride and prestige to get you through their doors or at least calling their toll-free number to order right now.
With or without general ambivalence to February 14th, so many variables makes Valentine’s day completely difficult to navigate that it can become uncomfortable just thinking about it
One thing that can be completely out of whack is expectations. The chasm between two people’s Valentine’s Day expectations can be wider than an old pimps hat or even wider than the stinky Gowanus canal. It should be a two-way celebration of love & affection, yet one of the reasons that some men have ambivalence towards Valentine’s Day is that it’s been designated a day to spend money on women without reciprocity and that can leave dudes steaming. This is especially true if what a gal wants is not commensurate with either a man’s pockets or his feelings.
Just because you feel like being treated to wine and dinner at the Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare for Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean that feeling is mutual.
Dinner for two at the two michelin starred restaurant on Schermerhorn Street is an easy $700 with wine and tip, so before you start making uncomfortable suggestions about high priced dinners, you should understand that not all of your suggestions will get green lighted. Not saying it should be Olive Garden either, especially since dinning at Atlantic Center has to be as anti-romantic as it gets, but don’t be a monster about it.
Dining is often about the experience, A candlelit diner at Locanda Vini E Olii is a real situation, because when the lights go down and the candles start to shimmer, it turns Gates Avenue into the sexiest street in Clinton Hills, which might be a bit too romantic if he doesn’t really feel that way about you. And if you’re going to eat, don’t do anything saucy.
Keep it confined to foods that stay in your mouth, cause on VDay, it’s even more important to say it and not spray it. Additionally, avoid anything creamy, cause you don’t wanna format a bubble in your guts while y’all out dropping and twerking (hashtagTeamTwerk) at that new lounge your cousin’s friend manages, nor do you want to blow up the bathroom to a degree where the manager inquires about your health.
KEEP IT ONE HUNDRED
A key component to having an enjoyable Valentine’s Day is to keep things One Hundred with yourself and this is not only aimed at women but also, squarely at men. If you’re thinking of taking her out and doing something super romantic, you have to ask yourself what’s the real status of the relationship.
If you only see her inside her apartment, after the sun goes down, you might want to rethink any sort of a romantic night out in plain view, especially if the last time y’all ran into each other in public, she introduced you as her little cousin. Unless you’re actually cousins, in which case stop reading now, because my ruminations and your Hillbilly ways probably won’t see eye to eye and I can never sound more sage than advice from your uncle-boo.
Personally speaking, I’ve had a few occasions where what I thought about a relationship and what a lady thought about the very same relationship, were completely different.
It’s easy to have simple miscommunication throw everything offsides like Peyton Manning screaming Omaha at the line of scrimmage and that miscommunication can easily lead to awkward moments on any given Friday…but on Valentine’s Day it can be downright embarrassing.
Should you get candy or maybe some jewelry from Zales, that according to many reviews I read online, will fall apart before the weather warms up. Besides, are you really a fan of buying jewelry at a shopping center and more importantly, is your girl the type that likes to stunt on her friends by showing off the latest and best from shoes to bags?
If so, do not go to Zales because you might get mushed when you pull out the box. Maybe a charm bracelet that says something nice. Maybe not love, but nice. Perhaps get it from Jared’s, which, according to the commercial, your girlfriend will actually enjoy that you got it from there.
Victoria’s Secrets is always an option, but it’s something about the Limited Brand always sounds cheesy and to top it off, the angels don’t come with the garments. Agent Provocateur is sexy and kinda dirty and hot, like being drunk on a kitchen floor hot, yet it’s extremely pricey for clothing designed to be the least amount of clothing possible.
If your relationship is on the rocks, DO NOT buy her lingerie my friend, because as soon as the cuffing season is over, Guess what? She’ll be oiled up and prancing around like Rihanna, while doing things you could never get her to do, for some other guy, in your Vday gift.
Do you actually have a girlfriend, because again, definitions can be slippery, but February 14th is not the day to clear them up. Does your girlfriend like flowers and if she does, do you know her favorite flowers? You like receiving flowers?
If yes, then some minor investigation could be in order to avoid you both buying flowers for each other, especially if you live together, because within a week it’s more dead horticulture around your house than you can shake a stick at and it will smell like the foyer of Robert Verdi’s apartment when he returns from holiday.
Are you actually on a date, cause again, definitions can get out of whack and you should definitely keep it One Hundred with yourself at all times. Don’t try to tumble a friendship dinner into a Valentine’s Day romantic dinner on the fly, without notifying the other party, because sitting across from a dinner table on Valentine’s Day does not naturally constitute a date.
Wine is always a good choice for a Valentine’s Day dinner, but too much booze and spirits can be a bad sign, like you need outside influence to get the mood right. Like candles, incense and mutual desire ain’t enough. Besides, studies say we all drink too much anyways.
A nation of drunks and texters and drunk texting. If you fall out with your paramour or whatever the modern term is for the person that won’t call you back because they’re with their number one, don’t make it messy. They have a number one and it is not you, so do not text with a half filled bottle of rose or Jack Daniels between your legs, while you’re sitting on the toilet making number two.
Put the phone away. Lock it in the closet you never go in with all the exercise equipment and those multi-level marketing DVDs and just forget about it, especially if you had a dinner date and it was cancelled last minute because they’re with their girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife. You chose this life of disappointment and letdown. You don’t like it? Tough titty, find somebody single to shag.
Bowling can be fun, but what if you both suck! That’s like trying to make gnocchi and it comes out like mini mushy dumplings, which, thankfully, makes a lovely segue to cooking, which is always a good idea for VDay. Celebrity chefs are just running wild, with a recent, completely made-up report, citing that celebrity chefs out number lawyers and rappers combined in New York City, while wanton gluttony has now been given way to a much kinder term: foodie.
The foodie/chef craze means that it’s a balls to bones chance your significant other fancies themselves either a foodie or chef, but please be considerate of the other person when it comes to home cooked, romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day.
Nothing ruins a romantic moment like dead, charred bodies strewn about from a fire you started in the kitchen and if cooking at home isn’t really for romantic reasons but mostly an opportunity to keep more bread in your pocket, it’s probably going to backfire on you.
Barilla pasta and some red sauce on nice China and a pack of votive candles from the 99 cent store doesn’t have a romantic ring. If you balance it out with a few bottles of exquisite Barolos, that could be pretty awesome and romantic in a kooky sense. But be warned, it’s verrryyy difficult to pull-off kooky, with most people appearing as if they’re trying to be kooky.
Perhaps a surprise get away, a jaunt up the coast in a big, classic Land Rover, the kind with just a little bit of rust around the exterior but with an interior that’s been remodeled. Pull over to the side when it’s most scenic and lean in for a kiss. Not a crazy wet one, but a semi-closed mouth, looking forward to the weekend smooch. Bringing a camera? Not the one on your phone, that’s a camera phone.
A digi SLR or maybe a really dope 4 x 5 that takes film. That would be amazing and yield incredible memories. But remember, a romantic weekend will be just the two of you, so you’ll have to be prepared for extended periods of just each other. If the extent of his conversation is movies, music and the sports and in those categories, she leans towards rom-coms, Taylor Swift and figure skating, it could turn into a really long weekend.
Either way, it’s here and it’s nothing you can do. It brings up age old, existential dilemmas about Valentine’s Day celebrations like, Should you Instagram? Is it Instagram worthy? What if nobody likes the Instagram you guys took, what if you get no hearts, does that make the whole thing invalid?
Did the date actually happen if you don’t Twitter the appetizers?
Good luck out there and may Cupid be with you.