Monday, February 14, 2011

Un-Valentine's Day

Siobhan and Jonathan celebrating our engagement
with some kind of crazy Turkish cocktail in 2005.

Do you love to celebrate Valentine's Day? I don't. If you've been following my February posts, which have been loosely heart/V-Day themed, you might remember that the only heart decorations in our house are the ones I made a couple of weeks ago. My "bah humbug" attitude extends beyond home decor, however, and into the entire realm of this holiday. Let me tell you why.

Have you been watching TV sitcoms this week? They've all been about Valentine's Day, or more specifically, romantically inspired plans going all wrong? In a sitcom, when it's happening to someone else, and everything is resolved in 23 minutes, the whole thing is really funny. When it's your life, and some things are never resolved, not so funny!

When Jonathan and I started dating, we took Valentine's Day very seriously (maybe because we were both so thrilled to finally be able to celebrate the over-hyped holiday). For a couple of years, we went out to expensive, "romantic" restaurants, usually Italian, which were overcrowded and had special (read: more expensive) menus just for the occasion. If we weren't really poor students without jobs, this might not have been such a big deal. As it was, Valentine's Day became not only a financial hardship, but really quite a lot of pressure.

Our visit to Ephesus.

After one especially memorable dinner at a fashionable Italian restaurant, where they sat us by the door and refused to offer us another table even after we asked (cold), and the waiter did not approve of our choice to abstain from wine (colder), we decided to eat in the next year. That was nice, but still a lot of work.

So from then on, we have purposely NOT celebrated Valentine's Day. Sometimes, Jonathan comes home with a nice card, which I feel guilty about because I don't have one for him. This year, we decided that since the Halloween candy is finally gone, we will celebrate V-Day on the 15th with some discount candy.

We did, however, go out to dinner last night. This had nothing to do with February 14th, except for coincidence. Rather, it was to celebrate our wedding anniversary, which is in November. Yeah, you read that right. But we were married on Thanksgiving weekend, and turkey does not make for a very good anniversary dinner. So we decided to celebrate our anniversary on the day we got engaged, which is sometime in January. It suddenly occurred to us that January was gone, so we finally made it out last night, for what was a very romantic anniversary dinner, which just happened to be on Valentine's weekend.

Eating some really good Turkish food, name unknown, which was one of the highlights of the trip for me. (Yeah, I'm that much of a foodie that cheese bread trumps ancient ruins and being proposed to.)

Since Jonathan proposed to me in Ephesus, we went to a Turkish restaurant, which had no pre-Valentine's Day crowd, wonderful food, and pictures on the wall of places we remembered visiting on our trip. It also cost less than $30. No accordion player, no wine, no pink cards. Instead, we had shish kabobs, baklava, and Turkish tea in those wonderful little clear glasses. And we had a wonderful time!


  1. Siobhan, I love reading your posts and seeing how y'all are doing. You are too funny! Happy UN-Valentine's Day and happy UN-Anniversary. ;) -Tracey H.

  2. Al and I rarely get those special days right, either. Yesterday I proudly produced the card I had bought for V-Day...perfect sentiment, I thought. But when he laughed out loud I reread the card. I had picked up a wedding anniversary card. Wouldn't have been such a big laugh except I had just given him a birthday card on January 21st that was actually a V-day card. Sentiment was right, though.

  3. Pat, that is too funny! I admire you for buying cards at all...I'm afraid I'm a total slacker about it (but Jonathan is quite good.)


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