On Dining Out on V-Day

Friday, February 13, 2009

Even when I was in a relationship I was never a big Valentine's Day person. I mean, I would get my loved one a card or some nice chocolate, but I did my best to show I cared throughout the year and not just on February 14th. Furthermore, we never went out to a restaurant because, honestly, the menus usually suck.

V-Day menus usually have to cater to certain ideal menus of romance such as fondue and oysters and so on. It's cookie cutter and usually not something the kitchen staff are practiced at since it's a one time thing. Furthermore, the restaurants are trying to pump you out as fast as possible. Take into consideration that each waiter has more tables than usual due to every single station being a two-top, well, it's just not fun for anyone.

My roommate suggested we do anti-V-Day and go out to a restaurant the day before. I advised her no, we should not. Why?

Cheaters. You see, any restaurant owner, waiter, and chef can tell you that the day before V-Day is as busy as V-Day itself. This is due to everyone taking out their mistresses, hidden boyfriends, secret same-sex partners, dates they don't want to be seen with, on the sly hookups with dinner perks, and so on. It's a night on the down-low with a side of strange romance. Love is in the air. Or something like that.

A friend of mine in college once told me of a lady who came in the day before V-Day with what he thought was her husband. A night in early to avoid the rush and say their "I love you"'s. All very sweet. The next night in, V-Day proper, she arrived with her lesbian partner. The one she apparently was also celebrating a 5 year anniversary with. Her partner even called ahead and asked my waiter friend to hide plane tickets for a romantic vacation to Europe in the skeaze's napkin.

This, folks, is a prime example of what we call a No Good Douchebag.

This was just one instance. Apparently many people come to the exact same place, two days in a row, and bring in their secret sex partners and their out in the open partners. Now, this seems stupid to me. Sooner or later, won't their be a hostess with a big mouth and a heartbroken past who'll say something? A waiter who was once betrayed? Given, it might not be their business, but really cheaters... REALLY? How smart is this?

Of course, then you get those tables where people can't just wait to get home to get it on. No, they have to do it at the table. You know, those couples intent on finding out what the deep reaches of their date's esophagus tastes like. Or the couple where there's just a queer and animalistic stare that could start a fireplace seething between the two and you realize someones arm is moving just a bit to dexterously beneath the table, shielded by the table cloth. Yeah, so much fun to be seated next to that. I'm sorry but I can't help but stare. It's like free soft-core HBO porn, but more awkward and 10-1 you had to pay for the wine rather than drink whatever plonk you have at home.

Then the table of people arguing. The last V-Day. Habitual tradition of dinner out even though the breakup is around the corner. Either through angry silence, harsh whispers that aren't all that quiet, or down and out arguments it's just not a fun space to be next to. Still, dinner and a show!

The last few examples of course, apply to V-Day Proper as well. If you go out be prepared for the freaks. They're out there.

Anywhose, my advice? Show real romance and cook at home. Save the dinners out for some spontaneous Tuesday night for your loved one. It'll be more romantic, more exciting, and probably get you laid afterwards.


  1. Wow, people are more skeezy than I'd even imagined. I hate valentine's day. I have for many years, and it's not out of bitterness but because I think it's sad to dedicate one day a year to showing your love and doing it through stuff, rather than actual romance. We always eat in that night, as the restaurants are overpriced and overbooked!

  2. Our Beef Wellington dinner at the Elks Lodge (hey- we were paying the $95 because it was a relative & they needed our support of their lodge)was canceled due to lack of people willing to pay the price (can you blame them?) so....we are cooking lobster tails at home. We are MUCH happier with this turn of events for all the reasons you stated!
    Suzanne McC.

  3. I plan on avoiding restaurants tomorrow night - my hubby is making me dinner.

    Jen has the right idea there!

    Garrett your post made me giggle today because I've totally seen some of those sleezy hookups and cheaters before. Is there a 'cheater' archetype or something?

  4. Here, Here. Cooking at home is the way to go. Why make a reservation to only have to wait an hour anyway.

  5. Agreed. I'm cooking at home for the second year in a row. It's much more enjoyable and the wine is 1/4 of the price.

  6. Hi Garrett,

    I never thought of the whole mistress thing. I guess that makes sense, though.

    I talked a bit about the idea of going out the day after V-Day, since February 15th is Lupercalia, the Pagan holiday where Valentines Day got it roots, on my blog post about an
    aphrodisiac infused Valentines Day picnic at home
    , should you be interested.

    Happy Valentines Day!!

  7. totally agree...and I love your writing. keep on..keep on..and happy v-day!

  8. This doesn't surprise me. I once delivered a speech about the "myth of monogamy." Essentially, people are filthy, lying, cheating pieces of pond scum.

    I suppose that's what makes us most interesting. Life would be a complete bore without our soap opera lifestyles.

    I agree that people should show their love in various ways throughout the entire year instead of saving it for one silly hallmark-infested holiday.

    However, in the true spirit of V-Day, I must say that I love your blog.

  9. not to mention that I've read sites and blogs that going out to eat on holidays like Valentine's is not recommended--it's crowded, people tend to be a little more high-strung, and places with a special holiday menu often fail to hit the mark because the food is prepped or cooked too far in advance.

  10. We actually went out the 13th with our kids for a family night. We had fun. And it's an anniversary for us, not our wedding, but when DH asked me out.

    It was pretty crazy out there.

    Usually V-day means cooking Cornish game hens, chilled strawberry soup, stuffed mushrooms, and the rest for dinner. The youngest pleaded for spaghetti and our day was insane, so the fancy meal is happening tomorrow night.

    It's sad about the cheaters, but in defense of those of us in long-term relationships, we aren't all cheaters! Monogamy can work if you're willing to put as much energy into the relationship as you did into the original courtship and seduction.

  11. i don't like valentine's day either (you must read on my blog what my sis and i call it),but surprisingly i had a great time yesterday. i won't let this one time get my hopes up for future years.

  12. Yes! This is a beautiful summary of every Valentine's Day I ever waitressed through!
    The only thing missing is the couples who walk in expecting to be able to get a table with no reservations, and end up yelling at (or attempting to bribe) the Maitre'd.
    Fun times!

  13. This year the BF and I completely boycotted V day. First of all, I feel bad for all of the fellas out there. Every commercial you see this time of year is some diamond business telling us girls that unless our BFs buy us huge diamond earrings, bracelets, engagement rings, etc... AND find a creative and romantic way to deliver them... then we are not loved. What pressure!

    Secondly, I can cook a restaurant quality meal at home, and in fact do so nightly. So why would we make a reservation, go to an overcrowded restaurant, and pay way too much money for mediocre food? Oh, right. We wouldn't.

    So this year was our first annual Valentine's day boycott. We had bacon-wrapped steak, and a spinach salad with toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries, and rasberry vinaigrette. We hunkered down with a DVD, and didn't spend a dime on cards, gifts, or stuffed animals-holding-hearts that just collect dust afterwards. Ahhh, love.



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