Every passing year I get more cynical about Valentine’s Day. Maybe it has something to do with growing up? Or with being middle aged? I believe I see the world more clearly as I get older, that I am becoming wiser, but who knows?
I’ve been married for 10+ years and I’ve had kids for 8+ years. We’ve been through 11 Valentine Days already. We’ve done the chocolates, flowers, dinners, candles, cards, gifts, etc before. It’s not that exciting, not to mention surprising, any more.
In those passing years we’ve had our ups and downs in our relationship—it’s not all rosy, you know. Adding kids to the equation means less romance and couplehood time. I learned to fantasize less and get more efficient and realistic.
And the cynicism? The heart-shaped balloons, the roses, the chocolates, the cards in every corner in every store around Valentine’s Day… C’mon… Who are we kidding here? They all make me feel like there’s a Perfect Valentine’s Day recipe I’m supposed to follow, or more frightening, a hidden social law I’m supposed to obey… I’m too old for this. (Or am I a middle-aged rebel? Hmm.)
But the other day I went grocery shopping—how mundane and boring—and with all that REDNESS around me, the strawberries (“Not in season”, I took note) looked particularly red and when I sniffed them suspiciously they smelled sweet (“What were they injected with?”, I thought) so I decided maybe it’s time to dust off the fondue pot which I’ve never used (We got it as a gift about 10 years ago) and spoil my family with strawberries dipped in chocolate, and why not throw a cake in it too?
So I baked a cake—a vanilla-chocolate marble cake with chocolate chips and cocoa nibs (for crunch), to be exact
And I baked gorgeous carrot-zucchini tartlets from my newest cookbook for dinner (More about those in the next post)
(No, I did not expect the kids to eat them)
And I started to get a bit excited about V Day. So I packed 2 slices of the warm cake for the kiddies to surprise them when picking them up from school.
“Happy Valentine’s Day”, I chirped and handed the cake to my son.
“It tastes like chips”, he decided.
“You mean, potato chips?”
“Yes. But I love chips, so that’s good.”
Next, the little one.
She got in the car with an attitude that had nothing to do with me or her brother. I handed her the cake.
“Here you go, a little sur-priiiise for youuuuu. Happy Valentine’s Day!”, I sang.
“It doesn’t taste good”, she declared without even opening the box!
The evening did not progress so well either with continuous bickering between brother and sister. “Can’t you stop fighting and teasing each other? It’s VALENTINE’S DAY TODAY!”, I yelled.
And then I found a few lil’ things to be mad at my husband as well and the two wine glasses (I poured the more expensive stuff for V Day night) were left untouched.
Well, I did have one glass to drink before and filled mine for a second round >>> This is the fine line between enjoying wine and turning into an alcoholic, I thought. It’s the mood you are in when you are drinking!!! A fine line, I tell ya.
So, now what ?
I’m back to being as cynical about Valentine’s Day as I was on Monday, 2/13/2012 pre 3 PM.
This is reality. Well, my reality at least.
There is no happy ending to this little story. That’s reality, folks.
But I will tell you more about those tartlets soon–I promise—so you can’t say that I am not an optimist! After all, tomorrow, there is another day.
Oh, wait, I think someone used that line before…
Oh, well, let them eat cake.