Commercial Love


Here’s a topic for you…

Valentine’s Day.

Where you sit with this holiday?  It’s not as controversial as, let’s say, Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.  I will say, though, that it sparks more discussion in the hallway outside of my office door than the politically fueled controversial holidays.

I’ve always enjoyed it.  I loved making a mailbox from a shoebox in elementary school… carefully wrapping it in foil, adhering construction paper hearts in all shades of red, pink, purple and white to the outside.  It was the one day a year that EVERYONE in class received a little extra love.  Popular kids, nerdy kids (raises hand), kids with bad hair cuts (raises hand again), teachers pets (raises hand), athletes (laughs)… everyone.

As I grew older, the prospect of letting a crush know I liked them provided a thrill… or even better, that crush letting me know they liked me on Valentine’s day would provide enough fuel to get by at least until the next crush came along.  This usually happened with a valentine being slipped through the vent of a hallway locker, to be found in the rush between classes.

Okay – I have to be honest.  This NEVER happened to me.  My mom said it was because I was intimidating to boys.  It’s probably because I was a bossy knowitall in Jr. High.  Either way, lame.

Then in HS, you might luck out with a boyfriend that would take you to Olive Garden (so fancy back in the late 90s Dallas suburb) or if you didn’t have a boyfriend, you and your girlfriends would have some kind of mushy movie watching party or some kind of gathering where one of your friends would go on and on and on for hours about how their crush was out with some flute player who wasn’t worth their time.

Then in college, Olive Garden turned into something a bit nicer or the mushy movie parties turned into something a bit more adult perhaps with bottles of cheap wine someone’s older sibling procured until you were old enough to get your own cheap wine, or Smirnoff Ice (what were we thinking in 2002?)

In any case, I’ve always enjoyed a fake holiday intended to shower those you love with… well… love.

My favorite guy and I have always celebrated it in one way or another.  Flowers, a balloon, cards, a fancy/favorite dinner at home.  We’ve never really been the type to make reservations and brave the dining crowd on 2/14…

until last night.

This past year has brought about many things, one of the more delightful being our discovery of Tusk.  It’s quite possibly one of my top 5 favorite restaurants – joining it on that list are Ox, The Shady Grove, Husk and Pesto Cafe (no website, how charming).  When I found out they were doing a prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day, nothing would keep me from going… not even late night reservations being our only option.

We suited up… guzzled 6 shots of espresso (8 if you’re name is Rocky) and headed out for a 9:15pm reservation.

The dinner was nothing short of amazing.  We were full before the main course made it out – which is okay because it was sturgeon and we both decided we don’t love sturgeon (no offense to the chef, because it was the most beautiful plate of fish I’ve seen in quite some time).  We dined on various finger foods and salads and glasses of wine.  We people watched, and commented on said people, because it is Portland after all.  If people watching is your thing, this city has your number.

It was a night for the books.

So are we the get dressed up and go out types for all Valentine’s Days moving forward?  I can safely say “no”.  It was fun, but putting on your best pajama pants and saddling up to a big bowl of homemade pasta is equally fun and romantic.  It does add a nice new memory to our repertoire though and that is one of my goals in 2019 – build those memories.  Enjoy the experiences.  Live life.

So, where do you sit with this holiday?  Love it?  Hate it?  Hopeless romantic or are you over it?





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