BY ERIN ARCHERD
In an odd twist of fate, or perhaps due to my general lack of social skills and temperamental tendencies, I have never been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day. That is, until this year. And I am stumped.
Sure, we’ve talked about what we’re going to do and how we aren’t going to make any big plans for the day. I’ve mentioned that roses are a bit trite and that if I receive them on any days other than obvious occasions my suspicious nature will lead me to think that something shady is happening. My Significant Other (SO) doesn’t like chocolate. (I had heard that there were those people out there in the world, but I never truly believed it until SO didn’t want to go to Burdick Chocolates, possibly my favorite place in Harvard Square.) The two traditional forms of Valentine’s Day expression precluded, what are we going to do?
Since neither of us wants to blow through our weekly food budget in one sitting for a canned V-day dinner at Westside Lounge, Upstairs on the Square, or any of the other restaurants that send me advertising emails – yes, I am on several restaurants’ email lists due to my spendthrift 1L “I can totally justify this meal since I don’t have a kitchen” days – we seem to have decided that we’ll have a nice, quiet dinner at home. This dinner will probably be prepared by SO because the probability of it being edible will increase geometrically if I am not doing the cooking.
Unfortunately, I am a vegetarian, and I don’t like pasta with red sauce, so we’re not left with much by way of dishes we know how to make. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a steak and cooking it up as a gesture of good will. However, I have not touched a steak in over a decade and I give myself 60/40 odds of burning it to a crisp. Maybe I could get two steaks and have a dry run the night before with a friend to come sample it and make sure it’s cooked properly.
You’re probably feeling pretty sorry for SO right about now. That’s why I’m not naming names. SO is, however, earning beaucoup karma points for putting up with me on a daily basis.
My latest thought is to grab a case of beer of the classy, micro-brewed variety, and order a couple of pizzas. A carton of ice cream will top off the meal. I could even buy root beer and make root beer floats. SO generally doesn’t drink soda, but an exception might be made for soda with ice cream in it. Pizza and beer would be accompanied by a rousing evening of non-chick-flicks, such as Fight Club, Gladiator, and the Matrix. Now that I think about it, all three of those movies have love story elements. What’s more romantic than holding your lover’s hand while blood oozes out of his gaping neck wound and he blows-up the entire city? I can’t top that.
I could, of course, be classy. I’m a law student. I used to be a well-read, literate sort of person. I even looked at poetry from time to time. There could be a blazing fire, assuming I figure out how to open the flue, a bottle of red wine, and an evening spent reading poetry aloud. But, I’ll be honest, most love poems fall into two categories in my mind: saccharine or depressing (see below for an example of saccharine). I don’t like to be reminded, at least when I’m in a relationship, that the world is a dark and frightening place and that the best most people can do is cling to each other and hope that life is kinder to them than it is to most poor saps out there. That was the message one takes away from Fight Club too, I suppose, but all the explosions soften its effect.
Other ideas that have already been ruled out: bowling, ice-skating, board games, and vials filled with each other’s blood. The reciprocal body piercing option is still open. (Just kidding, Mom.) The more I think about it, the better the pizza and beer option starts to look.
I had thought about writing on the idea of consideration. I got scared after a quick Google search led me to a link about dolphins and the men who love them. I’ll leave that whole discussion then to the keener legal minds among us.
I’m not above cheesy. I will gladly accept the flowers and chocolates should they be offered to me. If SO doesn’t break up with me in the next week after reading this column, I’ve already come out ahead.
If SO is reading this column, Erin would like to say, “Rose are red. Violets are blue. Puppies are cute, and so are you!” If anyone has suggestions for non-traditional V-day activities, please send them to Erin at earcherd@law.