Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. So I asked my wife, Becky, “What do you want to do for Valentine’s Day?” There were a couple of movies we hadn’t seen; perhaps she wanted to see one. “Nah,” she replied. “I’d rather stay home and binge watch ‘Virgin River’ (a new Netflix series we’d begun watching two days ago).”
“Okay, then how about going out for dinner? Maybe Red Bowl? (a local Chinese restaurant that we’ve become fond of).”
Becky shrugged her shoulders noncommittedly. No encouragement there.
I was at a loss. We’ve always celebrated the “obligatory” holiday by doing something—usually dinner out and a movie. Either one or both had almost always been part of the plan. But, alas, those two options were not viable this year. As I wracked my brain in an effort to find a solution, Becky saved the day. “How about getting some of those crab legs we like? You know the ones. We haven’t done that in ages.”
“You mean snow crabs legs?” I replied. “Yeah, we could do that, I guess.” (We had made a kind of tradition out of enjoying the scrumptious crustaceans for a number of Valentine’s Days in the past, but hadn’t done it in quite a while.) I perked up a bit at the thought.
“Okay, and I can make a cucumber, tomato, and onion salad. Yeah, that’ll work.” My mouth immediately began to water in anticipation of the culinary festival taking shape. Earlier in the day, Becky had given me my Valentine’s Day “gift” of chocolate covered cherries and chocolate truffles. I knew we had some nice strawberries in the fridge, along with a can of whipped cream, so dessert was already in place. (I had also given Becky a card earlier in the day, thinking dinner out and possibly a movie would be my little “gift”.)
“I’ll pick up some on the way home from the gym,” I offered, as I headed out the door, visions of the succulent Alaskan shellfish dancing in my head. Things were definitely looking up.
After my mandatory workout, I stopped at the local Harris Teeter and secured the crab. “Look what came with the crab legs,” I said with a sly smile, upon my return. I held up a bag of Pepperidge Farm chocolate chip and toffee cookies. Becky beamed broadly in response. We have shared a love of food for nearly 39 years, and the evening’s plans would be testimony to our mutual weakness.
Around midnight, long after we had devoured the crab, salad, strawberries, chocolate, and the final three episodes of the first season of “Virgin River,” we reflected upon the evening’s festivities. “You know,” said Becky, “Isn’t it funny how sometimes the simplest things are also the best?”
I smiled and nodded my head. “I couldn’t agree more,” I sighed. “I can hardly wait for next year.”
“Me either,” said Becky. Then, suddenly she frowned. “I just don’t know if I can wait to find out whether Jack and Mel will work things out or not . . . “
I shrugged my shoulders, gave her a kiss, and turned out the light. “Goodnight, Dear. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”