Last night we were watching the news and they said something about the 17+ inches of snow we got on Valentine's Day a few years back--2007, I think. We spent that evening shoveling our driveway, which was exhausting, and ended up at the closest decent restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, for what I would consider to be one of my top ten meals ever. Mind you, that list is also populated by McDonald's, Sbarro, and hospital food, so it's clear it's less about the quality of the meal and more about how desperately I wanted it. That meal was awesome, but man, were we ever tired! Upon getting that reminder of that Valentine's Day, I said to Craig, "Man, we've had some crappy Valentine's Days."
We had one (possibly when I was pregnant) where the restaurant we tried to go to had more than a two-hour wait...though after a few tense, hungry moments, we ended up going to a little place in the city and eating right away. Last year we invited Lori out with us, which was a fun change of pace, but we had trouble finding somewhere without a long wait and Jacob ended up being a royal pain the whole time we were there. When Jacob was one we went to Strong Museum of Play, and Jacob was brutal. I'm pretty sure we had a Valentine's Day or two where we had to work. In recent memory the best one was when Jacob was eight months old and we got to go to dinner and a concert. But other than that, we've struggled.
Ultimately it's not a big deal. Valentine's Day isn't exactly the most vital holiday, so while there are expectations that it should be better than a normal day, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. I think it's silly to spend a lot of money on a present for that kind of holiday, though if I saw something perfect it would be a nice excuse. But jewelry's too fancy, flowers die, and chocolate is fattening. Restaurants are crazy busy, and setting up a babysitter and all that is sometimes not even worth the work. And at the end of a busy work day, it's all a bit much.
This year I decided to just keep things simple and suggested we just pick up Chinese food and get a movie. I love Chinese food, Craig loves movies, and we had a couple little gifts for Jacob to enjoy, too. Well, we did the movie and Chinese food, but everything else just sort of stunk. I had a rough day at work, and Craig had a REALLY rough day at work. His rough day actually started Monday morning when he woke up in Minnesota to the news that five Knighthawks had been arrested after getting in a brawl at a restaurant after their game on Sunday. While they surely weren't completely innocent, some had pretty nasty injuries and only two other people out of 30 participants in the brawl were arrested, so there's clearly more to the story. Craig has spent the last few days managing the message, answering calls, and tracking down leads on places where the story is being reported. It's been awful. And as a result, he spent much of last night on his phone with co-workers and the media, and tracking down YouTube video of the fight. In addition, Jacob was pretty awful at daycare pickup--he wouldn't clean up and wouldn't listen at all...even when I threatened to withhold his Valentine's Day gifts. So...no gifts for him. The Legos would have to wait another day.
Anyway, the Chinese food was delicious, the movie was good (we rented "Moneyball"), and we did our best to make the most of the day. But the work stresses and Jacob's behavior sort of killed it before it had a chance. Again, it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things...but maybe a bad day on Valentine's Day has a way of seeming a little worse than it should. Perhaps that's as ridiculous as the holiday itself...or maybe having higher hopes for one special day isn't too much to ask. There's always next year...