Hey everyone! Happy belated Valentine’s Day!! (In related news, here is your suggested listening for this post: No Scrubs-TLC)
I’m going to give you another empty apology for not keeping up with the blog. I’m the worst, but we all know that by now.
Anyway, in light of the recent(ish) holiday I’m going to tell you about the best Valentine’s Day I ever had.
So let me start off by saying that I don’t like Valentine’s Day. Never have. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not a fan of the Valentine’s holiday scene. I’ve never been a girl who liked hearts and that’s a lot of what V-Day is about. But I do love candy. Heart-shaped candy is still delicious, even if I don’t like hearts.
Ok, so we’ve established that I don’t like Valentine’s Day. Let’s add another layer of shittiness to this story. My favorite Valentine’s Day was a year ago, about a week and a half after my breakup.
(FYI, there WILL be a one year post-breakup post coming to you soon.)
So yeah, a holiday I hate mixed with recent, major heartbreak. Not quite the recipe for a great night.
At that time I just had moved across the country, back to my home state and I was living with my brother and sister-in-law. Goddamn, are they amazing people. I am so fucking lucky to have them in my life.
I didn’t want to ruin their romantic day with all my moping so I told them to go out and have a fun night and that I’d be completely fine by myself. My game plan was to eat some junk food, watch some movies on Netflix, and snuggle with their dog. I was completely fine with doing that, but my brother had much different plans.
He firmly told me, no, that’s not what’s going to happen. He then told me that the three of us were going to go to an Indian restaurant they’d been wanting to try and had previously told me about. Again, I assured him that I was fine and that I’d feel worse if I ruined their night. He kindly but firmly told me no. He said that they usually don’t do anything for Valentine’s Day and that they wanted to go to dinner with me. That was the end of the discussion. No negations. He said that’s what we were going to do, and so that’s what was going to happen. So that’s what we did.
We went to this adorable little Pakistani and Indian fusion restaurant.
Of course on Valentine’s Day it was decorated with hearts and shit, there was mood lighting, and most of the tables were set up as couple’s tables. Makes sense, but it didn’t make me any more excited about my current relationship status.
However, as soon as we got inside my mood drastically changed. My brother was insistently acting like it was just any other day and the three of us were simply out to a yummy dinner, ignoring all signs that there might be some other possible reason that all these people we dressed up and looking at each other romantically.
In addition to my brother’s nonchalant attitude about the holiday, my mood was also lifted by the delicious smells coming out of the kitchen of this cozy restaurant along with the cheery, kindness of the wait staff. At multiple points throughout the meal the owner came over to check on how we were doing and to genuinely ask us what we thought of the food.
The restaurant has a Valentine’s Day special menu item the waiter and later the owner described to us, that they only serve that special dish once a year. On Valentine’s Day. Again, my brother acted nonplussed and asked my SIL and me what we were thinking or ordering. I obviously wasn’t going to give V-Day the satisfaction of ordering the super special amazing dish. Call me petty, I might be. But I’m also picky, and I didn’t like most of what came with the meal. Anyway, I had already found one of my very favorite Indian dish on the menu- Masala Paneer.
We ordered. We got a sampler app with samosas, pakoras, and all kinds of other deliciousness. I got the paneer dish, my sister got a vegetarian curry dish, and my brother ordered the special. He just said “I’ll take the special.” Not “I’ll take the Valentine’s Day special.” Or “I’ll take the motherfucking heart holiday super special one-in-a-lifetime amazing dish.” Just, “the special.”
Throughout the meal we had a great time. Amazing food. Great conversation. Normal conversation. And so much laughter. We all have ridiculous senses of humor and just play off each other, a great combination for laughing too much over stupid shit. It was perfect. I’d been living in another state hours and hours away from family for a couple years and hadn’t gotten to see my brother and SIL as often as I’d liked, so this night of delicious food and talking and laughing was amazing and just want I needed on my first Valentine’s Day without a Valentine.
And the food. Ohhhh the food. My god, it was amazing. Savory and rich, creamy and perfectly spiced. It was so delicious. And obviously we ate too much. I mean, is it humanly possible to stop yourself from eating too much Indian food? I didn’t think so. Well, not for me at least.
After we had stuffed ourselves to the bursting point, the adorable owner came over again and asked us if we wanted dessert. No, obviously right? I’m about to explode. But then he described the inspiration for the dessert. You see, he had recently travelled to Italy for a vacation and loved recreating desserts from his travels in his restaurant. He told us the story of how he had eaten dozens of this dish in different little restaurants and cities in Italy and how each batch was slightly different, some were creamier some were more firm, but all were delicious. After that we couldn’t say no. So that’s how I tried Panna cotta for the first time. And it was incredible. (It’s now one of my favorite desserts to make when I’m feeling fancy.)
This year for Valentine’s Day I went out with some of my girlfriends. Galentine’s. We went to our favorite BYOB pizza place, brought some wine, and ordered the most delicious of pizzas.
My girls and I ate pizza, drank wine, gossiped, and laughed and laughed and laughed. It was a great night, but it wasn’t the best Valentine’s Day ever. That will always be reserved for the night I spent with my brother and sister, the people who picked my soul off the ground and forced me to enjoy life when I was crumbling on the inside. Thank you, I am forever grateful for everything you’ve done for me.