I hope the guys out there are making their Valentine's Day plans right about now. Because if you wait until the eleventh hour and wind up at Olive Garden, let me tell you: The phrase "at least we're together" died sometime around 1983. Coincidence that this was the year Stephanie was born? I think not!
The stakes are high for me on Valentine's Day. As a girl who received flowers from her parents each and every year until I was 26, I was relieved when our first Valentine's Day came along. No more parental pity. I figured, finally I have a man who will shower me with gifts, chocolates, flowers and a fancy dinner. Turns out, mom had to keep the flowers coming.
Stef starts to get all googly about our potential V-Day plans and gifts around the turn of the new year. The romantic in me views Valentine's Day as a fabricated holiday conjured up by companies like Hallmark so that they can sell more greeting cards, candy and chocolate after their usual Christmas profits lull. Aww.
I believe in all the bells and whistles that come with the holiday. I love it and want it. Period.
I actually consider myself to be a romantic guy. Where Stef and I butt heads is on our respective definitions of "romance." I think a designated annual day to be "romantic" is inherently unromantic. I view romance as spontaneous generosity. Every now and then, I will surprise Stef with a "mystery date." I tell her what time she needs to be ready and how she needs to dress, and we're off. It's fun for both of us because I know while Stephanie loves the mystery and spontaneity, she also hates not having information that I have, and watching her guess and squirm is entertainment for me. Past mystery dates have included a drive-in movie, an off-Broadway play and a live taping of Jerry Springer (I highly recommend the latter).
Dave's mystery dates makes me smile. They never fail, and he truly puts his heart and soul into planning. So I might sound like a total bitch when I say it's not enough. He needs to come through on Valentines Day too. I look forward to it and want it to be super-special. Yes, I expect a gift and flowers. And if money is tight or if the time to plan isn't there, well, think ahead. I do! Last year, I left the planning to him for the day (he knew I had high expectations), but I still got him a lift ticket to go snowboarding.
Last year's Valentine's Day was a disaster. I showed Stephanie the restaurant I had chosen, and it wasn't "special" enough for her. Translation: It got "$$$" in Zagat's, not "$$$$." I truly resented that, and the whole thing blew up big time. (Side note: While recently walking past the very same restaurant, Stephanie said, "Oh, this place looks good," and I worked hard to bite my tongue.)
So this year, I am taking care of the V-Day plans! But my birthday is two weeks after, and that's on Dave!
Where do you guys stand on Valentine's Day? Is romance in the air, or is it a recipe for disaster?
Stephanie Tsoflias is a reporter for WPIX in New York City. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@lifeofareporter). Dave Siegel is a writer and stand-up comedian in New York City. Visit his website, DaveSiegel.com, and follow him on Twitter (@StandUpDave). The DC area can see Dave at Riot Act Comedy Club February 8-11.