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Valentine’s Day is almost here and I wanted to get your opinion on a dilemma that I think more than a few guys probably have each year. Which is better… a night out at a fancy restaurant? Or a quiet and romantic night in?
I’m 32 and my wife and I have been married for four years. We almost always go out, but it just seems like the dining experience on Valentine’s Day (or the Saturday before) is always lacking thanks to the over-packed restaurants. What do you think?
I have a bone to pick with you. I wrote a very charming column in response to another email, picked out my hyperlinks carefully, chuckled to myself as I admired my work…and then I realized that you had written me a timely email about Valentine’s Day…which I am thusly required to respond to this week. You like being a slave driver? You like testing my creative genius? WHEN I HAVE A COMPLETE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, IT WILL BE ALL. YOUR. FAULT.
Whew. Deep breath.
Okay. Dinner out on Valentine’s Day (or the weekend closest to the day) is a notoriously dicey endeavor. There are high expectations for the food to be perfect, the ambiance to be romantic, and the service to be impeccable. However, these expectations don’t mesh very well with the reality of the evening, which is that every restaurant is packed (it’s standard practice to add tables to the floor in order to maximize profits for the evening), the noise level can be deafening, and both the servers and chefs are overworked. Plus, many restaurants do overpriced prix fixe menus, so you end up spending more money, and not being able to pick from as wide a selection of entrees, appetizers, and desserts.
If you or your spouse really want a night out, pick a day where you’re actually likely to have a good dining experience–the Thursday after Valentine’s, for example. After all, does it really matter if it’s the exact day?
You’re celebrating your relationship, your commitment, your love for each other. Stay in on actual Valentine’s Day. Make dinner together. Watch a movie. Sit in front of a fire. Take a bubble bath and wash each other’s hair in the glow of candlelight with Enya playing in the background. Too much?
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