We’re the envy of them all. The men anyway.
‘What did you do for Valentine’s?” they asked.
“Well, we watched the match on TV and ate pizza.” I didn’t mention the couple of glasses of champagne we’d downed. Sounded a bit too posh.
“Are you kidding?”
“No. It was a great match. Did you see it?”
“Of course I didn’t see it! I was at that stupid, bloody expensive restaurant with the Mrs.”
“Oh dear. What a shame.”
Then they walked away and grumped around in their office. I skipped about the place quite happily.
Because honestly, we’ve done the Valentine’s-Dinner-Out thing too often.
The ones surrounded by couples looking bored to death, or are just as silent. Others where someone wants to leave, to yawn, or just shut the other one up. Many a time where the girl looks expectant and the boy looks desperate. Or the worst one where the guy gets out the ring and the girl says no. That was a sad one, for everyone in the damn place. I almost cried too.
I’ve been in all of those restaurants, witnessing all of those sad scenes.
At fifty, I’m done.
Too old? Too lazy? Too selfish? Too happy to stay at home? Too weirdly interested in football?
All of them and one more. Too unwilling to fall into a category where it’s an expected obligation to go out with hundreds of other Valentine sheep on exactly the same night to exactly the same restaurant, which surprise, surprise, is a lot worse but a lot more expensive than usual. I’m absolutely delighted to go out for dinner on any other night of the year. But just not on the 14th of February.
“Next year, we’re going to do your Foozza thing too”. I could see a glimmer of hope in their eyes.
“Great idea boys. Join the club! But maybe warn the Mrs. I might be an exception to the rule.”