What expectations does the approach of Valentine’s Day awake?
For Marc and me, one of the first thoughts centers on the right place to eat on that favorite evening of restaurateurs. This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday, and we already have our reservation made for that night although it is over two weeks away. We are headed to a downtown restaurant where we’ve dined once this past year, a newer establishment that fits lots of our expectations of a good find for knowledgable diners.
We go out to eat fairly regularly, so what should a meal this special evening provide? I guess luck would locate us in a roomy but quiet booth from which we could survey our fellow diners without being distracted by them. We should be able to carry on a conversation without hearing other conversations around us or recorded music above us. We should enjoy our waiter without needing to take care of him or keep track of her. Our questions about the menu that night should draw helpful explanations, and the prices quoted to us for the daily specials should encourage us not “to settle” in our choice of an appetizer or entree. We should be able to lean back and survey the situation and smile contentedly in the knowledge that the night has all the makings of a special occasion. Nothing should mar a mood of happy reverie if that arises amid memories of the early days – and even hours – of our relationship. Marc and I should emerge from the dining experience with a confirmed sense that the universe is pretty happy that February 14 finds the two of us still together, still celebrating the way we know what questions to ask to make the other feel special, lucky, known, appreciated.
If there are other items to make this particular celebration of Valentine’s Day sweet, it might be a bit of chocolate or a vase of flowers.
It might be a card.
It might be an assurance shared that what the other person most enjoys and values, the ways he spends his time and the directions he feels himself drawn for enjoyment and personal enrichment, continue to make a claim on our own energies.
We should just be happy that the person sitting across from us at the table is there. We do not know what the journey ahead will hold. We are aware that one more year finds us together, and that is cause for gratitude.