Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day

Coming from Germany, S has always had mixed feelings about Valentines Day. Around the same time it occurred to him that--even though it's a commercial holiday invented to line the pockets of Hallmark--he could nonetheless score points with his American wife by celebrating it anyway, I gave up trying to make something of the day. And so it went for several years.

Then, last year, we decided that we could do something festive around Valentines Day without going the commercial route: we cooked dinner for one another. While we eat pretty well in general, we rarely go out of our way to wow one another with food the way we did when we were wooing. It proved to be quite the romantic evening, so we've officially made it a tradition by repeating the activity tonight.

On this year's menu: Tomato soup with fried lemon parsley and homemade croutons; roasted red pepper and goat cheese tartlets with caramelized shallots and fresh basil; endive, watercress, and spinach salad with blood oranges, candied pecans, and shaved peccorino romano in a lemon vinaigrette; and tiramisu.

While we were cooking, I said (as I might have said 20 years ago), "S, since we have this time to get acquainted, tell me something about yourself that I don't already know."

"I look at shoes," he said.

I tutted. I knew that already. We can't pass a shoe store without S pausing to drool at the window displays.

"It's not like you think," he said. "I mean I look at shoes. I look at shoes people are wearing, and I judge them."

"The people? You judge people based on the shoes they wear?"

"Yes," he said.

"Goodness. What do you think of me when you look at my shoes?" I asked. About the only thing I like less than shoe shopping is clothes shopping. With the exception of running shoes, most of my shoes are either hand-me-overs or ten years old.

"I think 'there's a person who doesn't like to buy shoes,'" he replied, carressing my shoulder and giving me a kiss.

That worked for me. But the next time he has a late-afternoon meeting with the executive committee of the graduate faculty, I will have to ask him what he thinks of the dean.


Rae said...

I never would have guessed it. Stefan and shoes. Huh. Stefan and other people's shoes. Double huh.

By the way, one of my favorite things about your blog (aside from this very sweet post) is your post labeling system. It is just brilliant that the same post can be labeled simultaneously with 'food' 'assumptions' and 'shoes.'

Tamsin said...

Of course, I am now paranoid about meeting Stefan and wondering what he's thinking about me judged on my footwear. But I guess it's too late, now; he'll have judged me and found me lacking, years ago already. Ack.