I’ve never really celebrated Valentine’s day, and by that I mean the Valentine’s day that comes ribbon-tied with red cellophane wrapped souvenirs. But I’ve never felt like I was missing out on something either. It seems like there are two major camps when it comes to the holiday–some people either really let it influence their mood for an entire week while others feel that they must inform you that it’s a Hallmark holiday in a way that has a certain unspoken “nobody told you?” tone that is frankly, trite. I’m either somewhere in the middle or not at all on the grid. I usually find that if I’m not dating on February 14th the same goes with the 13th and 15th, so another day doesn’t cause additional despair. I mean, chocolate is tasty and flowers are pretty. Do I really care who they’re from?
I’m making what has to be my favorite tomato sauce ever (from smitten kitchen) tonight while I think about this, but before I can feel like a wise, mature adult because I’m so mellow about this holiday, I struggle with the can of San Marzano tomatoes with two different can openers for ten whole minutes and get tomato splashed on my white shirt and all over the cutting board. It’s then that I realize I’m no more enlightened than anyone else and bring dishonor to my family’s long history of competence with canned goods. I’m no cook (as if you needed me to tell you that) but I can stew tomatoes with butter and onion. I’m also perfectly capable of using the holiday as an excuse to enjoy a decadent bowl of pasta followed by a glass of milk and some chocolate. That, I think, is pure love. Or joy. Maybe both.