Valentine’s Day 2019 seemed to be like any other day. I got up in the morning, took the kids to school, and then went to work. Same type of day as any other.
At 5:00 PM, I went home, again just like any other work day. Upon arriving at the house, I found my wife in the bedroom talking on the phone. I didn’t want to disturb her so I went to the kitchen and heated up some leftover pozole that I had made a prior day (It was very good pozole, I might add).
I had just finished heating up my bowl, when my wife walked into the kitchen. I was just chewing my first bite when I looked up to see the disappointment transforming her smile.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she said dejectedly.
“Oh,” I said, “you had something planned.”
“Well, no,” she said, pouting. “It’s OK. Eat your pozole.”
“No,” I said, putting my bowl in the refrigerator. “I only had one bite. Let me get ready.” Already, she looked pleased.
After getting ready, we asked our oldest son to watch his younger siblings, and headed out to the car. “Let’s take my car,” I said, and we both hopped in.
As I was pulling out of the drive, she said, “This is going to be tricky trying to surprise you while you’re the one driving.”
Stepping on the brakes, I said, “You can drive.”
“Nah,” she replied, and I continued backing up.
“Well, I can put on a blindfold and you can guide me,” I said, to which I just received a fake chuckle. What can I say, dad jokes aren’t very good at the best of times.
We opted for her to just tell me where to go, and I would be surprised as we neared the establishment. I didn’t mention that I had already guessed where we were going.
The destination was Tokyo Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar, despite the fact that my wife absolutely hates Japanese food (Oh, the sacrifices we make to please our significant others).
As we pulled up, we saw a family getting into their car, and two restaurant employees standing outside the entrance. Getting out of the car, we walked, arms linked, up to the doors. As we neared, one of the employees said, “I’m sorry, we’re closed,” in an accent that I’m certain wasn’t Japanese.
“Well, OK,” I said, a little disappointed, and we returned to the car. “OK, now what?” I asked, and she began leading me somewhere else.
We went downtown, and her path eventually led us to The Turtle. I honestly don’t know much about this restaurant, except that it is fancy. Very fancy.
We entered and were greeted by a hostess. After returning the greeting, we requested a table for two.
“Do you have a reservation?” she asked.
“No ma’am, we don’t, but we can wait,” I told her.
She gave me one of those oh, you poor fool looks, and then said, “I can put you down, but it will be an hour and a half before we can seat you.”
Completely dejected, we retreated from the Fancy McFancy Pants restaurant, walked around the downtown sidewalks for a bit, and discussed our options. We would have waited, but it was a school night and we would need to help the kids with homework and get them ready for bed.
Eventually, we decided to go to Humphrey Pete’s, a local steakhouse. Nothing special for us; we’ve eaten there often enough. However, I did get a mahi mahi plate, a rare treat due to its expense.
What struck me most about this Valentine’s day though, was the wonderful bond I share with my wife. Even at our age and after all these years together, we still enjoy each other’s company, and there is nobody I would rather spend a blasé Valentine’s with.
That’s all I have for today. What did you guys think? How was your Valentine’s day? Tell me your story in the comments.
~Michael C. Sahd