Last year at this time, my column focused on the wrath and fury of St. Patrick’s Day in Philadelphia. Although it received strong Peabody Award nomination consideration and went double viral, the article made me feel dirty. In an effort to cleanse my soul, I decided to write about the warmer and fuzzier February/March holiday, Valentine’s Day.
I’m always told at our writer meetings that I should write more romantically, and with better writing skills or whatever. In addition to being an informative beer column, I was really hoping this turned out to be a good one to make out to.
Unfortunately, when I thought about it for five minutes, I realized it’s really not much of a beer drinking holiday at all. I guess a couple of you hardcore beer couples break out some good stuff, but I consider Valentine’s Day as not only a wine holiday, but one of the most dangerous holidays for relationships to drink on. It’s one of the dreaded mutual drinking holidays. I mean, excluding kids (I would never do that), holidays can be for her, for him, or for both.
For Her. I have no problem being the designated everything for my lady friend’s big days (birthday, Mother’s Day, Flag Day, etc…). I pretty much have to be ready to drive, catch, or carry her at any moment. Actually, sitting back and watching my wife attempt to drink like a grownup is very entertaining to me. That adventure generally ends after about two and a half glasses of sweet, white wine. Before we had kids, she might get sick, but she now has superhuman mom powers that turn puking into three day hangovers. The date may end early, but never ends with an argument.
For Him. Of course, on my birthday and other special days, I can drink like crazy and basically do whatever I want. I can even drink gin around her.
For Both. Now, these mutual holidays (V-Day, Anniversary, 4/20, etc…) are tricky as hell. If we go out for dinner to celebrate, we have the potential of each drinking like it’s our own special day. This is a lot of fun for most of the night, but at some point, her two glasses of wine plus my nineteen various cocktails can equal very bad news. For the purposes of this column, it’s not important who starts these arguments, but for the record, I’ve always believed sweet Rieslings make people really mean. I don’t want to say she physically beats me, because she doesn’t, but she probably should. If she does come at me, I usually pepper spray her.
Obviously, we would never actually go out on Valentine’s Day itself. You have to be crazy to go out that night, and you certainly haven’t worked in the restaurant business. It might be the worst night to go out all year. You sit there and they hand you an overpriced pre fixe menu with a choice of three things that were half prepped the day before. Your table is jammed in-between two other couples, but everyone is enjoying a half flute of free cheap champagne, so it’s cool. Every single table in the city is a two top and has its own candle that night.
If you’re gonna celebrate, I highly recommend going out on the Wednesday beforehand. You don’t want the Monday and Tuesday staff. They’re either new or about to be fired (not you, Alex). Friday and Saturday could be OK, but the whole staff will be pretty disenchanted about love and shit at that point.
One last tip for the service industry folk. Try to be nice them. They honestly have no idea it’s so cheesy.