I Hate Eating Fancy Dinners on Valentine's Day & My Husband Won't Stop Making Reservations

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I love Valentine's Day ... like really (really) love it. Call it a commercial holiday or a capitalistic ploy to take our dollars by focusing on the superficial all ya want: This gal is not ashamed of the joy February 14 brings her. Aside from the excuse to stuff my face and not look at the calories on the back of those $3 assorted chocolate boxes -- feeling a tad bit guilty before reaching in my secret hiding place for another pack -- there's something about everyone trying to be cheery that makes me smile.

As much as I'm a fan of the day of love, there is something about Valentine's Day that makes me cringe ... and my husband constantly does it every. single. year. (God bless his heart.)

  • One of the biggest draws of Valentine's Day that delivers the feels is the ability to buy and craft a ton of gifts for a ton of people.

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    The concept of "it's better to give than receive" is a motto I personally live by, and boy does it come out for this holiday -- especially now that I'm a mom. I am the crazy person humming through all the V-Day aisles in the store, stocking up on pink and red bags, kiddie valentines, treats, and random trinkets just because.

    I've been known to spend hours in the days before Valentine's Day crafting special tags for my boys' classmates so they feel a little extra special and so teachers don't have to take money from their own pockets, as they often do.

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  • Though a girl won't say no to a tasty dinner.

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    While I wouldn't call myself a "foodie" in the sense that I love eating seaweed, gourmet air bubbles, and imported squid, I do have a special place in my heart for a good plate of food. I love rice. I love steak. (Vegans, don't "@" me.) I love greens. I love sauces that make you reenact the classic Shaq GIF where he gives a little shimmy with puckered lips.

    If anyone were to say to me, "Tanvier, let's go out to eat tonight" and I don't have to contribute to the bill?

    Oh yeah, she will be there.

  • I just don't think Valentine's Day dinners need to be a moment of bougieness with a tab that mirrors the cable bill.

    Close up of woman hand with a Bill With American Dollars which people, payment and finances concept
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    As much as I love, love, love food, I hate, hate, hate (... hate, hate) meals that are obscenely overpriced. I don't care how magical a piece of fish looks, I am not paying $75 for a cut that can't even touch one side of my plate and the other -- or a piece of meat that inches up to the $100 line. Unless that blessed piece of beef was coddled, read bedtime stories, and fed grass topped with caviar ... how, Sway?

  • And yet, my husband continues to pick the most expensive place to eat every. freaking. year.

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    I love my husband and his attempts to woo me in some Hallmark type of way -- knowing good and well that is anything but him -- but we've got to get off this train. For as long as I can remember (we've been together for 12 years now, almost eight married), he goes all out for Valentine's Day. From quiet dinners at restaurants facing the harbor to fancy places with meals that are harder to pronounce than my name, it's definitely an experience.

    And it makes me feel guilty whenever the bill comes.

  • It's not that I'm ungrateful for the kind gesture. I'm just a simple gal who likes simple things.

    Romantic pizza evening at home stock photo
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    For the $300-plus spent on a Valentine's Day meal, we could've had a Coke and a smile at home with some candles, Sade on Pandora, a couple slices, and some cheesecake just because. Heck, for $300-plus, we could've ordered takeout in a bed and breakfast for a night in a nearby Hallmark-looking town with enough money left over for gas.

  • I've always felt guilty for spending a ton of money on things I don't think should cost a ton of money.

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    No disrespect to chefs and fine dining establishments (again, don't "@" me), but it's just not for me. Just like I'm not into labels and looking fancy, I feel spending a small fortune on a dinner you'll likely poop out before the charge posts on your credit card is just too much.

    I cannot remember the name of the restaurants we've dined in for Valentine's Day over the years (OK, maybe one) or what I ate -- or didn't eat, because the price looked disrespectful. But I do remember the times we moved the coffee table to the side, put down blankets, and watched a movie with Wegman's sushi and random champagne that was still good in the cabinet.

  • And I don't think it's going to change.

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    I am who I am, and my husband is who he is, which is why we're going to some bougie place for Valentine's Day this year. I'll smile, hold his hand from across the table, and give a look of constipation when I look at the menu.

    It's been happening for so long now, I guess I should get used to it.

valentine's day marriage confessions