Posted by Briana Meade on Monday, February 18, 2013 Under: Marriage
Valentine's Day did not go as planned this year.
Chris and I have a whirlwind second week of February every year. We have Valentines Day the 14th, Chris' birthday the 19th, and my birthday the 21st. I never think I can get sick of eating at restaurants, until the second week of February rolls around. Every year.
We can never decide if we should go out to eat all three days.
Chris has always done an amazing job of making Valentine's Day special. One year we went to the Melting Pot (to-die-for-cheese- and-meat-and-chocolate-fondue), another year we went to this hip, cute, Japanese-y place where the hostesses looked like they had stepped out of Vogue magazine (and acted like it too). It was fun. It was expensive. We can't do that anymore.
We have children. We have to be practical. We told each other these things this year. Plus, we don't have anyone around to babysit right now. Who wants to babysit on Valentine's Day anyways?
So, Chris thought up an ingenious idea. He bought a Groupon that shipped fresh lobster, clams,shrimp and crabs' legs straight to your door (couldn't eat the clams pregnant but everything else was kosher). At first I was skeptical, but he explained that all we would have to do is put it in the oven. It was romantic, it was smart, it was practical. We would wait til Zoe went to bed. We would have a romantic dinner. Then we would hang out and be us. Perfect Valentine's Day solution, right?
I secretly had my own little plan. I had found these little heart-shaped ramikins in the kitchen and decided I would attempt to make one of Chris's favorite desserts--creme brulee. Not only would I make a fancy dessert, but it would be in little heart-shaped ramikins! How sweet is that?
No. Wrong. You see, there was one little aspect Chris and I left out. One vital part of Valentine's Day. That is, the part where your wife needs to be in a good mood. A combination of things made this part impossible:
I was temporarily insane on Valentine's Day due to an unforeseen bout with an antibiotic. I have this weird, weird thing about me where I temporarily have issues with my mood if I take antibiotics. I know. It sounds unreal. It has been proven. In college, I took Flagyl for a horrible health issue I was having and I ended up crying, every, single, day. Chris actually has vague memories of him "rocking" me while I sobbed into his shoulder and mumbled incoherently. Yes, it is as weird as it sounds. My mental health slides when I take antibiotics. Especially, FLAGYL. Even hearing the name Flagyl gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Unfortunately, Flagyl was hiding under the unassuming name "Metronidazole" this time. My midwife prescribed the antibiotic to me, and I immediately thought it would be fine because my symptoms are less with regular antibiotics. It was only three days in, on Valentine's Day, when Chris came home to me crying about my life on the couch, that we figured it out. Metranidozole is Flagyl. Flagyl is my worst enemy. Valentine's Day was now crazy-wife day.
I had tried to dress up nice and cute. Really I had, but I was so exhausted from the anti-bacterial stuff coursing through my little body, plus an exhausting day in which Zoe had hit her head pretty hard. Yes, it was terrible, and I was pretty sure I was a terrible mother. All I could think about was...well, myself.
I couldn't concentrate on the dinner because my anxiety was sky-rocketing from the rough day with Zoe. I kept ranting about how Zoe had hit her head while Chris ate his lobster. We even slightly undercooked the seafood and had to put it back in the oven. Chris had given me a beautiful rose, which we placed in the center of the table, dimmed the lights and lit candles. He was trying his best to recover the night. Suddenly, his dad was home (we live at his parents' house) and talking about random stuff. I vaguely remember a lot of awkward silence.
This is when I decided to pull out my masterpiece...you remember, the creme brulee? The creme brulee had almost taken the spill with Zoe, but instead she had just ended up covered in vanilla. Yes. Vanilla and imitation orange liqueur. Apparently these are the components of creme brulee. Zoe smelled like alcohol during this process. You know how vanilla smells really really good when you have a teaspoon full of it? Well, it smells really really like alcohol when you have a cup of it doused on your daughter.
Regardless, the creme brulee had actually turned out fine, and Zoe had stopped crying after 30 seconds. Except that I hadn't yet figure out how to do the caramelized topping. Don't get me wrong, I did a lot of research on this, but unfortunately one of the sites I researched suggested that guys would really enjoy "doing" this part themselves with a torch. Problem: I never bought the stupid blow torch that must be used to "torch" the creme brulee. Another problem: I don't know how to use a broiler, which is the alternative solution to "torching."
I brought out the creme brulee and it was anticlimactic because, well, it still needed that crunchy sugar topping. I explained to Chris that we had several options, of which I had no idea how to do any of them. Suddenly, I had a brilliant thought: what if we used a grill lighter to do it!? Wouldn't that work? (A grill lighter is kind of like a giant, automatic match).
For those who have had this problem, let me just save you the trouble. A grill lighter DOES NOT WORK. Unless you have 3 hours to torch a 3 inch creme brulee, a grill lighter is like trying to paint the Taj Mahal by yourself. Yeah. It's that bad. I think I managed to caramelize a centimeter of the brulee. Poor Chris gave up. And I became obsessed with it. I probably spent 20 minutes huddled over the creme brulee heart with a beady look in my eye from the flame that was dancing over my pathetic brulee. Chris did the smart thing and ate it in 30 seconds flat. He said it was "okay." When I finally took a bite, mine was "okay" too. Nothing amazing. Kinda sweet. Kinda too orange-y. Kinda stupid with no crunchy topping.Kinda not good.
In the middle of my torching obsession, Chris pulled out his card for me and placed it next to my brulee. I feel terrible about this, but I was NOT in the mood for a card at this point. I was not in the mood for anything at this point. I wanted my creme brulee to be torched. So, I glanced at the card. It was red. It was cute. There was a heart on it.
Inside the card it said, "you are my best friend, you are my heart, you are my favorite....you are my HOME." There was even a "pop-out" picture he had drawn of a little house. I probably looked at the card for about 8 seconds. Then I went back to obsessively torching my dessert.
Now you have to understand, I have been longing for our own little place for a long time. I want to have a place to call home where we can be ourselves. Where we can NOT have people watching a Valentine's Day disaster ordeal (Chris' dad asked me the next day...what happened on Valentines Day? Are you okay? I think he heard me sobbing in my room).
Chris had thought about this card, for a LONG time.
I didn't know this.
We went upstairs. We both stared at the wall. I said to Chris, "I know you are upset. I know I've been horrible. I know this is not what you imagined. You have to tell me how horrible it has been.Be honest with me."
Chris was silent.
I said,"I really thought it was going to be special, and it wasn't." It was a terrible-no-good-very-bad-Valentine's Day.
Then, Chris told me about his card. He told me how he had spent three days buying card stock at a special craft store, buying all the necessary craft materials, and how he had stayed after school to make the card. He told me how he had looked up "how-to-make-a-popup" and how it was actually harder than it looked. He told me how he had traced the little house and colored the house with colored pencils. He told me how he had punched out a heart and put it on the front because it would look classy like that.
This is where I started crying again. Half from my antibiotic-poisoined-state of-mind, and half because I had literally looked at his beautiful card for five seconds. You see, Chris is not like me. He spends a lot of time thinking about things and doing them. I whip together creme brulee and make a mess and barely miss a beat. He thinks, and thinks, and thinks. He does little things that really really matter.
Then I told him about the creme brulee. How I had found the little ramikins. How I thought I was a GENIUS for making such a fancy dessert. How Zoe had fallen and gotten vanilla all over her. How hard it was to make creme brulee with Zoe, period. How I had wanted him to "torch" it. How it was supposed to be fun. How sad I was that it wasn't fun. How sad I was that I was depressed and exhausted and poisoned by antibiotics. I kept crying until I was laughing. I kept saying, "I'm sorry because I love you so much and all I could think about was MY CREME BRULEE." I told him I was selfish. He told me all he could think about was his card he had made me. He told me thought he had made his card wrong. He should have put the words separately instead of all together in a paragraph. I said that was ridiculous. It was a beautiful card. I was just a horrible person. He said he liked my creme brulee and I was so beautiful.
It was a weird night.
I won't say it was completely all better. But, it was memorable.
That was Valentine's Day.
In : Marriage
Tags: valentines day romance love marriage
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