Valentine Love

IMG_1130Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, my husband and I decided to go out for a nice dinner on Saturday night instead.  Sadly, it seemed as if everyone else had the same idea, because when we arrived at our favorite restaurant for our seven o’clock reservation, the place was packed.  The host asked if we minded waiting in the bar for a few minutes until our table was ready, which was fine with us.  But after a while, it became apparent that the “few minutes” was a very optimistic prediction, and as the hunger pangs set in, we started surveying the restaurant to see if we could spot an open table that the staff might have missed.

There weren’t any empty tables, but there were several tables occupied by young couples who had finished their meals and paid their bills, but were still lingering, gazing deeply into each other’s eyes, holding hands, and in general totally oblivious to the fact that there were hungry people waiting to be seated.  We tried giving a few of them the stink eye as a subtle hint that it was time to move on, but they were too wrapped up in each other to notice.  Eventually, we were seated at a nice corner table that gave us a good view of the dining room, and happily settled in, working our way steadily through the bread basket as we waited for our food to arrive.

Between bites, we studied the diners at the tables around us, especially the young couples who had obviously made a special effort for a romantic dinner.  They were quite dressed up, with the young men in ties and the young women in short dresses and high heels. They leaned in close to talk, smiled and flirted a lot, and stretched their meal out as long as possible by ordering appetizers, coffee and dessert.  Watching them brought back memories of how we used to celebrate Valentine’s Day, all those years ago when we were young.

At our table, the conversation was much less intimate, and contained phrases such as, “do you think the waitress will bring more bread?” and “we’d better hit the ATM on our way home,” none of which were uttered while holding hands or gazing deeply into each other’s eyes.   These days, if my husband is gazing deeply into my eyes at a restaurant, it’s because I’ve asked him to see if I’ve got an eyelash stuck in on of them.  And we don’t hold hands across the table, because that would mean we’d have to put our utensils down.

True, we had made the effort to look nice, but we were also mindful of the wind chill when we selected our outfits.  My husband had on three layers of shirts, but no tie.  I no longer wear a dress when the temperature is under 35, so I had on a nice pair of slacks and a turtleneck sweater.  My one concession to romance was to forgo my usual knee socks in favor of control-top panty hose, which I hoped would both look dressy and take five pounds off of my figure.

But don’t think I’m complaining.  We had a lovely evening out, just in our own, somewhat quiet, middle-aged way.  We don’t need to stare at each other while we’re eating dinner.  When you’ve been married for thirty five years, you know what your spouse looks like and there’s no need to keep checking.  We may not flirt in public any more, but we both knew we were sitting across the table from the one and only person we wanted to share in our Valentine’s dinner.

And when we were done with our meal, we promptly paid our bill and left, opening the table for the next couple who wanted to enjoy a nice Valentine’s dinner.  I’m thinking that next year, we should choose a restaurant that caters exclusively to people who are middle-aged and older.  The clientele may not look as good, but we won’t have to wait so long for a table, either.



45 thoughts on “Valentine Love

  1. Ah, young love! There are both pros and cons. You are still enjoying the thrill of discovery but you lack the comfort of intimacy. Like you, I would rather stay where I am. We worked hard to get here, right? As for next year, if you go somewhere without the young lovers, it won’t be as entertaining. 😄 (BTW…I cracked up over the whole “gazing into your eyes for the eyelash” bit!!)

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  2. I’m actually surprised the young couples were gazing into each other’s eyes and not on their cell phones texting their friends! 🙂 This is a great post Ann. I gazed into my dog’s eyes and her nervously looked away figuring he did something naughty and we did not have a romantic dinner together…I let him eat his dinner in his bowl and I ate mine at the table…but I did give him an extra big snuggle and the kitties too! ❤

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  3. Oh Ann, I had such a laugh reading this post. I can so relate, especially with “if my husband is gazing deeply into my eyes at a restaurant, it’s because I’ve asked him to see if I’ve got an eyelash stuck in on of them”. That is so us. Glad you enjoyed your meal though, when you eventually got it. Here’s to young love when we had it and life-long and real love now! 🙂

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    • Yes, we might not be a pretty or as exciting now, but I’m happy with how things turned out. There’s a lot to be said for being secure in your relationship, and having someone stick with you for the long haul! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!!!

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  4. Aww… This was a lovely read. You’re so funny ☺️ Happy Valentines Day Ann to you and yours. I’m glad you enjoyed your Valentine’s Dinner despite the wait and the crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Funny post, Ann..:) unfortunately waiting on Valentine’s Day or Eve seems to be pretty normal. They always overbook. I understand wanting to drag out the evening but my feeling is when a place is busy and I’m done I clear out so someone else can sit.
    A restaurant for the over fifty crowd, huh? That might be pretty interesting..:)

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  6. I was laughing so hard reading this post. Absolutely entertaining ! I went for dinner with my boy friend, but we picked a place that had a groupon, since we are going on vacation in less and than 2 weeks and spending exorbitant amount of dinner did not seem logical. Our conversation included what time is the flights and plans for the trip. Glad you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day.

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    • Smart! That’s why I always tell my husband not to get me flowers for Valentines Day or Mother’s Day. The price just doubles! I’m glad you had a nice night out, and hope your vacation is fun, too! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  7. Young love is fine, but it can be a bit naive. Real people are not like fairytale princes and princesses. I’ve people are together for decades and still love each other, I think that’s more impressive. Incidentally, the only time my wife gazes into my eyes is when she’s trying to tell if I’m lying about having eaten the last slice of cake in the refrigerator.

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    • Oh, yes, we have that little test, too! But I agree, sticking it out with the person you love through the years is what really counts. The excitement of a new romance is not there, but the trust and comfort of knowing you are with the right person is. And I’ll take that any day! Hope you and your wife had a great Valentines’s Day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Believe me, we celebrated many Valentine’s Day that way when our kids were young, too! And one day your kids will grow up, and you and your husband will go out again and have a nice dinner. But there will be a part of you that misses Valentine’s with the kids, too…. Hope you had a good evening all together!

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  8. Another option to consider is kitchensurfing. Ever heard of it? It’s a new service where a professional chef comes to your home and does the cooking for you. All you do is dress up and meet your hubby at the dining table. Here’s the link:

    New love is awesome but one is usually a ball of nerves because there is so much uncertainty. Being settled in a committed relationship is ideal but finding the right match can be quite daunting especially in a climate where fidelity and substance has lost their meaning.

    Congrats on finding your soul mate. Many of us are still looking. Glad you had a nice time. Hugs ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  9. At least you and hubby were talking to each other instead of staring at your smartphones the entire dinner like I see so many people do. We are going out next weekend due to the crowds, do I ended up making s special dinner for us and the kids. And yes, comfort over style any day!

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    • I think next year we may wait a week as well. (Unless I’m successful in finding a restaurant that caters only to older people who don’t linger over their meals…Ha!) And people who go out to eat and then spend the time staring at their phones drive me nuts, too!


  10. Yep. All of it. That’s us only we didn’t even bother to go out. Sometimes I miss that young love. I know we’ve moved on to a more meaningful phase and I wouldn’t give up our comfort level for that rush. Not anymore. It sounds like you had a nice dinner, thank you for sharing!

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  11. I so get what you wrote here, it made me laugh. We managed to pick a restaurant that wasn’t overly crowded and had older couples, some even double dating. But I have to admit that we lingered over dessert, which is unusual for us, and we toasted 19 years of celebrating Valentine’s Day together. It was sweet. 🙂

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  12. I’m not sure we’ve ever had a Valentine’s Day dinner, me and mine… we’re kind of unconventional. And round here where we live, older folks like me (and even older) are in the majority so I guess there must be a socks-rather-than-stockings and an eye-lash-in-eye rather than fluttering eyelashes mentality abounding here! I sometimes wonder what the younger people make of it. Oh well, no – I know what they think, and I don’t care. Great post that made me smile, thank you.

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  13. This post made me laugh out loud! My husband and I occupy a kind of strange zone in-between, as middle-aged newlyweds. I relate to being practical about my clothing choices (it was something like 6 degrees here), as well as being a little bit moony over each other. I shared your post with Steve, and he laughed too. Thanks!

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  14. Pingback: Quitting Time | Muddling Through My Middle Age

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