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Valentine’s Day from a Conflicted Cynical Girl’s Perspective

Alright, so Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (I’ve got it marked in my planner and everything), so today is as good of a time as any to put in my two cents on everyone’s favorite holiday (yeah, that was sarcasm).

Obviously, Valentine’s Day is overrated. You can’t win. If you’re single, you get to be reminded of that fact, and don’t even think about trying to go out to eat that night unless you like being the only solo diner in a sea of puppy-love laden couples. If you’re in a relationship, you will most likely end up going out to dinner at a place that’s either too fancy or not fancy enough. You’ll pay too much for food, you’ll get too full, and you’ll probably end up wishing you could have just gotten Chinese instead of whatever fusion cuisine that 7-course micro-meal you just ate was. If you’re casually dating someone, there will probably be some sort of awkward conversation and debate about whether to hang out that day; if you do, there become these weird expectations that then get placed on the relationship, and if you don’t, you will probably both go to bed sad, regretful, and lonely.

Yeah, I’ve put some thought into this.

As someone with relatively little experience with this holiday while in a relationship, I’m probably not the expert. But I’m a girl, so my opinion must count for something. I’ve spent a whopping total of two Valentine’s Days at fancy dinners, dressed in a moderately uncomfortable dress. The meals were good, don’t get me wrong, and I certainly appreciated the gesture made by both myself and significant other. But to be honest, I enjoyed my Valentine’s Days as a single lonely girl, stuffing my face with junk food and eating bad horror movies just as much. Plus, I got to wear pants.

Going out to dinner is expected, I know. But boys, take notes: there are other ways to spend a nice Valentine’s Day with your girlfriend. Cook dinner! Watch a movie! Stay home! Or get takeout if you hate cooking, I don’t care. As much as girls like to think we like those stuffy dinner dates at expensive restaurants, they never go quite as perfectly as we want them to go. Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be about huge, expensive gestures!

This Valentine’s Day, I will be enjoying my Single Girl status with a cupcake. There will probably be some sort of Asian takeout involved as well. Maybe pizza, we’ll see. But if I were in a relationship, I’ve thought out what I would do. And it would be awesome.

Obviously, I would use the opportunity to show off my culinary skills. If there is ever an occasion special enough to justify buying chorizo, this would be it. Sure, I could make some fancy-schmancy steak dish with a long name, but what boy doesn’t like something with cheese, sausage, and stick-to-your-gut eggs?

Yeah, I’d make chilaquiles. And it would be awesome. For those of you unfamiliar with chilaquiles, they are very boy-friendly and delicious. Essentially, it’s fried tortilla (or baked) sautéed in salsa, often mixed with things like peppers and onion, cheese, chicken or sausage, etc. I like to add eggs to mine as well, either on top or scrambled in (although technically that would be migas. Whatever).

…Or maybe I’d make pasta. I have a lot of pasta in my pantry.

The thing is, whenever I’ve tried to cook some fancy-schmancy dinner for someone in a misguided attempt to impress them, it has failed on some level, for various reasons. I’ve learned it’s best to stick to what you’re good at, and comforting, simple dishes are sometimes the ones that really make the best impressions.

So for those of you celebrating with someone “special” this Thursday, here are some of my favorite, relatively easy dishes that taste delicious and will impress just as much as that fancy French-sounding steak dish would:

Brown Eyed Baker’s Portobello Pesto Pizza

Bibimbap-Inspired Kimchi Fried Rice

Rigatoni w/ Roasted Sausage & Broccoli (simple but really delicious, great if you can’t cook!)

Chorizo Mac & Cheese

Oven-Roasted Salmon, Asparagus and New Potatoes (if you’re trying to be healthier, but let’s be honest, it’s a holiday. INDULGE.)

SkinnyTaste’s Chicken & Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce

And for those of you celebrating solo, enjoy your Asian takeout. I know I will.

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2 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day from a Conflicted Cynical Girl’s Perspective

  1. Naw, Lauren I totally get you! I’ve been through every stage described (single, casual/awkward, dating/committed) plus engaged and now MARRIED (since 2011). From my personal experience, Valentines doesn’t really get any better. When I was single, I used to dream about dating a romantic who would cook me a candlelit dinner and create a tradition with Valentines day. In reality, I experienced a few awkward dinners, got a garden-variety rose wrapped in tinfoil, received handwritten love notes (now THAT was sweet) and now… I’ve now married a man who hates Valentines day. He’s explained to me several times that he’s making a stand against commercialism, hype and societal expectations. I still wish he felt differently :/

    I’ve come to accept that I either buy him a present for Valentines and get nothing in return, or… I just forget about the whole thing *sob*. We spent this Valentines in front of the TV with takeaway chicken and beer. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but I still look at the girls who get long-stemmed roses delivered to work in total envy. I think it’s time I accept that Valentines is just another day… and that ANY day can be just as special, in terms of quality time with a loved one. My man still brings me home unique seashells if he’s been at the beach, just because he thinks I’ll appreciate them. He’ll scribble a handwritten note on the back of a receipt and draw a tiny heart beside my name. I’m starting to learn that these things are just as, or more, special than a Valentines tradition. Slowly but surely.

    I hope you’ll find someone who appreciates the amazing person that you are, Valentines or no Valentines! Oh, and this is my first visit to your blog (I discovered you via our co-Liebster nominations!) so I apologise for leaving a massive comment. I’m sure that I’m breaking some silent blog rule or something similar. Anyway, I love your little corner of the internet. It’s beautifully honest, interesting and varied. I’m not sure how you churn out a post a day (are you a machine? Uh… yeah) but serious credit to you for doing it!!! I’m your newest follower xx

    • Aw, I’m glad SOMEONE gets me! 🙂
      I’m not sure how I do, either, other than I am really good at procrastinating on homework and this is one of my favorite distractions… So glad to have you as a follower!

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