BRIAN & KERI DASKAM
Dear People Who Hate Valentine’s Day:
We’re not mad at you. We just think you’re wrong.
We understand the feeling of disgust that overtakes you this time of year. You see the schmaltzy display of consumption that Valentine’s Day has become, and you want nothing to do with it. No red roses. No overpriced candy. No prix fixe menus.
We know it’s tiring to be assaulted left and right by Valentine's Day messages. They float above your head in the grocery aisle, croon from the radio, and sit wedged between the political bickering on your Facebook wall.
And your opposition isn’t just aesthetic. No, you are concerned for the single people in your life. Why should they be bombarded with this stuff? The holiday seems like an excuse for couples to further torment their single friends. It’s enough to make you curse the name of Saint Valentine. And speaking of Saint Valentine, why is a celibate martyr the mascot for Romance Day?
But, here’s what Keri’s been saying for years: Valentine’s Day is nothing more or less than a day to celebrate romantic love. As Mother’s Day is to maternal love, as Halloween is to spookiness, and as Mardi Gras is to cakes with little plastic babies inside, so is Valentine’s Day to romance. Brian can’t do much to make it or ruin it for her. Her enjoyment of the day doesn’t hinge on his extravagance.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Hmm, yes, very interesting. But quick counterpoint: Love is stupid and I hate it.”
To this we reply: no you don’t. You may hate the pain associated with losing love. You might despise the feeling of rejection and the sting of unrequited love. But that doesn’t mean that you hate love. No, it means that you hate the absence of love. You’re like a hungry person whose stomach growls every time he sees pictures of food. He hates being reminded of food, but he emphatically does not hate food.
Luckily, there’s no need to take out a loan and try to recreate a date from the Bachelor. Denton offers plenty of opportunities to celebrate romance in simple ways. A perennial favorite for us is the heart-shaped pizzas at J&Js.
Romance on a budget? Take a picnic to TWU and snuggle in the free hammocks by the turtle pond. Wander the Hard & Soft exhibit at the Greater Denton Arts council before grabbing some tacos and a beer at Harvest House. Gaze at each other by twinkle lights on the square after dark.
Don’t want to try so hard? Denton’s restaurateurs offer you chocolate courses and wine pairings. Wine Squared, Steve’s Wine Bar, and Barley and Board are all featuring love-day themed pairings. I <3 Sushi has a heart right there in the name, and the Dime Store will make you one of the prettiest bouquets in town.
It’s going to be okay. Grab your special someone by the hand or curl up alone with a sappy movie and a chocolate bar. Maybe Cupid will strike this year after all.