I say our celebration was "less-consumer" because we did, in fact, buy special things for our meal. It was also the celebration of our "pseudoversary" (our anniversary is our wedding day, so the marker of when we started dating is our pseudoversary) marking 5 years of togetherness. Shane complained, as he does every year, "Why do girls make such a big thing over how much time you've been together?" I replied, "Five years, Shane. How many relationships do you know that have made it to five years?" He thought for a second and nodded his head, because it's true. Even among our married friends (and my one married sibling) a lot of their relationships haven't made it to five years. Some of the older people we know (like family friends and relatives) who've made it beyond the five year mark are suddenly breaking up and divorcing right and left it seems. So while the concept of "Valentine's Day"--a day marketed as being all about you and your love, but which really just guilts you into thinking you need to buy something for someone else--escapes me, marking the time we've been together is important. It's not just about the time, it's about the quality of that time, how much we've changed together and done for each other, and how much we still love each other.
So what did we do? Well. Because I had Symphony rehearsal on Valentine's Day (which I couldn't miss because we video recorded the national anthem and the Alaska Flag Song for the upcoming Governor's Cup hockey games!) it ended up being more like a half week of celebration. On Monday night, I made cookies. Not just any cookies. Apricot cookies with a lemon glaze. They're out of the "Indulgence Cookies" cookbook, if you care to try them. Which you should, because they're amazing. (The book also has some of the best maple cookies I've ever tried. It's worth getting. Or borrowing, if you live near me.) They're rich and buttery and I don't make them that often, so when I do they're a giant hit. I had them in the fridge cooling and at one point I saw Shane casually going into the kitchen so I yelled, "Don't eat the cookie dough!" And of course he said, "What? I would never!" around a mouthful of dough. (If you're concerned about salmonella--which I'm not, particularly--these cookies don't have eggs in them.)
Since Shane was planning to make more than one item for our Wednesday dinner, I figured that we'd be too stuffed to want dessert anyway, so making it early was a good choice.
He absolutely would not tell me what he had planned for dinner, or let me see the preparations. Since he also warned me, "I've never made any of this before," it could have been any number of things. He asked me later what I'd thought we were having and I said that I didn't even try to guess. Then we bickered about whether or not there were infinite possibilities that it could have been. (I won with the argument, "There might be infinite combinations of food items, but there are not infinite combinations of things you'd actually serve to me." And then we came up with as gross a menu as we could think of.) Since I wanted to hang out with him while he cooked, I ended up turning on "The Princess Bride" in the living room so that we could watch it "together". Toward the end, though, Shane made me pause it and go back to the bedroom to read while he finished getting dinner ready.
About ten minutes later he came back to put on a nice shirt, then cover my eyes as he led me out to the living room. He sat me down and when I opened my eyes, he'd lit a bunch of candles around the room so it was lovely. He had music playing (he made a Pandora playlist based off the song we danced to at our wedding) and on my plate were shrimp fettucini alfredo, chicken bruschetta, and garlic toast. There was a bottle of chianti. (We don't usually have wine with dinner, but we did pretty much every night in Italy.) On the computer he had the slideshow of our honeymoon pictures going. He recreated a little bit of Italy for me. <3 At one point I looked over and said, "Well, it's almost like we're eating by the Colosseum again."
It was a lovely evening, and the perfect way to celebrate a pseudoversary. I showed part of my thanks by doing a load of dishes for him. :) I hope everyone else's V-Day plans turned out just as lovely.