Tuesday, February 15, 2005

When Opportunity knocks...

I had absolutely no plan for my wife on Valentine's Day. I have nothing against what some call "an over-commercials holiday," nor am I jaded and bitter about love. In all honesty, I simply couldn't afford to get any special Valentine's present.

On Friday, the wife and I met some folks at Panera Bread for dinner and then we all went to see Smokey Joe's Cafe at a local theatre. After getting into the car after eating, I exclaimed, "Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you liked the dinner!" The meal was all of $13 and the tickets to the show were comps (free). And sweetness that she is completely understood that we simply don't have the budget to be all fancy. Just to make sure the point was driven in, I keep telling her all weekend that this was the "Valentine's Day special" and not to be all mad and pissy when nothing else happened on Monday.

Past V-days have been... eh. In fact, I don't think I had a "valentine" until the wife and I hooked up. In year's past, I would hand out the little kiddie "I Choo Choo Choose You" type of valentines to office co-workers. But that was about the extent of my valentine's until we got engaged.

This year, I wanted to do something, but with the budget, there wasn't much. Not to mention, with our 8-5 work schedules, there wasn't much I could do in the way of "surprises" at home. She'd get home before I had time to set gifts out. But since there was neither much money nor opportunity, I made sure to cover my bases all weekend by telling her with certainty dinner and theatre was it.

Then, opportunity knocked on Sunday night. Her co-worker needed to switch shifts on Monday meaning my wife would be working 12pm - 8pm on Valentine's Day. I sprang into action... Well, maybe not sprang... Sat in front of the TV playing Madden 2005 while I thought.

"Special Dinner... I can do that. What to cook? Something we don't usually have. Something that she likes. Has to be Italian. Will the kid eat it? Possibly. Maybe... Um, if you tie him down, he'll have, too. GOT IT! Chicken Parmesan."

Monday's lunch hour would be crucial. I needed several things... Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. We had the other ingredients all ready. Flowers. Candy for the kid. And have lunch, it is, after all, lunch hour. Quick! *Robin, to the strip mall! For we must feast on Chinese Buffet and stop at the Kroger's.

Kroger's had some slim and expensive pickin's. I decided that I could probably afford to put no more than $30 on my credit card. Rose Bouquets were going for $24.99. Thankfully, my wife doesn't like roses and I was able to get a nice bouquet of daisies and a nice vase for under $20. Add the cheese and tax, and I was just under budget. Whew!

There's no moral to this story. I was happy that it all pulled together quite nicely. She gave me some silk "Sugar Daddy" boxers. They feel quite lovely... It's all about the love, people.

We ended up borrowing the movie, Somewhere in Time, from the library. That's right, borrowed from the library not rented from Blockbuster. We're THAT cheap. Now, Christopher Reeve and this movie is a completely new post. I think we'll save that for tomorrow, though.

*In this case, Robin is my co-worker lunch buddy.

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