I’ve read a lot of “I hate Valentine’s Day” and “I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day” blog posts and Facebook updates throughout the day. This won’t be one of them.
I won’t claim to think today is anything exceptional, per se, but I do see it as another day to celebrate my marriage and relationships and try to show appreciation to the people in my life that I love. Not because I’m obligated to do it today, or because I don’t try to do it all year long, but because…well…why go out of my way NOT to and lose a chance to make the special people in my life feel special?
We (Jeffrey and I) usually do something very banal: go out to dinner and swap cards. In the early years of our relationship, going out on V-Day wasn’t much fun..being the only gay couple in a restaurant full of opposite-sex couples, basically being ignored or looked at as if we were too stupid to realize we were two men out on a night reserved for hetero couples, was not much fun. Then we started going out with other gay couples and that was nicer. Things have changed a lot in 15 years, and now we are able to go out to dinner with a sense of, if not inclusion, certainly a lack of overt exclusion.
Given our typical experiences over the years from bad to not unpleasant, tonight was a nice surprise and welcome change of pace.
Jeffrey and I made reservations at a local restaurant we discovered (within 15 minutes of our house) and have quickly grown to love, Potter’s Tavern.
When we arrived, the hostess recognized us from having been there a couple of times and commented that it was nice to see us again. The card in the picture above was on our table. We got our “usual table” by the fireplace. The wait staff was charming and attentive, as always. The table next to us was occupied by two older (heterosexual) couples who were friendly with us (without being intrusive) and thanked us for lending them our “Valentine’s Day Specials” Menu that they did not have on their table. We felt just as welcome and acknowledged as all the other couples in the restaurant and, as we left, the table next to us told us to enjoy our evening and wished us a Happy Valentine’s Day, as did the staff as we left.
Nothing extraordinary, nothing amazing, just a simple act of acknowledgement and inclusion that might otherwise be taken for granted had it been the experience we’d had our whole lives. That it wasn’t made it all the more meaningful and appreciated.
It’s the little things…