Valentine’s Day. A very divisive holiday.
The first Valentine’s Day that Trevor and I were together, he said about a week before the day in question, “We could celebrate Valentine’s Day. Or we could show each other we care about each other the other 364 days a year.” I got what he was saying. Valentine’s Day was not his thing. And it seems stupid and fake to show love to someone on a day when it is expected.
But…somehow the idea of him not wanting to celebrate Valentine’s Day made me want to celebrate it even more. I guess because us agreeing NOT to celebrate Valentine’s Day meant nothing was expected. It was just an opportunity to show him that I loved him, or not. And so that’s the deal for us. Mostly we just make low-key plans, and if I feel inspired then I will make or give Trevor something, with nothing expected in return, just as a chance to do something nice.
Somewhere along the line, I heard of this Valentine’s Day dinner at the Aquarium called Romance Under the Sea. It sounded both corny and awesome and I kept bringing it up to Trevor, joking at first, but then I became more and more convinced that this was something we needed to check out. But by the time we called, it was all booked!
So we had to wait until the next year to go. I called early and made our reservation. I was so excited! I pictured us in the Aquarium restaurant, surrounded by fishes and low light. A love-themed sea-like experience with soft music and candles and lots of pink and hearts while we watched the fish swim by us and enjoyed some gourmet seafood.
In reality, it was not like that. It was crowded, loud and bright. Though we had a reservation, it seemed the dining room was not exclusively used for Romance Under the Sea guests. They must’ve saved some room for the normal Aquarium patrons because mixed in were lots of families. We were dressed up and ready for a fancy dinner, while these people had been out all day in their jeans or sweat suits wrangling their toddlers and babies. Kids were running around or coloring on their menus, people were yelling.
Once it was ascertained that we were there for RUtS, I was handed a rose and we were led to our table, through the maze of loud people, where two complimentary glasses of champagne were waiting for us. We were told that there was set menu for those of us who chose to pay more to eat next to everyone else who could order whatever they liked. The room was where the big fish tanks were, and fish were swimming, but there were about 40 rows of people between us and the fish tank.
We got a bottle of some of the worst wine I’d ever tasted. Then our food was brought to us, I think it had been made a few hours before we arrived and put under a heat lamp. As we romantically tried to raise our voices enough above the noise in order to converse, suddenly “Under the Sea” began blaring and some mermaids (yes, mermaids) appeared in the fish tank where they swam-danced to the music (educational). Shortly after their performance, the mermaids had some signs that said, “Will you marry me?” and a couple, seated much more closely to the tank, got engaged. It was so romantic.
As we finished our dinner, we found out that our purchase of RUtS included admission to the Aquarium. So we took a walk around (fish were swimming, but the other animals were all asleep.)
So, I don’t think we will do anything like that again. Trevor was right, though I think I will still find ways to celebrate the made-up, completely meaningless holiday.
Romance in Space?