Of course, I'm talking about Valentine's Day (what did you think I meant?).
Alright, so it was a cheap ploy to get you to read, but it had to be done this one time.
That reminds me of a story. In high school, our English teacher told us plan she had in case she ever decided to become an author. The first book she intended to write would be a smutty, scandalous book that people would be sure to get everyone's attention. Then, the second one would be all pious and boring, but a lot of people would buy it just to see if it would be as bad as the first. (At that point, the internet was still a non-graphical government application - there weren't any pesky bloggers around to instantly share their thoughts with thousands of people or less than a dozen all at once.)
Enough of that sidetrip. Back to today, and to Valentine's Day.
Years ago we did away with the "normal", obligatory Valentine's stuff. Flowers die - or are eaten, and subsequently regurgitated, by cats; cards are thrown away with a tinge of guilt; neither of us needs chocolate (I'm not a big fan of it anyway); usually money for necklaces, watches, earrings, diamond-studded grills, has been allocated to diapers, food, mortgages, band fees, and other mundane obligations. Also, we've never felt our expressions for each other should be dictated by the calendar. I prefer the spontaneity.
This year, Sweetie's schedule caused her days off to fall on Monday and Tuesday. Since she has to get up even before o'dark:30, she's generally done for the day by 9:00 on the nights before she works. We decided to go out to eat on Monday so we wouldn't have to be concerned with the time. It turns out, that was never a concern.
If you ever want to literally avoid the rush, go out to eat the day before Valentine's Day. The restaurants and the servers will appreciate it. Since we don't go there very often, we went to Applebee's this year. (We just had pasta on Sunday, so we decided to skip Olive Garden this time.) We were one table out of five others that were filled. If restaurants allowed crickets inside, I'm sure we would have heard them.
Our server's name was Gage. I've heard of kids named things like Paris (no, not that one), London, Angel (as in Angeles), and Dallas, because of their conception location, so I couldn't help thinking if we were in Oklahoma he would probably be asked about his name a lot. (Gage, OK) He treated us like royalty, like we were his only customers. We weren't because he had one other table to wait on - seated right next to us, of course (!).
So, we ordered a nice meal, and then I sprang the surprise on her.
Check back to see what the surprise was.