Unconvincing Schmaltz

This Valentine’s Day was a real winner. I’m one of the “holiday’s” most ardent naysayers – apologies to any blog readers who love pink and hearts.

The Philosopher, however, feeling perhaps the pressure to romance his honey at least one day of the year, generally gives it a good go. Our very first V-Day was about 9 months into dating and he really pulled out all the stops. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups hidden as a surprise in my freezer – discovered by me following a trail of notes; more edible gifts hidden in my college backpack and revealed bit by bit during the day; a secret rendezvous following my ever-dull Milan Kundera class; dinner at Whitfield’s, a local restaurant whose name had some significance to me. We even (we think) saw the Northern Lights. Yup, in New Haven.

He freely admits that he may have set the bar a bit too high that year.

Every year since things have slid a little bit downhill.

Now, I’m not here to complain. After all, I couldn’t care less for online articles about aphrodisiac foods, or kisses-speckled underwear, or heart-shaped chocolate. I like to eat my chocolate in squares, to be perfectly honest.

But you know, two great things happened this Valentine’s day.

First, I finally convinced the Philosopher to please not send me flowers to my workplace, which are inevitably delivered by my male bosses who just happen to answer the door and then practically blush with embarrassment handing them to me. Then I spend the next week sneezing and have to ask my colleague if I can please move my giant bouquet of flowers a little bit closer to her desk instead of mine.

Second, I ate one of my favorite meals…and I didn’t even make it! I arrived home to this: a Philosopher out of his element. He did an amazing job.

DSC04332He prepared a delicious meal in which not one thing went wrong and we even ate before 8pm! He did everything himself. (Except dessert, which he casually mentioned he hoped I would be up for making soon after we sat down to eat. Don’t push him – he hasn’t cooked for 3.5 years, and one main course is quite enough to think about, even for a man of his intellectual stature.)

DSC04334The Philosopher’s version of Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Cardamom Rice. WOW.

DSC04339He even gave me not one but two very funny cards. I hope you, like me, find the outside of these cards hilarious (and I know you will, Bakestress). The corny one on the right, especially.

DSC04338I returned the favor with one lame present – Up2U mentos GUM.




All of the above was, in fact, very convincing schmaltz at its finest.

What’s with the post title, you ask?

It refers to our final activity of the evening, and the picture below. Can anyone identify the movie?

“Say I’m a bird! Say it! Say it now!”
“You’re a bird.”
“Now say you’re a bird too.”
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.”

Yes, you’re quite right: The Notebook. That movie for lovers young and old. That perennial V-Day classic. That heart-melting story of enduring romance.

I don’t know – I just wasn’t convinced by it. Any of it.  In fact, the only bit that I enjoyed was the last part about the old folks in the nursing home. And even then, to say “enjoyed” would be an overstatement because I bawled my eyes out.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

And if it’s your favorite film – or at least if you think it’s one of the all time greatest love stories ever told – please tell me: Why?

8 thoughts on “Unconvincing Schmaltz

  1. Just for the record: I never promised it was one of the “all time greatest love stories ever told” (at least, if I did, I was obviously not being serious), and I even suggested we could watch something else if you preferred, but you stubbornly insisted (I’m beginning to think it was just so you could make fun of my movie tastes in a blog post). If you want a real all-time romantic classic, we’ll watch Out of Africa every Valentine’s Day for the next 60 years.

  2. PS You should tell everyone the fancy cook book I got the recipe from, and list the very many exotic spices the dish required. Otherwise, “Chicken + Rice” doesn’t sound very impressive, does it?

  3. Very impressive, Philosopher! (But you’re still setting the bar too high for us husbands–I’ve never cooked a meal for your Mama in 35 years!)

      1. You make your momma proud, Pfo! But I HOPE and PRAY that it’s not just on Valentine’s Day that you show your spouse how PRICELESS she is and how much GRACE God bestowed on you when He brought her into your life!
        And say, I like the Notebook. And OUt of Africa; But I also like While YOu Were Sleeping; and Sarah: Plain & Tall; and Pride & Prejudice; and The Scarlet Pimpernel (the oldest version with Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon); and It Happened One Night…..
        Just to name a few…..

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