I’m just not into Valentine’s Day.
There, I said it. Never have been. Don’t get me wrong, I love the decor, the candy, the conversation hearts, and the general atmosphere of love and togetherness. It’s just that personally, I don’t care to receive flowers, cards, or gifts. I will DEFINITELY accept some candy, but why don’t you go ahead and wait until the 15th when it’s 50-75% off?
Yeah, I’m THAT girl.
So, many years ago, before we had kids, my husband and I celebrated the holiday in the grossest way possible. I had been on a healthy eating journey and was craving cheap, greasy food, so we decided to do bad in a BIG way. The endeavor had a title before we even formulated a solid plan – The Fast Food Trifecta.
The plot quickly came together: since I don’t really have super emotional connections to the holiday, and he was single, my best guy friend joined us, and we all stopped on the way home from work and got fast food from either the drive-through or take-out. We mulled over the candidates with the discernment and consideration befitting such an enterprise. Now, you may be thinking “Jeanne! This is New Orleans, the culinary capital of the world! How ever could you choose?” But the parameters were clear. This was a “quick service” homage. For consideration were only eateries that are largely available nationwide and, um… let’s just say they don’t require a reservation, ok? The discussion never got unfriendly – and we quickly settled on Raisin’ Cane’s, Taco Bell, and Chinese Take Out.
We met up at our house and unloaded the spoils of our conquests. I wish I had snapped a picture all those years ago of my dining room table, but I’ll just tell you. It looked like the aftermath of a week-long Dungeons and Dragons marathon session. Of course, OF COURSE, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs and we were full after 15 minutes (particularly me since I had been eating healthy for so many months) but not a single one of us had a single regret and we still speak of the event with a mixture of nostalgia, reverence and trepidation.
So, if you’re not “into” Val day, or just looking to keep it low-key this year, I’d recommend it. Here are some tips.
1: Don’t overdo it. Leftovers of fast food are less than ideal. Of course, having kids makes this less likely, as they will probably be more than willing to obliterate every morsel.
2: Time your journeys. You may have to make it only an “exacta,” with 2 fast food meals, because the food arriving hot at the meeting point at the same time is pretty important.
3: Don’t get items with conflicting flavors; you don’t want them to fight each other.
4: Don’t get your usual orders at fast food restaurants, if you’re a regular. Remember: there will be 2 other components to this meal.
5: This is gross. Don’t pretend it’s not. Don’t bother commenting on this post that it is. I’m aware. You will feel gross after.
If you choose to take this journey, I wish you well. I have to be honest, it is an experience that I cherish the memory of very dearly. It made my least favorite holiday truly memorable, the most memorable Valentine’s Day I’ve spent.
Sometimes, we talk about re-doing the Trifecta, but it went so well the first time (over 15 years ago) I fear flying too close to the sun. We have discussed doing a truncated version with some intense salads or something, but that just feels like an empty echo of the beautiful celebration we shared all those years ago where the crucial pre-planning included Tums instead of a reservation.