Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Case for the 14th

Dear Unnamed Prospective Valentine:

I guess you might have gotten the memo by now that I've stopped waiting for you to come around, have you? It's not that I don't believe that you exist - come on, you're talking to a girl that still believes in Santa Claus - or that I've stopped waiting for you. It's just that - well, let's face it, neither one of us is getting any younger, and a single girl's gotta start managing her expectations. So if I ever upset you in any way.... I'm sorry.

So anyway. Since we're on the topic of managing expectations, let's talk about those Valentine's gifts, shall we? Right now I'm in full Mufi Hannemann mode, where I'm classifying my presents under the categories of "nice to have" and "need to have." (Yeah, I know it's not sexy to think about the mayor of Honolulu right now, but bear with me.) Forget about the fancy perfume or bubble bath or whatever the saleslady at Sephora told you would be a great gift for me; again, you know I love that stuff, but you know me - if a horrible disaster were to strike Makiki tonight, I'd take my books before I save the cosmetics. (Let's not even talk about the lingerie.)

That leaves us with the roses and the chocolates and the champagne (and the U2 tickets - but that's not till April, and even then - again, "nice to have," not "need to have"), so it looks like you're all set... but aren't you forgetting something there, buddy? Yep, that's right - if you knew me at all, you know that I've got a thing for a man who can put together an awesome dinner. Note that I didn't say a "home cooked meal" - I'm a sucker for that, too, but by the time you read this you're probably thinking, Crap, how does Mei expect me to get her a home-cooked meal on Valentine's Day when all of the restaurants in Honolulu are fully booked and there's not enough time for me to cook when I get home?

Calm down, big guy. You don't have to hire the personal chef yet. You don't need to lose your head shopping for the fanciest gourmet ingredients just to impress me. Let me make this easy for you.

If your budget is anything like mine - you know, next to none - and you're not feeling like going to Zippy's, there's nothing wrong with getting me a pizza or a Philly cheese steak, or having one of your buddies swing by your favorite Chinese/ Korean/ Italian/ Hawaiian/ Greek joint so you can drop off some takeout on my doorstep. (No sushi, though - we've been having crazy cold weather here in town and I could use a hot meal for a change.) Don't worry about combinations or anything; a takeout container full of cake noodles with chicken and broccoli can say "I love you" in so many more ways than an indifferently-reserved table at Le Bistro.

Of course, if you could spring for it, you can also go straight to the deli counter at Foodland on Beretania (not that far from my house!) and put together a nice, pre-cooked meal - I personally enjoy their meatloaf, but if you decide to spring for the pork loin - or, better yet, the steak plate (it is Tuesday, after all) - all the more better. And there are a lot of other restaurants on the island that can do takeout for you, too - or you could order it all online, but I'm assuming that you already know what I think about shipping policies to Hawaii, so I wouldn't want to put you through all that trouble.

If you really - and I mean really - want to go "all out," though, I can tell you now that there's nothing wrong with waiting until Friday and giving it your all for the long President's Day weekend. In fact, I might be able to appreciate it so much more. Why have just one day when you can have all weekend and a Monday off?

Well, I better get to sleep soon. But I'll be dreaming of you. Hope it all goes well for both of us tomorrow.

love, Mei

(And to those of you still reading this blog: Hugs and kisses all around for a Happy Valentine's Day!)

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