Way back in the 90's, I met this guy at my local bar. We exchanged numbers, and ended up going out for a movie and some drinks. He was a waiter and a musician, and I liked him because he was very cynical. He was very gentlemanly and attentive. I can't remember if we went on one or two dates but he asked me to go to a Jazz concert with him on what happened to be Valentines Day. woah. I offered to make dinner before the show. I was making Marcella Hazan's Hunter's Chicken (fricasseed chicken with wild mushrooms and a little tomato--ok, it was Chicken Cacciatore) when he called to tell me he wasn't going to be able to go out. He told me he suddenly got called into work. Then about 20 minutes later he called back. Of course, you would think, as I had hoped, he was calling back to tell me he got someone to cover his shift. Actually he was calling me back to come clean: he was also dating another woman, who apparently had won. Him being the prize. I left my apartment and went down to The Vern (my local) and got drunk with the regulars. Someone had strewn candy conversation hearts all over the bar and with a very fine felt tip pen, I began writing every cruel and crass letter combination that I could fit over the centimeter-wide confections. Later I took my hot glue gun, affixed them to a black doily heart and had it as a wall piece for awhile. The next year, or maybe the one after that, I had met at a Christmas party about 2 months previous. He was a graphic designer and possibly one of the grumpiest humans to walk the earth, and that was pretty appealing. Now I am trying to remember things that I purposefully blocked out, so forgive me; I think I sent him a card and invited him to a play that I was in. He didn't come to the play, but we did go on some dates, and had what I thought was great chemistry, and right before Valentines Day he took me out to tell me he was not going to be able to see me any more. No other woman this time, it was just me. That year, my 2 housemates and I threw a Valentines Day party (why?). Spurred by S_______'s humiliating rejection, and inspired by the candy hearts that S________ inspired, I mixed up some sugar cookie dough, frosted some hearts with colorful fondant, and worked out my rage with a tube of royal icing.
This is the first year in over a decade that I did not make my signature Valentine's Day cookies. When we opened up Half & Half they became a showpiece and a labor of love, and sometimes just labor. My kitchenaid mixer broke awhile back I haven't replaced it. It sounds implausible that I could go that long without one, but my will to procrastinate is very, very strong. I thought it would be a relief to take a break this year, but it feels a bit like phantom limb.
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