Sunday, February 14, 2010


Today, of course, is Valentine's Day, the traditional archnemesis of the newly single. As much as I hate to admit it, it has caused me to think a bit wistfully of La Moustache once or twice this week. Not that I'm sad that we broke up, just sad that I turned out to be so woefully wrong about his character (or lack thereof).

Three years ago today we celebrated our first Valentine's Day together. Moustache had had a visit from a French friend not long before who brought him a gift of a Raclette grill, and on V-day 2007 he started a tradition of having a Valentine's Raclette dinner. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of enjoying a Raclette dinner, the grill is an electrical appliance with what looks like four miniature frying pans that heat up when it is plugged in. To make the dinner, one places slices of Raclette cheese – a delicious cheese that uncannily smells exactly like the dirtiest, sweatiest feet you could possibly imagine – on these mini frying pans, where they melt. Then, one empties the melty contents of the pans onto boiled potatoes, broccoli and charcuterie, and finally one gobbles them up.

That first year, I was still in graduate school, and when I got out at 9 pm he was waiting for me outside the school, his arms overflowing with gifts and flowers. We headed to his studio apartment on 10th Avenue, where we consumed our dinner and gazed into each others' eyes, and despite how tired I was it was all very romantic.

On V-day 2008, we continued this tradition, and again had a very scrumptious dinner. It was my first year as a full-time teacher, and midway through dinner, abetted by the champagne we were drinking, I was hit by a wave of exhaustion. We headed to bed early, and as I lay curled up in bed beside him, I began to feel very strange. It wasn't exactly nausea or coldy-feeling; I had never felt quite like this before, and was unsure how to describe it. Nonetheless, I reported this strange feeling to La Moustache, and then asked, “Do you think I'm getting sick?” “Oh, no,” he responded, “You'll be fine. Just go to sleep.” Reassured, I put my arms around him and snuggled up against his back. Approximately ten seconds later was when the wave hit, completely out of the blue, like a tsunami. Before I had any time to react or turn aside, vomit was pouring out of my mouth, onto the bed, onto Moustache's pajamas. And this was not just any vomit, it was Raclette vomit, with the sweaty feet smell amplified and mixed with champagne.

And so ended our Raclette tradition. V-day 2009 found us in Mexico City, where we helped set the record for most couples kissing simultaneously (39,897 people, which begs the question – did someone double up??). At the time, I would never in a thousand years have guessed what the following year would bring.

This year, V-Day 2010, my date is my little Green Bean, who started off the day on a romantic note by regurgitating his breakfast for me. In the end, he has turned out to be a much better consort than La Moustache. In fact, here he comes now, flying across the room to land on my head with the same happy, excited look he gives me every single day. I'm sure he won't be my only companion for long, but in the meantime I am quite content with my little sidekick.

Plus, I got the single best Valentine's Day gift I have ever received this year from my *very* generous mother, a fuzzy, gorgeous Valentine's sweater. Thanks Mom!


  1. I wonderd how your first solo valentines day would be. Thanks goodness for mothers. Kudos on the sweater.

  2. Aw, thanks Brenda! Mothers are indeed quite wonderful.