V-Day Spent with Seafood at Home

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As I solemn and stubborn 14-year-old, I once declared to the husband, who at that point was the guy following me around from class to class, that I hated ALL holidays. That's right. ALL. I'm not sure why. I've always liked Easter, unless it fell on my birthday, and New Year's was always fun. We played card games for money and drank cognac with the adults. I was probably just trying to live up to my Russian absolutist reputation, and the husband took me seriously. Because that's what you do at 14 when you're trying to court a very serious girl.

So, the husband set out to make the holidays special for me. It started with a Christmas gift, The Stranger by Camus. I had literally just graduated from Sweet Valley High to Dostoevsky. With my English up to speed, I didn't waste much time, and Camus quickly won my heart.

Then came Valentine's Day and I was gifted my first flower. A pretty red rose in a blue vase. Slowly, I started warming up to the skinny dude with the floppy hair. When St. Patrick's Day rolled around, and I received my first four-leaf clover (a tradition the husband regrets ever starting (I don't blame him)), I was completely smitten. Ever since those teenage years, we've always done something to celebrate Valentine's Day and St. Patty's. Despite all the Hallmarkness attached to these holidays, we usually spend them at home or with friends, enjoying good food and each other.

Last month, we celebrated Valentine's Day with a low-key dinner at home -- mahi mahi, cauliflower steaks, oysters and wine. The husband even put a shirt on for dinner. That's how you know it's a special day.
We don't spend money on cards. Not when you can save that cash and buy more oysters.

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