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Valentine’s Day: On the Cheap February 9, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. Spencer Soper, whose “On the Cheap” column runs in our local paper, the Allentown, PA, Morning Call, has done it again. In his column this past Sunday, “Give your valentine the ‘cheapster test’,” Spencer suggests that you take your dear one out for pizza and beer. (You can read the article and even see a video about the “test” at www.mcall.com/onthecheap.)

The photo accompanying the article showed two slices of plain cheese pizza on a paper plate with plastic cups and a single 40-ounce bottle of beer. Spencer’s point was that, if your valentine enjoyed the date instead of complaining about how cheap you were, “you might just have a keeper.” 

What do I, Silence Dogood, think of all this? I’ve never been a box-of-candy-and-bling kind of girl. But I love an elegant meal out, a bottle (or two) of good wine, and a bouquet of flowers as much as the next woman. (For us, that would be at the Landis Store Hotel, the finest restaurant in easily a hundred-mile radius, www.landis-store.com/.) In a year with plenty of money coming in, I’d hope that our friend Ben would appear with those flowers and whisk me off for a lovely meal.

However, I also really love pizza, as does OFB. And this is definitely not a year with plenty of money coming in. But spending Valentine’s Day evening in a pizzeria is not my idea of a good time! So what I’d been planning to do for this Valentine’s Day takes Spencer’s idea one step further: I was going to make a pizza for supper with a big heart, outlined in red bell pepper strips, in the middle! (If I’m feeling really creative, maybe I’ll be able to make the arrow, too.) Of course the pizza would have plenty of other toppings—sweet onion, black olives, mushrooms, diced yellow or orange bell pepper, maybe even some artichoke hearts—but I’d leave some room around the heart outline so it would really show up. With a big, crunchy salad and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, we’ll have a great meal. And hopefully the “pizza heart” will amuse OFB!

Yes, making this pizza and salad and serving it with wine will certainly cost more than the $10-for-two price Spencer quotes for his pizza outing. It might even cost as much as $30. But being able to eat a delicious meal with candles and music, as opposed to chaos, chatter, and big-screen TV, is well worth the extra cost, in my opinion. Especially since we’ll have yummy leftover pizza and salad to enjoy at a second meal!

I didn’t do an extensive survey among my female friends to find out how they’d feel if the love of their life took them out for a pizza-and-beer date on Valentine’s Day, but I did ask Bridget, the longtime girlfriend of our friend and fellow blog contributor, Richard Saunders. She rolled her eyes. “At least that isn’t an option,” she said. “Richard’s idea of romance is to take me to some historical site like Valley Forge or Gettysburg. But at least he’ll take me to a historic inn for supper afterwards, and the food’s usually really good at those.” 

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

             ‘Til next time,

                       Silence

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