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Happy Valentine’s Day

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It is widely acknowledged that the man known as Saint Valentine lived, was martyred, and was buried, in the North of Rome, sometime during the third century. Different Christian churches remember his life in different ways, and, sometimes, on different dates. But, like most holidays observed in the United States of America, history plays little, if any, role in how we celebrate the occasion. The account proves unimportant, the reality unnecessary. Our western culture has a way of rewriting history, taking what reality has given us, and exchanging it for commercial fodder. Rather than celebrate the life of a man, who clearly had an impact on the world, we’re convinced we need to prove our commitments to loved ones. How did that happen?

The hospitality business gives us a different perspective on holidays. It’s the duty of every restaurant employee, manager, and owner, to set their own lives aside, and work towards the enjoyment of others. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that floods restaurants with customers, not just on that day, but sometimes all weekend. It allows us the privilege of seeing many sides of many people, and those experiences have made me think differently about what the meaning of “love” is. Is love really boxes of chocolate, teddy bears, and roses? In a way, those things are nice reminders of our feelings for others, but the sentiment can’t stop there. I dislike, inherently, the idea that there is a day dedicated to proving to others that we care about them. Is it not a condemnation of our culture that we’ve monetized love? We’ve allowed the term to be warped into a feeling of nervous placation. Inevitably, within a relationship, one person’s expectations will fail to be met, and the other’s feelings will be invalidated. I see it dozens of times, every year, just during the meal that said couple is enjoying, in the restaurant. The interactions are telling. So how do some people figure this out? How have some couples avoided the pressure to spend money to prove their affections? The good relationships in our lives require constant communication, but if that communication stems from a fundamentally flawed foundation, then you’ll only be shouting at a wall.

Ask yourself this: how can I be a better everything? How can I be a better version of myself? Don’t I owe those, that love me, the gift of self-reflection, honesty, and personal growth? Isn’t it my responsibility to be fully invested in my emotional, physical, and spiritual, development? Have I taken the time to develop a strong moral character? Do I have the unflinching courage to stand for what I believe is right, as well as an open mind to allow for evolution of those beliefs? Don’t I owe it to myself, as well as my loved ones, to invest in my own human capital, to continue to adapt to a changing culture and economy? Have I accepted personal responsibility for all of my actions, good, as well as bad? Don’t I have an innate obligation to consider all of this, for the good of myself, and for the good of all of those I have, or will have a relationship with? Imagine if everyone started the day, every morning, by considering these questions. Imagine moving forward, through life, with these goals in mind. Imagine if everyone else posited the same things. We might find that there are 364 other days in the year to show love and affection to others.

This Valentine’s Day, as you inevitably end up at your favorite restaurant, surrounded by a sea of “tables for two,” remember that every one of the people, working to ensure your night is perfect, also has friends, family, and loved ones, who are waiting much longer, to appreciate their company. Remember that everyone around us deserves respect, and love, and always appreciate those who give of themselves, so that the rest of us can enjoy our lives.

Here is a cocktail to appreciate, and enjoy not only the company of others, but the romanticism, as well.

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Farewell, My Lovely

  • 1.5oz New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1.5oz Tanqueray
  • .75oz Pampelmousse
  • .5oz Lime Juice
  • 4 dashes Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters

Shake and double strain up, into a coupe

Garnish with a Grapefruit peel

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