Servers tend to be very cynical in nature. We can't help but be. We watch mini dramas act out in front of us, meal by meal. The players seldom realize they are on a stage, quietly being viewed by their helpful audience. We are the unseen, but hear all.
Watching the blather that went on during last night's dinner shift was enough to make me wish I hit the Pepto bottle before work. Some things were cute, like the old Jack Sprat couple, dressed to the nines (even though their product would be far less than that number,) in a gray tuxedo and a sequined gown. Some things were sweet, like the triplet boys each handing their obviously exhausted mother a foil wrapped chocolate rose. Others were stomach churning, like the immature, way obvious allusion to some salacious act using a cannoli as a prop. All gave us, the unseen audience, a window overlooking humanity.
Some couples dined out of obligation, as if it posed some matrimonial threat to ignore the holiday. These joyless tables littered the restaurant floor. A few couples seemed to glow, exchanging casual conversation, almost as if it were just Wednesday. I liked those couples.
Dan likes to say that Valentine's Day is a "Hallmark holiday" created by the greedy execs of that company. Maybe retail has made him cynical as well. I can't help to think how too much consumerism and commercialization has pushed romance over an ordinary edge, but that is another entry on a different day.
To truly feel obligated to celebrate Valentine's Day is to admit that it is an act. Love should be celebrated everyday. The joy of love should not be limited to a single blustery February day, but each meal, each day. It should be almost ordinary to enjoy your spouse and family. Life is too short for acting.