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Ich Hasse Valentinstag {Feierabend}

February 16, 2011

I hate Valentine’s Day. There. I said it. I always have. I’ll save the speeches about commercialization or making single people feel bad. Those aren’t my issues and they never have been. Maybe I’m just a bit selfish and don’t want to share a day supposedly focused on love and affection with millions of other people. I’m also not particularly fond of the fact that it gives a lot of people who go the whole year without being kind to others a forced means by which they can pretend to redeem themselves. So that’s that. No Valentine’s Day for me.

B and I typically celebrate on some off day around February 14th instead. By celebrate, I mean we go to dinner just like we normally would and toast to a happy “un-Valentine’s Day” or something equally disturbing in its slightly hipster nonchalance. This year that day will be this Wednesday (February 16th) since he leaves for his annual guys-only snowboarding trip on Thursday. I know. How dare he leave me on a Thursday night! It’s ok. I always get a spa day out it.

Monday was a long day, though. By 5:00 I was ready to leave work, but not quite ready to go home. I had a sneaking suspicion the pub scene would be a little quieter than regular restaurants. I suggested to B that we stop by someplace we hadn’t been in quite a while- Feierabend. By the time we arrived it was raining. Hard. The weather these past few days has been more like what we normally see in November than February.

I ran inside out of the pouring rain to find us seats while B braved the storm to pay for parking. I promptly found two seats at the bar (and noticed I was the only woman in the place aside from the bartender). B was taking a very long time to come in out of the storm. I kept checking over my shoulder. No B. Finally, about the fourth time I checked, I saw him standing by the car door with the door open, looking confused while getting absolutely soaked. There was obviously a problem. I got up to go out and see if he was ok about the same time he was coming inside. Absolutely drenched and looking freezing, he told me that a gust of wind blew through so hard it took the car door away from him and slammed it backward with a loud crack sounding as if the door had broken. To say we’re a bit protective of our car is a tiny bit of an understatement. We both sat nervously waiting for the rain to subside so we could go back out and check on the car. In the meantime, the wind whipped through the city and the rain fell mercilessly in sheets onto the pavement. At one point, someone from the bar had to take a giant squeegee and push the water off the bar floor back outside.

What could we possibly do while we anxiously waited to check on our car (that we really do baby)? What else does one do in a German style pub? Order a beer, of course. B and I both ordered a .5L beer. B had a Spaten Pilsner while I had a Kostritzer. We also chose the Curry Wirst mit Pommes Frites from their happy hour menu.

We drank our beer and waited. Mine was really good. Though it was super dark, the taste wasn’t heavy at all and it definitely had detectable coffee notes. The brats and frites were also tasty, but while I appreciated the curry ketchup on the fries, it was a little strange on the brat. Finally, the rain let up. B and I ordered more food (Bratwurst Teller mit Sauerkraut for B and the Muffelatta for me) before I headed outside the check on the car. It seems to be fine. Huge relief. Money and time spent at the car dealership were not on our agenda for this week. As for the food, B loved his. The brat was definitely better than the one we had with the small plate. My sandwich was pretty good, but given the frigid wet weather, I was more in the mood for hot food, so the cold sandwich was a tad disappointing.

We sat for awhile, ordered a second beer and hoped the rain would stay away. Fortunately for us, it held off until we were already home. Pub food is the best on nights like that. Not a lot of pubs and bars in Seattle have fireplaces. I imagine there are lots of regulations around that, but I do wish more of them did. Maybe next time we’ll venture back to Paddy Coyne’s to sit by their fireplace. Warmth and light are always appreciated, but during a bleak Seattle winter, these are qualities none of us takes for granted. Happy Un-Valentine’s Day week. B and I very much enjoyed our impromptu esape from home and the terrible holiday scene. How was your Valentine’s Day?

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