Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Food As a Substitute for Love

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Proof of that came many years ago during a Valentine’s Day with the guys, future members of the About Men Radio crew.

Unfortunately, none of us had female companions on this amorous holiday so we drowned our frustrations with food.

We ended up at an Italian pizzeria/restaurant, a nice family place.

And then the horror began. It was a Valentine’s Day massacre.

Multiple appetizers, drinks and more appetizers were ordered.

Mozzarella sticks. Bruschetta. Ribs. Wings. Antipasto. Calamari. House salad. French fries… You name it, we ordered it.

Then came our entrees:

Chicken parmigiana. Lasagna. Fettuccini alfredo. Eggplant rolentine. Italian sausage. Ziti. And of course, pizza.

The table was covered with dishes of food; no tablecloth was visible.

Our poor waitress came over and cheerfully offered to take some of the plates away that she thought we were finished with.

With mouths stuffed with food, we all looked up — hunched over the table devouring our meals — and grunted “no.”

Her smile disappeared and it was replaced with fear.

This food orgy went on for some time.

The sounds that emanated from our table were epic.

We shared it all. No dish was left untouched, and no doggy bags went home with us.

I don’t remember if we had dessert, but I’m sure John had coffee, so Gary must have had chocolate cake.

We probably ruined some Valentine’s Day dates and scared some young children, but our stomachs were all satisfied after this gastronomic bacchanalia that took our minds off our lack of female company.

I’m not sure if we ever went back to this place.

They probably had our pictures on the wall with red crossed-out circles through them.

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AMR 09: It’s a Love Thing

Love is in the air despite the bitter cold and on this episode Chris and I present a survival guide that will help you make it through that most stressful of Hallmark holidays, Valentine’s Day, relatively unscathed.

While the entire AMR posse remain hopeless romantics, we believe that forced expressions of love on a single pressure-packed day is no way to tell the person that has your heart what they mean to you. Everyone should regularly make the effort to show your Significant Other just how much you care, regardless of the date.

All that being said, if your Significant Other is thrilled by anything and everything related to Valentine’s Day just grit your teeth and give ’em what they want. It’s only one day out of the year. My guess is they’ve earned a nice night out or that expensive gift.

Cowboy up and get to it, Loverboy!

As an aside, does anyone else find the idea of an armed baby with wings looking to fire a pointed stick through your heart as terrifying as I do?  No? Okay, it’s just me. Never mind…

Moving on from romantic love, we dove right into love of family with a discussion about being Dads.

I was in my 40’s when I started a family and spent many years wondering if I’d made the right decision having waited so long. Chris was in his 20’s when he became a father and wondered if he should have waited a few more years.

Did we make the right call? Take a listen and find out!

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Dating Disaster Stories

Years before online dating services like Match and eHarmony were options, I placed a personal ad in the Penny Pincher.

The first woman that I went out with called and asked where I would take her. I said that she should pick a place.

Siobahn suggested a seafood restaurant. I liked seafood, so I didn’t mind.

During the meal, we engaged in conversation.

She was an au pair, someone who provides day care and light housekeeping while staying with a host family. The meal arrived. I had a nice salmon and she ordered lobster.

I thought when the check arrived, we would split it, but I kind of got the indication that au pairs didn’t get paid very much, so I shelled out the money and suggested that we walk across the street to a coffee shop for dessert.

She said that it was getting late and she had to be back to put the kids to bed. At that, she left.

I went across the street myself for cake and coffee.

I never heard from Siobhan again.

For my second date, Karen and I talked on the phone a few times. She lived in Rockland County and wanted to meet in a bar with a male friend as an escort.

Seeing how this was all kind of new to me too, it seemed fine.

I arrived early to the bar. I was dressed in slacks, a dress shirt and tie. Karen and Hank, dressed in leather and jeans, arrived a few minutes later; Hank sat at the end of the bar ordering shots.

Karen was a rather large woman with at least four visible tattoos. Hank had that “biker bar” vibe as he too was covered in tats.

Karen ordered a hamburger with a shot and a beer and wanted me to have a drink.

I got this nervous vibe that I was going to get rolled in the parking lot or wake up in a tub of ice without my kidneys, so I suggested that she and Hank enjoy a meal on me and I left.

The take-away? I left with all my organs and wallet. The only lingering question was who had more tattoos on them.

My last date from my personal ad was the most memorable.

We spoke on the phone and she asked if it was a problem that she was African-American. I said that I didn’t mind as my ad had all races and religions. She too lived in Rockland County and also was an au pair.

Kimberly asked me to meet her at a church. I thought it an unusual request, but figured why not.

I met her in the parking lot. Kimberly was this stunning, slender young woman. I thought we were going to walk to a restaurant nearby, but she invited me into the church auditorium instead.

There were chairs in a circle and coffee and cookies on a table.

The minister asked me to help myself. I sat next to Kim, and with that the minister began, welcoming everyone and asking if anyone would like to start.

Kimberly stood up and said, “Hi, my name is Kimberly and I’m a narcotic and alcoholic.”

Everyone clapped and welcomed Kimberly.

The minister then asked if anyone was new to the group and I stood, saying that my name was John and that I was here for the first time.

They asked me when I last used alcohol and I said about four months ago and they cheered. (I probably should have just sat back down, but I said that I wasn’t an alcoholic, which spawned a bevy of comments.)

After the meeting we walked to the foot of the Tappan Zee Bridge and sat on the rocks and talked. She was going to school for social work. I was a foster care caseworker.

It was actually kind of nice with the conversation, hot coffee and the lights glistening on the water.

At the end of the night she asked me if I could take care of her kitten because she was going out of town.

I said that I had a cat and wasn’t sure about introducing a new one.

She assured me that it was only for a day or two. My cat didn’t like the kitten and was hissing non-stop. The next morning, I called her to let her know that my cat was not having it and that she had to take her kitten back.

She gave me instructions to take the kitten to another woman’s farm somewhere in Rockland.

She took the kitten back and that was my last foray into personal ad dating.

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