The Un-Valentine’s Weekend

David Bowie’s song rather captures my Valentine’s Day this

By Mary Anna Violi | @MaryAnnaVioli

Friday evening I left work with a spring in my step, for it was Valentine’s weekend. My daughter had decided to come home on Friday evening instead of Saturday afternoon. I zoomed over to Whole Foods to purchase shrimp for linguine with shrimp scampi. Picking out three fresh lemons to enhance the flavor experience, I had plenty of garlic on hand. I then sampled Brie cheese on some kind of high-end cracker. Before the Brie cheese, I struck up conversation with a delightful man whom, it turns out, knows someone I know. It was so much fun talking with him that I wished I had another thirty minutes to spare. Excusing myself, I then speed-shopped through the pastry area, where I picked up Valentine’s Day vanilla cupcakes for dessert, and a box of hot cross buns to complement an egg breakfast.

My daughter greeted me at the door and we had a happy reunion. I fired up the stove, and placed a large pasta pot on a burner for the linguine. She started to heat the butter, olive oil and garlic for the shrimp. In the meantime, I sliced a fresh lemon into narrow rounds, removing the seeds. The kitchen hummed with activity as my daughter put together a salad. As I stood stirring the pasta, waves of an odd sensation came over me. I shrugged it off and focused on the al dente nature of the linguine. As I served up the shrimp scampi, linguine into pasta bowls, queasiness overcame me. Choosing to ignore it, I sat down with my daughter to dinner.

I made it through one tiger shrimp and two small forkfuls of pasta.

It was then my body was overtaken by a school of piranhas, or so it felt.

The remainder of the night was akin to “The Exorcist”.

First, my temperature soared. Later, it plummeted. I wore my soft North Face gloves and socks to bed. My daughter covered me with extra blankets. Valentino, our big black cat sprawled across my feet to help warm me. It was a night that resulted in little sleep on my end.

Throughout the night it snowed. The next morning offered a winter wonderland with blustery winds and massive icicles hanging down from the house past the windows. I showered, thus lessening my ghoulish look. Throughout the day, my daughter brewed me pots of chamomile tea. I dined on buttered toast, warmed chicken broth, and applesauce. Our original plan had included eating sushi at a favorite Japanese restaurant. Unfortunately, sushi was beyond my digestive capabilities.

Now Valentine’s Day itself has dawned. It is 4 degrees above zero. The only thing that appeals to me is yet another cup of chamomile tea. I told my daughter I would make it up to her next weekend. At least today we can watch David Bowie’s “Valentine’s Day” video from 2013.

Ciao for now.


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