Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My favoritist Vday

Two years ago, it looked like this on my back deck:

It looked just like that until Easter.  Everything at school was turning into a mess. My whole syllabus was shot to hell because our class kept getting cancelled.  I was reaching a point where it was hard to care if we accomplished anything at all that semester.  Valentine's day was around the corner, and guess what? They were calling for another 2 feet of snow to arrive for the holiday.

On the Tuesday before Valentine's day, I was slowly starting to go nuts: It was impossible to go anywhere without freezing your ass off or almost crashing your car on black ice; said syllabus was shot to hell; my students were lazier than ever because we hardly ever met for class; cabin fever was setting in ... big time; I had hit a huge impasse in my dissertation and was becoming deeply, horribly, sadly lost in the existential abyss that is, "If I don't finish, do I still matter? What if I don't finish? WHAT IF I DON'T MATTER?"; and, generally speaking, I really hate snow because it makes me sad and mad.

I came up with a great idea at 2pm that day. I had already received notice that my class was cancelled for the next morning (because two more feet of snow were coming), so I told Ron that we should go to Simon Pearce because I really wanted some wine and cheese.  And, I wanted an excuse not to wear pajama bottoms for two hours.

So, I put on my pantyhose and fancy shoes (and a dress: don't worry), and that's where we went.

I called and made a reservation for 5pm because the snow was supposed to start at 7pm.  The guy on the phone was like, "Well, you probably don't need to make a reservation tonight ... you're probably going to be the only people here."  Typically, their dining room was full (because we were always there on a weekend).  We walked in that night ... and two other people were at a table.  It was awesome.  Floor to ceiling windows lined one entire wall of the dining room, and the best seats were along those windows.  We literally had the entire bank of windows to ourselves. I could barely take it--I knew the odds of this happening again were slim to none.  I can't believe that I don't remember what I ordered ... I'm pretty sure that I had soup and a cheese plate.  I definitely had a fancy cocktail.  I think Ron ordered an entree ... I really wish I could remember.

We would always look in the store after dinner.  You know me: If it's sparkly, I want to look at it.  The weight of the individual pieces always surprised me. Even the champagne flutes are really heavy in your hand.  Yet if you drop one of these suckers, it'll shatter into a million pieces like it's nothing.

Fun movie fact: You know the movie Sweet Home Alabama? Guess who produced all the glass for Jake's glass studio?

You guessed it.

My favorite favorite favorite.
That particular night, I saw that they had small heart-shaped candy dishes.  They did NOT cost an arm and a leg, and I really wanted to get one.  But, I didn't.

I thought about getting one for entire year.  Not joking.

Chairs lined up in front of the huge "ovens" where you could watch glassblowing demos.
I don't know why, but it was the best night ever.  We drove around for awhile and looked at all the houses lit up in the snow before we actually drove home. Maybe it was the best because it was a Tuesday, but we were acting like it was a Saturday?  Maybe I secretly liked having all of my classes cancelled for the billionth time?  Maybe I love cheese even more than I thought?

The next morning, it looked like this outside:

And the day after that, it looked like this:

Strangle me. Now.

Eleven months later, my mom texted me: "Simon Pearce is GONE. CLOSED."
My response: "What are you talking about?"

One night, Simon Pearce closed its doors ... and nobody found out until the next morning that they wouldn't open again.  Seriously, it was my most favoritest place.  The store would remain open for another month, but the restaurant was done.  After checking a million online sources to be sure that this was true, I ran right over there: I wanted my heart-shaped candy dish.

A few weeks later, the whole building stood vacant and it's still vacant.  I hate driving by and seeing it that way. I hate it.

Can I tell you how glad I am that I dragged my camera with me that night?  Who knows why I brought it. I'm just glad that I did.

If I had to pick, I would go with 2010: Favoritest Valentine's Day so far.

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