Valentine’s Day is for lick-the-plate-clean good food

We all know that since the ending of my engagement three years ago I’ve been a bit of a proud bachelor.  Singledom has treated me well and in return I have shown it proper respect (how? by happily skipping away from commitment of course – give or take a few hiccups along the way).  So, when Valentine’s Day comes around each year I take the time to reflect on…

My Utah Boys in my Unitas...that's right it's all mine. Photo courtesy of Ryan Malavolta

…past relationships – I still adore my ex, but, seriously, Ryan, what were we thinking getting engaged?  Can we really just chalk it up to being silly kids?  Or maybe being blinded by our love – that is, our love of champagne powder and cliff drops in Utah’s backcountry.  Because let’s face it, without each other we may not have moved across the country.  That means I would have missed out on two years of perfecting the art of working from home while living the ultimate life of a skibum (a skibum with a salary and benefits package of course).  And you would have missed out on being a Ute, which is precisely what you are now that you have been riding, hiking and camping that terrain for the last five years.  I suppose our entire relationship can’t (and some would say maybe shouldn’t) be dissected in a 500 word post in a public forum, but I’ve never really been deterred by ‘can’ts’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ in the past so why stop now…

…super fun flings – A date is fun.  A date when you or the other willingly adventurous participant has to travel to another city to commence said date is even more fun. One Thursday afternoon I walked into the dingy restroom in 30th Street Station in Philly as a short-haired, t-shirt and jean wearing college student and emerged 30 minutes later as a long-haired, four-inch heel, fur coat-wearing diva (I may have taken the transformation a bit far because in some circles I definitely would have been mistaken as a high-price escort – which could be worse because there was no way I could have been mistaken for a LOW-price escort).

…strange dates – One JDater (yup, I that’s right, I did JDate and I’m not even a little J) wouldn’t stop talking about how much money he brought in and how that compared to how much time he spent on a tractor – don’t ask…it didn’t make sense to me either.  Or, how about the guy who continually called me fancy because I started sentences with “My trainer says…” or “When I’m back in Dubai…” or “I can’t live without foie gras.”  That joke got old after the second date.  Or, we can’t forget the guy who in mid-forkful of grilled Chilean Seabass on the first date mentions his foot fetish. His FREAKING FOOT FETISH. Check please.

…and comical run-ins – Here’s a little bedtime story. In Utah on vacation after I moved back East (this would put me in the late 20s age range). Visiting an old boyfriend. Cuddled on the couch watching a movie. Knock knock. Who’s there? His girlfriend. His what?! His girlfriend. What did she want? To fight me. Let me repeat that, TO FIGHT ME. Do you know me?! I don’t fight. I spread smiles and bake cookies for strangers and see the world through beautiful rose-colored glasses. I’m basically skipping around with Carebears on a regular basis. People like me don’t fight.

So, after reflecting on life in the single lane I celebrated this Valentine’s Day a little differently.  After a stellar 9 mile run (my longest run yet) in Dubai I hopped a plane to Doha, Qatar (another new stamp on the passport – holler), listened to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra perform Beethoven, Debussy and Ravel in a stunning outdoor venue with The Amir of Qatar in attendance (he had a better seat than I did – shocking really) and then feasted on a five-course foodgasm at Porcini, the top restaurant in Doha. Delicately fried oysters, Jerusalem artichoke soup with truffles, terrine of foie gras with pine nut and onion chutney, and ravioli filled with lobster and marscarpone melted in my mouth.

As my body – exhausted after 9 hard miles in the sun followed by travel and exploration complete with very many steps in very high heels – fell asleep in a new city, I realized that there is no Valentine better than a new passport stamp.

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