Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Our Valentine's Day Tradition at McDonald's

Happy belated Valentine's Day to everyone!

For those of you who follow us on Twitter, I feel like we owe you a bit of an explanation. We've talked about our splitting of duties (one plans Valentine's Day and the other plans our Anniversary), but not our McDonald's tradition. "Wait B, hold up. You're telling me that you eat out at so many places in DC that you have a blog about it, but for Valentine's Day you go to McDonalds?" Yes. And we have been for years.

When J and I first met, she hadn't had much luck with boyfriends and Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, my first opportunity to impress was thwarted by a friend from eastern Europe who had decided to pay me a visit. While I redeemed myself with a trip to Santa Barbara in the days after, our first Valentine's Day included a third wheel at a burger joint in Hollywood.

Still, her low point came courtesy of an ex-boyfriend who "took" her to McDonald's, but asked her to pay. Not surprisingly, and luckily for me, this relationship didn't last... though we do pay homage to this ridiculous idea of romance by recreating it every year.

It is fun to have a tradition that doesn't involve fighting the crowds for the last reservation at the popular hot spot in town. In fact, it is quite the contrary. We've got the place to ourselves. It is just us, Ronald, and a few oddballs that share our love of fat, salt, and fried (insert whatever word you'd use to describe their "meat").

Both J and I grew up adoring Happy Meals, but not surprisingly, we've since traded the Hamburgler and Grimace for innovative chefs and fresh foods. That's not to say we don't love the occasional chicken mcnugget. In fact, we crave them... making our Valentine's Day meal a real treat that we look forward to months in advance.

That's our story and we're sticking to it. For the record, we do celebrate Valentine's Day in a more traditional manner on another day. Getting a reservation on the 13th or 15th is a breeze and sometimes we take advantage of the long President's Day weekend (like going to Paris!!!). But on the 14th, it is Mickey D's all the way.

A few random thoughts about Valentine's Day while we're on the subject.
  • Valentine's Day is a contrived and corporate idea. At the same time, it is a good excuse to do something nice for your beloved. You can't argue with that.

  • The most backwards thing about Valentine's Day is that guys are made to feel obligated to buy cards, flowers, chocolate, and jewelry for their ladies. If the day is about romance and love, why is that a one way street?

  • It's the thought that counts. Really. We go to McDonald's and for us, that is romantic.

  • Celebrating love doesn't have to be serious and formal. Again, our Valentine's Day often involves a ball pit and a clown.

  • Even if you don't agree, if something is important to your significant other, it needs to be important to you. I'm still learning this one...

  • Finally, to quote the immortal Andre 3000, we should all strive to make "every day the 14th."
J Says

WHEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! Pardon me, I'm still completely giddy that B surprised me with a trip to Paris this weekend. Sorry ladies and gentlemen, he's taken. Now I get to come up with an equally awesome surprise for our anniversary in August. I have 6 months and 3 days to figure this out.

As excited as I am for Paris, I still love that we have our simple, silly McDonald's tradition. We both squealed with excitement as we tasted our first McNugget in many months. We might lose readers over this post, but this is who we are and what we do as a couple. We try not to take ourselves too seriously and to always, no matter what life throws at us, keep a sense of humor.

While the Golden Arches represent a lot of really terrible things, there is no denying that they have also hosted some incredible memories. From our Valentine's Day tradition to the time that we drove (with my awesome dad and friends) from LA to El Paso for a UCLA football bowl game and stopped at McDonald's to brush our teeth. We'll never forget the cashier who, upon seeing our UCLA shirts, said "I know what UCLA means! It means U Can't Locate Anything!" You just can't manufacture memories like this.

So, while you might think Valentine's Day is completely lame, see how much fun you can make it if you step back and inject a little (or a lot) of silly into it.
McDonald's on Urbanspoon


Alexandra said...

wonderful! and, i agree, getting reservations on the 13th is pretty easy!

Ryan Walcott said...

I'm pretty sure the last time I went to a McDonalds was with B and J in 2007, somewhere in the middle of South Carolina, driving down to Atlanta. Also quite romantic.