Eric and I decided a couple of years ago not to observe Valentine’s Day. (See this for a fairly good explanation of why. I love the phrase “love with teeth.” And “Twinkie love” is an excellent descriptor of what I think is wrong with how our society popularly portrays romantic love.) We do observe Cheap Candy Day, of course, and this year I figured Valentine’s Day would be a good day to make my own candy, but then Eric’s dad called and we decided to have dinner with him and his wife instead, because they don’t observe Valentine’s Day either.

“I’m glad you’re not the kind of woman who insists on candy and flowers on a particular day of the year that Hallmarks created as a holiday to make money,” Eric said the other day.

“Hey, I wouldn’t mind candy and flowers now and then!”

Eric arched an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“Well, I’d rather have the flowers in the form of seeds…”

“I could get you a potato,” he offered, referring to something he read online a couple of years ago describing why a potato is a more romantic gift than, say, candy or flowers.

“Could you?” I said. “I could plant it! And it would grow and multiply, like a sappy, starchy symbol of our love! I bet you could find a red one.”