Valentine’s Day Dinner Goes Awry

I set the grocery store bags on the kitchen counter and silently congratulated myself on planning what I felt would be a great Valentine’s Day Eve dinner for another couple, my husband, and me. As I unloaded the groceries, I mentally checked off my ingredient list for the menu that consisted of chicken and rice, salad, rolls, and a heart-shaped cake. In mid-list, I suddenly stopped.  Chicken.  Chicken?  Oh my gosh, CHICKEN!  I forgot the main ingredient for my main dish.

I yelled for my husband to come upstairs.  When he arrived with a wary look, I gently gave him the news because there are three places in the world my husband absolutely hates—the dentist’s office, the hospital, and you guessed it—the grocery store. After a deep sigh, he asked, “Now just to be certain before I leave, are you sure you didn’t forget anything else?”

“I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life, I answered. “Once you buy that chicken, I’ll have everything I need.”

A few minutes later, the garage door opened and my husband entered, carrying the chicken and feeling obvious relief that his much-hated task was over.  Unfortunately, I was about to deliver more bad news.

In his absence, I had made the mistake of leaving the dog in the kitchen with nothing but an empty stomach and a large sack of dinner rolls I had purchased to serve with our Valentine’s Day meal. My husband is a smart man and before I greet him with the news, he had already noticed the only remnants left from the bag of dinner rolls—a few crumbs, some shards of plastic wrap, and a dog that had already begun to emit the effects of a carbohydrate overdose.

I’m pretty sure the neighbor three doors down heard my husband’s loud sigh. “Let me guess,” he announced, “I need to go back to the store to buy more rolls this time.” I told you he was smart.

After he left again, I began mixing the ingredients for the cake and, without utilizing any cooking spray, poured the batter into my non-stick, heart-shaped pan. Just as my husband arrived back home with a fresh bag of rolls, I was pulling my cake out of the oven.  “Look at this beautiful dessert!” I exclaimed with pride as I held it up like I was participating in show-and-tell.

“It does look gorgeous,” he admitted with obvious relief that the dinner appeared to be finally pulling together.  As he headed downstairs, he yelled, “I really feel confident now that you won’t need anything else from the store, don’t you?”

“I’ve never been so confident of anything in my life!” I shouted back.

An hour had passed when I decided to transfer the cake from the pan to a glass plate. A few minutes later, my husband found me sitting at the kitchen table with my head in my hands. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“My heart is brrrrroooooken,” I sobbed as I gently fingered the mess in front of me.  Half of my beautiful cake lay in the baking dish—the other half lay on the glass plate in pieces.  “I MADE THE MISTAKE OF TRUSTING THE NON-STICK METHODOLOGY!” I screeched. 

My husband, who obviously always thinks of me before himself, said, “Is there any way you can possibly glue those 45 pieces of crumbly cake together with frosting?”  So I tried.  I tried and I tried some more until my cake didn’t even resemble a heart anymore. To be honest, it looked like a football that had lost all its air. 

I had no choice but to summon my husband back upstairs who, once he arrived in the kitchen, quickly admitted he had been seriously contemplating running away from home. “I hate to ask you this …” I managed to utter before he held up his hand to interrupt me.

“I’ve got a great idea,” he announced in his most sarcastic tone, “Should I just circle the store for another hour before I come home, just to be sure you don’t need anything else? Better yet, I could hover like a spacecraft over the store and wait for your call.”

One thing I’ve learned in seventeen years of marriage is that there are certain times when it’s better to just keep my mouth shut. As the doorbell rang announcing our guests, we stared at each other like two cowboys in the midst of a stand-off at the OK Corral. My husband was the first to crack. He sighed, “I’ll be back in 10 minutes with a cherry pie.”

In the midst of a holiday centered on expensive flowers and high-calorie candy, my husband proved to me that my Prince Charming still has the ability to rescue me—the damsel in distress—even if he does sigh a lot in the process.

By Vicky DeCoster (  


About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at
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