I saw a lot of bouquets on desks yesterday. That’s the nature of the beast, right? What I really wanted to see, however, was adoring couples and cute gestures and candle lit dinners. So, I went to the Pfister.
I found out that Hallmark needn’t intervene; the Pfister is like your Valentine. I was met with badges, not bouquets. Haggard business folk still wearing their I.D.s from the conference happening upstairs stumbled around the hallway. It dawned on me that this is a fairly common visage and that each of these beleaguered it’s-been-a-long-day-‘ers was working on Valentine’s Day. Sure, most of us worked, it’s not quite that kind of holiday, but knowing the company they were with was a sweetheart of sorts to Milwaukee’s economy it really felt like perhaps celebrating Valentine’s Day at the hotel for work is a bit like courting commerce and to some degree, that’s a good thing.
Also to my surprise and delight, there were a few singles in the lobby bar. Sure, their fingers caressed merrily the keys of their smart phones (for one is never alone with a smart phone) but it was nice to see the independence and irreverence for hearts and flowers taking place.
One single bellied up to the bar and it was clear she had been her own Valentine. A large bag from WellSpa and a terribly refreshed look about her matched her fancy cocktail and made it really feel like love, or at least relaxation and me-time, were in the air.
Just as I was about to give up hope that I’d see any red and pink-clad couples, one walked in…and headed straight for David, the bartender. They were regulars and friends and complete with sparkly red heart-shaped necklace, announced that they were making a special point to stop by and wish him a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Maybe it’s not the holiday so much as what you do and how you assess where your relationships are. I liked being at the Pfister for this holiday for part of the evening because I realized that lots of things woo you and court you in a hectic life. Business or regular people you encounter daily or even you can be your own valentine.
But before I sound too jaded (because I’m certainly not), I have to tell you about the couple, Chris and Heather, who came into the hotel and nestled in at the sofas by the fire (which was, of course, roaring). A glass of wine and a clear glow about them (I learned later they were fairly recently engaged), the pair was the delightful storybook romance I was hoping I’d see.
They made my Valentine’s Day fantasy even more complete when they broke out a deck of cards and started playing a game with each other. As if that gesture of simple, casual closeness and clear interest in one another isn’t enough, when talking to them, I’d learned they had originally planned to be at a local pizza establishment that serves heart-shaped pizzas–now that’s my kind of fancy. The wait for this delicacy was two hours, so they retired to the comfortable atmosphere of the Pfister and the fire to simply…be.
Neither of them was wearing red or pink. There were no frothy fancy drinks between them. Their work-casual apparel didn’t sparkle. But, their easy togetherness in front of the fire set the perfect scene and I have to say, Hallmark couldn’t have captured it if they tried.