My valentine

Posted on February 16, 2007


This started off bright and sunny, and I sat around on the steps of my building enjoying the sun while I waited for my ride to work. I also read my book, which was quite trying as both covers sported a large picture of a too-realistic naked man with a clown face clutching his scrotum (Natural Selection by Bill Dare…funny). It was hard to turn the pages while shielding the public eye.

My notions on Valentine’s Day are the following: I don’t give a crap, nor does it make me feel in the least bad to be single on that day. Even when I wasn’t single, the waves of pressure emanating from the gentleman friend of the day were such that they ruined any idea I might have entertained that this was a voluntary celebration of our love. That’s what anniversaries are for, I think. Plus, prices are better for tokens of love outside the Valentine season. Of course, the best kind of romantic gifts are those without occasion…creating a false holiday really kills it.

At work someone organized a Valentine’s Day mini-party for all the single women, of whom there are very many. I, of course, show up anywhere where there is food to be had, so I went (my officemate tried to get in but she was shunted out as she gesticulated wildly for me to bring her cake). I was also given a gift – a wee Turkish coffee cup with “Love” splashed all over it. Inside it was what appeared to be a cylindrical stuffed animal that unfolded to regular proportions. I was quite charmed by the whole thing. There were ladylike sandwiches and a huge heart-shaped cake covered in strawberries, and Pepsi toasts. A lot of noise was made and pictures were taken. I felt like my ovaries were shriveling in such estrogen-soaked company so I took a large piece of cake and skedaddled – I didn’t want to stick around for the men bashing. I like men – they’re uncomplicated.

Later on there was some ghetto drinking and shisha-ing, as E is back from Dubai to pack her stuff to move there, and wants to West-el-Balad herself out. E had planned a singles gathering for those of our friends who fall under that description, only of course the couples wanted to come along too because they think Valentine’s Day is uncool (and that drinking is cool). It all came to shit in the end, because the Greek Cub indulged in its oft-repeated bollocks habit of being randomly closed for a private party; in addition, E spent half the night getting her hair done to look exactly like it does when she steps out of the shower. By the time she showed up, there were only four of us.

The highlight of the day was actually this: M and I went to Tabasco Café, and without my having to ask they remembered me and brought me a slice of lemon with my diet coke. I cannot stress enough how absolutely outlandish such an event is here. In this country, when you ask for something 31 times you know that it just won’t happen. Instructions are forgotten within milliseconds. I have not, to this day, received a correctly executed order. So to have them do something right, and without being asked, based on the mere exercise of their senses and simple brain functions! Why, it’s almost up there with the Virgin Birth. It really made my day – I even suspiciously questioned the waiter if they had started giving everyone lemon or whether it was because he remembered me. I’ve probably been eating in the cafeteria at work too long – the incompetence level there is such that I fear nerve damage must have struck all the employees. No healthy person can be sooooo stupendously stupid! Generally speaking, I believe it is understood that “I don’t want lettuce” means that one does not, in fact, want lettuce. But five minutes later – five! – lettuce. It’s not even crowded. I also once saw a cockroach in the kitchen with my own two eyes. Question: how much gross food are you willing to endure for cheap prices?