This Valentine's Day weekend was odd, because it intertwined with Mardi Gras weekend, allowing potential partiers a plethora of choices for mixing and mingling the two holidays. The hard part wasn't dealing with a lack of things to do but trying to make a choice.
Though I've amassed a colorful and impressive collection of beads -- all from gifts, not nudity -- Bill and I opted for V-day since he'll be working on the 14th. Actually, I would have worn the beads out to dinner anyway, but to no one's surprise I forgot them.
We had been saving a trip to Tink's Café for a special occasion, and it couldn't have worked out better. The evening was warm so neither of us wore coats, which led me to notice that we were both wearing black turtleneck sweaters and khaki-colored pants. That was kind of scary. Fortunately, though, there were no price tags or size labels in sight.
Tink's was great. The food was delicious and creative (especially the dessert) and the atmosphere friendly and comfortable. We ate at the bar, which allowed us to focus on each other instead of the crowd as we often do, and that's the way it should be on Valentine's Day. The dinner was not totally free of people watching, though -- it's our fifth food group.
It was nice to be able to go out to dinner and actually walk home. Although we were going to a movie afterwards, we took advantage of the convenience of living a block away and ran home to change into more comfortable clothes and then walked back to the Esquire to see In the Bedroom. Once again I forgot the damn beads.
The movie had a sort of American Beauty-esque frankness about it -- family dysfunction, blah blah blah. It was not exactly date material, at least not first date material. Seeing a movie like that on a first date could potentially be a deal-breaker, mainly because one's date would wonder if that family is the other's view of ideal family life. It's more appropriate as a thought-provoking exploration of family dynamics for an established couple, especially a couple trying not to turn into their parents.
Hence it was perfect for us.
Overall, Valentine's Day weekend was pretty ideal: a great meal, no distraction, no traffic and a movie that makes you appreciate all the good things in your relationship. And there was still Fat Tuesday night to wear the beads.
The Good Ones
Heading into Kaldi's, I was pelted lightly in the head by an unseen object. I turned around to catch a kid smiling deviously. I tried to read whether his intentions were to hurt me or just purely to be mischievous. I couldn't help but smile when I found out he hit me with a straw. He probably was in need of attention, and I unintentionally gave it to him.
Once inside, my roommate treated me to cappuccino and proceeded to divulge the details of her new relationship. Although newly single, it didn't take long for her to find another man. After all, she's smart, attractive and very gregarious.
We tossed around some theories behind breakups occurring during the holidays. She and her ex split on New Year's Day. While there's no good time to call it off, it seems extra painful to have it happen at a time when you're supposed to be celebrating. Things die in winter, so maybe it's natural for feelings to change at that time, too. Or perhaps the pressure of the holidays makes dormant problems surface like lava in a volcano.
My roommate, bubbly and glowing with reciprocated adulation, complimented our server on his cheerful disposition. I wondered if it wasn't simply a reflection of her own disposition.
"Are you seeing someone?" she boldly inquired of the server. Her subtle detective work into his good mood produced a simple "No."
Then, trying to cheer me up, she told me the guy behind the bar was my "type." People in love love to play matchmaker. I looked over, and, sure enough, he was a dark, attractive fellow, but my type usually comes with strings attached, so I quickly turned my attention back to my cappuccino and daydreamed about someone I'd recently become love-struck with.
He's tall and, though not dark, still quite handsome. And, following protocol, he has strings. Securely involved with someone, I'll call him Signor Unavailable. When I told my Manfriend about the situation, he said oh-so-wisely, "Rings don't plug holes. Or in your case, rings don't lock poles."
Sometimes I think about the line "the good ones are already taken." I'm not taken, so does that make me a "bad one"? Maybe the good ones are good only because they're unattainable. Or maybe they have no choice but to be good, since they're taken.
My latest beau is ignorant of my daydreaming, as, frankly, he isn't in the daydreams. We'll call him TMI (short for "too much information" -- he told me while on our dinner date that he once gave himself an organic coffee enema). Anyway, working on his house takes up a lot of TMI's spare time. I'd been warned that I would come second, so I've been giving him plenty of space to tool around with his tool or, rather, his tools.
Friday night TMI called as I was heading out to Mr. Pitiful's to meet the girls from work. I figured it would take my mind off Signor Unavailable as well as allow me the opportunity to investigate a bar I've been threatening to visit. I could kill two birds with one stone. I told TMI he was welcome to meet me there if he so desired. Maybe it was three birds down. But I wasn't planning on going out of my way for him.
And it was a good thing, too, as he never showed up. But I had a great time getting better acquainted with the work girls, getting the lowdown on the company and the situation for single women there, which looked grim. One girl confessed there were only three attractive available men, one of whom she admitted to daydreaming about at work. Well, at least I wasn't alone.
The girls had been scoping out the bar as soon as they got there and decided it was full of "cute guys." These guys must not have had strings attached, because they somehow didn't register on my radar.