On Valentine’s Day, I ate a frozen pizza and went to bed at 8:40pm.
There was just too much romance during the day for me to handle. Picture Leo and Kate, bodies pressed together, flying at the bow of the Titanic… for twelve hours straight. That’s how romantically exhausting my day was.
First of all, the girl at the Starbucks drive thru was really nice and gave me a warmed cinnamon roll in a box with a fork and napkin. (In exchange for money).
Then I got in an elevator with a young Fed-Ex guy, who seemed intent on staring at his First Class envelope. Until suddenly he peered up at me from under that brown visor, and said, voice drenched in innuendo, “So how’s your Valentine’s Day going?” I immediately burst into laughter, then walked out.
The second time I got in the elevator, two older men invited me to come with them to Jimmy’s. I don’t know a Jimmy.
The third time I got in that same elevator, I had a repeat of the Fed-Ex incident. Only without the visor.
Apparently the elevator = the love box.
Later on, in First Aid certification class, I got to put a middle aged man into a sling. I wrapped bandages around his wrist. He looked at me skeptically from under bushy eyebrows.
I then went to Trader Joe’s… need I say more? Walking into that store is like walking into something by Jane Austen.
I spent the rest of the evening texting people “Happy Valentine’s Day” ironically while drinking ginger tea. Not sure whether they got the irony.
… I said to my friend Phil as I clinked my water against his beer and looked hopelessly around the desolate T.G.I. Friday’s for someone to kiss.
Nine of us were in the middle of a ghost town business district in Costa Mesa, having sprinted to the nearest alcohol-equipped establishment in order to have a drink in our hands come midnight. I was barefoot and my feet were dirty. (It had only taken about twenty steps out the door for me to reluctantly accept the fact that my sexy, sassy New Years heels were both too big and too high. I doubt I could have held my own in a race with an infant.)
Resolution: Either learn how to walk in heels, or stop trying to wear them. Not everyone can be a Carrie Bradshaw.
Anyway, with the exception of our drunken party, Friday’s was practically empty, and the apathetic bartender averted his gaze when he caught my absinthe-glazed eyes wandering in his direction. So I drank my water.
Because none of us was stoned or starring in a commercial written for obese, midwestern Americans, T.G.I.Friday’s was decidedly not our final destination. So we left. And, one way or another, I ended up standing on the curb with Phil and Alex, watching two-thirds of our banging New Years party take off in a minivan.
Next thing I know, the three of us (me still barefoot, heels in hand, feet getting dirtier by the minute) have linked arms and are swaying wildly as we meander across a major freeway overpass, twenty minutes into 2013. There’s not a soul around, not even on the 405. And that freeway has like 500 lanes.
Which leads me to believe… we must be the only humans left in Costa Mesa, or in Southern California, or maybe even the only humans left in the New Year!! Someone must have miscalculated the World’s Ending.
However, when we finally turn up at Garf’s (Which-i-have-Yelped), there are plenty of human weirdos, and our friends (“Oh hey! What took you guys so long!”) and even my favorite bartender Eddie. So we’re good. I let out a sigh of relief, which you could take to mean: phew! the burden of single-handedly repopulating the planet hasn’t fallen on me!
I walk to the bar and order another water from Eddie. A 50-year-old black man to my left, who looks like Gus from Breaking Bad (see photo), turns to me suddenly and – instead of offering me a million dollars to cook meth in a state-of-the-art laboratory – tells me I just made his night. By just being there! Wow, I am so flattered I take his sparkly hat, then bail and walk over to the booth where I stashed my heels.
Of course, it’d taken the three of us so long to walk there that, barely ten minutes after we’d arrived, everyone else is ready to move on.
So off we go to Tin Lizzy’s, a bar within reasonable walking distance, leaving Alex behind at Garf’s to hit on some skinny blonde. (I did not actually see this girl, but I’m assuming she fits that description, as Alex has one type and that is it. I hope he’s reading this.)
On the way, we met a hefty lawyer named Doug who apparently moonlights as a bouncer outside Garf’s, and is known for generously giving cigarettes away to young people.
This may not actually be true. It is likely that Doug is just a lawyer who was standing near the street entrance smoking, and who happened to give us a cigarette. …Believe what you want to believe.
As it turns out, (who woulda thunk) the slightly damp tile floor of a dark gay bar past midnight on New Years Eve is kind of a gross thing to be dancing on barefoot. I tried the heels again, took two perilous steps, then almost fell on my ass when the right stiletto heel simply gave up and broke off. I threw the stupid shoes on a bench somewhere and haven’t seen them since.
After ordering drinks, the single, straight men in our group of friends (well I guess there were only two at this point – Dane, a buff rower who looks like a Norwegian king, and Phil, a scrappy rapper who could almost pass as black) promptly dispersed to perv on some women. Rumor has it gay bars are full of vulnerable, half-naked girls who let loose like never before. So they were on their game.
Meanwhile, I danced with Natalie and Alicia until the soles of my feet screamed at me loudly over the music, “MICHELLE! WE ‘RE GETTING SYPHILIS!”