It certainly wasn’t a midsummer night’s dream. Firstly, it wasn’t mid-summer, it was mid-winter, and it wasn’t a dream, it was real. Only now, a year later does it seem more, surreal.
Valentine’s Day 2020 happened in a completely different world. Covid was something happening somewhere else and no restaurant/bar here was thinking of anything else but how to squeeze more two-tops into their spaces. Social distancing would be a topic for the future and surgical facemasks were an odd quaint custom most often seen overseas.
Meanwhile in our open bar, the Arizona Wildcats were facing off against the Cal Bears on the overhead TV. The stadium was only half full, not because of social distancing, but rather, because of lack of interest. Odd how being able to do something and not being able to do something change its relative importance.
Two ladies sitting at the bar swirled their pink potions in long stemmed glasses, and two men choked down swigs of the newest coolest whiskey, whatever it was then. A double date on Valentine’s Day? Who am I to judge?
A lone gentleman drinking the largest draft beer we offered kept barking out orders about on which channel to watch which game. And another lone gentleman drinking our “most expensive” glass of red wine kept arguing with him. The oddly arranged two-top tables (moved in for just this evening) caused even our “regular” traffic to stop and look around aimlessly.
Directly into the middle of this tableau dropped a man in his early 30’s wearing a collared shirt stylishly untucked, his hair gelled to within an inch of full static electric extension.
“Hey!” he shouted at me. Not rudely mind you, but loud enough to be heard in a clanking clinking fully operational bar.
“What can I do for you?” I asked, thankful to be torn away from yet another complaint about the channel by the plebian television monitor with his patrician-sized beer.
“I want to give my girlfriend this tonight,” he said placing a stunning diamond necklace on the bar.
“That’s great,” I said not really knowing why he was telling me this.
Sometimes people think that they are being perfectly clear, when in fact, they are not. If the hearer doesn’t know the speaker’s motivations, fears, beliefs, or understandings, it can often be difficult to decipher their meaning.
“I want you to give it to her,” he said, making me pause, both at the wording of that statement, and for the practical meaning. Why would I give his girlfriend such a thing?
“I don’t understand,” I said, hoping that this wasn’t going to get weird.
“After dinner, I am going to bring her over to the bar,” he began.
I wasn’t sure I liked where this was heading.
“I’m going to order a chocolate sundae,” he continued. “And I want you to wrap this necklace around the bottom.”
I let out the breath that I had until then been unconsciously holding.
“Sure,” I said feeling the tension in my neck release.
Two martinis, two glasses of champagne, a bottle of red wine, and two hours later, he poked his head around the corner.
“Ready?” he asked.
I gave him a thumbs up. He then steered his date around the corner. Good thing he was there, because she was having a little difficulty maneuvering on high heels of the variety seemingly designed to only be used to cover very, very, short distances.
He ordered the sundae with quite a flourish. She didn’t notice. Her head wobbled like a broken bobblehead doll, tilting to one side as she sized up the chocolate sundae with one eye closed.
He sat there as she swirled the spoon around, spilling some of the melting ice cream onto the plate. Dipping the spoon in the chocolate sauce on top she then scooped up some of the spilled cream, so as not to waste it. In the process she hooked the clasp of the necklace and brought the whole thing up to her mouth. It took her a second to disentangle the chain and then she unceremoniously dropped the necklace back onto the plate.
“Aren’t you wondering why there is a diamond necklace on that?” he asked after about five minutes of this.
“Yeah,” she said tilting her head, “I was wondering about that?”
Leaving me with these thoughts.
-Are rideshares still a thing? I sure hope so.
-Valentine’s Day can be a memorable day, or a complete blackout, depending upon how one approaches it.
-What a difference a year makes.
-“All things in moderation,” once said Aristotle. Or was that Kanye West? I can’t remember.
-I find myself wondering this year, if those two from last year, are still together
-Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone! And welcome back!