Little known fact: I’ve never had a girlfriend during Valentine’s Day.
Well known fact: I was destined to screw this up. A lot. I’ll spare you the gore and give you the highlights:
1) Girls like to celebrate holidays that THEY SAY are stupid.
2) If you’re at a restaurant and hear that the specials are Seared Tuna Steak, Calaloo Soup, and Dolphin, do not ask if the tuna is dolphin-safe, because the waitress doesn’t laugh.
3) Dinner > gift > card, unless you forgot to get a card, in which case: You > Ass.
I WENT SURFING! It sucks! First, you have to lie flat against your board with your feet dragging behind as you inhale seawater. The normal motion of swimming only throws you off balance so you end up falling off two strokes after getting on. And of course some jackass is making it look easy and being helpful. After all that work of going nowhere, you get to sit. Only I can’t sit and end up falling off again. The paddling leaves you exhausted, so the last thing you want to do is actually CATCH a wave and have to swim back out. So while my friends caught a few waves, I was laying down on my board getting sunburned. Finally, Bamboo and Pi timed a wave for me and sent me paddling. Sure enough, I caught a little 6’er, fell down the surface, stood up, then started doing tons of gnarly tricks all over the place. Really, I closed my eyes until I was safe underwater. Halfway back to the shore, I decided I’d had enough bleeding nipples for one day. I started paddling and another wave picked me up! So I closed my eyes AGAIN. It was nice enough to take me to the shore and I was done with surfing. I spent the rest of the time making a big fire and throwing coconuts at other coconuts. Nothing fell.
This was all done in celebration of the end of third term and my first finished research paper. I am quite tired of the accessory phrenic nerve. In the interim before fourth term really began I was swallowed by IEA. Since I finally have a high enough GPA, I’m in the school’s honor society. This means attending an induction ceremony trashed off free drinks and laughing as the president of the club gives a speech that went something like this:
PLATITUDE. PLATITUDE. (checks cue cards, remembers) PLATITUDE.
I also got a nice certificate which I have saved for you, Mom.
The way IEA justifies itself is by actually helping students. They compose Mock Biochemistry exams from questions submitted by members and hold a Mock Anatomy Practical. My friends Adam (see Prague) and Max asked me to help set the thing up. We moved the bodies around, came up with impossible questions to scare the crap out of the first-termers, and then went to a bar to drink while writing out the Qs and As. My favorite was a tagged tendon, clearly coming from the belly of a muscle, and the questions was, “What does the tagged structure innervate?” The Answer, “Nothing. It’s a tendon.” I think that question will be on the test.
For my birthday, Sherin bought me a nice watch. It’s too tight and pinches my wrist, but I wear it anyway because I’ve been to lazy to get the extra links inserted. Well, that ended once I started getting carpel tunnel syndrome in my left wrist which I can now diagnose thanks to the efforts of me Uncle Laurence. Thanks, Uncle Laurence. So for Sherin’s birthday, I thought I would replace the battery in her watch (died earlier in the term) and fix my own. Sure enough, not a single jewelery store in Grenada has the materials to maintain the things THAT THEY SELL. I ended up going to a lingerie store that also deals in knock-offs. I gave him my watch first. He tried to knock the pins out the wrong end, which I could forgive, if there wasn’t an arrow pointing in the right direction. So I took his tools from him, fixed my watch and left before either of us could damage Sherin’s.
This February is the first time that Sherin has had a birthday without her parents coming to visit, which upsets her. Also, many of her friends left GND last term and are now in St. Vincent’s, which upsets her. Now, in the hands of a capable boyfriend, she might look forward to her birthday knowing that he would make it alright. In my case, the birthday was cancelled a week in advance. “Topher, I do not want you to do anything. I’m serious. This isn’t like Valentine’s Day where I said I didn’t want to but I did. If you throw a party or anything, I will not talk to you for a month. DO NOT DO IT.”
At this point in the relationship, I don’t believe a word Sherin says.
So after class at 3pm, I called her favorite restaurant and ordered a meal to go, went to the mall to buy plates, streamers, balloons, wrapping paper, construction paper, and anything else I thought my roommates could use, picked up the food and stowed it away, picked up Sherin, stole her key and left it at the drop point. I took her away to make-out point for a nice picnic complete with wine and desert. Back at her apartment, my roommates let themselves in and started making a mess of the place. After the sunset and coffee, I brought her back to a surprise party and a happy birthday.
What did I take away from all of this?
1) I bought four birthday cards
2) I didn’t listen to a word she said
3) So long as she has a story to tell her girlfriends, you’re golden.