Hi! I am not dead! I have not forgotten that the Internet exists! I have just fallen prey to the well-known rule that when you're offered a job that doesn't start for a week and finally have an excuse to lay about lazily for a week, safe in the knowledge that you'll be working soon and you don't need to refresh the Craigslist writing/editing postings every five minutes anymore, this is when everyone in the world will decide to offer you some freelance work. This is no bad thing, of course, but it does rather cut into the scheduled watching of Ten Years Younger and Designed To Sell you'd had planned for the next five days. Also, apparently, it makes you forget to post on your website. So hello! I'm sorry! Please go easy on me today, I have a hangover.
It's the fault of Valentine's Day, of course, or rather it's the fault of Jemima's Eighth Annual I Hate Valentine's Day Dinner Party (Jemima! You really need to post something! Pot, kettle, black etc) at which Sean and I were guests last night. This is the thing about Valentine's Day, you see: I cannot think of anything more depressing than going out to eat in a restaurant on February 14. Much like going to a party on a boat, eating dinner in a restaurant on Valentine's Day just seems too much like forced merriment to me. Eating dinner at someone else's house, however, is a different story. Mostly, it is different because you know that six plates will be coming out of the kitchen that night, rather than two hundred and six, and also because you can be fairly safe in the knowledge that the line cook won't have spat (or worse) on your bruschetta because his girlfriend dumped him right before he gave her those tickets to Paris, that spiteful whore. You will know this because you will generally be the line cook, thanks to your innocuous "can I help you out with anything?" that never fails to have you standing knee-deep in the gory battlefield of someone else's kitchen, irritating them because you don't know where the dish towels are, doing something arty with the pine nuts, and trying to calm the hostess' mounting panic that she oversalted the butternut squash ravioli.
For the record, Jemima did not oversalt the butternut squash ravioli. In fact, she made a meal of such spectacular beauty that I was still so full this morning I could only have two cupcakes for breakfast, instead of three. This is what I made Sean for Valentine's Day, you see: double chocolate cupcakes with icing the color of Sweet n' Low packets. Because nothing says "I love you and think you are incredibly masculine and virile" than that, I assure you. For his part, he bought me an orchid, a towering white orchid, which is something I've been wanting for ages, and was just enough in keeping with my "please don't buy me anything, I really don't want anything, seriously, flowers on Valentine's Day are such a cliche, yuck, so tacky" request, and yet still "ah! something pretty for me!" enough to prevent me from breaking up with him immediately. Because despite my protests, we all know that if he hadn't presented me with something, there would have been some bitching going on. And some throwing of cupcakes as well, cupcakes for which I actually made CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FROM SCRATCH, by the way, rather than buying a tub of chemicals, oh, the hardship of it all.
So now I have an orchid and no idea how to take care of it. Does it need watering? Feeding? Baby Mozart? A name? Constant reaffirmations of its beauty in order to build its self-esteem? I am afraid I am an awful plant owner and will probably have killed it by next week. For now, though, it's beautiful to look at, and the cats are eyeing it hungrily like it's their own personal tower of double chocolate chip cupcakes---very masculine cupcakes---with lurid pink cream cheese icing. I fear they may eat it even before I unintentionally murder it. Please advise.
*I speak, of course, of Valentine's Day. And quote from T.S. Eliot. My English degree is good for something, after all!