Anti Valentine’s Day


“Happy Valentines Day, Poseidon!” I practically scream this, with my hands in the air as I smile. My cat remains on my kitchen counter blinking slowly at me. I’m proud to say I am NOT the cat lady. Not yet anyway. I have just the one, and on this Valentine’s Day he’s the only man I want in my life.

“Ok, so technically Valentine’s day is still a bit off.” I say, giving Poseidon a half smile. My eyes look up to my microwave; it’s 9 pm. I grab my cat’s wet food and he seems far more excited about Valentine’s Day now.

I grab my bottle of white wine and shuffle off to my cat’s bowl. I manage to cradle the unopened bottle under my arm and open the sea food medley can. Poseidon practically knocks me over to get at it.

Even while he eats, Poseidon still manages to give my bunny slippers a proper hiss. I’ll never understand why he hates them so much. My large black night shirt goes to my knees, and the raggedy black bunnies on my feet bring the whole ensemble together. I look for my wine glass. This was NOT my first bottle of wine. In my defense, the first bottle was half empty, having fueled my pink, red, and white flurry of motion throughout the day as I got ready for tonight. My entire house is decorated. Heart streamers and heart confetti mingled with fake rose petals hang from all the walls and doors. Poseidon loved the vanilla scented candles and I had to put them away before he got burned trying to eat one.

Opening my bottle of wine and making a heavy pour of it into my glass is a little bit of a task. Tipsy and bitter, I know I have to slow down. Six months single from a cheating ex fiancé, you wouldn’t think I’d want anything to do with this holiday.

I got home at 3 pm today. After work I kicked off my heels, and started drinking and decorating. I was pretty sure this was going to be an epic Valentine’s Day. The knocking on the door was all I needed to pick up my spirits. “Coming!!” Poseidon, still licking his chops, makes it to the door before me. “Don’t be rude, let them in Poseidon!” My cat just looks at me blinking; my humor is often lost on him.

I open the door to two of the most awesome people I know. My friend Bridget, decked out in a silk nightie, holds up two bottle of wine and a box of chocolates. My other friend, Amber, standing in a long-sleeve shirt and pants with teddy bears, holds up some DVDs and more wine.

All of my self-pity flies out the window as I hug my friends. Bridget says, shivering, “For fuck sake Julie let me in, my tits are freezing off!” Her silk covering could BARELY pass as a slutty dress; it was how Bridget functioned. She was hot and she knew it. She was also permanently single and very happy for it.

Amber shakes her head. “Bridget went into Walmart looking like that.”

I take the wine from my friends,laughing. “That’s nothing Amber, trust me.”

I close the door behind them as Poseidon attempts to trip up my guests. Both woman bend down to him, knowing they have to dote on Poseidon if they want to get anywhere in my house. An all black long hair cat, he is a needy, self centered, fluff ball.

I’ve known Bridget for five years. Amber, I’ve only been friends with for a few months but we became instant friends as soon as we met. She’s younger than my 29 years, 24 I think, but has a great head on her shoulders. We actually met at a yoga retreat. Bridget had insisted she wanted to go on one for her 25th birthday.

I say her 25th but it will be her 25th when she’s 40. I’m two years younger than Bridget. You can’t tell by looking at us. If she said she was 25 you’d believe her without batting an eye. If I said it you’d pat my hand, if I’m lucky, and play along.I’m, almost, always honest about my age.

Amber’s husband, Dominic, is in the military and she joined the retreat trying to make friends while her husband was overseas. She was so timid and shy, completely unlike Bridget and me. Just as one quick example, Bridget showed up in her bikini to do yoga when she found out how hot the instructor was.

Amber and I were laughing the whole time; I knew she was a kindred spirit when she started to pretend along with us that Bridget needed hands-on instructions. She was Bridget’s wing woman at the retreat and, later, my shoulder to cry on when I had to get the last of my stuff from my ex’s place.

Bridget is my best friend but has never been very supportive in the dealing-with-an-ex-category. She’s more of a “love and let go” kind of person. “If I’m spending my Valentine’s Day with you guys then I expect you to tell me ALL the stories” Amber says as she grabs her glass. She motions for me to fill it but I hug my bottle to myself, sticking out my tongue.

“There isn’t enough time for that nonsense.” Bridget says, waving us out of her way. “We have to decide the important shit.” She holds up two DVDs. “Who do we drool over first? Indiana Jones or Die Hard?”

She’s right. That is the most important part. I watch as Amber fills her glass with my wine, which I’d eventually forked over, Casibom albeit reluctantly. She sets it down though. “You guys decide. We are watching both, so I don’t care which is first. I have to pee first. And don’t forget!”

Before she can finish her sentence Bridget and I do it for her “You have a Skype date.” We laugh as Amber rolls her eyes and walks away. She has told me a few times where Dominic is stationed overseas but I always forget. The two of them were high school sweethearts, so it’s really tough on them to be so far apart, and for so long. Once a week they get together on Skype and chat it up.

The way she talks about her husband would be almost unbelievable if you couldn’t see the love in her eyes. I witnessed the end of a Skype date once, where he spoke to her so lovingly It was almost painful to watch.

Amber firmly believed that she could look at other men all she wanted, as long as she never touched, and said the same applied to him. She even admitted sending porn to her husband to give him variety. The two of them were perfect for each other. That didn’t make the sting of being without each other on V-Day any easier.

Bridget had decided on this Valentine’s Day celebration last week. Her latest fling admitted he couldn’t take her out because his wife wanted to do something. Tonight is supposed to be all the best parts of Valentine’s Day, with none of the bad. So, we’re going to booze it up and gorge on chocolate.

The rules are simple: if someone starts crying, the others shove chocolate at them and make them stop. No sad talk and no cell phones; I left mine in my car. I’m not taking any chances on a drunk dial from my asshole ex.

Amber didn’t have hers because she said there was no way they were paying that long distance bill. If Bridget’s gown wasn’t so thin I’d have questioned whether she had hers or not. She was never far from her phone. Amber came back from the bathroom and we all piled onto my oversized sectional couch.

Three hours later we were starting to get stupid. “No! I’m telling you, you’re supposed to have the chocolate in your mouth, like under your tongue and swish the wine over it.” I realize as I say this that I sound far too defensive for this topic. Die Hard is playing on mute in the background. We had a book on “wine pairing” and we were shoving chocolate in our mouth mixing it with different red wines.

Amber hiccups and giggles shaking her head “I’ll choke on the chocolate!”

I stare her over. She looks even younger sitting there tipsy, trying to read the book. She has mousy blond hair that goes to about her shoulders. It frames her heart-shaped face. She has kind of small, silver-blue eyes. She’s pretty and thin. She had a lot of complaints about her looks. I know it doesn’t help when standing next to Bridget. I have a lot of complaints about my body when I stand next to Bridget too.

I’m the same height as Amber, 5’6″. I have more weight than Amber but it’s muscle. I work out a lot but realize that at this party I’ve consumed more calories than I have in the entire year before.

I have size B tits and I’m guessing she’s about the same. I have a much bigger ass, that’s for sure. A girl’s got to do her squats!

Bridget blows us both out of the water, with natural platinum blonde hair that is currently curly and wavy, hanging down to her chest. My straight black hair looks plain next to hers. I usually keep mine in a braid hanging to the side, because it goes to about my waist. Tonight, like my two friends, it’s loose and messy.

Bridget is 5’9″ and all legs. It took me a few years to get over my jealousy about her body. Luckily I think Amber will get over it quicker. She has her husband and doesn’t have to worry about guys trying to see past Bridget for her. “Your staring is freaking me out.” Bridget says waving her hand in front of my face. She manages to break my concentration.

I shake my head trying to wave off the alcohol daze. The group laughs and I mumble. “What were we talking about?”

“Sex.” Bridget says plainly, biting into a chocolate that oozes out caramel. I just stare at her confused. I’m tipsy as fuck but not drunk. So either she’s lying or I’ve gone deaf.

“No we weren’t!” Amber says laughing and throwing confetti at Bridget.

An all out confetti war begins as we chuck glitter at each other one handed. The other trying to protect our wine. “Seriously, we were!” Bridget whines.

Amber gasps, then looks frantically for a clock, but relaxes when she sees it’s 11pm. “I should get the laptop. Dominic says he wants to get on at midnight to start Valentine’s Day with me.”

Bridget and I lean against each other, in unison saying “AWWWW.”

Amber flicks us off and gets up to find my laptop. Bridget speaks up so Amber can hear her. “We were discussing what you do for sex when your man’s not here. I’m seriously dying to know, because I tried celibacy once and all that happened was I spent my paycheck on batteries and I broke down and fucked Casibom Giriş the first guy to cross my path.”

I snort unintentionally and shake my head “You can’t blame that on celibacy, Bridget. You’re just a …”

Amber comes back in with the laptop. “Let’s change the topic,” she says eagerly, probably thinking that what’s about to come out of my mouth will upset Bridget. “How did the two of you meet?” Bridget and I look at each other, then start howling with laughter. Amber looks annoyed. “What?!”

I hold my hand out toward Bridget, allowing her to say it. “SEX!” She says throwing her arms in the air, throwing confetti about. Amber looks so confused it’s actually sort of cute.

I hold my hand up. “Seriously Bridget, don’t scar the innocent girl with details, just try to make it sound less naughty than it was.” We both laugh even though Amber looks like she’s getting upset.

“I’m not naïve you know. My husband and I used to experiment before he got deployed.” Amber says this with the laptop held across her chest like a shield. I could tell her that nothing could keep her safe from Bridget on this topic, but I actually kind of wanted to see where the conversation went.

Bridget had totally perked up. She was addicted to other people’s sex life. She’s just addicted to sex in general, even though we don’t typically talk about that in mixed company. I sit back, wincing, as Bridget leans in to Amber, whispering “do tell!”

Amber goes scarlet and shakes her head; “You first.”

Bridget’s smile says ‘challenge accepted.’ “Weeeellllll.” Bridget draws out the beginning of her sentence, stretches and rests against the couch back. “It was Julie’s 24th birthday. She was at a strip joint.”

Amber cut her off. “With, like, men or woman?” Bridget waved her off “With women. Don’t interrupt!”

I shake my head as Poseidon chooses that time to find me. He curls up in my lap and lets me pet him as I munch on more chocolate, while listening to Bridget continue the story. “She hadn’t met her loser ex yet.” She nods her head to me. She is skipping over some bits, I’m sure to avoid the rule about making me upset at our party. “She was out with her friends and they wanted some place cheap to drink. This strip club had a drink free policy if it’s your birthday.”

I interrupt her. “The idea was I was going to get a drink and pass it on so we could all get free drinks out of it.”

Bridget huffed “I’m telling the story, now hush!” I roll my eyes and put Poseidon down so I can get some water; that last chocolate was way too sweet. “AS I WAS SAYING!” Bridget continues “She planned to drink for free that night. Her friends got a few drinks in them, then a few more. Blah blah blah. Julie goes to the bathroom and these bitches are SO drunk that they get a cab and LEAVE HER THERE!”

Amber gasps at the right time because Bridget is really pulling the drama out on this one. They weren’t very close friends and we were all sloshed. I had been in the bathroom for like 30 minutes and they thought I’d left them. My phone was dead, so I never really got mad; for all I know they’d tried to find me before leaving. Bridget continues ” So IIIIII decided to be nice and…”

I cut Bridget off, “Oh hell no.” I shake my head and Bridget’s eyes grow wide as if to play the innocent. I hold up a finger while gulping down some water. I plop on the couch next to Amber and start explaining. “Don’t fucking play innocent, Bridge. You’re taking too long with this crap anyway.”

I sigh and let it spill “Long story short. I got drunk. My friends left. Bridget, who was there with one of her boy toys, saw what happened. Bridget was trying to convince this guy that she could pick up women better than he could. ” I pause for another gulp of water, motioning with my hand to emphasize a time lapse in my story. “She convinced me to come home with her and her guy and we hooked up. The guy was a creeper but Bridget and I became really close and…”

I pause, looking at Amber’s stunned face before Bridget starts up. “You left out all the good bits! I mean, I worked HARD to seduce you.” I stare Bridget down. “I was so drunk I couldn’t even figure out the pay phone to call a cab. I don’t think that’s…” I start to say, then get cut off by Amber.

“STOP! You guys are seriously telling me you met by sleeping with each other?!!” Amber looks stunned which surprises me. I know that one of her coworkers is openly gay, and she’s never showed problems with it. I don’t think she’s a homophobe.

Bridget just shrugs. “Yeah, 20’s is when you experiment, that’s why I’m always going to be 20.” I’d have laughed with Bridget as she said this, but Amber looked genuinely stunned. I ease back, looking a little nervous. I’d hate to have just ruined a friendship. I reach out to touch Amber’s knee to see if she’s ok, but I pull my hand back after thinking better of it. “We can change the topic chica. I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable.” This V-Day celebration looked like it was Casibom Yeni Giriş about to tank.

Amber shook her head. “What’s it like?!”

Bridget, who had been picking through the chocolates trying to decide on the next one to eat, paused. She looked up, smiling wickedly. “What’s what like?”

Amber blushes and shrugs. “Well…” Amber looks at me, her sweet eyes looking a bit more curious than uncomfortable. “My husband and I did a lot of BDSM stuff before he left.” Amber talks quickly and I drink some more water, wanting to sober up a bit more for this convo. Bridget pours more wine into Amber’s glass.

“Dominic is super good in bed. We broke up for like a month because he said he wanted me to try other guys, and I did but they sucked.” As Amber jabbers on I’m struck again by how young she seems. “I love him and he’s all I want. I know this is going to sound really weird but…”

Bridget Is almost drooling, listening to Amber continue. “I have always wanted to share my husband. Like with another chick. He said he’d be down but he wanted me to play first so I knew if I liked it. I never got up the courage to do it before he left. He told me to try it while he’s on leave. Nothing against woman that are gay.” She looks at us both, worried. “I guess we both just see it as, like, sex that doesn’t count.”

I smile and switch back to my wine glass. I could understand that. I felt the same. I’d played with a few woman, “experimented” as Bridget called it. I just always liked men more. Bridget on the other hand, I think she loves both genders equally. I also believe that at one time she had fallen in love with a woman.

She didn’t admit to being in love. It was just a few drunk nights here and there, where she would talk about some woman she had chemistry with. I’d press her for details and she’d just say it was the past. It did make me wonder if that was why men never lasted long. “So you’ve never slept with a chick?” Bridget asks, getting up to open yet ANOTHER bottle of wine.

Amber blushes. “I’ve never even kissed a chick.”

That surprises me. “Why not?”

Amber shrugs. “By the time I thought about doing it I was with my husband. I think he’d like it, but my life just became about him and I never got around to it.”

I cuss all of a sudden, looking at the clock. “Shit girl, you’re 10 minutes late!” Amber’s eyes dart to the clock. It’s 12:10. She jumps up to set the laptop up while I head to the bathroom. She’s using the office desk in my bedroom so she can have some private time with her husband.

I pee and wash my hands. Amber comes rushing into the bathroom, almost body checking me out of the way. I give her space quickly.

She takes off her shirt fast and shimmies into a cute blue silky nightie. She drops her pj bottoms and I see her panties match. At first my mind doesn’t know how to handle this; I just stare at her, confused.

She pulls out her makeup bag and starts putting makeup on. “Sorry Julie. I read in Cosmo that if you can’t see your man often, then when you do you should ALWAYS doll up because it shows you care.”

I grab her wrist before she can put on the bright red lipstick in hand. “You’re already late so just give me a minute and let me do your makeup proper.” She looks anxious but agrees.

I grab her stuff and some of mine. She doesn’t need foundation on a web cam. I put on a pink gloss and some blush. I give her a thicker line of eyeliner so it makes her eyes bigger. A few more finishing touches and I turn her to the mirror.

She grins and tilts her head side to side. ” Thanks! You have to show me how to do my eyes like this later; they look great.” She gives me a quick hug and rushes off.

I splash some water on my face, then look up to see Bridget walking in with an evil smile. She grabs my lip gloss and smiles wickedly while putting it on. I know EXACTLY what she’s thinking. “Don’t do it Bridge.”

Her smile is almost Cheshire-Cat-like as she puts on mascara. “I don’t know what you are talking about. You should put makeup on, though. I’m SURE she’ll want us to say hello and you don’t want to look frumpy do you?”

I dry my face and start putting on makeup as I hear the sound of the computer dialing. I go easier on my makeup than the two of them, but I still feel I clean up pretty well. My brown eyes don’t pop like my two friends’ blue eyes, but my lips are full and my cheek bones are defined.

I smile and feel genuinely happy listening to Amber talk to her husband. She sounds so excited. His voice sounds deep even on Skype.

“Hello beautiful, happy Valentines Day!”

“Hi baby, I’m sorry it took me so long. I lost track of time.”

“It’s ok. How’s the girls night going?”

“GREAT! We’ve had chocolate and watched movies and drank wine…lots of wine.”

I walk in as Amber says the last sentence, giggling as she hiccups. Bridget is in tow, her smile unfading. We get to the computer out of his sight, although we can still see him. He’s even better looking than the last time I saw him. He looks tired and has a five o’clock shadow on his jaw. He’s wearing a white shirt and camo pants. Arms crossed, he doesn’t look comfortable in the chair he’s in. Amber asks the question I was thinking. “Where are you?”