Valentine's day is like the worse case of PDA (Public Display of Affection) that I really don't want to see. Guys walking around with red roses and slightly embarrassed look on their faces, single ladies glancing at them thinking: "why not me", "is she better than I", "would I date you", "no, of course not". It was the same in Utrecht yesterday, as it was in Portland before and is probably everywhere where the Valentine's plague has spread and created this little social awkwardness between the "taken" and the "single".
I had a very good day and it had nothing to do with St. Valentine. It was great to catch up on sleep, wake up in my favorite hotel, with my favorite guy and enjoy the memory flow while running errands in the city. The joy of running errands. Timeless..
The day ended up with catching up with couple of good friends in a favorite restaurant savoring one of the wonders of "Dutch" cuisine: Indonesian rijsttafel. And as we are having intellectually stimulating conversation lightly spiced by good-odfashioned loving gossip, I couldn't help but notice all the couples that keep on coming in the fairly popular Utrecht'se pad. They are mostly the young professional types, dressed up, made up, buttoned up and flowered-up. And I wonder, how many of them visit this one, or another of all the other hundreds of millions of restaurants around the world, on this particular day, just to be able to have an adequate answer for the chit-chat by the coffee machine. That has nothing to do with how in love, romantically involved or sexually attached they are. Of course not. This is a plain old "keeping up with the Joneses" tune that we play when we are young, naif and foolish, and even worse, when we are older and cynical, but don't know any better.
I am so glad that one of the benefits of not working is that there is no comparing notes by the coffee machine. There are of course other ways to feel the social pressure, like f-book to name one, but those are far easier to avoid.