Valentine’s Day Meeting

Valentine’s Day Meeting of the So Totally Not Bitter Club
Recorded Minutes – February 14, 2016

Members in attendance:

Geraldine Onion
Liana Garratt
Kamilah Laidlaw


Carrie’s Coffee in City Point


10am: Coffee served and members socialize.

Geraldine set her purse under the table and slid into her seat beside her two friends. Liana and Kamilah were taking off their various layers of warm clothing and laughing about the sudden drop in temperature. Sighing deeply, Geraldine observed the coffee shop’s table display. The small sign read, “Couple’s Special! Valentine’s Day only! Get two coffees with free double shots when you share a kiss for our Wall O’ Love photo collage.” Geraldine picked it up and showed the other women.

“Who wants to make out for a free double shot?” She asked her friends.

Kamilah wrinkled her nose. “You know I don’t drink coffee.”

“I’m still not over my cold,” Liana chuckled. “Otherwise you’d have pink lipstick all over your face.”

Geraldine put the signage back next to the small bud vase with a fake rose protruding from it. “Guess we have to pay for double shots today, girls.”

“Come on, I’m low on caffeine and about to get hangry,” Liana said, motioning to the counter. One of the employees was loading more muffins into the baked goods display.

“Ooo, are those chocolate chip?” Kamilah asked.

10:20am: Members update the group with their Valentine’s Day plans.

“So, how is everyone spending today?” Kamilah asked, sliding back into her seat. She took a sip from her hot chocolate and savored the feeling of the piping hot liquid against her throat.

“Well, I’m working until three,” Geraldine started. “Then I’m going to go home alone and binge watch horror movies on Netflix. Because the person who I was supposed to be spending Valentine’s Day with sexually assaulted me a few weeks ago.”

“I’ve got to watch my kids because my ex is going out on a date with a woman he recently described as his first love,” Liana said, stirring more sugar into her coffee.

“Awesome. I’m catching up on work all day. Which will probably turn into catching up on work all night. Because if I bury myself in work it might keep my mind off of the fact today is the one-year anniversary of the day I found out my husband was cheating on me with my sister,” Kamilah said.

The women sipped their hot beverages and exchanged glances.

“But the good news is that none of us are bitter,” Geraldine said, brightly.

10:25am: Members renew their commitment to so totally not being bitter.

“How have you been feeling, Geri?” Liana asked her friend.

“Better,” she said, setting her coffee down and picking up her blueberry scone. “I’ve been acting like it didn’t happen and that seems to be working for me.”

“Has he tried to contact you?” Liana asked, gently.

“I’ve blocked his number and removed him from every social media site I could think of,” Geraldine stated. “There are ways he could get around all of that, of course. But it would make it much more difficult.”

“Is your living room coming along?” Kamilah sipped her drink carefully.

“It’s going better than I expected, to be honest,” Geraldine remarked. She had started a house project in order to keep her mind off of the assault. It started with repainting the living room. Something the woman knew nothing about in addition to not having a particular aptitude with home improvement.

“If you need any help, my brother is a professional,” Liana reminded her.

“Right now, I couldn’t afford him,” Geraldine cringed. “I also decided to get rid of my old couch and finally get the one I’ve been dreaming of.”

“The Basset Couch?” Kamilah gasped. She knew which Pinterest Pin Geraldine had been mooning over for months.

“Yeah,” Geraldine admitted. “I completely splurged. I’m going to be pinching pennies for a while now. But my couch is on its way!” She sipped her coffee. “What are you doing with the kids tonight, Liana?”

“I was thinking about taking them to the movies,” Liana shrugged. “I’m not sure. Depends on how tired they are from the weekend they had with their dad and the dingbat.”

“Not calling her “that conniving asshole” anymore?” Kamilah asked.

“Nope, I’ve moved on to a much more mature moniker for her,” Liana said, proudly.

“While still avoiding her actual name,” Geraldine added.

“She doesn’t deserve a name,” Liana said, darkly.

“So, you’re adjusting well,” Geraldine nodded. “Kamilah?”

“Oh, I’m just fantastic,” she said. “My mom told me that my lying rat sister is spending Valentine’s Day with my lying rat ex-husband on a romantic getaway weekend at a B and B. No doubt funded by the alimony I pay him.”

“Well, at least you don’t have to worry about your money going to waste,” Liana sarcastically intoned.

“Exactly,” Kamilah agreed. “I really would have loved to have just walked away from this entire situation. But yeah, seeing that asshole turn up at family gatherings with my sister where everyone just expects me to be civil is infuriating. Mom and dad are so happy that my baby sister finally found someone they don’t care who she took him from.”

“You know one of my Facebook friends actually messaged me this morning to tell me that it’s okay I’m not with someone because I’m still beautiful and there isn’t anyone special enough out there for me right now,” Liana recalled in disgust. “I wasn’t even thinking that me being single was a huge problem in my life. But then someone had to remind me that, yes, this is not a normal status for a woman my age.”

“Pity compliments are the worst,” Geraldine said, rolling her eyes. “It’s one thing to be supportive. It’s another to think you’re a charity case because you don’t have a man in your life.”

“I think we would all agree that we would like men in our lives,” Kamilah said, pointedly.

“I would very much like a man in my life,” Liana said, “but I don’t think I’m half of a person because I don’t have one.”

“Sometimes I feel like no reason to not have a boyfriend is legitimate enough for some people,” Geraldine muttered. “Especially today. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life, if you make it to Valentine’s Day without a partner, you’ve failed.”

“Then there’s the irrationally angry people,” Kamilah said. “The ones who act like Valentine’s Day was made to offend them and they have to speak out against this injustice before it claims more innocent lives.”

“Yeah, exactly,” Liana agreed. “It’s good to be one of the cool, totally-not-bitter people at the back just quietly angry about everything that’s gone on to bring us to our current state.”

“Yeah,” Kamilah nodded.

10:55am: Members look on the bright side of being totally not bitter.

“So yeah, good thing we’re all not bitter,” Geraldine said, nodding slowly. “To be honest though, I really don’t care about Valentine’s Day. In a world where everything was fair and things made sense, yeah, this wouldn’t be okay. But really, who cares? It’s just another day other people put importance on. It doesn’t matter that I’ve never had a romantic date on February fourteenth in my entire life. February fifteenth all of the candy goes on sale and that is far more significant to me.”

“Hey, want to go to Sugar Heaven tomorrow?” Liana asked, mentioning the specialty candy store near her house. “I saw they had a massive display of Valentine’s Day candy and I bet it’s all going on sale!”

“I have the morning free. Count me in!” Kamilah affirmed. “Then we can go back to my place and drink whiskey until it stops hurting.”

“I like the way you think,” Geraldine nodded.

11am: Members conclude meeting. Affirm how awesome it is to be totally not bitter.

Liana checked her watch and sighed. “I’ve got to get going,” she lamented.

“I’ll see you tomorrow for all of that candy,” Geraldine said, cramming the last bit of pastry into her mouth.

“Yeah, we might not have love, but we have sugar,” Kamilah said, raising her glass to toast the three women.

“I’ll see both of you soon. And remember, if you drink, don’t get online. Nothing completely vanishes from the Internet anymore,” Liana reminded her friends. “Geri…” She gave a stern look to the woman.

“What?” Geraldine asked innocently, fully knowing the incident she was referring to.

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