I’ve been home for 15 hours now. This is the longest I’ve spent in my apartment since, well, Wednesday, I think. Plans for the weekend were initially pretty simple: dinner with Tina Friday, Serving at a birthday party in Tina’s family on Saturday, nothingness on Sunday.. But sometime Thursday, things started getting a little more complicated than that..
I really don’t know how it all started other than I spent most of Thursday having this weird feeling that I’d better not make any plans for the day Friday. My feelings were confirmed on Thursday evening shortly after arriving at work when a text message arrived from Tina asking me what my plans were for Friday other than dinner with her. I told her I had nothing planned and she in turn said that she had some preparations for her presentation of her thesis to do but really wouldn’t mind some company throughout the day. I really don’t know what it is with Tina and I and the bond that we share, but we’re scarily good at picking up on how the other is feeling.. To a point where it sometimes borders on mutual precognitive abilities.. Like this time around where I’d sensed something was up before Tina even took the time to tell me that she wasn’t feeling entirely happy and wouldn’t mind some company.
Long story short, issues regarding insecurity about the future and the shape of things to come has apparently gotten to others than just me and I was only more than happy to rip a day out of the calendar to do what I do best which is make Tina smile when she’s feeling down. And I decided to do so in the best possible way that I know of: by spoiling he silly and treating her to a day all about her, good food, good wine, fun and games. In essence, I spent the next few hours at work trying to cheer her up best as I could from afar and assuring her that I had a perfect plan for making her feel better which involved getting up early the next day, trotting down to her, keeping her company, keeping her well-fed for all meals of the day and generally spreading good vibes.
This, of course, was a truth with modifications. I didn’t really have any plan at all, or any clues what to do. I do, however, have the powers of improvisation and a knack for knowing what pleases Tina and makes her happy. My little white lie worked, though, and tiny Tina eventually went to bed at around 1:30 AM, a little more at ease (hopefully) and looking forward to the day to come. I on the other hand, spent the next few hours at work and the trip home thinking about just what the hell to do about the next day.
Dinner was easy: I had for the longest time promised to cook Pad Thai for the two of us and Friday was supposed to be the day I’d live up to my promise. Pad Thai, prior to final assembly is probably one of the most disgusting looking and smelling dishes in the world, so I had most of the preparations out of the way already. I’d also matched a white wine to go with the dish that I’d already let Tina sample a sip of so I knew she’d approve. So dinner was pretty safe.. But what about everything else?
Well, there’d have to be snacks! No matter how well I feed my dear friend she will without exceptions always get the munchies within a couple of hours after dinner once the movies (or series) start rolling and we start chilling and laughing. Thing is, I’m an idiot when it comes to snacks, so I settled for just popping by the 24 hour store on the way home and buying a bag of a certain brand of potato chips I know she enjoys and that we have a history of maybe sharing one too many bags of. Cheap and easy trick, but hey it works and I made sure to get one featuring various geometric shapes of chips because I know my adorably retarded little friend gets a kick out of sorting the shapes and deciding who gets to have which.
Good, snacks out of the way.. But what are snacks without drinks? Simply put (in my perfect little world anyways): Nothing! Luckily, Tina is super easy to please when it comes to drinks. There’s really ever only one option: Mojito! Or, more specifically, my homemade Mojito. I don’t mean to brag, but it’s really the only thing I’ve seen that can create a true Pavlovian response in her. You mention the word Mojito to her or even just show her one of the ingredients and she knows what’s coming, her eyes light up, she beams at you and starts smiling uncontrollably. It is at the same time both beyond funny and beyond cute and needless to say a perfect reason why I’d include homemade Mojitos as part of my plan to put a smile on her face.
At this time in the planning process, the hour had reached 3:15 AM Friday morning and I’d just made it home and in the door. As I’d decided to get up at about 10:30 AM, the reasonable choice would have been to go to bed and get some sleep. I, however, am not a very reasonable person and still had work to do. First things first, I got a single serving of lasagna out of the freezer. Partially because I’d promised her some lasagna ages ago, partially because I knew her financial situation wasn’t too good and I wanted her to at least have something to eat, and also partially because I’d had a little of badly timed fun on her behalf Thursday.. And, well, in an inside joke that only her and I will understand, homemade lasagna means I’m sorry (really, don’t ask, it’s a long, complicated story).
The retrieval of the “I’m so sorry lasagna” left only one blank step in my plan to spoil Tina silly. A suitable lunch to serve for her upon my arrival the next day. Again, most people would have gone to bed and worried about that the next day. But then again, I am not most people, so my solution to this final obstacle was to put on the newest episode of Ghost Hunters, grab a beer from the fridge and rummage through my pantry and fridge for things to turn into lunch for the next day. I pretty quickly ended up finding some onions, some garlic and some organic whole wheat spaghetti. I also found a whole bunch of really ripe tomatoes and shortly before 4 AM, an idea dawned to me: Spaghetti with tomato cream sauce with fresh basil and roasted garlic. So on went the stove, the oven and the fan and while most of the rest of the world was sleeping, Johan cooked tomato sauce, roasted garlic, sipped a beer and whiled away time.
I’m not sure your taste buds are really up to par at 5 AM in the morning, but I must admit that the end result was pretty good in my eyes and probably would taste even better with the addition of cream and basil in the morning.. It would appear I now had a fully functional plan for the cheering up of one Tina, involving me turning up in high spirits (and obviously tired), finishing the lunch for her, keeping her company throughout her struggle with the presentation, cooking her Pad Thai for dinner and pouring wine on her, feeding her drinks and snacks and doing whatever she wanted.. All I needed now was to write a shopping list for the last remaining ingredients I needed to purchase in the morning and then getting a few hours of sleep before executing the plan..
This couldn’t possibly fail.. Right?