Sunday, 31 March 2013

"Valentine's Day?"

I guess you could say while this comic is new and fresh, the timing is a little off as the "holiday" of Valentine's Day was well over a month ago as I write this. This strip is loosely based off a real life situation that I was involved in. Trust me when I say, in reality the results were not as creepy as this strip portrays, although it's very understandable to assume that it could be creepy. Like Slender Man creepy. Like I said, trust me, this story isn't creepy. Well, not that creepy anyway. Read on, if you dare.

To put it out there, I have never "celebrated" Valentine's Day. Every time it comes up, I don't have someone to celebrate it with, more importantly I don't exactly see the point of "celebrating" it, even if I was involved with somebody, but that's a typical rant I won't go into.

At my current job, my boss asked my work mate and I what we were doing for Valentine's Day. My work mate said he was going to surprise his girlfriend at her work with gifts then take her out for dinner. My boss asked me and was horrified to hear my response, "Nothing".

My boss then set the challenge before me. Well, it wasn't really a challenge, but more attempting to force me. Basically, he ordered that on my lunch break, I go out and buy flowers, roses or whatever, then go and find someone I genuinely think is attractive and give her said flowers. He wanted me to try and score a phone number out of it too. Now, this absolutely horrified me, but when the time came he said to me that I didn't have to do it if I really didn't want to. I just thought what the hell... challenge accepted.

So on my now extended lunch break, I went and tracked down where they were selling flowers and roses and stuff, outside a local supermarket. There was a lot of stock and even more people gunning for those plants. I picked out a single red rose. Nothing too fancy but I thought it was nice. I felt very awkward buying this rose, and I obviously looked like that guy. You know, the weirdo who holds the single rose routine. Yeah, that guy.

I saw a lot of people walking around with flowers, roses, gifts, stuffed animals, you know the typical Valentine's Day gifts. I went to the local outdoor mall and well, there were a lot of people there, heaps, but all of them with partners of sorts. I decided in order to complete this challenge and essentially beat my boss, I was going to try one of the stores. I walked into a book store, saw a cute girl at the counter by herself. "Cool" I thought, "This'll do." I thought it'd be kind of weird to go up with nothing but the rose, so I decided to buy something and then throw the rose at her... which now that I think about it, is probably even weirder. So I approached the counter with a product, and noticed the girl had another older staff member with her. Crap.

"Just this please." I said, putting a copy of a Batman: The Dark Knight graphic novel onto the counter, and then a twenty dollar note along with it.

I was on my way back to my office as I felt like giving up. I had some time to spare, so I dropped by a local pharmacy to look for strapping tape for judo. When I went inside, I saw an absolutely beautiful girl working in the beauty section of the pharmacy, but she was with a customer. I didn't want to look like a creeper and man, I felt like one, so I just left and walked into a nearby electronic store, to gaze upon the gaming shelf that never, ever seems to change or renew its stock. Shortly after, I noticed that customer of the girl walked into the electronic store. So I thought fuck it, I'm doing this.

I approached this girl, nervous as all hell because I hate doing this kind of thing. I said hello, she thought I was a normal customer and that's when I threw it at her,

"I'm on a mission." I just... blatantly say.

"Oh, a mission?" she asks, confused but amused, I think.

"Yeah. My boss is sending me out on my lunch break, to buy a rose for someone, anyone, and give it to them in the spirit of Valentine's Day, and I want you to have it so here." I explain as I hand her the rose.

"Oh, thank you!" 

We had a very brief chat, she asked me a few questions about what I do for work, where I work, etc. Despite the questions, no names were exchanged or any contact details of any sort. She then finally asked,

"Why me?" 

In my head, I was thinking "Oh shit, oh shit oh shit oh fucking shit", I didn't know what to say. I remembered though what my boss told me, so I explained,

"The catch of this challenge was that I had to give the rose to someone who I felt was genuinely a beautiful person." 

The girl's response was something I wasn't expecting. She covered her mouth and made a very loud "AAAAW" sound. I'll admit it was actually really nice to hear, but it had me pretty embarrassed. That noise pretty much caught the attention of other people in the shop.

With that I decided to make my very awkward escape, I said I had to go, wished her a good day and well, left the shop. Simple as that.

When I got back to work, I told my boss that I had completed his challenge. He was happy with the results, but his happiness changed when I revealed that no contact details, not even names were exchanged. He sat there for a while, basically asking "Why?" over and over again.

On one hand, I felt if I tried to ask this person for names, a contact number or something, that would have been a bit weird and creepy. On the other hand, I felt that maybe for this girl, it would have made a better story, to be given a rose in the spirit of Valentine's Day by a stranger, with nothing more to add or say. At least, that's what I thought in my head. Who knows, the girl could have very well thought the situation was hilarious, maybe embarrassing or perhaps down right creepy. As for the latter possibility, I hope that's not the case.

Completing my boss' challenge felt good and at the same time, kinda fun. Would I do it again?

I hope not.

-Cr33g (Craig)