V-Day Stands For Very, Very Cold Day

This Valentine’s Day, Evelyn suggested that all of us, who weren’t busy for obvious reasons, had a pot luck picnic at Whitworth Park in the morning and somehow, subconsciously, the night before turned into a subtle cooking/baking competition evident by how both Rumin and I stayed up till past midnight preparing sushi (her) and baking cupcakes (me). It’s one thing if I feel inadequate about myself but to clearly demonstrate my inadequacy in front of everyone else is another, so I, with Rumin’s help, spent hours decorating each cupcakes differently and subsequently labelled each cupcake individually with unique symbols drawn on heart-shaped papers to indicate which cupcakes belonged to who. It also didn’t help that my first batch from the oven pretty much flopped because the recipe I’d followed was a flop, something I’d only found out after I took one bite, realised something was wrong, and then scrolled down to the numerous criticisms in the comments about how “this recipe is absolutely not worth your time” and I could only mutter curse word after curse word as I attempted to salvage blunder by adding more sugar.

The next morning, I woke up tired and nervous, like I was presenting my dish to Gordon Ramsay in Masterchef.

When we got to Whitworth Park, Evelyn and Brian were already there laying down light pink polka dotted picnic mats on the grass underneath a white faux sakura tree, setting the ideal scene for a pleasant Valentine’s day picnic.

People gradually started turning up after that with their own food dishes and soon enough, a feast of assorted food was laid right before us, completing the whole picnic aesthetic.

Cheeseballs (Nicole), cake with cherries (Jia Yang), heart-shaped strawberry and cream-filled tarts (Evelyn), banana and nutella rolls (Yee Lin), vegetarian pizza (Brian), fried rice and cucumber juice (CC), tomyam fried bihun (Ee Min), pork casserole (Khai Jieq), a six-pack diet coke (Faris), sushi (Rumin), cupcakes (yours truly)
My cupcakes with individual symbols drawn on heart-shaped labels

Unfortunately, despite the ideal setting for the occasion, it was also 3 freaking Celsius and I was quickly losing senses in my toes and fingertips so we all moved to Evelyn’s Denmark Road hall common room to continue eating and subsequently played games and chatted until six in the evening. I was already all out of energy as Rumin and I walked back to Weston after that, but I had a lovely time spending Valentine’s with my friends and why only emphasise on the annual celebration of romantic love when platonic affection and gratitude is just as, if not more, important and significant in one’s life? I wouldn’t have wished to spend the day any other way.

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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