By Phyllis “Kiki” Sembos
Valentine’s Day, being not far off, the guys in Dixon’s were discussing just that subject as they awaited Yiannis’ attendance. George reminded them that last year Yiannis had deliberately played sick so that he could buy Areti a small box of chocolates on sale at half price the next day.
He added, “I wonder how Yiannis will get away with Valentine’s Day this time.” John agreed, “He’s a genius at not spending money. But, know what? We shouldn’t let him get away with it this year.” Dimos shrugged, “What do you suggest? He’d outsmart us, you know!” Their attention fell on Kipreos who had split up with his girlfriend, Stella, of many years. But, they found out they got together again. “Did you get Stella anything this year, Kipreos?” He responded, “Well, I got a silver heart pendant inscribed with, “To the only girl for me.” John said, “That’s nice Kipreos. I thought you two were broken up for good.” “I thought so too. That’s why I didn’t put a name on it, in case we break up again and I meet someone else.”
George brought the subject of Yiannis once again, “What about poor Areti! She’d never say anything if he didn’t do something for her on Valentine’s Day.” Dimos shook his head, “I know! But, we’ll just have to remind him this year.” Just then the great economizer walked in, getting his coffee and seated himself. He looked around. “What’s up?” George replied, “Valentine’s Day, Yiannis. That’s what’s up!” He shrugged. “So?” John asked, “We were discussing what we’ll do on that holiday for our wives and we wondered what good ol’ Yiannis will do for wonderful, kind hearted, faithful Areti this year.” George had to remind him, “Last year, remember, you got sick. You look very fit this year. Try and stay that way!”
Yiannis recalled what Areti had said to him only yesterday.
“Lately Areti has been having dreams; like she had a dream of me getting her a diamond bracelet. Then, last week, she said she dreamt I got her a clothes dryer. Last night she said she dreamt I’d taken her to where Kipreos worked and had a romantic breakfast and we stayed in the bridal suite.
I don’t know what’s going on with her.” George grinned, ”wishful thinking, undoubtedly. Her dreams must have been nightmares for you.” Ignoring him, he said, “To tell the truth, I don’t know what to do this year but…” he looked across at Dimos. “…she’d like to have dinner at a diner, and her favorite diner is at Dimos’, you know.” He sipped his coffee and waited for Dimos’ reactions. Dimos nodded, “So you’d like dinner for two at my diner, Yiannis?” Yiannis paused, “I wouldn’t mind. The food is good, it’s convenient and you’d please Areti, too.” Dimos gave that proposition long thought. If only he could stump the big non-spender in some way. He looked toward John for assistance.
John, tossing eye contacts at Dimos, told Yiannis, “I’ll give you a bouquet of flowers at half price.” Half price! Yeah! That’s it! Dimos took the hint. “Yiannis, I’ll arrange for you and Areti to have dinner at my diner for half price too. Whadda ya’ say?” Sipping his coffee slowly, he tried to come up with some sort of plan. Flowers from John’s florist, dinner at Dimos’ diner. Hmmm! “You’re great guys, trying to make Areti happy.” George told him, “Remember that saying? Happy wife; happy life?” Turning away, Yiannis continued. “But, I’d have to take a taxi to the diner, then, tip both the delivery man for the flowers and the driver. I don’t know.” Really bothered by his endless frugality, John gave up and offered to give him the flowers free, “if you promise to give her a gift she’d appreciate.”
Dimos added, “Me too! Promise you’ll give her something she’d want; something she yearns for and I’ll let you have diner free; this once!” Yiannis agreeing wholeheartedly and beaming promised he’d get Areti something she really wants. George wanted it in writing. But that was vetoed.
Valentine’s Day came and went. The dinner date and flowers were successful. At Dixon’s that next Sunday, they asked Yiannis what gift he got Areti. “I hope you didn’t forget!” warned Dimos. “Oh, I didn’t forget. I got her what she wanted; a book explaining the meaning of dreams.”