This is the 217th Subnormality comic.

Plot Summary Edit

On February 14th 2014, Ethel Blackmore attempts to write a dating profile, but her answers to the routine questions demonstrate her self-loathing and misanthropy. Meanwhile, PHG sits outside with Sphynx in the snow. She explains that she was on a date with someone she met on a dating website when he revealed that he was married, and she stood up and left. She is surprised she had the self-confidence to leave, and attributes this in part to her friendship with Ethel, who takes her seriously. Ethel deletes her dating profile and leaves her apartment to go buy candy.

Meanwhile, General Pete is setting up for a gig, which Justine is attending, but his band-mates are stuck in traffic so he is playing a very limited acoustic set list. PHG runs into Ethel on the street and the two decide to get a glass of wine together in the bar where the gig is happening. On the way there, PHG gives her scarf to Zoe Muggs who is begging outside, saying that it only reminds her of the bad date.

Inside, Pete begins his gig with an anecdote about seeing a girl in a record store but not being brave enough to talk to her. PHG and Ethel talk about their dating lives and the conversation moves onto how they feel about their own bodies. This leads to Ethel implying that she's a virgin.

A man approaches Justine and asks about her T-shirt, which says 'Hustler'. She explains that this is the name of a Cold War aeroplane which was well-designed, but was made obsolete before it ever flew a mission. She imagines what such a mission would have been like, knowing that return was unlikely, but her intensity scares the man. She tries to explain that her hobbies would be less important if she was in a relationship, but since she isn't she has little else to share about herself, but the man excuses himself a leaves.

Ethel apologises if her revelation was awkward, but PHG reassures her that she doesn't think it's strange, and she doesn't consider sex to be that important. Ethel admits that she has written several dating profiles but never posts them as she thinks they will put people off, but PHG encourages her to be honest because anyone who will be put off was unsuitable anyway.

Pete takes a break and goes outside, where he meets Zoe, who he has encountered before when she was selling band names. He offers to get her something from the bar since it's free for the band, but she declines. Instead, he buys another band name from her for his 'new solo act', but on the paper she writes that it was good to see him again. He tapes the note to his guitar before continuing the gig.

PHG tells Ethel that she considers sex, like most things, to be bad 90% of the time, although she admits the 10% seems worth it to her. Ethel asks if PHG is just trying to make her feel better, teasing PHG about being a people pleaser. She explains that she feels she is not able to be open about her affection for others, and even though she doesn't feel able to say "I love you" she thanks PHG for listening and "making [her] feel normal". PHG is very flattered by this, although she points out that Ethel said "I love you" to her earlier in the conversation without noticing. PHG says that she loves Ethel too, while Justine starts a conversation with the bartender and Pete's band finally arrive.

Outside, Zoe walks past the Sphynx, and stops because her dog is scared. She and the Sphynx discuss how they both rarely get to interact with people who treat them as equals, but both treasure it when it happens. Zoe promises to remember the conversation fondly before leaving.