The hours between 6:30 pm Christmas Eve and 10:30 am Christmas day were perhaps the busiest yet most delightful 16 hours I have had in a while, if not for their grand company than for their sheer busyness alone. I love to be busy and I love to have a packed schedule, but it’s almost as if the holiday gods were on a bender this year. Back to back to back I went and I did and I Christmased. Maybe it’ll be a new tradition?
DL arrives for dinner and we go out for my favorite Christmas eve treat, mediocre Chinese food. Fewer things taste like home to a nice Jewish girl on Christmas eve, and DL is a good sport who kindly obliges/indulges me. At a restaurant with a most politically incorrect name, we chopstick our way through dumplings, Mu Shu Chicken (he) and Scallops with Black Bean Sauce (me). Everything tastes the same and the post-meal pineapple comes from a can. Ah, Christmas. After a rousing discussion of the sociobiology and/or hierarchical necessity of how and why we eat, I realize I am having such a good time that I have become late for my next appointment.
I meet RD and PS at RD’s apartment before we head off to the annual He’bro Jewbilee. He’bro puts on social events for gay Jewish gents, and their party this year is at the extravagant and highly-regarded XL, the largest gay club in New York, and housed in The Out hotel (referring to itself as “straight-friendly,” the hotel rooms have no closets. Get it?). I am writing an article about He’bro, and this event will be the cherry on top (more about this at another time…). Long story short, the event is marvelous, with fantastic music (Gaga, Rihanna, Whitney, do I really need to go on?), go-go boys Jewish and not Jewish with plastic Stars of David swinging from their necks, Jewish drag queens, and yes, even the straight Jewish guy who hits on me while I am resting my high-heeled feet. I smile politely but hobble away to get another drink. Nice try, bro. By the way, it’s excellent fun being a lady in a gay club with unisex bathrooms which discipline patrons to keep one person per stall thank you very much. What’s nice is that even while my feet are beginning to ache, a nice gent with a British accent who is not Jewish but is here for the boys says I look fabulous. Thank you sir! Somehow it gave me the spark I needed to hit the dance floor again. Later, seeing my evening mates have become…occupied, and my feet are nearly falling off, I tiptoe my way to a cab. Which is surprisingly easy to get in the middle of BFE Hell’s Kitchen on Christmas Eve.
Knowing that if I go home and put my head down I will in fact fall asleep and miss my 6 am flight, I go home, change my heels for motorcycle boots and hobble (yes, still—heels are powerful things, I tell you!) to my favorite diner down the street for breakfast? A midnight snack? I don’t know the name of the meal, but I know its purpose was to fill me with enough food that I passed out on the plane. A chicken quesadilla with waffle fries will do the trick, I think. Post-meal, I hobble home, change my shirt, shove a few more items in my suitcase, zip it up, say goodbye to my house, and head for the street.
Having just loaded my suitcase into a cab, which took a bit longer than I expected, actually, my phone rings. It’s Mother Dear. “Are you awake?” she asks. I am not only awake, but on my way to the airport. I am a jet-setting lady boss of my life and I feel tired but fabulous and on top of everything. I am too important to sleep! I joke to myself.
The airport is surprisingly busy and I thank Goddess for my foresight in checking in online. I arrive at the gate at 4:48 am, wrap my pink circle scarf around my face and simmer into a half-sleep, only to be awakened by the sound of my zone being called for boarding.
I arrive on the plane, in my seat, my carryon luggage stowed safely beneath my feet. The next step is to fall again into deep slumber, so up goes the circle scarf. Only to be brusquely disturbed by the droning voice of the stewardess who wants to know what patron belongs to a black and pink besequined backpack she has just removed from an overhead bin. “Is this yours? Is this yours?” she asks to everyone behind me and finally myself. I say no and replace said scarf. I am nearing sleep, so close I can touch it, despite the continued drone of said stewardess’s voice as it moves about the cabin. In a few moments I am used to the noise and slowly begin my sleep cycle, only to be prodded awake by the stewardess and asked again if this is, in fact, my bag. Yes, madam, I do in fact understand that it is entirely possible that I, a female who also happens to be dressed in black and pink, could be the owner of this sequined monstrosity. I was in fact just at a gay club where sequins are nothing if not the norm. But dear Goddess over my dead body would I ever, EVER own a backpack with the words ‘LOVE PINK’ written across the back of it like some corporate Victoria’s Secret slave and you have just prodded me awake to ask YET AGAIN if I own it while I am clearly, clearly sleeping! “IT’S NOT MINE,” I say firmly, distinctly and with just enough edge to make the woman teeter away looking for her next victim. I huddled back into my circle scarf and felt the tiniest tinge of regret, a freckle on the skin of my remark, if you will. I mean, the woman couldn’t know my distaste for corporate monogramming or that I haven’t slept in nearly 24 hours. I am not ever a person who speaks unkindly to those in service because I know first hand how difficult the job is. I mean, people are generally awful. Besides, it’s just so much easier to be nice. But honey, I said no once and I’ll be damned if some ugly backpack is going to come between me and the only three hours of sleep I’m going to get these next 48 hours. So with that, I wrap the scarf around my face again and drift asleep, happily undisturbed the rest of the flight.
In just a few minutes we will land. I will then get my bag, jump into Mother Dear’s faithful Cadillac and head home. Once home, I will unpack Best Friend’s Christmas present from my bag and wrap it up as prettily as I can on three hours of sleep (which, incidentally, happens to be pretty damn well if I do say so myself) and head to her house for Christmas breakfast at 10:30 am with her family like we do every year. In fact, this breakfast was the reason for my 6am flight in the first place. I was originally supposed to fly out at 9pm Christmas Eve, but had to change flights (with no extra charge, yay!) for the Jewbilee I was covering.
I will not sleep until about 2 pm that afternoon, 31 hours after I woke up the day before. And frankly, I don’t think I would have changed a thing. Except maybe for that damned stewardess.