We tried the party thing. For Christmas I bought Deb tickets to an expensive charity New Year’s Eve bash at a historic hotel in town. It was to benefit my counter-parts at a neighboring health center and the Big Brothers / Big Sisters program.
It was Black Tie & Blue Jeans (something we like to do in the West). I did both, as over the holidays that damn washing machine has shrunk all my blue jeans and I can’t get them buttoned and zipped without giving myself a hernia. Cargo pants didn’t seem the right choice for the event, so I settled on black jeans, black faux suede shirt, bolo tie from my Dad’s collection, and a grey sport coat with black elbow patches.
Deb was dressed and ready to go by the time the party was half over. Well, great beauty takes time. As it turns out we didn’t miss a thing.
We dropped Rio with both grandmothers (my Mom has taken over the house that we inherited from Deb’s Grandmother, so Rio’s two grandmas are in two halves of a Frankenstein-like duplex that evolved over many generations from a one room dirt-floor adobe to a 1950’s star-studded dinner club called El Ortiz). It is an archeologists’ worst nightmare with doors that go nowhere, steps that disappear into the ground, bizarre patterns on the wood floors that are the ghostly foot prints of walls moved as the needs of the building changed over the decades. My favorite: the quarter-circle of the bandstand can still be clearly seen on my Mom’s bedroom floor.
So back to this party that was supposed to have two bands, a buffet, palm readers, massages, a live auction and a silent one. Well, like the rest of 2008, there was some false advertising involved. The party was so lame that at 11:30 Deb snuggled up to me, rubbing her breasts into my side, kissed my ear and in a very sexy, husky, voice whispered, “just take me…. to Taco Bell.” I love it when she talks dirty to me.
Unfortunately Taco Bell closed early for the holiday. (When does Taco Bell ever close, for crying-out-loud?)
Defeated on all fronts we went back to Nanna/Grandma Jean’s house and all stood in my mother-in-law’s low ceilinged kitchen and compared non-synchronized watches to try to figure out if it was a new year yet or not. In the end, we used the Guardian as the official time and when it read 00:00 (military time) we hugged, kissed, and said thank God that 2008 is over with.
Everyone I know is stressed out and worn out. Some folks I know are suffering more than others. I think I’m doing better than most for the moment; but the sheer weight of our cultural stress and depression affects the very air I breathe.
But at this moment, with red chili warming my stomach, and cab over ice in a proper wine glass (at the party I paid the price of a full bottle for one “glass” in a flat bottomed clear plastic cup); everything feels right.
So to all of you: Happy New Year. And this year, I think it will be a happy year.