Hello and Goodbye
It’s funny, I feel like I have already said goodbye to 2012 and hello to the year 2013. As I sat on the US Airways flight, in seat, A-21, I couldn’t help but also think that I have just said goodbye to my home, New York City, and ready to embrace the west coast for several days with my family. We say hello and goodbye every single day of our lives, but do we really mean what we say or is it just force of habit? We say hello to coworkers in the morning and goodbye to them at the end of the day. We say good morning to our loved ones first thing in the morning before we leave and good night as we fall fast asleep. Face it. Sometimes we mean what we say and other times we don’t even recognize what we are saying. Like so many, we will all be traveling and purchasing our magazines to entertain us with most articles that pertain to that “New Year, New You” or the popular “What are your New Year Resolutions?” So, as we do say goodbye to the current year and brace ourselves for the year ahead, nothing like an old recap of the year as we get ready to raise our glasses to the new one.
This past Monday, I was looking forward to seeing Mr. B. (yes, Mr. B. not to be confused with Mr. D.) but as my luck would have it as I was sitting at my desk working that day; I received the text message saying that he would have to cancel our drink meeting for his boss was forcing him to attend a holiday party and if we could reschedule. Unfortunately, with my crazy schedule the way it was, I didn’t have another free day to spare and I guess I was also annoyed. I hadn’t see him in months and it had been on the calendar for awhile. I guess, quite possibly, it was the universe telling me that this was all for the best. So, instead, I threw myself into my work and worked rather late that night and did the same with my Tuesday.
When Wednesday presented itself, I was more than ready to put an end to my time with work and everything in between. It would be my last day in the office and so I arrived early, made all my deadlines and said “goodbye” to everyone for I would not be seeing any of them until after the new year. That night, I didn’t even get a chance to go home and change for I was meeting some very special people. I would be meeting Feather’s new in-laws. Now, I have met them all before many times over the years but this time would be different for they would not be considered his boyfriend’s parents but rather his in-laws. Try as I did to get out of us going to his favorite dinner spot, Dallas BBQ, I was out numbered for not only did Feather’s want to go but so did the in-laws. So, I scooted down to Chelsea to pick-up the family, for I was running a bit late but they were having a drink at, East of Eighth.
It was so nice to see them all again, they live in California and come to the city about twice a year. Another mutual friend of ours was also joining us for dinner that night, so it was a well rounded bunch of people. After the family had settled the bill, we all migrated over to the ever so classy BBQ joint.
As we were seated, Feather’s and his husband presented me with a Maid of Honor gift for all the work I did for their wedding last week (I can’t believe it had already been a week) and it was lovely. The thing we do the best when we are at this restaurant is drink. So, the entire table all order not regular size drinks but Texas sized. These drinks are bigger than my kitchen and pack a major punch. The drinks are kicking in and everyone is feeling the spirit, we are laughing, talking and there was a brief moment where I thought to myself, if there will ever be a day where my own in-laws are visiting me and if they would even like me? I mean, the only time in my dating career that I ever met anyone’s parents was when I was briefly dating The Teacher, earlier this year and I ended up getting hives in the bathroom. I had to snap myself out of my thoughts at the dinner table for this was not about me or about my situation; it was about how happy I was to not only be there but to be a part of it all. Usually, we never order a second Texas drink but the mother-in-law was persistent and without my knowledge another drink was gifted to me.
Once the bill was settled, I thought that would be the end of the night and everyone would go their separate ways but it turns out that Feather’s in-laws had a different agenda. They wanted to go to the rooftop at, 230 Fifth, a spot known for it’s fantastic view of Manhattan and their over priced cocktails. So, there we were walking across 23rd Street. We have Feathers, his husband, his husband’s father, mother, brother and the brother’s girlfriend and me. I ended up walking ahead with the father and his current obsession of wanting a grandchild. I should be more specific, he wants a grandson. A grandson he could take to games, train rides, etc. It was rather sweet seeing this man, whom I have known for eight years now, see him light up as his talked about the future. Seeing that Feather’s and his husband do not want children; I guess the pressure will be put upon the brother.
We arrive at, 230 Fifth, and it was cold. I assumed that we would just be sitting inside and watching all the drunk people that have been there all night long stumble along but turns out, there is somewhat of a tradition here and that every year that they come to town for Christmas, they like to go to the top of this building, have drinks and just enjoy the view. This spot offered hooded fleece robes to keep the patrons warm, so we all grabbed our fleeces, cocktails and sat outside. The first round of drinks we all mixed, I went from tequila to wine and well…I think by now we know that is just a bad combination. After the wine, we all decided to switch to this hot chocolate concoction that was warm going down but also had different alcohol that I wasn’t sure what exactly it was. After two hot chocolates, it was past midnight and time for me to say “goodbye.” I knew I had a flight the next day I also know myself and I am notorious for missing flights so on the corner of 27th Street and Fifth Avenue, I said “goodbye” to Feather’s, the brother-in-law and the girlfriend. I ended up walking back to 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue with the parents and Feather’s husband so that they all got to their hotel safely and I jumped on the subway. On my ride back home, I really did think of how wonderful these people are and just how lucky that they all found each other.
I woke up on Thursday with a headache, no shock there considering the types of booze that I was mixing but I didn’t have time to sleep in or nurse my choices; hell, I hadn’t even packed for my trip yet. So, I got up, popped two Advil and got packing. Once the packing was completed, I did a quick gym session and showered with all my intentions of going to Newark Airport all by myself. I have done this route with friends but of course, I relied on them to get me there but this time, I was on my own. I had to be responsible for reading the boards of when my train was departing and which stop to get off on and where my terminal was. Normally, I just take a cab but in these tough times, I was relying on mass transit. Maybe it is the fact that I am growing up or that I was paying close attention but I successfully managed to take all the right steps to get me to the airport on time. Well, on time is being generous, I got there and after my security check they were already boarding. I tend to always cut it short when it comes to flying or anything else for that matter. Which brings me to my seat in A-21. As many times as we all love to come to the city and see that skyline get bigger and bigger, just knowing that we actually get to live in this amazing place. It is also nice to say “goodbye” to her sometimes, she can be a bitch and she can wear you down. It is always nice to have some time apart so that way you can appreciate things when you reconnect, which is exactly what I plan to do while I am gone for several days.
The flight to Arizona was actually peaceful considering it was the holidays. In fact, as I sat in seat, A-21, I had the window seat and the woman next to me was on her laptop and would believe this…she was reading one of my Yahoo! articles. I interrupted her and told her that I was the writer for the particular article she was reading. She was a younger woman and was so thrilled. She shook my hand and then told me she follows this blog. She then asked me if this flight charged for water. Clearly this was her first flight. I told her that they do not charge for water and if she had anymore questions to just ask me.
I landed and got my luggage. I don’t know about the rest of you but I only manage to get back home once or twice a year at best. Of course, I communicate with them constantly through phone calls, text messages and emails but actually seeing them, it takes awhile to get acclimated again. Even though they are family, it takes about a day or two to get into a certain groove. Plus this trip, well, first let me tell you how it was supposed to go. The Johnson Family trip was for those in Arizona, to drive to California and stay with my brother and his partner in San Diego. Then go to Disneyland to surprise my nieces. After Disneyland, we would all then drive down further south of California to spend Christmas with my grandparents, whom I haven’t seen in many years. Afterwards, we would drive back to the Phoenix area and finish out the rest of my stay. Now, let me tell, just how cursed either I am or maybe it is a hereditary thing but this is how the trip ACTUALLY went…
The next morning after I landed, we all (my brother-in law, my dad, my mom, my two nieces, my sister and I) got in a big SUV and began our trek to California. Everyone is in good spirits, talking, laughing and having a wonderful time. That evening when we arrive, my aunt who lives in California, informed us all that we would be having a big family dinner at a Mexican restaurant. As we are all seated at the restaurant and food is being served, my oldest niece looks at me and tells me that her tooth is loose. I don’t think anything about it, other than she is going to be expecting that tooth fairy to bring her money and pixie dust on her pillow that night. She takes another bite and her tooth comes out. This is just the beginning of the drama that will continue throughout this entire trip.
That night, back at my brother’s apartment. It is cramped. It is housing nine people. So there is air mattresses, sleeper sofas and couches. My niece (the same one that lost her tooth) were sharing the couch together and in the middle of the night, she wakes me up and says, “Uncle I have to…” and before she could finish her sentence, she throws up all over me. Yes. You read the correctly. The poor thing threw up all over my feet, the couch, the floor and so began the rest of the evening of taking care of my poor niece.
The next morning would mark the day we all were going to go to Disneyland. It turns out my niece had a stomach flu and so we all sat around and waited it out to see how she felt. As we waited, I also doubled checked to see if I had brought the tickets to Disneyland. Nope. I left them in Arizona on the kitchen table. I contacted my friend to see about the tickets and their expiration for it was looking like Disneyland was not happening for any of us. As everyone was sitting around, I decided to take advantage of my brother’s amenities in his apartment complex and go for a five mile run. My brother’s partner walked me to the gym and told me how to get back home and so I was left all on my own to run and sweat out all the germs that were floating around in their apartment. After the run, I got lost. Literally lost. I tried knocking on some door, I didn’t have my cell phone or any keys. After awhile, I approached some guy that was detailing his car and asked him if he knew what to do if you locked yourself out of your apartment. He said I could go to the leasing office and they could help me. I had no idea what he was talking about and so he said he would give me a ride there. I don’t know what possessed me to get in but I had no choice. I knew my family would just assume that I was working out and not look for me. The guy was nice and dropped me off at the leasing office. So, now I am standing in this nicely decorated leasing office in my sweaty gym clothes and she is calling my brother and his partner, both don’t answer. Finally they get the message and my brother has to come and pick me up.
We decided that since that day was a bust that me, my brother and his partner would go have brunch at the drag bar, Lips. The same Lips that started out in New York. It was fun, mainly because it gave me a chance to get to know my brother’s partner. Afterwards, we go back and it now turns out that the same niece that lost her tooth and had the flu that she now has pink eye. It was becoming very apparent that this trip was becoming a serious epidemic. It also happened that while we were gone, that my youngest niece also managed to catch the flu. There was no where to turn. Every where you looked around someone in that apartment, someone was getting sick. I thought to myself of how my luck is usually the worse out of all my family members and somehow I was not catching the flu or the pink eye. Whew. I was in the clear. Later that evening, a few of us all decided to go to my Aunt’s house for a family gathering while my sister, her husband and the kids all nurse themselves back to health.
When we got back that evening, my brother, his partner and my sister all had a nice pow wow, something we never get to due for we are all spread out across the country. But it was a nice moment and we all got to know each other a bit better. When I went to bed that night, I felt how blessed I am to be surrounded by all of this. It was around 2 a.m. that suddenly I didn’t feel so blessed for I was now facing the toilet bowl and throwing up violently. I now had the flu. I am talking about the chills, body aches and getting sick every hour on the hour. My luck had officially ran out. My brother-in-law also had caught what we all had. The one good luck we all were having was that everyone was managing to avoid the pink eye. We were washing our hands so thoroughly that we barely had any skin on our hands left. For me, I was down for the count, on the couch and resting.
The next day, would be Christmas Eve, we all were due to be at my grandparents house but we eventually had to cancel and give in to our illnesses. My mom had also caught the flu, the fortunate thing was that we all noticed that this flu was only lasting about 24 hours. But we still had to take care of ourselves and so our Christmas Eve consisted of ordering pizza for those that were healthy while the rest of us didn’t eat and tried to stay hydrated. This was not at all what the plans were and I certainly was ready to say “goodbye” to this entire trip. Oh and did I mention that that night while we all were fast asleep waiting for Santa to arrive, that my sister caught the flu and ended up throwing up the entire night?
Christmas Day. It was safe to say that not one family member was feeling the holiday spirit. The only people that managed to avoid the plague was my brother, his partner and my dad. I was impressed considering how close quarters we all were in. We watched the girls open their gifts from Santa and before you know it, we were all back in the car facing a six hour drive back to Arizona. When we finally arrived back home, all of us just wanted to be in proper beds and were looking forward to a long rest. Oh, I should mention that we all received a text message from brother that after we left back to Arizona, his partner caught the flu and his plans were canceled to see his family. I think my brother’s partner finally understood that when our family leaves a mark…we leave a mark.
Today, I am up and working. Business as usual however, I woke up to my dad yelling and moaning. Yup. You guessed it right folks. My dad now has the flu he had managed to avoid the entire trip in California. So, it just might be my mom and I visiting my grandmother followed by a visit to their local movie theatre. 2012 is certainly book marking to be a crappy ending. Most people say, “I give thanks for my friends, family and health.” Our families health has officially left the building but we still have so much to be grateful for.
As I close my final entry for the blog this year, again, it is always interesting to look back on all that I have dated and experienced. That is the purpose of this blog to begin with, the dating adventures of my life and after reviewing it, I can’t help but think of all that I have experienced. So, let’s begin shall we?
In 2012, I have gone on a total of 35 dates. I have done everything from speed dating (no one picked me for a date), to OK Cupid, meeting people in social settings and lastly being fixed up. I have dated all different walks of life….
- The British Reporter (he lied about his situation)
- The Teacher (we dated a few months, met his parents and got hives. Did I mention the religious figures above his bed?)
- The guy that was into vampires and wanted to bite my neck while at the bar
- The Architect (we dated for a few months that ended with me being birthday bombed at my office)
- Mr. B. (the guy with the kid)
- McSweaty (the one who each date came by sweating profusely each time)
- Mr. D. (the guy that on our fourth date, never showed up)
- The Fix Up (the guy that left with another man at the party)
That is just to name some of the more noteworthy. As you can already tell, after the dating, this rather disastrous family trip that I am more than ready to say GOODBYE to 2012. There was a ton of laughs and tears, it is life after all so there was plenty of ups and downs but I must say that after all of this…I am still very grateful for all that has come my way. For all you readers out there, for the ever growing success, for my friends, family and yes…my health. And to the city of New York, for without that city, many of these great stories may never have ever been written. I hope that all of you have had a better holiday experience than I but I am also looking forward to raising a glass to the year ahead. Happy New Year everyone! Here is to 2013!