A good friend of mine said recently that December is the Sunday of the year, which might explain why in the few weeks after Thanksgiving I’d been feeling a strange combination of lethargic and anxious. I’d taken on more hours at what I refer to as my “day job,” thus falling into and perfecting a routine that gave me a sense of not entirely false responsibility and sent me to bed at a decent hour. In fact I’m almost certain that my most exciting nights leading up to the holidays were: 1) watching Contagion while babysitting in Prospect Park, 2) my worldview imploding at my workplace Christmas party when I smoked weed with my boss, and 3) getting my credit card rejected while trying to order a gin and tonic at an Irish pub on Crosby street.
Routine gives me the creeps. I’m always a worried that if I get too used to my life as it is I’ll wake up ten years from now and still be making $300 a week. I need change, I thought. I need to make moves! In a notebook I keep next to my bed I’d scrawl manic to-do lists and grandiose long term goals before waking up the next day with just enough time for the bare necessities, running all of my errands between the hours of 9 pm and 9 am. Who the hell had I become?
But I found some comfort in my friend’s observation. For as long as I can remember, that Sunday night feeling has been synonymous with the onset of a stomach flu or a category 5 identity crisis. But I’ve tried to accept over the years that there isn’t much you can do to change your life on a Sunday night. Nothing is open, everyone is checked out and home with their families. The only thing you can do you is reward your accomplishments, assess your failures and prepare yourself for the coming week.
I decided that now was the time to be kind to myself. This meant, of course, that I would focus all of my attention on my holiday plans, putting great emphasis on the best idea I’ve had all year (next to moving to New York)–
Combining host forces with Sarah Sassafrass and Jeffrey Scott, the idea was to collide each of our most precious social pockets into one massive North Carolina Holiday Extravaganza. I arrived that Saturday at RDU airport at 11:10 AM, feeling quite sprightly in spite of my 50 hour work week and 5:30 AM train ride from my apartment to JFK. After meeting my father at the baggage claim I instructed him (as we agreed) to take me promptly to Starbucks, then to the spa for an eyebrow wax, and then to the nearest Moe’s for a taco salad. It was the perfect entree into the Triangle after such prolonged absence (although I may regret for weeks to come the fact that I did not consume one morsel of Bojangle’s while I was in town). Following lunch, daddy-o dropped me at the St. Kat K-Mart (AKA Party City) where I met Sass and Katy to buy tinsel, a disco ball, costume accessories and miles upon miles of garland. Of course no one place was fully stocked with all our needs–one employee even served me a big plate of attitude over some twinkly lights–so we had to hit up a Target and a Big Lots and a Taco Bell before going home to decorate.
The rest of the day was spent taping black streamers into a web in the Lexington Drive hallway, covering every visible corner of every inanimate object with garland and taping an entire wall floor-to-ceiling in aluminum foil (for portrait backdrop purposes, of course). Around 7:30 we received a pleasant surprise when two girls from Red Bull rang the doorbell, said they saw our party on facebook and donated an absurd 48 free Red Bulls to the cause. I was sure it was a gift from the party gods as I was already on my last leg and I wasn’t even dressed yet.
Proving that you can lead a bitch to water but you can’t make her drink, I decided to have a sizable portion (the entire thing) of what someone called a “less than potent” weed brownie. Next thing I knew, my friends were already arriving and I was applying liquid eyeliner with rickety hands, one shoe on and my face nearly plastered to the mirror. Was I already losing it? I didn’t care. Somebody hand me my curling iron.
(the final version of my outfit that lasted about five minutes)
The rest was a whirlwind of fantastic fuckery. People I hadn’t seen in months, some in years, came out of the proverbial woodwork to dance in our tiny, iridescent living room. Winston Filet and Princess Hannah emerged from their influenza death beds to serve holiday disco realness. Haters became lovers, enemies became friends. Someone took a shot of formaldehyde from a jar of preserved goat brains (this was a half-horror party, after all) and vomited all over the carport. The police even stopped by for a bit around midnight and refused to dissipate despite my clear and audible instructions, leaving one cop standing disregarded at the entrance like the opening scene of Home Alone. We could not be stopped.
And then, I don’t know if it was the brownie or the natural exhaustion or the vodka I’d been mixing with champagne, but I was out. By 2 am (and that’s being generous), I had fallen asleep in Justin’s bed with my clothes still on, leaving the over-caffeinated partygoers under the supervision of my co-hosts.
I awoke the next morning in a beer-stained ball, forgetting for a minute whether I’d even made it to my own party. But as the southern sunlight glimmered off empty bottles of Andre and strangers still slept on the living room floor, I picked up Sarah’s camera and declared another a success. I couldn’t remember much at all, but it looked fabulous in the pictures.