Thursday, December 17, 2009

lights and buzz

So what is everyone doing for the holidays? You guys going out of town anywhere, or staying in? (My friend Joe used the phrase stay-cation and I had to restrain myself from smacking him. I have a firm belief that words like stay-cation and convo and 'rents [short for the word parents] firmly belong to the 14 and younger crowd.)

I am so incredibly excited - I am heading out to the East Coast and I get to finally see New York at Christmastime! It's been on my to-do list forever, so Benni and I are flying into New Jersey, spending a couple days commuting into New York to see how much the city lights up during the holidays, and then spending Christmas with his family in South New Jersey. Squeee!

Posting next week will be light (however, I am guest-posting over at Tay's early next week...hey, all the cool kids are doing it) but I'll make sure to take tons of photographs of the city (my New York girl Kris says that's allowed as long as I'm not obnoxious about it) and I'll post them when I get back.

Benni was asking me the other day what I was the most excited about for our trip - was it seeing New York during Christmas, the possibility of snow on Christmas day, scarfing down Dunkin' Donuts, all of the above?

And I had to really think about it, because I grew up on the East Coast but never saw New York at Christmastime so there's a bit of nostalgia blended with a really big fat sense of adventure, but I also think that what can really define the holidays is the people you spend them with.

I've met most of Benni's family before, albeit under less-than ideal circumstances, when, waaaaay back in July for Benni's birthday, I was making my first trip out to meet everyone...and Benni's father fell 20 feet through a roof two days before I showed up, ending up in the hospital for 12 days. (You can read my posts about it here and here; Benni's take on it is also a very worthy read.) So by the time I arrived, everyone was in full Chaos Mode and somewhat less concerned with bonding with me over our mutual love of Battlestar Galactica.

On day five of me being in New Jersey, the last full day I was there, I was finally allowed to meet Benni's father, after having spent the last four days reading Margaret Atwood in the hospital lobby, alone for hours while various family members attended to him. Benni's father was heavily medicated, weak, exhausted, bruised and battered when I walked into the room, so I wasn't quite sure what I should do or say.

And then of course there's my smart-ass factor. Keep in mind that when someone is raised in a household of violence, as I was, I find the sick and twisted incredibly hilarious. Hi, coping mechanism, party of one. So yes, I have a very strong sardonic edge to me, which trumps my edit button quite frequently.

And that smart-ass factor, the one that I rely on so often to just get me through life without crying, made me say, instead of something NORMAL and polite, like, "Hi, lovely to meet you, I'm so sorry for your accident," something so completely inappropriate that I still can't believe it.

I waved hi and said, quite literally, the first thing that popped into my head:

"So I hear you do your own stunts."

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

But Benni's dad just grinned while the nurse glared at me. Benni just shook his head, like, Yep, that's my little social retard, isn't she adorable, and to this day Benni's dad remembers meeting me in the hospital when he doesn't remember much else, so I like to think I make an impression. Or that maybe the drugs had been wearing off.

When it finally hit me what I was the most excited about for our trip, I called Benni.

"I got it," I said. "I know what I'm the most excited about."

"Yeah?" Benni said. "Is it the big tree in Rockefeller Center?"

"Nope." I said. "I'm excited that I get to meet your father when his brain isn't on drugs."

Happy Holidays, everyone! :)


Lira Kellerman said...

What you said to Benni's dad is what makes you so unforgettable. And loved. Who wouldn't love that? Hilarious!

jenn said...

i love your comment! when people are sick or hurt the last thing they want to hear is another "oh i'm so sorry..." blah blah blah comment. i'm sure you cheered him up! :)

Gwen said...

This is why they love you!!! And why we love you too!!! XOXO

P.S. Thank you for your super sweet comment. Really made my day!!!

A New England Girl said...

I think the comment is hilarious! And most people - including me - would grin over it, especially in such a situation. Everyone is right in that this is one of the reasons everyone loves you. :) Have a wonderful trip! I haven't been to NYC at Christmastime in so long, but I fondly remember my adoration for the lights, sounds and activities. I'm also glad you're going to be on the east coast for the holidays. :) There's no better place! :)

Pretty Zesty said...

YAY! I can't wait to see your xmas pics. I'll excuse you... go ahead and be obnoxious! :op

I'll be going out east to Montauk, NY. Beach in the wintertime is so peaceful!

Maggie May said...

awesome. i have the same problem with dark humor. it can be ... unsettling to others.

LenoreNeverM♡re said...

how exciting!
You'll love it, especially around Christmas time~ do share some photos I hope! There's a store I love, you should visit "Takashimaya"...go to the tea house in the basement! Lots of visual delightsss...

krista said...

okay...staycation is a no no but squeee is acceptable? hehe.

crap. i just went and read benni's post and now i'm crying.

Sage Ravenwood said...

I did the NYC trip right before Thanksgiving. It was a very short one day trip. I was fascinated like you wouldn't believe with the visual explosion.

I live 4 hours away from the city. And you will absolutely love NY with the snow and yes, we will have snow. The forecast is calling for snow Sun-Wedn. every day. I envy you getting to see the city bathed in Christmas lights. Make sure you dress warm though and bring plenty of layers. It's been 20 and below this past week.

I think the comment about Benni's dad doing his own stunts was perfect, then again I would. Don't ever change, I like you just the way you are.

Next time you venture to the city give me a heads up and maybe we can meet up. (Hugs)Indigo

drollgirl said...

ba dump bump! boy, you have wit and a way with words! i bet he can't wait to see YOU again! :)

CVilleFieldNotes said...

If I ever end up in the hospital, I want you on my guest list for your one-liners.

Enjoy NY!

Barbara said...

Frankly, I think your comment to Benni's Dad was perfect! Why be trite? Why be normal? He thought it was funny and will probably adore you when you meet again.

Marion said...

Oh, Phoenix, that sounds like SO much fun! I want to see NYC before I kick the bucket. We'll be in Chattanooga, TN in the mountains with our younger daughter and her family for Christmas. I can't wait because my only granddaughter will be 6 years old on Christmas Eve and we'll be with her to celebrate. You be safe and have a blast! Hugs & Love!

Deech said...

Nice....oh so nice....

You really know how to score points!

While you are there in New York, tell Benni to take you to Strawberry Fields in Central Park. Its right across the street from the Dakota Apartments. I don't know if they do this every year, but last time I was there, they had it all decorated with John Lennon memorabilia for the holidays.

Iva Messy said...

you will have an amazing time!! I you share some pictures!! ;)

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Enjoy your trip! With luck we'll have a couple of feet of snow blanketed over an inch of ice ;)

Anonymous said...

You really are a gifted writer. Great story. And I hope that you have fun in NYC.

Darcy said...

classic :-)

Annje said...

I hate the word "stay-cation" It makes it sound as if it were fun to stay home, and it is NOT.

I love the Benni's dad story and think it so sweet that you are excited to see him again.

Lori ann said...

Keep saying what ever you want sweet girl, you are priceless. I hope you have the merriest of merry christmas's and a perfectly wonderful time on your holiday.
safe travels,
lori ♥

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