I’ve been told the streets of New York will make you feel brand new. Some even say the lights will inspire you.
That being said, Jay-Z has clearly never walked to his NYC hotel with a ginormous Adidas duffel bag and $15 boots in the hell that is mid-January.
Fresh off a snowy trip to the Big Apple two weeks ago, I once again stood in front of Penn Station last weekend, freezing and ready to celebrate Liz’s birthday.
The trip was already off to a better start thanks to a competent bus driver who had resisted the urge of Small Town America in favor of the less scenic but far more practical I-95. As much as I missed hearing my fellow passengers telling the bus driver to f himself, this ride up had been quite peaceful.
The walk from the bus to the hotel was less relaxing, and I came to the realization that some bodies are simply not made for sub-50 degree weather – mine being one of them.
Insanely jealous of the gentleman working outside of the Russian Tea Room who looked like an ass clown in his costume, but a very very warm ass clown, I stiffened my shoulders and walked the rest of the way looking very much like a transvestite linebacker.
The hotel we were staying in for the weekend, courtesy of Liz’s father, was beautiful and quite modern. And by modern I mean a bathroom without any locks or real doors, surrounded by nothing but glass and a bit of bamboo that still revealed one’s silhouette. Bridget and I were both disturbed by the sliding glass door to the shower that was accessible from the bed and were determined to find a remedy. I’m hardly Amish, but no one needs to see me peeing or shaving or washing my nether regions. Bridget seemed to agree.
We managed to fashion a covering over the glass doors that involved robes and coats and a chair and a bit of flexibility and were ready to get on with the evening.
That night we met our friend out at a bar where her roommate was working. I instantly fell in love with Shannon (fake name so I don’t get sued), not because of the large amounts of free alcohol she gave us, but because her 4’10” spunk was contagious.
After an unfortunate mixing of beverages “made with love”- and therefore abandon - by Shannon, we all headed over to another bar once her shift had ended.
This bar was not what one would call classy, but I’m a sucker for urban flair and was tempted to get my Save the Last Dance on. Guido style, that is.
After huddling in a corner for awhile, I was approached by an 18 year old Latino gentleman I will call Jose. Jose was a fan of hair gel but seemed kind, and only wanted me to dance with him. Normally I’m a big fan of underage Latin men, but as Liz began pushing me out onto the dance floor and I looked back at my three committed, happy, in love friends, I felt a sudden wave of “is this really what my love life has come down to” flash over me.
I politely told Jose I would not be able to dance with him but he asked a second time. I turned him away again as Krystie’s boyfriend lectured me about the terrifying act of asking a girl to dance and informing me I was a horrible person. Noted.
I felt pretty shitty at that moment, but Jose was not to be denied. He swung back around for round three, this time actually begging me, complete with prayer-formed boy hands. Shannon cut in at this moment, all 4’10” of her, and set Jose – and another guy who was after Bridget - straight.
“Look, these are my girls. We’re lesbians. Get away.”
Shannon turned to us, disgusted. “I don’t want them rubbing their nasty pieces all up on me.”
[Editor’s note: We found out the following evening that Shannon actually WAS a lesbian (bisexual to be exact), and she actually wanted Bridget to be HER GIRL, and she actually wanted Bridget’s nasty pieces all up on HER. Let me now take another moment to laugh].
Turning me straight was too weighty a task for Jose and he promptly walked away. A few minutes later we were approached by a group of gentleman in their 30’s who asked us all to dance. A few of us protested before the one guy said, “Hey, I’m married, it’s just a dance.”
Dragged out onto the floor, I began dancing with his friend, who promptly asked me if I was married. After informing him that I was not the chain to someone’s ball, he creepily slid an arm around my waist and said “well I am.”
Seriously considering becoming a lesbian with Shannon after this disgusting remark, I moved away to see her and Bridget grinding on the dance floor. Poor Bridget had unknowingly become a tease.
We decided it was finally time to leave after a 400 pound man puked on a couch dangerously close to our belongings. I had yet to find my soulmate and Bridget was leading on a lesbian.
The following morning, after spending an hour lying on the hardwood floor of the hotel room, I was beginning to think Shannon had made our drinks with a little bit more than love. Perhaps a ruffee.
Despite my stomach ache, I managed to shovel down a generous helping of zucchini bread, a bagel, a large bowl of fresh fruit and some walnuts at the delicious hotel breakfast. Far be it from me to turn down free food.
The rest of the day was spent shopping, eating some more, and then eating again at a hotel cocktail hour before getting ready to go out and…eat again.
There are few things more delightful than the concept of pigs-in-a-blanket, and I helped myself to one too many before plopping down at a Moroccan restaurant shortly thereafter for Liz’s birthday dinner.
While I wasn’t a fan of the low seating that seemed to highlight a stomach roll working its way up above my pants, the place was delightful and the food was great. After spilling half a shell of mussel juice into Krysite’s glass of Sangria (sorry Krystie …but clearly you didn’t taste it), I slipped away to the bathroom. Upon my return, I was trapped at the bottom of the staircase by a belly dancer who herself was a bit too close to my nasty pieces. Five minutes later, I maneuvered my away around her stomach and back to the table.
The rest of the evening was very low key and after nearly falling asleep on the subway, I felt a little sad that 23 and 24 (in Liz’s case) clearly marked the beginning of old age. 12 year old fresh-faced Jose didn’t know how good he had it.
The following morning after voicing our complaints that Secrets of Aspen and Teen Mom were freezing on our TV screen, we left the hotel, said our goodbyes to Bridget and got back on the bus.
Our bus driver was a gem of a man, and spent the first fifteen minutes of our trip rattling off such wise instructions as, “it is against bus regulations to take off your shoes, but frankly folks, I don’t mind. HOWEVER, one bad foot can turn this whole bus out. Trust me, it HAAAASSS happened. If you know your feet ain’t right, do us a fayyyyvor and keep ya shoes onnnn.”
Gentlemen on the bus were told to “be a sweetie and wipe the seaty” in the bathroom, as if “yo moma was comin in after you,” and with that, we were on our way.
Taking a moment to reflect on another weekend in NYC, I wondered whether or not Bridget and Shannon would make a go of it. I loved Bridget’s boyfriend and was secretly rooting for him, but the idea of free drinks from Shannon was a nice concept.
I knew Bridget was incredibly embarrassed and hardly amused by the entire situation, but she could take comfort in one small, 4’10” thing.
At least it’s a good story.