Best Christmas Ever for the Broke
I'll admit it: I love Christmas. But, like my first-time, there's weeks and weeks of build up for a moment that lasts seven, maybe eight, minutes.
Christmas this year scares me. Last year, a freak chocking incident landed my father in the hospital for Christmas (and through New Years and into the spring, even) so I want him to be healthy and to have the best holiday ever. No pressure, right?
I also haven't had a full-time job in nearly two years, so I'm worried about affording presents for people. My nieces, for example, told me they wanted an iphone and an ipad. They're five years old, by the way. Not going to happen.
So, I'm pulling the starving artist card this year, and coming up with ideas that don't cost a million dollars. Since this is the season of giving, I'm sharing these ideas with you:
--Make your parents a photo calendar. Apple nerds: you can do this on your mac in under an hour, and its costs 25 bucks. Your mother will love you forever. Or at least for the next 12 months. If she has grandkids, include lots of pictures of them.
--Angry Birds Fans. Buy one of those piggie hats and a few stuffed birds. Put on the hat, and let your family throw the birds at you. Hours and hours of fun, guaranteed.
--Ask your sibling if they want a movie or CD, then illegally dowload it, and wrap it in a 10 dollar Dunkin Donuts gift card to make up for it.
--Sign someone up for a free trial of Netflix or Hulu Plus, or for those who are in need of dates, create an online profile on OK Cupid and act as a match-maker/image consultant.
--Tell someone you love them. And actually mean it. Best gift of all.
Suck it, Santa Claus.
It's Friday night. I'm young(ish), bursting with energy, and single. So, what am I doing home?
If you answered knitting, watching cute kitty videos on You Tube, or rating songs on my i-tunes library...you're wrong! That was Thursday night.
I'm home because a week of running around has caught up with me. And I don't want a repeat of last Friday night. That's when I convinced myself I would be a loser if I didn't go out. "Go that party, and see your friends," said the devil on my shoulder. The angel, apparently, was asleep by eight.
So, I put on my sexy jeans and trooped into the city. I couldn't wait to catch up with people I hadn't seen in quite a while. But none of them showed up. Then, another friend pressured me into meeting up with him, so I went uptown, and was promptly told that he was ditching me for sex. No big deal, I thought, until I looked at my watch and it was 1:55. Which meant I was officially missing my last train back to Connecticut. Oh, shit.
The next train wasn't for another three hours, so I walked forty blocks back to the bar, had some vodka, and tried to convince my drunk friend that I'd never left. But even he would soon ditch me to go and have sex.
I, on the other hand, filled my time by listen to the man next to me ramble about how much he loves Florence and the Machine, and then wandered around the East Village until I found a suitable place to get some cheese fries. It was now 4:45, so I decided to ditch out on my date with diary-covered potatoes and go back to Grand Central. Until I convinced myself that was a stupid plan because I had to come back into the city for a party on Saturday night. It was only 17 hours away, surely I could find something to do until then!
I ended up at the Starbucks in Union Square West. It opens at 5:30. And was surprisingly crowded for that time of morning with everyone from man who has hair in three different directions to crazy homeless lady begging for cigarettes and super studious NYU nerd reading about algorithms. Tacky music was playing. The air conditoner was on full-blast. The coffee was awful (yet, that didn't stop me from asking for a refill). Welcome to my idea of hell.
I buried my head in Kathy Griffin's memoir, and finished the whole damn book.
8:30 a.m. My friend, Becca, is the first to respond to my e-mail for help. So, long Starbucks. She tells me to come to Brooklyn, and I take a nap on her couch.
In doing so, I felt like a relative who used to always show up at our house drunk off his face, and my grandmother would give him some water and let him sleep it off on her couch. This relative is dead now, but I'm sure he'd appreciate the mention.
So, after Last Friday Night (yeah, I can't stop singing it either, thanks Glee kids) I decided to play this one safe. It really is better than being sorry.
Mark Jason Williams
I find trouble wherever I go