I know, I know. I thought I’d had enough of the red and green, the twinkling lights, the tinsel, the mistletoe, the Santa hats and the radio station that plays Christmas music 24 hours a day (right – actually I HAVE had enough of that station), when suddenly in through my e-mail box came a deluge of photographic reminders of how exactly I had spent the past month.
Which is good, because they’re probably the only way I could’ve remembered all this. Between the delirium of illness (through which I partied hardy nonetheless) and the ever-flowing seasonal cocktails, piecing together the events of the last 30 days might’ve been much like recreating the birth of the universe.
But never fear!
J and others have come through with a wealth of evidence which I will use to regale you with tales of Christmas past.
Part 1: In Which Everyone Says, “I Told You So.”
We begin with a frigid evening early in December, which I believe I have already mentioned. As part of J’s Christmas present, I wanted to take him to see Wildlights, the Columbus Zoo’s annual light display. A friend to all things sparkly, J was bound to be captivated. I would give him the gift of lifelong memories! An unforgettable evening of whimsy and splendor!! (That, and I remembered they have phenomenal hot chocolate, for which I had a killer craving). So off we went, gallivanting through the icy park, laughing in the face of the great winter sky as he spat an icy mix.
And the next day I awoke with a sore throat.
And the following day I had to call in sick because I couldn’t remove my now 45-pound head off the pillow.
And so it began… Not the best season to be sick. With so much on the calendar, I decided I’d rest for a few days, then power through the holidays, cold or no. Sophie proved to be an amazing caregiver. Not only did she stay by my side as I slept, but in an effort to keep my spirits high, she would perform little shows for me using wrapping paper and bows for costumes. I swear. She performed the entire libretto of Sweeney Todd one afternoon. It was terrifyingly good.
That Friday was the office holiday party. I had spent hours going back and forth with the event planner, making sure everything would be amazing that evening, and now here it was. And I was still looking a peculiar shade of pistachio and having trouble staying conscious. It seemed I was doomed to miss out, but at the last minute – I rallied. I jumped in the shower, and it’s stunning how when you get cleaned up you can fool yourself into thinking that because you look pretty damn good, you must feel equally splendid.
This line of thinking got me to BoMA (the Bar of Modern Art) fashionably late, and the party was underway. There was the standard white elephant thing, in which, for a brief moment, I held in my hands a signed headshot of none other than MICHAEL BOLTON. With two (count ’em, TWO) subway gift cards taped around his face. The heavens opened up, light poured into the room, the ethereal voices of angels rained down (or maybe the was Michael, himself! Who knows?). Then, with a violent wrenching sound, like the crashing of thunder… Michael was taken from me, and I ended up with a How-To picture book instead. And no Subway to ease the pain.
But the party went on and the open bar remained – well, open. And things progressed as they do in these situations. When people started to venture onto the dance floor, I knew it was time to make a clean getaway. I was feeling light and euphoric, but had completely lost my voice and was starting to be at odds with my four-inch heels.
And the next day I awoke sounding like a frog. And feeling as I’d imagine a frog might.
And I had a show the next day.
I was supposed to join my roommate and another fellow musician to perform some holiday tunes Andrews’ Sisters-style at a local benefit for the homeless. And I was to sing the high parts. And I was currently capable of spot-on impression of Carol Channing. But, as they say, the show must go on. And it did. There might’ve been a gallon of tea and some questionable doses of Nyquil involved, but I was there and I sang, damnit! (And I even smiled a lot, for which Vick’s gets my unwavering devotions).
Disaster averted. Parties attended. Free drinks unwasted. Homeless families aided.
And this was just the beginning….