Seeing Old Friends Is Nice, I Think + Other Super Deep Thoughts, Probably

Last night I was at a bar, the kind of bar with lasers and throngs of sweaty people flailing and spilling their drinks and screaming at the top of their lungs to pop songs. Not my usual scene, as you can imagine, but one that I’m not unfamiliar with. I was there to celebrate my friend Sara’s bachelorette party. I wore mardi gras beads and drank gin and tonics and blew a penis whistle a few times. Sometime around when Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” came on, I looked around at the group of people I was with and realized I’ve known many of them for close to a decade. And I’ve probably danced and scream-sang Whitney Houston with all of them at one time or another during that time. And that is a really nice thing.

Today I am in a rare mood where I feel like being earnest. I got to see people I’ve known for a long time (but don’t see often) several times during the past week and I’m just really happy about it.

This started on Wednesday, when I had dinner with my brother Jim and my sister Tori, who I don’t get to hang out with (just the three of us) all that often, even though we live in the same city. While hanging out at the bar with them after dinner, I ran into people from a few different life stages – grammar school, high school, my first job. It was a bit surreal but I guess sort of an omen(-ish thing) of what was to come this weekend.

I went to a fundraiser cocktail party on Friday at the Bowery Hotel to benefit Elizabeth’s Hope. I knew in advance that I’d see many, many people I’d grown up with there and I felt a certain amount of anxiety about that. But my sister and her friends helped to plan the event. And I feel strongly about the cause. So I went. And yeah, I had more than a few moments where I locked eyes with someone I knew or recognized and then didn’t say hi to them because seeing people from high school surfaces literally every insecurity I have. But I also – with the aid of approximately 867 cocktails – got to catch up with old friends, parents of old friends, a few former enemies, and a teacher or two. Oh, and my parents, who I think had a better time than I did. It certainly wasn’t the same as hanging out with my usual crew, but the novelty of the event made it interesting and memorable and a lot of fun.

Even though I had a particularly vicious hangover yesterday, I managed to do some writing in the afternoon, get myself ready to go out and then actually go out again to do some bachelorette partying, which is another thing I don’t do very often. I’ll see everyone again in three weeks at the wedding, but it was nice all the same to have a night of dancing and silliness that reminded me both of sorority events and my early post-college days in New York. (The excess of penis paraphernalia made last night a little bit different, but still.)

So. I’m not sure what’s going on cosmically that made this week as odd but satisfying as it was, but I hope it continues for a little while longer.

TV Hangover

Unless I have something planned, it’s hard for me not to watch shitty TV on weekend mornings when I’m hung over because it’s hard to do anything at all that involves thought. And once I start watching TV, it’s hard for me to stop. What follows is a true account of everything I watched on Sunday – good, bad and ugly.

10:30 AM. I can’t find anything on the movie channels so I press the On Demand button and do my usual scan through all of the free TV shows. I try to watch last week’s episode of Copper – which I know will be horrible – but it’s not available. So I do what any good American would do and check to see if Here Comes Honey Boo Boois On Demand.

Chloe, my favorite toddler, freezing up during competition.

It’s not. (I still haven’t seen a single episode.) So I turn on Toddlers and Tiaras.

I’m able to get through two episodes of that show with a break for coffee somewhere in the middle. I’m totally, totally into it for the whole two episodes but I can only watch so many mothers – who are all either black-hearted or extremely naive and all (looks-wise) on a scale between 1990s Rural Gas Station Attendant/Troll and Plastic Surgeried to Resemble E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – dress their kids up like a-holes and volunteer them to be judged mostly on how sincerely they can fake their smile for a panel of deeply strange adults.

12 PM. I start the first of two episodes of Eat Street – a Diners, Drive-Ins and Divestype show about food trucks on the Cooking Channel. It desperately needs fewer people talking about just how local and fresh their food is that they serve out of a truck and more Guy Fieri.

1 PM. I discover the answer to my prayers, a marathon of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. I get in a just OK episode about Maine and half of an episode about different food obsessions before I venture out again for a long walk.

4:30 PM. At this point, I can say that I’m not really hung over anymore so I make a nice late lunch/early dinner and read The New Yorker while my roommate watches a few episodes of Bleak House (BBC, 2005), which I have already seen four times. (All eight, ninety-minute episodes). She stops watching with two episodes left to go.

Sometime after that, we watch an episode of Foyle’s War because we live in a quaint English nursing home. This episode – Season 2, Episode 3 – failed simply because it wasn’t the previous episode we had watched, which involved a gay war hero who murders his pregnant-by-another-man girlfriend (who is involved in an elaborate petrol-siphoning scheme because she is also a petrol truck driver).

9 PM. Boardwalk Empire season premiere. As we all know, this show is good but probably never blew anyone’s mind. That being said, I really liked this episode. (Even though I miss Jimmy’s face and haircut). At the end, I felt like I couldn’t wait to watch the next episode but also that I’d come a long way from the Toddlers and Tiaras of that morning.