Meditations for Introverts Whose Families Showed Up for the Holidays

Ho-ho-ho… Okay, here’s the secret plan… Number 1. Start with a Six Sigma Wheel of Domination.. (yes, the one your cray-corporate boss tried to explain to you, but you couldn’t pay attention to him for so long, so you just made your usual hedgehog face and nodded like it made total sense?) Well now, it does!

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Step 2. In your mind… while your spinster aunties are over-basting the bird and tying all the glass ball ornaments into pairs so that they look like testicles… order this very special:

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3. Contemplate why you don’t have this kid’s parents:

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Yeah, he takes my insurance 🙂 And then…

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(pic via 2 fab dudes in Chelsea)

Happy Holidays Lovelies… xoxo – gg

A Stroppy Harridan…

A toast, a toast… it was finally snowing-ish. Or it was yesterday morning in Central Park. (Pic courtesy of Alex Di Stasi)

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Yes, Decima… promised to be a stroppy harridan of a storm…

I bet you’re wondering what that is because I certainly was when my BFF and criminal service animal, Ed, proclaimed me nothing but one at a recent birthday lunch. A fine how-do-you-do…

I’ll confess, my first guess was stroppy harridan: a variant of some hipster-nonsense Christmas cocktail, one that involves artisanal singing… Wassail, wassail… and whatnot. (Thinking about it now, all cocktails should involve singing. We should make it a rule, like diplomatic protocol. Singing keeps drunk people in Mary Poppins mode and prevents them from morphing into a sea of Archie Bunkers, amIright? And we’ve had more than enough Archie this past year. Electors, how about a write-in on Monday…Vote Julie Andrews!)

Breaking it down… “stroppy”… I quite liked. It means irascible and/or easily annoyed. That’s definitely me when lacking actual REM sleep. You know, the kind of deep slumber you get in the early, early mornings, the kind that is fevered and awash in vivid, storied dreams that play out like a Daphne du Maurier novel–complete with Mrs. Danvers lurking. The Victorians referred to it as the “second sleep” and apparently it went away with the invention of the electric light bulb… Damn you, Edison. For me, it’s always SUCH a fortifying sleep that… upon waking, I immediately race into the kitchen with a new musical or book idea, which I then frantically, nonsensically attempt to explain to the dog as I fumble with the coffee-making while he listens politely, trying ever so earnestly not to pee…

“Harridan” seems like a fancy version of a religious ne’er-do-well or someone with an implausible haircut, like Boris Johnson. In fact, it’s a grumpy old woman from the French for old horse. Charming.

I’m not sure what merited this whimsical moniker. Honestly, I don’t think Ed knew what it was either, and for the record, I was super cheery and decidedly un-horse-like given it was my birthday. But right as I left the restaurant, I ran smack into one of those very serious New York City joggers, you know… the kind who runs even when it’s rul cold out. He was wrapped in tinfoil like a baked potato with a ski mask. We were flirting distance apart, trying to avoid each other so naturally, “See-something-say-something” took hold, and I called him a stroppy harridan… to which he replied, “You bet your sweet ass I am!”

And what can I say… it was the quintessential Manhattan moment: a term nobody knows, uttered in an instance of grouchy, unanticipated physical disruption that could have resulted in conflict, but instead resulted in Seinfeldian intimacy. It’s what makes this place, this place.

So, a toast, a toast… To the stroppy harridans, the difficult-sweet people, and storms…

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Keep singing and enjoy the holiday mayhem… I have a book to finish, but lovelies you are my favorite procrastination. Have a day that means something 🙂

xoxo – gg

P.S. If you need to avoid your family for hours upon hours of wrapping or just general brooding… I highly recommend Netflix’s new thriller The OA

Have yourself a merry Tenenbaums Christmas…

Dearest one and all,

Season greetings from Gotham… where it is yet another Royal Tenenbaums family Christmas… complete with an enduring cast of characters and archetypes… many of whom you will know from your own families…

– There’s your youngest daughter, who has confused herself with Annie Leibovitz and is stealthily stalking unwitting guests with her new Nikon 9 million… a camera so high def… even your subconscious will feel the need to smile and strike a pose… Somehow though, all the photos make people look like romance novelists.(think: Danielle Steele)

– Then, there’s your waspy drunk uncle who thinks he’s a war hero because he served in the Connecticut National Guard… during Vietnam.

– Your arsonist nephew who always hugs you just a little too long…

– Your oldest child who insists that your spirit animal is in fact a cockapoo. (and not a wolf or a hawk, like you were hoping)

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– Your cousin, the plastic surgeon, whose passive aggressive generosity shines ever-so-bright when he offers to fix that “ski jump you call a nose” and who pointedly touts the recent and dramatic cost reduction of Lipo. (all while appraising your stomach and upper thighs)

And then there’s the 2-day adventure that is cooking Julia Child’s bouef bourguignon. You chose it because 1) you were sick of turkey, 2) afraid of goose and 3) ham gives your chain-smoking sister-in-law a headache…

And here it was…

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To all of this though, there was (and is) an escape, a respite from crazy people and difficult foods… it’s a cold, clear day in Manhattan, out by the Jackie O’ reservoir amid the anonymity of obsessive joggers, dog walkers and old geezers… all of whom are silently rejoicing in the temporary freedom that is Central Park on Christmas day…

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Today at the park

From Gotham… Wishing you a very Bukowski Christmas, one in which your greatness is only handicapped by your laziness, which on a day like today seems entirely appropriate 🙂

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The writer Charles Bukowski. (Charles should go as Bukowski for Halloween. He’s a dead ringer!)

Love actually, A