Those Pesky Holidays

So, I went home for Thanksgiving. Thanks to frustrations with Paul’s mom, I somehow ended up being brought to tears on the way by Frankie Valli’s greatest hits. I started two or three songs in and couldn’t stop for more than a few minutes until I got to “Grease,” because that’s not a particularly moving song. Most of the others are. You know what’s a unique form of simultaneous torture and reassurance? “Let’s Hang On (To What We Got).”

Thanksgiving itself, though, was nice and tame. I didn’t take any additional time off, since I was working Saturdays that month and didn’t see the point.

Other fun November things were Sarah’s birthday excursion in Pittsburgh, which I was fashionably late for. Because I had to work late. Because I got to work late. Because my car decided not to start. The battery died. So I used my mom’s AAA card, hung out, and my dad came out and left his morning newspaper all over my apartment while he made sure I made it to work okay. We were actually afraid something worse was wrong with it and it would needed towed or AAA would take forever and he could deal with the car while I went to work late.

I actually enjoy working on Saturdays, by the way. For one thing, if I’m home on a Saturday, I’m probably working anyway, and if I’m working at my real day job on Saturdays, it’s much more low-key and quiet. I even dress more casual than casual Friday.

Brandon also hosted a small but fun, drunken birthday party. I taught everyone Kings. I don’t remember much, other than some hilarious, foul gems that came out of Paul’s mouth.

December doesn’t stand out to me. It was a mess of Christmas shopping, mostly (and subsequent temporary depression, though I think I’m only less depressed as opposed to not depressed at all, and I certainly am also very angry, and I need a therapist to help me with these things but haven’t succeeded in finding a good one. Also haven’t looked in a while).

It did bring Christmas concerts, most notably B. E. Taylor, who my parents have seen every year for three years now, I believe. Brandon went last year and loved it, so this year they all insisted I’d love it, too, despite me being sure I wouldn’t, and got me to go. They were right–it was not at all the saccharine kind of show I was expecting but instead featured great Christmas music, sometimes interpreted in new, fun ways, and included drumlines and lights and a brief cover of “Gangnam Style.” I’d love to see it again next year.

We also saw Trans Siberian Orchestra, who I willingly saw last year and are always good, too. Paul and I opted to go with Kimmie and Joey–they had the best chance at good seats, and I’d rather be out late on a work night with good seats than in bed on time with bad seats. Priorities. This is why I belong somehow involved in the music industry.

But of course, something had to go wrong.

I was on my period. Bear with me, I know no one cares, but it’s relevant. I decided using the facilities before we left the concert was a smart decision–I was only partially wrong. The first stall I went in was out of toilet paper. Whenever I use facilities, I just sort of tuck my phone in the front pocket of my purse (when I don’t actually use it on the toilet. I’ll admit it). It was a bit unsteady in there and I didn’t realize it. I blame all the lipgloss in that same pocket. So I switched stalls, and when I turned to latch the door and had my purse to my back, I had a very ceramic-sounding plop, and I turned to find my iPhone in the toilet. I fetched it and frantically dried it with toilet paper as I used the potty, dumped water out of it, the whole thing.

The screen worked for a hot minute, then I showed Paul when I walked out, then the phone started to feel really hot but still vibrated, rang, and made noise, and I had hope.

Now, I’m not familiar enough with some areas of Pittsburgh and how to get out of them back to an apartment I’ve only been in for six months. I use that phone as my GPS. So I was left to figure out how to get the hell home but also knew I desperately needed rice. I didn’t get the rice until we were out of the city and in Walgreen’s across the street from my apartment. I soaked it for days. It never came back to life.

Life without a phone was kind of liberating, but cellphones have become such a modern staple that I did something everyone else around me thought was incredibly stupid–I went back into Pittsburgh the following weekend to see The Nutcracker while Brandon, Kelly, and Paul, who were all supposed to join me, were stranded  back home in a snow storm.

That’s right. A small 23-year-old without a cellphone in the big city at night alone.


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