On January 1, 2013, I awoke in darkness and stretched until my feet hit the end of my friend’s couch. Shoving the sleep mask up my forehead to push the bangs off my face, I squinted at the blinding winter sun and smiled simultaneously. I was looking over the rooftops of downtown Brooklyn prominently displayed through the windowed walls of the apartment. And then it hit me…Today was the day!
My lovely hostess and dear friend Might-E emerged from her room, came over to the couch and sat down next to me. She handed me a gift-wrapped package and said that she knew this would be perfect. For today. For this year. You see, Might-E has been one of my biggest sources of support since we met, but especially this year. She’s been there for me as I’ve tackled many tough changes in my life and cheered for me as I’ve gone after my dreams. I count myself lucky to have her as a friend. But hugged her HARD after I opened this.
After I’d pulled my sentimental/sniffly self together, we hit the ground running for our Big Day. During the subway jaunt over to Manhattan, we fretted over whether or not we’d be waiting for hours to get into Serendipity. The New Years Day crowd could go either way.
Boy, did we get lucky! We only waited 20 minutes for a cute little two-top on the main floor.
Might-E and I delighted over the quirky, larger-than-life menu (seriously, they were bigger than the surface of our table).
But of course, we already knew what we’d come for. We put in the order for my long-awaited Frozen Hot Chocolate immediately. Life is short, dammit. Everyone should eat dessert first.
And then it arrived.
Yes, I gave myself brain-freeze on this baby, which means that I did it right. The word on the street is that the FHC recipe consists of: Seventeen different types of chocolate, blended with milk and ice. So sayeth the server. All I know is that each sip through the straw tasted like a mouthparty of chocolate sin. May everything in this life be that delectably painful to finish. It was worth the wait and worth every calorie.
And then, with seventeen-types-of-chocolate-sugar coursing through our veins, it was time to journey to Rockefeller Plaza.
From the moment we left the subway stairs, we could feel the buzz on the street. There’s just something about that area of NYC, around 5th Ave with all the stores and TV studios and street vendors… it’s a living, breathing creature filled with bodies and shopping bags and picture-taking. Dozens of different languages are audible no matter where you stand, but the joy on people’s faces matched my own.
I doubt any pictures could ever do this memory justice, but I know I’ll never forget what it felt like to lean on that railing and gaze over the ice skating rink filled with wobbly tourists. Even on that overcast day, the tree sparkled and shone proudly, despite the few limbs that were a bit droopy. Hey, I can’t blame the tree. It’s New York. Living here can be exhausting.
I’m sure I didn’t stand there longer than a few minutes, but it was long enough to realize that I was grinning like an idiot. Putting these emotions into words is difficult, but I can only compare it to the moment when the holidays start to really feel like the holidays. It’s that moment of recognition in your heart. That deep down, ahh. There it is. I was finally here.
We walked even closer and realized the full expanse of the tree’s formidable height when we were directly underneath its branches.
And with one last upward glance, I said a silent goodbye and we took our leave.
Thank you to Bing and Go Mighty for giving me the opportunity to check off these life wishes!!
I’m still smiling.