Can’t Put Your Life on Hold

Today, in the company of those I love the most, my friend J and I are hosting a Bubble Q on my rooftop.

A Bubble Q, for those of you who are not Southern bred, is a get-together of sorts, where the hosts provide champagne and a few dishes and their guests bring a Southern dish (i.e. fried and bad for you) or alcohol of their choosing. Then of course, all are encouraged to dress in their best Lacoste polos, dresses cinched at the waist, pearls, and boat shoes, as well as clap and dance to the best of today and of country music at its finest. If such a genre could be fine, that is.

J and I have been planning this for months -ever since a drunken bar hope in West Village where we happened to run into SJP and nearly lost our breath – and I couldn’t be more excited. Although J is British, he loves all things the South produces (me included) and he has a certain affinity for baked Mac N’ Cheese and the drawl only possible  past the Mason-Dixon line. We’ve been friends for over a year now and though we bicker like a married couple, he’s become one of my closest confidants and someone who no matter what, always seems to come up with the right thing to say. He also keeps my best interest at heart, so much that last week when I received some bad news affecting my bank account, he sweetly offered to cancel the Bubble Q.

I considered it. I’m now managing my money closer than before, watching what I spend and recreating new concoctions based on Ramen and cheese. If we’re being honest, it probably makes a lot of sense to postpone an event that while it doesn’t cost that much between two hosts, it’s still unnecessary expenses when expenses are already plentiful. I could save the funds and then put on a better Bubble Q in a few months when things settle down, when I’m more stable, when I feel more confident financially.

But then my mom in her endless wisdom and Mr. Possibility in his kindness,  gave me the same simple advice: “You can’t put your life on hold.”

Even in times when nothing seems certain, where you face more challenges than opportunities, where you can literally feel yourself approaching an end, and you’re faced to prepare yourself for a beginning you can’t predict – you can’t just stop moving. You can’t pull away from all who love you, away from the things that make you happy. You don’t run because running is easy, you walk instead. You don’t leave all you had when you lose a part of it – you just keep moving, keep going, keeping living.

So, I’m not putting my life on hold. Instead, I’m raising a glass of bubbly, sportin’ my pearls, and bakin’ up a baked Mac N’ Cheese, y’all.

Daily Gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for the sweet friends I have who are always, always there for me. Even when someone gets pushed down the stairs, a lamp breaks, and all hell breaks loose. You are wonderful – each and every single one of you.

Margaritas, Mayhem, and Meagerly-Dressed Men

What happens when you mix three pitchers of highly-intoxicating margaritas, five flirty friends (including a wonderful gay work hubby), free blowouts and styling, unlimited drinks, and half-naked men dancing within three inches of you?

One hell of a hangover and one fabulous lesson about being a single gal in New York City.

With the kickoff for New York’s Fashion Week (where I enjoyed a lovely presentation from Timo Weiland), an online women’s magazine and deal/coupon site, The Luxury Spot hosted a Bachelorette Party that instead of celebrating the fact someone was ending their days of singleness, they invited people to commemorate that flying solo could just be beginning.

Intrigued by this spin on a typical girl’s night out that involves tiaras, phallic shot glasses, and bridesmaids drinking themselves into a depressed oblivion, I gathered a group of my favorites and headed to Chelsea to play tribute to my unaffiliated with a man relationship status.

Like most great evenings, the gang hit up a spot the work hubby, J and I discovered a few months ago where prices are cheap and the tequila is abnormally strong. Well, stronger than usual, anyways. In my leopard print pencil skirt that’s probably a tad too tight (but I rock it like its not), we devoured chips and salsa while discussing current events that really matter – like the Biebs and our anticipation for the Grammys, sexual positions that hit the right spot, and LLilo’s latest disaster. Filled with warmness – both from the great company and the green magical liquid – we hopped a cab to Juliet Supper Club, where we were greeted with many women (and men) dazzled to dance away and toast to The New York Singleland.

Once one of The Luxury Spot’s leading ladies led us out of the crowd and into the festively decorated space, the group found its way to the open bar – where all of the Southerners squealed over a drink named Scarlett O’Hara. The intention of the drink was rather clever and by about number two, when you swear a male dancer is locking eyes with you, you frankly, don’t give a damn.

Or at least I didn’t and that’s when from across a bedazzled room, as a Remington stylist curled my hair while I sipped my red concoction, I started doing The Look at a man I’ll call Mr. Thong.

Oh dear.

Of course, its part of his job to flirt with the lovely, eligible or taken ladies who feel a little less guarded than normal, but Mr. Thong formed some sort of strange attraction to me. Maybe not strange, but by my somewhat reserved upbringing in the rolling hill of North Carolina, seeing a man roll his peak in such an enticing (and hilarious) manner, was quite the experience. And being a newfound lover of my single title, was curious to nail the story. I mean, I heard this particular has his own bobble head and all – though I’m pretty sure my friends and I were more distracted by his other gyrating one.

After posing for a few pictures with us, where Mr. Thong attempted to liplock with me, I returned to my seat, where my friends and I, captivated by our first experience with nearly nude dancers, continued to snap pictures and well, giggle, continuously. As I was looking at the shots with my friend E, Mr. Thong came over to our booth and cuddled up next to me.

“So, my name is Mr. Thong. What’s yours?” He smiled, as the light reflected off of well-oiled, chiseled, and tan body. Even in my haze, I made a plea to someone (not sure who, at the time) that he didn’t get his goo (from any place) on my silk top. Ew.

Never mind my distraction of his stickiness, I was stunned by the fact this dancer-dude was speaking to me, I somehow managed to tell him my name, what I did, and hand him my business card. You know, the one with my phone number, email address, and link to this blog?

Smart move, Linds. Smart move.

My friends, equally tipsy from Scarlett O’Haras and the residue of margaritas a few hours earlier, found themselves hysterical over my willingness to entertain the entertainer and we cheered again to the absurdity of the evening.

After gathering our goodie bags and coats, and splitting a cab uptown, I thought about how long it took me to get to this place. To a place where I could freely let myself and my inhibitions go. Where I could enjoy an evening without expecting a phone number, without wondering if someone would hit on me, without hoping Mr. Right would be at the next door, the next bar, or the next street corner. That an interaction with Mr. Thong didn’t mean I’d met my match, but that I just had an interaction for the books. Or the blog, I suppose.

That instead of focusing on the fact I was alone, I relished that I had the opportunity to be selfishly fabulous with my friends and enjoy their smiles as much as I would ever enjoy the grin of a stranger. That without a man, without the desire for one, without valuing the validity of anyone’s approval or interest, I was still happy. If anything, I was happier to not be obsessing and not be upset about things that fate has a hold on anyways.

Walking a block to my apartment, shivering in the cold, my hair curled up something fierce, and designer stilettos carefully avoiding New York’s influx of black ice, I realized I was actually living a phrase I’d always sang and quoted, but never really embraced:

Sometimes, girls just wanna have fun. And J, too, of course.