Quick Thoughts: A Beyonce Christmas (ish)

About a month ago, I got an email from my brother’s girlfriend D that was simply titled “Beyonce Birthday Celebration.” Now, if there are any perfect words when put together in the English language (besides “free wine”), it’s those particular ones. The email was an invitation to her pre-birthday celebration, a private class for 15 of us at a Chelsea studio that promised us drinks and dancing to celebrate her big day. D’s actual birthday is on Christmas day, and my family has been lucky enough to have her with us for the past few holidays, so I knew I’d get to celebrate her birthday regardless, but her including me in the pre-birthday celebration was a surprise, and a very welcome one. The party last night was amazing: champagne breaks every 30 minutes or so, toasts to the birthday girl each time, and a kick-ass workout with some amazingly hilarious people, complete with dance moves that I will for SURE be using the next time I’m out. After all, what’s the point of practicing body rolls for 20 minutes if you can’t show it off?

Since D’s come into our lives, she’s integrated seamlessly into my family. This Thanksgiving was the first time in four years she hasn’t been with us, and we felt her absence, her bubbly smile and perpetual cheer. My family is incredibly close, quick to trust and love, but we can be a lot to handle, so I always think how fortunate we are that it’s expanded with people that can handle our crazy, between D and my Twinster’s fiance. Last year around the holidays, I was newly single and very confused, trying to reconcile that instead of it being the first Christmas we spent together, it was the first of an unknown amount of Christmases I would be spending alone. For a long time, I thought this season would be even harder to handle, still single, the only one left. And yet, despite all the insanity of the past year, despite the ups and downs, the highs and lowest of lows, I’m going into this holiday season so much happier than I ever thought I’d be. I’ve moved away from thinking of myself as “The Lone Remaining Single Sibling,” and instead started appreciating that I get to spend holidays with two brothers and two sisters now, knowing there will be a day that I’ll have someone there with me too.

I don’t really know how well our pop ‘n lock skills will translate from “Lose My Breath” to “Jingle Bells” next week, but I have a feeling D and I will be putting on a show this holiday. Maybe in our matching Christmas pajamas, maybe just in sweatpants. And I’m sure at some point we’ll be teaching T the sweet moves, sipping on the ever-present Christmas cocktails, while my brother and brother-in-law-almost will most certainly be laughing and egging us along. Maybe it’s the confidence Queen Bey preaches in everything that’s somehow infiltrated my being, but last night felt like a perfect kick-off to Christmas week and for D’s birthday week, where I don’t feel like I’m alone, or that I’m the lone single girl. Instead, I’m a girl with an amazing extended family and some sweet-ass dance moves, someone with something worth sharing should the right person ever come along.



Sometimes the best adventures in New York are away from the city, a quick respite from the madness to enjoy the surrounding beauty that’s only a Zipcar away. In an effort to stay as far away from the hell known as Santacon as possible, my lovely friend M, her N and I made plans for Saturday to borrow N’s mom’s car for the day and take an adventure, starting the afternoon at the Ikea in Paramus and ending the day in Nyack for a meal at my cousin’s restaurant, 8 North Broadway. I thought that I’d be recapping the weekend by talking about how incredible the meal was (which it was), or how nice it was to spend some time with two of my people (which it was). And while I’ll absolutely remember those moments for a long time, there was another memory made that will probably trump them all: That time we spent nearly an hour lost around Ikea.

Now, when you park a car in any parking garage, and especially one as large as those around Ikeas, one would think between the three of us, someone would have taken a look at the garage markers to remember where we’d parked, thus avoiding any confusion later. But after we’d paid and walked out the door, we realized none of the surrounding scenery looked familiar. “Maybe we parked on a different floor?” said M, even though none of us remembered walking up or down any stairs. We made our way up to the top (no car), the middle (no car) and the ground floor (still no car), walked up and down the rows, walked around the edge of each lot – still no car. This continued for around ten minutes before M and I just looked at each other and started laughing. I mean come on. Here are three college-educated twenty-somethings and we’ve somehow managed to get ourselves stuck in an Ikea in New Jersey. It could have been a panic-inducing situation, imagining the car was stolen or that we’d be stuck in New Jersey forever, but I think we knew that everything was going to be just fine, so we just laughed and kept going.

I’m a person that loves to panic when situations start getting out of hand, letting my thoughts run in circles, overthinking, overanalyzing, overeverything. Especially with everything in the past year, and specifically in the past seven months, I’ve made myself dizzy with thoughts, trying to sort out the idealistic dreamer with the crushing blows of reality, circle up to optimism and loop down to disappointment. Somewhere in the past month or two I finally fell down, exhausted from spinning for so long, and started trying my best to walk in a straight line, saying I needed my life to stay exactly as it was, no distractions, no fireworks, for a long time. It worked for a little while, but life has a tendency to get in the way when you’re that determined, and recently a tiny spark caught my attention and slowly started turning my head. I suppose you can’t avoid spinning like that forever – now it’s just a waiting game to see if I can figure out this dizzy dance, or if I’ll fall down again, alone and confused and dizzier than ever.

After nearly 20 minutes of determined wandering around the Ikea garage, M, N and I finally decided to head to the Ikea entrance and retrace our steps, still in fits of giggles at such a situation. We made it back to the big blue building, and before we could even walk inside to begin retracing, we all looked up at the same time, stopped in our tracks, and started laughing hysterically: turns out, there were two sides to the parking lot, and we’d just spent the whole time looking for the car in the wrong one. Two minutes later we were bundled in the Saab with the heat on and the music blasting, on our way to Nyack for a well-deserved drink. Naturally, the GPS in M’s iPhone had a little hiccup, and I kid you not, we spent a further 20 minutes driving in circles in the unfamiliar routes around Ikea, laughing hard enough for tears to run down our faces, the bare trees surrounding the roads waving to us once we finally got back on track. Maybe in the end the circles aren’t the worst thing that can happen. At this point, I probably know better than anyone that if you get nothing else from being so dizzy all the time, you’ll get a good story at the end of the day.