Monday, January 06, 2014

Christmas Future

How would Auntie Mame celebrate the holidays?

The calendar says it's January 6, the 12th day of Christmas, or the Epiphany. And it's taken me this long to think about how I want to celebrate Christmas for years to come.

If there's one thing most folks know about it, it's that I am more than a little unconventional. And I suppose that sense of personality will translate to my future holiday festivities. Think more Eddie Izzard and less Jimmy Stewart.

It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie. The epitome of tradition, the film centers on a desperate man who thinks his family, his friends, his very community would would be in tact even without his existence.

It's a message we can all take to heart.

I don't know what tomorrow brings, and I've made it this far in life to let go of a little bit of the shoulds and wants to focus on the cans and haves.

And I know that I have some truly wonderful people in my life. The colorful, eccentric, flamboyant personalities. The big dreamers holding tight to deep ideals and lofty desires. The genuine relationships that revel in irreverent jokes and conversations of commiseration.

All of these people give rise to rich visions of Christmas Future.

Bring on the drag queens, the bottles of champagne and the giggles over contributions to the Naughty List. I want holidays full of raucous laughter, warm moments and unconventional experience. I know I can dip in and out of traditional holiday moments with family and friends, but I'm excited about making the holidays mean something unique and just for me.

Maybe sometimes that means leaving the ornaments in storage one year so that I can run away to a sandy beach with friends. Maybe sometimes that means bringing some of my flair to the traditions my family already has in place.

The holidays don't have to mean any less for us because we're sans a plus-one or without wee ones undertow. Christmas is about bringing together people we love - and that means everyone from your father, your best gay, your dearest confidant and those in between.

Life's a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.

Soak it up.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Ring My Bell, 2014

There's an old wives' tale that says the year ahead is dictated by how you celebrate New Year's Day.

And that's something I can get behind.

The clock struck midnight and I found myself wrapped in an embrace with a handsome, mysterious man. There we were in our party clothes, surrounded by hundreds of people in a casino ballroom with thumping music and flashing strobe lights, enamored with each other's lips.

If the kiss is an indication of what's ahead, I expect this year to fare far better than the last.

Shortly thereafter, I had an interesting conversation with an old friend. We talked about this blog. He said no one reads it anymore because it isn't as raw and real as it used to be. And he's right. I worry a lot about what I say, what people might think, and what I want to disclose.

But I shouldn't.

So - one of my resolutions for the year is to be a bit more transparent, a little bit more revealing, a little bit more open when I write. Every day I think about things and experience random situations that deserve sharing, and I shouldn't hold them in.

Brace yourselves.

After the ball dropped, I grabbed my coat and found a $5 poker chip on the floor near the escalator. A sign of riches to come in the new year? I strode toward a roulette wheel and was grateful the pit boss allowed me to drop the chip at a table with a $25 limit.

My bet on evens didn't work, but Lady Luck gave me a second chance.

I walked toward the exit when a man approached me. The Saudi was visiting Cincinnati with some of his friends and they hoped I'd join their table.

In 2014, one of my resolutions is to do more - and in broad strokes that means more exercise, more experiences, more travel, and more time with people I love.

Why not? I mused.

I'm always up for an experience that brings on new friends, and I especially like experiences that turn into a good time or a good story.

One of the gentlemen gave me his seat and took my coat. They smiled, offered warm hellos, and then dropped a stack of chips in front of me.

"These are for you to play," a man from Dubai mentioned off-hand, his friends' eyes simultaneously giving me a once-over as they watched the little white ball.

The $200 in chips caught me off guard. My trip to the UAE revealed how much Middle Eastern men love blondes, especially buxom blondes with Chanel red lipstick. I didn't mind standing in as the table arm candy, but I didn't know they were going to pay me for it.

The wheel spun and we all dropped $25 bets, the men explaining the rules of the game, as if it's hard for a woman to understand the dynamics of a ball spinning around a wheel and landing on red or black.

Every time I placed a bet, I lost.

I was good luck for the visitors from the Middle East, though. The men took their winnings and said they wanted to play poker. I smiled, offered my goodbyes, and then asked the dealer what to do with my leftover chips.

He gave me four $5 chips and wished me well.

And that brings me to another resolution - saving more. I need to get even more aggressive with my financial goals and have started a plan for both short term and long term savings. I don't think casinos will help me sock away a pile of cash, but hopefully the stock market is kind to me in the year ahead.

Another resolution on the books for 2014 - reading more. I need to feed my brain with less Netflix and more Nabokov.

I'm excited about the year ahead. Here's to longer embraces, more lucky poker chips, new friends from near and far, and riveting authenticity.

I dig.

Creative Commons License
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.