When I was 16 or 17, I decided to start collecting Champagne flutes – not sets, just individual ones I thought were pretty. During the acquisition phase, I hatched a plan to have a cocktail party when I turned 25 and invite only as many people as there were glasses to go around.
(Pre-P.S.: I’m literally LOLing right now at the thought of the poor people who will happen upon this post from Google. It couldn’t be more filled with randomly associated search terms. If that’s you, sorry! But take a moment to read it anyway, it’s cute.)
As it turns out, when it came time to throw that party, I had 25 glasses. I sent out invitations requesting formal cocktail attire, got the loft girls together to help me arrange it, and on the night in question everyone showed up and had fun.
This is one of my favorite pictures from that night: Dave, who got a pass for refusing to drink his beer from a glass because he took me on my very first date in college, which was my introduction to a lifelong obsession with sushi; the late, great John Ott, who poured each sip of his beer into that tiny glass he chose; and Howie, who like our friend Rich busted out the tux in strict compliance with my invitation request. As for me, I was going through a Dietrich phase while working at Ralph Lauren and sporting a vintage Beau Brummel silk tie.
I remember the biggest sticking point was the menu. I wanted cheese, bread and chocolate fondue. My roommates, two of whom were flirting with raw food diets, insisted on a vegetable plate. Guess what remained after the last guest went home.
As anyone who has been within earshot of me in 2010 knows, I’m going to be 40 at the end of this year. I’ve been looking forward to this birthday with the heart-skipping fervor usually reserved for wedding day fantasies. I’m finally going to be the age I’ve felt ever since I can remember. I cannot freaking wait.
Usually, I take the entire month of December to celebrate my birthday. This year, though, I’ve decided to start on Beaujolais Day (the third Thursday in November) and go right on through the Epiphany. Following this will be my Jubilee Year, during which any event I deem worthy will be considered a formal birthday celebration.
The major event I wanted to plan was a week-long stay in a villa on the beach in Italy, surrounded by my closest friends. This quickly turned into a First World Problem as it was not as easily planned as that party 15 years ago.
First of all, after a summer of watching House Hunters International on HGTV, I decided to go for the more amenity-laden vacation homes of France. While Italy has its charm, I’d like a dishwasher, a clothes dryer and possibly air conditioning – three things that would catch an Italian villa on fire, or at least plunge it into darkness.
Once the country had been decided upon, the next step was to choose the location finalists. After much deliberation, it came down to an entire castle in the Loire Valley and a clifftop modernist delight near Nice.
Then it came time to invite the peeps. Despite the fact that many of them had wanted me to begin the planning as early as possible, when it came to nailing down a definite yes or no I came up with a lot of maybe’s and probably not’s. So I scrapped my precious plan in favor of inviting them to vacation anywhere within the Schengen Territory, on their own terms, and I’ll help plan it and then meet them there – first come, first served.
Well, it looks like I have my first taker! Supreme Travel Addict MK has gotten her act together, and I’m meeting her and possibly her fantastic sister The Bern in Nice the first weekend in April.
Whenever I call MK on her home line, she doesn’t pick up the first time – the caller ID registers me as ALBATROSS MARKETING and a number in her area code. I looked them up and they’re one of those scummy, scammy collection agencies. WTF?
The phrase “albatross marketing” also amusingly describes a longish-term social media analyst gig that among other duties requires me not only to wake up around 9Am every weekday morning – THE HORROR – but also to stay in three nights a week, monitor Twitter, and then compile a report at a certain (usually quite late) time. An NDA precludes me from saying any more about it, except that this past Friday night my client and I sat on Skype chat while watching her client’s real-life event unfold on Twitter, both of us realizing this was a preview of the next 24 weekends of our lives (the nights in are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays). And as I sat monitoring tweets for a lesser event throughout Saturday night while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD, she pinged me to let me know she was going to wash her hair and wouldn’t be on Skype for a bit.
Isn’t the life of an expat freelancer glamorous?