I was reading a blog earlier today about the “feast or famine” Christmases. For the divorced parent, the feast years are the years you have your kids with you for Christmas, the famine years are – yeah, you guessed it, the years you don’t. I don’t have that issue because I always have my kids for Christmas. My ex-husband works retail, and would always stagger home from work late Christmas Eve, bleary eyed, exhausted and grumpy. He would drag himself snarling out of bed for present opening Christmas morning, then crash for the rest of the day, rousing enough to scarf down the turkey dinner I had prepared, then crash again, only to leap out of bed in the wee hours of Boxing Day morning to rush off to work to prepare for the Boxing Day sale chaos. It was enough that my kids had to deal with that while I was married; there’s no way in hell I’d make them go through it in someone else’s home. So I get the kids every Christmas, and he has them for New Years.
Which is fine with me, because New Year’s is an adult holiday, and after so many years of mom-hood, it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate it as an adult once again, with someone who is very special to me.
We bought tickets to a dinner and dance at the Best Western hotel here in town. We both planned what we wanted to wear, made sure things were taken to the cleaners well ahead of time, and went shoe shopping. Well, I went shoe shopping, but didn’t find anything I liked till I finally took Stephen with me. We went in Sears, where I seldom shop, and there on a clearance rack, glowing at me, were the most beautiful pair of shoes! Black high heeled pumps with open toes and a sparkly silver buckle on the front. They called to me. Loudly. I tried them on and they fit! And here’s the really cool part – they were marked down half price, but I chose to redeem points off my Sears card, which meant my lovely shoes cost me a whopping $3.89!
We weren’t attending the dance with anyone else, and a couple weeks prior to New Year’s, the hotel called us to see if we wanted to sit alone at a table for two, or join others at a table for eight. We chose the latter. Now, I will confess to fearing that we would end up at a table where everyone else knew one another and we would be the odd ones out, but I figured we’d deal with that if it happened, and as it turned out, I need not have worried. We were seated with three other couples, all of whom were there by themselves, just like us. We may have begun the evening as strangers, but by the time we said “Happy New Year!”, we were great friends.
The dinner buffet was delicious, with a wide variety of choices so that even fussy me was able to find plenty to satisfy. Our server was most attentive, keeping our water glasses full and whisking away our empty plates so we could head back for more.
Believe it or not, even though Stephen and I have been dating nearly two years, we had never had an opportunity to actually dance together prior to this New Years Eve. Even in Cuba, where we had anticipated going to the nightclub at least once, we never managed to stay awake late enough to go out dancing. So this was a wonderful new experience for us both. Stephen is an excellent dancer, easy to follow, and even in heels it was a delight to glide around the dance floor in his arms.
We welcomed in the New Year, danced a bit longer, then said farewell to our new friends and headed home. In all, a lovely evening.