I LOVE NEW YORK CITY. I already knew that, of course, but every single time I cross one of the bridges, emerge from the tunnel, or step off a train into the heart of New York I am hit once again by the excitement of it all. The city quickens my blood and heartbeat, making me come alive as my body synchronizes itself to the pulsating rhythm of NYC. My first love did not disappoint last night when I experienced the best Valentine’s date of my life! And it’s all thanks to the new love of my life, Mely.
Mely, if you don’t already know- and seriously, where do you live that you don’t know??- is the accomplished, hysterical, larger than life personality behind the Sex, Lies & Bacon blog. I have to admit I was nervous to meet her in real life. I mean, I’m pretty much exactly the same person on Twitter and in my blog as I really am, but what if I didn’t have anything interesting to say? What if the thought I put into my writing takes too long and I don’t think of the right thing to say or do until I’m driving home? What if I find out that I am indeed a total dork and not cool enough for the fabulous Melysa S. I’ve come to love online???
All that forgotten within about 5 minutes of arriving at LIPS NYC, the destination for my first Valentine’s date since separating 2 years ago and the first date since I finally woke up and filed for divorce. Hell, yes that was a big deal and put extra pressure on me to make this night amazing! Right after I sat down and introduced myself to the sexy, single mom faces all beaming back at me, one beautiful drag queen came up to our table and asked if we wanted some “special” balloon creations…and then proceeded to fill the balloons with air from the pump that looked like a nipple on her breast. I ended up with a balloon wrapped around my neck, hanging down like a chain, and with a loop on the other end for someone to lead me around and….. if you don’t know what I’m talking about you are a very decent, innocent, sweet person but you really should get out more!
Cue giggles and laughter and an evening full of drag queen cabaret, comedy, dinner, drinks, and music. And I had nothing to worry about. I was chair dancing and cheering for my favorite performances,
yelling singing along to tunes of “love and lust”, and filling my heart with happy memories. I’ve never had such a stress-free, expectation-free, disappointment-free Valentine’s experience. And Mely? She and the other women in our group were all smart, witty, sharp-tounged, successful supermamas who happen to be nice, normal, down-to-earth and fun-loving people, too. They were inspirational.
I felt empowered, so happy I turned to Melysa after one especially good performance and grabbed her hand impetuously, repeating “I love this, I love this, THANK YOU!” And my date looked right into my eyes and smiled and squeezed my hand back and actually understood everything I wasn’t saying. NO man and no date has ever done that for me. I was saying thanks for giving me the chance to show myself that I am not a shrinking violet. I’m no wallflower and I sure as shnizzle am not an adornment on a certain loser pilot’s arm, there to make him look and feel better and nothing else. I’m just as sexy and fun and carefree as I thought I was. And I felt higher and more relaxed than I have ever felt before.
The conversation veered from raunchy to anti-exes to our jobs and kids and back again, from introductions to fast friends in minutes. The music was good, the food was good, the drinks were excellent :~) and it was all just a spectacular way to celebrate loving myself and my city on the day made for love and lovers. We met people who actually came up and joined us because, and this is an actual quote, we looked like “fun people.” We were high-fiving and clinking glasses and talking about ourselves and being naughty and it was the most incredible night and I was on a cloud.
Leaving my new friends, my Valentines, I was again struck by the power and passion of Manhattan. I met strangers as I walked through the city and we joked about my leash, and connected for a few minutes on the sidewalk discussing teaching (my old job) and my baby and San Francisco and cigarettes and birthdays and Valentine’s Day. Don’t ask me how this happened because that is the allure of New York. That’s the secret magical ingredient that makes me smile with confidence. There’s always this random meeting, this sudden closeness and honesty that can happen here. I can be most truly myself amid people I just met and we can stand on the pavement and really see each other and have a great time. It may only be 15 minutes, but it is the essence of the city that “never sleeps” and where something is always happening somewhere and someone is always around for whatever kind of night you want to make it.
This is my love. This energy and this side of myself that has become more important and stronger than anything bad that I went through. This randomness and complete self-assured ease and enjoyment. And I reveled in it!
Happy Valentine’s Day New York. Happy Valentine’s Day Melysa S. and LIPS NYC and the beautiful men and women I met there. Happy Valentine’s Day strangers who thought our side of the room looked more fun and those whom I laughed with before the end of my night.
And a special shout-out to my loser ex who called to say he was “worried” that I’d “get too wild in New York City” which translates to he was worried I’d have the time of my life without him and recognize my own fabulosity and maybe even meet someone. Well, Happy Valentine’s Day sucker, I did all three and I AM IN LOVE! Like I said, Best. Valentine’s Day. EVER!