Here I sit in my nice new completely chaotic apartment, full of food (including a whole mess of fresh oysters, which I'm planning to eat for breakfast tomorrow), and covered in boxes. One of said (unlocated) boxes contains all my clean underwear, which is rather a problem, but Sarah nicely went down to the basement laundry room for me, and I've got at least enough until I find that box. I also found (duh) the computer cords, so I am no longer deaf and blind to the world around me. Unfortunately, I have not yet found the box that contains the pound of butter (no, I don't recall whose bright idea it was to pack that...Sarah says it was me and I think it was her). Luckily, butter doesn't smell much as it decays...although I'm not sure that's lucky, because it means that I can't follow my nose to it...I suppose I'll have to wait until I find the box that's oozing.
Meanwhile, I am feeling quite deeply proud of myself, because by God, I managed to pull off our traditional Christmas. It damn near killed me.
I moved in on Tuesday, and our friend Shai (who has been my absolute rock through all this) came to help later. I sensibly had the beds delivered Tuesday as well, because if I had had to sleep on that damn couch one more night I would have died. This turned out to be a lucky idea on my part, since, due to the fact that neither the couch nor the big chair and a half would fit through the door of the apartment, I am now reduced to precisely one and a half pieces of furniture...my black leather armchair and its matching ottoman. I also had to jettison two tall bookcases because they wouldn't fit in the elevator...and the guys had already had to carry three big bookcases up those six flights of stairs. I told them to leave the other two (which are or were taller and heavier) because I didn't want to have dead movers littering the hallways, nor did I want to have to pay tips amounting to the cost of the move itself. I can get smaller furniture. The kitchen table does fit into the kitchen, and I have plenty of chairs and two card tables.
I have encountered a few problems, such as the fact that there is no, repeat, NO damn storage space in the kitchen. I brought my nice kitchen cabinet, but it's filling up fast. I'll figure all this out...there's a Home Depot like four blocks away which has all kinds of nice wire shelving, which looks clean and neat, and they deliver.
Wednesday I shelved books in my remaining bookshelves and went out to Kmart for sheets and blankets and pillows. And I went to the grocery store, which is HALF A BLOCK AWAY! Is that neat or what? And within a block and half there, there's an all-night deli for party beer runs, a very good deli which has all my necessary newspapers, and a Rite Aid drugstore. That's all within a block and a half. What more can anyone want? And aside from my nice mundane grocery store right there, Whole Foods is three blocks away and Trader Joe's is a block and a half away. It is beautifully clear to me that I won't starve around here.
Thursday I kept madly unpacking, and Thursday evening my mother-in-law Ben arrived, and we went over to Sarah's bar to have dinner and then to the tree stand to pick out our tree. Oh, and the cable guy came on Thursday morning.
Friday was complete insanity. I went out to get: presents for Ben and Sarah (very few...give me a break here), the shrimp and lobsters for dinner that night (tradition), and plum pudding (also tradition). Oh, and to get a set of keys made for Sarah. This involved a cab from my house back to the West Village to the one place I can depend on for plum pudding...which was out of it. So another cab to two more stores (one cab...they're a block away from each other). And a stop at my favorite bookstore for Christmas gifts. And a stop at Barnes and Noble for another Christmas present. Well, the first store I went to in that direction may or may not have had plum pudding. but when I saw that there was a line of people waiting on the street to get in the door, I jettisoned that idea in one fast hurry. So I went down the block to the other store, and not only did they NOT have plum pudding, they have closed their fish counter...so now I have no plum pudding and no lobsters and shrimp! Another taxi later, I had the lobsters and shrimp (at actually quite a good price...usually I go to Chinatown where they're really cheap, but since there were only going to be six of us instead of the usual 15 or so, I figured I'd spend the extra money for the convenience). But still no plum pudding! But I called Sarah in a panic, since she and Ben were out shopping, and luckily she was able to find two little ones, which was perfect.
Billy Romp, our wonderful Christmas tree person, who has been a member of the family for many years, came over Christmas Eve morning to deliver the tree (a tiny one this year, only about six feet...usually we get a ten footer but God only knows where the hell I would have put it this year) and have a cup of tea and chat, and then Shai and Selina came over Christmas Eve, and we trimmed the tree and ate our lobster and shrimp and the glorious oysters Shai brought (with gorgeous sauces...the pomegranate is particularly toothsome). It was a somewhat bizarre meal, because at that point I had not yet unearthed the actual cutlery. Somehow we managed with plastic knives and forks and the one claw cracker I had had the sense to buy when I bought the lobster.
And we woke up on Christmas morning and opened our presents and I cooked breakfast, then we all napped, and then I cooked Christmas dinner (all as per tradition). Since there was only going to be me and Sarah and Ben for Christmas dinner, I got us some gorgeous filets mignon (instead of our usual roast), and we had those and pan roasted potatoes and gorgeous green beans from Trader Joe's and our plum pudding with proper hard sauce, flamed with brandy.
And now Ben has left on the rest of her round of holiday visits, and Sarah went to work, and I am sitting in perfect peace, having just watched Oliver and caught up with the world after my enforced internet hiatus, and we are in a blizzard...they're expecting 15 inches of snow. I am one happy, if exhausted lady.
I hope all of you had as merry, if not as idiosyncratic, a Christmas as I did!