December 24, 2008 5:00 am
Several years ago, some friends and I planned a December trip to NYC. It was my first “big” trip out of college, and my first trip to NYC without my parents. We were all so excited. Shortly before the trip, my friends began dating and I was suddenly the awkward third wheel. Normally it wouldn’t have been such a huge deal, but I had already paid for my nonrefundable airfare and the hotel was prepaid on my credit card. I decided to go anyway and try to make the best of the trip.
When we arrived in NYC, it became apparent that the trip was a mistake. We checked into our hotel (where we were sharing a room) and went over our plans for the weekend. Every idea I suggested was quickly vetoed, they had their itinerary all mapped out in their heads and weren’t open to my ideas. Rather than spend the trip being resentful that I had no input, I made the choice to kick back and do my own thing.
Being alone in a big city for the first time was a bit daunting. I was excited and scared but determined to show myself a good time. I called my cousin from CT and she and her boyfriend made plans to take the train into the city and hang out for the night. When they arrived, we had dinner at a great Irish place in Times Square called Connolly’s. We bought tickets to see Black 47 play later that night and went to explore the city.
My cousin’s boyfriend was a big drinker so I was doing my best to keep up with him. We bar hopped through a few places and were feeling pretty good. One great thing about NYC is that you can always find a way home without needing a designated driver. We headed over to Rockefeller Center to see the tree since I’d never seen it before. It was huge and beautiful and also very touristy. We fought our way through the crowd to get a closer look as my claustrophobia set in.
Walking through the crowd, I saw a man out of the corner of my eye. “Ho ho ho!” he screamed. I laughed at the pedophile-looking Santa standing in the middle of the madness. I turned to my drunk cousin and said “that dude just called me a ho!”. Of course, I was completely joking but my cousin didn’t see the source of the name-calling and got pissed. She whipped around and started yelling “who called you a ho? Who the F called you a ho? Where is he?” Then I pointed out this dude:
And we all had a good laugh over it. I guess if you wear a red suit and fake beard, you get a license to call people a ho anytime you want. I’ll have to remember that. We went to the Black 47 show and had a great (drunken) time. My cousin and her boyfriend caught the train back to CT and I spent the rest of the night wandering the city alone. (If my mother ever read this, she would be appalled at the thought of me walking around NYC alone but I assure you, I stayed in the well-lit areas).
The rest of the trip was great, I ended up going to a sports bar and befriending a table full of drunken Bucs fans to watch the game that Sunday. Then I caught the train out of the city and had my cousin pick me up to go to dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. It really turned into a fun trip, especially since it started out so crappy. I’m old and married now and I’ll probably never take another solo trip like that again but I’m glad I did. Even if some random dude DID call me a ho in the middle of a crowd.
One of the highlights of the trip was me on my first subway ride:
A couple of years later, I spent New Year’s Eve in the city with Jamie and we had a blast.