By now I’m sure you’ve seen this video, which demonstrates what will happen if gay men aren’t allowed to marry each other. Well, ladies, I am here to tell you that what every girl needs is not one, but two gay husbands. I imported mine special from England, which really added a little class to my holiday preparations, but I digress. Peter and Richard arrived the Friday before Thanksgiving, so by Wednesday they had spent plenty of time exploring, and I had shown them lots of great NYC spots, like the cemetery and our local taco truck. Thrilling! I told them the one thing we had to do on Wednesday was go into Manhattan and pick up our turkey from Violet Hill Farms at Union Market, which is becoming an annual tradition (here I am last year in the same green coat with the turkey in my bag). They said that they were happy to go with me to the farmers’ market (!) and that furthermore, we could do whatever I wanted while we were in Manhattan. Oh sweet mother of all things holy.
To understand why this was such a big deal, you have know that my actual husband is a straight man. You also have to understand that with all of all of Manhattan — capital of the world, center of culture — laid at my feet, I only had one thing in mind: The hats.
But I’m going to do a separate post about the hats so I can explain properly.
First we went to the market, where we browsed the Christmas stalls (and no one rushed me!), found our turkey (Richard named her Nigella on account of her breasts) and picked up a few stray veggies (they helped me carry everything!). They even bought me flowers. Then we headed uptown for the hats and gazed at the Flatiron Building for a while before heading back to Brooklyn, where we walked for blocks and blocks and bought even more food. This was where the British part really came in handy, because they were incapable of complaining, even when I made them carry 30 pounds of groceries and we got off at the wrong subway stop by accident.
Poor elf! The Smurfs, Buzz Lightyear and even Santa were in the same, sad situation. If the other balloons faired better, we never found out because after about a block we were shuffled into a line that apparently led to the real line. After 45 minutes in the line line, we bailed, happy that we had at least got a glimpse of the magic that is 300,000 cubic feet of corralled helium.
When all was said and done, I felt a little bad that we had spent so much time on the balloon expedition, but all in all I think I did a good job of exposing them to all that is Thanksgiving Eve in NYC: the food procurement, the crowds, the excessive walking with heavy bags. And New York played her part well. On the way to the grocery in Brooklyn, we were walking past a row of lovely brownstones on a mostly deserted street when we noticed a man standing on a stoop with a bouquet of flowers. Just as we passed the house, an older woman opened the door and greeted him with the kind of surprised jubilation you usually only see in movies. He was home for the holiday. When you spend nearly an hour in a line line, packed like sardines on the sidewalk, all the humanity can seem like too much. But it is that same proximity and shared public space that makes my favorite New York moments possible.