Monday, February 11, 2013

Birthdays and boas and drag queens, oh my!

Do you ever have those moments in life where you feel like everything has come full circle and you stand in awe of your own life?

Yeah, me either, but this weekend I did have a “this is your life” moment as CB and I posed for pictures with a drag queen and watched one do the splits in a dress.

Also, if I had any moment in my life to do over, it would definitely be the one just as I was opening the bar doors to a sparkling pink, boa-filled lobby, complete with a photographer and a drag queen. Because the look on CB’s face when he realized that this, in fact, was the right address and we weren’t in the wrong place - just as the drag queen pulled us close for a photo op - was one I will never be a good enough writer to express properly.

But I digress.

As some of you know, when I moved to New York City nearly twelve years ago, Beth and I really had our lives together and knew exactly what we were doing. And in order to prove this to the world, we decided to introduce ourselves to the neighborhood by going out on the town like girls from Sex and the City.

So we put on our fanciest hooded sweatshirts and headed out on the town with $10 in hand and looks on our faces that said “Here we are world, we totally know what we’re doing!”

Picture this outfit minus any glam.
And covered in a hoodie without my hair
 looking fierce.
And then we got to the club, paid the cover, and realized we only had enough for one drink between us. Also, zipped-up red hooded sweatshirts had, apparently, just gone out of style minutes beforehand because nobody else was dressed like a poor college student from the Midwest.  

The mind reels.  

However, never being ones to let reality hold us back, we decided to kill it on the elevated dance floor, where they were playing house music we didn’t know and the entire state of New Jersey had come out to party in black sequins with an accompaniment of hair spray.  We blended quite well.

Or, we stayed for an hour and then decided to go home and watch taped episodes of “Felicity” for the rest of the night since we couldn’t afford cable.

Either way, though, it made for a memorable evening that we still laugh about to this day. I mean, we’re obviously totally sophisticated now and completely fit in with the fancy New York City party scene, so it’s just that much funnier.

Also, we’ve noticed that a really good way to fit in with that scene is by not taking part in it, and instead, playing Taboo on the couch with each other over a bottle of wine.

Anyway, this weekend, for the first time since zipping up our hoodies and leaving the bar with our pride, I went back to the scene of the shame, armed with CB and some experience. I’ve come a long way.

However, as soon as the flash went off and we had our new Christmas card photo taken, we headed downstairs to the party. And when I say “party”, I mean that this 30th birthday bash was nicer than some weddings I’ve been to. Though, to be fair, I’ve never had the pleasure of hanging out with drag queens at a wedding, and for this, I’m ashamed.

And then it happened.

As the drag queens were putting on their performances – one to Lady Gaga and the other to a 90s music medley (it’s like they knew I’d be there!) – Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” came on and I swear to you I was THIS CLOSE to tossing myself onto the dance floor and into the drag queen's arms so that she’d spin me around a few times and I could ask her about her workout regimen.

For real, her legs were to die for. See video below for proof.

But forget the fact that she did the splits in a dress shorter than anything I own. And forget the fact that there are actual photos of me, jaw-dropped, watching this performance in awe of everything magical.

The fact of the matter was simple: here I was, twelve years later, hundreds of miles away from the home I left in a U-Haul with my goldfish and best friend, watching a drag queen dance to my go-to happy song, surrounded by friends I love, in nearly the exact same spot I’d fled from more than a decade ago because I didn’t fit in.

The only thing missing was Beth, who’s birthday was this same weekend yet was postponed until we could get something killer on the calendar. So of course I had to call her immediately and re-count every minute from the night before, because it just wasn’t right that she wasn’t there next to me to have this same moment.

Beth: It actually hurts my heart that you almost missed this party so that you could sit in my apartment and play Cranium after we put the kids to sleep.
Me: Um, that sounds amazing. I’d be there in a heartbeat.
Beth: I know you would. But seriously. Do people party like this? Where are we?
Me: I know, right? I don’t think we’re in Michigan anymore.
Beth: But ok. You have to tell me everything. Especially the parts about how you’re going to break it to CB that you now want to have drag queens at your wedding. Possibly as the officiants. Ok, go.

And so I did. And we laughed until we cried and it made the moment complete.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’ve changed all that much – I still don’t own the fancy shoes or hairspray – but this time, I knew it was exactly where I was supposed to be. I mean, CB, an open bar, and drag queens dancing to 90s music on the eve of Beth’s birthday?

Now we’ve arrived.

Happy Birthday, Beth! Nobody can beat us.

And happy birthday to Lisa  - you gave me memories for a lifetime! (and thanks for finally being 30! Took you long enough....)

Oh….and happy Monday, everyone! 

I stopped recording just before the splits and Whitney Houston. 
To be honest, I dropped my phone in awe. 


  1. Okay, first of all, that Drag Queen is way more attractive than I will ever be. Second of all, I want to be at this wedding.
    Third of all, I need to get up to NYC SOON so that we can actually hang out, woman!

    1. Right? Me too! And it wasn't even a wedding, it was a birthday party! Even. Better.

  2. I wish my 30th would have been that epic! I could try for my 35th, but that leaves me less than a month to befriend some drag queens!!

    1. Happy early birthday! And it's never too early to befriend some drag queens.

  3. Haha and here I thought I was the only one that thought wearing a zip up instead of a pullover hoodie was dressing up.

    That looks like the coolest birthday party ever! And it pisses me off that guys can walk in heels better than I can :)

    1. That's what we all kept saying! He KILLED it in those heels!