December has been a social month. I met up with Doobleh-vay at her New York hotel, Jen Lee at the Moth Storytelling Slam, attended the BlogHer NY Holiday party, and lived it up at the NY book launch party of Kirtsy Takes a Bow: A Celebration of Women’s Online Favorites.
The Kirtsy book contains great writing and photography from female bloggers, many who you might know from being online. For some reason, one of my tweets is included,in this woman’s book, bringing me one step closer to that sex change operation.
At the party, someone asked me if I write a sex blog, or if I am just obsessed about breasts. I didn’t get too many phone numbers that night.
After all the festivities, I woke up early on Friday morning for the big topper event — I was taking a train for a weekend in Virginia, visiting V-grrrl and her family.
(photo of V-grrrl by Di Mackey)
V-grrrl is one of my long-time blogging friends, although I have never met her in real life, mostly because, until last year, she lived in Belgium.
She also send me the most important piece of European art work that I own, back in 2006, after she read one of my ground-breaking posts about boys peeing in Norway.
V-grrrl is also the very first person to be interviewed — by me — in the first Great Interview Experiment.
V-grrrl and her husband live in a beautiful home practically sitting in a forest (with a lot of Revolutionary and Civil War history). In her backyard, all sorts of exotic birds fly to her feeder.
“That’s a real oriole!” I screamed, looking on my “Birdwatching” iphone app that I downloaded when it was on sale at $2.99! I pressed a button on the iphone and showed off the bird sounds to V-grrrl’s kids. They were not impressed, since they had iphones themselves. In fact, a good part of the afternoon was spend sharing iPhone apps with V-grrrl’s twelve year old son. I have a feeling modern technology makes us all the same age — teenagers.
V-grrrl’s kids are super-brainy. Have you ever heard of this school competition program called O.P.? O.P. kids compete against each other building miniature airplanes, and then devise the flight plans, as if they were air traffic controllers. They explained it to me, but I didn’t really understand. I’m more about the peeing in Norway than engineering feats.
The big event of the weekend was the town’s 40th annual Christmas Parade. I was excited to see the charm of this small-town tradition. And then it SNOWED. And SNOWED. A nearby town, which was also having a parade that day, cancelled their event, but V-grrrl’s town, wanting to prove that they were not a bunch of Yankee wimps, said “The Show Must Go On.”
V-grrrl’s family and I dressed in our long underwear and overcoats, and headed out to the parade route, V-grrrl’s husband carefully driving on the icy road. The crowd on Main Street was surprisingly large for the inclement weather, but some youth group was selling hot cocoa, keeping us warm.
The first half hour, waiting for the parade to start, was magical. The lights, the snow, the old fashioned bookstores and ice cream parlors on Main Street, the church steeple in the background, the pub where George Washington once slept, and the gentle small town faces made this scene as American as any Norman Rockwell painting.
Then, the parade started, and no offense to V-grrrl, her family, or her town, but that was the WORST parade I have ever seen.
Parents were smartly wary about sending their children marching in the snow, so half of the marching bands never showed up. One determined high school band consisted of three people — one tuba, one drum, and a cheerleader dressed in a wool coat that prevented her from doing any of the dance moves.
In the past, the highlight of the parade was the tradition of those on the floats throwing candy out at the crowd. V-grrrl’s kids told me of how they would come home with more booty than Halloween. Sadly, fear of Johnny Cochran-type legal action has now taken hold in small town America. The city banned the candy throwing — just in case some child was hit in the head with a poorly-aimed Smarties package, and the city was sued! What a downer. You could see it on the kids’ faces. There was no joy in Whoville that evening. Thank you, legal Grinches.
But that’s not all!
After the last float passed by (something about Jesus, sponsored by a hardware chain), everyone waited for the real meaning of Christmas — the ho ho ho man himself. The crowd stood there, shivering in both the freezing cold and anticipation, waiting for the grand entrance.
Santa Claus never showed.
It was too cold and snowy, so Santa decided to just STAY HOME and watch videos!
It was truly a bad parade, and we all knew it. Of course, that is when the fun began. On the way home, we all devised funny editorials to the local newspaper decrying the “Santa” outrage, the best title to the editorial being, “No, Virginia, There is No Santa.”
Luckily, V-grrrl’s daughter baked a cheesecake for us to eat when we got home.
The next day, when the newspaper came out, there was a glowing review of the parade (I think they were one of the sponsors). At the end of the article, the journalist wrote, “And lastly, Santa entertained the children, although he showed up late.”
Bullsh*t, I say! We were there. Santa did not show up at all.
As I took the Amtrak back to New York the next day, I thought about small towns and big cities. Was there really that much of a difference? We both watch the same TV shows. We both own iphones with bird-watching apps. And most importantly, we both have media operations that LIE TO US ABOUT SANTA!
Thanks for the great weekend, V-grrrl!
Note: The Fourth Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert is THIS THURSDAY. Please email me files or links by Wednesday at the latest!