Last Friday half of the royal Mexican family was coming to town to visit. I, of course, went to work for most of the day, and it was a long one. I finished a bit late and decided to stay even longer because I was going to meet my dad and my sister for dinner as soon as they arrived around 8 pm. Per my boss’s suggestion, we went to Saxon + Parole on the Bowery and Bleecker. The place was super packed, and I was a bit afraid that my unforbearing father was going to have a moment and refuse to wait more than the time it’d take them to set up a table. Luckily, my boss knew the manager and he managed to score us a table rather quickly.
Dinner was what I’d expect. Good food and some intense exchange of point of views. Whenever family’s in town, I don’t usually have your standard “relatives visit” shenanigans. To begin with, it is never a planned event. It happens very spontaneously and random. We rarely bond over stupid pictures of Times Square or strolls down Central Park. We never disrupt our daily lives or take days off from work. We are more about staying in separate places and meeting for a meal or two per day, and then calling it a night.
Despite our atypical behavior, we are very close, and thus the dinner conversation revolved around commonly touchy subjects that we’ve all been desensitized from and often rationalize and find the logic behind them. We talked about my parents’ ongoing on again off again marriage, my sister’s antisocial behavior, my brother’s pre-diagnosed Asperger’s, and my overly open and often graphic description of my new relationship. I love my family.
Henceforth and always with a plan on mind, I decided to butter them up a bit with some alcohol. I have to mention that neither of them are drinkers, so it only takes a drink or two to get them lulled. My scheme involved taking them back to Brooklyn to meet ‘Nickle’ for the first time so that the ice would break and we’d have the much less awkward scheduled official “meet the parents” dinner the day after. I was a bit nervous that my charming lush would already be a few shots past due, but I was willing to risk it. If they want to meet the man I’m in love with, I want them to meet him without a disguise.
After dinner and before Brooklyn, I received a call from ‘The Wife’, who had just gotten into town, instructing me to meet her close to my work for a drink before her and her friend, too, headed back to my neighborhood with us. We obliged and had a margarita at Sweet and Vicious. By this point, my almost exclusively sober father was already drunk dialing my mother, and my often shy, ESL sister was articulating complex sentences in her second tongue. It was time for the third act.
A few minutes later we stumbled upon my babe and his friend outside of our usual spot. Jackpot. The Cuban nuclear missile crisis was averted and the tension was nowhere to be found. Again, it was all in my demented head.
As expected, the “we’re only coming for one drink” turned into 3 or 5 plus a photo booth session, and and almost tragic ride home (they were drunk and had no idea where they were going), but all in all it was a great time. ‘Nickle’ and co seemed to like my blood, and that was the point of my plan.
The remaining diplomats headed to Union Pool for a night cap. I fail to remember if I even had a drink there, but we didn’t stay long, I had a ridiculously long day the next morning. We went back to ‘Nickle’s’ for bed and I donated my bedroom to ‘The Wife’ and her friend. ‘Titi’, who’d been in town since Wednesday from Sweden, had dibs to my couch.
Saturday, as stated, I had a hell of a long day. I started really early (by my standards) at 8 am. I had to go to the British Airways headquarters to do a special project for them that I thought would only take a few hours, and then I’d take the rest of the day off with the excuse that I was going to hang out with my family, but really with plans of seeing either ‘Fixie’ or my babe. Unfortunately, I was there till 7 pm with only one cigarette break and with no time for lunch (priorities).
As soon as I decided to call it quits and before finishing the workload, I left to go home, shower, and meet ‘Nickle’ to then meet my dad and my sister for an excellent dinner at Cafe Boulud. Again, the beginning of the night turned out into a success. We had exquisite food, drank well mixed drinks, and chatted effortlessly. After a few hours we left and my family hastily jumped on a cab and disappeared without even a hug. Expected.
‘Nickle’ suggested we walk to The Seahorse Tavern for a drink and then figure out the rest of the night. A drink with ‘Nickle’ or me is never just a drink. Six shots, four beers, and an intense somewhat pointless and repetitive conversation later we were on a cab on our way home.
Part of the reason why I’ve highlighted our drinking is because of nights like this where, in the absence of copious amounts of alcohol, we wouldn’t be having this situation and, as stated, it got repetitive and thus pointless… but we carried on and left it at that, just another drunken night.
The brief family visit went better than expected. My dad and my sister showed a side I’d never seen, both because they actually got drunk and let loose, and because for the first time ever, they were very open talking to me about my boyfriend and asking to know all the details with honest curiosity. I’m not sure what the future holds, and it’s scary in many senses, but at least I can be sure that if need be, he can come home with me to open arms and a tiny chocolate on the pillows.