Well, New Year's Eve was pretty stultifying. I bought a cheap bottle of champagne, but ended up being too lethargic to even open it. Instead, just lay around watching Andy Cohen's New Year's Eve special on Bravo, then the re-run of the apple drop in Times Square on CNN. (Up until I actually lived in NYC, I'd always vowed while watching the scene on TV that ONE DAY, I TOO would be in Times Square on New Year's Eve... Once I lived there, however, I was 42 and not up for getting there 8 hours ahead of time to ensure a place inside the barricades among a million other people squishing me...and to ensure that I couldn't use the bathroom for the next 8 hours, since once you leave the barricaded area to find a Port-a-Potty, you can't get back in! Ah, reality!)
So last night was a real bust, but moping and not drinking a thing enabled me to wake up bright and early (well, 9:30 a.m.) on New Year's Day and start doin' stuff to start my New Year out right! Like eating a bowl of oatmeal, drinking orange juice, and taking a vitamin. And then washing all my clothes and all my dishes. And then getting down to business with some freelance work that I'd meant to finish last week.
After about an hour of the latter, my mom politely called to wish me a Happy New Year. After chatting for a few minutes, she made the mistake of saying that if I needed anything, to be sure and give her a call... In fact, I right then mentally really needed a new 2011 calendar (online, they're all full-price, and I've been spoiled by various bookstores in years past to getting them for half-price if you buy after Christmas -- On the 1st, I always really look forward to tacking up the new year's calendar, so I was bummed this year that I couldn't, having not taken a bus to the one close-by bookstore this past week)! After for a second thinking about just saying, "Nah, I'm fine. Thanks for asking," I went ahead and made the leap: "I REALLY would like to get a new calendar today!"
I don't think she was expecting that, but was surprisingly game: "I was about to go out for a walk, but... let's go. Are you ready right now?" "Yup. I've been up for HOURS!"
So she schlepped me around to the closest mall (no calendars anywhere), to the Target (no), to the Office Depot (puppies and prayers), to the Walgreen's (puppies, kittens, prayers)... Usually, for us, a recipe for absolute tension and disaster, but this time... complete and utter pleasantness the whole time! At the mall, we even spent extra time browsing around Macy's, for which I'd received a small gift card at Christmas, looking at shoes.
Now, toodling around from store to store on a beautifully sunny, non-trafficky holiday might seem like a normal, pleasant, drama-free excursion for most mothers/daughters... Not us. We've always gotten on each other's nerves. Don't like each other's company. Get irritated and bitchy and/or tensely silent when forced to be alone together. At 45, I think I've gone shopping with my mother maybe 3 times in my entire life after the age of 12.
Today, though, was really nice! We conversed pleasantly the whole time. She didn't gripe about what turned out to be a complete wild goose chase for calendars. And by the end of it, was even offering to go WAY out of her way to yet ANOTHER store! By that time, though, I told her honestly: "Nah. I don't want to push the good vibes! Let me treat you to McDonald's instead!" (It was right there in our last shopping center. What the hell.)
She and I have also never done well when eating out together. (Again -- usually, for whatever unknown reason, irritation/bitchiness/tense silence.) McDonald's isn't really "eating out," but it is, of a sort. So we went, and, again, had a pleasant time there, discussing the book she's reading about the cousins Nicholas/George/Wilhelm (of Russia/England/Germany) and the movie she just rented about Anne Boleyn.
After that... yet MORE togetherness! Her neighborhood's a new development, with great natural landscaping for walking... Did I want to take a walk before she took me home? Yes! So we walked and chatted companionably for about 4 miles...
(Once I got home, I worked for 6 more hours on that freelance stuff. Like the oatmeal that started the day, I didn't love it, but it made me feel good having done it.)
It was a really nice New Year's Day, 2011.