I lied. This is not a Christmas post. As much as I enjoy holiday cheer I don’t feel like writing about it.
Instead I am going to write about the first New Year’s Resolution that really mattered to me so that you, the reader, can be inspired by my harrowing story. This personal story is very graphic, so think of it as my Christmas gift to you.
Picture a robust eighteen year-old college freshman, lumbering about her dorm floor during first semester. Chubby, awkward, and sexually oblivious, she is a real looker. Her floor mates become her eclectic companions, complete with a unicorn-loving roommate who rocks to her “Kenny G Christmas” album YEAR ROUND. She is quirky, insecure, and straight. As you’ve probably guessed, this rotund young lady was me. And I was pretty weird. Very emotional, I alternated my evenings between calling high school friends, and my favorite pastime: hanging out in this one boy’s room, drinking lukewarm gin from a plastic bottle, and watching old movies. I had a crush on this boy and decided that the only way this boy would like me is if we had similar interests. Hey it worked for my high school boyfriend! We both loved theatre and showtunes (that, my friends, is a whole other story). I digress.
This boy liked getting plastered and talking at whoever would listen about “how they don’t make movies like they used to” and “that’s what war is really about”. I was smitten. Regardless of the fact that he was spouting mostly bullshit, that he never asked about me, and that he never listened to a word I uttered, I was hooked on waxing over Kubrick’s syntax or Tarantino’s cinematography. I followed his musings as best I could, attempting commentary between burning shots of what can only be described as absolute grain alcohol. Then, the semester was over. Alas, we had to go our separate ways for Christmas and I, being the emotional wuss I was, never told him how I felt. My last chance happened a day before holiday break, when he asked me and a few other girls on the floor if they knew how to cut hair. He was looking shaggy and wanted his hair nice for his mom. Well, this is perfect! I can cut his hair, and his mom will love it, and he will love it, and he will love me! My logic seemed flawless. The catch was, of course, that I cannot cut hair.
My great grandmother and her sisters cut hair in Spanish Harlem their whole adult lives, so I was sure that this skill was genetic. Somewhere in my DNA was a mysterious strand that allowed me to trim, razor, and style. I quickly piped up and said that I could do it! Everyone gathered in my room and I wrapped a towel around his neck and got to trimming!
Within five minutes, his scalp looked like the result of a Chia Pet fighting with a chainsaw. I had butchered the front and the sideburns were uneven. The back seemed to have bald patches that I didn’t remember being there. I gave this boy the mirror and he flipped out. The girl down the hall who cut hair in her spare time came running down and I left the room in tears.
The girl who fixed his hair? THEY STARTED DATING. And when I found out after Christmas break that they were together, I made my first solemn New Year’s Resolution. No, it wasn’t that I was going to learn to cut hair. It wasn’t that I would never change myself or act differently around a crush again. It was: I am still going to kiss that boy before I die, dammit.
Now, readers, this boy dated that girl for almost three years. But I never lost hope. And one night, right before graduation, still chubby, emotional, and a little crazy, I got that boy hammered on cheap Manhattans and I took him home and kissed him. And it was glorious, not because I liked him, but because I had never resolved one of my annual January promises and I had finally done it. I don’t regret my bar tab that night, and I certainly don’t regret the shots of gin three years before, I just wish someone had taught me sooner the lesson I learned right before finishing my undergraduate degree: never underestimate the power of an open bar tab.
Happy New Year’s, everyone.