Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Recently, I've been shopping by a code of  mental layaway: buy now because there will be Chanukah gelt waiting when you get home. Sure enough- after a 1.5 hr Supershuttle ride, 1 peppermint mocha at Starbucks, 2 more hrs gazing at a 60 year old cross-dresser in leather (.5 hrs conversing and asking where said leather was purchased), and 1 United plane ride that most definitely required a theme-park waiver of some sort- the gelt was waiting.

But as I stared out the bay windows, I couldn't help but ponder how twisted the Chanukah message of purity and re-dedication had become. How children yell for their Dad to stop singing so they can open the presents already. And I couldn't help but notice how  my neighbor's Christmas tree lights looked fake and dull against the glow of my Chanukiah's nine burning candles. After a belabored travel, with late night dinner resting in my lap, basking in the incandescent hug, I thought how materialistic Chanukah has become. 

And so, I'm reflected on some fun, free things I did in the past 72 hours to "spark" some gratitude:

1. Walked the NYC's Highline overlooking the Hudson River 
2. Became the guinea pig of a free soap scrub massage during a holiday-market demonstration
3. Explored Little Italy and China Town's butcher shops(one sold pig faces), fish market (squid?!), and back alleyways (where one will find 3 hair salons, 1 trinket shop, and a "Chemist" shop) 
4. Managed to get a month's free membership at the local gym
5. Rented "The Fault in Our Stars" and sniffled seven glorious times
6. Successfully removed security tag off of purchased leggings with a flame and 10 inch butcher knife. NOTE: invest in Airwick.
7. Learned new holiday tunes: shamelessly rocking out to Six13's Chanuka version of "Shake it Off"
8. Googled cross-dressers favorite leather shop

In sum, it's not about the money-money-money, it's about the memories. Why twist our holiday into being a Christian knockoff. Honestly, you couldn't pay me to stare at red filament light bulbs all night, but while traveling, I literally paid friends to have me in mind during their lighting. I literally paid someone to stare at their Chanukah candles. To be true, through the money I gave, not got, I felt the heat of a small dormant spark rekindle. 

Sincerely,
Layaway to Lay-a-while

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