With the exception of getting dumped on Valentine’s Day, I may win the title for V-Day disaster stories.
Actually, this was worse than a breakup.
I waivered about whether to tell this gruesome tale, but in the effort to make this a full-disclosure website, it would be wrong not to tell.
How could I lyricize my love for Valentine’s Day when the mere mention of the name sends shivers down my newly limber spine. (thank you yoga)
It all began innocently enough….my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were in town for a few days last February. It’s rare to get the teams together, so when we do, there’s always cause for celebration. The morning of February 14 was glorious with fresh, still-white snowfall from the previous evening.
My sister-in-law had booked us a table at a new local restaurant. I’m reserving the details around when and where. That quaint little restaurant doesn’t need to get dragged through the mud.
Our plan was to meet Kelly and Keith first for a drink at their hotel. They were staying at the Soho House, a swank hotel located smack dab in the middle of the Meatpacking district. It’s the kind of place where your outfit is never respectable enough for the front desk crew. Somehow these gatekeepers are always several feet taller than me, giving them the advantage of what I’ll call “nose-peering”, making me feel infinitely smaller than my size would suggest.
Where I come back in spades is my ability to orchestrate an immediate cocktailing session. Nobody gets down to business faster than I do. Thus, nobody can out-drink me in the first hour of an evening. Perhaps I could go toe-to-toe with the fictionalized James Frey, but aside from him (it?), the competitive landscape is pretty slim.
Fortunately, my second secret weapon is that after an hour, I swiftly dial back the drinking and enter a self-imposed maintenance mode where chatting becomes the priority, and booze is all but forgotten.
I wish that I could say that it’s intentional; I’d make a fortune peddling self-help books and safe consumption podcasts. The world would be a better place, filled with happy drunks and fewer injuries.
But something went terribly wrong last Valentine’s Day and my body’s normal tailoring response was nowhere to be found. Perhaps it was partying with the front desk crew.
I fault the Soho House for messing with my usual program.
This hotel knows how to ramp up the excitement for an evening. What other hotel sends you a bartender, plucked from America’s Next Top Model central casting, with a drink cart, straight to your room?. So while we were sitting there on velvet couches, surrounded by opulence and exposed brick, our very own She-Nymph was mixing up custom Moscow Mules. Right before she opened a bottle of champagne. Because hey! It’s Valentine’s Day! We’re all celebrating!