Coping mechanisms

Holiday high tea

Tonight will be the third night of Hanukkah, which means, according to the Hebrew calendar, it’s been nearly a year since Jonathan proposed. Yes; I do expect him to remember all of our anniversaries based on the Hebrew calendar too. He’s doing terribly at this so far.

Hanukkah night two

Jonathan’s deployment makes this year’s Hanukkah a bit less bright than last year’s for me. Last year’s holiday season was filled with love, and celebration, and cheese fondue; this one so far has mostly been filled with waiting. Waiting for the tour to be over. Waiting for a reenlistment to tell me where I might be living. Waiting for Honey Boo Boo to come back on TLC.

So much waiting.

And since time seems to have slowed to a sloth-like crawl, my coping mechanisms are exploding in full force. Later this week I’ll have a big announcement about what has been my most powerful mechanism lately. (Although if you know Gretchen…or, more accurately, Gretchen…then you probably know where this is going. But you probably don’t realize how much Gretchen and I both love sentence fragments. YOU WILL SOON.)

So to combat the holiday humbug-ness in the meantime (I may or may not have actively hoped a young couple holding hands in Chinatown the other day would trip and fall into a nearby homeless man who smelled very strongly of pee), this weekend my sister and I traveled to our cousin Jackie’s apartment for a holiday high tea. Jackie is one of our slew of cousins who have recently celebrated marriages or engagements, and she and her husband John proved at their wedding that they are extremely good at throwing parties (I doubt I’ll ever be part of a Horah that equals the intensity of Jackie and John’s).

The holiday high tea was certainly not an exception.

The fabulous hosts.

The fabulous hosts.

Along with an assortment of fruity and English teas, they served a spiked mint tea, and hot buttered rum (which I could have easily drank a gallon of had I not needed to drive home afterward). I also sampled hot apple cider spiked with amaretto, and it was like a Hanukkah miracle happening in my mouth.

Along with an assortment of fruity and English teas, they served a spiked mint tea, and hot buttered rum (which I could have easily drank a gallon of had I not needed to drive home afterward). I also sampled hot apple cider spiked with amaretto, and it was like a Hanukkah miracle happening in my mouth.

I'm a lady.

I’m a lady.

Joanna enjoyed the tea.

Joanna enjoyed the tea.

Scones!

Jackie’s friend Brynne provided soft, delicious scones to round off the overfilling table of pastries. I may or may not have needed to be rolled out of their apartment afterward. Don’t worry about Joanna’s hat; I’ll explain that in a second.

Something that Jackie and my sister have in common is that they really get into their theme parties. Fittingly, Jackie set up tea-themed games around the apartment.

The hats all had secret words attached to them; anytime somebody at the party unknowingly said your hat's secret word, you were to surrender your hat to them, and so on.

The hats all had secret words attached to them; anytime somebody at the party unknowingly said your hat’s secret word, you were to surrender your hat to them, and so on.

It took me about four seconds to guess the secret word under the camo beret. My brain is REALLY attuned to camo.

It took me about four seconds to say the secret word under the camo beret. My brain is REALLY attuned to camo.

To the left, we were given sticky notes and the opportunity to write our own Tea Party signs. To the right, we were given window markers and the opportunity to represent anything we'd like to throw into the Boston Harbor in the Boston Tea Party of our own lives. I chose to throw "Finding parking in DC."

To the left, we were given sticky notes and the opportunity to write our own political Tea Party signs. To the right, we were given window markers and the opportunity to represent anything we’d like to throw into the harbor in the Boston Tea Party of our own lives. I chose to throw “Finding parking in DC.”

The coping worked; partway through the party, Jonathan appeared miraculously online. And, through the power of 3G, I was able to have an IM conversation with him from my phone. Which arguably means the coping didn’t work, because I then spent a 15-minute chunk of the party sitting in the room with everybody’s coats, tapping feverishly on my touchscreen. Instead of explaining the situation to people who came to get their coats, I just let them believe I have a really advanced addiction to Angry Birds and my Facebook app. One of which is true.

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate. May your days be filled with spattering pans of oily latkes.

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