I have a confession to make: I listen to Christmas music. And worse yet, I listen to Christmas music in July. While I generally play my iPod at a reasonable sound decibel, every so often I get lost in Jingle Bell Rock and find myself humming mistletoe melodies within earshot range of more traditional New Yorkers, who reserve said music for the December holiday season.
Well the other night, while embarking on my most lucrative babysitting venture yet, I let the music take control. After putting my child to bed and cleaning up the residue of his kale and tofu lasagna (welcome to SoHo parenting!), I turned on my iPod and began to rock out in the family’s penthouse apartment. My song of choice, “All Alone on Christmas,” and my microphone of choice, a golden spatula. And like Chris Parker in Adventures in Babysitting, I danced my little heart (read: hips) out:
However, there was a glitch in my less than spontaneous dance off. The father, a prominent music video director of sorts, returned earlier than expected and caught me standing on top of his very expensive leather couch, attempting to vocalize:
The cold wind is blowin’ and the streets are getting dark
I’m writing you a letter and I don’t know where to start
The bells will be ringing Saint John the Divine
I get a little lonely every year around this time
Aside from the obvious issue– I was standing on a couch likely worth more than my own life– I was also singing out of season. But like any artist with a shred of sarcasm, he remarked, “Aren’t you a little early, dear?” And like any babysitter without a shred of dignity, I responded, “In my world, every day is Christmas.”
Now while most parents would be content to end the conversation there, the director pressed on, “But aren’t you Jewish?” And, of course, my classic answer– which I gave all too enthusiastically– was, “So was Jesus.” He grinned. I appeared to have an answer for everything, and he appeared to have a sense of humor about it all.
“I have one more question, though, before I pay you. Do you identify with the thematic message in All Alone on Christmas?” My first thought: This man directs music videos for the biggest rappers in the country, perhaps even world. And if I could be content with an uncircumcised wealthy black entertainer, I should definitely say a wholehearted “Yes!”
But my grandmother’s disapproving face quickly appeared in my mind, and I reluctantly said, “Of course not.” His response, “Ah well, because I know a few eligible New Yorkers looking for ladies with your kind of pizzazz… and attitude.” Moses. Have. Mercy.
I consider my walk home a bit of a walk of shame. In place of admitting that yes I was single and no I was not entirely happy with the situation, I let my pride get in the way. And so instead of marrying into the Roc-A-Fella Records family and procuring for myself a more permanent and classy New York residence, I had opted to settle for a life in a cardboard box (likely constructed of used latte cups).
I subsequently hummed the words of “All Alone on Christmas,” which most resonated me:
I’m all grown up but I’m the same you’ll see
I’m writing this letter ’cause I still believe
Dear Santa I’ve been good this year
Can’t you stay a little while with me right here
Yes, to this little Jew, Santa is a friend,who regardless of holiday season, finds reason to visit and provide comfort. So here’s to St. Nick, the loyalest Christian of them all!