Wednesday, January 08, 2014

New Year's Eve recap

This year's New Year celebration was very low-key because Puck's grandfather passed away the weekend before New Year's. He was buried on Sunday and then Monday I went to sit shiva with their rabbi and the family and we told stories about him. My one story was an occasion where he put my hand in Puck's hand and said something like, "Love each other!" It was a small gesture, but it made me really happy. Being in a relationship with Puck has not always been greeted with enthusiasm by Puck's family, but I always thought that their grandfather was the one person who was genuinely pleased to see us together.

When I told that story, one of Puck's cousins added that the gesture was personified the kind of person their grandfather was - that he always welcomed outsiders and tried to make them feel comfortable. At this point, Puck's sister Ella made a face and rejoined that when she brought home her first boyfriend, her grandfather locked himself in a room with him and lectured the boyfriend for 30 minutes on how Ella should be treated! Since he didn't feel the need to do that to me, apparently he was satisfied with the way I treated Puck when we were dating :)

It was also the first time I've seen the Staten Island house since it was devastated by Sandy. I saw the damaged house right after the storm when I went to fetch my movie projector, but I haven't been back since because it's taken about this long just to become habitable. The remodeled first floor looks great, although it's very bare with no art, no bookshelves, no piano and minimal furniture. The lighting is like a gymnasium, with rows of ceiling spotlights instead of relying on lamps and chandeliers so it kind of looks like a dance studio. The kitchen is also all new appliances and cabinets, of course. And there are improvements to the carpets and hardwood floors throughout the house, plus fresh paint on the walls. There's been a lot of work done in 2013, and I'm sure they are only too glad to put last year behind them.

Tuesday night I was back for New Year's Eve, and it was mostly just family. They had planned a bigger party, but with the unexpected death it was obviously called off. We had a late supper and counted down the clock. As for the third year in a row, Puck and I shared our first kiss in the new year. Then Father Frost came downstairs and handed out presents. I got a book of nude photography, a graphic novel compendium, a Marc Chagall bookmark and a snowman magnet for my refrigerator. I already had given Puck their present at Christmas, a Chinese chop engraved with the translation of their new legal name, Robin Goodfellow, done by the reliable Mr. Pei in Chinatown.