In response to those unexpected flashes of last week, I decided to forget about the thousand and one errands that needed done this past weekend and instead hit the city with my brother in search of some Christmas spirit.
While I have always made a point of seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center, I just did not have the stamina to face the crowd of tourists this year. And as beautiful as this particular tree is, I think we can all agree that it looks exactly the same every year. Instead, I found myself on the steps of the New York Public Library at Bryant Park waiting for my brother. The tree here is pretty pitiful but there is at least a little bit of room to walk…so it was a reasonable compromise. My brother and I wandered through the holiday market (check!) picking up an ornament for our aunt and talking about our trip home for the holidays. From Bryant Park we headed to Union Square where we browsed through the holiday farmer’s market (check!) and sipped warm apple cider, the only thing you can actually purchase for $1.50 in New York!
Finally it was off to IFC Center where we had tickets to see It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen (check!). Having never seen this film in its entirety from start to finish, I found myself mesmerized. I, of course, have several favorite parts; this is one of those movies where it’s impossible to pick just one favorite scene. This year though, the scene after the dance, when George is walking Mary home after falling into the pool, meant something different to me than it has in past years. And it turned my search for holiday spirit into something more.
My grandfather is probably looking down and shaking his head at me. Of course his oldest granddaughter should have expected more than what I got out of my last relationship. It’s a silly comparison but knowing my grandfather, it’s a perfect one – he would absolutely expect someone to lasso the moon for me.
I have a black and white picture of my grandparents in my bedroom and I actually look at it pretty frequently. My grandmother died before I was born but this picture makes me feel like I knew her in some way. In it my grandparents have their arms wrapped around each other, posing in front of a 1950’s Ford something or other. And they are so clearly in love. I bet you he would have given her the moon. And anything else she wanted.
When I think about their story, my grandfather practically did lasso the moon to marry my grandmother. Being from different ethnic backgrounds – his family Italian and her family Irish – their parents did not approve of the other for their child, a sentiment that eventually changed after my grandparents eloped in Canada. In the years that followed their song was Canadian Sunset; I had planned to honor my grandparents by playing this song on my own wedding day. Amongst many other things, I am incredibly grateful that I still have a meaningful piece of my family’s history to share with the right someone someday.
But this right someone should consider himself warned: be sure to bring your lasso!