Chow Bella took a bite out of the holidays earlier this month with our annual "Eating Christmas" event at Crescent Ballroom. No worries if you missed it -- catch the essays here through the holiday season.
The Christmas after I graduated from college, I was living, if you can call it that, in London. I had arrived at the beginning of the summer, planning to stay for a few months and then go back to New York to find a real job. By December it was blindingly cold and I shivered even when I layered all my thin cotton clothes on top of each other. But I had found a poorly paid job as a bartender at a trendy night club I'd read about in FACE magazine, and I made enough money to pay the rent on a small, spare flat I shared with an Australian grad student and an English friend of a friend.
The three of us flatmates got along well, and I'm not sure why I didn't spend Christmas with them. Maybe because they were both Jewish. Maybe because my mother, who is originally from England and was raised Anglican, had a lovely vision of me spending Christmas with her childhood friend and urged me to go. In any case, I found myself on Christmas day at the comfortable, middle class home of people I had never met: my mother's old friend Anne, Anne's tweedy, bespectacled husband, and their two girls, who were much younger than me.
My mother had assured me I'd be welcome, but I had the feeling they were a little surprised I'd turned up. I think I was too.More »