This is ridiculous.

I’m now sitting in the JFK airport, with free wireless, having a glass of wine and sushi as I wait for my flight to start boarding.

You must know:

1. I normally would never do this.
2. But this is my vacation, and I told myself I’d do things I normally wouldn’t do.
3. It still feels way too decadent, but I’m going to let myself enjoy it because
4. Yesterday was quite emotional.

I got to see lots of family and friends. We tried to see more, but families are complicated, and some people shy away from contact, and consequently we were sometimes turned away, or left knocking at the door, or sometimes we asked not to come anywhere near the door.

That sounds like nobody wanted to have Christmas with us. That’s not really what I mean. Without going into too much detail because some of it is none of my business and therefore none of yours, sometimes it just sucks how people either don’t want to be or can’t be a part of a family. Those who did welcome us in mean the world to us, and I am so thankful for their love and support.

And then there are people who physically can’t be a part of a family anymore, and their absence is felt. Heavily felt. This is heightened when you’re around children who are adorable. I can’t really describe the level of cuteness my tiny cousins can achieve. I’m at the age where we don’t usually get to see little kids enjoying Christmas, where everybody I talked to over the past week has said, “It doesn’t really feel like Christmas. I barely bought any presents.” Even though there was snow on the ground, and there was music reminding us of the time of year everywhere I went, it still felt like just another winter week. It’s not until you watch a two-year old dance in place over unwrapping a gift that it really feels like everything comes together.

That might be the sushi talking.

You know, it might not be the wisest thing in the world, eating sushi at an airport in New York before getting on a six hour flight. One hour of decadence might have me hurting somewhere over New Mexico. Cross your fingers for me.

I don’t think of myself as a California girl, or even all that particularly LA, but then I get out of the city and the comforts of my hippie life, and it’s everyone else telling me that I’m clearly not from around here, from my red coat (Seriously, absolutely every person who saw me in that thing made a comment about how weird it was to see someone wearing such a bold, non-black color), to the fact that I order my coffee with nonfat milk and not “skim.” I kept saying that “skim” didn’t sound nonfat enough. “Skim” sounds like they snuck in a few calories.

And then here I am with my totally silly lunch at the airport because I missed fish. Wait. I’m supposed to be enjoying this. The website says it’s one of the best sushi bars in New York. So, there. That’s a comfort. Because it’s not the best sushi I’ve ever had, but it’s certainly one of the strangest places I’ve ever eaten it. Sushi-blogging, however, is something I could get used to.

So, what have I learned from Connecticut Pam? She loves her family. She puts up with the ridiculous dog situation in her mother’s house, because she loves her mother and her sister very much, but it doesn’t make any sense how the dogs run the house which declare the house to be literally divided in half so the dogs never come into contact with each other. Only one of the dogs is any danger, and he’s actually a real danger — he bit my cousin this morning because he entered the house unannounced. The dog is part pitbull, and one of the first things he did was lean over my wrist and give a lazy yawn, leaning into my wrist as if to show me that he could so easily bite my hand off if he wanted to, but right now he was feeling just a bit sleepy and wasn’t so into it.

Connecticut Pam can go much longer without coffee than LA Pam would have thought. I also barely slept. I kept trying to sleep, but my mom’s house kind of vibrates from her surround-sound. Due to my newfound interest in old movies (stee calls my Netflix list “Punishment Through Film 101”), we watched Pat and Mike, because Mom thinks it’d be best to ease me into her old films with some girl-power action. This is why she told me not to ever watch The Quiet Man. So we started with Katharine Hepburn and somehow last night we ended up watchingHostage, which is neither old, nor girl-power. But my favorite part was about thirty minutes into Pat and Mike, when we’re literally watching a golf match, when Mom said, “I don’t remember this movie being so boring.” It was a sentence I’d been waiting to hear her say about some of her old movies since I was a little girl.

Aw, the Deep Blue Sushi waitresses just started jamming out to someone’s cell phone ring and had me join in as they refilled my wine glass. I may never leave. I’ll just live in the corner of this sushi bar, where it’s really loud and very blue, where the waitresses have these crazy-strong accents but just want to jam out to their celly’s midi.

pamie loves cool chris, xmas 1978

I spent Christmas Eve at my cousin’s, where we did some serious damage to the wine bottles in his home. I brought over the finest bottle I could find in my mom’s town — an eight-dollar bottle of something that was probably made out of a Capri-Sun mixed with malt liquor. Luckily Cool Chris had purchased better selections, and made some rocking guacamole, and at one point in the evening we prank-called Dan. I didn’t know this until last night, when Dan asked, “Do you even remember doing that?” I hadn’t. “Marcy said something that sounded like, ‘Blah, blah, blah, Tyra Banks, blah, and I’m done talking!’ And then she put the phone down and walked away. But in her defense, I would have no idea how to hang up your space phone, either.”

I just got off the phone with stee, who said, “I think it’s awesome you’re drinking wine and eating sushi at the airport bar. I mean, it’s funny, but it’s awesome. Now find me some wireless in Berkeley.” Which I did. So, hi, stee.

Okay. My flight boards any minute now. I need to pay this tab and wander my way to the gate. I’ve never taken drugs or had a lot to drink before I got on a flight, like a lot of people I know. I don’t need to zonk myself out to sit still for six hours. But I’ve got to say… at the bottom of this second tiny glass of wine… perhaps it’s not the dumbest thing to do. I’ll sit with my Sarah Vowell book and my Radiohead (my iPod crashed earlier, so I’m hoping for the best when I get on my flight), and say goodbye to New York, which gave me ten days that taught me a bit about myself. I got to spend alone time with my sister, had a much-needed through-the-night talk with my mother, saw friends I rarely or never get to see, spent time pretending to be a fancy New Yorker, spent Christmas Eve with two people I love dearly (who make me laugh and are so fantastic it actually hurts how little time we get to spend together), made friends with my sister’s dog, saw lots of people who spend time with my mom and sister, braved the weather and the transit strike, and thought a lot about what I want in the coming year.

And with that, I do believe I’m about to start boarding. Thanks for spending an hour with me at JFK. There’s a kid screaming his head off next to me, and I don’t even care. That’s how good this damn airline (and wine) is.

I love Jet Blue!