For the last 4 years I have had a party in my apartment on New Year's Eve. I opened the doors of my apartment to whoever wanted to come. This year I just did not feel like it. I am about to make some changes in my life, and I really didn't have the where with all to host a party in my apartment.
Oksana said at first she wanted to have the party in her home. Then on Monday, 3 days before New Year's Eve, she began to have doubts about having strangers in her house. She decided against it. So here we were, two geminis, Las Rubias Mafiosas, and we could not decide what to do on New Year's Eve.
On Tuesday Oksana called me. She had received an invitation to a private dinner party. Her friend John often hosts them in his house in San Telmo. She read me the menu and it sounded wonderful, plus it included all the wine and champagne one could drink before midnight. She said the house is spectacular.
We decided to do it. Neither of us would know anyone. We decided this was a good thing. Both of us are looking to make changes in our lives and we figured a party with all new people would be a great start for the new year.
On New Year's Eve we got all dolled up. Me in a short black dress and Oksana doing her best to look like a tiger. What I love about Oksana (among many other things) is that she is one of my only friends who will take the colectivo or the subte no matter what. So here we are all dressed for a party going to San Telmo on the #29 bus. I mean really, the bus is 1.20 pesos and a taxi would have been around 25. I don't mind people looking at us like we are crazy.
We walk to John's house. Oksana tells me that he will not be there. He took his dogs and cats and went to his place on the river. So she really will know no one. It is sort of exciting. We reach the house and ring the bell. A woman named Natasha comes to let us in. As we come up the stairs into the house I am in awe. The house is more than spectacular. It is amazing. It is one of the most beautiful homes I have seen in Buenos Aires. Everything is well done and well decorated.
Natasha leads us to the terrace where the other guests are. We go up the beautiful steps to get there. The terrace is crowded with other guests, mostly men. Oksana gets a big smile on her face when she sees the party is mostly men. I on the other hand have realized that this is not an ordinary party. Before I can say anything to her she says out loud "See, I brought you to a party where there are mostly men. Isn't that great?" My mouth drops. She has not realized that these men are all Gay! "Isn't this better than the last party?" she says, "They were all women." I am still speechless.
Our host brings us glasses of champagne and hor d'oeuvres are being offered. Immediately a group of men come to introduce themselves to us. They are very charming. I look at Oksana and finally she realizes what is going on. She looks at me in shock. It is actually pretty funny. We circulate through the crowd introducing ourselves and meeting the people who are there. Most of the men are from Europe, a few from South America, and few from the U.S. There are maybe 6 other women. They appear to be Gay too. Oksana and I are the only straight people there.
Our host tells us the plan for the evening. We are to change tables every course so we are with different people. It sounds like a good idea. There is to be lots of champagne, music, and fireworks. Oksana and I go to sit at a table. We are soon joined by several men. With one exception, they are all from Europe. One man is from Denmark, but he has been living in San Francisco 13 years. We hit it off immediately.
The food was amazing. Everything was perfect. Even the weather. It was warm with almost no humidity in the air. The conversation was stimulating and interesting. Then one of the men asked me "How did you and Oksana meet?" I didn't think anything about this question so I told him "I write a blog and she used to email me comments all the time. One day I wrote her that I thought it was stupid for us to email when we were in the same city and that we should just meet for coffee. She invited me to her apartment and from there we became friends. The men give me a knowing look. I realize then that they think we are a couple too!
"I tell them, it is not like that. We are just friends." They smile. I tell them how after my car accident I cut many people out of my life and Oksana was one of them. But then 4 months ago she emailed me, and since then we have been hanging out together. "That is such a nice story." says one of the men. "I am glad you are back together." says another. They don't believe that we are not a couple.
Now it is time to change tables. When I come back from getting my food there is a man sitting next to Oksana, I have to move further down the table. These guys are not as interesting. They are from the U.S. Another who doesn't dance tango wants to argue about it. I miss my other table. When the whole table begins to light up cigarettes that is my cue. I hate cigarette smoke. Mr. Texas tells me "Well you know can leave." So I did.
I went to the table next to me. There were several of the guys from my old table. "We miss you!" They said. "I missed you too" I told. I told them how everyone at my table was smoking and that they were really boring. I was glad to sit with these guys, they were more fun. There were two women, a couple who climb mountains. They were trying to convince the rest of us how much fun it is.
Oksana was trying to drink as much as she could before we had to pay for the drinks. I can't drink that much because of a medication I am taking. So I was the responsible adult. We mingled with the boys, the girls did not seem interested in mingling with us. They had each other.
At midnight there was a spectacular display of fireworks and champagne. Loud disco music came on. We mingled more. I talked mostly to the guys from our first table. It was a little boring because they all had each other, and then there was Oksana and I. They all thought we were a couple, and nothing would convince them otherwise. So we decided to go to a milonga or another party.
When we got to street level we just started walking. Actually Oksana started walking and I was following. "Where are we going?" I asked her. She shrugged her shoulders and rambled on about a party somewhere on Entre Rios. I think she was still shocked we spent New Years with 31 Gay men and 6 Gay women. We continued to walk down Indenpendencia. "You know this is a really shitty barrio?" I say to her. "There are people on the street." she says to me. I cannot believe we are walking down this street, two blonds all dressed up. So much for being the responsible adult.
As the street gets worse a taxi pulls up and a man gets out. He comes and gives Oksana a hug and kiss and then me. It is Gustavo. Not Gustavo our brother..but another Gustavo who teaches tango. "What are you doing here?" he asks. We sort of shrug our shoulders. "We are going to Gricel." he says. "Get in the taxi with us. You should not be walking in this barrio." Well Gricel was on our list..so away we go.
We tell Gustavo and his girlfriend how we ended up at a party of all Gays and that they thought we were gay. I don't think they thought it was as funny as we did. We arrive at Gricel. Oksana says to me "Probably there will be all women there." I tell her, "Well they won't be Gay." When we get inside I peer around the corner. I tell, "There are men."
We share a table with Gustavo and his girlfriend. As the night or the morning wears on the crowd comes in. I greet the people I know. People are in a festive mood. Personally I am bored and so is Oksana. Our friend Arturo comes to the table. He wants to go to La Viruta, but it is only 2:30 am. We ask him to wait another half hour. He doesn't want to.
We dance a few tandas but mostly talk. We are changing our lives. Both of us are staying in Buenos Aires but it is time for a new stage. The question is what and when and how. I have ideas. So does she. Now to activate them.
It is a little after 4:00 am. Another guy comes to the table. "Do you want to go to La Viruta?" he asks. We tell him yes. We go in a taxi with him. I want to tell the taxi driver how to go, but this guy an Argentine thinks I am crazy. It takes forever to get there. The driver is taking us on a tour. I hate when this happens. I am glad the guy paid for the taxi.
We enter La Viruta. This is one of the few nights you have to pay. They have the entrance in Euros and Dollars but not in pesos. We ask in Spanish what it is in pesos? Oksana asks why it is listed in dollars and euros, and are they even accepting pesos. She must have been getting it all night from Argentines because she is defensive. We pay and enter.
The waiter knows Oksana and gives us a good table. I go check my purse. It is worth the 3 pesos to me. La Viruta is known for its insecurity. On my way back to the table a young man asks me to dance. I accept because he is cute. He cannot dance. I thank him and walk away. He goes for my hand "How about champagne? You are beautiful." It sounded better coming from the Gay guys.
I dance with a few guys and go back to the table. Our taxi partner is there. He is sort of bent on sticking to me. I don't like this. He is not for me. A mutual milonga acquaintance comes to the table to greet us. He gives me a kiss and wishes me Happy New Year. Then he asks the taxi partner "Are you with Deby?" I cannot believe it! He says YES! That is it. I am on the move. I walk around the room. Lots of drunk guys. I see my friend Bette. I sit with her awhile and talk.
When I go back to the table the taxi partner guy is not there. I sit down. Soon there is a cute guy with a nice smile behind me asking me to dance. He dances the same pattern they all dance here. So I have to figure it out because there is no lead. It is a good thing he is so cute. He talks to me between the songs. He is really charming.
The night or the morning goes on. I get several propositions. None that are interesting. I go and sit down. It is just as much fun to watch people. I remember last year this place was packed. You could barely move. This year it is almost empty.
It is a little after 7:00 am. They play the cumparsita. I look around. I do not want to dance with anyone. I change my shoes. I watch the cute guy dancing with a young woman. She is sort of a plain jane. When the song ends they go different ways. Oksana comes to the table. "Are we leaving?" she asks. "I don't think we have a choice." I tell her. She disappears for a moment.
The cute guy comes to the table. "It was nice to meet you." he says to me. "I hope I see you again." He looks very hesitant. I smile at him. "A mi tambien." I tell him. He goes and stands away. I see the plain jane come and they leave together. I wonder what that relationship is or isn't. You never know here.
Oksana comes back. The taxi partner wants to know what "we" are doing. Oksana asks him where he lives. He says "Amagro." I tell him I am walking home. I live close to here. Oksana tells him she lives in Nuñez, we say good bye and leave.
On the street, she looks for a taxi. We look at each other. "Happy New Year." I say to her. She says to me "It has to get better. I still cannot believe we had New Years with 31 Gay men. I am going to kill John." I laugh as I start home. It will get better. I know it will. This is 2010. A new decade.