I have an idea, I said. We should go be festive, downtown, and be jolly. The Benson Hotel has a giant gingerbread house, I heard, and opera singers trilling carols. Let's go. So we go.

So Saturday night we roll, in the ice and rain, and shriek holiday standards together, and park on the 12th - and top - floor of a downtown parking garage. It is wonderful, because the elevator gets tiny as we add folks each floor. We are a jovial group, all of us strangers, and it is a charming intro to the evening.

We congregate in the Benson Lobby and look for the mammoth gingerbread structure, and almost stumble on it, literally, as it is in actuality a delicate little replica tucked unsafely behind a safety rope. Lanessa suggests we sample it. I can see Chief mulling over the idea, and checking on the integrity of the foundation (30 lbs of chocolate).

I am gently mocked for leading the flock to the non-giant gingerbread house. I do not apologize. I head the pedestrian caravan up Broadway to the Heathman Hotel, where we moxie ourselves into the dining area, up the stairs, and admire the lovely (expensive) holiday ornamentation while feeling the stares of paying guests heat up our backsides (or perhaps the heat was from my recent injury( which is still healing). It does feel good to boldly adventure into areas where you have not formally received permission to be; to smile big, walk confidently, and try not to knock paintings off the wall, Lanessa.

Magdelana and I galloped back down Broadway, and waved to window display squirrels and snowmen, and found ourselves at Pioneer Square. We formed a cozy coalition around a table for two, and drank beverages, and talked about work, and my recent injury, and Jodi & Kit's new puppies, and woman in a wedding dress and wintercoat and nosering sat beside us, and of course we needed to become friends, so we helped her cozy in with us (separate table, barely), and her beau came in shortly and smiled, and Chief bought them both a chai (her), water, (him), and cake (both), though he finished their remnants after they left.

They were happy, and we were, though in a different way, because they were the ones going off to have sex (probably with each other) on their wedding night, though it is none of our business whether they have previously done so, though I guarantee it, and we all had our conjectures, and we all hoped they will be happy for the rest of their lives (together), and then Chief moved a table over and started eating their cake before they were out of sight, which was fine, because he had bought it. Still, a little...funny.

At some point, we said goodbye to the Houghtons and drove down twelve flights of parking garage and drove loudly and sang loudly, and it was a good night.

Merry Holiday Christmas.

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