The year 2017 is finally upon us, Queen City. Is it just me or did 2016 fly by?
Then again, I guess it feels like that every year. And just like every other year, preparing for New Year's Eve celebrations brought back some of my most hilarious memories made in the city. The first being a threesome.
Oh come on, get your mind out of the gutter. I'm not talking about a literal threesome, but a non-traditional date with my current boy toy.
This year, we decided to bring in the New Year at Barreled at the Lift, a speakeasy and hookah lounge nestled at the bottom of the stairs beneath Libretto's on Woodlawn. It's the first place we met and the place we were going to celebrate 2017 listening to good tunes and drinking great drinks at "Chicago: A New Year's Eve Affair."
There were only three VIP tickets left when we reached out to the owner. That's when I remembered my BFFE (best friend forever and ever) had texted me a couple weeks earlier asking if she could come to Charlotte for New Year's Eve.
Of course she could, I answered.
As we started getting ready, donning our 1920s-themed clothing, BFFE was singing, "Just the three of us, we can make it if we try. Just the three of us, her, you and I" to the tune of Grover Washington Jr's "Just the Two of Us."
I laughed, thinking back to the first time the three of us met and the ongoing "love triangle" joke we've shared.
The boyfriend stood me up the first time we were supposed to meet one another. The boat was broken [insert air quotes], I tell everyone when the usual question arises, "How'd you guys meet?" I've always thought that excuse was weak.
That's why when he asked to grab drinks at Barreled one Thursday evening I had no qualms bringing my BFFE along with me. After all, I wasn't going to get stood up twice, was I?.
My BFFE and I chatted alone most of the time, but eventually I let him get in a word or two. Despite having to go to work the next day, I convinced him to come with us to Jeff's Bucket Shop for karaoke, and the rest is history.
Who would've thought a third-wheel — the boyfriend being the "plus one" — date would be relived a year and a half later.
The more that I thought about it, however, the more sense it made for me to be creating yet another memory with my BFFE for NYE. She's been present for three out of the four celebrations I've been to in the city and helped create some of my most favorite memories.
From being grounded together when we were kids after getting in trouble at Kmart when we were 14, to throwing up in a sport star's bathtub in the Ritz Carlton Uptown, to almost ruining a neighboer's suede couch with candle wax, she's always been there.
Every vom, every embarrassment, every epic party and every heart break.
We hadn't seen each other in a couple months, but nothing had changed. She picked me up Friday night at my aunt's house and we headed to Charlotte together.
We talked so much, we didn't even realize we'd gone past Charlotte to downtown Gastonia! Next thing you know, we were taking shots with one of our other friends from back home at Ink N Ivy, then Slate Billiards.
(Side note: Have you ever had a Green tea shot? We discovered them together Friday night, an they are not too shabby.)
The next morning, when the three of us were hungover beyond belief, and our bestie had to go to work, I thought, "Yep, nothing has changed." We laid around all day, the boyfriend grabbed us breakfast and the three of us hopped in an Uber together to head to Montford before the countdown.
After watching the first half of the Ohio State football game at Brazwell's, we walked (well, walked and complained of our feet hurting) to Barreled.
The familiar dim light and comfy couches welcomed us and we were placed in our section. VIP status, what what? We ordered a watermelon mint hookah, "the usual," and settled in for the long haul.
By the time the countdown began, I had abandoned my hangover and another was already settling in.
We grabbed a flute of champagne and cheered to yet another year of love, friendship and adventure.
Here's to making more memories in the QC this year!