Tag Archives: Cablevision

My Boozy Valentine’s: Keeping It in the Family

16 Feb

It Can Always Be Worse

Yesterday was post-Valentine’s Day, the aptly named Hump Day for those of you not occupying your local Wall Street! As you woke up from your chocolate/obligatory sex hangover (or that pitcher of loneliness and vodka punch you brewed after falling asleep in front of a Glee/New Girl double feature…or whatever you kids TiVo these days), I reflected on an epic Tuesday night spent with my greatest current love…my parents. In the spirit of cheese and alternative interpretations of Valentine’s (read: I don’t have a date and want to have a normal Tuesday, except everything I do will be interpreted as an attempt to compensate for not having a date and feigning indifference even though my soul is crying, but I really truly don’t care even though I can’t definitively prove it to the world and damn it there’s no winning here) …where was I? Oh yeah, so I decided to  invite my parents to the movies. For one, I felt bad about neglecting them of late (full disclosure: like any good Russian Jew, I live in the same county as Mom and Dad), plus my dad has had some tough medical issues to deal with in the short term, so I decided a little quality time was in order.

Of course, Tuesdays means Optimum Rewards Day for Mom and Dad (apparently Cablevision/Optimum entice customers by giving away movie tickets for Tuesday matinees), so I decided to take them up on a long-standing offer to use one and finally see The Descendants. I sprinted from my office, high atop MSG, while the latest episode of Linsanity  heroics was streaming live from Toronto, to Clearview Chelsea Cinemas. With only minutes until previews began, my dad was sweetly waiting by the ticket taker with my comp ticket. I grabbed it and advised him of the “will call” option. We entered a barely half-full theater (the beauty of an early-evening show on a random weeknight). My parents reserved two short rows (including a full row just to myself). I was told to sit in the corner with the boys (my dad and his friend Ed). My offer to go buy some popcorn was immediately waived off. Mom and Dad smiled slyly at each other.

“Trust me,” their faces said in unison.

I complied and sat down. As soon as the lights dimmed and the first trailer lit the screen bright green, an unidentified hand proffered a foil-wrapped package over my shoulder. I wasn’t there to ask questions, especially when starving. The package revealed a cheese sandwich. Next came a little squeeze bottle of Purell®. Wrong  sequence, I thought, bits of whole wheat and Danish cheese falling from my mouth, but again I dared not question it. I scarfed down the cheese sandwich and had my next question answered before I completed the thought as another foil package was extended to me—this time it was a delicious chicken cutlet with a sweet honey glaze. Then I heard Ed’s voice summoning me from behind:

“Cognac or vodka?”

Now, normally, this is a very welcome ritual, and a familiar one from several yacht outings I’ve been invited to by my dad and his friend. But I’d never expected him to bring a portable bar to the movies. Suddenly my mom’s guilty smiles and broken insinuations upon entering made sense. I refused but Ed wasn’t having it. I wondered if I’d been assigned to the men’s corner to normalize this behavior. Without hesitation, I took the rather elegant shot glass and downed what turned out to be a pretty damn rarefied and tasty cognac (and I’m no fiend). Ed was ready to pour another but I preempted him, prompted by visions of narcolepsy cutting short a movie I actually wanted to be awake for.

I’m not sure what happened behind me for the next 2 hours. Suffice it to say I’d be shocked if Dad and Ed had any intention to come home with cognac in their pockets. Toward the end of this somewhat underwhelming Alexander Payne flick, I heard some sobs from the back and thought they were coming from Ed. It turned out to be my poor dad. When we left, my mom was visibly upset and scolded both me and herself for bringing someone about to undergo neurosurgery to a movie whose plot surrounds a woman vegetating in a hospital. “At least it wasn’t a documentary about tumors,” I unhelpfully offered.

Complimenting the child actors’ performances, we walked out into another cold New York evening, and strolled leisurely toward the subway past half-empty restaurants, against a stream of rushing girls, faces glued to their smartphones, and dudes last-minute-shopping for sex-salvaging flowers.