They say that March is the cruelest month. They say it comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. They say beware the Ides of March. With the staggering snowfalls we’ve gotten this year, all the cold mad winter hatters still snuggled up hope March will get here. Whether you fall in the mad hatter or wishing March here camp, we all can agree that there is a lovely looking glass effect that affects us in a positive way when spring gets sprung.
March, for me, no longer is the month of toy soldiers or Julius Caesar thrice refusing the kingly crown. March is no longer about having my face match my shirt after drinking far too many green St. Paddy’s day beers. Although I am still advocating for a national holiday, March is no longer about the madness that ensues once the college hoopsters are selected to the tourney. For this Gatsby, March will always be the month I met my Daisy.
Nick, you know that most springs and summers I am out most nights, frolicking from event to event. To me, the Providence Preservation Society Bash is the bat signal that shines across the cold night of winter warning warmer weather to wake up and show herself. It is the first big fun party of the year where everyone gets out and shakes off the winter blues and dances the night away. The reasonable ticket price ($30 until March 7) makes it accessible to everyone, and a wonderfully diverse cross section of lords and ladies (but not that lady Lorde) mix and mingle. Last year, I came to the party ready to mingle, but left no longer wanting to be single.
Last year the theme was Second Chance Prom. I liked the theme, thinking it was something that folks found nostalgic, and those who had horrible high schools had their second chance. As accessible themes go, prom is a good one. Take it from this Gatsby, even I am growing tired of the roaring ’20s in the recession 2000s. So, psyched for a fun night, I figured I would invite some of my closest Facebook friends to a prom pre-party. I invited everyone who clicked “yes” on the Facebook invitation page, bought a case of champagne and waited for the fun to unfurl.
But you remember me in those days, Nick. I was living the life of the carousing bachelor, and I was up toasting the dawn on the day of the event. By the time guests began rolling in, I was still nursing a hangover. With a bunch of friends and strangers in my house, I wanted to emulate my namesake and take in the party far from the festivities in the west wing. I was doing my best, when one of the guests noticed a trend. All of the guests were women. My pre-party was all women and me. While my friend Arnold Rothstein always taught me to stack the odds in my favor if I could, this was strictly happenstance. So there I stood, the lone dude in a room full of 15 dames. Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you, my friend, that it was a problem I was happy to suffer through.
My head still throbbing from the night/ morning prior, my rocks glass was filled with bourbon as the Sallies sipped champagne. A lovely lady in a tight dress and ponytail slid next to where I had propped myself against the kitchen counter. Looking at my glass, she harkened for some harder hooch. I poured her a glass. I will never forget the first thing she said to me. I complimented her dress, and her retort made me laugh out loud. While I am shy to share what she said, I was immediately smitten. As the party time approaches, we all raised our glasses one last time to toast a great night and my good fortune to have such a harem.
I followed Daisy around the party like a lost puppy trying to find its way home. I thought I was cool, breezy, aloof, but I think she knew, especially when I offered to escort her to the restrooms, holding her drink and purse while she navigated the not quite completed commodes at the Providence G. I took a detour from doting long enough to dance, and laugh and sing all the words to “Scenario” by Tribe Called Quest, but always somehow found my way back to where Daisy had dropped her anchor. She was smart and funny with a wicked wit, and she was as beautiful as you imagine spring will be after a long cold winter. A year and many layers later, I can say that my first impressions still ring true. She is the love of my life, and I feel I owe a little bit to the second chance prom and the Providence Preservation Society for giving this confirmed bachelor a brand new life and someone wonderful to share it with.
I was never shy about asking for a woman’s number, but the night got away from me, and I never did get Daisy’s digits. As I sat back at home among the empty glasses and bottles, trying to devise a way to not-so-accidentally meet her again, my text message lit up. One of my friends had snapped a picture of Daisy and me and sent it. I never asked if she had ESP or if my intentions were that transparent, but instead responded, “Thank you for this picture. I think Daisy is really great and would like to ask her out. Could you please forward her number?” Minutes that seemed like hours passed without a response, so I picked my phone back up staring at it, trying to command a reply with my mind. It was then that I noticed another, strange number CC’ed on the text message. It was Daisy. I don’t want to bore you with what happened next, but suffice to say it has worked out wonderfully.
If you’d like to meet your own Daisy, or Gatsby, the PPS Prom is on March 29 this year. For tickets, click here: http://www.ppsri.org/events/view/95. If you make it, please come by and say hello. I certainly have a lot to celebrate, especially the first of hopefully many happy years with the love of my life. Until then, old sport.