Sloane Crosley’s take on an old tradition.
First, allow me to commend you on being the world’s most successful technophobe. To run your entire operation from the North Pole without e-mail or text, relying only on sacks of mail and communiqués from elves? It’s impressive stuff. Way to unplug. Which brings me, quite smoothly, I might add, to my wish list for this holiday season. At the very top of that list is a meditation retreat. May I have one of those please? Perhaps somewhere like Uruguay or Santa Fe. And I’m not just listing places because they rhyme. I’m doing it because they’re a good time. Damn it, I’ve done it again.
The point is, this has been quite a stressful year for everyone down south, and I, for one, need to relax. Perhaps you can send a spare sleigh to whisk me to somewhere remote with a sensory deprivation tank and rose petal lattes and bergamot-scented toilet paper? Someplace with vegan French toast in the shape of my grandmother’s soul and sheets from Chanel, even though I’m pretty sure they don’t make bedding. The more removed from reality, the better. And I’m no snob, Nick. May I call you Nick? We don’t have to go the rarified route. A few years ago, I spent all night at a bar in Mount Shasta, California, where I drank whiskey after a day of hiking with friends, and I lost at cards (because I was drunk) and won at pool (because I was drunk). If you could somehow get me back to that place, Santa, physically, mentally and chronologically, that would be worth a thousand deep tissue earlobe massages.
I realize you’re not Father Time. Nor are you a genie. Not to critique your figure, but no one who subsists on that many sugar cookies can fit into a lamp. And if you were a genie, I’d just ask you to free all political prisoners and journalists abroad and be done with it. But you are in a unique position, Nicky boy. You do not accept prayers and wishes, humanitarian as they might be, but requests for things. So, what are the things I want this Christmas? Well, if a glamorous retreat and time travel are off the table, I suppose what I really want is for someone to come to my house and tell me what to wear. Not to edit my closet or advise me on what to buy, but to literally show up every few days and lay out my clothing. Like a meal plan but for a child. I’m serious. I’ve wanted this for a really long time. Because do I own sleek, sporty pants? Yes. And do I own brightly colored jackets? Sure. But I have zero knack for putting outfits together. I leave the house in the same boring jeans-and-T-shirt uniform just about every day.
This may not seem like a problem for someone who lives in the middle of nowhere and owns at least 10 of the same red suits. But Nick, I live in Manhattan, a densely populated island of connected women who look like a million bucks, and so this is what I want for Christmas: to either take a break from the world or look just a little better in it. Dealer’s choice.
PS: I’m Jewish. We still good?
Sloane Crosley is the author of the novel The Clasp and two books of essays, How Did You Get This Number and I Was Told There’d Be Cake. Her new collection of essays, Look Alive Out There, is out this April.