Last Thursday, my girlfriend Hot Blonde had me into her salon. I went from a light caramel to a brunette. And I love it. She was completely right and I am getting so many compliments, even though it’s darker than my natural hair color.

After spending a couple of hours at her salon, where I’d only been for fashion week stuff, I have a whole new appreciation for her. She’s amazing. Truly. Successful business woman, excellent creative eye, and a genius at what she does.

Also, the whole thing cost me $53. Even without a haircut, I look better than I’ve looked since the summer.

Leaving her midtown salon, I decided to grab a bus back downtown but I got on the wrong one, with a sojourn through the super-upscale shopping district northwest of town. I got off the bus, and went to sephora for new foundation, which became a marginal nervous breakdown for me. My favorite foundation: $85 and they don’t carry it any more. My second favorite: $35 mineral stuff from philosophy.

Rather than buy it, I looked for something new, something better, something different.  I also knew I was close to the end on my makeup primer and my finishing powder, so a set might make sense.  I wanted to keep the price at about $35.

I bought a powder foundation that was a brilliant color match by a company I love, but I instantly hated it.  I felt it emphasized every wrinkle on my face and settled in to every scar.  I bought it with the understanding I could return it without a problem.

[I finally did on Tuesday night after really giving it a workout.  I had a $15 coupon on a purchase of $50 or more, so I ended up buying the $61 customized bareminerals Get Started kit.  It contained primer, finishing powder, three great brushes, their version of blush, plus a color matched powder.  I love it already.  I figured it would be worth it just for the brushes, but it looked great on my skin.  I also left with a huge sample of tinted moisturizer by a company called hourglass of which I’d never heard.  We did half of my face with each and I wore it all night. I was impressed with both.]

Eventually on Thursday, I made my way downtown to meet RA.  We were to go to a holiday party at a huge nightclub.  As soon as we parked, we knew we wanted to skip it.  We walked into an upscale sports bar, sat down, and realized if we were going to spend $8 a cocktail, we might as well go to the ultra-chic hotel bar we really love.

As we walked in, we bumped into two of my guy friends who I’ve known for like 8 years.  Both handsome and successful, but they’re like brothers to me.  After a few minutes, their friend the tech ceo who lives in a condo in this tower joined them.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I found him rather intriguing.  We already knew we loved this place, but hanging out with my friends, while chatting up very attractive men around the bar just makes us love it more.  We order steak frites to share at the bar and excellent cocktails.  It’s a splurge, but not a ridiculous one.  Also, RA picks up my check.  RA’s guy friend joins us here, picks up more drinks and we all end up sitting and chatting with random women chatting up the guys.  It’s an excellent party.

FM and his friend middle-aged dad want to show up to hang out but they hate this bar.    Middle-aged Dad is only two years older than I am, but he looks, acts, and is so much older.  Still FM adores him and he’s good friends with RA as well.  Instead, we leave to hit a lounge we all can agree on.  From there, we go off to karaoke.

At karaoke, things go completely off the rails.

Completely.

FM decides he’s in charge of ordering and we get late dinner and rounds of sake.  There are few people there, so we’re all singing a lot.  The next morning, I awoke on my sofa with the dog.  In between, I may have aggressively told FM to get the fuck over his unrequited crush on RA as we walked from her building to ours.  He then decided to call her (at 230 am) to find out if she’s actually dating her friend.  Then she yelled at me the next morning, hurt that I’d betrayed her trust.  Which I hadn’t.  Which I explained to her as delicately as I could without betraying FM’s trust.

[Yes, our world is very small.]

On Friday, I had a lunch meeting with BP and some business consultants who we want to hire to work with some of our clients.  It was a great meeting, despite my sake-drenched sleepless night.  From there, we grabbed barbecue at a famous spot where they comped our meal ($40 for two people) because I know them, then we had a meeting together, during which I texted BV and got an ambiguous response to a specific question, and then I took him to introduce him to the Chef.  He loved the Chef.  It was an amazing meeting.  I hugged him goodbye and we were both convinced that we will profit far more through our friendship than in any other way.

We headed back after that, as it was now close to 7.  I had a houseparty to go to with the Tattooed Brunette at my Brunch Date’s place.  (We long ago entered into friend zone.) This party turned out to be amazing, filled with awesome creative people, and lots and lots of wine and cheese.  New theory: men who are French, or who have spent long parts of their lives in France, throw the best parties.  I told Brunch Date we’d make game night happen regularly in their super-cool house.

It also gave TB and I a chance to catch up on romance matters.  We’re the same age, both single, and we have very similar views on relationships.  She’s just a great girl and we’ve become fast friends.  (She also managed through a makeup related freakout when my substandard foundation made me wash my face and start over as I was about to walk out of the door.)

On Saturday, FM got motivated to do things around the house, which included, putting up our Christmas tree.  That also meant I was posting photos as we were doing it and meant my cousins were commenting on the hottie.  It was cute.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was spent with SD, the Software Developer, and then later at TB’s art opening.

I have been keeping a low profile since Sunday night.  I stayed in on Monday.  I hung out with RA at my place for an hour on Tuesday morning, catching up.  Unlike most weeks, I skipped Tuesday night.  SD decided he needed to work late as he gets ready for his long weekend vacation.  I could have forced him out, but I needed to hit sephora and I figured I’d not guilt him into it, which he appreciated.  We’re all easily tempted to socialize when the pressure is on, and he was relieved when I told him I was out.

The end of the year is feeling like a bit of a lonely time with all of us traveling.  I am heading to see family for the holiday, sharing car-time with FM and the dog on the way there and flying back.  FM and SD will be driving back together for two days as an adventure, also with the dog.

Can you tell I am very concerned about the dog?

I have no plans for NYE, and, as I am not really dating anyone, I do not expect to.  My NYE preference was to spend the weekend with BV, possibly bringing the dog to his downtown tower so I didn’t have to come back to check on him.  But that was nearly two weeks ago, when we were still speaking.

Instead, as we are not speaking and my first call to him since Friday was not returned, I am dropping off a package at his building with a present I’d gotten for him the night we saw each other.  It’s something he’ll love, but it’s a very small thing.  I will leave it with his concierge so I no longer have to think about it on my bookshelf.

And later tonight, I will see PR, who may be pissed at me for bringing SD on Saturday, although the platonic-ness was the whole reason SD got the nod.  We shall see.

I feel really good about a lot of things in my life and I am trying hard to not focus on the horribleness that I have to manage my way through.  Fortunately, all managing through the horrible takes is money and I am confident that within a few weeks, money will be easier to come by.

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