The Hamptons

The New Year Stranger

I opted out of the party circuit for New Year’s Eve so I could devote myself to being designated driver for the evening and the kids could have their fun. I have to say I was feeling a little sorry for myself but the snowy weather and icy roads helped alleviate those pangs of poor-lonely-me-on-new-years-eve-ALL-BY-MYSELF emotions…not a feeling I was familiar with at all. I think that this was perhaps my first ever stay at home on new year’s eve when everyone else was battling the arctic blast to ring in the new year triumphantly. At least that’s the way the tv made it appear ; )

So this single mom braved it and took my daughter to her friend’s house and then headed home thinking I had fairly good navigational sensors…but I took a right instead of left and all of a sudden found myself in a mini blizzard up in the hills of Shinnecock Golf Club where the wind was whipping the snow around in blinding circles and because it was so dark it really looked unfamiliar to me. I had to drive all the way up the winding road to the clubhouse before I could figure out where the heck I was – thankfully it restored my confidence that went out the window with OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO BE STUCK OUT HERE ALL MYSELF AND I DIDN’T BRING MY CELL PHONE!

Once I was back in familiar territory it was kind of fun being out in our second snow storm of the season and being the ONLY one out on the back roads…except for the deer who seemed to be loving it all just as much. Of course then came the images of “a deer accident”, another every day threat around these parts!!

Where we live is in the middle of nowhere. There are two routes to get in – one by the beach way for which you need four wheel drive and the other through the woods. I had a hell of time finding it when I went to look at it for rent and I think I was probably the ONLY person who found it so it was a score. I opted for the woodsy way and noticed a taxi pulling off our road (the part of it that’s populated) and thought hmm, well that’s good there are taxis for tonight in case I opt out of designated driver duty : )

I was pulling down the road towards the end whereupon I came across a man in my driveway on foot here in the middle of nowhere. I was trying to decide if I get out of the car or not as my ex had just informed me to make sure to keep all our doors locked since there had been a break-in at the only other house on our less traveled path.

What in God’s name is a man doing out here on foot with a backpack on?

I decided to brave it and go for the front door quickly when he started walking towards me yelling out loudly “Do you know where 28 Something Road is?” I was startled by his loud voice and his hurried walk towards me but figured I didn’t have enough time to run for the door and swung around casually asking loudly “WHAT?” buying a little more time to see if I could figure out a familiar or at least friendly face under the hat pulled half way down his face. Once he did get close enough I saw all the techie ware – the ipod hooked to his ears under his cap and the iphone in the palm of his shivering hand. Poor chap was dialing for help because he was more scared then I was being in the middle of NOWHERE – he actually looked a bit petrified : )

Apparently the taxi thought it was the right road but refused to go any further then my driveway so dropped him off there and he thought he’d “just walk up the road a bit” to find it. Little did he know that the taxi driver was right and you do need the right gear for mustering the icy puddles and maybe even a flashlight so you can see your way through the reeds that lead to a private beach. If you hang a left – AND that’s if there are lights on in the houses to let you know there is a left – there are people and even a main road…BUT if I was on foot and had never walked that road I would say his situation would feel a lot more perilous and scary then mine was just minutes before in the old, hauntingly dark hills of Shinnecock! I could see it written all over his face.

I wanted to be “kind” on this eve of the new year so greeted him with warmth but also thinking I am NOT letting him into the house if he asks to make a call! Yes I grew up in NYC and I don’t trust that line. Then I realized after a couple of minutes of chatting with him that it is freakin’ FREEZING outside and that the nice thing to do would be to invite him into my car (not such a brilliant move after my first notion). He seemed quite eager to get out of the cold and thrilled that he was not stuck all alone  anymore and kept thanking me for “saving” him. He gingerly handed me his iphone to speak to his friend for further directions to where he was really trying to go – A PARTY!!

I thought he just wanted a lift down the road but it turned out it was altogether another road entirely – similar name but about 2 miles north. I took him though since he had now peaked my interest! Along the way he explained that he’d just gotten off the train from Manhattan and was trying to get to his friends but was absolutely lost once he was left at my driveway. He had his iphone but didn’t even know where to begin to tell them to find him. There were no road signs and our house was the only one with lights on – but of course “I” was out on the road lost in my own scenario. No small wonder why he repeatedly thanked me for saving him. It was funny to hear those words “saved me” – on my front lawn.  At least I wasn’t the only scaredy cat in the hamptons : )

His friend happily vouched for my passenger’s trustworthiness and steered us towards his house with better directions. Upon arrival we found a brightly lit house with holiday lights and a bunch of friendly people waving madly through the picture window. They all begged me to come in for a drink and I was dying to go in but I had already made my decision to be designated driver – and this party looked like WAY too much fun for me to not have a drink or two. It would have been really nice though to make some new friends on the eve of 2009 especially when they were so warm and enthusiastic. Those are my kind of people!!

So Fitz…wherever you are now – maybe Madison Avenue or 3rd…I drove home and walked into the house and said CRAP I should really turn around and get right back into the car and go back to the PARTY instead of sitting here by myself.

I hope it was a good one!!

…happy 2009 everyone… thehamptons.com lifeguard stand

January 2nd, 2009 Posted by | guest bloggers | no comments

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