By Gregory Jacobs-Roseman (Composer-Lyricist)
Happy Cinco de July-o!
What’s that? You haven’t heard of Cinco de July-o? Well, that’s probably because I made it up. (And here's proof on an old blog of mine that I had before I joined Crazytown which I have since abandoned.)
Back in 2006 – long before we were all introduced to “Cinco de Cuatro” – my best friend and fag hag (read: unhealthily-attached-at-the-hip-co-dependent-other-half. You may have heard I wrote a musical about it) Mary Ann and I were somewhat hungover the day after our 4th of July festivities. I can’t remember what exactly we did that year for the 4th, but this was 2006, so there was a good chance we destroyed ourselves on Roosevelt Island with our friends Nikki and Kevin. Long story short (or as Mary Ann would always say: “short story long”) we were hurtin’ something bad, so we did what any normal 23-year-old New York theatre kids would do: we went to Blockheads to drink more.
Rachel, Mary Ann, and myself at Blockheads in 2006. Back when they still used glassware. This was not taken on Cinco de July-o. We went there a lot, and still do. Also we've all very celarly lost weight since these photos. Suck it, aging.
At about our third margarita in, we came up with the idea of naming the 5th of July “Cinco de July-o.” I can’t remember exactly what prompted this Lucille Bluth-esque idea. It sort of happened organically. Because we were 23 and SO CLEVER you guys.
We decided would mark it every year by drinking margaritas to cure our hangovers. We proudly proclaimed that if anyone could make this fake holiday a thing, we could. We tried to spread it around – my friend Mariana, a native Puerto Rican ('Wow. That does not sound right.') asked me “why not call it ‘cinco de julio?’” to which we replied: “you CLEARLY don’t get it” in a judgey tone. Again, we were 23 and again I must stress that we were just the CLEVEREST.
Mary Ann and I were “Judy and Elaine” back then. I was Judy Garland – for obvious (read: GAY) reasons. She was Elaine Stritch because the two had the whole Catholic thing in common. (I had never seen Mary Ann more blown away than the night we watched the DVD of Elaine Stritch At Liberty together.)
I sort of miss those days during my early years in the city. I don’t miss being 23, but I do miss the carefree attitude with which we lived our lives. I moved here in May of 2005, and my first couple of years here in New York were kind of a shitshow. I was in graduate school through 2007, so basically that time was an extension of college. There were constant all-nighters that were completely unplanned. We drank – oh God how we drank. I’m still what some (read: everyone) would call a heavy drinker, but compared to how I drank in my early 20’s I might as well be a teetotaler.
It was a time where the idea of a “career” was some distant notion – some unknowable amorphous thing that would happen sometime in the future. It wasn’t for “now.” “Now” was for closing down the bar at 4am then walking the streets of Manhattan until dawn. Now was for inappropriate hook-ups and flings. Now was for gathering together to don plastic masks and ironically toast Phantom’s record-breaking amount of performances (see above). Now was for wearing wigs and hats and dancing in the living room, or stripping down to our underwear and taking a “band photo” (see below). Now was for taking a bubble bath in the middle of a party in a bathroom filled with people smoking weed. Now was for sleeping through a flight to a wedding and suffering the consequences. Now was for living and making stories what we’d be able to tell once we did finally settle down.
In the end we all have to grow up sooner or later. Mary Ann moved back to Boston and is getting married in the fall. I’m finally starting to coddle together some semblance of a theatre career. But I think it’s important to have a carefree moment every now and then. To truly live life instead of just get through it. And that’s what I think Cinco de July-o should be all about.
Today I encourage you to let loose a little bit. Even if it’s just for a few hours. Have a margarita and truly enjoy it. Savor it. Think about how delicious it is and how truly lucky and blessed you are to be alive in this world at this time to taste it and experience it. That’s what it’s all about.
I wish you all a happy Cinco de July-o! Life is for living.
GREGORY JACOBS-ROSEMAN is a composer/lyricist and theatrical sound designer. His musical Save The Date: A New Musical Wedding Comedy will premiere in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. www.savethedatemusical.com
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