The next morning my roommate and I were sitting in his mother's kitchen drinking coffee and nursing another in a series of hangovers. His sister, who also lived in San Francisco, was also spending the holidays in Ludlow, staying with her in laws. She came into the kitchen with the local Kentucky newspaper. "Have you boys seen the paper this morning" she asked as she dropped it on the table in front of us. On the front page was an aerial photo of our neighborhood in San Francisco totally blacked out. Apparently fierce Pacific storms had come through knocking out the power in several areas, our neighborhood included. We had a third roommate living with us, however, by this time he and his boyfriend were supposed to be away from our flat on their own family Christmas visit.
After several calls, friends assured me that there had been no looting, we lived in an area best described as "edgy", and our flat was secure. One friend even drove by it to make sure. What we didn't know was that our third roommate's trip had been delayed a couple of days and he and his boyfriend had been there the entire time. They even entertained friends with dinner by candlelight the night of the blackout.
As it was the holiday season there was gift shopping to be done. My roommate, at a total loss, had settled on a nightgown for his mother. We went to the lingerie department at Cincinnati's major department store. My roommate said to the saleswoman, "My mother is short and really, really fat. I was considering giving her a nightgown." After showing us several options, none of which seemed to be "it". We decided to take a time out and have lunch; with cocktails. During lunch, the light bulb went off and I suggested drinking glasses as she had been complaining all week about how many she managed to break. We headed to the housewares department where he purchased a large box containing sets of several varieties of glasses. He reported to me later that on Christmas morning they were well received. On our way back to his mother's home I bought a poinsettia as a thank you/Christmas gift for her. It was also well received.
On my final night we went our drinking, again.
The next day my roommate, who was staying on with his family through the holidays, dropped me off at the airport. I returned home on Christmas Eve, contemplating the unemployment which faced me at the dawn of the New Year.