That Damn Coffeeshop, at night. Serena approaches Vanessa's jigowatt smile with quote "hat in hand, tail between my legs and off [her] high horse," and Vanessa smiles down at her from her own horse. "I spent the entire day searching for the perfect gift for Dan. Now all the stores are closing, Christmas day is looming, and, um... I need your help." I love this: "Turns out I can't even pretend to know what self-important poor people are into, and you're the most self-important, and the poorest, so let's do this." Vanessa allows as how she could take this opportunity to gloat, but won’t, which is kind of like taking that opportunity squared, but does at least inject into her passive-aggressive one-upmanship that she likes Serena, which is a step toward her salvation. "I found a first edition J.L. Hall book, an original Italian poster of The 400 Blows, and a Montblanc fountain pen." All of which, V agrees, are very thoughtful -- and they are, I mean, Truffaut's self-important phallocentrism is what Humphrey Men are made of, along with snips and snails and speeches, second only to Rabbit Angstrom himself -- but all of which exceed by some large amount $50. Which is dumb, because I mean, Serena can at least count, and all three of those are perfect gifts, so WTF, but Vanessa gets right the fuck in there with the irritating: "Right. Well, Dan's not really that into 'things.'" Right? So fuck it. Give me a grocery bag, some Cray-Pas and twenty minutes and I'll have you begging for actual "things."
Eleanor Waldorf, full of gifts and smiles and welcome, kissy-kisses all the grownups in the world not named Humphrey to her wonderful -- and Underpants-Branded -- Christmas soirée. She talks up the Underpants Tree with its Underpants-Branded lipstick ornaments, barf, and offers eggnog. Meanwhile, Lily is receiving a call from that Rufus. "Hey," he says, "It's me." She's superbly noncommittal as he admits that the whole running-into-each other thing at the Constance Billard Loom and Churn Festival was weird, and she agrees, "Especially after our last phone call." She reminds him, though that call was totally sublime, that they're not allowed to talk...BUT, if there's something he's got to say, in his adorable man-child way, he should go ahead and say that. "Is there something you want me to say?" he asks, earning himself a punch in the face. She asks him to be a grownup instead, all, "Okay, pussy, why are you calling?" and he biffs it, wishing her a happy holiday. No nookie for you. You had me, and you lost me. Lily lies and says she's flying to Anguilla with Bart immediately, for sex and presents, and he can languish in his wussy life forever. Immediately after hanging up on his ruthlessly sackless ass, she's like, "Blurg. Anguilla. What is the matter with me?" I think it's Random Urchin Friendly/Unmanly Syndrome, myself, for which the only cure is Husband Number Five. That might actually kill him.