I'm comfortable in a world where the usual tragedies and wars and fights and terrors happen in a place where survival, food, shelter, are not the issue, but the pain and fear and ugliness are exactly the same. If you had no material worries in this world, you'd still feel fucked up and weird and wild the majority of the time, because people fuck each other up regardless. And that means we're all equal, and all equally fucked up on Christmas, which is why nothing Dan pulls is really that awesome to me, but also not that big a deal to me. He appalls me a lot of the time, but I can't get too exercised about it, because he's asking the right questions about the wrong stuff. It's just privileging one kind of pain over another kind of pain, and I cannot abide that: you will never get anywhere in the scale of compassion until you disregard that particular money-related criterion. Pain is the asymptote and we're all trying to angle our way away from it. Like how the real similarity between E and B, or you and me, is Eleanor's ability to turn universal truth into a powerful weapon: "Friends don't steal other friends' husbands." And at this, Roman is sad, but not too sad, because Roman knows about burlesque. Whether it's the world of money you're getting excluded from, or the world of love between two people, as in Eleanor's case, you have two options: get over it and let Serena buy you dinner, or a watch or whatever, or freak. Go for the Silver Fox or let yourself dangle uselessly from your totally gay husband. Either way, your happiness is at stake, and either way, you're the one doing it.
Sorry. You know who looks great? Blair. She's wearing a cute oldster white dress, and an insane red velvet headband that looks like a crostini. And what she's doing, speaking of her mom and her various friends and lovers, is trying to track down Nate (Harold), to see if Chuck (Roman) called him yet. "Did Nate say where he was going? No, no, don't disturb Mrs. Archibald [further]. Um, I'm sure he's on his way here now. All right. Thank you." No he's not, and you know that. But it's Blair, and she's just retreating to knowns. Sure, her dad might be world-destroyingly gay, and her mom might be freakishly okay with that while simultaneously freakishly not okay with that, and sure, her quasi-BF might have disappeared once again, along with his BFF, but in doubt, assemble the knowns.
Eric, Vanessa and Serena are all cuddled up doing...shudder...crafts on Blair's bed. Already the Brooklynization of Serena has begun. Get that glue gun away from her before she graduates to knitting! "Dorota's gonna kill you if you get glue on that comforter," Blair intones, and Serena apologizes for turning her room into an "art studio." Oh God, the horror I felt when she said those words. This has the stink of Abrams all over it. Vanessa finds something on the internet that causes Eric (don't you miss Eric?) to giggle and Serena to gush all over her about "how amazing Vanessa" and "thank you Vanessa" and "you're a true friend Vanessa" and all the other phrases that tell you Serena has had enough to drink. Blair goes from happy to suspicious in the time it takes Vanessa to say, "Good. I'm glad I could help. I think he'll really love it!" Like...I love Leighton Meester. It's literally like two different people are operating her face sometimes. She goes from beaming with Serena-love to Destructive War God in five seconds, and nobody sees it. "Vanessa? I think I'd like to help with this little project. Would you come and help me find another pair of scissors?" It's like she's talking in all-caps and bolded, but still with a huge smile on her face. I got goosebumps. Vanessa also gets those -- and again, to her credit, she takes it in stride, with a not-showy rolling of the eyes and a parallel shrug, as though mentally saying to herself, "I might die in the next three minutes, but by God Dan will have his Christmas miracle" -- before rolling off the bed and into B's bathroom. The About To Get Fucking Awesome Meter shoots up to a nine of ten, or what we call a Mean Girl Orange Alert.