7/30/11

This Guy.

In a week when every minor detail seemed to run itself into the ground, I was reminded that I got one major detail right. 

This guy came through. 
And I love him very much. 

7/27/11

What I Love About New York: Part 6

 littles who watch street performers. 
 the bethesda fountain.
 the mall.
 old government buildings.
 peck slip. 
 the view from south street seaport.
 the brooklyn bridge.
how intense I look in this photo.
which really has nothing to do with new york.

hope you had a lovely wednesday! 

7/25/11

Hey there, Monday. Back so soon?

A recent conversation with husband: 

Me: So, at work I heard that they allow and encourage transfers to other branches after you've been working for a while - like to Chicago and Seattle and Paris.
Husband: Paris?
Me: Yes, and I'm thinking that might be nice. Don't you? (silence) It would be especially nice in like 10 years when our kids are starting school. (silence) Everyone I've met who started school in a foreign country seems very well adjusted.
Husband: How would I work in Europe?
Me: You can still sell pharmaceuticals in Europe.
Husband: Yeah, I guess.
Me: I'm just saying we shouldn't rule it out.
Husband: Yeah, I guess. (silence) No, I'm going to rule it out. Because our families would hate it if we moved to Europe. And I would hate it. And our kids would hate it.
Me: You can't decide what our kids would hate.
Husband: Yes, I can. What kid wants to move to another country?
Me: I would've.
Husband: Yeah, and you also wore giant owl glasses and played with Furbies.

Clearly, husband and I argue about stupid things when we're stressed. But this weekend was our much-needed escape. And we're back - refreshed and raring to go.

This week I need to:
1. Find an apartment. For real this time.
2. Sell the car. For real this time.
3. Finish up last minute plans for the benefit concert on Sunday.
4. Work like a crazy person in my second-to-last week as a summer intern.
5. Run in the park because my gym membership expired. Boo.
6. Eat less of the pastries that are set out in the lobby at work.
7. Call my friends and my sister.
8. Fold every piece of clothing that we own.
9. Hug husband every five minutes because he is the most patient man alive.

Happy Monday!

7/23/11

Why We Need Weddings.

(Part 3 of Rachel's wedding series)

I stopped believing that my home dynamic would ever change when I got to college.

Mostly because, each time that I had feared the sudden shift in my home life, it hadn’t come – my 10th birthday when I mourned the loss of my childhood, when I entered high school and became convinced that I would then be different, when my sister went off to college and I saw my father cry for the first time.

And when I went off to school, despite my fears of leaving home, I stopped preparing myself for the dreaded dynamic shift. I stopped crying about it and reading about it and talking to friends about it because the very idea adopted a mythical quality – a story that you tell to children as they’re growing up to keep them from touching a hot stove.

I went home and ate with five family members around our dinner table. I went on “Mommy dates” well beyond the age when I stopped referring to my mother as “Mommy”. I refused to believe that any holiday traditions would ever be uprooted by change.

And I think that’s why it hit me so hard after my sister’s wedding, as she and her husband ran between a string of sparkler-waving guests toward a car that would take them home. But not to my home.

It was a moment that I wanted to be prepared for, and I wasn’t. I remember crying hardcore on my grandmother’s shoulder as they drove away – the MOH who just can’t get it together. I hope no one saw. Mid-sob, I don’t think I cared if they did.

So when the time came for my own wedding, and my friends’ weddings after me, I adopted a new reverence for the event. Not just because two souls are joined and sealed by a God who loves and blesses, but because we gather to celebrate a distinct change. The change that gives us a new family unit and matures our relationship with the old.
 
One of the lessons from my parents that I’ve held to is that we should be wary of comfort. That, yes, we should return home and take time out of our lives to rest, but that we should recognize those times when we have become stagnant. Movement, growth, change are all necessary to our relationships and to our own sense of self. 
That’s why we need weddings. Not just because they celebrate the two entering into a union, but because they represent, for myself and for many of my friends, the first life change that we choose for ourselves – the choice to love, to serve and to honor one person through all of the changes that follow. 

7/21/11

Why We Need Rehearsal Dinners.

(and sleepovers with our bridesmaids)
so that we can give personalized gifts to the women that we love in small packages stamped with their initials. 
while eating homemade waffles.
and hearing about how a certain bridesmaid purchased her dress in the wrong color. 
(but was then saved by another bridesmaid who had two dresses)
to enjoy the beauty and comfort of family and friends. 


 to run in the ocean with friends.
 and fiance.
 to share excitement.
and dance in the parking lot, late into the night. 

for those of you just stepping in (welcome!) this is a documentation of the lovely wedding of one of my dearest friends, Rachel Sara. 
Whose wedding saga will end with part 3 (tomorrow or Saturday). 

7/19/11

Why We Need Bachelorette Parties.

Part 1:
The Bachelorette Party

because we need to be reminded that we are loved and understood by other women. 
that we are surrounded by hearts that know us and arms that fit our waists. 
that we have sisters who will miss us. 
and friends who will tell us not to take ourselves too seriously. 
that life is full of laughter, hope and beauty.
 that there are lovely words to write, small secrets to share and happy tears to cry.
 and orange sleeping bags to wrap ourselves in and rest among eleven other sleeping bodies. 

7/18/11

A Case for Wedding Tradition.

Our weddings are deeply rooted in tradition. Even for the non-traditional, elements of nuptial history find their way in, demanding “something borrowed and something blue” for reasons that many of us have forgotten - if we’d ever heard in the first place.

But it goes beyond the mantra. We exchange rings, toss the bouquet, throw bridal showers, dance the dance and walk down an aisle toward a waiting bridal party and smiling groom.

When you think about it in terms of ritual, in terms of a day like many others during which we choose to participate in activities otherwise ludicrous, weddings seem unreal – vestiges of a past that we’ve otherwise grown out of. Those green frog socks from fifth grade that you continue to wear, simply because they’re comfortable.

And then there are weddings that remind you why so many of these pre-marital behaviors exist. In a way, they’re sacred. They’ve withstood the test of time because they symbolize something that still holds true for us.

I was honored to be a part of a wedding of this sort over the weekend.

So I will make a case for these traditions, in three parts, because I think my dear friend Rachel handled them all so beautifully.

Starting tomorrow. 

7/15/11

This time, I am the maid.

 You'll have to excuse me until Monday. 
Roles will be reversed - I have the privilege of helping my dear friend Rachel on her special day.
She'll be wearing white. 
And I'll be the one holding back tears of happiness (which I don't do very well).
Photos to come!

7/14/11

One Reason to Go Home.

I spend a good deal of my time riding public transportation. Up and down Lexington, across Midtown, to the bottom of this overcrowded island and back again. And I don't mind it, for the most part. I prefer the subway to the bus, but I'll take either - as long as I have a book and an iPod along for the journey.

I like my solitude, my time to think about where I've come from and where I'm going. I like the gentle sway of stopping and going, doors closing and opening. I like observing other New Yorkers, tourists, foreigners, school children, businessmen, babies as they rest on their mother's arms. It often amuses me to watch people in a hurry - racing to catch a train that will only be followed in a few minutes by another. I love being surrounded by other bodies with places to go, purposeful directions and differing lives.
Last time I was living in the city, I got used to being alone. I slept alone, ate alone, went on runs in the park alone and traveled from place to place with my solitary reasons. And though my time spent on public transportation made me very much a part of the crowd, I remember it as the loneliest part of my day. This week, with husband in Connecticut, I am back in that place. By the end of the day, I hunger for human connection - more than that of a brushed elbow or accidental eye contact.

And so when I was asked today if I would spend the rest of my life in New York City, I could only answer "maybe". Because, for as many reasons as I have to love this beautiful city, there is one that keeps me from breaking all ties to suburban life.
I miss the familiar, comfortable connection that I have with my family. And they are more than worth the two hour Metro-North ride "home".

7/12/11

Philadelphia.

Banana Nutella.
National Mechanics in the Old City for brunch. Highly recommended. 
When we were about 10 miles outside of Philadelphia on Saturday, husband rolled down the windows of our car and asked/yelled, 
"DO YOU HEAR THE BELL? DO YOU SMELL THE CHEESESTEAK?"
And that, my friends, is why I married the man.

So we stayed overnight after the wedding and toured Philadelphia on Sunday.
It was nice. Nice in the way that any other American city can be nice after living in Manhattan.
Nice because Reading Terminal Market is basically an indoor fairground (=sweet).
Nice because it boasts wonderful history and a pretty bell.
Nice because hello! the crepes at Profi's Creperie are delicious. 
Nice because a local restaurant would deliver cheesesteaks to our hotel room after midnight (ew, gross. did we do that? for shame.)

But also not so nice because of...
$2 fees to see Benjamin Franklin's grave (eternal resting places should be free).
Tour guides who harassed us about buying their wares at every turn (and I promise we didn't scream "tourist". I wasn't wearing my fanny pack, I swear).
A certain historical documentary in the visitor center that featured none other than Kristen Bell. And ohhh heavens was she slummin' it in this film. This was a production fail of epic proportions. (Actually putting this in the "nice" category. A- for entertainment value). 

We did enjoy our time in the city of brotherly love. Definitely worth seeing at least once. 
If you do visit, eat at Profi's. It's good for the soul.