Archive for the ‘Blabbering’ Category

proof of awfulness
October 9, 2012

Friday night was supposed to be a date night.

It was supposed to be fancy and romantic and take place downtown, across the Brooklyn bridge, over tapas, somewhere other than my living room.

There were plans. But, then again, plans are really always hypothetical, especially when brainstormed in front of your office computer at 4 p.m. on a Friday. And plans don’t take well to hefty home-bound pours of hard cider and the nachos that inevitably follow.

By 7 p.m. I was spinning around my living room in short shorts and an Oxford shirt just one (ok, maybe three) buttons shy of propriety, boogying down in the exuberant yet thoroughly awkward  way that is my jam, belting out Robyn and beckoning Meg over to help me finish the bottle.

By 8 p.m., Dave was shlepping his thoroughly sloshed wife (life-long commitment is even more adorable when there’s booze involved, people) not down to Tertulia or Marlow & Sons but up, five flights, to the place of a guy that he works with.

Fun fact: said guy, and his girlfriend, are friends with a former Bachelorette (the ABC kind, not the “we ate some Mexican apps and went to Rubix Cube kind,” though the latter was, indeed, a blast) and they had just been invited to said Bachelorette’s wedding. To the winning contestant! Complete with confidentiality agreement! Which clearly conflicts with the purpose and title of this blog. I will tell you, though, that the female half of the duo upstairs totally looked like Bachelorette material: skinny, peppy, wearing a sheer beaded top that tastefully whispered “Vegas,” instead of screaming it. Apparently, people like this exist in real life.

Anyway, the evening was to be a game night. It kicked off with drinking games, which, already being thoroughly bombed, I didn’t do so well at. In the first game, the main task was to remember the value of two cards that were then flipped upside down. This proved  difficult for…only me. The second game had something to do with getting rid of all your cards, a task at which I once again failed.

The third game – while not technically tied to drinking – also threw me for a loop. Apples to Apples? Have you guys ever played? I found it beyond lame. I hated the annoying attempts at humor woven into the descriptions on the cards. Also, I lost. Badly.

But then, Bill, another friend, pulled out his contribution to the evening: Cards Against Humanity.

Look, it was clear from the very beginning that this game was not meant for church, children or people with weak stomachs. It’s like Apples to Apples, but super inappropriate. Many of the cards I was dealt had me running for Urban Dictionary. And then grimacing. And then smacking down phrases like “German dungeon porn,” “micropenis,” and “picking up girls at the abortion clinic” with aplomb. Joyful, joyful aplomb.

I fucking loved this game. I won round after round after round. We’d play until five wins, and I’d reach that, and then we’d play until 10, and I’d hit that, and then we’d have to keep moving the milestone up and up and up, but I was still unstoppable. This is it, I thought. My calling. Something in which I finally excel. Proof of my excellent sense of humor, my wit, that my freshman year roommate was patently incorrect when she said I wasn’t funny enough to write for 34th Street? Yes. Yes to all that and more.

The only other time this had happened to me was in a junior year physics class where I was revealed to be shockingly good at solving electrical circuit problems. “What does this mean?” I had asked our teacher, an ornery scientist who I’d barely spoken to despite having had for homeroom for three years. “I guess you could be an electrician,” he said.

My fellow players’ reactions to my newfound game talent was fairly similar in tone. Even the Bachelorette’s friend/potential one-day contestant stylist was unimpressed and mildly annoyed that I was dominating. Dave – so competitive he’s been known to turn over a Scrabble bored if he’s not winning – was livid.

I was still on top of the world.

Eventually, the game died down (and by eventually, I mean, I made it to 20 and everyone else had had enough) and Dave and I headed back downstairs. Instead of drinking a massive glass of water like a responsible adult, I made a beeline for the computer and promptly hit Google to find out more about my soulmate of a game.

Which is when I discovered that 1- it’s currently sold out. And two – that it has a tag line, which very clearly lays out its purpose:

“Cards Against Humanity: A party game for horrible people.”

Friends, that was why I had been so good at it. Not because I’m smart or funny or vaguely hip enough to have written for my college’s arts and entertainment magazine. I’m not. I’m just a horrible human being with questionable values and little to no conscious.

But you know what? It turns out I’m more horrible than your average person. Which is something! Definitely a party skill worth showing off at a future shindig.

I signed up for the waiting list immediately.

the aftermath
August 7, 2012

I was going to tell you all about the day after the wedding, in which I woke up before Dave (unheard of!) and bounded up to my parents’ room clutching a copy of the New York Times to find my dad with his hair sticking straight up and my mother still in bed at 8:30 at the morning (unheard of!) and how I sat on the corner of their bed and we talked about the evening and kept saying things like “just perfect” and “wonderful” and “lucky, lucky, lucky.”

But dude, even I am getting a little bit tired of these 1,000 word-plus wedding-related blabs.

So instead I will just give you the highlights. I will tell you that I did not get that cheeseburger, sadly, but I did eat an entire plateful of bacon at our post-wedding brunch.

A few pieces ended up on this dress and left distinct grease stains but I didn’t really care.

At the brunch, I flitted from table to table, taking in all these people who had come so far to see us get married, now in the rosy daylight.

Neither the boy who vomited on the bus nor his entourage made it to the brunch. Evan made it, but only after enduring a car ride with my aunt and uncle (both in their 70s) yelling at their GPS. Sometimes watching your worlds collide is poignant and stirring and sometimes it’s just hilarious.

Dave and I took the train back to New York, lugging with all those outfits I had insisted on bringing for no apparent reason, and ran into Tracey and Aaron and Evan too.

We got back to the apartment and ate the same sushi I’d been eating nearly every night pre-wedding and sat in our same living room, but everything felt different. We read the wishes and congratulations everyone wrote on their cards and I cried.

Maybe it was the lack of sleep or the post-wedding buzz or the promise of Hawaii the next morning. But man, I don’t think I’ve ever felt as happy as I did that next day, when it all started sinking in.

Previously: the pre-wedded state, Dave & Rach Get Married, Part 1; Dave & Rach Get Married, Part 2; Dave & Rach Get Married, Part 3

Next: the honeymoon, duh.

Rach & Dave get married, part 3
August 6, 2012

First on the agenda after all those Mediterranean appetizers: a teeth check.

Once we affirm we don’t have strands of roasted red pepper stuck in our bicuspids, we’re ready to hit cocktail hour.

We’ve rejected the idea of a receiving line and will end up spending the dinner hour downing our beef wellington and then sneaking out to the terrace alone when we probably should be rotating amongst the tables, but for now, we’re really working it. The tartar station and passed slices of filet I was planning on focusing on are now a distant memory; my new cocktail hour goal seems to involve flinging my arms around as many people as possible. I am a hugging machine. (The massive wine glass filled with champagne that a family friend hands me seems to help with this pursuit.)

One of the many modern American wedding expectations I have a problem with is the Grand Entrance Of The Newly Betrothed Mr. And His Missus. First off, I’m not taking Dave’s name in any way, shape or form, so what is there to really announce anyway? I fret about the bridal party not wanting to boogie in to the Black Eyed Peas, about Dave and I being embarrassed of the spotlight too.

And then I come up with a solution.

Only Dave and I will do the entrance. They’ll call us “Dave and Rach” – duh, those are our names. And Notorious B.I.G.’s Hypnotize will be blaring in the background.

It is absolutely the right call.

Then it’s time for the traditional Jewish dance/brush with death: the hora.

I watch in horror as some of Dave’s scrawny, non-Jewish friends are recruited in the heat of the moment to hold the chairs. The result is a bumpy, petrifying ride meant to…brace us for what marriage feels like? I’m not sure, but I know I’m much happier when we’re finally on the ground again.

Of course, as soon as it’s my parents’ turn to test the limits of their mortality, I’m all for it, clapping away.

There are some more dances, but there’s nothing really hilarious about them to share, except for maybe how terrible Dave and I are at dancing. It never even crossed our minds to take a class; we know we’re beyond help.

My dance with my Dad is no better choreographed – the coordination challenges I face span generations – but it is very special to me, if only because both my parents, never the biggest supporters of all this traditional wedding crap, are somehow now beaming.

The toasts range from Poignant (my best friends) to Not At All Focused On Us (my mother, classically trying to prevent her daughter from being the center of attention on her freaking wedding day) to Very Painful To Listen To (An Unidentified Drunk Brother.)

Not because the Unidentified Drunk Brother doesn’t love us of course, but maybe because he put too much faith in his improv skills and his ability to handle an open bar. His final line – wishing us the 3 C’s in our marriage: compassion, communication and sex – gets a big laugh from me, both because it’s funny and because, thank god, it seems like he’s finally going to hand over the mic to someone else.

Dave’s 15-year-old brother – he of bar mitzvah and embarrassing Facebook debacle fame – makes the best speech, in Dave’s and my opinion. He cuts right to the chase, wishes us well, and is done in 15 seconds flat. The whole crowd is so grateful we all ignore the glass of champagne he’s holding.

I know you’re supposed to have some big moving moment at your wedding, probably at your ceremony, as you devote the remainder of your days on earth to your husband, or maybe right before you walk down the aisle, as you contemplate your girlhood  with your parents and begin to see the step you’re taking as a distinct, new chapter in your life. But my moment, if I had one, probably came on the dance floor.

We’re surrounded by a swaying crowd of family and friends, and, this is far from poetic, I know, but everyone just appears to be having a wonderful time at this silly little event. Everyone we love seems to love us right back.

Honestly, Dave and I are kind of shocked that we are capable of throwing this kind of party, capable of somehow convincing people to rally around us like that. We’re moderately sure the constant flow of champagne has something to do with it, but still. It makes me very happy.

The dance floor festivities continue to rage and Dave and I momentarily sneak out for a private cake cutting.

By this point, I’m pretty sure the night has officially reached Your Wedding Isn’t A Failure status (see above dance floor moment), but we’re not taking any chances. Our back-up plan was to buy our guests’ love calorically, with 10 different flavors of cake, and we’re sticking to it.

So that’s my wedding success tip: excessive desserts. Heaping plates of cakes slices, lemon bars, cream puffs and meringues seem to do the trick for us.

After all the cake has been eaten, the champagne drunk, the two encores played by the band, who promises to perform at our anniversary party, it’s time to peace out.

We board the buses. I’m next to Dave near the back, head on his shoulder, soaking everything in, when suddenly I catch a snippet of conversation from the seat ahead of me.

“Get it together, man,” the voice whispers. “We’re almost there.”

And then, there’s a lot of vomit.

I’m so high on bliss, so bossy on bridal status and so fucking intent on throwing a rager that I simply gather up my dress and make a beeline for the exit, no worse for the wear.

Then we all pile into the bar in the lobby of our hotel. My cousins are situated on bar stools, our friends are sprawled out on the lounge furniture, my aunts and uncles are congregating near the entrance. Jon is pouring glasses of champagne for my parents, someone’s ordering wine by the bottle. My college newspaper co-editor is sitting next to my high school biology classmate who’s  laughing at something my office husband is saying as he slowly drains a glass of whiskey. The bar is starting to feel like an episode of “This is Your Life,” and it’s awesome.

Of course, the happy couple can’t outstay their welcome. We leave the partygoers to their revelry and head upstairs to our room, consider the bottle of champagne on ice, the note addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. B.” (never heard of them), the cute little nightgowns I stocked up on for our honeymoon.

“How would you feel about getting a cheeseburger?” I ask.

And my new husband just laughs at me.

Next up: The day after, and a few bonus features.

Previously: the pre-wedded state; Rach & Dave get married, part 1; Rach & Dave get married, part 2

All photographs by Elisabeth Millay.

Rach & Dave get married, part 2
August 3, 2012

Once we leave behind the packed lobby and beseeching relatives, and it’s just me and Dave, I’m a very happy girl.

We wander down the streets of New Haven and soon learn that my cathedral-length veil is serious business.

It has a mind of its own and is kind of hamming it up for the camera. Instead of staying behind my head, where it seems to me veils generally ought to reside, it gets all brash and needy and  starts tangling up in Dave’s legs.

My veil is an attention whore.

It’s awkward for everyone involved.

Once the veil is put back in its place – literally and figuratively – Dave and I get back to our jobs: walking around and looking at each other adoringly.

Eventually we get to a big courtyard — Yale’s Old Campus, where I partied with Meg many a night freshman year.

All those girls I forced to wear mint green show up, along with our families. We fit in some group shots in lightening speed and round out the hour with the proven Three-Prong Approach to Solid Candid Photos in mind: giggle, smile, walk. Repeat.

We head back to the hotel and board a bus that takes us to the totally non-exclusive club where we’re holding the wedding. The veil gets all demanding again (seriously, whose wedding day is it?) and I require assistance to de-board.

We set up camp in the bridal suite and the girls immediately start fretting over the veil and the skirt of my dress. All that tulle has gathered dirt and debris and possibly even some baby animals after the outdoor photo session and the bridesmaids are determined to make it perfect before my walk down the aisle.

They start out handling everything in a pretty PG manner.

But soon they’re all up in my business. They’re under my skirt, attacking every layer. Someone finds a lint roller in the bathroom baskets. The photographer says she’s never seen anything like this.

I’m initially a touch skeptical, but soon feel nothing but pride and gratitude as my best friends swirl around and below me like little cleaning nymphs. I remember all the times they’ve been there for me, through breakups and hangups and all manner of catastrophes — now, including a dirtied bridal gown. My love for them has never been so palpable or infinite.

Next up is the signing of our ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract. We get a few family members arranged in the room, and we sit, and we wait. The rabbi – the only guy required to get this show on the road – is late. I’m a little panicky and implore my mother to perhaps just “reach out” to him. She scorns my PR speak and brings in the wedding coordinator, who tells me clergy of all denominations are inevitably late, too busy answering to a higher power and all that to pay attention to the time.

Lo and behold, he soon arrives, and we sign the small but beautiful papercut document with an intimate group watching.

Two of our old friends act as our witnesses, including my dear friend Meriel, who used to eat dinner at my family’s house every Tuesday night growing up. Afterwards, we would either go to Hebrew School or, if I could convince Meriel to ditch, the mall. It’s hard to believe we’re two grown-up Jewish women now, but somehow, here we are. I’m feeling stunned and grateful for her signature and her embrace and her fierce haircut. The day is turning into a blur of joy.

After signing our lives away, Dave and I have a few moments to decompress.

And just as the severity of what we’re about to do comes to me, it’s off to the races.

Let it be known that my father, through all of this, appears elated. In person, my mother looks ravishing in her navy and black off the shoulder Bergdorf cocktail dress and I can only assume that, deep down inside, she shares my father’s joy. But the photographic evidence points to something…less than happiness. My mother and a handful of other relatives radiate not glee but confusion and disapproval. Their looks range from Extremely Low IQ to Stroke Victim to Utterly Disgusted By The Event That’s About To Take Place.

Some people just have resting angry faces or lack control of their facial muscles, my mother explains as we scroll through the pictures.

Needless to say, there are lots of photos of my dad in our wedding album.

Anyway, like I said, we’re heading into battle.

We’ve opted for a theatre-in-the-round type set up for the ceremony. We pat ourselves on the back for our untraditional approach only to later find out that the chuppah in the middle thing is actually a longstanding Sephardic Jewish tradition. We’re not Sephardic and thus decide we still get points for creativity. Besides, everyone seems to like the cozy, inclusive feel it creates.

The rabbi, who we’ve been working with for over a year, leads a lovely, moving ceremony that apparently makes Bridget’s parents beg her to marry a Jewish guy. We circle each other seven times as part of a mystical, ancient tradition. We drink wine from two silver kiddush cups – one that belonged to my great grandparents and one that Tracey got us as a wedding gift. We’re wrapped in a tallis – Jewish prayer shawl – and feel the hands of our parents on our heads as they give us their blessing.

Then it’s time to do that thing we initially tried to avoid but were coaxed into by our very wise rabbi: open our mouths.

They’re not vows exactly, just little statements of love and devotion. I’ve been working on mine in a Gmail draft stubbornly labeled “ceremony thoughts” (the word “vows” makes me kind of want to “vomit”) for upwards of five months, often with Call Me Maybe blaring on repeat in the background. Dave started and finished his the night before — and I have it on good authority he exceeded our recommended word count.

Mine are short, sugary sweet, and made Megan cry when I let her take a peek at them the Thursday night before the wedding.

I am convinced that mine are going to kick Dave’s ass. I am a writer, for God’s sakes. People pay me to do this.

Instead, Dave, speaking first, busts out a set of perfectly sappy, shockingly well-written sentences, referencing life and death and love. The crescendo comes with a hospital anecdote that revolves around an elderly patient’s UTI.

The crowd (packed full of nephrologists) goes wild.

My own reaction slowly evolves from incredulity that he actually just said that, to slight agitation at the realization that he’s upstaging me, to, finally, just giving in and laughing along with everyone else.

Of course, now that it’s my turn, the spoken promises and memories I’ve woven together seem to fall on deaf ears — they are poignant yes, but they lack references to pee. Not as fun, seems to be the audience’s consensus.

Whatever — before we know it, Dave breaks the glass and everyone’s screaming Mazel Tov and we’re booking it out of there as Eight Days a Week plays in the background.

We head straight to our yichud, a Jewish custom that ensures a married couple’s first moments together will be shielded from their elderly relatives’ piercing New York accents and that they won’t have to camp out in front of the kitchen door with the other old Jewish men in order to ensure access to the passed appetizers. No, instead we are whisked away to a private room with our own hors d’oeuvre tray.

We sit down, I shrug off my shoes, we start to process the fact that we’re going to be together forever…and then the rabbi busts in.

“Oops!” he says, averting his eyes and hurrying off the way he came.

Fortunately, we are not engaged in any inappropriate behavior, unless you count examining our new wedding rings and stuffing our faces with Mediterranean sampler appetizers.

And besides, so what if we were? We’re married now! Three years of living in sin and wearing red dresses at the wrong time have come to a rather official end and while I doubt very much that my penchant for sarcastic statements or fashion risks will be casualties of the transition, it does feel like something really wonderful and new is starting.

Next up: We make our grand entrance to a rap classic, we start to suspect we’re throwing an amazing party and someone throws up on the bus home, thus confirming our suspicions. 

Previously: the pre-wedded state, Rach & Dave Get Married Part 1

All photos by Elisabeth Millay.


Rach & Dave get married, part 1
August 1, 2012

I wake up the morning of the wedding feeling both characteristically like myself (giddy over the big pile of tulle hanging in the closet) but  also, in other, shocking ways, most definitely not like myself (absence of hunger.) The big pile of tulle, aka my dress, gets flung over my shoulder and carried upstairs to the little penthouse space of the hotel, where I am the first to arrive.

It’s the perfect backdrop for getting ready. Slowly, my closest girlfriends, a few female family members and the people we’ve hired to make us beautiful arrive.

Surrounded by all of my favorite girls, fielding a few poignant emails from friends detained in Africa or Michigan and wishing us well, I’m pretty content. For about two hours. Then I start to get extremely antsy. Everyone else is getting their locks curled or giggling over mimosas while I, slated last for hair and makeup and equipped with my newfound disdain for food, am just kind of sitting there, very ready to get this show on the road.


Suddenly, in a flash, everything starts happening. The four-course lunch my mother and I planned, while under the delusion that either of us would be capable of eating roasted tomato soup and smoked salmon sandwiches, arrives. The florist is here, carrying big boxes of blooms. And it’s finally time for the professionals to have at my face and hair.

In the midst of this flurry of activity, the elevator doors open and my dad’s childhood friend emerges. Apparently unaware that this is a ladies only zone, he parks it and starts gabbing with my mother. He’s eating a big green apple. Loudly. The photographers think he’s my father and start snapping away. I start to lose my shit.

Sensing trouble, my friend Courtney starts administering sips of champagne as the hair dresser and makeup artist step it into high gear and double team me. The girls also force feed me mini muffins, ignoring my insistence that I’ve evolved into some sort of superhuman creature that doesn’t require sustenance. Somewhere in there, the baby’s breath headband that the florist designed to look just like the one my mother wore on her wedding day gets pinned in my hair.

The maids of honor throw their mint green dresses on and Megan and I each take a second to contemplate our appearance. I’m not completely enthused but decide just to go with it.

We’re running 15 minutes behind schedule now, which sends That Girl Who’s Always 15 Minutes Early into a tailspin. I throw off my clothing in the bathroom and stomp out into the windowed room in my underwear, ready to confront my dress.

I am intent on getting this party started immediately.

My mother helps me put on my grandmother’s watch and starts to cry a bit. It is very delicate and very beautiful and a reminder of all the people who aren’t here.

We move on to my other jewels (all borrowed, with my mother’s reluctant blessing) and are confronted with a knot emergency. My dad – my real dad! – is summoned up from the suite where the boys are getting ready to help. He is highly photogenic. The photographers start snapping away with purpose now.

Downstairs, my brothers are in need of backup from my father too. Much more comfortable in climbing harnesses than tuxedos, they require some assistance getting dressed. Dave is looking happy and confident, though he tells me later that both him and my dad ordered the egg white frittata at breakfast, a sure sign that they’re affected by the same No Food Necessary bug I seem to have caught.

Dave gets downstairs first. Waiting patiently for his bride, he runs into our good friend who promptly launches into a story about a post-rehearsal dinner hookup that took place the evening before.

And that is exactly the information that Dave is relaying to me when we see each other for the first time in our wedding garb.

I’m vaguely aware that the lobby is filled with dozens of our guests. As soon as I hear my aunt with the loving yet extremely screechy voice call my name, I decide it’s time to book it.

And off we go.

Next up: My bridesmaids throw themselves under my wedding gown, we sign our lives away in an ancient Jewish tradition and Dave makes a references to UTIs in his vows. Stay tuned.

Previously: the pre-wedded state

*All photos by the wonderful Elisabeth Millay, except for the third, fourth and sixth, which are from my dear friend and devoted documenter of our lives, Tracey.

the pre-wedded state
July 30, 2012

Ready or not, we’re kicking off the wedding posts. This is part 1, which reduces April 2012 to a series of frenetic bullet points before breaking into a nice light jog (in the form of a group nail salon trip, estrogen-soaked sushi luncheon and wine-soaked rehearsal dinner) leading up to the main event. I know you don’t really care, but indulge me, ok?

To understand exactly how this wedding went down, it would probably be helpful to witness the shape I was in going into the whole thing. And, seeing as I wasn’t exactly keeping you current in real-time on this little blog, some catch-up is probably in order.

To summarize: April was a crazy ass month.

To whit, I remember the following:

-Spending several late, lonely nights in my office, working on the biggest story of my silly little fledgling career and wondering, why, in god’s name, this had to happen now. Trying to enjoy the excitement and frustration and fleeting accolades anyway.

– Eating boatloads of sushi takeout from the place down the block; relatedly, starting to consider my kitchen a foreign country where pots and pans went to die.

-A few lucky midweek moments with Dave: one where he got out of work oddly early and met me, giddy off another big byline, in the park with Franny on one of the first perfect days of the season; another after his hospital-mandated alcohol training program in midtown, where I met up with him and all the residency guys ironically indulging in bootfuls of beer in celebration. I downed his.

-Celebrating my mom’s birthday with dad and Dave at the restaurant at the Pierre…and then sneaking into the Pierre’s ballrooms with Mom to take a peak at that which we hadn’t let ourselves see in the beginning stages of wedding planning, for fear of falling in (very expensive) love. With the preparations for the April 21 bride swirling around us, all I could think was one more week, one more week.

-Eating macaroni and cheese in a hotel restaurant in Washington, DC on a rainy Sunday evening with an old, old friend who would, in a few short days, carefully sign our ketubah.

The week of the wedding, I covered a Supreme Court hearing, dashed back from DC on the train feeling 100 times lighter, and worked one last crazy day from our apartment (that ended with a much-deserved nap).

By mid-week I was off from work, picking up the entirely fantastic, entirely frivolous outfits (Hawaiian-print Nanette Lapore dress and electric blue pants) my mother  had insisted on buying me for my honeymoon. (Hot Jap tip: buy your dress at Saks and your mom too, overcome with love for her bride and the proximity of the DVF section to the bridal salon, just might take pity on you during your final fitting and respond with lovely, lovely gifts of the fashion variety.)

On Wednesday night, I went back to Connecticut, where the reality of my insane Type A ways set in: I had pretty much already taken care of everything. With only a few errant wedding errands left on the list, there was really nothing much to do, and the main task at hand became simply to sit and wait and mull in the house I grew up in. Get here, get here, get here, I kept thinking. Also: 20 months is far too long of an engagement.

Fortunately, Thursday night closed with a precious few hours spent with my very best friend, flouncing around in various lacy dresses and crying over my vows, and Friday arrived as if hopped up on amphetamines. Suddenly, Sarah was on the correct coast! Plans that had previously just been itineraries in an email were swinging into motion. And all of my favorite girls were flocking to the nail place I’ve been attending for years, the place I got my toenails painted for prom.

We got sushi at That Sushi Place We Always Go To After Getting Our Nails Done. It wasn’t fancy but it was tradition.

We directed the out-of-towners up to New Haven and I drove back to my parents’ house and found my family gathered around old photo albums, showing Jacob’s girlfriend just how weird we all were as children. Dave called and we realized the train he was on would be passing through Fairfield in a few minutes. No need for him to trek all the way up to the city in which we would be wed alone – I got in the car and retrieved my groom from the station.

A few minutes later, all the kids piled in the car for the ride up to New Haven. We played Call Me Maybe and Meatloaf ballads on repeat and when we got stuck in a little traffic, everyone sang.

The hotel was just as cool as Dave and I remembered. We scoped out our little suite and then headed upstairs to pile on Jon’s bed and eat macarons. Sarah and Tracey were prematurely drafting our announcement for the Penn alumni mag. Everything seemed to be propelling us forward.

I slipped on the red lace dress I had bought during a BHLDN sale. (Why red? you ask. Isn’t that a little untraditional? you say. To which I respond: jig has been up for a long time, bitches.)

I had also, for some unknown reason, brought my entire wardrobe to the hotel, including a white wool winter coat, which I sensibly abandoned in the closet after determining it was at least 65 degrees outside. I couldn’t walk in my satin peep-toes and internally commended myself for at least choosing a pair of sensible, if sparkly, flats for the actual wedding day.

We walked into Zinc to find Megan and Bridget and Courtney at the bar, already through one bottle of champagne. I began to suspect it was going to be an excellent night. Evan arrived and picked me up when he hugged me, like he always does. Grandma Lottie was sipping a glass of red and beaming. Dave and I surrounded ourselves with those who came from farthest away (California! Paris! We are so lucky.) My brothers’ toasts were ego-bruising and hilarious. Chelsea and Amruta stood up and said words I wasn’t planning to hear, in a very good way. It all nearly made me cry.

Afterward, everyone else headed to a dive bar for beers and fries while Dave and I snuck back to the hotel.

We had decided the best approach was just to stay together, as we had done every night for nearly three years and were, apparently, on the cusp of promising to do for a lot longer than that. I remember our bedtime routine – brushing teeth, laying out clothes, pulling back sheets – feeling both incredibly surreal and incredibly familiar. I was giddy, but also content and sure and comfortable — enough so that despite being on the brink of that which I had thought about for so very long (a bride) I fell right to sleep.

*Next up: Someone slaps fake eyelashes on me for the first time, Courtney feeds me bites of a blueberry muffin and crucial sips of champagne, and a green apple almost sends me over the edge (all with professional photographic proof!) Stay tuned.

*Most photos here are either crappy little snippets from my iPhone or the product of other people commandeering my dslr. Rehearsal dinner photos borrowed from my lovely, camera-obsessed friend T.

shoe spectacle
July 26, 2012

Every day at around 5:15 p.m., I head over to my friend B.’s desk at work so that she can see what I’m rocking.

Here are the usual suspects:

-beat up Rainbows

-metallic Sperry loafers (aka Instruments of Torture)

-dowdy old lady Cole Haan Mary Janes

My commuting footwear uniform used to be simple – Rainbowswhen it was hot, and the same brown Banana riding boots when it turned cold. But last year’s sad excuse for a winter meant I got used to trotting around in much more comely flats (black patent leather, gold lame, or the ever popular silver sparkles) wherever I went, toe cleavage happily exposed to the mild temperatures.

Now the fairer season has arrived, and I’ve gotten spoiled. My Rainbows- heels worn down from impact, left strap deemed delicious by my parents’  puppy, soles starting to split open down the front like an opened crocodile mouth – suddenly seem too Californian, too grungy, too informal for New York. I’m sick of washing the city streets off my exposed feet before bed. I wake up with pounding ankles and shins, the various pieces of my legs screaming after a routine jaunt from the West Village to Union Square and back uptown again.

Oh yes, have I mentioned that I routinely walk 4, 6, 8 miles a day? I should probably posture and say I’m worried about carbon emissions or pretend it’s part of a dedicated organic locavore vegan lifestyle I’ve cultivated, but the truth is, I just have a puppy and a disdain for crowded subways and fierce hatred of the gym, coupled with an intense interest in donuts. The donuts are probably the biggest priority.

So walking it is.

I decided that my feet are essentially my automobile, and if suburbanites are shelling out for car insurance and those in the outer boroughs are shelling out for monthly Metrocards, it’s only right to treat myself to some decently supportive shoes.

So I shelled out for the Sperry’s.

And it was a fucking bloodbath.

I spent weeks trying to break them in, sacrificing boxes of band-aids in the process. I shelled out an absurd amount of money on various forms of specialized blister relief, prodded and plied those shoes with gel pads and inserts galore, googled “break in Sperry’s help!”

And still, I bled. All over those preppy metallic shoes.

B. was mystified — she had had success with Sperry’s, said they were her most comfortable and favorite shoe. That’s when I started giving her daily progress reports on my footwear.

Next up were the Mary Jane’s. B. agreed they were thoroughly unattractive, but pointed out their better attributes: well-made, well-cushioned, classic black so as to maybe look slightly less like something an orthopedist would prescribe an octogenarian. I sighed but slogged on in them, deciding it wasn’t worth a stress fracture to look slightly more stylish.

And then, probably as punishment for my complaining about their looks, the Mary Janes started acting up. Jabbing and rubbing in all the wrong places, spiting me for deeming them “comfort shoes.”

I was not about to tolerate a pair of ugly shoes giving me blisters, that’s for sure.

I wish I could tell you that I just said fuck it, bought a pair of Louboutins, and started taking cabs. But what really happened is a turn I never thought my life would take, surely one of the most pathetic moments of my womanhood. Yesterday, I sheepishly walked over to B.’s desk for the evening report. I was wearing my good skinny white jeans, a navy striped silk tunic and pearl earrings.

And on my feet were a pair of full-out, balls to the wall, laces-and-everything sneakers. My version of a white flag.

Our entire row of coworkers cracked up.

a confession (and a proposition)
July 22, 2012

Here’s my Sunday night confession: I miss wedding planning.

I absolutely understand that this is not a cool position to take. It is supremely lame, utterly embarrassing, borderline harassing to the feminist cause. All of the cool people I know hated planning their weddings. Even some uncool people I know hated planning their weddings. Haughtily dismissing and complaining about planning your wedding definitely seems to be the mainstream, accepted thing to do these days.

Case in point: I was at a party around Christmas time and ended up in a conversation with an acquaintance from high school. I believe she was part of our prom court – perhaps was crowned duchess or something like that – and her blonde hair always falls just so and Facebook tells me that she was a very active member of her sorority at a very Southern university.

Even she was complaining about how much she disliked wedding planning.

What, in god’s name, is wrong with me?

I should probably specify that I didn’t love every second of the many months leading up to our heralded April union. The interpersonal aspects of it drove me mad, and seemingly simple exercises like coming up with a guest list or preparing to attend my own bachelorette party left me feeling conflicted and insecure and very, very worried. For much of that year and a half, I was a tearful mess with a pretty ring on her left hand.

But man, did I love all that other crap. You know, the stuff that doesn’t matter? The peony centerpieces and the peach-colored ribbons and the big tulle skirt on the big white dress? I loved it all. I was so giddy the night before my dress shopping weekend that I couldn’t sleep. I happily spent hours scanning Etsy for the perfect table number holders. (Table number holders!) Appointments with my florist were like a beacon in my Filofax, much anticipated events where we chatted about the exact ratio of baby’s breath to roses I preferred to have on our chuppah. All those wedding blogs – even the ones with the nausea-prompting, grammar mistake-laden copy – are still on my fucking Google reader.

Does it make it better if I keep using expletives while throwing these confessions out there? This is how torn I am on this subject, how embarrassed I am to tell you these things. But they’re the truth.

Wedding planning was my big project. It was a great joy for me.  I knew and know that all those silly little details meant nothing…and yet, I loved them.

And now it’s over. And I totally get that. And I promise I’ll take those blogs off my reader…soon.

But our photographer emailed me yesterday to tell me that she’s putting the disc with all 954 of our wedding pictures in the mail this week. So I’m taking that as my cue to get this out of my system, to share all my stories of the day, of this party we planned and this big, life-changing promise I made to that guy I met in a hostel five years ago.

And then we’ll put this thing to bed and I’ll go back to being my slightly cooler self and we’ll pretend all this never happened.


heavy on the party, light on the slumber
July 16, 2012

I insisted on having a slumber party for my seventh birthday.

It seems a bit young to me, looking back on it, and I do recall my parents initially (entirely? always?) vowing to staunchly oppose the pitch with all their adult powers. But eventually my incessant whining broke them down, or maybe they thought that if they gave in this once, my strange desire to always act a little older than I was would somehow fade with the closing of 1992.

(Note: it did not.)

I remember two things from that birthday party, one specific and one general.

The specific, unsurprisingly, is the food. I insisted on serving a breakfast that included both cinnabons, carted in from the mall that very morning, and bagels and lox, so as to please any carb-loving palate, sweet or savory. (Or, actually, to please my palate, which was simply unending. I had one of each.)

The general memory is that the whole thing was a disaster.

Maybe girls had to go home? Definitely girls were crying. Maybe girls wouldn’t go to sleep? Definitely certain girls had to moved into another room down the hall, for some as of now unidentified reason. I can’t recall what actually transpired, but I am still, to this day, left with a very sharp, very distinct feeling that I attach to that occasion, and the theme of that feeling, is: disaster!

Which, as it so happens, is the very same feeling I experienced on Saturday night when we hosted Francine’s first sleepover.

Madeline, a poodle who lives upstairs and is Francine’s closest non-lesbian buddy (they’re just friends guys!), was staying with us while her parents enjoyed a much-deserved wedding anniversary weekend away in Boston. (Five years; it boggles the mind…I mean, forever isn’t long enough with you, D!)

Everything was going fine, great even – we left them alone in the apartment together for the first time ever and came back to a building that was still standing. They both were well-behaved on their walks.

Then came bedtime.

Somehow, after hours of play, they were still jumping, biting, doing all those other things that dogs do during the day at a play date, but at 11:30 p.m. We positioned their respective beds in opposite corners of the room. We turned off the light. We lay in our bed, quietly, unmoving. They would not follow suit.

“They’ll stop soon, I’m sure,” I said to Dave, giggling.

They did not.

We moved them to the other room, still giggling, ok with the idea of giving them a night alone, to do whatever two dogs do when unsupervised. (Again, just two spayed friends, so no pregnancy or even UTI worries here. Francine already has one lesbian lover, thankyouverymuch.)

Madeline started howling at the door every time someone stepped off the elevator and walked past our apartment door.

We stopped giggling.

She did not stop howling.

We ushered Maddy into our room and left Francine in the living room.

A few hours later, we awoke to the sound of Francine crying on one side of the door, Maddy standing up by the other side, trying to communicate in some sort of weird puppy Morse code with her paws.

At that point, Dave, who was on his one day off this week, had had enough. He insisted Maddy couldn’t stay the rest of the night.

He grabbed the dog and her bed – an old blue comforter she loves – and marched her out of the apartment.

It looked just like he was carrying a sleeping bag.

My heart broke.

But, you know, I like sleep too.

The next morning, Dave retrieved her, safe and sound. I ate leftover buttermilk cupcakes at the kitchen table.

They were far too sweet of a breakfast for a 27-year old who should know better. But they were delicious.

And I hope they’re the exact detail that I remember years from now, even if the feeling tagged to the memory is altogether different.

the calm after the storm
July 12, 2012

Things have been a little…how to say this? Busy is a bit loaded these days, nuts is on the vague side, topsy-turvy is probably the most accurate, but it sounds a tad lame, doesn’t it?

Oh well. Let’s go with topsy-turvy, for lack of better, cooler options.

Things have been a little topsy-turvy around here lately.

It started when we seized on Dave’s first weekend days off in forever and opted to camp out at my parents’ house in Connecticut, sifting through a sea of boxes and bubble wrap and then driving back a carload of wedding gifts deemed fit to flood our tiny New York City kitchen. We swapped out the fancy new plates for the old chipped ones, fancy new pots for the old not-so-much-nonstick-anymore ones, and boxed up all the castaways for Meg.

Have I mentioned that my best friend Meg just started residency at this hospital, the one Dave works at and the one we live right next door to? Oh, only a hundred times? With multiple exclamation points? I’m a little excited. She’s training to be a pediatrician here and living right across the street — but first, for two weeks, was living right here with us.

She got home from work every evening in her predictably adorable outfits and arrestingly professional white coat and we chatted about our days. We all sat down around the table together and ate big dinners that I, for the first time in months, felt genuinely motivated to make – big batches of gazpacho and roasted eggplant and a plum cake which, unfortunately, may have unintentionally lacked oil (whoops.) We used placemats and serving bowls. Meg and Dave said everything was delicious, even the cake without oil. I packed up the leftovers for lunch and turned my back on my love affair with Wendy’s fries for a few days.

Life was lovely — who doesn’t like presents and in-house best friends and meals that make you feel like an actual adult? — but also, like I mentioned, a little topsy-turvy. Boxes and suitcases and stray socks were everywhere. Cooking for a crowd every day left me a bit self-conscious and frazzled. Francine, for one, was convinced we were moving. She donned that same “what the fuck” expression she wore when we left Philadelphia and made a run for the door every time we tried to head out with boxes in hand. She started waking up at 4:15 a.m., 4 a.m., 3:45 a.m., intent on playing with Megan. It was endearing, but also supremely annoying, for all parties involved. We didn’t get much sleep.

And now it’s kind of over. I mean, it’s really just starting, the part where my best friend and I share a zip code for at least two years and I use china plates with a boy who’s signed up for a hell of a lot longer than that. But the lack of chaos, it’s pretty strange.

Because when I sat down and actually thought about it, I realized we’ve been in this state of motion for a while. Pressing rewind brought up that trip to Hawaii, that wedding, that move to New York, that endless brooding over whether to move to New York (or maybe California or maybe Boston), that engagement, that engagement freak-out, that year of travel and, hmm, that move to Philadelphia that really started this whole thing off. It’s been kind of a crazy few years.

Some of the stuff was scary and overwhelming. But it was also almost universally  joyful, even if it didn’t quite feel that way at the time. And it was all pretty…big, at least in the scheme of my little life.

So it’s unfamiliar now, this feeling of not having anything on the horizon. I think you may have gotten the drift that we’re not planning to have kids anytime soon. The fellowship application process that Dave would normally have to start prepping for now actually got pushed back for this crop of internal medicine residents, meaning we don’t have to think about where we’re moving or what specialty’s he’s doing for another year or so. (And besides, it’s already pretty clear that we’re probably staying in New York and he’s probably going to be my Dad. Sigh.)

There’s no big milestones to look forward to, no catastrophe to plan for or big party to pine for. It’s a little disconcerting and it doesn’t quite fit my personality. I get bored easily. I like having big projects (especially those that involve tulle and lots of cake.) I like dashing off from one thing to the next.

But I also like cooking for my friends and drinking cold beers on hot rooftops and walking along the East River with my dog (especially when she spends her nights asleep.) And I have lots of little blips dotting the space from here until the next big marker: birthday parties and beach weekends and PTO days we’ll figure out some use for. I’m starting to suspect that I could get used to this. I’m starting to suspect that it will probably fly by anyway, and we’ll be back to the life changes, the big milestones, the topsy-turvy, before you know it.