Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Registering was one of the things I was most looking forward to about being engaged. I think it's one of the things everyone is most looking forward to about being engaged. How could you not be excited about a 100X-the-gifts-Christmas in which you pick every single item...using a super neat-o electronic gun?
Add to that the fact that shopping is among the things I do best in life - wrapped baked brie in the shape of things, give dating advice I'm unqualified to give, write the dialogue of sassy gay men and shop - but shopping is top among that impressive list of very necessary life skills.
Registering is just shopping on a more awesome, exciting, life-changing scale, I thought. You're not searching for an outfit to wear to some lame event, you're on a mission to discover a dish pattern that you and your future husband will use to eat all the meals of your life! This isn't some quick trip to the Payless to pick up Christian Siriano's latest dirt cheap design; this is a day-long venture to select the items that will make your future house a home!
I was going to kill it at registering. I was going to be as swift and decisive as I was thoughtful and team oriented. I was going to make sure R's desires for the stuff of our life were as equally represented as mine. I was going to shoot that red laser at the bar code and hit it on the first time, every time!
Except for one little issue...
I suck at registering.
Not, like, I couldn't get the red laser beam to hit the right part of the very tiny black bar code (though I couldn't do that either. literally not once). I mean I am very bad at the entire act of selecting items that will serve as wedding gifts. So bad, in fact, that I have handed over the task of registry selection and management to R. I'm taking on more of a consulting role. It's the most I can handle, and it's touch and go at that.
This shocking turn of events all started at the Crate&Barrel on Beverly Drive around 3pm Saturday afternoon. I was all dressed up in my registering outfit (pleated salmon skirt and pale blue striped button-down, tied at the waist), and rearing to go. We had just completed the research portion of our trip and were now firmly and jointly decided on C&B as destination number one.
"Can I help you?" the nice-looking blonde lady asked me as I bounded toward her with a look that I intended to say, "we're here to REGISTER!!!" but probably said, "Look out! I'm about to hug you so hard!!!"
Disappointment #1 - there is no "congrats, you're registering!" gift, which I really still can't believe. I mean, we're committing to advertise the look and feel of the products in your store for the rest of our lives, and you don't have a glass of chilled champagne on the ready?
Disappointment #2 - they walk you over to an in-store kiosk and let you do it yourself. It's a 15 second process, and they don't even wait around to watch you do it. At first I thought that's because they were going to get the champagne, but you know how that turned out.
Now I am certain of very few things in life, but my sense of style is something I've known since the day I was old enough to dress myself (read: one and a half). Yes, that style has exhibited mostly in the form of clothing, shoes and accessories, but what is kitchenware if not the accessories of the kitchen? Yes, these items would serve a function, but selecting them would be like creating one giant outfit...that R and I would collectively wear...for the rest of our lives together...
That very deep, very overwhelming realization occurred to me just as we approached the large pasta bowls section of the store.
"Okay, so something durable and white, right?" R said as he practiced scanning bar codes and nailing it on the first time every single time.
"Um...I....well....yes?" I said.
"I like this one. Do you like this one?"
"Um...I...well...yes?" I said, as I backed slowly away from the bowl.
"Good. Do you want to scan the first thing?"
"No...I...well...no," I said, as I turned in the other direction and froze in place staring directly
at the giant glass jugs for water section (because they have one of those).
"Are you freezing up?" R said.
Freezing up is something I do when faced with a decision that I am not prepared to make, generally one involving money. For example I frequently freeze up when R wants to book super expensive airlines tickets four months in advance of a flight. I'd rather just hold out and hope there are super cheap airlines tickets, say, three days before we need to fly.
"I am," I said. "I am freezing up...So many decisions to make...and things are so expensive...and what if we don't like the plates in a few years...and should everything be stainless steal or ceramic white...or both?!"
Two hours later we walked out of the Crate&Barrel with a six page print-out of the items that will define our life, though I'm supposed to stop calling them that.
I survived the experience but I would not say I quite "killed it." I would say it came close to killing me, but that would be over dramatic, and I swore I wouldn't be one of those over dramatic brides...publicly.
Turns out my training in quantity versus quality purchasing over the years does not make me an expert in the art of registering. I'm more an expert in the art of buying a $20 birthday dress from Forever21 on sale for $14.99. Then when that dress falls apart six months later I buy another one in a totally different style because by that point neon is in and empire waists are out. They don't make La Creuset in neon, which is good because I'm already having a hard enough time deciding if I want the red or the yellow (yellow, right?). I think I'll end up letting R decide. Turns out he's amazing at registering. Which I guess makes sense given the fact that he spends legitimate money on legitimate clothing items once every few years. I now know that he's been secretly training to register for wedding gifts with that move...
So, fine. R can have this round. I am happily settled in my consulting role (which sort of goes, "okay let's register for that then I'll think about it for the next several months, change it twice and ultimately return it for something else). But if it turns out he's better at making DIY centerpieces than I am, I'm calling this whole thing off.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
College kids are "sort of" totally over hooking up. It's kinda like how they feel about Vera Bradley bags. It's like, "enough already," but also they're pretty reliable and everyone has one, so...
This topic came up thanks to an article Chicago reader Laura sent my way (thanks LL!).
I hadn't really thought about it for awhile, so I didn't know how much I thought they did or didn't like it. Luckily Donna Frietas has been thinking about essentially just that for the past I-don't-know-how-many years because she wrote a whole book about the issue. It's called The End of Sex - which is a little misleading because it's actually about how the prevalence of casual sex has left a generation, "unhappy, sexually unfulfilled, and confused about intimacy. So really she should have called it The End of Good Sex, but probably nobody buys that book, right?
Here are the greatest highlights from this pretty great article:
- "[Frietas'] book analyzes 2,500 surveys from 11 colleges and finds that casual sex is perceived by students as the only romantic option on campus these days - and that actually bums a majority of them out." So by "only romantic option" they mean dating is not possible nor is courting. The only way to have romance is to have casual sex? My follow-up would have been, "how romantic is the casual sex you're having, exactly?" Because the sadder part of this may be that kids these days consider drunk hook-ups in an XL twin "romantic."
- "College students learn from the media, their friends, and even their parents that it's not sensible to have long-term relationships in college. College is a special time in life-they will never get the chance to learn so much, meet so many people, or have as much fun again." I can't disagree with this feeling. In fact, I rode it through most of my twenties. "Now is the time to be independent, not tied down." The only problem is that if you never learn how to be "not" independent, you have trouble getting into and sustaining a relationship. It's a little bit of a catch 22, so I do understand the conflict.
- "Students play their parts-the sex-crazed frat boy, the promiscuous, lusty coed-and they play them well. But all too often they enact these highly gendered roles for one another because they have been taught to believe that hookup culture is normal, that everyone is enjoying it, and that there is something wrong with them if they don't enjoy it, too." So peer pressure in college extends to everything, including sex. Makes sense.
- "Today's younger generation learns quickly and learns well that the norm is to be casual about sex-even though so many of them don't fit this "norm." Parents and educational institutions unwittingly promote this idea. Because we worry about the perils of casual sex among teens-unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and, for some constituencies, sin and God's disapproval-the very people who should be mentoring young men and women about the pleasures and joys of good sex instead focus on its dangers." Fascinating and true. Likelihood of this changing? Probably about as good as peer pressure ceasing to exist.
- "Moreover, the campus culture-along with the wider culture-has become more superficial with the advance of technology. A frenetic go-go-go and do-do-do pace, increasing in the midst of an economic recession, has put young adults under ever more pressure. They are competing with each other for fewer and fewer jobs, but burdened with greater and greater expectations of success. Such pressure can breed stress, anxiety, and even selfishness, all of which are aided and abetted by technologies that allow us to text rather than call, and to interact superficially and efficiently, with broad swaths of "friends" and followers, through Facebook and Twitter, rather than engage in meaningful interactions face to face with other human beings. This pace and pressure coincide with the attitudes toward others fostered by hookup culture. Rather than looking at the people right in front of us, we look at our phones, preferring to touch a screen rather than the hand of a partner." This is perhaps the most fascinating and yet least surprising detail of all. Cultural changes come from cultural shifts, and this shift certainly makes sense in terms of the greater attitudes of today's college generation.
From the sounds of this article, they've lost sight of that fact...
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I sat down to write this blog post at 10AM...last Thursday.
I was going to write about the top ten things that happen after you get engaged, but then I typed, "you realize that venues book up for Spring weddings faster than you can find venues to book for your Spring wedding, " and panicked about booking a venue for my Spring wedding then spent the next, hhmm, it would appear five days, trying to find the perfect venue.
People warned me about wedding brain, but I ignored them. I'm a high energy multi-tasker who is surprisingly decisive when it comes to big ticket items. I've had a "Someday..." Pinterest board going for quite some days... There is only so much money I can spend on this blessed event, and frankly so much time I can commit to figuring out how to spend it based on everything else on my plate. I was going to be an easy-going, care-free, just get 'er done bride.
Aanndd then I spent three and a half hours last Friday afternoon searching for free calligraphy fonts to create a custom wedding monogram using the Photoshop program I have yet to teach myself how to use. Update: still haven't found the right font...or installed Photoshop.
I have wedding brain. I think it's a medium case, but I don't know what a severe case looks like. All I know is that I'm way beyond mild. Mild cases don't make power point wedding style guides containing their vision on everything from table top decor to ceremony back drop options. So we're clear, there were three slides on each of those categories. Because table top decor: candles obviously can't be on the same slide as table top decor: floral. Obviously.
I want to not have wedding brain. I want to be one of those sensible people who says, "we're going to really take our time and enjoy the whole bliss part of the engagement before we start planning," and isn't lying through her teeth. I said that to a few people, but then they asked me where we were thinking of having the wedding and I rattled off our top two venues, dates and decor themes. Turns out they just wanted to know if we were thinking east coast or west. Silver lining: they now have plenty of time to buy a dress that goes with creams and natural greens with accents of gold and deep yellow.
So far my wedding brain is sensible (fine, outside of the whole PowerPoint thing, but I'll have you now I skipped adding affects to the slides). Budget reigns supreme, no decision is made without R's consent, and I haven't said, "well it's my wedding, so I don't care what you think!" once. I am also proud to report that I haven't (fully) registered for any of those insanely overwhelming wedding websites nor have R and I figured out what we're going to register for...entirely.
We may or may not have done our guest list on the plane ride home from our engagement weekend in New York...right after deciding where to go on our honeymoon and what appliances we need for the kitchen, but everyone does that, right?
Everyone gets so excited that they fall into full afternoon vortexes of searching for DIY guides to chalkboard menu displays. I can't be the only person who made a grid of wedding dress shopping locations arranged for easiest subway transport around NYC (because who wants to be on the 6 train at rush hour?). Every newly engaged girl creates a Google doc where she and her fiance can keep track of songs they want the DJ to play (and fills it in two days...).
Fine. I've lost a fair amount of control. I've become that giddy bride-to-be who keeps her Pinterest page open at all times and calls her fiance six times a day with new venue ideas.
So what! It's my wedding, so I don't care what you think!
I do, however, care what my employers and managers think, so please excuse me while I go pretend to work on my TV pitch while actually writing my vows.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Believe it or not, I'm not a hopeless romantic. Not deep down at least.
Despite my public love of all-things Nora Ephron and private love of way too many things Nicholas Sparks, I don't believe in love at first sight, I'm not so sure about soul mates, and three years ago, I couldn't have even told you what I was looking for in a future husband. I'm not quite a cynic, but I'm definitely a realist when it comes to matters of love.
But over the past three years, I came to realize that all that realism was just fear. Love is scary, commitment is scarier, and marriage is a step beyond all of that. You have to give more of yourself than you ever realized you had to give while taking on more of another person than you could have fathomed existed. You have to have a certain level of immeasurable passion in your heart and an equal amount of impossible to weigh knowledge in your head. And you have to trust fully and completely without ever having all the evidence you'll need answer the almighty-est of questions: will I love this person forever? Will he love me? Will we make it 'til death do us part?
People always say, "when you know, you know," but I never believed them. The realist in me thought, what does that even mean? What do you "know" when you "know?" How does a person get to the point where they are sure enough to make the most life-changing of life-changing decisions?
I don't know, but I did it on Saturday afternoon in a private nook on New York City's High Line Park (because that was the site of our first east coast date). I don't remember a word I said beyond YES. I don't have a clue what R said beyond "marry me?" but in the three minutes before he asked (when I finally realized something might be up) and the endless hours that followed (when all of our family and so many of our friends showed up for the post-engagement celebration) I was sure. I've been sure about saying "yes" for a very long time. And the only words I can use to describe that feeling of complete and utter certainty are, "you know when you know."
But that bothered me last night on the flight back to L.A. as I thought over this big deal of a blog post while staring at my brand new, amazingly sparkly, absolutely-perfect-in-every-way-ring (like !!!!!!!). I'm an overly verbose, over-thinker who has been over-sharing about relationship issues for years. How can I just leave it at the cliche that left me feeling ill-equipped for all these years? And, more importantly, how can I - the self-proclaimed "rational romantic" - have an answer without a rationale?
And so, I feel like I owe it to myself and all of you to end this ridiculous charade around certainty, to explain even a few of those inexplicable feeling you should have before you're ready to say yes, and, because he deserves it so so much, to explain why I specifically said yes to R.
Here goes - in all it's mushy, over-the-top, I've-been-engaged-for-48-hours glory. You were warned.
- I feel the love I have for R - like feel it in my bones and sometimes my belly but most often that area where I also feel heartburn after too much good food. I look at him sometimes - like after he does something particularly perfect or particularly imperfect - and actually feel love.
- I see R feel that same love for me. It looks like total adoration mixed with general amazement, a little bit of passion and total satisfaction. The result is something really awkward and goofy, but pretty obvious.
- I respect R like a mentor or family member or really impressive celebrity who I look at and think - damn, that person is just killing it at life. I aspire to be more like them. I think, "I'd hire R to do anything," and, "God, R is good at what he does," and, "If anyone can do it, R can."
- I'm able to envision the hard times that will absolutely come and see myself handling them with R. I can see how it plays out, even the scary stuff. It's a bit dark to picture tragedy, but there's such solace in knowing how he will love me through that - how he will be there for me. It makes the scary things less scary.
- I don't "need" R in the fish-needs-water sense or "want" R in the girl-needs-shoes sense, but I want to need him. This is tricky, but I think of it as having the desire to let go of the control in my life so that there is room to let R help me live more fully, safely, happily, you name it. It also lets R love me like he needs to, in addition to loving me like I need to be loved. Full disclosure (though we're way beyond that...) this was the hardest part for me.
- I notice that R is the same man in every element of his life, and that integrity of self has flowed over into our relationship. We are the same couple no matter to venue or audience, and because of that people know us - as individuals but also as a couple. And it feels really good to be known by other people.
- Life is more fun, exciting, full, challenging and just freaking awesome every single day because of R. Point blank. No further explanation.
But when R sat me down on the bench just away from the crowds for his pre-proposal, speech he told me the story he tells me every year on the anniversary of the day we met (which, yes of course, was three years ago this past Saturday - the day he proposed). He told me that when I walked into the bar he saw me from across the room and knew I was the girl he was going to marry. And I cried like I cry every single year when he tells me because, despite all of the logic in my head that says that kind of thing is impossible, I believe him.
I believe him because on our first "official" date - a few days after we met - I stared into his eyes as he talked about his love of music, and his relationship with his nephews, and his family's house on Copake Lake, and I knew too.
Because when you know, you know.
My wish for every single one of you is that you feel the same inexplicable, heart-bursting feeling that comes from saying YES when the question is finally asked. It is pure magic.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I'm pleased and proud to share this guest post from my friend Liz Adams - a Boston-raised BC grad who turned 30 on a day that held more meaning than she could have ever imagined. Enjoy!
It was the end to a week that terrorized my home town. It was a day I don’t think any Bostonian will forget. It was also the day I said goodbye to my 20s.
It should have been the worst birthday. I awoke in New York to news that a shootout had turned into a full manhunt and my city was shutdown. I scrambled to the airport hoping I could at least make it back to Boston, not knowing what I would do or what condition the city would be in when I landed. I wound up at home locked in my apartment glued to the TV and listening to the police scanners with my roommates. Anxiety consumed us all. And yet by the end of the day I considered this my best birthday yet.
Many of us will tell the stories of where we were when the bombs went off. The stories of how we pieced together the information of who was safe and who was not. We will tell the stories of where we were when we found out our friends and loved ones were hurt or worse. We will tell the stories of how we hunkered down in our homes trained to the police scanner and how the city collectively sighed when they found the second scumbag (the only official title for the suspect according to many Bostonians which is suitable for print).
We will remember these stories because this felt so deeply personal to so many. Boston is where I was born and raised. And when I left for 7 years to live in New York I proudly wore my Red Sox hat and carried that chip on my shoulder with which only Bostonians are born. For my part this week I learned that a Boston College classmate/friend and his wife were severely injured. But because Boston has the resources of a big city and the feel of a small town, it felt like we all knew someone who was personally terrorized by this week. Friends knew many others who were injured. My neighbor watched on Friday as a manhunt focused on an area where her grandmother, also celebrating a birthday, lives. (The suspect was apprehended several homes down the street from her grandmother’s house). We all lost a sense of safety.
But while we will tell the stories of horror and sadness because we have them, what we internalized is something completely different. Those that jumped in to help the wounded immediately; those that ran two more miles after completing a marathon to donate blood; those that worked tirelessly to locate the suspects; they made the impression that will last. The spontaneous displays of unity and kindness; these are the moments that will live in our hearts.
I will always remember how the generosity and outpouring of support for my classmate and his wife raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in only days. I will remember how many people reached out to me not only to wish me a happy birthday, but also just to see if I was okay. I will remember sitting on the tarmac and receiving a video of my two year old nephew singing happy birthday to me, a moment of innocence that relieved my anxiety. I will remember my neighbor using the contents of her pantry during the lockdown to make me cupcakes and my roommates organizing their surprise presentation to ensure that I did celebrate my birthday. And I will remember singing the lyrics of Dirty Water as we drowned out the sirens carrying the suspect to a nearby hospital- because we had heard too many sirens recently. I remember the viral videos that sprung up instantly on twitter of people pouring into the streets to cheer and thank law enforcement. And how in a truly Boston way the city responded with a “how about them apples” type of response, or as Big Papi said “this is our F!cking city, no one will dictate our freedom.”
In a moment earlier in the week where I was not sure if I deserved the upgrade from the kids table, a partner from my consulting firm offered some insight into the 30s as we ate dinner. He said “Your 30s are grad school for self-awareness”. And on this very bizarre first day of my 30s I was instructed on a fundamental but important lesson. While it is not particularly insightful to see the good in juxtaposition to so much evil, these are the moments where what is good it obvious to us. But the next level of thinking is required to ensure that you see the good and the blessings in the everyday; the times when you may otherwise take those good people and blessings for granted.This day was a good birthday because as this 20-nothing transitioned to a 30 something, she was given the powerful gift of perspective and a reminder of what is truly important. I wasn’t worried about wrinkles, being single, or where I stacked up on the imaginary timeline that is my life project plan. I was truly grateful for everything I had on this very day. I was truly grateful for what we all have, Bostonians and those who have adopted this city in their heart.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I can't believe I'm asking this question...on a blog that my Mom reads.
I also can't believe I don't instantly know the answer.
Back story (to prevent your imaginations from running wild...):
The other day I was reading a friend's script that included a scene featuring a man receiving a Happy Ending (which I assume we capitalize?). Later in the script his girlfriend finds out and is extremely upset. Logical, right? Who wouldn't be?
But then I got to thinking about whether or not his indiscretion technically counts as a cheat. Is it the same as soliciting sex from a prostitute? Not really. Or, as one single male friend said, "Jesus I hope not! It's not, right? Please just say it's not and let's stop talking about this."
Not to get technical about it, but any time a man's privates are touched by a woman who is not his girlfriend, that's cheating. Right? In that case, a "special massage" certainly counts. But it is, say, divorce-inducing or break-up worthy? Is it worse than finding out your fiance is sexting with a co-worker? No. No way. Right?
Maybe the better question is, where does a Happy Ending fall on the scum bag scale? I consulted with R (who would like to remind everyone that he in no way prompted this blog post), and he said, "it's definitely the lowest level of cheating. But if it's a chronic problem, that's a different issue."
Good point. Frequency does seems like it would matter in this circumstance. If a guy accidentally walks into a special Thai massage shop not knowing what's to come, fine (oof, pun not intended, but now I obviously have to leave it in there). If a guy continues to go to that Thai massage shop on the weekly, not fine.
But back to R's first statement. Is a H.E. the "lowest level of cheating?" I mean, I don't think I need to go so far as to point out what happens to make that ending so happy. How is that "low" in the sexual acts category?
Maybe it has something to do with the person on the other end of that ending being a stranger? Does that somehow make the act less offensive than your guy consistently flirting with a local bartender, or worse, his ex? As a girlfriend, the latter would certainly bother me more, but that somehow feels wrong. In the former case, things got physical. In the latter, no barrier was "technically" crossed.
Here's an interesting layer to add to the debate. Which of the above issues is a guy more likely to confess? I'm inclined to say he'd fess up to the texts with an ex over the accidental H.E. "But nothing even happened!" sounds better than, "But I only did it once! All the guys at the office went too!"
I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole issue, so let's put it to a vote.
Who says a Happy Ending is obviously, beyond a shadow of a doubt, cheating? Who says, nah, it doesn't cross that threshold? And who has more points to add to the debate?
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I celebrated four Marathon Mondays in my four years at Boston College, and they were among the four greatest days of my entire college life.
It's not just the celebration of such impressive athleticism from so many diverse people. It's not all the good spirit resulting from the thousands of causes those thousands of runners support. It's not just the sound of deafening cheering from every direction you turn or the fact that the kegs of Sam Adams flow from the crack of dawn on.
It's that Boston is its most Boston on Marathon Monday.
If you've lived there for any period of time, you understand what that means.
Every city has a personality, and Boston's is both that of the tenacious 26.2 mile runner and their best friends screaming in the crowd. It's that of the Irish pub owner giving away free pints of Guinness to anyone with a family member running the race and the Southie-raised cop giving the people who get drunk off those Guinesses a little more leeway. It's the Sox season ticket holders actually caring about another sport, at least until the Sox game stars, the veterans proudly wear their Patriot's Day gear as they watch both events from their couch in Dorchester, and the thousands of students from everywhere but Beantown finally feeling like they can sing, "Boston you're my home" and mean it.
But yesterday for a brief moment Boston was not that city I miss every Marathon Monday; it was a war zone.
This is the second time I've been hundreds of miles away from a tragedy that, should timing have been different, I might have experienced first hand. First there was 9/11, during which I was ironically at Boston College, and yesterday there was what the news is now calling the Boston Bombings, during which I was over 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles.
I watched the video of the bombs going off on Boylston Street with the same feeling of distance as I had when the Twin Towers fell. It was like seeing a familiar place turned foreign. All the surroundings are the same, but nothing you're seeing makes sense. It's like my brain wanted to try and convince me that I was looking at some place I'd never seen before, not the block I walked down dozens of times. This wasn't Boston. This was some miserable movie set.
Then I saw the picture of Patrick.
Patrick is a good friend from BC who currently lives in Boston with his wife Jess. I know plenty of kids who were born and raised in Boston, but Patrick is the most Boston of them all. He has that accent that makes it impossible to tell if he's saying "parking" or "packing," he's no more than two degrees of separation from Whitey Bulger (or so he claims), and he cried his eyes out when the Sox finally won the World Series. If you met Patrick on an iceberg in Antarctica, you'd instantly know he was from Boston. Hell, the penguins would know.
But yesterday Patrick was a shell-shocked victim in a wheelchair staring back at me from the pages of TheBostonHerald.com, and within a few moment there was his beautiful wife Jess, a frozen image of grief and pain on the front page of the New York Times online.
Suddenly my brain knew exactly how real this all was.
My heart broke for them. For Patrick who wouldn't have watched his city's marathon from anywhere but a spot close to the finish line, and for Jess who probably married Patrick in part because he wouldn't watch his city's marathon from anywhere but that spot. They were victims of a senseless crime in the heart of the place they equate with nothing but family, friends and love. It made me sick, and it made me mad.
But as I stared at that picture of Patrick, I couldn't help but see into the future - as if knowing Patrick as the opposite of that horrific image made it impossible to believe it was anything but fleeting.
I saw his recovery among a community of doctor and nurses that would quickly feel just like his cousins in Cambridge. I saw he and Jess participating in the community gatherings of healing and support that will no doubt pop up around the city in the weeks following. I saw Patrick speak at our alma mater about how he overcame the fear that day, and then I saw him counseling trauma victims from other devastating events across the country, if not the world. And finally I saw the two of them walking hand in hand down Boylston Street once they were finally able to revisit the place where their lives were forever changed.
And once I was able to see that whole future for Patrick - a man I so define by all the characteristics of the great city that raised him - I started to see that future for the city itself. The re-building, the re-trusting, the healing and ultimately the growth.
Boston is defined by many things, but it is nothing without Bostonians. Yesterday, for a brief moment, I forgot what forces of nature that specific crop of people can be. I focused on their fear and not their resilience. I saw their pain and not the strength behind it. But Patrick reminded me from a blurry photo taken 3,000 miles away.
The people of Boston are indistinguishable from the city where they live. I learned that from my friend Patrick who I can hear right now calling himself a, "son of Boston," in that awesome accent, and I relearned it yesterday when all I could see through the pain and destruction was the spirit I know stills exists underneath.
Patrick, Jess and their city will come out of this stronger . They will fight with everything that they have to return to the lives they were in the process of building, and once they make it there, they will continue to fight for everyone still on the journey back. I am afraid of so many things after these horrific events - the state of our national security and the future of the events that bring us joy paramount among them - but I am not worried about my friend and my former city making a full recovery...especially after hearing that the first things Patrick wanted to know upon waking up from surgery were whether or not the nurse went to Boston College, and if the Sox won their game.
Please send your thoughts and prayers from wherever you are to Boston, specifically to the hospital beds of Patrick and Jess who sustained significant leg injuries but are gaining strength every day.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
For not the first time in recent history, R and I were referred to as a couple that single people can tolerate being around. Yes, #humblebrag, but I like to think it counts less since I called it on myself and since I'm about to deliver you some well-researched information.
What's that? Still counts the same? Yeah, you're right.
Regardless, I wanted to know what it meant to be a two-some that singles can stand. Does it have something to do with how un-couple-like we can or cannot be? Or are there universal things that all vom-worthy lovers do in the presence of their unattached friends? Here's what the peanut gallery had to say. FYI these are not specific to the way R and I behave (or don't), but they're specifically how we'll be behaving moving forward.
Sessions with them are not like some "we" fest recap of every amazing thing they've done together in the past six weeks.
Agreed. My biggest peeve about people in general is their inability to see outside their fabulous, amazing, conversation-worthy world, so this makes sense on the couple level. Even if you spent 99% of your time together doing things that would fascinate the Most Interesting Man in the World, shut up and ask the people you're with what they've been up to lately, and try to know some things about the world so you can share topics of conversation beyond the brunch place where you recently read your respective favorite sections of the New York Times.
The PDA's are at a reasonable level and frequency
As a single person I once went on a date with a couple who literally held each other throughout our entire two hour dinner. While they were well within their rights as individuals to share an intimate embrace in the restaurant booth, I found it somewhat offensive. If you're dining as a group, dine as a group. Or as one friend said, "you can hold each other on the couch when you get home or when I pretend to go to the bathroom for ten minutes to avoid this dinner."
They don't follow each other around at the party
I hadn't thought of this one, but it's true that there are those couples who cannot function apart from each other at a given event. It's, "excuse me, I'm going to see where R went," or, "hey has anybody seen R? I need to tell him that the darker orange cheese is the better of the two orange cheeses." This is less annoying and more just pathetic.
They don't do all their inside couple joke (or fight) things and then refuse to explain them.
It looks like this:
- The Girl: Oh my god honey, they have swiss chard on the menu.
- The Guy: Don't start with me...
- The Girl: What? I'm just saying...swiss chard...here at this restaurant. Interesting...huh?
- The 3rd Wheel: What? what's wrong with swiss chard?
- The Girl: It's nothing. It's just this things that we have.
- The 3rd Wheel: What kind of thing.
- The Girl: It's stupid.
- The Guy: She started it.
- The 3rd Wheel: Just tell me.
- The Girl: No, no, no. It's stupid. Just an "us" thing. Forget it.
It is nice to capture special moments on digital film, and it is appropriate to ask the friends you're with to take those pictures. It is not nice or appropriate for that to happen more then five times during one session, especially if you're going to ask for retakes when you don't like how you look. Exceptions include: major holidays, big trips, birthday parties.
They don't try to set you up every time you're together.
That looks like this:
- The Girl: Ugh, honey. Who do we know for Jane?...
- The Guy: I don't know. We've got to know someone.
- The Girl: I know... We've got to crack this nut so that Jane and this guy friend we obviously don't have can double date with us. Wouldn't that be so fun Jane?
They complain about how old and domesticated they've become
One example explains it all:
- The Girl: You were out until 2am?! Oh my god we're in bed by 10 every night.
- The Guy: No, you are.
"When the girlfriend is always picking at the bf in public like he's some sort of monkey. One of my friends actually licked her finger and wiped some crap of her guy's face mid-conversation, and he didn't flinch. That's a problem."
That is a problem, and one I will now think of every single time I want to pick a piece of lint of R's shirt when he's in the middle of a conversation...
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
|The accidental ear flip. My absolute favorite Elliott look.|
We said goodbye to Elliott on Saturday, and it was hands down the hardest moment of our relationship.
I remember thinking about tough moments the weekend that I moved into R's place. It was, ironically, one year ago to the day that we returned Elliott to the adoption group. All my things were strewn about the small, one-bedroom apartment in non-organized piles. R's things were uprooted from their prior rightful places and forced into their own mounds that made no sense. Just as R was attempting to finish the IKEA dresser that would hold my overwhelming collection of clothes and I was marrying our combined book collection into a color and size-coded system, we both lost it.
- "Oh my god this is hard!" I said.
- "I don't know what to do next," he said. "How do I figure out what to do next?"
I now know that those brief moments of frustration were rookie league compared to the "hard" of giving up a new puppy.
The first two days with Elliott seemed promising. He was fearful around us but well-behaved on the many long walks we took and responsive to treats (especially grilled chicken). We could sense - as we'd been told - that this puppy had been through a lot. It was like he didn't quite know how to be a dog, but we felt that same connection to him that we had the first afternoon we met, so we continued to believe that we could be the people to bring him out of his shell.
By day three, things settled into what would be for the next five days, and those things were not good.
The more Elliott attached to me (something we were told would happen based on his past experience with women vs. men) the more aggressive he became toward R. Elliott's crate aggression (confined spaces make him nervous based on his experience living with a hoarder) made it so that we could not leave him without considerable destruction to anything in his path. Elliott's leash aggression (he has never been socialized to other dogs while on a leash) made it so that we could not take him anywhere other dogs might be. And, because he had grown up with a large outdoor space and other dogs, our one bedroom apartment made him anxious. He didn't know where to be. He didn't know what to do.
I want to be very clear that there is a world in which we could have moved heaven and earth to rehabilitate this dog. It is possible. His issues are common among dogs with his background. And that's exactly what made it so hard to decide that we couldn't be the people to help him right now.
We felt guilty. We felt selfish. We felt frustrated. We felt confused. We felt a dozen more emotions that we've never felt as a couple before, but somehow we never felt angry with each other.
There was silence. There were tears. And there were whispers (because we didn't want Elliott to know that we were talking about him), but somehow there was never a cross word between us.
I don't know why we both loved Elliott so much, but we did. We had a special connection to the little guy that transcends explanation, and frankly logic. But ultimately we had to make an adult decision for our lives and his. He needs more serious care than we can provide, and we need a dog that works better with our lifestyle.
45 minutes after the adoption group came to pick Elliott up we were driving out to meet a friend and share an ice-cold beer. That's when I remember thinking, "okay, good. That was really hard, but we found a way through it, and it was the same way, and I still love R, so we're probably going to be okay forever."
But this time there wasn't a question mark at the end of that thought, and I have Elliott to thank for that.
P.S. the little guy is now with a foster family that has extensive experience in rehabilitating abused animals, a much large space, and other dogs for to help him learn how to behave. #TeamElliott!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
I can't believe I just typed those words, and now I can't believe I'm going to defend them...
In case you missed it: Princeton Mom Susan A. Patton (one of the "200 pioneer women" to graduate from the Ivy League school) wrote a piece for The Daily Princetonian imploring its female undergrads to find a husband in college. Patton's message was crystal clear: "Forget about having it all, or not having it all, leaning in or leaning out ... Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate. Yes, I went there." Then, naturally, the Internet went wild. Here's NY Mag on the issue, and The Washington Post, and my favorite from a Yale mom over at Big Think (because no self-respecting Ivy League mom is going to let Princeton get all the attention).
Susan's main points:
- happy marriages are between intellectual equals
- the highest concentration of intellectual equals that you'll find is on your college campus, especially if it happens to be Princeton
- it's really hard to meet people after college
- you should probably lock a guy down when you're a freshman because "Here is another truth that you know, but nobody is talking about. As freshman women, you have four classes of men to choose from. Every year, you lose the men in the senior class, and you become older than the class of incoming freshman men. So, by the time you are a senior, you basically have only the men in your own class to choose from, and frankly, they now have four classes of women to choose from. Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?" (Ed note: that's my favorite part of the whole piece, obvs).
Why in the world would I defend this woman whose article flies in the face of feminism, love, and marriage? Why would I support this blatant example of elitism at its worse?
Because she's not wrong. She's short-sighted, narrow-minded, and incredibly opinionated, but she's not wrong.
If you are the type of person who wants to marry an intellectual equal, if you will only be happy married shortly after graduation, and if you suspect you will define the success or failure of your life by your ability to find a mate, you should follow her advice.
Now - read through until the end before you freak out about this next statement:
I remember thinking this exact same thing when I was in college. Granted it wasn't from the vantage point of wanting a man worthy of my Ivy League brain, but it wasn't all that different. My thought process:
- I picked this school because I felt a sense of community among the students - we are like-minded and have like goals and values.
- I'd like to spend my life with someone who has like goals and values.
- It would be nice to start that relationship journey with someone while we are both growing and changing through the college experience.
- Ergo: it would be great to meet a future partner at this college...
But girls like Susan (and trust me, they're out there) should take Susan's advice. There are intellectuals everywhere, and at every school, but there is no greater concentration in close proximity to you than when you are in college. Unless, I guess, you end up teaching at a college? But even then there aren't nearly as many eligible colleagues as there were eligible co-eds.
So, let's all calm down. An elitist woman has elitist views on marriage. Maybe her advice will help all those like-minded intellectuals find each other so the rest of the world can avoid running into them at bars slash on Match.com. That would be a huge plus.
In the meantime, we have way bigger dating fish to fry than this ridiculousness.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
On Saturday afternoon Elliott arrived for his trial run as our dog.
We knew it was a big risk taking him in for a week of fostering. Elliott has spent the first year of his life living with a hoarder (as in the terrifying A&E show), so he's socialized to dogs (because he lived with 35 of them...) but terrified of people (because he only ever saw one, and she wasn't exactly a stable "parent.").
When we met him, he would barely eat treats out of our hands. He followed the woman from the dog adoption service like they were tied together with a string. It was bleak. And yet we loved him, instantly. After meeting him over a week ago, all we did was talk about how amazing Elliott would be if we could rehabilitate him. He is so cute. He is so sweet. He really, really needs us. There's just something about him... "I think Elliott is our dog, J," R said to me one night, and I agreed.
And so, we decided to give it a shot. What we didn't quite consider is that neither of us has any clue how to make a damaged dog whole.
I read four books on working with shy dogs, and R trolled the Internet for all the help he could find. We talked to friends, friends of friends, and those friends' friends who have experience with dogs. We went to PetSmart and got him a "welcome" toy (literally the only cute toy in the store that didn't have an annoying squeak, but only because R found one with a broken squeaker). R bought a doggie door from Home Depot that attaches to your sliding glass door and spent two hours trying to figure out how to install it.
And then, on Saturday afternoon he arrived. It took about 30 minutes for us to realize that we had no idea what we were doing - are doing, I should say. It has been approximately 72 hours with Elliott, and here is what I think we now know:
- The less attention you pay to a shy dog, the more he warms up. This makes absolutely zero sense, but it is true. That said, it is almost impossible. You try ignoring a miniature, spotted teddy bear with the saddest eyes you've ever seen as he sulks around your one bedroom apartment.
- When in doubt - take the dog for a walk. Apparently when you're walking a dog, you're all on a mission. He becomes distracted by his dog instincts to follow the pack and explore the world, so he's far less skittish. R and I have walked this dog three times a day for at least an hour at a time, every single day. We ran out of things to talk about around walk #4, now we just make up weird songs about Elliott and comment on the neighbor's landscaping.
- Do NOT take the leash off a scared dog unless you know you can get it back on. I would have avoided six hours of frustration and 15 minutes of tears if I'd followed that advice.
- You can't predict when they're going to warm up. 30 minutes after the dog adoption lady had to come and physically put the leash back on Elliott because he wouldn't go near R or me, he came directly up to me and jumped into my lap. I have decided that this was an apology for the misery he put me through.
- That hardest part isn't him, it's us. He's not taking to R yet, and it's breaking poor R's heart. I don't want him to sleep in our bedroom, and yet I stay up for hours at night worrying whether or not he's okay in his bed outside our bedroom door. Every time we walk him one of us is convinced that he's looking at the other one more. I can't handle the smell of his chew bone. R can't handle the smell of his chicken thigh wet food (I can't either, but I hate the bone more).
- Everything that's hard about him (and us) has made us closer than we've ever been. Prepare for sap: I've never loved R more than I have in these past three days. We're in this together, and it's really really hard, but we're doing everything we can to take care of each other and this dog.
More details to come. For now, wish us luck! #TeamElliott
|The Little Man giving a quick copy edit to this blog post.|
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Nellie and I were talking about turning 30 as we finished up a delightful dinner with girlfriends last night. I can't remember exactly how the conversation went because I have one just like it twice a week these days (though, no convo tops a Nellie convo), but I remember it turned to the idea of following your dreams. Nellie is an actress - among so many other things - and I am finally (according to my 2012 taxes!!!) a writer.
We were both talking about how long we've followed our two specific dreams, and how engrained that idea of "following a dream" was in our upbringing. This was a lucky thing - no - a blessed thing, we agreed. There are kids without the means, guidance or support to follow a dream. There are adults in that same boat.
"But what happens if you realize your dream isn't your dream anymore?" Nellie said.
She was speaking mostly figuratively. Nellie, more so than almost anyone I know, has maintained a steady focus on her acting while still pursuing other work (for income) and passions (for joy). But you don't have to be freaked about your future to ask that difficult question. What if, after never allowing yourself a back-up plan, you realize plan A isn't the goal anymore? It could happen to either one of us.
This is a high class problem, both Nellie and I acknowledged that off the bat. You have to be lucky/brave/etc. enough to try and make a dream a reality in the first place. But forget all that. That doesn't change the fact that you might decide you don't actually want to live the life you've set yourself up to live. Then what?
We weren't sure. We both said things like, "you re-group," and, "you put one foot in front of the next," and, "you realize that life is not only about the way you make your money." What I wasn't willing to say out loud was that I'd be totally and completely devastated. Even thinking about it makes me nervous. What would I do? Who would I be?? Where would I go???
Our generation is, "dream oriented," Nellie and I both agreed. That's good because we both pursued dreams despite the odds against them becoming a reality (technically the odds are still against it, and we're both almost 30). But I think those among our generation who maintain some semblance of sanity despite all these big questions were raised with a duel narrative. "Follow your dreams, but remember that your life's happiness can't be tied directly to those dreams."
That seems harsh. Maybe it's, "follow your dreams, but be prepared to live a life that's about way more than just those dreams?"
That feels more reasonable.
If tomorrow I decided I no longer want to be a writer, I would freak out. Nellie might have that same reaction if she decided that her days of pursing acting should end. But then the next day we would make a list of all the things we like to do. Both of us are pretty type A, so we'd probably make another list of all the things we're good at doing, and then ven diagram the hell out of it until we had a few ideas of where to turn next. It would be really hard and really scary, but the family and friends who love us would help. Nellie would turn to her yoga practice to help center herself. I would probably go on a lot of long walks and watch late '80s television that somehow relates to my struggle. We'd probably both read a self help book or two.
But we are more than just our dreams. That feels weird to say because when you're climbing to achieve them, it feels like you and your dreams are one. You are not a person, you are an actress/writer/whatever. I think it's good to be that way - to a certain degree - when you're a 20-something. Focus is important - unbridled passion, even more so. But there comes a time when I think it's safer, healthier and more fulfilling to look at life from a place beyond your dreams. That doesn't mean they go away. It just means they get in line with a whole host of other dreams that have nothing to do with the blank space you fill in on your tax returns.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
I'm well aware of the fact that I like to be in command of my own life. I also know that I really enjoy the busy, independent, social lifestyle that I lead. What I did not quite realize, however, is that I am selfish. I think I'm selfish with a lowercase "s," but I'm selfish none the less.
Big S selfish people are jerks who don't give a damn about anything but themselves, I've decided. Little s selfish people (I've also decided) are wary of taking on anything that might alter the very specific lives they lead like, say, a lot of volunteer work or a tricky relationship or...a dog named Elliott.
When R and I first started talking about getting a dog I thought I was nervous about raising an animal. I grew up with a dog, but I didn't have to take care of her very much. She was very self-sufficient, much like an additional, much harrier little sister. It wasn't until one very specific dog came into play (ELLIOTT) that I realized I'm not afraid of raising a dog, I'm afraid of altering the very comfortable life I lead. I am little s selfish.
Here are just some of the thoughts I've had the prove this fact:
- If we get Elliott I'll have to sit outside at the various cafes I frequent to do my work. A. that's often tricky because of sun glare on my computer and B. when it drops below 70 degrees here, I'll be cold sitting outside.
- What if Elliott is really annoying around the apartment while I'm trying to do my work? Like, what if he keeps trying to get me to rub his belly or something, and I can't focus?
- Is one of us going to have to walk this dog at 7AM every single day for the rest of our life with him? Because sometimes I like to sleep until 8AM, and but that I mean 9AM...
- Is Elliott going to make our apartment smell? Because I really like how our apartment smells.
- What if Elliott doesn't like to walk fast? Because I really hate walking slow.
- Is Elliott going to ruin the leather couch? Because that was not a light purchase...that R made...but still.
- Let's discuss the cost of dog food, dog boarding and dog training relative to my annual vacation budget.
- Let's discuss the possibility of a 1.5 year old dog still chewing on shoes...
- What if Elliott likes R more than me, forever?
These are the thoughts every soon-to-be dog owner has, right? This is perfectly normal, right? My desire to rescue a dog and bring a loving animal into my life with R will very quickly outweigh any frustration with dog bone crumbs on the kitchen floor, right?
Bottom line: some degree of selfishness is normal. The degree of selfishness which prevents one from enjoying a pet in their life is not one I want to maintain, case closed.
Now onto deciding whether or not Elliott will be the one to help me grow up just a little more...
(Yes, that's him in the photo. Feel free to weigh in!)
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
This post is late because I couldn't decide whether or not to write it.
I had originally planned to write about the fact that R and I are preparing to adopt a puppy. It was going to be a super funny piece on how two people agree on what the animal they intend to share the next 12-16 years with should look like (spoiler alert: they don't), but I couldn't stop reading and thinking about the Steubenville rape case. I didn't want to write about it because I didn't want to be just another non-lawyer, non-detective, non-psychologist, non rape victim weighing in on an issue that even those people are struggling to evaluate. Then I realized that not talking about the Steubenville rape case is the last thing anyone involved or uninvolved need. So, here I am with what may be a rather unorthodox way to understand what happened, and even more importantly, to understand how the nation reacted.
The very first thing that popped into my head when I heard about the divisive responses to the rape and boys now determined responsible was, "what if that girl had been a boy." It's a strange question to ask, I know, but it's the same pattern of thought I go to when any instance remotely like this hits the news. What if we removed the gender from it? What if these were two sexless beings committing these acts against each other? Let's remove age too. Imagine their age is totally unknown. How would everything change?
Let's do it. Let's pretend that Trent Mays (17) and Ma'lik Richmond (16) actually raped a drunk, straight boy of any age. This boy drank excessively at a series of parties. Many people witnessed this boy become visibly impaired by the alcohol to the point of being slouched over, eyes closed. There are pictures of it, in fact. People reported that he was non-responsive at several points during the night. Forget about whether or not Trent, Ma'lik or this boy are gay. Just remove that from the equation. Imagine that they penetrated him with their fingers, just as they did to the girl in the real version. Then try to picture the exact same story unfolding.
You can't, right? And it's not just because straight boys don't rape each other (fyi, they do) or because Trent and Ma'lik are not gay. It's because there would be NO question about whether or not it was rape because this boy would never consent to what Trent and Ma'lik were doing, and - and here's the important part - those two boys would never assume that they had consent. I can't understand why they assumed they had consent from the 16-year-old drunk girl, but I think it has everything to do with the fact that she was a 16-year-old drunk girl, and nothing to do with her actual rights as a human, woman, man or otherwise.
I know it's impossible to remove the sexes from the sex. When these cases unfold our minds go to the fact that men uncontrollably desire sex (especially high school boys), and so it is "understandable" that they might be driven to do what they did (make no mistake, it is not) and be confused about whether or not they had consent (I believe they did not). Young people see sex acts happen before their eyes all the time, so many people wouldn't assume something was wrong, or wouldn't say anything even if they did. And teenagers drink so much that they're often unable to discern what's happening to their bodies. All of those facts are true, but they're all about the sex act and not at all about state of the other person it's happening with. They're all about the motivation of the rapist and not the rights of the victim.
That's why we have to pretend that the victim is anything but a 16-year-old drunk girl. Because "of course" a boy would want to take sex from a 16-year-old drunk girl, no matter what it takes.
So try again. You don't even have to pretend it's a straight male. Picture a 10-year-old girl, a 55-year-old woman, or a 75-year-old grandparent. Imagine questioning any one of those other people about whether or not they said "no" loudly and clearly enough? Imagine asking whether or not they were totally passed out or just sorta passed out. Now think about how that changes your view of this entire story.
I know this story involves thousands of details that my little mental experiment doesn't take into account, but I don't care. I'm not here to weigh in on the legality of it all. I'm only concerned with whether or not there is any version of this story that supports the fact that this specific 16-year-old girl wanted what she got from these two high school boys. And I find that the minute I think of her as a genderless, age-less human being - anything but a drunk 16-year-old girl - the answer is crystal clear.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Read 'em and weep ladies. More to come!
10. Listen, I need you to buy me tampons at the grocery store. Just grab the first multi-pack you see and get the hell out of there.
9. Bottom line: we can't make any new friends until after the wedding invites go out.
8. I'm sorry, did you just say you got pregnant on the VERY FIRST TIME TRYING?!
7. The rules of this wedding dress shopping session are simple. If I love it, you love it.
6. I don't want to have sex tonight, and I don't have a reason.
5. Right, but can you describe to me exactly how it will feel approximately 30 seconds before my water breaks?
4. Thank you for this offer. Given my experience level and past performances, I'd like to see if your company can come up 10K on the base starting salary.
3. Of course I'd love a little girl, but I'll just be happy if the baby is healthy.
2. You don't have to go through with this wedding. We'll get you out of here and handle telling everyone.
1. Oh my god...my mother used to say that exact same thing...I'm becoming my mother...
Add your own in comments!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
R's good friend invited us to a concert last night. The day was Monday. The show didn't start until 9:45, which really means 10:00 because nothing cool ever actually starts on time. The venue is about fifteen minutes from our house, so not far but not so close that we can't not go. We've seen the band before, but they're fantastic, as is this friend, so we'd both definitely enjoy seeing them again. We already had food for dinner, plus I now work from the room directly connected to the kitchen, so finding time to both eat and attend this concert wouldn't be a problem, especially since it starts at 9:45/10. We had a really busy weekend, but we technically got plenty of sleep, so it's not like we need to make up for lost time by going to bed at 8:30 tonight (note: that's a joke. We've never actually gone to bed at 8:30, but not out of lack of desire).
In other words, we should go to this concert. It would be really fun. We'll catch up with people we know and support a group that we both want to see succeed.
And yet all I did since the minute R told me about the show was try to come up with legitimate excuses not to go, then yell at myself for being so lame/old/boring, then yell back that I don't have to go to some late-night concert if I don't want to because that's what being mature is all about, then calmly remind myself that 10pm is not "late night." It was a rough 3:30 to 3:45 over here.
Five years ago going to this concert would have been a no-brainer. It would literally take zero power of the brain to decide that we would attend. It is something fun to do involving many things we love. Now, technically speaking five years ago R and I would not have been together, and I would be living in New York, but I think I can still say with a strong degree of certainty that both of us would have attended whatever version of this concert existed in that hypothetical past.
So, what changed? Is it our interest? Have we seen enough shows of this nature to sit it out? Is it our energy level? Are we just too tired? Or is it our perspective? We now know that we don't need to be there for the sheer sake of being there. We will see this band again, many times. It is Monday, and it would be nice to relax, even if we don't need to relax. Also, while we will see friends, the quality of time spent at a very loud, 10PM concert is kind of negligible.
No. Of course we didn't go. We made fish on the grill then watched a 2 hour HBO documentary on scandal in the priesthood (which I highly recommend, if you can stomach it). I think we didn't go because of a combination of all of the above elements. Also, it was below 60 degrees, and I find it hard to motivate when it's that cold out.
Do I feel bad that we missed the show? Yes, but only because I really do adore this friend and what to support all of his endeavors. Did I feel bad for myself? No.
I think the younger you are, the more things you do because you think you should, whether or not you actually want to do them. That doesn't necessarily apply to this concert, but it applies to dozens of things I attended at 10pm on a Monday night when I was 25.
I think the older you get, the more you do what you actually want to do. That is, of course, until you have kids, at which point you never do what you actually want to do again.
So if you think about it, this very small valley of time between living by 20-something obligation and doing everything for your kids is really precious. We shouldn't squander it away. We should take full advantage.
There! I knew I could justify it with some kind of grand, meaningless statement!
Let's just not acknowledge the fact that in the amount of time it took to write this post I could have seen the concert and gotten a beer with our friend to celebrate...
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Guess what you guys?