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Chapter XVII

because you never know someone from the very beginning

Month

July 2006

Confession

Dsc01989 I have a secret.  I miss the wedding.  I REALLY miss it.  I am so sad it’s over.  I think about it daily.  I still want to re-hash it.  It was the best weekend of my life thus far.  Without a doubt.  It’s a little embarassing, frankly how much I miss the wedding.  But allow me to revisit it for a moment to review a few highlights…

– Wearing a FABULOUS dress (It’s in my closet now.  I may start wearing it around the house.  I am a pathetic ex-bride.)

– Having an entire crowd of people singing Pour Some Sugar On Me

– Seeing the Husband To Be at the end of the aisle

– Turning around and everywhere I looked were people I wanted to spend hours with

– Seeing my mother dancing with just about everyone

– Listening to my sister’s AMAZING Best Lady toast.  Tears, lots of tears.

– Watching various friends and relatives spend time with my dad.  He loved being there and I loved that people wanted to spend time with him.

– Feeling like the husband (husband!) and I put something together that reflected who we are, and what we want to provide for our friends and family.  And not stressing about it.

It’s been a banner year.  My sister’s wedding.  My wedding.  The pulling together of families.  Sharing planning stories and ideas with my sister.  Planning my sister’s shower with my mother.  Seeing my dad perform the vows at both ceremonies.

I think I am a little afraid.  You always hope the best moments are not in the past, but in the future.  It was such an amazing year, and I know there are incredible things in all of our futures, but I cannot help missing moments I know are (WERE) some of the best of my life.  And I cannot go back to them.  They are memories now.  Hopefully memories that won’t fade. 

I was really in the moment.  Aware of every second, and thank goodness for that.  It could have gone by in such a blur.  But I remember getting into the cart that took me to the wedding site, seeing the husband for the first time, sharing a first kiss post-ceremony alone over the hill where we drove to have a moment to ourselves, my dad saying "long pause" in the ceremony, noticing how good the flowers looked, seeing faces and smiles as we walked down out during the recessional, signing the book noting our marriage officially, being fed a great piece of pie.  I could go on much longer but I think I will save those notes for a private notation in my personal journal.  I will write down as much as I can remember. 

Though the memories fade and the flowers are gone, the best parts remain: friends, family, and a husband who knocks me off my feet.  My sister ended her toast (TEARS!) with a quote from one Carrie Bradshaw (if you don’t know who she is, get thee to Google!).  Here it is:

"Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous."

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Fingerpainting

I read once that the tragedy of growing up is that you start school with a box of 64 crayons, and you end with a Bic pen.  How sad.  I think this is a key driver of why so many adults feel unsatisfied.  We need to play more.  I referenced in a prior post that while catching up on news after returning from the honeymoon (ahh, the honeymoon) I saw four reference to happiness in the media.  I read the NY magazine article and have a couple of observations I would like to record.

  • Regarding therapy, I think if people spent more time looking into what makes them happy as opposed to what makes them miserable, we would all be better off as a society!  Sounds like a simple idea.  Start with small things and fill up your day with as many of them as possible.  Think of each day as an empty jar.  It can be filled with crap pellets (speaking of crap, there is an actual town in Italy called Crapolla.  I wonder if they are miserable?)…or it can be filled with chocolate pellets!
  • The idea of ending each day with a gratitude journal sounds terminally corny, but oddly tempting.  I shall try it.  People say it’s addictive. 
  • One other crucial point, in my humble opinion, is that as adults we feel unsatisfied often because we don’t DO anything.  We are not ACTIVE participants in the world, at least not as much as we were as kids.  My inner liar is yelling “Rubbish!”  but it’s true.  Adults observe more often than make.  We LOOK at art, we WATCH movies, we READ books.  These are passive activities.  How about making movies, acting, and writing?  Times they are a changing, for sure.  The Internet is allowing everyone to be an author (very broadly defined of course), a broadcaster or a movie maker.  Interestingly, these are all digital activities.  As kids WE were the painters, we acted in plays in our basements, we wrote stories, we built stuff.  Why not as adults?  Because we more often than not live off of the fruits of others. 

Everyone has a voice.  Find yours again.  I say, break out the fingerpaints!

Another Day on American Airlines

To the untrained eye, a 6 hour flight must seem dull.  But for me, it is a time to notice all kinds of crazy things!

  • A child on the plane is crying because his foot is swelling (Swelling?  This is not good).  His mother is concerned.  A woman comes over to help, claiming she is a homeopath.  The mother looks more concerned.  The flight attendant calls for a doctor.  The homeopath looks enraged.  The doctor arrives, swiftly dismisses the homeopath.  An altercation is narrowly avoided.  Said child is given ibuprofen and told to rest.  Mother looks relieved.  The homeopath stews.
  • A woman one seat up from me across the aisle is on her fifth crossword puzzle.  She looks highly determined. 
  • The movie starts.  It looks foreign.  I am bored immediately.  Dear god, have I really become that provincial?  No, just missed the States after a three week absence.

I observe that there are several types of flyers out there.  A few:

  • Spacehogs who immediately claim as much territory as possible.  The take the entire overhead and the area under the seat.  If they are your neighbor, forget about the armrest!
  • First time travelers who arrive on the plane typically wearing tank tops and daisy dukes, with midriff blazing all the way (I cannot help but to release a snide chuckle knowing they are setting themselves up for hours of shivering);
  • Meditators…these are the ones that amaze me – they get on the plane with NOTHING to read or look at.  I mean, who can sit there for hours staring at the seat in front of them???  I kindly conclude they must be buddhas rather than numnuts. 
  • Scouts – those that were definitely Boy or Girl Scouts as children.  They arrive with ample reading, enough beverages for a safari and square meals.  A woman two rows behind me has set herself up with a three course lunch.  No joke.  She started with a lovely looking cucumber and tomato salad, followed by baked ziti with freshly grated cheese and a side of crisp green beans.  She finished it off with tiramisu.  Tiramisu?  Impressive.  I neglected to bring anything to eat, arrogantly assuming I would be upgraded (uh, yeah).  Piddle to that.  It was not to be.  So I sit here now starving and almost through an entire tin of raspberry flavored hard candies.  I will surely come to regret this later.
  • Finally, and my personal favorite, arrive the Bad Children.  Not real bad children, though there are plenty of those, but adult bad children.  Those that upon sitting crank their seats back all the way.  Others in this category immediately jump on cell phones to discuss NOTHING for all of us around to hear.  People in this category feel they are above the rules.  They are my favorite because as a lifetime follower of rules (how dull, I know, but I am a first born child and cannot help it).  I relish in seeing them get lectured by the flight attendants (am now revealing side of self that is better left unsaid, that petty hahaha! side of me).  Sweet revenge for those of us that never whispered in class, keep quiet in movies, and dutifully replace our seats to their full, upright positions for landing and takeoff. 

So what is “crosscheck” anyway?

Someone is passing gas.  How rude.  We are in a closed environment, people.  Almost as bad as letting one fly in an elevator.  Inexcusable.

I find myself amazed by my mother.  She flew for a living and managed dealing with all these people.  How wonderful.  No wonder she is a good mom.  The patience of Job, I say, but took no sh*t either. 

The sundaes are being served in Business Class.  I feel robbed.  In steerage we don’t get sundaes.  But there is a lovely snack box for sale.  It has cheese, crackers, dried fruit, turkey stick, cookies…halt. 

Turkey

STICK?  We should be ashamed as a country. 

Turkey

stick.

Save Venice

Copy_of_122_2254_1So how good is this…Venice.  Really an amazing place (and even I look like a good photographer there!).  I took this as we flew from Venice to Paris.  Venice was our last stop after two weeks in Italy.  What a way to end that fabulous time.

But Venice is sinking.  It’s worth keeping (even with the tourists).  Support Venice.  Save Venice.  www.savevenice.org

Maria Had It Right

I was a nun once.  Really, I wore a habit and everything.

In the school play that is.  Yes, I was Sister Marghereta from The Sound of Music!  How do you solve a problem like Maria?  How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

I like that last line.  But of course most of us know the favorite things diddy – These Are A Few of my Favorite THings (again, per prior post, note my imperfect spellings and just letting it go – letting the need to fix everything dribble off the keys!  of course obsessing about it all the way by pointing it out to faithful readers like yourself.  But I press on…)

The point is I find myself humming that song all the time.  Truly.  So I am starting a new list of favorite things (see lists on the sidebar to the left).  I find thinking about favorite things is a fun exercise, and revealing in the general simplicity of the items themselves.  Take note of a few to wet your appetite…

– a cold bottle of water on a hot day

– waking up and knowing you don’t have to be out of bed for an hour

– hot coffee and real cream

– watching a sunset while enjoying a campari and soda

– getting caught up in a really good book

– knowing you have made someone happy

– kraft macaroni and cheese with a little more butter than the recipe recommends

What are your favorite things?  Do you take note of them as you enjoy them, or do you only remember them afterwards?

Now I Know Why the Rocket Ships Shake

You ever watch a man in an outer space vessel returning to Earth?  It looks quite violent and exhilerating at the same time…"oh dear god I am careening towards the Earth from outer space" and "thank GOD I am heading back to Earth from outer space!".

That is somewhat how returning from a long vacation feels like…"dear god, now I have to get back to normal life" coupled with "sweet Mary, let me kiss the ground of NYC!" 

It’s great to be home.

Factually, I (we) have been away now at wedding / honeymoon for nearly a month (glorious).  Practically, it has been much longer as planning the wedding, etc. has been a marvelous distraction for nearly a year.

But alas, life goes on and I (we) am back.  It’s interesting coming back.  Lot’s to say…I could talk about new husband, Italy, getting married on a mountain in perfect weather, being surrounded by family and friends and how it is the most wonderfully crazy experience EVER, eating pie in front of 165 people…

Nevermind all that, I would rather note the things that have stood out in the last 24 hours of re-entry:

– I have not noticed the noise of NYC upon return like I thought I would

– Waking with ease at 6:15 this morning was a treat

– In catching up on my media consumption, I have seen four (yes FOUR) references to the pursuit of happiness (a segment on a two week old episode of CBS Sunday Morning, a post on a blog noting how a course in happiness was one of the more popular courses at Harvard last year, a segment on NPR regarding happiness and an article on the cover of NY Magazine)…what does this say about our country?

– 3 of my friends have made major career changes in the last month, 2 of which involve entrepreneurial ventures (i.e. following your dream!)

– I am looking forward to getting back in the office

– I love being an affordable phone call away from friends and family

– I love Italian and French cooking, but I REALLY love being able to have a French breakfast, Italian for lunch, and sushi for dinner – all good and all within walking distance of one another

– Clean laundry is divine

– Two people said "good morning" to me as I walked down the street today

<This post feels unpolished.  Lacking that special cleverness or humor that makes it a pleasure to read…well, so be it.  Not everything needs to be read, re-read, edited, tweaked.  I am experimenting with just letting certain things go.  Too often in my life, I find "perfect is the enemy of the good" and I have found in my own life I use the pursuit of perfection as an obstacle for experimentation.  Bugger to all that.  Hit Publish!>

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