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Posts from the ‘Friends’ Category

The next chapter

This is a post I’ve been writing for months. My comeback post. I’ve tried writing it as a metaphor, as a poem, in a way that is much more eloquent than the reality. I was lost, comatose, blind and now I am found, awake, and with sight. It was arduous, cliché, and self-indulgent. This is too; so don’t get too smug or relieved. So although delayed, today is the perfect day. And in the end it doesn’t matter the way I tell it.

About 10 years ago I wrote a book. It was inspired by my year in Florida Post College, although in no way reflective of my actual time there. I was motivated and inspired to complete about ¾ of the project. After that I was fairly complacent to pretend like it never happened, but it was always on my mind, harping me to close that chapter so to speak. Although I was also comfortable ignoring this sentiment, my mother was also present to remind me of my desire to publish this book with clippings of articles on publishing, the names of self publishers scribbled on scraps of paper, and reminders during our daily phone chats. We had even begun brainstorming a second novel that we would co-author once this one was finished.

After she passed away, I though this is surely the chance I have to finish this novel, to use writing as a cathartic process, and begin to heal. But I did not do this. I avoiding writing like I avoided most things that I knew were healthy coping mechanisms one might potentially say. But one day, several years later, an amazing thing happened and suddenly I realized my hardships as my strength and that it wasn’t too late to shift gears. So shift I did and I’ve finally been able to finish the book* I began several years ago. It’s not perfect (sorry everyone who already purchased it 😉 )but it’s my story and I laughed when I wrote it and I cried too. And I did both when I read it each time. And I feel ready for the next one.

With that, I honestly can’t believe how many wonderful people I’ve accrued through my life who have stood by me for all of my highs and lows. I am a better friend because of you. I am so grateful that I have such a loving family and support system that has only continue to strengthen despite our losses. And I am grateful to have my mom still such a big part in my life through her memory and the values imparted upon me. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given and that life has patiently been waiting for my return. Thank you for waiting. Thank you for believing in me. So on this day, which I can hardly believe is the fourth anniversary of her passing I am happy to say that’s one down, several more to go. I toast you every day, but especially today. I miss you and love you and thank you for everything including the publisher recommendation. 🙂

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*Although this post is slightly more serious in tone, this book is not. It’s a lot of fun if you would like to check it out! A Girl, A Dream, and SPF 50.

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adventures in office gossip

Like most people, my workday is often very busy with distracting things such as conference calls, spreadsheets, and meetings, leaving very little time for life’s most important topics. I am often forced to learn every detail of my colleague’s dating lives in minimal time. As such, it’s important to strategize. Here are my tips on maximizing gossip sessions.

Get to the point. When recapping a date, nobody needs to know how the food was prepared. It only matters whether or not he picked a decent, convenient spot, and how smoothly the check was handled. Just kidding I need every detail of what you ordered, ate, how you ate it, how it tasted, whether or not you met the chef, what exactly you each said, the tone with which it was said, and whether or not the night ended in a kiss. But be concise. Just don’t spare any single detail.

Recap emails can be helpful. Details are hard, but necessary for the joy of your enraptured audience, so be thorough. All feelings and any important dialogue should be noted to expedite group analysis. Always take particular note as to how the date ended. Did he set a time to meet again? Did he say I will talk to you tomorrow or I will talk with soon? Note body language and facial expressions. Photos would help….

Text updates are key. Bathroom breaks are perfect for live date updates, which allow your dateless friends to feel included and for you to feel important. It’s nice for everyone. This also is a nice timeline to follow when putting together your date recap e-mail.

Explore all channels when rehashing dating challenges with friends at work or anytime. Having a hard time determining if that hottie on the ferry is single? Hit the app store. Between tinder, OKC, match, bumble, coffee meets bagel, howaboutwe, and plenty of fish (is this still a thing? that can be discussed as well) you will find out swiftly. Mid day catch-ups are perfect for best practice sharing with single coworkers on emerging platforms outside of the boardroom. Within moments it’s possible to find nearly any single male in the tri-state area with current technology so make sure you stay connected.

Make an agenda. During gossip sessions you want to make sure everyone gets to share and give input to make sure all can weigh in and take part in the fun. An agenda is a good way to make sure you stay on schedule and cover all updates evenly.

Most of all don’t get discouraged. This amount of emotional energy may be exhausting and cause you to wonder if it is worth it, but there is nothing better than sharing with girlfriends, helping each other primp before an exciting first date, slightly obsessing, and immediately banding together to plot impending doom on anyone that falls short of our fairly low expectations. It may seem tough at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! As long as I am married in CT by next June with a pony, a shared yard with my bestie, and a minivan. Just kidding. I’m not kidding. I mean whatever happens! 😉 Happy trails to all my single ladies! Read more

Getting my mind right.

As I am about to turn thirty I decided it might be time to work on sorting out my life. You know, make some goals, achieve them, that sort of thing. As is the first step of anything I do, I began by soliciting Google for advice on what to accomplish prior to entering my third decade. I found this guidance to be a bit pretentious. Who has time to buy my first home, go to Paris, and fall in love in the next 2 months?? Okay maybe I should have started this effort in a timelier manner. First goal, procrastinate less.

What's on the horizon? We'll find out!

What’s on the horizon? We’ll find out!

Then I decided these lists are kind of silly. As big of a fan I am of the “listicle”, this is mostly for the ease of reading and laughter. If a list causes stress or anxiety, it’s a terrible list as far as I am concerned. So I started my own list and it seemed so trivial. Then I really thought about what I want to feel and how I want to be. When I did begin to form a small list of where I would like to be mentally as I launch my thirtieth year, I realized I am basically there. I am not perfect, HA NOT EVEN CLOSE. But I have a lot of goodness in my life, a lot more than most.

So here is the list of what I would like to continue to foster throughout the next 30 years. This is a good list I promise.

  1. Love – I don’t mean this in the romantic sense, but genuine unconditional love amongst family and friends and generally being a loving person.
  2. Forgiveness – I don’t believe in grudges. They are bad for your heart. Dad I hope you are reading this.
  3. Humor – I truly believe laughter is the best medicine. With the exception of you know, real medicine.
  4. Curiosity – The moment you lose your curiosity, the world essentially becomes pointless.
  5. Openness – This is something I am working on, but I believe to be open to what life throws your way allows for spectacular adventure.
  6. Hunger – I mean this metaphorically, unfortunately my body doesn’t understand that.
  7. Honesty – I think its good to be honest with others, but I mostly mean this in the sense of being honest with oneself to truly understand what one actually wants out of life.
  8. Communication – This is where honesty kicks in, in terms of relationships with others. Nobody is actually a mind reader, especially that lady in the West Village that claimed I needed to buy crystals in order to find love, but I digress….
  9. Loyalty – We all need someone to have our backs. I am not saying we need to form a gang and get matching jackets, but it’s imperative to be there for your family and friends and know they are there for you as well. This knowledge has saved my life a thousand times over.*
  10. Trust – Trust your gut, trust that things will work out, trust others, unless they seem untrustworthy, they just stick with the gut portion.

I really think that is it.  That’s the list. Sure it may be helpful for me to cut down on the amount of crime television I watch. I could potentially stand to lose 15-50 pounds. I am sure it would be nice to prance through a meadow of daisies with a nice gentleman for the rest of my life. It would be great if I could manage to fit a regime of meditation into my life. I am certain I should have saved more money by now.  But you know what? I am pretty sure I only want those things because of some other list I read and putting timelines in place doesn’t always help. With the exception of the weight loss portion, that definitely needs to happen for cholesterol and heart disease purposes. The spandex industry will be devastated, but we’ll all move on.

*I actually could write a tome on the love and respect I have for the friends and family I have in my life. I am continually inspired and amazed by how much support I have and I question how anyone survives without this type of network in place. Mission become a better friend launches NOW!

Somehow I got old and out of touch with reality.

As I stood in security at JFK this past Friday to attend a good friend’s wedding and a reunion with some beloved college friends, it occurred to me that I forgot the one thing I actually needed that weekend – my dress for the wedding. I was also 2 hours delayed, present-less, and on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

At least I remembered to pack undergarments, a shoe, and this cat.

At least I remembered to pack undergarments, a shoe, and this cat.

So when I frantically plopped myself down at the closest bar I could find I was pleased to be sandwiched between two sophisticated businessmen, clearly older and more established than myself. Sometimes when one is at one’s worst it is nice to be surrounded by stability.

I happened to notice the gentleman to my left was rather handsome. We begin to chat and I imagine our own impending nuptials He is a suit, in some type of nebulous banking pharmaceutical industry and clearly far more stable than some chick who is delayed without imperative luggage.

We share beverages, laughs, stories, and within five minutes it is revealed that he is also a recent graduate. From college. And I am old, a cougar, and a borderline rapist. Not to mention a lost soul teetering on the edge of unemployment… but alas that’s for another post. 😉 When did I become older and less established than most bar dwellers? When did my concept of age reality go so awry? Is my judgment that far from accurate? Deep thoughts…. mission get my life back on track commences now!

Sunshine on the horizon.

Hello Daylight Savings!

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I for one could not be happier for signs of spring. It’s been a hard winter and I, along with all other Northerners could use a little sunshine.  This first week was a little hit or miss, but I definitely feel good things on the horizon. The beginning of spring is always a joy for me because everyone completely overreacts in the sweetest way possible.  Here are the things I adore about the launch of spring:

  1. Once the temperature is above freezing and we don’t have hurricane force winds, New Yorkers shed all sense of clothing. Men immediately don shorts and boat shoes (which I love for many other reasons) Women, essentially wear as little as possible. It’s a win for everyone
  2. Smiley New Yorkers make for a happy Marissa. Spring literally feels like all NYC residents have entered a giant production of the Sound of Music (the happy parts) and it is simply gorgeous.
  3. Picnics become a part of my reality, which means my picnic backpack comes out of storage!
  4. Happy Hour is one of my favorite things and finding new rooftops and al fresco options is somewhat of a sport. At the first sprout of a crocus, restaurants open their doors and set up outside seating and you can rest assured this gal is there with a cocktail. Or 5.
  5. Concerts galore begin to pop up.  Okay all of these are not a part of the first signs of spring, but teasers begin. Summer Stage, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pool Parties (maybe they’ll come back??) There is legitimately free music as far as the ear can hear.

So enjoy New Yorkers, you deserve it. I hear it’s supposed 55 today, I’ll meet you in Central Park with some of my world famous Sangria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pivotal moments.

Recently I was honored to witness the engagement of two dear friends. It was a beautiful moment that will be remembered for all eternity.  Picture it. Sicily Brooklyn, during the New York City Marathon… a handsome Irish lad took a knee, sacrificing his time to profess his love for all to see.  Not days later I was thrilled to receive the call that my best friend was going into labor with her first daughter. And just 48 hours after that, I received the blissful news that I am an aunt yet again. Needless to say, just kidding I will say it, it was a big week. I was on a high from the said engagement and baby arrivals that I naturally began thinking about the most important moments in one’s life.

So there I was, contemplating those moments one finds oneself ruminating about on rainy days, the ones that create an ongoing slow motion montage that would be featured during a pivotal plot moment if life were a romantic comedy. Which it should be, but I’ll save that for a later post.  I now present to you my top three most profound life moments.

  1. My first dream. I was sliding down a rainbow and when I reached the bottom I plucked from the ground an oversize, laminated, four-leaf clover. Rainbow? Slide? Lamination? What’s not to love and remember forever?

    This dream was so off the chain it continually inspires artwork such as this. No I didn't save this from my youth, I drew this a few weeks ago.

    This dream was so off the chain it continually inspires my art. No I didn’t save this from my youth, I drew this a few weeks ago.

  2. The first time I realized my extreme heat disorder and sweat through my tee shirt. It was summer and I was practicing my dance routine and discovered I was covered in sweat from basically shimmying for 5 minutes. I knew then that I was doomed.
  3. The first time I realized I was a giant. I was in the first grade and my best friend confided she was frightened by my size. I subsequently was named the Jolly Green Giant, thought to be a teacher as a 5th grader, and overall harbored a feeling of extreme height awkwardness until college.

Authors note: As with all of the imperative topics I cover, this is mildly in jest. I have obviously had more key moments in my life. It is my prerogative to leverage my awkward younger self-moments to make me laugh now and try to reconcile them in a way that makes me feel like an evolved person. And that dream was literally earth shattering.  A toast to more pivotal moments!

My Summer Story

I have been MIA, but it’s summer so I will blame it on the fact that I have been traveling. Actually, I have been informed summer is in fact now over and I need to start working a full day on Fridays, but alas. If I could sum up my summer story in a word, it would be magical. There were some parts of the summer that were exquisite, some painful, but as an overarching sentiment, I will opt to go with magical. There were so many moments throughout the summer where I sat back and reflected, or more aptly said aloud to myself  “This was more fun than I could have possibly imagined”. Maybe it’s the fact that I have started to anticipate mediocrity in order to accommodate my high expectations, but I doubt it, because who can truly lower expectations? Not this girl. So I’ll start with a round up (or two, who knows how long this could take).

BJ- Suitcase

BJ always tries to join me on my travels.

Summer started with a family trip to St. John. It’s been a family destination for years and one of the final places my mother wanted to be laid to rest. So we obliged. Days were filled with old favorites like happy hour at an island “dive” Woody’s intertwined with the new (ish) Fatty Crab, Virgin Islands edition. With poolside painkillers at The Westin St. John and swimming in the ocean with my beautiful niece, in addition to that I spent the week communing with starfish and sea turtles on nearly deserted beaches, it was both a perfect beginning and end.  Since St. John is so hilly, the views are obscenely gorgeous. If you don’t get St. John, you just don’t get it.

St. John View

So that was hard to top, but fortunately I had a lot of plans this summer. I had a nearly perfect birthday, a pretty gorgeous Fourth of July, and I already told you about Montreal.  One more thing I will add about the hospitality at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, one way to win over this American is with a welcome ritual involving molecular gastronomy and booze. And rainbows never hurt.

Montreal

The next magical memory of summer was a trip to North Fork to celebrate one of my favorite brides. We toured three wineries, Lenz, Bedell, and McCall. At each we tasted fairly delicious wines, most memorably the Roses. Maybe that’s because I love all things pink, but I am fairly certain it was because they were crisp, floral, and not too sweet.  The wineries were beautiful, rustic, and charming and I was able to pet horses. It was a good day, but mostly because of the deep soul soothing laughter that comes from a weekend with your favorite girl friends and Cards Against Humanity.

North fork

This is getting lengthy; I’ll do a part 2 so your eyes don’t bleed.