Archive | November, 2010

Why is my wedding dress in your closet?

29 Nov

My brother is back in New York and I could not be more ecstatic.  As I’ve come to learn, broken engagements are full of clichés so I am going to go ahead and use one: I did not realize how much I missed him until two and a half years later, we find ourselves on the same continent again.  With only an 18 month age difference between us, we’ve always been close, move in the same or similar social circles and are usually facing similar life milestones in close proximity of one another.

In recent years our lives transformed into something significantly different and, for the most part, hugely separate.  Well, if you don’t count Skype, email or Facebook.  While I concentrated on building my career and a (then unknown) disaster-bound relationship, my brother lived halfway around the world in Ho Chi Minh City, gaining journalistic experience abroad and immersing himself in a culture completely unlike his own.

My brother – or once upon a time, my “man of honor” – booked his flight home and returned to the US for a then expected early November wedding date.  In the month since he has been home, it is as though he never left.  I am sure his experiences, and the accompanying culture shock of those experiences, give him a perspective I can only imagine; however it is truly as though he was simply on a brief sabbatical from my every day.  As we slip into familiar habits – hanging out at each other’s apartments (mine more than his, but come on, he lives in Brooklyn…!), bar hopping around the city, holiday meals together – I can’t help but recognize that we are actually transformed individuals.  It seems that while he was gone these past few years, we both became adults.  Complete with adult issues in life to contend with.

While my brother’s new adventure is a practical one – the “what’s next” of his inevitably successful career path – mine is the somewhat more emotional journey of reevaluating a previously planned path that I had for myself.  Either way, we both seem to be at a crossroad of sorts and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have holding that all-important compass with me.  Even if, snooping around his new digs last weekend, I did find my wedding dress in his closet…lucky for him, and the nauseated look he had on a face, I’ve dealt with much worse these past six months and could easily shrug it off.  He told me it was a beautiful dress and we laughed.

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Aaaand the bartender made fun of me last night

25 Nov

Bartender:  “Do you always drink this slowly?  Come on, I won’t even charge you for the next one.”

Nothing like a side of ridicule with your (free) beer.

What I am thankful for this year

24 Nov

Let’s state the obvious: I am thankful that three weeks ago I did not marry my now ex-fiancé.

Now let’s focus on things that actually matter.

I don’t know that the me of six months ago would have believed that I indeed have this much to be thankful for.  But an important insight has hit me on Thanksgiving Eve this year.  If I am really honest with myself, if I put aside the idea of where I thought I would be at this point, if I reflect on what I do have in life…there is so much more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving than one year ago.  No, really:

  • My family and friends.  They inspired and motivated me to find a new path.  They supported me through the incessant emotion, participated in the late night partying, and in many cases, put their own lives on hold for days (and weeks!) at a time to be there for me.  Through their encouragement, I have come to look forward to an undefined future.
  • My mother’s advice that I’ve previously quoted and that has become my cornerstone: “Hours will pass, events will proceed and you will still be breathing.”  I’ll probably be laughing too.
  • After living in Vietnam for over two and a half years, I am about to spend my first holiday in years with my brother.  While I love him more than anything, he better keep his paws off my pumpkin ravioli (keep reading…)
  • Although I try not to think about how much I miss my ex’s family, I am thankful that I won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving at my almost brother- and sister-in-law’s house this year.  Have you ever had to take New Jersey Transit out of Penn Station on Thanksgiving Day?  It is truly the thing nightmares are made of.
  • Staying in the city this year, I FINALLY get to join my best friend and her parents in the Jazz Room at Blue Water Grill for Thanksgiving dinner.  I have had to turn down this offer every year for four long years.  I have only heard stories of pumpkin ravioli.  Not this year though.  That mirage is no more.
  • Buffalo is on a two-game winning streak, showing signs of a new team culture and rebuilding for a strong 2011 football season.  Don’t believe me?  Read THIS or THIS .  I mean, “Why so serious?
  • Inside jokes.  These are what I want to build my lifetime memories on.  This.
  • An incredible career and a team that has supported me through the worst of moments this year.  In the more immediate, superficial moment, I am grateful for the 4½ day holiday weekend that began approximately 3 hours ago.
  • Being convinced by friends to take my fiancé’s TV!  Anyone that visits my midtown apartment comments on how disproportionately big the TV is compared to my “cozy” bedroom (city lingo for “unbelievably small”).  It makes me laugh every time.
  • No longer sleeping with that TV on every night.  Finding some sort of inner calm that allows me to fall asleep comfortable with my own thoughts and feelings.
  • My name night at No Idea bar.  Which begins in approximately 90 minutes.  Let the biggest party night of the year begin.
  • A notebook full of ideas and no end in sight to the adventures that have become my own Unwedded Bliss.

Happy early Thanksgiving everyone!

The hot, (used-to-be) engaged one

22 Nov

You know, we all assume that most guys don’t notice the details.  That’s probably because, well, sorry guys but you don’t.  So you can imagine my surprise when for a few weeks now the men at our local football watering hole have not only noticed but made comments on the fact that I’m no longer weighed down by an engagement ring.

It technically started after our first game when a guy who I’d considered buddy/buddy abruptly glanced at my left hand and said “I thought you were getting married?”  I told him it didn’t work out.  He suddenly seemed more buddy/buddy than he had 15 seconds earlier.  It happened again a few weeks later when a drink special-induced fog had me chatting with someone that I usually wouldn’t find myself chatting with.  Not chatting like that anyway.  While I explained again that it “didn’t work out” his friend was across the bar confirming the same with one of my girlfriends.  Third time’s a charm and validates a blog post.  Last weekend this guy that we’ve known for a few seasons – not that we know his actual name – took it upon himself to accost my hands for an up close inspection.  He was, you know, “just checking to make sure it’s gone.”  As I pulled my hands away, recognizing that he probably didn’t know his own middle name at this point, one of my girlfriends leaned over and said, “Yup, that just happened.  I guess you were the hot, engaged one.”

Hey, everyone appreciates a good shot of self-esteem every now and then…even if it is brought on by the antics of Sunday Funday.

I think I’m going to have to disagree

20 Nov

Ryan Reynolds is the sexiest man alive?  I don’t know about this.  Don’t get me wrong, he looks undeniably gorgeous in the cover story picture (page 65 in this week’s issue of People) but I don’t know that he’s the first actor that comes to mind when I think “sexiest alive.”  Here is what did not help his case: the blurb on page 70 about what he considers “Canadian Sexy.”  Seriously with these answers?  (1) “We can ice-skate on anything.  Even wood.”  Fine;  (2) “Our accents are adorable.”  Not even close to true;  (3) “There’s an inherent ability to be self-depreciating.”  Not sexy;  (4) “We can apologize virtually on demand.  For anything.”  Definitely not sexy.

Flipping through the pages of the special November 29th double issue, here is who would get my vote: Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jon Hamm, Joe Manganiello, Hugh Jackman (fair enough, he won the cover in 2008).  I am fairly disturbed that Tom Brady’s lady locks made the issue but not my favorite QB face, Aaron Rodgers (I’ve been obsessed since he was picked 24th overall in the 2005 NFL draft).  Now other than JFK Jr. in 1988, the Sexiest Man has always been a box office hero.  Why not nominate one of television’s sexiest?  Michael C. Hall, Christopher Meloni, David Duchovany (the “Californication” years; no one likes a sci-fi geek), Josh Halloway, Ryan Kwanten, Anderson Cooper?  And how on earth is it possible that my favorite vampire, Alexander Skarsgard, didn’t make this list?  FAIL.

Based solely on the Sexy at Every Age two-page spread, I may have a new target demographic.  Hello Rob Marciano.  No, this target is not too old for me (although my parents may disagree…)  But who wants to play games with boys anymore?!

Immersion therapy

19 Nov

There are some things that my friends just won’t take “no” as a answer for.  In the days following my fiancé departure, it ran the gamut from my argument that six grapes constituted a meal to trying to reason with them that I did indeed need to stay on the couch and watch the Scream trilogy for the fourth time.  There are still things that I know I can’t say no to, and things I know I can’t get away with, but the illicit activities of this past weekend took things to a new level.

I should have known what they were doing; it was a textbook case and I did major in psychology in college.  Isn’t the first step devising a fear-hierarchy?  They were asking way too many questions of their recently single friend, trying to determine my level of discomfort with what they were planning.  Could I talk about it?  In how much detail?  Can I be in the same room with it?  Could I be in physical contact with it?  (That one, although part of a legit diagnosis, is wildly hilarious in the most inappropriate way imaginable).   Exactly how adverse was I to this plan?

Hierarchy determined, we worked on relaxation techniques – in the form of an unlimited champagne brunch at Nero D’Avola.  Just what my friend – you know, the rehab therapist – prescribed.  We repeated these exercises until calm.  Technically we were all feeling preeeetty relaxed after two hours of champagne cocktails.  After all, we had told the waiter to knock it off with the orange juice several drinks back.  Wait, two of us told him to knock it off with the OJ, the therapist had threatened his life from the get go if she tasted juice in her champagne.

Fueled by champagne-induced confidence, it was time.  Now instead of the traditional method of slowly moving toward the object, we went right in for it.  Into the store.  Babeland.

So what’s in the bag?  Another big splash into single life!  And let’s just leave it at that for now…

NyQuil this

17 Nov

This is probably the result of being totally worn down following our vacation, Saturday Funday with the girls, a Bills victory on Sunday, major Sunday flirtation (I know, I don’t usually mix business with pleasure) and two very busy days at work Monday and Tuesday.  I felt a little off at the office yesterday but by the time I got home last night, I was miserable.  There was a throbbing pain shooting from the base of my neck into my shoulders and down my spine; it was severe enough that I almost had myself convinced it was meningitis.  I know I shouldn’t even say that, but as I crawled into bed I was in so much pain that I was certain it had to be something serious.

I woke up at 2 am and the perceived meningitis-induced pain was now shooting through my ears and around my skull.  I swear to god.  I had that familiar dread of knowing I would eventually have to swallow- knowing that as soon as I did I was going to wish that there was broken glass in my throat instead of whatever this was.  Then I did that thing I’ve been telling myself for months that I have to stop doing.  I panicked.  What if I needed to go to the hospital?  What if I passed out from pain? What if my lungs started to fill with liquid and I couldn’t breathe?  What if I needed a kidney?  Who is on my beneficiary forms?  God, I didn’t leave that guy as my emergency contact did I?

While 6+ weeks ago, I probably would have had a full-blown panic attack, complete with a sleepless night and uncontrollable tears, this time I willed myself to throw back the blankets, open the window for fresh air and simply get a glass of water and aspirin.  After an unsuccessful raid on the medicine cabinet, I made a mental note to become the type of adult that keeps cold medicine on hand for times like this.  I eventually fell asleep but instead of counting sheep I counted all the friends I could call if I did need that ginger ale…or that trip to the ER…or that kidney transplant.