Archive | December, 2010

Happy Birthday Girlie!

31 Dec

Everyone has friends in the good times but it is during life’s most difficult moments that you discover how true your friendships actually are.  And it is in the toughest of moments that you need these friends; 2010 will forever be the year that I truly learned the importance of a friend.

Today celebrates the birthday of one of my most incredible friends.  Probably for better and for worst (for her!) the one I leaned on most in the trying moments of 2010.  Her birthday feels somewhat fitting this year as we not only celebrate the big 3-1 but as I simultaneously get to kick the bad memories of 2010 to the curb.

What I won’t kick to the curb are the moments that tested, built and now define the strength of my friendships.  It is an incredible friend who will sleep on the couch with you night after night.  When you can’t force yourself to sleep in your once shared bed or bedroom just yet.  She’ll hide sleeping pills under her pillow just in case you wake up in a panic and think it’s a good idea to take another.  She’ll force you to eat.  More than 4 grapes.  Even if it does involve bribing you with alcohol.

She’ll be the one that tells him to back off when he keeps emailing you, when he wants to talk, when he wants to be friends, when he wants to discuss the silverware or the furniture or the engagement ring.  She’ll be the one to help pack up his stuff and she’ll call him to come get it.  All this despite the fact that they were once very good friends.

She’ll do that shot with you.  And that one.  She’ll go to work hung over and tired the next day because of those shots.  And she’ll do it all over again tonight because you don’t know what else to do with yourself.  She’ll do all of this while putting her own life – her other friends, her boyfriend, her own “me time” – on hold.  After months of partying and staying busy, she’ll tell people to leave you be when she knows you’re ready to be alone for the first time.

She’ll announce, “You’ve still got it!” when that handsome stranger flirts with you or sends over free drinks.  She’ll tell you that enough’s enough, just hook up with that guy already!  And she’ll be thrilled when you finally do…she’ll maybe even be happier than you!

She’s the one who now, months and months later, will comfortably slip a “how are you doing with that?” into your everyday conversation.  And you’ll give her an honest answer, not the answer you know people want to hear from you.

She’ll be the one that doesn’t make a big deal about it but is there for your first manicure in seven months.  And she’ll be the only person you want a couples massage with today (check!)

She’ll be the one you could go on and on about but you know she’s already going to kick your ass for saying this much.  So let’s leave it at this: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of my most incredible friends.  I don’t know that I would have gotten through all of this without you.  Lord help us if 2011 is even remotely as dramatic as 2010 but either way, bring it on!  We’ve got each other covered!  (Not that I owe you one or anything…)

Consider my white flag waved!

30 Dec

I did something today that I haven’t done in seven months.  I waved a white flag and ended my strike.  That’s right, I got a manicure!

If you’ve been following from the beginning you know that sometimes I pour my emotions into Unwedded Bliss and other times I pour whatever I have in my pitcher.  Sometimes my words are meaningful and other times they just come from odd, little occurrences in my daily life.

Back in August I decided to announce my silly, little cause, a personal movement against manicures.  For months I have walked into the nail place every 2-3 weeks for a pedicure only to shake my head “no” when the person behind the counter says “And manicure?”

When a friend text that she was planning on a mani/pedi today, I looked down at my neglected toes that have spent too much time in winter boots lately, and decided to treat my poor toes.  I don’t know when it happened but when my friend – knowing my circa June 2010 aversion to manicures – asked “Just a pedicure or both?”  I found myself saying both.  I almost said it naturally, as if my strike hadn’t been one of many inane and overly emotional coping mechanisms developed to deal with my broken engagement.  Since I evidently no longer need it, here’s to ringing in 2011 tomorrow night with Essie’s Hot Coco on my fingertips!

Spiking mom’s drink

27 Dec

As with other dates that held a certain significance these past months, I expected Christmas to present a few sentimental moments.  I knew these moments would require me to bite my lip or step away for a deep breath.  While these moments were indeed present, they were few and they were fleeting.

Looking around at our annual Christmas Eve festivities, something my ex had been a part of for years, it was obvious to everyone that he was missing.  Not that anyone, including myself, wanted him there anymore.  For just a second though I couldn’t help but reflect that this was the exact scene from one year ago in which we celebrated our engagement with my family for the first time.  Watching my closest cousin and her husband with their precious 15-month-old, I felt a small tug at my heartstrings; this was something I had anticipated having for myself in the next few years.  I forced myself to refocus my attention but not before remembering my then fiancé’s words last year; that this young family would be us someday soon.  Everything, including my perceived future at the time, was a confusing combination of being distant yet fresh in my mind.

But that was the past and despite these predicted moments (which in all honesty comprised a total of about six minutes!) I had a wonderful holiday with my family.  With my brother home from Vietnam, my immediate family was together for the first time in almost three years.  I spent as much time as possible with my cousins and tried to keep up with their kids as they tore through presents and tracked Santa on Google Earth.  Being the mature almost 30-somethings that we are, we spiked my mom’s diet coke with rum and giggled when she said that my alcohol-free soda tasted different.  We laughed as the baby of the family repeatedly stuck her fist in the bread dip and her father guarded the cocktail shrimp.  I raided my father’s bar, enjoyed several glasses of wine with my favorite aunt and mixed vodka sodas for my younger cousin, who I guess technically shouldn’t have been drinking.  I visited my great aunt, a woman who is the essence of an independent woman and who will be celebrating her 90th birthday in April.  I exchanged holiday texts with friends in other cities and cozied into my mom’s couch with my Kindle, one of many gifts from Santa this year.

I learned not to put so much weight in so-called “milestones” or dates that once meant something.  I truly understood the importance of family.  Not the family I thought I was starting seven months ago, but the incredible family I have today.  And I remembered why I love living in a city that doesn’t require a car!

Last Friday night

24 Dec

Walking home from my office last night (which is now officially closed for the next 10 days!), I caught myself laughing as I sang along to Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night on Pandora.  While they were several of the toughest months of my life, surrounding an experience I never imagined I would go through, I can’t deny the fun Friday (and Saturday, and Sunday, and Monday…) nights that I have had since my wedding was called off.  And after all, everyone should have a soundtrack to their life, right?

My friends and I went all out on the wild and fun factor.  We had many a debaucherous night.  I met new people and learned to loosen up.  I wore heels and made friends with bartenders.  I found a new favorite shot and sang karaoke until 3 am.  I flirted and I kissed and I cuddled.

And yes, some nights I did all this after crying my eyes out in the shower before slipping into those heels…but not anymore, and besides, once we were out “I’m pretty sure it ruled”

Lasso the moon

21 Dec

In response to those unexpected flashes of last week, I decided to forget about the thousand and one errands that needed done this past weekend and instead hit the city with my brother in search of some Christmas spirit.

While I have always made a point of seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center, I just did not have the stamina to face the crowd of tourists this year.  And as beautiful as this particular tree is, I think we can all agree that it looks exactly the same every year.  Instead, I found myself on the steps of the New York Public Library at Bryant Park waiting for my brother.  The tree here is pretty pitiful but there is at least a little bit of room to walk…so it was a reasonable compromise.  My brother and I wandered through the holiday market (check!) picking up an ornament for our aunt and talking about our trip home for the holidays.  From Bryant Park we headed to Union Square where we browsed through the holiday farmer’s market (check!) and sipped warm apple cider, the only thing you can actually purchase for $1.50 in New York!

Finally it was off to IFC Center where we had tickets to see It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen (check!).  Having never seen this film in its entirety from start to finish, I found myself mesmerized.  I, of course, have several favorite parts; this is one of those movies where it’s impossible to pick just one favorite scene.  This year though, the scene after the dance, when George is walking Mary home after falling into the pool, meant something different to me than it has in past years.  And it turned my search for holiday spirit into something more.

“What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.”

My grandfather is probably looking down and shaking his head at me.  Of course his oldest granddaughter should have expected more than what I got out of my last relationship.  It’s a silly comparison but knowing my grandfather, it’s a perfect one – he would absolutely expect someone to lasso the moon for me.

I have a black and white picture of my grandparents in my bedroom and I actually look at it pretty frequently.   My grandmother died before I was born but this picture makes me feel like I knew her in some way.  In it my grandparents have their arms wrapped around each other, posing in front of a 1950’s Ford something or other.  And they are so clearly in love.  I bet you he would have given her the moon.  And anything else she wanted.

When I think about their story, my grandfather practically did lasso the moon to marry my grandmother.  Being from different ethnic backgrounds – his family Italian and her family Irish – their parents did not approve of the other for their child, a sentiment that eventually changed after my grandparents eloped in Canada.  In the years that followed their song was Canadian Sunset; I had planned to honor my grandparents by playing this song on my own wedding day.  Amongst many other things, I am incredibly grateful that I still have a meaningful piece of my family’s history to share with the right someone someday.

But this right someone should consider himself warned: be sure to bring your lasso!

Unexpected flashes

18 Dec

Earlier this week I had one of those days where I knew by about lunchtime that I was going to have to work well  into the evening.  In anticipation of the late night that lay ahead of me I did something I haven’t done in over six months.  I absentmindedly reached for my phone, and before I could catch myself, dialed the first 7 digits of my ex-fiance’s number at the office to tell him I would be late.

Depositing an expense check at the bank yesterday, I had to rip up the deposit slip when I looked down only to realize that I had written my former Upper East Side address on it.  A place I haven’t resided since July.

Three nights ago, my reoccurring dream of months ago – the one where I live in a house with my ex and his best friend but they won’t acknowledge my existence – came back out of nowhere.  This dream used to keep me awake through anything, even the sleeping pill induced nights of this past summer.

Leaving my office building this week, I even turned left to head around the block toward the subway.  I’ve made a right out of that building to walk downtown for over five months now.  On this particular evening, I probably took seven or eight steps before I realized I was walking in the wrong direction.

Yes, I woke up this morning reading far too much into all of this.  But then I reasoned that these simple routines had been part of my life for a very long time.  So maybe it does not seem completely implausible that during this hectic time of year, I unwittingly fell into my previous everyday patterns.  I’m okay walking a few feet in the wrong direction as long as I get myself turned around and back on track.

We’re gonna sco-o-ore tonight!

15 Dec

With the slightly overwhelming realization that I have a very ambitious winter ahead of me – and the serendipitous timing of a friend’s 30th birthday party – I officially checked the first of 25 things to do this winter off my list.  There’s really only one thing to say: “Let’s bowl, let’s bowl, let’s rock-‘n-roll!” (That one goes out to one of my favorites…you know who you are!)

While bowling alleys are actually located across the five boroughs, this was the first time I’ve been since moving to the city almost seven years ago.  (Hey, can most alleys really compare with Chick’s or Leisure Land bowling?  Shout-out Buffalo!)  As I recently told a friend via email, just when I thought a group of competitive non-bowlers in bright, stylish bowling shoes couldn’t possibly look any more amusing, beer towers and ridiculous good tunes get thrown into the mix.  (Cue inside joke: “This is our dance floor!”)  What can I say?  We obviously had a great time!  And quite honestly, this crew could turn watching paint dry or eating styrofoam into the time of your life on the right night.

As with many things in my life these days, I learned something by checking off this first item.  In creating my list last week, I was a bit worried, in the back of my mind, that I was just doing this to keep myself busy.  Busy for a few days while I slowly flipped through the magazine and narrowed 101 items down to 25.  Busy for the winter in which I would have been a newlywed.  Busy during the months leading up to my 30th birthday, an age where you’re supposed to reflect on the fun of your 20’s and think about the upcoming life decisions of your 30’s.  But even if this current attitude is slightly skewed toward an avoidance mentality, I’ve come far enough to know that it’s okay…some days you just need to stay busy.  And I’m clearly going to have a lot of fun doing so.  So, “Hey, come on, let’s get this show on the road!”