Tag Archives: New York

Happy Newish Year! Happy Annishversary!

Oh, dear. I’ve done it again. I know, my absence has been inexcusable. I mean, we’ve been over this—you’re now all well aware of my shortcomings, my tendencies towards listlessness and USA Network original programming marathons. Let’s not dwell, okay? My therapist has that covered, which is annoying enough. When I hit upon the deep-seated feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing from which my laziness doubtless stems, I promise to keep you all in the loop. How about I make a newish year’s resolution to write more often? Like once a month, at minimum. Hold me to it, because I really need the push. So, you understand that now it’s on you and nothing is my fault if you don’t remind me sotoolatenobacksies.

Anyhoo, next Wednesday marks the one monthiversary of our FIRST ANNIVERSARY, which is when I should have written this in the first place. Pretty big deal! We’ve been married for a whole year + a month, which is nothing to sneeze at. Side note: I cannot stand it when people use “anniversary” to describe monthly and weekly landmarks. It’s not an anniversary, because it isn’t annual. It’s probably something else deriving from Latin, don’t ask me. I don’t know everything. You’re the one who insists on celebrating monthly achievements, you look it up. Okay I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be mean. Let’s make up. I drank too much wine this week, cut me some slack. The Steelers lost on Sunday, did you hear? This affects me in the sense that it affects Matt profoundly, so I kept myself preemptively sauced to deal with the storm cloud of black feelings and the sadness to end all days which settled into the apartment last Sunday night.

He was one sad monkey.

Anyhoooo, our actual anniversary date fell on the Sunday night of a three-day weekend, so being the nauseatingly romantic couple we are, we made it a regular Mardi Gras.

Friday night: we took ourselves out to Daniel using a gift certificate we’d been saving since the wedding. Highlights included too much wine followed by a mild coma, and a free dessert presented aside a life-sized, solid chocolate bust of a woman. Sorry, no photo, because I am the classy type of person who doesn’t take pictures of her food in super fancy restaurants. It’s also possible I brought my camera and was scolded by a mortified Matt when I took it out of my bag.

Saturday night: We went to a lovely wine and cheese class which was given to me as a birthday gift and conveniently fell on our anniversary weekend! Oh wait, no, we canceled last minute and stayed home and watched football.

Sunday morning: We prepared a lovely breakfast for two of mimosas, coffee, and the top layer of our wedding cake. It was delightful.

See? No joke here. Sometimes we're actually nice.

Sunday night: We stayed in and had a cozy, romantic evening. No, wait, we went out to our favorite restaurant and had a cozy, romantic evening. Oh no, I totally remember now. Matt went out for an annual guys’ dinner and I went out for the counterpart girls’ dinner, then we all met up and stayed out until 2AM. Highlights included a bouquet of anniversary flowers from one of the girls, and the revolutionary offer of simultaneous half-portions of TWO pastas when I simply couldn’t make a decision. Best waiter ever.

Honestly, my world will never be the same.

I know what you’re going to say: “Aaaw, you guys are sickeningly sweet. Gross me out.” Right? I know, we’re totally THAT couple.

Really, though, while I was happy and excited to be celebrating our first whole year of marriage, I’m a lot more annoyed that our actual nine year tally has been erased. Sure we’ve had our ups and downs this year, and in many ways we felt them more strongly given the underlying knowledge that we’re legally stuck together forever. But we’ve weathered many more difficult times by far, and that was before we had the security of a contract that can ideally only be broken by invoking the death clause. I feel a little silly putting so much importance on year one of a lifetime. And that’s another thing. Part of me feels like if we make too big a deal out of one year of marriage, what do we do with the next 50 some-odd? I’d like to imagine that the accomplishment of staying married year after year gets more impressive as time goes on. This one was kind of a gimme.

I think celebrating in our strangely disjointed and haphazard way, a portion of which was spent apart, was sort of perfect for us. Marriage isn’t hard yet, nor should it be. We’re still young and relatively unfettered by weighty responsibilities like property and child ownership. Our worries and arguments are rarely earth-shattering, and neither of us has secretly begun to wonder if the other would ever consider some minor cosmetic surgery, you know, just around the eyes. Why shouldn’t we honor that by feeling relaxed enough to have separate dinners and meet up later in a drunken group? This year already felt special just by virtue of being the first! Let’s not shoot our wad so early that we can’t make the future decades feel exceptional, too. Hooray for us! Hurrah for the Schwajaks! We are a modern couple with new ideals! We are confident and capable of a self-awareness and perspective on our lives which suggests a maturity far beyond our years! We are sometimes only okay at planning! And that’s okay!

Oh, also, we’re going to Paris in March when the weather is a little warmer. Perhaps I ought to have mentioned that.

Huzzah!

I’m not a girl, not yet a hopelessly lame woman

Last weekend, we and some friends wound up at a pub on the Upper West Side. Those of you who are NYC locals, you know the type. You know that place that always smells like vomit from the curb after 11pm? Well, it’s a notch more respectable than that, so let’s just say we were probably the only people in the place who weren’t affected by some form of the dread Bieber f(i)ever.

Children, look away. This is one of the first documented cases of full-blown BiebFev. Photo reprinted with permission from the CDC.

Two of my girlfriends, let’s call them J. and N., decided they wanted to partake in the beer pong tournament that was going on in the back of the pub (I told you it was a young crowd). So, in order to convincingly relate to the youth, they gave themselves aliases. J. and N. were now Rutgers coeds Sally and Tish (this name choice should signal to all exactly how in touch they are with Generation TXT), in the Big Apple for the summer with internships in publishing (a glamorous selection indeed). At first, this was hilarious. But it didn’t take long for a few key facts to reveal themselves:

1. Their opposing team was 19 years old (bouncer, for shame).

2. Said 19-year-olds were very, very drunk. Do you remember how you acted when you were drunk and 19? It’s self-preservation that you do not.

3. Sally and Tish are a little rusty at beer pong, which placed them pretty evenly against the sloppy teenagers at the other end of the table.

Not surprisingly, the game stalled out after each team managed to hit about half their cups. One of the kids on the other team was much more concerned with a girl in a nearby group of friends, and when his teammate reminded him that they were still playing a game, he whipped around and publicly berated him for cock-blocking (except he used a cool Millennial term which I’ve never even heard, let alone remembered. Anyone?)

Maybe to amuse herself, maybe to make the game end, Sally decided to go for the big reveal and drop the “gotcha.”

“We’re really 28!” she crowed, beaming mischievously.

Long pause. Sneers of confusion and, ultimately, mild disgust.

“You’re old.”

No one is amused.

Tish, a little injured, a tad horrified, but hopeful to salvage their collective pride, piped in, “Well, we’re accomplished!”

The boys, unimpressed, point out that they have no knowledge of any alleged accomplishments, nor do they care to learn. They’re pissed they wasted twenty minutes on a couple of old women who, now that they look a little closer, are both wearing engagement rings. Newfangled-term-for-cock-blocked indeed.

Now that's an old-fashioned cock-block. Get it? Cause he's a rooster? Get--forget it. Kids today. Tsk tsk, I say I say.

So, I’m not pretending that 28 is elderly, and no, I’m not about to say that getting married = aging out, but let’s call a spade a spade. Marital status aside, we old. I’m not sure when and how this happened, but there it is. We don’t even know how to pretend to be 19 anymore, not that I really want to be 19 again.

Much.

I’m not down for the count yet, though. No, I didn’t want to play beer pong with college sophomores. And yes, I find the occasional gray hair (oh, god) and have to work a little harder at the gym to keep it all together. But I can still throw down and remain among the last old ladies standing. And I totally still resort to peer pressure to get my friends to keep drinking with me. That makes me young and cool, right? Are peer pressure and drinking still cool?

Unfortunately, all of this pales in comparison to the joy I felt the following day, when Matt and I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and got storage containers for our extra linens. We came home and were able to clear away the piles that had been gathering with no home, and I danced around the apartment, ecstatically placing sachets in closets and boxes. I happily unpackaged my new digital food scale, obsessively weighing every food item in our kitchen.

“Matt! Matt! This cup of melon weighs 4.2 ounces!”

“That’s…good?”

“Yep,” I said, moving on to the smoked turkey, dizzy with glee.

Matt looked at me for a little while. “Does this, uh, will this serve some other purpose for you?”

I gave him a withering look while I considered the question. Ultimately, I’m not sure why I need to know that I put 2 ounces of deli meat in my salad, or that my cookie weighs 1.6 ounces. But I do. I know that much. “Yes,” I said cheerfully, and began to position a tomato on the scale. I forget now what it weighed, but I’ll tell you that I was thrilled to find out then. Thrilled.

I honestly can’t imagine a Twilight doll or a lava lamp or whatever the tweens are into these days being a better toy.

Oh! And we have new towels. They are soft and fuzzy, but not too fuzzy, and I didn’t even realize it at the time we bought them, but they match our shower curtain perfectly! Isn’t life good? I may be old, but people who can’t appreciate a new towel and a food scale and well-stored linens and a seafresh-something-or-other sachet are just plain missing out.

And yet, as I write this, it is 12:30 AM on a Tuesday and my husband is still out drinking. I am up for absolutely no reason at all, but I am taking this time to update my blog, a decidedly trendipoo hobby. Plus, I have yet to use wrinkle cream with any regularity or conviction (though I’ve been gravely warned against this cavalier attitude). So, I guess we’re not quite at our height of fogue*, either.                                                                                                                                           *That’s the noun for fogey. I made it up because I am forward-thinking and FTD.**                                                                                                                                          **That means “Fresh to Death.” Did you know that? I did, and I used it in a sentence.

Where does that leave us? And for how long? Do we have to pick a side? Because as much as I still love binge-drinking, eating pizza at 4:00 AM and frittering my money away on shortsighted crap (NOT referring to my food scale), I’m ultimately going to have to pick the team with fresh laundry, a clean bathroom, and an apartment where it’s safe to take off one’s shoes.

I hope — and I’m pretty convinced — that I can straddle these two worlds for at least a few years longer, or until my organs begin systematic shutdown. At 30, perhaps I’ll need to reassess. But for now, I’m comfortably in limbo, and I plan to chill here for a while. So I think I’ll just grab one of my very lovely new Riedel glasses, pour myself some $8 wine, and settle in for a few episodes of South Park before bed.

Welcome to my darling and well-stocked kitchen! Pour yourself a stemless glass from the jug and kick off your loafers so that you may enjoy my pristine floors. Dinner will be ready in just a jiff. I hope you like cheeseproduct!

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What’s in a name? Oy veys mir, don’t get me started.

*Disclaimer: No offense, Dad.

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve given up my given name. I dove right into the name-change process, and I am now legally, officially, irrevocably (kinda) Nina Anne Pajak.

I like it. I’m getting used to it. It’s got a much more powerful punch than my old name. It’s got a P, which is snappy, and it ends in a K, which is strong. And in South America, the J is pronounced as an H, which is both adorable and fun to say. Paaaah-hak. In other countries, it’s pronounced as a Y, so you know, we’ve got a lot of options.

I’ve always envied those with consonant-driven names. Nina Schwartz always sounded sort of shapeless in my mouth — I used to have to take a drink of water and do facial muscle-warming exercises before enunciating it over the phone, and even then I often found myself slurring through it, mainly induced by the stress of worrying that I was about to slur through my own name.

Perhaps I’ve just opened your window into my neuroses a smidgen too wide…

And not to join the legion of self-hating Jews out there, but let’s be real. As much as so many of my sisters have eagerly paid (through the nose? Ha ha.) to lop off their well-endowed nasal birthrights, we Jewish girls also seldom shed tears at the thought of losing our old lady, easily ethnically identifiable last names. I don’t mean to sound overly critical, but just think about it in this context for a moment: before I was born, someone who shall remain anonymous suggested that I be named Frieda. Now picture Frieda Schwartz. It’s a pretty straightforward image, isn’t it?

This isn't actually Frieda Schwartz. To be honest, when I google image searched the name, all I got were photos of headstones and groups gathered in the Yahrzeit. Too dark for this blog.

But fine, I’ll admit it — my name was never so bad. It’s not like I was ever teased about it or anything (of course, there was much more obvious material to be mined by my peers, as evidenced in my previous post).

I never had any unflattering nicknames, and it didn’t rhyme with anything anatomical, sexual, or scatological. The worst anyone ever came up with was “FAO Schwartz” (different spelling, and, um, that would be awesome) or “Bermuda Schwartz,” which was really more stupid than annoying. And as a matter of fact, I voluntarily used it in my byline once, as I was writing about actual Bermuda shorts. I mean, how often does that happen? Now that I think about it, I kind of love the idea of Bermuda Schwartz as an alter ego. I’m a laid-back, tough-talking, jaded island cop who busts drug dealers and kidnappers each week and has been known to put ice cubes in her white wine. I’m totally unapologetic and I just won’t play by the rules, but my sidekick, Seersucker Jones, keeps me in line. Plus, I totally love smoked fish on a bagel (which is pretty impossible to find in the Caribbean) and he totally doesn’t get it, but it’s okay because it’s a cultural thing and you kind of have to grow up with it to appreciate it. Don’t even get him started on gefilte fish.

 

I keep telling him with a name like his, he can lose the getup. Then again, he looks pretty spiff. That's his chicken, Parmigiana.

Really though, this whole name change thing is very trippy, and I’m having a little trouble getting used to it. It’s like a bureaucratic out-of-body experience.  And since I’d always just assumed I’d ditch Schwartz one day, I didn’t really give it quite as much thought as it merits. That was my name for 27 years, and now it just isn’t. I meet people every week who will never even know that Nina Schwartz existed.

And who is this Nina Pajak, anyway? Who is this Semitic-looking girl with a Polish last name (which, evidently, also sounds Indian)? My background is not exactly a closely-guarded secret, regardless of my name, but I find it a little weird that other Jewish people can’t necessarily immediately identify me as one of the tribe. There’s something extremely nerdy in me that misses that obvious association, that understood (if ultimately tenuous) alliance. So, faced with a sort of cultural whitewashing, I think I’m finding myself playing up my Jewishness to strangers. Not in any religious sense, god no. But the New York Jew in me is cutting a pretty high profile lately. My Westchester accent comes out in full force (how tall is the wall in the mall? Is it very, very tall?), I make an excessive number of Jewish jokes, I’m way more anxious, paranoid and pessimistic than ever, I try and break out the few Yiddish words I know as often as possible, and I’ve been known to wax endlessly nostalgic about things like brisket and chopped liver. A dish I would never have dreamed of going near until very recently, because, I agree, ick. But also, omigod delish (that’s pronounced: duh-LISH).

If we’re going to get deep about it (and we are, because obviously I’ve found myself a standard-issue Jewish shrink with an office on the Upper West Side and a closet full of peasant skirts), it’s as though I’m completely exaggerating the identity which I so heedlessly abandoned in some sort of last-ditch effort to rescue her from deletion. So basically, this whole thing completely backfired. Instead of being cooler-than-before Nina Pajak, I am now the dorkiest version of Nina Schwartz who has ever existed. I’ve created a monster, and she genuinely worries that you could put your eye out playing baseball. Because you COULD.

I guess it’s no surprise, in retrospect, that I’d adapt by subconsciously exerting my heritage onto the Pajak name and my new wifey self. Especially knowing that one day we’ll have little Pajak children, and they’ll never know what it’s like to be automatically teamed up with every Jewish kid from the Northeast whether they like it or not. Plus, they’ve got a 50/50 shot at turning out to be athletic, in which case they may never truly understand the adversity from whence they came. Then again, I’m probably getting ahead of myself. We haven’t even gotten to the point where Matt will agree to get a dawg. Ahem, I’m sorry, I mean dog. Must run, I left the kishkes in the oven!

 

Evidently, this is a kishke. Now I'm not entirely sure they even go in the oven, but there you have it. I guess I'm not as far gone as I feared.

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Shame on me.

Oh, dear. Dear, dear me. I haven’t posted in two months! This is terrible and shameful. I started something, I pulled you in, I got you involved, and then I just abandoned it. Or, well, paused it. Left you in the lurch. Left you on the corner in the rain. Left you with a roast in the oven and a bottle of cab decanting on the table. Oh wait, no, I’m quite sure I took the wine. Sorry, but I wouldn’t have left the wine (ref: fig. 1).

Fig. 1

But listen, it’s not like I MEANT to abandon anybody. You were always on my mind. I kept meaning to write, honest. It’s just that things get so busy! Soooooo beeeesy! There was the…hm. And that…well. Yes. Huh.

Awkward.

It just doesn't get any more awkward.

Okay? I can’t believe I posted that. Now you know how sorry I am, how shameful I feel. There you go. You’re welcome. Thanks a lot, Mom, for going along with the whole bangs decision. Could nobody have let me in on the fact that there are people whose entire lives are dedicated to eyebrow-depilation? Can we please put this behind us and move on?

Oh, great. Seriously, this is so great. I love you, too.

See? Marriage is all about patience and understanding. I’m so goddamn good at this shit! I’ve realized something, though, and this may somewhat explain my past two months of silence. The fact is that being married can be a bit…slow placid. Wedding: done. Honeymoon: done. Gifts: received, thank you’s: sent. Apartment: found, moved, furnished. I know I’ve touched on this, but what I’m talking about is not the same as post-nuptial depression. It’s not depression at all. Quite the contrary: it’s lovely. I’ve never felt so secure, so stable, so sure of myself and my future. But the thing is, it’s forever. Until death, in fact. So, basically, there’s no hurry. Nothing needs to happen right now. We have successfully progressed together, and now it’s life on the plateau for a little while. Which, in all honestly, I love. Unfortunately for all of us, I have a lazy, complacent, obese monster living inside of me. She is extremely fond of salami and cheese sandwiches and this one time? They had to cut the couch in half because it had fused to her thighs, which were covered in a thick layer of orange snack food product dust. It’s not a pretty image, I know, believe me. I rarely lose control of her. In fact, only one known picture exists:

She's losing and growing hair in ALL the wrong places

Being married has fed her while I wasn’t looking, and things got a little out of hand. The more settled I felt, the stronger she became. The stronger she became, the more episodes of Law & Order she discovered on cable. I won’t lie — it got ugly. But I’ve awoken to the situation and I won’t let it happen any longer. I’m back, and I vow to be both married AND productive.

Note to self: Do not become housewife.

Sidenote: do you know what comes up when you google image search "housewife?" People are sick.

Welcome to my closet, I live here now.

Hello, friends, readers, and friendly readers!

Isn’t it a beautiful day? Doesn’t the sky look unusually blue, the sun particularly…shiny? Don’t you just love life? Don’t you just love New York? Somehow, lately, everything seems brighter, better, happi–

What was that? Do you hear something? It sounds like…singing. Wait, I think it’s coming from my new bedroom. Yes, it’s getting louder as I near my brand new, very own, personal, nobody-can-share-it-with-me closet. It sounds like…perhaps…a choir of heavenly voices? But it’s sort of muffled. Let me just dramatically fling open this door which is mine and only mine alone…

Click here for the full effect

I wish that you could be here, too, to share and bask in this warm, golden light which emanates from within my very own closet. To be specific, by that I mean I don’t actually wish you here in person to bask with me. I was going for more of a theoretical sharing. Only I may bask. Nina’s basking only. Get your own magical closet/gateway to Heaven.

Please don’t judge me or think me selfish and rude. It’s nothing personal. But you must understand that for the last five years, Matt and I have been sharing closet space in some of the least accommodating apartments on the Northeastern seaboard.

The closet in our last place. That's the previous tenant.

I know it seems trivial and materialistic, but I can’t quite describe to you how happy it makes me to have all my clothes hanging neatly side-by-side, not smushed together or falling on the floor (or, for that matter, heaped in a mountainous piles around the bedroom). And sure, some might argue that it has never had anything to do with the space I was given and I am just a lazy, messy person prone to throwing socks on the floor while watching television. To them I would say, okay, fine, you have a point. On the other hand, get out of my house. You are forever banished from my closet and its surrounding areas. Don’t ruin this for me.

For oh, it is so much more than a sacred little room for my possessions and no one else’s. This closet represents my graduation to the part of my adulthood in which I live in a space that is both comfortable and attractive. It represents my entry into a lifestyle which easily allows me to put my skirt away at night and keep my shoes lined up and out of sight, not strewn about the apartment in the manner of a lunatic hoarder. I can invite people over without having to spend three hours cleaning and trying to stash our things in heavily abused bureau drawers, already groaning under the weight of the crap that won’t fit anywhere else. It exists in a home which I am proud to show to those I consider grown-ups, where I can be in the kitchen yet not ALSO in the bathroom. Where I can turn out the lights in one room and still read in another. Where I can say something to Matt, and he won’t necessarily be able to hear me (because he actually can’t hear me, not because he has adapted to instinctively deafen to my frequency). Where I can select a measuring cup from the cabinet without triggering an avalanche of utensils upon my head. It represents a wonderful new kind of freedom, that while I’ve committed to share the rest of my life with someone, I no longer have to share EVERYTHING else with him, too. No more waiting for him to choose a tie before I grab the jaws of life to extract a dress from its sardine-like spot on my side of the closet. No more deciding who is later for work than whom, and who gets in there first. We can dress at the same time, together, but not on top of each other! Truly, we are now separate and equal. And isn’t that what every married couple should aspire to be?

You like where I took that? Yeah. Did I mention I commandeered the entire double dresser, too?

It's mine...ALL MINE!!!!!

 

Schwajak Cagematch

So, we’re moving, and things have gotten ugly in the Schwajak household.

It is T minus two days until our big relo. Tensions are running high. The other night I found myself flinging cardboard boxes and stomping around the apartment without purpose as Matt angrily demonstrated how he had been wrapping up our mugs and how I should continue to do so (stupidly, I might add). Then we both declared our packing materials insufficient, and I decided we should instead focus on that OTHER looming task, our thank you notes. So we sat down and spent the rest of the evening irritably passing the stamps back and forth and quietly fuming at each other as we wrote. (Friends, our gratitude is no less heartfelt, I promise.)

Yesterday, we got into a fight outside our building over whether we should put the junk we’re ditching out of sight for fear of being bad neighbors (Matt), or out on the curb for the trash-pickers who might REALLY want a third-hand menorah or several extremely used curtain rods (me, obviously).

Last night I nearly lost it when I saw Matt’s old shoes sitting in a shopping bag with two brand new pairs of my pants which need tailoring. When I rescued it from the trash pile and tossed the shoes out onto the floor, we devolved into an argument over whose possessions should “find a new home.” I won based on loudness and the valid logic that my pants lived in the bag first. And also, get outta here.

Tonight, somebody will die.

Also, I will grudgingly throw away some extremely old jars of spices.

Stay tuned.

"I'm...keeping...the...HUNGARIAN PAPRIKAAAAA!!!"

Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady…Now What?

I have to say, I had a bit of a rough landing from Argentina into the Terminal of Reality (it’s actually part of JFK, across the Tarmac of Tough Luck  — you have to take a shuttle bus to get there, it’s a total bitch).

It was brilliant to leave almost zero time between the wedding and the honeymoon. It allowed us to float around in a carefree, blissfully happy bubble for a full two weeks, which felt like a lifetime. So much so that when we got home, I could not remember how to go about my ACTUAL life. I mean, I knew I did stuff. I definitely did some stuff. But when I was prompted to resume those activities — work, gym, food shopping, laundry — I really struggled to remember why, and in some cases, how. It was like I was an amnesia patient, or I’d just dropped into my own sideways reality, Lost-style.

Am I being dramatic? Maybe. Am I a whiny, spoiled brat? Hey, shut up.

The bottom line is, I clearly realized that having a wedding and going on a honeymoon weren’t going to become my permanent lifestyle. But I did allow that major event to take over my thoughts and trump all other priorities for a period of roughly 15 months. And the other part of it is, apparently that was okay with everybody else. I had a total bye during the year-plus that I was engaged. Everyone seemed to want to hear about my plans, fawned over my exciting bride-to-be-ness, and generally corroborated my harbored suspicions that I was, indeed, very special. And when we got back, well, I was just married. And what’s cool about that? Our grandparents are married.

So I’d forgotten about the mundaneness of life , I’d been demoted from “Super Special Princess Bride” to “Married,” and what’s worse, now I had no wedding left to plan! I happened to love planning our wedding. I thrived on it. As soon as we got engaged, I was transformed from a disorganized, chronically lazy person into a whirling dervish of thorough research, spreadsheets, and productivity. The honeymoon provided a welcome break from all that, but when we got back to New York and started clearing away the wedding-related detritus littering our apartment, I felt massive post-nuptial depression. I was left with nothing to do but unpack, look at wedding photos, and try to remember why I have my own office at work. (If anyone from work is reading this, I am completely back in touch with this, don’t worry). Luckily, I am a bridesmaid in 47 weddings between now and next January, so I have fully devoted myself to the practice of giving lengthy and unsolicited bridal advice. And, oh yeah, I started this blog. I’m like one of those kids who peaked in high school who spends the rest of her life attempting to recapture her glory days, only I so did not peak in high school.

Except, I can’t seem to stay focused on all that, much as I enjoy the art of complaining. The fact is, I actually love being married. Look, we’ve been together for eight years, we know each other as well as two people can know each other at our age, and our relationship was very strong before we got engaged. And yet, there is an invisible and extremely perceivable difference in the way we function as a couple now. I thought we were as solid as two people can be before the wedding. In fact, I assumed nothing would change aside from our names and bank accounts (still waiting on that one, come to think of it). But somehow, without any conscious effort on either side, we’ve synced up more, closed the gap between us a little tighter. We’re a team, we’re unified. We’re a family.

So fine, being married isn’t as fun as getting married. And working full-time and doing dishes isn’t as exciting as choosing centerpieces or traveling through South America. But it’s been a happy surprise to find out that it’s actually way more fun than being not married to each other. Which is something. Or everything.

Incidentally, to my engaged friends, I’ve photocopied my wedding binder and personalized copies for each of you according to your plans thus far. We can connect this week to set up individual meetings.