The Suit

17 Mar

We joke about Rob’s suit now. About his bright blue, perfectly tailored, SNAPPY wedding suit.

When we’re going somewhere he needs to be dressed up we say, “Should you wear your suit?” and then we laugh. Becuase it’s A Suit.

In the best way, it’s A Suit.

If we had been married in the winter, or not on the beach, his suit would have been maroon. Rob is the sort of person who can pull off a maroon suit, a maroon WEDDING suit, nonetheless. That’s one of the reasons I married him. Who can even say that?

Who is he?

What a journey I’m on to find out!

Rob’s suit became A Suit because he is someone who can’t just buy clothes at the store. He falls in between sizes or nothing fits or or or.

After some rough gos with suits that were way off and colors he wasn’t satisfied with, we took a trip to Indochino.

A custom suit store.

Indochino sponsors Pod Save America, one of Rob’s favorite podcasts. The cohost, Jon Favreau, outfitted his whole crew in Indochino suits for his wedding and he was Obama’s speechwriter! He dated Rashida Jones!

(He didn’t marry Rashida Jones.)

Indochino is located in Beverly Hills, like HI RODEO DRIVE Beverly Hills. Parking is bad. You have to have an appointment, just always, don’t try to show up.

We learned from experience.

But goodness, the product is goodness.

Goodness.

Three fittings it took. Three fittings and a frantic poll about which suit color to choose.

Would you like to see those options?

Here we are.

Let’s call them:

     SUIT ONE

IMG_6737

      SUIT TWO

  IMG_6739

   SUIT THREE

  IMG_6738

Rob went with Suit Two. He went with it because our two most fashionable friends both chose it. He went with it after choosing Suit Three originally and having to back out last minute. (You get 24 hours to back out! He used it!)

Suit One was fun. But would Suit One have been too much?

We’ll never know.

We don’t need to know.

Because he got his Suit. A Suit. The Suit.

The suit that’s too snappy to wear to semi-formal occasions. The suit to end all suits.

In the best way, and forever more, Rob will have A Suit.

PS: A wedding toast, the dress, the invitations

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The Invitations

14 Mar

I have had it in my mind for a year and a half that I would do some sort of wedding month on this blog. That I’d write it all out so I’d have my words, so my future children would have my words. That I’d pace it and plan it and make it something special. And now, all this time later, I’m sitting on a few very disjointed posts in no particular order.  I’ve decided it’s better to post them as they come than to never post them at all.

So.

Here we are. 

Welcome back to August 2017.

 

I got the idea for our wedding invitations from a blog I follow.

Well, I guess the word now is “followed.”

I just went to link to it and the blog has gone private. Invited readers only.

The end of an era.

I’m sad about the end of blogging. I miss the days of long, rambly diary posts. Of knowing what a girl across the country was having for dinner, just because. Because she felt like a friend.

Tonight I had blackened chicken with mango salsa and coconut lime rice.

It sounds nice, right?

It was.

I hereby promise to share my dinner with you as often as possible!

But first, my wedding invitations.

(I am no good at this blogging thing. If I were I’d cut the whole beginning and just give you the basics of the wedding invites. Then, I’d link to it on Pinterest hoping that I become the GO TO for postcard wedding invitation Google Searches.

But here we are.

And here is coconut lime rice.

I like the coconut lime rice.

I like the old blogging.)

I got the idea for our wedding invitations from a blog I used to follow.

I loved the postcard, especially a postcard from Cape Cod. I loved the idea of using photobooth photos for me, and for Rob, who does not like to have his picture taken.

It was supposed to have a feeling to it. Like hi! Welcome to vacation! Come on vacation with us! It’s casual! And fun! And bright yellow with sailboats! It’s a dream!

We’re a dream!

We got our invitations from Zazzle which was nice. (I changed the border color and went with the shiny finish.)

We got the stamp from Design Roots. It was custom and she was lovely and wonderful to work with.

We got our photo booth pictures at The Backstage Bar and Grill after eating enormous hamburgers. Maybe we should have done it before we ate enormous hamburgers?

Alas.

I wore lipstick.

Oh! JFK stamps, because of the Cape Cod connection, and also it was a very politically charged time. I often said trying to plan a wedding in 2017 was like Bill and Fleur trying to find joy in their love while Voldemort rose.

I think that’s it. They were crazy cheap and crazy easy and I have no regrets.

It was a dream. We were a dream.

It all came true.

 

PS: About my wedding dress

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What’s New?

12 Mar

Every once in a while, my writing group and I do a group text catch up.

“What’s new?” someone asks and then we all launch in with the details.

Like how I almost exclusively wear medical clogs now. And that I’m way too devoted to this season’s Lakers and it would be just like me to get involved in a sports team for the first time in my life only to have them be the most disappointing sports team in recent memory.

Like how Dolly is sitting on my lap as I type this and it hurts my neck to write sideways, but that’s what we do for love.

It seems time for a What’s New blog post, doesn’t it?

I almost exclusively wear medical clogs now.

I guess I’ll start there.

I saw a cool looking hostess at a cool looking Venice brunch place walking around all confident in them and I went home and ordered them. They are expensive. They are heavy! Watch out!

I am trying to do better at not just seeing a cool looking thing and ordering it.

It’s going well, despite what the clogs imply!

Would you like to see my current Amazon wishlist?

The one I have so I sit with a purchase for a week and make sure I actually want it?

Here you go.

 

Matilda Tote Bag

Vintage looking clock

Lavender soap

Devotions: The selected poems of Mary Oliver

Clear bubble umbrella

Stylus pen

West coast coasters

The Body Keeps the score: Brain, Mind and Body in the healing of trauma

Kate Somerville exfolikate intensive exfoliating treatment

 

I’ve been keeping my phone in the other room at night.

What a revelation!

People have been saying this for a long time, I’m doing nothing new here, but let me tell you that it actually works. My screen time is down. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night and immediately check my phone. First thing in the morning I pet Dolly and read a few words of a book.

Yes, it’s going well.

Except.

have zero idea what time it is.

Saturday I woke up at 6:00AM and got out of bed with my blankets and books. Hours later I discovered my mistake.

There was some grouchiness.

I need an alarm clock is the point.

That vintage looking one looks nice.

(But I have a purple lamp! So is a purple clock too much or just enough?)

About the Lakers.

I keep thinking I’m going to write a long blog post about them. Something inspired and perhaps picked up by national media outlets, but then of course that sort of pressure means I never write about them at all so I’m starting here with this.

I do not know why people watch sports.

Well, I know why men watch sports. So they have something to talk about socially with other men and can avoid emotional intimacy. But other than that, why are we watching sports??

Sports are horrible!

I have enough going on emotionally, I don’t need to add invented drama!

I am the queen of invented drama!

This year I have devoted countless hours to the Lakers. I have watched most of their games. I have listened to a variety of podcasts about them, and then once you get into it, you have to start listening about their rivals.

I have searched Twitter for conspiracy theories and become interested in conspiracy theories. I’m so deep in, like so so deep.

And there is no reward.

Zero.

Before this point, the most I had paid attention to a sports team as an adult was The Patriots, sort of.

The Patriots always win! This is a good team to cheer on! (Other than the moral qualms, but I’m not going there right now.)

The Patriots win and so you get like an hour of happiness and I don’t know, if that’s all you have in your life maybe that hour makes a big difference.

But the Lakers never win. They keep finding new levels of disappointment and sadness.

Why are we cheering them on?

What’s the point again?

I went and made us a casserole last week.

A full-on Midwest style Chrissy Tiegen casserole with cream of mushroom and noodles and frozen peas, the whole bit. Topped with jalapeno potato chips, of course.

Rob had never had a casserole before, not a true one.

It made our week.

I mean, of course, there were other things going on. Dolly being adorable. Work and church and friends and family, but there, in that 9×13 pan that fed us for three meals, therein was the joy.

Rob never having had a casserole is shocking to anyone I tell.

I am from Utah. Casseroles are in our blood.

I took a “Foods” class in high school where one of the units was exclusively on casserole making.

It’s so easy! You need a rice/pasta, some sort of cream soup, a meat, a topping. Cheese. More cheese than you can even imagine.

What’s not to love?

Before I made the casserole, I started spreading it around. “I’m making a casserole tonight,” I told the friend I saw right before. “I have been craving a casserole!” she said.

She, too, is from Utah.

Before I made the casserole, Rob mentioned it to his grandma. “Jill’s making a casserole tonight,” he said.

“Be kind to her” she said.

She, too, is from the Northeast.

There are many reasons Rob has never had a casserole.

He is from the Northeast, as mentioned.

He is Italian. People have tried to argue lasagna is a casserole, but it’s just not a Casserole Casserole, is it? Where are the potato chips?

Also. Rob is an only child.

Casseroles are made for the large family. You throw it all in one dish, whatever you have left, whatever you have around, and it feeds everyone!

For cheap!

I went and made us a casserole last week.

(It was good.)

What’s new with you?

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A Person Without Skin

5 Mar

I have been thinking about this quote from Less for months now.

The book itself was just fine for me, but this quote has stayed with me, swirling in my head, naming something I’ve only ever felt.

You’re like a person without skin.

Everything hurts.

Once, in his twenties, a poet he had been talking with extinguished her cigarette in a potted plant and said, “You’re like a person without skin.” A poet had said this. One who made her living flaying herself alive in public had said that he, tall and young and hopeful Arthur Less, was without skin. But it was true. “You need to get an edge,” his old rival Carlos constantly told him in the old days, but Less had not known what that meant. To be mean? No, it meant to be protected, armored against the world, but can one “get” an edge any more than one can “get” a sense of humor? Or do you fake it, the way a humorless businessman memorizes jokes and is considered “a riot,” leaving parties before he runs out of material?

Whatever it is—Less never learned it. By his forties, all he has managed to grow is a gentle sense of himself, akin to the transparent carapace of a soft-shelled crab.

PS: A few other quotes from the book that I loved:

And we realize that we thought we were the only changing thing, the only variable, in the world; that the objects and people in our lives are there for our pleasure, like the playing pieces of a game, and cannot move of their own accord; that they are held in place by our need for them, by our love. How stupid.

We think we know the ones we love.

Our husbands, our wives. We know them – we are them, sometimes; when separated at a party we find ourselves voicing their opinions, their taste in food or books, telling an anecdote that never happened to us but happened to them. We watch their tics of conversation, of driving and dressing, how they touch a sugar cube to their coffee and stare as it turns white to brown, then drop it, satisfied, into the cup. I watched my own husband do that every morning; I was a vigilant wife.

We think we know them. We think we love them. But what we love turns out to be a poor translation, a translation we ourselves have made, from a language we barely know. We try to get past it to the original, but we never can. We have seen it all. But what have we really understood?

One morning we awaken. Beside us, that familiar sleeping body in the bed: a new kind of stranger. For me, it came in 1953. That was when I stood in my house and saw a creature merely bewitched with my husband’s face.

Perhaps you cannot see a marriage. Like those giant heavenly bodies invisible to the human eye, it can only be charted by its gravity, its pull on everything around it. That is how I think of it. That I must look at everything around it, all the hidden stories, the unseen parts, so that somewhere in the middle – turning like a dark star – it will reveal itself at last.

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Chasing Meaning

21 Feb

A few Thursdays ago I got home late and tired and feeling bleh.

I decided to run a bath and light a candle and put on some Tara Brach.

Just like that. BOOM. A night saved.

Just like that. BOOM. A ritual.

Thursdays. Candles. Tara.

I don’t want to say everything I learned about rituals comes from Dolly, but maybe everything I learned about rituals comes for that little whipped cream cone.

She has her routines and her patterns. Her own little rituals.

First thing in the morning she wants cuddles, from both parents, for five minutes.

She made it up.

She made it happen.

You can make up rituals! Did you know?

I made up that bath ritual and now every Thursday night when I get home late and tired and bleh I light that candle and I run that bath and I put on that Tara and what was previously a spiral of an evening, sadness and darkness and despair, is now a ritual.

Maybe one day a beloved ritual.

Rituals can be artificial.

In fact, I think it’s healthy to make your own rituals. Rituals give your life meaning where there was none. Purpose and meaning.

It all comes back to meaning.

My therapist and I discussed this this week.

Of course, it sounded so great in the office, as we went back and forth. I buzzed with excitement. I have the answer to it! To it all!

Look out Brené Brown, it’s Chasing Meaning!

I doubt this blog will be eloquent enough for that hype. For it all.

But here is my attempt.

Last week I hosted a social event at my house.

It was so stressful.

I knew before it even began that it would be stressful and yes, it proved to be stressful.

I needed to replace dead plants and buy new picture frames and while I was at it, what about KonMari-ing every section of the home?

What about that?

I was so wrapped up in my head that I made myself slow down.

I asked myself about meaning.

Why was I doing this event in the first place?

(Because I want to make friends with the people who live near me.)

Was all my madness around getting my house perfect serving this purpose?

(No.)

(I still went crazy preparing for it, but there is a power in knowing what you’re doing and choosing it anyway. A power in choice.)

My therapist asked me if I knew any happy people, happy in the way I want to be happy.

No? I said.

Neither do I she said.

Happiness, that can’t be the goal. Happiness is like any other feeling, it comes and goes. And that’s normal! That’s what feelings are.

(Also, for some of us, happiness goes more than it comes.)

The people I know who are closest to happiness have meaning in their life. Purpose.

Are you ready for it?

The thesis?

Rather than chasing happiness, which is fleeting and a losing game, (at least for me, at least for 31 years) perhaps we should be chasing meaning?

For meaning can be created out of nothing.

Meaning can be artificial.

Rituals can be artificial.

Rituals are meaning.

I don’t know that I quite captured it. It felt So Important when we first discussed it, and now, a few weeks later it seems a little thin. Like I’m missing some key points.

But here is what I know.

Chasing happiness is a losing game for me.

But rituals, creating meaning in my life? I can do that no matter what.

I can chase meaning.

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2018 In Books, Books, Books

21 Jan

In 2018 I saw the Red Sox win the World Series. Like I was in Dodger Stadium standing next to Rob, Mr. Boston Sports Guy when it happened.

It was a moment.

I never wrote about it, though. That moment.

I never wrote about a lot of 2018.

But here we go. I’m going to try to write this one.

BOOKS.

Books and 2018.

 

My favorite series

Books that swept me up, made me feel things, made me believe in reading second chances:

The To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

The book I recommend constantly that absolutely everyone I’ve given it to loves:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

(No really, read it if you haven’t)

The nonfiction book I tell everyone about because it reads like a juicy page-turning thriller and we can talk about it for months on end:

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

If you love romance

My Oxford Year by Julie Whelan (my favorite romance novel this year)

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Shonda is turning this into at television series for Netflix! It follows eight siblings as they each fall in love. The tagline says it all: Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?

Also! The author is starting a podcast with my very favorite feminist podcaster from Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. It’s all about the joy of romance novels and called Hot and Bothered.

My favorite children’s book:

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

My favorite memoir:

Educated by Tara Brach, really because it led to so much further discussion and thought.

Fiction:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Beartown by Fredrick Backman (the author of A Man Called Ove.) (I put myself on hold for the second book in this series, which is actually pretty rare for me.)

This is how it always is by Laurie Frankel 

A visit from the goon squad by Jennifer Egan

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Power by Naomi Alderman

 

Beach Reads

The book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

 

Nonfiction

In Conclusion, don’t worry about it by Lauren Graham (Lauren Graham’s graduation speech. I’ve reread it a few times.)

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

 

Children’s Books

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

The adventures of a girl called bicycle by Christina Uss

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

 

Young Adult

A very large expanse of sea by Taherah Mafi

One of us is lying by Karen M. McManus

 

Fantasy/Sci Fi (I know these two are different, but I just don’t read enough of them to really separate them out)

Into the drowning deep by Mira Grant

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

 

Graphic novels

Chi’s sweet home by Kanata Konami

A children’s graphic novel from the perspective of a cat. I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed this before this year, but now I couldn’t help but think of Dolly. Couldn’t help but meep meep.

 

Thrillers:

Listen, I’m just listing all the thrillers I read this year. It just so happened every one I read this year I enjoyed. None of them changed my life, but that’s not really what I’m looking for with a thriller:

Then she was gone by Lisa Jewell

The last time I lied by Riley Sager

The secrets she keeps by Michael Robotham

The wife between us by Greer Hendricks

 

Memoir:

The Book of Mormon Girl by Joanna Brooks

We are never meeting in real life by Samantha Irby (Do the audiobook version! It was such a treat.)

Real American by Julie Lythcott-Haims

And now we have everything by Meaghan O’Connell

Flunking sainthood by Jana Reiss (I’m now a huge, huge Jana Reiss fan. Jana to write everything about Mormonism, please.)

Make Something Good Today by Erin and Ben Napier of HGTV’s Hometown

This was a surprisingly poignant read for me, it went far beyond “Oh I like their TV show let’s see behind the scenes!”

Take this quote, for instance:

It might look as if those of us from small towns who move back home are mkaing a safe bet or no bet at all. But I disagree: it takes effort to rediscover what you think you already know, and that’s an unsung bravery at work. We may find nothing. Or, if we shift our perspectives, we allow for the possibility that life can crack open with wonder and we can find magic in the familiar.

 

Spirituality

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by the one and only Anne Lamott

Walking on water: reflections on faith and art by Madeleine L’Engle

Radical acceptance: Embracing your life with the heart of the Buddha by Tara Brach (she also has a great podcast)

Gmorning, Gnight!: Little pep talks for me & you by Lin Manuel Miranda

(I didn’t know what to put this under, but I read and approached this book like I do other spirirtual books. The reading of it became a spiritual practice for me.)

Tattoos on the heart: the power of boundless compassion by Gregory Boyle

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Here We Are In 2019

10 Jan

Image

In 2019 I want to get into making salads. The big, hearty kind full of nutrients and wild rice, sunflower seeds and nuts.

I want to draw more.

I want to speak up and ask for what I need.

I want to record what makes me happy.

I want to record what makes me unhappy.

This feels like a life-changer?

This feels like why haven’t I always been doing it?

In 2019 I want to start a morning routine, one that does not begin and end with social media.

I want to use social media intentionally, in general.

I want to live intentionally, in general.

In 2019 I want to finish writing my book.

That one. The one I’ve been playing with for three years, the one I gave a real go at last year before realizing, oh those are some big problems.

In 2019 what I’d really, really like to do most is finish writing my book.

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Creativity + The End of Rookie

5 Jan

Image via Rookie, of course

 

Rookie closed down last year.

Rookie as in Tavi Gevinson’s creative project. Rookie as in “look, art can exist on the internet!”

It’s a sad time for the internet.

For me.

I read Tavi’s final letter in its entirety the morning she published it. All six pages. I’ve always loved her words, her insight, her honesty. How is she 22?

Rob asked me if she was a genius and I stopped for a second.

Yeah, I said. I guess she is.

Man Repeller analyzed the ending of Rookie in its typical cerebral way.

I appreciate it and I also wonder who talks like that.

I’m surrounded by intelligent, thoughtful people!

This is another level.

My takeaway from the analysis was that Leandra (the founder of Man Repeller) derives pleasure from the internet game.

She gets that it’s a game, and yet, at her core she wants to make the game meaningful.

She doesn’t give it all up and just sell products to her followers. She wants to create community. To take what could be clickbait and make it human.

She says:

Sometimes I think about what my life would be like if there was no Man Repeller, and in many ways it would be much easier, and in the short term probably more financially lucrative because I’d have more time to earn those influencer dollarz.

But what enables me to get out of bed every morning and say bye to my kids is this deep-rooted recognition that as our lives become more digitized and further isolating, and as my heart breaks over and over again watching things that I don’t care about anymore — like fluctuating traffic or a diminishing interest in “time on site,” I actually have the power to fix it by pushing our work forward. Truly connecting people. Inspiring them. Making them feel good and hopeful in a world that is largely driven by fear — fear of being irrelevant, uncool, alone.

It’s an admirable cause and I salute her.

And yet.

I am Tavi.

At the end of it all, Tavi saw Rookie as her art project. She didn’t want to play the game, and the internet requires you play the game.

I don’t want to play the game.

I get stressed out sometimes thinking I should want to play the game! Wondering if I should worry about followers or boosting or clicks. How to convert it all into something.

But I hate the game.

I’ve tried to play it and I’m terrible at it.

The game is all stress and pressure to me.

The game is no fun.

There’s a part in Big Magic where Elizabeth Gilbert talks about a woman who takes up ice skating in her middle age, not because she’s ever going to be a professional ice skater, but because it brings her joy.

There’s this strange thing that happens when you’ve pursued a creative path for your career.

That suddenly the only “success,” the only thing that counts is if you become a professional.

This becomes your full-time job.

The success of skating in your middle age just because is lost.

That’s been my big takeaway from the Great Therapy Writing Challenge.

I’ve been writing every day just because. Not to try to propel a goal, but writing as some people go to the gym. For my brain.

And as I’ve done so, my whole life has been filled with creativity.

I am making homemade cards for Christmas. Cards with individualized drawings and vintage stamps.

I did Gilmore Girls Week on Mormons in Media, a true delight.

I am spinning and buzzing and excited and it’s all because creativity, that’s what counts to me.

This is all my arts and crafts project.

I LIVE for an arts and crafts project.

I want my life to be one big, messy, delicious one.

I saw Elizabeth Gilbert recently. In the program for her talk, there’s a little message from the author.

I think it about sums it all up.

Or something close to all of it.

She says:

Sometimes I wonder why I care so much. What does it matter to me if people are making art or not? Who cares whether anyone out there is writing novels, or learning new languages, or dancing or singing or growing or transforming?

Well, in the end, I think it comes down to this: we appear to be living in a universe that is constantly creating and recreating itself. The evidence for this is literally everywhere. Nature is always changing from one form to another. All you need to do is look in a telescope and you can see galaxies being born. Look in a microscope and you’ll see bacteria evolving and adapting right before your eyes.

The whole thing reeks of a giant cosmic arts-and-crafts project — an infinite, ever-unfolding experient in constant creative response. It appears to me that energy only wants one thing: to create. And you, of course, are made of energy. So start creating! Because once you start creating, you will step into alignment with the direction that the entire universe is heading. You will be in the flow of life itself. And that will make you happy. That will make you healthy. That will make you beong.

That’s why creativity matters so much to me–because i want a healthy belonging for myself, and I want it for you too.

I was talking to a friend recently about all of this.

About Tavi and Leandra and Elizabeth.

About creativity and the internet.

She asked me where this left me. This knowledge that I’m a Tavi. That I don’t want to play the game. The internet game. 

I said:

I think that leaves me here.

PS: Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness taking up figure skating for the pure joy and drama of it is so very, very Big Magic

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My Word for 2018

30 Dec

This year my grandfather passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly.

In a lot of ways, this has defined my year. The shock. The trip home. The shifting of priorities, of family dynamics.

A deeper understanding of grace.

I presented at a church workshop the week after the funeral and my final slide was my grandfather dancing at my wedding.

I talked about grace and how when someone passes away you can see their life clearly–the highs, the lows, the reality of the human experience.

And yet, with my grandfather’s death, my main takeaway, the biggest feeling I was left with was simply love.

A friend said,

God smooths over the rough places in our life and resurfaces us with love.

I saw this firsthand this year.

I saw grace in action.

I think my word this year is adult.

I’m growing older. My first grandparent has passed away. That’s a thing that starts happening now, I guess.

People I love age and struggle and shift.

I am aging and struggling and shifting.

I went to the grocery store every week this year.

Can you believe it?

A few years ago I was going to the grocery store once a quarter, at best. Every time I pushed my two carts out to the parking lot, an employee would ask if I was throwing a dinner party, or perhaps a medium-sized wedding.

No, no. I would say.

No, no.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in adulthood it is this:

You must go to the grocery store weekly if you want to eat well at all.

I’m sorry. To all my younger readers still on the quarterly plan, I’m so sorry for this news.

I hate the grocery store.

And yet.

This year, I went every week.

My word for this year is adult “I think” because I couldn’t come up with a better one. It’s as close as I could get to what this year was about.

I considered responsibility.

That’s a nice sort-of synonym?

We adopted Dolly this year.

We are responsible for a 5 lb living, breathing squeaky toy who crawls on my lap first thing in the mornings and flops and meeps for attention.

Rob suggested motherhood was the word for the year but I told him that was too far.

Too far.

And yet.

There was a shift.

A gaining of responsibility, of adulthood.

This year was the year of Dolly.

Recently Facebook popped up with the picture I shared back in February when we adopted our little marshmallow fluff.

I announced “Rob and I are parents! Meet Dolly Purrton!”

My grandfather commented, as he always did. He was the King of Comments.

“What a happy family!”

This year I didn’t move!

Two consecutive years in the same apartment, baby!

Since I came to LA in 2012 I’ve lived in five different places.

This year I didn’t move and I lived in an apartment that is functional and decorated and furnished.

This is the year of adult, after all.

This year I stayed at the same job!

Two consecutive years at the same place of work, baby!

Not that this makes one an adult.

A lot of really adult people I know freelance or shift with the wind. Change income-sources like I change mumus.

But for me it was a sort of settling down and settling in.

I love my job.

I am incredibly grateful I have it.

And I stayed there.

The last time I sat down and had a real conversation with my grandfather was fall of 2017.

I shared my shiny, new wedding pictures with him and my grandmother.

Here you are dancing

Here you are again

My grandparents dancing was a highlight of my wedding. It was a highlight all weddings they ever attended. The two of them would dance in any situation. Music came on? There they were in the middle of it all. Smiling. Cha-cha-ing. Glowing.

At my wedding, my grandpa did complicated footwork to You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift, jumping and leaping, landing it all as the crowd cheered.

At his funeral, we played this footage on a loop.

2018 was the year of adult.

It was the year I started to craft in a real way.

The year I announced I was Mormon on the internet.

Both of those feel adult to me.

The embracing of who I am, who I have always been. The owning of it. The return to the core.

2018 was the year of therapy.

The year I started most conversations with, “My therapist says.”

My therapist says she’s seen me change this year. Start on a path. A path towards what, is the question. That’s the word I’m looking for.

Is it responsibility? Honesty? Dolly? Grief? Crafting? Therapy?

I think my word this year is adult.

At least, that’s what I’m going with for now.

To read the obituary I wrote for my grandfather, click here.

 

PS: My words for 2017201620152014, 2013 and 2012

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Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg

29 Dec

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This post contains spoilers for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2

Well, Mrs. Masiel really did Dr. Benjamin dirty, didn’t they?

I’m referring to the show, not the character, though, I suppose she did him dirty as well.

Dr. Benjamin Ettenberg, played by HELLO Zachary Levi, is perhaps the most appealing male character ever put on our television screens.

He is handsome. He is tall. He is a surgeon in a time where a surgeon meant excellent parking spaces and an entire brownstone in New York.

He likes art.

He hates gender roles.

He can keep up.

No one can keep up if you’re Midge Maisel.

Except for Dr. Benjamin.

I don’t know why the show did this to us.

Joel can go. Joel can go immediately, we never, ever cared about him, he steals jokes from other people and cheats on his wife and don’t get me started on his slicked hair and insecurity around a woman’s talent. JOEL COULD GO IN THE PILOT AND THE SHOW WOULD BE BETTER FOR IT.

But you’re going to go ahead and create a perfect male, a perfect male for Midge, one who supports her dreams, celebrates her weird, doesn’t want her to be a stereotype? You’re going to create this man, cast Zachary Levi and his broad, BROAD shoulders, and then blow it all up like that?

NO THANK YOU

I’M BACK IN MY JOEL SCREAMING MODE.

I feared this would happen.

We simply didn’t see enough of Dr. Benjamin for me to believe he was going to be the Luke Danes of the series.

He popped in and out. Maybe more of a Max Medina? A more appealing Max Medina?

And then when out of nowhere he was going to propose? I knew it was over.

You don’t propose that quickly  and work it out on TV. You just don’t. Ask Ross and Rachel.

If Dr. Benjamin was going to be the Dr. Benjamin we needed him to be, we needed more screen time. We needed her to tell him she was going on tour and for him to support it (AS HE WOULD I’M SCREAMING AT YOU AGAIN, JOEL). We needed a few seasons where she wondered if she could really have a relationship again. How a man would work into her schedule, not the other way around.

A few seasons where he proved himself again and again, with that voice, those shoulders! Those ideas about relationships!

Oh Dr. Benjamin.

You were that man.

You are that man.

In  my heart, I’ll hope for a fifth season where she’s more deserving of you. Where you get to be on our screens at least a half hour every episode.

In my heart I’ll hope for the ending you deserve.

Mrs. Maisel really did you dirty, Zachary Levi.

Oh Mrs. Maisel really did you dirty.

 

PS: Did you see the Mormon reference in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

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