Friendly Conversations: Cuatro

I’m dedicating this to my parents, because the below is solid proof that I was raised without any form of a filter. Now please enjoy another snapshot of your average, everyday friendly conversations.

On conditional love
Mama B: Babe I’ll support you no matter what you do.
Me: I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that, I was so nervous to tell you about…
Mama B: EXCEPT IF YOU GET MORE TATTOOS.

On crowning achievements
Friend: So…. until recently,  you were a white girl that did not like rose?
Me: Yep.
Friend: Lifetime should do a biopic about you.

On accessorizing
Me: I’m so glad we got the belt for my maid-of-honor dress, it needed a little sparkle.
Mama B: I think my dress needs something too, but not a belt. Maybe like a pin or something?
Papa B: You should wear the Star Wars federation badge.
Mama B: OMG! Perfect. Will you buy it for me??

On conditional love (Pt. 2)
Mama B: But seriously no more tattoos.
Me: There’s more coming, it’s fine, you’ll get used to it.
Mama B: Please don’t get another visible one.
Me: What’s the point of spending all that money if no one can see them?
Mama B: FLOWERS BELONG IN A VASE NOT ON YOUR RIBS.

On wedding events
Twinster: I want all my shower presents pre-opened so we can get through that shit quickly. Like, paper ripped, ribbons cut..
Mama B: Don’t break the ribbons!!! There’s an old Irish saying that you’ll have a child for every one that breaks.
Me: If the ribbon breaks?
Twinster: Mmmm sorry Mom, I think you’re referring to condoms.

On weekends at home
Family friend: Alright girl, your mom and I are on a mission to set you up. Really quick name three physical qualities you like in a guy GO!
Me: Uhhhh beard, tattoos and a man bun.
Mama B: Like his butt?!
Me: Omg Mom like the hairstyle.
Mama B: You have weird taste in men maybe that’s why you’re single.

On conditional love (Pt. 3)
Mama B: What are they going to look like when you’re older?!?!?
Me: MAHM. We’re done talking about my tattoos, present and future.
Mama B: You weren’t serious about getting more though, right?
Me: This conversation is over.
Mama B: I HATE THEM SO MUCH.

PLD Montage Vol. 2.3: Pre-Wedding Wedding Edition (Pt. Twinster)

To say my life has been taken over by weddings this year is a massive understatement. In the full volume of people that I hold dear to my heart, there are only two other single people, with everyone else now either engaged or married – and most of them are getting married this year. Though we planned an amazing weekend bachelorette/bridal shower combo for my partner-in-crime R back in June, this last weekend was a much bigger undertaking, wherein I needed to plan a bridal shower and bachelorette weekend for my twin sister. And truly, the weekend went better than I could have imagined, and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Well.. okay. Maybe I would have *tweaked* just a few moments….

I give you: PLD Montage, Vol. 2.3: Pre-Wedding Wedding Edition (Pt. Twinster)

  • We had a full house at my parents’ the night before the wedding, with myself, my lovely friend M, T, three of her friends, my parents and my sister’s almost-in-laws. The original plan for the night was for all of us to enjoy a nice, relaxing dinner together, and then M and I would head to a dear family friend’s house, where the shower was being held the next day, so we would each have a bed for the night and then could be there early for set-up. M and I both had stressful Fridays – she was coming in from NYC and her plans changed abruptly two hours before her train left, where I mismanaged my time and was somehow running errands from 9am till 430pm – so when the wine came out for dinner, we gratefully accepted. And accepted… and accepted….
    Lesson learned: If you don’t pace yourself with alcohol on a night you’re supposed to drive to sleep somewhere else, you end up sleeping on the floor of the house family room, where the calming noise of crashing dishes being washed at 5:30am will wake you from a Merlot-fueled restless sleep.
  • We all woke up bright and early the next morning (yours truly at the aforementioned 5:30am), shared coffee and breakfast on the deck in the beautiful weather, and planned to get to the shower location by around 10am for last minute set-up and to heat up the food. I was starting to get somewhat eager/anxious for the rest of the weekend, so my usual two-to-three cups of coffee somehow turned into four and a half. Then I had to get in a convertible and drive the 10 minutes to the shower location with my recently-done hair and flowers picked from the garden, all while in a black dress in the sunshine.
    Lesson learned: Coffee makes you sweaty and shaky, which doesn’t help when you’re driving a convertible with sun beating down on your black dress, which in turn makes you more sweaty, and also convertibles mess up hair. TL;DR: No part of my morning was well thought-out or planned.
  • Set-up actually went incredibly smoothly, and we had popped the first bottle of champagne by 11am, drinking slowly to savor the last few minutes of calm before the 40+ guests arrived. The main event of the shower, the CREPE TRUCK, was running late, but eventually made it, and I was really looking forward to a ham and cheese crepe, as I hadn’t eaten much that morning due to nerves and too much coffee. Then crepe truck man proceeds to tell us that he has: forgotten ice, forgotten all of the savory ingredients, brought one can of whipped cream for 40 people, informed us that setting up the stand was going to take 40 minutes, oh, and he let it slip that he may have been “a little hungover.”
    Lesson learned: Always trust and emulate your mother – not only had Mama B planned ahead and made enough quiche and salad to feed an army (“just in case people don’t want crepes!”), but after exchanging a few words Idiot Crepe Boy, she got them to waive the fee for the truck and send us an IOU for our next party. She’s the best.
  • A few weeks before the shower, T and I were texting and she sent the most bridezilla thing that’s come out of her mouth since getting engaged: “Dude, I’m at a shower and we’ve been sitting in the sun for almost two hours watching someone open presents. If we don’t set a record for gift-opening since you’ll be pre-opening everything for me, you’re fired as my maid of honor,.” Challenge accepted.
    Lesson learned: With a joint effort between the bridesmaids, we had every damn gift opened, cataloged and stored for the taking in under 45 minutes. BOOM.
  • I woke up the next morning after the Moulin Rouge themed bachelorette party that followed the shower, and sighed loudly. M and I had shared the futon in the office for the night, and as it was 7:30am, I inched my way out of the bed so as not to wake her so I could survey the damage in the house and start cleaning before everyone else woke up for breakfast. In walking into the kitchen, the sun was just starting to peek over the treetops in the backyard, calling us to the deck for a slow morning with good friends and laughs about the night before. The house was already clean, a joint effort from all the girls there, and as everyone slowly emerged from the various sleeping locations around the house, we all had laughs and good memories from the two parties the day before. The one thing that was missing? Almost no one took pictures from the bachelorette.
    Lesson learned: Maybe it sucks when you can’t Instagram all of the decorations and hard work that you put into a bachelorette party for your twin sister, but when everyone is having too much fun to stop and stare at a cell phone, you know it’s been a hell of a night.

Two wedding shower/bachelorette weekends down, one to go – next up, H and R’s wedding!!

Eager Eager

It is AUGUST, which means I am BACK. Oh, it’s good to be writing again. A mini-vacation from a self-imposed responsibility to share my poor life decisions with the world was exactly what I needed before diving into yet another busy month in the life of LB.

A break, a break, I need a break. How often do we say those things? The city gets too overwhelming and too crazy, strangers pushing you in the subway: I need a break! Work is emails on meetings on phone calls on meetings, more hours, push harder, do better: I need a break! Life is weddings and parties before the weddings, clean that, decorate that, there are 40 people coming in 2 minutes: I need a break! It killed me to stop writing for a few weeks, but this was the one space in my life at that moment where I could actually, legitimately take a break, and honestly, it helped. I still checked in here, and I had all these great ideas for posts (“How Snapchat selfies saved my sanity on 4-hour client calls”; “Packing – how many feather boas are too many?”; “4 hours of sleep vs. my sister’s bridal shower”), but stepping away helped move everything along this past weekend, and this past weekend was perfect.

This past weekend was the bridal shower and bachelorette bash for Twinster, a Paris-themed fete complete with chocolate Eiffel Towers and wedding-themed drinking games (*at different parties). The weather was perfect, the crowd was perfect, and we had so many laughs that my cheeks still ache, months of nerves eased by obsessive planning on my part and a wonderful group of women. There was no feeling quite like spending 48 hours watching my sister smile and laugh and talk about her big day, which is so rapidly approaching it makes me eager and anxious and excited in a way I’ve never been before.

The weekend also kicked off bridal season for me, with weddings every month for the rest of the year. Speaking candidly, I’ve been so focused on T’s weekend that it only hit me this morning that we’re under a month before my partner-in-crime R and her Scot H make it official, the wedding I’ve been looking forward to since pretty much the day they met. The group has been so busy the past few weeks between weddings and work and other travel that it feels like we’ve barely seen each other since the springtime, so the prospect of a party to celebrate how much we love two of our own while they celebrate how much they love each other is such a delicious event to look forward to.

I’ve noticed lately that things feel like they’re on the verge of something, though I can’t tell you what that something is. Leading into last weekend things felt like they were teetering at the peak of the first drop of a roller coaster; there is anxiety and anticipation and some feeling you can’t describe, as you know things are about to tip and then the wild ride really begins. I can’t put my finger on what I’m feeling in that regard exactly – all I know is that a rush of calm came over me when I got back to my apartment last night, like things have officially been set in motion, and now everything is about to come to light. Where such a feeling might have scared me two years ago, the idea that change is a’coming whether I want it to or not has given me a steady calm, like I’ve never really felt before.

I realize this post has a lot of feelings and not a lot of substance, and a lot of crazy and very little sense, but after leaving the blog alone for two weeks, I think that’s what it needed: a boost from the cranky, whining posts of recent past, where I’m exasperated and exhausted; a new perspective after a few weeks to focus on everything calming down before everything else happens. So here’s to whatever is about to happen! Because I am b-a-c-k baby, and the only thing I can say to this crazy ride that’s getting ready to tip over is to bring. it. on.

Pause.

Fourth of July weekend. A few days off the daily grind to relax by the pool, cook everything on a grill and enjoy such classic American pastimes as drinking beer and tanning excessively. I debated heavily back and forth this weekend whether I wanted to spend the time in Connecticut with family or stick around the city to see what the Nickname Posse would get into, but by Thursday, exhausted from a long week and in desperate need of a pause button, I decided I’d sleep in on Friday morning but take the first available train back once I was functional enough to make a coffee and check the schedule. Connecticut is like that for me, a pause button on everything else in life for a crucial few moments, falling asleep and waking up to nature and devoid of real responsibilities during the day. I’m not constantly on my phone when I’m back at home, I don’t bring a computer or use the desktop there that often. Aside from a few Instagrams (because obviously), I stayed pretty off the grid most of the weekend, and it was exactly what I needed, a pause on the crazy before everything picks back up again.

Part of the weekend was a welcome throwback, a concert on the town green which featured the youth orchestra I played in for six years. Yes, I just said youth orchestra and no, I’m not embarrassed. I’m proud of the time I put into playing my instruments, especially since I’m near positive I can’t anymore, and the conductors, a married couple who also teach the band/orchestra at the middle school and have basically shaped a part of the town culture for the past forty years, finally retired; this was their last concert, potentially ever. We rounded up the old group, the only people I still keep in touch with from high school, and surprised the conductors by near-rushing the stage at the end of the performance. After gently chiding us for not grabbing our instruments and playing with them, their first question was of course “what have you all been up to in the past few years?” We looked at each other, and one friend summed up my life perfectly with her next words. Pointing in order to my sister, another friend, herself and then me, she replied “Engaged, married, engaged, yoga.” I laughed so hard at that statement tears ran down my face – what a perfect way to sum up the most important things in our lives since they last saw us all together in 2006.

Sometimes it feels like my life is a romantic comedy, except I’m the quirky best friend who provides advice and comic relief, while the lead characters grow up and move forward. I’m there for the nights out to follow through on the dare from an engaged friend to make out with a stranger, I’m the last-minute date stand-in when something comes up. I’m never left out of the plot for long, but my role isn’t crucial to the love stories taking place around me each day. Simply put, hearing that statement was certainly funny, but as the words sat with me, they were a little challenging as well, laying out pretty neatly how it feels to play second fiddle to everyone else’s lead character navigating the standard milestones of your late 20s. It was nice to be able to go back to my parent’s place after that, grab a towel and head to the front yard for a little yoga on my own, separated from the rest of the family with just my thoughts and the slow movements of a gentle vinyasa flow, a pause button on a weekend that had already paused everything. I needed the meta-pause for a few minutes to gently remind myself that I’m not being left behind, and I’m not doing something wrong. I’m just not living life on the same wavelength of some of the people I love the most, and maybe it’s a scary thing, but it certainly isn’t a bad one.

Yesterday I got home early and sighed with relief at the chance to roll out my mat and stretch in the comfort of my own living room. I worked through a lot of tension in my hips and my back, long, slow stretches that opened up everything, all the anxieties of the past weekend, all the clenched mouth responses to the “of course it’ll be your turn soon!”s that follow me like a mosquito in my ear when I’m trying to fall asleep. After things felt properly bendy, I started to play with arm balances, first a headstand, then a forearm stand, and finally I moved myself to the wall to practice handstands, surprising myself as I find it starting to become easier and easier to hold the pose without the support of the wall. At one attempt I didn’t need the wall at all, until my excited gasp of air at holding the pose brought me back down with a laugh and a rush of endorphins. It was the kind of yoga high that made me so grateful for the pause button that was my life for the two days prior, a chance to set my head on straight again; and finding balance in those two seconds of hangtime in a handstand made me so grateful towards my body and mind for learning to breathe through these challenging moments, both physically and emotionally. A pause button by way of a weekend away recharged my positive energy for the future, and pausing in an almost-handstand reminded me progress and change will come with time. Now it’s time to push play on a new week, a crazy new week, and a new summer season, where the only pause will have to come from me, taking advantage of the precious moments where I can roll out my mat and remind myself that the end goal is just progress – and that’s something I can do all on my own.

Holi-daze

Hay hayy holidays!! For those of us that celebrate Christmas, Merry baby Jesus’s birthday! For those who celebrate Hanukkah, may your lights burn evermore. And for all of the above, plus those who don’t care, here is a picture of little miss in her holiday collar, looking happier than she basically ever does:

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I wish everyone love and wonderful memories to come during this well-decorated time of year. Sending love from my life, to your families, and may all of you stay more sober than I’ll likely be by 4pm Christmas afternoon. That spiked cider really hits you, doesn’t it…

Waves

Things have been going really well lately. Like, surprisingly well. I’m busy at work which is keeping me engaged and occupied, I’ve been excelling more quickly than I’d anticipated in yoga practice, I’ve had some great time with my family and my friends, and I have some exciting events coming up in the next few weeks, like the shared birthday for my lovely friend M and my work buddy S, and Friendsgiving with the Nickname Posse. The holidays are my favorite time of year, between the food, the family, the time off of work, and of course, the food (I really like eating). I know life isn’t a straight trajectory, marred with surprises and the natural ebbs and flows that come with being emotional creatures, but I was feeling really good about the past few weeks. Up until about 10 last night, when the third straw in an already emotional day nearly put me over the edge.

My partner-in-crime R and my fashionista C probably know better than anyone that things tend to happen in waves, something they reminded me last night as I sat quietly in my apartment, trying to sort through the tangled mess that comes when confronted with life’s inevitabilities. And M made the point that these things tend to happen in threes, two very upsetting pieces of news, and an unwanted email; the first news was bad enough, the second was enough to be a bad wave, and the email was the final straw in unwanted information. I’ve been able to compose myself today, and with everything else on such an upswing for the first time in a very long time, I’m feeling like I know how to handle this particular situation. But it’s hard to have things finally going well, and then to have a wrench thrown in the middle, like a heckler in the punch line of your best performance.

Good things and bad things are a yin and yang that we can’t predict or control. Sometimes you’re on an upswing as simple as the person at Starbucks spelling your name correctly in the morning and finding free snacks in the work kitchen in the afternoon. Sometimes the bad things are as trivial as someone else getting to that subway seat before you do, followed by more dirt in your shower when you get home from work in the evening. Sometimes a text from an old friend will make you smile, and then in that same thought you’re wishing the text came from someone else. Life isn’t perfect any of the time: there’s good moments in the bad weeks, and bad hours in the good days. It’s so easy to seek out the bad in the good, the self-doubt and the second-guessing, but so infrequently do we try and find the good in the bad. I’m working on the latter today, reminding myself that I’ve seen miracles and those miracles gave us four years of borrowed time, and finding relief in an email that finally cuts all ties, removing all traces of his presence in my life so I never have to see him again.

I have a journal that I write in from time to time, a full-secret space where I can use names and talk about work and chronicle my life through my eyes, for my eyes. There was something I wrote just under a year ago, which was a pretty significant time, and the words came back to me last night while texting the girls. Out of context, it reads:

(Autumn, 2013): It moves, undulating like a wave. Up and down, back and forth. Gone and back again. It moves within me, rocking me back and forth on my heels, my toes. Throwing off my balance like a rag doll, all fluid and no bones. I feel like I’m wobbling on a precipice of happiness, depression, healthy and sick. One comes, the other follows. Happiness lurks as depression looms, then dominates loudly and large, bringing healthy with it until I can be healthy no more, when everything rises up again… Happiness is fleeting; it comes and goes as quickly as it came and went the last time. I suppose I’m on the bottom of the curve these days, but if I swing hard enough tomorrow perhaps I’ll land at the top.

I think about two weeks ago in the middle of the months-long funk, I pulled on what was holding me back and swung away from it with a fiery fervor, a Hail Mary, last-ditch, all-or-nothing effort to get myself back on top before this weekend, because this Saturday is going to be an emotional day. I’ve been mentally prepared for the feelings I know are going to surface on Saturday for a few weeks now, knowing it wouldn’t be a sad day, but more a day for deep reflection on how things change as quickly as the second hand of a clock. The waves this week are a blow to the upswing, calling me back to the chaotic ocean without promise of a raft, but the view from the top of the wave is too good to give up. I’m going to keep seeking that good in the bad, finding the small pockets of sunshine where I can and sharing them with the friends and family who need all the positive vibes I can send them right now. And I would ask, for anyone who has a few good vibrations of their own to spare, to send them out to people in your life that need them as much as my people need mine. Because now and then, we can all use a little push from the bottom of the wave.

Are you saying…

My twinster and I are both the kind of excessively cool people that stay in on Fridays for the sole purpose of watching Say Yes to the Dress on TLC and commenting on everything, the dress choices, the dramatic stories, and of course, the crazies. For those of you that have a social life on Fridays, just to explain: there’s always someone on a wedding-related show who is just nuts. Like, full-on crazy. Sometimes it’s the bride who’s tried on 100 dresses and can’t figure out why she’s so confused, sometimes it’s the maid of honor that is clearly pissed off she’s not the one getting married, and other times it’s the bridesmaid who’s clearly pissed off she’s not the maid of honor. Regardless, when Twinster, mama B and I made plans to shop for T’s wedding dress this past weekend, we promised each other that no matter what, we would NEVER be like any of the crazies. So naturally, within 10 minutes of stepping into the bridal salon, I went from smiling and quiet, to a loud-mouthed pain in the consultant’s ass.

Let me back up quickly. I did not insult dresses T loved, or harass the consultant, or make snarky comments because I’m not the one getting married. In fact, we had a total freaking blast that afternoon, and the entire staff at the salon thought we were hilarious. But T, bless her heart, is the kind of person that was never going to have the big bridal moment, and she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted in a dress, so as her twinster and her maid of honor, those duties fell to me. From the start, none of us really expected T to walk away with a dress that day. It was her first time shopping, and if you scrolled through her extensive board on The Knot, it became clear girl had NO idea what she wanted. So when the consultant started with “What are you looking for?” she got a panicked look on her face, stared directly at me, and I stepped in pretty brusquely: “She doesn’t want strapless, no cupcake gowns, a little poof is okay provided the dress is a trumpet or mermaid silhouette. Pure white is a hard no, and we like color. Beading and lace are okay, corset back is not. Go.”

As T stepped in the room to try on the first dress, Mama B and I casually poked through some of the dresses on the racks, laughing at a few and sighing at the others. One dress in particular caught my eye, partly because it was certainly more “my taste” and less “traditional bridal,” and also because it just looked special, like something you want to see someone wear and wear well. Since we already had about 10 dresses in the room for T, I decided to hold on saying anything, lest I be the one to confuse her with even more choices. And then she came out in the first dress, and everything became very real.

T kept telling us she felt like a kid playing dress-up, like she wasn’t really shopping for a wedding dress, but I couldn’t see her as anything other than a bride, the beaming emerald ring on her finger and a flurry of dresses fit for a woman. But thing was, T looked beautiful in everything. Like, literally all of the dresses. So every time she came out and looked in the mirror, she’d say she liked it, and Mama B would say she loved it, and Mimi, our spitfire of an almost-90-year-old grandmother, was just thrilled to have been invited. This left me as the only one willing and able to say No to the bad ones. I mean, T is not the type of person that would wear a traditional bridal gown. So yes, she looked stunning when she came out in a satin mermaid gown with intricate beading along the train, but it wasn’t the right dress! It fell to me to be the one that did such mature things as miming a vomit face at a neckline that made her look like a linebacker (sorry T but you know it did), or say such helpful things to the consultant as “That lace looks like it went through a paper shredder.” Yes, it may have been on the harsh side, but apparently it worked, because eventually, the consultant pulled what she called a “wild card dress” based on my crazy feedback, and wouldn’t you know, it was the dress I’d nearly picked out for her before. When T walked out of the dressing room in that gown, call it intuition, or even twintuition, but I took one look at the smile on her face, and I knew we’d found the one.

People always ask us the same questions when they find out we’re twins: Are you the same person? Can you read each others’ minds? We’ll joke and say yes, obviously, but honestly, there are weird connections you have as a twin that can’t really be explained. Sometimes we’ll both have the same reaction to something that Mama B tells us, or sometimes I’ll pick up the phone to call her only to have it start ringing with her on the other end. Sometimes I’ll text her when I’m in a weird mood, and find that she’s experiencing the same thing. And apparently, when she came out in a dress that I’d had a feeling about earlier, we both knew in a moment that she’d found the gown. We still made her try the first dress again, still made her try just one that was super-traditional bridal, but when she came out for the second time in the dress I loved from the get-go, you could see it in her face that she didn’t want to take it off. As I mentioned, T is not the kind of person that would have the bridal moment, the tears and excitement and drama, but I absolutely am. So when she stepped onto the pedestal wearing the dress I knew in my heart was hers, just like that, I started to cry. “It’s your dress, twinster,” I told her, voice high-pitched and shaking with feelings I’d never had before. She took one look at me, as I desperately tried not to streak my mascara all over my face, and with a big smile of her own said “Oh for the love of God, pull it together. But yes, I think this is my dress!”

All day today I’ve been showing off photos from the weekend to everyone, so excited that “We” found a dress; you’d think that I’d be the one getting married for how excited I am about that amazing, wonderful gown. But she’s my sister, my twinster, and my best friend, and I can’t wait to see her wearing that dress, her dress, on the big day. Plus, now that she’s all set, we can finally begin the most important part of her wedding: finding my maid of honor dress!

Quick Thoughts: Milestones

“I just can’t believe she’s getting married! When did we all grow up?!”

My beautiful, wonderful, inspiring childhood friend said Yes this weekend. She wore a lovely white dress, walked down the aisle of the chapel at her alma mater and took everyone’s breath away, her husband’s most of all. I was thinking about it the previous Thursday at work, as I sorted through logistics of getting back to CT the next day, getting to my goofball J’s place pre-wedding, and most importantly, deciding what I was going to wear. I peeked at her wedding website to confirm exactly when everything would start, and found myself completely overwhelmed with the emotion of the situation ahead, seeing her for the first time in a year, finally meeting her fiance, watching her get married, watching them say yes, and nearly started to cry at my desk.

I signed into Gchat and sent a note to J telling him to prepare himself for some serious waterworks, since I was already teary and have a tendency to cry at weddings for people I love. He made me laugh, like he always does, and I nearly started to cry again, thinking that his own nuptials are likely to happen in the very near future. And my twinster, my T, is setting a date this week, the official date. And all of a sudden it hit me, the sheer volume of all the milestones coming up for my family, my friends, in the next year: graduations, major birthdays, anniversaries, engagements and weddings.

It’s strange, sometimes, knowing I’m the only one in that group, and near the only one in any of my groups, that doesn’t have a milestone of my own to look forward to in the next year. But then again, with all the big moments and overwhelming emotions I’m sure to face in supporting everyone around me, I think it’s plenty enough to be happy for everyone else for now.

Buckle Up

“Buckle up, B. It’s gonna be a wild ride.”

My father is a man of few words, but the ones he saves for special occasions are never anything less than spot-on. The words above were his toast to my soon-to-be brother-in-law, as we welcomed him into our crazy family with a beach party this past Saturday, the first time the whole family has been together since Christmas. Mama B outdid herself planning the weekend, one of the best I’ve had all summer. Saturday started with drinks at the house while lounging over burgers and hot dogs, and segued into an afternoon and evening at the town beach, all family and close friends, a veritable buffet of everything from 20 lobsters, to figs with lavender honey, to fresh tomatoes picked in the backyard and more, all accompanied by a whole lot of wine. My lovely friend M joined me in Connecticut this weekend, and gets full credit for convincing a very tired and slightly tipsy me to join my brother and a few friends at the one bar in town after the sun went down at the beach. She made the point later that night, while we all drank the ever-symbolic first pumpkin beer of the season, that the holiday weekend didn’t feel like we were mourning the end of summer this year. Instead, we were celebrating the beginning of fall.

Yeah, growing up here didn't suck.

Yeah, growing up here didn’t suck.

The weekend really did feel like a celebration of new beginnings rather than conclusions. Sunday was a lazy morning with just the family, the whole family and spouses-to-be, sharing the best pastries (ones that required me to stand in line at 7:30 a.m. after getting home at midnight, I’m just saying) and omelettes with leftover lobster. Mama B, T, our grandmother and I went to get our nails done before I got on the train, and I spent the rest of the day lounging on my couch, renting movies just for fun and munching on whatever I could find in my bare cabinets. Monday was a morning adventure to Whole Foods and a yoga class with M, into a champagne brunch at Paradou with my fashionista C, partner-in-crime R and her Scot H. I made it home around 6 and spent two hours prepping food all week before collapsing into bed at 8:30, exhausted from the general spirit of a day off. This weekend we celebrated T and her fiance, we celebrated our family, and we celebrated $4,99/lb lobsters for sure. I celebrated time to myself at home to relax and reflect, celebrated the simple luxury of a friend living so close when you need motivation to get to the grocery store on a Monday morning. I celebrated the first of the month, counting down the days till my birthday and toasted all of that at brunch with some of my favorite people in the world.

This fall is going to be another crazy season, I just know it. I’ll have cross-state wedding planing for T, a wedding for another childhood friend, a trip to M’s family house in Maine, a trip to Boston for a few days, and a few other exciting changes coming my way. It’s football games and apple-picking adventures, and I’m finally picking up my apartment redecoration, so weekends of furniture shopping and wall-painting loom in between all of those. Post fall, there’s holidays and a long winter with plans just waiting to be made, more crazy times, more crazy adventures. Papa B’s advice above is great advice for T’s fiance, as he faces a lifetime with a family that celebrates life milestones by busting out the beer at noon and then throwing a party on the public beach. But I think I might take it with me in the next few months, as I buckle up and get ready for my very own wild, wild ride.

FOMO

Greetings from beautiful CT, where I’m fortunate enough to be working in pajamas all day and I have a gnarly bruise on my chin after a misguided attempt at the crow pose in yoga this morning. Mama and Papa B are off at a wedding in beautiful Maryland this weekend, so I volunteered to watch our pooch, a crazy half golden/half rottweiler mix who barks at everything and loves to snuggle. I love weekends at home, raiding the extensive wine cellar and the magic beer fridge (it’s always filled with beer. Always. Even after you drink all the beer, you wake up and it’s filled with beer), running paths that used to be the school bus route, stopping for a drink at the only bar in town. I love that I’ve grown up in the same town with the same people, inevitably running into at least a few of them every time I’m here. And yet, with all of these fantastic traits, I’ll still sprint back to the city on Sunday as quickly as possible. Is it concern for little miss, separation anxiety from the city or the fact that I just remembered I’ve had laundry at my drop-off place since Wednesday? Of course not. It’s pure, unadulterated, single LB FOMO.

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is one of the new buzzwords used in the media to try and explain millennials, like “Muppie” and “YOLO.” It’s pretty self-explanatory, and I’ve got it bad. There have been a few weekends where I’ve been enjoying a shopping spree on mama B followed by a feast of the best fried seafood on the east coast, and I’ll see a picture of my lovely friend M and partner-in-crime R outside with their dogs, and I’m desperately wishing I were back in my apartment, running out the door to join them. FOMO doesn’t make any sense, and it’s useless to wish you were somewhere else when you can’t be. FOMO takes away from enjoying the moment you’re in, something I’ve been practicing for weeks now. And yet it didn’t stop me from feeling hopelessly jealous as M and R both talked up their couples retreat to PA this weekend, wishing I hadn’t promised to relegate myself out of state for a few days.

Work has been so busy lately that I almost forgot this weekend was happening, nearly forgetting to pack for the weekend before walking out the door of my apartment. I didn’t even allow myself to enjoy it when I walked in the door in CT, beaten down by a long day of demands, barely excited to see the dog who couldn’t contain herself when she saw me, not registering the lovely bottle of wine mama B had opened and the amazing fish dinner papa B had prepared. I was annoyed I’d be missing a weekend at home, annoyed it wasn’t Friday, just annoyed and annoyed and angry and filled with so much FOMO it started taking over.

I put myself to bed early, trying to convince myself it’d be better in the morning and instead I just ended up staring at the ceiling: not tired, not happy, and still away from my NYC apartment. About one in the morning, I heard a scratch at the door and in walked our dog, cautiously peeking around the door like a toddler after a nightmare. I smiled and told her to come up, and in a second she was snuggled right next to me, snoring happily with her head on my leg. Such a small gesture made me feel immensely better, and in another minute I was sound asleep.

She's helping (kind of?)

She’s helping (kind of?)

It’s all perspective, in the end. Because right now I think everyone else should have FOMO for my weekend with this adorable pooch, in a big house all alone, with no plans, no obligations and nothing standing between me and my parent’s extensive wine collection.