Do as I say, Not as I do.

I got a call this morning from an oldie but goodie pal who is finally tying the knot with her longtime beloved.  I met her at my very first job out of school. I think my major responsibilities were getting scones and coffee for our CEO, but I digress.

The last time I spoke to her was a few years back, when I wasn’t working full-time and had decided to start a wedding planning business.  And because I’m an awful person, I haven’t reached out to her since.  Although she hasn’t reached out to me either, so technically our joint awfulness cancels itself out. Right?

She called me this morning because she wanted to go over pricing for her caterer, but our conversation quickly went to every single detail of her plans.  That’s how I roll. I need to be fully immersed. No toe dipping for me.

As we chatted she asked me the question that all the brides ask, “what was your wedding like?”.

What was my wedding like? It was grand. It was great. It was…a non-wedding.

We eloped. On a lake. In the sun. Without most of our friends and family.

Here’s the long story short – or the short story long:

We got engaged on a cold, rainy February night in NYC (very romantic night involving fighting, crying and celebrating).  I’m not sure if it was because I was in my early twenties and insane or because I was in my early twenties and genius – but I wasn’t stressed about the wedding planning at all.  I was super chill actually. Then my mother called and said it would be great to have a Hindu ceremony. Then my mother-in-law called and said it would be so nice if we could do a quick trip to the church after that ceremony to get blessed by the priest. So then I got stressed. I avoided thinking/planning/discussing the wedding for a few months. Then my boss, the one I fed scones and coffee to, told me they had to fire 2 people from the office and I’d have to cover for them all summer and wouldn’t be able to take too much time off. Then I freaked. Then I melted.  It was mid-May. It was Saturday afternoon. We hatched a plan. We would elope. Run away. To Eastern Long Island.

We didn’t handle the elopement in the best way. There aren’t any elopement planning books. It sounds easy, but it’s tricky.  Ok, it’s easy if you actually just go off and elope. We f’d it up.

We had some family there. Some not. We took tons of photos and even a video, thanks to a talented uncle that lived in the town by the lake. We went out to dinner that night with all the relatives that lived in the town. In hindsight, a bit confusing for the relatives who didn’t live in that town and who weren’t invited to dinner. We gave our parents a heads-up, they were totally fine and understanding. The rest of the family? Not so much.  It wasn’t an elopement really. It was a small wedding where we chose not to include my parents, his parents, our other sisters (his older sister was there as a witness), aunts, uncles,cousins and close friends. It was ugly.

It’s been 17 years and we still hear about it. On a positive note – we’re still married. There’s that.

So! If you want to chat about your wedding plans? I’m your gal. If you want to talk about how to elope? Google it.

here’s us on that special, messed up, beautiful, ill-conceived, completely imperfect perfect day…


Blog Vent

Today was a Day.

Ever had one of those?

And almost every agitating thing that happened was my fault.

Not one other person to blame. Trust me, I tried to find someone, anyone. Nothing. It’s all me.

I hate that.

My girlfriend said that Mars is in Aries. And I’m a Gemini. So I’m dysfunctional on a good day. Throw in Aries and it’s a hurricane.  So why does Mars making a pit stop in Aries cause such havoc?   Because it means we’re much more likely to take risks. Live without guard rails. In general be a little nutty and go off the deep end.

Well people. I’m off the deep end. Can I blame Mars? Or Aries? Or Kit Kat? Sorry.

I’ll spare you the gory details. I didn’t kill anyone and I’m not selling crack to babies. But boy were there doozies today! F’ups. Miscalculations. Gaps in judgement. Ok, massive craters in judgement.

Sorry to be so pissy. Please go read a trashy online magazine to shake this blog off. Or don’t. Who am I to give any advice today. Good night.

(i was going to find a YouTube video to end the post on a positive  – the one with the dancing babies for Evian – have you seen it? I’m not an Evian fan – I think it’s oily and has an aftertaste – but the commercial is funny. Anyway I decided not to find/cut/attach the clip. See. I’m a nightmare today.)

On Not Being a Grownup at Christmas – GUEST POST!

A big thank you to my little bitty sister for this great post! And look at those jazzy handmade stockings. Show off.
Last week, while lamenting to my colleagues that I had no idea what to get my boyfriend for Christmas, we ended up having a long conversation about the family present exchange. That’s when I realized that, shockingly, I have some pretty strong opinions on the topic. So here is my Family Present Exchange Philosophy
In our family, Christmas is about the presents. Once I explain, you’ll realize that that wasn’t the saddest sentence ever to grace this blog.
Our family – cousins, aunts, uncles, significant others – gets together all the time. We celebrate every little thing with a big family get-together, and for the most part, it’s great (tis the season to overlook the drama). American holidays, Indian holidays, Hindu holidays, Christian holidays: it’s all fair game. Next year there’s even talk of getting a menorah (we’re equal opportunity around here). And there’s always food, fun, and more food.
But there generally aren’t presents. Indians are all about the benjamins, which is practical and smart, just like we are. That’s why Christmas is so great (here comes my FPEP); to me, unlike gifts of cash, Christmas presents represent the time and thoughtfulness of the giver. I don’t really care if I’m getting another fondue pot or something from the Dollar Store. Cheesy at it sounds, it really is the thought that counts to me. This person went out of her way to think about what I might like, spent hard-earned money on it, and then wrapped it in pretty paper (Here my colleague, the globetrotting poet I share an office with, disagreed. She wished her big Irish Catholic family would just give her money, instead of the “crap I’ll never use” they usually give.)
But it’s not just the stuff. It’s the entire experience. I love opening presents. I love that we all move away from the TV and sit around the tree. I love the anticipation of finding out what’s under the wrapping, and heck, I love the wrapping too. I spend way too much time thinking about how I wrap my presents, and I like giving my family the presents I’ve spent my time making beautiful.
During this conversation at work, another colleague recommended that my boyfriend and I get something for our apartment – a shared gift. He and I had considered this option, but we decided it was far too grown up for us. We wanted the presents, however small and inexpensive, but full of thoughtfulness and love.

Diwali is my jam!

Not really. But my girl and her friends call everything their jam so I thought I’d get in on the action.  Even though every time I try to use the word I think of actual jam. Raspberry to be specific.

Anyway – it’s Diwali. The Indian “festival of lights”. A cross between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s – without the turkey, booze or guy in the red suit. It’s the most important holiday for Indians. It involves (you guessed it) lights, lots of food, getting together with family and friends and being thankful for the good things in life. Sound familiar?

This ends my knowledge of Diwali. I think I did pretty good. Please refer to the internet or a good Indian for actual information.

Happy Merry Mazel Diwali!!

In Lego we trust


My son is finally in Sunday school. By the end of this year he’ll be confirmed…errr….baptized….committed. You know. He’ll have a big party.

He’s loving it.

Here is the “Kingdom of God” per him this afternoon


This pod is “where sins go”. I asked what a sin was and he said,”it’s what sinners do.”


Here’s God himself. Looking very much like a Ninjago game piece.


As we were chatting, someone else was flown into the kingdom of God. I hope The Republic doesn’t mind.


Happy Weekend everyone

Good God

Yesterday I overheard a conversation that my son had with one of his pals – eavesdropping, it’s like a hobby of mine.

They were talking about a statue of the Indian god Ganesh that I have in my living room.  Admittedly, I know more about Jesus than Ganesh, but I do know that Ganesh is the god of “good luck” or something like that.  Truth be told – I bought the thing to make my mother happy when she visits.

Good luck god in-house – check!

Here’s the conversation piece….

I also have a beautiful Gaelic cross right next to it.  Am I trying to make a deep, thoughtful statement on how we should all get along? Nope. I just thought it was cool. Yes I’m shallow and vapid – but at least I’m honest!

Anyway, my son was explaining to his pal that we are Indian.  He said,” but not “Natural American” like from Plymouth, from the country India in China.” Then his pal asked,”what’s it called?” And my son said,”it’s called Greta.”

I blame myself.  I blame our school system’s lack of focus on Geography, and I also blame my husband – He and I went to Catholic school our whole lives (why did I go to a Catholic school when I’m not Catholic? Because there are no Hindu schools, and my father believed any religion is better than no religion).

When my daughter was born we decided that he was right, and that we wanted to pass on both religions to our children.  But we were delusional. Our hearts were in the right place – but we were fooling ourselves. The only thing we’ll be passing on is a half-hearted, lax approach to a higher power.  Let’s face it, we’ve schooled them better on The Beatles than we have on God.

We don’t go to church-except on food related holidays, we don’t go to temple-although the few times we’ve gone it’s been fun to see my burly Irish Ukrainian husband try to sit criss-cross apple sauce for 2 hours.

Thank goodness that Hinduism is very forgiving – and fellow Catholics don’t point and laugh when we show up once a year to sing carols.  And we do believe in God/Ganesh/Greta – really we do – but I don’t see us changing our ways anytime soon.

Pray for us – we need it!

The green is always grasser

Back in 1991 when I started dating my husband, he wasn’t the chipper, happy-go-lucky guy he is today…haha

Forget glass half-full/half-empty.  He didn’t even have a glass.  “Suck it up” was and is his mantra, his motto.  That and “I hate people”.

For the most part, I’m pretty optimistic.  Next to him – I’m little miss sunshine.

When I graduated college I thought I’d instantly find the job of my dreams.  I had a degree with my spankin’ double majors – English and Religion – to lean on.  I’d done some really cool internships, worked in the alumni office since my Freshman year – and let’s not forget how beloved I was by all my professors.  I would find success.

I was wrong.  I ended up working several less than stellar jobs where I basically did the following:

  • got breakfast and lunch every day for the CEO of the company (it was a 2 person operation, me and him) – he wouldn’t even let me answer the phone.  I spent most days there filing papers in a drawer.  There wasn’t even a radio to keep me company.
  • worked at a big ad agency in a fancy building where they did let me answer the phone – and then yelled at me non-stop for answering it wrong
  • worked in the admissions office at a private nursery school in NY.  I spent my days weeding out applications from 3 year olds who didn’t make the cut – and then calling their stressed out parents and killing dreams. The kid cried. The parents cried. I cried.  Everyone was always crying.

I know, I know.  These are uptown problems (as Chris Rock would say).  I wasn’t mining coal or laying railroad tracks – but I was miserable.

After a few months of jumping from one job to another – and hating each one – I was done.  I was pissed.  I was convinced that every single person in the city was doing better than me. Where was my shiny career?

That’s when my man, the grumpiest person alive, sat me down for some words of wisdom and optimism. He said in his most non-growl voice, “the green is always grasser.”  I laughed.  He didn’t. He was completely serious. It was perfectly imperfect advice. I use it almost daily.  Almost.

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