The Other Marriage Penalty

September 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm (Life, Marriage, Sports)

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, and I really love writing, so I’m not sure why. I think that after all the wedding hoopla died down there just wasn’t anything going on in my life that I felt was worth writing about, and I doubt my extensive reading audience would be interested in hearing how I had three meetings at work today and made turkey meatloaf for dinner. I’ve been trying to come up with a new “angle” for this blog, so I figured, why not take some aspects of married life and put my own twist on it?

With that said, it’s on to topic #1, and one that I’m sure will recur time and time again: sports. To give some background, my husband is a bit of a sports fan. You know, the same way that the Pope is a bit of a Catholicism fan. Yep, he’s one of those obsessed, knows every stat, plan your life around big games sports fans. Nearly his entire wardrobe consists of jerseys or t-shirts with team logos, and he owns more baseball hats than I have pairs of shoes. We even had to plan our wedding date around sports (sigh… maybe for my next marriage I’ll be able to have a Sunday wedding in the Fall like I always wanted).

Granted, since we were friends first, I knew this going into our relationship. Before we got together, people wondered what girl would put up his fanaticism. Frankly, I still wonder that myself; especially when the second weekend in September rolls around.

Representing at Game 2 of the 2009 World Series

Now, baseball is easy. He is a big Yankees fan and a season ticket holder. Having grown up in Philly, my rooting interests always were with the Phillies. Fortunately the teams are in two different leagues, so there’s not much of a conflict here (the 2009 World Series notwithstanding). I like and respect the Yankees and consider them my second favorite team, and he feels the same way about the Phillies. So we’re cool with that. Perhaps it would be nice to have SOMETHING on our living room TV at night other than the YES network, but I can always retreat to the bedroom to see what Danielle’s up to on Real Housewives of NJ (side note: that bitch is craaazy!).

Football is another matter. In spite of the fact that he grew up in the middle of Manhattan, Mr. LoCo is a diehard Cowboys fan. I, of course, was raised properly to be an Eagles fan. A Cowboys fan and an Eagles fan. Yep. To quote a guy we met in a t-shirt shop one time, we’re a “mixed couple”.

To be truthful, I used to be a big Eagles fan but I broke up with them last year when they signed the dog-killing psychopath. But I couldn’t get them totally out of my heart and had a brief, shameful fling with them toward the end of last season. I finally changed my football team relationship status from “it’s complicated” to “single” when they traded McNabb to a division rival, and am currently pursuing a new relationship.

However, you can take the girl out of Eagles fandom – but you can’t make her stop hating the Cowboys.  Dallas is, by far, my least favorite NFL team, based not just on the fact that I was raised to hate them, but also that they tend to sign assholes and are run by possibly the most egotistical owner in professional sports. And yet, some very small part of me hopes that they will win each week. Why? Because if they win, my husband will be in a good mood for a few days. If they lose – bad mood.

He swapped out his Yankees baseball hat for a Yankees yarmulke at the wedding

How someone can invest so much of their emotions in something that is 100% outside their control is a topic for another day. The point is, we are only one week into the season and I’m already irritated. The stupid holding penalty that cost the Cowboys a touchdown in the final seconds of their game versus the Redskins also cost me a few nights of pleasant, upbeat conversation and penalized me with a pissed off husband.

Really, Alex Barron, what did I ever do to you?

Is it the bye week yet?

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The Day I Went Completely LoCo

May 11, 2010 at 9:31 pm (Life, Wedding Planning)

I was really hoping I’d have a chance to write this blog entry right after the wedding while it was all still fresh, but this little thing called a two week honeymoon in Hawaii got in the way. Not that I’m complaining or anything.  Everyone says that the wedding day goes by like a blur, and while I didn’t feel like that while it was happening, looking back I feel like I have forgotten so much.  The day was just a series of events all jumbled together, but I’ll try to recap as best as I can.

Having fun before the ceremony

The day started off for me at 6:00 am.  As my sisters slept in the other two beds in my hotel suite, I found myself wide awake. I used the extra alone time to stare outside at the pounding rain getting in the way of the lovely skyline view I had from my hotel room and collect my thoughts.  I was remarkably calm, not just in the morning but the whole day.

The alarm was set for 7:15 to give us enough time to get showered before the hair and makeup stylist arrived at 8:30, and once that went off, the chaos started.  From 8:30 to noon was spent on hair and makeup for the female bridal party members, which was really fun (I LOVED my hair and makeup – thanks to Michelle LoConte!).  It’s everything after that which was a blur.

I got dressed at the reception site which gave me a chance to check things out before everyone else got there. Our venue Liberty House did a great job setting things up and the reception room looked beautiful.  It was so exciting to see how everything came together.  One of my favorite things about the wedding was the centerpieces, which is ironic considering that flowers were what I was least concerned with during the planning.  Liberty House and my florist also did a fantastic job making the ceremony room look gorgeous, which made me feel a lot better about my dashed dreams for an outdoor ceremony.

I know during my “first glance” with Mr. LoCo I found myself at a loss for words, so I said something profoundly elegant like, “hey, what’s new?”  We did the formal pictures after that – most of the ones with the bridal party were done inside but then Mr. LoCo and I decided to brave the rain and trek through the park to an abandoned train station for some cool photos.   Fortunately the rain cleared up later so we were able to sneak in some outside shots with the NYC skyline in the background.

Our Lovely Tables

After that was the ketubah signing, and then the ceremony. I loved the ceremony – couldn’t stop smiling the entire time – but this is where things start to get a little blurry.  I imagine at some point after he stomped on the glass we walked back down the aisle and then I spent a lot of time hugging people.  I got my fabulous dress bustled, and then it was time to party.  Here’s the rest of the day in my memory: first dance, hora, eat, dance a lot, hug a lot, hang  out by the cool patio and fire pit, cut the cake, hug everyone goodbye, get changed and pack a lot of stuff into the car.

Under the Chuppah

I am far from a wedding expert, but now that the day has passed, here are some words of wisdom I’d like to pass on to future brides:

-Join The Knot.  The local chat boards are a great place to ask questions and get suggestions for vendors, and on the “club” boards (people getting married the same month as you), it’s really neat to share your experience with other people going through it at the same time. The Knot was by far the number one resource I tapped when wedding planning.

-Two days before the wedding I had a great massage at the new Bliss Spa in Hoboken.  Before the massage I was a minor basket case, and afterwards I was completely calm and relaxed, and this carried through to the wedding day. I highly recommend a massage (or whatever relaxation technique works for you) to anyone getting married.

-Probably my only (slight) regret about the wedding was not getting a day of coordinator. Since my ceremony and reception were at the same site I didn’t feel I needed one.  But, it did feel a little strange to be there in my wedding gown giving instructions to the wedding party. Plus there were some little things that a DOC would have taken care of, like making sure all of the men in the wedding party had yarmulkes (which happened anyway) and that all of the girls held their bouquets for the formal pictures (which I’m pretty sure did not happen). If you can swing the extra cost I think it’s worth it.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. LoCo

-Get a video. I don’t remember so many details of the day –what was said during the toasts, what we said to each other during the vows.  There are so many major things happening that day that it’s difficult to process it all. Because of this, Mr.LoCo and I both feel that not getting a video would have been a huge regret. If you want to save money you can always just get the raw footage and have it edited later.

Overall, the wedding day didn’t fit the image I originally had in my head (thanks to the rain), but it was perfect anyway.  There is really nothing I would change.  Even the rain made things a little more interesting and I think the photographer got some fun pictures of us walking through the park under an umbrella.  I can’t explain in words how I felt that day. I know I was very calm, and happy, and just jumping from task to task.  Was it the happiest day of my life? I’m pretty sure it was up there – I just have to watch the video to remember!

Up next:  the honeymoon recap. Here’s a preview: prancing deer, swimming with turtles,  a yummy frozen drink called a Lava Flow, and lots of Mahi Mahi

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A Very Special Blog Entry

April 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm (Life, Wedding Planning)

It’s funny, when I started this blog 6 months ago I envisioned my last blog post before the wedding as consisting of some profound and whimsical musings as I move into the next phase of my life.  Now here I am 2 days before my wedding, and I’m finding I don’t have much to say.

The last week or so has been a whirlwind and my emotions are all over the place.  Last weekend I was doing my best Energizer bunny impression and couldn’t sit down due to nervous energy.  Yesterday I almost cried on my way to work because the car in front of me was moving too slow. I’ve been kinda afraid I’m going to be a nervous wreck on the wedding day, and I’m not really a nervous wreck type of person. Fortunately a massage session at Bliss this morning seems to have calmed my nerves for the time being, and what nerves are left will be taken care of by the bottle of red wine I’ll be opening shortly.

People always say to get ready for the fact that not everything will go as planned, and I already have that taken care of – just check the weather forecast. In my head, from the time we’ve booked our venue I’ve pictured having our ceremony on the expansive lawn with the NYC skyline glimmering in the background.  Plus, for the photo session I saw us casually strolling through the park and stopping at cool spots to take some shots.  Well, as the very soon to be Mr. LoCo likes to say, not so much a lot. A few days ago, I thought the fact that it’s supposed to rain on my wedding day was OMG THE WORST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN EVER.  Now that I’ve calmed down and sent my mom out to buy some giant umbrellas, I’m thinking we could end up with some pretty cute and creative photos because of the rain.

Tomorrow is manicure/pedicure/eyebrow threading day.  Then it’s off to the rehearsal dinner Saturday night followed by a visit from my friend Mr. Ambien to help me sleep, and when I wake up, it will be my wedding day.   Once my hair is curled to perfection and my makeup is airbrushed flawlessly, I’ll be putting on The Dress and getting the show on the road.  Everyone says the day is going to fly by so I’m going to try to take a least a couple time-outs during the day to soak it all in.

At the end of it all I know that what matters is that I will be married to my best friend, the only guy I could ever imagine going through all this craziness with.   It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that what this is really all about is a marriage.  In Judaism, when you have found the person you are meant to be with they’re referred to as your bashert.  I can’t wait to become Mrs. Bashert at 3:30 PM on Sunday.

Profound and whimsical enough for you?

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Really for Real

March 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm (Life, Wedding Planning)

Reality hit me hard this past week or two.  Somewhere in NYC a woman named Stella is doing alterations on the dress I will be wearing the DAY I GET MARRIED. The RSVP cards are piling in – real, live people with names and faces are coming to Jersey City to see ME get married.

Even though this wedding has absorbed my thoughts since August, all of a sudden it all seems so real.  I’m really getting married. In five weeks!

Holy Shit.

I think part of what has spurred this sudden realization of my impending nuptials is that after having a bit of a lull for a few months, the wedding-related tasks are hitting again.  As a matter of fact, if you are wondering why I chose to write a blog entry today after a bit of a hiatus, it may have something to do with the fact that I am procrastinating at writing thank you notes for my shower that took place last weekend.   

When we got engaged, comments we received ranged from “enjoy being engaged, it’s the best time of your life” to “good luck, wedding planning was the most stressful time of my life”.  So which is it?  Truthfully, a lot of both.

I’ve been fortunate that my wedding planning process has been about 90% positive.  I’ve loved the design aspects of it – choosing my colors, dress, flowers.   Selecting the menu items and cake was also a lot of fun (and tasty).   And, let’s be honest, the part where you get lots of presents doesn’t suck.

As for the stressful part; to me, it’s less about stressing over the details and more about the emotional aspects of things.   The biggest thing has been trying to appease family members or friends who have their opinion on how things should be.  After spending some time trying to make everyone happy, at some point I decided that the only opinions that truly matter are mine and the soon to be Mr. LoCo’s.

There’s also reconciling the fact that you are blowing a large chunk of your savings on what is essentially “one day”.    The logical part of me thinks that’s crazy, but the girly part of me wants my pretty princess day.  Of course girly part trumps logical part any day of the week;  that’s why we all have so many pairs of shoes.

On top of all of this is the fact that you are about to do this huge thing that will ultimately be the biggest change to your life since – well, ever.   I am mostly at peace with this fortunately, although I have had my moments lately when the future Mr. LoCo is snoring or yelling at the Nets game on TV when I think, lord, I am going to have to put up with this the rest of my life.   Not that I would have it any other way!

Five weeks. How the heck did that happen?

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Kicking and Screaming My Way to the Chuppah

February 4, 2010 at 10:47 pm (Uncategorized)

Like most brides-to-be, I want to look my absolute best on my wedding day.  I have the fabulous dress, sparkling  jewelry, a great hair and makeup artist, and when the time comes I’m sure I’ll be manicured, buffed, and waxed to perfection. But, alas, there is one area that requires a bit more effort than just making an appointment with a local salon: my physique.

 As of January 1st, I was in possibly the worst shape of my life.  I hadn’t worked out in a steady basis in over a year and ate whatever I wanted. Probably the only thing that’s saved me from being 300 pounds is that I live in an urban environment that requires a lot of walking. When the holidays ended I realized I had less than 4 months until the wedding and it was time to get my act together work-out wise.  

And so I began Operation Wedding (appropriately called “OW” for short).  I put myself on a diet on January 4th and have been following it diligently, with the exception of the menu tasting at my venue (of course I had to make sure all the food we’d be serving is good for our guests’ sake).  Boy, I sure do miss French fries and pizza though.

I’ve never been a big fan of working out and have yet to steadily go to a gym for more than a few months, so I decided to try different things to see what sticks. The first thing I tried out is the Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD.  I had heard on the wedding boards that the workout will kick your butt, and boy does it! Even though its only 20 minutes long, I could barely get through the workout the first couple times I did it. It’s a little easier now but still great exercise.

A friend of mine got a group together to try out a Hoboken Bootcamp class so I decided to check it out.  I thought I’d be okay since at that point I’d been “Shredding” for a couple weeks, but boy did I feel that workout.  I was sore for days afterwards. I highly recommend this class if you live in Hoboken; unless, of course, you actually enjoy walking and moving your arms without pain.

Yep, I look just like this. Kinda sorta.

I’ve always heard good things about Club KO, the kickboxing gym, so I decided to see what they have to offer. After attending an information session I signed up for a 10 week program there that incorporates kickboxing classes, personal training and a diet plan. Fortunately the diet plan is similar to what I’d already been doing, so that’s not a problem.

I have taken a few kickboxing classes now and I really like them, even though I usually want to murder the instructor while they’re happening. The personal training sessions have basically entailed a young guy forcing me to do crazy things like pull-ups, much as I try to convince him that my body was not designed to do that. My arms were sore for 6 days after the first session. I plan to still continue the other things I’ve been doing for variety but it will be good to have a more structured plan.

The good news is, this all seems to be working. I have lost a few pounds, but my focus has mostly been on toning. My clothes are fitting looser, and I can’t stop touching my newly firm abdomen.  And all of a sudden I’m noticing these strange contours in my upper arms. I think they are commonly referred to as muscles, but I’m not sure because I’ve never seen them on me before.   Suddenly I’m not cringing at the thought of wearing a strapless dress in front of everyone I know.

(P.S. – those who follow the future Mr. Loco’s blog will get a kick out of the fact that he is 5 feet away from me right now writing an entry that is pretty much the polar opposite of this one)

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2009: Three Cats, Two Homes and One Proposal

December 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm (Uncategorized)

I guess if I had thought about it, I would have predicted the zillion “year in review” Facebook applications that are popping up about now.   While some of these are a bit much, I do have to admit that they’ve got me thinking about all of the ups and downs of the past year.

At this time last year, my then boyfriend had recently been laid off from his job, with few prospects; my mom had just been let go from her job of over 20 years without so much as a dime of severance pay; and a close family member had just been diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening illness. Suffice it to say, these were not the best of times. Everyone around me was pretty much miserable, the economy was in the crapper and there was talk of a next Great Depression.   I remember when the year ended, thinking “good riddance… don’t let the door hit you on the way out…”. 

So here we are, at the end of 2009, and what a year it’s been for me.  Early on, it was much like the end of 2008 – dealing with loved ones’ illness and unemployment.  But at some point, things started to turn around.

My boyfriend got a part time job, and then another part time job, and although earning much less than before his layoff, he had fulfilling work and was able to pay the rent. We decided to live together, so in June I moved into his apartment, inheriting two additional cats (for a total of THREE cats… oy) and enough Yankees memorabilia to make the folks in Cooperstown jealous.   While people always talk about what an adjustment it is when a couple moves in together, we are one of those freaky couples who never argue and agree on things easily, and we quickly fell into a routine. The extent of our adjustment was this:

Me: “I hate scooping out the litter box”

Him: “That doesn’t really bother me, I’m used to it”

Me: “Okay, so how about if you do that in the mornings, and I’ll make the bed?”

Him:”Cool”

Of course for me the pinnacle of 2009 was in early August when my boyfriend sat on a step at the end of Newport’s Cliffwalk and asked me to, ahem, make it official (yes, I still give him crap for that). After a few minutes I figured out that he was actually proposing and not asking me to join a cult, and the euphoria that followed is something everyone should experience a few times in their life. The last 5 months of the year were pretty heavily focused on planning the wedding, which I’ve really enjoyed.

If you ask my mom she’ll tell you something different, but she’s getting by okay too despite her layoff.  She seems to still manage to scrape together money to buy People Magazine each week anyway.  She’s really excited for my wedding which has kept her – well, if not cheerful – certainly as close as Mama LoCo gets to experiencing that emotion.

And most importantly, after a tough road of surgery and treatments, the ill family member is healthy, in remission and thriving.  My number one wish for 2010 is that this person stays this way.

So, what will 2010 bring? In April, of course, there’s this little party we’re having with 125 of our nearest and dearest, followed by a two week dream honeymoon in Hawaii.   In June, we’ve got my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah; at some point I need to dedicate a blog entry to this kid, he’s pretty awesome. And it looks like there will be another wedding to celebrate later in the year with the recent engagement of Hat Girl, one of my bridesmaids and closest friends (yay!).   With so many of our friends getting married, I’m expecting that there may be a few new babies in our life over the next year.  Who knows, we may even make a little LoCo of our own in 2010.  It’s amazing what a year can bring.

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Four Months ‘Til I’m Totally LoCo

December 20, 2009 at 11:25 am (Wedding Planning)

This whole “engaged to be married” thing is going so fast. It’s hard to believe that on Christmas Day my wedding will be just 4 months away!

At the moment I’m finding myself in “calm before storm” mode with the wedding planning.  The first few months after that perfect day in Newport, I spent a lot of time running around North Jersey to meet with potential vendors.  Now that the selected rabbi, photographer, videographer, DJ and florist are all in receipt of my hard earned deposit money,  I’m finding myself with… really, not that much left to do.  The big things are taken care of, and now it’s a matter of fine-tuning the details.

It is amazing to me the myriad of options available for every single wedding related decision that needs to be made. For example, for a Jewish wedding you need to buy a Ketubah (Jewish wedding contract). Who would have thought that there are 1,000s of styles of Ketubahs available?  Fortunately, Future Mr. LoCo and I have found one with a style and wording we both really like.

I just spent some time online looking for my perfect veil, now that I have finally decided what style I want.   When I selected my dress at Kleinfeld, they put this beautiful veil on me that matched the dress perfectly.  And then I saw the price tag. $550 for a piece of tulle that I’m going to wear for 20 minutes? Uh, no thanks.   I’m discovering lots of good online sources for veils that are much less expensive than what you find in bridal salons.  

And then there’s figuring out exactly what our guests are going to be eating on the big day.   One of the things I’ve been most looking forward to in this whole process is our cake tasting, which happens in a couple weeks.  Our cake is included in our contract with our venue, which gets the cakes from my hometown bakery – Carlo’s in Hoboken. If that sounds familiar, that’s probably because it’s the bakery from the TV show Cake Boss.  I’m really hoping we’ll get to meet Buddy during the tasting.  (As an aside, between getting my dress from “Say Yes to the Dress” Kleinfeld and the cake coming from Carlo’s, I keep joking with my fiancé that we just have to have 8 kids and shrink ourselves to “little people” size to have all the TLC shows covered)

I still have some small things to take care of, like ordering our yarmulkes, scheduling our tasting at the venue to select the menu, and of course preparing and mailing the invitations; but for the most part, there’s not too much that has to be done right at this moment.   I do expect another flurry of activity as we get to within a month or so of the wedding, but until then I can relax a little. Although, I have to admit I am really enjoying the planning. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself when this is all over!

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Mile High

December 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm (Life)

Last Saturday I found myself in the Business Class cabin of a 737 as it made its way from Madrid back to New Jersey.  For other people this may be a remarkable occurrence, but for me it was the sixth time this year that I filled out a blue and white form, got my passport stamped, and had some quality time with the customs agents in Newark Airport’s B Terminal.

My job responsibilities at the Mega Corporation that employs me are global in scope, which means that several times a year I travel abroad for projects or meetings.  Back in college I majored in marketing and international management, so I essentially have the job I dreamed about back then.  I always pictured jet setting around the world, shopping in Paris, having tapas in Spain and a beer under the stars in Amsterdam.  And, yes, I have had the opportunity to do many of those things, and many people have told me how fortunate I am to be able to see much of Europe on the company’s dime.

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is not quite so glamorous. For one, between my schedule while I’m there and the time difference, I consider it a success if I get four hours of sleep a night.  When I am awake, most of my time is spent in an office building or on a plane. My eating patterns get all out of whack to the point where I usually can barely button the jeans I brought to wear on the plane ride home (admittedly, the aforementioned tapas and beer may have something to do with that). Then there are fun incidents like the time I got food poisoning in Rome, or when the future Mr. Loco called to tell me about a serious family emergency, and because of the timing of the flights it took me a day and a half to get home.  I was in Barcelona when the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, listening to the audio stream of the radio broadcast over the Web in the middle of the night (RIP, Harry Kalas). I’ve missed birthday celebrations, Springsteen concerts, and (worst of all) episodes of Say Yes to the Dress while overseas.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy my job and considering the employment issues so many people have had of late, I am thrilled to have it.  I have had a lot of fantastic experiences while in Europe, from walking along the Seine at twilight, enjoying fresh gnocchi in Rome, and hanging out in the Red Light district in Amsterdam (okay, just in case my boss is reading this – I’m kidding on the last one).  The fact that almost our entire honeymoon is being paid for with my airline and hotel points is certainly an added bonus.  I just want to point out to everyone who has said how lucky I am for having the opportunity to travel to Europe that it’s not all crème brulee and vina roija.

Meanwhile, this all may not matter soon. The Mega Corporation I work for recently merged with another Mega Corporation to form Super Mega Corporation, which means there is a possibility that my job tasks will be changing in 2010.  Stay tuned….

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Introducing My Past to My Future

December 1, 2009 at 11:15 pm (Life)

As you can tell from my previous entries, a lot of my time lately has been spent planning for the future –the wedding, honeymoon, and all the good stuff that follows.  But one of the weirdest things about getting married is that you spend every spare second with someone who you’ve only known for a few years.  You feel like this person knows you inside and out, but really, they have no idea what the first 20 to 30 plus years of your life were like except for what you tell them.

This all came to a head for me last weekend when I traveled down the Jersey Turnpike to the PA Turnpike, got off on Route 1 and headed into the past.  My hunt for the perfect wedding invitations brought me to the area where I grew up for the first time in years; specifically, the homey neighborhood of Northeast Philly where I lived until the age of 11, and the nearby suburb that was my home all through middle school and high school.

I have to admit that my “formative” years were not my best.  While others view their childhood and adolescent years as idyllic, mine were far from it for various reasons that I don’t feel like getting into. Suffice it to say that each decade of my life has been better than the last. Yeah, sure can’t wait to turn 40! (heh, not really)

As I showed my husband-to-be my elementary school, the cul-de-sac where I played kick ball, my high school , the suburban house with the in-ground pool… it was, well, weird.  I was able to maneuver each turn without aid of a GPS but it was like visiting a movie set of someone else’s life.

Since the time when I left that area for college I’ve lived in three major cities; gone from making $6.50 an hour at a mall CVS to… well, a little more at a large corporation; met some amazing people; and most importantly, finally figured out the best way to blow dry my naturally frizzy hair. I’m truly not the same person I was back then, and I think taking this excursion was a good reminder of that.

Of course, in typical future Mr. Loco fashion, my fiancé was most excited about the hoagie shop where we got lunch.  Not that I can blame him – I do miss those cheesesteaks and hoagies!

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An Age Old Tale

November 22, 2009 at 6:58 pm (Life)

When I was younger, I always assumed that I would be married with a couple kids by this age. It’s funny how life works out sometimes. At the age of 28, I decided to move to New York. This was something I’d wanted to do from the time I graduated college but for various reasons it took a little while to get there. I was finishing up my MBA program, I was single, and I wasn’t too happy at my job in Philly, so it was the perfect time to make a move. One of my close friends who was planning to move up to the NYC area at the same time told me about Hoboken, and from the first time I stepped foot in the town I loved it.

Now, here’s one of the major differences in lifestyle between Philly and New York: in Philly, by the age of 30, most people are married or close to it. In New York, at the age of 30, people are on match.com, going out every night, and hopping from relationship to relationship. By my unscientific observation, many people here don’t start to seriously think about marriage until they are a few years into their thirties.

So, flash back to me at 28. I assumed I would settle into Hoboken and my new job, make some new friends, meet a nice Jewish boy, and live happily ever after. Well, Hoboken and the new job were okay, but the making of the friends was tougher than I thought. So I focused a lot of my energy on the pursuit of the nice Jewish boy. I turned to the modern day “Yenta”, aka Jdate.com. I met some nice guys. Some I even dated for a month or two. Some of the guys I was “eh” about and some I kinda liked. But I discovered quickly that many people here don’t seem to take relationships very seriously. The thing with Internet dating sites is, when you log in and there are 300 people who meet your search criteria; how do you possibly decide on just one? It’s kind of like shopping for a wedding gown, actually.

Fortunately, at the age of 34 I started dating that really nice guy from my beach house and, well, you all know how that worked out. My mid-twenties self would have been horrified at the prospect of getting married at the age of 36, but looking back on it, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And what’s making it more fun is that several of our mid to late 30s friends are getting married around the same time. That’s New York for you…

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