Thursday, September 15, 2011

mean people suck

remember that bumper sticker in the 90's?

there are many things i have wanted to write about the past few days--my time spent as a prayer minister at st. paul's chapel (across from ground zero) this past weekend, dad and wade's visit and help with our extreme apartment makeover, pepper's adjustment to city life and learning to poop on the sidewalk, how much greek hurts my head, jay's and my first "house" party... and on and on.

but yesterday's adventure on the M23 bus with jay takes the cake.

two high school friends of mine, becca and christy, collaborated on a "dance in public" event on the east side.  i was eager to go, and jay agreed to check it out, so we hopped the bus on west 23rd until we reached the end of east 23rd.  we were sitting near the front of the bus, where the seats face the center aisle.  across from us sat two women, both with canes, with an empty seat between.  up walked a very tall and big-boned woman, and she sat between them.

now this woman was big in that she was tall and thick.  she was not morbidly obese.  and while i'll admit i'm the first to insist on putting down my armrest in an airplane to protect my seat-space, i could not believe how poorly this big-boned woman was treated. 

the cane-carrying woman to the big-boned woman's right started spouting off: "you are just sick.  you are fat.  you really ought to take a look in the mirror.  how do you expect me to sit next to you?"

horrified, i elbowed jay, who started listening in too.  the big-boned woman responded, "i'm not taking up your seat. i'm not sick.  i think i look fine." 

the cane-carrying woman went on, "oh, just shut up, shut up." 

it was crazy.  jay and i were both embarrassed for the big-boned woman.  jay turned to me and said, "if that old woman is still on the bus when we get off, i'm going to say something to her on the way out." 

we hit another stop, and the old woman started up again: "look at yourself.  how can you not know you're fat.  you are really sick." 

i'd had it.  and knowing jay had my back, i spoke up.

"ma'am?  ma'am.  can you please be quiet.  what you're saying is very rude." 

"this is a private conversation and none of your business, " the old woman snapped back. 

"actually, you're on a public bus, and talking loud enough for us all to hear," jay said. 

and this little exchange went on.  she made fun of me for calling her ma'am... "what are you, from the south?"  "yes ma'am."  "well maybe you should go back there."

jay told her she gave new yorkers a bad name. 

the big-boned woman smiled a "thank you" as she exited the bus.  the old woman exited at the end of east 23rd with us.  we made sure to steer clear of her cane, lest she whop us upside the head.

my hands were shaking after the incident.  in talking to one of my peers today about it, he pointed out that while speaking up was the right thing to do, it did require us butting into someone else's conversation, and so you're left with opposing feelings of right and wrong.  maybe that's what makes people uncomfortable when approaching justice--at times you have to be wrong to be right.  i was worked up for sure.

a few minutes later we were watching becca dance, talking to christy and admiring a giant pink moon rise over the east river.  the beauty of the city was restored. 

Thursday, September 08, 2011

this is my solemn vow

well, we did it.  we got married.  though i did get a call from the register of deeds saying they are missing a witness signature on our marriage license, so i guess we're not legit yet? but our hands have been joined and our vows have been exchanged, and two have become one.

every time i talk to one of my parents or to my friends, everyone says (even if they've said it before) that our wedding was perfect.  and it really was.  it's amazing it went as smoothly as it did, given i moved up to NYC the week before for orientation... and truly thought about wedding stuff very little.  no time to!  let me tell you why the wedding was perfect.

a LOT of friends and family made it so.

sloan and jamie let me (and pepper!) stay with them the month leading up to the wedding.  sloan helped me put together programs.  lois ann carted me all around town to pick up stuff for hospitality bags (when i had no car) and then helped me put them together, and then dropped them off, and then hosted my pakifam.  boriana made our slideshow.  jenny and michael set up the projector for our slide show.  alice helped us figure out our wine and beer list.  molly gave us a 20% coupon to use on our mac's bbq catering bill.  aaron picked up the kegs and paid off our wine vender.  eric managed the kitchen and bussed the tables during the reception while his daughter washed dishes.  nikki ran the whole reception and sweat buckets putting up and breaking down tables.  lilian helped me wash all the pint glasses we gave as favors.  john tended our bar.  anne and stark helped out with flowers.  lori lent me her veil and earrings.  colleen lent me her fastenator (flowers for my hair).  chris worked his magic on the organ, allie and katie sang beautifully, and aaron's rendition of "shenandoah" on the mandolin was awesome.  my dad and wade totally transformed the blue room into a true reception hall. donna and greg threw an awesome rehearsal dinner.  my mom bought me the most beautiful wedding gown.  my aunts threw me a lovely bride's lunch, complete with vases and tea cups they flew up from TX that belonged to my great grandmother.  farhan did a wonderful job reading, as if he were speaking directly to us.  verdery and john celebrated a beautiful marriage blessing and eucharist.  chip blessed us and the reception.  jamie brought pepper to us before the wedding so we could take pictures with her.  meggan and channing and my brothers picked up my dress.  mary brooks made took care of anna and baby stella.  john acolyted.  eden made yummy desserts.  aaron, dick, nate, jesse, pete, paul, stephen and pierce all stood by jay and kept him sane and made us feel SO special for being there--no matter the distance.  sloan, caitlin, erin and julie kept me sane as well as entertained, making sure i ate and drank, and just made me feel so loved.  steve and farrell let us crash their cabin for our 2-day minimoon.  and that doesn't even include the people we paid to do stuff (our wonderful photographers, etc).... are you getting the drift?  our wedding was perfect because we had A LOT of HELP!!!!  and from FRIENDS, all of them!

things that i thought were perfect:

jay's grandpa's blessing at the rehearsal dinner.  the toasts (and roasts).  the girls' dresses/flowers/necklaces--they just looked perfect!  they boys' suits/ties/pocket squares--it all looked so sharp!  my dress--it really was stunning, and i felt like the most beautiful girl i've ever been.  our moms--they were so beautiful, and we love them.  our dads--they both kept their cool and kept us cool too.  our granddads--how blessed are we that we each had a grandparent come all the way to charlotte.  the order of service--every hymn, reading and prayer was handpicked especially for us.  our food--who doesn't love bbg?  our friends--they would have partied all night long if they could have.  even things that didn't seem perfect at first were perfect after all--like our first dance that we thought went too long, but enjoyed it anyway because we realized it was probably the only time we'd get to talk until the reception was over.  and when it was over, we came back to the hotel and sat on the bed, still in our wedding clothes, going through the amazing photo-guestbook our guests help put together, reading cards to each other from friends and family, and laughing at the sheer beauty and blessedness of the day and our memory of it.

not to mention jay--the perfect partner for life for me--who loves so sacrificially and supports me so fully. 

i titled this blog "this is my solemn vow" because i said those words with so much intention and deliberateness at our wedding--every phrase of our vows i said as emphatically as i possibly could to jay, because i know how blessed i am to be bound to him.  like, 'hey, monkey, i REALLY mean EVERY word of this!  i want you to know i mean this as much as i can possibly mean anything ever.'  i (like every bride, i would hope) am completely convinced i am the luckiest girl in the world for marrying jay.

so anyway, that's a very long description of a very special day, made perfect by the people we love!  and while it may not be the most interesting blog post ever, i just can't say thank you enough.  thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that made our day perfect.  we will carry the memory of that day and your role in it with us forever.  thank you.