The year that Andy and I got engaged, he agreed to join my family in New Hampshire for Christmas. My family is huge and disjointed, however, so he would only be meeting three sisters and my Ex-Stepmother.
A week before Christmas, I spotted the ultimate in Yuletide perfection. A neon green headband with furry moose antlers that LIT UP with red and green lights. I pounced. That night, I showed Andy my prize.
When Andy stayed with my family the Christmas before we got married, he was shocked by how late my Baby Sister came home. She was my last sibling in high school. Her boyfriend dropped her off about 1:31 AM. We, of course, were still awake, thanks to the three-hour time difference between LA and New Hampshire. Andy strained chicken stock while I frosted cream cheese sugar cookies. Baby Sister told us good-night and helped herself to a cookie on the way upstairs.
My Southern grandmother drilled old-fashioned etiquette into my mother’s head. My mother drilled that same etiquette into mine. Which is weird, really. My mother turned her back on much of her upbringing when she became a liberated woman. She reclaimed her maiden name. She mortified my grandmother by embracing their Cherokee heritage and getting suntans so dark my racist grandmother would insist – in the most DIRE tones — that “her daughter was turning black.” My mother discarded “Mrs.,” bras, hats, gloves, and the idea that all ladies should be competent with a stove or a vacuum. Continue reading No Thank You (#65)
I love cake. Okay, I love all baked goods, but cake is the best. It was my favorite part of all my parents’ weddings. It’s STILL my favorite part of every wedding. I do enjoy the dancing now that I bring my own partner, but while I’m dancing with Andy, I’m totally eyeing that four-tiered, fabulous, elaborate, fondant-covered wedding cake in the corner. Continue reading A Question of Cake (#49)
I grew up on a block with a ton of kids in Washington, D.C. We formed clubs, rode trikes/ bikes/ big wheels in the alley, and caught fireflies while our parents chatted on the front porches (with drinks). There were neighborhood Christmas parties after caroling in the winter, and block parties in the summer. It sounds idyllic, right? Continue reading Not Your Everyday Bouquet (#44)
I learned to drive in Washington, DC. History says the city architect Pierre L’Enfant envisioned an egalitarian capital, with wide boulevards and public spaces. This vision is realized on the National Mall. The rest of the streets are such a mishmash that conspiracy theorists can and will create any pattern in them: Luciferic pentagrams? Check. Continue reading Andy Goes to New Hampshire (#31)