oh to look like someone else. just for a day.

dear husband-to-be,

i'm afraid this will be a very serious letter. you see, i need you to understand something.

my looks belie who i really am. 

does that make sense?

i look like i would love to spend an evening at the opera. i would not.

i look like i might really like a swanky jazz bar. mmm...not really my thing. if you could find an off-the-beaten-path beatnik pub with some jazz on the side...that i could do.

i prefer a ball game to almost anything else.

i will always order a cheesburger. and i'm a cheap drunk. 

i laugh. a lot. out loud. at the most inappropriate of times. 

and when we go to the beach, you'll have to drag me out of the water at the end of the day. i will not be the one working on my tan. 

i look like i could be a politican's wife. and i could be. i could play that part really well.

but that is not the part i want to play. 

i am not perfect. i am a screw-up in the most glorious of ways. 

you see, i want to have a ping-pong table in the dining room. 

and i'll still climb a tree. or hurtle down a hill on a sled. 

i'm not the girl you think i am, when you first glance at me.

it's strangely frustrating.

but i refuse to change who i am to conform to what i look like. 

and if on that first glance, i come off as cold, it's simply because i'm shy and quiet and totally, madly in love with you. already. 

so please don't be intimidated by some idea of me. i'm flighty and i lose everything. and i'm funny. really, i am. at least, i think i am, and that's something, right?

and i still have this old-fashioned belief that the guy should make the first move.

so please, do. make the first move. 

you might just be surprised by what you find.

love, love, love,

the woman who is not the woman you first assumed i was (but it's okay, even my friends still make silly assumptions, and they've known me for a while)


when i was little and my mom came to pick me up from carpool, i would recognize the sound of her keys before she ever got to me.

and if i got lost in the store, i would close my eyes. and listen. listen, very carefully. and i would hear that faint and familiar jingle and relieved, i would bound towards it. 

she didn't get it. to recognize the clatter of keys? what kind of strange child had she born?

but i got it. a constellation of keys exists in this world of ours. each with its own unique musicality. some more familiar than others.

the other night, standing in line at the drug store, i heard a familiar key clink and looked up to find myself staring at the back of a stranger. 

and that's when i began to wonder. is that how i will find him? will i recognize the sound of keys before i've even met him? the sound of a gateway to a home we might one day share?

so i've started listening. i haven't closed my eyes, though. i'm keeping them wide open and living my life. but the sixth sense of this strange-child and would-be-wife is piqued. 

a trip to the store.

i remember being little. i remember my brother and i visiting a friend's house. it was early. very early. and we were little. very little. and this friend had a son. an older son. an older son who was still asleep. my brother and i could not understand this. how could someone sleep when there was a day to be had? our friend explained that one day we too would like to sleep in. 

i remember standing there. 
and hearing that. 
and being unable to believe it.

i remember my next-door neighbor on danbury drive was older. she had a pig as a pet. it would run around her yard. and her house. i don't think my parents much cared for this pig. and i remember my next-door neighbor would take care of me. and teach me things. and tell me things. 
once i asked her what she got for christmas. 
she said, clothes

i felt sorry for her. 

now i can never get out of bed. 
or have enough new sweaters under the christmas tree.

i'm not sure when it exactly it happened. when i started finding men in suits really attractive. was it the man? or was it the suit? was it that, in the suit, he reminded me of my father? was it that the suit became the talisman of stability? 

i think it was just recently. 
soon ago? no, that doesn't make sense. 
not so long ago. 
it was around the same time that clothes took a backseat to home goods. 

ahhh, home goods. 

today i entered the clothing store. today i looked for beautiful pieces in which to wrap this body i am learning to love. and today i abandoned all skirts and shirts and sweaters and pinafores for the plaintive call of the home goods. 

wine glasses. 
and bowls. 
and candle sticks and books. 
and bowls. 

and it is there in the store today--in these things, yes, things, that i see my future. these are the things that will traverse the island of manhattan with me. these are the things that i will bring to our first shared apartment. our first shared house. the things that i will pack and unpack. and pack again. and pray remain intact. 

fingering the glassware carefully, checking for cracks or chips i see his face. on one of our many moves he will screw it into a look of consternation meaning only one thing, really, you want to save those? he will hate them. he will hate the candlesticks i will buy today. this only makes me love them the more. 

and in the wine glasses i see the future dinner parties. and the first evening we clumsily make love, our fear numbed only slightly by the wine. yes, these are the wine glasses--the co-conspirators in our mutual seduction. i see the moment when the four glasses become three become two become one become gone. shattered one night after dinner. slipping through our child's growing fingers. 

i don't know the moment i began to plan for the future. when men in a tailored suits and glass platters became more important than gladiator sandals or a young would-be-actor boyfriend. 

perhaps this is the precursor to the inevitable tick-tick-tick of that biological clock. 

all i know is... that i'm looking forward to making the memories that will give this dowry a value that knows no numbers. 

4 wine glasses 
4 glass cups
2 candlesticks

all for under $52
(including tax)
from Anthropologie

a dowry indeed

he will know where to find you

Micaela of dolce vita (one of my very oldest and very dearest blogging friends--she's from Texas too and we're kindred spirits we are) brought the following chunk of poem to my attention:

taken from "At North Farm"
by John Ashbery

Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you,
At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents,
   through narrow passes.

But he will know where to find you,
Recognize you when he sees you

oh Micaela, you know me so well. Perfection, the poem. 

and so all i can say is, okay,

images via vi.sualize.us

that's what she said...

"a man has to find a good woman, and when he finds her he has to win her love. then he has to earn her respect. then he has to cherish her trust. and then he has to, like, go on doing that for as long as they live. until they both die. that's what it's all about. that's the most important thing in the world. that's what a man is, yaar. a man is truly a man when he wins the love of a good woman, earns her respect, and keeps her trust. until you do that, you're not a man."

Well, technically he (Gregory David Roberts) said it in his book, Shantaram. The book is a veritable treasure trove of quotes. But this is the one that stuck with me.

Can you tell I've been thinking a lot about love lately? Must be all those peonies in my love corner.

 And  then, he (husband-to-be) will learn to love my feet. All size ten of 'em.