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Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Very Marry Christmas

This Christmas I got some Gap ribbed turtlenecks, black socks, a Hoover Floor Mate and the knowledge that Home is no longer with my parents. That's right, for the first time in 30 years (my whole life) I didn't spend Christmas at "home" with my family. Instead, I spent it at "home" with my family. Are you following this?

We decided to stay in our own house for our first married Christmas. We had put so much effort into decorating it, and even though we have no kids (or pets) we are our own little family, and we wanted to do Christmas with us. So we didn't go up to Boston like we normally do to be with my parents.

I kept saying "I can't believe we aren't going home for Christmas" and my husband kept saying "I'm glad we're staying home for Christmas"...clearly there was a disconnect. But on Christmas Eve, it hit me. I AM HOME...THIS IS MY HOME, MY HOUSE, MY HUSBAND, MY COOKING, MY TREE...what? When did this all happen?'s a bitch.

Of course this realization hit 10 minutes before my husband's entire family was coming over for Christmas Eve dinner. DINNER THAT I WAS MAKING! Well not so much making as purchasing and heating up. Ravioli and Meatballs from Severino's, Garlic Bread, Salad and a cheesecake from McMillan's Bakery. Actually, come to think of it, I wasn't even heating it up, my husband was.

I was too busy unwrapping my good flatware, still in boxes from the wedding, and rinsing my never been used crystal stemware so my table could be "fancy".

The irony that adulthood hit me while I was picking stickers off of my Kate Spade China minutes before guests arrived for a purchased meal that we couldn't figure out how to heat up was not entirely lost on me.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Check it: Newlywifed gets down with the legal peeps

What I was wearing: Black and white tweed pants, a black sueded velvet blazer, white button down, and Charles David black wedge heels with a Mary Jane strap.

My Hair: Straight and silky, tucked behind my ears, neat and long (my hair is to the middle of my back).

My Makeup: Conservative, pretty, well put together.

Glasses instead of contacts.

Coach briefcase, Dooney & Bourke Tote.

Pearl necklace and earings.

In short, I was a conservative, yet hip young lawyer. Ready for battle. I looked sharp, if I do say so myself (since usually, I am running out the door, hair curly looking suspiciously like I was raised by wolves, in an outfit that screams "Frumpy")

And then this happened:

We started argument, the judge was asking questions. I was in the zone, replying with great deference to the court. The judge asked opposing counsel if they had notified me of a previous issue, and opposing counsel said "yes,your honor." He had definitely not notified me, and we had specifically discussed 5 minutes before being called by the judge that I had not been notified. I was outraged

I responded looking straight at the other attorney: "DUDE, I was never notified of that issue and therefore object on the basis of unfair surprise. Should your Honor request, I would be happy to brief the issue and present it on a later date convenient to the Court."

That's right, I used the term dude. Not sure why. I don't really utilize dude in my everyday conversation and vocabulary...but in court, before a judge...yeah, ummm...I will not hesitate to drop a 'Dude' if need be. You do not want a piece of this. Trust me.

So the lesson here: If you get all up in my grill and spoutin' ills, I will be rockin' the legalese in the hizzouse, and all the shorties be screamin' my name out. So if you thinks you can step, Bring it.

I don't even know what I just said. I do know that the judge politely ignored the fact that I said 'dude' in an oral argument before the bench, and admonished the other counsel for failing to properly notify me of his intent to present the issue.

Most days, I am amazed that people actually pay me to represent them. But some days, it just plain scares me.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Dads. They are a strange bunch. I will never truly understand because I will never be a dad. But sweet Jesus, where do they come up with the stuff they come up with? Amy has a good post about the lunacy that is a dad's love over at her blog, and it got me thinking.

I will preface all this with how much I love my dad, how much he truly means to me and would do anything for me. He has always been there. In short, he is your typical great dad. However, he does not always have the appropriate response to situations or emotions that one might expect. Behold the story of my wedding day:

I was raised Catholic, but my father is Jewish. I was married to my husband at the Cathedral on the campus of my college/lawschool, in a Catholic Mass. As most brides can tell you, if you are being walked down the aisle by your father (as I was), there are a few minutes when you and your father are alone waiting in a vestibule off to the side while the bridal party processes. I knew to expect having this solitary and inimate moment with my father, seconds before I would walk down the aisle of a grand Cathedral and he would give me away to my huband. He would be letting go of me, passing me from the heart of his family so that I may start a family of my own with this man that I brought home one Thanksgiving a few years back. The one my mom had told him to be nice to because she thought he might be their son-in-law one day (thank god for moms, the voices of reason).

I thought about those few moments I would have with my father to myself on that day. A wedding day is hectic, and there is little time to feel the weight of the what is happening. I thought that that those few moments, alone, before the doors swung wide and we walked down the aisle would be so meaningful. In those few minutes, I would look at my dad and it would hit me that I am leaving my family, grown and ready to start my own. All that he had given me, all that he had done to prepare me for this...all the years of teaching me things, calming me when I had cried, or making me laugh like only he could. All the driving lessons, all the nights helping with homework, all the graduations, all the groundings, all the talks...all he had done and his reward was me leaving him to move to New Jersey with a guy I brought home for Thanksgiving a few years back and seemed to be sticking around.

I would look into my dad's eyes, and I would say "Thank You". For everything. Thank him for making me who I am, helping me get to this point in my life. Helping me accomplish my dreams. And I wanted him to know that I "got" it. That I understood and appreciated all the sacrafice, worry, tears, and truimph that he went through to get me to this point. I wanted him to know that I was so proud of him, so grateful for being part of him. And so I thought about those moments and what I might say alot in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

And it came. And the day was perfect. It went at 100 mph. Other than every detail of my husband, I remember almost nothing of the day, except vivid moments in time, snapshots in my brain. I remember my Mom in the makeup chair, trying to sit still. I remember when my dad first saw me, and whispered to my mom that it was the most beautiful he had ever seen me. I remember my bridesmaids dancing, my brother crying at the vows. I remember my husband dancing with his mother. I remember telling the trolley driver to "haul ass" on the way to the Church. And I remember the moments, alone with my father before we walked together toward my new husband to be and a new life.

I looked at him and said "This is it, just you and me" and I began to tell him everything he had meant to me, when he interrupted and said:

"If you don't want to do it, it isn't too late"

What in the...? Are you kidding me? I just looked at him and in a complete panic said "do you not like him? Do you not think I should do this? Why did you say that?"

And this man, my father, who has lovingly guided me to this point in my life looked at me like I was the crazy one and said "No, I like him. I love him. I was just saying..." and he was cut off by the lady pushing us to the doors that 3 seconds later swung open as Pachelbel's Canon D swelled and the congregation stood, and we took our first steps...and the wedding wisked us away. Those moments lost forever.

People said we floated down the aisle. That they could see the pride on my dad's face, and the glow of happiness on mine. Which I always think is odd because, as I remember it, I just kept looking around wild eyed, trying to catch my dad's eye as he smiled and nodded to our friends and family, proud as punch to be walking his only daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. He went through the rest of the day having the time of his life at his daughter's wedding, surrounded by friends and family and love and laughter. It was truly a blessed day. Except for the few moments right before I walked down the aisle.

Dads. What are you gonna do?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

In Case of Emergency

This weekend, while out running errands to pick up all the crap you need for Christmas cheer, we made a stop at LOWES (note that we did not go to Home Depot, it has to do with a boycott but I digress). We were there looking for icicle lights, had even promised eachother before we went inside that we would not get sucked into spending money or time on anything else. We were there for a PURPOSE PEOPLE. And the mission of getting the lights could not be compromised.

We were conditioned, focused, serious. It was game time. Kill or be killed. It was holiday season shopping for Christmas lights. People could die if we didn't execute the "in and out" of Lowes. Approximately 4 seconds after walking into Lowes, my husband was sidetracked by a Mag light flashlight.

Yeah. Turns out, it wasn't that big of a deal. No one died, and quite frankly, the holiday shopping traffic wasn't that bad. So we browsed the Mag lights.

On the ride home, Christmas lights and Mag Light having been purchased, I asked my husband why he liked the Mag Light so much. I mean, we have approximately 5 falshlights of varying sizes and quality in the house. But he had broken his Mag light and now was intent on replacing it. Why?

Turns out my husband is the United States' smallest subsection of FEMA. In a surprising explanation, it appears that the Mag Light is not only a flashlight, but also can act as a weapon if getting attacked. Yes, my husband, who has never been in a fight in his life, feels that the Mag Light is the best brand for bludgeoning someone unconscious in the event of an attack.


This tidbit of information launched what I will heretofore refer to as "Newlywifed Emergency Evacuation Plan to be used in the Event of a Burglar." Apparently, my husband thinks often of what he should do if someone broke into our house and attacked us. I have never given this a single thought in my life. But such an event is on my husband's mind routinely. According to my husband, I am supposed to reach for the Mag Light (which will be stored under my side of the bed) and he will grab a 2 iron golf club (which will be stored under his side of the bed). He will then try to fend off the attacker. I am not supposed to assist in this. I am supposed to escape and run to a neighbor to call the police.

I see two problems with this. First, I am not going to be able to run away from some crazed burglar should he be beating my husband senseless. Just the thought of it makes me want to puke. Seriously, that burglar better hope he doesn't lay a hand on my husband or I will go so Jziditzu on his ass, that he will need his own Newlywifed Emergency Evacuation Plan. Second, my husband's nickname was Lance Romance in highschool because every time a fight broke out, he was off with a girl. See where I am going with this?

So we argue, and he explains that we both have a better chance at survival if one of us escapes. I ponder this as further details of the plan emerge. For instance, if the attacker grabs me, then my husband will be the one to run and get help. I this point, I don't want to talk about it anymore, because of the throwing up feeling and all...but my husband is now on a roll. He has been waiting for the opportunity to discuss this with me apparently. It is important to him that we develop a plan.

Fine. I will humor him. But I make a mental note to bring up his job stress later. (He fights crime for a living).

We discuss the plan in detail. Which swing style you would want to use with the golf club, which club would be best (definitely an iron as opposed to a wood). Where to stand if we are waiting for the guy to come up the stairs to the bedroom, which window to jump from if necessary. And we discuss at length that we do not want to kill him...I mean, we aren't killers...but we need to protect ourselves, and frankly you never know when you hit someone in the head...And we are hitting him in the head. The first hit to the knee, the second to the I'm saying is that you might have to kill a man. this is getting too heavy and upsetting for me.

Finally, I stop the madness. I remind him that 1.) we live in a town where the most serious crime on the weekly published police blotter is that eggs were thrown at the side of 6 houses on the 700 block of Maple Avenue; 2.) today is about putting up our Christmas lights, and good cheer; 3.) It is pointless to spend too much time on this plan, because once we have children, the entire plan needs to be revamped anyway so why not worry about it then. Reason 3 seemed to stick, so we moved on to singing Bruce Springsteen's "Merry Christmas Baby".

Flash forward to 12:30 that night, when I awake to see a man in silouette swinging a 2 iron next to the bed. "Holy Crap" I scream. "Just practicing" He says. And then tells me that I should have commando rolled across the bed and kicked him as hard as I could while simultaneously reaching for the Mag Light as we had planned, instead of yelling Holy Crap.

Just your average weekend...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas Wishes

Last Christmas, we were just moving into our new house. Getting settled was a process and there was just no time to hang lights outside. It was disappointing because I love Christmas lights, and our house is one of those old victorian jobs that would look like a little gingerbread house with lights.

But this year...this was our year! After 15 hours, $250, 9 strands of lights, 8 lengths of garland, 6 Christmas Bows, 4 extension cords and a 2 hour search for a 3 prong adapter, the house was aglow!

It came out nothing like I had planned...I wanted an 8 foot blowup snowman, that my husband vetoed. I wanted lights up on the second and third floor roofs...but my husband is afraid of hieghts even if it's me on the ladder so that was a no-go. I wanted spotlights and a disco ball...I got neither. But my husband (aka the "good taste police" came up with a few beautiful ideas that fit into the style of our home and the neighborhood. We went traditional.

When we started out, I asked my husband what he thought we should do. He said he thought we should decorate however I wanted to. I had to prod him into making suggestions:

Me: What do you want to do?

Him: Whatever you think we should do is what I think we should do.

Me: I want your opinion. I want to do it together...

Him: Whatever you want is fine, Christmas decorating is your department

Me: Pretend I haven't made any suggestions, and you have to do it on your own. I'm not home and you can't reach me. What would you do?

Him: I would wait for you to get home.

Me: Pretend I don't exist, what would you do?

Him: I would be devastated and wouldn't decorate

Me: Pretend I am Helen Keller and I can't speak or communicate to you what I want...then how would you decorate.

Him: (Closes his eyes for a few minutes and sits in deep thought)....

Me: Are you thinking of what you would do with the lights?

Him: No, I'm thinking how nice it would be if you were Helen Keller right now.

No matter. Once we got rolling, he completely participated and the lights look good as a result of the combined effort of Me and the Scrooge McScrooge I married...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Deck the Halls...or, more appropriately, "Deck this!"

Okay, I have been crazy...C R A Z Y at work and it has now calmed down, FINALLY. From Thanksgiving madness to my husband's aunt dying, to meetings with clients that are clearly the role model and inspiration for George Costanza's parents from Seinfeld, I need an Egg Nog if you know what I mean.

Anyhoo, let's get down to it. I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS. and that's really saying something for someone who is half Jewish. This year, since my husband's sister and her fiance are saving up for a blow out honeymoon and wedding, it was determined that the six of us (husband, his two sisters, me, the brother-in-law and the brother-in-law to be) are all going to do a swap. But here's the twist...under $25 and it has to be funny, unique, clever, useable (this one is hard) and pretty much better than anyone else's present. I added in the "better than anyone else's present" because...really...what's wrong with a little competition, even if it is in my own head?

Here are some of my ideas so far:

This is an emergency escape hood that protects you from smoke inhilation in the event of a fire. Even though the gifts are not supposed to be person specific, this would definitely be for my brother-in-law. They live in Baltimore, and ever since 9-11 he has been shoring up his emergency kits, survival bunkers, and any other "in case of terrorist attack" stuff that might save his family in the event of an all out nuclear winter. The guy seriously bought a 10 gallon bucket for his family to use as a bathroom. Believe me, you would be laughing your ass off at this thought if you knew my sister in law. Please see the previous post on my sisters-in-law and scroll down to the picture. Does she look like the type that would entertain going to the bathroom in a bucket no matter the circumstances? I think not. But I digress...the bottom line is that this special smoke/fire evacuation mask is right up my brother in law's alley.

I also found this:

These are slippers with little lights sticking out the toes. Because if you're honest with yourself, we have all been there before. It's the dead of night, and you hear soemthing downstairs...a burglar perhaps. Someone's got to go check it out. But it's dangerous and you don't want to alert the intruder that you're there. But you need to see where you're going god dammit. If only you had a pair of slippers that could discreetly illunimate upto 5 feet in front of you. Nevermind that eventually, you realize that it's just the neighbor's cat, and not an axe murderer...but still, it could happen. Best to be prepared. Just ask my brother-in-law.

Come to think of it, these slippers would likewise be perfect for him.

Clearly, I am in need of ideas, so I am reaching out to the internets...give me something people. Prove your worth!

Also, I will be decking the halls this weekend. I plan on going "Clark Griswold" on my house. You heard me right, I am going to bedazzle my home so that astronauts can see it from space. My husband doesn't know this yet, so I am going to state ahead of time that we will go from Decking the Halls to decking eachother inside of an hour...