Dispatches from a go-gettin journalist. Because not all Army wives live behind the lines...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pray Together, Stay Together

In a city that is so crowded that it has the paradoxical effect of making anyone feel alone, this weekend I felt an opposite force.

I attended the most beautiful wedding I have seen in a long time. I admit that every wedding since my own has been a tearjerker. Even the beach wedding of two strangers that we watched from our honeymoon balcony.

But this was different.

This was truly a wedding of two families -- one Indian and one Hispanic -- who loved each other's culture, religion, and person so much that when my friends were declared husband and wife, you could feel the families joined too. It was so moving and an experience I had never felt before, even at my own wedding.

We all forget the speeches at many weddings. But this one rang so true that I don't think I'll ever forget it.

The imam said:

Many times in life we will find ourselves busy. We may seem busy to others because we're doing a lot. Growing, graduating, working, doing. But that's life on the surface. And then what? All actions are useless without their intentions. Without the spirit of prayer, the prayer just becomes a sequences of motions. Without spirit, fasting becomes an annoying hunger. And marriage is just a daily reminder that you're tied to someone, if there's no spirit to make it something more. The challenge with marriage is that the spirit and intentions of one cannot grow without the other.

(How true that if only one of the two does not have the spirit, there's no way the other can make up for it. It's whole of two parts. A blessing and a curse!)

In every way his pointer is true in all things not marriage. Sometimes I think the city drains the spirit of actions out of me. Some things I do just to make it through - in work. In life. In my relationships.

I needed my friends this weekend to remind me about what is important in life. Not another story. Not another deadline. Not another need to justify myself to anyone. But the spirit of being around people who love each other through faith and culture, through the spirit of humanity


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Superman!

Yet again -- for the 5th year in a row -- Superman is away at training for his birthday.

A new year, and all the same old antics.... which leads to another installation of, "That's What He Said," birthday edition.

Me: Happy Birthday!

Superman: Thanks, babe.

Me: Did you tell your buddies it was your birthday today?

Superman: No, babe. We're in the Army, not in some knitting club. 

I guess Superman is too cool... even for his own birthday.

Our honeymoon in Belize!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Supers Take Manhattan

I'm convinced that only those who truly live in Manhattan can tell the difference between visitors and the residents.

I'm not talking about the hoards of tourists that are mushed in Times Square, and then collectively migrate to Rock Center, then collectively shift downtown, finding their way on a boat to Liberty Island. Those are easy to spot, and Manhattanites generally stay away.

I'm talking about the select few that migrate out of the pack to a remote cafe on the upper west side, realizing they have no idea how they landed there. Besides, everything beyond 59th street is Central Park, right? ;) Completely surrounded by home-grown Manhattanites, they think if they play it cool, they're bound to fit in. Truth is, we see you.

Or, those that live in Manhattan, but not in the neighborhood they happen to be walking in. If you live in any part of the Apple, there's really no need to leave that area. (unless of course you're visiting friends). But the times that you might be on your way, or even if you need to detour, you become, in the minds of a Manhattanite, an unspoken acknowledgement. You're not from here. We know.

But lately I've been thinking that maybe it's not so bad to "get lost" in the Apple once in a while -- leaving the 10 block radius of our home. Even if "getting lost" means finding ourselves somewhere beyond the island.  

Since this will be our first "together" summer in the Apple, Superman and I have made a pact. Starting post-Mediterranean Cruise, we've decided to "get lost" at least once a week. Let's hope we play it off a bit better than those straggling visitors.

"Getting Lost" in Bear Mountain, NY

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the coolest Dad on the planet. He knows all the strategies to beat you in a life-size game of chess...

And he knows all the strategies and wisdoms in life...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

He Had it Comin!

Here's proof for yesterday's note on gains and losses -- which for me more often feels like gains and gains.

seeing "Chicago" on Broadway with my parents!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Marriage is a combination of gains and losses. A good marriage is striking a good balance between the two.

A couple friend of ours is contemplating marriage. And contemplating. And contemplating. In fact, I think he's run over the scenario in his head so many times that naturally he's decided against it. Mainly because he says that at this point, they are way past the infatuation stage.

As with all relationship scenarios, I had to turn the mirror inwards. Have we too passed our infatuation stage? Does dating minus infatuation plus time equal marriage? I had to run through the check list:

Would we rather be home together than out apart? Check!

Do we end our week sending each other 5 new reasons we love each other, and haven't had too hard of a time making that weekly list? Checkity Check Check!

Is there nowhere else in the world that we'd rather be than stuck on a boat with each other in Italy? Greece? Turkey? Heck Mother-Flippin Check!

Whew! Breakdown averted.

While we may be inclined to blame the man (if he says the fun is gone, then bring it back!), I've gotta say that the pair of them have fallen into the cycle of habit.

When couples stay together for a while, they mold into one routine habitual creature. One half might gain the other's habits while losing something they might have done when they were alone. Sometimes, it's a good thing. Quiting smoking because your significant other doesn't smoke. Picking up a healthier lifestyle because you S.O. is a gym rat.

But many times, it's just not good. I think for this pair, they let go of the fun ones and kept the routine ones.

Which, of course, also got me thinking... what have I lost? What have I gained? 

Recently I told Superman that I lost my habit of seeing plays, musicals, ballets, operas. I assumed he's not a huge fan of them, so I too -- out of spousal habit -- stayed away.

Superman took that right to heart. Today, when we received an invitation to see the new Cirque du Soleil show that I've been silently eyeing, he said to me: "I think it's a great idea. We've been wanting to see that for a while so let's do it."

So I might have lost out on seeing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" performed by the New York City ballet this season. But I gained someone who wants to do everything we loved doing separate, together.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Overheard in N-Y-C

It's said that every young woman has got to spend some of her single life in NYC.

I don't believe that.

Maybe it's because shows like "Sex and the City" idolize the romance to be found here. And with all the rooftop lounges, outdoor cafes, and park activities, there's no shortage of fun date spots. I'm convinced that these adventurous hot spots in the Apple are sure to keep couples together longer.

In fact, on average, women in NYC get married older than the national average age of 27(ish). Perhaps because Appleites just want to have fun...

And now that summer's underway, love has got to be in the air. Right?

While Superman and I have been out on married-dates, I couldn't help but overhear conversations other couples were having on their no-so-married-dates. Here are a few one-liners picked up at various spots around town:

Man at the sushi resto: "I think what first attracted me to you were your knees. You have knockin knees."

Woman in cafe: "Oh no no no no no, I won't marry you. It's strictly financial."

Woman at the diner: "Now that I know we can live together, I'm moving out."

Unlike "Sex and the City," I think there's alot to be said about being loved regardless of the city, rather than trying to find love in it. There's alot of Apple to be had this summer without knockin knees, dolla bill dilemmas, or extra baggage.

This is just another reason why I am perfectly happy being Married in City.

Friday, June 3, 2011

When Superman's Away

I hate it when Superman goes away for the sole fact that whatever that will never go wrong in his presence, will absolutely go wrong in his absence.

In less than 24 hours since Superman left for training... Gatto has managed to throw up all over our bedroom floor. And now, my heart is aching for this cat because she just looks so uncomfortably sick and there's nothing I can do.

This has never happened before and I'm convinced that it never would've happened if Superman didn't leave.

Which makes me wonder what else is in store for me in these coming days...