Monday, June 24, 2013

A Special Proposal

“I’m going to go try and flirt with this guy.”

Even as I said it, I knew my sister would barely buy the flimsy excuse. Kathryn looked at me with a strange expression on her vacay-tanned face and cocked her head. “Really?”

“Yeah, yeah… I’ll buy a drink or something.”
My youngest sister Grace chimed in quickly. “Oh my gosh, I’m coming too. I can’t believe you talked to him!” We ran off toward our condo’s outdoor bar, looking like idiots—but we were out of options.

The awkward exit left Kathryn alone with her (uncharacteristically nervous) boyfriend, Hector.

“We’ll catch up to you!” I called back over my shoulder. They were already walking toward the quiet beach, with its imminent sunset.


Grace and I ducked behind a column near the bar. We waited there for a few minutes, got questioned by an excitable security guard, and then headed to the outdoor courtyard where our semi-stressed parents were setting up tea light candles.

So far, the Fitzgerald family collective plus Hector and company had faked a condo rental, improvised a nerve-wracking dinner, and planned a surprise post-engagement party for a somewhat suspicious Kathryn. There had been a few hiccups (“No! You can’t keep the ring in your pocket… I SEE IT.”) but, overall, I was impressed with the family’s ability to remain nonchalant.

Detaching from Kathryn was always going to be the most difficult part of Mission Engagement. When the sisters are finally together, in one place, at the same time, we don’t often separate. It was relatively easy for the parents to slip away and sign fake condo papers with a fake realtor named “Anna”… but Grace and I were trapped.

So there we were, pretending I had a prepubescent crush on a bartender probably three years my junior. Whatever. We were almost in the clear, and I knew that ring was practically jumping out of Hector’s pocket.

But it couldn’t.
The ring needed to stay hidden at least another 30 minutes.

“DO NOT COME BACK UNTIL 8:45,” I texted him. Then I imagined poor Hec looking at his phone, and breaking into a second monologue about what life would be like together. (I later discovered he already had a fabulous speech prepared. His dilly-dallying was instead in watching the sun fully set and walking back toward the condo very casually.)

Horrible traffic on I-95 had delayed almost all of our guests, so only about 9 out of 20 were present. But even as I frantically typed on my phone, cars zoomed into the complex and disheveled friends began running toward our "Best Wishes" decorations.

By the time Kathryn and Hector had arrived—giddy and relived, respectively—nearly everything was in its place. The night turned into a happy celebration of the married couple to-be.

And I, for one, couldn’t be more excited.

The Fitzgerald girls will finally have a brother. We will be more complete as a family, and Kathryn more complete as the beautiful individual she has become. Giving away your younger sister is a difficult endeavor, especially if you’re raised the way we were. But Hector is already someone who understands our family, someone who actually can keep up (and put up) with the excitable, endearing, and at times overwhelming Fitzgeralds.

So welcome aboard, brother.
We already love you so much. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Note to Self

I cannot sit still in summertime.

Let me explain this fact further: I am literally over-stimulated from May to September, as warmth and excitement blankets our city. The constant need to move, move, move and bounce from one thing to the next grows in humid weather, like metal expanding in the hot, sticky sun. 

So yes.
The blog has been silent these last several weeks.
But I’ve been out of town!
And I needed to play in the resurrected, summer sun!
< Insert numerous excuses with dramatic punctuation here! >

It’s also worth mentioning that my current job has me writing and editing streams of exclamation point and emdash-filled paragraphs for most of the day. Obviously I love what I do, but I’m rarely enthused to rush home to my computer—you wouldn’t be either (emdash!).

Still, I opened up that daunting white, blank Word Doc tonight because summer has already started; stories are continuously unfolding; New York keeps turning whether I want to write about it or not.

And then I remembered.
(After some poking and prodding…)
I do want to record this city’s narrative—and our narratives—even if it means finding the time at 3AM to jot down an idea, or type up that ever-elusive prequel to a “brilliant” thought. As E.B. White once said, when talking about New York City no less, “[C]reation is in part merely the business of forgoing the great and small distractions.”

Hey, you.
One of you special 400 to 500 who still read this dusty ol’ blog.
Don’t let me forget what I just typed. 


The conquering of summer has already started! Here's what's been happening in my neck of the woods:

Pianos have been played.

Goodbyes have been made.

I’ve gotten my first sunburn of the season,

And sat on countless rooftops for no good reason.

We all took a jazzy step back in time,

And visited our favorite dive bar—covered in grime.

There were Tony Awards to watch in Time Square,

As well as Shakespeare to hear in the glorious night air.

We danced on a boat,

And read a sidewalk quote,

And realized there is always something beautiful to note.