either we’re sad, lonely and can’t figure out what love is all about – or we’re really, really obsessed with lil wayne.
i’ve never been the type of girl to dream of my wedding, or at least, i didn’t used to be. you know how most girls say they’ve been dreaming of their perfect wedding forever, and tell stories about trying on their mother’s gown and clomping around the house in shoes five sizes too big? i never told those stories, partially because my parents weren’t able to legally marry until 2004 (yay massachusetts!), and partially because as a child, i simply wasn’t that into weddings. even as i hit puberty and turned into an awkward teenage that was a melange of strange feelings i didn’t know how to handle, i didn’t think much about it. in fact, i wasn’t even sure that i wanted to get married.
i can’t put my finger on when, exactly, my mind changed, but some time over the past few years, things shifted. and suddenly, i saw couples in love everywhere. i saw wedding photos on every blog i read. people i knew were doing crazy things like getting engaged and having babies. we weren’t kids anymore, not even college kids. we were real adults with real responsibilities and real relationships, and people were hunkering down.
and just like that, i started dreaming of my wedding. or at least, thinking about it – and how i wanted twinkling lights in an open garden, and a vintage lace dress that evoked a bygone era of glamour, and rows of chiavari chairs with classic cushions tied onto the seats. i thought of how i might like to carry hydrangeas, or perhaps, calla lilies or tulips. i tasted wedding cake in my mouth and pictured walking with my husband through pottery barn and anthropology, registering for our future hand in hand.
have i mentioned i am S.I.N.G.L.E? so it goes without saying that all of this is but a dream. but hopefully, someday it won’t be, and there will be a man who will humor me as i examine wine decanter after wine decanter in the crowded aisles of crate and barrel, who smiles when i ask him which style of milk glass he prefers. and until then, i can look at the gorgeous pictures of blogger/photographer/model candice lake, who got married in an english garden fit for a princess.
hey, a girl can dream, right?
can we talk about jennifer lawrence for a second? i know i’m not the only one talking about her today – girl won her first oscar, so the peanut gallery is abuzz – but i’m such a fan that i felt the need to type out a little ode to jlaw. i’ve been a fan ever since i saw her in the revered indie flick, winter’s bone, in which she played an entirely too resourceful, badass teenager in the ozark mountains trying to hunt down her father, a meth dealer who skipped out on his court date. jennifer’s turn as ree, a seventeen year old who’s in charge of taking care of her mentally ill mother and her two younger siblings, is haunting and yet somehow, hopeful. it also happened to be the role that proved her to be the perfect fit for the hunger games’ katniss everdeen.
lawrence was, hands down, my first pick for katniss (and i feel very strongly about how hollywood casts my favorite movies), and i was thrilled when she got the part. she did, of course, kill it in the first movie, and i can’t wait to see how she shines in the next one. but that aside – last night, jennifer won the best actress oscar for her work in the silver linings playbook, and she was so self-effacing and NORMAL on both the red carpet and accepting her award that i couldn’t help but fall a little but more in love with her.
celebrities that seem like real people – emma stone is a great example – are few and far between. but jennifer appears to be one of them. over the past year, she went from acclaimed indie actress who could still shop at whole foods to the star of a multimillion dollar series who has to have friends pick up her groceries. and she’s done it with impeccable grace and an irrepressible sense of humor.
ms. lawrence, you are one in a million.
i’ve been an avid reader for as long as i can remember, so i thought it might be fun to start a feature about the books i read, just in case you, as my lovely readers, feel like picking up a copy for yourself. it’s no surprise that as a writer, i devour books the way some people devour chocolate (or, okay, the way i devour chocolate…). others drink to get away, i read. since i was little, i’ve been inventing stories in my head, and i think my ability to do so comes mostly from the fact that i was a voracious reader as a child. you can’t write unless you read. a lot.
since i still hold tight to the dream of writing a real book someday, one that people pick up in the bookstore and hold to their noses, taking in the scent of the newly printed pages, i continue to read. a lot.
my ability to fly through books is in part due to the fact that i spend a good deal of time on public transportation each day. i recently invested in a kindle, and it’s the best $79 i ever spent. i’m partial to real books, but i have to say, when you’re lugging your life onto a crowded subway car each day, it makes a huge difference to read from an ultra-light kindle instead of a heavy hardcover. i recently discovered you can get kindle books from the library. this has changed my life. NYPL, i love you. now, for my recco.
the paris wife by paula mclain
i should start this by telling you i have never been a fan of hemingway. i find his writing too bare, too simple, too stripped of emotion (i know he liked it that way and this writing style was intentional, but that’s never appealed to me). but now that i’ve read this (admittedly fictional, but based on history and his writings) novel about his early days, before he was ernest hemingway, the writer, i’m inclined to pick the sun also rises back up again. anywho, i won’t give any details away, but suffice it to say i loved this book (though the nytimes hated it), and while its (likely accurate) portrayal of women made me furious at times, it’s neat to see the man behind the mask.
hemingway treated his wife like shit, for the most part, and she sat back and took it. he seems like quite a macho asshole to me – a guy who, deep down, was incredibly insecure and entirely selfish, with a singular focus on his career. little else mattered to him in the end. he thought he was entitled to the best the world had to offer, and took all that came his way, whether it belonged to him or not, whether it was right or wrong. if nothing else, the paris wife is an interesting look at what it used to mean to be a woman. i have to say, i’m not sure i could have lived in the twenties. sure, the glitz and the glam of the flapper era would have dazzled my senses, but quite frankly, it positively stunk to be a woman in that age. i’m oversimplifying, of course – but i just can’t imagine living in an era where women had no voice, no job prospects, and were simply meant to satiate their husband’s every desire. my, how the times have changed.
one of my favorite new blogs (if not the favorite) of this past year is one launched by danielle moss and alaina kaczmarski. the everygirl is a site dedicated to just that: regular, every day girls. the site isn’t about perfectly posed street style photos, or the kind of girls who appear to have a surplus of designer clothing and spend their days drinking iced lattes on the streets of los angeles, their impossibly long legs dangling over the benches of joan’s on third. no – this site is about real girls. those creative, intelligent, eloquent, driven girls who have created incredible careers for themselves and deserve to be featured for that: their drive, their power, their creativity – not their looks.
the site curates multiple features on inspiring, motivational women each week, and also features amazing recipe and interior design features on the regular. many of my favorite bloggers have been featured, including elements of style’s erin gates, cupcakes and cashmere’s emily schuman and more. you can spend hours on this site, i promise you. go ahead and set the time aside now.
today is the site’s one year anniversary (you go, girls!), and as a celebration, this morning’s feature spotlights none other than its amazing creators, danielle and alaina. in every everygirl feature, the last question is, “what would you tell your 23 year old self?” this is my favorite interview question that the girls ask, and their answers (as predicted), seen below, are inspiring, to say the least. bravo, danielle and alaina.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR 23-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Alaina: 1. Never compromise your integrity. You do not have to be cutthroat to be successful. If you find yourself in a position that breeds unhealthy competition or dishonesty, or you are not being valued, then that is not the job for you. Remove yourself from the situation and figure out a way to do what you love with honesty and grace. 2. Don’t burn bridges. 3. Disregard any plans you have for a life timeline. After all, things might happen a lot sooner than you could have imagined. 4. New York City is lovely. Undeniably a place for creatives and dreamers. But you don’t have to be in New York City to make your dreams to come true. If you want them badly enough, you’ll figure out a way to bring your dreams to you.”
Danielle: Try not to be so hard on yourself and know that you don’t need to have all the answers right now. You aren’t where you thought you’d be, but that’s ok. In spite of what you may think, you will be ok if you aren’t married at twenty-eight and a mom by thirty. These things will happen when they should, and in a few years, you’ll be happy they worked out the way they did.
Never let anyone tell you that you are not good enough, beautiful enough, or smart enough to do anything you set your mind to. Never ever stay in a relationship because you’re afraid of being alone. Do not base your happiness on anyone other than yourself. Find someone who looks at you in a way you never thought possible and never settle for anything less.
Surround yourself with friends who will love and support you unconditionally. Always follow your heart. Work hard, don’t forget to smile, and give yourself a break when you need one. Stop second guessing yourself. You will make mistakes, and you will also make some pretty great decisions, too. Life is going to keep getting better for you. Just stay true to yourself and you will find your way.