Archive for the 'marriage' Category

why you should date online

The restaurant where I met Bear for our first date has closed. In the three years that I lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I saw restaurants wink out like dying bulbs on every block. I saw new ones burst into the old spaces. There was a quick current, a constant cycle. Only the fantastically innovative or legendary or totally necessary remain. And ours was never that. It was always only pretty good.

But still, it seems a little sad that New York has taken away our table, by the wall in the back. And that the entryway where I stood waiting to see him for the first time is now chipped and forlorn. In the city, life moves impatiently on and on. There isn’t time or money to maintain all of these nostalgic spots. The next thing is supposed to be better.

I met Bear for the first time three years ago, this week. He was bigger in person than I’d expected. But then, I hadn’t really tried to picture him. His nose was surprisingly delicate, and upturned. It made him look boyish and vulnerable. I always notice noses. A self-conscious habit, born of worrying about mine. I always vaguely thought that I would end up with a man whose nose would dwarf mine, so that mine would finally feel feminine and fine. Sort of like my friends would sometimes say that they would only marry a guy over 6’2″. So tall! (The one who insisted on this the most vehemently has been with a man who is a good several inches shorter than her for, what? Four years now?)

Isn’t it funny how we set these little rules for ourselves? Not the kind that matter enormously if they’re broken. But still, rules. I will never wear yellow. If I don’t get a book published that means I’ll have failed at life. I won’t gain any more weight. My eventual partner has to be really musical. 

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Kate on July 23rd 2012 in marriage, new york, relationships

getting behind the wheel (of a real car. But it’s also a little bit of a metaphor)

This post is a part of the Little Victories series. 

I love to drive.

I mean, obviously. I grew up in the suburbs where everything was a half an hour away, and there was no way in the world to get to your boyfriend’s house unless your mom drove you there or you walked all night alongside the road and almost stepped on a lot of bloody possums and risked your life at the hands of the men who your parents were pretty sure drove around late at night in NJ suburbs, waiting to steal a girl.

I got my license on my seventeenth birthday. It was sleeting and I had already aced the written exam. I drove around the course with a very serious gentleman who I hoped desperately to impress with my ability to brake fully at the stop sign.  I passed. The parallel parking gods smiled upon me. Just that once (later that year, in the minivan I borrowed constantly from my mom, they would cruelly punish me again and again).

(this was the car my mom had. A Toyota Previa. Amazingly ugly. Incredibly difficult to parallel park. source)

And then I was free! I was blaring Smashmouth, or whatever I listened to back then, and swinging around breathtaking corners and tearing off into the openness of the world.

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cold feet

I made my biggest decision, choosing a husband, without even a moment’s hesitation. I met Bear, he had an incredibly sweet face, his insulin syringes made me feel at home, and he was so comfortingly hairy.

“It seems fast,” he said, of friends of ours, “To get married after only two years.”

“How long would you wait?” I asked.

He blushed. “I don’t know, five?”

“No,” I said. “Two is good.” I heard my own voice, but I was a little amazed at the confidence in it.

“Wait,” he said, staring. “You would marry me?”

“Of course!” I said. “But you have to really ask.”

He made a shocked sound, somewhere between a laugh and an exclamation. And then he was silent, grinning.

We had known each other for, what—four months? But I was positive. I had already chosen.

And after I’d chosen, I sailed through the rest. The engagement, the wedding—I didn’t pause for a second. People think that’s the hard part. Committing to another person for your whole life.

But the hard part for me has been the house.


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Kate on July 2nd 2012 in fear, life, marriage, new york, perfection

a wife, a husband, and a roommate

There are lots of rules about marriage. Some are big and self-explanatory, like don’t cheat, don’t keep destructive secrets, and don’t always eat the last bite of the buffalo chicken salad. That stuff is amazing, but marriage is about sharing.

It’s not about sharing your house with your friend who needs a place to stay, though.

That’s one of the smaller rules.

Along with remind your partner to call their mom and don’t constantly mix up their friends and then crack yourself up trying to sort them out.

My friend from college needed a place to stay for about a month, in between apartments. Automatically, I said she should stay with us. There’s enough space, so it felt weird not to offer. I mentioned it to Bear. “Of course,” he said. Which was what I expected. I thought it would be weird if he said no.

My friend moved in.

And then everyone else was like, “Oh my god! Are you okay with that?! What about Bear? It’s his home! He must be so upset! Are you guys okay?”

Everyone said that at the same time. They hadn’t even met my friend. Or they had, and they liked her, but they couldn’t believe that this was happening. That I’d allowed this whole other person to move into my home, while I was in it. With my husband. All of us. Together.

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guy friends: i would like to have them

For the longest time, I have only had one guy friend. And I used to date him, in college. Which complicates things. It makes Bear uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable, too. Not the him being my friend part. That’s fine. It happened naturally. We’re horrible gossips together.  But I wish I could erase our dating past. I shouldn’t have dated him. Even while I was dating him, I was hazily aware of that.

I am bad at guy friends. I have only had a few. Which makes me totally uncool, I know.

Once, I had more than a few, very briefly, and then, when I met Bear, they all vanished. Which was too bad, because I like hanging out with guys.

The problem is, they always try to kiss me. Some of them try to kiss me right away. Some of them do it sneakily, much later. Some of them wait years and year, but then, predictably, they try to kiss me.

The guy I already dated—he will never try to kiss me again. If you mentioned the idea to him, he would look immediately ill. We went through that, we came out of it, and now we’re safe. Thank god.

I know that men and women can be friends. There are lots of movies and books about how, actually, they can’t. How it’s this big mystery that we probably need more books and movies about. The Man/Woman Friendship Conundrum: An Attempt At Solving the Unsolvable Mystery About Whether Or Not Men and Women Can Actually Be Friends Without Eventually Making Out (By someone with a PhD).

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Kate on May 14th 2012 in friendship, marriage, relationships

the adventure

Last Saturday, Bear wanted to have an adventure.

“Get up,” he said, gesturing at me where I was lying on the couch, crying as I watched the fifth episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I started watching it for the first time last week—I’m always late to everything cultural). “We’re going to have an adventure.”

“What?” I said. “But Alex is finally showing a soft side! I think he has feelings! And this woman is about to die! What will happen to her kids?”

“Fine,” he said, “But we are going to go for a drive.”

“A drive?” We definitely don’t have a car.

He seemed to be thinking on his feet: “We’re renting a zipcar. We’re going to explore Brooklyn.”

“Oh, cool. But don’t we have to be somewhere in an hour and a half?”

“Doesn’t matter. We’re going to explore Brooklyn for an hour.”

He found a zipcar nearby. Near enough by. I threw on boots and  sweatshirt. Off we went.

After ending up on the wrong side of a major road for a while, we found the garage, and the tiny red zipcar that Bear could barely fit inside. He wanted to drive anyway, which was fine with me since I have never actually driven in the city except for that one, terrible time, in the U-Haul, in Union Square, when I nearly killed those young mothers pushing their infant children in strollers into the middle of traffic. And a bunch of scrappy NYU kids with purple hair. They almost died, too.

So Bear drove. He drove out of the parking lot. He drove up to the light. He nearly drove us onto the BQE, but then he turned at the last second, saying that he thought it was going the wrong way. We wanted to head out towards Red Hook, and beyond, towards the ocean, wherever that is.

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Kate on February 28th 2012 in marriage, new york

lingerie shopping with Bear

I should have known it was a bad idea. What was I even thinking?

It all started when Bear needed a new suit rightthissecond. He only had one, and it had already been patched twice, and now there was another hole, in the same place. He needed it by, like, the next day, for a big meeting he suddenly remembered he had, and there was no time to get it fixed.

We went to Men’s Wearhouse near Union Square and got two for the price of one. It was very exciting. One was pale gray, and we both felt like it was really extra cool and a little daring. The other was dark gray, and it looked stately and solemn. I was unhelpful, because all suits look the same to me, and I think they all look good on Bear, and so I concentrate too hard, trying to figure out the differences, and then I focus on the wrong things and start to question my judgment.


“It’s too boxy. Except boxy is a flattering look on you. But I think the line of the bottom part is too straight. It looks severe. But I guess suits are severe, so that might be intentional. Wait, try the other one– that was less severe….OK, that’s not boxy enough.”

Bear seemed to trust his instincts, and, for a guy for whom normal jeans were a huge upgrade from the strange cargo pants he used to have, he has a surprisingly discerning eye for formal clothing. As far as I can tell. The whole thing took maybe twenty minutes.

And then, after we were very pleased with ourselves for getting two nice suits for the price of one, I thought it would be fun to stop in at Victoria’s Secret, just a couple blocks away. Valentine’s Day was coming up…My bras were all ancient and bedraggled. It might be fun. Did I already say that? You know that’s a bad sign.


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Kate on February 14th 2012 in body, marriage, new york, relationships