the rain arrived and brought with it true november weather. fingers holding umbrellas became icicles. shoes stomped through puddles black and deep. our moods were as dark as the weather as we gathered at C’s apartment waiting for the other two members of the party.

“we’re here,” the text message chimed. C, R, and i gathered our things. my phone rang, “we’re coming,” i said in lieu of a greeting, stomping down the hallway. huddled under the awning, we surveyed the street. “there’s a gold prius.” “no, she’d be driving a gold lexus.” “i don’t see them.” “would they have E or L’s car?”

it was then E and L popped out of a sleek black car. the limo parked auspiciously on the street was for us. A FREAKING LIMOUSINE. for us! for the entire night!

when the shock wore off, the first thing i blurted was “i’m wearing rain boots! are those even allowed in a limousine?”

the thing was, we were there to celebrate L turning 34 and here she was surprising us with a car about 100 yards longer than we were anticipating. it was quite the unexpected role reversal, and i honestly can say i’ve never been surprised like that.

our black moods dissipated like the champagne bubbles tickling our noses. the celebration of L turning 34 had begun in earnest and in style.

boston skyline from limo window (courtesy of LDZ)
boston skyline from limo window (courtesy of LDZ)




how to do real estate

(1) go to a “first time home buyer’s course.”

(2) determine paltry budget.

(3) get preapproved for a mortgage.

(3) obtain real estate agent.

(4) see condos. lots and lots and lots of condos. little ones, tiny ones, medium ones, itty bitty ones.

(5) fall in love with one.

(6) make an offer.

(7) be the fourth best offer out of fourteen.

(8) despair.

(9) go to more open houses upon open houses upon open houses.

(10) get lost driving to open houses.

(11) start to recognize neighborhoods.

(12) cringe every time someone asks how the search is going and you have nothing to report other than three failed offers.

(13) go to more open houses.

(14) receive advice from parents.

(15) narrow search.

(16) hey, how about going to some open houses?

(17) realize some sort of compromise is going to have to be made.

(18) drag feet at the thought of a compromise.

(19) expand search.

(20) go to some open houses of places you really can’t afford.

(19) cry.

(20) make some appointments to view some condos.

(21) gather advice from friends who know more than you. drag some of said friends to open houses with you.

(22) realize you’ve totally neglected your current rental in the hopes of having a fresh, new space to call home. clean.

(23) fall further in love with current location and current neighborhood.

(24) continue to despise lackadaisical landlords and crappy, falling down apartment.

(25) curse your luck at looking for a place to buy in an assuredly seller’s market.

(26) crunch numbers again.

(27) get re-preapproved for mortgage.

(28) buy lottery ticket.

(29) go to more open houses.

(30) receive text message from your godmother who thought of you because HGTV had a boston-centric episode.

(31) smile.

(32) rinse.

(33) repeat.

convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #63

strangers? here’s why i’m talking to them.

the final score (6-1) wasn’t a true indicator of the game. they were the defending league champions not to mention they’ve made it to the finals the last 3 years. we’ve squeaked into the playoffs each of those years.

and yet. we high fived after the game, as we do.

there’s never a smooth transition from the orderly line of high fives and “good games” to two teams walking back to their benches. in the middle of the mob, the girl with the hot pink spandex capri pants i’d been wishing i owned the entire game pulled me aside.

her: i wanted to let you know you had a really good hit.

me: oh, thank you!

her: it was very solid.

me: and i wanted to let you know i adore your pants.

her: thanks! they’re from tj maxx. $20.

me: i love them even more now!

our laughter sparkled into the setting sun, highlighting both our sportsmanship and wo-manship.

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convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #62

strangers? yup, i talk to them. here’s why.

it had been a busy day full of glorious weather and workouts and errands and me, just me. it was a quiet day. i only talked to six total people, but for once, i was okay with that. i needed to recharge my batteries.

having completed my TO DO list, i was headed back to my apartment and i had no plans to leave it once i’d entered. maybe it was the impending solitude. maybe it was her fashion sense, but as the girl walked towards me, i spoke up.

me: i like your dress.

her: *looks up from typing on phone* *is startled* thank you!

i wasn’t sure if she was headed to meet friends, meet a boyfriend or a girlfriend, or perhaps a first date, but the dress was darling and i wanted to pass along some of the sunshine i was feeling. i liked to think she walked a bit brighter to her destination.

i know i did.

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convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #61

strangers? yup, i talk to them. here’s why.

after much discussion about cookie cakes, R and i decided the next things on our agenda were (a) a chocolate chip cookie and (b) a glass of red wine. we stopped by two places whose dark windows reflected our rather large pouts.

point A might have been off the menu, but we could still conquer point B. we ended up at our favorite bar where two seats were waiting patiently. obviously, we were meant to be there.

R to bartender: i’d like a glass of this red wine *points to menu* and a dessert menu.

me to bartender: i’d like a glass of this red wine *points to menu*

i may not be the bravest when it comes to trying new food, but when compared to dear R, i’m basically lewis and clark. i’ve conquered the food frontier. all this is to say, the desserts listed had rather fancy descriptions that slightly terrified us. we settled on the one with “chocolate” in the name. it was no chocolate chip cookie, but we made the right decision.

we dined in style, chatted merrily, watched the crowds, sipped our nightcaps and patted ourselves on the back for a successful wednesday evening.

R to bartender: i think we’ll close out now.

bartender: *punches buttons* okay, you’re all set.

we stared at the bartender who crumpled up the receipt and tossed it in the trash. we looked at each other. we eyed the bartender who smiled and nodded. our eyes grew wide. our smiles grew wider. with those four little words, our status as regulars were cemented.

yes, we left a large tip.

yes, we high fived once we were out of eye sight of the bartender.

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