Romantic Life Lessons

Happy Labor Day!

Welcome to the red line we cross each year into work-heavy fall! Insert here the shopping-for-school-supplies fantasy that is no longer relevant. Vacations are over, school is starting, but this period of the year is still fun!

If you write or edit or do anything book related, you are really, really, really into paper and pen products, making school supply shopping extra joy. Add to this how the light changes and hits whatever landscape you inhabit (except Iceland, right?). You’re no longer walking into ovenly air, but that “crisp” vibe that is autumn.

I happen to be reading a paper product–with words inside–entitled Deep Work by Cal Newport. The title intrigued me because I am very old school in how I work and think about work. I’ve always loved the idea of clearing away the clutter, ignoring the email inbox triage and focusing on deep work. In fact, I used to be able to do this quite effectively. As you accumulate tasks–or create them to avoid deep work–it is easy to put off delving into true, meaningful projects and spending the hours they require. Can you tell that I blocked off a couple hours to write this? Maybe I took a break to sip a Manhattan. Deep work is not easy but here I am committed to finishing. And maybe a little tipsy too.

In any case, I highly recommend reading this, even though it is, technically, another procrastination tool, as are most things–snacks, reading, TV, paying attention to loved ones, shopping. Deep Work is an inspiring read that may rev up your determination. Just don’t go near the bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters until you finish it (just kidding, Manhattans are delicious). If you can’t read a book right now, his Ted talk on his lack of social media is inspiring. You may not do the things he suggests but every little nudge toward better focus is a blessing.

For Labor Day, I pushed myself to run five miles*. Afterwards, as is tradition, I sang Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt while walking home. Running consistently these last 25 years, I’m not sure how much longer my body can take the punishment, but it sure feels good (and it hurts). I count my blessings every day that I can run again–and breathe deeply and non-COVIDly.

So let’s see, we’ve discussed books, exercise, and now I’ll veer into my other obsession: appeasing my inner makeup diva goddess. She’s very bossy!

Since March 2020, I’ve been watching makeup tutorials and rushing to sample brands (all of them). Yesterday, my husband finally noticed and asked if I’d accumulated a whole lot more makeup in the last year. Sadly, yes, but I do need the new Jones Road Miracle Balm in Dusty Rose and Magic Hour even though it doesn’t seem too different from Cindy Joseph’s Boom Trio. The E.L.F. pore-filling primer makes my skin look like porcelain. And Posh Spice does more than sing (!). With Victoria Beckham Beauty, she has created the best eyeliner pencil I’ve used in 53 years of life. For skin care, I use Acure day-brightening moisturizer, which is vegan and has the nicest lemony smell. Also, Patrick Smith Botanicals’ Face Serum and Face Wash are exactly what the skin wants. The afterglow stick from Nars, KVD’s tattoo eyeliner, a sparkly lipstick from Charlotte Tillsbury, mascara from Marc Jacobs and Tarte, Bobbi Brown face pencils, Urban Decay and Ilia eyeshadow palettes, and Bite lipsticks.

I’ve learned so much during the pandemic. I love make up! And I have enough now to beautify everyone in Manhattan. I’m very close to doing my own geeky tutorial.

Basically, the gist of my story right now is a range of doing a whole lot and a whole lotta nothing. But all of it counts.

Happy New Season to you all and get to that Deep Damn Work.

*Deep work on the body.

Romantic Life Lessons, Writing Tips

Quitting Writing Can Help Your Writing

When asked for my best writing advice, I usually say, “Never quit writing,” and it took me centuries to come up with this genius. I consulted vocabulary lists, did focus groups, and finally pulled this sentence from an angelic stream of wisdom.

But seriously, the inspiration comes from the many years of watching writers get discouraged by rejection and the knowledge that good things do happen from time to time in publishing. Not to mention, everyone’s path is different so who am I to say anything other than, “Go forth and multiply those words?” If anything, I’d want to be proven wrong over and over with creativity as a global superpower. There have been times when I’ve thought “this writer should stop” and have turned around to find them soaring on bestseller lists.

The only thing I can say is that the desire to quit writing can be an important period in a writer’s process. I’ve gone through this myself–maybe even a couple times in the last decade. A writer will feel that she has nothing left. It’s over and there are no good outcomes to this craft. All she hears is No and there are limited venues for publishing or getting paid to write. It can be a mind-numbing, thoroughly depressing way to live.

As an editor, I’ve had many heartbreaks over a writer delivering a couple books and nothing after this. I see the struggle and have always wished I could do more. I totally relate–but sometimes, nothing helps. The writing isn’t working. No advice or reference book refuels that writing engine. Sometimes, it’s not meant to be. Giving up can be a freeing experience.

Just think: You don’t have to do this anymore. You can dream about other things again. Think outside of the story you’ve been raging about since forever.

Maybe you could open up a bar/library/cafe. And during free moments, you could write blog posts. Just for fun. But nothing else related to publishing. No more writing, no more conferences, no more pitches, no more asking for someone to read your stuff, and no more “No.”

The desire to quit does mean that something has to change. It doesn’t have to be as drastic as stopping writing altogether. Maybe you need to kick your own butt in a different way. Or the story needs to be put aside–or calls for a radical rethink. Maybe you need to reconsider who you’re sending your projects to. Your characters may not be ready for prime time. Whatever your block, it’s okay to acknowledge the block and look elsewhere for clarity.

Live life normally again. Discover birds. Discover your husband, wife, children, friends, pets!

The only thing I will say is: Observe what happens after you decide you’re done with writing. Are you relieved, even more distressed, or happily taking tap dancing lessons?

Do you see the name of your protagonist everywhere? Does the answer to your plot problem hit you as you’re pouring milk into your Grape Nuts? Do you find yourself on an entirely new–happier–path because you had the courage to set aside a project? Or is your brain not letting you leave that blank page?

You should never give up on yourself, but there are times when quitting can bring you back to what you love: which could very well be writing.

Romantic Life Lessons, Uncategorized

Shots in the Arm

Friends, I just got my second Moderna shot. What a great feeling and relief to be vaccinated after this long year. It’s not over, but I am so glad to bid adieu to these dreary COVID times in my little part of the world. My last year was not The Absolute Worst, but it wasn’t fun either.

My true pandemic experience began with breaking my elbow last June. It was an embarrassing trip over a piece of wood on the sidewalk. I went splat on my arm and scraped my legs. As a child, I’d dreamt about breaking a bone, but the reality was thoroughly unromantic. First, the sympathy did not come 24/7 and my doctor did not give me a cast–not even a sling. My grandmother wasn’t here to smother me with cookies and ice cream. With a broken elbow on your dominant hand, there were a lot of things that were nearly impossible. I won’t go into details.

During pandemic, certain quirks came out of hiding. Quirks to which my husband averted his eyes. The burlap sac dresses, dreary pajama bottoms, the sudden need for half and half in my coffee. And it turns out, I am a hoarder. When I sit down anywhere, I create piles around me. There’s the yarn pile, laptop and papers pile, the puzzle pile, and the beverage pile. If I don’t have piles, I order them and generate more stuff than I know what to do with, especially books, leopard print clothes, makeup, and paper products. Instagram knows about your piles and pulls you into the product placement time/money suck. I really had no choice.

Since March 2020, I’ve also become what I vowed never to be: a birder. A few times a week, I haul myself to Hudson River Park. For an indoor girl, this is an act of desperation. My flora and fauna are the beige pages pouring off my shelves and onto the floor. Let me be the first to tell you that the flowers, river, and Canadian geese are gorgeous! Their little flippers moving so gracefully under the water are Disney cute. They swim in beautiful lines, sort of like meandering military planes. My husband says the seagulls are the white ones, so consider me an expert now. Against a wintery backdrop, I caught them gliding and soaring in a dance. Why did I poo-poo my aunt’s obsession with all things avian?

To offset my influx of nature, I obsessively tuned in to everything about the pandemic and presidential election. A giant weight lifted from my shoulders on January 20 and I kicked my news addiction. It’s hard to wean yourself off Maddow, Anderson, Lawrence, Brianna, Brooke, Don, Capehart, Acosta, Cabrera, and Nicolle, but baby steps, you know? Better to focus on the impressive rollout of vaccine. First for my parents, then me and my peers.

Sam and I started to think about life after COVID, like maybe we can go places, take a real vacation, and envision happier times. Getting actual COVID was a big wrench in these plans as I tested positive exactly one year from my last day in the office, March 12. I was sick–not hospital sick, but enough that I checked my pulse oximeter a few times a day. I didn’t think I would die, but you just never know, right? After feeling better in the second week, I realized once again how lucky I am. But who gets COVID a year after the pandemic really begins?

This resulted in a few more orders to Sephora and City Cakes because we all deserve it. But there comes a time to stop and ease back in to what really matters. It is not the latest Urban Decay eyeshadow or obsessing that you can’t wear sparkly makeup anymore. Maybe you don’t need eight pairs of pajama bottoms, 41 rolls of toilet paper, or a sewing machine. It’s time to come out of the comfort cove.

Like everyone, I am ready for some serious fun, good work, and three-dimensional people time. With the blessing of these shots, let our healthy roaring twenties begin.

Ps. The vaccination side effects are *nothing* compared to actual COVID and so worth the ability to hug your loved ones.

Romantic Life Lessons

Day #37: Inevitable

Our friend had a once-in-a-generation mind, wrote books, taught, and sat at my family’s dinner table often. While most in my parents’ entourage liked to argue about important ideas, he was quieter, taking in the scene while his synapses fired on multiple planes. His measured tone brought down fiery tempers and made me feel better about my academic-lite thoughts (about Duran Duran, the Kardashians, cake). I didn’t know him well, but he is one of those regular characters who is now gone, likely from the virus. He inspired great affection in my family. Blessings on his coming and going, as my friend Lou says. We will remember him fondly and often.

Now over a month in seclusion, Sam and I take the one-day-at-a-time approach. Me, I have work as usual, which is awesome (and therapeutic). So, home is like any other day, but if you go outside, wear a mask and stay away from everyone. My mental health is solid due to decades of introverting. The goal is providing extroverted Sam with sparkling conversation, household tasks, and cooking shows. Netflix suggestions welcome!

Positive things we’ve done:

I learned how to use my new sewing machine and have made eight masks (poorly).

My Prince Charming has cooked every day for me since March 12. I’ve never eaten better in my life. There’s been okra, mac & cheese, artichokes, meatloaf, chicken, halibut, stew, pot roast, mashed potatoes, pot pie (not POT pie) and just plain deliciousness. A good meal is so satisfying. Who knew?

Am reading Glennon Doyle’s Love Warrior for the first time. Also got Untamed, which I believe just came out. Love her hide-nothing writing. My current numbness to emotions makes me AMAZED that anyone feels this much. Mindfulness is paying off since I only notice my hand typing this and not the germs hovering in this city’s every crevice. Maybe in six months, when this could be over, I’ll explode with anxiety, but I won’t worry about it yet.

Sam has become the King of Teaching Online. Knowing that this could be long-term, he immersed himself in tutorials and now makes it seem effortless. His French classes are front-row entertainment.

We’ve been watching The Great British Baking Show and there’s nothing like cooking in a tent in a beautiful part of the world (where you are not LIVING ON TOP OF millions of others).

Gotta go. Sam thinks he dropped a Band-Aid in dinner. Crisis.

Romantic Life Lessons

Day #28: From Sam

Patience has asked me to write a guest blog, or “golb,” as her stepfather would say in palindromic fashion. Palindromes are much more entertaining than pandemics, although really not that much. I have been resorting to more sarcasm than usual these past few weeks and suppose that that is owing to a higher-than-normal level of anxiety. It’s hard to narrow down the source of the latter, which might sound silly, given the fact that we are all more or less confined to our homes because of the coronavirus — new and improved!

But as one train hides another, so does one traumatic event another, and another, and another. 

Oh, where to begin? The birth canal? It was a tight squeeze, Ma, but I made it! Honestly, while I don’t remember that one, there are others that come to mind, in particular the summer of 2006 when crude Russian-made rockets rained down on Haifa for a month. There were air-raid sirens, like the kind you hear portrayed in World War II movies, and bomb shelters, neither of which would do you much good if you were in the wrong spot at the wrong time. And people died and you heard about it in the papers and on tv.

I suppose that fear is not such a bad thing. It is the natural adaptation that prevents most of us from standing too close to the edge of the cliff, pinching the cheek of the child soldier who stops up us at the roadblock or, today, leaving our homes without a facemask. That is not to underrate courage, without which we could never overcome our fear. If we lacked either, it’s safe to assume we would die off as a species. If firefighters were too afraid to fight fires, we would really be in a pickle; and, if, we threw caution to the wind and stopped looking in the rearview mirror before merging onto the interstate…. Well, you get the picture.

Without that delicate balance of hesitation and derring-do, we would hardly be of much use to one another, as couples, families, neighbors, citizens and human beings, in general. Living in close quarters – and I hope that Patience agrees — we learn to temper one another’s fear and courage. “Should you really be doing that?”, and “I think that’s okay” are really sometimes the only words that one needs to hear, bringing a loving perspective to the imperatives of day-to-day physical and emotional survival.  

Romantic Life Lessons, Whining

Day #24 of Staying Home

Greetings from Awfulville!

How is everyone doing and when is this going to end? Remember the days of *no* daily press briefings and packed streets on a Sunday?

I hopped off listening to the “coronavirus task force” updates and transferred my allegiance to local reporting since urban COVID has a different twinge and I just want facts. Today was the first day where the number of deaths had gone down from the previous day. A grizzly, sad but positive-ish sign.

Here are other positives about staying home indefinitely:

*It’s training for your future nursing home/hospice care. You make your own schedule. You get a fifth wind at 4am? Go for it. You have nowhere to be.

* Wearing a bra is optional. Sorry, Mom. You know it’s true. Your own mother is applauding this point from Heaven.

* Impulse (not affordable?) purchases are excused because mental health is crucial. I bought a trampoline and a sewing machine! In addition to wanting to help healthcare workers, I made Sam a shitty mask but it brings out his beautiful green eyes.

* Talking with loved ones rocks. I don’t need a lot of human contact. My phone convos are purely altruistic. Just kidding! I usually feel better after a good chat on the phone. It’s fascinating to learn that I actually miss people.

* Makeup tutorials are relaxing. Bobbi Brown’s MasterClass is excellent. I also enjoyed Kim Kardarshian’s five-minute contouring routine. Her use of bronzer to minimize her forehead is one I’ll attempt. Kim is a total face-Monet.

* RuPaul’s MasterClass releases endorphins. Best quote so far: “If you want money, wear a suit.” I want money. Not enough to wear a suit, but I get it: Get your lazy butt out of those pajama bottoms. Also, RuPaul recommends meditation to get in touch with one’s “frequency.” This in itself triggered deep vibrations to my frequency.

* The Tiger King! It’s depressing, entertaining, seedy, and binge-worthy in not a virtuous way. Sort of how you saw that one thing in the garbage, and even though you insist you never eat anything once it’s been discarded you go back and–ugh–wolf it down and insist this is your last depraved act. Once we finished the series, I went to my closet and gasped. Sam is terrified of me.

* You may find unexpected beauty in watching A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. This one will cleanse you after The Tiger King. Mr. Rogers was one of my fixtures while growing up. Hard to believe such an angel existed.

* Reading and editing heal. I never regret turning off the TV for a book. I am about to start Harlan Coben’s The Boy from the Woods.

* No more endless campaign speeches or debates. Remember when the most stressful thing was that upcoming presidential election? And the Russians. What happened to them?

In today’s briefing, our gov said that Cabin Fever will make people irritable and resentful. Because it’s now an official illness, I blame Cabin Fever for my irrational resentment of Influencers giving us advice and support, saying “We’ll get through this” and “We’re in this together.”

That’s true. But really, this is a never-before situation. We don’t know what will happen, which in itself can be bonding. Some are natural social-distancers. Some have coping skills to manage during gigantic disasters (just not the little ones). At the end of this spectrum, there are some whose suffering is on such an epic scale that “You’ll be okay” isn’t nearly enough. Healthcare, essential workers seem to be the ones who bear the brunt of everything horrific.

I don’t even know what to say except, “You’ll be okay.” What else is there when you don’t know?

There is always Yossi.

Romantic Life Lessons

Day #14 in the Hot Zone

A few months ago, I thought how great if the world stopped, just for a day or two. Everyone needs a break. Introverts often wish for relaxing home alone situations, but this? Friends, it’s my fault we are here. I willed the bat to spread its infectious turds.

In Casa de Bloom, we are okay. Most businesses are closed except for Walgreens, supermarkets, and delis, with many restaurants doing take-out. My husband and I have stayed inside with the exception of going out for groceries and walks. We regret not having medical skills and I’m debating whether or not to buy a sewing machine to make masks. Our experience is unremarkable. We are just scared. We want to help. And we miss my mommy.

I have no handy tips on how to work from home during a pandemic, except this: Don’t make things worse. My feeling is that if I can’t stay inside for the good of others, that’s pretty bad. It’s a small thing I can do, along with focusing on work and washing my hands. So here is a video of Yossi grooming himself to music.

This will end eventually. Right now, it’s terrible.

In the meantime, what are you up to? And how is your writing going? Not good? That’s okay. Harlan Coben says you should give yourself a break. Wishing you and your families good health. Please tell me your stories.

Romantic Life Lessons

Intimidation Motivation

In olden times, before a date I cared about, I took three hours to prepare hair, makeup, clothes, agenda. This ensured failure, but still old dogs. Now I over-prepare to hang out with intimidating people and it is a joy. Intimidation makes me work harder, though the intimidator immediately senses my desperation.

Over the weekend, Sam and I went to visit two spectacular beings. He can vouch for my three-plus hours of hair, makeup, outfit preparation, though he was asleep until five minutes before we left. Half a century has cured me of expecting celestial bonds, talking till all hours about lifetimes past, present, and future, our own TV talk show. Now I do my best to see an intimidating person as someone who also spends three hours to prepare hair, clothes, and agenda. As my brother says, “It’s all about making friends.” Then you have some fun. I did not even spill coffee on the couch.

Other moments from my week:

While looking for non-violent content and came across Gary Gulman’s The Great Depresh on HBO. I could relate to growing up super-tall and skilled at basketball in the 70s and 80s–and also the journey with depresh. Very worth watching and moving.

If you need something to counteract any endorphins, I recommend ordering A Warning by Anonymous. Because we need more books about that person. My tolerance of prose re: this administration lessens with each tweet and book. Who is ready for a good primal scream until he is out?

But I’m grateful for the unique voices that have come forward this week. Here is one (Sam and I are big fans). Was inspired by some of the courageous witnesses in the impeachment hearings. The great Dr. Hill! Now she is someone I would have to prepare at least a day to meet. Intimidating in the best possible way.

Romantic Life Lessons, Writing Tips

Hamilton

When Hamilton first appeared on Broadway, I didn’t care. My historian parents would soon discover its existence and make us see it anyway. As a late-forty-something and new iPhone addict, I no longer had the band-width for academic things. Plus, it seemed manipulative for a play to feed me American history. Why did I want to know more…about anything?

The buzz grew. As presidential candidates began their tap dancing, I heard you, Hamilton, and your room where it happens. Obama even went to see it, blessing it as the best thing to exist in this galaxy. At the office and on Facebook, friends treated Hamilton seats like winning the golden ticket in a Willy Wonka chocolate bar. OMIGOD, you’re seeing it in eighteen months? You are so lucky! (You could die before then)

I rebelled against this peer pressure, which meant I had a budding interest. What a great time to be in theater ticket estate planning. When I croak, my nieces could inherit my Broadway tickets. Smug in my non-history-play-seeing (but still alert), I returned for my tenth viewing of Frankie Valli vowing to pay off his bandmate’s tax lien in Jersey Boys. Meanwhile the scent of 250-year-old treasury secretary wafted its way down to the West Village, at which point my mother, a famous historian, said, “Get us 6 seats, orchestra, anything in the next month.” Sure, Bonnie. I’ll do that.

For my mom, I’ll snooze my way through a history lesson with its creative rethinking of the birth of our nation. For Mom, I’ll even accept that Hamilton has a man-bun. But alas, my computer laughed me silly as I tried to purchase 6 seats together in the same year. That’s not only impossible, it’s the price of a Honda Civic circa 1991 (fact).

Mom and I said, “Whatever” to these results. We didn’t want to see it anyway. What’s this about non-Classical music in a period piece? We don’t even listen to hip hop (My iTunes purchases say differently). So, American history, hip hop, and a scarcity of tickets. No thanks!

All around me, the hype continued and I saw Lin-Manuel Miranda on shows, being happy and excited, not the least bit tired or jaded over being a sensation–again! He was in the thick of that wonderful genius bubble where you create something meaningful for the world. Damn him!

My friend from work finally went to see it and came back saying, “It’s nothing you’ve ever seen before. Another level.” Her review weighed on me. Another level means another level. I bought Ron Chernow’s book and started to read. The text was engrossing, as was LMM’s adorable book of uplifting tweets (600 pages shorter, tho). Add to this the synchronicity of my giving a Hamilton bill to my takeout delivery person multiple times per week.

But, people, my fever broke. I gave up pursuing the secret dream. Sort of like when I knew I wouldn’t be able to score a ride, shelter, and Duran Duran tickets in 1984.

When LMM did Hamilton in Puerto Rico, I saw it as a sign of renewal. Go. I even entered the contest to win a chance to fly to PR (I don’t like to fly) to see Hamilton. The realization took years to appear like a banner in my brain: I have to see Hamilton. I really have to see it. Over and over, I thought this. Tickets still too much. But I still have to go. I checked calendars. Asked my husband wouldn’t it be nice. No, he said. When the play Charlemagne opens, he’ll be there (he likes France).

Weeks went by. After a couple years of not wanting to go but secretly wanting to go. I started to think about going by myself. No follow through.

Last weekend, Sam and I were dying of boredom (it happens even when you love each other). He looked through the plays and clicked a few icons and said, “We’re seeing Hamilton tomorrow, 3 pm.”*

So.

Everyone was right. I won’t go into detail because I’m running out of ink. Just know that it’s a masterpiece. I am still thinking mostly about the labor involved in creating those three hours of joy. Hamilton is what happens when you work harder than anyone else. Great works take work. Writers who are stuck or crawling toward that agonizing finish line–answer that call to witness someone else’s talents. It might be the motivation you need at the exact right time.

The Hamilton ear worms are brutal, though.

(Okay, Mom. Now it’s your turn.)

*Yes, he’s really nice.

Romantic Life Lessons

Happy Date-iversary! Let Me Count the Ways…

Happy First-Date-iversary to my beloved Sam. It’s been nine whole years since I went to JFK to pick him up for our first date. We hadn’t seen each other in almost three decades, since high school. Now, so many years later, it is easy to love Sam. Here are just a few reasons why…

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He loves a buffet, food spread, or five-course meal. A real foodie. The joy on his face is so worth my constant fear of food poisoning.

He is handy–and works hard to learn new tricks. Home Depot is his friend. His forays into TV installation are legendary. At first, he mounted our TV near the ceiling, then realized this wasn’t ideal.

It is fun to live with him. I’m not sure why. Is it his good nature? His non-smothering way? He’s just lovely, even in small spaces. In fact, I’m more comfortable when we’re in the same room. He makes really good coffee, too.

When he has time, he cooks and his meals are heavenly, except for the stuffed cabbage but I eat it anyway.

He is a book-worm and reads international news. A total smarty-pants.

He really loves my mother and brother (my deal breakers).

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Three times, he came with me to see Duran Duran in concert and even acted ecstatic for this picture.

When I am enraged or mean to him or having a meltdown, he takes it seriously but also isn’t freaked out by it.

Except for his camo shorts, which his nieces loathe, he dresses nicely for every occasion.

It is highly entertaining to hear Sam talk to customer service on the phone. He will go on for hours and get to the bottom of a problem–and get that $5.00 refund from a vending machine.

He is fearless. I mean, he might have anxieties, but if you want to jump out of a plane, he will do that, too. He can also tell you in minute detail how to put your butt through a glass shower door and get thirty-six stitches in your butt.

Sam has a strong moral compass. He does the right thing, helps people, and feels endless guilt if he causes harm. He just cares, even if the person is a shitbag.

Obviously, he is good-looking and charming. That’s only a fraction of why he’s so special.

In all the dating manuals, we’re encouraged to act a certain way. With Sam, the more attention he gets, the happier he is. It’s that simple, and so refreshing not to withhold the urge the text him with lots of emojis.

I love listening to him, even if he is ranting about things I don’t believe. The intellectual or emotional slant is always fascinating. Then he will change his mind a week later.

Sam is close to his brother and their daily conversations are a play in three acts with one twenty-minute intermission while Warren finishes shopping at Publix. The best theater around.

He doesn’t tell me about the near misses on his bike rides to and from work–and he wears a safety jacket and helmet. I just pray he comes home every night in one piece.

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He makes everything more fun! Travel, walking around the block, getting ice cream, dinner out, exercise, and even illness.

He will chase Yossi around the apartment, play fetch with him, and wrestle. The cat has him wrapped around his paw.

His anal retentiveness is adorable. I thought I was bad, but yeah, not even close.

Sam is one of those people who brightens up a place. He’s always good to have at a party and at home. If it’s open bar, do not have a karaoke machine.

When he walks down the street, he usually has a smile on his face, which is why people stop him to ask a question/directions.

He has his bad days, but understands how things shift. His self-awareness and overall understanding helps those who might have stormier outlooks (I’m not naming names).

I am so grateful that I get to spend every day with this special human being. Happy Nine Years, Cookie aka Love of My Life! When this picture was taken in 1984, I had no idea that you would be my husband someday….

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