Bienvenido a Miami… Kinda!

This past weekend was my long anticipated girls’ trip to Miami. I was looking forward to reverting to my Bad Kitty days a little – aka, dressing up like (attractive and very expensive) hookers, dancing on table tops, and sipping complimentary champagne, while snubbing any sketchball who dared come too close. But alas, I think it just wasn’t meant to be.

Due to a number of airline mishaps, I didn’t even get to Miami until later Friday night, and then I caught a bad cold after traveling for 16 hours. Saturday night, I went to bed after a delicious dinner that I didn’t even have the appetite to finish, before heading to the airport at 4:30 AM to catch my flight home…only to have the airline lose my luggage before I drove another 2.5 hours home from the airport.

In spite of it all, I still pulled myself together enough to go out Friday night, and enjoy the VIP treatment at LIV and watch LMFAO perform. I even got a couple hours at the beach! Of course, I got to see some of my girl friends 🙂 I missed out on another fun night out, but I guess that means I will just have to go again sometime…

… Or, maybe my issues were just a sign I’ve truly outgrown these kinds of shin digs…Sigh!

Tonight, Chuck and his Marine buddies are over celebrating one of their favorite former Major’s return to town. It’s me and about 8-10 Marines. Chuck also brought home the lovely painting of the sassy Seniorita above, regaling me with tales about how she dates back to World War II in his Battalion’s history – snagged from the Philippines by some long gone war hero – returned to the Battalion after said war hero’s death, by his grieving widow – on display in the Battalion offices ever since.

Turns out, that story is pure folklore, and the returning Major actually stole it from a Mexican restaurant out in California during training (he did try to buy it from the restaurant, but they refused to sell, so he ran off with it after leaving $50 on the table.) She’s been on deployment to Afghanistan with the Battalion since – stolen by other Battalions, and put up for ransom before finally being recovered. She goes solely by “Seniorita.”

It’s still a pretty cool story, but I’m a bit hostile to this mysterious, exotic babe hanging out in my living room, who has such a special place in these guys’ hearts…

…she’s pretty hot.

This past weekend I attended a “dining-in”, an age-old military tradition. Chuck wasn’t able to attend (he was on Mancation with childhood buddies this week in VA – hence my pseudo-“date” pictured above hehe), so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. After initially being really weirded out, I had so much fun! It’s kind of like a roast – and a blend of old-fashioned (practically medieval) language, formal toasts, and traditional practices combined with inside jokes and modern fun. Kinda hard to explain unless you’ve been to one, but it was a great time.

It was one of those rare occasions when, as a spouse, you get some insight into what this all means to your Marines. We (or at least I) spend so much time complaining, worrying, and dealing with the pain-in-the-ass aspects of being part of the military family, but it was really cool to see how special it actually is. The camaraderie, the fellowship, the tradition, the responsibility, the devotion… it was awesome. It gave me many of those “this is why they do this… no, this is why WE do this” moments.

Of course, it helped that the guest of honor (a USMC Colonel) gave a wonderful speech celebrating the military spouse. And, it wasn’t the cliched “thank you for your sacrifice, we couldn’t do it without you” rundown (I hate that BS, because it would probably actually make your job easier in many ways if you didn’t have us to worry about.)

Instead, he was was very specific and relatable, keeping it about our experience, rather than theirs. “You laud our accomplishments and support our aspirations while setting aside, delaying, or completely sacrificing your own… You take care of everything we would take care of in our absence, act as single moms, endure with minimal support in far from home, and we know we can’t ever forget that.” He really hit it where I feel it, at least.

Of course, the Marines are the ones who live and breathe the ultimate sacrifice, but it’s also a job of glory. The spouse’s role can feel a great deal more thankless…futile… unrecognized, stereotyped, and lonely, while our husbands get their medals, recognition, and career advancement. It can be very rewarding of course (I am always so proud of Chuck, and I am also thankful for what the military provides, from steady income, to health coverage, to security), but it’s nice to have the truly tricky parts recognized by someone at that level.

Anyways, it was a fabulous time, and made me feel better than ever in my role as a Marine wife, from every perspective. 🙂

Must Never Spend Money Again

UGH I spent a TON of money yesterday! Chuck is on his mancation in VA, so one of my friends here in the area ventured to Raleigh with me for some “real” shopping. My goal was to get things I at least somewhat need for my casual, low-key life down here (and a few goodies for my trip to Miami), and of course I ended up with a ton of things I DON’T need that have no place in Small Town, NC. This is what happens when you haven’t been to Bebe, H&M, and Nordstroms in over 9 months…

You can take the girl out of the party, but you can’t ever take the party out of the girl.

Sight. I really hate myself sometimes #stillneedthingsformycasuallowkeylife #frugalityfail


Living Life to the Fullest

Even though I am 5 years out of college by now (eek), this is very well put and I can totally relate – especially to the part about not truly having everything figured out, and not knowing what’s ahead. Her untimely death is tragic, but a perfect reminder and reinforcement to all she shares in this piece. Just live – success, failure, happiness, sadness, and all that “imperfection” that’s in between.


Marina Keegan sadly died in a car accident not long after graduating from Yale. One of the last things she wrote about was the importance of living life to the fullest.

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.

It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.

Yale is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group-texts.

This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse – I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.

But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should haves…” “if I’d…” “wish I’d…”

Of course, there are things we wished we did: our readings, that boy across the hall. We’re our own hardest critics and it’s easy to let ourselves down. Sleeping too late. Procrastinating. Cutting corners. More than once I’ve looked back on my High School self and thought: how did I do that? How did I work so hard? Our private insecurities follow us and will always follow us.

But the thing is, we’re all like that. Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes…) We have these impossibly high standards and we’ll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that’s okay.

We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.

When we came to Yale, there was this sense of possibility. This immense and indefinable potential energy – and it’s easy to feel like that’s slipped away. We never had to choose and suddenly we’ve had to. Some of us have focused ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we want and are on the path to get it; already going to med school, working at the perfect NGO, doing research. To you I say both congratulations and you suck.

For most of us, however, we’re somewhat lost in this sea of liberal arts. Not quite sure what road we’re on and whether we should have taken it. If only I had majored in biology…if only I’d gotten involved in journalism as a freshman…if only I’d thought to apply for this or for that…

What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.

In the heart of a winter Friday night my freshman year, I was dazed and confused when I got a call from my friends to meet them at EST EST EST. Dazedly and confusedly, I began trudging to SSS, probably the point on campus farthest away. Remarkably, it wasn’t until I arrived at the door that I questioned how and why exactly my friends were partying in Yale’s administrative building. Of course, they weren’t. But it was cold and my ID somehow worked so I went inside SSS to pull out my phone. It was quiet, the old wood creaking and the snow barely visible outside the stained glass. And I sat down. And I looked up. At this giant room I was in. At this place where thousands of people had sat before me. And alone, at night, in the middle of a New Haven storm, I felt so remarkably, unbelievably safe.

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I’d say that’s how I feel at Yale. How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that.

We’re in this together, 2012. Let’s make something happen to this world.