It’s a beautiful sunny day (yes, still cold, but there’s SUN!!) here in Michigan. And what should we do?! Well, of course, go get a window seat in one of the many riverside restaurants as we watch the sun-glistening waters of the rivers, the few ships and tankers floating up along, and enjoy the sunset as we ENJOY HAPPY HOUR!!! 🙂 woot! Leisurely enjoy a cocktail or two, and many delightful appetizers and small plates as we spend a weekday evening with friends at happy hour! I love life! I love life like that!
JK, it’s actually for free… not some Jenny Craig Program for the heart or something…
Last week, my women’s Bible study group was studying about brokenness. And as I was one of the youngest in the group, I didn’t feel like I had much life experience to share. People shared about broken relationships with spouses and family members and parents. People shared about death and mental disorders and other severe chronic ailments…
So… Now I’m married, I’m wondering if I really have to celebrate this valentine’s day thing… since we married, doesn’t that show ultimately that we love one another? Enough to take the vow… “till DEATH do us part”?
Now I don’t mind if buying a Valentine’s Day gift for a guy means flowers and a teddy bear plus some chocolates… except not.
Notice that it’s singular.
But I’ve noticed one big thing is that moving here has made me realized how rude the East Coast is… i.e. how rude I used to (still can be??) to be. And since it’s for survival, you just become so toughened up and used to the rudeness. You grow a thick shell. When someone yells at you or honks or yells at another driver or screams out their window, it’s no big deal. You shrug it off, or shake your fist, or yell back, whichever it is… you keep on going about with your life.
Here… I have not seen people yelling or shouting or shaking fists (or even shaking their heads) at people.
This past weekend was my bridal shower and it was …. a WOW!
I walk into the room, and there were silver, white and pink balloons everywhere! The helium type! so they were all floating high with colorful ribbons!
Then came the place settings. There were 3 tables set with shower favors on top of pink plates. The center pieces were mini-towers of cupcakes. But these weren’t just plain cupcakes, but cupcakes with fondant roses, pink roses all over the top of the icing.
On one side of the room, was a full display of food, ranging from pesto pasta, egg salads, smoked salmon, cheese plate, cold cut plate, fruit plate, chips and salsa and guacamole, etc. All my favorite snacks!!! And then, there was a gift table, and it had a mountain of gifts!! It was gorgeous! 🙂 all the colorful wrapping and bags and everything! with the floating balloons in the background!
And… there was a chocolate fountain! With pretzels, marshmallows, animal crackers, etc etc other mediums to indulge the chocolate with!
😀 So awesome!
During the present-opening time, I got gifts from all over the country! Some women were unable to attend, but were so thoughtful to prepare a gift from afar and mailed it in to the bridesmaids to bring to the shower!! The bridesmaids took photos of me with each of the guests at the shower, and immediately had them printed in color and hi-res, so that each guest can make a scrapbook page with the photo! At the end, they bound up the book, and I went home with a scrapbook of photos and well-wishes of my friends!
After present opening time, a group of girls sat on the ground, and started using the ribbons and wrapping and tissue papers to fold into paper roses and paper carnations and dandelions. They gathered over a dozen of the paper flowers they made, with the many colorful ribbons (from the balloons and the presents), and made me a fake bouquet! Apparently, that’s the practice bouquet I’m to use during the rehearsal!
Then I saw the 20+ girls from various walks of my life come together in one room, talking, laughing, eating, sharing. It was an amazing feeling! And my bridesmaids, who only met each other because of this wedding, seemed to have become good friends and an amazing team! 🙂
I have an all-star team as my bridal party! And the many girls that aren’t bridesmaids, but also wonderful also volunteered to help set up and clean up! 😀
Thank you, ladies! This was awesome!! 😀
And yes, I went home and tried on many of the gifts, and they were all really thoughtful and nice! 🙂 I feel so loved!! It really makes me understand that idea of a “shower”! It’s like the last time the girl gets to hang out with her good friends, etc etc. And in my case, I’m actually moving away~ so it kinda does feel like a mini farewell party… or a giving-away party… like I’m being lovingly given away by my girl friends! 😥 sniff… tears of joy! 😉
I’m so excited to move to Michigan, and finally be able to live with my husband after we get married.
But I am so so sad to be leaving Philadelphia. Every time I walk outside on the streets in Center City, I am saddened by the fact that MI cities will no longer be walking cities, large East Coast cities, where people bike and walk everywhere… even in the snow.
When I relax with my girl friends at the outdoor seating areas for restaurants along Rittenhouse Square, I’m saddened by the fact that I have to leave this area, this park with bi-weekly farmers’ markets, dog and art festival, random street performers, child violin prodigies playing Vivaldi’s various Seasons on the corners of Walnut St.
I run errands like a madwoman in Center City. First to the post office, then to the store to return items, stop into the bank, next to CVS to pick up some toiletries, and then stopping into Di Bruno Brothers to pick up some cheese, maybe into Sue’s Produce for some grapes and veggies, and finally the nearby Wine Store for a bottle or two of champagne…. and I’m all walking… within a 2 block radius. I know Detroit and Ann Arbor are both great cities, but none can rival Philadelphia Center City, with all these stores and offices so close to each other.
I’m so excited to finally have a car again, once I move to Michigan. I’m excited I no longer have to shop at Trader Joe’s with a basket, so to be careful I don’t over-buy and kill myself while trying to walk my groceries home. In Michigan, I will have a car, we have decided to buy an SUV. Now I can drive into a Trader Joe’s, park the car, load up a shopping cart FULL of heavy groceries (you know the ones, cans, bottle juices, more canned items, milk, heavy dense meats, fruits and melons …), and then roll this shopping cart to my car… no need to break my back (and arms) while carrying one or two bags of groceries along the streets of Philadelphia.
I’m excited that I’ll have a much bigger apartment that the one I have in Rittenhouse Square… all the while paying much less in Michigan than I am in Philadelphia. I’m excited that I get to redecorate a whole apartment all over again, starting from the furniture down to the wall paintings.
I’m excited to be living amongst a calmer population, more smiling people, and the midwest hospitality.
I am apprehensive of being the weird East Coast driver/walker that zooms around at twice the speed as everyone else in Michigan. I’m worried that I look like a maniac when I talk double the speed than everyone I meet. I’m worried that I come off too straight forward and direct, just trying to communicate, but being misunderstood by Midwesterners.
I’m so excited to be living with my best friend, my husband!, everyday! But I’m sad that I will be losing my entire community of friends and family that I have in Philadelphia. From my entire young adult crazy church community, all of our boardgames, and watching 3 full games of football on any given Sunday (starting up again last Sunday!), going out for beers on a random notice, etc. I will miss my friends from work and from around the city, as we continue to explore and critic new/old restaurants all around Center City (and when we feel “adventurous”, we will actually cross over the Broad St. boundary…)
I miss having a Sephora right across the street from a Victoria’s Secret, that is right across from J Crew and Express, and right next to a Godiva Chocolate. I will miss the little Dollar Tree that is nestled right on Chestnut, next to the H&M, Brooks Brothers, Staples, and Del Frisco Steakhouse.
I guess I will have to start shopping at these large malls in Michigan, not bad, but I think I’ve grown to love the street shopping in Center City. But at least I will have a car in Michigan and can take me to the Outlet malls anytime I want!
I can’t wait to be in Michigan, but I’m so terrified of the day that I will leave Philadelphia…
Am I just a big ironic paradox?! How can I want to leave and not want to leave?!
So I’m visiting Michigan for a few days, and I’m trying to make some friends, in preparation of my eventual move to the Midwest in November after our wedding.
I currently have 3 friends in Michigan. One is my cousin, 2nd one is my good girlfriend, but she’s in med school and is very busy, and 3rd is my fiance’s friend’s wife, who is currently in law school and lives 1 hour away.
I went with Brian to church this morning, and afterwards there was a farewell potluck for Brian’s small group member, who we are both very familiar with. Sadly, the friend’s girlfriend, who I’ve made friends with a few months back, is also moving away next month. I need to find friends here!
So I started chatting with many of the women in church, they were very nice, fun and pleasant. Not many of these girls are from crazy towns like NYC or LA, but I am learning so much from people who moved from Arkansas or South Carolina, etc etc. To me, Michigan has a much slower pace with mostly friendly human beings occupying this space than in comparison to the East Coast. Much to my surprise, South Carolina girl says that she finds Michigan to be too fast pace and often blunt and rude. !!! How interesting!
I met the ladies at the potluck, and I really like them all! I trade numbers with a few of them. And one girl told me her availability this week. I will be staying in Michigan till Thursday.
I come home and work on some stuff for work. I’m debating, “Should I ask her to hang out via text? Maybe I should facebook her. I wonder if she’s facebooked me yet?”
Finally, I take a break from work, and give her a call. She picks up and says my name! (Yes!! She saved me into her phone!! Score!) I ask her if she’s willing to come out to where I am, since I have no car (nor means of transportation) yet. She says of course. I’m overjoyed. We pick a date and a time. She says to text her our address.
Whew!! I did it! I invited her out, and I’m going to have a girls’ hang out this Tuesday!
I’m so excited and happy! I feel as though…………… I just asked someone out on a date, and they said YES!
Hahhaha, this is a very interesting feeling, considering that we’re both engaged/married women…. And it’s not a date, but maybe a play date? or a hang out?
I guess this is the process of making new friends! 🙂