Things I am Sure Of

My dating experience is limited and I’ll be the first to admit it. My track record with dudes is far less than spectacular. The greatest romance of my 22 years lasted less than six months. BUT – I have been using my time wisely. As per my grandma’s advice, I’ve begun compiling a list of things I am sure I do and/or do not want from a man. It’s as follows:

You must know the value of a pinky promise. It’s not to be taken lightly. You must make me laugh – at yours or my own expense. You have to know that I embarrass freakishly easy and have a shy streak a mile wide. You’ll do things to embarrass me anyway and I’ll love you so much more for it. Know it’s the little things that excite me and get excited with me. Nothing’s a bigger bummer than feeling like you’re in it alone. Tolerate my friends, even if you don’t like them. They’re an extension of myself. Be fun. Play with me; chase me in stores, tickle me when I’m not paying attention, talk to me in stupid voices always. I’m eternally fifteen and I’ll make no apologies for it.

I say dumb things. Make fun of me when I deserve it, but take me seriously when I mean it. I am not stupid or boring and neither are my thoughts and opinions. Also, I need you to have opinions. They never have to match mine, but they need to exist. Being a thinking, caring human being is important to me.

Don’t laugh at me when I cry, even if it is over some youtube video of a kid and his puppy. Argue with me, even if I have no idea what I’m talking about. Prove me wrong. I love it that you’re smart. Believe that I know what I’m talking about. Love that I really truly love sports but am terrible with statistics. Teach me. I still have so much to learn. Know things that I don’t; how to get places, how to fix things, really anything I could possibly have a question about. If you don’t know the answer, google it. Hug me when I’m sad and then make me laugh again. Tell me I’m pretty occasionally but only often enough that I know you really think so and you’re not just saying it. Love kids.

Stick with me when things really suck. Understand that the outside world has an incomprehensible impact on me and I get stressed out really easily. Also know I’m not the best at dealing with stress. Give me a second when I’m being a horrible person. Tell me honestly, and not meanly, when I’m being a horrible person. I want to be better. Help me.

Understand my sarcasm and banter with me, but know that it has boundaries. Know how much I hate secrets and how much they complicate things. Be with me in the idea that honesty is unbelievably important and I’d prefer everything were always out in the open. Don’t lie.

Don’t judge. I will never make you feel bad for having or not having tattoos. Don’t make me feel like mine are wrong. I promise, I didn’t have you in mind when I got them. Treat them as if they’re a part of my body. When I drink too much, take me home before I embarrass myself. Never make me feel like I was wrong for doing that. Feed me pretzels, tuck me in and let me sleep. Understand how much I love sleeping.

Don’t take things too seriously right away and never rush. Fast is scary. Never promise forever. Forever is scary. Go on adventures with me. Share in my need to travel. Like that I’m eternally fifteen. Like that I laugh at literally everything. Love my dog: she’s non-negotiable.


To Boston, With Love

Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn NY


The most vivid and real memory I have in my 22 – almost 23 – years, is being a terrified and very confused fifth grader. That’s where I was on the morning of September 11, 2001: in my fifth grade gym class. I remember a lot of confusion and mixed messages from my teachers; as a person with a lot of teacher friends as an adult, I can promise you that my elementary school did a horrible job in the first hours, but then again, who can really blame them? I remember the weeks that followed that day not so much moment by moment, but I remember feeling intensely scared and sad. I wonder now what it must’ve been like to be an adult in that world. I can’t imagine which of us was more afraid.  But, I also remember feeling uniquely proud. I was as aware as I could be at 10 years old that the whole country had been shaken to its core. I saw flags on every home and never had I ever and probably never will I feel again such a strong undercurrent of patriotism in absolutely everything.

I am proud every day to be an American. It may sound corny and trite, but it’s true. I am truly, truly thankful for all of the men and women who protect what we have and more so, I’m thankful that I have all of the opportunities as a person and as a woman that I do. As I get older, I’ve grown acutely aware that far too many women aren’t afforded all of the beautiful things I have in life. In 2001, though, I was proud, specifically, to be a New Yorker. The whole country felt that day, but no one more than New Yorkers. My small 10 year old heart bled for my uncles and their fellow cops who wandered down to the rubble day in and day out. All I wanted to do was help New York. The pride remains more than 10 years later.

I am a New Yorker through-and-through. Few other cities make me feel welcomed. We’re conditioned as a people to hate everything that’s not home. Boston, though, I love. I’ve spent one weekend there in my life and knew immediately that it was for me. I love the people because they felt a lot like my own – quiet and not wanting to be bothered, but still warm and fiercely loyal. The feel of the town: much like Manhattan but quieter, older and smaller; far less intimidating. The narrow streets and old buildings, the history, the camaraderie – I loved all of it. Boston felt a lot like home to me. If not for the winters, I would seriously consider calling it so one day.

I went to college with a lot of New Englanders and Bostonians. I take an immediate liking to everyone from Boston I meet. They remind me much of myself. Loyal, sarcastic, slightly hardened, but eternally in love. The love and devotion they feel to their city is only rivaled by my people’s dedication to ours. I love this love because I understand it. My little fifth grade heart felt it deeply and it’s been ingrained there ever since. You love your Sox just like I love my Mets; our unending dedication and hope, season after season. Essentially, our Original Six rivalry lives deep inside my soul. The passion New Yorkers and Bostonians feel for sports, family, their city, really everything has always made sense to me as kindred.  Our rivalry exists because we’re both the best of what we are.

So Boston, yesterday, the twinge I felt of my fifth grade fear and sadness shook me. Hard. You are in my thoughts and prayers now and eternally. Because I know my home, I know this won’t break you, much like it didn’t break us. Whoever is responsible for this has failed and likely awakened the beast.

So, from New York to Boston – all of the love and hope. New York Loves you.