Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Here you’ll find out all you want to know about me: Should you hire me to write for you? (Yes!) Should you allow your client to be interviewed by me? (Definitely.) Do I blog? (I do; just look below.) And how do you pronounce that last name? (Check out my FAQs for that answer.) Thanks for visiting and feel free to contact me anytime.
This weekend wrapped up the second of two huge family weddings. This time, it was my husband’s cousin Ananta getting married. He now lives in Florida, as does his now-wife Diana. So to accommodate both sides of the family, the maticore, wedding ceremony and kangan were held in Orlando. Fast forward a weekend later, and the wedding reception was held here in New York City. So yes, not only was this wedding four days long (five, if you count the second kangan, basically a big curried meat fest, scheduled for today) but spanned two weekends. When it comes to weddings, Guyanese people can never be accused of “keeping it small.”
Last night was Ananta and Diana’s reception, and it had all the trappings of a traditional American wedding reception. Bride in a white dress, bridal party including two flower girls, first dance, speeches, multi-tiered wedding cake.
I was one of the few white girls in the room but after so very many years, I think we’ve gotten to the point where no one — especially me — notices. As my husband’s cousin Vick told me while sharing a drink at the bar, “You know what I like about you? What you see is what you get. You’re a very honest person. You’re not just married into the family; you’re one of us.”
Awww Vick. That choked me up. Then, later on in the evening, one of my husband’s many cousins referred to me as “Bhougie.” (Say it with me. BOW-gee.) I looked at Sid and laughed. What?! Bhougie is a nickname for “sister-in-law.” The only Bhougies I know of in Sid’s family are — sorry — old ladies. What was he saying? I’m now past my prime? We all laughed. But as Sid told me later, “Bhougie is a term of respect. You should be very honored.”
Well then. Bhougie it is. Only I’m the younger, paler, hotter version.
But before the reception even happened, Ananta and Diana had a beautiful, fun-fulled, Florida-in-August-hot wedding. Let me share with you their wedding journey. (Click on the photos to enlarge and view the slideshow.)
About a year or so ago, I was at the local hair salon, Strands, with my daughter. As she sat down to get her hair washed, I heard a familiar voice coming from the chair next to her. It was deep and friendly, booming yet not loud. When this fellow customer sat up in his seat, I made the connection — it had to be my high school chorus teacher Jim DiBenedetto.
How you can hold the memory of a voice you haven’t heard in more than 20 years is beyond me. But once I heard it my mind was sent back to those days in the second-floor Brooklyn Tech chorus room, the chorus teacher/football coach booming at us “What kind of shells?… read more
A couple of weeks ago, I finished up a year-long blog project called 365to40. I documented my march (slow slog?) to 40, which included an unexpected detour through Superstorm Sandy.
Two weeks later, blog-less, I realized two things. One, I missed the creative outlet that blogging afforded me. No editors, no assignments, just me writing about whatever the heck was knocking around in my mind at the moment. It was a free therapy session, and the feedback and support I received helped me through some tough patches.
Second, I realized that I am incredibly goal-oriented. Part of the success of 365to40 (an attempt, in the end successful, to navigate my midlife crisis) was that I was candid about what I hoped to achieve.… read more
I have very spotty memories of last Christmas: The 2-foot tall “Charlie Brown” Christmas trees in each of the kids’ rooms; crowding into my son’s room to open gifts Christmas morning; my husband’s cousin, knowing that stress had eroded my short-term memory, blessedly texting me every night to remind me to move the Elf on the Shelf.
It was far from my ideal Christmas. We were thankful, yes, for all the things we’d spent the previous two months repeating like a mantra: No one was hurt. Nothing burned. We have insurance. But I felt hogtied by reality: Our house was far from being fixed.… read more
I write that headline as if I am going to give you any advice on how to do this. Ha! Truth is, it’s a cry for help from someone who needs to figure out how to make that happen. Here’s my evidence:
Christmas is in less than two weeks and I, mother, wife, business owner, writing peon and editorial slave, I have yet to do any of the following things:
- Grocery shop for all the cookie baskets I dreamed I’d be making.
- Bake said cookies.
- Buy a single present for anyone I gave birth to.
- Source or write four articles that are due next week.… read more