Friday, October 21, 2016

brunch club

One of the routes we sometimes used to take on our morning drive to school ran through a part of town that was hospitable to people in need of a place to sit during the day. We often talked about putting together nonperishable snacks and necessities that we could have handy to offer to the folks we came to recognize day after day. It was one of those intentions that we got fired up about, but we never followed through with action. We like to think of ourselves as caring, helpful, even charitable people, but we never followed through on this simple idea despite the fact that we had the desire and the means. I think it was the simple details of execution that stalled us – when and where should we start? Would we offend people by assuming that they needed something from our privileged white asses? Was it safe? These are legitimate questions, but they need not have been paralyzing. 

Nevertheless, we did not take action toward our intended goal until an opportunity presented itself wherein the details had been organized by somebody who was organized… an organization!

When I told the kids about a monthly outreach event that was very similar to that idea we used to talk about on the drive to school, they were both immediately on board. The three of us showed up at 10 am on a Sunday morning, not knowing exactly what to expect, but ready to help. We were early (what?!) so were among the first to show up, which gave us the opportunity to meet the organizer and express our low-key angst about not knowing what to do in the same breath that we voiced our willingness to do anything and everything that anyone asked. We were the perfect peons, and we were put right to work. 

organizing blanket and clothing donations
stuffing zip lock bags with small stacks of wipes
and rolling socks
while others rolled burritos

Once the room was set up for production, we formed a giant assembly line and some of us distributed goods while others walked through with open bags until we'd amassed a glorious pile of goodie bags ready for distribution. Each bag contained a bar of soap, a dental hygiene bag, a handful of Kind bars, a bottle of water, a banana, a pair of socks, and a handwritten note of encouragement.  We had a quick word by the organizer before we headed outside. She reminded us that one of the most frequently reported challenges facing our homeless population is loneliness. She said that people just want to connect, to talk, have eye contact, human contact.

We hauled the bags outside and set them up next to the burrito station so that folks could walk through and grab both on their way over to check out the clothes, blankets, dog food, feminine hygiene  products that were theirs for the taking. There were also volunteers set up to give haircuts, and mentors available for conversation and support.

After the line had passed through, we walked around to hand out the rest of the bags. Some people were going in groups, but we three set off on our own. Some of us spoke out loud about feeling nervous. Some of us semi convincingly assured  the others that that nervousness was unfounded. Some of us dorked out and cried a little because of the pride and the unknown and the gratitude and the hangover.

In no time at all, the bags were gone and we helped clean up the spaces that had been used for this fleeting, humbling experience. We had new conversations to ruminate, feelings to process, and productive ideas to nourish. As we walked back to the car, hungry and sweaty and inspired, we brainstormed ideas for what we would do to make the next outreach even better. We have so much to give, and so much to do. We are so grateful for all that we have and all that we can give, and to have finally begun to pay it forward.

Brunch Club 10.16.16

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

These Two

These two.

Want to know how they got to here?:

Well, it all started here . . .

. . . Yes, most things start with Bruce combing his boy's hair . . .

. . . and tying his boy's shoes . . .

The shoes!

Oh, the handsomeness.

Ready for the Big Day, guys?

"Why are we going in here?"

"Because Daddy's thirsty."

Bruce's boys are a great team. Oh those brothers . . .

. . . and the brothers' brothers? What a delightful crew.

I know, I know, they can't help themselves; they're engineers.

And then!

Photography at the ceremony itself was verboten. Officially. But Mistah snuck a last one in before It All Started . . .

Bruce and I had fun waiting under the cupola together -- and by "fun" I mean freaking out while watching 160 people descend upon us. "I wondered what 160 would look like in here." "Dude, they're still pouring in."

And then?


Do you? I do. 

Will you? I will.

By the power of your love . . .

. . . because you are so deeply and vastly awesome . . .

. . . you may kiss The Groom.

Cue: angels singing

Can you see everybody? All three kids, back there behind Bruce and Teresa. And me breathing a gigantic sigh of relief. And the 160 peeps on the other side of the camera.

And then?


Neighbors . . .

. . . Short-Timers . . .

. . . just too gorgeous . . .

. . . all of them . . .

 . . . . deeply, fabulously gorgeous.

 And Deedee was brilliant . . .

 Plus? Her shoes.

We were an exuberant bunch.

We exude exuberance.

 The Flowers . . .

 The Room . . .

. . . The Hair.

Let's Go Mets!

These kids. They've been friends forevah. They are the kids in the world who make you happy that there are kids in the world.

And then . . . 


Waiting all night long for that cake.

And toasts!

Doug hit it out of the ballpark.

These two. I mean, seriously. Can you stand how stunning?

We do not condone smoking here at M&Y&E . . .

. . . but we appreciate it when it makes for cool Full Moon photos.

And then the dancing. The Dancing!

And the Greek Dancing.

George led the way . . .

. . . and Mistah had Fun With Photography . . .

. . . he does that.

But all night, the whole time, it was about these two . . .

 Doesn't this remind you of that Renoir?

I know; me too.

Except Teresa has better shoes.

The Bride and the Groom's parents were spectacular -- all still with us, all still with eachother, all still happy . . .  and all not in any of these photos. But they played a crucial and gorgeous part in the proceedings. I adore them all.

Plus Bruce's lovely Lebanese Dad reminds me of -- go figure -- my lovely Lebanese Dad.

And then . . .

 . . . the night was over . . .

 . . . Oh wait! Not quite yet.

There is a reason uber was invented.

It was beautiful. It was epic. It was perfect.

Thank you, Bruce and Teresa.

May I repeat? May you enjoy a long, happy, beautiful, married life together.

Love you both. Big.