When I was maybe seven, I went as The Little Mermaid for Halloween. Not in the mermaid outfit; I was Ariel the Bride. Puffed-sleeve white lacy dress (with a white turtleneck under it because it was freezing), sparkly gold princess crown, light blue eyeshadow, and a feeling like I was the prettiest girl in the world. Taught from the beginning that I would one day meet my prince and get married and la-di-dah, I was on my way.
Since then I've begun to question and eventually outright doubt the likelihood that I was ever going to fit that mold. Men were continually disappointing me, and I them. At first I thought it was the men, then I thought it was me, and now, while I allow that both factors played a part, I've come to feel that its a third, much simpler reason: perhaps people aren't meant to be monogamous forever.
Alright (mom), before you have a heart attack, hear me out. I'm not saying its not possible, or that its not right/good. My parents and grandparents, and several other amazing couples I know, have proven that you can, in fact stay together through thick and thin, making the decision to take the good with the bad and ride the ride til the teacups stop spinning. I'm just not sure that route is for me, I'm not sure I'm cut out for that much sacrifice. I like my freedom, I like my space, I like not explaining myself to anyone or considering a significant other's feelings and whereabouts in relation to mine. If that's incredibly selfish, then it supports my point, and I'm going to own all of it, so here it is in black and white: if my life is going to be about anyone, shouldn't it be me, me, me?
Right. But here's the thing. I think the idea of marriage is the most lovely, fairytale notion I ever heard, and there's a bride in me that cries out for it. Despite having the unreasonable, illogical insanity of trying to force two people into a “relationship” of modern standards CLEARLY exemplified in my own graveyard of failed boyfriends, I'll be damned if I don't get misty at the end of every crappy rom-com I surreptitiously watch on Netflix. I'll tell you the God's honest truth that I've seen every Say Yes To The Dress ever aired (except the weird Big Bliss spin off, because no thank you), and buried at the bottom of my desk drawer is an unmarked manilla envelope with the hastily torn-out pages of bridal magazines I couldn't help but save when they were all over my apartment from the fifth (yes, FIFTH) time I was a bridesmaid. It's a sick addiction, I fully admit it. Even in the stretches when I didn't have a serious boyfriend, I still thought about weddings, with a wistful mist of hope.
And its the WORST IDEA I'VE EVER HAD. Why? Ohhh, because I'm all twisted up about why I want it! I am a clearheaded girl with her feet on the ground who can look at all these ads and wedding shows and say “wow, they are marketing geniuses, these people” and “holy cow, the whole idea of marriage is lost in this substanceless, empty, wedding-circus bullshit” and “these brides have lost their minds spending $3,000 on a dress they'll wear one time!” and “how silly, what a joke, what suckers they are!” And still, the idea appeals. But its clear: I want to get married for all the wrong reasons. Well, just two that I can think of. What are they? Oh I'll tell you. I'm dropping the veil here, folks. (Ha HA.)
1) A wedding would be so damn fun.
A Father Daughter Dance to Loggins & Messina. My sister giving an adorable maid of honor speech that makes us both cry. My cousins for a flower girl and junior bridesmaid before they're too big, and they stop looking at me with their big eyes full of admiration. A bridal shower with mimosas because my mother and sister would throw the cutest, classiest damn shower anyone ever saw, and all the ladies in my family together, how fun would that be! To dance with my Dziadziu before his back won't let him dance anymore. To watch him dance with my grandmother the elegant, timeless way they do. To watch my parents do the Hustle and get so happy in each other's arms that you have to stop to watch them. To dance in the arms of my handsome, broad-shouldered forever-man with the same surety that my parents and grandparents have in each other: safe in the solid, simple fact that they decided to be forever and that was that.
To wear white, and “stand before God” relieved that I was doing at least one thing He (my mother) wanted for me. And my grandparents would see it. My, wouldn't that be something.
2) A husband would be damn useful... and maybe really nice.
A man to handle the investments, while I handle the bills. A man to mow the lawn-- a man who makes it possible to HAVE a lawn, and a house on it, if we want one. Someone to sleep next to and feel safe because he's there. Splitting the rent. Someone to put the bugs back outside when they wander in. A mother-in-law. A family-in-law. Babies, maybe? God, a whole other can of worms. Saying “this is my husband.” Calling him “Hubby”. Being arm candy at work events. Being introduced as “my wife”. Listening, being a sounding board, being the trusted opinion because you know him best in the world. Someone to bitch to when the auditions go shitty, and to celebrate with when the callbacks go well. Someone to hold your hand, and take the trash out, and like your cooking. Someone to pick up toilet paper on the way home when we're out. To lay on and stroke while we laugh at Jimmy Fallon on our couch. Calling things “ours”. Saying “we”. Someone in the rocker next to mine, when the show's all over. That one person who bears witness to your life, and whose life to which you are entrusted to bear witness.
And I guess that's the trouble. All the rosy parts come at a cost. And I'm just a fairytale kind of girl, I guess. I spend so much struggle on my career that to have another arena of my life that requires massive amounts of time, patience, work and sacrifice... well, I guess it just seems like too high a price.
Or... Or I haven't met the man who makes me want to do it yet. I guess we'll see.
Christmas SPITE; How Nasty NYers Get during the Holidays, and One True Story that means there Might Be Hope
That's it. I have to address this because its getting out of control. In the last 2 weeks this city has started to make its annual and apparently inevitable turn for the worst; as we get into the holiday season, the people of this city turn on each other. From time to time throughout the year isolated incidences of nastiness occur, but, with suffocating irony, never are they as frequent or as abhorrent as during the Christmas season.
Last year on Thanksgiving morning I was waiting in a line at Port Authority, and a young woman ahead of me in line was taking out an impressive amount of aggression on the window attendant. As she asked question after insipid question and the line grew restless with bus-missing panic, the middle-aged woman behind her suddenly ran out of patience and said “Could you hurry up? You're holding up the line. We're all trying to get places too--” at which point the young woman turned her head and spat over her shoulder (with breathtaking nastiness) “Shut up, you old hag. I'm trying to--” to which the older woman said “How dare you! How DARE you say that to me 'old hag', you little bitch--” and the younger woman “Shut the fuck up! Just shut up! No one cares what you say, soon you'll be dead!” and then “Oh my God! I can't believe you! You get the hell out of the way! Get the hell out of here--” at which point “LADIES, ALRIGHT LADIES, THAT'S ENOUGH, WE'LL GET EVERYBODY THEIR TICKETS. THERE'S NO REASON TO SPEAK LIKE THAT, IT'S THANKSGIVING” came screeching over the loudspeaker drowning them out.
Few days after Thanksgiving THIS year, I was riding the subway, when the doors opened, letting new people on. As they were closing, a young guy wedged himself in, and then proceeded to squeeze himself through the door, bumping into a man with a cane in the process. Of course as he righted himself, the doors opened (I think conductors do this as some kind of power play, just to remind everybody who's boss) and then the older man turned to him and shouted right in his face “You gonna stand right on top of me! Huh? Well?” and then SHOVED THE MAN off the train, followed him out onto the platform and started to BEAT HIM WITH HIS CANE. This was no feeble man, he had an ARM, and he wailed on this guy. The entire train car watched on in horror as the doors closed and the train started to pull away.
Today, when riding the subway home with my lunch in a bag, a woman approached me and in a rare moment of lapse, I wasn't in Resting Bitch Mode, so I looked at her when she said “Excuse me.” She asked for money to buy food, and I said I'd just bought my salad and that was all the cash I had. “I'm sorry,” I said. She stretched her face toward mine and said “I hope you choke on it.”
We're a city of strangers. I've lived in the same building with the same tenants for almost five years and I don't know a soul except for my best friend downstairs. We don't address each other by name, we barely make eye contact and nod, and sometimes not even that. It feels like a survival mechanism; you learn very quickly here that if you keep your head down, eyes blank, stare straight ahead, and walk too fast for anyone to really get a look at you, no one bothers you. And if you don't, you are constantly harassed by beggars, buskers, boozers, and worse. It is a barrage of people who want your money, your attention, your body, and God knows what else, and it is absolutely exhausting. Are we jaded? Wouldn't you be?
But sometimes, when we least expect it, people are human, indeed sometimes more than human. Instinctively, without premeditated self-interest, sometimes New Yorkers surprise me. Last year two days after Christmas I was coming back to New York. It was very early in the morning and the streets were deserted. I was leaving Port Authority with a bag full of presents, which was too small a bag, and was stuffed to its limit. I was smack in the middle of 41st Street with my arms full of stuff when, with cartoonish explosiveness, the bottom of the bag blew out, spewing gifts all over the street. Green light, cars barreling towards me, and who rounds the corner but three notably large, lumbering men. There was no time for me to collect even half of anything on the ground, and no way to carry it. Sketchy part of town, idiot tourist-looking girl alone, no one around on the street; I was absolutely resigned to being robbed. In the moment it took them to reach me, I had almost made the decision to run, and then they shocked me. The biggest one, with plastic bags over his sneakers, immediately ran to stop traffic. Another with a winter coat at least two sizes too large said “oh, no, here you go” and hustled to bring back everything I'd dropped, and the third, with a moth-eaten, gray beanie and no coat, ran to the bodega around the corner and came back with a giant trash bag, into which we three put all of my stuff. We got out of the street and I just stammered “thank you” over and over. Then the Mama in me took over, and I asked if they'd had breakfast, because the bodega makes good sandwiches. They hadn't, and so we did. I've never seen them since. My mother says they were the three Magi. That still gives me goosebumps.
What we have in this city is an opportunity not shared in smaller communities where many of the inhabitants know each other, or at least have considerably less close contact with strangers. Without suggesting that we all kumbaya together, I think we have to be more gentle with each other. We're all go-go-go and get-get-get, me worse than plenty, but there's a line we've trampled over for so long we can't see it anymore. If there exists in us a capacity for basic human decency, it must be nourished (or force-fed, if need be). And while it would be grand if we could practice brotherly love toward the strangers we walk alongside, wait in line with, ride trains smashed against, I would be satisfied with brotherly tolerance.
And so I'm making a vow. Hope the cynics are holding onto their hats (if they haven't jumped ship already), because my promise is this: my fellow New Yorkers, even on my worst days, I will endure you with as much grace as is possible. On most days, I will commit to you my basic respect and decency. And on my best days, I'll be more than human; I'll surprise you.
So this is a love note of sorts. Been feeling very grateful lately for the really amazing girlfriends I'm so lucky to have. This handful of super-special women is a mixed bag of very different personalities; a kindergarten-teaching Utah MILF; a gorgeous, whip-smart, RU marketing undergrad; a wanderlusty struggling artist-turned Oregon housewife; a sweet-hearted veteran NYC actress with a knack for great chats; a bike-riding hippie math tutor; a wacky musical theater gal with a terrifying Britney Spears impression; an ambitious Chilean-born L.A. hottie; an adorably pint-sized world traveler who always knows where the party is, a *Snatched Alabama boy transplanted in all his fabulocity to the big city (Note: gay besties count as girlfriends). They are my True Blue girlfriends, the shiny stars of my universe, and every day I love and learn from them, even when we're apart.
You see, I've always been friends with boys, but I can count on two hands the number of real girl friends I've had. It was never a deliberate choice, it just seemed to end up that way; me and a bunch of boys. Boys were easier. You get along ok, share an interest, and so you're friends. You hang out when you can, and when you don't, nobody worries about it. You talk when you talk, you see each other when you see each other, and that's enough to maintain a lasting, “brother-from-another-mother”-strength friendship. Its incredibly low on drama; nobody gets their panties in a bunch about anything, unless its very extreme, in which case somebody gets socked in the mouth, which is considered fair by both parties, and after a couple of days of radio silence, you're back at the bar having a beer together and bygones are bygones. Its legitimately, genuinely over.
Women (excepting the True Blues) are different. Let me rephrase: women are DIFFICULT. In looking at the relationships with my female friends that have lasted, and those that have fizzled/faded/exploded in mind-numbing spectacle, I feel like there must be a common thread. I've spent the last 3 hours wading through the murky swamp of girlfriendship and boiled it down to two lists: 3 Things That Make Girlfriends Work and 4 Surefire Signs Someone Isn't A True Blue.
Things That Make Girlfriends Work:
I'm scared for the first time in my life that its going too quickly. That I'm getting older. Losing time. Running out of time. 27. Almost 28. I used to love that. Thought it was sexy and grown up. I'm happy to grow up if things are progressing. But setbacks and disappointments, like the Mint show being a bust, rock my happy floating boat. And not in a “light turbulence” kind of way: like the end of the Perfect Storm: the sun finally peeks out, and Wahlberg says "we're gonna make it, Skip!" and then Clooney's face is devastating, and you know they're screwed, and then the wind whips up and that one big wave, that mountain of black death, rises, rises... and rolls the giant ship over like its a toy. That's what it feels like. Like my ship is a joke, no match for the elements of the industry. I want to be building, stacking up the accolades, accomplishments... I want all the acc- words in my life, but I can't get any traction. My doubles all get caught in the outfield. Can't even watch the fucking Yankees this year. Unwatchable. Who are we? We don't even look like us.
Ughhh, and this is my BLOG; I'm supposed to be positive and uplifting and illustrating how GREAT my career is going, and how INTERESTING I am, and how HOORAY everything is and I'm TIRED OF IT. I just want to have a career, without having to whore myself out to everyone. Oh, great, I'll write pithy, colorful, interesting email blasts to make sure people aren't forgetting about me. I'll blog about relationships and diets and not-too-controversial political shit like the libraries closing all over the damn city (which is SHAMEFUL as far as I'm concerned, and contributing to the rapid deterioration of our society, by the way) and pretend I've got it all together. I feel like a plasticky, upbeat cruise director of a shiny ship called the SS Stefanie and really I think you all should probably just JUMP SHIP. Seriously, I'm sick of selling myself. Selling my soul.
Ugh. I ranted. Great. Now anyone who was reading this blog (my parents) will be disappointed and think I'm ungrateful for all my blessings. YES, I KNOW. I am grateful. I truly am so grateful. I'm so grateful that I'm TERRIFIED that if I forget to be grateful the hand of God or something is going to reach down and shove me in front of a bus, and I'll have awful terrible injuries and have to pee into a bag the rest of my life and I CAN'T EVEN TYPE OUT THIS SCENARIO because I'm afraid its some kind of curse ---my God, I just knocked on the desk. I'm that superstitious. I'm that afraid.
And so, people (mom) if you're still reading this very raw, snide, sad, maybe funny, definitely truthful post about where I am today, your takeaway should be the following:
"Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind always... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.” -Yann Martel, Life of Pi
So I've recently gone through a breakup. I'm going to dispense with the details of why and how and all the blubbering, because its all beside the point. In short, it was almost a year, which is a pretty good run for me, and it was with a genuinely good guy, who was almost perfect for me, but not quite, and whom I was definitely not perfect for. Definitely, hah, listen to me. I don't know. I've got a lot of I don't knows right now. I'm writing this today because I have to share a letter I read a few months ago and saved, rather stupidly, for a rainy day. I should've shared it sooner, but I'm busy and lazy and forgot about it, so you're getting it now, when my heart is all messed up, and I'm trying to pick through the pieces of why it happened.
As a very lucky child of the endangered species of still-married parents, I grew up believing in the inevitability of eventually pairing off in a permanent way with some person I would call “husband” and begetting offspring (you see how desirable I currently find this idea). While their marriage was, like all marriages, imperfect, it was also wonderful and loving and full of happiness (and sadness and yelling and everything). They are, as far as I'm concerned, a pretty impressive example of two people sharing a life. They will celebrate their 29th wedding anniversary this coming January and I think this is attributed to two factors. One, they believe (really, in an old-school way) in the vows they made: for better or worse, until death do them part. Truly, I think it would have been more likely for one of them to kill the other than get a divorce. This may seem extreme to some, inexplicable, a question of why stay together when you're unhappy. My parents' response would be simply that they promised to. This is incredibly infuriating from a debate standpoint, because you can't argue it (believe me), but it is exactly this resolve that I find so admirable, and so damn effective. They are a wall. They are Stonewall Jackson, baby.
Which brings us right around to factor two, and this letter I mentioned, which makes me cry. A father writes to his son about “the only good reason to get married”. He says the worst mistake people make is getting married because they think its going to make them happy. NO! He says that's a ticket to a sure divorce. “Marriages become beautiful when two people embrace the only good reason to get married: to practice the daily sacrifice of their egos.” And then he deals: “your ego is the part of you that protects your heart.” You go through life and when you get hurt you build a wall around your heart so its safe, but when you find your person, you commit to a lifetime of taking down the walls for each other. And its there in that open, vulnerable, visible place that you are free, wholly yourself and totally connected to another person. In that, you're in bliss. Its reminiscent of what spiritual leader Eckhart Tolle describes as “no mind”, moments when the mind chatter finally rests because you're in a state of open trust. I have memories from my childhood, vivid in my mind, of what that looks like. My mom's face, my dad's sigh and shake of the head and smile; I watched it happen and felt the peace spread through the room. Its a surrendering, a sacrifice of pride, and its HARD, and its only possible when you know the other person is taking their wall apart for you too. This mutual kneeling, which happened in each of them, and not always at the same time, is what made their marriage. I think without knowing it, my parents have been dismantling their ego walls with each other for three decades.
These feel like the keys to the kingdom. Looking back over this relationship and ones from the past I see moments where I stayed behind a half-built wall, unwilling to make the effort to take it all down. And I remember moments when he did too. And the trouble is that each little refusal builds exponentially like a storm, mirrored and repeated back from the enemy camp. Unless both parties are taking an active part in deconstruction, the trust, the relationship stalls. I'm young, there's time, and as I put this piece of the puzzle into place, I feel relieved, like this lesson is a big one, if I can learn it.
So for myself, I look for “someone willing to embrace the beauty of sacrifice, the surrender of their strength and the peril of vulnerability. In other words, someone who wants to spend their one life stepping into a crazy, dangerous love with [me].” Great. Now where do you find THAT guy?
It takes a surprising bit of courage to admit in print that you were a Chubby Girl. The only reason that I have the nerve is probably because I changed my stripes, and because I feel its time to tell the story of how and why and what I learned. Because someone needs to hear it, even if its just me.
Indeed, its literally paralyzing to look at the old photos; when words usually pour out onto the page, I feel my voice dry up, as though what I wanted to say doesn't matter very much, and it would be better not to draw attention to myself. (Folks who know me may now go ahead and chuckle-- doesn't really sound like me at all, I guess (oh, to be a lovely, quiet girl content to sit mute and smile...sigh).) Probably best to start with how I got that way, and then get to how I changed.
Let me just preface this by saying I was never clinically obese. I know many people struggle with decades of serious, life-threatening weight problems and I certainly don't compare my journey to that; I have utmost respect for anyone who fights their way to better health no matter how strenuous or lengthy the climb. This is a Chubby Girl story; its not a tear-jerker, its not awe-inspiring, but it meant more than dropping a few dress sizes, and by jiminy, I'm telling it!
HOW DID SHE GET LIKE THAT?
I went to college WAY out of state, far from anyone I knew/loved, and that was new. After growing up in a big, loud, loving family who was always (always) around/interested/involved in (every single detail of) my life, being on my own was FREEDOM AT LAST, BABY! ...and also maybe a little intimidating because I immediately found myself a wonderful guy who had a big wonderful family and together we had a whole slew of wonderful friends and a life and in about 5 minutes we were in all the same classes, living together, utterly inseparable and... 19 years old, miserable and inextricably STUCK.
The problem with unhappiness is that its very easy to get used to. (That may be the wisest thing I know.) You can get very comfortable in a very miserable situation, and stay and stay and stay, making it worse all the while until finally somebody snaps out of it. And then WHOA LORDY you'd better hope its you who wakes up because if you aren't, somebody is going to rip you out of your dream life RIGHT QUICK and that hurts like hell.
And when this guy dragged me out of our mutual Matrix-dream in which we were the happiest of happy couples (and crushed the life out of my soul, as it happens when you're 19 and "in love" for the first time) I looked around and found myself NOT in fact, the picture of a happy, fulfilled girl, but one who had neglected all her true blue girlfriends in order to pour oceans of wasted time/energy into an unworthy relationship, and was a full 30 pounds heavier than when she left for college 3 years before. Voila, Chubby Girl. A friend said I should find out my BMI and sister, let me tell you, seeing "OVERWIEIGH" in red caps across a computer screen is enough to make you loose your bananas. Now mind you there's a bunch of research coming out now that BMI is a bunch of crap but I'll tell ya, its an inspiring bunch of crap.
SO WHAT DID SHE DO?
Right away I took off a bunch of weight because the only thing that made me feel like I wasn't just continually being run over by a MAC truck was the treadmill. That was the first time I learned that my body was made for physical work. I felt like I could breathe when my heart was racing, like I could stop crying if I was sweating, and like I was going somewhere, finally, finally MOVING FORWARD. The faster the better. Then I kept it off because I was doing 7 shows a week, dancing my face off on stage in summer stock theater. All this amazing forward momentum I put into the universe led to some exciting career stuff and I learned another amazing thing: my body is a source of great power when used to stir the pot of the universe. On the couch, you stir nothing. At the gym, in the studio, at a bar dancing to whatever silliness comes on the jukebox, the cosmos swirl around you, rejoicing in the heavenly ruckus of molecules you're stirring up, and good things happen for you.
So I had turned myself into a physical activity junkie. I swear that no matter how long you leave it, the gym only takes 7 days of torture before it just feels euphorically good from there on out. The struggle of pushing yourself becomes a pleasure, a challenge to which you can feel yourself want to rise. (Note: I don't let my brain say anything unless its reveling in the enjoyment of it all. Sometimes I have to play my music so loud I simply can't think anything. Its brilliant. And it makes you want to increase the incline.)
BUT THAT WASN'T THE MAGIC MOMENT...THIS WAS:
About a year later I moved to the Big Apple (hooray!) and a year after that I joined an acting studio that I loved and found a home in and there I met a boy who forever changed my life. Of course he was tall and handsome and painfully charming (I mean, really, it was unfair) and for the entire time I knew him I was a mess of gratitude and admiration and respect that I (of course, naively) mistook for something else, but from him I learned my most favorite thing I believe about life: every person you meet comes into your life to give you gifts, freebies which you can just have (!) simply if you are open to receive them. And here we're coming back around to the story: had I not been a Chubby Girl (albeit less so by the time I met him) enamored by a boy, I probably wouldn't have had the impetus to start what initially sounded like insanity: to live his lifestyle, the Primal Blueprint.
Mark Sisson, a long time marathoner and triathlete wrote this lifestyle guide and increased his fitness, health and happiness tenfold. It supports immune health, bone health, dental health, mental health, muscle tone, strength, fat loss, I mean you name it. He's backed up by logical anthropological facts, and more and more by medical research. Really, more than anything I think it worked because I was really ready for a huge change, and because I made decisions before I started about the concessions I was going to make so it'd be liveable (i.e. I decided to do this with a weekly cheat day. On Sundays, all bets are off and I eat whatever I want).
Here's a super simplified explanation: our bodies work best if we live like the cavemen. When it comes to food that means whatever you could hunt or forage. In other words, nothing processed; no carbs, no dairy, no sugar. I'm giving you the basic gist here so you can understand what a leap I took (I promise it sounded more insane to me than it does to you right now). Before you fall over and die, or decide I'm a crazed loon, let me tell you how this played out for me:
*In the first 3 months, I lost 24 pounds working out only 2-3 times a week.
*Within the first 4 days I already noticed changes in my body, and started to genuinely, epically FEEL better.
*After 1 week, I was sleeping like a baby: crash fast, sleep uninterrupted, wake with actual energy
*From 6-9 months and thinking I'd hit my "happy weight" I lost another 14 pounds without changing a thing.
*This April I will be 2 years Primal. And its only forward from here.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED
Health is a marathon, not a series of sprints. Good choices build on each other, but bad ones don't tear down the entire empire in one swoop. If its Tuesday and its been shitty and I have to have a mocha vanilla cupcake, I have it. Life is for living. The journey was like coming out of a long sleep and opening my eyes to a world I had only been half-living in. I committed myself to this lifestyle for my body, but found that my mind became healthier too. Fear or self-doubt are easier demons to deny. Negative influences from the outside, haters, unhappy people, folks debilitated by their own unfulfilled lives, are easier to fade out, their influence slides off my skin more easily than before. In strengthening my physical body, I found more peace for my spiritual one. And that is worth every part of the ride.
This blog is about the things that move me as an artist, musician, human, woman, friend, sister, daughter, American, New York City resident, Primal Blueprint follower, yoga practitioner, shoe-lover, dog-lover, cupcake-lover and fascinated observer of the human condition.