Posts tagged " marriage "

On the Fire of Eclectic Human Superstars

September 25th, 2017 Posted by Tabula Rasa 2 comments

I just spent a few days on a farm, unlike no other. To recall what it looks like, I need to swipe through the hundreds of photographs on my phone, because it wasn’t the Tuscan countryside, the greenery, the oxygen, that made it magical, it was the people I shared a roof and sky with, the people whose stories made my mind speed, shattering the everyday routine of a mother’s secluded existence that has marked much of my recent life. People from all over the world. Most of them were strangers, a few I hadn’t seen in 13 years, my friend, the bride, with whom we share epic stories of a lifetime, even though we met half-way through, and my new friend, the groom.

Getting married at 40-something, is very different to getting married at 20. You know what love is. You know what you’re fighting for. What you’re sacrificing, and why. You know the faces you want to see, the smiles, the laughs, the silence, and you know that they will be there. The friends and family that you’ve held on till then, are bound to possess the fire you’ve burnt to get this far, to be this brave. I want to tell you about a few of them.

I’m going to start with those I know, dad, mom, stepmom and cousin of the bride, after knowing me for 24 hours over a decade ago, made me feel like I was coming home. It was hardly a bad home to come to, warm bear hugs, and a freedom of jokes and laughter that you can only have with those that are not your family.

It was a partly Swedish wedding, thanks to the groom, (the other part a medley of New York, Boston, Italian-America), and the tradition there is to have two people run the show. They ran it as if it was they who were getting married.

The groom’s mother, the absolute powerhouse, bustling with energy, humor, and surprising warmth that suddenly appeared out of nowhere and kept me asking for more.

A perfect couple, with a perfect family, beautiful beyond the initial flash of perfection, brought together by a story that makes me want to put the wife on my shoulders and parade her cheering, around a town square.

And Lauren, the only person whose name I feel free to mention, for I finally found the person who can integrate the word “fuck” more than I can into a single sentence at inappropriate moments. We laughed so long, so hard, that I swear I could see the abs peeking out of my post-pregnancy 40-year-old pooch.

(The rest I will save for a future novel.)

We gave speeches at the dinner table, sharing personal stories, toasting the newlyweds, and at no point was there nobody crying into the freshly made pizza on their plate, even though the speech-giving lasted close to two hours. At the ring of the bell (yes, there was a bell), silence fell, gazes searched for the next amazing tale. Half-way through mine, I blacked out, as if I’d fallen onto a huge white pillow, listening to my almost incoherent babble, but it didn’t matter, I was there, I was part of it, I remembered who I am. I remembered what is real, what is true, what I live for. In an old farmhouse, in the middle of nowhere, in the darkness, surrounded by nothing by bright, burning, human balls of light.






On Moms Gone Wild

October 11th, 2016 Posted by Tabula Rasa No Comment yet

Every now and then, something wonderful happens: you are invited to attend an event that takes place during the day and involves alcohol.

This past weekend, my friends and I, whether parents or not, were lucky enough to attend one such event, only enhanced even further, by the fact that it was a dear, old friend’s wedding. “Dear” and “old” can only mean two things at our age. One, that we have done things together that we will never forget, things that we will not tell our children about, and two, that since we’ve known eachother for so long, we will end up sitting at a table where everyone around it is our also our dear, old friend. And in this case, partner.

I will not speak for the partners, they will one day own up and talk for themselves, but us girls, well, we feel like we’re going to prom, or having a one-year-later high school reunion, or we’re 21 at last, in the U.S., and it’s finally time to drink.

Let me be more specific. The day started a few weeks earlier, when every day, it was the highlight of our lives. What to wear, what do other people wear, sandals or pumps, babysitters, designated drivers, I’m telling you: prom.

The day of, we let our toddlers use our mascara, just in case it gives us a opportunity to snatch the blush brush out of their hands. We arrive late. And we begin to talk. To hug people. To laugh. To kiss people. To talk some more. It does not stop.
The bride walks in, we cry. The groom makes a speech, we cry again. The father of the bride shakes our hand; waterworks. The bartenders, a good 20 years behind us in the walk of life, smirk every time they see us line up in front of them, asking to pour our own drinks, because only we know how to mix them right. We get on the dance floor and bust the moves that we used to make fun of, that our children will one day see and turn crimson.

Suddenly, the music stops, and we don’t notice, until the bride and groom make their exit.

“Can we stay longer?” one of us yells.

High heels in hand, arms intertwined with our less excited partners, we stumble towards our cars, happy, light-headed, we’d finally felt free.

The next morning, we realize that it’s not simply the sudden freedom that had made us go wild. It was watching an incredible beginning, a beginning that we too had once lived, a beginning so precious and fleeting, that it’s a moment like no other, in whichever way or form way it began. A beginning that gives us all the wind, the strength, the power, to keep on fighting for its memory for the rest of our lives.

Congratulations Nina Stavropoulos and Michalis Moulakis. May your gush of wind forever push you forward.


Pieces: a novel

“Pieces” is the winner of the silver medal at the 2017 Independent Publishers Awards (IPPY), and a finalist at the USA Best Book Awards and International Book Awards.

When Clouds Embrace: a children's book

All proceeds from the sales of "When Clouds Embrace" will go to Giving for Greece, a foundation that works to help the hundreds of unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece.