Why I’m Not Changing My Name When I Get Married

Up until a few years ago, in every relationship I’ve had — both long-term and after a surprisingly good first date — I’ve considered what my name would sound like if I married whoever I was seeing. Some of my boyfriends had uninteresting surnames, others humorous, many quite plain. While I won’t oust them here, I never felt like my first would match their last.

Now, I understand a few things here: A. I’m single, and B. changing your last name has little to do with how it sounds. But as an independent, hard-working, successful and devoted 26-year-old, I’ve worked really hard to build a name for myself.

And though it might not seem like such a big deal to forgo ‘Tigar’ in favor of some last name I don’t even know yet, when I meet this mysterious future husband … it feels like one to me.

So, I’m not changing my last name for marriage.

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I Know You Exist

I know you exist.

Somewhere out in this mad city, or this crazy country or this beautifully ridiculous world, I know you exist. You have hopes that I’ve never heard, that I don’t know about yet, but these dreams paired with my wild ambitions will create our future. You have been walking on this planet, doing things and making things and being things that mean something to you. I know you are working that 9-6 (or 7 or 8) just like me, wondering when you’ll get where you’re going, even if you’re not sure where that is, exactly, just yet. I know you wake up every morning and you go to sleep every night, and in those hours, those minutes, those seconds in between, you make hundreds of decisions that have yet to lead you to me.

I know you are loved.

There is this family, these friends, these people that have the privilege to talk to you daily. These people have heard your laugh and felt your embrace, they know your voice when you speak and they have memories that go back to the decades I’ve never known you. There are people who think of you because you’ve actually spent time with them, there are women who have shared your heart and your hands, your bed and been stuck in your head. There are people who know your favorite dish, how you take your whiskey and what team you cheer for on Sundays and Mondays at the pub near your apartment, on some street in some place in some city. There are people who love you because you are already so wonderful.

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Confession: I Haven’t Had Sex in Almost Six Months

So here’s the honest truth: I haven’t had sex since July.

I know, I know—you would think for someone who dates as much as I do and is so open about her personal life, I’d be getting a little more nooky. But since I ended that kind-of-relationship with Patrick right after the Fourth of July, I haven’t been laid. Sadly, I haven’t even been touched more than a drunken ass grab outside some crummy bar downtown.

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The Fun Trick Every Single Woman Should Try

guy-i-should-dateI try my best not to cringe when my friends and family give me advice about finding love. I know more often than not, they’re just trying to be encouraging and keep me from becoming a bitter cat lady reading romance novels alone in New York City (gulp)—but sometimes, it can be a little irritating to hear what someone else thinks about my dating life.

Or even worse—when my friends make offhand comments that I’m sure they mean well by (but irk me more than anything else). To name a few: “You know, maybe you should go out more,” “You maybe should go out less, no one meets people at bars these days,” “Have you tried online dating? My friend’s brother’s cousin met her husband that way,” “Maybe it’s because you online date, those guys are just strange. Why are they online anyway?”

Ugh. But…

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Am I Totally Misreading My Dates Signals?

Sometimes you go on an amazing first date and all of the “signs” seem to point to a second. And then, he disappears into the land of guys-of-great-first-dates-past, never to be seen again. Or what about those times you flirt endlessly with one of your vendors at work—and he gives the signal that he’s interested too—only to mention his wife (WTF?!) the next week.

I often find myself looking for “signs” on dates (or let’s be real: all the time) that they’re interested. He places his hand on the small of my back, he casually mentions seeing me again, we happen to like the same kind of cheese when ordering the platter, whatever. But more often than not, when it comes to reading signals…I kind of suck at it.

Such was the case with Matt.

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You’re Not Going to Meet Your Husband Tonight

If I’m being honest (which I always try to be on this blog), I’ve been kind of lame lately.

My friends would probably agree – especially since they’re always coming up with fun things to do – but this summer, I’ve had so much going on that going out hasn’t really been on the top of my mind.

So maybe that’s why last Saturday night felt a little strange to me.

I was sitting with my new friend (and roommate!), C at a bar seriously lacking men in the West Village on Saturday night, trying to figure out why my stomach was in knots. While I’ve been single the last three years, I have experienced that same night over-and-over again: dinner followed by bar hopping, followed by possible drunken kisses with cute strangers, followed by a late night in and an early morning up, cursing the hangover gods for their cruel intentions.

But last Saturday, something felt different.

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I Tried to Hate Christmas

It snowed for the first (real) time in New York on Saturday.

I woke up hazily hungover and tired, wondering how I’d ever make it to midtown east for Lucy’s vet appointment when my mouth still tasted like red wine. My little pup blended in with my comforter, snuggled between my feet like she likes to do, and I laid in bed, listening to the quiet. I relished in those peaceful, stolen moments before I have to force myself out of bed and into the chaos below. My room was colder than usual, only warmed by the bright white glow outside, and I opened the curtains just enough to inquire about the weather.. and there they were:

Perfect, fragile snowflakes, falling gracefully to the ground I can’t see below.

I watched them build up on the rooftops and though I’m 20 years too old to get so excited over such little things, I smiled and eagerly told Lucy it was snowing. She licked my face and went back to sleep, unimpressed and obviously not-human. I didn’t care though – I slung on my boots and dressed her in a (probably not necessary) coat and outside we went to see the snow.

As I walked down to the friendly Starbucks that lets me bring her inside when it’s cold, I kicked the snow underneath my feet and I laughed as Lucy played with it, hopping on the small piles and seeing the flakes flutter on her nose. The upper west side was alive and happy, excited for this wintery-mix that makes this dirty, darkened city seem more pure, more hopeful than before.

And like the snow lightened the push-and-the-shove of Manhattan (and Brooklyn and Queens, and maybe even New Jersey), it did the same for me. I’ve been adamantly against Christmas this year. In fact, I was so not looking forward to this time of year that I convinced myself that I wouldn’t be full of the holiday spirit, instead, I’d be a scrooge. I’d hate Christmas with all of my might.

After such a difficult year, with so much bad and so little good, why would I invest my heart and my expectations in December? Why would I think that the end of the year would be any better than the rest of it? Why waste money on decorations and holiday cards, postage and gifts, if in the end, I’d be miserably humming around a fake Christmas tree, mulling over everything I didn’t have? Over everything that didn’t happen or unfortunately did happen?

Why celebrate 2013 at all?

Maybe it was the snowflakes – or how the shift in the seasons shifted something for me, too, but I couldn’t keep my love of the holidays at bay. I couldn’t be negative about it. Even though New York and I have had our trials this year, the city wouldn’t let me forget about Christmas. Not with it’s street fairs and it’s subway performers singing “My Favorite Things.” Not with it’s lights and it’s weather, it’s people dressed in puffy coats and stockings from head-to-toe. Not with smiling kids and (surprisingly) grinning adults, even with it’s happy tourists seeing this place I call home for the first time, in the snow. Not with Macy’s windows and Fifth Avenue shops, not with splitting a bottle of wine with my friend in a cozy Parisian restaurant in the West Village. Not with all the truly magical parts of New York – from people to places and everything in between – that seem to glow with those silly white lights at this special time of year.

Though things haven’t quite gone my way and I’ve had more learning pains than triumphs this year, it only gives me better reason to show my thanks at Christmas and as 2014 begins. It might not have been the easiest of months, but they were necessary to teach me something. To be stronger and to take more chances. To believe in things that you can’t feel, see or imagine. To trust in something bigger than you, some force that you might not always believe in. To know that everything has it’s time and it’s place, that we will figure it out as we go, if we have enough hope to see it through.

I wanted to hate Christmas this year, I really did. But I don’t. I can’t. I won’t…

I sent out 50 holiday cards.

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E hosted (yet another) amazing Thanksgiving dinner.

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My friend A came to visit.

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I made a wreath (for $10!).

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My roommates put up a tree and I hung stockings.

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Lucy got a new red coat.

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And a new pillow (thanks Pottery Barn!)

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J threw quite the party with some deadly jingle juice.

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I shopped for Christmas gifts with M while looking at a lovely view.

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iVillage named me the Best Party Planner at our holiday party.

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This is my view while writing this blog.

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And best of all… my family will be here in less than a week for our very first Christmas in New York City.

I might not be exactly where I thought I’d be at the end of 2013, but I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, learning what I need to know. And maybe one day, I’ll have a Christmas with a man I love, watching the children we made open presents in a home or apartment we bought together. Maybe I’ll have the best year yet in 2014, maybe it’ll be harder than all the rest. Maybe I’ll move abroad, maybe I’ll keep falling back in love with New York.

Maybe it all doesn’t matter – as long as I’m thankful enough to realize that regardless of how it all turns out or what I have, I’m so incredibly blessed. And so very loved.