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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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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Ask the Addict: Why Going to a Wedding Alone is Awesome

This post is part of the Ask the Addict advice column. Learn more about submitting your (anonymous!) question here


My older cousin is getting married and invited me with a plus one. The thing is, I’m single so there’s no significant other to bring. I was thinking of bringing a girlfriend along but after thinking a while, I really feel like going without a date… would that be weird though? Is it fun to go alone to a wedding?

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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.


E hosted (yet another) amazing Thanksgiving dinner.


My friend A came to visit.


I made a wreath (for $10!).


My roommates put up a tree and I hung stockings.


Lucy got a new red coat.



And a new pillow (thanks Pottery Barn!)


J threw quite the party with some deadly jingle juice.



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


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


This is my view while writing this blog.


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.

Something So Very Special

I found myself angry and upset, not sure why I wanted to cry and yet, hoping I didn’t let a single drop out while riding the uptown train on Saturday night to the home that doesn’t feel like one on the Upper West Side. I wasn’t drunk — or I suppose, I’m not drunk, is a better use of words considering I’m writing this at 1: 25 a.m., with every intent of publishing it on Monday.

On my blog, this blog, this very public, yet insanely personal blog that I happen to share with everyone I do and don’t know. This blog that is supposed to be about learning to love myself with or without a man. That’s supposed to be about being totally fine with being totally single, totally fine on my own, not letting men affect me, letting them come and go with their douchebagery-ways, their terribly disappointing manners, their shortcomings that aren’t supposed to matter to me. No matter how many times some man gives me five minutes or two weeks of hope, only to take it away in a second, or by falling off the face of my iPhone.

I was actually supposed to have a date tonight — a second one, which if you’ve read earlier posts you would know are my favorites. Merely because they are often so rare, with so many first dates that bore or well, traumatize you. So when some random guy that happened to be intriguing enough to agree to see again proved to be uncompromising and pretty much only in it for sex, I made plans with K, then met up with J and her guy, and the night went on. I went on – unaffected, perfectly content, not upset that some man couldn’t meet me in the middle, couldn’t get enough energy to make an effort to impress or even see me.

But I was frustrated. I was upset.

Maybe not by this specific man or this specific situation, but that these types of things happen so often that I find myself incredibly exhausted of talking about them. Much less writing about another failed date to share with the world. If I was honest, as I am here on these pages, I’d admit that I don’t want to date. I don’t want to go out on a Saturday night. I don’t want to spend unnecessary money on unnecessary vodka tonics in the hope that my next one will be free. I don’t want to stay out so late and be so tired the next day I can’t go for a run because I held onto the possibility that I’d stumble across someone worth talking to over loud music in a busy, sweaty bar. I don’t really want to do any of it at all.

But I do it anyway.

Because I refuse to give up, because I refuse to become completely bitter or to stop going after what I want. Because I don’t want to listen to everyone who says the best things come when you’re not looking because when are you ever not looking? Because the best dating advice can’t simply be to have fun and let it come, because that feels utterly impossible, month after month, year after year, date after date, date, date.

That can’t be the answer. If there’s any answer at all.

I started writing this blog to not feel just like I feel right now, writing this blog. Hopeless. Annoyed. Angry. Frustrated. Sad. Unworthy. Disappointed. Impatient. I never wanted a lack of a someone to change who I was or to let anyone be so important that they mattered. But maybe that was a pipe dream, something that can’t be ignored because everyone feels that way sometimes, at least anyone who is single post-college in a city.

As I walked myself west while all my friends went east, I did everything I could to hold in the tears. I looked up at the full moon in disgust, cursing it for not bringing the change to my life I so desperately need. I noticed all the tall, thin, gorgeous girls in heels, laughing into the night, so different from me, the not-carefree, unhappy woman struggling down Houston. And as I walked, not making eye contact or slowing down, I saw a store called Something Special.

And I thought of all the fairytales that have undoubtedly made me rather naive. The love stories my mom would tell me, the romance I’ve craved since I knew you could crave such impossible things. I was always promised something special, something fascinating. Something that was unexpected and life-altering. Something intoxicating and breathless. Something so different from the rest.

Something worth all of this waiting.

But when that day comes, or as the cynic in me phrases it, if that day comes, who do I want to be? Do I want to be this desperate, defeated girl? Do I want to be scared and disappointed in every man and frankly, in myself? Do I want this pitiful self-confidence or this pouty attitude around my friends, my family and on this train, angrily typing this blog?

Or do I want to be someone special?

Someone who admitted her failures and yes, handled her emotions as they came, even when they came stupidly and sometimes far too soon. Someone who stood up for herself without letting herself give up in the process? Someone who lived her life instead of waiting on some man to come to build it with? Someone who wanted to cry on a Saturday night it someone who wanted to dance?

If I want something so very special, don’t I need to start believing in and acting like I’m someone special?