Her face tells it all. The way her eyes narrow in at you pointed in accusations. Her brows follow suit creating an arrow that points directly inside you stripping away at any veiled privacy you thought you had. The lip is pursed to one side slightly downward. But the biggest tell is the nose, and the way it crinkles just ever so slightly. She feels no remorse, no fear, and just waits. Her face unchanged from the hardened glare.
I stand in awkward silence attempting to gather the words, but nothing arises to the surface. I can feel my face glowing warmer with each passing second of silence. I feel suddenly lightheaded and oddly embarrassed.
“Nooo?” I respond with too much inflection after what sounds like the third “o”. In a small flicker of courage or perhaps stupidity, “Why?” I add before I can change my mind.
“No reason.” She dismissively waves her hand as she walks past me.
I am left standing in the hallway frozen by the terrifying interaction and left to wallow in endless thoughts of my last unanswered question. My socially awkward self will be forced to focus on that crazed interaction for the rest of the day.
I had but a few hours to explore the iconic California city of San Francisco before heading inland to Wente Vineyards for wedding festivities. As we drove across the Bay Bridge, I caught my first glimpse of the city. As with traveling to any new city or town, I could feel the excitement wash over me.
As we drove through downtown looking for parking and taking in the scenery, I was decided. I liked this place already. A new city makes me feel alive.
We spent the day starting at Fisherman’s Wharf and worked our way along the water toward the bridge. Its towering red design calling us nearer in the pursuit of the perfect picture. Of course we stopped along the way at Ghirardelli Square as the aroma of chocolate filled the air. At this point, I certainly couldn’t contain my excitement. Chocolate is my favorite.
After our noses danced around the decadent area, our walking continued. Toward the bridge we went. We walked through Fort Mason and down to the water. We watched as the prominent landmark grew bigger in our quest. When we reached Crissy Field East Beach, our legs started to waver and time was slipping away. It was clear we needed to turn around but not before some pictures of course.
Petite (adj.)- Often thought of as a woman who is short, small, tiny, skinny, thin, dainty, and many other similar adjectives.
Petite. I hate that word. I do not consider myself petite. I am short, yes. I have small feet, small hands, and a young face (but that’s a whole other topic). But I am certainly not petite, at least by modern standards. Although petite technically just means someone who is shorter, it certainly comes with a connotation of being super skinny or dainty in today’s world. I have played sports all of my life and have the body to show for it. I am not fat, but I have the arms of a swimmer and the legs of a soccer player. I have hips and boobs to match.
The “petite” that everyone tries to label me as just doesn’t fit in my mind. It feels almost insulting like they are basing this decision off of my height alone. They are trying to force me into a box that I will simply never fit into.
As the bride or groom, I imagine it’s normal to feel a bit nervous before that walk down the aisle. All eyes are on you, and it is your day. But what about as a guest? It is only me? For some unknown reason, my anxiety can creep in just sitting on the sidelines.
The last wedding I went to, I had a short moment of panic where I felt the need to escape. I was sitting toward the front and in the middle of the chairs so leaving was not an option. A sudden pang of “I need to get out of here.” A few moments of an uncontrollable shaking leg to distract myself. And the all-consuming feeling of anxiety.
It was short-lived thankfully, but why should it have happened at all? Then again during the reception, my anxiety slowly creeped back in. Maybe it was the pressure to catch the bouquet. Maybe it was my boyfriend’s attention-grabbing moves on the dance floor. But once again, I found myself having to take a mental timeout to calm down.
Another Wedding, More Anxiety?
This weekend I went to another wedding in the San Francisco area, and I was all too aware that my anxiety might make another unwanted appearance. For fear of an attack, I dragged my boyfriend to the back on the chairs for the ceremony and made sure I was on the outermost one away from the aisle. An easy escape route as I saw it. Continue reading “Wedding Guest Anxiety”→
It happened about a month ago. A day when the hot sun was beating down on the macadam, and you could see the heat rising from the surface. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now I knew better. Now I knew how much one day could change everything. How one moment could crack your life wide open like an egg. The contents spilling out as you struggled to put the pieces back together. Secretly you knew it was useless. You knew it would never be the same, but still you had to try. It was the day I found out I was 18 and pregnant. Another teenage pregnancy statistic.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I had finally left home and gotten away from the wasteland that is Pennington, South Carolina. I had moved to Florida for college, but of course I was just trying to get out of that dreadful town.
It’s true when they say it’s a small world. Never had I imagined myself going to Australia, especially not living there for two months. A country half way across the world was simply out of sight and out of mind. But it would seem that fate intervened. It’s not every day that you find a new relative willing and eager to meet you. I have to thank Italy again. I have an Australian “aunt” (cousin, or something, it’s all confusing) that my mom and stepdad met in Italy. My mom was visiting the village of her grandfather’s family and my “aunt” was visiting her family for the village festival. As it turns out the two families are one in the same.
Two Italian brothers. One went to America and the other went to Australia. Two opposite ends of the globe. I can’t imagine they ever dreamed their grandkids would meet. But a few months ago I found myself on a 15-hour plane ride (and then another 10-hour plane ride) flying across the world to meet a long lost stranger who shared part of my DNA. I can’t wait to discover where my next international relative will be.