Oct. 3, 2018
New York, NY
I ate my typical breakfast – frozen berries and peanut butter mixed into hot oatmeal – and drank my coffee so quickly that it burned the roof of my mouth. Outside, I felt a breeze. At the L stop, there was a crowd so large that people were taking pictures of it, myself included. I waited twenty minutes until I finally boarded a train. A girl in flats stepped in one of the puddles accumulating from a leak in the ceiling. Ew.
I never expect the Times Square subway stop to feel spacious during commuting time, but it weirdly always does. When I got in to work I slipped my Tupperware full of bagged Asian salad and a plastic baggie of red grapes into the fridge. I filled up my water bottle to prepare for a long day of talking. My voice gets really scratchy in the morning. My job requires me to talk a lot, so I have to stay hydrated.
I sat down and logged in to my computer. I called the first bride I needed to talk to. No answer. I left a message. Then I called a second bride. She answered immediately, and gasped loudly when she heard the news. I asked her all the questions and she answered happily. I called another bride. She picked up and was more subdued.
I am not the gatekeeper, and have no say in who gets an announcement (my editor does that). I am the doctor with a diagnosis, the telegram that comes early in the morning, the six missed calls from your mom. Okay, that is really dramatic. I am not that important.
I read whatever I’m assigned, which is what has been submitted by a couple and selected, and then edit the submission to fit a format. My main job is to make sure the story is factually accurate.
The submission when couples describe how they met is most fascinating to me. What gets me is that everyone thinks their love story is extraordinary, no matter how mundane the circumstances. When I get to speak to the couple, and their families, I can usually sense the final puzzle pieces of how and why they fit together.
Before noon, I had talked to two brides, one groom, and both parents of one bride, and left messages for two parents. At 12:04, I tweeted an “It’s October 3” gif from Mean Girls. I called another parent, left a message, and plugged in my headphones to listen to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow.” Time to write and edit.
I’ve talked to cardiologists, engineers, foreign bank directors, consultants, lawyers, so many lawyers, internists, other journalists, communications specialists, music teachers, techies, homemakers, professors, music teachers, architects, musicians, and more. All of it makes me feel so young. I just graduated from college. The last wedding I went to was in the fifth grade when I was a bit chubby, had a gap in my front teeth and a dreadful bowl haircut. None of my friends have gotten married yet. I don’t know what love is yet.
12:58 p.m. rolled around and I headed to the elevator to meet my coworker for lunch upstairs. It was really cold in the building, but as we crammed in the elevator, I felt warmer. We sat near the slanted windows in the cafeteria and newly minted autumn light streamed in.
I went back to my desk and called a groom back; he verified the facts in his announcement for me. Who would call me back next? An hour or so in, I took a bathroom break. I couldn’t stop thinking about the M&Ms on the floor above mine upstairs, but I resisted. I received a call from a very nice father of a bride, firmly resisting his probing questions.
As a reporter, I think I am more empathetic, because I’m trying to coax a story out of a person. This job feels more calculated because I’m just getting the facts, but I still can’t hold back from smiling every once in a while. By making sure all wedding announcements are written the same way, it’s holding every type of love to the same standard.
I convinced my coworker to go upstairs with me to get a few M&M’s.
After work, I sat on the train and saw a girl eating red soup out of a white container, which made me feel kind of nauseous.
At 6:38 p.m., I stopped at a nail salon down my street. I’d been in desperate need of a pedicure, although I’m really not one of those people that usually splurges on this kind of thing. I picked out a light pink color called “Tutti Frutti Tonga” for my toes. I laid back into the massage chair, feeling like a bride-to-be. Ha.
I was distracted by a strange couple next to me that were both getting very specific silver and black pedicures together. Weird. I couldn’t, and still can’t escape love. I went back to reading and relaxed, sitting and waiting for my nails to dry while eating a fun-size Twizzler.
I went home after that. There, I ate leftover vegan mushroom soup I made the night before and talked to my roommate. We debated watching Mean Girls or going to a bar. But we settled on watching my other roommate’s favorite British rom-com written by the creator of Love Actually. The movie is called About Time.
I hated it at first because Rachel McAdams seems cliche in every movie, but then near the end of the love story I cried, like I usually do. After, I lit a candle my grandma gave me, took a melatonin, and sketched in my notebook. When I was relaxed enough, I blew out the fire and fell asleep.