Bridgette used to live here in New York. We met in 3rd grade and we were pretty much inseparable until we graduated from high school.
For those years we were together so much that our names were intertwined in a sing-song way “AliciaandBridgette” whenever anyone was speaking of us or to us. Brit is the nickname I gave her pretty early on.
Here are a few things you should know about Brit:
- She is not your average girl. That is the coolest thing about her.
- She is super intelligent, but very down to earth.
- She trains alligators. She travels the country with a big van of reptiles in tow.
- She is single-handedly one of the most fun, good-hearted, beautiful people I have ever met in my life.
On the day she is due to arrive, I leave my boys at camp while I go to Albany Airport to pick her up. Hugs all around. At the beginning of each trip I am ecstatically happy to see her, but sad I will be back here in only a matter of days to drop her back off.
We get in the car – camp bound. Or so I think. She looks me in the eye and says, “I really want some of my grandmother’s lilies. Hey, want to go back to where I used to live and dig up a few of my grandmother’s lilies?”
Sure I do.
All at once I started imagining what our mug shots would look like:
I have lived far too long with a clean criminal record – let’s go.
Picture modification courtesy of http://paulporto.com/.
That song is an oldie but goodie. It was old in 1996, when I married my husband. That was our wedding song and I sure do love it.
I would walk through fire for my man. No one is going to utter a foul syllable against him without having a quarrel with me. It was my best day when I met him and I am blessed to have him in my life. I have spent more days with him than I have without him.
Our relationship is real. We work hard at it.
We have been together for many years. We have a family and a home together. It is warm, familiar and cozy and it takes tender loving care to keep it whole.
We met in high school. We married some years later in 1996. Our wedding video is on VHS. You know, the big tapes you can play on a VCR. Google it if you don’t know what it is, you will find VHS right next to 8 track tapes and the invention of the wheel.
We watched our wedding video the other day. Recapturing that moment was really amazing. Some of the friends in my wedding party I never see anymore. These were the people that I never thought I would be without. I haven’t seen most of those people in years and years.
However, I saw my handsome husband. I saw that smile. I fell in love all over again.
That is where the story began. When I sang Just you and I to him on the dance floor of Chaucer’s in July of 1996, I felt like there wasn’t another soul in the room. That was the best wedding I have ever been to. When I see that video, I remember who we were and who we were to become.
In all ways that count we are the same then as we are today and I am so proud of that.
We’ll be alright… just you and I.
I had to go back to college. Sitting at home undertaking a fruitless job search each day was leading me to an early grave. I had to make the most of it to take this time to get my degree. Then I would be that much more marketable when this job market finally started to recover.
I got busy. I wrote my essay and applied to the school of communications at St. Rose. I looked over the courses. Some of them looked very interesting. It was scary though. What did I know about Communications? Absolutely nothing.
So I made my list of pros and cons of entering the communications program.
1) Very interesting classes.
2) Professional applicability. Every profession requires excellent communication skills. I just wasn’t jazzed about it yet.
3) I could earn my degree much quicker in communications than in Creative Writing. Got to get back to work. Darn mortgage.
1) This felt an awful lot like selling myself short. I am really against that.
2) I don’t like putting my writing dream further on the back burner. Not getting any younger Alicia. If not now, then when?
3) If I did enter the communications program, I would be depriving myself of the dazzling future interview question: “I see you have a degree in Creative Writing. Interesting. Please explain how this will help you in this Human Resources Position.”
I submitted my application, but every day I kept second guessing myself. Should I just go back and take a few more classes in English and follow my heart? I’d have to take British Literature (yuck), a Shakespeare course (ugh) and some other equally dreary classes in order to even be considered into the program. While I may be a prolific reader by some standards I stick to the latest in best-selling fiction, whatever book a friend has passed along to me, the Oprah Magazine and the Chinese take-out menus. I just wanted to learn how to be a writer; I didn’t really feel like reliving my high school English classes. I skipped most of them for a reason.
But man, I really wanted to write. Did I make the right choice to apply to the Communications program?
I thought of going to school online. There is a seduction in distance, online learning. You can sit in your PJ’s and take it at your own pace. I took an online class once. It was a disaster. I am just not disciplined enough for it. I like the face time that a brick and mortar campus can provide.
I narrowed my search to 2 local schools with grad programs in creative writing. There was one at SUNY Albany, the other at The College of St. Rose, the school where I earned my bachelors degree. I applied to Saint Rose despite the fact it was much more expensive due to the fact that I absolutely loved this school. The teachers were awesome, the class size is excellent and the whole campus fits my personality. And, I didn’t have to take the GRE (it is a graduate exam) in order to be considered. That was no small factor let me tell you. So I applied to St. Rose, thinking my acceptance was a slam dunk. I wished I saved the entrance essay that I submitted with my application because I would have attached it here for a laugh.