Last night, to celebrate four heady glorious years of marriage, Stuart and I made pasta from scratch. Stuart stirred the eggs into the flour well with superb care. I kneaded the dough like a pro (and wore black to work with flour, just because I like to keep the world wondering if I’m playing with a full deck). Nano generously offered to eat any scraps that fell on the floor. It was truly a family affair.
Four years ago, my honey and I woke up and put on some fancy duds and along with my parents and brother, waltzed on down to the City Municipal Building to get ourselves hitched. We bought a bouquet from the ingenious bouquet-seller wandering the hall, and then we threw the bouquet to my brother and went to lunch. After waving goodbye to my parents and relaxing at home for a few hours as newlyweds, we took ourselves to dinner at Babbo, courtesy of some very generous friends.
On our walk back to the subway, arm in arm after the most delicious meal we’d ever shared, we walked past Washington Square Park. Now, in the two previous years I’d lived here, the arch had always been surrounded by chicken-wire, but on the night Stuart and I got married, we walked under the arch for the first time as the Empire Building shone white. We went home delirious with happiness and that was our wedding day. It wasn’t a big tulle-strewn bash but in a lot of ways, it was perfect for Stuart and me.
Tomorrow is another anniversary; a year ago today, Nano was sleeping in a crate in the office of an adoption counselor at the ASPCA. Then, on the 20th, during what everyone swore was a rousing rugby world cup, Stuart and I nervously visited the ASPCA. On the way up, on the subway, we wrote down potential names for the dog we might meet. After nearly four hours and a tortured lunch a block away where we weighed the merits of a very sweet but uninspiring dog named Allan, we nearly gave up. But as we walked back in and started to make our regrets to Beverly, the wonderful counselor who’d patiently helped us meet every dog in that shelter, I remembered she’d said she had two chihuahua-mix puppies in her office.
And lo, we met Nano. His name was Popi and he was almost excruciatingly shy, a little on the young side, and smaller than I’d ever considered, but somehow when he skittered curiously over to us, he grabbed our hearts. I’ll never forget sitting quietly on the floor waiting for him to approach me and looking up at Stuart, and seeing this shine, this delighted shine in his eyes, that told me that Stuart, who’d really struggled with the decision to get a dog, was in love. So nervous or no, puppy or no, there was nothing to do. We took Nano home and made him ours. Nano is a little jumpy and a little neurotic and he’s completely unlike every dog we’d considered taking home but in a lot of ways, Nano is perfect for us.
And it might seem strange to combine a post about these two anniversaries – for the record, the wedding was more important than the dog! – but when I looked at this picture last night, it reminded me what a family we’ve become, and how very complete and warm it feels to be in this city, this home, with this man, and this crazy little dog.
a family portrait

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