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It’s a jolly holiday with you

December 22, 2010

Bored Jews all over the globe have a few major choices to make at Christmastime: what movie to watch, which fine Chinese restaurant to patronize and what brand of cellophane to use for wrapping our cats. I recommend Saran.

Honestly, they practically begged me to do this.

However, I was faced with one unexpected decision – whether or not to tell you about my very own Christmas miracle. Which I’m not sure I can call a “Christmas miracle” for complex theological reasons. But Jesus was Jewish and I’m technically an atheist and my Christmas miracle began during Hanukkah and involves a former Lutheran, so we’re treading in some sort of religious gray area here and Winter Solstice Situation doesn’t have the same ring to it. If all else fails, I’m calling it a Kwanzaa Circumstance.

But the truth is, and I have wanted to share this for weeks because it’s really all I can think about and making me incredibly happy, I am the opposite of “Alone … with cats” this holiday season. I have a lovely new girlfriend named Lindsay. And she has a dog.

Yeah. I know. Let’s all take a minute to let that sink in. A dog.

I wrote about Lindsay once before, but when I outed her as a blog reader-turned-pen pal in Canada who bears an uncanny resemblance to my septuagenarian dream girl Julie Andrews, I neglected to confess that we’d already started to schedule phone dates, text like teenagers and plan our first meeting. I wanted us to have some time to ourselves. And to not jinx it by writing about it too soon. And I didn’t want to get a reputation as the blogger who flies in readers from other countries for dates. Or do I?

Lindsay and I met the first weekend of December at the airport. I pulled up to the curb in the terminal and then called her. I saw her walking toward me from a few hundred feet away, giant grin on her face, and she wrapped her arms around me and whispered, “Are you nervous?” I said, “Yes.” She responded, “Don’t be.” Then I wasn’t anymore.

With anticipation building between us for weeks, we knew her trip to Boston would be chock full of … sightseeing. So let me just say, there were sights and we saw them. I had forgotten how good sightseeing could be with the right person.

My friend Emily asked me the other day, “Did you immediately have [sightseeing] as planned?” And I was all, “OMG! We’re not animals! We had a glass of wine first.”

Lindsay exceeded expectations in other ways, too. She’s attentive and loving and smart and sensitive and kind. She makes me laugh. She opens drinks for me and wipes smudges off my glasses and makes the bed and folds my pajamas and balls up my socks. Isabel didn’t once try to stand on her neck and suffocate her in her sleep; I cannot stress how huge that is. And after Lindsay went home, one of the first things she did was buy a crocheted toy shaped like a tampon for Teva and Isabel on Etsy. It’s as if she knows the way to my heart is through my cats. I’m not sure what gave her that idea.

And the best part is that I don’t have to change the name of my blog because she lives so far away that technically I’ll still be Alone … with cats most of the time. Or maybe the best part is that our feelings are mutual. It’s kind of a toss up.

Our story of crossing paths by way of blogging is rather surreal, though. I look at photos of her, and have to constantly remind myself that the gorgeous girl in the picture is mine. Sometimes it feels as if I willed her into my life, or that I posted criteria on my blog of what I hoped for in an ideal partner, and it magically made its way to her. Like when Jane and Michael write a wish list of all they want in a nanny and their dad tears it up and throws it into the fireplace, and the scraps of paper float up the chimney and find their way to Mary Poppins, who is, in fact, practically perfect in every way.

Did you really think I could make it through this post without an allusion to Julie Andrews? (Her husband, Blake Edwards, sadly passed away last week, and that’s just my luck because now I’m *not* single. Universe, how you toy with me.)

Although Lindsay and I live 429 miles apart, the distance between us doesn’t seem to be an issue. Not yet, anyway. For now, it’s plenty satisfying knowing that someone out there in the world whom I think is wonderful thinks I’m wonderful, too. Like the duet “Unforgettable” between Natalie and Nat King Cole, basically. Except she’s not my father. And not dead. And neither one of us is a crackhead. Otherwise, it’s *just* like that. Also, we could totally be crackheads if we wanted to be. That’s the beauty of a long-distance relationship.

So, what’s next? For starters, I’m flying to Toronto on Dec. 31 to be with her for New Year’s. I’ve heard Canada is *the* place to be in the dead of winter. And also, the sightseeing there is pretty fucking fantastic.

And beyond that?

We’ll fall madly in love. We’ll live happily ever after. We’ll live happily ever after … with cats and dog.

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Best. Christmas. gift. ever. And I'm not even supposed to get Christmas gifts. It's like I'm embezzling from Santa.

P.S. This is my last post of the year. I’ll be traveling to see my family in Cleveland and then continuing on to Canada. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for an amazing 2010. Teva, Isabel and I are wishing you lots of love and happiness and kittens and Christmas miracles in 2011. We’ll see you on the flip side.

61 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2010 5:52 AM

    Weirded out – it’s like your end of year post and my end of year post are diametrically opposed.

    Anyway, despite all that, I’m really happy for you. Enjoy the holidays, Canada and more sightseeing…

  2. December 22, 2010 6:22 AM

    Hip hip hooray!!!!! How supercalifragilisticexpeladocious!!!!

  3. December 22, 2010 6:40 AM

    Well, you’ve established that Saran Wrap is ok, so I guess you’ve cleared the way for Lindsay to wrap up your cats with brown paper and string :mrgreen:

  4. December 22, 2010 6:47 AM

    Absolutely fabulous news!!! Am really happy for you. Have a great holiday time, sighseeing and more…sighseeing.

    God Jul!

  5. December 22, 2010 7:58 AM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Thank the Gods of the Interwebz that a girl you met blogging is REAL and not 1) an FBI Agent 2) a 70-year-old man or 3) Chris Hansen. Also, OF COURSE you got a girlfriend — you used up all your Saran Wrap (c’mon, I had to)! But really, best to both of you!

    PS Size 10 Nikes? Really? I had pictured you as a tiny little thing!

    • December 22, 2010 1:23 PM

      That shoebox actually was the wrapping from an early Christmas present. I wear a size 9, for anyone who is interested in buying me footwear.

      • December 23, 2010 9:25 AM

        whew, that’s a relief — my mental picture of you as a fragile and petite flower can remain intact!

  6. December 22, 2010 8:04 AM

    Happy holiday. Great news.

  7. December 22, 2010 8:20 AM

    yippppeee!!! i’ve long been a fan of the long-distance relationship! geography can be your friend…. although that lovely young man in South Africa and i aren’t going to ever get to our first date before we’re 60 it seems… congratulations and happy new year!

  8. December 22, 2010 8:26 AM

    love what “Nurse Mya or Myra” (too lazy to go back up on your comments to check) said….!!

    Sooooo happy for you!!! You deserve to be as happy as you are and I am thrilled!!
    Send love to all in Cleveland!

    Yes…cats and dogs CAN co-exist….I have a cat and a dog (just sayin’)….

    This Saturday when I am eating Chinese (surprise, surprise!!!!!) A will get a huge Cheshire Cat grin thinking about this post….if my husband is extra good maybe when we get home we will do some “sight seeing” LOVE IT!

  9. December 22, 2010 8:27 AM

    Begged you for the box and Saran wrap, huh? Teva looks like she’s giving you the evil eye.

    I’m glad your blog date went well! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Years! (And Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.)

  10. December 22, 2010 11:16 AM

    Happy Hannukah Marv!
    Here’s hoping you have found your Turtledove!
    (Home Alone 2 references abound)

  11. December 22, 2010 11:33 AM

    You guys look so happy! You also look like you have been super imposed onto van gogh’s starry night. He’s my dead guy crush, so this picture gives me the warm fuzzies.

  12. December 22, 2010 12:49 PM

    She totally had the Julie Andrews thing going on. Good job!

    At least our cold weather is the perfect excuse to forego venturing outside in favour of a Julie Andrews movie marathon.

  13. December 22, 2010 12:49 PM


    I shouldn’t type before coffee.

  14. December 22, 2010 12:59 PM

    Hooray! I am so happy for you both – this is a lovely holiday gift. 😀 (… and crocheted (wow that does not look appropriately spelled… ) campons may be more appreciated than saran wrap… just sayin…)

    Have a wonderful holiday season and travel safe! Enjoy Canada! 😉

  15. December 22, 2010 1:12 PM

    Yeah! Festivus sex!

  16. December 22, 2010 2:10 PM

    Yayness. Only now how can I pretend we’re dating and you’re a dude in my mind? I mean, my mind requires only single people for weird fantasies, so I’m not pleased. Well, I’m pleased for you, but not for me.

    And I keep trying to go over and leave a comment on Lindsay’s blog, except it’s all deep and intelligent and serious and I can’t think of something to say that won’t come across like weird cave people grunts.

    p.s.~ Your post and Jo’s post have a beautiful weird symmetry. Tell me, did you plan your life paths together but thought it’d be best to be opposite twins?

    • December 22, 2010 10:59 PM

      Weird cave-people grunts are welcome on my blog. It would just make me feel like I can actually speak a second language if I manage to figure out what you’re trying to say.

  17. December 22, 2010 2:54 PM

    the hills are alive with the sound of music!!!

  18. December 22, 2010 3:40 PM

    This is ridiculously cute.

  19. AmberM. permalink
    December 22, 2010 4:10 PM

    Haha, I looked up the tampon-shaped cat toy and, while grotesquely hilarious, I wish my boyfriend would have the sense to know to buy my cat the eyeball or turd-shaped toys. *sigh* We can’t have it all though, can we? Oh well, have fun in Canada land!

  20. December 22, 2010 4:17 PM

    Sweet 😉 Mazel Tov to all 5 of you!

  21. December 22, 2010 4:26 PM

    hooray, hooray! shall toast you two from the jungles of cambodia… where it’s a lot warmer but there are no sights to see. (sigh.)

    (also, i applaud our heart-synchronicity! it’s like we’re dating-twins. dating-twins, not dating twins. that would be weird.)

  22. December 22, 2010 5:05 PM

    the hills are alive with the sound of… sightseeing.

  23. December 22, 2010 5:12 PM

    Alright! A Canadian lady! I like. Also, is it just me or does like everyone up there blog? I know a bunch of Canadian bloggers. I guess they hand out urls with the maple leaf sweaters and healthcare up there.

    • December 22, 2010 11:07 PM

      URLs, healthcare, and a love of hockey are given to all Canadians. Unless you’re an American transplant, in which case you’re not given the love of hockey, but rather cursed to be a Toronto Blue Jays fan.

  24. December 22, 2010 6:15 PM

    This happy news has made me laugh – loud and long and clear. Also, emit a sigh of delight for your happy times present and ahead. Chag sameach!

  25. December 22, 2010 6:39 PM

    I knew it!

    I. KNEW. IT.


  26. December 22, 2010 7:59 PM

    You are a caring person who deserves to be happy.

  27. December 22, 2010 8:25 PM

    mazel tov! many many congratulatory hugs!

  28. December 22, 2010 8:38 PM

    I’m so happy for you! I do believe that when you get detailed about what you want in a partner, the universe knows who to send. I would play a boring video game, thinking about my perfect man, and then I got Jim! You got your Jim. Except her name’s not Jim, and she’s not a man…but she sounds perfect for you!

    Happy sightseeing!
    xo Susie

  29. December 23, 2010 1:44 AM

    Omg! Is it sad that when I first read about Lindsey I secretly hoped you two would get together? I am so so happy/excited for you! 😀 Also, I have never been to Toronto and have always wanted to, so I expect a detailed blog entry about your sightseeings there (not the sightseeing in italics, of course). Also, please send some of your Christmas-Kwanzaa-Christmukka luck in love my way if you have any left over…kthnx

  30. December 23, 2010 12:04 PM

    YAY for you! I’m so happy for you. I wish you guys the best in 2011 – if you can make it work long-distance, then think how amazing it will be if/when you can move closer to one another.

    Me, I’m alone without cats. Maybe next year will be my year.

    On a side note, though, what’s with all these people finding love through their blogs? It happened to a good friend of mine as well. The only guys contacting me are generally ranting about how horrible I am!

  31. Danna permalink
    December 23, 2010 3:15 PM

    Since it’s freezing and getting dark right about the time I prefer to eat lunch, this post was really warming! I am so happy and can’t wait to see you when you get back!

  32. The General (aka: Mommy) permalink
    December 23, 2010 5:46 PM

    That’s awesome news! I love when I go on one of my *frequent* blogging mini-hiatuses and come back to find wonderful things are happening to people!

    You two look so lovely together- I hope you have a lovely New Years together!

  33. December 23, 2010 6:52 PM

    In the midst of my Seasonal Affective Disorder, it is so good to see you guys being happy together! High fives all around… and dreams of spring.

  34. December 23, 2010 7:53 PM

    First of all ——– KITTIES!! Awwww.
    Secondly———-Yeahy for your Christmas miracle!! I’m so happy for you. 🙂

  35. That Girl permalink
    December 23, 2010 8:59 PM

    This is super fucking fantastic. Yah for Christmas miracles! And for the fact that your blog name is still appropriate. Enjoy the New Year’s Sightseeing.

  36. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    December 23, 2010 9:25 PM

    This was my first year of blogging and I’ve absolutely loved checking in on your blog every week. If I had an award for my favorite blog posting, I would award it to you for this fantastically jolly post! I’m so excited for you and your new Canadian lady! XOXO

  37. December 24, 2010 1:15 AM

    I guess I’m late to this, but… congrats! That’s unfuckinbelievably awesome.

    Sorry, that’s the only adjective–or adverb, as it were–that came to mind. 🙂

  38. December 24, 2010 2:08 AM

    aaaghghghgh i’m so happy for you!!!
    now if only i could get a girlfriend… i need some of your luck!!!

  39. December 24, 2010 5:14 PM

    HURRAY!!!!!!! Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year. So pleased you’ve found someone (although I am not impressed with the canine – cats all the way!).


  40. December 25, 2010 7:34 PM

    So Canada is the carrot to the family drama stick. Good.

    429 miles is not that far, really. You did good. Close enough to make it back and forth pretty frequently, until things progess to where *decisions* must be made.

    But *decisions* must alwasy be made in relationships, so there’s lil factiod in any circumstance, am I right?

    I know y’all will make the right ones, you both seem to be pretty awesome people. Brava!

  41. December 25, 2010 9:41 PM

    aww geez!!! this post made me smile like the big time!!! you guys are adorable. lots of love and warn n fuzzies to you, fellow jessica journalist homo blogger. happy 2011! already looking like a great year, isn’t it?? 😉

  42. Foreigner permalink
    December 26, 2010 8:12 AM

    Awww what a beutiful story!! x-mas miracles exist then? What a relief… good universe good I’m starting to like you again.

    Congrats!! You both look lovely in the pic!!
    Keep on smiling and Merry Xmashanuka!!

  43. December 27, 2010 1:48 AM

    Ohhhhh I am SO happy for you! May the feeling of walking in the clouds stay with you two forever. 🙂

    Hope your Christmas was fabulous! (I know it was). And safe and happy travel to CANADA!

  44. December 28, 2010 1:51 AM

    Isn’t MUTUAL feeling the best? All my love and hopes for a happy, pet-endorsed union!

  45. December 28, 2010 1:22 PM

    I can’t even try and be clever, I am just so happy for you both. And also all the pets. Maybe change the name of the blog to something about a Menagerie of Pets and Two Happy Hotties? I expect to be credited. 😉 Have a great trip! DO LOTS OF SIGHTSEEING.

    • December 28, 2010 2:05 PM

      Ooh, Menage a Cats?

      Okay, maybe that has a weird connotation….

    • December 28, 2010 2:52 PM

      If we end up living together in Boston someday, maybe I’ll call the blog Mass. Menagerie.

  46. EmilyD permalink
    December 29, 2010 5:08 PM

    I love that you are still funny, even when happy! Warmest wishes for this festive season.

  47. January 3, 2011 1:11 AM

    Congrats! Stopping by to wish you a happy new year!

  48. January 4, 2011 1:34 AM

    You had me at ‘rolls up your balls of socks.’

    I’m so happy for you and also sad for Blake Edwards.
    Everybody has to die, I guess. But not you guys for a very long time! Hooray! Enjoy that sightseeing.

  49. January 4, 2011 3:11 PM

    Whooo hoooo! Yay! Double YAY! Was so in need of hope and squishy and you offer both.

    Now. More please!

    And maybe I’ll stop using exclaimation marks. Maybe!

  50. January 4, 2011 7:15 PM

    Ah cute! Hope your new year celebration went well! Did you make any resolutions for 2011?

  51. January 6, 2011 12:32 PM

    I miss you. In a normal, person I don’t actually know but lives in my computer way.

  52. January 6, 2011 9:22 PM

    Ok. This is why working for a living sucks ass in a non-sightseeing way. I can’t believe I FINALLY NOW JUST RIGHT THIS MINUTE found out that you are in love in love in love with a wonderful gal!

    Mazel tov!

    You are an adorable couple.

    I hope you loved Toronto. It’s one of my favorite places. Also, I think we may be related because my husband’s family lives in Cleveland and some of my relatives live in Toronto. So we’re like city sisters x 2! We’re related twice!


  53. January 9, 2011 11:51 PM

    my head’s been up my holiday ass for way longer than yours, because i am just now seeing this!
    yippee yay hoo and i wish for you much sightseeing in the new year! xoxo and more xo

  54. January 25, 2011 10:04 PM

    This is great news! I had a very intense long distance relationship and everybody told me it would never work. We celebrate 14 years together this fall. Enjoy!


  1. “Oh, the places you’ll go,” Mom told me. If she only knew… |

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