Friday, June 10, 2011

pomp & circumstance.

First things first - I had my first inflight drink (blame it on the impending meetup of the stressful, yet entirely loveable family that awaited us: mom, dad, grandparents, aunt, sisters and sisters' boyfriends). A Jack & Coke to be exact. And as my sister's friend Vivian said, I'll never fly the same again.

A confluence of events may have made the experience all the more epic: the flight attendant just barely hands over our drinks when it's announced that in-flight service will be canceled due to turbulence, sips reveal these are absurdly strong, we must down them so we can put our tray tables up and toss the cups as is being demanded, the turbulence (which I generally enjoy anyway) mixed with the strong, gulped drinks makes us giggly and enchanted with the sky, the whole thing feels like a rollercoaster meets magic carpet ride and I am on top of the world. Later we are told that no one will be charged for their drinks, because of the suspension in service - i.e. free drinks!

Now, to be a little cheesy.
I've always enjoyed airports and flying, it's not something that scares me at all. In fact I feel safe, tucked into my seat.
But I always have to wear a piece of jewelry given to me by a relative while flying, I always pat the plane right before boarding, and right before landing, I always close my eyes and grip the seat a bit. And I'm always overcome with that ohmygosh we cannot crash, there's so much more i want to do with my life, there are so many people i want to tell i love you too i've been so ungrateful and wasteful andandand.
But when I fly with Walker, I don't feel that at all. Not even a little bit. No wasted life here.

Other highlights:

RISD graduation: it's tradition for graduates to take liberties with the whole monotonous cap and gown thing, which makes it really fun to watch (see above for an example) (my favorite was pretty subtle - a netted veil attached to the mortar board) and, after a moving speech about coming to RISD from Indonesia and finally feeling accepted enough to come out to his parents, the student representative speaker burst into an impassioned rendition of Lady GaGa's Born This Way. Too perfect.

Dinner at Andrew's apartment. Andrew and Meg are really good cooks: orzo, clams, shrimp, short ribs, steak, blueberry pie. I famously dominated the watermelon and corn-on-the-cob. And it was a prime opportunity for my family to get overly sentimental around the table. We're talking round robin memories of Meg. Cozy.

Del's frozen lemonade stands - when you get chunks of real lemon, it's heavenly.

Hot Club! Bar right on the water that hands out free popcorn.

The Oyster Bar! I love slurping em.' The salt, the red sauce, the horseradish.
Plus they had this sweet chili-like dipping sauce for bread that was to die for.

Sitting on the sidewalk to dig into short ribs from Mama Kim's Korean BBQ food truck. My mouth is still watering.

Free breakfast at the Hampton Inn - my mom is the queen of collecting Hampton Inn points. Where I was introduced to Chobani yogurt with pomegranate seeds on the bottom!

The Shepard Fairey designed Nice Slice.

Walking! Walking, walking, walking, walking, walking. I love that about cities.

Benefit Street! My favorite street. Benevolent Street comes in second.

The Wild Garden Mint ice cream at Three Sisters.

Keeping count of all the Dunkin' Donuts. There are soooo many it's unbelievable.

Cape Cod to see Beth & John, this adorable pipsqueak of a woman and her super tall husband, in our lives inexplicably. In one of the more touching moments, Beth gave Meg a sewing machine for graduation.
Eating lobster rolls on the beach. Watching everyone else jump into the freezing cold Atlantic.

Garden Grille - yum! And watching certain members of my family + Walker navigate a vegetarian menu, entertaining.

WaterFire - a bizarre Providence festival.

In conclusion:
It hit me while we were at this little cocktail party for the furniture department, watching my sister win faculty awards, handout fun awards to her peers and just generally look happy/popular/sad to be leaving...
For my 21st birthday I flew east to hangout with freshmen year Meg - though I loved exploring Providence, we were mostly miserable there - huddled in her cramped dorm eating grapefruits because it was bone-chillingly freezing outside and we were homesick and terrified of the hardcore art kids roaming the surrounding areas.
So much had changed.
She had come so far.
She conquered this place.
She kicked ass, grew in so many ways, and managed to remain my Meg.
p.s. We still have to live together.