move to NYC

Brayden Day Mayo

I realize I’ve become a terrible blogger. The last few posts are riddled with insincere yet obligatory apologies, but the truth is my life is not that entertaining when I’m not feeling so cynical. I’ve decided to take on the challenge of making my newfound stability interesting enough to read, right after some familiarly sarcastic anecdotes.

I’d like to add a few bullets to the reasons NYC is unlike anywhere else (see the pages of this different story):

  1. I’m forced to witness every subway-traveling couple’s displays of affection in uncomfortably inescapable proximity everyday. Daily. Everyday.
  2. I regularly have the opportunity to attend Paw Parties and Yappy Hours where Nugget can play to his heart’s content with the small dog’s of his choice while I enjoy finger foods and open bar with other owners. Nothing can make me giddy like Nugget, wine and free sushi. I don’t creepily seek out small dog owners specifically, but I love meeting new people…and this city is full of different people.
  3. As I mentioned in Celebratory, New York celebrates culture routinely and universally. There are themed events for any and every occasion, and there are so many Ukrainians working at EJs now, I literally can’t get my Sunday shift covered because there’s a Ukrainian parade this weekend. Unfortunately Cinco de Mayo only gets a pub crawl, and I’m eagerly awaiting a report of how many Mexicans turn out… Everyone loves the festive vibe–other cities should really exploit holiday’s the way we do.
  4. I cannot overemphasize enough how busy every person in this city is. A November women’s conference asked my church to start signing up now, to which my church responded: “We’re New Yorker’s. We don’t commit to anything in advance.” I swap schedules with my friends over three or four email exchanges before making plans, and break the eventual date agreed upon 2 out of 3 times. Actually following through happens by mere coincidence or miracle, and results in lengthy, overdue catch-ups. That’s why our meals last so long, I promise.
  5. We’re exposed to free live music whenever, wherever–a benefit for the listener and the performer. You’ve heard it all before: 50 Cent was routinely handing out EP’s on the street and struck a record deal. All the more reason for every “unique” rapper to thrust autographed discs in our guts, but Indian-give when we don’t tip. That’s only the half of it, though. The 6-line alone offers talent ranging from jazz and a cappella ensembles to mobile Mariachi bands every weekend. You can sit in on jam sessions in Central Park, Grand Central, local bars or any given front step. The worst of moods, crowds or subway delays can’t prevent me from appreciating unsolicited good music. I will never tire of this. (Note: the media has a way of describing Nashville like this just because it’s “Music City,” particularly with its current exposure. 1. This is not the case. 2. Major rule in journalism: don’t be cliche. How far they go to correlate flooding and country music…)

With that settled, I’m happy to announce my nephew Brayden John Day was born today on Cinco de Mayo! I think we can all agree this is the best case scenario for a holiday overlap. He’ll have a go-to theme for any parties, and he’ll grow to appreciate the almost-universal celebration with age, I think. I’m so excited for my brother and his wife, and my other brother/wife combo will be having a baby girl within the next week or so! I may not like kids, but I make an irresistible exception when it comes to nieces and nephews.

This celebratory day reminded me I promised a blog about my family, and I imagine I’ll have plenty of material after a weekend with my parents and sister in Nashville come Friday. As for my brothers, our relationship goes from lying about my parents dying when they babysat me as a child, to making me re-live falling off a dock for 15 years and counting, to cutting the “-hley” off my name and solely referring to me as “Ass”–and sometimes “Ass face.” You can’t imagine how much I miss this from New York. I save voicemail’s to replay when I’m homesick.

The thing about the Day family is there’s nothing more comforting or contenting than when we’re all together–all 11 of us–and we forget about all the problems or stress or dysfunction, because we’re too busy laughing. I mean in the heat of tension or anger or somberness, laughter can interrupt and completely save us from each other. We cling to shows, movies, home videos or nostalgia that induces these moments, because they’re what has held us together through it all. We share a common amusement for pain so we remember my brother letting my dad fall off a ladder, and my dad making my brother’s push his car up a hill, and the boys forcefully enduring all of my sister and I’s ballet recitals, and yes, me falling off a dock when I had an irrational fear of water, because laughter covers over pain and worry and resentment and separation. It heals time and distance and difference of opinion and inevitable yet unpredictable change. And we may not know when the next time that room-filling laughter will bring us together again, but we know it will come, and when it does we’ll have two new family members to bask in that joy.

To little Brayden and Kaylee, the 12th and soon-to-be 13th additions to our clan: learn from #9-the first grandchild. You are funny, it’s hereditary, and you’re capable of captivating us and grabbing our full attention even when we’re not all getting along. You’re more than welcome to, but know that your daddy’s will be making us (and anyone else) laugh at your expense for the rest of your life. You just come to Aunt Ass Face when you’re ready for payback. I’ve got loads of material and a little grudge from a minor fall off a dock…

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