lettuce alone

The thing is, you can’t fake newly married.  It’s not really a honeymoon unless it immediately follows your nuptials.  I know we make our own rules, and who’s to say?  I say.  I know a couple, due to schedules and rain seasons, who took their honeymoon just before tying the knot. Another couple with a destination wedding who then traveled to another island for their private honeymoon. 

Truth: I’m not one for following traditions, unless it works in my favor.  I love the idea of cooking (and much more so planning) an entire Thanksgiving meal, but I was always bothered by the "tradition" in my family for the men to watch football while the women took care of things in the kitchen.  It always pissed me off watching my mother cook for days, and then clean for days. And I didn’t just see it in my mother’s house.  I’ve seen it in almost all the homes of friends, aunts, and cousins, too.  The men hanging out watching football, eating cashews before dinner or a plate of fruit before dessert.  And the women are clearing plates, cleaning up, fussing with coffee filters, making two pots.  Decaf and regular.  And tea.  Re-setting the table after clearing it.  I hate that tradition.  I’m full too.  I want to lie on the couch and unbutton my pants, but instead of football, I want to watch Christmas movies,or When Harry Met Sally. Again.  Now, I happen to be very lucky.  The Suitor does, especially lately, all the cleaning and cooking.  I’ve been too sick and tired to move.  But he’s always been helpful, and I’m very lucky that way.  But if he wants any say in what our formal china will look like, I whine that he shouldn’t care because "he’s the boy."

Now back to this tradition of the honeymoon… I’m a romantic.  A honeymoon is for repeating the phrase "my husband" and looking down at your finger too often, twisting your new ring.  It’s for falling even more deeply in love, like the kind at the beginning where you stare and learn each other’s bodies.  Their birthmarks, the direction of their cowlick.  You learn their breath again and somehow know what their body looks like better than they do.  You memorize their eyes and moles and tan lines and smells, of their scalp and neck and odor.  You cannot recreate the "just" part of married.  Let’s just call a delayed honeymoon what it is: a vacation. 

We don’t know where we’ll go on ours yet.  We are getting married this September 16.  October 4, I’m doing a reading at BookPeople here in Austin, and then mid-October I’m on tour in Chicago (Oct. 10 Borders) and San Francisco (Oct. 12 Book Passage).  Before then, we’d need to brush away to Greece.  Or somewhere.  I’m a little nervous about being in a foreign country pregnant with twins, just in case.  But it’s our last trip before the kids come.  It’s our last chance to memorize each other, and I want that time away to get to know him, all of him, as we are, just the two of us, outside our home, our state, our country.  Because soon we’ll be filling Christmas stockings and having Thanksgiving feasts, bickering over the fact that I’m cooking too much food.  Before we have that life, I want to hold onto this one just a little longer, that newness of a lover I’ll grow with, in scents and tastes and skinny dipping moments. 



  1. i always look forward to reading your blog – you often state the obvious in a way i would have never thought to even think of!!

  2. Congrats on setting a date and planning your honeymoon. I'm sure it'll be great no matter where the two (four) of you go. I look forward to reading all about it when you get back.

  3. my favorite parts…"like the kind at the beginning where you stare and learn each other's bodies" and the part about memerizing each other's moles. i've always dreamt that my future husband could map out every single mole on my body by memory.

  4. Ok, I've been traveling all freakin' day and didn't have internet access until I got to my hotel room. You were the first thing I pulled up, even before my yahoo. So congrats-you may die happy! I'm thrilled that you're doing a shindig at BookPeople, and it's great having you here in Austin…when you're here. Please spend more time here, darn it!

  5. Go. Definitely. I traveled extensively while pregnant (I have a 4 month old daughter now) and everything was fine – but also do your research (I know you will). We also traveled through Greece, which was fantastic.

    I just finished your book – read it start to finish, actually, this weekend, while flying from Seattle to Boston.
    Loved it. Truly.

  6. I don't have anything profound to say (shocking, I know), just: what a beautiful, beautiful post. Reading it I could smell the Thanksgiving smells, hear the sounds, feel in my heart the feelings you described. It's a good life you're building, Stephanie, and those little ones of yours are so lucky–blessed!–to be a part of it. Here's to your continued health and happiness…and tan lines and moles and cowlicks and even more dishwashing done by the Suitor. Cheers!

  7. The 16th is my wedding date! You mentioned mid-september at some point and I wondered if it was the same – Four Weeks and counting! As for the honeymoon – we're taking it for all it's worth – Jamaica right away and then Mexico three weeks later… mmm

  8. Hi Stephanie–

    If you are thinking of Greece for your honeymoon, please check out Katikies on Santorini. We spent our honeymoon there nearly a year ago (the same time of year as you). They bend over backwards to accommodate their guests. Couldn't be more romantic!

    Tory in London

  9. Completly agree with your oppinion about the women-men work in the household. Sometimes I´m wondering how long it will take us to go the way of emancipation and equality.

  10. honeymoon, vacation as long as i get to travel somewhere. sign me up.

    if you have been together for quite some time (esp. living together) don't you feel you are past the honeymoon stage all ready? i can't imagine that getting married and taking a trip directly after would be any different than taking a trip today. i've memorized every mole and patch of hair already.

    maybe i'm just jaded?

  11. Greece is incredibly beautiful. If you go, please don't miss Santorini – make sure you get to the architectural site Akrotiri (if it's reopened). And please, please take a detour to a small island or two. We have very dear friends who live in Athens that rechartered our entire itinerary when they picked us up sending us off to Amorgos and Naxos. If you can, GO! But just a word to the wise. It's cooling down by September….

  12. Our son was born before we married. We had a destination wedding/honeymoon all in one. It was great. I would ask your OB before making large travel plans. I know PG women are not supposed to sit on planes for extended periods of time.

    A Honeymoon is a good idea but sometimes the idea gets blown out of proportion. Even a long weekend/trip close to home can be full of memories.

  13. I love your descriptions. You capture moments with words I understand but never would have strung together. It's almost an ah-ha moment.

    Congratulations on all your success with the book (finished it a couple days ago and I LOVED IT!!) and best wishes for you and The Suitor and the twins. You sound so happy through all your posts and having just read about how scared you were after leaving the Wasband, it's good to know you're now at a place of love, success, and joy.

  14. Hey Stephanie,
    Good Topic! I felt the same way when planning our honeymoon. It should be just that…a honeymoon is for going away after the wedding. Of course, it doesn't always work out that way. We're getting married on the 2nd, and taking our "honeymoon" the week before Christmas. I was depressed for days not knowing we're not doing anything right after the wedding. But what can I do, my guy is in Grad school and doesn't have the time until then. I will still call it my honeymoon though…"vacation" just doesn't sound as good. P.S. Your book is amazing.

  15. I guess if you're having the babies there, your TX residency has become more or less permanent. You realize your kids will have TX accents, right? And I'll bet you and Phil speak with the dulcet tones of Nassau Co. gilded ghetto dwellers. Upshot: your kids will make fun of you. It will be 2 to 2, but they will be younger and stronger. Kids may be short, but they are relentness. You need your strength to write sitcom scripts. Come back to NY while there's still time.

  16. I went to Greece this summer and it’s absolutely amazing. The culture, the food, and the scenery are wonderful!! The island of Santorini is very romantic and perfect for a honeymoon. I wish you the best of luck with your wedding and everything else!! Btw I’m probably going to start reading your book for the second time because I can’t get enough of it.

  17. It's our last chance to memorize each other, and I want that time away to get to know him, all of him, as we are, just the two of us

    So Roman-tic. Why do you have to leave the country for that? You could just as easily lock yourselves in a motel room and never come out for a week or so.

    Not into the motel room thing, then I suggest you take yourselves to one of the most beautiful places on the planet: Victoria Falls; either Zambian or Zimbabwian side will suffice.

  18. YAY for you!! Almost time for your wedding!!! I hear these last few weeks are suppose to be stressful, or rather end up stressful; good luck to you!! Enjoy your honeymoon!

  19. Please do a reading in San Antonio! A suggestion on the formal china–use it! And not just on formal occassions. Setting a beautiful table is almost as much fun as getting dressed in a fabulous outfit.

  20. No recos here… just a salute for the 'Honeymoon Salad' reference!

    (It was one of my Mom's favorite corny jokes.)

  21. When will you be in Chicago? I'd like to make plans to come to your reading.

    Good luck with your pregnancy!

  22. Stephanie,

    You said the honeymoon is "our last chance to memorize each other." That's not true–I've been married for 13.5 years, have three children, and we still have the time and the energy to "memorize each other." Don't look at it as a 'last chance,' look at it as a new beginning!

    As for Thanksgiving–in our family, there has ALWAYS been the tradition that ALL the men clear the table and CLEAN the kitchen. It's always been that way! Of course, football is still on.

    Is your tour schedule posted? I have to get your October date in Chicago onto my calendar. I do not want to miss your reading here and being able to meet you, and to see how cute and prego you are in real life!


  23. Greece is very beautiful. I`m planning to go there and also Cyprus in September or maybe in early October. What you said about late honeymoon being just a vacation is so true.
    Ask your doctor and do your research before going and have good time.

  24. Make sure to appreciate your honeymoon and your time together, even if it doesn't go as planned, because your world is will be turned upside down after the babies are born. I wish I had known just how much life would change before we had kids. It's not for the worse, by no means, but you will not have time for each other like before. I remember being bored on the weekends, now I would love to have a "boring weekend" again. LOL!

  25. Congrats on getting married in September—which is a beautiful time of the year! I broke all sense of the word “tradition”, due to that fact you mentioned…the women working in the kitchen, while the men unbuttoned their jeans and watched football.

    Now that I’m 32 yrs old, my partner—who’s a female, we both enjoy cooking together, and having friends and family over. No football, no men expecting us to wait on them like slaves. In fact, the men that we invite are better cooks than us!

    I hope your honeymoon never fades out. Keep that newness of your love and do exciting and unexpected things. Keep it fresh!

  26. So excited about the reading here in Austin-already marked my calendar here at work. I'm truly happy for you,even moreso after reading your book. You deserve every bit of happiness that's getting ready to come your way, with all the huge life-changing events in the months to come. And by the way, for the record, your kids first words won't be y'all (with a twang) unless you live in the country, not here in Austin. No worries. I think the NY accent is cooler anyway.

  27. Congratulations in advance on the upcoming nuptials! Really a lovely post, beautifully written. The vintage Klein we like to read.

  28. I ABSOULUTLY LOVE your blog. I look forward to reading it everyday! Congratulations on your pregnancy! Lot's of love for you in Chicago! I CAN NOT wait until your reading! When is it?? Must mark my calendar!!!

    Take care & above all else, be well!

  29. I agree with you about Thanksgiving and it's always been like that in my family too. Last year I (mistakenly) mentioned it to my dad that he might want to help my mom…Huge error. She was very happy being in charge of her kitchen, thank you very much. She had twelve family members coming over to dine in her home and eat her food and she didn't want my father (or any other men) in the kitchen "messing things up." So my dad happily retreated to the den to watch football, pleased with himself for trying.

  30. So many of us are waiting for your Chicago visit!!

    Mom of Finn-I tried to comment on your blog but didn't have an account to post a comment.

    Your Finn is so much cuter than Federline's kid.

    We Chicago gals should hook up for some drinks when Stephanie comes to town! (You could come too Steph, but you'll have to have a virgin!) It would be a riot! It's like we're all best friends with Stephanie anyway – we've got so much in common! LOL.
    The Other Stephanie

  31. hi stef, i just found you today on myspace and i really enjoy your blogs! congrats on impending motherhood and your marriage. i am a military wife of 3, our youngest just turned 1 on the 15th! we will have been married 1 year on the 29th but we have been apart more than we've been together so definately enjoy your honeymoon–i never got one–military doesn't really allow for it! enjoy everything about motherhood, the screaming, the kicking and crying, the giggles and fits of laughter, the hugs, the slobbery kisses, the mutual adoration/hate, the loud music and the quiet moments….enjoy them all! and enjoy each other. whereever you guys decide to honeymoon, remember it's all about the two of you, and especially enjoy each other! i wish your household more happyness than your hand and heart can hold, a bit more peace to go with the hectic day to day stuff and love that can withstand anything.

    Peace & Blessings

    LAUGH out loud, even if no one else gets the joke,
    WORK like you don't need the money,
    LOVE like you've never been hurt,
    DANCE like no one's watching!

  32. Was just feeling a bit sorry for myself tonight as I'm moving to San Francisco (where I will know NO one)from London (where I have been blessed with truly amazing friends)…and now I have your reading to look forward to! Hurrah!!!!

  33. I went to Border's today to check out your book and couldn't find it on my own, so I had to ask an employee for assistance.

    They looked it up in the computer and found it in the Self-Help section.

    Is there where your book is supposed to be? Is it a self help book? I thought it was supposed to be a memoir of sorts.

    Anyway…read two random chapters. Didn't buy it.

  34. I hate football after Thanksgiving dinner. It's an abomination! And it's why I prefer to celebrate the holiday abroad…you get to take the best parts…and leave the rest.

    Football. Geesh.

  35. Okay, I finally got your book. And I read it. And I read it again immediately following the first reading. Fantastic, wonderful, brilliant………all words that I think are not enough to describe your book. I'm currently ordering copies for everyone I know and probably some random people i'll decide to share your genius with. The book is really amazing and I can't wait to see the tv show!

  36. I hate that Thanksgiving tradition thing, too. It's like there are two Thanksgivings, one for men and one for women.

    I have not endeared myself to some females in my family tree by refusing to do kitchen duty immediately after the big meal.

    I don't understand why the kitchen has to be made spotless 5 minutes after everyone gets up from the table. I mean, can't we all digest first?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.