Dear Brides on their Wedding Day

My sister is getting married this weekend in a small ceremony that uses social distancing and some homemade touches.

And I know this is not the wedding day she planned. Or even the Plan B. And I know right now it’s hard to have anything happy in these times in which nobody feels like celebrating.

But this is my message to brides:

Hold on to this moment. Even amidst the pain and confusion. Even amidst the virus and the pandemic. Even amidst the peace and the justice.

This is not the moment you wanted. It’s not the moment you planned. But it is your moment. And it is as good as any to breathe in happiness and exhale negativity. And that’s all you need to get married. You just need a moment to reach out and take your happiness.

I hope you recognize it for the precious moment it is. Whether you are surrounded by hundreds of people or just a few. Whether it is in your backyard or at a fancy wedding venue. Whether you are writing your vows or taking age-old ones.

You are marrying the person you love. And nothing can take that from you.

Love,

Bailey

What My Mama (and sister) Gave Me

I grew up with two fiercely independent, smart, and kind role models: my mother and my sister. And being the youngest, I was obviously impressionable. So I ate up every word of advice on life that my mother and sister could give. And for you tonight, I’ve collected my favorite memories of each of them. To celebrate just two of the women I hold most dear. (I’m laughing even as I write this.)

Sister, Juliet:

  1. The day we set out to hike and accidentally kept walking for 10 miles.
  2. That time you didn’t know how to open a champagne bottle, so you did the best with what you could.
  3. Every day you drove me to high school and let me listen to your fall out boy cd.
  4. When I kissed you on the head before you went into surgery, and you were thoroughly disgusted.
  5. When you would do my hair and make up before a big school dance but make me sit on the toilet, and you would exasperatingly say, “IM DOING YOUR MASCARA. LOOK UP.”

Mom, Ellen:

  1. When you helped me decide to go to Ireland by talking to me for 45 minutes about the pros and cons.
  2. Every time we go shopping and encourage each other to buy whatever we want.
  3. That time you came into my room with the vacuum cleaner to suck up a particularly nasty spider.
  4. When you tear up because something is so unbelievably happy.
  5. That time you changed your name to “Betty boop” on your phone and then called the pizza place, who then obviously referred to you as Ms. boop.

Thanks, mom and Jul, for being who you both are. And allowing me to be who I am. Love you both.

Sincerely,

Bailey

To Be a Sister

I wear a lot of different hats during the day. And before you picture me wearing a fedora on top of a top hat on top of a yamaka, let me explain.

Most people are different things to different people. A single person can be a mother, a lawyer, a colleague, a friend, a grandmother, a problem solver, a Buddhist, a member of a band, an artist, a guitarist, a lover, a wife, a daughter…you get the picture.

And sometimes, we can get really caught up in defining ourselves by what we do. I actually find myself doing that all of the time because I’m always trying to be what people need me to be. On any given day, I’m a…

…sounding board, receptionist, manager, friend, teacher, mediator, cook, commiserator, expert, researcher, advocate, optimist, realist, marketer, writer, jester, woman…

And it’s draining and exhausting all rolled into one. Because how do I know who I am after all of that? How do I know who I’m really supposed to be when I’m supposed to be all of that at once?

Well, I was thinking about that when my sister stopped by the house the other night. It had been a few weeks since I saw her, but I relaxed into the rhythm of her driving the conversation, telling us every single detail about her life, and I slipped into my part of listening to every detail (because I’m a great listener too.)

And during this time, I had a single thought: I had forgotten what it was like to be a sister. Where you know what role you play, and so does she. You just fit together. Because that’s how it’s always been and always will be. There’s no hat to put on because you’ve been wearing it all along.

In that moment, I realized how much I missed that easy assumption. I realized how much I missed being only one thing to one person. But more than that, I realized I missed being a sister.

The good news? Any time I forget what it is like to be a sister, I can just call her up, and she’ll remind me.

Probably by stealing clothes out of my closet and making me do things “because she said so.”

But secretly? I’m looking forward to it. Just don’t tell her that.