This is where we begin the “Us” journey.
It was a cute 1 bedroom apartment with a little patio outback. The lower level of a high ranch home. Rentals on Long Island are more typically homes than apartment buildings. We had a nice kitchen and not enough closet space. One closet. That’s it. Has anyone seen my shoe collection? We squeezed into that space and figured it out. Next up. I need a job. What can I do here? I was not so sure I wanted to stick with banking but I needed something quick so I walked into Macy’s and filled out an application. This could be temporary while I search for a “career”. Macy’s hired me. They put me in the dress department. Specifically the After 5 and Better Dresses. I actually loved working there. I also began a collection of cocktail dresses to rival Dynasty characters. LOL. Where am I going with all these fabulous gowns? Let me tell you, I found places!
Shortly after my arrival to Long Island a welcome party was thrown for me by his parents. I thought it was a sweet gesture and it was to be held at the Brentwood Lions Club. Several of our friends came along and when I walked in I was not expecting something that likened a wedding reception. What kind of party is this? His parents and their friends were talking to me like we just got married. There was a DJ too! If one thing was certain, they knew how to throw parties. I learned that over the years. This group of people lived life LARGE. We had a great time that night but I did ask him why everyone assumed we were getting married soon. That was never even a topic. Hey, I just moved here to see how this is going to work out. We had a good laugh. Onward with us.
I settled into a routine and started to learn my way around the south shore of Long Island. We were young, so naturally we partied on the weekends. Friday night was hockey night with our good friends and a few cases of beer. Saturday generally meant more shenanigans. That’s what you do when you are young. You live. It was refreshing and I felt like I was catching up on life finally. Then there was the beach. So close and always available for a walk and to sort through my thoughts. I went as often as the weather permitted. Here we were. Playing house. Kind of adulting and not really caring about our future together. No heavy discussions of marriage, just taking it day be day and I was okay with that.
Not quite into our first year of living together and summer was approaching. My mom called me one day and said she wanted to go to Greece for the entire month of August. She said if I would go with her she would pay for me. She asked if I still had my passport and how fast could I renew it. I responded immediately with a YES and because I lived in New York I could expedite the renewal. Now to tell him I was leaving for a month and then to talk to my employer. He really had no opinion in the matter as technically I pay my own bills and we are not married. As a courtesy I informed him that I was going to travel with my mom for a month and how excited I was to be returning to Greece knowing my yiayia was there and we were going to surprise her. He was okay with it, but then again he didn’t have a choice. Next up, I need to talk to my boss at Macy’s. I had two weeks of paid vacation and I asked if I could have two weeks unpaid. They said no, I said sayonara. Macy’s wasn’t stopping me either from a great adventure with my mom. I did not live through a miserable few years of life to let anyone tell me no. So plans were made, my passport was renewed and I took off for the greatest journey with my mom that would ever happen. I loved everything about that trip and honestly, I approached any small vacations with my children with the same excitement and desire to take in our surroundings because you want to remember it all! I took a cassette player and recorded everything I could. I also took a journal and wrote daily. This was before anyone would coin the word “blog”. You see, I have always loved to write. I knew it was important to capture all of it.
While I was off on my great adventure, so was he. What is that expression? While the cat’s away, the mouse will play? My return home was eye opening….but that’s for my next post.