Cornball Brothas: 2 Robs Don't Make a Right

After six years of marriage, I've made peace with the fact that every time I turn on my television, it will be on ESPN.

Doesn't matter what day; doesn't matter what time of day.  As the wife of an avid sports fan (who assures me, "It could be worse, much worse"), living in an avid sports city (it's not Chapel Hill but it'll do), I've embraced the unanticipated marital duties of scheduling my Sunday afternoon around the NFL; schlepping to work with red eyes and a voice that would give Barry White a run for his money after late night, weekday games; and trying not to avert my eyes from Celtic's games as Kevin Garnett unleashes a barrage of expletives (which, strangely enough, the cameras always seems to pick up with great detail).  Apparently sports and sports entertainment are two of The Five Love Languages.  Even crazier?  How much I've come to enjoy watching sports with my husband and how much I've learned in the process.

While my husband comments on the game and I comment on the player's tangential connections to reality television.  My husband take note of post-injury performances and I notice who's wearing the flyest sneakers.  He rejoices over the success of Celtics rookies while I cry out "Ray-Ray! Oh no, say it ain't so!" upon seeing Ray Allen sporting a Miami Heat jersey.  My husband laments over his fantasy football standing while I lament over the injustice of how physical altercations are treated in the NBA vs. the NHL, make jokes about "intimate relationship" between the Red Sox and Popeye's, and then poke fun at the referees' warm-up routines and calls that look like they came straight from the The Soul Train line at last summer's family reunion.  And yes, I've been known to let out a "Come on man!" every now and again.

But my proudest moment to date was in response to a passing comment that there are "No good wide receivers with dreads," to which I replied unflinchingly: "Larry Fitzgerald."

My husband looked like he was about to cry.

Last weekend as we drove through Back Bay (sorry, no Tom and Giselle sightings) he asked, "Have you heard about that guy on ESPN who got suspended for comments he made about RG3?"  By the end of a full week that included 6 am flights, early morning meetings and Christmas festivities running late into the night, I strained to even remember what I ate for lunch the previous day let alone any ESPN scandals.  Although I vaguely recalled a headline that read: An Open Letter to Rob Parker, and thought to myself: "The guy that used to host The Price is Right?  Isn't he dead?"  I have since learned the difference between Rob and Bob, and no, Bob Barker is not dead (my bad).

My husband began to relay the December 13th episode of ESPN's First Take where RG3 joined the ranks of the B.F.U.I. ("Black Folk Under Investigation," see also, Grant Hill, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, and President Obama) based on comments he'd made in a recent USA Today interview.  "And Rob Parker was like, 'Well we know he has a white fiancee'--" my husband continued.  And that's when I began to double-over in laughter.  "Hold up.  Wait a minute," I managed to get out between gasps of air, "of ALL professions in the world, he wants to start calling out black men...with women who are not the NFL...really?"

After watching the segment in its entirety I was struck by how most of the discussion around Mr. Parker's comments and his subsequent suspension is centered around two minutes of what was a fascinating fifteen minute conversation about talking braids, whether black quarterbacks can change their skin color like chameleons, an impromptu therapy session stemming from a 1997 Oprah interview with Tiger Woods, and the new paragon of honesty in the modern age: direct quotations from "Joe Regulars" (not to be confused with "Joe The Plumbers") at the barbershop who don't go to college, are struggling, have miserable lives and judge your character by looking at your spouse, how you present yourself, and warn you that braids and corporate America don't mix.

I've often heard athletes refer to sports as "the great equalizer," where all the matters is what you bring and leave on the field/court/rink/gymnasium.  But as we've seen from this story as well as Jason Gay's article in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, even sports don't live in a vacuum.  Personally, I think the best response to both RG3 and Rob Parker's comments came from Stephen A. Smith (beginning at 1:17 ending at 1:19:50)


Interracial Living

"The goal of the Living Interracial project is simple: it is meant to start a dialogue on a subject that is still seen as taboo in south Louisiana."

The Living Interracial Project which includes stories, video interviews and photo galleries runs on from August 13 - August 25.

"Interracial Relationships May Not Be Harder But They Can Be Funnier": A Review of '2 Days in New York'

The first time I read about 2 Days in New York -- the sequel to Julie Delpy's 2 Days in Paris -- what caught my eye wasn't so much the film's two main characters: "hip talk-radio host and journalist Mingus (Chris Rock) and his French photographer girlfriend, Marion (Julie Delpy)."  What gave me pause one reviewer's incredulity that the plot of a movie starring an interracial couple wasn't about "the issue" of interracial relationships.  Actually, I take that back -- it didn't give me pause; it was more like a blank stare that transitioned into a side-eye.

Well, lest you believe that adult, interracial couples with kids, bills, and jobs simply askew their real-world responsibilities to have racial pow-wows all day (with a racial agenda of course), sitting around acknowledging their "interracial-ness," 2 Days in New York reminds us where these kind of couples actually live: the real world.

For two days Mingus becomes an outsider of sorts in his own home when Marion's father, sister, and her sister's uninvited boyfriend (what one of my friends would refer to as a "R.A.G.": Random A-- Guest)  spend two days visiting from France.  Mingus is the only person who doesn't speak or understand French and the visit only grows more awkward by the minute: From the RAG's failed attempts to connect with Mingus over Salt-n-Pepa and smoking weed, to the series of unexpected personal displays of affection from Marion's dad which include his triple-cheek kissing and feather-tickling, to the RAG's insistence that Mingus' sister Elizabeth (Malinda Williams) "looks just like Beyonce...only sexier."

Toward the end of the movie, Mingus' observation borne out of frustration is a poignant one: "Ever since your family got here, you've become another person."  Sometimes Time heals wounds and sometimes it just delays an inevitable shouting match with your adult siblings over Thanksgiving dinner.  It seems no matter how far we advance in age, no matter how far we travel from home, nothing can separate us from the effects of being our parents' child or our brother's or sister's (or no one's) sibling.  Now the extent to which we choose to acknowledge or admit these relations is a different matter all together.

2 Days in New York opens in theaters nationwide (kinda) on August 10th.  If you're in the Boston-area, you can catch it beginning August 17th at the Kendall Square Cinema 9 in Cambridge.  Or you can just do what we did and just suck it up and pay the $9.95 to watch it On Demand.

Checking In

I know what some of ya'll are thinking. My bad.

When I saw my mom's missed call and voicemail shortly after landing in California a few weeks ago, I thought:
Oh how sweet!  An early birthday call!  I bet she's calling to see what gift I'd like her to dip into her retirement savings to purchase for me.  No, no, actually, I bet she needs our address so she can send my birthday card that I'll carefully rip open, shake, and watch cash or a check fall out.  I know, I'm coming to DC next week and she wants to know what I want her to cook for me...
And my pipe dream remained just that: a dream.

Instead I listened to my mother's quick, obligatory greeting immediately followed by, "YOU CAN'T EVEN CALL TO SEE HOW WE ARE DOING! WE HAVEN'T HAD POWER FOR THREE DAYS!!!"

While I'd been galavanting across the country, a "derecho" (also known as "kind-of-tornado-but-not-really") did some extensive damage in the Washington DC Metro and I had no idea.  Then my husband made the passing comment, "Hey you haven't posted on your blog in a while..." and I knew at the very least I needed to post a quick update and check in.

Truth be told, I've actually spent the in-between time seeing old friends and meeting their new babies; trying to finish a draft of a different kind of "baby" (my first book); listening to Chief Justice John Roberts accept the motion for my admission into the Bar of the United States Supreme Court in the same room he would deliver the health care decision just a week later (only to have it butchered by almost every major media outlet); reflecting on death as I celebrated another year of life; and most importantly: successfully leading an entire wedding reception in the Cupid Shuffle (yes, I can hear you humming "down, down do your dance" right now).

So needless to say, we have a lot to catch up on.

Something Borrowed, Something New and Something Familiar

This weekend kicks off our 2012 wedding season with the nuptials of my best friend from high school  --she's Nigerian (Yoruba), he's Ghanian (Ashanti I think?) and I was there the (prom) night they met!

I consider it my duty to give my husband a little "pep talk" before these type of functions so this past weekend I clued him in to what he could expect: "It'll kind of be like a high school reunion, with lots of underlying 'Ghana vs. Nigeria' tension so watch out on the dance floor," I tell him.

But while nodding off on the couch during my post-church-lunch nap this past Sunday, I came across the PBS special, Lidia Celebrates America Weddings: Something Borrowed, Something New.  The host, Lidia Bastianich--one of my many chef crushes--profiles four very different and yet very American weddings: a Nigerian-American wedding in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; an Irish and Italian-American wedding where the bride happens to be Lidia's niece and goddaughter; a Sri Lakan and Indian-American wedding combining both Catholic and Hindu ceremonies in Chicagor; and a Korean-American wedding in Queens, New York, home to half of New York City's Korean population.

What I loved about Lidia in this special was that she doesn't just chill in the background saying, "Oh, how nice.  Isn't this nice? What a lovely couple."

Um, no.

Lidia's got outfits, she's getting schooled on the cuisine, she's getting henna, second lining, and homegirl is owning the dance floor.  I got a real kick watching her spray the couple in the Nigerian American wedding.  She had me screaming at the television like "GET IT LIDIA! YOU BETTA GET IT GURL!"

And what struck me the most were the subtle, little pockets of similarity among non-Western weddings and weddings in general, or as Lidia put it:
"There's a big difference between different ethnic weddings.  Customs, protocol, especially the color...the music.  And yet, there seems to be an underlying common denominator: that there's two families, bringing their children together.  And helping and steering and giving the support to those two children to start a new life and continue and multiply."

If you get a chance to watch, let me know what you think!

Boston Marathoners See The Darndest Things!

Even after four months of training, I'm not sure anything could quite prepare me for what I saw and experienced while running in the 2012 Boston Marathon this past Monday.

Going into this weekend I was well aware that we were in for warmer weather on marathon day but like many, I think I totally underestimated how warm it would feel.  This photo from the front page of yesterday's Wall Street Journal just about sums it up:

It was HOT.

Over the weekend, the Boston Athletic Association began sending out cryptic emails strongly discouraging anyone who hasn't won a gold medal in the last two Summer Olympics from running in the marathon and to defer to 2013 (I'm pretty sure their attorneys drafted those).  But Coach Rick encouraged those of us who felt able to take the appropriate precautions and run.  So for me it was a no-brainer, I was running.

Arriving at Athlete's Village -the pre-race staging area--was pretty amazing.  I found the port-o-potty experience slightly traumatic and saw things in the toilet bowl that I'd rather forget, but otherwise, had a great time.

While walking around I noticed a large group of Korean runners taking a photo with the Korean flag.  I walked up to the group and asked, "Can I take a photo with you?"  The (Korean) photographer looked me up and down and said, "Do you know what flag that is?" "Of course!" I replied "Korea!" Geez, did she just assume I thought they were Chinese?!

Me infiltrating the Korean Dance Circle
One of the sights that surprised me the most along the Marathon route were the many, many, many interracial families.  Not so much that I saw them but where I saw them Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham.  I was like "Wow! Who knew?"  I think I saw more along the Marathon route in the suburbs than in the city.  Challenge the assumptions!

So aside from the Kenyans and Ethiopians, the most popular runner yesterday--hands down--was Flo Allen-Hopson, a.k.a. "Momma Allen," the mother of Boston Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen.  We were actually keeping pace with each other for a couple of miles (yes, before she smoked me, but it's Momma Allen so that's okay), and it was so fun seeing people realize who she was after she passed them.  They'd invariably start screaming "Oh my gosh! That's Momma Allen! MOMMA ALLEN! I LOVE YOUR SON! I LOVE YOUR SON!"  And she would just give a little wave and keep it moving.  She is the first woman I've even seen run a marathon with perfectly coiffed hair.  And this year was her third Boston Marathon.

New Englanders get a bad wrap when it comes to friendliness and hospitality, but all I know is I couldn't have made it without them: the passerby reminding me just how far I'd come and how little I had to go; the other runners who came up beside me shouting "Looking good! You're doing great!"; the kids standing on the side of the road holding out handfuls of quickly melting ice and saying "Good job!"; the tailgating, Newton suburbanites who went to great lengths to give me ice and water; the people screaming from the windows of their apartments for me to "KEEP GOING!"; and yes, even the inebriated student in front of Boston College who tried to hug me.  To the countless, anonymous faces that helped me make it across the finish line, THANK YOU.  I couldn't have done it without you.

Me crossing the finish line :)

My 2012 Boston Marathon Prediction: Africans vs. MARATHON Africans

I'm not a betting a woman, but I predict someone of African descent will win the Boston Marathon on Monday and I will not be that person.

This weekend I have family, friends and loved ones descending upon our humble abode, here to cheer me on as I run the Boston Marathon this Monday, April 16th, as a charity runner for Boston Partners in Education.

When I've mentioned the marathon to people while I was training I heard a few comments that made my pause like, "Oh, you're African, you'll be fine. YOU CAN WIN!"

First, let's just say I have an "interesting" runner's build.  My dad is over 6 feet tall and my mom is 4'11.  So inherited my dad's height but my mom's tiny feet.

Second, let's be clear, when it comes to the Boston Marathon, EAST Africans have it on lock, so much so that I wonder if anyone from the Boston Athletic Association has considered renaming it the "Kenyan-Ethopian Marathon in Boston."  

Us West Africans, we'll stick to, those sports that give us a minute to take a break and catch our breath.  Although at one point during our training long runs, I was a bit concerned spectators were beginning to think I was Kenyan because of my coach's tendency to yell: "Like a Kenyan baby! Like a Kenyan!" while watching me run.

But on a serious note, I've been truly humbled and amazed through the entire experience of training for the Boston Marathon and raising money for my charity.  This past week while doing my last, short training runs by the Charles River, I caught some of these elite Kenyan and Ethiopian runners also doing runs.  "Wow,"I whispered to myself, "those aren't just Africans, those are marathon Africans."

For those of you interested in keeping abreast of my progress on marathon day you can sign up for the AT&T Athlete Alert.  My bib number is: 24925

Smashing Eggs: Easter 2012

If you've come across the new JCPenny catalog recently, then you may have gotten a glimpse into how we'll be spending part of our Easter Sunday:

Yes, we will be smashing eggshells filled with confetti on the heads of complete strangers.

For years I've heard friends, colleagues, and acquaintances speak about "Easter at Maria's" like folklore or legend: only happens once a year, tons of people, lots of food (even lobster?!), but most importantly: cascarones -- egg shells that have been emptied, washed, dried, (sometimes dyed), and then filled with confetti. 

Here's a video of my friend Maria providing her explanation of the Easter tradition (that's also her and her family in the JCPenny spread above -- she's one of the few people I know that could make separating eggs look that glamorous).  

Judging by Maria's comment, "So on Easter, I put my tequila in a sippy-cup," it sounds like things get pretty messy:

I must admit, I'm a little concerned about my hair.  Just a little.

Turning The Haters Into Believers: My Mom's Campaign To Preserve The Engagement Ceremony

My engagement ceremony: mom, me, dad, and the drummers because what's a celebration without drummers?!
Last November while preparing to host Thanksgiving dinner for my family of origin and our friends in Boston, I started picking up on my mom's ulterior motives for the visit.  During a pre-Thanksgiving phone call that included my requests for jollof rice and rum cake, she repeatedly inquired about my engagement ceremony DVD.

"But mom, you have a copy."
"I know but I gave it someone and they never gave it back."
"Um, well, you might need to go on ahead and give them a call and say, 'Where is my DVD?!'"
"Please, just give me your copy."
"Why?  So it'll go missing like the one you had? Mom, you can't just go around passing out copies of our engagement ceremony like it's a bootleg copy of a Tyler Perry movie.  Why don't you just call the guy who did the videography and ask him to make you another copy?"
"I did and he said he doesn't have it anymore."
"He doesn't have it?!  It was only five years ago!  See...some of these Nigerian vendors...what kind of shady business is he running?"
"Tinu PLEASE! I promise I'll give it back."  Then I heard my father's voice in the background, coming to my defense: "I don't blame her!" he said to my mom. "I wouldn't give you another copy either." 

Clearly, I am my father's daughter.

As a compromise we spent the day after Thanksgiving wading through Black Friday crowds to kill time while waiting for Staples to make a copy of the DVD.  My advice to my mom: "As soon as you get back to Maryland you should take this copy, keep it as your replacement for the one you gave away, and then make a copy so we don't have to do through this again."  So you can guess my reaction when I recently received the following voicemail: "Hello? Ah, yes -- Tinu? This is your mom.  How are you? Look, please can you help me make a copy of your engagement ceremony DVD? Please, I really, really need it.  So if you could do that for me I would kindly appreciate it. Say hello to Josh."


Now before you start leaving comments about how I'm such a terrible daughter, rest assured, my mom has yet ANOTHER copy of the DVD made at the SAME Staples.  In fact when I dropped it off, the gentleman looked down at the cover and said, "Oh! I remember copying this last time!"  But before I sent it off to her, I was curious as to why her Nigerian friends, intimately acquainted with the custom, were asking for the DVD.  Her short answer: "Well all their children are getting engaged and marrying white guys."  Dissatisfied with her response, I kept pressing her on the issue.  I mean, there are lots of other Nigerians they know whose children have married someone who isn't Nigerian so... why us? "Well," my mom added, "their children said that won't do an engagement ceremony unless their parents  do it the way you guys did."

The conversation still left me scratching my head. A traditional engagement ceremony serves as the official introduction of two families being joined together through marriage because in Yoruba culture, as in many non-Western cultures, when you marry the person you do marry the family (and sometimes the whole tribe).  More importantly, it also serves as the groom's opportunity to beg for the bride.  The most indelible memory from our engagement ceremony was how hot it was in my parents basement where the ceremony took place even though we had the A/C cranked up (but hey, it was August in Maryland).  And while ceremonies can have unique elements, many elements are pretty common like the entrance of the groom's family, bringing out the bride, prostrating to parents/elders, singing, and reading the groom's family's "letter of intent" (which I think my family actually drafted).

My mom kind of tip-toed around the issue but I realized that one of the main elements of our ceremony that her friends' children wanted to replicate was the absence of "the D-word": DOWRY.  

From the time I was old enough to attend engagement ceremonies and understand their significance, my father made it abundantly clear that he would NEVER accept dowries (money) for his daughters because there is no amount of money in the world anyone could ever give for his daughters.  So while our ceremony included an exchanging of gifts between families -- I'm pretty sure a case of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider and some fruit baskets were involved -- a dowry played no part in the ceremony and my husband was not complaining.  I'd say my dad's view is pretty rare among Nigerian men of his generation.

So I thought I'd give my mom suggestions for engagement ceremony resources that would not involve me spending so much time making DVD copies: "Have you look on Youtube?" I asked, totally expecting my mom not even know what Youtube was, "There are lots of engagement ceremonies on there."  But mom never ceases to surprise me: "Oh please," she responded, "There are so many stupid ones on there. I don't have time for that foolishness."

Why I'm Not Celebrating National Marriage Week

Since I write about marriage and relationships, I felt a bit out of the loop when I learned on Twitter that National Marriage Week was in full effect. But once I began mentioning to friends: Hey! Did you know it's National Marriage Week?, I figured that their blank stares and side-eyes meant I wasn't the only one who didn't get the memo.

The National Marriage Week USA site lists a bunch of events so I said to myself,  Hm...let's see what National Marriage Week events are going on in the city of Boston -- the largest New England city and the tenth largest metropolitan area in the United States!  I began scrolling through a list that was supposed to show me events in my area, but it really just showed me events in everyone else's area: Texas, California, South Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, Kansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Texas, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, oh, and Texas.

So figured it would just be faster to put in my state and -- voila! -- a whopping two events appeared.  One in Dartmouth, Massachusetts which my husband had to explain wasn't THE Dartmouth but more like THE Dartmouth's stepcousin, and another in Holbrook, Massachusetts, a suburb about 20 miles south of Boston.

Now, considering that the stated purpose of National Marriage Week is to strengthen marriage, I assumed any associated events would be just that: an opportunity for couples to strengthen their marriage in substantive ways.  Maybe an opportunity to set aside the distractions of the week to sit face to face and connect.  Maybe a couples rub down that might lead to you know what.  Heck, maybe even a room with one of those 7-foot champagne bathtubs like in the Poconos! But no, one of the events was essentially a Saturday evening potluck followed by a viewing of a two-hour, Focus on the Family webcast.  

No disrespect to Dartmouth, Holbrook, or strong marriages, but on this one...I'll have to pass.

The Key a Successful Marriage Union: Separation

It's official.  We're Brendan James groupies.

Our latest BJP (Brendan James Pilgrimage) took us to New York City for Rock Talk Presents: Brendan James.  Part performance, part intimate conversation, Rock Talks allowed the audience to listen in on a conversation between Brendan James and 2011 Emmy Award winning news anchor Phil Lipof; interweaving a discussion about his career throughout a performance of some of his newest songs.  

So with my sister-in-law in tow, my husband and I trekked over to Feinstein's at Loews Regency and settled into our booth for the evening, a room that looked like it doubled as the set of Mad Men.  After giving Phil a pep talk (he found out we came down from Boston and told us he's from Newton, Massachusetts), we enjoyed another great Brendan James performance while turning my sister-in-law into a believer.  And in typical Diver fashion we made our presence known by shouting "TARHEELS!" and "GO PATS!" when the interview questions turned to sports, and by punctuating with end of songs with: "You betta SANG!" and "Dat boy good! (And my husband's best "Nigerian" translation impersonation: "Deh boy iz good!")

For those of you who don't remember Mr. James from my previous post, he's a fellow Tarheel, my favorite "white-guy-with-a-piano," the singer-songwriter my husband stumbled upon one day on iTunes and as been playing on repeat ever since.  Over the last year we've seen him perform live at least 3 or 4 times.  And from one show to the next, he's remained the same humble, down-to-earth, and approachable person who takes time to meet and connect with his audience.  

Our favorite Brendan James story thus far is when my husband ran into him in between sets at a show and requested his cover of Jamie Foxx's Blame It.  Considering we were in Londonderry, New Hampshire at the time, Brendan was a tad skeptical about how it would go over with the crowd. But I had complete confidence that white people still love hip-hop.  Yes, even in New Hampshire.

But what impressed me most about this particular show wasn't so much Brendan James' music, but another theme that came up repeatedly during the interview: his marriage.  He spoke often about his marriage in light of his own parents' divorce and the demands of his music career, particularly one that requires him to spend a significant amount of time on the road and way from home.  As in previous interviews, Brendan mentioned that his wife does not travel with him because she has her own life and interests aside from his work as a musician (to which I'm sure I let out an "Amen!").

When asked about his thoughts on the current state of marriage in America, Brendan acknowledged the reality of increasing divorce rates and declining marriage rates while at the same time expressing hope.  He's optimistic that his own generation -- having experienced the impact of divorce first-hand -- will be even more committed to stem that tide.  And personally, I hope he's right.

Why Bridal Showers Are The Worst Place To Learn About Marriage

What I love most about my wedding video is that it captures all the mistakes and imperfections from our wedding day; moments like the arrival of chronically late relatives, members of the wedding party making stank faces, and all the people delivering heartfelt wishes whom neither my husband nor I can recognize. 

Even on the best-intentioned wedding days, things go wrong.  For many brides such a statement is anathema, and I believe one event in particular feeds into this delusion: bridal showers.  I’ve come to realize that an event originally meant to prepare brides for marriage can actually set them up for disappointment for a few reasons:

Not even Victoria Secret models wear that much lingerie.
Last year I attended a bridal shower for a friend whose entire guest list consisted of women from her church.  Now, a church bridal shower is just like a secular bridal shower except: 
1) Someone has to pray, at least once; 
2) There is no alcohol; and 
3) It’s raunchier. 

Now, I loved being "that friend" who made the bride blush with a honeymoon gift resembling dental floss -- only to be upstaged by the gifts of edible body condiments and Fruit Roll Up thong underwear, from the pastor’s wife of course -- but if one were to extract the meaning of marriage solely from the average bridal shower gifts, you’d think marriage took place entirely in the bedroom and the kitchen.  If we were really honest with brides about life after marriage, there’d be a lot more pairs of sweatpants and granny panties showing up as shower gifts.

We lie to the bride.
The unspoken rule of bridal showers: Do not upset the bride.  So what if her future mother-in-law decided to add herself to the wedding party without asking?  So what if the bride doesn’t know whether her groom got their wedding rings out of layaway and the rehearsal is tomorrow?  And so what if she insists that the last fifty pounds she needs to lose to fit into her wedding gown are coming off in two weeks?  As far as her bridal shower is concerned she is svelte, her wedding will be perfect, and she is marrying the fourth member of the Trinity.

The people with the most to say have no business talking.
I’ve come to dread that portion of bridal showers where guests give marriage advice to the bride because the people giving the most advice are newlyweds who have been married for five minutes.  The result?  Some of the worst marriage advice I’ve ever heard including:
"When you’re mad at your husband, just pray and read the Bible."
"You may cry sometimes but the tears will always be tears of joy."
"You two will be okay because you have God, are Christians, and go to church."
I was so disturbed by the advice given at one shower, that I simply stared at the floor until it was over.  

Afterward, another guest questioned my decision to refrain from participating in the advice giving.  She confronted me while I was standing over the cake, minding my own business, trying to decide whether I wanted a corner piece or a middle piece.  She snarked, "Tinu! I’m surprised you didn’t share any advice! You’ve been married for soooo loooong!  

I tried my best not to give her the side-eye, but thought to myself:  Are years of marriage being calculated like dog years now? Last time I checked, my 5 years of marriage was a drop in the bucket compared to my parents’ 35 years.  As I picked up my cake and headed back to the folding chair, where my fruit punch awaited, I responded: "You know, I think I’ll wait until after the wedding to give her my advice--over a BIG bottle of wine--because she’s not going to remember any of this anyway."

Wedding Nouveau Winter 2012 Giveaway

Next week, the Wedding Nouveau Winter 2012: The Girlfriend Issue "hits stands" and features my article "Why Bridal Showers Are The Worst Place To Learn About Marriage."  Consider it my belated Christmas gift to all of you newly engaged readers (congratulations!) or to all you readers who have come to loathe this bridal rite of passage for one reason or another (I won't ask for a show of hands).

And what would a new Wedding Nouveau issue be without...that's right...a GIVEAWAY! This month you could win a "Here Comes the Bride" Luxury Beauty Box from Birchbox (I swear, there is so much wedding stuff that didn't exist when I got married!)

To learn more about the giveaway and how to enter visit: