One October evening each fall, we’d all stay late and cluster on the field hockey field for “Marshmallow Roast,” an evening of sketch comedy drafted by each of the four high school classes that involved gentle ribbing at the expense of the faculty and administration, some sneering about freshman puerility, cheap shots at rival high schools in the area, and a lot of inside jokes. I’d cluster with my girlfriends on the grass, my fists tucked under the ends of my faded sweatshirt, my feet cold in tube socks and J. Crew suede clogs, shivering against the October chill. We’d laugh, or pretend we were too cool to laugh, depending on the way the wind blew, but it really was funny–or at least funny in that high school way of gesturing towards shared secrets. At the end of the night, pods of fresh-faced teens wearing faded Visitation sweats and sloppy ponytails tied off with ribbons descended from the field toward the parking lot and the academic buildings at an ambling pace. There was occasional chanting and singing and ripples of laughter across the campus, and scattershot chatter among my own girlfriends, with whom I was happily ensconced, and something about the tradition of it all and the insidership it conferred and the en masse egress of schoolmates across a sleeping campus awakened something in me: I was self-aware enough even then, at that flitty and unfocused age, to worship the delicious sensation that I belonged.
Two mornings ago, I was driving back to my new home via Bradley Boulevard, route of countless excursions in my teenage years, and as I strained to remember which road off Bradley had been home to a high school friend of mine, I flashed back to traipsing through the grass after Marshmallow Roast with my girlfriends, including my now-deceased friend Elizabeth, and I felt a sudden warmth, a near second-skin kind of envelopment. These roads, and the destinations they linked, run like grooves through my high school memories. Parties, baby-sitting gigs, sibling drop-offs, high school dances, trips to the Chevy Chase Club pool, movie screenings at the Bethesda theater (what was it called? not “the 4000″…though I used to hang out there a lot, too, in eighth grade — IYKYK) and the occasional joy ride: driving the streets with girlfriends and no where to be. I didn’t feel so much the anticipated tug of nostalgia, or the uncanniness of deja vu — just the sensation of traveling roads to which I belong, and which have at times in my life belonged to me.
Does New York belong to anyone, I wonder? Do we only belong to our home towns? Can you make a new town the center of your world’s gravity with time? With family? With determination?
I don’t know, but I am very happy to be home.
+This ruched top (under $50) gives me Staud vibes. Love in both colorways!
+This rug looks so cozy — like a sweater or throw blanket underfoot! (I hate the word cozy, but it really is the correct application in this case.)
+Speaking of baby care, I still believe Tubby Todd is the best ointment in all the lands. This Essentials set would be a cute gift alongside a personalized robe or hooded baby towel (<<a friend of mine gifted me some of these from Nordstrom’s house brand, and they were my favorites! Much longer than the PBK ones, so easier to wrap around a tiny baby!)
+And another beat-the-heat style — just ordered this myself.
+Recently went on a hunt for cute wrapping paper — I nearly always land at Rifle Paper. I love this for children’s birthdays, this for a baby gift, and this for nearly any occasion, and bought some of all three! I also found a few other cute sources on Etsy: how cute are these chintz bunnies and these watercolor bows?! And on Amazon: chic gray gingham (imagine with a dusty pink ribbon), lemon print on kraft, hydrangeas, and sea life.
+Courtney Grow insists that once you try these inexpensive underwear, you’ll never go back. I’m testing them out because I’m a die hard Hanky Hanky pan. She recommends sizing up one size…no one likes tight underwear.
+The design of this $38 rain coat is amazing — such a great silhouette, adore the striped lining, and comes in tons of great colors!
+LOVE this faded sweatshirt.
+Think I’m ordering these for mini’s new room.
+Pretty $12 table cloth…can you even believe the price?!
+I want to try this body scrub.
+So into this acrylic stool.
+I’m not a lug sole kind of girl, but these Pradas….
+Adore this Pink City Prints dress!
+Meanwhile, these also-fun sandals are only $20 in select sizes. So fun!
+This tote from a new collab between Clare V. and Marlien Rentmeester is too cute!
+In case you’re itching to add some new beauty finds to your regimen…