I decided to bike around the old neighborhood (or, should I say, the old suburb) this morning as it's my last day here in sunny Miami.
A ride around my elementary school -- now renovated for the umpteenth time since my enrollment there, new buildings sprouting up here and there -- had me reminiscing about a simpler time ... a time when "recession," "monetize" and "boutonnière" were not yet words in my vocabulary.
Sitting in the fifth grade classroom, I recall spelling bees (I lost on fluorescent, which I still have difficulty spelling), memorizing states and capitals and learning about proper hygiene. I recall shedding "cooties" and occasionally flirting with the frail, ponytailed girl beside me -- mine was named Stacy -- the one with whom you swapped one-dollar roses on Valentine's Day, and the one to whom you swore you'd be married years down the road ...
(By now, 2E's is either rolling her eyes or writhing in jealousy.)
... and so, my year in review does not begin and end with an economic downturn. With this new perspective, looking at the past year in the context of the last 26, this groom must submit that it has been one hell of a ride. Proposal, engagement and even the genesis of this blog have redefined my sense of purpose. And I know many others who have persevered through this recession, coming out that much stronger on the other side. I imagine we've all grown up a little this year.
The Groom Says found a muse in Patrick Dempsey. It struggled with horrendous Save the Date designs; documented gift registering madness; coined the "Opi-Now and Smile Groom;" saw the birth of the Cry for Help Fanny Pack; and interviewed three fellow grooms, all of whom will begin 2010 as husbands.
If you're new to the blog, I urge you to go back, see where our journey began and join us in 2010 as we unveil the Best Man and Maid of Honor, share our Save the Date, continue our struggle for ordainment, book vendors, appease parents, put thousands of dollars back into the economy and battle through countless decisions, both trivial and terrifying, all leading up to the 2nd of October, 2010.
Happy New Year, readers.