Tag Archives: Annie Snyder

The First Big Trip — Part One

The motivation to get us on our first plane ride with the twins was a wedding; a glorious wedding, as it turned out, one that happened to fall on the twins’ birthday.  And this wedding was a non-negotiable because it was the nuptials of one of my greatest friends of all time, and I was in it.  It’s always good to show up when you’re a bridesmaid.

I did my fair share of fingernail chewing about having two infants on a plane, but it wasn’t nearly the endeavor it could have been because my entire family was traveling with us.  They adore Amy and Brian too, so they were every bit as committed to getting there as we were.

Off we flew to Philadelphia (direct, of course.  There IS no other way to fly with babies.)

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Fun Twin Flying Fact: one cannot have two lap-babies in a row.  Not just on one side, but all six seats across.  So at any given moment, all seven of us had to ensure that we passed the babies forward and backward so as not to break this rule.  Believe me, the stewardesses caught us more than once when we weren’t paying attention and the babies were adjusted accordingly.

Shocking no one more than me and Mike, the twins were virtually silent on the plane.  Perfectly content, happy with the novelty of the new sights (and snacks).  They didn’t cry once.  It was some sort of air travel nirvana.

Once we arrived, we had the joy of introducing the babies to their extended family, some of whom they’d already met (thank you aunties and uncle for visiting!).  The most important introduction was to my grandpa, the husband of Arden Charlotte’s namesake.  I had been anticipating their meeting since the day they were born.  I’m very close with my grandpa, so him meeting them was enormously emotional for me — it was like introducing the babies to a piece of my heart.

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They also got to meet little Avery, the newest addition to the family, daughter of my cousins Amy and Joel.  She’s so precious, and her hair makes my children green with envy — I mean, Arden won’t even acknowledge her.

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We had so much fun with them all together.  We plunged them into the pool in little floaties, because well, how could we resist this?

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This was the twins’ first real swimming experience, and they were timid but grew to love it.  Arden’s swim trick (Mike always holds her in the air and says “Swim swim swim!” and she does a perfect breaststroke that you wouldn’t believe) translated beautifully to actual swimming.

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Feel free to stop me if you feel your heart giving out.

Since the babies cleared their first bite of cake at their birthday party the previous week, we felt it was only fair that they try the local specialty: a Dunkin Donut.  Dunkin Donuts are sacred terrority in my family, with multiple runs to DD’s being made for breakfast in each visit east.  They didn’t get a whole donut, just a bite or two each, but it was all that they dreamed, I’m sure of it.

Their favorite place in the house was the kitchen, rustling up Great Grandpa’s pots and pans.  They never get to be in the kitchen at home, so this was like a theme park.

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Mostly we just soaked up time with loved ones we don’t see often enough.  It’s so amazing to be thirty years old and realize your heart is still feeling new emotions — this trip afforded me the joy of sharing my children with the family I’ve treasured my entire life.  My cousin Allie, pictured below, being silly with Arden, is a perfect example.

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It’s a joy coupled with pain, I soon realized, because Henry and Arden don’t get to see their wonderful great-grandpa and great aunts and uncles nearly enough.  I would love so much for them to grow up seeing each other every week.

I mean, look at the joy in these faces.

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My generous aunt Beth threw a birthday party for the babies, and it was so adorable — the accessories were everything.

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Henry!  Your eyes.  I could faint.  Arden, your cheeks!  It’s too much.

*Side note: Henry’s hat had to be cut at the side to fit over his head.  Further proof it’s larger than the average one year old.  Don’t worry, it’s just holding your huge brain, Hank!

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I know.  I can’t talk about my hair here either.  All I can say is: humidity + growing out bangs = lethal.

If you’re just dazzled by their enthusiasm, it’s because it was about 8PM and their bedtime is 7PM.  They were, shall we say, less than agreeable.

But we partied on!

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You’d think we’d just told them their cupcakes were made of quinoa and stuffed with spinach.  Or maybe they misunderstood what birthdays are and they think people arrive with packages to take your toys away?

We had some deja vu with the cake rejection here too.

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Henry: “Don’t you people learn?”

Arden: “No means no.”

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After several relaxing days spent with the family, we headed off to Lancaster for the wedding of the year.  Wait until you see this gorgeous couple and their wedding locale.  Oh, and Henry in a suit and Arden in a Parisian dress.  I can hear your toe tapping so I’ll get right on that.

Part Two coming soon!

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Two Cakes, Two Candles, Two Babies, One Birthday

On July 26, Henry and Arden turned one.

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We had the party on with a brunch on July 19 because we were going to be on the east coast at the wedding of the year on their actual birthday (details on that grand affair to follow).  A huge thank you to my gracious parents for offering their beautiful home as our location!

The theme, as you may be able to ascertain, was Anchors Aweigh!  I chose this for several reasons, the first of which was its gender-neutrality.  Next it said “Adventure!” and lent itself to overtly preppy clothes, of which I’m extremely fond.  Yes, Arden’s shirt has anchors.  Yes, her pink shorts are sailor shorts, not that you can tell in that photo.  And yes, Henry’s romper has embroidered sailboats.  This was half the fun.

This post is going to consist mostly of pictures, rather than weighty insights about them turning one, because I’ve covered that territory.  Besides, who could complain about twinsy pictures?

Sam and I made that Pinterest-inspired and -worthy lifering behind them, which reads “H & A REPH 07 – 26 – 2013.”

Before the earth spins off its axis, I should just say it: yes, I crafted!  I made things!  I shopped!  I loathe all of these things, but as their birthday approached I heard that creepy whisper (lie?) that all mothers hear that says: “If you don’t make things for their birthday with your own hands, what kind of a mother are you?”  I have a strong suspicion that I’ll be deaf to this whisper within three years, but for their first birthday, I went for it.

Further evidence:

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The giant “1” behind my beautiful friend and her son is made up of the 43 weekly pictures I took of the twins to chart their growth through the year.  It’s so fun to look at up close, and I wish I had a better picture of it.  There are only 43 because I started doing it when they were seven weeks old, and I couldn’t include the last two weeks due to their birthday party date.

I also strung up all eleven of their monthly photos, but sadly, I forgot to take a picture of that.  But it’s a craft!

My extremely craft-gifted sister, Sam, made this adorable sign:

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Yes, that’s a mimosa and bloody mary bar.  You didn’t know this major rule of hosting a one-year-old birthday?  You do now.  You’re welcome (your guests will thank me).

I could go on about the enormous printed pictures and handmade themed tablecloths (thanks Mom!), but I think you get the idea.  Let’s move on to the real meaning of the day: the people.

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The twins and their Grandpa and Papa!

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Best friends/family with the birthday boy, who is judging/desiring that Mary.

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We had this gorgeous new mom and our youngest guest, her eight-day-old Gardner!

Also special friends…

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This is a recreation of a ten-year-old photo.  We do unattractive well.

That’s better.

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And another set of twins!

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I could share so many more photos of the dozens of treasured family and friends in attendance, but then this might begin to feel like a roll call.

So let’s cut the cake!

Erin and I made their little three-tier cakes, with alternating chocolate and vanilla cake.  Erin made the whipped cream from scratch to serve as frosting, because this was the babies’ first taste of sugar and I thought heavy, processed icing might make them sick.  Or maybe I thought they’d devour it and then be sick.  Either way.

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We helped them blow out their candles after singing to each of them, and then we let them at it.

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Their reaction can best be described as a mix of nonchalance and confusion.  We expected them to dive headfirst, and instead they were as Arden is above.  “Here, Nonni, if you say it’s so great, you go ahead.”

So the aunties jumped in to give them some backup.

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I have to admit I felt the strangest combination of disappointment and pride.  I really wanted them to go hog wild, but when they didn’t I felt a little like, yesssss, my Seattle hippie mom moves are paying off!  They don’t care about sugar!  Time has proven this not to be true at all (ice cream, I’m looking at you), but I enjoyed the fantasy for that day.

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Non-love for cake aside, we had a wonderful day celebrating a wonderful year.  Mike made a lovely slideshow that made me cry, and we got to stop for a moment and acknowledge the richness that’s been added to our lives in the form of our two most precious people.

We also got to high-five the accomplishment of surviving the first year.  Not insignificant, I must say!

Happy Nana.

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Happy Nonni.

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Happy birthday, Henry and Arden!

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It’s All for the Cause

Something magical happens when charity and best friends mix; I think it has to do with the sum being greater than the parts…

On Sunday, February 5, Meredith, Laura, Annie and I hosted a Super Bowl party to raise money for the Hutch School.  The four of us make up the Margaret E. Martindale Jr Guild, started in 2010.  The original Margaret E. Martindale Guild (MEMG) was created in 1986, and is made up of the friends and family of Margaret “Peggy” Martindale, better known as Laura’s mother.  Peggy died of neuroblastoma when Laura was one year old, and the Guild was created to raise funds for cancer research.  It has done so for over 25 years, raising more than $5 million in that time.

Chip (Laura's father), Laura, and Leslie (Chip's wife)

Needless to say, we were more than a little intimidated joining a crew of such achievers.

In our first year, we participated by helping the Hutch School students create an art project for the big annual MEMG Travel and Leisure auction.  It was a minor effort, and we knew it,  but it helped get our feet wet.  And, I must add, the piece of art went for $1,200 at the auction, which kind of made us beam with pride (as if we, and not the kids, created the actual art).  Fun fact: the winning bidder was none other than the Volunteer of the Year herself, who had no idea that I’d had anything to do with the piece.

This year, we decided to step up our game.  Our biggest challenge was conceptualizing an event that would be affordable for guests our age, as well as appealing to guests of an older generation.

A Super Bowl party seemed to meet both needs and sounded like more fun than work, so we booked our venue, chose food and drinks, and then began scouting for killer raffle item donations.

It was a lot of hard work, but don’t let this photo fool you — there was very little actual lifting involved, and let’s be honest, I’m always willing to lift a case of wine.

We were stunned when 80 people bought advance tickets, and ten more showed up unannounced.  It was the greatest problem we could have asked for, so we eagerly said, “The more, the merrier!”

Buckley’s on Queen Anne proved to be a fantastic location, with a private room and the freedom to decorate with our elaborate adornments: multi-colored balloons.

It also didn’t hurt that we served ribs, wings, and macaroni so good our guests went back for thirds.  I’m further convinced that having two drinks included in the prices of the ticket kept smiles on people’s faces.  It’s all for the cause!

We played Super Bowl Squares, which sold out quickly, and then hustled the crowd to buy raffle tickets for some serious prizes.  We had a snowboard, two lift tickets, $200 in massages, $50 spa credit, $100 Tully’s card, two $85 magnums of wine, a Weber grill, a putter, and several bottles of wine.

Apart from the prizes, we all agreed that the people are what made the event a success.  Everyone was so positive, so energetic, and so happy to support us.  It really felt like a community event.

After all, this event wasn’t just about fundraising, it was also about raising some fun…can you forgive me for that one?  If not, I truly don’t blame you.

Most importantly, we raised $2,500 to give to the Hutch School for extracurricular activities for the kids.  Instead of giving to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, which felt a little like offering a glass of water to someone with a fire-hose, we decided to give our funds to the Hutch School, which felt more like building a well.

The encouragement of our mentors, the original MEMG (Leslie in particular!), really kept our spirits afloat.  They cheered us on like we were playing in the actual Super Bowl, and they didn’t stop until the last person left.  In fact, they still haven’t.

Perhaps the greatest compliment of the afternoon was that several friends expressed an interest in joining the Jr Guild in September.

I think I speak for all four of us when I say, come on in!  We’re already dreaming of next year.

*Photo credit to Steve Bimson, dedicated photographer and boyfriend of Laura.

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It’s Not Unusual…

Yesterday at Steven’s Pass, Mike, Annie and I boarded a chairlift with what turned out to be a very precocious 7-year-old, who was wearing a helmet covered in neon-pink spandex in the shape of a pig’s head.  The following is as true a story as I can retell without the aid of a digital recorder.

Annie:  The conditions are pretty much perfect.  If it was snowing I wouldn’t even be here.

Abby:  Really? Because of visibility, or the —

Pig Helmet Girl:  LOOK!  SKI SCHOOLERS!

Annie:  Uh, yeah…there’s some ski schoolers down there…do you take lessons?

Pig Helmet Girl:  NO.  I don’t need them.

Annie:  Oh, that’s great!  How long have you been skiing?

Pig Helmet Girl:  Since I was one and three-quarters.

Abby:  Wow.  That’s young.

Mike:  I don’t think I was even walking.

Annie:  I think I started when I was like 12 or so, which, honestly, was sooo long ago.

Pig Helmet Girl:  How old ARE you?

Annie:  Twenty-five.  Old.  I’m so old.

Mike:  You’re old balls.

Abby:  Inappropriate.

Pig Helmet Girl:  I KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.

Abby:  (silence, pretending this isn’t happening)

Abby:  (deciding to finally address the pig helmet)  I like your helmet! 

Pig Helmet Girl: (silence, pretending this isn’t happening)

Annie:  I’m cold.

Abby:  Oh, it’s because you don’t have your hat with you…even your ears look cold.  They’re turning red!

Pig Helmet Girl:  MAN ARE THEY RED.  YOUR EARS ARE REALLY RED.  AND THEY’RE SQUISHED BY YOUR GOGGLES SO THEY ARE RED AND SQUISHED.

Annie:  Um, thanks.

Mike:  So last night we were at the Triple Door, and you wouldn’t believe this band.  It was the most obnoxious wedding-singer cover band we’d ever seen.

Abby:  And you’ll never believe their name — “Dudley Manlove.”  Seriously. 

Annie:  Oh my gaw, I love it.

Abby:  I think the real low point was when we heard the opening strands of “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone…”

Annie:  Tom Jones!  Yes! 

Pig Helmet Girl:  TOM JONES!?  (bursts into song) SHE’S A LAAAADYYYYY…WHOA WHOA WHOA SHE’S A LADY!

Abby/Annie/Mike:  (nearly fall off chairlift due to hyperventilating laughter)

Annie:  You know Tom Jones?

Pig Helmet Girl:  Of course.

And without further explanation, we ski off the lift.

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Now and Then

Is anyone else cursed with the inability to separate the term “now and then” from the 1995 movie of the same title?

I say this without an ounce of disdain because this movie was totally enthralling and watched repeatedly by my 11-year-old self.

The pre-teen drama.  The emotional scars of not yet having a chest.  The denim overalls (worn, regrettably, by both the girls and their adult counterparts).

The movie is about four 12-year-old girls who become best friends one summer and vow to always be there for each other.  Fast-forward twenty-five years and one of them is nine months preggo so they all show up.  Tears, flash-backs, and bad hair ensue.

Demi Moore is dark.  Melanie Griffith is vain.  Rosie O’Donnell is unattractive.  Rita Wilson is annoying.  You could say it’s some of their best work.

I bring this up because I’m feeling very “Now and Then” about one of my BFFs 25th birthdays (you can’t talk about long-term best friends without using cheesy acronyms).   Although we were never adolescents together, we certainly acted as though we were.

The three of us met in college as roommates in a women’s house at the UW.  I was 20, Lindsay was 21, and Annie was 19.  A snapshot to give you an idea of how far we’ve come (and how well traveled…this is in Oahu one year after meeting):

We’ve now been friends for nearly six years.  In the movie they’ve been friends for about 25, so they’ve got a few on us.  But hey, at least none of us grew up to look like Rosie O’Donnell.  I think that makes us winners.

And though we’ve never had a séance in a cemetery as we attempt to contact Dear Johnny, we have hosted outrageous dance parties, fit 13 people into a Jeep Cherokee, gone skinny dipping in Lake Washington (twice), run a half-marathon, stayed up all night with nothing but three bottles of two-buck-chuck before a 5AM flight…sorry I just lost myself in the buzz of our beehive of memories.  Or is that the buzz of the two-buck-chuck?  Nevermind.

Last Saturday night we celebrated Annie’s birthday in high style at Toulouse Petit in lower Queen Anne, and had a great time, as usual.  But it should be noted that there are definite differences between who we are now and who we were then.

Then
We dressed up because there was never a reason not to, and we were out to prove we were hott.  Yes, two-T’s hott.

Now
We dress up out of the knowledge that chances to dress up don’t happen twice a week anymore, and we’ve never been more aware of the fabulousness of our youth.

Then
We’d order long islands, multiple shots of Jose, and anything pink.

Now
We order champagne (Lindsay), a glass of wine (me), or a gin and tonic (Annie).

Then
We’d scrounge for the cheapest happy hour and tailor our evenings to the clock of half-priced drinks.

Now
We make the plans to our liking.  Damn the cost!

Then
We were all single and ready to mingle.

Now
I have been married 2.5 years, Annie has a boyfriend, and Lindsay is actively dating.

Then
We were there for each other.

Now
Still the case.

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The 2010 Olympics: A First-Hand Account

What kind of a blogger would I be if I didn’t head directly to the source of the hottest thing around and give you a full report?

May I present:  The 2010 Olympics, A First-Hand Account.

And what better way to showcase the Games than by award?  Here I will rate each aspect of our experience on the gold/silver/bronze spectrum.  We traveled to Whistler, BC with Phil and Rachel Goodman (Mike’s sister and her husband).

They win the first gold medal for best traveling companions:

Bronze Medal for Obligatory Tourist Photo in Whistler Village:

Silver Medal for Encounter with Celebrity Gold Medal Athlete Bode Miller at Men’s Super G Event:

Gold Medal for Getting Actual Olympic Athlete to Hold Our Stuffed Animal (Rachel gets ALL the credit for swallowing her pride to achieve this feat):

Gold Medal for Witnessing a US Gold Medal Win (Four Man Bobsleigh) While Standing at the Finish Line:

Silver Medal for International Cell Phone Charges Due to Friends and Family Texting to Say They Saw us on TV at Bobsleigh Event: See video here (at about 3:27).

Silver Medal for Managing to Stay Upright During Blizzard (Rachel, shown here, kicking serious tail):

Now let’s talk about the nighttime activities.  Few things make one feel as wild as being at a once-in-a-lifetime event.  That is all I will say about the following photo except to add that despite appearances, very minimal drinking actually occurred this evening.  Laura (in pink) and Annie (in blue), my dear friends who were also in the Village for the Games, pulled me (in black) in for some fun.

Gold Medal for Olympic-Fever-Induced Dancing on Bar:

Bronze Medal for Most Bizarre Winter-Themed Party in Village (a bar made of ice, complete with glasses carved out of ice, and complimentary parka upon entry, as shown by Mike and Laura):

By far the most exciting event was the US/Canada men’s hockey game, the final event of the Olympics.  We joined Annie, Laura and some insane Canadian fans at Garibaldi’s to watch the game.  We fully represented in our tiny corner of the bar:

Despite a fantastic, blood-pumping rally by the US with their goal to tie the game, the Canadians won and madness ensued:

We were almost fearful to leave the bar, given that we were the official enemy.  But what we never expected, not in a million years, was that as we took to the streets to face the throngs of victorious Canucks, we were treated like celebrities — or circus freaks, depending on how you look at it.  We stood in the middle of the Village and not one minute would pass without people coming up to take their photo with us, to thank us for coming, to tell us that we were good neighbors and good sports.  We were blown away.

On second thought, it might have had something to do with the hats.

Occasionally someone would gloat obnoxiously, but we were intentional about being the first to extend a hand and say, “Congratulations on your win!”  They would always react the same tail-between-the-legs way — “Huh?  Oh, yeah man, good game!  We love you guys!”  We felt like Goodwill Ambassadors for the United States; the six of us were representing 300 million US citizens, so we were on our best behavior.

They even wanted us to pose with their Canadian dogs!  Please disregard small child with finger in nose.

I’ve never felt such effusive international camaraderie.  We didn’t want it to end.  We kept thinking, “How will we ever feel this way again?”  And then it occurred to us…

Gold Medal for Being Fully Prepared for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia:

 

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As the World Turns…Around the East Coast

I am one of many long-suffering West Coast residents who has to deal with the inconvenient and at times infuriating East Coast bias that plagues our great nation.

Usually I handle this with a calm demeanor befitting a Victorian socialite attending afternoon tea.  This week, however, I am handling it with the anger and bitterness of a scorned lover who just found out her ex won the lottery.

What brought this fury to the surface?  The Olympics, of course.

Instead of watching the Opening Ceremonies in real time, in my time zone where they’re taking place, I have to be on nytimes.com getting the play-by-play from commentators watching it in New York.  Yes, the ceremony is actually occurring 141 miles north of my city, yet I’m forced to wait three hours so people 3,000 miles away can watch it first.

Here is a helpful visual to explain the situation:

Of course, many would say that in the age of DVRs these issues are irrelevant.  To those scoffers, I offer this: DVRs were invented to record something that was on earlier that you want to watch later.  A DVR isn’t going to help much when the show doesn’t come on for three more hours.

When it suits them, the media moguls curse us with the opposite problem.  Consider the awards ceremonies: the Oscars, Emmy’s and Golden Globes all take place in L.A., yet start at 5PM PST — so that the East Coast can watch at the more appropriate 8PM hour.  While we’re racing to get through Sunday dinner or afternoon plans, East Coasters are settled in on their couches with popcorn ready to take in the show.

Another illustrative slide:

I can’t place all of the blame on the the men at NBC, CBS and ABC.  I’m happy to bring ESPN into the conversation.  How about a little coverage of our teams, gentlemen?  Does the word “Mariner” or “Seahawk” ring any bells with you?  The only reason anyone in Pittsburgh has heard of Seattle is because they remember paying refs to throw our Superbowl game.  And while East Coasters may bemoan Angels games starting at their 10PM, at least they aren’t sitting in church while the Yankee games start at 10AM.

This bias is pervasive enough to be found outside of programming.  My brother-in-law’s former clients are all in Alabama, and they used to insist he be available from the moment they arrive in the office.  So he would show up every day for work at 6AM and leave at 3PM to accommodate them.  My company headquarters is located in New Jersey, and while not required, I feel the same pressure.

To be fair, the population comparison isn’t even close.  There are approximately 111 million people in the states lining the Atlantic, and only about 46 million on the three states lining the Pacific.  But still.

A less obvious bias occurs in the collegiate arena.  The Ivy League is clustered in the Northeast, and it would seem anywhere outside of that region is irrelevant.  I went to the University of Washington, and I can imagine the laughs I would get applying for jobs in Boston.  Despite my school being ranked 16th in the world, it’s as if we don’t exist.

Speaking of schools, consider this bone-chilling encounter from junior high.  In 8th grade, when I found out I was moving from Pennsylvania to Seattle (the “other” Washington, according to East Coasters), a student in my class came up to me and said, “Seattle.  Hmm.  That’s just west of Chicago, right?”

Maintain composure.  Channel the Victorian tea lady.

“Yes, tech…ni…cal…ly, it is west of Chicago,” I replied, attempting to be kind.  “About 2,000 miles west,” I added under my breath.

In case you’re tempted to blame that tiny error on youth, consider the exchange I had with a fellow junior in college I met in Washington, D.C. while I was in town for a leadership conference.  In what I can only assume was a mild attempt at flirting with me, he said, “Oh, I meant to tell you I’ll be in San Francisco in a couple of months!”

“Great!” I replied, not understanding why he was sharing this information.

“We could do lunch!” he exclaimed.  “I’d love to get together again, and you live in Seattle so we could meet up for a meal.”

I stood there debating which would be more painful — taking a cheese grater to my face or explaining to this person that San Francisco and Seattle are not one but TWO states apart, separated by more than 800 miles.  I wanted to scream, “Would you tell a friend in Philadelphia to meet you for lunch in Jacksonville?!”  Instead I stared at him blankly until a friend listening in (thank you, Annie!) yanked me out of the conversation.

Is it obvious yet that I’m a former East Coaster?  Friends tell me I’m like a child who’s been spoiled; having lived in the center of the US universe, I’m sour now about orbiting my former planet.  Any armchair psychologist can see that all of my sputtering really means that I miss it.  I miss being in the eye of the hurricane, I miss feeling like I could pop into NYC at a moment’s notice (even if I rarely did).  I miss the what-does-your-daddy do elitism, the four-generations-and-we’ve-never-left-town families.  While living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania or Washington, D.C. I loved knowing I was in the historical heart of our country.

Now, 12.5 years into living in Seattle, I can say that I was blind to how good I had it — but I wouldn’t trade where I am for where I was.

Please don’t mistake my missing the East Coast as preferring to live there.  What that coast has in history, numbers of people, and bustling cities, this coast has in geographic splendor.  It’s no mystery why the Winter Olympics weren’t held on that side of North America: where would they find respectable mountains?  Skiing in the Appalachians?  Please.  New Hampshire? Those aren’t mountains;  they’re hillsWhistler and Blackcomb belly laugh and high five each other when they make jokes about the slopes in Maine.

So this week as you West Coasters nestle into the couch to watch the women’s slalom, and you look at your watch and it’s 12:30AM, you’ll know exactly which region of the country to blame.

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