The Growing Season, Chapter 11: Of Boats and Rings

Welcome to the next installment of The Growing Season. For previous installments click here.

‘Wh-what? Jack?”

He grinned in the escaping light, and I wondered for a second if I had fallen asleep and was dreaming. Then he reached out and took my hand, pulling me to my feet.

“You’ve been here the whole time?” I asked confusedly.

He laughed. “Yeah. I’ve been below deck, waiting for Brian to come get me. He looked toward the setting sun, then back at me. “Pretty beautiful, huh?”

I nodded, though my confusion remained. Then he lowered himself to one knee. Continue reading

Back to School Time: Tips, Tricks, and Secret Handshakes

Ok kids, Labor Day is just around the corner, so you know what that means? Yes, the  end of the 2014 fiscal year is nigh, but that’s not what I had in mind, Moneybags. I’m talking about the start of the new school year! So grab your knapsacks, put on your back-to-school best, and hide that filth under your mattress because you’ll be spending the better part of your waking hours being bossed around by teachers and autonomous school bells. To prepare you for the next nine months, I’m here to give you some tried and true back-to-school tips guaranteed to reduce noogies and swirlies by 50%:

  • Wear your newest and best outfit…on the second day: On the first day of school everyone will be wearing their hot new JNCO Jeans, hypercolor shirts, bespoke suits and whatnot. It’s a fashion arms race with mutually-assured juicebox stains the only possible outcome. Sit this one out and wow everyone on day two with your new tearaway Zubaz pants when the rest of school dons outfit #2. Check. Mate.
  • Remember to wear pants: Yes, that was just a dream. Double check before you leave the house and keep it that way.

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Autumn is the New Spring

Now is the time of year, in these waning days of summer, when writers and bloggers like to wax poetic about the end of one season and the start of another. Having watched as the start of this glorious summer was made the winter of my discontent with each passing day, I’m not sad to see this season go. There are only so many times you can wash your sweat-and-sunscreen-stained sundresses before you yearn for the crispness of sweater weather.

So here is my poetic waxing (far less painful than a Brazilian waxing) about the change of seasons: autumn is the new spring. Continue reading

Chapter 11 Continued: I’m On a Boat

This is the latest installment of The Growing Season by Stephanie Phillips. For previous installments click here.

Being in love is a powerful antidote to the winter blues, and I found myself sailing through January and February without the usual moodiness I felt during those months in previous years. Especially on Valentine’s Day, a faux holiday that the girls and I had typically boycotted in our own fashion: each of us would find and buy the cheesiest, most unbearable card in the world. We would bring said cards to dinner at a restaurant devoid of romance (last year we had gone to Dave and Buster’s so that we could double down on food and games; it was slightly depressing to see how many couples had made the same choice) and proceed to exceed our impressive food intake with an even more impressive alcohol intake. The year this tradition began, VD was on a weeknight. Since that year (and some legendary hangovers), we had observed the holiday on a Friday or Saturday.

But this year was different. In what can only be described as a miracle, all of my girlfriends had hung onto their New Year’s Eve hookups. Abby and Mike had discovered that they were each other’s high school crush and had managed to translate that into a present-day relationship–which meant she had company at her apartment at least twice a month. Our brunches had taken a hit, but she had never been happier. Cara and Ben had turned their mutual hatred of douchebags into a fledgling relationship. They were taking it slow, and I was pretty sure that he still didn’t know the deepest reason for Cara’s Epic Speech, but so far it looked promising. And Kennedy, whose mother had indeed screamed when she was informed that her daughter was dating a Midwesterner (“What the hell is her problem?” Abby had uncharacteristically and defensively asked), was allowing Todd to introduce her to football teams outside the SEC. Brian, on the other hand, had a new boyfriend every week and saw no reason to change that schedule.

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