Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! Special shout out to my single lady friends!!!

Dear readers,

Here's a few thoughts on this holiday all about love and all sorts of relationships, compliments of PostSecret:

So the one thing that worried me when I started this blog, was the ever nagging question: is this blog project inclusive enough for friends, family, and strangers that don't happen to be dating anyone special? Am I being thoughtful, or am I being obnoxious with the potential schmaltz?

I didn't ever want this blog to be a source of le sigh, sort of disappointment for any single individual, because life without a mate is still filled with loving companionship and in addition, can be extremely rewarding and life-affirming. It allows you to experience extensive adventures without worrying about a partner. Heck, for most of my own life I have very much been single and felt, for the most part, fulfilled in a myriad of other ways: through friendship, hobbies, travel, etc. Every Valentine's Day, I only really received flowers from my father and didn't really have that special someone to share the holiday with.

So where my girls at? "Put 'cha hands up!" as Beyonce so famously sings. Throughout the years, my plus ones have mostly been my female friends: a continuing, steady stream of support. We've hiked, danced, dined out on the town, and commiserated over mediocre dates and those that we have truly cared for that never seemed to have measured up.  In fact, I have attended all of my best friend's weddings without any real lover in the traditional sense of the word.

I think many of my readers out there are women. Specifically, I'd like to give a special shout-out to my nearest and dearest lady friends from coast to coast:
In NYC: Christina M, Kathleen B, and Michelle H.
In LA, Krupinski, Swallace, Liz Shimabukuro, and Kara M.
In Boston, Courtney G. and my roomie Leslie G.

After all,

"...I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous." ~ Carrie Bradshaw,  Sex and the City

Also, my feminist mantra for many years has been: "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" - Gloria Steinem (my mantra for years!)
I think the long term goal of my Plus One: the Love Project after my goal of featuring 365 romantic couples or so (gay and straight) is to expand the notion of love to more different types of relationships: best friends for years, sisters, teammates, brothers, and coaches/mentors, grandparents and grandchildren, etc.

Until then, I hope that everyone, no matter what their relationship status or feelings about romantic love at the time, will become a part of our inclusive reader community where you'll always be able to comment. We welcome anyone's perspective.

All my love,


Friday, February 11, 2011

As Fate Would Have It...

I'd like to introduce y'all to Mariel (see above) who was my predecessor who used to occupy my current job as business school academic advisor. Not only am I incredibly thankful that Mariel trained me extremely well, but I'm also thrilled she finds participating in this project meaningful. Let's welcome our first couple from Connecticut, both of whom are: age "27."

Mariel and Steven actually went to nursery school together, but their early memories from that long past era were rather fuzzy. Thus, their true " first meeting" in their collective remembrance really was during their senior year of high school. However, their flirtations were, as Mariel described, "nothing serious since we were never both single at the same time." 7 years ago, however, Mariel and Steve began to date and in 2005, became an official couple. They've been together ever since. In gushing about what she loves about Steve, Mariel says,

"I love his eyes and his smile and especially his sense of humor. I adore the fact that he's so laid back, mostly because if I flip my lid over nothing and regret it the next day, I know he'll never hold it against me."

A bright future is on the horizon for this steady couple :)

Also, how much do you like romantic restaurants? Check out this incredible link to the best places:!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Graduate School Sweethearts

I met my friend Meredith in college, as we lived on the same freshman dorm floor. Her and her now husband Jim met in criminal law class while at the University of Miami School of Law and fell for one another. While visiting her parents in Tampa, Meredith admired a ring at a store. Jim had to have Meredith's parents buy the ring and met him halfway to do the exchange. 

After Meredith returned home from a work trip, it was Valentine's Day, 2006. Lovesick Jim actually had the flu and was running a 100 degree fever, but that didn't stop him from proposing to Meredith at the Rusty Pelican on Biscayne Bay. They were made in the shade with a glass of lemonade! Their wedding took place on the north shore of Hawaii the following year. With their offices one office apart, Meredith and Jim are both prosecutors.

I present to you above a picture of Meredith and Jim outside the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin from a couple of years ago.


Monday, February 7, 2011

The San Francisco Lovebirds: Great Listening Pays Off!

Here's an amazing, awe-inspiring story of our first California couple, which really makes me smile. This "awww" inducing two-part story is from Kristina, who I have become friends with through the Santa Monica neighborhood group in Jr. League. Anyway, Kristina and Alan are so adorable together and this, my dear readers, is how it all began:

How They Met:

Kristina, Ms. Matchmaker, was giving a speech at her friend's rehearsal dinner, as she had just set him up with his wife to be 10 months earlier! Now good karma comes around. :) Up to this point, Kristina had met pretty much all of Dave's guy friends under the sun, EXCEPT for Alan, a thoughtful Stanford University and Harvard University alum. Alan noticed the very accomplished Kristina speaking to the rapt crowd, and thought she was really cute. In fact, harboring a crush, he kept coming up to her at various points throughout the weekend. At the Viceroy hotel pool, Kristina was telling Alan about her volunteer activities and the things she enjoyed doing, and he kissed her for the first time, leaving her heart racing.

Their Epic First Date:

The following Friday after their first kiss, Alan asked Kristina out for the first time, sweeping her up in a whirlwind romance on a first date that lasted 9 whole hours! Alan remembered Kristina enjoyed the beach, so he took her to the San Francisco version of the beach, Crissy Field overlooking the Golden Gate bridge. Afterwards, they strolled over to Sausalito. He remembered that she liked art and loved Pinot Grigio, so Alan took her to art galleries and a little wine bar! Afterwards, Alan pulled out all the stops overlooking the water during sunset! Kristina thought they were going home, but Alan took her to Union Square to browse around the stores, because from the wedding, he remembered that she said she liked shopping. To top it all off, Alan remembered from listening to her intently that Kristina likes musicals, so he took her to see one! Three days later, Alan told Kristina he was ready for a commitment, which was great, because as she puts it, she "had already fallen in love!"

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Enchantment: May I Have This Dance? :)

Cassie is my medical resident friend from my Tulane undergraduate days. Her and her newlywed husband, David, have a smittingly sweet proposal story. 

Cassie always spends Thanksgiving in Texas with her entire family at one big get together. Lunch begins promptly at 12pm, regardless of whoever may be late. This particular year, Cassie's mother was insistent that they wait until everyone was there... then her mom said, "you know, it's Thanksgiving and we never have someone give thanks. Her mother asked David [her then boyfriend] to give a Thanksgiving toast. So then David said he had a Thanksgiving Day poem to read, and began to read it.

Meanwhile, Cassie's cousin was joking that David was just reading the Thanksgiving poem being shuffled around on Facebook. While David was reading his poem, Cassie became distracted by some of her youngest cousins and aunt, all of whom were transfixed by making a dessert syrup on the stovetop.

When Cassie turned around from observing the cooking process, David was kneeling on one knee. As he held out the ring box, Cassie teared up and somehow nodded yes. And then, everyone present applauded and captured the moment through taking pictures and video!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fit for a Fairytale

And now, without further ado, I present to you my little sorority sister in Chi Omega, Sarah and her story of how her now hubby, then fiance, proposed:

In Dallas, Rob had one of Sarah's best friends take her shopping, and he had arranged a personal shopper at Nordstroms with dresses and shoes already picked out in her size! Receiving a text message about being wisked off to Love Field airport, Sarah was then whisked off for a "surprise" trip to New Orleans, one of the most romantic places on the planet. In the Windsor Court hotel lobby, Rob met her and it had happened to be her birthday. Surprising her again, he took Sarah in a horse drawn carriage down to the river where they had both written a few months earlier on a post declaring, "Sarah loves Rob forever." At that point, Rob proclaimed that her birthday was over, got down on one knee and the rest, my friends, is history :)

And for a lil' finale, here is a cute, lovely video on children, ages 5-8, on love and what it means to them:

Enjoy watching! It certainly made my morning :)


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why As a Single Girl I am Qualified to Write About Couples

I am a romantic idealist and a pretty long-term single girl (2 years or so). However, I feel like I am qualified to write about couples because I have observed so many of my friends in enduring, stable, and steady plus one relationships. Feeling part wistful about not being in a highly functional couple, and feeling partly sad at my self-sufficient, yet solo existence, this project was to help me believe in finding love for my own self one day from a partner. I am an extremely observant, inquisitive 30 year old woman. My unofficial training was in journalism internships during undergrad, and my attendance at 22 weddings from age 5 and up have given me plenty of inspiration to draw upon.

I also started Plus One: The Love Project to keep encouraging other singles to keep believing that they too would one day find a loving partner (if they wanted one, of course). My provision of successful couples and their stories are supposed to be inspirational. We shouldn't idealize their relationships at all, since nothing in life is a "sure thing," but we certainly can gain a sense of hope from them and maintain glass as half full views about what we deserve.

If I look through a lens of an "outsider," I realize that I am only choosing the capture the uplifting and good. In this dismal economic climate, I believe that people need outlets of joy. And that is why Plus One: The Love Project was established. 

I wanted to post a picture of myself with a cute dog or something, but it seemed extremely insufficient: a cover up sham for my strong individualism. This post will remain without a picture because the purpose is to shift the attention to those who fit each other well and those that have found happiness together. Until then, or until I am coupled, enjoy the sassy postcard compliments of Postsecret someone sent in, which reflects my own mantra:

The Relevance of You and Your Plus One!

I am a self-professed romantic that is an absolute sucker for the authentically sweet. I created this blog to share the true love between two: childhood sweethearts, time-honored couples, the long-time married, the newly engaged, newlyweds, and the recently smitten. I started it in part because I wanted to combat my own cynicsm and hesitancy to believe in the consistency and honest to goodness duration of actual couples' love, because all of those featured are real together and happy. As I refuse to be weathered by bad dates throughout the years or disappointment, this blog marks a celebration of when things meld together: when life is blissful when two souls join. Maybe enchantment will one day come into my life unexpectedly.

It is my goal to get 365 couples to participate, many of whom I know personally. I admire that these plus ones can maintain their own identities, yet still share their lives with that special someone. The stories and snapshots will be timeless - spanning across ages, distances, races, and socio-economic classes.

For my single readers out there (and I certainly hope to gain them), this blog is the literary version of a Jane Austen novel, but much shorter, savvier, and more modern (of course). It shows women that men still go out on limbs to impress women and yes, in fact, chivalry is not dead. It also is meant to show men that women are actively appreciative and completely embrace acts that are gentlemanly and/or thoughtful.

Each entry will feature: their first names, a meaningful picture (perhaps taken by me?), and a story of either how:
- the couple met,
- what their first date was like,
- what each of the couple loves about each other,
- their favorite moment from their wedding,
- and/or (if relevant) how he proposed (Although it's too bad that it's never been accepted in the mainstream for women to propose, although I'd love to feature a couple where the lady herself popped the question. Why not?).

Inspired by the project I participated in, which features solo individuals,, I wanted to come up with my own blog that features duos and pairs. Furthermore, another source of motivation was the Sunday wedding section of the New York Times, where fate unites individuals together in whimsical ways.

Please contact me, Tanya, at: if you'd like to participate! I'm based in Boston, MA and would love to meet you and yours.