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photo credit Averie Woodard

I recently received a wedding invitation in which the bride and groom had taken the opportunity to have a little fun with the RSVP card. In addition to being able to reply with the usual “enthusiastically attend” or “regretfully decline,” options to “regretfully attend” and “enthusiastically decline” had also been listed. I checked off the first box, opting to save my bad behavior for the main event.

Weddings are meant to be joyous affairs and most of us give our acceptance to join in the festivities heartily, but attendance comes with a to-do list. Even when money is not a concern, securing time off, booking travel accommodations, choosing an outfit and procuring a gift all present a burden on one’s time. There is an alarming amount of photographic evidence attesting to the fact that I enjoy weddings, perhaps because I only choose to go to ones where I’m invested in the couple’s happiness. When the planning and sorting of minutiae isn’t born from an eager desire to celebrate with the happy couple, it’s easy to see how some might harbor resentment toward a task they themselves took on. …

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photo credit Andreas Selter

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift.” — Charles Bukowski

Following your dream is an act of empowerment. In a world where most people are still struggling to figure out what even makes them passionate, veering from the beaten path to pursue a calling is a daring move.

Unsatisfied with merely reading about forging a life worth being excited about, entrepreneurs take the universe up on its challenge. …

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photo credit Oleg Sergeichik

As a shy child I dreaded any activity that required an introductory game. Birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and youth group mixers were attended with the resignation that the first half hour would involve enduring some sadistic adult’s idea of fun. I would do my best to disappear against the wall or attempt to excuse myself to the bathroom. Eventually, I would be shamed into compliance, made to sit cross-legged with all the others as I rubbed my damp palms on the knees of my jeans.

I’m not sure why I found making small talk so daunting at that age. Selling the idea of myself felt embarrassing, beneath me. It still does. I think even as children we can recognize the dishonesty inherent in these forced acts of friendship, and for me, that deceit bred anxiety. …


Yvette Benhamou

editor at, writer, hospitality veteran, sandwich enthusiast, enjoys travel, mezcal and making misogynists uncomfortable

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