Friday, August 19, 2011

New Name. New Address. Last Post.

When I was a kid, I found a slip of paper in my baby book that had a list of names on it my mother had considered during her pregnancy with me. I think the top, starred girl name on the list was "Melissa/Misty." Thank God they didn't go with that as a nickname. We had a friend with a poodle named Misty. "Holly" was also on the list, which I always thought would have gone nicely with "Hetherington." If I were a boy, they were thinking they'd go with "Brent."

Though they chose "Melissa/No-Misty," I answered to "Heather" for much of my life, thanks to my last name. Teachers often called me Heather. People who met me and forgot my name used that one in its place. Coworkers mistakenly summoned me by it.

The name confusion is probably the one thing I won't miss about losing Hetherington.

Actually, that and having to write or say 12 letters every time I spell out my name.

But even with the few upsides to changing, the thought of a different moniker has taken me awhile to fully accept. You might remember my freakout about changing my initials. And then there was the heel-dragging on filling out forms on I've stretched the process out for 5 whole months (yes, today is our 5-month anniversary) and now it's pretty much totally complete.

My new last name is actually a beautiful one. It means "of the sea" in Greek. Funny because Melissa means "honeybee" in Greek, so now I'm Honeybee of the Sea. Brings sort of a cute visual to mind.

I was messing around on Etsy the other day and decided to create a treasury around the idea of Greek seas. It sort of made my new last name feel even prettier...

So now that I've made my peace with being a "Maris" instead of a "Hetherington," I've decided it's time to retire this blog and move over permanently to 'S Wonderful.

I still plan to write goofy stories and personal insights over there, even though I initially started it to be a blog about married life. I will still be Mel Heth on the inside. Just with a bit of a twist on the outside.

I really hope you'll all follow me over there. Update your blogrolls and reader feeds.

It's been so great getting to know you all over here. Wonderful, really...

See you soon at

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting Cheeky

I had a very visual reminder this past weekend of how much I need to get back into shape. And maybe spend some more time in the sun. And perhaps invest in a cellulite-reducing cream.

Find out all the dirty details at 'S Wonderful.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Havisham, Here I Come

I'm over here at 'S Wonderful, writing about being a lonelywed. I guess I should let you all know that very, very soon I'll probably be posting over there all the time. Two blogs is one too many for me, and this URL is becoming outdated. I'll let ya know when I make the switch and I hope you'll all continue to follow me over there! Even if I do become Miss Havisham in the next couple weeks...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Diary of a D Cup

Do you ladies out there know your real bra size? Not the one you think you're supposed to wear, but the real, true one you should be special ordering from Vicky Secrets?

Check out my latest 'S Wonderful post and you may be surprised by what you learn. I know I was!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sometimes Even Sneaky Peekers Receive Surprises AKA Nick Jonas Has Nice Hair

Before Christmas when I was in second or third grade, my older sister caught me and my cousin Kim peeking at our unwrapped presents. I knew where my mom had hidden them, and was certain my sister wouldn't hear what we were up to, so we went on our merry way and rifled through the Christmas shopping bags.

When my sister found us, she gave us a stern lecture but promised not to rat us out. Lie. She totally told on us. And of course my mom threatened to return all my gifts to their stores.

It's fitting that some twenty-odd years later, my niece peeked at a birthday present I'd bought for her.

I think it was 6 or 7 years ago when I'd taken the birthday outfit I'd purchased over to show my sister. I left it in a bag in the living room and when I went to leave, I noticed that the bag wasn't how I'd left it. I asked my niece, we'll call her Al (like that Paul Simon song) and I believe she tried to deny it at first. Then I think she burst into tears and said she really liked the skirt. I didn't know whether to laugh or give her a time out.

Then the next time I saw her, she gave me this. Which I've saved all these years...

In case you need a translation, it says: Dear Auntie, I'm sorry
I peeked in the bag, but I am glad to be just

like you and Kim. Most of all is to get a boyfriend when I'm 30 and get married.

I think it's hysterical that her apology included a littler buttering up about how she liked being like me and cousin Kim (my partner in crime for childhood gift peeking) but even funnier that at age 6 or 7, she was concerned with getting a boyfriend when she was 30. I'm pretty sure I was still in my 20s when she wrote this—it was nice of her to up the age on her note.

This year, Al is turning 13.

And in grand auntie tradition, I planned a very special night out to celebrate her induction into teenagehood. Her favorite food is Chinese, so I took her to Chin Chin on the Sunset Strip for dinner. After that, we did a little shopping at Hollywood & Highland and grabbed a pastry at Beard Papa's. Then we hiked up Highland Avenue to the Hollywood Bowl where we had tickets to see Hairspray. The big bonus for my niece: Nick Jonas was playing one of the lead roles. (Though Harvey Fierstein blew everyone else out of the water).

My sneaky little niece figured out her birthday surprise before I took her Friday night.

She knew what night we were doing our big celebration and when she saw a commercial for Hairspray on TV, she was certain that's what we were doing. I can't believe she found me out again...

The only person who turned out surprised that night was me: Nick Jonas was shockingly entertaining. Who knew?

I guess after peeking and foiling my own surprises as a kid, I can't get upset that my niece operates the same way. I wonder if she reads ahead in novels like I do. Thank goodness for both of us that there are still unexpected treats out in the world. Like Nick Jonas's biceps.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Great Kid Debate

Saturday afternoon, I got stuck in an elevator at IKEA. This was my first time ever being stuck in an elevator.

I was riding from floor 2 to floor 1 with three friends from high school, two toddlers, three babies, two strollers and a shopping cart. It was hot in there. The alarm was ringing loudly. When I finally figured out which switch had been tampered with by tiny hands and the doors opened, I was hankering for an adult beverage.

The funny thing was that right before we got into the elevator, we were discussing whether or not I wanted kids. Whether I was really cut out for it. When we emerged from the stalled IKEA car, my girlfriend said, "That was a sign!"

I said, "I know - a loud one with alarm bells screaming DON'T DO IT!"

"No," she said. "A sign you should do it. You were totally calm in there."

And therein lies the debate that my brain and uterus seem to be having on a daily basis. My womb insists that I should for sure have kids, that I can absolutely handle it and that I might actually like it. Then my brain jumps in and explains that I love my free time, love dinners out with Mr. W, love drinking wine and traveling, am not a fan of poop or throw-up or bratty friends or sleepless nights. My brain reminds my baby parts about the news story I just saw about the kid in Florida who killed his parents with a hammer and the little girl on Oprah with multiple personalities.

For every positive I can think of, there are about a thousand negatives or concerns to match it.

The main being, I just don't really know that I ever want to take on that kind of responsibility.

My Creative Director at work has told me multiple times that I would make a great CD myself one day. Every time, I smile and say, "no way." I don't want the responsibility. I'm flattered by his confidence in me, but I'm a Peter Pan girl. I'm not looking to leave Neverland anytime soon.

You could totally handle the kids thing, my uterus, friends and family say.

I could probably handle running a half marathon multiple times in a month but I don't want to do that. I could handle giving up chocolate and wine, but I don't want to do that either. I'm a pleasure junky.

So the debate continues.

I'm kind of wishing they made muzzles for biological clocks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Community Cravings

Last Friday night, I was running an errand up near my beloved hometown and I ran smack dab into my cousin and her two sons. We were both at Home Goods and ended up goofing around for a good thirty minutes in the store together. Even though it was 9:00 at night.

It made me miss Montrose.

That's the town I lived in for 8 years before I moved in with Mr. Wonderful. My grandmother's father was one of the first real estate developers there, so my family has lived in the vicinity for 3 (or rather 4 if you count my nieces) generations.

It is virtually impossible for me not to run in to familiar faces on the streets up there. So it wasn't a huge surprise to see my cousin out shopping.

These things don't happen to me in Hollywood.

The past several times I've gone to Montrose to see friends or family, I feel a little ache in my gut. It's a very charming small town (the main street is the one Will Ferrell went streaking down in Old School) with tree-lined streets and neat little houses. It feels safe and inviting. Cozy. Like home. Mr. Wonderful often calls it Mayberry.

But I realized on Friday night that the quaintness of the town isn't why I miss it. I don't want to move back. Don't want to retire there.

What I miss is the community it holds. The connections I have there—from high school, from my college coffeehouse job, from family and friends of family. It's really neat to know so many people in such a small space.

It seems to me that one can create a similar sense of community almost anywhere. People do it in their neighborhoods in New York City. And even when they live miles apart from neighbors out in the country. There has to be a way for me to cultivate that in Hollywood. I'm just not entirely sure how.

I know people routinely develop little friend circles by frequenting bars or particular shops or gyms or yoga studios. Sadly, I'm not ├╝ber motivated to do any of those things. I think I'm more drawn to trying to meet friends of friends in the area. I do know some great people in town. The Boss and his awesome wife live just a few blocks from us and have had me over for some fun little get togethers. But of course, I crave more because of what I used to have in Montrose.

Mr. W has teased me recently after we met a couple of his friends' girlfriends. I was so enthusiastic and immediately wanted to be BFFs with them. Mr. W totally pinned me as a stalker and told me to simmer down or I'd scare them away. (I friended both on Facebook anyway...) I guess I was just hoping to find a new hiking buddy or movie pal.

It's sort of like being single again. I have to figure out how to hit on people in a non-creepy way. So, of course, I'm looking for advice. How do you guys build out your communities without seeming like desperate social rejects?