I never expected to see Emma again, but she was postmarked by New Jersey in a USPS package at the front door in the suburbs of Los Angeles. “I know you admire this pattern,” my friend Susie sent a text about the unusual move to return a wedding gift she had sent her 18 years ago. “Now I’m moving to a new location, so I decided not to bring in the past. Would you like to enjoy the rest of the set?”
“Emma” was a casual but chic everyday pottery name chosen by her college friend Susie for her wedding.
I remember I bought Emma at the pottery barn where Susie was registered. Two years ago I was married to my boyfriend at that time, Matt. Our first date was at Westwood Coffee Shop. We were both born at UCLA Medical Center and found that we like lean meats (even though we must pretend to be different in healthy L.A.). It’s been perfect since then. By Susie’s big day, Matt and I had jumped into a 900-square-foot home not far from a home goods store.
With a limited mortgage budget, I could afford Susie’s Coffee Mug, a cup with delicate beaded edges in yellow, white, and green. It was a vivid memory of an exciting time in my life. Her wedding at the Los Angeles River Center & Garden was dazzling, with a white lace-covered Susie and her tuxedo partner. My friend, Matt and I all got together while drinking champagne.
But life has become complicated. I had a miscarriage, and tests showed that infertility problems were increasing with each new Santa Monica specialist sent to me. Matt and I were no longer loose young men hanging out in the coffee shop. Meanwhile, Susie lived in Marina Del Rey. But when she saw the boats coming in and out from the balcony, she also felt that she had become unconscious forever.
I had a child and I went against my own expectations. Susie and I had a hard time writing scripts at night. Her husband then announced that they would return to New Jersey to get serious about their “real” career. Susie and I would have done it in Hollywood if we had stuck to it, but she didn’t say much on the issue. Her eventual divorce wasn’t surprising, but at least she was in touch with another time zone.
Oddly enough, it caused sadness when I heard that Emma was being sent back to me.
Perhaps the announcement was made around the 20th anniversary of my wedding, with robotic greetings from kids who had been hit by the pandemic, tired of Zoom school and didn’t care about anything anymore. Rice field.
When asked at the start of the wedding, he would have said he would spend his 20th anniversary at the Eiffel Tower with baguettes and romance and would not separate the dining room with takeaways or Vickers.
Maybe when Emma was new, most friends in L.A. didn’t know they were moving to Portland, Oregon, North Carolina, or somewhere with a viable school and affordable homes. I didn’t know Matt, and I was the last Schmack left in my hometown, apparently the only people who were nodding our heads with the arrival of $6 Joe.
Matt and I were still together, and not Emma’s former boss, but at the cost of financial and relationship difficulties, and a sense of life being torn apart rather than having fun together. This may be due to knowledge. Young back at Pottery Barn, I must have told you that life is not about survival, but about prosperity. What happened between me and me?
The truth was that in the past this piece included all triggers. The last few years have been a bigger challenge than I expected.
When I was graduating from college and could think of nothing but weddings, titles, and kids, I thought that choosing a like-minded spouse would lead to an easier and more straightforward path in life.
At that point, I began to feel romantic disillusionment and incredible loneliness in a working partnership, and when my husband worked weekends when I was essentially a single parent. I didn’t know it would take years. For such a heavy task. Little did I know that for each of the three children, it would be a decade-long battle over which gene was responsible for three-step orthodontics. When you are young you cannot understand these things.
But then I took Emma out of the brown shipping box and once again admired the mix of pale yellow, sage green, and white in the collection’s original color scheme.
I thought the cup was still clean. I was watching them in my kitchen in the sunny Southern California. He traveled twice between LA and the East Coast and experienced a lot. They didn’t look brand new and shiny, but they were made surprisingly strong.
Matt and I thought they were like him, completely unprepared and ready for a new adventure. Hopefully an adventure that can take us through Los Angeles once our kids grow up. We still love Southland, but someday it’s a good idea to compare cheeseburgers elsewhere.
I decided to make coffee for fun in the garden. When I caught the yellow Emma, I saw a small, almost imperceptible chip. I smiled a little. None of life’s unforeseen hardships has broken a filthy and unfulfilled partnership with me or Matt. Emma’s first house may have been torn down, but Matt and I have nowhere to go. If you’re lucky, it’ll take a long time for Emma and I to enjoy each other’s company.
The author has completed her MFA at the University of California, Riverside and is working on a memoir about life as a housewife in LA. he is on twitter @RFSpalding..
LA Affairs records a romantic search for love in the LA area in all its splendid expressions. We want to hear your true story. You will have to pay $300 for a published essay. Email [email protected] Submission guidelines are here. You can find the previous column here.