Anniversary….

Three years ago on July 9th, 2004 (it was a Friday) I said farewell to the love of my life to date, she went off to work in Manhattan and later that morning, I left for JFK and said goodbye to New York City, taking with me just what I could carry (or roll). I flew via Philadelphia to Paris first, where I spent a week at the home of my grown daughter. Then I boarded a Ryan Air jet with even less luggage due to their ridiculous baggage limits and flew the hour-and-a-half to Dublin, landing and busing into the city on the evening of July 16th.

I’d never been to Ireland, and Dublin’s gray, low-rise Georgian architecture was quite a shock after opulent Paris. For the first couple of days, I felt pretty lost. Jet-lagged, numb from the breakup, unable to get a real feel for a city that hides its supermarkets in basements and its bookstores and shops in nooks, crannies, and behind metal shutters on Sundays. Most everything is small here, especially to an American born and raised in the wide open spaces of California.

Plus, as a very light drinker even by American standards, Dublin’s drunkenness is something I’m still not inured to. Those first nights when I couldn’t sleep and I wandered the city centre, I was deeply disturbed by the stumbling, utterly oblivious young women and men walking into post boxes, slumped on sills, weaving unsteadily on their feet on the edge of traffic. Inevitably on Saturday and Sunday mornings in Dublin, the streets are obstacle courses of broken glass, empty bottles, and, yes, pools of vomit. I wasn’t sure I was going to stay those first few days.

What convinced me, though, to make this ancient city my home—then and now—are its people. Dubliners as a whole are extraordinary: witty, generous, highly intelligent, opinionated, bloody fair-minded, intensely musical—poetic even—and fiercely protective of the underdog. Once you start interacting with Dubliners, the fact you’re paying Manhattan prices to live in a city with shit public transport, unreliable telecommunications, rush hour main streets that resemble parking lots, and rain (lately) 7 days out of 7, becomes immaterial.

Yeah, I love this place, despite its faults.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Anniversary….

  1. Anne

    I was only in Ireland for a week a few years ago, but it’s my favorite out of all the places I’ve ever traveled to because of, as you said, the people. I have an Ireland daily calendar at my bedside, and on any given day I’m likely to have a picture up that’s several days ahead or behind, because I refuse to display the pictures of the ugly, often gaudy buildings in the cities….I’ve found more than a few that are Pepto-Bismol pink. Ugh! Maybe they make their buildings ugly on purpose, otherwise everybody would move there. 🙂

    Anyhow, happy anniversary!

  2. Kate Harding

    Happy anniversary!

  3. Brynn, I think that gentleman in the picture you posted is the one who accosted us outside of the Guinness Brewery because he heard us talking and he wanted to know what we thought of George W. Bush – and he asked us like he was ready to pick a fight, but we were all in agreement on the subject of Bush.

  4. and fiercely protective of the underdog.

    This is such an Irish thing…I hope the experience of the Celtic Tiger economy doesn’t ruin that.

  5. TOAC

    Weird. That is the exact date that the love of my life thus far and I broke up. I do not keep track of this anniversary, but saw your post and did the math. Sure enough – Friday the week after my brother’s wedding and 1 1/2 weeks before my birthday. Ugh.

    I hope this is a happy anniversary for you, Brynn. I wouldn’t exactly call it a happy one for me, but it is a good one and the reminder comes at a time when I’m trying to make some changes in my life. I’m choosing to see this as a sign to finally start focusing on my own blog, which I’ve partially drafted but been lazy about. So, um…thanks?

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  7. Brynn

    I hope this is a happy anniversary for you, Brynn. I wouldn’t exactly call it a happy one for me, but it is a good one and the reminder comes at a time when I’m trying to make some changes in my life. I’m choosing to see this as a sign to finally start focusing on my own blog, which I’ve partially drafted but been lazy about. So, um…thanks?

    TOAC, the same year, too?

    It’s definitely an anniversary of mixed feelings for me. I miss my ex and what we had together. But, alas, it’s time to move on.

    I wish you the best with your moving on, too!

  8. TOAC

    Same year, too. More math last night revealed we were together six years total. I remember reading some “statistic” that it takes half the time you were with a person to get over that person. So that three-year mark was also yesterday. I don’t have anything smart to say about this, it’s just even more of a coincidence. Here’s to moving on, definitely…

  9. goldsmith_ie

    Brynn,

    I couldn’t have said this better even if I had had the nearly three years I know you by now, to think about it… I think I will learn your quote off by heart, for the next time I am asked why I live here instead of Sound-of-Music Austria!

    Best anniversary wishes winging their way down South Circular Road, and thanks for being such a great friend!

  10. your name here

    I remember reading some “statistic” that it takes half the time you were with a person to get over that person.

    I’ve been with my current love for about six years now, and was with my ex-husband for 10 years before that. It was only about a year or so ago, five years after our divorce, when I felt I was really ready to let go of my ex and my feelings about him, about the horrible way he left me, and move on and not be actively angry about it any more… so you may be on to something here.

    Best of luck to you in moving on…

  11. Wow, TOAC, that is quite a coincidence! And I’ve heard that statistic, too, but in my case we were together 4-1/2 years, so I should be completely “moved on” by now.

    So many variables go into these matters of the heart, though. In the end, we move on at our own paces. And with the exception of an occasional lapse, I’m finally starting to feel whole again. I hope you’re there—if not now, then soon—too.

    (And, hey, Goldsmith, thanks for the anniversary wishes!!)

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