I thought when I married Jill that she would give up on trying to surprise me as I proved to her it was an impossible task. My keen eye for changes in routine, spending, planning and subtle changes in how she is acting gives me the edge in figuring out what is going on before it happens, or so I thought. Maybe somewhere along the way I started to let my guard down, maybe I was too busy with other things, but recently she pulled out all the stops and dropped a bombshell on me that I did not see coming.
Over the past few months after our wedding, I’ve watched Jill endure the hardest part about getting married: changing her name. And to make it worse, she’s learning the various ways people like to spell her new last name (its ‘MO’, not ‘MA’, 2 ‘R’s, ending in ‘ONE’). For her, transitioning from a Berman to a Morrone has been quite the full time job. Personally, I was under the impression that a lot of this stuff happened automatically once you updated your name with the Social Security Administration and the DMV, however I am clearly in the wrong.
I graduated college at a very interesting time, May of 2009. This was a time that many people remember all too well, mostly for negative reasons. The stock market had just hit its bottom (March ’09) and the overall outlook for the economy was more grim I can ever remember in my lifetime. Going to a business school, we were inundated with news on the market meltdown, a shattered US economy, a tight job market, regulatory chaos and an overall feeling of mass hysteria. Talk about raining on our parade!
Regardless of what New Years is or isn’t for many, it’s that proverbial line in the sand when diets start (mainly to just get back to even keel after binge eating for a month), gym commitments (loosely) begin and bad habits are (temporarily) dropped in what is usually an empty promise to make the upcoming year ‘better’ than the last. That may sound like a bit of a jaded viewpoint, but my expression comes not only from personal experience, but has more than enough statistical evidence to back it up.
I took a discrete probability class in college. My friends told me I was crazy to take a math course to fill one of my unrestricted elective courses, when there were clearly ‘easier’ options available that would not jeopardize my chances of graduation. To a numbers nerd like me, probability and statistics were always of interest, and quite frankly just made sense – maybe it’s the practical application of these concepts (I haven’t used calculus since college), or how closely these topics relate to real life, but I still think that was one of the best course I’ve ever taken.
A honeymoon is supposed to be a once in a lifetime trip, and Jill and I treated it as such. Convenience went out the window as we looked for exotic and remote locations to spend the first couple of weeks of our married life together. After considering everything from Italy to Bali to the Maldives we ended up booking a trip to French Polynesia. A “quick” 8 hour flight from LAX, the Tahitian Islands are widely known for their unique hotels, remote location and postcard-worthy scenery.