The Eden Edition Featured By Holly & Tanager

The Eden Edition has been featured by Holly & Tanager!  Check out the write-up below! xo

Meet Shelby Eden, TV & Digital Media Producer

October 21, 2016

Meet Shelby Eden, TV & Digital Media Producer

Name: Shelby Eden

Age: 31

Occupation: TV & Digital Media Producer

Education: Syracuse University (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications)

Meet Shelby Eden! She is a TV Writer-Producer in New York City, blogger, and globe-trotter. Shelby spends her time creating content for network and cable television, alongside both in-house and third party production companies.  She is an award winning Short Film Producer and has an incredible blog called The Eden Edition that allows her to have a creative outlet outside of work. Shelby couldn’t be a better trailblazer lady for our Holly & Tanager Trailblazer blog series.

What is your current position?

Outside of blogging, I am a TV Writer-Producer in New York City.  My life can be a little bit of a whirlwind as I am constantly traveling and interviewing people from all walks of life.  I am truly passionate about meeting interesting people and sharing their stories with the world.  From Holocaust survivors and refugees from the Middle East to Navy Seals, and even Captain Phillips, I am on a mission to document real stories that should never be forgotten.

I am an avid reader, a Netflix binge-watcher, an enthusiastic sushi eater, a shy songwriter, a lifelong dancer and, of course, a savvy shopper!

Tell us about The Eden Edition and how you got started.

I started The Eden Edition in 2012 mostly because I needed a creative outlet.  While I was working my way up in the television and media world, my work was not under my sole creative control.  While I couldn’t automatically become a powerful producer, I knew there was something I could do to quench my extraordinary thirst to create something, anything, that was purely me.

As The Eden Edition developed over the years, I began to incorporate my experience producing fashion and lifestyle segments for television networks and digital outlets into my writing, giving fashionistas, design addicts, and globe-trotters alike a place to read about amazing finds, upcoming trends, inspiring design, as well as a variety of personal essays.

What did you dream about being as a little kid?

My parents raised me to believe that I could accomplish anything I want in life and it was up to me to make any dream come true.  So, of course I was determined to become a rock star, a famed ballerina, a doctor, a writer, an Oscar winner, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a National Geographic photographer, an author, and Oprah, obviously.

Who is your role model and why?

My role model is my late grandmother, Leona, whose grandchildren affectionately called Loni.  She was a stunning woman, a beautiful dresser, an awe-inspiring writer and a loving, intelligent human being.  She stressed the importance of education and hard work with ditties like, “Gold and silver will fade away, but your education will never decay.”

As a “child of the depression,” Loni grew up with little money.  Each school year she would be given a small stipend for clothes and instead of buying a variety of outfits, she would buy one beautiful dress, teaching me the importance of quality over quantity.

Loni met her soulmate, my grandfather, when she was 15 years old.  Together they built a thriving business and a loving family, which taught me that anything was possible.  All I had to do was work hard and remain determined in order to build a beautiful life for myself.  Like Loni did, I married my best friend, and together, my husband and I are building a life we are, so far, very proud of.

If you gave advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?

The only person you ever need to impress is yourself.

If you could have any super hero power what would it be? 

Mind Reading (Both humans and animals)

What essential items do you always carry with you in your work purse?

My work purse is filled with the following essential items: chapstick (my lips are perpetually dry) , gum (gotta kill that coffee breath) , Advil (staring at a computer for too long will give me a killer headache), my MetroCard (girl can’t afford too many NYC cab rides!), my inhaler (asthma, ugh), a printed scarf (my office is always freezing) and my favorite Fresh Sugar lip gloss (a long time ago I learned a little bit of color can go a very long way).

What do you love about Holly & Tanager handbag?

As a working woman, I love the modern simplicity and elegant style of Holly & Tanager handbags.  The practical design helps me stay organized in a chaotic world and the quality of the material ensures the safety of all my essential items.

 

NYFW 2016: Let the Games Begin!

Every September, New York Fashion Week takes the city by storm, beckoning fashionistas from all over the globe.  Listen, I’ve been to fashion shows before.  I’ve flashed my backstage pass to super thin women dressed all in black, guarding the doors leading to a mysterious abyss of fashion frenzy.  I’ve chit chatted with stylists, designers and PR people as their coveted models patiently accept being poked and prodded at with curling irons and sticks of eyeliner.  One time I even saw a model eat.  A sandwich!  There’s carbs in that!

But this year, for the very first time, I was not invited as press covering the runway show for an entertainment news program or a digital publication.  I was just invited.

My first event, which is the one I will highlight today, was for Kyboe watches.  As a LookBooker BeautyBassador, I began my day at RPZL Salon in Chelsea.  Using my coupon (I don’t go anywhere without them), I received my very first crown braid.  I know it can be a bold look… but I kind of loved it… and might have slept in it, hoping to get a second day out of the braid that made me feel like a mix of a milk maid and a Lanister.

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One of my close friends, and fellow IG Blogger, known as The King of 5th Ave (aka Nicky), met me at the Salon and after a sip of champagne to start the day, we made our way to midtown.  Our first stop was a loft space on 37th St, where we picked up our complimentary (yes, I said complimentary) Kyboe watches.  There, we met up with our friend and super talented photographer, Jackie (@jackiembarr).

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After picking our our watches (a difficult task) and taking a few selfies (obviously), we made our way to craft coffee shop, Ramini to fuel up for what would be a hectic (and humid) day!

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It was only 4 blocks to Moynihan Station, the site of the Kyboe show, but we were still waiting for the caffeine to kick in.  Jackie’s stilettos got stuck between a crack in the sidewalk, and I could feel the sweat dripping down the back of my Spanx.  NYFW isn’t as glamorous as you might think! Once arriving we swiftly entered the air-conditioned venue and stood, somewhat impatiently, in line waiting for the doors to the show to open.  As I stood there, eyeing every outfit from head to toe and coveting handbags left and right, I couldn’t help bouncing up and down as I resisted the urge to pee right then and there (the coffee had kicked in).  I didn’t dare go to the restroom and lose my friends and place in line.
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As we found our seats beside the runway, we were delighted to find foam fingers waiting for us.  This was definitely a first for me! When the show finally started (20 minutes late – which is basically on time in the fashion world), I was thrilled to watch a double runway filled with models.  The first was a motorized runway driving watches up and down the aisle.  The second, was a real runway, with real models.  As the first model appeared, I wasn’t surprised to find another ridiculously skinny woman wearing an outfit that would without a doubt make me look pregnant.  But then, out came the men.  The shirtless, chiseled men.  Was this a fashion show for a watch company or was I really at an Abercrombie & Fitch photoshoot?  I didn’t know… and quite frankly, I didn’t care.  Oh, and I guess I should mention the watches were fabulous too…

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After the show, we went our separate ways – all of us off to different events.

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By the end of the day, I was done.  I’m a complainer, I’ll admit it.  I always say I’m tired, I’m exhausted, I need a nap.  But out of 52 weeks of the year, NYFW is by far the most depleting.  Alternatively, out of 52 weeks of the year NYFW is by far the most fun!

How are you celebrating NYFW?  Would love to hear your stories!

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In Memoriam: Loehmann’s

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I could feel the hot tears spilling down my face as I sat in the passenger seat beside my mother in the parking lot of my ballet school.   I don’t remember if I was having a bad day, or if I was just a hormonal, confused teenager (I couldn’t have been more than 13 years old), but my mother, who has always been my best friend, could feel my agony.  Torn over how to eliminate the anguish from her daughter’s life, she sympathetically asked, “Do you want to go to Loehmann’s?”  That Wednesday evening I traded in my pointe shoes for platform shoes and slowly felt those teen spirits rise.

Loehmann’s has been part of my life, my entire life.  In the early ’90s, I recall my mother being shocked when she heard the store might be closing, “it’s the end of an era,” she said.  As a young child more interested in stuffed animals than clothes, I thought she was overreacting, I mean, it’s just a store, right?

By the time I was 12, in 1997, I realized I was wrong.  Loehmann’s was much more than just a store.  For my family, it was a familial stomping ground, a sacred temple, and most of all, a memory box.

I have vivid memories of my grandfather, who was lovingly called Pa, patiently waiting at the storefront in a less than comfy chair.  He’d sit as his wife, his daughters and his granddaughters (aka the Garland Girls) got high from the smell of designer clothes at bargain prices.  An impeccable dresser himself, Pa would eat breakfast in a Missoni sweater, watch TV in a pair of slacks, and had a wooden horn for every shoe in his closet.  Though he’d throw a snide remark out here or there, I think it made him happy to watch his sometimes sloppy brood make successful purchases.  On a good day, he’d even pay the bill!

When I first started going to Loehmann’s I was a pre-teen.  They had so many styles I loved and pieces I cherished.  Upon arriving home I would throw a fashion show for my father showing off my brand new wardrobe.  As I grew older, I learned to appreciate the “Back Room,” where “the good stuff” was.  Designers like Moschino, Valentino, Catherine Malandrino, Roberto Cavalli, Jean Paul Gaultier, and more could be found on the racks of the Back Room.  One note worthy purchase: a cobalt blue Moschino coat (Retail Price: $800; Purchase Price: < $200).

As mentioned earlier, Loehmann’s served as a type of tribal retreat for the Garland Girls.  I saw my family after my first semester at Syracuse University at our beloved store.  As my aunt approached she yelled, “Hey College Girl!”  I remember my cousin and I speeding through the racks, a labor of love, occasionally stopping to point out an absolutely ridiculous frock.  Sometimes I would take an embarrassing piece of clothing into the dressing room just to see the disparaging expression on my grandmother’s face.  Like Pa was, she too, is a faultless dresser.  Last year while trying clothes on, my grandmother, who we call Loni, tried out a cardigan that just wasn’t for her.  That cardigan now sits in my closet, that is, of course, when I’m not wearing it.

Trading clothes in the dressing room was a tradition in and of itself.  If an item didn’t fit, it would simply gets passed down the line until one of two things happened.  It was either snatched up by someone else in the family or dressing room, or it was scrapped and sent to the reject rack that stood center stage.  The large and completely open Loehmann’s dressing room seemed to be the only acceptable place to tell a complete stranger that a pair of jeans made them look fat.  A room consisting of four mirrored walls is a woman’s greatest enemy, but instead of ripping your head off, said stranger would take one last look at herself in those horrid jeans, and then agree with you.  Although newcomers were not always used to the lack of privacy, it was something that never gave me pause.  Of course, I do understand why some felt reluctant.  I mean, I’ve seen more bare breasts in a Loehmann’s dressing room than I have on a nude beach in Saint Maarten.

After a lifetime of memories, I can’t believe my cherished store is closing.  While walking through the Back Room on the Upper West Side earlier this week, my mother and I shook our heads in disbelief, as our hearts sank to our stomachs.  The entire store was on sale, and instead of being excited, we were sad.

The night before my cousin, Kristina’s, Bat Mitzvah, I bought a pair of Tahari slingbacks for $14.99 at the store in Bethesda.  When my cousin, Nicole’s, twins were born, I bought two sets of ridiculously adorable socks at the store in Chelsea.  The week of my bridal shower I bought a Chloe dress for the affair, and for my rehearsal dinner I claimed a pair of Charles Jourdan heels.  I have 28 years of memories that can no longer be triggered by walking into a Loehmann’s store.  A piece of my childhood, my teenage years, and my adult life thus far has come to an end.  And as we know all too well, it is never easy to say goodbye.

My mom was right all those years ago…  It really is the end of an era.

Eden’s Digest: All Aboard the Crazy Train!

We’ve all had one of those days.  You know the kind, when things go from bad to worse?  For me, that day was yesterday.

I should have known from the moment I woke up that my day was doomed.  I rose from my not so peaceful slumber only to remember my dream (or nightmare) that starred my childhood music teacher.  Ten years out of high school, and her presence still haunts me.  In terms of dream symbolism, I file her under the category of stifled creativity.

Makes sense.  Lately, the only thing I can compare my creativity to is a blocked artery.  The creative juices are there, but the flow is clogged, often severing the natural order of day-to-day processes.

But, I digress.  After a shower, a mediocre business meeting (buh-bye creativity), getting trapped in the rain, ruining a perfectly good pair of shoes, spilling coffee on my shirt, and, of course, fraud that shut down my debit card, I hoped my day would turn around.

Although it took me about an hour to get there, and another round of singing (or grunting) in the rain, I arrived at my 8:00 PM dance rehearsal.   My two-hour reprieve from one hell of a day.  For those two hours I felt my creativity release through abstract motion.  If you’re a dancer, or a runner, or anyone who loves those endorphins, you know what I’m talking about.

The bad day was over!  Or so I thought.  Really, it was just beginning.  At 10pm, I began my journey home from Astoria, Queens, back to the Upper West Side in Manhattan.  I took the N train to 57th Street and walked a block towards Columbus Circle to catch my second train.  What a beautiful night, I thought, I should just walk home.  I would have, but it was getting late, and all I could imagine was my mother and her disapproving eyes glaring at me for walking thirty something blocks in the darkness.  Get in a cab, Shelby, with your luck the train will be delayed, or get stuck between stations.  The thought was enticing, but I like saving money more than a ride home.  

As I entered the subway station, I noticed the gates were guarded by armed men, each carrying a machine gun.  There were about 4 officers and one german shepherd.  Not an unusual sight in the city, but always a little eerie.  As I swiped my MetroCard at the turnstile I wondered if one day they would let me play with the dog – I have a thing for german shepherds.

I finally boarded my last train and got a seat (woohoo) directly across from an elderly African-American man.  His white beard fell about 6 inches from his chin.  I wondered if it was hard to clean, if it got easily tangled.  I always wonder if creatures lay nests in that kind of hair — remember Brad Pitt’s beard a while back?

Oh, the C train.  My train.  My everyday ride.  Three stops from home.  That’s all I was.  Three stops.  That’s when, for the first time, I understood what C stood for.  Crazy.  I had boarded the Crazy Train.  Disrupting my deep thought process about facial hair, the man who I had been analyzing stood up and started screaming.  Here we go, I thought, three stops, that’s all I need.

“I’ll pull the cord!  I’ll stop this train!  Just watch me!”  I had no idea what he was talking about.  I’ve seen my fair share of oddballs on the subway, but this guy was serious.  “That’s illegal!  You can’t play dice on the subway!  Stop playing dice you [expletive]!” I kept my head down and quietly whispered with the woman next to me about all the crap going on in the world.  Before I knew it, the train came to screeching halt.  In unison, it seemed that everyone in my car, including me, screamed harmoniously a version of what the fuck! or are you fucking kidding me?

I am now trapped underground between two stations, in a dark tunnel, with a crazy man.  Have I mentioned I’m claustrophobic?

It didn’t take long for me to realize that the rest of the world isn’t a quiet little mouse like I am.  People started screaming, demanding explanations from the clearly disturbed man.  The name calling escalated, the volume level increased.  Crazy Man would retreat to his seat and mumble on.  He would then often approach any naysayers.  “Say that to my face, you fucking f*ggot,” he finally yelled.  That’s when I looked up, jaw dropped.  You hear a lot of insults thrown around, all the time, everyday, by this one I was not used to.  I thought for sure, a fight would break out.  But, it did not.

At last, an MTA official walked through the train, talked with the clear suspect, and soon enough, re-started the train.  The unanimous decision to have the lunatic thrown off the train was thwarted by the official who didn’t feel like calling the police.  Right.  That’s great.

At least we’re moving now.  Two stops to go.  Although we’re in motion, people continue to scream and carry on as Crazy Man keeps on with his diatribe.  Finally, a passenger struck a chord with Mr. Crazy.  He rose to his feet, fury in his eyes.  I watched with great unease as he reached into his pocket and pulled out something metal.  Holy shit, I thought, he has a knife, he has a fucking knife.  

“Say that again,” he screams, approaching a passenger, “Say that to my face, say it now!”

It was strange.  I wasn’t scared.  I wasn’t in fear.  Instead, I was angry.  I was really, truly angry.  I finally arrived at my stop.  what usually takes about ten minutes took roughly forty-five.  As far as I know, no one was stabbed.

“Fucking maniac,” I mumbled as I got off the train and onto the platform.  “Good fucking luck,” were the words that spilled out of my mouth to an innocent passenger about to board.  I stomped with fury out of the station and up to my apartment.  As I opened the door to my lounging fiance, I flung my bag on the floor and started a furious rant of my own.  Confused by my relentless pacing and unusual attitude, Ryan pressed me for details.  “Just relax.  It’s the city, this happens all the time,” he said.  People might lose it a lot, but this was my first knife sighting.

To relax the crazy train in my brain, I showered, wiggled my way into bed and got lost in an episode of BBC’s Doctor Who, my newest addiction.  As for the C train, I think I’ll take today off.  Hopefully the 1 will suffice.

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Eden’s Digest: Here Comes The Bride… To The Bloomingdale’s Registry!

After desperately wanting to get out of the city in October, I was proposed to in New Hope, Pennsylvania, an idyllic country town, roughly an hour and a half from Manhattan.  Beneath a beautiful covered bridge, my now fiance, Ryan, nervously dropped down to one knee, scraping it on his way, and opened a jewelry box sporting a MASSIVE rock.  Don’t get too excited, it was a ring pop!  He (and my mother, of course), thought it would be best if I approved of the ring chosen by Ryan before handing over the dinero.  While I 100% agree with their decision  to hold off (I can be very picky), he did a magnificent job, picking out my dream ring without any persuasion from me.

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For days, I walked around with rose colored glasses, feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.  I’m engaged!  I thought tirelessly. I’m engaged to my best friend!  Does life get any better?  The answer: NO.

Not even week passed before I started getting asked THE question. Where are you registered?  Registered?  I thought.  But I haven’t even chosen a venue, or picked a date, or tried on a dress! Registered?

The pressure became so consuming that I had no choice but to drag my ignorant little tushy (very little, sadly), to Bloomingdale’s.   After picking up a scanner from the registry office, my mom and I got to work.  If I can describe the experience in one word it would be overwhelming.  I love to shop for antiques and vintage jewelry in Maine and North Carolina.  I frequent thrift shops through out the city where I often find fabulous furniture and jewels, and estate sales in Westchester where I have uncovered amazing ’60’s couture and barely used chaise lounges.  I’m not a modern girl, I don’t have modern taste (to the unfortunate disappointment of Ryan, who loves straight lines and solid colors).

As we perused the store, scanner clutched tightly to my sweaty palm, I felt my heart start to beat faster and faster.  Flatware:  Why do they have 100 forks that look the same?  How do I pick?  This pattern continued for every item in the store.  The Eden Family suffers from what we call DDD – Dinner Decision Disorder.  More recently DDD has been renamed by my brother, Zack, who has followed us to many bridal appointments, as Dress Decision Disorder.  In this case I have RDD: Registry Decision Disorder.  On day one, the only thing I remotely liked was a limited edition Michael Aram cheese plate sporting an onyx and mother of pearl board and gorgeous monkey handles (have I mentioned I love anything vintage-y with animals on it?).  Oh yeah, and the cheese platter cost over $2,000.

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I left the store feeling irritated and without a single item on my registry.  What I did get was a bottle of wine.  A big one.

Attempt two was a bigger disaster than the first.  This time we brought Ryan and my father.  The date was December 8th, I recall specifically because it was the same day that Ryan and I were hosting a holiday dinner for our friends in our apartment.  Anyway, December 8th. Bloomingdale’s.  59th Street.  Oh my holy crowds!  My dad disappeared within two minutes, and after about an hour of indecision and endless shoulder bumping, I left the store in a hurry (perhaps it was a temper tantrum however I am clinically claustrophobic, so it’s ok.  Right?) leaving my mom and Ryan on their own.  We all eventually found each other outside.  Luckily, no one seemed overly mad at me.  It was overwhelming for the whole lot.

Again I left the store feeling irritated and with only a set of knives on my registry (Ryan’s pick, probably to stab me with).  What I did get was many bottles of wine brought to my apartment thanks to my amazing friends, and my favorite way to deal with stress, lots of food, cooked by the amazing Heather Ricks.

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The next Tuesday my mom and I figured we’d go again and try to get things done.  Ryan had enough.  He wouldn’t join us on anymore registry excursions.  Can we switch places?  We walked into Bloomingdale’s and figured the third time’s a charm, right?  No.  We spent an hour in the store that day, but instead of on the Registry floor, we spent the entirety of our time in the bathroom.  Sick to our stomachs from the moment we walked in the door.  Ironically, as soon as we left, we felt better.  Will we ever get registered?  At this point it was just getting funny.

Finally, mom and I realized we would never be able to do this on our own.  With a plan in our heads and determination in our hearts, we marched into Bloomies earlier this week, and worked the floor with a registry consultant.  AMEN.  When we left the store that day I turned to my mom and said, “that was actually fun.”  She agreed as we finally realized that we’re both made of the same ADD, RDD cloth.  We needed someone with a focused mind and a clear sense of my needs.

If you’re registering, don’t make my mistakes.  Use a consultant, they’re free, and beyond helpful.  I was also gifted a set of Kate Spade champagne flutes, not necessarily my style, but lovely nonetheless!

Eden’s Digest: Tis The Season For… Tipping

The holidays are such a wonderful time of year for gathering around the fireplace with loved ones, drinking hot chocolate, merrily singing christmas carols, and gambling gelt while playing dreidel.

The holidays are also a season for giving.  And while I love giving gifts to my friends and family, I think I spend more money tipping the people in my everyday life than on the people who truly hold the keys to my heart.

After moving out of my very first apartment, my first floor, mouse-ridden, studio apartment on 72nd and West End, my then boyfriend, Ryan and I, decided to leave our college days and budget in the past and move forward into adulthood.  For the past 5 years we’ve been living in a large one-bedroom apartment on 86th and Central Park West.  The doorman building, mouse-free I might add, has acted truly as our home.  But with luxury comes acting a grownup, and with acting a grownup comes holiday tipping.

While we can’t afford to tip as much as some of our very wealthy neighbors, we do break bank in our own way…

Let’s break it down:

Apartment Building:
6 Doormen (and women): $75/pp
2 Maintenance Men: $25/pp
1 Super: $100

Mail Woman: $25

Doggy Daycare: $100

These are just the essentials, adding up to a smooth $725.

I am 27 years old, and though Ryan and I make ends meet, in my eyes, that’s a lot of money.  It’s a shopping spree at Barneys. A shopping spree at Barneys that I never go on because it’s far too expensive!

But that’s not all.  We also like to give to charity…

Charity:
ASPCA
St. Jude Children Research Hospital
And this year Sandy Relief

So we can add a few hundred dollars there.

The amount I spend on my friends and family doesn’t come close to surpassing the Benjamins spent on others.

I do, however, have to be fair.  First of all, anyone who takes care of our dog, Dilbert, deserves not only a tip, but a medal.  We’d be lost without doggy daycare.  As for the people who work day after day in our building making sure everything is running smoothly, changing lightbulbs for the ladder-less, opening doors for people who are fully capable of opening their own doors, and taking care of any and all problems we might throw their way – well, they too are well deserving.   As far as charities go, although they are not a requirement, and although we don’t have the kind of money to really make a difference, we feel we should contribute what we can.

To sum it up, tipping is a pain in the ass.  But when you think about all the crap others do for you, you realize, it’s not only something you “have to do,” but also it’s a way of saying thank you to those who make our everyday lives just a little bit easier.

Eden’s Digest: When to Introduce a New Boyfriend or Girlfriend to Your Friends

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Everyone knows that feeling.  That feeling of really starting to like someone.  The late night booty calls are getting boring and casually dating mindless idiots is beginning to feel like an enormous waste of time.  You’ve found someone.  You like them.  You really like them.  Screwing it up?  Not something you want to do.  One way to do it?  Introducing your new love interest to your close, tight-knit group of obnoxious friends who tend to lack tact when it comes to the important skill of conversation.

Currently, a good friend of mine (who will be referred to as ‘Friend’ for the purpose of this story) is stuck in the messy situation described above.  He actually likes someone (amen, it’s about time!).  Being the nosy person I am, I want all the details.  Obviously, this girl has to stand up to all of my requirements and criterion in a mate for Friend.  1.  She has to be cool.  2.  Insensitive sense of humor is a must.  3. She must roll with the punches.  Finally, and most importantly, 4. She must absolutely and unequivocally care for Friend.  Everyone is sensitive at the beginning of a what-could-be relationship.  And, if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s a friend with a broken heart.  So girlfriend, be good to him or you’ll have to answer to me!

So, the big question.  When do you make the introductions?  The friend in question above has been on a lot of dates.  Some relationships have lasted a couple of months, while others a couple of hours.

There was an incident about 6 months ago where yours truly almost ruined a date night for Friend.  It was a warm Saturday night on the Upper West Side when Ryan, my then boyfriend (now fiancée, yay!), and I decided to step out for dinner and drinks… a few too many drinks.  On our walk home, we coincidentally bumped into Friend and his plus one.  The four of us walked together 3 blocks north – Ryan and I headed home, Friend and his friend making their way to the liquor store.  Though I don’t remember much (sorry mom, too many shots), apparently I ruffled some feathers with my sarcastic wit, asking questions about meeting the family, and obnoxiously putting pressure on a new relationship.  We parted ways at the liquor store, and as Ryan and I crossed the final cross walk on our journey home, he turned to me and said, “Shelby, what the hell was that?”  Confused and befuddled by the severity of his statement, the only thing I could muster up was “huh?”  He went on to explain my behavior.  The next day, Friend explained it as well.  And, Friend was not happy.  BUT, Friend is still my close friend, so no worries there.

Let’s get back on target.  When do you introduce your new loved one to your current loved ones?  Friend is once again not willing to introduce the girl he likes, really likes, to our boisterous group for fear we might scare her away.  This weekend, Ryan and I are lending our apartment to our close friend and Southern Peach, Heather, where she will host her Southern Christmas Dinner (don’t worry, we’re lighting the menorah, too!).  I asked Friend if he wanted to invite “New Girl” but his response was not overly positive.  He enthusiastically stated, “You guys are like a too hot jacuzzi,” meaning, diving in to our group head first will only leave you burning.  “One step at a time,” he said.  Continuing with his diatribe he remarked,  “I mean, Jesus, look what happened when I coincidentally ran into you and Ryan with [redacted] for the first time.”  Ok, I already apologized for that.  And to top it all off Friend says, “The last thing I need is to have [redacted] sitting there when an anal bead convo starts up.”  Will it?  Probably not.  But when you gather this group of uninhibited, out of control, insane platoon of people around a dining table, I suppose you never really know.

I don’t presume there is one particular time to introduce your new love interest to your friends and family.  My advice is to wait until you feel confident in your relationship.  If you’re confident in what you have with your partner, one night of debauchery won’t change anything.  And if this person is really meant for you, the night of debauchery will be right up her alley!

Good luck to all the lovers out there!  Tis the season for…. I don’t know, but for something!  Happy Holidays, everyone!