sometimes, when i'm worrying about running out of wipes or getting enough lunch into my kid, or the state of affairs in libya or what have you, i can start to forget that there is this whole amazing city just outside my front door. my friends and i have generally decided this must just be a thing about living here. we quickly get stuck in our routines of running to the same old drugstore again and again, the same trader joe's, always staying in the same ten blocks, etc etc. sometimes i have to shake myself out of it and say "huck! what are we doing at home? get your shoes on!" and then huck looks at me like... because let's face it, shoes are still my job here.

last week i got an invite to a lucky mag/kenneth cole shopping party to benefit the making books sing bullying awareness project, near grand central station on the east side of town. i almost never go to the east side of town, which is too bad because the east side is terribly romantic. you know, murray hill and all that stuff.

once i was there i got to do a little bit of shopping for a very good cause, thanks to a sweet gift from lucky magazine.

on the walk back to the train i got lost in thought. i know bullying, we all do. i was bullied here and there in middle school, it happens. i'll always carry it with me, though in my case it was nothing overly tragic. i'd like to say i'm stronger for it only i don't really think i am. and guess what, bullying doesn't stop in middle school. (hi, says the blogger on the internet where bullying has taken on extremely crazy new levels.)  as a kid my mom taught me to try to see the complexities in the people who hurt us, and to try to understand the many different motives that could be behind their actions, and that has always helped. 

for my money, bullying isn't about jealousy. that's too simple, and far too self-serving. i think bullying is about sadness and insecurity. we all share sadness and insecurity, after all, and bullies are victims of bullying too. if huck is ever bullied in school, i hope i can teach him to have compassion. i think, as christians, that's all we've got at the end of the day.

okay okay but let's not get too carried away here, because there was vomit all over the subway platform on my way home and shoot, that'll put a stop to things.

for more information about the making books sing project, you can visit their website here.
this wasn't a sponsored post but it probably looks like it was!
the end.


  1. natalie, though your "ramble" was undoubtedly good-intentioned, please refrain from calling yourself a christian. mormons are not christians. what your church teaches is fundamentally different from what true christians believe. it is really quite insulting that you preach to your readers as a "christian" when that is not what you are. you are a mormon. please refer to yourself as such, lest any of your more ignorant readers regard you as a christian woman as opposed to the member of a cult that you are (and hey, nothin' wrong with that; but at least be honest about it).

  2. Not sure that was really the 'take-away' point, "elizabeth." Regardless,

    Thanks for the post, Nat. Really thoughtful, and while I am not a Chrisitan OR Mormon I can appreciate the sentiment.

    I also really enjoyed your thoughts/photos on the East Side, as I'm headed to NY in just a few days!

  3. I love your ramblings Nat! Elizabeth, I think you mean well but don't call yourself a Christian if you're going to be lame on a delightful blog. You make us all look bad.

  4. Mormonism is , in fact, rooted in Christian Primitivism. Just an fyi (from an atheist), Elizabeth. I would also kindly remind you that there are many kinds of trees in a forest; there is little logic in designating any one religion a 'cult' but not another.

    Nat, I always enjoy your 'ramble's. Gives me many wild card topics to think on!

  5. Wow, Elizabeth, just wow. I think Jesus will be the one to sort out who is Christian and who is not.

    ANYWAY ... Natalie, thank you for another wonderful blog post. I've been lurking for a while and love your writing style and sense of humor. You rock!

  6. "alexandra"- remarkably, i am not lacking in reading comprehension, so i am well aware of what the "point" of the post was. i commented on what interested me.



    educate yourself, ladies, before you attempt to make me look like the bad guy.

    have a totally awesome day!

  7. Darling Nat,
    Thank you for another lovely blog post.
    I do hope that you will read Elizabeth's comments, remember the part of your post where you mention bullying on the internet and then appreciate the irony! xx

  8. Here here with MJR!

    Thanks for the post Nat, I often have these ramblings in my head about my days activities but don't seem to manage to type them out as well as you :)

  9. aaah, this ramble on the beauty of that city makes me smile from a trip taken there just a few weeks ago. i stayed at the London at 54 and 7th (west side?) and with a friend in Bedford (hip.) if you and huck are ever bored early in the morning (7ish) saunter over to central park and watch the ice skaters practicing. That was a highlight for me, and so was the subway scene in general- I was amazed at so many different people doing such different things in a small space. New Yorkers are very accepting. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. @ Elizabeth really? Ok, if that's who you are.
    @ Nat Bullies are generally popular kids with high self esteem who pick on weaker kids. I would never put them in the same category of victim as their victims. Here are a couple of references you may be interested in.



    I have a son who was bullied seriously enough I pulled him from his middle school. In spite of the principal, and his teachers trying to stop the bullying (suspending students, etc.) they were never able to stop it.

  11. while i do think that saying that bullies are just jealous is oversimplifying things, i'd have to agree with the commenter that said they shouldn't be put into the same victims category as the people they are bullying. bullying has gotten way out of hand recently, and the bullies need to be told and shown that what they're doing is wrong. a lot of schools are now falling into the "bullies are victims, too" and "just turn the other cheek" way of solving bullying, which, i'm sorry, doesn't seem to work in this world.

    that said, you make new york sound so incredibly magical that every time i read a post i am overwhelmed with the desire to go.

  12. The other day I was checking my blog stats (something I fail to think about for months at a time and then suddenly become obsessed with again for a couple of weeks before I forget they exist again) and noticed a large influx of visitors from a particular site. I followed the link and realized it was some kind of - I don't know - blog where they make fun of other bloggers? I wasn't the target of their ire, someone had just linked to one of my posts in the comments, but the site made me sick to my stomach. Who does that? What kind of person indulges in that ugliness and envy to the extent that they feel the need to tear someone down, repeatedly, in writing, on the internet?

    I think you are giving people too much credit. I think it IS about envy. Envy can devolve into serious ugliness. It can make people do ugly and small things.

    Then again, for some people, picking on people online becomes a hobby, a diversion. They like coming up with neatly worded ways to tear folks down and then congratulate themselves for their own mean spirited cleverness. Hoorah, aren't we awful and yet oh so smart about it? Mean girls, forever and ever.

    And no matter how grown up you are, no matter how full of happiness your own life may be (which, of course, spurs them on to rain on your parade even MORE), it has to hurt a little. I think that is normal and human.

    Also, someday I want to see Grand Central Station.

    As for Elizabeth, she is obviously not all that well versed in the many different brands of Christianity out there. Protestantism, for a long time, was also considered a heretical offshoot of mainstream Christianity. Far be it from me to be the defender of mormonism, but sheesh. Chill out.


  13. Nat, thank you so much for a sensitive and well written post. As you can see from the first post, bullying is an epidemic. The Internet is such a wonderful place because people can read such happy and joyful posts ( like yours) but also such a sad, gross place too because people can lurk and strike out with their hateful venom protected by being a faceless poster. Sorry that Elizabeth posted such an obnoxious and unnecessary comment. Live your life and thank you for sharing your take on things.
    On another note, I grew up in and around New York City and I love your adventures! I am using your blog to plan my next tour guide stint next week. Have a wonderful day!

  14. I completely agree with MJR. You are amazing, and I take great joy in reading your blog daily. Thank you for using your voice to better the world through kindness, not hate.

  15. I am a Mormon. I am a Christian. The end. Just because someone says it's not true doesn't change the fact that it IS true. Bam.

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  17. I enjoy your blog. Especially your posts about your testimony and your love for your husband and son. Keep up the good work. The posts about faux fur and the such , I just skim over. lol. Not all your readers are chics. Just remember if the church wasnt wonderful , the Bishop ( who gets paid nothing) wouldnt put up with all the work . lol

  18. Once again, I am baffled at some of the comments on this blog. Keep doing what you're doing Natalie- you are GREAT at it!

  19. You are amazing. Enough said :)

  20. I just adore reading your blog posts everyday. One of the highlights of my day. :) You are just so stinkin' funny.

  21. ha! i'm thinking exactly what MJR said. oh, the irony.

  22. Oh bullying. I went to elementary and middle school in Oklahoma, which is deep in the bible belt, and man did I get bullied about being Mormon. We had neighbors who wouldn't talk to us, girls in my choir class would kick my back when we sat on the stands, the girls would openly mock me and tell me I wasn't a Christian.

    I think I learned from it, but at the same time, I am not as open about being LDS with people I don't know, because (1) my wimpy little soul just can't take the criticism and (2) even adults can act like awful 13 yr old girls.

    Thanks for the interesting/fun post. Your blog makes me want to live in NY so badly!

  23. Did I detect a Herman Cain reference? If not, I'll still chuckle a little.

  24. Elizabeth. Mormons are Christians. Seriously.

  25. Oh, man. Man! I hardly EVER comment and I am not a Christian.

    But, Elizabeth, are you trying to be ironic? C'mon, are you?

    This post was (somewhat) about bullying, no?

    And for the record, I think faith, rooted from all cultures, regions, traditions, is a gift.

    And Natalie, I do love your blog. You are hilarious, I think. I just feel giggly and smirky after reading. And I'm not the giggly type really.

  26. And thanks to Elizabeth, we all have a perfect example of cyber-bullying! Haters be hatin', Natalie.

  27. Agreed, I'm pretty sure Elizabeth just wanted to show how cyber-bullies can make the world a worse place.

    But really I wanted to comment on the lady in red behind the opera singer. It's like she was part of the act, but wasn't. Was she? Either way, she made the video for me.

  28. "...compassion. I think as Christians, at the end of the day, that's all we've got."

    Reading that warmed my heart, even more so after reading the mean-spirited comment one reader left. You are fantastically kind and genuine. And hey- at least Elizabeth helped prove your point. :)

  29. I like how you stop to admire your city. I remind myself to do this often, living in Colorado--never get too accustomed to all the miraculous beauty around me.

  30. Hey Nat, I've been stalking you for over a solid year now and, can I just say, you are such an amazing and inspiring soul. Your "rambling" on this post is such a genuinely good way to view the world. Thanks for brightening my days.

    And well, I know you won't bother with that Negative Nancy Elizabeth... remember that sort of bullying just stems from internal insecurities :P

  31. deviating from everything else discussed above.....yesterday i was reading about famous ceilings online (what? that's not normal?) and i happened to read about the ceiling of Grand Central and DID YOU KNOW that the constellations are all painted backwards (or inverted or something?) and the owners maintained that it wasn't a mistake by the artist, but rather that it was supposed to be the constellations as viewed by God from the other side. (Or something like that....it was Monday; I can't say my reading comprehension was at its finest.) Also, for a long time nobody knew the ceiling was so pretty because it was caked in black unsightliness because of all the tobacco smoke and grime and whatnot. And nowwww you know.

  32. I'm brand-new to your blog but just wanted to drop in and say that no, us commuters who flood in to Grand Central every day don't get tired of how beautiful it is. Or at least I don't...though I wouldn't be sad to not have to fight the crowds every morning and evening. :)

  33. Great post, Nat! Compassion is all we have - as Christians OR non-Christians. (I'm an agnostic, myself.)


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