When in Doubt...

Nikki K

Part 1

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
I have the very best news. My parents found another convenient "buy one, get one free package" for me! Why don't we just try to sell me off like the piece of chattel I am? I'm sure my inferior female brain can manage no more, despite my degrees, profession and success!
As if my mother's last attempt to set me up "you-know-who" didn't tank far down enough. And then she wonders why I needed to get out of the house and move into my "tiny hovel in that dirty dump of a city…without a husband!"
Let's forget the fact that I have a very successful job in one of the top firms in the country and live in the financial capital of the world. No, I'm a failure- I'm still single.
Speaking of "you-know-who" …you would think, as a twenty-four year old law school graduate, my judgment would have been a little clearer…I've been taught to scrounge out loopholes in the tightest of legislation, but I can't understand the flaws of a human being who I've known since I was fifteen. Romance and relationships are clearly not my forte.
Mother's always right.
And no, as to your highly obnoxious and colorfully phrased question, which you very considerately bellowed in the restaurant today, a place, might I add, which the city's most successful lawyers and judges patronize, we hadn't slept together yet. We hadn't even been together that very long!
My God, I couldn't look the District Attorney in the eye for at least forty-five minutes after. Not that I particularly care what Ms. Ice Queen thinks, anyways.

Now that I've finished that little rant, back to my extremely attentive parents.
Their new friends have an investment banker son. This is apparently supposed to be "a really lucky thing" for me.

From: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
No need to get your knickers in a twist, missy. The only person who heard me was the lady sipping her cappuccino like it was some French Chardonnay, who obviously didn't need a reason to get all snooty. I'm sure she would have looked just as horrified if I had asked you to pass the salt.
Don't go around insulting your judgment. No one could have seen what was coming with that bastard. How were you to know that you were nursing a viper? You know as well as I do that he'll be back in six months. Not that you should be doing anything with him then.
Besides, you seem to have a new candidate now. An investment banker, huh? Forget you-know-who, doctors are going to be losing money anyways! Haven't you heard about something called the health care bill, Miss Legal Expert?. This one could be the catch of the century...

Anyways, I have to ask- is there some reason that James seems to prefer your company to mine now days? Am I being too cloying? Am I freaking out?!?!

From: Michael Parker (mp3masterx@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
i just wanted to let u know that i haven't forgotten you yet. Monica dumped me for some guy who gave her diamond earrings. What a desparate, materialist biatch.
It wasn't even that guy's earrings- he was supposed to give them to her as the wingman of his best friend who wanted her too, and that best friend stole them from his mom to give to her. It's actually all really very sad. i really liked her, u know? A lot. i know you think that i left u because of her, but that's because i really really liked her. i thought she really liked me too, u know? Now i feel really down. i cried yesterday, today too. i think i'm going into clinical depression- is this normal?
Can we be friends?

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
(attachment: 16 MB)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
Attached is an email which left me speechless this morning. I've always wondered if he cheated on his MCAT's- I now have my answer. Please reply with your reaction, along with any grammatical or spelling corrections which I may have missed.
Your six month prediction came true a little too early. Unfortunately for him, I'm a lawyer, not a therapist.
I'd just like to point out that the lady who was "sipping her cappuccino like it was some French Chardonnay" and seemed "snooty" to you was the District Attorney. Not that I wouldn't like to see her pushed off her high horse once in a while, though. Especially in her six inch stilettos....I'm sure that's a fall which would hurt. Maybe it would finally end up smearing her prized blood red lipstick all over her face too...
These thoughts aren't going to get me anywhere...making enemies with The Ice Queen for no good reason is probably one of the most detrimental moves for my career. It's a pity I have too much self-respect to be her friend.
As for the investment banker, the recession hasn't exactly put that profession in great shape at the moment either. Please have more faith in my gold digging abilities to know that I can do better than that.
Besides, Ann, nine out of ten chances are that he's one of those snobby career invested bankers who look down on every other profession. You know how they are.
And since you asked, yes, you are freaking out. The only reason your James wants to talk to me is because I tell him things about you. Jealous much? And I don't see him avoiding your company.

From: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
Pathetic. That's all I have to say to that. I could make it more- what did you call it, colorful- but you get the point. I'm also a little bit humiliated that we're going into the same profession.
Just because she's the District Attorney doesn't make her any less snooty. It's not like you showed you cared or noticed her presence at the restaurant, anyway. I don't think you're making enemies with her....but, you're right...for the sake of your dignity, friendship would be out of the question.
And what do you mean you tell him things about me?!

From: Susanne Jones (IlovebeingFrench@yahoo.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
Ma cherie,
Why haven't I heard from you in so long? We simply must meet up for lunch. Did I see you at Per Se the other day? Was that tall, gangly girl with you the charming medical student that you had mentioned? You've always had such quaint egalitarian views, dear...such interesting friends...
To come to the point though, what's this I hear of you and Michael Parker being done? Good riddance, I say. I can introduce you to so many better looking French men, dear. It's a pity he had the money, but I'm sure we'll find someone just as well endowed for you.
I daresay though, Parker wouldn't be bad for me to keep on the side. Must have variety, you know. Purely physically, of course. These emotional relationships cause such complications....I wish you'd learn someday, cherie!
Oh, you absolutely must go to the opera with me this Friday, darling. I hear that there's fabulous new organic café that's opened up which exclusively serves intellectually stimulating food. It'll be our little tête-à-tête, just like old times.
Au revoir, mon coeur!

From: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
I don't understand why you have to blame me for that unfortunate misunderstanding with Michael, sweetie. I was just trying to look out for you. And he really is a good guy, you know. Perhaps you didn't understand when he said that he liked Monica- perhaps he just liked her as a friend. It is possible.
Why don't you give him another chance? His mother tells me he walks around very depressed these days, and I can't help but think that she blames us, honey. You can just imagine how I'm facing her every day. Think about how much she likes you- you were always a favorite with her, and I'm sure she'd forgive you for any misunderstanding you had.
Just give it another chance, Nye. That's all I'm saying.
On another note, when are you free next? I'd like you to actually meet Adam- he's an investment banker, you know. He's Shanna's son- you remember I told you about Shanna?

Part 2

From: Adam Blumberg (powersuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

No hard feelings, I hope. I was honestly joking last time. When you told me you were getting married, I was shocked…makes a guy think you know? But I'm happy for you. Cat's a great girl.
I really didn't mean when I perversely asked you what exactly the good news was after you first brought it up. You know, you just started off with "Hey, I have good news!" and I thought it was a funny lead in. When I said that we had finally hit upon the good news when discussing the menu, I meant that that was good news too. I think it's great, really.
And, hey, the literary jokes were all in good fun- after all you two are Heathcliff and Catherine. I thought they were very amusing, and even Cora laughed. That doesn't mean that you two are going to end up like that. Literature's always been useless.

But, we're good, right?

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Keep your cynicism away from my wedding.
I expect you to be my best man.

And by the way, the only reason "Cora laughed" is because she thinks agreeing with every word you say will make you realize that she's the woman of your dreams. Both you and I know that that woman hasn't read a book in her life.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

I'll be there. You can count on it.

Hang Cora dammit; I have plenty of other issues to sort out. My mother wants me to meet the daughter of one of her old high school friends. She- the girl, I mean- is a lawyer. You know how I feel about lawyers.
She- my mother- needs to get off my case. I'm twenty-eight years old, and I've decided that I want to be successful even if it means working a hundred hours a week. I don't have time for such nonsense! If I was looking for a relationship, I wouldn't have gone into banking for Christ's sake!
As a minor point, this girl is four years younger than us. That means, the night that you and I met that stripper in Canada on my 19th birthday…well, ahem, she- the girl, not the stripper- was fifteen. I haven't even met her yet and I already feel like a pedophile.
I don't think I should ever meet this girl.

(You know, I could have even passed for a lawyer with that argument, if they weren't so disgustingly obnoxious).

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Does the girl have a name, Adam?
And will you listen to yourself? Why are you panicking? You've sent quite a few packing, my friend, and I'm sure if you decided that you had no interest in her, you'd do the same. Your frustrated arguments are worse than anything my lawyer comes up with. And stop clarifying everything- I can understand when you mean your mother vs. the girl vs. the stripper. If anything, I know at least that the stripper wasn't fifteen. (One word to Cat and you're a dead man).

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

Why would I say anything to Cat? I'd say that as long as you don't screw up while you're with her, you should be fine…at least for now.
I'm also extremely entertained that you think you could best me physically- let's not get into the countless examples where I've quite thoroughly kicked your butt.

Her name is Nyelah Smith. Who names their child Nyelah? She's a person, not a fabric.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)

Which one do you expect me to go for exactly, Mom? I would gladly marry both, since I clearly have no other ambition in life, but I didn't think you'd approve of polygamy.
I'm sorry if I'm being rude, but I need some time by myself right now to figure things out. Michael slept with her, Mom- that's not liking her as a friend. And his mother's sweet, but I'm not going to base my relationships on what she thinks, and I don't think you should expect me to either.
I'm not sure if I want to meet this Adam right now either. I'd just like to figure out my own love life, alright?

Part 3

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

Thanks for replying back this past week.
I forgot to tell you - I was in Per Se a few days ago, and I ran into Sarah LaMonte. As usual, Ice Queen was pretending to sip her coffee like wine…who made her District Attorney? This is what happens when we let anyone and everyone choose society's leaders…the results of democracy at its finest…
Dodged that bullet.
Seeing me wasn't the worst of it for "poor Sarah." Two girls, probably mid-twenties, were sitting at the table across- a blonde who had an engagement ring and a brunette…. from what I could hear they were talking- rather loudly- about the blonde's upcoming wedding and the other one's, the brunette's relationship or something of the sort, when the blonde made an even louder and extremely crude remark that possibly the entire dining room heard….
Distasteful as it was, I have to admit, seeing the shock on the invulnerable Ice Queen's face was well worth it. Not that it should, considering what she is.
Neither of the girls seemed the least concerned about what had just been said, but you know how uptight Keller is at Per Se….

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Sorry, wedding planning along with the firm's latest debt security has had me tied up for a bit.
How are you doing? It's not every day that you run into your backstabbing ex-fiancée at New York's finest. Quite a special treat.
More power to the girls, I have to say. Keller didn't throw them out, I hope. It's a pity the blonde was engaged, but you've always been one for brunettes anyways. Was the brunette attractive?

When do you meet this Nyelah girl?

From: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

Is that any way to talk to your mother?!?

I'm just trying to make you happy, that's all. If you don't want me to interfere in your life, you only have to say the word, Nyelah. I don't even have to communicate with you then. It's you and your life in that horrible city.
God knows though that I would mourn the loss of my daughter everyday- even if she doesn't give two straws about the woman that carried her for nine months, went through extreme physical pain to bring her into this world, fed her, clothed her, educated her, and was spurned as soon as the daughter grew up and went off on her own somewhere. I suppose I've always known my place in your life.

If you ever wish to talk to us now, please just email your father. He's always had more of a place in your life to begin with anyways.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)

Mom, I'm sorry. I've been stressed with work and I snapped at you when I shouldn't have. I know you've always had my best interests at heart.
I'll meet Shanna…and her son.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

This Friday. I'm going to Connecticut to meet a girl. What has the world come to? I swear Andrew, the things I do for my parents….
Why Connecticut you ask? Because Mother Dearest doesn't think I have the ability to be civil to her in New York by myself.
Do you realize that the woman- my mother- threatened to leave my father if I didn't come? I believe the exact words over the phone were: "Why should I stay with the man when the product our marriage turned out to be such a disobliging failure? Why, Adam!?!? WHY?!" *insert rather hysterical tone here* There's a very good reason I've sworn off women, Andrew.
So I'm going to meet her with my mother and hers in tow for lunch on Friday. And there's a dinner party in "honor" of this on Saturday. Awkward much?
I'll meet her, but my mother's just going to have to be reconciled with the fact that I'm never going to be doing anything with this girl.

The brunette was passable-nothing special, but not horrendous. Seemed to have connections with Keller, too- he ended up ignoring the incident, surprisingly. And she had backbone - knew Sarah and felt the cold disapproval she was emanating, but wasn't scared of her. Warmed my heart.

From: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I knew you'd come to your senses! He's a nice boy, Nye, I promise you. No son of Shanna's could be otherwise.
The four of us will be having lunch in Fairfield this Friday. They just moved here, you know.
So yes, that means you are coming home this weekend, because I've also arranged a small dinner party with just our families on Saturday. Daddy needs to meet him too! It's no trouble at all, so don't worry yourself now. Just be here!

And for later, just so you can keep in contact with him, Shanna says his email is (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com). Oh, I'm so excited!

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

What's that? I hear the sweet sound of wedding bells…Nyelah Blumberg...it's interesting.
I expect an invitation. Try to schedule yours after mine though- preparation on such a short notice might be too much for you to handle. Maybe Cora can help.

You should have congratulated the brunette. Nyelah could have used some competition.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

Remind me why I talk to you again? Actually, don't.
I've decided that I value my sanity too much to not have someone to rant to.
And you don't need to keep italicizing her name every time. It's annoying.

I actually should have, maybe. But, you can't just walk up and congratulate anybody, Andrew. Looks provincial. Can't afford to do that with already dwindling clients. Damn recession.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

I hope you will not think me too blunt in emailing you, but I've always found straightforwardness to be the best approach in any social situation.
My name is Nyelah Smith, and I believe my mother, Marlene Smith, formerly Marlene Washtenaw, and yours, Shanna Blumberg, formerly Shanna Merivale, knew each other in high school and recently met again. I received your email address from my mother, although she has no idea that I'm emailing you now.

I believe you and I are to meet this weekend with our parents in Connecticut. Knowing my mother's personality, and considering for what purpose she is having us meet, I sincerely wish to avoid this meeting and believe it is in your best interests to do so as well. Rationally speaking, this meeting will not be beneficial to you. It makes no sense for you to subject yourself to be groveled in front of and treated as a superhuman being because she feels that you have already agreed to marry a woman you have just met. I'm making very clear that due to my mother's temperament, expectations that you will not want hoisted upon you will arise.
I would advise you to stay as far away from this meeting as possible. To give you a short example of the probable proceedings of the weekend- you will hear of my supposed good qualities for at least four hours, and will be notified of ridiculous exaggerations of yours for at least twice that time. At the end of this, the descriptions of neither will be in the least relatable to our actual personalities. This is only how the weekend will begin.
If this at all sounds appealing to you then I can only admire what must be your very high tolerance level for discomfort, or, if this is not the case, greatly fear for your complete lack of survival instinct.

Please be assured that I don't mean to offend you in anyway. I'm speaking plainly. I love my mother very much, but realistically, her actions have the potential of making this situation extremely uncomfortable. She, unfortunately, will not understand that I am solely looking to focus on career-related projects at the moment. I do not wish to give her false hope, which she no doubt will foster if we meet in front of her, and which I'm sure will be equally painful and humiliating for both of us.

Keeping this in mind, I decided to see if I could convince you of my point of view. Is there any way to stop or change the planned events of this weekend? I have been thoroughly coerced into coming, and if you have decided to come, my hands will be tied in regards to this situation. But if it will not inconvenience you too much, what are the chances that you could come up with an excuse to avoid this meeting?
Nyelah Smith

From: Susanne Jones (IlovebeingFrench@yahoo.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I suppose I have no choice but to forgive you for your lack of response to my last email. I see you've been busy with the Markham Lawsuit against Lamonte. Que c'est beau! I congratulate you on an excellent victory.
I wanted to tell you that I'm taking Parker to Africa with me next week. Something about hungry children was brought up at the spa last week, and Parker turns out to be un joyau for the occasion. I always knew he would have his quaint little uses…
"La belle Susanne, tends to African sick and hungry children with doctor friend!"
It might make people finally forget about the nasty little affair with that Senator.

I'm also asking again, ma cherie, if you will come to dinner and the opera with me this Friday before I leave for le continent obscur? I may not have much internet once I leave.

Part 4

From: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com )
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

You WHAT?!?! Are you looking to join a convent, Nye? Do you really have to blow off every guy you meet- and, apparently, don't meet?
I'm not saying you could have found Prince Charming or anything, but you owed to it to him to at least give him a chance.
I hope you weren't rude, at least….no, never mind, you wouldn't be, not outright at least…well, there's nothing you can do now except hope for the best.
CONGRATULATIONS on the case, btw! That I had to read in the paper…apparently winning cases has become so much of a routine for you to not even mention in passing? I am impressed.
I only kid, don't worry. As much as I disapprove of your heartlessness in chucking that soulless and calculating approach at the poor guy, I'm still really proud of how successful you are and how much more successful you will become.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
(attachment: 20 MB )
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

Who does she think she is?
I had no idea that being set up with me was "painful" and "humiliating."
"found straightforwardness to be the best approach in any social situation"? Last time I checked, she was still a lawyer. And one who's becoming famous at that, from what the newspaper tells me. Markham lawsuit against Sarah....although The Flying Spaghetti Monster* knows why, with this kind of tactlessness.
Did you know that she fears my "complete lack of survival instinct"?! Banking is all about survival instinct. And my bank account would show that I have plenty of it.
There's absolutely no need for her to be worried about my well-being. I'm extremely offended right now. I still have the most ridiculous urge to laugh at this stupid email. Either it took a lot of courage, or a lot of stupidity...
What does she mean by writing me off as someone easily preyed on by her mother before she's even met me? The gold-diggers in New York at least have class. If she thinks this is some sort of ploy to make me want her by insulting me, she has another thing coming.
Nyelah has no idea what she's in for. It's almost too convenient that I couldn't say no to my mother about coming even if I wanted to. This weekend is going to be fun, and Ms.Lawyer here is going to learn how to solve her self-created problems.

*The Flying Spaghetti Monster, deity of the Pastafarian religion

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

Ms. Smith,
Thank you for your concern. However, I am perfectly capable of handling my own affairs; any dearth in survival instinct from which I may have suffered is something only I need to be worried about. I assure you, however, that having had the opportunity to receive an exemplary education at Wharton and enough experience with P.E. Blackstone for the past six years has thoroughly sharpened my ability to deal with such situations. You need not worry; I will neither be humiliated, nor humiliating. If you feel yourself to be in danger of being either, I would advise that you take precautions to receive aid for it.
You may expect to see me this weekend in Connecticut. Even if I wished to there is no possible way that I can decline my mother's most strenuous invitation. For you to ask me to do so is rather ridiculous.
Adam Blumberg

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Well, she did tell you that she didn't mean to offend you. So don't get offended.
Besides, she seemed to be speaking from experience- maybe her mother really can make the situation uncomfortable. It didn't seem like a ploy to me. She was just being honest. I know she's still a lawyer, but try not to hold that against her.
Honestly Adam, I just think your ego is tremendously hurt that there's one girl out there who values her career more than your money, and finds it a waste of her time to even meet you... Be careful what you wish for.
There's also the slight possibility that she neither insulting you nor sucking up to you but is just in possession of a cynical sense of humor. It's a little hard to believe considering most women we meet, but you could hope for the best.
Call it courage, then....you and I know stupid, and this one's no Cora.

Adam, this is Cat. Sorry if I wasn't supposed to see this, but Andrew opened the email in front of me and I couldn't help but reading it. Think about this logically. If you find banking more important than most women, then why is it wrong for her to find her work more important than most men? Especially work that she seems to be good at too. Don't work yourself into a huff and do something stupid. Both you and Andrew seem to have that in common.

Adam, this is Andrew again.
I do not work myself into huffs like you do.
But, I still hear wedding bells.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

I see you've received my voicemail. Do you think your reaction was large enough for China to see? I feel like increasing the font by just .5 could have helped. Details matter.
*rolls eyes* Ann, the man's email is (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com). Please believe me when I tell you that I am not missing out.
He's also turned out to be completely uncooperative. The meeting is unfortunately still on. And from his email he sounds like he is perpetually suffering from the painful effects of a nine foot pole.
I made a slight joke that I suppose he took seriously, and I seem to have offended him. I wish I could feel bad for it but I think he's decided to take his life's frustrations out on me by insulting me in every possible way in his email.
Well, at least I can resign myself to an extremely entertaining weekend if I manage my temper.

There is actually the possibility of an even more amusing next week, if I can glean anything from La belle Susanne's emails, as she and Dr. Michael Parker seem to be headed for Africa to do philanthropic work.
I must ask her someday exactly which side of her family is French…last time I checked, Susanne Jones's mother was from New Jersey.
I suppose I should have better manners than to laugh at Susanne since I do owe her for being my first case, and my first success at the firm. But as she really does love being the center of any kind of attention, it's almost acceptable.

Between my mother, Mr. Wharton (he brought up education, not me), and Susanne and Michael's relationship, I might be provided with enough entertainment to possibly save on my DVR package.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Susanne Jones (IlovebeingFrench@yahoo.com)

You are such an excellent friend to have already forgiven me for not replying; it really does save me the trouble of apologizing to you profusely, which I would have definitely done. You are very right though; it's been a hectic phase. Thank you for your Congratulations!
I hope you have a great trip to Africa! Try not to let Michael get too close to the sick people though; digging graves is by no means a beneficial way to improve public relations.
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to ask you for a rain check on dinner and the opera for the weekend.
I'm going to Connecticut for something my mother calls "family-duty time."

Part 5

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

MR. WHARTON has arrived! His awesomeness currently awaits his parents at the airport. We are all in uproar! That such a paragon should deign to visit our humble town of Fairfield at the same time I should choose to! But of course, familial duty called him…to think he would reject his "mother's strenuous invitation"? To ask him to do so would be ridiculous!
5'11 at least! To imagine! So fortunate to have him! Oh, my nerves!
I do have to give my mother credit for telling me, though, that by no means was she forcing anything upon me, and that she only wished to expand my circle and give me more options *cough* in my group of friends. Unfortunately, my believing in her noble intentions was rather ruined when she said that it would be a shame if I had Michael as the only friend.
Lunch tomorrow is two tables. I'm far from hoping that I will be having lunch with my mother, so I suppose Mr. Wharton it is, then. At least it will be less awkward to deal with his mother at tomorrow's dinner.

From: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I think you've had enough Pride and Prejudice for the year.
Be nice.
And don't forget to wear the frilly dress and bonnet.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

My sparkling wit has abandoned me. I have no words to describe this paragon of virtue. The only thing I must say though, that I find quite fascinating, is how one of such incomparable virtue could find alcohol so attractive a subject to converse about. Indeed, the entire five hours that our mothers insisted we stay at the club for lunch, he supplied me with such explicit details of his escapades.
I have never received so much information before about how much one drank, how one drank, what one drank, what was good to drink, how one blacked out, how many times one blacked out, how one did not get caught, how one dealt with the situation when one did, in fact, get caught,...and so on. It was very enlightening- especially to me who must have had "nothing but the cheapest fare as a college-girl, and who clearly still needs to be introduced to the habits of polite society. I have so much to learn from him. He even shared how sometimes he will sit back and sip four to five cocktail a night alone. I'm sure, in the deepest of my hearts, that this does not point to any sort of alcohol problem at all. This is just a reflection of his sensitivity.

And to add to his other perfections, I can happily say that he is truly superior because he is a man. Yes, Ana, I was lucky enough to be in the presence of a misogynist. (That word truly has such a misgiven negative connotation.) I must tell you that my inferior female brain has finally understood that I am truly meant to clear the food away after dinner with all the other housemaids- Mr. Wharton made a very enlightening joke about the evolutionary reasons behind the efficiency of waitresses versus that of waiters... I'm so glad I know better now what my place is. Who else could have convinced me so completely?

Do you see what I mean when I say, paragon? I hope you will concur that he is truly a unique individual, and different from any man that we have ever known. I tried my best to describe him, but I know that any description in words will not do such a great person justice. No, you shall have to meet him. I cannot wait for it, as I am sure, neither can you.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

You may tell Cat her advice did not work.

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

I'm not going to ask what happened. You'll spill it soon enough.

From: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I am so sorry.
But I have to be frank with you. I am slightly appalled at your ignorance of the ways of the world, but since we are so privy to each other's lives and I see you like my own sister I will pardon thee, and welcome thee with open arms into this new realm.
This man you speak of seems like quite the catch. Handsome, manly, and can keep his liquor down. Oh yes, all signs of an accomplished individual who is more than a suitable match of inferior brains like us. And he is sensitive. Why? Well my dear, as you said, he even drinks alone and, cocktails at that.
I must meet him at once for I fear though my establishment into this world is quite under way, I have yet to learn the ways of such wonderful creatures as he. I am extremely happy for you as seeing that your mother dearest finds him admirable as he is quite well suited for you. I just hope that he fancies you in return, for we never know such things with such amiable men.

Have I matched your ridiculously pompous language well enough?

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

Oh, don't worry. I got kind of furious and fixed the problem. He won't be doing anything but stuttering with his mouth hanging open like the gawking idiot he is for a while…

From: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

What. Did. You. Do?

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

Oh…well, uhm, I know you must be at work still, so I'll call and leave a voicemail…

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

For the entire five hours, I was the one doing the talking. She might have said three sentences to me during the whole entire time. But they weren't sentences I'm likely to forget…
I gave her a chance! I sat there, babbling like an idiot about things I thought we could both relate to.
First of all, she's just out of law school isn't she? Well, then drinking and partying should be a hot topic...right? I thought she'd like to contribute a few things! Man, I even offered to show her the ropes of some of the more experienced drinks that might have been too expensive for her in school…did I get a thank you? Nope.
I then tried the business approach…you know, maybe she was a nerd in school….nothing wrong with that…and after all, she's a corporate lawyer...
I couldn't think of what to talk about…I tried everything in the book- I was pulling things out with enough variation to be Europe's economy.
Do you know what she asks me half way into it?

Her: Are alcohol and investment banking the only two things you talk about?
Me: *stops talking and looks at her in shock*
Her: Stop gawking at me. I'm asking you something.
Me: I've been talking about everything and anything…what are you talking about? (I'm still in shock).
Her: No. You've only been talking about those two subjects. So far, you've also insulted women by condemning them to housework with your nonsensical joke on the waitresses...
Me: You were offended? *gulp* Are you…a feminist?
Her: Yes. *Here, I start metaphorically hitting head against the table*
Me: Ah. And, um, politically?
Her: Humanitarian. Does it matter? *And here I kept on wishing that the dining knife was sharper*
Me: Oh. Oh, no…ahem…just asking.
Her: Anyways, as far as I know, from the information you've given me, you might as well be a work-obsessed, misogynistic alcoholic.
Me: *still in shock* (She's a feminist and a humanitarian….).
Her: On the bright side, you do seem like an interesting psychological case. *WHAT?!*

I, as I'm ashamed to say, retaliated to this with my best placed glare. Pathetic, I know, but I just couldn't think of anything to say. What do you do when someone calls you "an interesting psychological case"?
I mean, I know what you do, but I just didn't think of that.
Just my luck….a feminist and a humanitarian….
So just tell Cat- I gave her a chance and she turned out to be like this.
I can't wait to see her at dinner tomorrow. I'm going to show her who she's messed with; I've dealt with much worse.

Part 6

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

So, you know how I said I fixed the problem?
Well, the situation has now gotten much much worse.

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Well, at least you still have the brunette from Per Se. I told you that you should have congratulated her.
You can't ever put your eggs in one basket, Adam. You have to be prepared for such things. Follow my example- I never le

Adam, this is Cat. Andrew will not be talking to you anymore until he tells me exactly how many other baskets his "eggs" are in. If you need anything, my best advice is to "Dear Diary" yourself until your best friend crawls out of the doghouse begging on his knees for forgiveness. Yes, you are allowed to record videos of this happening.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Catherine Rowland (bankingnyoga@gmail.com)

Cat, try to get him to hold the apology until I get back from Connecticut. If not, record it for me- I have full faith that you will not fail me in this. Remember Wharton weekends- you know where your loyalty lies, my friend.
I just want you to let him know though, that his advice is futile. Nyelah is the girl from Per Se. I wasn't sure of it before even though I thought that I had seen her before, but I'm pretty sure now. I made a few discreet inquiries on if she frequents the place often and with whom, and if she knows the Sarah Lamonte.
Doesn't prove much though- girl's got backbone, but really, that's pretty much all she has to recommend her.
Were you serious about me "Dear Diary"-ing?

From: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)
To: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)
Mari! It was great seeing you and your little girl today! Not so little though, I must say…quite grown-up!
And this is the first time I've seen Adam actually make an attempt to talk to a girl. He talked for the entire time we were there…usually my son sits silently and lets everyone else do all the talking. At times when we looked over, he seemed quite struck by her!
I must say this is progressing quite nicely!
With love and anticipation!

From: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)
To: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)

I couldn't agree with you more. I felt that was a very successful meeting. Usually, Nye is very talkative- she likes to make her opinion known…but it was so refreshing that she just sat and listened to someone! And you are right! The few times she spoke, he really did seem quite struck!
This is progressing very well, indeed!

I have some bad news for you- well not entirely bad. A friend of mine, Margaret- Margie- Parker invited us for dinner tonight, and of course I said no because you were coming over tonight. But the way she acted- oh, I felt obliged to extend the invitation to her…I don't think this will disturb the kids though, as her son recently went to Africa to give some medical help to the hungry and poor. Quaint, isn't it? Nevertheless, it's what she will talk about. But unfortunately, this means that we won't have our cozy family dinner.

From: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)
To: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)

Do not worry yourself, dear. As long as the children will not be disturbed, everything will be fine. Remember, you and I can catch up any old time, but this is for the kids.
She has a son, does she? Yes, well it is nice that he's in Africa…helping out the children, of course, it's a very good things to do. I may even like meeting her!

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
Even though you haven't replied back to my desperate call of help yet, I have decided to give you the details of my life anyways.
On Saturday, of course, my mother takes me to tea at her club. Here, again, I meet Shanna Blumberg (S.B.), and Michael's mother, (M.P.) who I find out will be joining us for dinner that evening with the Blumberg's. I love M.P.- I truly do. She's always been, and continues being very kind to me. But I do not want to meet her- my ex's mother- with the mother of the guy my mother is literally pushing me onto now.
Awkward much?

Anyways, Scene 1:

The ladies were talking among themselves about *what they thought were* risqué jokes, when S.B. (or another lady in that region of that room- I wasn't paying attention at this time) points to me and goes:
"Stop, we'll all corrupt that innocent mind."
To which M.P. laughingly remarks: "Don't fool yourselves- it's not like that at all"
S.B. (for sure) replies: "Really, Nyelah?"
In response to these ingenuine attacks on my character, I laughingly respond: "I won't even try to defend myself. She (M.P.) has known me since I was a child."
*everyone laughs in appreciation of my long-term relationship with her*
S.B.: "Well, I've heard things from Adam too!"
Me: *rather shocked and trying to furiously process what in the world he could have told her about me* "About me?"
S.B.: "Oh yes! All the time!"
*room goes silent* *new fodder for gossip has been provided*

Scene 2:

At the same tea party, I sit next to and talk to M.P. and after a while notice someone staring at us rather obviously. Upon turning, its no other than S.B.. So, being the excellent individual that I am, I smile and ask her how she's doing. After a quick, "oh, not much really" she seems uninterested in saying more so I go back to my conversation. Eventually, I wind up sitting by her (how this happened, I honestly do not remember), and she starts conversation.
S.B.: "So....half of the weekend is almost over."
Me, unable to think of a suitable answer to her epiphany: "Yes it is. Went by very quickly too."
S.B.: "Yes, Adam's leaving tomorrow!"
Me, *not really sure where that one came from*: Tomorrow? Ah.
Thankfully, my mother saw the need to join in to this conversation.
Mom: "When is he going?"
S.B.: "Around 12 or so. She'll (me) be leaving around the same time, right?"
Mom: "Yeah,... about...."
*awkward silence*

Scene 3:

Fast forward a to the actual dinner party:

We were taking pictures, and Mr. Wharton seemed to not want to be in them. I respect and understand that. But his parents were insistent that he be in one- with me- by ourselves.
Of course, he rudely flat out refused. At least it saved me the trouble of looking bad.
To which his dad, Todd, I believe, turns to me and says:
"You see, Nyelah, you see? How shy he is!"
Poor Mr. Wharton looked murderous enough to cause the next Spanish Inquisition.

Scene 4:

Later, Michael's parents arrived later during the night, and I politely hugged them and sat next to the both of them to make polite conversation
Todd, appearing very distressed: "Nyelah, you look very uncomfortable sitting there. Why don't you come sit here?" *points to seat next to him*
Me: Not sure whether to laugh or in fact, how to react at all: "I'm actually fine, but alright." *changes seats with a smile and laugh*

Scene 5:

Adam to me (in front of all the adults of course, because P.E. Blackstone has clearly taught him no discretion):
"So, ahem…where in New York do you usually eat?"
Me: ….(why is he asking me this?) Uhm, like out? My friends and I really like to explore different types of food.
Adam: *bored* "Fantastic. Have you ever been to Keller's Per Se?"
Me: "I have- so often in fact that I know Keller very well."
Adam: *excited about something* Oh really! No way! Ahem- I mean, oh yeah….do you know Sarah Lamonte?
Me: "Of course….most of my cases are related to the companies she prosecutes"
Adam: "Or tries to prosecute..haha" (hmm… , it's a pity he doesn't smile at people; if definitely makes me look less like he has a nine-foot pole up…)
Me: "How do you know her?"
Adam: *goes red and starts stuttering like he was at lunch yesterday*

This makes me think….he asked about Per Se, he asked about Lamonte, and he got excited when I said I knew Keller. Could he have possibly been at Per Se the day we were and watched that scene? And how does he have connections with Lamonte?

Anyways, I don't know about you, but this conversation didn't even seem like asking for a date, forget any sort of proposal….the answers to which by the way, would be a clear no.
Reactions around the room, though:
Adam's parents: *Beaming*
Michael's parents: *Startled*
My mom: *raised eyebrows, a hint of amusement, and a wide happy smile*
My dad, of course: *no reaction*

Therefore, I'm pretty sure that my mother thinks that this is going incredibly well, when its definitely not.

From Adam Blumberg:

"Dear Diary,"

Things I need to tell Andrew when -ahem-if he survives Cat:

I find this girl somewhat interesting-nothing to do with that dinner party. She was nothing out of the ordinary there, and I already disclaimed that she was passable looking. But she just has an interesting way of presenting situations- all I'm saying is I understand why she's a good attorney. That's all.

Part 7

From: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)
To: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)

Shanna darling, it has come to my attention that I have an extremely shy daughter who will feel too awkward to go out of her way and contact dear Adam. Of course, she won't allow me to follow her into the city and arrange the interactions for her (children these days are stuck in such a terrible middle ground of independence and demureness let me tell you), and now I come to you asking how we can bring this about.

From: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)
To: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)

Dear Adam is just the same, what can I say. I have a solution though...I read somewhere that some cultures around the world still do "arranged marriages"...now that would be perfect for our two successful yet romantically obtuse children. I'll speak about it to Adam and you tell Nyelah. We'll just say that we'd like them to get married if (they'd like to speak to us, they'd like the family fortune, they'd like to remain in our good books...whatever seems handy at the time).

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

I had a fight with my mom today. She kept on trying to convince me that I wasn't giving Adam enough of a chance, and I told her that I had had enough. It seems that she wanted us to get married. Off the bat... MARRIED. This isn't Regency England.

Apparently, I'm nearing thirty and far too career oriented (need I remind her that I am turning twenty five in two weeks, not thirty, and that I am a first year firm associate who has just begun with the foundation of her career?) Needless to say, the conversation didn't go too well. She left in denial, telling me that our argument must have been some sort of misunderstanding.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

Regardless of whether you get this or not, I am not dear-diarying anymore. I feel ridiculous.

Anyways, I wanted to say that I'm going to try to meet this girl when I get back to NYC. Mother wants me to marry this girl. Marry! Just like that? That's a Vegas thing. And there's a good reason why it stays there too.

I have a better idea.

No one said I couldn't charm a girl's socks off.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

Ms. Smith,

Let me thank you for a most enjoyable and enlightening weekend, which was augmented by the pleasure of your acquaintance.

It had come to my attention that our mothers may be discussing something more serious regarding the both of us than you and I may have earlier suspected. I propose therefore that we meet for dinner, at Per Se, which I've heard you particularly enjoy, to sort these things out.

Do let me know if next Sunday is possible for you, and I will have my assistant make us the reservation. Send me your address, and I will be happy to pick you up at 6pm in my personal car service.

With the most sincere regards,
Adam Blumberg

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

What. Does. He. Want.?! I was rudely shot down in an email, just went on the most awkward dinner I have ever been on in my life, have now been emotionally and financially blackmailed by my mother that I have to marry this man, and he has the audacity to contact me? No. I won't have dinner with him. Why should I? How does he even know I like Per Se? Oh...maybe I told him.

"Pleasure of my acquaintance," I'm sure.

His assistant? Personal car service? Does he think he can buy me off with corporate perks? I can earn some of my own!

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

My dear Mr. Blumberg,

I must say, I was quite surprised to receive your email. I did not think that I would be hearing from you after our awkward situation last weekend. I am beyond flattered that you would trust me enough to discuss the matter along with me.

Next Sunday at Per Se sounds lovely. If you have not made the reservation yet, I would be happy to call Mr. Keller, as he is one of the first clients I brought into the firm. Please let me know what works for you.

I truly appreciate the offer, but there is no need to pick me up. I will have my personal car service save you the trouble, and meet you there at 6pm.

With even more sincere regards,
Nyelah Smith

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

That's what the exchange was? Well maybe socks, but doesn't look like you'll have much success with charming off anything else.

Cat has let me off the hook...it helps when you have a wedding to plan...minor things get dismissed. Of course, that means that certain fair-weather friends won't get a taped version of anything.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

Are you making fun of me, Nyelah?

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

I wouldn't dream of it, Adam.
I'll see you on Sunday at 6.

Part 8

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

Thanks for meeting with me last night. I had a good time, and I felt that we really connected on some level.
I remembered something that I forgot to share yesterday when we were exchanging stories. If you remember, I most vehemently refused to cooperate with you in not coming to CN (although it did work out in the end). My mother threatened to leave my father and the home if I didn't go. So in order to appease her crazed delusions- because I really don't wish to find out if she is serious or not- I comply.
I'm glad you agreed with my proposition.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Normally Adam, I'd be hard pressed to agree with you, but we seem to have an uncanny understanding when it comes to
love, relationships, and marriage that no one else in the world seems to share.
Yes, we connected very well, on that level at least.
That explains your pompous attitude in the email. I don't blame you so much anymore. I'm sure I would lash out at the first person I spoke to after hearing something so ridiculous.
If it's any consolation, my mother blackmails me that I love my father better when I don't listen to her, regarding this issue.
Do you want to tell your mother about this first or should I tell mine? I think you should have the honor. You are male, and therefore superior, of course.
I'd say six to eight weeks is a good time after the first into drop the real bomb.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I didn't really mean that joke you know. And as far as women go, you're pretty tolerable, I'd say. I thought I couldn't trust your directness before, but I must apologize. I appreciate and admire it.
I would say that I'm terrible with approaching people who I'm unfamiliar with in a friendly way. It makes me really uncomfortable.
Why don't we do it together?

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Adam, I'm so shocked that you've complimented me that I can't think of something snarky to say. Genuinely. Well, thank you.
Maybe you should practice social skills then.
I feel that I have to return a compliment to you though in exchange for what you just said- a sincere one too- so let me tell you that I genuinely found you an incredibly intelligent and straightforward human being, and I enjoyed the conversation as well.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)


From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

But a little socially misguided and entirely lacking in tact or discretion. Hypocritical of me to directly say so, perhaps, but then again, you did ask.
I think this is going to work extremely well, Adam. I think we're going to do extremely well together, as weird as we both are.
Here we go. The first responses are in.

From: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

WHY does your profile change say "In a Relationship..."?

Part 9

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)

Well, that's because I am in one, actually....well kind of. I wanted to leave you a voicemail, but I thought I'd surprise you! Surprise!

I listened. No I really really listened to you and thought about where my lonely and loveless life was going, and how much I really needed a man in my life to make me feel whole and complete again. Yes, I decided to give Adam a chance.
I mean, I know we jumped from the seeing to dating stage rather quickly, but, hey, if you're going to give it a shot, might as well really try, right?

From: Anabel Branch (mylifeisgreatthanksforasking@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I don't know what to say...
I, uh, don't get offended, but I almost can't believe it. I smell a rat, Nye. Or maybe its that I've known you too long. I'm really happy, but this isn't like you...

Honestly though, I mean, I'm happy for you, really! I hope that it works. And whenever you're comfortable with it, I want to meet him.

From: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

My dearest, most darling girl!
I just saw your profile change. I've never been so happy in my life! Today, you've made me proud. Oh Adam! Nyelah Evelyn Smith, you are his Eve! Oh, I knew you two would hit it off!

And I'm so happy that neither of you hold with the new-fangled ideas of "talking," "seeing," "dating," then relationships. We didn't have all that in my day and your father and I turned out just fine!

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Got a response from my mother and my best friend.
The best friend smells a rat. But I think she isn't serious. This still means that you have to meet her so that she can have all her fears soothed. Be on your best behavior. Sunday?

My mother says that we're perfect for each other since you're Adam, and my middle name is Evelyn....yeah. She also says that today is the day that I made her proud.

How fortunate am I? That day didn't come when I graduated either college or one of the most prestigious law schools with top honors. It didn't come when I killed the LSAT. It didn't even come when I decided to write a policy paper that was cited in the United Nations Human Rights Committee. It came...when I got a steady adult boyfriend. Well, don't we have our priorities straight.

How are your responses?

From: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powersuitup103@gmail.com)

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha I knew it!

What did I tell you? This girl....Good luck and congratulations from both me and Cat.
Don't you think you're rushing though? Already in a relationship after one date.

From: Adam Blumberg (powersuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Andrew Heathcliff (moneymatters@gmail.com)

What can I say? When you know, you know!

From: Adam Blumberg (powersuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

My mother doesn't believe in emailing me because she thinks its too impersonal. She calls. She'll email everyone else though. In your case, I would expect a call if she contacts you.

She called last night. I think I lost the meaning in the hysterical effusions, but the sentiment was there.
A good friend of mine- and former college roommate- was similarly skeptical of the timing, so we'll have to do the soothing of fears on both sides. He's getting married next week, so you should probably come to the wedding with me. You know, as a way to soothe fears.
That's it. If we ever have any joint accounts, financial or communication wise, we're labeling them "Adam and Eve."

Can't believe it's been two weeks since we started...uhm, dating...
Do you want flowers?

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Jesus. What would you do if I said yes to that question?
Thanks for the offer, but that's quite alright. You and I...we're different. Made for each other, I'm sure.
And its good, don't you think? I like it. Third week is about to be done, so we're three weeks in actually. Getting close for it to be respectable, I think.

From: Michael Parker (mp3masterx@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

i know u didn't respond to my earlier email, but again, i just wanted to let u know that i haven't forgotten u yet.
Suzanne left me...she said i wasnt "bon au lit" enough for her...what does that mean? i heard about ur relationship- i just want to wish u good luck and tell u that if anything happens...im here for u. i always will be, Nyelah.

Part 10

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I can't believe you. I can't believe you actually asked the guy on a food stall if he could show you his FDA operating license.

Do you know that that cart has been outside my office building for twenty years now? The most successful Managing Directors eat lunch there every day with NOTHING happening to them.

And what are you? You literally blackmailed him with a damn lawsuit for him to use hand sanitizer, and then gave him your extra bottle of sanitizer.

And if that's not enough, you picked a fight with some guy who freaking littered by the cart. LITTERED, Nyelah. We're not dealing with rape, pillage, and murder here.

By the way, why do you carry around two 11oz bottles?

I mean, COME ON.
I feel sorry for your parents.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Will you calm down?

How is it relevant that "the most successful Managing Directors eat lunch there every day"? Have you seen that place? Like actually? It is disgusting! I have seen cleaner food places in extremely poor, remote villages while I was volunteering in Ghana, and from people who don't even have the resources that this man should have if he's been doing this for 20 years.

He could have at least wiped the counter! Or washed the cutting board and knife! And his hands!!! Did you see his fingernails? OH MY GOD, Adam, how can you eat there? More importantly, why did you take ME there? Aren't you supposed to be a banker, and all fancy?

Try not to use the word rape that lightly.

Since you asked, I carry around larger bottles of hand sanitizer because the small ones tend to be inefficient. And I always have backups.

And OKAY, I have a need for cleanliness! I happen to like it. There's nothing wrong with that. I think it's a good habit.
Did you email me to chit chat while in the office?

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I emailed you to express my disbelief at YOUR snobbishness. Have we switched places? Aren't I supposed to be the one with the pole, according to you?

"Fancy and all that"? Really? After all I've heard coming out of your mouth, you can do better than that. I have faith. Come on, Nyelah. Try again.

I took you there because it was close to the office- both yours and mine! I didn't want to go out of our way to discuss...well, what we needed to discuss.

You volunteered in Ghana?
We are really not compatible.

Anyways, set the scene whenever you're ready. I've called the parents to visit this weekend too. I think a party should do it.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

I am not the snob. Remember Adam, I'm not the one who has had the benefit of "an exemplary education at Wharton and enough experience with P.E. Blackstone for the past six years."

Yes, I did volunteer. I was in the Peace Corps for two years. Actually, I was a year ahead in school due to my birthday, and then graduated a year early from my undergrad, so that's how it all worked out.

I'll set the scene. Per Se? I think it's fitting.

Oh my God. Do you have it though?!? It's the most important thing!!!
And even more importantly, do you know what you're going to say? It has to sound believable, Adam!!!! You can't mess up!!!

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I think anxiety medicine would not go amiss in your case. I'm getting it tonight, after work. Like we discussed.

And I don't have to know, because if I've got you down correctly so far, you'll hand me index cards with bullet points of a script which will be eloquent, articulate, straightforward, and believable. So I'm going to leave that to you.

Per Se is good.

Right, you weren't at Wharton. But you were at Harvard Law, and you do work for one of the most prestigious and profitable law firms in the country. So I'm going to call bluff on this hatred of capitalism.

Oh God, you were in the Peace Corps. Kill me.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

I don't mean to nag. I'm just not good with uncertainty.

Actually, I have the script ready...
You think I'm eloquent and articulate? ...Thanks. No, really. I mean, that's....thank you.

And I never said I hated capitalism. I do happen to know that I live it every day! I just don't flaunt my financial and career success like you seem to love to do, that's all.

We're at work. Don't you have any work to do? Like $14 billion IPO you were bragging about at lunch?
I actually have to go work now, on my $16 BILLION DEAL, which I DIDN'T brag about.

I'm going to give you a call tomorrow so we can iron out all the little details.

Part 11

From: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)
To: Katherine Blumberg (ironladyinvolveme@yahoo.com)

My dearest mother-in-law,

I knew I would not be able to rest until I told you the wonderful news.

Adam is getting married! No, I'm not lying or joking. To tell you the truth, this happened rather fast- only eight weeks after he started dating the girl. But as they say, when you know, you know!

Who is the girl, you may ask? The daughter of my dear friend a distant relative of yours, Marlene Smith. You remember Marlene? Well her daughter, Nyelah, is now a corporate attorney in New York. The two actually met when they came back home to visit us, and I think it was love at first sight!

Oh, there's so much to do now! I was wondering whether you would like to fly up here from here to help us prepare. I know you hate leaving your beautiful Nantucket beachfront view, but I really couldn't do without you.

You know how I feel about email. I would have called you, but I thought that I should have some proof on hand if you forgot that I asked you.

From: Katherine Blumberg (ironladyinvolveme@yahoo.com)
To: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)


I remember Marlene. Delightful girl. I'm sure the daughter must be too of course.

Why is he getting married in 8 weeks? You didn't pressure him, did you? Don't lie, Shanna. I've known you since you were fifteen.
Of course I'm coming. It's my grandson's wedding. And don't be ridiculous, I never forget. Expect me there in a week.

Why is she called Nyelah? She's a person, not a fabric. Did you know the closest thing spell check has to her name is the word Eyelash?
Well...it's a small matter in the big scheme of things, I suppose.
And is this any way to provide information? Why haven't you told me any details?

From: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)
To: Katherine Blumberg (ironladyinvolveme@yahoo.com)

It is really uncanny how much Adam resembles you in his personality. Alright, I may have pushed him a bit. And I may have hinted that we set up an arranged marriage for him with her. But I didn't ever get my hopes up about that! And you know how you both are. Stubborn beyond belief and able to wield anything your way....so think about it, it must be of his own volition!

Alright, I'll tell you the particulars.

Adam and what seemed like a completely unsuspecting Nyelah invited Todd and I, along with her parents, Adam's closest friend Andrew and his fiancée, and Nyelah's closest friend and her fiancé for a small party at the private room at Per Se to celebrate their relationship on a request that I originally made him when I first found out. Well at the party, turns out Adam has different plans.

You know the private room at Per Se, right? Imagine the most romantic setting. A quiet table set for ten people, the room's
warm and rich décor, all done up in gorgeous reds, browns, and golds. A waiter serves us from a bottle of Adam's favorite, Luminous Dom- which really is delicious, the boy does have good taste sometimes- while we're sampling Keller's latest tasting menu. In the middle of this, Adam gets up and clears his throat.

He says "Thank you every one for being here. What I'm about to say may come as a shock to some of you, but trust me when I say that I've been thinking about it for a while."

He then pulls out bullet pointed index cards, which he says he wrote ahead of time because he didn't want to mess this up. Have you ever heard of Adam planning ahead a speech or anything he didn't have to do for work, for that matter? Our little workaholic found time to think another little something through! Well, he starts by saying the loveliest things:

"Nyelah, in vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

Nyelah's astonishment was beyond expression. Adam is never publicly expressive of his feelings, and this must have been a shock for her to see me so earnest. She stared, colored, doubted, and was silent.

He went on reading:

"Nyelah, you have bewitched me, body and soul. These past eight weeks have been the most wonderful of my life, and I have never met anyone quite like you. I now understand what I should have understood in Connecticut, that I am meant to spend the rest of my life with you. I beg you to relieve my suffering in consent to be my wife."

Then he got down on one knee and said "Dearest, loveliest Nyelah, will you marry me?"

Oh she was so happy! She was smiling, and she had tears shining and threatening to come out of her eyes. "Yes, yes! I will, of course."

And Adam had a ring ready!

So there you go, Mother-in-law. It seems too good to be true, but it's just like a dream. I'm so happy for them both.

From: Katherine Blumberg (ironladyinvolveme@yahoo.com)
To: Shanna Blumberg (toddnshanna@yahoo.com)

Adam said all that?

I need to meet this girl.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I would just like to say that Broadway lost great talent because you decided to go into the law rather than the stage. Not that those two are really different.

What a wonderful performance! Perfectly timed blushed, and you even cried. Bravo, Nye. I always knew there was a lawyer in there despite all that straightforwardness.

Also, I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU MADE ME SAY ALL THAT. Never, EVER be a script writer. Seriously.

Actually, I'm not even sure I can say that, because that research paper you sent me on public finance and city Bankruptcy pensions was extremely well written- articulate and eloquent. But, really, in the restaurant, on those index cards, what was THAT?!

I'm at least going to have to look over what I have to say before I actually start reading it.

Anyways, Happy Engagement, I guess.

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Happy Engagement to you too, my dearest fiancé!

Well, I never said I couldn't act. I just said I didn't like to do it. I probably picked the wrong venture in that case then- no worries, no cold feet...yet.

I'm going to ignore all your aspersions on my career path.

The Bankruptcy paper was facts and arguments. This was all sap and feelings.
To tell you the truth, I'm actually really bad at expressing emotions. Both verbally and in writing. But I know you are too, so don't make fun of me on this for no reason.

Besides, I took inspiration from some of the greatest love quotes there are. Didn't you recognize where all of that came from? I'm just saying Adam, this would have been more believable if you actually HAD looked at what I sent you ahead of time and hadn't read from index cards. Who reads a marriage proposal from index cards?!?!

From: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

I'm going to go distracted! Married! MARRIED! I knew it; I knew it! You two are made for each other! So wonderful! I'm going to have to tell the family immediately! Daddy and I have never been happier, darling! I know I congratulated you in person but I just couldn't help it!

Shanna and I are going to get started on wedding planning immediately! Right after Adam's grandmother flies in, of course.

Don't you worry, dear. Just show up and it will be your dream wedding!

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Marlene Smith (marlenerocks1@hotmail.com)


What are the chances that I can plan my own wedding?
I mean, uh, I just don't want you to get overwhelmed. That's all.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)


I clearly didn't have time to practice my proposal to you because I was out getting YOUR ring. And yes, I realize that I was supposed to get that ring a night earlier, like I said I would, but I didn't. I worked instead. In fact, I worked throughout the weekend, proposed to you, and then went back to work. And now, its 3:30 in the morning, and I am still working. So there you have it.

But if it makes you feel any better, Andrew now doubts my masculinity because of all the words that came out of my mouth. Cat, obviously, is charmed. They liked you, by the way. I don't know how you managed to do it, but you charmed my two closest and discerning friends. I quote now that Cat loves your genuineness and Andrew says you're full of charisma.
Um, what did your friends think of me? (I'm not fishing for compliments. Don't tell me if you don't want to. I'm just asking).

From: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)
To: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)

Are you still at work, as in, in the office? I'm still in the office too and about to head out for a coffee break. Do you want me to pick you up anything since you're literally across the street?

Actually, don't answer that. I'll get you an espresso and something to eat anyways. I've pulled all-weekenders before, and it's really not fun. No wonder you're cranky.

Anabel told me that I was blind or lying, because I didn't tell her how attractive you were (her words not mine) after I first met you. She also told me that you were extremely considerate and polite, and that I must have been crazy to have a bad first impression of you, and must have clearly misread your email (You do know about my bad first impression right? If you don't, I'm not explaining it. :) )

Doug is an executive chef and actually a mentee of Keller. So as soon as he heard Per Se, he was all in approval of you- never mind the fact that I was the one who suggested Per Se.

My mother is head over heels in love with you. (Why don't you marry her instead?) My dad hasn't said much, but surprisingly this means he likes you a lot.

We have a bigger problem though. This wedding we're supposed to have? Apparently we just have to show up. Our moms are already planning it, or at least will plan it as soon as your grandmother flies in.

From: Adam Blumberg (powerdsuitup103@gmail.com)
To: Nyelah Smith (janeaustenfan01@gmail.com)

Espresso? You're a Godsend.

...did you say my grandmother is coming?
Oh Jesus.

To Be Continued . . .

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