‘The untitled college is ending 300 word project’

Inspiration is like Miralax–it takes hours to kick in.

By the time I’ve thought of something to write, I’m at my part-time job and we’re out of toilet paper.

I go to the storage closet and restock the toilet paper with just enough time to write down the Miralax joke in my notes app

I’m sitting here, 5pm on a Monday next to a desk that I use as a vanity in a twin XL bed that I use as a desk. I’m not going to say that “college flew by” because in actuality it was long.

I laugh thinking about the times I did the reading, but it wasn’t “the right reading,” so I improvised an answer like a stumped Jeopardy contestant. One time I signed up for a course called “Self & World” that was entirely on Zoom. My professor had her pet psychic on as a guest speaker. 

I’m going to miss arriving to class promptly at 10am, hair fully blown out remembering my laptop charger AND a satiating snack. 

I’m going miss seeing a weird exe in the dining hall and laughing about it with my friends.

I’m going to miss agonizing over a homework grade until it somehow doesn’t matter as much anymore.

I started college with a bob, lots of cardigans, and quite a bit of sadness.

I moved cities, donated the cardigans, and began using the Instagram mute feature.

Even when my inspiration is slow to start, I feel this incredible gratefulness. I’m proud of myself for that. 

The Power of Femininity (April 2022)

Picture this: you’re a 20-something college grad. Today, you have a meeting that could potentially gain you a promotion in your company. You’ve done everything possible to prepare for this meeting; early morning workout followed by a delicious breakfast of eggs, spinach and Twitter drama. 

Now comes the challenging part: what to wear…

You try on several outfits for your roommates (Project Runway style). The fashion show is met with overwhelming praise. However, whenever you try on a dress or skirt you feel a tightness in your chest. The more feminine you look the more unprofessional you feel. Even when your roommates tell you your dress could have won Hillary the presidency, you still feel uncertain. You end up wearing pants and a plain shirt with minimal makeup. You don’t want to “be a distraction.” Ultimately, you don’t get the promotion. Even though femininity is often frowned upon in professional spaces, you regret not being yourself.
Femininity has the power to incite change in a professional or creative space. Before I begin ranting about the Power of Femininity, let’s define our terms…

Femininity: having qualities or an appearance associated with women. Humility and empathy are associated with the term. There are many ways to show one’s feminine side. It could be what you wear or what kind of music you blast while driving to the dentist. Femininity transcends gender and manifests in all aspects of life. 

Femininity is beautiful and symbolizes strength. It wasn’t until I grew older that I felt that way. 

Growing up I had few feminine influences in the media that were “role models.” My first examples were Disney princesses. Ariel was gorgeous, but Miss Thang had no control over her life. She was so busy dreaming about a prince, she completely forgot about Sebastian’s concert. Ariel was not the best role model for self assurance or quite frankly punctuality. I played with my Barbie collection which consisted of 15 “fashion Barbie” and one veterinarian. Whenever my friends came over they rummaged through my Barbie bin for the “prettiest one.” Did vet tech Barbie have the same style? Of course not, women with jobs can’t be stylish! Vet tech Barbie ended up in a pile of dust under my bed next to a slinky and a few hair elastics. 

My formative years were a time of great social turmoil or rather, socialite turmoil. Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian were our cover girls. Beauty was only skin deep. For any younger readers, in 2007, Kim K was not a lawyer yet. It was suddenly aspirational to not have a job and just be gorgeous. It seemed like feminine people didn’t need to use their brains or they shouldn’t. From socialites in the media came today’s feminine influences, Maddie and Cassie from Euphoria.

Growing up with these media influences, it makes sense that we try to conceal our femininity. We think we won’t be taken seriously. We all want to be a Jackie and not a Marilyn. Wearing makeup feels like weakness. Mascara is more likely to be seen smudged in a mug shot than worn during an inaugural ball.

My thinking eventually changed. I was lucky enough to have several successful feminine influences in my life. My mother and aunts are my icons. When I was 12, one woman (whom I will never meet) changed the way I viewed femininity and success: Elle Woods. 

Legally Blonde was the only movie I saw as a child where the fabulous fashionista was a driven, kind, and successful career person. Elle Woods became a Harvard law graduate while never sacrificing her integrity. She was a lawyer who dressed in amazing outfits. She “bent and snapped” the falsely accused right out of prison. Obviously Legally Blonde is fictional, so I needed to do some research to see if women like Elle Woods exist in real life. 

News flash: feminine, successful people do exist! Yes, even in this economy! It is our responsibility to tell their stories. 

Femininity manifests in kindness and strength. Confidence, passion, and determination can all be uniquely feminine qualities. It manifests in walking into a board room and giving the best damn presentation your colleagues have ever seen. It’s standing up for a friend when you know there is a lot at stake if you do. It is more than hair, clothes, and shoes. The next time you’re getting ready and you feel insecure, follow your idols. You’ll be surprised how far you can go by being yourself. 

“Art Is Not Optional”

A conversation with The Art of the Brick artist Nathan Sawaya 

Most of us can relate to the exhaustion and stress of the work week. We sit in traffic, agonize over deadlines, and mobile order at Starbucks (all day long). When work life becomes too much to bear we turn to our passions. Cooking, writing, singing, exercise, we all have things that are essential to our happiness. Nathan Sawaya, artist and creator of The Art of the Brick exhibition, turned his passion into his career. What started as a “creative outlet” in his New York City apartment became his full time job. Sawaya is an artist whose medium is Lego bricks. His touring exhibition, which opened in Boston in Fall 2022, comprises 80-85 sculptures that examine art through the lens of an accessible toy. To Sawaya, creating art provides the inspiration that makes life worth living, he hopes to share that inspiration with those who visit his exhibition.

Nathan Sawaya started making art in his youth. He said, “My parents encouraged creativity. We always had Play Doh, crayons, and Lego bricks.” However, Sawaya drifted away from art and ultimately became a corporate lawyer. Creating art became his outlet during the stressful work week. He would come home at night and express his creativity through sculpture. Sawaya began sculpting with traditional mediums like clay and wire. Then he thought about a toy from his childhood, he decided to reexamine Lego bricks as an art medium. 

When asked about creating art with Lego bricks, Sawaya said, “Everyone has either played with Legos or stepped on a Lego brick, they are extremely accessible. People have this medium at home, so they can connect to the art on a different level. Hopefully they are inspired to dig out their own Lego bricks and make art.” The true reason for art is inspiration. Sawaya hopes that spectators of his art will be inspired to create anything they want.

In 2004, Nathan Sawaya left his career as an attorney to pursue being a Lego artist full time. When asked about his experience making this decision he said, “There was a tangible moment when I had my website and I was taking commissions from people all over. When the website crashed from too many hits I knew it was the time.” Ultimately, Sawaya’s own happiness was the deciding factor in becoming a full time artist. He said, “I really wasn’t happy as a lawyer. Making art made me happy, so I knew that was the path to take.” Sawaya has never looked back and has enjoyed following his passions professionally for nearly 20 years.

Even during the pandemic, Nathan Sawaya continued making art in his studio, just him, his dog, and some music playing. He is extremely excited about his exhibitions re-opening because traveling has been such a source of inspiration for his work.

Nathan Sawaya’s Instagram bio reads, “Art is not optional.” He considers this to be his mantra. Happiness is the reason Sawaya has continued his career in art even in the face of challenges. He said, “Creating art makes me happier. Creating art makes you a healthier, happier, and smarter person. If art can make you a better person, art can make a better world.” The Art of the Brick serves as an inspiration to follow the things that bring you happiness. If that is art, make more art. Keep practicing and creating what gets you through the week. Creativity, no matter how small, makes a better world.       

Alex Boch on Rock & Roll Drive In and inspiration through music

Most can agree that nothing beats live music. As we stand in the crowd, our heart beats faster in anticipation of our favorite band taking the stage. Once the music starts we are transfixed, our pulse steadies to the beat of the bass and we can physically feel every note of the song. The out of body concert experience is one that 19 year old Alex Boch knows all too well. Growing up with rock n roll, Alex says his passion for music began at the early age of seven. Alex recalled, “One day my dad came home with an AC/DC poster and from that day forward I was obsessed with rock music. I was the only 10 year old kid at metal shows.”

Music has always been an integral part of Alex’s life. In 2006, Alex’s father, greater Boston business magnate Ernie Boch Jr. founded Music Drives Us, a foundation that supports and improves school music programs. Since then, the foundation has supported countless schools providing funding and resources to enrich the programs. Music Drives Us believes in the importance of keeping music in schools. Alex said about Music Drives Us, “Whatever the schools need, we are there. We have given everything from funding to actual new instruments. We will do anything to keep the programs alive.” 

In 2021, Alex stepped up to contribute to Music Drives Us. As his high school senior project, Alex organized a drive in benefit rock concert for the foundation. He started a band and headlined the show. The show rightfully named Rock & Roll Drive In was a major success and is now an annual event. When asked about the inspiration for Rock & Roll Drive In Alex said, “We were in peak covid craziness. The idea was a major risk, but we made the show so you could be safe by staying in your car. We wanted to find a way to help the school music programs suffering during covid. It was all a big what if, but we figured it out and now it’s an annual event.” The concert was held in a giant parking lot in Mansfield and the turnout was impressive. When asked about the process of making the show possible Alex said, “I definitely didn’t do it alone. I have the best team behind me. We got a massive stage, I had someone fixing lights, getting vendors, and dealing with insurance. I did not realize how much work it would be when I started.” Alex was so inspired by the success of the concert that he wants to continue to see it grow. When asked about where he sees Rock & Roll Drive In in five years Alex said, “I want to be able to say that we had a spectacular event and because of people’s generosity we were able to save school music programs. It will be amazing to hear that Rock & Roll Drive In made change happen in schools.”   

Alex Boch is a musician turned philanthropist. Before the success of Rock & Roll Drive In, Alex was just a kid who loved music. Alex can relate to the students he supports and understands the importance of music in schools. He recalled, “I remember when Music Drives Us gave drum sets and guitars to my middle school. I have seen first hand what music in schools does for kids.” For many students including Alex music was the most valuable part of their school experience. Alex said, “For me, it was the one hour a day that I could be myself. I had a tough time in school, so music was the only time when I could sit in class and just be me.” 

Ultimately, music inspires and heals. Alex’s story is just one example of how music can be vital in children’s lives especially in school. However, not everyone acknowledges the importance of music in public schools. More often, people see the value in athletics over music programs. When asked if he compares attendance at his shows to sporting events Alex said, “The thing about music is, if you are at a sporting event it may have 500 people, but at least 200 of the people in attendance are zoned out looking at the sky or the ground. It doesn’t matter how many people attend a music event, they will be completely engaged. If you are lucky enough to perform, the number of the people in attendance are so engaged it doesn’t matter how many people there are.” Alex thanked his parents for instilling a love of music in him from a young age. He hopes to inspire children involved with Music Drives Us in the same way. Even though he is currently in college studying automotive marketing management, Alex has plans to pursue music after he graduates. Alex said, “The second I get out of school, I want to attempt music because I would much rather make $30k a year trying to be a musician and be the happiest guy alive than make $200 million a year and be a miserable prick the entire time!”

The inspiration and passion in Alex Boch’s life comes from music. As Music Drives Us continues to grow, lives will continue to change. Music drives us to do better, be better. When the lights come on and the bass kicks in, we are ourselves. 

Eric Grava

In 2022, music is all streaming. The most successful songs are disguised as TikTok sounds. Even though ten minutes of fame are possible from a 15 second video, many music fans feel a disconnect from the artist and the music itself. Musician Eric Grava shared his musical inspiration with InBoston, this past month. His love of writing and producing transcends today’s hitmakers, bringing an old-school passion back to the industry.

Singer-songwriter Eric Grava credits the early 90s and his upbringing for his current work. Born in 1989, Grava was raised in a household of music lovers. Grava said, “My mom was a prolific music listener. My parents played CDs in my backyard all night and I would listen from my bedroom window.” He first jammed to iconic bands such as, The Counting Crows and the Police. Grava said his earliest musical inspiration was his mother, whom he was extremely close with. He said, “She instilled in me the confidence to do it. She was always encouraging me to sing at family gatherings.” Their connection continues to inspire him. Grava said, “Music will always be in our family.”

As a young child, Grava played guitar and piano. He lived in the world of old-school MTV or as he puts it, “before everything went digital.” Then by age 13 or 14, Grava began listening to 2000s punk bands and was inspired to start songwriting. He said, “There was a rebellion fire that awoke my soul. It was the first time I truly felt comfortable learning music.” A flicker start fueled by Blink-182 and other bands, turned into a fire of musical expression inside of Grava. He said, “I think it was becoming a teenager that made me feel like I had something to say. I connected to the way bands in the Warped Tour era wrote music. They often started with four chords. I knew I could write four chords and not overthink it.”

Eric Grava agrees that this is a disconnect between musicians and their listeners in today’s industry. He said, “With everything streaming there is less mystery and excitement. When I was growing up, the radio was never a background thing.” Even though MTV is all reality television now, Grava continues to write his own music. He said, “Words should never be wasted.” Grava draws inspiration from film, visuals, and “simply a feeling.” He is constantly inspired by the energy of a city that he has traveled or lived in. Grava said, “There’s no boundary of what you can get into a song. I am always curious about improving my writing and how a different environment can change my mindset.” Grava said his next step creatively is writing songs in other countries. 

When asked about current projects Eric Grava said he has a new album titled, “Melodic Psychotic” being released on October 7th. The album spans several genres and themes, taking over two years to produce. Grava said a major theme of the album is feeling ok with existing and not fitting in. He said, “It’s not your fault if you feel like you can’t fit into this universe. Accepting that you don’t is ok. You should always follow your own calling.” The record explores lost love and how it feels to write one’s own redemption story. Grava said, “This album has pop elements, but it doesn’t follow a genre because music shouldn’t be bound to a construct.”

Even though his writing calls him to travel, Eric Grava is glad to be making music in Boston. He said, “My thing with Boston is this city has the biggest critics, so if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Everyone has something to say, so you may as well do what you love.” Writing music today can be scary. There is a lot of pressure to fit a mold or go viral. If you are worried about where to start, Grava recommends following your passion and the artists that set your soul on fire. He said, “There are no boundaries when you follow your intuition. Everyone has something to say and it is time to make a difference.”      

VELO Vodka (July 2022)

Let us set the scene: it’s summertime and living isn’t so easy. It’s Friday afternoon and you are itching to leave the office for the weekend. Finally, the clock strikes 6. You say goodbye to Mandy from HR and throw away the remains of your latte that is now room temperature. Your saving grace is a text from your best friends, they are in need of a night out as well. You hit up your favorite Boston bar. The music is loud and your shoes actually fit. The only thing missing is the perfect drink. That’s when you order a cocktail with VELO Vodka. 

VELO is not your mother’s vodka. It’s smart, sexy, and new. It has a smooth, refreshing taste that is nothing short of glamorous. VELO is short for velocity. It is a super-premium, gluten free, corn based formula. VELO is a brand based on science, so everyone who orders it can have a fabulous experience.

Founded in South Boston, VELO is a woman owned business. Founder Colleen Eyges said, “VELO is myself, my daughter, and our sales girl. We are small and in it for the long haul.” Colleen Eyges had the idea for VELO while out to brunch with her children. When Eyges and her family sat down to eat, she immediately noticed something wrong with their waitress. She looked like she was sick. Eyges immediately thought, “I hope she washed her hands.” Eyges’ son had been recovering from a health issue and she was worried about their waitress getting him sick. When their waitress returned from the kitchen with a container of Pedialyte, Eyges realized the truth: the waitress was hungover. Eyges was relieved and thought, “Why wasn’t this girl drinking better or making a better choice?” Eyges decided that day to create her own high quality product for everyone to enjoy. The idea for VELO was born. 

In the following months, Eyges and her daughter found a distiller in South Boston. Eyges said about the process, “We went through 17 different versions of the product before we went to market. We wanted it to be the most smooth and high quality possible.” Once they settled on a final product, VELO went to market in February 2020.

VELO started small with 64 accounts in liquor stores and restaurants on the North Shore. However, they experienced “explosive growth” in August 2021. Now, VELO Vodka has 350 accounts. You can sip VELO in a drink at the Four Seasons in Boston or hit up Kappy’s on route 1 for a bottle: it’s your choice! VELO stands out on liquor store shelves with its sleek Northern Lights inspired packaging that is low waste and eco-friendly.

Even though owning a business can be challenging at times, Colleen Eyges said running VELO is “a labor of love.” Eyges and her daughter founded VELO, they plan to own it for a long time. Eyges recalled, “We love meeting wonderful people and doing wonderful things with the business. We love seeing people enjoying VELO on social media.”

When asked about the VELO brand, Eyges wants to inspire people with their small business. She said, “Women are as smart as anyone else. I’ve worked hard since I was 11 years old. I am teaching my daughter and anyone else that you can really do anything you want. The sky’s the limit.” 

Next time you’re out with your friends catching a drink, order a VELO cocktail. The history is inspiring, but the taste speaks for itself. VELO is the key to a fabulous night ahead.  

Squeeze Dating App (July 2022)

Online dating can be exhausting. Dating apps are downloaded just to be deleted and re-downloaded again. Before you know it your messages are flooded with unsolicited attention from people who you have no interest in meeting in line at the DMV, much less dating. Even if there is a mutual match, that person is probably 300 miles away and may not even be real. If only there was an app that creates genuine connections, not just genuinely disappointing in-app purchases..

Squeeze is the solution to all of your online dating stress; a new dating app launching on September 30th. Squeeze eliminates the fear of rejection by allowing you to mutually match with people at the same bar, restaurant, concert etc. as you. You simply check into the app with your location. Squeeze shows you other people at the same venue that may be a match based on the information you provided. After you mutually match, Squeeze’s “come say hi!” feature allows you to meet up with your match right there, instant date started! 

Squeeze was started by co-founders Brianna Esposito and Kathryn Dunn, two Boston natives. What started as a crazy idea between friends is now an app with investors and committed creators. Kathryn and Brianna agree that they never believed that their dream would get this far. Kathryn says about Squeeze, “We both use dating apps. We found that on other apps we were messaging people for weeks. People could bail on you, people catfish you. There is no more dilly-dallying, we can just meet right then and there to see how it goes!” 

There are several dating apps on the market. They all have niche qualities that set them apart. That being said, even if they feel exclusive, they can also be unsafe or hard to use. Unlike competing dating apps, users can find more than just hook-ups through Squeeze. Users can set the app to looking for friends, something more serious, and/or something casual. You can also set the app to all of the above options. Users can continue to message their matches after leaving the venue, to keep the conversation going without exchanging phone numbers. Users are given 20 free swipes per day. However, there are affordable membership options as well. Brianna says, “We offer an unlimited day pass for $4.99 and an unlimited month pass for $12.99” Squeeze users can have a day of unlimited swipes for less than the press of an average cocktail or drink from Starbucks. Premium memberships for competing apps are more expensive. For comparison, Tinder costs $19.99 a month. Match.com costs $31.99 a month. No dating website is worth breaking the bank, especially if Dateline with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s is priceless. 

  It is no secret that dating apps can be dangerous. Users of Tinder and Hinge have been harassed, cat-fished, ghosted etc. Brianna and Kathryn pride themselves on the safety features of Squeeze. Brianna says, “We are always talking about how to make the app safer. The app cannot be used if you’re under 18 years old. There is a block and report feature. We have the power to remove someone’s access from the app. We are also looking into verification through a user’s Facebook page. In the future, we hope to add even more background checks.” Squeeze was created as a small business and is currently monitored by its founders. Instead of trusting your private information with robots or Jeff Bezos, users can feel comforted in knowing where Squeeze started and where it’s going. 

Squeeze is truly for everyone. Unlike its competitors that may market to “hot singles,” inclusivity has been at the forefront of the creation of the app. Brianna says, “We want Squeeze to appeal to all sexualities and genders. Our first thought was let’s make this for everyone! Even our mother’s want to use it!” On most social media, users can choose from three gender choices: female, male, or other/prefer not to say. Squeeze not only has several gender options, but users can freely identify themselves by typing in whatever pronouns they feel comfortable using. Squeeze has over 25 sexual orientation options, users can select more than one or self-identify. No one who downloads Squeeze will be limited to a label and everyone can feel open to be who they are on an app that celebrates diversity. Brianna says, “We want the app to be for the people because we know where we started. I’m a part of the LGBTQ community and I don’t want anyone to feel left out.”

  Squeeze began in a bar in Boston, but this is certainly just the beginning. When asked where they see Squeeze in five years Kathryn said, “We hope to quit our day jobs, so we can be working with the app full time. Most of all we want to see a variety of different people enjoying the app.” Online dating may continue to be challenging, dating in general is challenging. Squeeze is the kind of app that you won’t want to delete. It is a brand that was created by two friends that understand how weird the dating world is and want to improve it. Who knows, Squeeze may be the beginning of your next great love story.  

22 Lessons for 22 Years

On October 20, 2022 I turned 22 years old. I have the most amazing friends and family in the world. I sit here exhausted and grateful, waiting for my sheets to finish in the dryer. The last year (21) was beautiful, challenging, and fleeting. It was the first year I felt fully Abigail, even though she is flawed. I felt okay making mistakes and I accepted my successes. It was a good year. Cannot believe this is the third installment of this series, but here’s 22 Lessons for 22 Years…

  1. Take several opportunities every day to slow down and breathe. We never realize how fast we’re moving.
  2. Never assume you know what someone is thinking. 
  3. The definition of aging gracefully is listening to Folklore while grocery shopping.
  4. Never underestimate the power of therapy and drinking water!
  5. Ask someone how they are and mean it!
  6. She’s not the love of your life, she’s a girl in her 20’s (take that how you wish).
  7. Apply moisturizer to your neck..looking forward to seeing if this works!
  8. Don’t mourn things that aren’t over yet. 
  9. It’s almost 2023 and Lemonade Mouth is still a great film.
  10. Peace comes when you are your own safe space.
  11. Check your emails!
  12. Keep your expectations low, but your standards high.
  13. Resentment is brain constipation. 
  14. When all else fails, playing dead is always a good option!
  15. I trust myself. I am worthy. I have my shit together.
  16. The amount of times I ate rice and beans for dinner this year..astonishing!
  17. Tell people you love them more!
  18. Buy the Bratz Doll shot glasses!
  19. When God closes a door, he drives through the display window of Chanel.
  20. Abigail, you do know how to read books!
  21. Decorate for Christmas early and do your laundry.
  22. The best is yet to come. 

The year writing healed me aka where to next?

Two years ago, my life felt like the last 30 minutes of Titanic. I was a young woman, navigating a new place. My luxury cruise was a college experience miles away from home. Like young Kate Winslet, I was promised a fabulous, new life. Neither of us expected to be thrown off course into freezing isolation. I struggled to keep afloat. I used therapy and long walks as my life rafts. I did not reach solid ground until I started writing articles. I never wrote about my depression. I never wrote about sleepless nights or anxiety attacks, not once. Instead, I wrote about things that made me laugh hysterically. I became a curator of my dream life; a creator of a reality that I wanted to exist. My life became my writing. It was all music reviews, awkward short stories, and of course the Kardashians. My work was my escape.

Flash forward to last summer (2021), I created New Beginnings Blog. My weird, fabulous, femme writing lives eternally in cyberspace. I am now old-lady Kate Winslet, I have thrown my most prized, glimmering possession away. My healing belongs to the world to read. I am eternally grateful for the support I have received in creating this project. Sharing my “new beginning” with you all has been a privilege. 

It’s now a year later and I am no longer afraid of starting over. I am continuously working on myself. I took a hiatus from posting here because other projects took precedent. I am excited to be back. Coming soon this blog may see some changes, I cannot wait to share them with you all!

Where to next?

Hell is a Sake Bomb: a short, true story

I simply adore crab rangoon. The Chinese food equivalent of chips & dip. I could eat my weight in Chinese food as a child. But crab rangoon was always my favorite.

Three weeks ago, my friends Chloe, Eva, and I had a craving for all things crab rangoon related. We decided on a Chinese food restaurant in downtown Boston known for being “all you can eat.” Let’s just say we got the memo. We ordered enough food to feed several New Year’s parties including Ryan Seacrest’s entire hair and makeup team. (Why hasn’t that man aged since American Idol?)

We got about 12 crab rangoon, I devoured 8 of them. We got more than 10 sushi rolls to try. Teriyaki salmon, shrimp tempura, and three kinds of noodles. I treated myself to a sake bomb (a shot of sake poured over a pint of cheap beer). That is not everything we ordered, but I won’t sit here and list everything. When we were all delightfully full, we decided to take the leftovers home.

Before we could get the bill from our waiter, a man approached our table. He looked at us like he had just flushed our goldfish down the toilet.

 “Hey guys..”

 The man speaks! 

“You do know that you have to pay extra for all the food you cannot finish, right? And they don’t allow you to take leftovers home..”

We quietly thanked the man for the information and he returned to his table. We sat for a second in disbelief. Then it was game time! 

We began stuffing our faces with food.

I started smashing food up into small crumbs on my plate. Chloe was not playing games as she frequently told us to “stop talking” until we could inhale all of the raw fish in front of us. Eva started crying and praying at one point. Our eyes were blood shot as we raised noodles to our mouths with swollen fingers.

When we finally couldn’t eat another bite, it was time for plan b. We started putting entire sushi rolls into napkins and stuffing them in Chloe’s tote bag. We would trade shifts as “waiter watchman” while the others kept filling the bag with food. 

By the time we cleared the table, Chloe’s bag must have weighed 12 pounds. I am still surprised we never got caught.

Luckily, our plan worked as we were not charged for any additional food. However, the night did not vastly improve upon leaving the restaurant. As dusk fell over Copley Square, myself, Chloe and Eva dumped fistfuls of Chinese food into a trash can. Full and ready to explode we waddled back to our college campus. 

I lived on Miralax and coffee for the following week. I haven’t touched a crab rangoon since that fateful night. The memory, however, was worth it. There’s nothing like a bag of fishy contraband to strengthen a friendship.