The 7 Year Itch… or Something Like That

They say your body changes every 7 years. And by “they” I mean the allergist who told my cousin she is now highly allergic to her own dog, who has coincidently been a long-standing member of the family. (We still love you, Rocky.) Call it a sudden interest in numerology, but that fact–and others I’ll soon get to–have me obsessing with the number 7 and wondering if this purported change isn’t limited to just your physiology.

This January I will have lived in NYC, officially out of my parent’s house on Long Island, for 7 golden years. In some ways the past 7 years have flown by and in others it seems like just yesterday I was in Bed Bath & Beyond picking out a new shower curtain. I have been itching (7 year itching? corny? ok.) to get my own studio or one bedroom apartment for months now, but a recent change in my employment status has pushed the move to 2017. When that day comes–aside from mentally stressing about my suddenly increased Brooklyn rent–I anticipate feeling like a boss as I enter a new, even more independent stage of adulthood. Not having roommates to help you kill roaches in your room is a major change if I’ve ever heard one.

The 7 year hypothesis truly rears its head for me when you consider we’re entering the year 2017. I’m a perpetual optimist and pride myself on always seeing the good in situations. And while 2016 had many seriously awesome moments, notable mentions go to my first trip to LA and my cousin and BFF both having babies, it has been a MF BEAR of a year. From family ish to Electiongate–seriously, WTF happened on November 8th?–to me getting laid off from a job for the very first time, this year took pains to burn itself into my memory. I look to 2017 with a mix of nervous uncertainty (cough, POTUS-elect, cough) and excited optimism about starting a new gig. Ironically, the nation’s unemployment rate hits a 9-year low the year I find myself unemployed. Not funny, 2016.

And who knows, maybe this year will be the year that cupid points his arrow my way. I completely own being Miss. Independent and do that surrounded by the best family and friends, but it would be awesome if 2017 is the year I delete all my dating apps. Those data-draining, time-consuming dating apps, which I loathe and love at the same time. The apps with which “It’s Complicated” would be the appropriate relationship status. But if it isn’t, so be it.

I recently got my passport renewed, so 2017 may also be The Year of the Second Stamp, a couple of years (unfortunately not 7, which would have been poetic) since the first one was stamped by a lovely Bahamian customs agent. So whether this 7 year thing is legit or just a wive’s tale that happens to hold symbolism for me, it will be channelled into the makings a great year.

Where It All Began

When I first moved into my apartment in 2010, I didn’t realize I would be living just a few blocks from where both my maternal and paternal grandparents once lived. My mom’s mother spent her early childhood on East 116th Street and Pleasant Avenue, just a stone’s throw away from what is now a Target, while my dad’s parents both lived in the upper East 90’s.

As my family drove me home this Christmas, riding past the very familiar sights of 96th Street, my dad reminded me that his parents got married at a church I see almost every day between Lex and Park Avenues. A ways back, I wrote a blog entry about the library my dad’s mom Jessie went to as a child that is currently my neighborhood library. (A library I have now lost 2 books from, sorry NYPL!) Directly across the street from that 96th Street branch is St. Francis de Sales Catholic church, where they were married. I decided to take a peak inside today …

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Jessie Daley and Andrew Campbell tied the knot in 1941. I don’t have a photo handy of their wedding day, so I’ve included this one of my grandmother dancing with my dad at my parent’s wedding 40 years later in 1981. The next time I’m at my Aunt Rosie’s house (seen here on the left), I will stockpile some old photos to post about.

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After their wedding, they moved to the Bronx and later to Bellerose, Queens and had 6 children: Drew, Jane, Anne, Rosie, Thomas (my dad) and Edward. Andrew worked for Westinghouse Electric and Jessie was a housewife. Unfortunately, they both passed away before I was born. I would have loved to have heard stories about the changing neighborhood and the fact that a 2nd Avenue subway is STILL being worked on.

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While I may not be a churchgoer, I was immediately taken back by the beauty of this place. From the stained glass windows to the intricate Stations of the Cross carvings along the perimeter, there was an abundance of art to take in.

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St. Francis was built in 1903 and, naturally being my father’s daughter, I was interested in learning more about its history. The original parish was started in 1894 in the first floor of a house on 100th Street but soon proved to be too small and was moved to its current location.

I am eager to look through pictures from my grandparent’s wedding day and set them side by side the pictures I took today.

Until the next time!