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Atlanta woman launches 'Souper Kindness' tour, feeding strangers across America

Atlanta woman launches 'Souper Kindness' tour, feeding strangers across America
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When my friend Jenny Levison told me she was launching what she called a "Kindness Tour," in the middle of the pandemic last year, I thought she'd lost her mind.

Levison is a celebrity chef and the owner of five "Souper Jenny" restaurants in the Atlanta area. To say that she walks to the beat of her own drum is an understatement. Once she makes her mind up to do something, there really isn't any stopping her. And she is someone who is committed both in her life and her work to giving back, paying it forward, and helping those who need it -- even if that means renting an RV, covering it with peace stickers, and heading out on the road to give away free food for weeks at a time.

Levison tells me that the first "Souper Jenny Kindness Tour" was born out of a drive to help people having a rough time in 2020. Knowing how hard the restaurant industry was hit and all the people who were impacted by it, she launched a six-week tour from Atlanta to California last October.

"Everyone was struggling and frankly, I needed some hope as well. I called one of my besties and told her what I wanted to do. I wanted to hop in an RV, drive west and start to spread the word that hope and joy were still alive and kindness was the new cool."

She says the first trip was "life-changing."



"We walked the bridge in Selma, which I've never done before and I could feel the weight of our history. We brought a wagon filled with quarts of soup and we handed them out on the bridge. Someone told us about some low-income housing in the area. So, we headed over. This white Jewish girl showed up in their neighborhood and I was welcomed with open arms by the community," Levison says.

She and her friend, and co-captain on their wild adventure, Meg Gillentine Morris, stopped at local farms and bought out their produce. They'd use the produce to make soup and find ways to feed communities in need. They'd set up socially distant takeout tables and give away free soup in the RV parks where they stopped. They'd leave quarters for people to do their laundry in laundromats. They did a free grocery drive in Lake Charles, Louisiana, after a double hurricane hit the area. They fed firemen in Irvine, California, after the wildfires, visited a South Los Angeles cafe to help support their weekly free grocery drive, and fed the homeless in Skid Row.

"We not only wanted to touch those in need but also just random strangers that could use a smile that day."

Fast forward to today -- the Souper Jenny Kindness Tour 2.0 launched on April 26.

Levison and Morris made their first stop in Colliersville, Tennessee to meet a very special 10-year-old girl who started her own kindness journey this year. Levison says her name is Deontra and she shows up at her favorite places, like a hospital, fire station, Target, or a local restaurant, with snack bags and drinks and simply thanks people for their service. Levison supplemented her snack bags with quarts of soup.



While in Colliersville, Levison also handed out 50 quarts of Turkey Chili to bus drivers and anyone else they came across.

Levison has her own nonprofit called The Zadie Project dedicated to feeding Atlanta's hungry children, families, and seniors. The name honors her father, Jarvin Levison who is known as Zadie (Yiddish for grandfather).

"He is my inspiration for cooking and my motivation for getting involved in my community. He also gave me my very first soup recipe, My Dad's Turkey Chili. In our 18 year history, it is still our most popular soup."

Their next stop was Nashville, where they scrubbed and filled two community fridges, and showed up at the local Waffle House and other local fast-food restaurants to thank workers with free gift cards.



But Levison and Morris aren't just about giving away free food or money, they also take the time while hiking around and exploring wherever they're staying to just bring a smile to someone's face by complimenting them. "Kindness is easy. Kindness can be free," Levison says.

When the two kindness queens landed in Washington D.C. they treated 50 to 60 vaccine workers to an afternoon of pastries and coffee -- just because.



"People ask how I've funded this and let me tell you the answer -- I'm prepared to figure it out! I may end up using my paycheck to spread the kindness gospel, but humanity has been incredibly generous. People hear what we've been doing and they want to get involved. Sometimes, you don't have the time to do the deed and we can do it for you!"




There were people who have donated to make both of the Kindness Tours possible via a GoFundMe page, in addition to dozens in the Atlanta community and Levison's close family and friends, and a significant donor in Sara Blakely and The Spanx Foundation.

The tour ends May 15, if you're interested in following along you can just use @followingsouperjenny or @Meggillentine via Instagram or Meg Gillentine Morris or Jennifer Levison on Facebook.


Rebekah Sager is an award-winning journalist and author with over a decade of experience as a general assignment reporter and writer. She has contributed to the Washington Post, Hollywood Reporter, Playboy, VICE, and more. Her essay is featured in "Chicken Soup for the Soul: I'm Speaking Now: Black Women Share Their Truth in 101 Stories of Love, Courage, and Hope," available June 2021.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Family

I told a kid a riddle my dad told me when I was 7. His answer proves how far we've come.

This classic riddle takes on new meaning as our world changes for the better.




When I was 7, my dad told me a riddle.

"A man and his son are driving in their car when they are hit by a tractor-trailer.

Photo via iStock.

(We were driving at the time, so of course this was the riddle he decided to tell.)

The father dies instantly.

The son is badly injured. Paramedics rush him to the hospital.

Photo via iStock.

As he is being wheeled into the operating room, the surgeon takes one look the boy and says:

'I can't operate on him. He's my son.'

How is that possible?!"

Without missing a beat, I answered:


"The doctor is his mom!"

Photo via iStock.

My dad first heard the riddle when he was a child in the '60s.

Back then, most women didn't work outside of the home.

Few of those who did had college degrees, much less professional degrees.

Female doctors were few and far between.

Back then, it was a hard riddle. A very hard riddle.

By 1993, when I first heard it, the notion that women could be highly skilled, highly trained professionals wasn't so absurd.

To me, it was normal.

I knew women who were lawyers. Bankers. Politicians. My own doctor was a woman.

To be sure, women still faced challenges and discrimination in the workplace. And even 20 years later, they still do.

But at its core, the riddle is about how a family can work. And that had changed. Long-overdue progress had rendered the big, sexist assumption that underpinned the whole thing moot.

A very hard riddle was suddenly not a riddle at all.

I never forgot it.

Now, I'm 30 — almost as old as my dad was he first told me that riddle.

My dad at 30 (left) and me at 30. Photos by Eric March/Upworthy and Mary March, used with permission.

I don't have kids, but I mentor a child through a volunteer program.

Once a week, we get together and hang out for an hour. We play ping pong, do science experiments, and write songs. Neither of us like to go outside.

It's a good match.

One day, we decided to try to stump each other with riddles.

He rattled off about five or six.

I could only remember one: The one about the man, his son, and the surgeon.

Photo via iStock.

I thought it would be silly to tell it.

I was sure that, if it was easy in 1993, it would be even easier in 2014. Kind of ridiculous, even.

But a part of me was curious.

It had been 21 years — almost as long as it had been between when my dad first heard the riddle and when he shared it with me.

Maybe it wouldn't be so easy.

Maybe I was missing something obvious, making my own flawed assumptions about how a family could work.

Maybe the world had changed in ways that would be second nature to a 13-year-old but not to me.

So I began:

"A man and his son are driving in their car, when they are hit by a tractor-trailer. The father dies instantly. The son is badly injured and is rushed to the hospital by paramedics. As he is being wheeled into the operating room, the surgeon takes one look at the boy and says:

'I can't operate on him. He's my son.'

How is that possible?!"

Without missing a beat, he answered: "it's his other dad"

Photo via iStock.

Times change. Progress isn't perfect. But no matter what shape a family takes, at the end of the day, #LoveWins.


This article was written by Eric March and originally appeared on 06.21.16

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Kevin Parry / Twitter

Toronto-based animator and video wizard Kevin Parry has gone mega-viral for his mind-boggling collection of videos where he turns himself into random objects.

In a series of quick clips he changes into everything from a pumpkin to a bright yellow banana and in most of the videos, he appears to suffer a ridiculous death. The videos combine studio trickery with a magician's flair.


Parry is a self-taught stop-motion animation expert who cut his teeth working at Laika, the animation studio best known for films such as "Coraline," "ParaNorman," and "The Boxtrolls." But he's had so much success on social media he moved back to his hometown of Toronto to "do the YouTube/Instagram thing."

Parry told Newsweek that the secret to his videos is speed.

"The inspiration for these transformations was to create the shortest possible videos with the most impact," he said. "I specifically made the balloon one to be 4-5 seconds long but to be as shocking and surprising as possible. That's why it starts with me falling—I thought what could be more scroll-stopping than someone falling face-first into the floor."


This article originally appeared on 2.15.22

Pop Culture

Alan Tudyk creates Reddit account just to connect with fan who missed out on talking to him

The 'Resident Alien' star sent the sweetest message to a fan who lamented not telling him how important the show was to her.

This is how you treat a fan.

Even if you don’t typically get star struck, odds are there’s one celebrity that would send you into a nervous fit should you ever come face-to-face. Especially if that celebrity was part of a project that meant a great deal to you.

Like, how do you tell them that a movie or TV show they starred in changed your entire outlook on life in the 30 seconds that you’re probably allowed to interact with them? You can’t. So instead you say something lame alá “Gee, I’m your biggest fan,” as they politely sign some memorabilia, and then your time is up. Opportunity for connection with someone who greatly impacted your life: gone.

This is what happened when a fan of the sci-fi comedy “Resident Alien” got a chance to meet the show’s star, Alan Tudyk, at a convention.


Unfortunately, nerves got the best of her, and she “blew” her chance to share how meaningful the show has been during a particularly dark period of her life. Filled with anguish and embarrassment, she created a throwaway Reddit account just to vent about the experience.

“I went to Fan Fest Boston and met Alan on Saturday,” her post began. “I wanted to tell him that ‘Resident Alien’ was the first show that made me laugh after my husband died this winter, that it helped me to feel human again, and I wanted to thank him for that.”

via GIPHY

However, the OP was very aware of how “exhausted” Tudyk appeared, and the long lines of people still waiting to see him. Plus she knew they couldn’t say their piece “without crying.”

So instead, she “stood there awkward and stupid,” and made a joke about “Firefly,” the show that launched Tudyk’s career.

The entire debacle left the OP regretting that she never got a chance to let Tudyk know “that his work really affected someone and helped them through a hard time.”

“I know he probably wouldn’t care and he would forget by the end of the day so I’m not sure why it’s bothering me so much, but I just really wanted to say thank you.” the post concluded.

Well, through the almighty power of the internet, Tudyk found out about this post. And he responded in such a thoughtful way.

resident alien, alan tudyk

A photo of Tudyk's response

preview.redd.it

Here’s what he wrote:

“My friend sent me this. Sorry you feel like you missed your opportunity. I have read your message. I love that you have such a beautiful connection with the show. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. I’m glad you’re finding your laugh again and honored that I’m a part of that. Your story and similar stories I’ve heard are so touching. It makes me feel like my work, which I appreciate getting to do, has worth beyond the Hollywood hustle of it all and the BS business of show business.”

Tudyk even gave the OP another opportunity to meet, inviting her to come by the following day before he hopped on a plane so that he could also say “thank you in person.”

Though the OP wasn’t able to meet Tudyk that day (she explained in a follow-up post that it would be her kids’ first Father’s Day without dad, and they had to “come first”), she noted that she would return to the same convection next year, and tell it to him again—this time in person.

She also ended her heartwarming post with a very appropo “Resident Alien” quote, in which Tudyk’s non-human character Harry reflects:

“Everyone needs to belong to something bigger than themselves. Yes, there is strength in numbers, but maybe it's simpler. Maybe humans just feel better when they know they are not alone on this earth.”

Family

What to do when you're the child of an alcoholic

My dad was an addict, and growing up with him taught me a lot.

Photo with permission from writer Ashley Tieperman.

Ashley Tieperman and her father.


There was never just one moment in my family when we “found out" that my dad was an addict.

I think I always knew, but I never saw him actually drinking. Usually, he downed a fifth of vodka before he came home from work or hid tiny bottles in the garage and bathroom cabinets.


My name is Ashley, and I am the child of an addict. As a kid, I cried when our family dinner reservation shrunk from four to three after a man with glassy eyes stumbled through the door. I didn't guzzle the vodka, but I felt the heartbreak of missed birthdays. I feel like I should weigh 500 pounds from all the “I'm sorry" chocolate donuts. I had to grow up quicker, but it made me into the person I am today.

addiction, coping, 12 step programs, recovery

Me and my dad.

Photo with permission from writer Ashley Tieperman.

I spent many years shouting into journals about why this was happening to me. But this is the thing that no one will tell you about loving someone who has an addiction: it will force you to see the world through different eyes.

Here are some things I've learned:

1. When your family's yelling about burnt toast, they're probably also yelling about something else.

My family yelled about everything — and nothing — to avoid the messy stuff. We all handled my dad's addiction differently. My brother devoured sports. My mom took bubble baths. I slammed doors and slammed boyfriends for not understanding my family's secrets.

Regardless of the preferred coping mechanism, everyone feels pain differently.

2. Your "knight in shining armor" can't fix this.

Boyfriends became my great escape when I was young. But when I expected them to rescue me from the pain I grew up with, it never worked out. No matter how strapping they looked galloping in on those white horses, they couldn't save me or fix anything.

In the end, I realized that I had to find healing on my own before I could build a strong relationship.

3. “Don't tell anyone" is a normal phase.

When my dad punched holes in the wall, my mom covered them up with artwork. I wanted to rip the artwork down to expose all the holes, especially as a bratty teenager. But eventually I realized that it wasn't my choice. My parents had bills to pay and jobs to keep. I've learned it's common to cover up for dysfunction in your family, especially when it feels like the world expects perfection.

4. Friends probably won't get it, but you'll need them anyway.

Bulldozed by broken promises, I remember collapsing on a friend's couch from the crippling pain of unmet expectations. I hyperventilated. Things felt uncontrollable and hopeless. My friend rubbed my back and just listened.

These are the kinds of friends I will keep forever, the ones who crawled down into the dark places with me and didn't make me get back up until I was ready.

5. You can't fix addiction, but you can help.

When I was a teenager, I called a family meeting. I started by playing a Switchfoot song: “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?"

Let's skip to the punchline: It didn't work.

It wasn't just me. Nothing anyone did worked. My dad had to lose a lot — mostly himself — before he hit that place they call “rock bottom." And, in all honesty, I hate that label because “rock bottom" isn't just a one-and-done kind of place.

What can you do while you wait for someone to actually want to get help? Sometimes, you just wait. And you hope. And you pray. And you love. And you mostly just wait.

6. Recovery is awkward.

When a counselor gave me scripted lines to follow if my dad relapsed, I wanted to shred those “1-2-3 easy steps" into a million pieces.

For me, there was nothing easy about my dad's recovery. My whole family had to learn steps to a new dance when my dad went into recovery. The healing dance felt like shuffling and awkwardly stepping on toes. It was uncomfortable; new words, like trust and respect, take time to sink in. And that awkwardness is also OK.

7. I still can't talk about addiction in the past tense.

Nothing about an addict's life happens linearly. I learned that early on. My dad cycled through 12-step programs again and again, to the point where I just wanted to hurl whenever anyone tried to talk about it. And then we finally reached a point where it felt like recovery stuck.

But even now, I'll never say, “My dad used to deal with addiction." My whole family continues to wrestle with the highs and lows of life with an addict every single day.

8. Happy hours and wedding receptions aren't easy to attend.

My family will also probably never clink glasses of red wine or stock the fridge full of beer. I'm convinced happy hours and wedding receptions will get easier, but they might not. People get offended when my dad orders a Diet Coke instead of their fine whisky.

Plus, there's the paranoia factor. Surrounded by flowing liquor, I hate watching my dad crawl out of his skin, tempted to look “normal" and tackle small talk with people we barely know. I've learned that this fear will probably last for a while, and it's because I care.

9. If you close your eyes, the world doesn't just “get prettier."

With constant fear of the unknown, sometimes our world is not a pretty place. I remember watching the breaking news on 9/11 and feeling the terror of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers as if I was there.

My dad numbed the anxiety of these dark days with vodka, but this didn't paint a prettier world for him when he woke up the next day. I've dealt with the fear of the unknown with the help of boys, booze, and bad dancing on pool tables. Life hurts for everyone, and I think we all have to decide how we're going to handle the darkness.

10. Rip off the sign on your back that reads: “KICK ME. MY LIFE SUCKS."

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I see only my broken journey. In some twisted way, I'm comforted by the dysfunction because it's kept me company for so long. It's easy to let the shadow of my family's past follow me around and choose to drown in the darkness.

But every day, I'm learning to turn on the light. I have to write the next chapter in my recovery story, but I can't climb that mountain with all this crap weighing me down.

11. It's OK to forgive, too.

Some people have given me sucky advice about how I should write an anthem on daddy bashing, or how to hit the delete button on the things that shaped my story.

Instead, my dad and I are both learning to celebrate the little things, like the day that he could change my flat tire. On that day, I didn't have to wonder if he was too drunk to come help me.

I can't forget all the dark nights of my childhood.

But I've learned that for my own well-being, I can't harbor bitterness until I explode.

Instead, I can love my dad, day by day, and learn to trust in the New Dad — the one with clearer eyes and a full heart. The one who rescues me when I call.


This article was written by Ashley Tieperman and originally appeared on 04.27.16


If you just got married, chances are lots of people think they know what your life is like.

These people are totally well-meaning! And also, mostly wrong.

Being married isn't exactly like it used to be. Which is great, as there are so many different, amazing ways to be newlyweds than ever before. But it's also occasionally frustrating, as we newlyweds are frequently forced to dispel a lot of myths about our relationships.

So let's get them out of the way in one fell swoop.

Here are the most common (but mistaken) assumptions strangers make when you're a newlywed couple, and what our lives are really like.


Assumption #1: We went on our honeymoon already, and we left right after the wedding.

Just like we imagined it. Because we did imagine it.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: In our dreams, we definitely did — and we had a great time!

In real life, however, most of us can't just take a week (or more) off work at will. The office is hella busy, and on top of that, we live in the only wealthy country in the world that doesn't mandate any paid vacation. Many of us were barely able to get the day of our actual wedding off (ultimately, we compromised with our manager and took a half-day).

We're planning to get to it ... eventually. But it might be a while. We promise we'll send pictures!

Assumption #2: We're going to have babies ASAP.

Yay?

Photo via iStock.

Reality: We love being married! But, you know, we actually haven't decided? About babies? We're just enjoying being married right now. But we'll let you know when it happens. We promise.

Assumption #3: We're going to move out of "the city" one day.

So many cheap noodles, so little time.

Photo by Anthony Quintano/Flickr.

Reality: It makes sense to assume that, like so many newly married couples in generations past, we're already planning our escape from our local metropolis to a less population-dense area TBD. But many of us who live in the city really, really like it! The city is great. There are good schools here. We can get nachos delivered at 3 a.m.! From either the good nacho place or the OK-but-cheap nacho place.

Sure, some of us are planning to one day move to the 'burbs for more space (and many already are), but many of us aren't. And still others of us who already live in the suburbs are making the suburbs more like the city.

Having a yard is really nice, but so is not having car insurance payments.

Assumption #4: We feel superior to our second-cousin Frieda whose boyfriend of 19 years still hasn't proposed.

Look! They seem happy!

Photo via iStock.

Reality: Even though we're feeling pretty good about being married, Frieda and Richard are adults and get to make their own decisions — no matter what Aunt Cindy thinks. Maybe they have financial reasons. Maybe they decided a long time ago they don't want to be married. Maybe they believe marriage is an oppressive, archaic, patriarchal institution that they don't want to participate in, and also they're vegan now.

In any case, leave Frieda and Richard alone.

Assumption #5: We're going to have babies soonish.

Aw?

Photo via iStock.

Reality: So, yeah. Like I said. Really haven't decided about babies. Keeping our options open. But probably not soon? You know?

Assumption #6: One of us changed our last name.

Uncanny, really.

Image by Mary Rose Pickett/Sketchport.


Reality: There's totally nothing wrong with couples who decide that one partner will take the other's last name, of course. But not all of us do. At least 1 in every 5 women decide to keep their maiden names, according to a New York Times survey. And if you haven't taken your partner's last name, it's kind of frustrating to constantly hear yourself referred to as Mr./Mrs. Someone Else (for opposite-gender couples, this pretty much applies exclusively to women).

If you're not sure what last name to use, just ask! We'll tell you what the deal is.

Assumption #7: We're having Guinness Book of World Records amounts of sex.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: For those of us who waited to have sex until marriage — which is, of course, totally cool — you might need a supercomputer to tabulate. But lots of us have been together for a long time already and may even have been living together already, so we're probably having whatever amount of sex is normal for us. It's just a regular part of our lives that throwing a wedding doesn't really have a magical impact on.

After many years in a relationship, most of us take "Netflix and chill" quite literally. And seriously.

Assumption #8: We've finished all our thank-you notes.

It. Just. Doesn't. Get. Easier.

Photo by happy_serendipity/Flickr.

Reality: Never. We'll be writing these until the end of time.

Assumption #9: Hanging out with one of us means hanging out with both of us.

You will listen to us talk about our trip to Block Island and you will enjoy it.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: We're still different people. Each of us is a self-sufficient being with free will. And we're probably totally down to hang out with you, even if our spouse isn't available.

Except you, Greg. We're totally avoiding you.

Assumption #10: We're going to have babies ever.

Bujjy bujjy boo?

Photo via iStock.

Reality: So um, like I said, there's actually a chance we might never have babies? We might decide we don't want them after all. We might find out we can't — in which case, these questions might become extremely invasive and painful. We might adopt a child ... who's not a baby. We haven't figured it out yet.

At the end of the day, It's kinda up to us, you know?

Assumption #11: We never use the garlic press you got us.

Such a great gift.

Photo by Lee Kindness/Wikimedia Commons.

Reality: We use it all the time! Thank you so much!

Assumption #12: One of us is going to stay home and take care of the house from here on in.

We will still make the hell out of some lemonade, though.

Photo via iStock.


Reality: Some of us might want to be a housewife or husband. Others of us shudder at the thought of giving up our careers, or urging our spouse to give up theirs. Still others of us might want to, but might not be able to forfeit the second income. There's really no right — or standard — way to do it anymore.

Assumption #13: We both have all the same likes, dislikes, preferences, outlooks, and opinions now.

Missy and I have been getting really into '80s ice dancing.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: My wife will never convince me to like jazz. And I will probably never convince her to like "Captain Phillips" fan fiction. And you know what? We're OK with that.

For the things that matter, we're committed to presenting a united front. But we're still individuals with different thoughts, feelings, and opinions about what Tom Hanks was up to two weeks before the Somali pirates attacked, 'cause honestly, that's where the real drama of the story probably is.

Assumption #14: We wear wedding rings.

Help. Someone glued our hands together. Please call the cops.

Photo by TanyaVdB/Pixabay.

Reality: Some of us like wearing a physical symbol of our connection and duty to our spouse. Some of us don't as much. So we don't wear them. But don't worry! We're still extreme double married 5000.

Assumption #15: Making us a pink cake that says "baby" on it is going to change our mind about babies.

Mmmmmmmm. Nope.

Photo by Frosted with Emotion/Flickr.

Reality: It won't. But we will definitely eat that cake.

Assumption #16: Our lives are a lot different now.

Married or not, we still have three more seasons of "Justified" to get through.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: Beginning roughly seven seconds after we say, "I do," lots and lots and lots of well-intentioned people ask: "How does it feel?!" seemingly expecting to hear: "So much has changed! We got matching ponies! Being married really is a whole new world!" It feels like we're disappointing them when we answer, "Pretty much the way we did the day before the wedding." Which is silly, since there's no shame in that.

For some couples, life is a lot different after marriage, and that's great. But if stuff is kinda sorta the same, that's OK too! Life was great before. That's why we decided to get married.

Assumption #17: If we're not going to lay out a precise plan for having babies, at least we'll probably get a pet.

Blah.

Photo by Madalena Provo, used with permission.


Reality: OK. This one is true.


This article originally appeared on 11.06.15