Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader of the Week: Meet va-in-ny

There was such an overwhelming response when I asked readers to introduce themselves on a weekend open thread that I decided to give you all a weekly column to do just that. I’ve always said this site wouldn’t be what it is without the engagement and participation of its readers and this column is the place to learn more about who you are what makes you tick. After the jump, let’s meet va-in-ny.


1. What’s your name, age and whereabouts?

Hey there! I’m Virginia (va-in-ny on DW). I live in Manhattan and I’m certain you can all figure out my DW user name now! Since I am originally from North Carolina, people used to joke that I’m Virginia, living in New York, by way of North Carolina. Hence, VA in NY was born! I’m 25 years old.

2. What’s your relationship status?

Happily in a relationship! We’re going strong on two years! And, believe it or not, we’re still in that silly ‘gooey-love’ stage. I’m sure it annoys people.

Not an easy road though, (it never is, is it?) as before him, I ended a 4-year relationship about 10 days before my ex and I were supposed to get married. I still have some PTSD flare-ups at times.

3. How do you spend your weekdays?

I work for a company that manufactures recording studio equipment. Basically, I make sure every department is running smoothly and has everything they need to keep it going!

4. How do you spend your free time?

Honestly, I watch a lot of previously recorded TV, yell at my kitten (did you know those things don’t sleep, like, ever?!), pick up things that the kitten has knocked over, and spend time with the manfriend. I go to the gym a lot (trying to lose that last little bit!) and I’m always looking for free (or cheap) things to do in NYC. I love to cook and to bake things, even though my coworkers are starting to put a cap on the amount of baked goods I can bring into the office. Apparently, I’m making all the men in the office buy larger pants!

5. What are your top likes and dislikes:

Likes: Brunch, Zoos and Aquariums, Pretending I’m super rich and “shopping” online, hanging out with my family, cruises, Bloody Mary’s, GChat, fall weather (not the rainy kind), babies, weddings, parties, and dreaming about decorating some really fantastic home someday.

Dislikes: Mustard, heavy breathers on the subway (I should never be able to feel your breath coming out of your nose or mouth), when they edit musicals for TV and take out parts of songs, being barefoot on a dirty floor, North-South ignorance (and generally any idea that a person is a certain way just because of where they are from), bed bugs, and the E train.

6. What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever been given?

I read something once about a mythology belief that humans once roamed the earth as two beings; one unit sharing four legs, four arms, and one head with two faces. Because of this, humans were blissfully happy but it worried the Gods, who feared losing their power (I might be wrong with some of this stuff since it’s coming from memory). So, Zeus split them in half, giving each two legs, two arms, and one face, then condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them. When I thought about this idea, it helped me in the dating realm by allowing me to not get discouraged about a ‘half’ that didn’t fit. So, if a guy blew me off or stood me up, or broke my heart, I knew that it would all be okay because they weren’t my “other half” anyway. We’re all intricate puzzle pieces, some pieces fit with us, some don’t.

7. What’s the best relationship lesson you’ve ever learned?

Not all guys are bad. In seriousness, I am still learning this. Just because I was deeply hurt by a boy (yeah, he deserves “boy” in this case) in my past doesn’t mean that every man will treat me poorly. There ARE good men out there. Sometimes we have to be told over and over and over again before we truly believe it. But, I know that now, I have one of those good men. And even though I doubt him sometimes (because of my own insecurities, not by anything he has done) I still have learned that you can’t compare all men to the one man that didn’t treat you well.

8. Besides DearWendy.com, what are some of your favorite websites?

I’m really into fashion blogs, interior design websites, weight loss and pregnancy blogs these days (I know, being nowhere near baby-ready, that is so weird, right?) and basically anything that makes me laugh. Some good ones:






I’ve decided to run a marathon next year (I’m obviously insane) so any blog or website out there that talks about a non-athlete completing a marathon (or any other ridiculous distance event) I jump all over.

And, if any of you would like to know what goes on in my world, visit me over at va-in-ny.blogspot.com.

*If you’d like to be a Reader of the Week, shoot me an email at [email protected] with “Reader of the Week” in the subject line and I’ll send you some questions to answer.

52 comments… add one
  • Avatar photo

    Lianne January 10, 2012, 12:20 pm

    Nice to meet ya!!

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 12:51 pm

      Thanks! Glad to be here!

      Reply Link
  • Christy January 10, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Like in Hedwig and the Angry Inch! “The Origin of Love”

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 12:51 pm

      Oh wow! YES! I have never heard that… amazing!

      Reply Link
    • Avatar photo

      C-liz January 10, 2012, 3:38 pm

      That’s exactly what I was thinking!!

      Reply Link
  • callmehobo January 10, 2012, 12:45 pm

    It’s so good to meet you! Also, your picture is absolutely adorable.

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 12:52 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

      Reply Link
  • Avatar photo

    FireStar January 10, 2012, 12:50 pm

    Nice to meet you! I wish some of my girlfriends would embrace the concept that the early stages of dating aren’t personal and someone not being interested in you that early on really has nothing to do with you.

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 12:55 pm

      I have a friend right now that cannot grasp that concept, as hard as I try to get it across to her. She is totally hung up on this guy that simply does not want to be with her and she keeps saying how much she’s willing to do (and change !!!redflag!!!) to make him see that she’s the one.

      ::sigh:: I guess we all learn one way or another, but I wish I could save her from all the personally inflicted pain.

      Reply Link
      • Avatar photo

        FireStar January 10, 2012, 12:59 pm

        I know what you mean – I have a girlfriend that all but plans the wedding by the second date and then gets upset at the guy if he doesn’t act in the way she expects. It’s sad to see her sabotage herself repeatedly but some people have to learn things the hard way. Hopefully.

  • GatorGirl January 10, 2012, 12:50 pm

    Nice to meet you Virginia, you sound like the sweetest girl! I’m a northerner in the south (from PA but lived NC for 5 years and now FL) and I totally agree with your North-South ignorance dislike!

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 1:26 pm

      Thank you! I can’t comprehend people being so ignorant about things like that – didn’t people study history? Weren’t they told that things like slavery were abolished?

      I went on several dates when I first moved here and had people take me to BBQ restaurants, like I was unable to feed myself without you telling me where to get all of the southern food!

      Reply Link
      • GatorGirl January 10, 2012, 1:40 pm

        People assume I have no manners and can’t cook!

        Also good luck with your half marathon! I actually made the same resolution this year- day 1 of running was yesterday.

      • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 2:33 pm

        That’s great! I kind of wish someone had told me how hard running can be, because I felt like a real fool when I struggled with it in the beginning. But, I will say this… it does get easier! Slowly, for me, but it is getting easier!

        Good luck!

      • amber January 10, 2012, 1:45 pm

        It’s funny you mentioned this. I moved to SC from VA about 6 months ago. I never really thought about how ‘southern’ I was until I moved down here and was promptly told by many that VA is not really the south and I’m not Southern enough. Who knew! People really are funny/bordering on ridiculous about the whole North/South thing.

      • GatorGirl January 10, 2012, 2:00 pm

        Virginia is totally in the South! It’s below the Mason-Dixon line! But I’m from the North so I see it differently. My BF’s family (who is from SC) likes to make jokes about me being a Yankee.

      • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 2:33 pm

        I agree! I lived for a few years in Southwestern Virginia – DEFINITELY SOUTHERN!

      • SpaceySteph January 10, 2012, 5:01 pm

        Haha I will never forget this story: I grew up in a small Florida town called Plantation. A girl saw me addressing a letter home at summer camp and said “You live on a plantation? Do you still have slaves?”
        Um, no, what do you think we do down there?

    • savannah January 10, 2012, 1:52 pm

      This is funny because living near the canadian border, I always tell my friends from Philly that they live in the lite south.

      Reply Link
      • GatorGirl January 10, 2012, 1:59 pm

        That’s really funny. I’m actually from the greater Philadelphia area and would have to respectfully disagree. After having been in the South for so long, when I go back to Philly I’m startled by how fast the pace of life is and how rude people can be. People don’t even say thank you when you hold the door for them at the store!

      • bethany January 10, 2012, 3:25 pm

        I work in Philly, and live in the ‘burbs- I can tell you that people dont’ even LOOK at you when you hold the door open for them!!

    • Painted_lady January 10, 2012, 2:40 pm

      Big fat yes to this – a friend of mine assistant directed a production where the director and the bulk of the cast were coming directly from the Off-Broadway run. A week into rehearsals, the cast was going for drinks, and he said he couldn’t go because he was meeting me for yoga. The director’s jaw dropped and she asked, “You have YOGA in Houston?!?!”

      I have another friend who splits her time between Houston and New York, and when she gets to New York after long stretches in Houston, everyone immediately wants to take her out for ethnic food because she’s been subsisting on barbecue and Tex-Mex.

      Reply Link
      • Jane January 10, 2012, 9:58 pm

        I have to say though… Houston has some kick-ass Tex-Mex. But we also have a TON of ethnic restaurants. People don’t realize that it’s really a very international city.

  • cookiesandcream January 10, 2012, 12:51 pm

    It’s nice to meet you! I like what you’re wearing in your picture! I’ve always been jealous of people who can pull off orange!

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 1:28 pm

      Thank you! And, funny you mention that shirt! That was actually a brunching event that required you to wear something orange. Turns out, I owned absolutely NOTHING orange. So, I had to go out and search for an orange shirt – though, I’m glad I was forced to, I would have never picked orange without that necessity!

      Reply Link
  • ForeverYoung January 10, 2012, 1:05 pm

    I am kind of obsessed with parenting blogs, blogs that talk about divorce (which is kinda creepy since i’m super happily married and in the honeymoon phase of a year and a half), and working mom blogs. I don’t even ever plan on having kids, but for some reason reading about the positives and negatives of other people’s decisions is fascinating to me.

    Also you should indulge me and explain how/why you decided to call off the wedding.

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 2:31 pm

      Seems to be a popular question – answered below 🙂

      Reply Link
  • Avatar photo

    MELH January 10, 2012, 1:21 pm

    I love Suri’s burn book! Hilarious

    Reply Link
  • AKchic January 10, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Nice ta meetcha 🙂

    Reply Link
  • TheOtherMe January 10, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Hiiiiiii so nice to meet you, you are lovely !!

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 7:36 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply Link
  • Taylor January 10, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Nice to meet you! The split bodies thing is Plato – I first heard it in the Butcher’s Wife =)

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Ah yes! Thank you! I realized after I sent this in that I heard it from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Committed”

      Reply Link
  • Avatar photo

    mandalee January 10, 2012, 2:05 pm

    Nice to meet you!! When I lived in Jamaica Queens, loathed the E train too. I’m so glad someone else shares my dislike! I was one of the farthest stops from Manhattan and it always took forever, or was under delay, or just generally shitty.

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 2:47 pm

      ALWAYS delayed. And, when I first moved to NY, I thought taking the E to Sutphin Blvd. and the AirTrain was the only way to get to the airport – it always took me AT LEAST 2 hours. ughhh….

      Reply Link
  • Addie Pray January 10, 2012, 2:06 pm

    I’m so glad you’re featured! Funny, I don’t think I ever looked closely that your DW name is va-in-ny — because every time I see your posts I say your name in my head as “va-ninny.” Some follow up questions: How/why did you leave your ex just days before the wedding? I bet there’s a good story. Maybe some day you can share? (Sorry, it’s easy for me to be nosy online.) Do you ever have the occasion to meet famous musicians through your job? That would be so cool. I’m a celebrity whore, you see. Third, marthons – I’ve done three! The first time I followed Hal Higdon’s training guide to a T; I didn’t waiver at all, and that marathon was my best experience. I started off strong and ended stronger. So would definitely recommend looking into Hal’s — http://www.halhigdon.com/. Good luck!

    Reply Link
    • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 2:45 pm

      Wow! Thanks!!

      There was one column that was about sex or something, and people thought my name was vaginanny, so I guess it’s all in context! haha!

      Oh, the famous people! I have the worst ability to run into famous people in the most awkward ways! For example, I ran into Busta Rhymes when he was waiting for the elevator, and when he didn’t step to the side to let me out, I weaseled around him having to go in one arm first, with the other behind me and since he’s so big, I was right up under his armpit basically giving him a no-touch hug. But, HE NEVER MOVED! So weird.. I’ve also run smack into Lea Michelle as she was skipping down the sidewalk, and I’ve had to tell Jada Pinkett Smith and CeeLo Green how to get to the 5th floor in the elevator (the floor is locked). Pharell chatted me up in the elevator once and I had no idea who he was until a coworker told me! My coworkers get to meet a lot more musicians than I do though.. 🙁

      Three marathons??? Wow, that’s impressive! I’ll definitely check out Hal’s training guides, I’m scheduled to run my first half in April – so hopefully that will help, since I am currently terrified!
      What marathons have you run?

      Reply Link
      • Addie Pray January 10, 2012, 3:14 pm

        Oh man, I could never live and work where you do — I’d piss my pants each time I even awkwardly ran into someone!

        I did Chicago in 2004, New York in 2005, and San Diego in 2006. Chicago (super flat!) was the best. A cool, crisp fall morning, and I was well prepared. I started out running an 11 minute mile but finished at a 10 minute mile pace. I ended finishing at 4.5 hours, which far exceeded my goal, so I was pleased.

        New York was funny because I got hit on around mile marker 10 (or was it 18? I don’t remember). I was in the Bronx and a guy ran up along side me and started chit chatting. I finally had to say, look, I’m running a marathon, I can’t chat. Ah, New York knows how to make you feel loved. The problem with New York was we ended in central park and it was like an additional gazillion miles to get OUT of the park.

        San Diego sucked monkey balls because it was in the summer time, on a very hot and humid day, on roads without shade, and I had cramps from hell. I pleaded for advil at every medical stations, but they put marks on my legs to show that I had already had the maximum allowed. Mother fuckers! My brother was supposed to run it with me but his dip-shit wife complained that he works so much and now that he has one free morning he chooses to go running with me. Nevermind that I flew in for the occasion, bitch! My pussy-whipped brother stayed home and sipped tea with his wifey poo while I tried my damnest to score some drugs on the hot pavement in San Diego.

        Wow, what a potty mouth I have today.

      • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 3:36 pm

        I LOVE reading about people’s marathon experiences! How funny about the NY marathon! I was running once with some friends (who are avid runners) and when one friend asked me some questions, I had to be like “don’t talk to me. I can’t run and talk” because I simply CANNOT run and talk. (It’s not an out of breath thing, more of a “if I open my mouth, I will fall down” weird thing)

        I stood right before mile 24 in the park to watch this past year’s marathon and cheer on the runners and SO MANY people were like “how much further to 24???” I think at that point, they’re just dying to finish!

        That sucks about your brother not particpating. Was he at all disappointed in his decision?

      • Jane January 10, 2012, 10:01 pm

        Good for you on training for your first half marathon! I did my first half last year and became totally hooked, and now I’m doing my first marathon on SUNDAY! You’re going to love it. I became engrossed with several running blogs (of people I don’t know), and it’s really cool to see them progress from non-runners to Boston qualifiers. If you want some suggestions, I’ll send you the links! Oh, and shameless plug: Houston has a great crowd-supported, well-organized, flat marathon 🙂

      • va-in-ny January 11, 2012, 7:06 am

        Yes! Please send links! I love reading about people’s journeys! Thank you!

      • Addie Pray January 11, 2012, 11:14 am

        Yes, I want to read them too, Jane!

        va-in-ny, in full disclosure I should also mention that I have had 3 open-knee surgeries — yes, my knee is really sexy — and now I’m dunzo on the running. So please don’t overdo it and listen to your body!

  • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 2:27 pm

    Since there are some questions, I’ll answer the marriage thing in a single comment – feel free to ask questions, as I like to use my situation to help others in any way I can 🙂

    We were dating for 4ish years, engaged for (what would be) 2 and planning the wedding, which would take place right after I graduated from college**Young and stupid? Probably** (He was military) – Because we were essentially a long distance relationship, I was doing most of the wedding planning at home while he worked a couple hours away.

    The morning after my bridesmaid’s luncheon, he called (6:00am) and said “I can’t do it”. He was vague about the details, pausing while brushing his teeth, just saying that he couldn’t get married. I told him that I refused to cancel a wedding 10 days before it was to happen without having a face to face conversation about it (he resisted, but I went anyway). When I drove up there, I asked him two questions: “Do you want to get married?” (Ans: No) “Do you want to continue this relationship?” (Ans: No), so I walked away knowing already that I would never, ever try to convince a guy to be with me.

    Two days later, he told me how badly he screwed up and that he really did want to marry me, but at that point, I already knew that I could not listen to the vows that had been prepared and really believe them. Either way, the wedding had to be called off (or at least moved) while we figured out where our relationship would go from there.

    Clearly, I was hurt, and needed some time to figure out what I wanted, so I removed myself from the situation to get some clarity. I took my “honeymoon” in Florida with some family all while he called non-stop, harassing me and my family/friends. The erratic behavior continued for several months and I realized that he was not someone I wanted to spend my time with. (He did things like ransack my house looking for the rings, always wanted to meet at night in empty parking lots, he raised his hand to hit me ONCE, etc.) As time went on, I told him I needed space and that while I didn’t know if we would be together in the future, I needed to be alone for a little while.

    Aside: In his head, not getting married was my doing – and if I had only not cancelled everything, we would have been happily married.

    Three months later (after moving to New York) a friend of mine called to find out how things were going with me and mentioned that she saw a marriage announcement in our hometown paper. He had married a girl who was also in the military and upon my questioning, said that I had hurt him so badly that he ran to the first girl that would let him in and married her straight away. As it turns out, the two had been dating for almost 3 years and had been engaged for an entire year before they were married. (3 months after we weren’t). So, I dodged a bullet. A HUGE BULLET. She was pregnant like 2 days after they married and now lives mostly alone (military and all) with the baby in Washington. I don’t really know much about their relationship, but I did feel the need to inform her about what happened with us (she thought we had broken up years prior) just to give her the only thing I wanted in the situation: the truth.

    So there you have it! After everything from preparing to wed all the way to restraining orders, I can look by and be glad about what happened, because it brought me to where I am today 🙂

    Reply Link
    • Painted_lady January 10, 2012, 2:46 pm

      Wow. Can you talk some sense into my former roommate? You were unbelievably smart about where you drew the line. So many people would have been willing to take him back when he changed his mind the first time.

      Reply Link
      • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 2:51 pm

        What’s really crazy is that a lot of people were shocked that I didn’t take him back. The woman that cuts my mom’s hair said “I thought she would have taken him back by now!” even after all of the nonsense! Why is it that the women are supposed to conform and adjust to the situation and men can act however they want?

      • ForeverYoung January 10, 2012, 3:47 pm

        I have no idea!! I think some women have seen too many romantic comedies where fate and their undying love just brings them back together – but in real life stuff like that isn’t romantic. If he leaves you 10 days before the wedding it shouldn’t make you cling harder, you should find someone who would never leave you.

      • va-in-ny January 10, 2012, 3:55 pm

        Not to mention all of this was happening RIGHT when the first Sex and the City movie came out.. and since Carrie and Big got back together, I should take him back too, right?? Lame.

    • Avatar photo

      Skyblossom January 10, 2012, 3:26 pm

      I’m glad you can see the positive in ending that relationship! I can’t imagine how awful it must be for his wife, because in this situation the woman who got the man was the real loser.

      Reply Link
    • Avatar photo

      TaraMonster January 10, 2012, 3:45 pm

      Holy crazy in a handbag! I admire you for being so strong, to say the very least.

      And as a fellow NYer, I can also attest to the evil that is the E train. My boyfriend’s father lives in Jamaica, and I loathe that long ass train ride to Queens.

      Reply Link
    • Avatar photo

      katie January 10, 2012, 8:52 pm

      that is a crazy story! but good for you for sticking to your guns! i can imagine that canceling a wedding would be terrible, but 10 days before would be even worse! dang.

      also, i always think of vagina when i see your name. and then i re-read it and figure out what it says. and now ill actually know what it means, so i probably wont think vagina anymore (maybe).

      Reply Link
      • va-in-ny January 11, 2012, 10:52 am

        In reality, it is surprisingly easy to cancel a wedding. My mother took on the role of “Wedding CEO” and made sure everything was taken care of. We lost some money, but it only took about 30 minutes to cancel everything.

  • Anna January 11, 2012, 2:32 am

    Nice to meet you Virginia! I also love cooking and baking, and my coworkers always get the excess of my baking sprees. I haven’t heard any complaints though! It’s better than leaving cupcakes or cookies home for my diabetic boyfriend to eat!

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment