When Everyone's Invited: A Guest Post by Hal

The following post was written by my husband, Hal who several weeks ago, offered to share what it has felt like to be shared in this space for eight (+) years. It was my intention to publish this last night as a sort of finale to a year that has been as incredible as it's been challenging but then I got really drunk on cheese and truffle honey and this amazing soup I drank instead of champagne and said, "fuck it! I haven't posted anything in a week, what's another day!?" 

Anyway, thank you Hal, for writing this post. I love you. 
“This is definitely the wrong place. I don’t see anyone – nobody’s here,” my mother-in-law says, as we pull into a mostly-empty beach parking lot.

“Do you have the invitation?” Larry asks.

“No, but this is where it said to meet.”

As we drive to the furthest corner of asphalt, past the remaining stragglers squeezing the last moments of daylight from an exhausted shoreline, we suddenly see someone we know. A sense of relief sweeps over us, but I still feel like I have no idea where I’m going.

I was confused by the idea of a “formal” beach wedding. Maybe I read the invite wrong and it said “bathing” suit, but from the moment I checked “yes, will attend,” I resigned myself to the fact that there would be at least one or more awkward misunderstandings of surfside etiquette. Whenever I’m in Bec’s hometown, I feel like a permanent alien who has been granted legal status but will never fit in, no matter how well I learn to speak the language. And this feeling isn’t solely reserved for the streets where she used to walk home from school. 

As we mill about on the edge of the lot, a white limousine pulls up to the curb. The door swings open, and out pops the groom sporting a sizeable beard, matched in conventional unconventionality by his waist-long dreadlocks. Someone asks “no tie?” and he responds with “it’s a beach wedding, bro.”

His reply is already lost in the rolling tide as I sprint back to the car, trying in vain to loosen the knot around my neck. 


Upon first learning of Bec’s intention to abandon her old blog in favor of a shiny new one (almost eight years ago), it made complete sense to me, as her being a “single girl in the city” was now a thing of the past. What I failed to recognize was that I, too, would have a role in her virtual pages, that I would be playing the part of “husband/father”. Not that I’m a private person per se, but the idea of my personal narrative functioning as a subplot in somebody else’s story? The whole thing seemed, like, so totally bogus. Dude.

As Bec became less encumbered with keeping a lid on who we really were, every post became that much more nerve-wracking. At first, I was a heavy self-editor.  “That picture is THE WORST,” I’d say, as if I was a model and the mere presence of an unsavory angle would cause me to lose out on an important editorial spread.  I thought if I could control the process, I could at the very least soften the blow of intimate details being strewn about. But when all of you started actually responding to her words, an even bigger fear took hold: because this wasn’t my story, I really didn’t have any control – and if I couldn’t control what was being put out there, how could I trust it?


The late afternoon sun hangs in the air as if it was being held on a string, the yo-yo taut before dipping below the horizon. 

“It’s so beautiful right now,” Bec says, and she’s right.

Yet, there are a number of strangers distracting me from the occasion. The surfers. The teenagers poking at the reef. The runner zigzagging his way through the crowd. By the time we reach the benches in the sand, it becomes abundantly clear that I will be hearing very little if any of the actual ceremony. My “formal” invite was suddenly on par with everyone else’s, invited or not. How could this be? I thought this was an exclusive affair, meant for the people that were specifically asked to be here! But, as the bride makes her way down the imaginary aisle, the strangers suddenly don’t seem so strange.

After vows are exchanged and promises are made, the newly-minted couple walks beyond the makeshift altar to the procession further down the beach.

And it’s at this precise moment that I realize my being here is just as random, just as preordained – that however we arrived, we are all here to witness, relate, and above all, to experience the moment together.

And that’s how I’ve come to terms with this blog. That I’m part of your moments, moments that you contextualize in ways I’ll never know. That our private family matters made public, in a world where the very definition of privacy is blurry at best, is now just an unlocked door that can be opened, if one feels like doing so. 

Someone once told me “the best way to keep a secret is to tell everyone.” But, for me, it’s not about keeping “secrets” – it’s about sharing them. And my fear of trusting this story is the same fear many people face in a marriage -- the ability to relinquish control and take a seat. The Real World: My House – what happens when two strangers stop being polite, and start being a “real” family?

Nothing really. Or maybe everything. Whatever it is, I’m just grateful you're a part of this. We wouldn't be the same without you. 

Happy New Year everyone. Thank you for being a part of our family in 2012. We wish you nothing but love, light and open doors in 2013. xo, Rebecca, Hal, Archer, Fable, Boheme & Reverie


glenda | 2:20 AM

Wow! Hal has a way with his words & writing. Beautiful post!

Anonymous | 2:58 AM

That's lovely, thanks!
Have a great year, all of you.

Anonymous | 3:08 AM


Michelle | 5:38 AM

Beautiful. Just wonderful, both of you.

S | 8:14 AM

I think the angles in that photo at the end are all perfect. Thanks for sharing your family with us, too, Rebecca & Hal.

Kaylie | 8:19 AM

Wonderfully written! Thanks for writing Hal!

Trina | 12:14 AM

First time to your blog but definitely coming back! So nicely written by Hal.

amyhv | 4:39 PM

Such a perfect way to explain your acceptance and appreciation for your role in this story of your family (the story that I look forward to reading each evening)! Thank you. A happy and healthy 2013 to all of you.

Sarahtk | 5:18 AM

I'm totally blown away by this writing. What a gorgeous, articulate way to voice the apprehension, insecurity, and finally, acceptance of being cast in this blog. I've always wondered about your story, Hal. So great to hear your voice. Amazing post.