Walking into the entrance feels like we are going back in time to Italy, but with a modern, almost Brooklynesque edge. There are fantastic cocktails and unusual cheeses from around the world. The menu is robust and full of delicious offerings. Some with meat, some with light fare and all with unusual cheeses. It far exceeded all our expectations for what a wine & cheese bar should be (in any country and in any place in the world).
No matter what, I can know anything within an hour through the Ruby Express.
My cousin Ali is my confidant. She understands the unique nature of our family and at the same time as she is negotiating life as a new mother. We have grown up together, but apart in distance – She in Berkeley, CA and me somewhere in the Midwest or East Coast. We shared many irregular visits over the years whether in Florida or California, but with our slight age difference we had little ‘friend’ connection until we grew up.
Like my Aunt Beth, I am very close to Ali’s mom Aunt Gloria (i.e. Auntie Glo-Bug). She is my resource for all life’s challenges, psychological concerns, etc. She is very trusted and her relationship with Ali is very close. She has become the most amazing grandmother and is made for the role.
Within our family, we have a hierarchy by age. It is pretty normal for a Jewish family. When something happens, an hour later EVERYONE knows about it. Ali once coined it the “Ruby Express.” Ruby was my grandfather’s last name and all our mother’s maiden names and there is a certain way that Ruby-girl acts. They have this fire under their ass for ambition an is full of nervous energy. But they have the kindest, most generous hearts. They all have prematurely gray hair (now white) and overwhelmingly warm smiles with kind eyes. They are the best example of the quintessential Jewish matriarchal family.
There is some hardship to being a Ruby Girl; darkness within that nervous ambition which promotes direct conflict between what you want and what you are supposed to do.
“…[our] family creates narratives to some degree, but we aren’t just stories, we are all actually profound set of experiences that are constantly moving, evolving, growing, changing. one minute we are something and the next something else.” Ali wrote this to me recently. It is one of the most poignant statements anyone has ever said about our family, in defense to our generation’s inability for autonomy.
Babies have changed the Ruby Girls and the above statement applies less. In some ways, Ali and I are now released from the high-pressure obligations that have been set on us since birth and our mothers have found new roles. We have provided additional ‘train cars’ to the Ruby Girl Express; two little perfect girls, with fresh and virgin hearts, capable of absolutely anything, who will evolve into their own people, with the support, love, and care of shiny and bright Ruby’s.