In an effort to inject a little fun into a stressful basketball season, we’re kicking off a new weekly series called The OhVarsity! Roundup. Here’s the premise: All three members of OhVarsity! get a maximum of 500 words to talk about whatever they want, regardless of its relevance to UC. Simple enough?
So, I’m planning this wedding and honeymoon. It’s a lot to wrangle. When you get engaged, you don’t get to ride off into the sunset. I guess I should’ve know this, but it’s still a harsh reality. You sit down and make roughly infinity difficult, expensive decisions before you’re able to actually get married—the thing you’re doing this for in the first place.
Weddings are crazy and there’s virtually no way to make them cheap while still resembling a wedding in any fashion. My fiancée and I are both pretty low-key, so we’re looking to do something simple for about 100 people. I’ll spend the money because it’s worth it, but buddy, there is a hard floor on how much money has to be spent in order to make this happen. Stop and realize that every “stereotypical” wedding you’ve been to cost at least as much as a new car. It’s bad, to me.
The honeymoon is a different kind of pressure. Planning a vacation is a rich person problem, but the honeymoon specifically has the added pressure of being something that has to go perfectly, especially considering the next time I’ll be able to afford to do this will be during the Winfrey administration. There’s a need for perfection. What’s baffling then, to me, is that some of these resorts add further choices on top of you. Folks, don’t ask me what I want. Tell me what I want. We found a resort that had a pillow menu. Do you think I’m ready for that kind of a decision on my honeymoon? Are you really trying to ruin the most special vacation of my life by forcing me to choose between six luxury pillow styles?? Preposterous.
The other thing that’s funny is that me—an infamous thousandaire—is suddenly the snobbiest man alive while honeymoon planning. If the transmission goes out in my car, I’ll be living under a bridge by Valentine’s Day. Yet here I am online, scoffing at a place with only four pools and two restaurants. “Hawaii?! I wouldn’t be caught dead on Oahu!”
Alright, so my story for the day is something I’m very passionate about: Skyline Chili. Specifically, my friend Adam Gardner and his quest to visit every Skyline Chili in America while reviewing them on his podcast, Skyline and Chill. Now, I have several thoughts surrounding this, the first of all being that this is an incredible idea that I am definitely going to latch on to. I already have spoken with Adam about the possibility of joining him in his quest, so keep an eye out for that.
This also leads into the story written by the Enquirer this week that really got to me. In case you hadn’t heard, Skyline is opening a shop in Lexington, expanding our reign of terror to more parts of Kentucky. You can’t escape us; it’s only a matter of time before we get to you, too. The Enquirer wrote an article about how Skyline is a “cult favorite” and it pissed me off more than anything else I have read this year. The entire article talks about how if you like Skyline, you’re a part of a cult following, and you may have misplaced your devotion. It took me reading it three times to realize that they were being sarcastic, and they were trying to prove that it was, in fact, not a cult following. But if you read it, you could easily see how people could think the Enquirer was agreeing with the statement. The entire thing is just so stupid and poorly written, and it makes me mad that this is the leader of journalism in our city. Not saying that I am any better, in fact, far from it, but it’s just so poorly constructed and clickbait-y for a newspaper. Be better, Enquirer.
Editor's note: Alex destroyed the word count, but I'm going to let it slide. What he wrote is great.
Long time lover, first time father:
As many of you may have noticed I recently became a father to a beautiful baby girl. I thought I’d take the opportunity to give a fresh outlook on early fatherhood, as I’m sure there are followers out there who may be skeptically eyeing fatherhood in their future and others who are previous and potentially repeat offenders that could use a good laugh.
Jacqueline Rose Apyan was born on January 4th, 2018 at 12:38 PM. There was a fair bit of commotion when she arrived. My wife had a natural birth (no c-section but all the drugs). For those of you who don’t know my wife, she was a cheerleader at Cincinnati when I was there and fell into the petite category of female cheerleaders, meaning she had very narrow hips. Jackie Ro was healthy top to bottom in utero and mom was doing great throughout labor, but during delivery we had a situation called shoulder dystosia, wherein the baby’s shoulders are stuck in the birth canal. This was sustained for a full two minutes, and while I had been supremely confident in my wife’s genetics and all our consistent positive vitals from Jackie to result in a smooth delivery, the anxiety built as the doctor asked me to pull the electrical plug to some of the medical equipment in order to alert medical staff to enter the room quickly. Jackie was born a solid shade of blue/purple, making little to no sounds. The doctor held her up for us and Jackie let out a faint grunt and they carried her over for the NICU staff to observe prior to bringing her back to us. In the end, Jackie ended up being just fine, but it was a fair lesson for how quickly things can change in childbirth and how imperative modern medicine and trained professionals are to keeping infant mortality rates low.
When you see your child for the first time, it’s supposed to change your life. That’s what I’d always been told and what I knew was coming. When I went over to see Jackie in her incubator, while the NICU team had yet to release her to see mommy, it was initially a bit less euphoric for me than I’d built up in my mind. Here is this beautiful child (who in retrospect was very alien looking but still so beautiful in that moment). “She’s mine? Heck yeah she’s mine. I’m not really nervous, and I’m not really overcome with a life altering emotion." I don’t think it was shock, but I was calm, and I was happy. It wasn’t really until I saw Kim hold her for the first time that I began to choke up. I was able to grab a photo of that moment, and I still choke up every time I look at it.
After the pleasantries, parenthood soon began. Babies are pretty calm on day one, but they enjoy a lot more screaming on day two. One thing that some people may not like to hear is that having a dog tangibly prepared me for early parenthood. I’d been through being woken up all night, cleaning up poop, etc. There are obviously tons of additional factors that you don’t get from having a puppy, but it certainly made some aspects more familiar and thus the whole environment more comfortable.
If you’re scoping out parenthood, take full advantage of your time in the hospital. Ask any question you can think of, and don’t be afraid to look silly asking them. No one truly knows what they’re doing when they become parents, so try to get a handle on the obvious things while you can. My wife and I approach the unknown a bit differently–my wife having a bit more anxiety about it. That being said, there’s no question my wife is an ace mother who I constantly learn from. Jackie had jaundice, so we got a couple extra days in the hospital. That worked out for the best in that we had more time to ask questions, we had time to pick out a name (as Jacqueline was never on our radar and took a full two days to choose), and by the time we finally left we weren’t apprehensive about leaving. We were ready to get the heck home.
We’re now at two full weeks, and the official two-week checkup happened today. Our parents have been an incredible help in this time. Jackie had issues sleeping for a few days early on, and so in the mornings our parents could watch her while Kim and I slept a couple (few? several?) more hours. That kept our sanity while we figured out the other aspects of parenting like breastfeeding and dressing our daughter up in millions of cute outfits. As a father, I see myself as the assist man at this phase in parenting. Anything I can do to make it a little bit easier for Kim while she keeps our baby alive is worth doing. Even writing this article, I feel that I’m slacking on the job (and I’m pretty sure Spence asked me to get this to him two hours ago. Close enough). All in all, fatherhood has so far been wonderful. I’ve managed to avert being directly pooped on and I have a wonderfully healthy baby girl. I can’t wait until she can understand how much we love her, and how great it is to be a Bearcat.