Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nadya's Favorite Photos (of Nadya!)

I like the first one not because it’s a great picture, but because of the story behind it and the person who took it – an old college friend (in fact, the best man at my wedding), who knew about Nadya, but had never met her in person before.

We got to know each other in college more than 30 years ago and had stayed friends through multiple countries and cities. So when my marriage was breaking up eight years ago, he and his wife (also an old college friend) were among the first people I turned up – and among the first people I told about Nadya. (And that’s a whole other story.)

He lives in Chicago and I don’t get out there much, so when I found out I had a business trip planned there, I contacted him and asked if I could extend my stay a couple of nights at their house. And also that Nadya was planning a night out before that and whether he wanted to join her to explore the Windy City’s nightlife. He didn’t hesitate.

Fast forward to that Friday night and a frantic rush to get ready after a day of meetings. I wasn’t nervous; I just wanted to make a good first impression. I need not have worried. When I greeted him at the hotel bar, I got a big hug, a “you clean up very nicely” and we launched into a long catch up on life, love, family and work.

It wasn’t until about an hour and a half later, at dinner, that we actually got around to talking about Nadya – and mostly about how she seemed to be much more fun and outgoing that the other me.

We listened to jazz at the Green Mill and then show tunes at the Redhead Piano Bar (where he took that picture of me). Before we called it a night, we agreed to a change of plans: Nadya would accompany him to the Bears game on Sunday and hang out at the house that weekend. And so she did.

This time I was more nervous, not about introducing Nadya to his wife, who knew about her, but to their just-turned-adult children. Coming down the stairs (in a practical outfit of jeans, blouse and boots – no skyscraper heels that day!), I wasn’t sure what to expect: Smiles? Giggles?  Hugs?  Questions? But, of course, they were incredibly blasé as most 18-year-olds are about things in their parents’ life.

As were his friends in the season ticket space at Soldier Field, more intent on how badly the Bears were playing than on the strange, tall woman in their presence. And after the game, the three of us headed down to the South Side to soak in more jazz, a walk around the University of Chicago campus and dinner. A completely normal day with old friends, but a new kind of normality for Nadya. A very comfortable, comforting one. And one I could get used to.

That was in late September.  I’d like to think that’s part of the reason why I look so at ease in the other picture taken at the Way Out Club in London last week on another business trip. That’s really my favorite picture so far – I don’t think I’ve ever looked that relaxed and comfortable as I do there with makeup and hair coming together (finally!) just so and even managing a warm smile. 

Sometimes the best thing to make a photo work is being comfortable in your own skin.

In response to my open invitation to send your favorite photo along with the story behind it and the reason it is your favorite photo, I received a lot of photos and stories that I am posting in the the order I received them. My invitation still stands, so don't be shy, send me your photos! And by the way, there are currently 18 girls' photos in the queue.

Source: Bluefly

Wearing Nicole Miller.

Femulating in Amsterdam in 1982.


  1. Hi Nadya

    I get so envious of you thin girls! And you look like you're in your late 20's too. Not many of us could pull off those looks/outfits and I don't think I could ever muster the courage to go to a football game so Congratulations on such a successful coming and going out story! It was an interesting read, thanks for sharing.

    Best Wishes

  2. Jeanine,

    Thanks for the comment, and the compliments... I wish I looked in my late 20s!

    And of course thanks to Stana for a great blog and giving all of us an opportunity to show off our favorite pics!