Mr. Magpie

No Space Between.

By: Jen Shoop

Half of me walks out the door of our New York apartment, orders a $6.45 iced oat milk latte from Joe’s Coffee, observes the notice that Le Petit Rooster on Columbus Avenue has closed, listens to a few minutes of an audiobook about the rise of Uber, leaps out of the way of an errant cyclist racing through a red light at 85th Street.

The other half of me is annotating what I am doing for you, dotting my unremarkable errand with your imagined marginalia —

That you don’t care for Joe’s coffee,

That even after three years of living in this exorbitantly-priced city of nightmares and dreams, you cannot oblige a $6.45 latte,

That we sat at Le Petit Rooster with my parents one pre-pandemic Saturday evening and you dashed off to the Gristedes across the street to buy my mother Advil when she complained of her aching shoulder,

That you will have an opinion about the author’s agenda in writing the Uber book,

That nothing grinds your gears more than the cyclists of Manhattan.

I will recount to you these fibrous nothings of my sojourn outside, accurately anticipating your replies, over peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with our children next to us at the lunch table (knowing that you will only eat a PBJ once a week and then only if we have potato chips — plain, preferably Utz — and dill pickles on hand). I will whisper them to you in the narrow galley kitchen of our home after our son — whose nursery is right off the butler’s pantry and therefore unfortunately proximal to where you are cooking spaghetti with guanciale for dinner — has gone to sleep. I will text them to you while waiting at the stoplight, on my way to the UPS store to return those lampshades that did not fit. I will tuck them in among the heavier things that freight our emotional and intellectual lives at the moment.

These wafer-thin observations are the delicate webwork of ten years of marriage, of knowing you so well that when I am apart from you for even ten minutes grabbing coffee, at least half of that time, I am collecting the bric a brac of our eternal conversation, knowing what will interest and anger and sadden and delight you.

Put differently: I am only half living when we are apart. The other half is suspended in anticipatory conversation, waiting for the moment when I can fill you in.

I did not know this about marriage when I cried through our “I dos” ten years ago today. I could not have imagined, then, the way we now lay ourselves bare to one another, soul to soul, no space between us.

Happy ten years of marriage to my absolute beloved, my other half.

Cheers to 1000 more years together here and in the worlds beyond.


+Oh I love you, Landon.

+And I love our love story, too.

+Great gifts for men and a great men’s sale worth shopping.

+If you have access to the Nordstrom Anniversary sale already, these Ferragamo loafers are the most elegant shoes for a gentleman and they rarely go on sale.

+Many of the beautiful pieces of fine jewelry here would make a lovely gift to commemorate an anniversary.

+These sweet ballet flats are darling for a little girl. Such a pretty color, too!

+Dying over this $70 one-piece.

+OK, I need this $35 thermal nightgown for winter.

+Should have included this in my nursery roundup yesterday, but I absolutely love this chandelier for a nursery! And this one would be fun for a scandi-style one. (Imagine with other black/white pieces.)

+Love this leopard dress for fall.

+Precious dolls for a little one:






+My sister recently mentioned that she uses bees wrap instead of saran wrap — brilliant and reduces single-use plastic! I specifically like the idea of storing hunks of cheese in these, as saran never works well anyway if you unwrap it more than once.

+This dress is here for the party.

+Just the prettiest bralette — although you all know that I am in a committed bra relationship with Natori.

+Now is a really good time to stock up on shortalls/bubbles for your boy for next summer. I absolutely love this one by Florence Eiseman, this one from Dondolo, and this one from Proper Peony, all 50% off with code SPLASH50.

+I love a scalloped detail part I, part II, and part III.

+I also love a pearl detail.

+My latest Amazon finds.

+This dress is now further reduced…!

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11 thoughts on “No Space Between.

  1. Happy anniversary!! Hope your dinner was fun, delicious, and celebratory. We celebrated our 5th in April, and even though we would have been home bound regardless with our 7 week old baby, it still felt like a restricted celebration. We did sit down and look at our wedding album after the kids were in bed, which made the day feel a more special. Hopefully all of us who celebrated milestones during this pandemic will be able to have epic belated parties/trips/etc next year!!

    1. Happy anniversary to you, Stephanie!! Five years is a big milestone. I agree that these celebrations feel so strange this year, although I positively treasure the occasion to do something “out of the ordinary” when it feels as though we are living Groundhog Day over and over and over again. Landon and I had originally planned to take our children down to D.C. so that his parents could look after them while we got away somewhere — we’d talked about Napa (!) or even San Sebastian (!!) though we probably would have ended up just going somewhere easy to drive to, as two children under three is A LOT for grandparents for more than a few nights. Anyway, very excited to try for a trip somewhere fun with him next year. If you can believe it, I haven’t spent a single night away from my son in his entire life, and I can probably count on one hand the number of nights I’ve spent away from Emory in her THREE years with us.


  2. Happy anniversary, Jen!! 10 years! Your sentiments are beautiful. I have to say I’ve taken to jotting down some talking points (I.e., anecdotes or struggles with the children, home matters, etc.) to discuss with my husband over dinner after you mentioned your STP, and it’s become such a nice little ritual. Thank you and cheers!

  3. Happy Anniversary!!! I hope that you get to do something special to celebrate even in these strange, strange times! xoxo

  4. Happy 10th (!) anniversary to you and Landon! What a wonderful milestone. My heart clenched at your last line — “in the worlds beyond”. So beautiful! I hope you are able to take time today to celebrate the last decade and those to come. <3

    That leopard dress reminds me of the one I own by Ganni that I had tailored juuuust before COVID-19 turned the world upside down, and I haven't yet worn it, as it feels better-suited to cooler temps, and I wasn't in the mood to wear midi dresses at the tail end of winter. Now I'm excited to wear it with boots in the fall!

    That Naja bralette is SO cute! Right up my alley … reminds me a bit of Xirena's bralettes, of which I own a few (and love their fun prints!)


    1. Aw, MK – thank you! Thank you. We are having a great day so far. Looking forward to dinner from Gramercy Tavern and a bottle of Ruinart champagne in a few hours!

      I also LOVE my Ganni leopard print dress — that’s exactly what inspired that H&M pick 🙂 Will be so chic with booties!


  5. Hi Jen,
    I begin every morning reading by your posts- sometimes they hit so close to home it takes my breath away. Yesterday was my 10 year anniversary as well and your words articulated so much…so many things I haven’t even tried to express. Your writing is beautiful. Thank you for, so often, giving me the words I didn’t know I needed. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Oh Emily! Thank you for the compliment and congratulations to YOU on your ten-year anniversary! Wow! Time flies.


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