The Coast News Group
Machel's Ranch

Getting married can leave a person cynical

At what point in a friendship is an “opinion” really just “raining on your parade”? This has been occupying my thoughts as I cruise through the windy Rancho Santa Fe roads. When does voicing your opinion begin to hurt another person? If you are wondering what triggered this initial pondering, it’s simply that I am getting married this summer. It’s funny. You plan, you scrapbook dresses, you coordinate flower ideas, but what it really comes down to is why one decides to get married. Why would anyone really in this day and age? Especially with the divorce rate, the fact most of the married people I know have at some point cheated and there seems to be no rainbow of hope for romanticism in the Millennium. I hate to sound cynical, yet there it is. A touch of it exists in my veins. (Don’t worry, I still believe in love.)
A couple weeks back my fiancé and I had to inform both of our families that we are skipping the big wedding ceremony and just eloping. We want to just enjoy the day with our friends and loved ones at the reception without having to get into a dramatic day centered around floral arrangements, tuxedos and  the inch size of the bridesmaids’ strappy heels. I don’t want to be concerned about making others feel more loved because I decided to finally say “I do” one more time in my life. At a certain point, we must take the selfish path and do what our heart would rather do. If you really want to know the truth, I would be  thrilled to get married in the little town of Julian in this cottage style chapel nestled next to rolling green fields and fences. Well, my fiancé does not want that. He does not see himself eating apple pie or hanging out in a town that reminds him of “Little House on the Prairie.” That sounds wonderful to me. I guess you know you are in love with a man when he just wants to go to the courthouse and you’re fine with nixing the hula-hoop dress. And that is exactly why one should marry — for love.
You find out a lot about yourself and your friends when you begin to plan such an occasion — like their opinions of you and your relationship. I’m a rather nice person to a fault. However, at this moment I want to share with you my utter disdain for “opinions” that threaten anyone’s little piece of happiness. I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself. You have something amazing taking place in your life and someone you really care about interjects some dark cloud over that moment. It’s hard for me to even comprehend my closest friends still asking me, “Are you sure you are making the right decision?” when my wedding day is less than three months away. I am perplexed by the boldness of these questions and hurt by the lack of delivery when voicing concern.
As you might have guessed, there is a reason why we are opting to elope this summer over the traditional wedding ceremony. There is a reason why I do not feel guilty when I explain to my father that it’s unnecessary to get married in the eyes of God. At some point, you must set aside what everyone else wants your life to be and you have to have the courage to be, shall I dare say it, selfish.
 One of my favorite quotes ever is from “Harvey” starring Jimmy Stewart. It goes something like this; “Sometimes it’s better to be pleasant than to be right.” Machel’s thoughts are: have a heart and think before you give out your opinion. You may be tarnishing a friend’s dream.
Around Town
On April 8, Rancho Santa Fe students were out for spring break! If you weren’t out of town, you were sure to be found near the beach. That exact day happens to hold special meaning. My son turned 9 years old that day. So what better way to celebrate than hanging out near the white surf at Del Mar Beach? I found many other families there enjoying the windswept sunny day. My girlfriend, Meredith MacDonald, snapped a gorgeous photo, which embodies the innocence of youth. Atiana Kam Smith, Reese MacDonald and Chloe Temple beam with happiness on one of my favorite days of the year. You know what they say, “Girls just want to have fun.”
On April 12, the Easter Bunny finally came. I celebrated this wonderful day by attending St. Peter’s church in Del Mar. The service filled me with a sense of hope and inspiration. Afterward, there was fabulous tea and cookies in the courtyard, which has the most amazing view of the ocean. I enjoyed a few deviled eggs, some sweets and the warmest smiles from the patrons that attend church there. Later that day, after the egg coloring was over, a few of my closest friends stopped by and shared their love and support. Jill Drouin and Melissa Williams looked fabulous on this Easter Sunday. What more can you ask for than friends and loved ones on Easter Sunday?
On April 14, the day before Tax Day, I met my friends out for Tapas Tuesdays at Mille Fleurs. Who said Tuesdays aren’t any fun? Take it from me, this is one of my favorite days of the week. My group of friends started out at Delicias, and then met me there for some wonderful disco music. I know some have this image of the Ranch as a sleepy town, but not in my circle of friends. I ran into Marko Dedic enjoying the company of two lovely ladies, Krista Lafferty and Slavena Paskova. Can you believe it, chess and fine dining? A few others I ran into were Daniel Bunn, Janice Jaraicie, Bianca Smith and Denny Fallon,  just to name a few. There were also some guests staying at The Inn that ventured inside to discover the party-like fever. I’m sure they weren’t expecting to find so much excitement on a Tuesday out in the Ranch.
On April 15, I attended the Shangri Pa meeting at Helen Woodward. Mark your calendar for June 6, for one of my favorite events of the year in Rancho Santa Fe. This night will be filled with red carpet moments, fabulous food, dancing and a chance to bid on silent and live auction items. All of the proceeds raised for this evening will go to saving the lives of thousands of animals in need. For the last six months, Laurel and Katie McCrink, Elizabeth Davidson, Carrington Kingsley, Michelle Pessah have been donating their time and effort to this wonderful charity event. If you are interested in attending Shangri Pa or would like to contribute to the silent or live auction, check out the Helen Woodward Web site for more details on how you too can save an animal’s life. Visit for details.
On April 16, after dropping my son off at school, I found the Rancho Santa Fe Fire District out in full force collecting donations for a summer camp for children that were burn victims. I immediately pulled over and spoke to one of the men. Craig McVey informed me that their district raises more money than any other department. On this one day, these firefighters raised almost $30,000 dollars for the children to enjoy a wonderful summer camp. If you are wondering how they collect that much money, it’s with a fire boot in hand and a warm smile. Mr. McVey told me they do this once a year and it’s always a wonderful success. Cheers to all of the residents in the Ranch and surrounding communities that donate for this charity.
Coming up in my next column: Want to lose weight for those sexy summer outfits? I will be profiling Ranch resident Julien Godfrey with his own personal weight loss success story. Mr. Godfrey has been working with Dr. Jonathan M. Haynes, M.D., the medical director of Medi-Zone, which is located in nearby Encinitas. Stay tuned! If you are interested in finding out more about their services before then, feel free to call at (760) 783-9200.

1 comment

anonymous April 29, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Machel, You are a terrific writer! Love, Mom

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