I own all the content and pictures on this site, except where noted. If you steal anything from me, and
especially if you do anything mean or inappropriate with them, I will find you. Then I'll sue you for
theft, slander, libel and any other law that applies. Then I'll ridicule you in humiliating ways
here and everywhere else I contribute to. If you fuck with me, I'll get get all Gladiator on your ass
and unleash hell. Think I'm kidding? So did my a couple of my exes, my old neighbors, as well as
some assholes who ripped me off on Ebay, and last I heard, they were all still trying to undo the
damage I caused.
I am so relieved. I feel so validated. I feel like this big, friggin' problem I've had is on the way to being solved, and I'm about to cry just from the possibility that things might soon be o.k.
I'm talking about my weight gain. I've gained 15 lbs. in 6 months, and I recently speculated it was due to a medicine I started taking earlier this year. I have been so miserable over this, over how powerless I felt over the situation, because it has seemed like I can't possibly eat any less nor squeeze in any more exercise in my busy schedule. Not that I've been good all the time; but I've been making a conscious effort to eat better and exercise more, which is better than where I was prior to the weight gain.
Anyway, I've been miserable. As a short person, any weight gain is instantly noticeable. I also tend to carry weight in a way that makes me look bloated. To say that I've been feeling hideous, so very hideous, is an understatement. And while I know it might look worse to me than to others (but I doubt that), the problem is that this issue is something very deep inside me. Not that I want to get into a lot of detail, but the subject of my looks and weight has been a big issue in my life for a while now because I was married to someone for whom this was a huge issue, enough so that I am deeply damaged by it. While a part of me has always been able to remain logical about the whole thing, understanding that these were his issues and not mine, and that I have never been as bad and ugly and unattractive as he believed I was, there is no denying that despite my efforts, this shit's messed me up. Plain and simple.
I'm struggling with how worthless I feel simply because I've gained some weight and have never been the most gorgeous creature around. Looking at that statement, I feel like an idiot, because I've never been like this - this insecure, this shallow. I have never placed a high value on looks; it's just not me. And yet, here I am, so ridiculously stressed out over this bullshit. Right at this moment, I can't imagine that any guy would find me sexy or desirable or adorable or cute or good enough. And it's not even that I need that right now - it is just the notion (the fact?) that it could be true. I'm convinced all men see me or will see me as he did.
But even without this problem, I myself care enough to be healthy and look as best as possible. My frustration over my weight gain also has a lot to do with how not used to this kind of problem I am, and how off kilter it's making me feel. And so when my doctor saw me today and confirmed that yes, my weight gain was indeed due to the medicine, I was so relieved that I got a giant lump in my throat. To finally know for sure that even with the effort I've been making this was going to happen, that it is nothing I did, has done so much to make me feel better.
The best part was finding out that once I get off this medicine, the weight will come off (so he says, and damn, that better be true!). Of course, from a medical perspective, I have to work some stuff out and so this is not happening next week, but still. I have some hope now. I don't have to continue gaining weight and have it be so beyond my control.
All the other stuff - that I do have some control over, and I'm working on it.
Man, I can't wait for the long weekend! My BFF Cristi will be in town from NYC, and we're having a Miami Spice dinner at Tamara in the National Hotel. I rarely get out to the beach, so this will be nice. I get to dress up a little! Put on the sparkly eye shadow and eye liner! I've got this awesome necklace I'm dying to wear, so I'm already crafting my look for the evening.
I'm also scrambling to catch up on all the work I couldn't do while I was away, so, you know, fun. Three hundred priorities, not enough time.
Which is why a meme is in order!
1) Are your parents married or divorced? Married
2) Vegetarian? Nope, but I'm not much of a red meat eater, either.
3) Heaven? Isn't too far away?
4) Come close to dying? I am immortal.
5) What jewelry do you wear 24/7? The only piece of jewelry I never remove is the earring in my second piercing (small silver hoop).
6) Are you eating? Right at this moment? No. Just having my coffee.
7) Do you eat the stems of broccoli? Perhaps you should ask me if I even eat broccoli.
8) Makeup? I always wear concealer and lip gloss, but rarely wear foundation or powder. Everything in-between, it just depends on the situation.
9) Were you usually the dumper or the dumpee in your past relationships? The dumper. Besides dumping because I feel like the relationship has run its course, if I sense the guy is losing interest and/or hiding something and they don't want to talk to me about it, I just dump.
10) Would you ever have plastic surgery? Never say never, but that's not really my thing. Then again, if there's a problem no amount of exercise can fix, I might consider it.
11) What do you wear to bed? Either a nightgown, or shorts & tank top.
12) Have you ever done anything illegal? Yup.
13) Can you roll your tongue? Yes.
14) Pluck your eyebrows? Yes, since I was 14, and I'm very picky about it.
15) What kind of watch(es) do you wear: Depends - mainly the leather cuff type, but I have a couple regular silver ones for work and such.
16) Abortion? I don't know that I could ever have one, but I don't think they should be illegal.
17) Hair color? Is brown.
18) Future child's name? There is no girl's name that I absolutely love, but if I ever have another boy, his name will be Andres (so no one steal it - there's still a chance for me!)
19) Do you snore? No, but apparently, I talk in my sleep.
20) If you could go anywhere in the world on a vacation? Hawaii, I dream of Hawaii. Also, India, Turkey and Italy.
21) Do you sleep with stuffed animals? Oh hell no. I actually detest stuffed animals.
22) If you won the lottery, what would you do first? Pay everything off.
23) Gold or silver? Silver, but I'll wear gold if it matches my outfit better.
24) Hamburger or hot dog? Both.
25) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Pasta, but damn, would I be bloated!
26) Beach, city, or country? I'm a city girl, but I love the beach.
27) Who was the last person you touched? My monkey.
28) Where do you eat? Anywhere there's food.
29) When's the last time you cried? A few days ago.
30) Have you loved somebody so much it makes you cry? Hell yes.
31) Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex? I don't see why I would.
32) Ever been involved with the police? Like, sexually? That would make for one hell of a story! And yes, minor run-ins.
33)Believe in Santa Claus? Now that I'm a mother, I AM Santa Claus.
34) Do you talk in your sleep? So I've been told.
35) Beach or pool? As much as I love the beach, I prefer to swim in the pool.
36) Can you cross your eyes? Yeah, but thankfully, they didn't get stuck that way.
37) What's your favorite song at the moment? I'm Yours by Jason Mraz.
38) Window seat or aisle? Aisle, but I don't mind the middle - it gives me two people to cling to in fear for my life.
39) Ever met any famous bands/singers? I've met Gloria Estefan and Pitbull, and run into (but not said anything to) Ricky Martin and Carlos Ponce (who is so freaking dreamy I was swooning!).
40) Do you feel that you've ever had a truly successful relationship? Actually, yes. I loved my relationship with Good Ex until things went downhill.
41) Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Twirl.
42) Rickie Lake or Oprah Winfrey? Ellen.
43) Would you ever admit to having done plastic surgery of any kind if confronted? People confront each other about this kind of thing? Wow.
44) How long does your shower last? 10-15 minutes, 20 if I both shave and wash my hair.
45) Do you drive a stick? No, but I know how to. Sort of.
46) Cake or ice cream? Cake. With ice cream. But not if they're touching. I hate having my cake and ice cream touch.
47) Self-conscious? So much that it kills me. But I'm working on it.
48) What time do you get up? 7 a.m.
49) Have you ever given money to a bum? Many times.
50) When was your first crush? Alex Gutierrez in 2nd and 3rd grade.
51) Where do you wish you were? A cottage on the beach.
52) Have you ever broken someone's heart? I don't believe I've ever impacted someone that much, but in all probability, yes.
53) Ever been given a ring? Yes.
54) Longest relationship? Ten years, give or a take a break-up in-between.
55) Last gift you received: I got some lovely things for my birthday; and I just gifted myself some coffee from New Orleans.
56) Last sport you played? Huh? Tere + sports = never.
57) Things you spend a lot of money on? Clothes. I admit it.
58) Where do you live? Miami
59) High school you attend(ed): La Salle High School
60) Last wedding attended: My cousin's, last year.
61) Favorite fast food restaurant: Don't have one.
62) Where do you work: I won't be disclosing that here.
63) Can you cook? Excellently. Seriously, I'm a good cook.
64) Most hated food: I don't like sushi.
65) Can you sing? Yes, like an angel.
66) Last concert attended: Indigo Girls, last year.
67) Last kiss? Didn't I recently answer this? I suppose I have an updated answer: this morning, got some good smacks from my monkey.
68) Favorite Alcoholic drink: Grey Goose and Cranberry, light ice.
This is a post I'm going to look back to as the ramblings of a woman who is right now extremely exhausted, restless, sleep-deprived and all kinds of worried over a few particular things. When I get like this, I cope by fixing my thoughts on something far removed from the sources of these feelings - a safe distraction, if you will. I usually pick something positive, a wish or desire that I can look forward to, even if the probability of it ever being real is slim to none. At a time like this, I'm not exactly picky about that.
Be that as it may, this particular thought - this thing I want, this thing I keep thinking about - has been brewing inside me for ages now. It's been accumulating for years, driving me crazy sometimes, but generally staying far enough away that it didn't really bother me. With my life changing as it has, it's come back now, back to the forefront where it's getting harder to ignore, because now there is a much more real possibility than before that it could come to fruition.
I'm still trying to figure this whole "single" thing out. I think what makes the whole thing so stressful for me is the fact that I'm just not a dater; the dating world is completely foreign and unappealing to me. Frankly, I would much rather have the man of my dreams fall out of the sky and into my lap and be done with it. The good news for me is that I don't have to be or do anything I don't want to, so this stress exists only in my head. Still, I know I have to be realistic. At 31, assuming I'm not the victim of a violent crime, freak accident, or heinous disease, I still have a long life ahead of me, and statistically speaking, I won't be able to avoid this forever. Chances are greater that I will in fact have a relationship again. And to be specific, I mean a long-term, serious relationship. Maybe more than one, even, but I can only handle the thought of one; in fact, am I an idiot if I say I would prefer just one and have that person be IT? Either way, I've accepted this inevitability.
So, if that's how it's going to be, here is what I want: the boy who is fearless. The one who is so moved by me, so wowed, that he can't help show it without any of the fear we usually have with these things. I want the boy who isn't freaked out by commitment, by trust, by looking at someone like me and thinking, she is what I've been waiting for. Or, if he is scared, that he is fearless enough to say it. I want the one who will dive in first and then reach his hand out to me, encouraging me to join him; the one who is so freaking excited by the fact that he has me that he can barely contain himself.
I'm done committing to the guy who is controlled by fear, by excuses. I've always chosen him, thinking I could be "the one" to show him it was safe to love and show that love and be happy, fulfilled. I no longer want to be that person, don't want to be the one who risks everything while he remains secure behind his wall, flinging flimsy excuses and drowning me in the emptiness of it all.
I am now too different a person, my life is too different, to have patience for cowards who hide behind their issues: the crappy childhood, the traumatizing adolescence, the one who broke their heart. I have those too, we all do. But holding on to that and being paralyzed by it to the point that you push people away and shut them out is bullshit. I need someone far more grounded and realistic - but fearless and passionate - who can keep up with me.
My list of cowardly boys is long, too long. I always end up in the same place: frustrated, angry and hurt over trying so hard and being so open and ending up empty. Everything is different now.
Give me, one day, the boy who is fearless. He is the one who deserves me.
I've been here less than 24 hours, and I'm already in love again with New Orleans. This city is magic to me, a place that so captivates me with its history and beauty and seediness and resilience that I find myself thinking, time and again, one day I'll live here.
Right now I wish that one day was now - that I could uproot and shift everything here. I had a couple hours to myself yesterday afternoon, and I spent it wandering around the French Quarter, visiting old places I once loved, checking out what places remained, discovering new ones. It seemed like so little had changed since my last, pre-Katrina visit. And yet, it's obivous that the memory of that devastating storm is still fresh, raw even.
I will not have time on this trip to venture farther than the Quarter, and I'm miserable over it. Missing out on the Neutral Ground and Camellia Grill is killing me!
The one thing that sticks out as different, that repeatedly catches me off guard, is how every man I walk by stops to greet me: "Hi, beautiful," "Good afternoon, pretty lady" - always polite and friendly, whether they just want me to come in and eat at their restaurant or are simply acknowledging me as our paths cross. I am apparently a sucker for this kind of thing, because I kept smiling every time it happened; I might've even giggled when one of them stopped me to talk and asked me for my phone number.
My next couple of days are packed with meetings, and I will spend very little time outside this hotel. That can only be remedied in one way: I must return. And I will. Again and again and again; I will always return to New Orleans.
It's Friday and my Knees Ache, Which Means it's Going to Rain
Well now, yesterday was quite eventful for me. I cooked for the first time in ages (pots and pans, I has them now), drank some delicious wine (on a school night!) and learned my soon-to-be-born niece's name (it's beautiful). I also survived a conversation that I didn't think I'd be able to handle, and while I have no clue where the hell I stand, at least I survived. Without tears, anger, paranoia or sniveling insecurity. So there's that, I suppose. I'm growing up.
Anyway, I'm totally having fun with all these old memes I found in my computer, so here's another one for your post-Fay Friday pleasure. Feel free to steal at will.
It Has No Name
12 things that annoy you: 1. Driving in this God-forsaken city 2. People having long, involved conversations on their cell phones as they drive/shop/wait on me/or are generally in my way 3. When I forget to put perfume on 4. Guys who are too metrosexual 5. Winn-Dixie 6. Passive-aggressive people 7. The ubiquitousness of the following: Ed Hardy, Abercrombie & Fitch, high-waist skirts & pants, all those friggin' teen singers/actors, and popped-up collars 8. The way I look in shorts 9. People who can't look me in the eye 10. Hummers (the vehicle) 11. When I'm really in need of a Coke Slurpee or Icee and the machine is broken 12. Going to the grocery store twice in one day and still forgetting something
11 objects you touch every day: 1. Phone 2. Keyboard 3. Steering wheel 4. Mug 5. My hair 6. The sink 7. Doorknob 8. My purse 9. Keys 10. Papers 11. Pen
10 things you look forward to: 1. My morning coffee 2. Catalogs in the mail 3. Rainy days & not having anything to do but read or sleep 4. Whatever crazy thing my son is going to come up with next 5. Dessert at the end of a great meal 6. Going out to eat 7. My birthday 8. Random surprises 9. Vacationing at the beach 10. Days off
9 things you wear daily: 1. Deodorant 2. Earrings 3. Glasses 4. Hair clip/barrette/rubber band 5. Concealer 6. Clothes 7. Moisturizer 8. Something to sleep in 9. Underwear
8 movies you can watch over and over: 1. The Wedding Singer 2. The Royal Tenenbaums 3. History of the World, Pt. 1 4. 10 Things I Hate About You 5. Braveheart 6. Splash 7. Corrina, Corrina 8. Harold & Kumar Go To Whitecastle
7 things you do every day: 1. Snuggle/kiss/stare at/poke my lil' baby (or almost every day) 2. Check e-mail 3. Apply lipgloss 4. Drink coffee 5. Worry 6. Laugh 7. Fantasize about shoes
6 people you'd like to spend more time with: 1. My boy 2. Mel 3. Cristi 4. James Franco 5. My nieces/nephew 6. Whomever can make me laugh
5 foods you couldn't live without: 1. Coffee 2. Chocolate 3. Pasta 4. Guacamole 5. Platanos maduros
4 of your favorite songs at the moment: 1. Tu Me Liberas, Jaguares 2. I'm Yours, Jason Mraz 3. One Sweet Love, Sarah Bareilles 4. How Good It Can Get, The Wallflowers
3 phrases you use every day: 1. Um... 2. You know 3. I'm done
(Originally published September 16, 2004 in my old blog)
We met the fall of my senior year in high school, at a leadership retreat in West Haverstraw, New York. It was my second time back up to the retreat house, this time as a leader. He was a participant, there for the first time, and he ended up in my group.
From the moment we met, there was something. It was not necessarily something romantic or sexual; we just had an instant connection, two kindred souls who recognized each other.
Nothing happened. All his friends were buzzing about another Canadian I had met months ago at the last retreat and was (presumably) dating. We weren't, but they obviously didn't know, and I wasn't about to get into that then and there. All we really did was talk -- about ourselves, our lives, our challenges -- and it was like looking in a mirror. Quite simply, we understood each other in a way few people ever do.
And then it was time to go home. The only thing we'd promised each other was that we'd write. And just before his bus pulled away, he hugged me tight and slipped a piece of paper into my hand. His first letter. We exchanged letters pretty regularly until he stopped altogether. He just stopped. No explanation, no goodbye.
And over the years I felt different things -- he had been lying to me all along, he was a jerk, he was afraid, he wasn't who he said he was -- until I stopped; because there was no other option.
But I've never been able to forget. It was the first time I ever felt I had found my soul mate, and it felt pure and real and strong. Did I imagine that? I will never know.
I went on to completely throw myself into a relationship with someone back home that I'd met at about the same time. And from there life took its course.
I remember still the bewilderment and devastation I felt. The sting of rejection that is accompanied by silence. I don't actively harbor any ill will, because I now realize that we were kids who lived a world apart. Was there anything else he should have done?
Part of me feels like I should be grateful to the one who crushed me. Because before he crushed me he moved me deeply, and his mere existence was like a beautiful gift. It is that that I choose to hold close to me.
A conversation last night prompted me to look up the above, which I wrote one night when the person in question was on my mind. He was not an "ex," per se, but it's the closest thing that applies here.
That post from 2004 did not even scratch the surface as to how devastated that situation left me. Even today, I can't adequately explain why everything about it affected me so deeply. It just did. This was not my typical "fall hard and fast, get bored quickly" MO.
Time and perspective have tempered my feelings, given me better understanding. And the fact that "he" and I are friends now has turned this into something bittersweet for me, a chance to correct some assumptions, a chance for some redemption on both ends. I know we are both grateful for that.
I think about that general idea a lot now: to redeem; to be redeemed. It is never to late for either one.
A typical day with Max now includes a minimum of 30 tantrums, staunch refusals to use the potty, and so much whining I want to stab my eardrums out.
At almost-three, this child of mine is asserting himself in all that he does. He is fiercely independent, maddeningly stubborn - an amplified version of all he has been since he was an infant. I love this about him - his spiritedness, his strong will, his absolute certainty of who he is and what he wants.
The downside of these marvelous traits, though, is....
I can't believe I'm about to write what I'm about to write. I have tried avoiding this, thinking the feeling would go away. I tend to get wild ideas, but most times, I manage to talk myself out of it.
So when I can't talk myself out of something, I know I have a problem on my hands. This is officially ones of those times.
I want a dog.
Specifically, a cocker spaniel. Of course I would want a cocker spaniel; I have had and loved two already. I adore the breed.
This is a bad idea, and I know it. The responsibility; the extra mess; the having to stand there and wait while it takes its sweet time deciding to pee and poop; the allergies.
But I want one.
Because they are sweet and loving and warm and fuzzy and full of unconditional love. Those eyes, those ears - it kills me.
I got my Zoë during my first separation from Ben (and no, I have not shared that story here, and never will; just know that it happened and lasted a year); she was the perfect companion, a wonderful, loving little thing that filled my life with joy and comfort. The mistake I made, though, was to get a puppy. I honestly was not very good at discipling - not as far as managing her extreme attachment to me. I potty-trained her and she was not destructive, but she was very needy and always sticking close to me. And honestly, this was both good and bad. On top of that, we developed our own little routine that was severely disrupted when Ben and I got back together, and then Max came along - and well, there was always just a lot of tension around the matter.
So when I find myself thinking once again about a dog, I need to be much smarter about it this time around. For one thing, if I do this, I will be rescuing an adult cocker, as that will definitely be a better match for us. I don't want anything to do with puppies (though they are so preciously delicious), and I want to give a home to a dog in need.
But. But, but, but. This is right now just a crazy idea, not anything I intend to see through just yet. I mean, this is ridiculous! I can't take on any more responsibilities, nor do I have any extra brain space to start worrying over another living creature, nor do I want to have to consider yet another's needs before I can take care of my own. I'm just being a sap, thinking of the snuggly wonderfulness and sweet affection of it all.
I'm Brilliant, and It's Now Official. Also, More Memeyness
Well, so that pretty little diamond makes it official: I am brilliant. The lovely Holly at Tropic of Mom was kind enough to give me some lovin', which is always welcome. What I'm wanting to know is how this ended up being a Spanish-language award - is the blogosphere finally reflecting a better mix of diversity? Either way, the main point here is that I'm brilliant. Let's not forget that.
With that, I give you more meme-y goodness! These are perfect for Fridays.
TEN FIRSTS 1. First Best Friend: Jackie 2. First Hamster: Never had one 3. First Piercing: Ears at birth, like any good Cuban baby 4. First high school crush: Danny O., whom I met when we both volunteered at the hospital. We dated for exactly 2 weeks and he dedicated Everything I Do, I Do It For You - over the phone, no less - to me, which was apparently not a very accurrate choice on his end 5. First CD: Back in my day, it was cassette tapes... and it was Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual 6. First Car: My dad's old 1990 Nissan Sentra 7. First Love: TFBIETL (whom I'm beginning to think might be stalking me or has me on LowJack; how else do I explain his sudden reappearance in my life?) 8. First Stuffed Animal: Chupi - a little fox that sucked her thumb, just like me 9. First Concert: Why, Menudo, of course! I was like 8 10. First Time Drunk: (HEY DAD - DON'T READ THIS; MOVE RIGHT ALONG!) Summer I was 16 going on 17 (ha!). One night at the home of a guy who was one of my best friends. We were all in the pool. We were thirsty. They sent me off to the pool house to find drinks. There was only vodka and Pepsi. Served about 8 glasses of P&v and 8 more of just vodka (for a group of like, 6). I started to drink and just didn't stop. Next thing I know, I stand up and fall right back down. And I'm plastered.
NINE LASTS 1. Last Beverage: Coffee (yummy Kona) 2. Last Vehicle Ride: This morning 3. Last Movie Seen: I can't even remember the last time I went to the movie theater; and at home, I don't watch much TV anymore 4. Last Phone Call: This morning to FPL, because the power was out 5. Last CD Played: Latin Reggae 6. Last Bubble Bath: I think like a couple of weeks ago 7. Last Time You Cried: I got choked up yesterday thinking about a situation that I hope continues on a good path 8. Last Kiss: Wednesday 9. Last Concert You Attended: Indigo Girls - Jan 2007
EIGHT HAVE YOU EVERS 1. Have you ever dated one of your best friends: Nope 2. Have you ever been arrested: Nope 3. Have you ever skinny dipped: Yep 4. Have you ever been on TV: Yes 5. Have you ever kissed someone and regretted it: Not really regretted it, but not happy about it, either 6. Have you ever had a sex dream about someone you knew: Of course 7. Have you ever been sent to the emergency room: Yes, in Nov. 2006 when I was getting these awful, raging headaches and I was convinced it was a tumor. 8. Have you ever been in a fist fight: Yes, w/ my sister
SEVEN THINGS YOU'RE WEARING 1. Cute black sandals 2. Jeans 3. Cute, flowy tunic top 4. Glasses 5. Underwear 6. Bra 7. Earrings
SIX THINGS YOU'VE DONE TODAY 1. Had breakfast 2. Answered emails 3. Made a few phone calls 4. Made coffee 5. Gotten dressed 6. Mused over all I have to do in the next 3 days (It's still really early in the morning; I haven't had a chance to do much else)
FIVE FAVORITE THINGS IN NO ORDER 1. Music 2. Coffee 3. The beach (sand & water, not like SoBe) 4. Getting catalogs in the mail 5. Books
FOUR PEOPLE YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON 1. Mel 2. Cristi 3. My sisters 4. Balou
THREE CHOICES 1. Eat or drink: Eat 2. Blonde or brunette: Brunette 3. Pink or black: Black
TWO THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE 1. See as much of the world as possible 2. Live in a house on the beach
ONE THING YOU REGRET 1. Making decisions out of guilt or fear
Looks like my hormones are balancing out again, because all of a sudden, I think it's hilarious to find myself at 31 with my marriage over, feeling pissed at the whole thing, fretting over stuff I last fretted about as a child, feeling so inadequate and loserish about the whole thing, and stressed beyond reason over how whacked-out my sense of attractiveness is. I can't stop laughing over it.
Seriously! This is funny! I busted my ass for my marriage and failed! I make life impossible with my constant demands for communication and intimacy! I don't give a crap about my looks and it shows! I can't ever just shut the hell up and do as I'm asked!
We're all still laughing here, right? Because I am obviously such a prize? Right?
I've been thinking about the ways this blog will reflect all these new aspects of my life. You're all in this journey with me now, and I really wish, for your sake if not my own, that I could turn this blog into something much funner and cooler than it's really going to be.
I've had little daydreams about this becoming a "Sex and the Single Mom"-type blog, full of details about my adventures in dating land. I'd love to have stories about the guy who only spoke about himself for three hours straight or the creep who kept staring at my boobs or how I had dinner with a great guy and had lettuce in my teeth the entire time. I wish that line of guys my friends assured me would be forming for my attention had materialized, as I'm sure it would have provided great writing fodder. And I wish I could regale everyone with great stories about how irresistible I am, and what I sexual beast I am, and maybe even include something about the magical powers I possess, but. Sadly, that just isn't me, and this is not a fiction blog.
I can see the humor in my life, and I can laugh at myself easily enough. But beyond that, I think I am just still me, trying to raise this boy of mine as best as I can, trying to believe that something wonderful will be mine one day, trying to acknowledge and enjoy the beauty I see around me every day.
Even so, it's a given that I will blunder my way through all that lies ahead. So the laughs are there, will be there; I just have to keep my eyes open to them, and let the laughter sustain me when it feels like the tears will undo me.
I have a new adjective by which I can describe myself: single. I am a single mother and a single woman, two things I'd never thought I'd be after Ben and I reconciled from our first separation.
It's a funny new word to me, single. At what point do I bring it into a conversation? How much explaining should I do when someone finds out that is what I am, but there's my son standing next to me? And what do I make of this for myself; how do I add this new element into a life that long ago forgot what that word felt like?
There are two single mes as I see it: Tere the single mom and Tere the single woman.
Tere the single mom is o.k. She has a handle on things and makes do just fine, even though she's far from stellar at this job. She has always known that she could do this. In fact, there was a time when it seemed as if her only option was single motherhood by choice, and it was then that she made her peace with the fact that if she ever found herself single and with a child, she would be fine. It might not be her ideal scenario, but she would be able to be a good, strong mom and everything would turn out fine. She struggles, though, when it's just the two of them for too many days in a row. Tempers flare, on both ends, as stubborn mom and stubborn child lock horns, and she in particular gets frustrated with the challenges of raising a toddler. Still, she thinks she's doing a pretty good job. She's having fun, cherishing her time with her boy.
It's Tere the single woman that there's a problem with. The last time she was single, she sucked at it. She always has. She just isn't good with the whole dating scene thing. She might survive a first or second date, but that's about it. Her problem is that she doesn't like to play games or waste her time; she doesn't like to be led on; she doesn't like getting her mind fucked with. Not that anybody does, just that she simply closes the door the second things seem fishy to her and doesn't stick around to see if things change. She goes with her gut. She is not able to play smooth, to be cool, to pretend. She's not sure just how much she can give right now, or what she might have to offer; but if she chooses to be with someone, she worries about her tendency to give and be all or nothing, especially at a time when her instinct is to protect herself and be on guard. It is this need, this knee-jerk reaction to self-protect, that will help her make good decisions, but which might make boys throw their hands up in exasperation and walk away.
It is just as well, then, that she has no interest in being part of the dating scene. She doesn't want to be set up, or go partying in clubs or bars. She doesn't want to meet random people in random places. So she is thankful that she doesn't have to do these things - not now, and not ever if she so chooses.
There is, however, one little thing: at the end of the day, I am a true believer. I may suck at dating, I may be struggling with some things, I may be terrified of this new aspect of my life, but I believe. I believe that the love and commitment I've always wanted can still be had with the right man. I believe in the right man. I believe he exists and that he would be just as lucky to have me as I would be to have him. And perhaps I am beyond stupid and naive to believe in things I've never had, things I have no reason to believe exist, but I do.
And then, there is the point where both aspects of this new singlehood meet: my son. He is the one who will keep me from being stupid and making bad choices, and he is also the one who will turn men off and away from me when it becomes clear that I won't compromise on my commitment to him and providing him a safe, loving life. I understand this; I understand that there will always come a point with someone where the conversations will have to be had and choices made. There is no having just me on any permanent, real level. Because there is Max; and to love and have me, to have a life with me, means to also love and have him as well. We are in the end a package, one that must be accepted and cherished wholly. This is the only thing set in stone, the only thing I know for certain.
I'm getting way ahead of myself here, I know. But it has to be acknowledged. It is not something that will always come into play, not something that will apply to everyone, but it will always be there.
There is so much tied to this word - single - now. Every day I have new thoughts, new feelings, new fears. I don't see any of it as bad, just new. Different. Everything is swirling around me - ground I will cover here in due time.
For now, I start with this, with single. Another adjective by which to describe me.
I have been battling what has got to be the worst case of PMS ever this week. The depth of my impatience and irritability is endless, and because it's combined with this ridiculous feeling of being a sad little puppy in need of some nuzzling, I am beyond annoyed with myself.
For that, you get this nice little diversion of a quiz-survey-type thing, wherein I reveal all the secrets you've been dying to know.
This is Me
Eye Color: Brown Hair Color: Brown --Dyed or Natural: Natural (but if I dye it's with henna) --Curly or Straight: I’ve got the kind of hair that can curl and straighten easily. In its natural state, it’s wavy leaning towards curly Right- or Left-handed: Right Tan or Pale: Pale-ish, but tan compared to white folks (even so, my legs are in desperate need of color) Jeans or Skirt: I'll wear a skirt, but I'm a jeans girl through and through Country, Rap, or Rock: Of these options, rock Car: 07 Honda CRV Place in order of preference--T.V., book, movie, music: Books, Music, TV, Movies Your heritage: Cuban parents & grandparents; Spanish & Italian great-grandparents and beyond Shoes you're wearing today: Fabulous strappy brown wedges Your weakness(es): Chocolate, boys who read, mangoes Your perfect pizza: Has to have lots of cheese Favorite color: Black Favorite place: The beach Goal you'd like to achieve: To get my house completely organized Your most overused phrase(s): "Eso es mierda," "like" Your thoughts first waking up: I don’t want to get up Your best physical feature(s): My lips and eyes Your bedtime: It's in extremes - either 9 p.m. or 2 a.m. Your most missed memory: Summers at the beach Pepsi or Coke: Coke (caffeine-free, classic) McDonald's or Burger King: BK - in fact, right now a whopper with bacon and cheese would be perfect Single or group dates: Single Adidas or Nike: New Balance Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Blech Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate Cappuccino or coffee: Coffee (Cuban) DO YOU: Smoke: No Cuss: Yes Have a boyfriend/girlfriend: Is this a trick question? Take a shower: Only on Wednesdays Have a crush(es): James Franco, how I love thee Think you've been in love: For sure Want to get married: Not so sure Believe in yourself: More than in anyone else! Believe in God: Yes Believe in your government: I don’t call what we have a government Get motion sickness: Nope Think you're attractive: I find myself attractive but don't think others really do Think you're a health freak: I care about my health, but am not fanatical about it Get along with your parents: Now that I’m an adult… Like thunderstorms: Yep IN THE PAST MONTH, HAVE YOU: Drank alcohol: Yes Gone on a date: Yes Gone to the mall: Yes Been on stage: No Eaten an entire box of Oreos: Nope Eaten sushi: ICK Been dumped: Nope Gone skating: Nope Gone skinny dipping: Nope Stolen anything: Nope HAVE YOU EVER: Played a game that required removal of clothing: Yep Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Once or twice in my wild youth Been caught "doing something": I need some specifics here Been called a tease: Nope Gotten beaten up: Not even close Age you hope to be married: This does not apply to me Number of children you'd like: At least 2, would love 3 Describe your dream wedding: Small and right on the sand; flowers in my hair; a wonderful man who's peeing in excitement over the knowledge that I'm his forever What do you want to be when you grow up: Free WHAT YOU LIKE IN THE OPPOSITE SEX: Best eye color?: Hazel Best hair color?: Whatever, but not blonde Short or long hair: I have a weakness for long, but can live without it Height: 5’8” or taller Best first date location: I have no clue, but I'd like a small, simple restaurant Best first kiss location: The lips? All right... somewhere with nice moonlight IN THE NUMBERS: Number of people I could trust with my life: 2 or 3 Number of CD's: A couple hundred? I just don't keep track Number of piercings: 5 at my peak, down to 3 Number of tattoos: 1 Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: I haven’t kept count… 20? 30? Number of scars on my body: Don’t know… 5?
When you become a parent, in many ways, you cease to exist. It's no longer about you. Nothing is. And this is both good and bad - good because it makes you get over your b.s real quick, and things that used to set you off or take up a lot of brain space but are ultimately pointless no longer matter. But it's bad because the way you lose your sense of self and a large part of your identity can be frightening.
My post this week over at GNMParents addresses one of the ways in which mothers disappear into the background of life sometimes.
Check it out (the rest of this post will make better sense when you do).
I now take pictures of myself no matter where I am, or whom I'm with. It has become both a game ("I have to prove I was there!" I'll say) and my own personal testimonial to the fact that, yes, I was indeed there, even if there is very little proof of that.
Thank You, New Kids on the Block, for Crushing the Last Few Memories of Innocence I Had
Did the New Kids on the Block always suck this much? Because I'm watching a video of some new song of theirs as I write this, and I honestly can't stop cringing. Seriously, this is hurting. I'm embarrassed for them.
Still, I once loved NKOTB so. Oh lawd, how I loved them in junior high. Joey (or "Joe" as he now goes by) was so cute and dreamy; I would watch their videos and swoon at the sight of him. Sigh.
It was a brief but intense affair, with me pining for these boys who were older and the perfect mix of sweet, tough, romantic and fun. My friends and I acted like crazy beasts, amassing t-shirts, pj's, posters, duffel bags, sleeping bags, and all other kinds of merchandise - all of which served to prove how deep and real our devotion was. Let's face it: those boys had a lock on the right words and the right moves to make teen and pre-teen girls feel loved and cherished and special and understood. Who knew at that age it was all a crock of shit?
But then I got into heavy metal and grunge, and promptly dumped Joey and co. without a second thought. Just like that, it was over. I'd like to think my musical sense returned to me (one of the benefits of being the baby of the family was the constant influence of my sisters' and cousins' music. I mean, come on, I was nine and into The Hooters and Huey Lewis and the News, and knew all about Pink Floyd's The Wall), but the truth is that I've had questionable taste in music (exhibit A: I just mentioned I got into heavy metal) as equally as I've been into better musicians.
(And actually, as I write this, part of my brain has flagged two things - "It was a brief but intense affair" and "promptly dumped Joey and co. without a second thought. Just like that, it was over" - and has gone off on a tangent about how the exact same thing can be said of my past behavior with boys: brief but intense, followed by my unceremoniously ending things the second I got bored. Thankfully, I'm much more mature and cautious and nicer now. I hope.)
Now I'm sitting here, watching them with a strange sense of deja vu, wondering how it feels to be in your mid-to-late 30's, without any major hits as a solo artist or any particular acclaim since the early 90's, having to dress the same and do coordinated, dorky dance moves. I'm thinking that it must feel pretty damn humiliating. And if it doesn't, it should.
Still, I'm noticing that a couple of these unfortunately named New Kids have aged well (Joe, the age difference is minimal now, sweetheart, and time has been kind to you. Call me.) It's a shame that the cheesiness factor is so friggin' high. Seriously, do any of them have any decision-making role here? And if so, how did they actually agree to this song, this video, these outfits? Am I staring at tragic desperation?
Sigh. The pubescent dreams of millions of girls-now-women across the world are dying sad little deaths with NKOTB's return. I was better off with my memories of the cute boys who begged me not to go and swore they believed in me and promised to be loving me forever.
Because now, they're so cheesy that I have to laugh. And cry. A little.