My favorite Colour…

Recently, my best friend asked me what my favorite color was.

Mind BLOWN!

And I know what you are thinking, “What a bad friend!”

WRONG!

The reality is, I, super duper capitalized and emphasized I, didn’t know the answer.

If you ask my daughters about their favorite colors, they’ll shoot an answer back to you before the question has rolled off your tongue. 

“Grey! and BLACK!”

That’s Sofy. Despite her beautiful soul and smile, she clings to the notion that she is very much like the character Sadness from the movie Inside Out. She also likes the color blue. She wants to paint her room grey. She is very “cool”. She is 10. Going on 30.

“Okay.”

That’s my son Gaby, who has his head buried in Minecraft.

“What do you mean, okay? I asked what your favorite color was.” He’s 8. Going on his father.

#SMH

“Pink aaaand Purple. And light pink and dark pink and light purple and dark purple. And sometimes red.”

That’s Vicky. She obviously LOVES pink and anything near it on the spectrum. She’s also always smiling and happy and cheerful. I don’t know how she does it. Having a smile on your face all the time; that shit takes work. She is 6. Just 6. 

#SmileThroughTheBullshit ::shrugs shoulders::

“Oh No!” 

That’s David. He says “oh no” a lot. He also knows “tete”, “mimir” (which is his blankie), “my toons”, “door”, “key”, “bubbles”. His vocabulary is extensive. He is 2.5.

But when I was asked about my favorite color, I drew a blank. I’m 34 going on Old as F!

At least I know my best friend’s favorite color. It’s purple. And she loves elephants, and sunflowers. And Yoga.

Lol. She knows her shit. She’s got it together.

Because isn’t that what life is? Figuring out who you are?

But what do I love? I love turtles. THAT I know for sure. Especially the ceramic one I have that opens up like a clamshell. My husband proposed with that one. He put the ring inside. So romantic. It almost got shattered, but that was turtlely an accident.

Does that mean Green is my favorite color? I LOVE sunflowers too, does that means it’s yellow?
I really don’t know.

When I was younger I always said Black, White and Red, so that’s what I went with when she asked me.

But I really am not sure. 

Maybe I just feel bad to leave a color out? ::insert emoji holding chin looking up questioningly.::

When It comes to clothes I usually stick to black, because you know, it’s supposed to make you look “thinner” ( and I don’t mean anything else by that, I exactly mean thinner, but will use quotation marks just in case I mean something else later); but really it usually just gives you no shape at all. Doesn’t flatter or unflatter- it’s just a void. So, I’ve learned to force myself to be more colorful.

Our mom’s favorite color is red; M.A.C. Red; red Roses, or red tops. Red anything, except as in read. She’s not fond of reading.

So, what does it mean. That I don’t have a favorite color? 

Color or Colour?

Favorite or Favourite.

I kinda like them with a u

I don’t have the answer ready at the tip of my tongue? Do I not know what I like?

Am I pushover that will just go with the flow and accept any old color as my favorite.

The HORROR!

I mean, WHO AM I?

Lol. Too dramatic. It probably means nothing, but I’m gonna google it anyways.

#GoogleEverything

Nobody says Bing it.
*******
What is your favourite colour? Why? 

Let me Post the Ways

TCP Port 21

How do I love thee? Let me post the ways.
I love thee to every terabyte and zettabyte
The web can reach, when searching every site
For the best deals, and Bing for rates.
I love thee like I hate every day’s
Most wild Trump tweet, by LED or night-light.
I love thee freely, as women strive for likes.
I love thee purely, as they duck-face for praise.
Love thee with the patience I put Napster to use
In the dialup days of grief, and my poor connection’s faith.
I love thee like the track of time I seem to lose
With status updates. I love thee with the most
Emojis, Texts, Grams of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after this post.

*****

Below the original Sonnet from one of my favorite authors and poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

How Do I Love Thee?
(Sonnet 43)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

False Alarm

This is a late post from my trip to L.A. last week.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of a false alarm, I envision a negative pregnancy test.

PHEW! ::wipes brow::

I had my tubes cut, burned, damn near ghost busted 2 years ago, yet I still worry about false alarms. Or rather, real, live, blaring baby alarms. I imagine with a middle name of Maria, Jesus could potentially send me another baby.

But today wasn’t about THAT kind of false alarm.

I had just gotten off the phone with my dad, explaining to him how turn on the shower in his hotel room.

Seems simple enough, but this shower handle just sort of sticks out. It looks like you have to pull on it, when in reality you have to twist it. But it gets stuck, sooo by the time you figure that out, you’ve twisted it so hard the wrong way that it seems like it won’t budge at all, and you start to think it might just pop off in your hand.

I know that was an awkward explanation but there was really no way around the lingo. So if anyone reads this in 10 years, and I’m running for President or some other form of office, I hope they won’t be offended.

So any who.

“A la izquierda papi. Como el reloj, pero alrevez.”
I’m gesticulating in the air as if through the phone this will make him understand. 

“Esta mierda no abre.” 

“Quieres que vaya?” I smack myself on the forehead.

“No, ya, ya.”

I wasn’t sure if he had really opened it, or just gave up. But I went on about getting dressed. My dad, Jose (one of our managers), and I were all on different floors.

Not a minute had passed and the alarm went off. Not my phone which I usually inadvertently set to snooze.

The FIRE ALARM! 

“May I have your attention please. A fire alarm sensor has been activated in the building. Please proceed to the nearest stairwell and exit the building.”

Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhh.

And the message went on and on. 

Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhh.

Oh my gosh! A fire! This is just crazy. Dad must still be in the shower.

I looked at myself in the mirror. My morning face and my there’s possibly a fire face, oddly similar.

Alas, no time to remedy! 

“May I have your attention please.”

YES! you have my freakin’ attention!

Thankfully, I was already dressed so I put on my sneakers, grabbed my wallet and key, and left the room. 

Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhh.

Lady in the hallway had her purse and luggage which she dragged down the stairs. 

Well, she’s clueless!

We were on the ninth floor!

I heard the sirens of the firetrucks.

Oh, my God. Is this for real?!?!

Is there gonna be smoke soon? Is anybody even staying in this hotel? Why aren’t more people running around!

When I got to the 4th floor, there was no alarm blaring.

Nobody in the hallways, except a lady in business attire, suitcase in hand, cellphone attached to her ear, attacking the elevator button. 

Another clueless individual. 

Come on ladies! Get it together! 

I put an ear to my dad’s door, but I couldn’t hear anything but the Wahhhhhh. Wahhhhhh. from the floor above us.

Did he go down without me? 

I called his cell.

“Dime Mima?”

“Donde estas?”

“Aqui en el cuarto. Y tu?”

“La alarma de fuego esta sonando. No la oistes? Estoy en tu puerta.”

“No. Me estaba bañando hasta ahora mismo que me llamastes.”

“Si, esta sonando. Bueno en mi cuarto y los otros pisos si.”

He let me in the room, and went on about his normal business of getting ready, a little too nonchalant for my liking.

So I decided to call downstairs, and double check if the building was about to go down in flames.

“Oh, it’s jut a false alarm. Great. Thanks.” If there were a sarcasm alarm I would have set it off.

“Bueno, parece que fue una falsa alarma.”

“Ok Mima. Nos vemos abajo en media hora.” He said with the same casual tone as before, as I slouched out of the room.

A fire? Big deal, right? -_-

A lady in the elevator, was heading up with a bottle of wine.

That seems like a great idea right now! I thought as I hit 9.

OMG! I forgot about Jose!

There’s no WIFI symbol?!?! 

There’s no shiny blue wifi symbol on the outside of the plane.

Hmmm.

No wifi symbol on the overhead compartments.

Double Hmmm.

There’s NO wifi on the plane?!?!

On this 5 hour long flight!

Well, what am I gonna do now?

Read a book? Write a book? Sudoku? Catch up on paperwork?

All plausible. 

Then of course I could always…

HEAVENS NO!

I can’t say the words out loud, but I can type them.

Talk with another passenger, a human being?!?! I’m just being dramatic, my sister is sitting right next to me. 

Maybe I can find a way to message with her…

Maybe the plane hasn’t reached a high enough altitude, and so they haven’t activated it (the “wifi”) yet?

Why the “finger quotes” you ask? They just make everything seem more conspirital. [Yes, I made that word up.]

The TORTURE as my youngest daughter would gasp. 

::clicks::   SETTINGS. GENERAL. WIFI.

NOPE.

No wifi -_-

We’ve gotten so spoiled in today’s world of technology. Well, I’ve gotten; I suppose I shouldn’t speak for everyone.

But hey, I am just (conveniently) embracing the ever-changing world we live in.

Much as humans accepted fire to keep warm, or the wheel to cart stuff, and then themselves around, technology is now carting us around via Uber. Nobody complains about those wonders that made our life soooo much easier. 

Still no wifi. I could probably ask the steward or stewardess, but I know what they’re gonna say, and who needs that kind of negativity in their life. 

I know we tend to get caught up in technology, but it feels even more so because of the rate at which technology has blown up; so many things are controlled from your computer or phone. 

Computers and phones become outdated so quickly, I mean who still has an iPhone 5, right? 

Probably lots of people actually.

Point is, there’s constantly a newer, better, faster version of everything coming out. 

I have no complaints though.

I love my phablet.

The truth is before there were phones you could pour Cristal all over, before iPhones and iPads even, it was call waiting, double lining, beepers, Nintendo and Playstation. For a long time now there has been some form of technology occupying our free time. We all know in the “good old days” kids played in the street, and rode their bike to school, and were at the neighbor’s house ’til sundown when it was time for supper.

Yes, Supper.
Yep. They WERE good times, but now we’re living in a time when you don’t want your kids going to the neighbors, we don’t know who they are or if we can trust them. Most homes have working parents, ain’t nobody got time for neighbors and friendly chit chat. 

Well, some people do. Good. For. You! 

Anywho. I lost track of time, thankfully. Watched “Daddy’s Home” and now watching “Mocking Jay Part 2” SO GOOD!

Back to this post. I took a short commercial break to use the bathroom. Pilot came on over the PA to say there was a Severe Thunderstorm “parked” over MIA, and we were in a “hold” position. He also suggested we “should” have enough fuel to stay in said “hold” position, but if NOT then we would have a diversion. 

A diversion? WTF? Like a party trick?

So, I decided to use the bathroom, just to make sure the diversion didn’t take place in my pants! 

The storm moved, and we are about to land. And I won’t need wifi because my beloved 4G LTE speeds will be back!

After rereading my post for unintentional grammar mistakes (the others can stay), I am finally within signal range!

Time to post! 

Technology for President?

That’s a “T” I can accept. 

iKid.

How to get away with Mur…MARRIAGE!

How to get away with Mur…RIAGE!

Ha! Marriage!
Yes, I almost said Murder; but both go hand in hand if you ask 40-50% of the population.

MARRIAGE: It’s supposed to be a “Merry-Age”? But for a lot of people it’s more like a slow torturous death.

The plus side is you can always just pull the plug and get a divorce, RIGHT?

NO!!! This totally annoys me.

If you inherently believe that you are gonna fail at something the whole while you are attempting it, don’t you think that negativity will filter through? At the first sign of trouble, you just throw in the towel and bail?

Gosh, we’d probably still be pushing boulders around and beating each other over the head with clubs if we gave up on everything so easily.

Yes, some issues arise because people get married for the wrong reasons, or without getting to know each other well enough, and so on. But for the purpose of this blog post, let’s assume both parties are in love and genuinely believe they WANT to spend the rest of their lives together.

I always hated the phrase “Marriage takes work.” If marriage takes work, then I guess parenting is unpaid overtime, with no breaks or benefits?

I only kid (if you are single and not a parent yet).

If you ARE married and/or also in the parenting phase of your life/relationship, have Faith; be Steadfast; YOU CAN DO THIS!

How? How can I get through another day, you ask? How can I be happy, make my partner happy, and be a good parent at the same time?

Well this post has all the answers you’ve been looking for, you just have to read the whooooole thing to find out.

Okay, I lied.

It’s not easy. It takes a lot of slapping yourself in the face, and saying “Snap out of it!” And “Stop whining like a lil B—-!”

Hi. My name is Carmen.

I’m 17 years into my relationship; almost 11 years into my marriage; and 8 1/2 years into the parenting phase.

And I’m very happy with my life, marriage and family up till now. Many will say I’m happy because I haven’t gotten to the bad part yet. Why do people always wanna have a worse story than you? Wether it’s relationship stories or the horrific labor stories women tell, we are always trying to one up with the bad vibes or bad news.

Well, thankfully, we passed the “7 year itch” without a hitch. We’ve got four kids, all natural labors, 3 with epidural. And although our oldest is only 8, she is frightfully maturing at the speed of light.

Unfortunately, there’s no epidural for marriage, but you shouldn’t need one.

Here are 10 other things you can do be happy in your marriage. I say other because there are so many factors that contribute to a happy marriage.

1: Play hide & seek.
Or, as I like to call it: randomly hide from your husband and scare the crap out of him.

WARNING: while this is EXTREMELY fun, and HILARIOUS, be warned that I cannot be responsible if you get punched or kicked in the face by your frightened significant other.

Whenever I hear him coming down the hall, I find a quiet place to hide and then wait… And wait… And wait. Sometimes for several minutes.

Sounds sinister, I know, but it makes for a great laugh for the both of us, after the initial scare that is. Thankfully he seems to forget to get me back.

2: Serenade each other randomly. 

You don’t need a fancy guitar or Mariachis. Just sing in the car or at home when “your song” comes on. Or text them randomly if you hear your song or any other romantic song on the radio. And don’t discriminate if it’s “Bump and Grind”; it’s the thought that counts.

3: Say I love you when you’re just going to another room.

Say I love you a lot! NO, it does not take the meaning away! Sometimes we don’t say it enough to avoid overuse.

Are you kidding me? Do you know how many times we use the word “the” or “and” everyday? Try taking that out of   rest of this blog post see how odd it would be.

Say “I love you” often as you can.

4: Make time to be Intimate.

This should be number 1, but the order doesn’t really matter.

This is especially true once you have kids, but even before. You get married, and have jobs and responsibilities, and before you know it you could be in a slump! Do not give in to the slump. As tacky or unexciting as it may sound, set aside time to be intimate. Literally, count the days and plan for it.

As boring as that may sound, it will still be fun and exciting once you get around to it! So book your calendars just as you would a mani, pedi, or gym-time.

5: Leave little love notes for each other. 

This one is more for the ladies.

Ladies, don’t read this and say, “my guy never does that.” You see THAT is YOUR biggest problem. Stop comparing your guy to someone else’s. AND stop expecting things from him just because you do them, or want him to do them. Men are totally different animals than us. They DO NOT think the way we do. So you have to learn to interpret and appreciate the little things they do for us.

Like what?

Well, how about when they fix something around the house; deal with your car problems; maybe they let you pick a movie. Okay, maybe it’s just a show between the commercials of the football game; okay, maybe you just hold the remote. FINE! Who am I kidding, we barely have remote rights.

Also, ladies, men are terrible guessers. Just tell them what you want and stop expecting them to “know” everything.

6: Compliment each other.

Naturally, as time passes and you start to settle into the relationship, you get so comfortable you forget how attractive you once found each other. You forget about the chase because you already caught each other, and even though you still have the hots for each other, you stop saying/showing it.

This sort of goes back to number 4/1, but also leads to #7.

7: Be confident.
Too often we don’t give ourselves enough worth. We get down on ourselves because we don’t like what we see in the mirror and we ASSume the other person is unhappy with us as well.

Well, NEWSFLASH, men are easier to please than you think. NO they are not blind; you ARE NOT Miranda Kerr or Sofia Vergara, and yes they find these women very attractive. BUT nevertheless, your spouse wants YOU! So ACT like you look like Miranda Kerr, just don’t talk like Sofia Vergara (that’s just annoying). Put on something sexy no matter what you look like, and your spouse will be happily surprised!

8: Never keep track of who owes who.

Marriage is a give and take (this also goes back to number 4/1).

It’s about compromising and sacrificing.

Sometimes you will feel like you are giving more than the other person. But you aren’t supposed to keep tabs. It’s not a math equation.

You don’t give in hopes of receiving, although the saying goes “you rub my back, I’ll rub yours.” And who doesn’t love a good back rub?

You have to love the person more than yourself. If you are both truly in love, then it all balances out.

Ask my husband and he’ll confirm, “Happy Wife; Happy Life!”

9: Don’t worry about other people’s relationships.

NOBODY is perfect. No matter how “happy” people seem.

You know what makes for a great marriage?

Discretion.
Keep your problems between the both of you. Work them out together, whenever possible just between you and your spouse. Because your unconditional love will forgive many things, but your friends, family and Facebook will not be as understanding or forgiving.

10: Articles about Marriage are like Fad diets.

Their advice WORKS! But the second you atop dieting, you gain all the weight/problems back.

You see marriage is for a lifetime. There is no quick fix, or one time remedy because life takes it’s own course. You have to face obstacles and challenges as they came. It’s impossible to plan for anything.

I hope this post is somewhat helpful. If I have to pick one out of the ten as thee most important, I would go with number 4! 😉

Like Nike says,“Just Do It!” LITERALLY!

Tit for Tat?

Last weekend, my husband and I decided to fight the deep-seeded urge to stay home growing roots into our couch, and instead join our best guy friend and his girlfriend at her middle school reunion. It was at a casual indoor/outdoor bar called American Social, where they also serve food. How American.

I (and by I, I mean my husband) complained about the name of the place; about missing the exit on the way there because he was complaining about having to be sociable; about the valet having just closed as we pulled up due to rain. There were so many reasons to have just stayed home. We could’ve been on the couch or in bed, by ourselves, out of the rain, watching a movie, or even better… SLEEPING!

GASP! A perfect evening wasted. BUT we pushed on! Damn it, I was determined that we be social!

We got there before our friends did so we pushed our way through the outdoor lounge area to the bar inside. I guess lots of people had the same idea as us because this place was packed. I’d never even heard of it, but then again we don’t stray very far from the house. It’s like we’ve got these little ankle bracelets that will self destruct if we hit a certain distance from home. We do. They are called children. Ha! No, but seriously, we’ll make any excuse to stay home, even when our parents watch the kids for us.

We hadn’t eaten dinner, so I made reservations on the way there through Open Table. There’s an app for everything! We waited about 15 minutes before they sat us at one of the low lounge tables outside; America themed throw pillows and all. By then, I had already had my first drink, and, of course, I had to use the bathroom.

I made my way back inside to look for one. It was a young crowd in general, young as in early to late thirties. HEY! That is still young!

I didn’t pay much attention to the guys; but like most women, I criticized each and every female as I bumped past them on the way to the bathroom. It’s like a defense mechanism; criticize them before they have a chance to criticize you.

Women, we are our own worst enemies.

So what did I see? You women readers are curious, I know. There were several gorditas wearing too-short shorts; a few others wearing knee high boots that made them look like Humpty Dumpty; the typical, slutty girl in the see through top, thong showing every-time she, well just all the time; the drunk dancing queens bumping into people, repeatedly making them spill their drinks; and then, of course, there are always the few girls that actually look good. THOSE are the ones you REALLY attack.

There was this one, GODDESS, if you will, in a short tight skirt and crop top, some Hervé Léger getup, or probably Bebe. She had long brunette hair, flawless skin and makeup, a perfect tan, nice flat stomach, long legs, and curves in all the right places. Perfect, Perfect, Perfect; in my opinion of course. She was the ideal of what I’d like to see in the mirror. So, I did the typical eye roll, almost epileptic, like completely into the back of my head, and grumbled,”Skank.”

I did more damage in that short walk from my table to the bathroom than a tractor trailer on an icy stretch of busy interstate road.

Now, moping and overanalyzing my own outfit and overall look, I practically punched the bathroom door open.

PERFECT, there’s a line of girls to keep me busy. I waited patiently, but ever criticizing, of course. I finally got on with my business, just number one, and washed my hands. As I opened the door I took a deep breath thinking about the path of destruction I must take back to my table, when I encountered the goddess I previously described towering before me.

“I love your hair,” she said, looking in what appeared to be my direction. She passed me into the bathroom and proceeded to adjust her own hair in the mirror.

“Are you talking to me?” I said befuddled, looking around for some amazing hairdo.

“Yea. You’ve got beautiful hair! I love it.”

“Thanks.” I answered in shock. I leaned against the heavy door just enough that it began to push me out as it closed. A second later I turned back and said,”Well, you’ve got great boobs!”

I KNOW! I couldn’t believe I had just said it either. But it was true!

I only realized after it had escaped my mouth how awkward this comment was here in the hall between the ladies and men’s room, with all the other people, women, waiting and judging.

“They’re alright.” She said and grimaced as she squeezed them together as if to say,”These old bags“.

“Yea! I don’t have much going on there. Yours are great.” I insisted smiling kindly, and I turned and left the bathroom.

Tit for tat, I guess you could say. I couldn’t believe that the girl I had considered perfect, and perfectly hateable, had just complimented ME. She saw something in little old me that she wished she had, and she wasn’t too proud to admit it.

Wow! Mind, Blown!

After that I felt all confident like, strutting in my mind to “I flip my hair back and forth.” There were too many people in there for actual strutting, though; and nobody else really cared how my hair looked, so I just excused my way back to the table.

(Cue the “moral of the story music”, something Oprah-ish.)

None of us are perfect, and even those who would seem close to perfect, will point out many flaws about themselves. We are harsh enough on ourselves sometimes; and then even more critical of others.

We, gotta work on that ladies!

Needless to say, the goddess gave me a great confidence boost. And it served to affirm what my husband had already been telling me for years…Curly hair is awesome!

Carpe What?

When I was 5 years old, I didn’t have many aspirations-aside from laying on my back on the living room floor, drinking a bottle of yoo-hoo chocolate milk, while watching the latest Woody Wood Pecker cartoon or Chilly Willy. Seriously, who didn’t love singing, “My name is Chilly Willy. I’m frozen through and through.”

Ah, Youth!

Those. Were. The. Days!

When my biggest concern was missing the clown at the end of the year party in kindergarten, because I had caught the chicken pox from my sister. Mrs. Rodriguez had been talking about the party for weeks. It was a big deal! ::rolls eyes and grumbles:: I can’t believe I missed it.

Can you imagine the impact those last two weeks of school would have had on my life?

**********

Moving on.

I had my first crush in 3rd grade. He was funny and cute… Dumb. As. Rocks, though. He brought his dad’s credit card to school one day. He was so cool! It said his name right there on the card.

He held it up to me gleaming. The plastic coating that made the card shiny, rather than just a dull matte blue, was slightly peeling off one corner. It was just a little bit, but naturally, I pulled on it and a huge piece flaked off. It’s like a scab, and who can resist picking a scab?!?
My eyes opened wide, as did his. His face turned a bright red, and his eyes welled up.

He ignored me for weeks! Okay, so it was just a few days, but it seemed like forever. Our desks were arranged in groups of six, and ours faced each other.

We didn’t have twitter or hashtags back then, but seriously #FirstWorldProblems.

One day, when we were on speaking terms again, he said, “Meet me at the big tree after school.”

Oh my God! He likes me! I thought giddily, but somehow contained my excitement and only let out a mild, “Sure.”

I hesitated on the sidewalk that day—to the left was the field with the big tree, to the right, the pick up line.

Decisions. Decisions.

I was 8.

I pulled nervously on the black straps of my backpack and waited at the pickup line.

It was the last week of school; my last week at that school.

He didn’t say anything about it the next day.

I imagined that he had waited by the tree, and watched me drive off in my uncle’s red Buick Regal.

**********

5th grade

Another crush…

He was older, and a writer…

Stephen King. LOL! I bet you thought this post was taking a dark and twisted turn. But no, I simply fell in love with his writing and with reading in general.

I started writing poems here and there. At school we learned about Haikus. HaiWho? HaiWhat?

First they were senseless,
But with time I did catch on;
I wrote more and more.

My best friend and I would write short stories, mostly murder mysteries. We haven’t published any just yet, but any day now we’re gonna dig through those boxes of journals and notes and yearbooks, and I bet we have some real gems in there!

I also loved Archie’s Digest. My mom would always pick one up for me in the checkout line at Publix.
I always thought my best friend and I were Betty and Veronica. Her name was Veronica, but I wasn’t blonde. Well, neither of us were. Ah the point is they were best friends, and I identified us with them. Das it!
**********
7th grade

This is beginning to read more like one of my journals, and boy did I have tons of them!

Thirteen, and I’ve decided I’m gonna be a lawyer. It’s more like I was pushed into it by my father. I prepared many opening statements, and filed countless motions before him. Unfortunately, I never won any cases. He was the opposing counsel AND the judge, kinda one sided there don’t you think?

So, what do a budding teenager and her old fashioned father argue about you might ask.

For starters, anything that involves being out of the house with other people, aside from school or work, regardless of the time of day. It was harsher than it sounds.

Whether it was just hanging out at my best friend’s house, going to a movie, or roller skating at Hot Wheels, the answer was an affirmative “No!”, and only sometimes a tortured “Yes”, thanks to my mom’s nagging. Oh, and God forbid I mention the beach, or come home from the “mall” with a tan.

I just wanted to hang out with my best friend, listen to Aerosmith, and talk nonsense (but very important, best friend nonsense) over a slice of Papa John’s and some Chips Ahoy cookies.

Imagine if we had done everything we had planned back then?

We might be running a clothing store called ClothesStop. Or was it ClothesTime? It definitely would’ve been a chain of stores by now. #Forever13

**********

9th grade
Life has gotten so much easier! #SaidNoTeenagerEVER

You turn 15 and your dad turns into an even bigger drag!

My inseparable best-friend and I are now separated by way of about 26 blocks between our high schools. Not very far on a map, or driving time, but apart nonetheless….creating a gap that opened ever so slightly each day, like bolts you turn to stretch a bone. A little pain each day, until suddenly you are taller, or in this case more distant.
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1997
I met a boy. Well, if you ask my father, he was a man.

He did have a lot of facial hair, and chest hair, and arm hair, and leg hair.

OKAY, he was all hair, and hair meant he was not a boy. O_o

Beware the hair, mommas and poppas!

OF COURSE, I thought he was “the one”.

Father hates him? CHECK!

PERFECT!

That wasn’t really why I thought he was the one. I was young, but I was in love.
And contrary to all of my fathers…”instructions” let’s call them, I was certain that he was right for me.

I was only 15, but I was right.

***********

2003

I hit the big 2-1! I could now drink “legally”! Woohoo!

My high school sweetheart proposed on my 21st birthday, April Fool’s Day. Thankfully, it was not a prank!

But I wasn’t shocked. I did not break down in tears. Somewhere, there is footage on an old video camera that captured the moment. WHERE IS IT? I don’t know, but the important thing is: I. did. not. cry.

Am I heartless or cold-hearted? Some might say yes.

But I wasn’t. I didn’t cry because I wasn’t shocked. I loved him, and I knew he loved me. I wanted to get married eventually, but we had what mattered the most already- love and each other. So I said yes, slipped the ring on my finger, and we went upon our merry way.

We are now 10 years into the marriage and ready for Divorce…

HAHA! Just kidding. We’ve got 4 amazing kids, and I couldn’t be happier. I do cry a lot more these days, though. Once you have kids your hormones and emotions just spiral out of control. Okay, that could just be me… Moms?
My best friend is still that.

Our friendship was like a butterfly that reincarnated back to a larvae, and metamorphosed again after college. (I totally had to look up that word… Metamorphosed, doesn’t really roll off the tongue.)  We both got pregnant with our first child around the same time, and now our little caterpillars are going to grow up together. #Cliches #Metaphors

**********

Life can be exciting, but unpredictable.

My life is not perfect. It’s great; not perfect. But I am happy, nevertheless.

Do I ever question life, the whos, whys and whens? Yes, I’m only human, of course I do.

But I never regret, and I never wish to go back or relive.

You have to live your life forgetting about the “What ifs?” and instead saying, “What NOW?”
CARPE DIEM!

And that DOES NOT mean act like an idiot; live today, who can speak for tomorrow.

For me It means live for today, because yesterday is gone; what have I learned from my choices and experiences, and what can I do with them now for a better tomorrow.

Seize Change!
And while there are things that I wish had not happened in my life, or perhaps, that had just happened differently, I am certainly glad I never went to the big tree that day.

Bandwagon

Usually, when a home-team goes on a winning streak, or starts to have a good season after a particularly bad or slow one, people jump on the “fan bandwagon”.

All of a sudden, everyone is a fanatic, going to La Carreta with pots and pans in the middle of the night to celebrate a big win, if you live in Miami that is.

All different stages of people do it: those who have always followed the sport, the kids who cheer with their dads, the helpless housewives that sit through season after season of televised sports, and, of course, the genuinely interested women and or housewives, because those exist. [That’s not sarcasm, although I am known for it.]

So, what’s more annoying than people who jump on the fan bandwagon all of a sudden?

The Hater Bandwagon!

Note to Selves: For every person that genuinely wishes you well, there’s always a group of haters just waiting for you to fall flat on your face.

****

Today, I was doing some pre-birthday shopping with my husband at the
mall.

After spending a substantial amount buying myself gifts, even though my husband had already given me a pair of shoes and sneakers at home earlier that day, [for the record, I rarely splurge… on myself], I felt pretty guilty and wanted to make sure he got something, too.

So, Auntie Anne’s Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel in hand and mouth, [I’m 6 months pregnant and hungry, OKAY] we walked into a Champs and started looking around. After grabbing a couple of T-shirts, an employee walked us over to the register.

“Oh, you got all Lebron stuff,” he stated, riffling through the t-shirts.

“Yea.”

“So, you guys are Heat fans?”

“Yep,” we answered proudly.

“Oh man, why everybody gotta love the Heat. I HATE the Heat. I hope somebody just sweeps in and crushes them!”

O_o Mind. Boggled.

“We’ve always liked the Heat. Why are people such haters?” I ask him, as politely as possible.

“I’m not a hater,” he continues, “but do you really think they deserved to win that series against OKC?”

“What are you talking about, they won 4-1?” My husband retorted, mouth agape.

“Yea, but …bla bla bla,” he went on briefly to say that we didn’t really win or deserve to win that series.

Which is pretty ridiculous because there is the possibility of playing seven games. You don’t accidentally win a series. Either you show up and win more games, or you lose and you’re out. Das it! ::Finger Snaps::

I was a little offended, to say the least with his assault at our choice of team.

I personally had always been a Heat fan.

Since the days of Alonzo Mourning, Dan Majerle’s three’s, Tim Hardaway, & P.J. Brown, I was even a fan of Mashburn, though he was darn ugly.

I fought with Patrick Ewing every time he was under the basket with Mourning! And who could resist Mr. Pat Riley and his slicked back hair. There’s no other coach with the class, flair, let alone the suits, that he brought court-side every game.

I watched the Heat play for years as they added and removed players from the lineup. It was amazing when Shaq joined Wade and helped us get a ring.

I’d also been a fan of Lebron since day one in Cleveland. He was/IS A – wait for it – MAZING. He brought new life to the game and to a team and city that was/IS otherwise dead. Have you been to Cleveland? They’ve got Nada! Zip! Zilch of interest.

Was Lebron really expected to stay there FOR E VER!!!!????

Now, imagine, two things you love, or like a lot, let’s not exaggerate, coming together! You’d better believe I was now an even bigger fan of the Heat and Lebron as they joined forces.

I really resented the way this kid was just gulping down the haterade, just like all the other sore losers whose home-teams couldn’t work a deal to get three great players together. That this kid would belittle my fandom [it’s a word, I checked] and dwindle my true Heat fan status to nothing more than being a mindless follower?

I admit, I’m no expert at sports or basketball, but I can shoot a free throw. In fact, I played basketball my sophomore year in high school. And that is exactly what I did… I made 1 free throw in the entire season. That’s it. 1 point. BUT I was the only one to make their free throw that game. ::Pats self on the back::

I’m not Flo from Progressive either. I mean how annoying and unrealistic is that commercial? Almost everybody should know the difference between a strike in baseball and bowling.

But regardless of my level of expertise, do you really have to know the entire history of a team or player in order to be a true fan? What is so bad about being a fan of a good player or team?

People just wanna be miserable. You live in Miami and don’t love or support your hometown? THAT is the real problem. You work at Champs, buddy, how about supporting Thee Champs!

GO HEAT!

Hot-Lunch

I don’t remember who decided to go on strike, but most of us jumped on the bandwagon pretty quickly…

Who, in their right mind, enjoyed the Hot-Lunch at school?

It was always corn-dogs, green beans, apple sauce, or less-than-thoroughly-cooked pizza, that was more tomato sauce than crust. It didn’t matter what it was, the stagnant smell hung like a toxic cloud menacing the children to move along the lunch line.

Each morning, as the school day began, our teacher would take roll and ask the students, “Hot lunch or did you bring lunch?”

“What’s the hot lunch today?” We’d ask every time, knowing all the words to the song in our heads, but unable to get them out. It can be hot, but that doesn’t make it lunch. We prayed for a cafeteria miracle!

There were usually two options: something gross, not surprisingly followed by something grosser still; but almost always pizza, which was the best, albeit semi raw, option. Nothing like uncooked tomato paste, to get those gastric juices going.

We’d eagerly walk up to the clear glass partition between us and the slop that would otherwise surely suck us in like some 1980s horror movie, each time hoping for a different outcome. But, it was always those same aluminum containers, overflowing with protein and fiber and nutrients—in other words, yucky, smelly, green stuff.

Well, one day, to my surprise and dismay, there was no pizza, even though they had said it was the hot-lunch!

I wasn’t going to pay $2.50 for corn-dogs and corn bread, or Salisbury steak. I don’t care what they wrote on the bulletin board, that was NOT steak. It was like a stake through the stomach. I wasn’t going to throw away money or food. So, I grabbed a chocolate milk, and a pack of cookies, paid the lunch lady and was on my way.

After a couple of days of this, I suppose they started noticing they had a surplus of corn-dogs. The lunch lady said I HAD to get the hot-lunch if I had signed up for it. I tried to explain that they didn’t have what they had promised during the morning roll call, but she insisted. I sullenly, no, not sullenly, I infuriatingly, went back and got a hot-lunch tray; the corn-dog seemed to bark at me in contempt. Ok, I was a little sullen.

I threw it all away! Their moist and chewy texture made them nauseating. Somebody needed to put those dogs to sleep.

So, we or I, decided to go on strike. One day, we all said we had brought lunch from home so none of us would buy the hot lunch. 20 kids, give or take, at $2.50 each, that’s 50 bucks. Yep, there were only about 20 of us in the classroom, in the whole 8th grade for that matter! For this small private school, fifty dollars was a significant enough sum to cause a stir.

They did the math and figured out some kids weren’t buying the hot lunch, even though they had signed up for it!

GASP!

Also, rumor had it that somebody who actually did bring their lunch from home, had snitched about the “strike”. TattleTales! It was the Hot-Lunchers versus the Sack-Lunchers. I certainly thought they were a sack of something after that.

We all got called to the Chapel. Church services were held there, as well as weekly Chapel when we would sing songs of praise and hear different Christian testimonies. It was GREAT, because you didn’t have to eat anything! We held mental math competitions, which I loved ’cause I was, ::cough cough:: am a geek. We also performed drama piece recitations, and reenacted many a nativity scene there.

Today wasn’t about fun, though; it was serious.

The Principal said we were being defiant and conspiring together for evil, maybe she didn’t say evil. She was going to get to the bottom of it, she insisted pounding her fist on the pew before us, specifically, before me I thought. After several minutes of the “What would Jesus Do” spiel, she dished out some silly punishment. No Hail Mary’s or Our Father’s, since it was a Christian school; more along the lines of “no recess for a week“, or an essay about Christian morals, and what not.

But, the biggest punishment…we had to start eating the hot-lunch again.

I will say that they messed up on the food orders less frequently. AND, eventually, they even started ordering Papa John’s instead of pretend cooking in their Easy Bake Ovens!

VICTORY!

Immortality?

Men… Warning: The short that follows is about “That Time of the Month”. Which time? The annoying, bitchy, PMSy time, when all you men do is mess things up for us. And, NO, we don’t act like that ALL the time! Well…

I was 9 when I first discovered I was immortal. I mean how else could I lose that much blood and still be walking and talking. (I warned you.) Maybe it hadn’t been a dream, and I had been bitten by Brad Pitt in the middle of the night.

I was turning! ::DUM Dum dum::

Oddly enough, I had no trouble walking about in the daylight; although it felt nearly impossible to get out of bed to go to school.

Maybe I’d sleep better once I had my own coffin.

I still enjoyed eating Frosted Flakes, despite the pack of bloody liver steaks I had seen in the fridge—they were for the dogs, big dogs.

Needless to say, I was not a vampire; I was becoming a woman.

I wonder if Eve is up there laughing every time a girl gets her period for the first time. “Oops, did I do that?” All Steve Urkel like.

It was the beginning of all my insecurities and uncertainties.

I started to grow these awkward little peaks; the flimsy cotton bras from JByron’s offered no kind of support, physical OR emotional.

Then…the hair.

When my 6 year old daughter recently asked me why I had hair on my butt, I found myself stifling laughter.

“When am I gonna get hair on my butt?” She continued to investigate, staring at me with her head to the side like I was some freak show exhibit. I didn’t want to explain that it’s not called a butt, so I simply answered, “When you’re bigger.”

“When I’m 16?”

“Probably sooner.”

“When I’m 7?” She asked wide eyed with concern because her birthday is only a few months away.

“No, not yet! We’ll talk about it another day.” I ended the conversation abruptly, frustrated that I didn’t have all the answers despite the fact that WE did bite the apple from the tree of Knowledge.

I’m convinced that before that ill-fated day, we didn’t have to shave our legs or pluck our eyebrows. We became angry, bushy beasts after that cursed serpent came along.

Don’t get me wrong, men have it bad, too. They get easily excited by fully clothed women, even not so good looking women. Imagine how hard it was, literally, being naked with us all the time. Poor Adam…

Back to my immortality!

So, you’ve got some semblance of boobs, hair everywhere, your hormones are out of control and you start getting pimples.

Let’s not forget the significant discomfort of “Flo”, the corny nickname says it all; the accompanying cramps and headaches, and the “fun” accessories we have to carry around for most of our lives.

“Mommy, is that you diaper,” my two year old, yes TWO year old, asked mockingly one day, grinning and covering her face with her yellow blanky.

I do try to hide these things, but when you have 3 kids, it becomes increasingly difficult to do anything in privacy. A NY THING. If you don’t lock the door, you’re bound to have an audience.

Marriage/Parenting Tip: always lock the door before engaging in any physical activity that might otherwise require Daddy explaining to the kids that he wasn’t hurting Mommy.

Thankfully, they didn’t just invent those white bulky mattresses we call “Pads”, but also, TAMPONS!

::insert a sun rising and birds chirping happy day here::

Yes, tampons changed my life. No more embarrassing bulge in those unflattering P.E. shorts. No more missing fun pool parties or the beach days when your friends decided to skip school.

Tampons, did not actually give me the nerve to do that, BUT the choice was there!

Tampons were great. Even after some of the stories I heard.
For example, My best friend’s mom told us how one time she finished her period as usual, but then noticed a foul smell several days later. She FORGOT to remove the last tampon!

“Oh, man!” I thought, “That could never happen to me. I’m not immortal, but I’m not a complete idiot either.”

Well, funny story…