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.

New Year’s Revolutions

New Year’s Revolutions… Yes, I’m a little, a LOT, late on this post.

And yes, you read right. New Year’s Revolutions.

What started out as wrong word usage, actually became an idea for this post.

Instead of Resolving to do things, this year we should REVOLUTIONIZE the way we think!

rev·o·lu·tion·ize
/,revә’lōoSHә,nīz/
▶verb change something greatly or completely.
– synonyms
transform, shake up, turn upside down, restructure, reorganize, transmute, metamorphose; humorous transmogrify.
Copyright © Oxford University Press 2003, 2009

Let’s Revolt and do things that actually change our lives! 

1: Baby steps. 

Start small. Set little goals for yourself. Instead of saying that you will lose 30 pounds, say I want to lose 1 pound a week. Or even better, don’t focus on the weight, and instead focus on how to get there. Set a goal of 10 mins of exercise a day for a week. Then bump it up a bit. Shoot for 30 mins a day by the end of the month. 

Setting small weekly goals will give you lots of little victories to help you feel better about yourself, and keep you motivated to stay on track. 

Or, as in my case, let’s say you want to write a book. You can’t just start writing a whole book, (unless you are a masterful genius, i.e. Stephen King), but you can just start writing, a little bit at a time. Writing every day will help you get the creative juices flowing.

See this article about Jerry Seinfeld on writing.

2: Mums the word. 

Stop telling people that you are going to do something. As cliche as the phrase has gotten, Just do It!

Let the results speak for themselves.

Too often we think that by telling others what we are going to do that we will feel more accountable. Instead, when we are constantly judged by others for eating the wrong things, skipping a workout, having a drink, cursing or whatever vice you may be trying to overcome, we are easily disappointed and get down on ourselves. You need to care about yourself and be accountable to YOU before you ever try to please others.

3: No more “I’m Sorry”.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Nobody cares! Unfortunately, EVERYBODY has stuff going on, some are just more vocal than others (or more about posting it on social media than others). We’ve all got stuff going on, but when you allow the negative things in your life to become your focus you lose sight of all the good things that already surround you.

4: Thank you.

This is a continuation of the previous section. Stop saying I’m sorry, and start saying Thank you. We all have so much to be thankful for, if we try. It is easy to mope about the countless issues one may be facing, but what about all the things that are ALREADY going right in your life. This is not to say “pat yourself on the back, you are awesome”; on the contrary, you should be grateful for all the things that are going right in your life that are out of your control. 

5: Don’t spend a dime.

Improving YOU doesn’t HAVE to cost a dime.

You can’t BUY happiness, weightloss, success, a family, health; although you can buy happy pills, diet pills, lotto tickets, and mail order brides…

These are are just short term solutions to a bigger problem, and most of the time they turn what feels like an unmanageable situation into a black hole of issues.

Taking a walk…FREE

Keeping a journal…FREE

Getting up early to eat a good breakfast, and get to work on time or even early…FREE

Spending time with your loved ones…FREE

All these things do have 1 thing in common and that is that they take TIME! Time is one of the most expensive things in our lives, even though it is also technically, FREE! You have enough time, if you get your priorities straight and make good use of it.

And last but not least…

Don’t ever say that you are finished. You are not done living until you are 6 feet under. You are a project that will never get done until you reach those pearly gates, or turn into worms or mulch or whatever. So in the meantime, continue to strive for greatness and self improvement. As you hit your goals, make new ones. Always look up and move forward. You can be grateful for everything you have and feel accomplished, but do not be complacent. Never tell yourself that you have made it. 

There are no limits.

Start a revolution in your life TODAY!!!

rev·o·lu·tion
/,revә’lōoSHәn/
▶noun
2 a great and far-reaching change…

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!

Trump, Jock Or Joke?

Trump for President? I wish it were a Joke.

To all these people defending Trump’s locker room talk. 

Wives. Mother’s of boys, Sisters with brothers.

I don’t understand, nor believe you would EVER accept this kind of talk from your son, brother or husband, or PRESIDENT—out in the open air or behind closed doors with buddies.

It’s one thing to talk lewdly, to brag, make up or exaggerate sexual exploits; it is another thing entirely to boast about the forced, inappropriate and unsolicited touching of women. 

Unfortunately, I myself had been in some uncomfortable situations with an older man. 

——

He asked me to massage him, but to sit on his back. I refused.

I was 11 maybe. 

——
He pressed his face against mine and asked me for a kiss.

I felt him squeeze my thigh much higher than he should have as he hovered above me.
I ran away to my room and locked the door. He persisted to knock.

I was 13.

——
He offered to take me to a motel and teach me things. No one would have to know. When I walked away from him he grabbed my wrist tight and said “don’t go, I won’t hurt you.”
I managed to pull away from him, and drove away sobbing. 

I was 17.

——
I NEVER touched him, and he NEVER touched me. I don’t know how I escaped anything further than just the horribly awkward & traumatic encounters. I was smart and lucky. God was with me.

But I can still feel the ache in the pit of my stomach when I think about it or talk about it.

Some will say,”well, you didn’t get raped or anything.”

Yes, you are right. I didn’t. 

But I wouldn’t wish the ordeal on anyone, especially being that I have 2 daughters.
I would lose it if I heard they had gone through something like that. 

I waited more than 5 years to say anything about what was going on. 

Why?

Was I dumb?

Was I making it up?

Was I trying to get something out of it?

NO. 

I finally said something because I couldn’t bare the thought of somebody else getting hurt. 

I had been scared. I thought it was all in my head. I thought no one would believe me. 

He was no celebrity, but everybody liked him. 

By no means was this person rich, or famous, or important, or running for president, for that matter.

That person was a pig.

Donald Trump is a pig. 

Thankfully, I have never seen him again. 

Please, people. THIS is the man you want running for President? 

NO ONE would ever even consider a man with any type of sexual allegations for the presidency. He would immediately have had to drop out. 

Some of you will be quick to say, well that guy was a pedophile, but it was much more than that. It was the conquest; it was about getting what he wanted. And we all know Trump gets what he wants. 

“And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.”

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.
**********

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.

No saber es no entender.

Hoy participe en un evento para la comunidad-El Poder de Saber. Un evento desarollado por Telemundo y apoyado en parte por la cadena de tiendas Valsan.

Se repartieron mas de 1,100 mochilas llenas de materiales escolares para niños de sexto a doceavo grado. El evento enfocaba en estudiantes de estas edades, en particular, porque a esa edad muchos pierden la esperanza en el sistema educativo y dejan los estudios, sea por razones de salud, familia, o monetarias.

El Poder de Saber es una campaña que apoya los muchachos para motivarlos a continuar su educaion y, al menos, terminar la secundaria.

—–

Es el ultimo fin de semana antes de comenzar el nuevo curso escolar.

La reparticion de las mochilas seria de diez de la mañana a dos de la tarde, pero a las 8:45 de la mañana, ya habian varias personas esperando y preguntando sobre las mochilas. Algunos preguntaban con bastante anxiedad porque en los dias designados, no habian obtenido los vales necesarios para recojer una mochila.

Los que no obtuvieron vales tenian que regresar en la tarde para obtener uno, en caso de que sobraran algunas mochilas.

Muchos esperan hasta el ultimo momento para conseguir los materiales escolares, y no es por vagancia. La realidad es que muchas de estas familias no saben con que van a cenar, mucho menos como van a comprar algo tan sencillo como una libreta.

Por lo general las personas entendian las reglas.

-Se repartia un vale por cada niño de sexto a doceavo grado.

-Un adulto deberia acompañar al niño para obtener el vale, y luego para entregarlo en cambio de una mochila.

-El o los niños deberian estar presentes en el momento de recojer la mochila.

La mochila contenia libretas, una carpeta, composition books, lapices, y boligrafos-materiales basicos, pero esenciales.

Una señora se acerco a la mesa con sus dos hijos. Su blusa empapada en sudor, y sus cachetes rojos de esperar en la cola bajo el sol.

Entrego el vale y agarro una mochila para su hijo mayor. Enseguida el se la engacho en la espalda y se viraron hacia el parqueo.

Pero, parece que le salto alguna duda a la madre, y se viro de nuevo hacia la mesa.

“Las mochilas son para los niños de sexto a doceavo grado solamente, verdad?”

“Si señora,” le respondio la encargada de cambiar los vales por mochilas.

“Ok. Gracias.” En el momento que la mama contesto, el niño mas pequeño salio de atras de ella.

Ella le puso la mano en la cabeza y le restrego el pelo cariñosamente. “It’s okay,” le dijo.

Se despegaron de la mesa, y la encargada continuo a colectar los vales.

“Esperate!” Les dije, pero no me escucharon.

La coordinadora de la mesa me miro y entendio enseguida.

“Niño! Ven aca,” le dijo, a la misma vez extendiendole una mochila.

El miro a su mama para aprobacion y luego se acerco.

“Como tu te llamas?”

Apenas se escuchaba su respuesta, pues estaba apenado.

La coordinadora continuo,”Esta mochila es para ti. Portate bien en la escuela.”

El niño agarro la mochila sonriente y se acerco a la mama, quien lo abrazo a su lado.

“Muchas gracias,” dijeron y salieron caminando.

No habian caminado mas de diez pies del parqueo cuando la mama paro. Los hijos se viraron y le preguntaron,”Mama, que pasa?”

La mama se tapo los ojos, pero las lagrimas se veian correr por su cara.

Ella no podia hablar, ni yo que la estaba mirando.

Pero, ella no tenia que hablar, sus lagrimas lo contaban todo.

Anonymous Pain

What follows is the story of an anonymous girl.

We will file it under fiction, because it must be, fiction.

More people should tell their stories.

************

Years later, everyone smiled as if nothing had happened, as if she had kept her secret.

Her heart sank each time.

She did not wish him ill, but it was a dagger that plunged deeper with each passing day.

******

She was 13 or 14. She had stayed home with him, while everyone else went to the airport to pick up a visiting family member. It was a joyous occasion, as they had never been able to visit before, and it was suspected that they might stay permanently.

She sat on the bed in her sister’s room, and watched television, while eating Eggo’s. It was about 9:30 at night, but it’s never too late for Eggo’s.

He waltzed through her open doorway, in his brown loafers, red sweatshirt and cargos, with his foolish grin, and Black on the rocks in hand. He stared at her glassy eyed.

She felt her cheeks redden as he approached her; she fixed her gaze on the tv, and took another bite. The syrup, or the knot building in her throat, made it difficult to swallow.

He stood by her side and leaned in close to her face. The smell of whiskey and the bristle of his unshaven face made her wince. As she moved away, he placed his hand on her thigh. She stopped chewing. Her hands shook as she held the plate nervously, but she was otherwise paralyzed.

“Give me a kiss,” he said.

She shrugged him off and said,”No, what are you talking about?”

He turned to face her and persisted, all his weight bearing down on her leg.

“Just a lil’ kiss, right here, on the cheek.” He slurred and pointed, then puckered his lips.

She put the plate down on the bed, and got up, pushing past him. She quickly crossed the hall to her room, and dead-bolted the door behind her.

She sat on the bed and tears moistened her cheeks.

What had just happened? Was she overreacting? Did she misinterpret him?

He knocked on her door.

“Open the door. I’m not going to hurt you. I was just playing.”

He knocked again, but she remained silent.

It was not the first time she had felt that sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach.

******

One time, he and his family, her family, had been over, and he had asked her to give him a back massage. Young and naive, she was proud to show off her skills and began to karate chop across his upper back.

Everything was fine, as she pounded away on his back with her fists.

“Sit on my back,” he suggested.

“Where?” She asked, obviously having misunderstood back for bed.

“Sit on my back. You know, so you can get a better angle.”

She was maybe 12 or 13; young, but old enough to know this didn’t feel right.

“I’m kind of tired, actually. Sorry.” She apologized to him, and walked away to the kitchen where she knew others were talking and snacking.

******

She thought she had been imagining things that first time, but this was something different.

Once the family got back from the airport, she ventured out of her room to welcome the visitor.

Everyone was so happy.

He acted like nothing had happened; wouldn’t so much as look at her.

I’m not gonna ruin everyone’s happiness when nothing happened. They’re just gonna think he was joking around as usual, anyways.

******

She was a month away from turning 17, when her parents went out of town for a week.

He and his family always stayed with her and her little sister while their parents were out of town. He had always been like a big brother, like the son her parent’s had never had.

She wasn’t feeling well, and signed herself out of school early one day.

He was at the house when she got there, checking in on some work that was being done in her parent’s yard.

She sat outside on the patio and looked at the progress they had made. There were 2 or 3 workers clearing weeds, planting new trees, and pouring fresh mulch. She sat on a rocking chair to enjoy the refreshing springtime breeze.

When he spotted her, he went to the patio and sat across from her.

“What are you doing home early?”

“I wasn’t feeling well,” she said, overlapping both hands across her stomach. She was already starting to feel worse.

“How’s your boyfriend? Gonna see him today?” He asked, rocking casually.

“He’s fine. You know I can’t go out ’til my parents get back.” She frowned at him thinking, “you’re supposed to be the adult here.”

“I could teach you things.” He leaned forward, speaking more quietly now.

“About what?”

“I’m sure you guys kiss. Do you do anything else?”

“What?”

She hesitated, but then was certain of what she had heard.

“What kind of question is that? It’s none of your business.” She felt more uncomfortable now, but the workers were around so she still felt safe.

“Don’t be shy. I can show you how to do everything. We can go to a motel, right now. I’ll be gentle.” He reached out for her hand, but she pulled it away from the arm of her rocker just in time.

“I have to go.”

She got up abruptly and headed for the door.

Where’s my backpack? Where are my keys? She scanned the room frantically, blind.

The door closed again behind her, and she turned to see him steps away.

<strong>There, at the end of the counter, my keys. She reached for them just as he reached for her arm.

She tried to pull away, and stared at him, her heart pounding in her chest. He gripped her forearm tightly.

“Come on. I promise it won’t hurt. Nobody has to know.”

“I would never do that!”

She shook her arm free and ran for the door. She drove off crying. She just drove and drove.

She drove, until she knew someone else would be home.

******

A couple months after, she worked up the nerve to tell her family.

They believed her, but…

There must not have been enough harm done?

Maybe they all didn’t know the whole story.

Maybe it didn’t matter.

She never saw him again, except now again through the ills of social media; but many of her family did.

And she suffered in silence…wondering all the time if she did right, if she was right, and if they knew it?