Saturday, August 31, 2013

10 Miami Women You've Probably Dated

man taking dump reading on toilet
Aren't we being a bit too picky, ladies? I mean when you really love someone, this is what you end up seeing every morning.

This one is for the guys.

I am so sick of the male bashing going on with the "Miami guys you've dated" posts both in Miami New Times and Huffington Post. What pisses me off more is this xenophobic attitude written by "outsiders" who think shit is wrong with Miami.  Nothing is wrong with Miami and yet everything is "wrong" with Miami. It's just another freakin' city, for pete's sake, populated with people from all over the world.  Get over it, already.

Grow up! If you don't like it, get the hell out! Why did you move here in the first place? Why are you still here? Maybe YOU are the problem.

No matter where you live, you manifest and attract what you are and how you live.  Yeah, I may be single right now, but I'm not ungrateful for some pretty awesome dating experiences I've had in the Magic City. Sure there have been some duds, but that could happen anywhere. I've met some really great guys here and who cares if the dating didn't result in marriage?  Sometimes dating is just that -- dating.

As my friend and relationship coach Gladys says, "men go on dates, women go on relationships."

So let's see, if it really takes two to tango, there's a reason why assholes attract each other in this mating dance.  Now, I'm obviously a woman and not a misogynist, but ladies, sometimes that so-called jerk you are dating doesn't know what the hell to do with you.  If you keep thinking he's a bad guy, well guess what? He's gonna end up being a bad guy -- ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

If you really want to question why things aren't working, then look inside yourself.  The city has nothing to do with it.  Watch enough episodes of Sex and the City, and you know New York is not really the central character.  The narrative is really about the brave hearts of several women navigating the waters of sex, love and relationships. Same deal with Golden Girls, by the way, which was figuratively set in Miami.

So which type of Miami girl are you?  Be honest, now.

1.  You're the tourist or transient type who just wants casual sex, yet you complain when he bolts out the door.  Why are you expecting commitment if you don't act like someone who wants commitment?

2.  You're the ultra-vain girl who expects to be treated like a queen, but you play hard to get and don't give the guy the time of day unless he's got cash. You may have missed out on a good guy just because he didn't have an Amex black card. If you think vagina is a gold digging tool let me introduce you to a shovel that picks up a shallow emotional life instead of real love.

3. You're the woman who doesn't give a divorced guy a chance. And by divorced guy, I mean FULLY divorced, with some recovery time to spare.  And what's more, why do we give divorced fathers a hard time in those cases when they are actually devoted dads who are working hard to support their kids? If you don't want that situation, then don't date divorced fathers or otherwise, accept his baggage. You've got yours, too.

4. You're that gal who saves all her cash for plastic surgery enhancements on your body while you put no focus on your spiritual side -- and yet you want a guy to appreciate you for who you really are? Who the hell are you, anyway? A silicon-filled barbie doll?  What happened to your heart? Yes, it's important to stay beautiful, but at what cost?

5.  You're that lady who gives a hand and then lets the guy take the whole arm. You don't set any boundaries. If you don't want guys to treat you like crap, well, then, don't let them.  Yeah, they may try to take advantage of your emotional vulnerability, but ultimately, you have power over your own feelings and the goods, wink wink.  Stop playing the victim all the time.

6. You're that woman who constantly complains about everything and is never grateful. She never says "thank you" and because she feels so entitled, the guy stands no chance of ever pleasing her.  Honey, maybe he's not the problem. Maybe he's actually sweet.  Maybe it's you, because you're bitter and haven't forgiven yourself for past romantic blunders.

7.  You're that kind of woman who wants to control every minute of the date and never goes with the flow.  Just let the damn guy do his thing -- provided it is safe, of course.  If you don't like what he planned, well you have no obligation to see him again.  NEXT.

8.  You're that girl who is so afraid to take a chance, you blame the opposite sex for not wanting to go out with you.  Who wants to go out with someone who is afraid to go out?

9. You're that overly-confident yet insecure woman who plays sex up to the hilt yet you expect guys to respect you.  Leave something to the imagination, girl. A guy doesn't need to see your semi-nude photos on Facebook, unless soft porn is you part-time job and you are using social networks for business purposes.  We've had enough already with Miley Cirus twerking on national TV.

10.   You're actually a really accomplished, eloquent and elegant professional, who is healthy and holds her own.  And you can't understand why you're not happily married at this point.  I admit this one stumps me ... but it's not like there aren't any self-accomplished, similar professional guys in Miami.  Of course there are! Gotta keep looking.

And finally, this woman is ME.  It's YOU. It's all of us. Straight, gay, whatever, we have all stumbled and made mistakes, which aren't really mistakes, but life journey lessons.  There's a little of us in all of these behaviors.

Come on, who hasn't acted like an idiot sometimes? I'll be the first one to admit it. Stop blaming the guys for everything.  Stop blaming the city.  Look inside yourself.  Otherwise, get the hell out of Miami.

And I can pretty much guarantee that leaving Dodge isn't going to result in instant dating success.  Otherwise, Miami would be a city full of men with mail order Russian brides and yet it's not. For every woman I know who's single, there's also some other one who is a in good relationship.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Heart on Sleeve Doesn't Mean Dirty Laundry

I am grateful for all my ex-boyfriends and lovers.  There haven’t been that many in my forty-five years of life -- I’m not a Blanche Devereaux -- and if some readers may recall, I even took pride in a stint of celibacy not long ago.

I am grateful for the beloved who taught me how to cook. I am grateful for the one who, years later after our relationship, came out of the closet. I am grateful for the one who taught me how to fish. I am grateful for the one who thoughtfully brought me a book of Pablo Neruda’s poetry. I am grateful for the one who treated me like a queen and spared no expense. I am grateful for the one who wasn’t as wealthy, but whom I fell in love with after a simple picnic outdoors.

Were there problems? Yes, of course.  What relationship doesn’t eventually face challenges? That’s what relationships are for -- to help us grow and become better people in mind, body and soul. Relationships are a form of yoga.

But dear readers, that’s not really the point.

What's the common denominator here?

The point is, that in my blog, you will never know their names. I have always respected the privacy of my exes in that way.  But I do write for every woman, the archetypal soul woman, the woman who has heartbreak yet is resilient, who -- check my tag line -- lives, laughs, loves and cries chronically.  That's just life, for pete's sake!  The normal ups and downs.

Why am I writing this?

It recently came to my attention that someone sent a link to one of my exes about a fairly recent post I wrote about relationships.  The story apparently blew up into a misunderstanding.  I apologize if anyone’s feelings were hurt.

But let’s make a few things clear. Whatever happened is between us and whatever “informant” gave him a “tip” doesn’t know squat, because I haven’t seen him in months and in fact, I even joined an online dating site after he broke up with me.

So which ex was I referring to? Readers, you’ll never really know.

And here’s why.  I have been writing in the first person for nearly a decade.  My audience appreciates my raw and candid style.  Sometimes it’s banal and funny; sometimes it’s sublime and sad.  It’s just my voice, one that I refuse to silence.

I always tell it like it is.  But it's not always just about me.

Are you going to ask Adele to not write and sing Someone Like You?  Will you ask Elizabeth Gilbert to not write a semi-fictional memoir like Eat, Pray, Love?  Would you go back in time and burn Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?  Would you tell Maya Angelou to rescind her poems? Would your life be better if Toni Morrison did not describe birth the way she did in Beloved?

I have been a witness to life. I have been a witness to many relationships, not just my own.  This is what writers do: they witness and they write.

Some posts about relationships have disclaimers and when I started this blog, it was under a pseudonym, because nearly a decade ago, women my age didn't have the level of comfort and safety they have now in social media, although that's another wholly debatable subject.

The “I” is just a familiar voice, but it represents the many voices and stories I have heard from women about their love lives; it stands for the many narratives I have read, heard and witnessed over the years.

If you’ve read my blog since its humble beginnings, you’d know that my style and voice is one that has evolved beautifully and one that I have carefully cultivated -- there is an art to taking something personal and making it universal. But that “personal” may not always be just me.   More importantly, in this editorial, you will never know the name of anyone I’ve loved, at least not in public, and if anything, only by a fake moniker.

What’s more, I was recently hired on a short-term contract to write a column on sex and relationships for an online magazine. It’s not the first time I’ve been hired for such a task.  So part of what you’ve seen here is just overflow from my wordsmithing.

Let’s face it.  Readers don’t just want to hear about stories that are all rainbows, unicorns and lucky charms. Readers want stories that are real, even if they are based on a semi-fictional interpretation of the world.

To the particular lover who took offense: I apologize, but the world really had no way of verifying it was you and honestly, it wasn’t really all about you.  You were a good person who did do some nice things for me, but it didn't work out, although I tried my best to honor the love we shared, to resolve our issues and question my own expectations.  I know you tried also, in your own way, but you did disappoint me on some levels, as I suppose, I did you. I was never perfect. No one is.  After I’ve had time to heal, our relationship could evolve into a lovely friendship because you are, in spite of everything, a cherished presence in my heart.

To the person who sent him the link: mind your own business.  I’m not running a gossip tabloid here.  I'm not writing the journal of a high school girl going through puppy love. Stop jumping to conclusions.

There’s some real irony, actually. This particular lover and I never even had a picture taken together posted online anywhere.  It’s rather sad actually, because I truly loved him and no one ever really knew his name -- at least not online. And we looked very good together!

But that’s how privately we conducted our relationship.

And yet my online acquaintances and friends, including relationship coaches, post thousands of status updates and pictures of their babies, lovers, spouses and members of their social circles, with real names of loved ones and even children in the mix. I know folks who make announcements about relationships five minutes after they’ve started dating. That’s their prerogative and I’m not judging them.

I do want to add some perspective:  I don’t spill as many beans as people might think.  I don’t even want to be a celebrity, rich or famous reality TV “blogger” -- privacy is in fact, quite important to me.  I just want to tell stories. I’m a storyteller. That’s what I do.

If being a woman writer means no man will ever trust me with his heart, then fine.  I guess I’ll have to live with that, but I’m not going to stop being the amazing woman I’ve become and will always be. I’m not going to stop expressing myself through the God-given gift of language or film or other mediums I’ve used to be a storyteller.

Just know this: I’ve never betrayed anyone’s true identity and never intend to.   In fact, the running joke now is that when I meet my future husband (if I haven’t already met him, wink wink), I’ll probably elope and spring the news on you unexpectedly.

I write about all hearts, not just my own.  We all have dirty laundry. You’ll never really see all of mine. I don't always wear my heart on my sleeve, but damn it, many of you appreciate it when you catch a glimpse, because it's part of being human and sharing stories.

And for that, I am very, very grateful.  Thank you, faithful readers.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

When He Gets Under Your Skin

sexy couple making out boobs

This post falls under the Manola Blablablanik series.

Some people will tell you that love is a social contract. Others will tell you it’s a disease rife with melancholy and heartbreak. And yet others will tell you that, if done right with copious hard work, it’s a panacea.

Everything I just mentioned above is the biggest bullshit, because love is all that and yet it isn't all that.

A contradiction. Yes, I know.

If two people unite their bodies, make commitments to their souls, then "love" become a virus you can’t get rid of easily when someone goes away. This is love on a cellular level.

A friend of mine recently said, “love doesn’t know time.” And that’s true.

There’s “clock” time and then there’s “soul” and “love” time.

When you truly love someone profoundly, that love does get under your skin. I’m not a scientist, but I would venture as far to guess that it probably transforms mitochondria. Two patterns of DNA come together, for better or worse.

And why the worse? Who wrote that shitty, negative vow? It should always be for the better.

Our hearts aren't kept in tight, bound boxes.  They spiral and cross boundaries, like the DNA helix, whirling and creating amazing shapes and possibilities.  Love doesn't just end; sometimes, unfortunately, it stays inside, all dressed up with nowhere to go.

One of my favorite lines from The English Patient is from character Katherine Clifton’s notebook: “tastes we have swallowed, bodies we've entered and swum up like rivers.”

Intimacy requires this incredible journey, fishing for comfort and solace in the heart, up dark, scary rivers, hiking on a body full of hair and bumps, of smells and holes and vulnerability, all beautiful, binding and incredibly annoying when regular life kicks in, constantly shifting from the banal to the sacred, back and forth.

Finding the highest gift of all -- to love someone, to love yourself and be present for a greater good as a couple made up of two individuals -- all that in communion with the body of another, all that in mutual adoration and respect.

Tonight, as I write this, the clouds float slowly and gently through the pale blue sky. But love, to me, without you in a state of embrace, it’s as if the soft vapor was sandpaper grating my skin.

Thursday, August 01, 2013


This post falls under the Manola Blablablanik series.

I recently had a conversation with my ex in which he claimed I had too many “expectations.”

That word. That dreaded word. I'd like to believe he didn't mean to hurt me with it, but it punched me in the heart.

Let’s turn this around, shall we?

Because my ex had way more expectations than I ever did. All I wanted was quite simple. No marriage. No kids. Just be present. Show up. Hold me. Love. Sex. Eat good food. Fun. The actual bearable lightness of being.

Instead, what did he want?

Oh boy, I can’t even publish the laundry list, because he expected so much of me. From massages to making him breakfast, micro-managing many details of my life to make it more convenient for him, most of which, by the way, was my absolute pleasure to oblige, except that after a while, I realized that the balance was fully tilted in his favor and I felt myself depleted of energy and completely neglected, unappreciated.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but really, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

I understand the whole “surrendered” principle, but we ladies need to know the difference between a woman and a doormat. Not that I ever was truly a doormat, but I ended up feeling that way. While I thought I was being nice, I also intuited that something might be amiss and yes, I took that risk.

Love requires risk, no doubt about that.

And while all this was going on, I was, as usual – as a writer – an observer, a witness to what messages the universe was sending me. The messages came from others.

I have friends, family and others -- inadvertent "teachers" in my life path -- who are in great but of course, not perfect, relationships. No relationship is ever Cinderella perfect. All relationships require “work.” 

But when you’re around these people, you know they really care about each other. Good lord, I am bombarded by it all the time -- the media commercials, the messages, the daily signs -- all these bazillions of people -- who are devoted to each other because you know what? They have "expectations" of care, devotion and sincere love.


Ladies, there is nothing wrong with having “expectations,” so don’t ever let a guy you’ve got deep feelings for guilt trip you because of that word, push that ridiculous word on you as if you’re the one who’s doing something wrong.

This is what all relationships are built upon, the foundation of morals and ethics in all aspects of life: “I treat you well. You treat me well. We take care of each other.”

When you have kids, when you sign a contract for a job, when you are loyal to a friend, when you uphold the law, when you become a caregiver, or a pet owner, for example – all these things – this is what defines us as humans.

Heck, even animals have “expectations.” Baby bird is born, cracked egg in the nest and boom! mama and papa bird are there, feeding the fledgling a worm.

All of social life is rife with “expectation.”

Expectation of the beloved – the person to whom you give your heart, mind, body and soul to, entrusted with care, now complaining that you have “expectations” because, I don’t know … you might ask for some ginger ale when your tummy hurts and even that “chore” can’t be delivered?

A guy can’t expect a woman to do all kinds of things for him, when he can barely lift a finger and then claim that it’s “expectations” that’s pushing him away when he has way more “expectations” than you do.

It's a two-way road, if it's going to succeed. Not a one-way dead end.

Ladies, think about that.

I rest my case.

Don't let your heart shrivel up when it is truly expansive. "Expectations" let you have hope that your heart can truly fly in a space of comfort and love. "Expectations" means opening a door where you can surrender and relax in trust and this means taking a huge risk.

I could have said this all in one sentence: "There is absolutely nothing wrong with expectations."