Wednesday, June 12, 2013

“Aaaalo Natalia?! … Es Mario!”

The Gremlin!  The resemblance is uncanny, people!!!
Seeing as to how it’s Daddy’s Day this weekend, I wanted to write something a little different than my norm.  I would like to dedicate this entry to all the Daddies of the world, especially to the one and only – my little Gremlin (DISCLAIMER: I don’t own my own little gremlin.  Actually, I used to call my Dad my little Gremlin, because he always reminded me of a cute version of a little gremlin from the 1984 classic: Gremlins).  Anyway, I dedicate this to him and all the Dads that stuck around; the ones that busted their butts (without one complaint) to make sure we were OK; the ones that actually gave a shit.  Sometimes, I feel like dads don’t get the credit they deserve – OH and the soon-to-be Daddies – y’all are important too, unless you fuck it up and then … well, you’re on your own! 
My Dad everybody!!!

Because this blog has been my, sort of, “road to recovery”, I feel like I am ready to write about this, so here goes.  About one year and three months ago, my Dad passed away.  It was a death that wasn’t so tragic, only because we knew it was coming, but really.  What death isn’t tragic?  My dad was extremely sick for a very long time so in a way, it was comforting to finally see him leave this world, because there is nothing worse than watching someone you love dearly deteriorate and suffer through a sloooow and painful death.  To be honest, I don’t think it really matters how someone dies because no matter how it happens, a little piece of you dies with them.  There truly are no words that can express the feeling – that void; the hole in your heart that just can’t quite close itself back up.  I really can’t find the words y'all ... losing someone you love is a terrible, terrible feeling.  Death leaves a pain that will never go away; I just believe that we grow accustomed to the pain over time.

Not too long after his death, I began to notice a change in myself.  The once bubbly, outgoing and funny girl slowly began to grow angry, bitter, and depressed.  It wasn’t up until recently that I slowly dragged my way out of the deep, dark hole that I had fallen into, face first.  For a while, I even grew angry towards my mom and my sister because I felt that they bounced back so easily from his passing and there I was, slowly sinking into a bed of quicksand.  I now understand that everyone deals with death in their own way.  Unfortunately, for a little while, it brought me to a dark place.

The hardest part for me is knowing that the (lucky) guy that actually chooses to spend the rest of his life with me, will never know how awesome my Dad truly was.  My Dad will never be there to walk me down the aisle and more unfortunate than anything else, I will never get the father/daughter dance at my wedding that I have dreamed of my entire life.  Although he won’t be there for those special moments, I am forever grateful that he WAS there every single day of my life to help raise me, care for me and to watch me grow up to be a beautiful (and I say that in the least conceited way possible), hard-working, educated woman.
I might never have my father/daughter wedding dance, but I'll always have this
 My dad had a way about him that left an impact on everyone who crossed his path.  Just his sense of humor alone spoke volumes about him.  I can’t tell you how proud I feel when people tell me that I remind them of my Dad through my sense of humor and personality.  It is such a great feeling and it never fails to bring a huge smile to my face.  I miss everything about my Dad.  I miss how we would just sit there and watch cartoons together (picture two grown adults zoned into a Bugs Bunny cartoon).  I miss our daily afternoon chats where he would tell me some crazy shit about his life; I mean stories that you couldn’t even make up.  I miss his stupid, ridiculous and sometimes dirty jokes.  I miss fighting with him about that fact that, “I’m a party animal and if I continue drinking, I’m going to end up in rehab” – so he would say.  I miss his one-of-a-kind, savory dishes that only HE could prepare.  I miss his advice, that no matter what my drama was, he would always end it by saying, “You deserve the best and you should always do what makes YOU happy.”  I miss how he would embarrass me because he just had no shame.  I miss that deep, raspy voice of his, which was quite intimidating if you didn’t know him very well.  But … my absolute and most favorite memories of my Dad have to be the voice mails that he would leave me from time to time.  Because my Dad came from an older generation, I don’t think he fully understood how voice mails actually worked and so, they would go a little something like this:

VM: Hi, you’ve reached Natalia I’m sorry I missed your call.  Just leave your name, number and a brief message and I’ll call you back”.

Dad: Haalo.  Haaaalo!?  Natalia?? Are you there??? (pause) Hangs up.

VM: Hi, you’ve reached Natalia (blah, blah, blah) I’ll call you back.

Dad: Haaalo! HAAALOOOO! (pause and a sigh) This Goddamn kid (Um, you haven’t hung up Dad and that’s totally being recorded and I’ll be able to hear it).  Five second pause and then a sigh. Ok, call me …………… BYE!  Es Mario (thanks for letting me know Dad)

It makes me laugh just thinking about it.
This is him probably leaving someone a voice mail. *sighs*
So, wherever you are Dad, I hope you have finally learned how to correctly leave a voice message.  Also, I want to thank you for providing us with a life filled with happiness, laughter, love, and of course some of the best memories that I will never forget.  I truly hope that when I do meet someone, he turns out to be even half the man that you were (and maybe you can help me out a little and start sending him my way).  I am especially thankful that I inherited my two favorite things about you: Your gift of cooking and your sense of humor.  I hope to leave my mark on the world with one laugh and one amazing dish at a time – I promise to never let you down.

I hope you are having a hell of a Father’s Day … Until we meet again my little Gremlin. <3

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Welcome Back To Single-hood!!!

One of ma' ladies is recently new to the single scene after a very bad break-up with her boyfriend of 5 years (and for the record, I got the OK from her to write about this).  I will not go into details, but we can just say that he practically pulled the rug out from underneath her.  I had the pleasure of going out with her this past weekend in order to pop her, “Welcome Back to Single-hood” cherry and try to get her mind off the situation – I mean, who can say no to Mexican food and margaritas!?  If I could, I would make up a reason to celebrate ANYTHING, if it meant shoving a burrito down my throat and washing it down with some tequila!  I am NOT getting paid to promote them, but I HIGHLY recommend: Cascabel Taqueria

Although there is not much that you can say to someone who's going through a break-up, I know one thing that's for sure: A break-up is never easy to deal with.  It doesn't matter the situation, how old you are or how many break-ups you've gone through - breakups fucking suck ... A LOT.  We've all been there, at least once.  I'm also sure that we've all had that ONE break-up that left us feeling like we were going to die from it.  The only advice that I could give is: Take as much time as you need to cry it AAAAAAAALL out and once you are done crying, call me up so we can drink the pain away ... Did you survive that? GREAT!!! You are one step closer to the newer and better YOU.  Even though it is easier said than done, you know what?  I did it and I'm still here AND I'm still breathing and so is everyone else that (at one point in their lives) had to walk away from the person that they loved the most.  My favorite part of all of this was when ma' lady asked me how long it took me to get over J1.  My reply?  3 years.  I think I saw her black out, for like a second.  Hey ... everyone deals with breakups in their own way and at their own pace.
I think this is pretty accurate
As we all know (because I'm pretty loud about it), I am no stranger to the single life as I have been single for a good 5 years.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been a couple of long-runners in there (and I don't mean inside my vagina *Boom Boom Psssh*), but no one that I truly considered serious enough to be a boyfriend … Ok, maybe there was one – OK FINE, I’ve been single for 3 years not 5, people!!!  Anyway y’all … I am no stranger to the single life.  For the past THREE years, I have been traveling down the 'singles' road.  There have been some bumps and holes along the way and sure enough I've had those moments where I've felt pretty lonely at times, but overall it’s been a great experience.  There is something about being a party of one that makes you feel empowered.  The ability to do as you wish and to do who you wish (winks), IS AMAZING!!! 

If I could be an advocate for the single life, the following points would be my mantra:
  1. A shitload of guy friends that I don't have to explain
  2. I can eat what I want
  3. I don't always have to shave and be on top of my game
  4. I don't have to explain anything ... to anyone
  5. Slumber parties (yes, they still happen at 30 and they are that much better)
  6. I can eat what I want - that's right I said it twice
  7. Sappy crying movies and not worrying about the puffy, red eyes that follow
  8. No relationship: worries/drama/trouble

Look at this y'all!  I found an article that explains what we go through after a break-up.  I found it very insightful!  A definite MUST-READ: Tristan Coopersmith: 7 Stages of a Breakup

It's so hard to walk away from the person that knows us better than we know ourselves; THAT person that your heart skips a beat for, but trust me when I say: sometimes it's just better to walk away.   When you are at your most vulnerable, I know how much easier it would be to give in and take the person back (that has now severely fucked you over), but it would only be a temporary fix.  Sure, you will have this happy high, but once that goes away what do you have then?  And ask yourself this: could you, in your heart of hearts, truly ever trust this person again and believe in them?  I think, sometimes we become so blinded in a relationship that we lose ourselves and we also lose sight of the future we had once hoped for.  It then just becomes easier to settle with what we have, because we are just so comfortable in our current situation.  That's not to say that relationships can't be fixed, because some relationships have that potential.  It's just a matter of realizing and accepting that often times, the fixing is impossible and you HAVE TO walk away with your dignity and just let it go.  It took a 6 year relationship + 3 years of healing for me to learn that.

Despite all the ups and downs and my terrible dating record, right NOW is the happiest I've ever been.  I know ma' lady doesn't feel the same way that I do at this particular moment, but one day she is going to wake up feeling as if the bag of bricks have finally been lifted off her chest.  Besides, she has so much to look forward to now: Free dinners, wild nights, much-needed alone time AND an entire world of JB's and Lingerers and other freaks that are waiting to get their hands on her and send her running in the opposite direction.  But don't worry, because life has a way of working itself out (someone once told me that) and while it's doing just that, I will be here: to listen to your stories, to get you disgustingly drunk and to support you every step of the way because you are NOT alone!  I promise, it will only get better - Welcome to single-hood Doll!!!