There’s Something About Cameron

We all need role models. Someone to guide us. To provide invaluable wisdom. To teach us right from wrong. Usually this person is found in the form of a friend or family member. But, I can’t help but mold myself after celebrities. It’s awful, I know, but I really HAVE learned some great things over the years. Like always wear underwear. Never shave your head and wield an umbrella as a weapon. Don’t date John Mayer. And so on.

So when it comes to my single life, I really consider Cameron Diaz my bitch. She rose from the ashes of her relationship to A-Rod. Weathered the storm of a fauxmance with Diddy. Kept on after losing hot tottie Justin Timberlake to queen of the basics, Jessica Biel. And never once did I think, “look at poor, single, lonely, desperate Cameron Diaz.” Because she EMBRACED her single status. She had zero fucks left to give about the men she left in her wake. She refused to be portrayed as thirsty for love, a role that Jennifer Aniston has perfected.

Now, at 42, she marries Benji Madden after seven months of dating. No pomp. No circumstance. Just a fitting ending for a badass like her. She had her fun, she set the terms and she finally settled down. It wasn’t a sprint to the aisle because of her age or because of societal pressures. With that body, that bangin’ personality and that talent, she could’ve been wifed up AGES ago. Whether she’s married for the rest of time or gets divorced next month, she’ll always be a single lady icon for the ages. An inspiration to us all.

New Year. New Me. New Orleans

New Orleans for New Years. An ambitious idea, sure. But alongside a group of Miami’s most ratchet, we executed a pretty epic week. We stayed in the Big Easy for five gloriously sloppy days. Between the eating, the drinking and the questionable life choices, I’m pretty sure we’re all broken for at least the month of January.

And while this city will consume you in the best of ways and the worst of ways, it’s always one filled with more than a few revelations. Some of my own:

  • My essence is wholly accepted by the men here. Whatever I’m doing wrong in Miami, I’m certainly doing right in New Orleans.
  • There is nothing more gratifying than slaying a karaoke performance of “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea at Cat’s Meow. All those Thursday night practice sessions at Brother Jimmy’s really prepared us for the big leagues.
  • Guys just dance better here. Wait, scratch that. Guys FROM here just dance better. They just do.
  • It’s perfectly fine to refuse showing your tig ol’ bitties for cheap beads, given your response is, “I’M A LADY. Also, there’s nothing to see here.”
  • Do NOT pick up anything off the floor. Unless your idea of fun is catching every strand of herpes.
  • Gingerly tipping a stripper $5 for an excellent performance is the definition of courtesy. Laughing at one that busts her ass coming off stage is not.
  • You and all of your friends will get lucky in one way or another. There’s just something about the energy in this town that will make it happen for you.
  • Do not make the egregious error of calling the trolley a cable car when speaking to a local. But whatever man, those things are ON CABLES. How was I supposed to know the difference?
  • A frozen Irish coffee from Erin Rose is absolutely life affirming.
  • Flaming Dr. Peppers from The Gold Mine Saloon are trouble when you walk in.
  • Praise everything holy for the existence of the fried chicken at Willie Mae’s in Treme.
  • Free brewery tours with unlimited beer are why this city is so damn great.
  • My stomach can expand drastically for maximum consumption.
  • Booking a hotel down the street from a liquor/mini mart hybrid is always a solid idea. Because mimosas are meant for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Whisper sweet nothings to me residents of New Orleans. I am about that Southern accent life.
  • The city’s flair for the dramatic (feathers on feathers on feathers everywhere you go) is a big bag of YAS.
  • I have no choice but to make “Uptown Funk” my new favorite song after hearing it EVERY DAMN WHERE.

But the most important thing I gathered from kicking of the New Year in New Orleans is that 2015 should most definitely be the year of TREAT. YO. SELF. To all the foods. To all the drinks. To all the bad behavior that you’ll find a way to excuse. Live every week like it’s Mardi Gras. Because, why not?

Love or Something Like It

An old friend recently asked me for my thoughts on love and romance for a documentary he’s filming about the concept of joy. He explains the premise a lot better than I can, so… I won’t even bother. But, what a terrifying question to be asked at the tail end of what was a mess of a year for me romantically. I pretty much spent the latter half of it heartbroken. Let me amend that last statement. Not necessarily heartbroken, but whatever you call unironically listening to A LOT of Taylor Swift. As an aside, the words “Blank Space is my life,” are ones I don’t intend on ever repeating.

Basically, I’ve always been the girl that loves to hate love. I gravitate towards it, yet I reject it. I oftentimes find it vomit inducing, but count The Notebook as one of my favorite movies. I don’t think I’ll ever find it again, but I inadvertently keep searching for it anyhow. I just can’t make up my mind. And I’ve never been able to. I don’t think my feelings will evolve when I’m a little bit older, a little bit wiser and a little bit less jaded.

Simply put, my thoughts on love, much like love itself, make absolutely no sense. Ask me about my personal life and I’m a cynic through and through. I’ll never find the right guy. I’m gonna end up alone. I might as well start the cat collection now. Yet, when it comes to the lives of others, I’m a hopeless romantic. I’ve molded myself into an expert on the subject, spouting advice to female friends as if this whole “love” thing comes naturally to me. But in reality, I’ve only dated two guys in my 27 years. One was an 8-year relationship that encapsulated most of my 20s and the other can best be described as a 7-night stand. The most that each of these experiences had in common was that both guys worked at Publix. So when trying to form thoughts on love and romance, the most I can come up with is that it should not be looked for in the aisles of a grocery store.

R&B & Me: A Love Story

People always remember firsts. First kiss. First love. First ~romantic~ partner. And the first time they heard R. Kelly. For me it was in 1996 when I, in yet another important first, watched Space Jam. Sure, that was the movie that sparked my love of basketball, but it also managed to do something much greater than that. It was the beginning of the greatest love affair I would ever know. The one between me and R&B music.

A few highlights from our relationship:

• Next reminding me that maybe I shouldn’t dance too close to certain gentlemen.

• Brandy and Monica letting me know that some boys really aren’t worth fighting for.

• 112 teaching me about the abundant places one could have sex.

• TLC helping me say no to scrubs.

• Boyz II Men opening my eyes to both love and heartbreak.

• Ginuwine letting me know it’s okay to jump on it.

• Mary J. Blige doing… just about everything.

• Usher causing my adolescent sexual awakening.

• Aaliyah getting me through middle school.

• Beyoncé continuing to remind me how flawless I am.

• The Weeknd making me feel aroused yet totally uncomfortable with his lyrics.

It’s a fact that R&B and I have gotten quite close over the years. I’ll always defend it and embrace it until the bitter end. Because, isn’t that what you do for the things you love?

Single and Not Quite So Ready to Mingle

Ugh, I’m tired. No, not like I haven’t gotten enough sleep tired. Or I just went too HAM on that workout tired. But tired of the constant questioning of my relationship status. Personally, I’m fine with it. And not in the way women usually mean it, like when they say “I’M FINE,” and you know you fucked up. But I’m genuinely fine with my lot in life. I’m single. It’s okay. Really, it is. I’ll find a way to move forward without a guy by my side. I PROMISE. But, the tedious stigma of being a single girl in your late 20s is really starting to get to me. Because shouldn’t I have it figured out by now? Am I so irrevocably broken that I can’t, for lack of a better phrase, land a man? The short and the long of it is… well… no. So, allow me to cry you a river for a moment.

There’s no magic formula to this dating thing. One friend tells me, “go out on more dates,” so I do. But those end more awkwardly than they begin. Another tells me “you need to get out more.” So, again… I do. And that’s just wholly unfulfilling and no quality prospects ever seem to emerge. Yet another tells me, “it’ll happen when you stop looking.” So, I tried that too. And that one seemed to have worked for a while. I stopped trying, I kept my thirst in check, and I thought “FINALLY, it’s happened to me!” But, that didn’t work out either. So for months I thought, what the fuck am I doing wrong? Is it me? Is my very essence a turn-off? Do I look like an absolute hobgoblin? It was slowly getting to the point where the next guy with a not-so-bad criminal record and a decent tan would be the one to sweep me off my feet. Or, at the very least, sweep me off my pity pedestal. I really didn’t mean to act so hopeless. I didn’t. And praise all my Santos that at least my Cuban mom wasn’t on that “when are you giving me grandkids?” tip. Now THAT would have sent me straight to the convent life.

So what magic realization did I come to after months of I’M DYING ALONE conversations? It’s that my approach was all types of butt ugly wrong. I started and ended every day putting my entire worth and value in finding another human being to call my very own. I put aside the great friends I have, the family that cares, the career that is just getting started, the ass that doesn’t quit and the most bangin’ of personalities. I was focusing on the one negative when there were a milli positives.

And with that I say, I’m done. At least for now. At least with finding anything of substance in Miami. And no, this isn’t going to devolve into a rant of HOW NO GOOD MEN EXIST IN MIAMI. Because, that’s simply not true. I’m not bitter nor have I given up on finding a forever mate. It just shouldn’t be a priority right now. Right now I need to focus on doing me… not you.

10 Movies That Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations About Romance

Growing up as a teenager in the late 90s/early 00s gave me debilitating expectations when it came to dating and love. As a 27-year-old woman that should know better, I still hold out hope. Lord help me.

10 Things I Hate About You

I’ve been patiently waiting since 1999 for a dude to pull a Heath Ledger and perform some grand romantic gesture to win my affection. Is a public proclamation of love so much to ask for? DAMN.

The Notebook

A guy that will risk his life on a Ferris Wheel, write me 365 letters, build me my dream house and stay with me through my impending Alzheimer’s? When will I finally understand that this guy, much like the limit, does not exist?

Can’t Hardly Wait

I always admired how Preston pined for and creeped on Amanda from a distance.  A guy that shows that much devotion in high school? Keeper.

Can't Hardly Wait

Ever After

Okay, Drew Barrymore’s God-awful accent aside, this movie was my mecca. It’s cheesy and overly saccharine but what girl doesn’t want her very own Cinderella story?

Ever After

Fear

Sans the murderous rampage and killing of the family dog, I was always oddly attracted to Mark Wahlberg’s character. A guy that will throw down for you, tattoo your name on his chest and take you to funky town while riding a rollercoaster? Yes, please.

Nicole  4 Eva

Clueless

God, Paul Rudd is an absolute peach in this one. Till this day he remains my blueprint for the perfect companion. A well educated, experienced, goofy dude that accepts me wholeheartedly. And since I’ve never had stepsiblings, that awkward situation will be avoided.

She’s All That

Fine, the whole reason the two main characters got together was because of some jank bet. And sure, Laney Boggs had to get a ridic makeover to capture Zack’s attention, but this was romantic gold to a 12-year-old me. All I wanted from that moment forth was a guy that knew his way around a hacky sack and could bust some moves to Fatboy Slim.

She's All That

A Walk To Remember

Nicholas Sparks sure knows how to write ‘em. Despite this movie giving me the worst second-hand embarrassment I’ve ever experienced, who can hate on a character like Landon? Not only does he help Jamie realize most of her bucket list items, he puts up with her collection of awful sweaters and ends up marrying her even though she has (spoiler alert) leukemia! I can barely get a guy to text me on a consistent basis, much less put a ring on it.

Never Been Kissed

No, I was never that dorky in high school. Yes, I was eventually kissed. But, nevertheless, I always related to Drew Barrymore’s Josie Grossie. I’m still waiting to run into my own personal Michael Vartan, I just hope I don’t have to impersonate a high school student to do so.

Drive Me Crazy

Portraying a hipster before they were even a thing, Adrian Grenier did a great job of stealing my heart thanks to his big ol’ green eyes and floppy mess of brown hair. I have never in my life had a neighbor this ridiculously adorable and probably never will.