Thursday, August 30, 2012

Please Don't Go!!! The Heartache of Being Miamian

People often tell me it's hard to make friends in Miami, I might tend to agree.  One of the greatest heartaches about living here is that people move.  So as a Miamians we tend to guard our hearts to the newcomers. You see the newbies, with their Spanish phrase books and their fresh Midwestern corn fed faces.  Agonizing at the Publix Deli and trying to order in English.  Only to have Spanish spit back at them at a rapid fire pace.

Rubia in a "baja y chupa"
You see them in gatherings in the break room, smiling in a clueless way as the girls laugh at the receptionist's Casual Friday outfit that includes skinny jeans and a "baja y chupa"*.   They grin politely after the business meeting is over and all of a sudden the English stops and the Spanish begins, feeling very, very left out. But over time they learn about "pastelitos" and the 3:00PM colada.  The Spanish chatter ceases to bother them and they even learn a few key phrases to drop to make their colleagues laugh.  They're beginning to settle in, maybe even like the exotic.

Of course, we all know as Miamians that fresh faces, and blue eyes are in short supply. So if the person is single....they fall in love with their first Latino...or Cuban.  The whirlwind passion, the great kisses, the great sex, the parents in Westchester....Miami bliss. At last the Miami honeymoon has begun. If you have blue(light) eyes you start getting introduced as "rubio" or "rubia" which literally means "blond".  

Then the heartbreak. He cheats, she cheats, he stops calling, she went to back to her ex named Jorge.  Then then that Midwesterner becomes bitter, and every word in Spanish reminds him or her about that hot Latin lover. The Publix deli lady rubs salt in the wound that they never really did understand a word of Spanish and then, fuck it. They leave Miami.  

The other scenario is that they can't find a job because they can't speak Spanish, regardless of superior educational background or experience.   

Adios Miami!!! Goin' back to USA!
In either case we are left here, Miamians, as our friends leave broke or heartbroken, but more fabulous for the experience. 

Sorry guys, we'll miss you.  

* strapless halter top (literal translation: drop and suck)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cleaning Ladies Save Marriages and Other Relationship Advice.

I recently celebrated my 17th anniversary together with my husband.  Of course, that got me thinking about what are the key ingredients that has made our relationship work all this time. I've also been asked how we make it work.   I kind of wanted to go down to some basics that get us through the day to day issues which over time start to build up.  I think half of the break ups are due to the big stuff: incompatibility, cheating, money and non-supportive families. The other half is the small stuff: socks on the floor, flatulence, poor toilet aim, not knowing left from right when giving directions.  So I guess I really want to cover a lot of the small stuff,  because that what makes the big stuff seem so much worse.

My first piece of advice is to fall in love with the least annoying person you can imagine yourself being with.  If he annoys you in the beginning, that's not going to change. Hence I suggest dating for at least one year before you move in together.  That way you'll know if he's a farter, nose picker, snorer, funny laugher, has some kind of a tic, or wears his underwear in the shower.  These qualities may seem endearing, but over time you'll grow to hate them.  I have been fortunate in my choice of mate, since he does most of these things when I'm not around. 

So our first challenge moving in together was our different cleaning styles.  I agree that housekeeping is the first big challenge for most relationships.  I tend to be a "night cleaner" letting the detritus of the day (or week) accumulate until right before bed then I sweep through house and put things in some semblance of order.  My hubby has a "gatherer-hunter" mentality. He gathers up my mess all day and hunts me down to tell me what a pig I am.  Clearly we want the same thing: a clean house, but getting there was never easy.  So after six months together I convinced him we needed a cleaning lady, fortunately I knew one with severe OCD and the first stone of the foundation of our relationship was put down.  Maria (not her real name) is worth her weight in gold and has saved us thousands of dollars in couples therapy.  Really, $15 an hour for a housekeeper is a lot cheaper than $150 an hour for a therapist. A fresh, clean toilet is worth at least 10 Xanax. Sometimes I think I stay in my relationship because I'm not sure if she would pick me if I left my hubby.  She has been cleaning up after me, off and on for the last 25 years. 

I guess my other big piece of advice is to create a life together outside of the house. A shared hobby that you can do together and alone makes life interesting.  If it's a hobby that requires both of you, it's limited. It's something you share, but it could be done without the other present. Sports, church, fitness, gardening, politics, volunteer work are all things that are as much fun alone as together. So if either one of you is away or not in the mood, they can still connect with you on that shared activity.  It also makes them miss you more because they weren't there to share it with you. 

The third piece of advice is try have sex at least twice a month, even if you're not that into it.  I've found, that once you get started, it's like hey, now I remember why I enjoy this so much with you. It may seem routine, but I've found that if you talk about "spicing it up" while you're having sex, it's easier to do when you're not. So if you're having your normal  session on Saturdays between 11:06 and 11:26 at 11: 17 you might say, "hey this is hot, but what would really turn you on?"   Then at 11:28 you can go back to sleep. 

Of course with respect and communication, hopefully rest of the stuff just works itself out. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My first Chest Pains and it's off to Havana General Hospital(Mercy Hospital)

Ah, my first chest pains, like puberty for the middle aged.   So I was selling my medical software to some nurses and casually mentioned some pains in my chest. They "casually" suggested I check myself into the hospital.  I pooh-poohed the idea thinking it was indigestion or cramps or whatever.  The pains continued for the rest of the day and just figured they would work themselves out. 

Jen, oldest and dearest friend came over and I told her about my chest pains. We joked about dying and told her I wanted "Luke and Laura's" theme at my funeral and she promised me that her sister Amy would wail and throw herself on my open casket at my funeral. We laughed drank some more Pinot Noir and took a distasteful picture of me in a funereal pose with the dog on my lap. I wrote RIP on the pic and everyone thought the dog died.  Of course my hubby would call this "llamando miseria" (calling misery) or just plain old fashioned crepe hanging. 

So Jen left and I was left alone in the house with the dog, my husband was away. My anxiety peaked, my chest pains came back so I went online to read about heart attacks. Of course as I Googled the symptoms I realized maybe it was a good idea to go to the E.R. and get myself checked out. Google said call 911, do not drive yourself to the hospital.  Of course if I dialed 911, they might take to a hospital that I don't like, which happens to be the one closest to me. I realized they need a Travelocity for hospitals to see which is the best choice.  Of course I have some basic requirements for hospitals: they should be by the water and free parking.   Mercy Hospital it is. 

So I arrived at 8PM on the dot. I had showered and had clean underwear on. I parked and walked in and waited about 25 minutes in the waiting room.  To my very gay delight, two extremely muscular, hot, orderlies came out and escorted me to my berth in the ER. They assisted me in sweet.They preceded to apply sensors to my legs, abdomen and chest. There was pleasant oohing and ahhing over my very pronounced veins, I was sooo flattered.  I was almost ready to fake choking so I could get some mouth to mouth.  The very gay male nurse (really, are there any other kind?) took my medical history and through some gaydar and nitroglycerin I basically got his life story. Once the word got out there was a gay patient, a parade of cute young (gay?) male nurses paraded into the ER to check out my "vitals".  I was wondering why I hadn't had chest pains sooner. 

The ER doctor was cute, a "Jewish-Cuban" guy. Older, distinguished and handsome in a nerdy kind of way. We talked about swimming, I mentioned I was on a swim team and all the nurses and ER staff came in and watched Michael Phelps win his 20th Olympic Gold Medal with me. They asked me about strokes and swimming and I invited them all to join me at for a swim. 

So after about two hours I was admitted to my room. A very cute male nurse came and took my vitals again. Asked my medical history, again.  The hospital bed AMAZING, it would change to reduce pressure so there was no need to toss and turn. So nice. I slept soundly. Nurses and aides would soundlessly come into my room check my vitals. 

In the morning I could see a beautiful sunrise over Biscayne Bay. I had luckily snagged a private ocean view room, sweeet. From my bed I could see sailboats flitteing about Biscayne bay as I read, texted and napped throughout the day. The only sour note were the calls for a Padre Jorge, and apparently the anger when I said I wasn't Padre Jorge,  I was about offer confession...but hung up after saying "no speako Spanish" just to be left alone, Garbo style.  A few friends popped in to say sweet. A very hot cardiologist came in and told me I was fine. I was told at noon I would be discharged at 3PM so I called the beauty salon and had a manicure and pedicure. A very nice procedure in a hospital bed.  Sweet. 3PM came too soon. At 5:00PM free of angina....I was off to my business trip in Sarasota.  Best mini-vacation ever.  (except for the food.)