Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My best friend's wedding

One year ago, while I was spending the most amazingly LAME Thanksgiving day in the History of lame Thanksgiving days, my best friend called me: I have to tell you something... Skype, NOW. It's HUGE!!

Knowing her like I do and knowing her current love situation I knew perfectly well what she was going to tell me. Of course I did...
The dude just proposed!!, she said. I can't believe it!!

(Btw, yeah, I've known this for a year now, when Mr. Big knew that didn't tell him and waited for her share the story he LITERALLY chased and spanked me around Downtown Ann Harbor with a flip-flop on his hand - true story.
What I don't understand is how he missed it, since she actually wrote a post about it?? -  burn baby!!)

That night we talked for hours, she told me the entire story.

A year passed and about a month ago she called me:
Hey queenie, what are you doing on the weekend of the 24th?
Hey princess! Not much I hope.
Will you be willing to fly to Ithaca for a weekend?
Why would I go to visit your fiance while you're in Colombia?
Will you, or not?!?!
I think I can... in theory.
Well, in theory I'll have a visa and will be there a week before.
Oh... so in theory we'll see each other!
And it theory you'll be a witness at my wedding!
So... how do you write your name for ticket purposes, I need to book your ticket. Middle name?
Oh my God! is this really happening!?!?!?!

And so it happened.

I was there.

It was the greatest honor she could share with me. Being there, not as a witness but together as the sisters life gave each other to love and to bitch when the other one is doing something stupid is, by far, the greatest present anyone has ever given me.
I saw my best friend in the entire planet join hands with a wonderful, funny, smart and amazing man.
I heard him say how much he loved her and I heard her say she would go to the ends of the earth for him.
I was standing close enough to witness the way they lovingly looked at each other when they were pronounced "Husband and Wife".
I was there to see her transformation from a "Bah-Humbug! Bollocks to Valentine!" to a sweet "I found my prince charming... I've had enough frogs in my life. This one is taken bitches!!!". The roles have changed. Now, I'm the Humbug. A very happy Humbug because my best friend is the happiest person right now.

It was an extremely cold day in upstate New York but we didn't notice. Our sleeveless dresses and high heels were not ready for 10F nor snow but... pfff!!! it was the happiest day in my best friend's life so what if I lose a toe to hypothermia?!?!?!

You know I'll lose all 10 toes if you need me to walk across the North Pole.

I love you princess.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Of beauty, make-up and Photoshop

I'm going to be honest here, I don't think of myself as beautiful or sexy.
I'm not ugly either, I'm normal... nothing too fancy, not too disgusting, just... normal.
A good fashion sense, I guess.

I clean up nicely, they say. I dress pretty and the way I do my make-up is normal.
I like to have my hair put together when possible. Otherwise you'll see me on a not-so-pretty-sumo-wrestler-like pony tail but that's it. I'm a very normal, standard person.

Or so I thought.

This last weekend, as a celebration to the first tornado of the season, two of my friends and I decided to play dress-up and help one of them practice as she wants to become a make-up artist and hairdresser. We stayed home and... well...

Smokey sultry eyes, bright red lips, little black dress, beach wavy hair and I was done.
I looked different.
Just for fun, I took a selfie and whatsapped it to an ex-dude and he replied: "I'm not sure about it... I'll have to see it in person to comment"... whoa.

Of course, we HAD to take real pictures, OF COURSE! we were not going through all that and not have evidence of the beauty crime, right?
We turned the living room into a professional photographer studio with upside down lamps looking for the perfect "Facebook profile picture".

I didn't think it was going to be a big difference, it was just about the same right??

The result?

Twelve hours after I posted my picture on Facebook, 135 of my friends liked it and 38 commented on it:
"You look like a beauty pageant contestant!"
"Hey sexy, where have you been?"
"How YOU doin'?"
"You look super hot mamacita"
"Mafe, you look stunning"
"Damn girl! I'd date ya!" - from a girl.
A friend left a voice mail: "Since when do you look like Kim Kardashian????"... yes, apparently my friends drunk-dial my number.

Do you know what is like having 135 of the people you know clicking on LIKE?
Well, I never had anything like that happening to me so it felt AWESOME!!!!!

But here's the thing: that picture was completely staged.
There was nothing "casual" about that look: the make-up, the hair, the dress... yes, it was me under all that but that wasn't the real me.
Two hours after the picture was taken I was back in bed, with my hair and face washed and the model from the picture was gone down the drain, literally.

"Congratulations on your new look"... look? whatchu-talking about??
"I love your transformation"... what transformation?
"I barely recognized you! you look so pretty"... ohhhhh... kay... ummmm... thanks?

To make things funnier, I landed my first "modeling gig".
Yes, now I'm a model. No, I can't believe it either.

And no, I'm not a Victoria's Secret Angel, God forbid!
A friend of mine is part of a health research team (can't tell much because I just signed a confidentiality agreement) and they needed a Latina for his posters and, guess what? he called me.

At first, I thought it was going to be something simple, just go to his house and take some funny pictures.
Then shit got real yo': We had a meeting to discuss the "storyline", the "concept"... the actual contract... and I started to chickened out.

Then they sent me the address to the stud---- wait... STUDIO?!?! Yes, studio.

I had to stand THERE, in the middle of those lights, with a dude taking pictures of me while someone else kept saying: look sad, now look disappointed, now look happy, now look hopeful... now look at me, now back to you, now back to me, you are now petrified because you have 10 pairs of eyes watching your every move and you cannot smile when your supposed to frown... I'm on a horse.

I asked my friend if the camera was going to reflect all the imperfections on my face, I begged for  make-up!! to which he said:
"No worries Mafe, you'll be fine. You actually have to look older... I'll Photoshop a couple of years into your face, you are naturally cute and I need you to look old".

So, what is the definition of beauty?

Where is beauty actually? is it at the bottom of my make up bag or in the screen of a graphic designer?

I sent the first selfie that I've sent my ex to my dad and he didn't like it (what the duce?!?!): It's too much Nana. You don't look like yourself.
Then my dad saw the FB picture: same day, same face, same dress, same hair, BUT different lighting and he commented: That's much better, you see? you don't have to overdo things to look beautiful.

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or in the hands of a lighting assistant?

I don't know, I just felt existential on my first week out in the world again.

BONUS TRACK: if you made it as far as this line and you didn't get the "I'm on a horse" thing:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yakamatsu (v)

Freaking cold weather... it hurts!
I knoooooow!
My lips are so dry they hurt.
Can you imagine mine? I play the flute!
OH DUUUUDE!!! I forgot about that, poor you... how do you manage?
I have a special pomade, it's really good... but I never use it.
Besides, after so much use, you kinda lose feeling.
That's what HE said!
Never mind. So... you don't feel anything?
Well, I can feel a kiss, I guess.
Girl, you don't feel kisses on your lips.
What are you talking about?
[Heeeeeeeeeere we go] Well... If they're sweet, you'll feel butterflies in your stomach.
Gross!! does that mean I'll get bugs and worms because of a contagious disease through my mouth?!?!
[WTF just happened here?!?!]
I never thought of that.
I didn't sa--- forget about it.
Thanks for the heads-up!
[sigh]... anyway. If they're wild, passionate and kinky, you'll feel them somewhere else.
Don't you think?!?!
[And I HAD to say it and she HAD to ask it]... well... "down there".
You know what? you're right.
[Oh... thank you baby Jesus! I won't have to explain THAT ONE!]
Yes! my feet get sweaty when I get excited.
[I'm 100% sure I just got a free pass to hell for this one]

That time of the month

Well, actually, that time in YOUR LIFE.

When you feel a bump.

It happened a couple of weeks ago while I was showering. I felt it.
I thought it was going to go away, I thought it was a mosquito bite but didn't go away.
I thought it was a rash or an allergy but didn't go away.

I was petrified.
The only two people who knew about it were Mr. Big and Shelley, why scare other people? I'm scared enough for all of them already.

How is a bump on your breasts supposed to look like? dark? pink? green? blue? is it supposed to shine in the dark?
How is it suppose to feel like?
Is it supposed to smell? Mine didn't
How big? how small? How big is big and how small is small?
Is it supposed to itch or hurt? Mine did.

I had so much on my plate at the time and I was so scared I was hoping it would go away. But it didn't.

To be honest what I thought it was weeks and weeks was just a couple of days.
I went to the doctor and she said she didn't want to do any "intrusive" examination, tech words for a biopsy... A BIOPSY!!! (WTF?!?!) until she was sure the bump wasn't something superficial and due to my stress levels.
Her first theory is that it could be just a skin infection I caught while shaving and it could go away with antibiotics. The bump could be a lymph node reacting to it.
My nervous system was all messed up with "life".
My blood pressure was waaaaaaaaaay beyond my normal limits and well...

Fingers crossed baby Jesus?

So, I went home with a bunch of pills and the promise to take 2 a day for 2 weeks, a special diet "just in case" and no alcohol in all its shapes, sizes and colors and... really doctor? I'm not supposed to worry but you're making me take 28 of I-don't-remember-their-name pills and... really?!!?!?!

The bump disappeared and some of the freaking out went away.
Still, I had to postpone the check-up appointment because.. well... "life" happened and I was unavailable and in hiding for 3 weeks.

Today, I went back.
The doctor was waiting for me. I got there and she was AT THE DOOR, waiting for me.
Oh my God...
She skipped me through triage and took me straight to a examining room.
Oh my God...
She asked me if I mind one of her students watching her examine me and my boobs.
Sure, I guess.
They took some blood samples, just because. They were back in a couple of minutes.
Everything was normal.
Yes, it was just a Lymph node, just an infection.
My blood pressure is now even below my standard levels, which is actually good because my "standard" was a little above healthy so, good!

Why the secrecy and all the fuss?
Apparently, her student had a test but the doctor wanted her to see my entire examination because checking for breast bumps doesn't happen everyday.

Well, it turned out to be nothing.
Thankfully I'm healthy.
Yes, thankfully it was nothing.
I apologized to the doctor about all this being nothing and she said: "You don't have to apologize, if something is not healthy, we need to fix it. Most importantly when it comes to something as horrible as Cancer (ugh! she said it!!!). No need for apologizes, I'm glad you came. Most women don't react and when they do, it's too late".

The sooner you're diagnosed, the sooner you can start treatment.

Love your boobs, I know I love mine...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What's in my bed?

You know that old saying "you never know what you have until you lose it"?

Well, I learned that, the hard way... with my bed.

I had a bed, a normal bed, nothing fancy, just a frame with wheels and a mattress... very un-orthopedic, nothing custom made but...  it was MY bed and I loved it.
It kept my sleepy nights and snoring mornings since I got here until a couple of years ago when it was "too uncomfortable" for someone else and we got rid of it to make room for the Nimbus 2000 of beds. To be honest, I didn't like it. It was too stiff and TOO big.
Then, when I moved back to Cincinnati I had nothing. No mattress and no frame.

No job and no money meant no bed.
I spent my first months here sleeping on a child's mattress.
I went from a super king size bed... to a child's mattress... on the floor.

After that, some friends bough a new mattress and were nice enough to give me the old one.
My old landlord had a bed box spring and gave it to me.
I went to good-will and found an old frame for a couple of bucks (literarily $5) and... voila! I had a bed.

But NOW? now I have a nice mattress just like I like it!
A real bed, with drawers underneath to keep my shoes.
I have pillows!!! lots of colorful pillows for my new bed.
The old sheets are all gone, I don't want them anymore.
I have a huge, heavy and super cozy feather comforter where I dive every time I feel like it.

With the old rinky-dink bed I didn't have any problems getting up and going to work every day.
With the new bed I don't want to get out of it.

Good thing I been quartered at home for the last month, even though I can't leave my apartment I don't mind staying in bed aaaaaaaaaaall day and aaaaaaaaaaaall night.

What's in my bed?
A happy and slowly recovered Mafe.

And now, if you'll excuse me, yes, it's Saturday, noon... and I'm going back to bed. Doctor's orders.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Yakamatsu (iv)

I went to the library to rent some DVDs (yes, I do that, I'm old-fashioned like that) and I found "The Iron Lady" on the shelves. Yakamatsu girl went with me.
I've wanted to watch that movie for some time so... well...

Looooook! I love this woman [Meryl Streep]. Nice! 
Is it good?
Well, look at the title!
"Iron lady"... what is it about?
Ummmm... about the Iron lady?
Who's that?
Mar ---- wait ---- what?? ----Margareth Thatcher!
Who's that?
Only... female... Prime Minister... England... ever?
Really? I didn't know that!
She died early this year. It was all over the news...
Really?!?!?! Never heard of her.
I'll take "The Emperor's New Groove" as well, we can watch it together.
Is that a documentary?
Oh dear Lord...

Last night, I stayed home and watch a movie (duh! I can't go out...). 
She decided to join.
She specifically asked to watch "Iron Lady".
Ok, let's educate her.

Just so you know "Iron Lady" is not a movie about "Iron Man"'s mother.
Iron Man? you know... from The Avengers?
The Avengers... Hulk, Captain America, Hawk-eye, Black Wido--- no?
Never heard of them.
How do you do that!?!?!
Nothing. It's my fault. I like these super hero movies no one watches.
It's ok. We all like some things no one knows about.

Half-way through the movie...

Oh look! The dancing with Reagan scene! I remember watching that on the news with my grandpa a loooong time ago! I can't believe it. They even found a guy that looks like him!
Like who?!?!
Ronald Reagan.
Former US president?
I don't know who that is.
[Oh... fuck it! Why bother?]

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mr. Big (vi)

[driving... somewhere between Ann Harbor and Cincinnati...]

This is weird.
THIS... you sitting on the passenger's seat... me driving... it's awkward.
What do you mean? we've done it before.
But it feels awkward this time.
I don't know... this is your territory, not mine.
You're being weird.
I'm not BEING weird... it FEELS weird.
You're weird.

Have you noticed the thing with the music?
What thing with the music?
It's MY iPod, but YOU are the one that sings to every single song.
Are you doing one of your weird experiments on me?
I'm just saying... you've been singing every single one of the songs on my iPod.
Oh please! not every single one.
Every - single - one
Play the next one ------------ oh yeah, I know that one.
Neeeeeeext! wait... you see? I don't kn--- oh wait... I do.
You're creeping me out dudette.
Neeeeeeext --- now, no, that one's not--- oh yeah.
It's going to be a long 5 hours in this car.
But at least we'll be singing, right?!?!
Did you blacked out the last 2 minutes of conversarion?!?!?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hoy te extraño

No sé si tu recuerdo habla en Inglés o en Español.

Hoy te extraño.
Sola en mi casa sentada escuchando canciones que me revuelven el corazón y los recuerdos.
Hoy te extraño.

Hoy quisiera hablar contigo.
Quisiera decirte que tengo miedo.
Que estoy al borde de un precipicio, lista a saltar a lo desconodido y que sé que no estarás conmigo.

Hoy te extraño.
Hoy extraño a un fantasma de un muerto que no volverá.
Le pido a Dios que te mande un ángel y te diga allá arriba en el cielo de los pinguinos que aunque no necesito nada de tí, hoy te extraño.
No necesito que me ayudes, no necesito que me digas que debo hacer.
No necesito que hagas lo que yo no quiero.

Sólo quiero sentir mi mano en la tuya a mi lado y tus ojos bobitos mirándome para saber que todo va a estar bien.

Hoy te extraño.
Es todo.