Puerto Rico…part 1

The reality is never as pretty as the fantasy… unfortunately.

A year ago, while whining about the current douche bag to cross my path, some amazing comment on my blog comes chiming in. Some stranger that has silver coated syllables is reading my journal? Weird. I’m immediately intrigued and click over to read his blog. Golden words. Nothing short of verbal porn, with a side of Shark… and we all know I have a certain weakness for that sort of thing.

He’s even bald. Be still my heart. He lives in paradise. He’s so exactly what and who I want, I could have ordered him for myself. He sends me an email… and it’s even more intoxicating.

But I was involved with someone close enough to touch… so I didn’t pay much attention.

And he kept on reappearing. He wasn’t intimidated by my disinterest. I blogged about him a few times. They were all true and I really thought he was the most amazing man I’d ever read about.

The man I was in love with at the time, said it out loud for the first time.

♥- I like this T guy… and I think he gets you. How outrageous would that be? I think you should talk to him.

It hurt to hear at the time, but it planted a seed….

I emailed him back eventually… and things heated up quickly. He woke me up every morning with the best app I ever downloaded, with sweet words and just…. intoxicating male perfection.

His text messages were so good my best friends begged me to give him their numbers. His emails were orgasm-worthy. Good enough I never deleted one.

I asked him to guest blog for me because I wanted to see what he’d write. It blew my mind, and the minds of many.

He started talking about the ultimate roll of the dice… a weekend in Puerto Rico together. I told him from the beginning I couldn’t afford it. He told me I could pay for meals for a few days- that was do-able.

He bought me a ticket….

I talked to my sister about it first.

J- So… I think I’m going to go to Puerto Rico and meet him.

P- Have him come here. I want to meet him and that’s a long way from home.

J- Yeah, in paradise… in February. He’ll come here next.

P- I don’t know…

J- I feel it… I love him already. I’m going.

I didn’t really know how to tell people. I requested the time off work and go to the line that said “Reason:” and froze. I wrote Puerto Rico… and walked away feeling naked. To be completely honest… I’m a chicken shit in my life. I don’t do the scary things. I don’t roll dice. I’m a big fan of helmets. I needed to have enough faith in myself to go.

4000 miles for a first date. A first date with a man I’d already fallen in love with. Wondering how this worked, how this was going to go and immediately feeling inadequate listening to him talk about the girls he dates. 6′ blonde girls in their twenties. Awesome. I called my best guy friend and he came over. I stripped down to my panties and told him I was freaking out about getting naked in front of this guy and he laughed at me.

B- You’re beautiful, and I hope he doesn’t see it. I hope you have a nice time, but it really doesn’t matter. We love you- and he’d better take care of you. I don’t want to pick you up from the airport in a bag.

J- Don’t say that.

B- You look great naked, relax…

J- You’re just making me feel better.

B- You look kinda orange but you have big tits, you’ve got this- RELAX! He loves YOU. Even the nasty bitch you can be on your blog. If he’s worried about about your chubby thighs then fuck him, he’s older than you- he should be thanking his lucky stars.

J- He dates six foot blonde girls in their twenties.

B- Yeah me too… come on Jen… don’t lose your head. Don’t jump in head first and DO NOT be clingy. You do that. I’ve seen it. Ugh. Find your confidence and take those panties. Damn.

J- I love you. Thanks.

I packed my suitcase a dozen times. A dozen dresses. A dozen pairs of heels… I broke one side of the buckle a month before I was due to leave. Overcompensating? Yes. If he only knew what I left at home…

I didn’t sleep the night before I left. Sober One Kenobe came over and made me into some sort of blonde bombshell. My sister drove me to the airport in the early twilight hours. I got out of the car and she walked around and looked at me and I started to cry.

J- I can’t believe I’m doing this.

P- Me either… but I’m so proud of you and I’m just… so proud. You’re going for it and you’re going big. I hope it’s everything you ever wanted. I hope it’s amazing. Enjoy every second.

Walking into the airport was overwhelming. Checking in for my first flight was terrifying. Handing my passport to the man in the security line was seriously an out of body experience.

It just kept hitting me. I was seriously flying 4000 miles to meet the man of my dreams. In a little black Ann Taylor dress and my favorite Coach bag… Maggie. My red leather security blanket… and my daughter’s bunny tucked inside. Praying I wasn’t putting my life on the line and I could just dive in head first without checking the depth of the pool… shocker.

I sat between a bunch of beautiful soldiers on my first flight and they were quick to reassure me, and buy me a few drinks…. A cool du-wop band on my second flight and an amazing couple on my last flight. I wanted to brush my teeth more than anything when we landed… but the airport was closed and the bathrooms were locked. We were the last flight of the night.

My phone was flashing the little red “I’m about to die” light at me… and I was facing the scariest moment of my life.

What if I didn’t recognize him? What if he didn’t like me? What if he was disappointed in my short curvy ass…. Damn near hyperventilating…. and a text comes in. A friend of mine… possibly the only one I can talk to about this moment.

I’m looking around and realizing that he’s not here…. or I’m living the moment I fear most and I’m not recognizing him. I decide to play it safe, find an outlet and plug in my phone charger…. and read the text that came in.

F- There yet?

J- Just landed.

F- I’m really happy for you. I hope it’s great.

J- I’m scared to death.

F- Relax. He loves you.

J- He’s not here.

F- What????????????

J- Everyone is gone… I’m not kidding. He’s not here.

F- WTF? Did you call him?

J- He didn’t answer both times.

F- Call him until he does.

J- He was asleep… he’s on his way.

F- I’m worried.

I stopped responding. He was only increasing my level of anxiety. Google said the hotel was 15 minutes away… so I walked outside. The balmy warm heat hit me and I knew I was going to have to open my suitcase to find my perfume. I didn’t know if I’d be able to get it closed though… I couldn’t not… so I pulled the trigger and it sprung open. It took me climbing on it to get it closed again, with darling airport guys walking by laughing and teasing me in Spanish. I found a little tourist stand with two Time magazines and started reading…

An hour later he drove up. He called me just before pulling up.

T- Are you in a black dress?


J- Yep.

and he hung up… and he drove up… and he walked up…

and I kissed him.

Angels didn’t sing.

T- Let’s get out of here.

He threw my suitcase in the back and we got in… and it was silent. Awkward silence because I’m literally sitting next to him for the first time and I am LOST for words. I reach over and put my hand on his thigh and he growled at me.

What have I gotten myself into this time?

Oh Valentines Day…

♥♥♥A Valentine throwback from 2012 ♥♥♥

It’s no secret that I love love. I love all things love and all things lovely. No amount of heartache will ever change that, whether that makes me stupid, delusional or painfully optimistic or not? I’m determined to not let the assholes that cross my path, change me.

Introspection is worth it, for the right guy. For the right Valentine? I’d tattoo hearts across my inspired ass.

Hence my heart-free derriere…

I woke up with a knee in my back and a cute little arm flung across my neck. My coconut and strawberry scented princess was instantly chatty upon waking up.

I- Mommy…. are you ok? You haven’t said that much about your trip.

J- There’s not much to say. It didn’t work out.

I- Good. He wasn’t cute enough by a long shot.

Oh how your babies can say to your face what everyone else whispers behind your back…

She ran for the shower and her cute little heart print headband while I stared at the ceiling and took a moment to hate this stupid commercial bullshit holiday. Ten minute pity party pause… followed by heart shaped chocolate chip pancakes, heart shaped sandwiches for her lunch and the perfect love note.

“Roses are red, violets are purple… Boys are weird. Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you- xoxo Mom”

I see her walk out of the bathroom, and smile. This is my center. My focus. My happy place. This mommy drenched morning full of hand knit hearts and whipped cream in a can painting her pancakes with even more hearts. Heart shaped banana slices… why not? Nevermind she doesn’t like bananas- lol… it’s the visual I’m after… a side effect of too many years as a graphic designer.

Her life should be dripping in hearts and flowers every day, but definitely today if I have anything to say about it. It makes me ten times happier than some perfunctory dozen roses showing up from some “collector”.

She smiles at me and I ignore her mascara and pink lip gloss for a change. She knows I see it and appreciates the effort I’m making to let her grow up a little… after having learned that you can’t stop it even if you try and it only makes them resent you. I can live with her pretty red eyelashes being painted black… even if I cringe a little at her beauty flying all over the place.

I walked back into my room to throw a sweatshirt over my running gear and found a little red heart folded on my pillow.

I sat on the edge of my bed and fought back tears before I even touched it. It sat there just taunting me, because I know she’s left it for me to find after I take her to school, but I can’t help myself. I reached for it and stopped. Smooth elementary school construction paper, all folded by the sweetest person I’ve ever known… for me.

Proof that I’m doing something right, even if I forget sometimes and let doubt creep in.

Reading it I nearly peed my pants laughing.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, he looked old enough to be your dad and that’s just creepy”

I came out laughing holding it and she looked down laughing.

I- Sorry… someone had to say it. Mama… I know you’re sad, but….

J- Honey love is love. Real love, loves it all. Real love doesn’t need perfection.

I- Nope, it just IS, and this wasn’t. End of story, sharpen your pencils.

Some way, somehow… I’ve managed to raise this child to demand more than mediocre. I’ve taught her the value in real truth and eyes-wide-open faith based in reality- not some pipe dream of roses and diamonds.

I have a dozen diamonds. I have an acre of flowers every year. I plant my own garden and decorate my own soul…. but more than all that?

I’m a mommy. I’ve spent 5 1/2 years of my life breastfeeding. I love babies and I love the simplest pleasures life has to offer. You can paint a permanent smile on my face with a daisy yanked out of the lawn.

Intention is everything with me, and if anything, I strive to outdo the people in my life when it comes to expressing my love…. so I’m knitting little red hearts, and I’m baking little heart cookies I’ll frost with little messages designed to show the people who really show me what real love is, that it is ultimately returned and appreciated.

I’m that girl. That one who refuses to be defeated by someone with ill intentions.

I cannot be silenced because I loved with my whole heart. I threw all my cautious feelings out the window and got my terrified ass on a plane. I rolled the dice on love, and lost, again.


I learned a very powerful lesson.

Love is right in your own backyard…

It’s in the people that leave you little love notes on their checks after you bring them their dinner.

It’s in the child that writes you a funny Valentine.

It’s in the friends that are thankful to have you.

It’s in your healthy vices that keep your heart beating and faithful enough to know that real love exists… and more than anything?

That it doesn’t hurt.

That it doesn’t jump to conclusions.

That it exists purely so that the rest of us who seek it, know to continue- because there are examples of it here and there. I have a girlfriend who said it best the other day…

F- The leap is worth the fall . When it finally works, it’s worth the risk.

I feel the same way.

I have little heart chocolates left in my purse… flowers left at the door… and arms open to hug me in every direction.

So the arrow broke off in my heart. So I bled out a little… so I’m a little naive <or a lot> and I loved every moment that it was good? I’m still confused, but I’m surrounded by so much love I can’t be anything but thankful.

I’m exempt from Cupid this year. I’ve done my time recently enough that he has to leave me alone.

I bought some roses, I have a pound of Godiva truffles… and I have a beautiful young man willing to drive a few hours to make sure I’m smiling.

No heartache. No judgements. Something so simple as a cupcake and a glass of wine. Love that begs only for more time… because nothing is more precious.

Happy Valentine’s day, y’all… Make the most of it or die trying.