Monthly Archives: December 2011

La Vie en Rose OR Kikita’s Happy New Year

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I didn’t really want to go to Palm Springs.

Ok, yes I did… sort of.

I thought it would be fun. Until I had this long week that kept getting longer and then all I wanted was to stay home, alone.

And I didn’t think it would happen.

I had heard my abuela would be home. Which is fine. She just watches the ball drop and then goes to bed, but I was a little embarrassed to have anyone witness me doing all of my silly traditions.

So, because I wasn’t entirely sure how my New Year’s Eve 2011 was going to go, I decided to begin celebrating early. So I went to dinner with a buddy of mine who had also had a long and hard week. We went out for Cuban food because he’s nice and knows how much I like it (and because EVERYONE loves Cuban food – it’s delicious). And then we went dancing. Well… we went to a local place that plays salsa and bachata music, but we didn’t dance much because it was stupid crowded and neither one of us really felt like dancing anyway. (However, I DID run into my timbales teacher and we danced a salsa – he is what I like to call a “stop motion dancer” and I had a tough time following him, especially since he was trying to dance “on 2,” and worried that he was judging me and thinking, “Damn, esta Cubana doesn’t have any rhythm so I have my work cut out for me – and later we danced a cha cha. Since I knew he was an “on 2” dancer I knew he would be fun for a cha cha and I had no other options because I am picky about who I cha cha with and my favorite person wasn’t there and the 2 other people I tolerate were also not there.)

Anyway, I left early, went home, and watched TV until I fell asleep.

Today I woke up with a splitting headache. It was practically a repeat of Halloween and I was less than thrilled. So I spent most of the day in bed which was what I had planned on doing anyway, but now it was because my head hurt.

Around 6pm I decided that I needed to take a shower and at least attempt to feel human again. My Aunt Alina (I call her “Aunta”) was on abuela patrol, but abuela was demanding to stay home until midnight and watch the ball drop. So we sat and chatted and I decided it was time for some evening Taka Taka. By the time I was finished making the café, I was feeling better and abuela had decided she was tired and ready to go.

As I set the red tacita on the table for abuela, I noticed there was a giant rose in a vase from the Gemini rose bush I bought for her years ago.
And the chicken salad (that is cute, but looks unedible) she makes every year had a red flower on it instead of her usual clock almost at midnight.
And this year the grapes were red.
And the little bottle of champagne I had bought for myself was called “Rose  Regale.”

And she referred to Aunta as her “Red Rose.” (I had never heard that before.)
I don’t believe in coincidence.
And I have no idea what all this rose stuff means, but it makes me hopeful for 2012. I am sure it means SOMETHING. And I get to spend the whole year finding out what!

And since every year I have a theme song, I have chosen THIS as my theme song for 2012. (or maybe it chose me?)

Because I couldn’t wait for my “Vie en Rose” to start, I celebrated “On Cuban Time” at 9pm.
I dressed up.
I wore the orange with hot pink lace white polka-dotted thong instead of yellow or red.
I ate grapes.
I toasted with my rose champagne and said “El año que viene, estamos en Cuba.”

(Please forgive the blurriness and try not to blame the champagne. Let’s blame the running around like a crazy person and trying to document the moment instead.)

I ran outside with a bag over my shoulder and all the way to my mailbox to put money inside (in 5″ sparky heels, no less).
I didn’t have a bucket of dirty water handy because I didn’t mop the floors so instead I took a couple of used coffee cups from this morning, filled them with water, and dumped that water out.

I’m leaving the bag outside and the money in the mailbox until morning.

I came back inside, changed into yoga pants, and played my timbales for an hour.

I am successfully Kikitiando my way through another New Year’s Eve.

Plus, look who made a guest appearance tonight?

The Red Shawl

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Tuesday, November 15…
**PLEASE NOTE: There were no witnesses to the following conversation.**

Him: Is that your shawl?
Me: *blank stare* This red thing on my arm? A SHAWL? No. It’s a sweater. A shawl? REALLY? Do I LOOK like a shawl person?

Wednesday, December 14…
My Secret Santa at work gave me an orange shawl.
And I LOVED it.

Friday, December 16…
I was hunting for jewelry for my Christmas Party Dress.
I saw a bright red shawl.
It occured to me just how perfect it would be for my Party Dress.
I bought it and smiled to myself.

Friday, December 23…
One of my dance friends gave me a Christmas present.
A bright red shawl that looked exactly like the one I had just bought myself the week before.

Sunday, December 25…
My brother gave me a dark red shawl.

It would seem that not only do I LOOK like a shawl person, I AM a shawl person.
It would also seem that a certain Him has a prophetic gift.
(And it is not wise to mock prophets.) 😉

The 8th Night

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My family is friends with a Jewish family.

Good friends.

They went on a cruise together over the summer.

My family has been invited to celebrate Passover Seder and Chanukah for years now and they’ve gone and talked about what a wonderful time it is.

I’ve been invited, too. But I am always busy.

Last year, I finally made it to Passover Seder, but I’m not sure I’ll be invited back*.

Every year for Hanukkah I’ve had something come up that I just couldn’t say no to, but the only one I can really remember is that it was the season finale of Dexter and I was going to watch it with Kaima and it was terribly important that I not miss it because it was going to be our last Sunday night TV time together… which makes no sense to me because I couldn’t have known he was moving back to Kenya forever yet (because he didn’t decide until September of the next year) and it wasn’t the year he was just going home to visit because he left the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It might have been the year in between … Which would make me shallow and lame for blowing off my Jewish friends to just watch TV with a guy, but this wasn’t just any guy. It was Kaima.

And while it may still sound shallow and lame, it really did end up being the end of our Sunday Night TV era.

Of course we still had times over the next year that we would get together and watch TV, but not every Sunday like before. But I digress…

I had never been to Chanukah.

And I went this year, on the 8th night.

And they let me light the candles!

And I made Schlemiel-ing cool. Because, let’s face it. If you never go to Hanukkah, and then you finally get to go, and it’s on the last night, you need to GO for it.

It was awesome. In fact, I became quite adept in controlling my little dreidle antennas; it is how you kikitiar at Hanukkah.

I even played dreidel (mine was made out of wood, not clay, though) and got a Gimel on my first spin!

I tried my first SUFGANIYOT (apparently, that’s Hebrew for Jelly Donut) and cracked myself up by saying “WWJD?!?! Who Wants Jelly Donuts?”

I was a happy little Catholic Jew** having a Happy Chanukah.

And… I learned that Hanukkah made me miss my Sunday nights with Kaima.

(I also learned that I have no idea how to spell Hanukah, but that my last name sounds like it.)

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*You see, during Passover there are 4 cups of wine. The first one you drink before you’ve eaten much of anything, and then there is the 2nd, but you’re still not that full. So by the time we made it to the Cup of Redemption I was a little tipsy and may have said something along the lines of “This is the cup about Jesus!” and forgot to use my inside voice.

**I’m not at all Catholic, but I think there are some very cool traditions and rituals they have. I’m also not at all Jewish (my nose suggests otherwise), but LOVE the traditions and rituals with the exception of the “No Pork” rule.

A Christmas Miracle

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When I found the black dress for my Christmas party I was super excited.

It was a bit of a departure for me as far as dresses go. Tight and short black dresses typically just exacerbate the genetic betrayal that is my legacy; however, this particular dress looked pretty great. The top was black, but sparkly and I felt like the best way to make it a Christmas dress would be red accessories. I had this mental picture of red glittery shoes and red and gold bangles to match and really pull it all together. Because you can’t wear bright red shoes with a black dress and gold jewelry. Red has to be in the jewelry, too, in order to pull the eyes back up from the shoes.

I had a very clear picture in my head.

I looked for red glitter shoes and kept coming up empty.

So I settled for the gold glitter shoes and thought “Well, I can still do the red and gold bangles and earrings and it’ll keep it Christmas. Then I’ll just take out the red for New Year’s.”

I was fine with that plan. And then the red shoes found me. So I got them.

And that is how the Great Hunt for Red and Gold Bangles started.
Endless hours of walking from store to store only to be disappointed.

I finally found bracelets that were not quite what I had in mind, but they would work.

As I was leaving the mall, a necklace at a store that specializes in silver caught my eye. Now that my red and gold bangle mission was over, I allowed myself to go into the silver store. (Because, why would I go into a silver store when hunting for gold?)

I noticed that the store had branched out. There were many more colourful necklaces in there than I remembered and I was slowly pulled deeper and deeper into the store. (It’s actually not a very deep store, but it was a slow pull.)

And, there, along the back wall, were bangles. Every color of bangle. Red. Gold. Green. Blue. Purple. RED. GOLD.

I cried. (Ok, I didn’t CRY; my eyes filled with tears, but I held them back.)

I know that not having the exact accessories you want is a total “1st World, White Girl” problem, but that is not really the point.

I had a dream. A picture in my head.

I had been content with the gold shoes, but then I got the red ones I’d dreamed about. And I had been content with the red and gold bracelets I had JUST bought thinking that I was never going to find the bracelets I had dreamed about. I was still excited.

But then my dream came true.

It was such a little thing.

A small and simple wish, but it happened. And right about the time I was giving up. Right about the time I was settling for less.

Honestly? It felt like a personal Christmas gift sent directly from God. *blush*

THAT is why I cried.

Because if he is willing to give me my silly wish of red shoes and red and gold bangles, then there’s a good chance he’d be happy to give me some of my “real” wishes, too.

Abuela Duty

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Last Saturday…
Him: I had a dream about you last night. You were very flexible… So, what are you doing tonight? Want to go to Pedrito’s Posada with me?
Me: I’m on abuela duty.
Me (to myself): And I’m not that flexible.

 

On Monday…
Him: What are you doing for New Years?
Me: I think I’m going to Palm Springs.
Him: Who is he?
Me: There is no “he.” Debbie invited me.
Him: How am I supposed to get my New Year’s kiss if you’re in Palm Springs?
Me: You wouldn’t get one. I don’t kiss at midnight.
Him: I’m heartbroken now. It was the perfect excuse to kiss you… What are you doing tonight?
Me (to myself): Staying away from you, it would seem.
Me: I’m on abuela duty.

 

Today…
Him
: I miss you too much already*…. Can I just propose and get it over with? This way you can be around more…
Me: Stop it. Wait… I forgot that it’s Friday**. Yes, go ahead.
Him: I got some chickens, a cow couple of goats and some pigs. I think that should be a good thing to present…. Besides I have been saving myself for marriage and you would be my first. Estoy señorito.
Me: I don’t believe you… about the chickens.
Him: I think your grandma would appreciate that kind of live stock that I am presenting to get you. A few people are coming over for dinner tomorrow, you should stop by. You could even stay the night if you like.
Me: Thanks, but I have family stuff and will be on abuela duty.
Him: You’re always on abuela duty.
Me (to myself): She is the best excuse I have when “I just don’t want to” won’t work.
Me: Yeap.

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*Already? I can’t even remember the last time I’d seen him. And this was the first ever that I was hearing about him missing me. Granted, he invites me over all the time, but I rarely go.

**There were three Fridays in September where various individuals asked me to marry them for various reasons. I had shared the stories with this friend of mine, he found it hilarious and tried proposing the following Sunday. I explained I only accept proposals on Fridays so he waited for the next Friday. Today’s story marks the third time he has jokingly proposed. I am starting to worry.