Category Archives: Overthinking

Acting Like an Americana

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Remember my friend, El Loco, from Vegas?

El Loco: Oye, Kikita! How are you, mi hermanita?

Me: Great, thanks! It’s been a while…

El Loco: I know! Things have been super crazy. Oye, hermanita, I know you are playing timbales now and I know you have your teacher, but I want to do something special for you. I want you to learn from the best and I know the guy who plays for [a local L.A. band] and he plays everything and is very good and lives close to you so he could teach you, but I don’t know if you want to because you have your teacher.

Me: Wow. I… I mean… That would be awesome.

El Loco: So, I don’t know what you want but if you want… Or what?

Me: No! That sounds great! How do we do it? How much does he cost?

El Loco: I’m sorry. If you’re busy and you don’t want to talk, it’s ok. I can talk to you later. Kikita, why are you talking to me like an Americana?

I retracted the question and we proceeded to talk about other things and I redeemed myself. The beginning of the conversation had been mostly in English, but we eventually switched to Spanish. I was already having a hard time hearing him and he was super excited and talking fast and…. let’s just say I’m not really sure what he said but I think it was something like this…

El Loco: So, you know I’ve been doing the quinceñera for my daughter, right? And it’s been getting really expensive and everything so I was talking to my mom and she’s going to help me out and it’s going to be easier if we do it there so KIKITA YOU ARE INVITED TO IT!! AUGUST 26TH!! IT WILL BE MY FIRST TIME BACK IN MY HOME TOWN SINCE I LEFT CUBA!!

Me: Seriously?

El Loco: CLAROOOOOOOOOO!!! OF COURSE! IT WOULDN’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU THERE? WILL YOU COME, HERMANA?

Me: Of course! I’d love to!

(The Americana in me wanted to ask if I had to buy my own ticket to Cuba and how long we’d be gone, but she had learned her lesson.)

He’ll be in town for the Cuban Independence Day party at Steven’s Steakhouse next Friday. I plan to get answers to all of my Americana questions then.

Packing for a Trip

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I had a few days before I was supposed to leave and every one kept asking if I was ready to go.

No.

I am not one of those people that packs a week in advance.
I am a night before kind of girl.

Granted, TWO nights before my trip I pulled out my suitcase and made sure to pack my bathing suit.

Then it was upon me: the night before my trip.
It was time to pack.

And it was time for deep thinking, apparently.

While I looked at my suitcase that had only my my bathing suit inside, and started thinking about what I wanted to wear while I was in Miami, I realized that I could be whoever I wanted to be while I was there. I could pack the best parts of myself and left behind the worn-out parts. The “ugly” parts.

My empty suitcase continued to amuse me while I wanted for my laundry to finish drying.

So I packed my suitcase full of shoes.

Was this the essence of who I had become?
Fabulous shoes and a love for Miami water?
Night and Day.
Did I really need anything else?

My musings were interrupted by a text message that read: Have a great time! Go be crazy! You deserve it!

Deserve it?
I had earned the right to be irresponsible and wild?
I looked at the impossibly short skirts I had buried in a drawer from a time when I was younger and wilder and irresponsible.
I could take them with. I could be whoever I wanted.

That was the problem, all I wanted to be was the best version of myself.
It seems that the best version of myself included 5.5″ red heels and lots of gold bracelets, but the version also included sneakers and a good book.

I learned that the best version of myself was sassy and sophisticated and practical… to a point.

I packed my hopes and expectations into my suitcase, slept for an hour or two, and then proceeded to get dressed and get ready for whatever the next 6 days would bring.

 

What Was I Thinking?

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I have been practicing my timbales.

I’ve had a 30-minute lesson every week for a month now.

Every week I ask my instructor to be honest with me and tell me if I really suck because if I am no good, I’d rather go find an instrument I AM good at. If I ever let anyone watch me play, I want them to think, “Wow. She was definitely created to play that.”

Tonight his face said way more than his words.

Him: You’re doing good. You’re familiar with the music and rhythms already because you’re a dancer and you’re not a little kid so I can just tell you want you need to fix and work on… I’m cutting you some slack because I know you don’t have your own set of timbales at home, but you really should get a set and start practicing. Every day. AT LEAST 20 minutes. Even if you’re just messing around on them and not practicing the patterns I’m teaching you.

But his face said: Dude, you really need to keep practicing because … yeah, you’re not doing very well.

 

What was I thinking? Sure, I’m Cuban, but (as some people won’t let me forget) only 1/2. And it feels like my white girl 1/2 is trying to sabotage me.

Of course, I found a set of timbales on Craig’s List and plan on buying them and practicing.

I’m giving myself to the end of the year… (Ok, maybe to the end of January) and then I’ll really decide “si tengo sentido” for this or not.

Adventures with Kids

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Him: My kids and roommates are gone for the next 24 hours… Granted, the last time my kids were gone one of them got a bloody nose and I hda to go pick them up.
Me: Don’t worry, I know about adventures with kids.
Him: How?

I am the oldest of four. I’m 12 years older than the youngest. I take care of my 97 year old grandmother. Having my plans abruptly change because of someone is not a foreign concept to me. Just because I don’t have my own kids, doesn’t mean I don’t get it.

What I don’t get is how so many parents are so surprised that I get it.
Let’s just call it a gift and leave it at that, ok?

Sooo… after enjoying a mellow morning and some much needed Taka Taka Time, the phone finally connected to the kids. And, those kids were around the corner. (!!!)

After a 45-second scramble and freakout, it became evident that “escape” was not an option.

I was then instructed to sit on the couch while he handled the situation.

Unfortunately for him (and luckily for me), the kids weren’t staying; 6 minutes later, they were gone. Of course he was upset. And I had no idea what my role was in that moment. Sharing café is not the same thing as sharing a seriously difficult life moment. How do you offer comfort and support to a friend when the line of friendship was never all that clear to begin with? I offered a hug, he got up and put a table between us. I asked if he wanted to talk about it, he said no. I (sort of) offered to leave and he said I didn’t have to.

So I sat quietly and waited.

After a few minutes, he started talking and I just listened. Because, really, there is nothing one can say. No words offer comfort. It is just a hard moment. The best part about hard moments is that they always pass. So once the initial shock and pain were passing, the laughing about the absurdity of me attempting to escape started, “We’ll have to come up with an escape route for you for next time… just in case.”

I knew he was kidding, but the girl in me only heard “next time.”

AHA! He plans on doing this again! (Really, why wouldn’t he?)

Once we were sitting on the couch again, he asked what I thought about him going to check on the other kid, because he was worried.

I told him I didn’t know his situation well enough to offer an opinion yet.

Him: Yet? HA! So, once you do, you’ll tell me? You’re so honest! It’s rad.

Obviously, I’m not the only one who only hears one word.

“Not Bored” got Boring

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I finally asked him if he was bored.

He wasn’t. He said that if anyone should be bored, it was me.

I asked what had happened before when he had gone radio silent. He couldn’t give me an answer.

Too bad, too. Because now, a month later, I’m having deja vu.

Saturday night: Honey, I am not going to make it tonight.

A few hours later: Hey hun, I feel like hell and have an early day tomorrow so you should probably just go home after the thing.

That was a week ago.

I’ve grown bored wondering the why behind it. So, I’m going to a concert tonight and I’m officially available again, though I have no intention of advertising that. I’m going to dance.

(And I’m going to miss him.)

How Does He Know?

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I’m anxious.

Irritable.

My inner chick is getting the best of me.

I start to think, “What’s the point? He’s just not that into me. Does he ever pay me a compliment? No. It’s just that tough joking and maybe I’m just not tough enough… He probably doesn’t even like me. I’m sure he’s getting bored with me and …” You get the gist of it.

I invite myself over all the while thinking, “This is probably the last time since I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t even like me all that much and can’t even tell me I’m cute because I AM cute.”

Of course, if one expects to be called “cute” then one should dress accordingly. If we are constantly in sweats, even if we look cute in them, can we really expect people to compliment us on our sweats? I think not.

At the same time, if we know the plan is to curl up on the couch and watch tv, something nearly as comfortable as sweats is definitely preferable.

Enter long white flowing skirt, black t-shirt, and flip flops.
The real key to making this outfit (or any outfit, really) work is accesories.
Bangles are so “a la Cubana” it’s almost a sin to not wear them. On the right hand. And hoop earrings.
That’s all you really need and BAM!
“Honey, you look really cute today! Very Cubana, especially with the bracelets.”

How did he know exactly what I needed to hear from him without my telling him?
Because he’s kind of smart and he must like me more than I think.

Tell me what you want, what you really really want…

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A few weeks ago, I was out to dinner wtih a couple of girlfriends. Right in the middle of our oh-so-important girl talk, a baby at a nearby table started to fuss … loudly. One of my girlfriends said, “My daughter is 14. I’m done with babies. I don’t want to hear it. If you can’t keep your baby under control, you take it outside or you stay home. It’s common courtesy.”

Makes sense. I was still a bit surprised by her intense reaction to a sound that I had barely been aware of.

A couple of days later, I was on the phone with a different girlfriend who is coming to terms with the fact that she probably is not going to have kids. She DOES, however, have a dog and will interrrupt any conversation to stop and giggle at said puppy’s antics. (And who wouldn’t? Dogs can be hilarious!)

While we’re on the phone, I’m grocery shopping. She stops me in mid-sentence and asks, “Isn’t that bothering you? How can you stand that?”

“Stand what?” I ask. That’s when I hear it. The little girl behind me saying, “Dad. Dad. Daddy. Dad. Daddydaddaddydaddaddaddaddy…”

My friend proceed to spout something akin to what the first girlfriend had while we were out to dinner and I was again surprised at the intensity of the reaction.

A week ago, I was babysitting for some friends of mine. Yes, an actual baby and his toddler sister. The baby was feeling a bit under the weather so, like most babies, he wanted to be held and wanted to play and was having a hard time feeling comfortable and was fussing. He wasn’t even fussing that much.

Aliya (she's 2) took this picture.

He is by no means a fussy baby. He was just unhappy. My girlfriend on the phone (the one who had been on the phone while I was in the grocery store) seemed to be unable to handle the sounds of a not-so-fussy baby and the interruptions of me giggling at the toddler.

It has me wondering…

Does my girlfriend find the sounds of children intolerable because she’s convinced it’s not going to be something in her life? Or is it because in her core she actually never really wanted kids in the first place?

If it’s the latter, then how many other people say they want kids when they really don’t? Does a certain  “subborn bear who insists on making the cafe himself” actually want kids? Or is he in the same boat as my girlfriend? Do they just think the ship has sailed and they got on the wrong ship? Do they even like sailing?

Am I overthinking again? 🙂