Thursday, April 27, 2006

How humorous is it that in light of the recent posts and controversy this settling subject has stirred up, my mom comments to ask what I bought at Neiman's? The apple falls very close, my friends. I have one more point with this whole not settling thing though—it seems highly probable that those of us who don't settle will end up alone. And I think that must be weighed against everything else I suppose. I've sort of made my peace with this because I am the type of person who just can't even kiss or be really intimate with someone I'm not gaga over. Hence my near celibacy and my tendency not to date a lot. Different city, same issues it would seem.

settlement issues

Okay, so we're not in Gaza therefore the issue of settlements is a litttle less grave, but I think this post has certainly stirred up some strong emotions. In regards to the anony-commenters, a couple of points. When I proclaim that I won't settle for anything less than ideal, I am most certainly NOT referring to a "good on paper" brand of quality. I'm absolutely not on the hunt—nor do I advocate others to be—for a wealthy, Ivy League provider. I have learned through experience that good on paper rarely translates to good in the flesh. By not settling, I mean not settling for anything less than nice, sweet, loyal, devoted, funny, kindhearted, generous, moral and down-to-earth. Money, alma mater, car brand, height and hotness have very little to do with what or whom I am looking for. Any of my friends will attest to the fact that I am the last one to date someone simply because they take me to nice places. If I want a dinner at Daniel—or now, I suppose, Joe's Stone Crab—I'll buy it myself. Period. So please do not misinterpret me. When I refer to my friends who are settlling, what I mean, precisely, is this. They are with men who do one or more of the following: play around, belittle them, tell them they are fat, treat them like housekeepers, disrespect them or fail to recognize their beauty, strength or character.

I've said it before and I'll most likely have to shout it from the mountaintops until the day of my demise: just because I like nice things and shopping, does not mean I am without character, morality, integrity or intelligence. If anything, that is my message inherent in this blog. I am a firm, FIRM believer in a woman providing for herself. I have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle, therefore I plan on keeping myself in the manner to which I've become accustomed. Hence the change of careers to a more lucrative field. When I hear women discuss men in terms of their bank accounts or wallet size or car, I shudder, because, let me tell you, these things mean almost nothing at the end of the day. Again, I am wasting too much time here, I must go paint.

The Neiman's outlet, I fear, has turned into my Ben & Jerry's. Yes, it's a lot less caloric, but a lot more expensive. This is my last week before rejoining the working world again. After a nearly year-long hiatus from such a mileu, it should be interesting.

Last night while out at a local haunt, I ran into a guy I met at a society thing in NY way back in September, so, it seems, the world is just as small down here as up there. He lives two buildings away from me here. Weird. I did two very foolish things today, my jaunt to Neiman's notwithstanding—hey, cut a girl some slack they were having a handbag and shoe "event," I'm supposed to say no to that?—neither of which I feel comfortable disclosing here, but the perpetual question is: Why, oh why, does romance make such fools out of us, no matter the age or circumstance? WHY???????? I'm chalking today's behavior up to the paint fumes I've been inhaling all day.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I have noticed a disturbing and highly pervasive trend that is spreading amongst my friends from Miami to New York and in between. This trend affects both males and females, but in general, I think it falls more squarely on women's shoulders. The issue? Settling in the romance department. I think we all have those friends whose husbands/spouses/significant others we don't care for. "They could have done sooo much better than him/her/it," we say when talking about them. "What is she thinking?" we ask.

It's really quite simple when you boil it down. Personally, I think that women settle due to low self-esteem and/or fear of being alone—esp if you are over 30—and men settle out of pure boredom and/or laziness. One thing characterizes both sexes' attitudes when it comes to settling though, and that, my friends, is a sense of resignation. "Eh, I may not be able to do any better, so why not take this schlub?" Or, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with?" Right?

Um, NOOOOO. I cannot imagine anything under our control more dreadful than settling. For a person, a job, a lifestyle, an apartment, but most especially a lover. Sure, we all must settle sometimes: Prada over Hermes, Bermuda instead of St. Bart's, Mercedes over Bentley. I'm kidding, but not to such a drastic degree. Personally, I can honestly say that I'm a person very reluctant to settle, and when I find myself tempted to do so, I tend to snap myself out of it and remind myself that you only live once, so you may as well give yourself everything that you truly deserve. Because you know what? Nobody else is going to. I don't know if my unwillingness to settle for a significant other is due to my unhealthy level of perfectionism, my parents' almost disgustingly perfect marriage or what. All I know is that if I had settled, like so many of my friends, I would most certainly be divorced by now.

And, I know, I know, breaking up is hard to do and being alone is hard too, but divorce, my friends, is exponentially harder. Trust me, daddy is a divorce attorney. And while I am sure he would be pleased to take referrals, I would not relish proffering them. I'm here to tell you all, esp the girls, that yes, sometimes it's a big, scary world out there and clutching onto someone sub-par feels better than being in the water without a life vest, but, actually that's a recipe for disaster. Do you really want to be 40 or 50 and look at the person next to you and think, "Gee, I'll bet I could've done better." I don't think so. At least I hope not.

This is precisely why I would rather be single than attached just for the sake of being attached. And why in answer to that uncouth question that most Jewish parents seem to think is appropriate, "Why aren't you married?" I can always confidently answer, "I just haven't me the right person." Single doesn't = leper. And on that note, I am pleased to report that after a six-month-long bad date/no date drought, I've had a rather lovely one, simply because I refused to settle for any more lousy ones.

Friday, April 21, 2006

paradise found

If there ever was a doubt about moving to Miami, it was squelched today, for I have discovered, a mere 14 miles from my lovely new apartment, the holy land: Neiman Marcus Last Call and Off 5th. That's right folks, a short drive away there exists the Prada promised land. I am home. I'm loving this city more and more each day. There is certainly not the uber-drama of singlehood down here, as my nights out since my move have mostly consisted of dinners and tame activities, but I'm rather enjoying the sedation after so many years on the merry go round. The final bit of furniture was delivered today, the apt. is almost perfectly turned out, I haven't gotten seriously lost or carjacked yet, and the leg is feeling better. I face a wall of water from both my bed and my couches and have acquired some very comfy patio furniture. So all in all, life is good. Then again, my seasoned South Florida friends tell me that hurricane season starts in a little more than two months, so I guess the shit will hit the fan again fairly soon. I'm fortunate though, that my condo came with "hurricane shutters," which are these industrial strength, intimidating-looking shutters that protect windows and doors. Apparently these things are like thousands of dollars to install, so it's a real boon that my apt. came with them. And though I am certainly missing Wally, I have to admit that it's really nice to come home and not have to walk the little booger. Tomorrow I start my mortgage broker's class, which will consist of 24 hours of classes in three days and next week I take the state licensing exam. Boring, boring, boring I know, but I'm laying off the personal stuff at the moment. Though I do have a couple set ups I am actually looking forward to. I'm done, once and for all, with JDate. Seriously. I mean it this time.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The eighth great wonder of the world: why do our parents, substantially older and more war-torn than ourselves, have more energy than us? Between Passover, the family visiting, friends and apartment stuff, the time is already flying fast. I can't believe that April is almost over and before I know it I'll be joining the force of labor. Spent all week and weekend getting the apartment together but was able to spend all day Saturday on dad's friend's boat, cruising around Miami in style. There are simply so many areas of this city that are really quite fabulous and beautiful. We saw all the major islands, many of which are well-known celebrity lairs such as Fisher and Star Island, but some of the lesser known areas are just as breathtaking. And strangely enough, I saw more celebs by sea than I saw all season in NYC. We cruised past Shaq's $29 million abode, and spotted him chilling in the backyard throwing one of his kids a party. We also saw Hulk Hogan scoping out his new ultra-modern digs with his family, adjacent to some big music producer pulling up on his 100-foot behemoth yacht. The interesting thing about the celebrity lifestyle down here is that they have absolutely no privacy. The ones who live on the water have completely exposed backyards, because if they were to erect high hedges, as they do in LA, they would block out the spectacular views. It's a catch 22 for them, and apparently the reason Shaq is looking to sell. Also saw lots of other Heat players on the water and at dinner, but I don't know their names. Honestly I didn't even know that Shaq was with the Heat now; not exactly up on the sports. Anywho, it was awesome to spend the better part of yesterday seaborn, and to take a boat to lunch as opposed to a car or train. Now I must make a friend my own age with some sea wheels.

And in another interesting twist, characteristic of the close degree of separation that is life in the South, as we were getting on the elevator in my new building Friday night, my dad ran into an old frat brother of his who lives on the 10th floor of said new building. Natch, I'm wondering if this has any consequences that may prove to be favorable to Wally...More TK on this subject. Next weekend I have my cram course for my mortgage broker's exam for the new biz, so it's back to school for me. That should be interesting.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

As Nancy P. so diligently pointed out, I had to update my profile to say Miami; thanks Nance. It feels weird to call another place home after being a New Yorker for so long. Anyway Happy Pesach to everyone. The fam is coming to town this weekend so I'll be on another hiatus, but I'm sure I'll returned armed with lots of ammo as we are going apt. shopping this weekend. Alas, no Bergdorf's to be found here, but Bal Harbour is singing its siren song to me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

No Habla Espanol—but Oy seems to translate

This Spanish thing is going to be a problem, as it's not most of the worker's second language, but their first. Neither the cable guy or the carpet cleaner guy spoke English. Did some damage at Whole Foods today and I'm still getting used to having actual food outside the fridge, without the fear of little critters getting into it. I'm going to have to unlearn being an ultra-paranoid neat freak because by now it's by rote that I vacuum daily, clean obsessively after every meal and keep everything, including salt, pepper, coffee etc. in the fridge. It's bizarre not having to worry about common NY problems. But there are now others, like the fact that right now the winds are about 20 miles an hour and when I open the patio door my nic nacs are instantly strewn about, not to mention the temporary furniture that is being lifted off the ground. Gee I can't wait for hurricane season.

I am living in an unusual area called Brickell Key, which is a private island off of downtown. It's a really cool place, with lots of residential buildings, a couple of restaurants, a market, bank, florist, dry cleaner etc. You can actually walk to the marketplace, so it's a little bit cosmopolitan, which appeals to expats like me. The Mandarin Oriental is also on the Key and there's a cool bar and some fab restaurants in there as well. One amazing thing about the island, that I simply cannot fully take advantage of because I am sans Wally, and still scared to run for fear of worsening my fucking ITB, is that there is a walking path that spans the perimeter of the island, where there are dogs, joggers and walkers galore. You can see it in one of the above pics from my balcony, which, yes, I am completely obsessed with, you can see both the bay and the river and the port of Miami, hence the cruise ships. Today I got lost on my way home from Ft. Lauderdale and ended up in a lovely area called Crandon Park (I think). Ironically I missed my exit and ended up on a toll road; thankfully I had exactly $1.25 on me for the toll. I wonder what would have happened if I'd cruised up in my "luxury" automobile and professed to have no money? Do the toll booths take AmEx? I'm sure that this happens to people a lot down here....

Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm Baaaaaaaaack

A long overdue recap, for my cable internet has just been installed. In the past two weeks I have:

Become the new owner of a peppy little German (ugh) automobile, replete with cute little portable GPS thingy, for I happen to have the worst sense of direction ever. Seriously. I have gotten lost in people's houses before.

Slept on an air mattress, for the first (and hopefully last) time ever

Had a religious experience at Target. Twice. Whoever invented this superstore deserves no less than the Nobel prize for shopping.

Abandoned my loving, codependent, needy, 10-year-old dog, not without a hefty amount of Jewish guilt. I have also pondered ways to Anne Frank him into condo living, but alas, have come up with no feasible options that wouldn't result in my eviction.

Moved into my new condo, which, given that it is a one-bedroom and not in New York, has ample room, central air conditioning, fans, overhead lighting, a washer and dryer, a large kitchen and the fattest balcony ever, with sweeping views of the Miami River (who knew?) and Biscayne Bay.

Put up my first Mezuzah ever, though it's probably against the condo rules.

Employed my veeeeeeeeery rusty college-level Spanish. It's an absolute necessity down here, so I really must brush up.

Gotten back onto the elliptical machine, because, fuck it, my ITB bullshit wasn't getting better by not exercising. So I'm finally sweating again and it feels fucking great.

Sworn off shoe and handbag shopping once again, because even though I am now proudly in possession an actual walk in closet, there is STILL not enough room for the damn bags and shoes.

Perfected my tan.

Gone grocery shopping and bought more than just one day's worth of food.

Left the house in flip-flops, tank tops and exercise pants.

Left the house with wet hair.

Pumped some $3-a-gallon gas; you guys should have seen me at the gas station trying to figure out where the gas tank release button was. Ten minutes of sitting in the car pressing every button, then calling mom.

"How the fuck do I open the gas tank? I've pressed every button."

"Well in my car (another German make) you just press on the actual tank and that opens it."

This NEVER would have occurred to me; I was about to give up trying, but alas, mom to the rescue once again.

Gone back on that ghastly Jewish dating web site that all MOT belong to much to their own dismay. However, the first chap I've conversed with over the BellSouth (or is it AT&T now) wires, was flagrantly, flamingly GAY with a capital G. He said like about 50 more times than I do. Sigh. I don't think it's happening for me on JDate. I just cannot, for the life of me, envision myself at my wedding toasting to that fabulous cyber-bastion of head shots and "about me"s. call me crazy, but I'd like to meet someone the old fashioned way—through pushy Jewish mothers and friends—or not at all.

Anywho, I am now fully set up in my new pad, sitting here with my desk positioned so that I can look at the water while I type. There's a constant stream of boats gliding by, sunsets, dolphins, manatees, all visible from both my living room and bedroom. And after all the stress of moving finally subsided, cruising in my new car on Saturday, with the sunroof open, CD blaring, sun shining, and wind blowing my Japanese-straightened-therefore-always-perfect-even-in-the-blazing-humidity hair, I thought, "Why the hell did I wait so long to do this?" Is it cold in New York? That's what I thought. Pics are on my balcony, from my first Friday night in my new home.