do you remember the first person that ever dumped you? like the first person to ever TOTALLY blow you off, rip out your heart and make you question how adorable your parents made you feel when you were 7? … i do! his name was josh and we met at a clothing store that we were both working at while i was on my first winter break home from college. i thought i was too cool for school (i'll blame that for my lack of a degree now 10 years later) and i flirted shamelessly. we would fold the ugliest printed t shirts next to each other, probably split a few auntie anne's pretzels or cigarettes on breaks and i thought he was totally dreamy. it wasn't until after we started dating for a few days that i learned he was a few years younger than i was. still in high school but still so cute, i couldn't handle it. we dated for months and it took this sorority girl a long while to get over that high school boy who broke her little heart. saying that the relationship humbled me would be an understatement and it prepared me for a long life of the harsh realities of dating. all that being said, it was a gross breakup. the kind you look back on as an adult and think to yourself thank god i've grown up and have no idea what that guy is doing or where he is in the world. but by the power vested in the internet, finding your old puppy lovers is only a few clicks away. and so it wasn't until a few months back that i received one of my most random Facebook messages to date from who else but that blast from our pretzel sharing past. we're talking 8 years of no contact that went right out the door with one "Jamie Dawn! whats up? how are you?" and so, while i remembered all of the tears and oreos it took to get over that guy, that didn't stop me from responding. it also didn't stop us from meeting up for a few drinks a few weeks later. turns out, he had moved down to miami florida and was coming into town for christmas to visit family. i can't remember now which one of us asked first, but before i knew it christmas was here and so was josh. it was a 20 minute drive to get to where he and i were meeting and it was the longest 20 minutes of my life. i nearly cancelled. i mean, who in the hell meets up with an x that they haven't spoken to in 8 years? one could also ask who would choose to live with their x years after breaking up, but that's a question for another day. but, as the story goes, the second we got together we had a blast. talked about literally everything, laughed a lot and never shut up. and so, about 200 tito's and tonics later, josh invited me down to miami. one of those loud, annoying YOU SHOULD TOTALLY COME DOWN SOMETIME! kind of invites. not the real ones. so i responded with the equally obnoxious YEAH, TOTALLY! THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! but i guess it was a few cigarette puffs and shots later that i was looking up flights. i couldn't think of a better way to spend my first few days being 28 than down in miami with an x boyfriend i hadn't spoken to since before i was allowed in a bar. all of that to be said, last week, MY ASS WAS IN MIAMI!
i flew out a week after my birthday to spend 4 days in miami with a boy. a boy that i hadn't seen or heard from in years, you guys. to stay with him, his dad and his dad's boyfriend all down in sunny miami. WHO IN THE WORLD AM I!? sometimes my decisions are a little improvised. but if there's one thing i love about myself it's my lack of need for my life to be completely premeditated. and so, i packed my suitcase of ripped up jean shorts and travel size shampoo and my roommate (a fellow x, no less. ha!) dropped me off at the airport at about 5 am. and by 10 am, i was giving a hug to a guy 2000 miles away from home. a guy who, for all i know, was left handed and hated pizza. it was a little overwhelming being completely surrounded by strange. but after an awkward nap next to this total stranger and a few drinks, i was good. completely content and relaxed and excited for the next few days.
he and his dad and Dito (his dad's boyfriend that is now my life long hero. he's cute and spicy and taught me a little spanish) live right in the middle of downtown on the 30 something floor of the most beautiful building. the hallways smelled like birthday cake and the view was incredible. everything in their home was clean and white and pointy and perfect. and since i'm used to doing my makeup in the dark cave that is the ground floor, it's safe to say my face had never looked better. one thing i had remembered about josh was his love for a good beverage and thank god we had that in common. we spent the first night hanging out with his dad for drinks and dinner in an area called Bayside and just sat and talked. i was glad to get a chance to talk to the man that was allowing me into his home for the next few days and i instantly clicked with him. he has the most gentle way about him that makes you feel like you could tell him anything without being past thru any judgement. good dad alert! those are my favorite people, as i can talk forever and it's usually about the most inappropriate subjects. we walked around and while it rained its ass off during our outdoor dinner, it was still fun. oddly familiar but foreign at the same time. i felt like i was sitting next to old friends that i had seen a million times.
the next morning brought an early brunch, bottomless mimosas and Biggie Smalls blaring from the restaurant speakers all before noon. with half of a goat cheese and tomato omelet in my stomach, josh and i both agreed naps were in order before we spent the rest of the day drinking and hanging out. but that plan quickly went out the window when we learned that we were going to family dinner at Dito's sister's house. now, i think a girlfriend would even be a little nervous being thrown in a situation like that, so you can imagine how an x/friend/stranger/thing would do. I'm in another state, with people i don't really know and i was about to be surrounded by people that primarily spoke a language that i didn't understand. but the moment we walked into the house, i was greeted with cheek kisses and hugs and questions and laughs and a corona. honestly, i don't even know where people like that come from. people that just welcome strangers into their home and like you without even knowing you yet. the women asked questions about how i liked miami so far and the guys told josh i could stay and he could come back to ohio. they seemed to like me just fine, but more importantly they all loved each other. this wasn't a birthday celebration for someone or a holiday. it was just another sunday and their house was filled with people that wanted to be there together. we drank plenty of beer, ate chicharron (basically pork rinds if pork rinds melted in your mouth. good god) and listened to music i didn't understand. But watching Dito and his family interact with one another was the best. He was the sweetest and sat next to me for a while and tried his best to teach me MUY POQUITO spanish :) Dito was everything i expected before i came down to miami and i knew we would get along from the second we were in the car together. anyone that quotes adele and yells at other drivers in traffic and tells people when they're being dumb- we'll get along just fine. this was by far my favorite night of the trip.
the rest of my stay consisted of a few touristy attractions, and more than a few drinks in hand. props to josh for begin the best sport and never getting annoyed at how much i break out this camera of mine! he would even mention several times "oh, do you want to go shoot that? it would probably look good on the blog." ugh. after my heart.
the trip was amazing and i'm so glad i went. i saw a lot, drank a lot, felt a lot. we packed a good amount of activities into a four day stretch and i'm forgetting plenty. also, i have to throw a special shout out to bernard. friend of josh's dad and Dito, he was as fierce as they come. he told me about cuban singer Celia Cruz (that's her on the video below), said i was cute and taught me that Arroz Con Pollo becomes 10 times better with a little mayonnaise mixed in. seriously, if you ever want to come freeze your asses off, i have room for all of of you guys! i filmed a little bit from all the days i was there and made a quick video to remember the trip. i'll definitely be back down (Pride is in April!!) but for now thank you guys so much for letting me come and stay. love you all!! enjoy!