What do oreos and nuns have in common?

Eat me.

I went out on a school night this week. Tuesday, I think it was. Yeah, Tuesday. Because it was the previous Thursday that I swore that I would never drink again. Well, drink between the work week. No, I promised not to drink a lot between the week. I don’t know what I promised, really.

I was making the promise while walking up and down Miracle Mile, in heels, desperately trying to sober up. Or, maybe it was when a group of “out-of-town” guys who had “just come from the ATM,” mistook me for a high-priced escort. Although, by the state of my mascara, they probably thought I was just a ten dollar hooker.

I was serious about this promise. Until my dear friend called me to say hello and I answered, “Tuesday, drinks, perfect.”

When she asked me to pick the place, I used an app on my iPhone and it spit up the name of a bar in the heart of downtown Miami on the corner of Shady Street and Purse-Snatcher Avenue. It sounded like a guaranteed good time.

As soon as the bell rang at work, I headed over to my new favorite bar. I valet’d my car at the crack house down the street and walked toward the bar in with my super-sized Coach purse in my hand and Dolce and Gabana glasses on my face. You know, in case of paparazzi. Because the bar didn’t have a door, I took the opportunity to stand at the doorway and take off my sunglasses in slow motion, you know, like in the movies, I even shook my hair side-to-side. That shit is really hard to do, by the way, at least in slow motion.  

However, instead of hundreds of urbanite hipsters squeezing around, there two guys in ties and an old, married couple. And me. So, I quickly mounted a stool and ordered a beer.

I knew I had to take it slow. There was no way I could walk around this neighborhood if I needed to sober up. At least not without getting attacked by real hooker for trampling on her territory or getting bitch slapped by a pimp for not getting into the backseat of a Pontiac.

That and my friend hadn’t gotten there yet.

There’s nothing more unpleasant than meeting a friend for drinks and finding them drunk without you. I mean, that’s just rude. And there’s no catching up. You can’t possibly catch up to a drunk person. That’s a myth. There I’ve said it. If you get to a place and everyone is drunk already, just turn around and go home. If not, you’ll be called a bore and end up holding someone’s hair while they puke on your sensible work pumps.

 Well, about an hour later, my friend, who had finally arrived, and we were deep in conversation about…office supplies when all of a sudden we were approached by another woman.

“Hi, sorry to bother you,” she said.

As I turned to look at her and tell her it was cool, I recognized her. I mean, I recognized her face. Not having a face recognition app on my phone, I had to search my brain for memories. Scary enough, she knew my full name and I couldn’t even come up with the time period of my life where we might have crossed paths. Immediately I felt panicked. Especially when, trying to jog my memory, she said the phrase, “It was my first time.”

Oh boy, I thought. What did I do now.

Luckily, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. It was worse.

Apparently, it was the first time she had heard a “religious” talk or testimony. And I was giving it.

I know.

There was a time in my life when, well, I was a practicing Catholic. And, I wanted to be a nun. In full habit. Super nun. I wanted to be Kathy Najimi’s character in Sister Act. I wanted to talk about God and heal the world. I wanted to do good and spread the love. It wasn’t until I realized that what I really wanted to do was make it with Whoopi Goldberg that I dropped the whole nun thing and the whole religion thing for that matter. 

A few friends know about this time in my life, others can’t even conceive it happened. And now, there was this woman. This woman who said, “I remember, in your speech, you said how you were like an Oreo cookie. Hard on the outside and soft on the inside.”

To which I responded, “Jesus Christ! Even back then I wanted people to eat me!”

Across from the guy downstairs: Scream

Remember the three-part series I did about the guy that lives downstairs? Well, this is the three-part series on the family that lives across from that guy.*

Across from the guy downstairs lives a single mother with a special needs toddler. To no fault of the child, the toddler screams all day. All day.Long sustained screams.

The single mother also screams. All day. She screams at her twin 17-year old boys for not going to school, for not having jobs, for getting a girl pregnant, for leaving the fence open, for coming home, for not coming home, for things that I can’t understand…you get the picture.

The two boys are biologically the same age, but physically look like one is older than the other. The older looking twin is as thin as a rail. He only wears wife-beater tank tops, I suppose to show off his arms. Not that they are muscular. I believe Michelle Obama has pythons compared to his itty bitty arms. He doesn’t wear a shirt to show off all his jail house tattoos**. This boy is already a father and regularly calls his Baby Momma. I know this because he only calls her when he’s standing outside in the middle of his backyard. I believe he does this so he could scream at her at the top of his lungs, without interrupting the screaming that is already happening inside.

The first time I came face to face with this twin, I was walking toward my car and he was just coming toward the building. I did a quick full body scan and looked him square in the eyes. He quickly turned his face to spit on the ground and kept walking past me.



But, hey, it’s buy one gross and scary and get the second gross and scary free. Luckily, his twin is gross and scary in the circus kind of way.

The other twin boy is smaller that his brother. He looks 14 in age. And although he is always fully dressed, his clothes are insanely big on him. I understand the fashion, but this is literally pants-on-the-ground. He actually cinches his pants under his butt, around his thighs. The seam that marks where t-shirts fall on a man’s shoulder really hang below his elbows. It’s as if he’s a regular sized man in Shaq’s clothes.

His voice is still changing. I know because he…no he doesn’t scream…he sings, well, no, he raps all day. He raps loudly. He likes to rap under the staircase that leads to my apartment. I imagine because of the echo. So, his middle-of-puberty voice that sounds like a loose snare drum is amplified throughout the hallway, throughout my home.

All this happens downstairs. All day, everyday.

Until last night. When downstairs came upstairs.

I’ll tell you all about it in my next entry, “Across from the guy downstairs: Scream 2”

*Note: Although it is not necessary to read “The guy downstairs” series from back in January to understand this new series, you may find the background information helpful.

**You know, jail house tattoos: a spiderweb, a skull and crossbones, a couple of names, all scattered throughout, where ever there is space.

Waiting by the phone

Sometimes job searching is like dating — in high school.

You find out someone is having a party and your crush is going. You find out Company A is hiring.

A few months back, I heard from a colleague that Company A was looking for someone to fill a marketing communications position. Senior management was going to be in Miami in the near future and wanted to take advantage of the geographical coincidence to meet some potential candidates.

You want to be invited so badly that you slip a note to the host. You send in your resumé.

So, I dropped my name in the hat and shortly after was scheduled for a phone interview. Across thousands of miles and a few time zones, the interview went very well. It was very formal at first and then it turned friendly, relaxed and promising.

You are finally invited. You are contacted by HR to schedule a meeting.

I was quickly invited to the in-person session – not with the guy I had spoken to on the phone, but with that guy’s boss. We’ll call him Mr. X. I was told Mr. X makes the final decisions in the hiring process.

You go to the mall, get an outfit, get a mani/pedi, do your hair, get the car washed, etc. Same.

I prepared a thirty minute presentation for this meeting. No joke. The truth is I was a bit over qualified for the position, but in my phone conversation with the first gentleman, they said that they were open to an up-sale. And, boy, was I ready to convince Mr. X that hiring a junior person for this job was like only having an appetizer for dinner.

You show up on time and pretend to be cool, but no one is there to see you look cool. Same.

The day of the interview, I walked into those beautiful offices with that famous breathtaking view of Miami looking smart, professional and ready to wow the pants off this guy.

Only, he wasn’t available.

I was told to have a seat and to wait until someone would be able to see me.

While constantly scanning the room for your crush, you make eye contact with one of the friendlier cheerleaders. She comes up to you with her stuck-up boyfriend. You try to guess which of the people walking around will be your potential superior(s), until one of them actually walks into the conference room.

Two executives join me in the conference room. They apologize for Mr. X’s no-show, but assure me that they will give him a full report. Luckily, I had extra copies of my resumé to share with them. I spent a few minutes introducing myself and going over my skill set, when one of the two executives excuses himself from the room.

So, I was left with one, very friendly executive conducting an interview that should have been cancelled. But, I was there and she was there, so I started my presentation.

Realizing that the popular crowd is fake and boring, you decide that you’re going to have fun anyway. During an interview, the moment you realize you really couldn’t work there even if they paid you a million bucks.

Relaxed and indifferent, I decided to insert a lot of my opinion about the company within my presentation. Where they went wrong, where they were missing out on publicity, ideas on how they could become more integrated in the community. Suddenly, she gets up and asks me to hold that thought. I couldn’t believe it. I was siting there in an empty conference room interviewing myself.

You decide to cannonball in the pool and accidentally wet the most popular girl in the school, but everyone thinks it’s funny, so it’s okay. During an interview, the moment you think you’ve said something stupid, but gets a head nod from the interviewer.

She returned with her colleague by the arm and told him to sit down and listen to what I had to say. So, they both sat down and she asked to start my presentation again. And I did. Their heads nodded, their egos burst and then their eyes glimmered with hope. They both agreed that Mr. X needed to be brought in.

Suddenly your crush shows up to the party and even though you are soaked from the pool, he wants to dance with you. During an interview, the moment you think you are going to be hired on the spot.

Indeed, Mr. X was brought in. Not by the arm, but by his own volition. He sat down, said hello and I handed him my resumé. But, before I could backspace my way to the beginning of my presentation, he looked up and said, “It’s obvious that my team wants you, so now it’s just a matter of settling on a number.” What the? Was this his plan all along? Was I on candid camera?

Then, Mr. X said, “Don’t give me the number now, think about it and email me with it tonight. This way it will give me time to look at the budget, so I know where I stand.”

At the end of the best night of your life, your crush asks for your phone number. The interview is over and you nailed it.

I left. I left feeling a cross between what just happened and I’m awesome. I called everyone I knew. I asked for all of their opinions. Later that afternoon I sat at my computer and composed a wonderful thank you email to each of them. Only Mr. X’s email was a bit longer. It included my salary range and stated my willingness to negotiate.

Waiting for a callback. Same.

Just like a high school crush, Mr. X never responded to my note, or my follow-up note, or returned my phone call. I should’ve known he was too good to be true.

Waiting for the phone to ring?