Barbidoesmiami

How to Stay Sane in the City of No Shame

Barbi’s least pleasant Miami moments

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big house

OK, So.
Even when one escapes to the beach. To the sun. To the palm tree lined avenues with houses so enormous, so fancy, and so beyond this lifetime’s means, shit happens.

Shit happens.

Shit happens no matter where you are. Even when you are living your dream, shit happens. Like  that dream where you ‘re having sex with the perfect hunk and you just cant find IT.. I’m digressing, but (ever had that dream?)  even in your best dreams shit happens. Thats my point.

So in our “live our dream” year in Miami, shit happened. Like as soon as we arrived Kiki and Leila were diagnosed with TB. One test-scratch, and whoops is that a positive? Then their teacher said, to their face, “I don’t want them in my class”, that was #1 of serious shit happening to my twins days within our arrival. So. A beach and the sun and 78 degrees in February and a few palm trees, well, they don’t make that much difference to the shit that goes down.

I also find that, when you put yourself out there its like asking for shit to come flying in your face.

Like I wrote a book.

Stupid, silly, sensitive me. Only tough fuckers should write books. Like Steven Segal, or Judith Regan, or Cheney, they can write books and not give a fuck about rejection letters. But me? Barbi? The one who was an ice cream vendor at her sixth birthday party and cried because she never actually got a cone herself. That Barbi should’ve never put a novel out there. If it wasn’t for the beach, and her lovely daughters, her friends, her comments on her blog (!), her stabilizing Dutch background, well if it wasn’t for all that, those letters would have brought her down. And they weren’t all that bad. Most of them liked the story, the edge in her voice, they just didn’t know how the fuck to market her in today’s climate. Like she wasn’t Sarah Palin or one of Tiger’s/Jesse’s mistresses.Her story wasn’t “feel good, warm and fuzzy” the sales trend in todays depressed economy.

OH.

Well then, never mind.

Those rejection letters,  they are #2 on my list of least pleasant moments, these last nine months. Not Miami’s fault. In fact life here, the parties, the friends, the sun, the happy husband, probably made the whole process less upsetting… but there you go. Advice: dont write a book. Don’t ever write a book. Promise me, write a blog instead and fuckem.

Now I sit back and ask myself. What else was least pleasant?

Well, I didn’t tell you. But I spent 36 hours inside Mount Sinai hospital. That was not pleasant. It was self induced mixed with some stress. Remember that blog where I thought I was going a little crazy? When I wondered what the fuck we were doing here? I had palpitations so I took my blood pressure at CVS, Through the roof! So high, like I was almost dead, the machine said. I Googled high blood pressure and bought every natural drug recommended. Magnesium and beta blockers. Ginger tea, made from real ginger.  Two, three, four days went by and each night was worse, palpitations, light headed, and even a panic attack. I almost passed out. I took the kids to school and drove myself straight into the emergency room.

Well, as soon as one utters the word “heart” in the ER they keep you. They take you and hook you up, and do every test known to doctor-kind. BTW Mount Sinai is a teaching hospital so along with each doctor come five interns who gape like they’ve never seen an attractive woman under 70 (60, 50) in a hospital bed before…

Make a long dumb story short: I did not have high blood pressure. CVS machine was wrong. I had  l o w  blood pressure, and my self-medicating had put my poor  heart into a catatonic state, like fifty confused beats per minute and no pressure.

That was #3 on my least pleasant Miami moments.

#4. Lemme think. Its true that one remembers the good stuff and forgets the bad. Hm. Art Basel? When, in the craze of having to be everywhere at once, I helped write some of  husband’s blogs? And his editor gave me a credit and then the legal guys took it off ? That sucked. That made me mad. That caused a fight.

#5. When it was cold, this one is for Maria, and the iguanas died, dropping narcoleptically like pre-historic rubber toys from the trees, belly up. That Miami cold spell was not pleasant. And I wore the same woolly cardigan for three weeks.

belly up iguana

#6. When my Mom left. My Mom is 82 and fabulous. And fit and she will live to be a 100. But whenever she leaves I ask myself: is this the last time? And that really sucks.

#7. As referenced in best Miami moments. I got my little studio. I got it twice! The first time I got it, I had not signed a lease, in our pre-commitment days, but I  did pack the car with all my stuff. My drill, my beach-plastic in its color coordinated bags, my fabric, my fold-up table, my stool, my tool chest and then I got an e-mail saying,” sorry, someone was willing to sign a lease”. In todays climate, of course, “take the lease, good for you, make some money, I understand”.  I unpacked my stuff back into my Aqua garage. Three months later I got a similar studio, a better one, prettier, I moved in, I had a desk, but still needed my stuff… I packed it up, well … once again I was bounced about. I waited to be let in for hours, I waited for my key, I was stood up, I was told to come back again and again. And I said fuckit! This makes me feel like shit… so I walked away, gave them the finger in one of those moments when I thought that maybe the pretty little studio was just not meant to be…. for me…

#8 Well, an rich blue-rinse lady stole my parking spot at the Aventura Mall! It was Iona’s worst moment. She was a witness to what ensued. This lady, like really blatantly stole it (I’d been sitting waiting politely) just because she could (better insurance?). But that was not the worst of it. The unpleasant moment came when I almost beat her up. When I realized that I could, if pushed just a tiny bit further, have kicked her Bentley, smashed her window, pulled her wig off her bitchy old head – just like my mom who once kicked a dent in a car in a similar situation. I dont like to run into myself, my worst self, in that way.

#9. When it became hot here, like never less than 85, and the pool heated up, and after swimming 20 laps every day all year, I realized that I’d become allergic to the chlorine, or something else in the pool, and I got  a rash al over my chest, my face, my arms, which lasted for two itchy weeks. Now I have to go to the gym, and I HATE the gym.

#10. Saying goodbye to Alastair and Kiki and Leila, and realizing that our experiment was over, and worrying about them driving so far, and worrying about our house and our renters and knowing that next year, when we come back, its no longer what it was. No longer a fuck you to what’s expected, but that in the second year we will settle and Miami will become our life, our normal life, and we’ll have to look for different, new ways to escape…

living the dream

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Author: barbidoesmiami

Barbi is a stupid model, fashion designer, writer about women and beauty, repurposeur of ocean plastic garbage into jewelry, mover from milford to miami, mother of iona kiki and leila, lover of alastair

4 thoughts on “Barbi’s least pleasant Miami moments

  1. It’s the title more than the content, as a comment! I love your blog! Bet i’d love your book, too.

    Write a Book a Year

    by Deborah Digges

    Well the wild ride into the earth was thrilling,
    really, scared as I was and torn and sore.
    I say what other woman could have managed it?
    My life before then
    picking flowers against my destiny
    what glance, what meeting,
    who was watching, what we don’t know we know,
    the hour we chose and we are chosen.
    And suddenly the dead my mission,
    the dark my mission.
    He’d find me pounding out the hours.
    Spring is for women, spring clawing at our hearts,
    We are pulled forward by our hair
    to be anointed in the barren garden.
    I want the dark back, the bloody well of it,
    my face before the fire,
    or lie alone on the cold stone and find a way
    to sleep awhile, wake clear and wander.

    “Write a Book a Year” by Deborah Digges, from The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart. © Alfred A. Knopff, 2010. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

  2. We have Amy Ferris in common and she knows how to make me laugh and cry like a baby. So glad to have cyberlly met you and can’t wait to read more…
    Hey, I would buy the book.

  3. Miami will grow on you – if you can slow down and give it time… and be positive! the iguanas regain their body temperature and run back into the bush! Locals regenerate throughout the year by becoming regulars at Fairchild and Vizcaya, and don’t forget the Kampong and the fruit park annual festivities… picking fresh strawberries in the Redlands and snorkeling at Biscayne Park… you are lucky to still have kids at home young enough to share the joys.
    : )

  4. These 9 months were filled with all sorts of emotions and fun and ups & downs. But what else is new? We, up here in the North, went through the same stuff — minus the beautiful weather you all had. Love reading your blog and feel like I wasn’t toooooo far away from you. Have a good summer up North if we don’t speak. Hugs to all, Vicki

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