An Open Letter To Myself Or, Happy New Year

Dear Me:

Firstly, our hair looks great. Did you blowdry it upside down again? Yeah. That’s the only way we’re gonna get any volume.

Anyway, 2013. Kinda a rough year for us. We didn’t so much learn lessons as lessons came up to us, said – “Hi! Are you Jaime?” and then, punched us in the mouth.

We went through break-ups, quit our job, moved back to South Florida and got an awesome new job.

We started the year being stupid unhealthy (due to subsisting on hot chocolate and a cup of pretzels a day) and ended it getting back to normal because Mom is ethnic and we live like, three miles from the greatest taco joint in the world.

2013 was the year we turned 30, got bangs for the first time ever, walked on the field at Dolphins Stadium, flew to New York City for a concert, drove to New Orleans for a Bougie Girl adventure and had our existence acknowledged by Rob Sheffield.

There was a lot of good but it was also pretty tumultuous so I’m kindly requesting that 2014 being The Year Jaime Doesn’t Make The Same Mistakes Again Because Are You Fucking Kidding Me? Come On, Dude. Be Better Than That.

To help us with that, here are some lessons I think we’d be wise to remember.

– People are who they are and they don’t change. You can’t make someone love you and you can’t make someone be who you need them to be. You are too old to lie to yourself and call it honor.

– You want to find out what you’re made of and who really loves you? Raze your life and see who’ll help you comb through the ashes. The people in your life right now love you so much. Take the time to appreciate them.

– Your self-esteem is a mess. No. Stop it. Don’t write this off. Don’t make a clever little quip. It’s bad. I know you’ve been working on it and I know it’s hard but 2014? We’re gonna grab that beastie by the horns. Wear dresses, stop doing that thing where you look in the mirror and grimace and listen the fuck up – you’re a helluva dame and you could make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.

Goals For 2014

DO.

That’s it.

Just DO things. There is a whole world out there – ripe with promise and waiting to be devoured – and you are starving.

Seek out adventure – keep an eye on flight and hotel deals. This world is meant to be explored and the way you travel, you can see a lot in a long weekend.
Eat good food – eat more arugula, start cooking again, perfect your mutter paneer recipe, pickle some vegetables and let’s try Ethiopian food. It seems kinda tasty.
Drink more small batch gin, find a pinot noir you really love and set up a Bloody Mary bar for brunch.
Meet new people. Your spirit animal may as well be a labrador. This is a good thing. Use it to your advantage.
Get a tattoo – something to do with Bruce or Bukowski.
Moisturize.
Drink more water.
WRITE.

See how happy you are here?

bloodymaryjaime

Strive for this. Every day.

Say ‘Yes’ more often. Nothing ever happens to those who live their lives on their couches.

Oh and read the collected works of Shakespeare. Look, dude. You’ve been banging on about it for the past couple of years and you own the collection, so just do it. Because you know what the coolest thing in the world is?

Basically, remember the advice that you’re planning on giving your daughter (if you ever have one):

What’s the most important thing in the world?
To be kind.
And what else?
To be smart.
Why?
Because smart girls gets the joke and the really smart girls? They write the joke.
Be smart, be kind and remember – I love you.

That’s solid advice, dude. You should consider taking it.

2014 is going to be good to us. I promise.

Love:

Me xx

P.S. – Volumizer. Let’s have big hair in 2014. Like Lilly from Shahs of Sunset big. She’s insufferable but goddamn, that hair is fabulous.

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An Open Letter To Me At 18 Or, Because I Knew You, I Have Been Changed For Good

Dear 18-Year-Old Jaime:

Hey! Me again — your decade-old counterpart filling you in on your future/my present.

A little while back, I wrote to you in regards to your 10-Year High School Reunion.

Right now, you’re probably wondering if you went and what Ron Livingston wore because, y’know, he was totally your date, right?

Yeah, that’s a no on both counts. You actually spent the weekend doing something far more fun.

No, Ron Livingston wasn’t involved.
Seriously. Why would I lie about that?
Look, would you let it go? I have a crush on him too, but you don’t hear me going all bananas about it.
That often.

Anyway, instead of trekking down to El Dub for the reunion, you spend the weekend hanging out with your sister.

You guys navigated Philly without being murdered/mugged, devoured red velvet whoopie pies from Flying Monkey and tequila gelato from Capogiro (this doesn’t mean a damn thing to you now, but trust me — both places are glorious and hands-down, the best desserts in Philadelphia), bought overpriced but fabulous cosmetics, gossiped a whole lot about everyone ever, got your hair done together, ate yourselves into respective food comas and basically, had the best time ever because you guys always have the best time ever.

Look, the point I’m trying to make is this — stop getting stressed out about what people think of you. Especially the people you go to school with. Because in my present/your future — their opinions mean jack with a side of shit. You’re not going to see 95% of them ever again and if you do, you’ll both smile too widely, make airy small talk and then, GTFO as soon as a proper sense of civility allows.

There are a handful of people in this world whose opinions matter. I mean, really matter. And your sister is near the top of that list, so when in doubt, keep this in mind — always pick family over anything else. You’ll be happier for it.

Lots of love:

28-Year-Old Jaime xx

P.S. – Enroll in Bikram yoga, watch True Romance, learn how to make cold-brewed iced coffee and keep writing. Oh and quit hanging out in parking lots. It’s dumb and you don’t particularly enjoy it.

An Open Letter To Fergie, Or For Those In The Cheap Seats – I Hate The Black-Eyed Peas

Dear Fergie (and to a lesser extent, The Black-Eyed Peas)

Four things.

One – It’s 2011. At this point, 2008 is considered two thousand and late.
Two – No-one wants to hear you caterwaul Sweet Child O’ Mine (oh and Slash, I know you got bills to pay, but what the what, dude? Where’s your dignity? You’re Slash! Not some halfwit member of Warrant or Poison).
Three – if I was Dick Dale, I’d be on my way to Dallas with a can full of gas and a handful of matches.
Four – Patrick Swayze is dead. You really need to piss on his legacy with that atrocious cover of (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life?

Please stop destroying music.

Love:
Jaime xx

I Bet in High School, Everybody Made Somebody’s Life Hell, or Ten Years Gone.

Dear 17-Year-Old Jaime:

Hey! It’s me — your decade-older counterpart chiming in for a quick chat.

So, I just got a battery of Facebook messages (It’s like an online yearbook used primarily for social networking stalking people and growing digital crops. You’ll dislike it but find yourself unable to disengage because it makes communication easier and because you’re kinda of a judgmental a-hole) about our 10 Year High School Reunion.

Yeah, you’re that old now.

Dude, please stop making the face. Not only is it wildly unattractive, but I fear something might fly into our eye and cause permanent damage. Our vision isn’t so hot to begin with and I really don’t need you mucking it up further.

Anyway — high school reunion. It’s happening this summer and right now, I’m in two minds whether I want to attend.

So, we’re going to make like Mick and Keef and do a little Point/Counterpoint (references to classic SNL sketches will always be cool. Always). You ready? Here we go:

17 Year Old Jaime: You’re like, 64% less gawky than you were in high school. And 62.5% of that can be attributed to your prodigious flat iron usage.
Present Day Jaime: I would like to rebut with a three-fold answer:

1. 64%? Who taught you math? Low 80s at least. At least.
2. Duh.
3. Who are you trying to impress? The lunkheads you went to school with? Come on, dude. Seriously?

17-Year-Old Jaime: You get to spend quality time in Florida.
Present Day Jaime: I have to book a flight, take time off work, arrange travel to and from the airport and see if I can coordinate this whole venture with Augs’ schedule. This seems like an awful lot of work for a trip that may not result in me spending quality time with my sister or D, Steve and the dogs.

17-Year-Old Jaime: You know you want to see who got fat, who knocked up who and who came out.
Present Day Jaime: ….

So, what conclusion are we deriving from this dialetic exercise? Inconclusive.

Damn it.

Look, I’ll keep you posted on whether I go or not but in the meantime — study hard, stop fixating on the cute guitar player in yearbook  (trust me on this one, dude. Seriously) and listen to Bruce Springsteen.

Lots of Love:

27-Year-Old Jaime xx

An Open Letter To My 17-Year-Old Self, Or I’m Stoked About Baz Luhrmann’s Take on The Great Gatsby

Dear 17-Year-Old Jaime:

Hey! Just your decade-older counterpart dropping you a line from the future with some awesome news.

No, it’s not about hoverboards.
Dude, they haven’t been invented yet.
Yes, I know that I’m only five years away from Back to the Future II.
Just let it go. I mean, you don’t even skateboard.

Anyway, Baz Luhrmann is remaking The Great Gatsby and Leonardo DiCaprio’s playing the eponymous principal character.

Yeah, you should probably stop shrieking like that. It can’t be good for our vocal chords.

Tobey Maguire’s playing Nick, someone named Carey Mulligan’s playing Daisy (she’s English, small, blonde and looks capable of pulling off Daisy’s insouciance) and principal photography starts next year.

That’s pretty much all I know about it, but it’s probably a safe bet that the interpretation will be lush, epic and feature a pretty fantastic soundtrack.

I’ll keep you posted as I find out more.

Study more, keep writing and listen to shitloads of Bruce Springsteen.

Lots of love:

Me xx

P.S. — Wear that pair of black-and-red plaid pants more often. They’re super cute, comfy and they make your butt look muy fantastico. People in the future wear jeggings (jeans + leggings = justifiable homicide) and they need to get back on the tartan train.

An Open Letter To Me At 17 Or, Twilight Sucks. Come On, Guys. Admit It.

Hey there 17-Year-Old Me!

So, you’re probably wondering why your decade older self is getting in touch with you and as per usual, it’s to crack an egg of knowledge.

You’re a writer and take great pride in this fact. I know you want to write something meaningful, important and clever, but dude — take a hit for the team and write a novel about an idiot girl who falls in love with an overbearing, borderline abusive, sparkly vampire.

Yes, sparkly.
Seriously.
No, I’m not fucking with you. He sparkles in sunlight.
Yes, I know sunlight turns vampires to dust. What, you think because a girl is ten years older, she’ll stop watching Buffy marathons on Logo?

Every instinct and writing teacher will tell you that bland writing and cliches are to be avoided like the plague (ah ha — you see what I did there?) but these instincts are wrong and your teachers are wrong (Sorry, Kay and Oliga).

Make it bad. Hell, make it boring. Oh and moralize, moralize, moralize. Every chance you get.

Look, I know this sounds ridiculous but trust me — you will make a metric shit ton of money.

Self respect? That’s for suckers and poor people.

Think it over, kid.

Lots of love:

27-Year-Old Me

P.S. — Flat iron + volumizing spray + anti-frizz serum. Meet your new holy trinity. Now, get to worshipping.

An Open Letter To Soon-To-Be-27 Me

Dear Soon-To-Be-27-Jaime:

Don’t panic.

Yes, I’m referencing The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (which you still have to read, by the way), but it’s also pretty solid advice.

I know impending adulthood has gotten you wound up, but it’s OK. You’re tougher than you think you are (despite your penchant to break into sniffles) and when things get really bad, remember – you can always reach out to the people you love, good coffee is never really all that far away and India Garden probably delivers. When they’re open, anyway (about that: dub? I mean, come on — a girl needs her mutter paneer).

If that doesn’t help and things get really dire, you always have a key to Mom’s. Palm Beach and Philly really aren’t that far away.

First rule of turning 27? Don’t join the 27 Club. Yes, the members are cool and open mic night probably kicks ass, but you know what will always be better than living fast, dying young and leaving a good-looking corpse? Pretty much everything ever.

Comparatively, everything else is a cake walk.

I know you’ve been feeling mired lately but remember — life is a fan of the curveball. Seriously. Ten years ago, if someone would have told you that you would move to Pennsylvania to live with the Internet Boy, would you ever have believed them? Life is not static and you’ll emerge from the ass groove yet.

Some things to keep in mind for the upcoming year:

– You know that thing you kinda want to do? You should do it. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
– Write. Write, write, write, write, write. And when you do, do it for the reasons Bukowski said.
– Skype dates. Let’s make those happen. You don’t get to see the people you love nearly enough.
– Bring back the TV recaps. And start by finishing My So-Called Life.
– Spend more time with your co-workers outside of work. Happy Hours = good times. Especially Happy Hours with burger deals.

Like I said last year, you are a lucky bastard. Just keep doing what you’re doing and really take the time to appreciate the little things. You’ll be happier for it.

Have a wonderful day on the 11th! Happy Birthday!

Love:

Me xx

P.S. — Dude, you should buy a cast-iron skillet and use it to make migas. Mmmmigas.