As I document the relationship sitcom that is my life, the next chapter is The Cuban. Before the Cuban there were a few relationships here and there, nothing too memorable. I was still living the single life and loving it. And then I met him, The Cuban, at work. He asked me to go as his date to a friend’s wedding and I agreed. We had fun, lots of it. He was coming out of a very long relationship and had a broken engagement. I was a breath of fresh air for him. He eventually invited me to come meet his family who had a boat on a lake in the State I live in and I remember his Dad giving him a thumbs up when he met me. About a year into our relationship the Cuban accepted a transfer to Miami. I visited for a while and then eventually moved there myself. Life in Miami was fun, full of new experiences and exhausting. I had lots of visitors (duh!) but it never really felt like home. It is a very beautiful but transient place. You make friends, then they leave or get transferred somewhere else. Everyone also assumes that when you live in Miami you are on the beach every day and in the clubs all night. Now, I’m not going to say I didn’t have my share of fun, but I had to work just like everyone else and be a responsible adult. But I did get to do quite a few fun things, on a weekly basis.
I worked for a sports marketing company and got to meet quite a few famous athletes and work at V.I.P. events. Of course the Cuban and his friends loved the job I had, because of many free tickets to sports events and meet and greet events where sports celebrities attended. The job was fun, lots of fun, but also a lot of work. But is it ever really work when you are having fun? I learned how to order food in proper Spanish, sunbathe topless (yes it’s legal in Miami) smoke a real Cuban cigar (yuck), salsa, go snorkeling with barracudas surrounding me, touch dolphins, eat the best food ever from roadside stands, travel all over Florida, survive wicked tropical storms, fire ants and those horrible Palmetto bugs. I worked a Rolling Stones concert helping out a friend selling Mrs. Fields cookies right next to the stage and made over $200 in tips that night. I worked at the Superbowl and was able to experience all the fun surrounding it. I learned about many cultures and different foods, so much glorious food. I loved my years in Miami, I loved my job and I loved the man I was with. He was sweet, yet fiery. Passionate and a bit jealous. He made me feel like a woman, a very sexy woman. He was a man’s man but also smart, a combination that I crave to this day.
The Cuban was a great guy. His Dad fled Cuba when he was sixteen and had nothing but $100 in his pocket. Fidel Castro took everything the family owned in exchange for letting them flee. The Cuban was born in Queens and his family eventually moved to the suburbs. His Dad worked hard and the Cuban did too. But the Cuban also smoked a lot and not just cigarettes. I tried to overlook this but I couldn’t and it led to a great divide between us. The higher he moved up the corporate ladder the more he smoked. We were together a little more than eight years when we finally broke up. I was back in my home state when it happened and it was hard, really hard. He was a great guy but between his family problems, our problems and smoking we were doomed. Sadly I heard he passed away a couple of years ago. I never knew what happened but I read in his obituary that he was married and had a son. I did reach out to his parents and send a condolence letter and told them what a beautiful person he was and that I was sorry it never worked out with us, and that I loved him dearly.
I’ll never forget the time we spent together and the time I spent in Miami. It shaped me as a person, I made new friends, experienced life in a different location. I learned to live away from close friends and my family and spend it with a great love of my life. Eventually I had to learn to re-adjust to life back in my home state and I was thankful I had a great circle of friends and family to lean on. I was uncertain about my future, but little did I know I was going to meet another great love of my life.