I went to Miami last week for a few days to hang out with one of my best friends from high school. GIRL TRIP!
Here are my notes.
1) I could live in Miami.
I want to live in a room at The Standard or some other hotel that offers both the Times and the Post, and serves a greek salad with grilled octopus at the pool. I want to walk every day to Ocean Drive via Lincoln Road Mall. It’s a pedestrian street that could be anywhere in the USA, with its same-ol’ same-ol’ stores like Apple and Urban Outfitters and Zara, but I don’t care. I love that there are cheesy people in tight sweatsuits with MIAMI on the butt in rhinestones and old guys with lots of plastic surgery and different house music and salsa blasting from every restaurant. It’s warm and there’s always something to look at, and that’s all I need on my walk.
I want to be done with puffy coats and wool hats and my runny nose.
There’s a daily pull at my heart because I know this life will never happen. My husband likes seasons. Also, I can’t afford to live in a hotel.
But I can fantasize. Miami. Meet me there.
2) The Standard Miami is a great place to overhear people doing business.
It’s a lot like being in LA. At the pool, there’s a sense of, “This is work, I’m very important, so I must speak loudly. And where’s the boy who was here yesterday, no one’s refilled my water. ”
Some things I heard on cell phones:
“Maverick, Maverick, Maverick, listen to me, listen to me listen to me. LISTEN to me. You’ve gotta spank him. Whack him. He needs consequences. Right, because he needs to know, that’s not how you speak to an associate. Maverick. Maverick. Listen to me. Give him a chance to apologize, and then if he doesn’t, you spank him.”
“You can’t let them over-act. Make sure the director knows it’s supposed to be deadpan.”
“When do we get in the samples from Hong Kong? I want to start sending them to retailers….You know I could get an investor but my daddy’s going to help me.”
This last one from a girl, oiled up, working on a Dell laptop, and loosely holding the leash of her pint-sized dog, which started to assume the pooping-dog hunch on a small circle of grass under her drink table right next to my chair. Her friend yanked the leash just in time. Business girl said, “What? He’s being good! Aren’t you. Aren’t you. He’s just peeing. Not like last time, remember that?”
3) The Standard Miami is also where everyone brings dogs.
All tiny dogs. There were at least 10 tiny dogs around the pool at any time.
They have pooper scooper bag dispensers tacked to trees around the property. I like that pet owners are encouraged to clean up, but not that I’m walking around in flip flops where there was recently poop. Not that I don’t do that in NYC every day of summer. My feet are always a thin rubber layer away from a pooped-on spot, which maybe explains a lot about my feet.
4) I’m too old to play the “Oh, I’m so old” compliment-fishing game.
This is a desperate cry for ego-stroking where you say, “Oh goodness, I’m too old for that” and the other person says, “OLD?! Aren’t you still in college?” I’ve passed the age where I get a comforting answer. I know this, but my friend tried it at least twice.
Once was when the front desk girl told us, “The pool is open 24 hours…in case you want to skinny dip.” Wink. My friend said, “Oh we’re way too old for that,” and the girl tipped her head from side to side in a thoughtful gesture of agreement. Like, “OK, I could see that.”
The other time, when we were getting towels from the pool guy, he asked if we’d be hitting any parties. Friend again tried it: “Us? No, we’re way too old.” He said, “Old!” in a scoffing way that was gratifying until he added, “You should see my mom! ” He tried to backpedal by adding, “Or my sister. She’s like — I mean — she’s old. You should see her.”
5) I used to be an idiot.
I was going to say “I’m old.” But that would sound like I’m fishing.
It’s hard not to feel old when you’re somewhere you vividly remember visiting, as an adult, more than 20 years ago. I stayed in South Beach with my friend Victoria in 1993. Walking around there with Naughty By Nature and Das Efx playing on my iPhone radio app brought it all back, especially the idiot that I was in my early 20s. Here are some of the memories:
– Vic begging me to let her pluck my eyebrows in the hotel bathroom, and showing me how to do it myself — a skill I’d overuse for at least a decade;
– Sitting by the pool of our then-cheap deco hotel and staring at child models (very Brooke Shields “Pretty Baby”) and their momagers (very Terry Shields) who were waiting to go into the hotel for go-sees;
– Eating seared tuna with blue corn pancakes and wishing Miami would cater our lives;
– Staring at supermodels and Russel Simmons, the only two categories of people who populated South Beach back then;
– Going off for a booty call with a guy named Mohammed who lived in a youth hostel and had shiny gunshot scars covering his abdomen. He’d flirted with Victoria when we met him, telling her that her vintage shirt and big men’s watch were “kinda funky” but I think I’m the one who picked up the hotel phone when he called, so he invited me over. (This is the idiot part. I was at that age where I thought it rude to refuse someone sex if he found me attractive enough to ask. An extreme form of hospitality I never echoed in any other area, like putting up house guests.)
While I was in Mohammed’s bathroom-less hostel bedroom getting my skull banged against a graffiti’d headboard and wondering why I was there, Victoria was across town joining old Jews in a march against neo-nazis. That “do our own thing” agreement makes for perfect travel partners;
– Going with Mohammed to lunch, which I paid for. During it, he asked me if I’d ever met any lesbians, except he pronounced it lez-bins. Like they were has-been lesbians.
Go away at all lately?
Overhear any douchebags on cell phones?
Did you ever used to have sex with people because you thought it was impolite not to?
What memories do you have from 20 years ago?
What are you up to for the holidays?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.