Tag: love

My Own Personal Essay on Heart Break (Nora Ephron Made Me Do It)

My Own Personal Essay on Heartbreak

(Nora Ephron Made Me Do It)

I set aside an hour and a half this evening to watch “Nora Ephron- Everything is Copy,” a fantastic film about the life and career of the one and only, Nora Ephron.  She has always been a role model of mine, but after viewing this film, even more so.  She constantly wrote herself- her pain, her joy, her anger- into her pieces, with no shame or pretense.  It takes an immense amount of humility to be so vulnerable in the public sphere.  Unlike Nora Ephron, I am anything but famous.  My vulnerability here is on a much smaller scale and yet it feels as though the world is watching.

After viewing this beautiful film, I took this evening to let the words, the pain, the fear, the tears, and the laughter too (for good measure) flow onto the page.  I took a cue from Nora and let everything be copy.

And so today I present to you, my own personal essay on heartbreak.  It is certainly no “Heartburn,” and while my writing may never be as nuanced and poignant as that of Nora, I can give it the old college try.


What they don’t tell you about heartbreak is that it’s not just your heart that falls to pieces.  Every bit of you becomes fractured.  Your mind ceases to function in ways you once took for granted.  Your limbs don’t seem to work the way they should, after all- it shouldn’t possibly be this hard to drag myself out of bed, should it?

As a child, I imagined heartbreak as I saw it in my all-too-admired romantic comedies (many of those crafted by Nora).  I imagined it as a sharp, shooting pain that made you cry until your tear ducts refused to work anymore.  I imagined it as a debilitating weakness that made women double over at the sight of an old photograph and made men shed a solitary and stoic tear.  I imagined this pain to last for an agonizing… three to five minute montage.


So very, very wrong.  If only we could cycle through the tragedies of our life in a three to five minute montage and move forward.  Alas, life is funny in that three minutes can feel like a lifetime if you let it.

I can’t pretend to have the wisdom of a life well-lived.  I’m only twenty-eight and, Lord help me, I have much more learning to do.  What I can say is that I have learned so much from my first few relationships and in particular, my last.  My last relationship finally taught me what it is to have your heart shattered, only to spend months combing the floor for the remaining shards that might help build a good replica.  In other words, I finally understand what Shawn Mendes has been singing about endlessly on every radio station in America.

My story is relatively simple.  I made the mistake of falling for a younger guy.  (I can’t bring myself to use the word “man” because he was just too far from it).  I had been so resistant to dating him; adamant even.  It was my friends who convinced me to give him a chance, reminding me that age is just a number.  (Perhaps it is, but numbers can make a hell of a difference- ask the guy who was one number away from the Power Ball Jackpot).

He was a good guy, well-meaning and caring but far too inexperienced and selfish, which is to be expected with youth.  Hell, I was the same way at his age and I’m not being facetious- we were eerily similar. As we were together, I could see him making the EXACT same mistakes that I had made with my first boyfriend.  I watched and there was nothing I could do.  If I pointed it out, I was nagging- I was mothering.  The only way to learn it, is to live it.

I sat back and watched him slowly destroy our relationship as he let selfish needs and outside perspectives cloud his judgment.   I learned very quickly that his inner circle did not approve of me (and for someone who so desperately wishes to be liked, this was quite painful).  Much more painful was learning that HE did not approve of me.  It was a slow and agonizing revelation.  As time went on, it became more and more apparent that I could not live up to what he had hoped I would be.  I wasn’t athletic enough, outgoing enough, smart enough (a five year old would scoff at my math skills), or pretty enough.

I listened to him when he said that he wanted to marry me.  I believed him when he said that he wanted to marry me.  It wasn’t until he asked for an open relationship that it truly hit me.  Those words knocked the wind out of me and simultaneously made me sick to my stomach.  It was as though someone had punched me in the gut and stabbed me in the back all at once.  Now, I know that I may not be the easiest person to live with – but no one had ever made me feel so worthless before.  It was further proof that I just wasn’t…enough.

I listened to him when he told me that he knew we were meant to be together as soon as he saw me.  Then I listened when he told me that we “just didn’t have a good relationship.”

I listened when he said that he had “so badly wanted to marry me” before reminding me once again that we were just friends.

I listened.  I listened and I allowed him to take away whatever miniscule spec of esteem that I had left.

I knew better.  I saw the signs and I ignored them.  I was the older, more experienced of the two.  I should have known better and I have had a very difficult time forgiving myself for that.

All I wanted was to be appreciated, respected, and most of all- loved.  Don’t we all?  I have spent months, picking up the shattered pieces of my heart, learning to accept that not everyone will like you; not everyone will love you, not everyone will want you and that is OKAY.

That does not define who I am.  All I know is that his willingness to let me go, does not define my worth.  Despite the ease with which he was able to say goodbye, I have faith that one day- someone will appreciate me for the sarcastic, bitter, brilliant, and fantastic neurotic that I am.

Heartbreak, while excruciating and sometimes destructive, is such a wonderful gift of rebirth.  It allows us to see the world in new ways.  We do have one choice – make the most of our new superpower, or let it destroy us.  I choose the former.

And to my ex, I wish him all the happiness in the world.  May he and I both find the kind of love of which our dreams are made.


love yourself

How to Spend Singles Awareness Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and the world is going crazy with reds and pinks, and chocolates and stuffed animals.  As much as I appreciate love and romance, I can also appreciate autonomy.  Sometimes, it’s nice to spend a little quality time with yourself.

I had a little Valentine’s Day photo shoot recently that I thought I might share.  These are just some suggestions as to how to enjoy your “Singles Awareness Day”.  Since I’m posting late, perhaps this will help you for next year. 😉

Step 1: Find a Cuddle Buddy

Gina Marie Rodriguez Shoot 2-6265
Photography by Walter Rodriguez, Makeup by Brigitte Goncalves

There’s nothing wrong with needing a little cuddle time.  So grab your favorite stuffed animal, snuggle up and put on a good movie.  Make sure to pick something that makes you smile.

Step 2: Indulge Your Sweet Tooth (AKA- Candy Coma)

Gina Marie Rodriguez Shoot 2-6364
Photography by Walter Rodriguez, Makeup by Brigitte Goncalves

Buy yourself a bunch of chocolate candies because you deserve it!  No shame in taking a nice little nap after filling up…. I know I can’t be the only one who gets sleepy after eating a pound of candy.

Step 3: Have a Night Cap

Gina Marie Rodriguez Shoot 2-5928
Photography by Walter Rodriguez, Makeup by Brigitte Goncalves

Once you’re out of your coma, make yourself a nice dinner (because real food at some point will come in handy) and pour yourself a drink.  Or you can drink it right out of that bottle, girl.  You do you.

In closing, remember to take the time to pamper yourself, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not.  You deserve it!

I hope that you have had a lovely and happy Valentine’s/Singles Awareness Day.

Why I Need Plastic Surgery

I have come to a grand realization today.  Apparently, my face is displeasing to some people.  Largely because, and pardon the pun, my nose is too large.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard this.  Once, while I was working at Starbucks, I took a man’s order and he asked “Are you Italian?”  I politely answered yes (because I was being paid to be polite, dammit) and he smugly said “I can see that.  It’s the nose.”

Why thank you, sir.  I needed you to point out one of my largest, again pardon the pun, insecurities.

Now today, I started my day with a similar message from a lovely gentleman* on my online dating app.  I use the term “gentleman” facetiously as he was rather egregiously NOT a gentleman.

::Pause for applause while I congratulate myself on those big girl words that I managed to squeeze into one sentence.  And the fact that I just rhymed the crap out of pause and applause.  I am on a roll!::

I would like to share the interaction with you.  I will be using the following abbreviations:

MF- stands for Mother-Fucker AKA the bastard who felt he had the nerve to insult me without due cause.

BB- stands for Beautiful Bitch AKA me when I’m pissed off.

Keep in mind that this is how the conversation begins.

MF- Decent bod but not feeling the nose. U got anymore pics (THIS WAS HIS OPENING LINE)

BB- Congratulations! You’re the biggest scumbag of the day!  Thanks for the degrading comments to start my morning.  Much appreciated.  Have a great day!

MF- Just being honest (WHO ASKED YOU??)

MF- I don’t like weird shaped noses ginabear (Ginabear?  Wtf?  Are we cool now?)

MF- Its too masculine for me (SO WHY DID YOU MESSAGE ME AT ALL??? Also, there should be a damn apostrophe in “it’s”- you moron.)

MF- Ya dig? (I don’t dig. I’m not a fucking miner).

BB- So here’s an idea, don’t message me.

MF- Good idea.  Because I don’t appreciate your tone/nose (I don’t appreciate you pretending that being a dick is the same thing as being “honest.”  Honest is if I had asked for your opinion of my nose and received the same response.  What you did, sir, is just plain imbecilic, demeaning and RUDE).

Well folks, I suppose that’s it.  Clearly it’s time for me to get a nose job.  I’m just offending people left and right with my hideously “masculine,” “Italian” features.  If my face isn’t making men happy, clearly I have to change it.  Right?  That’s what society tells us, no?

If you’re not pretty enough, get some work done!  Boobs too small?  We’ve got silicone for that!  Nose too big?  We’ve got a scalpel for that!  Stomach too big?  We’ve got lipo for that!

Why the hell can’t we stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to look perfect?  You’re not perfect.  I’m not perfect.  MF is not even CLOSE to being perfect.  So let’s just work on loving who we are for more than what’s on the outside.  We are all going to age- things will start to sag, skin will wrinkle, hair will fall out and plenty of other stuff that I’m not ready to think about yet- but a good person will always be a good person.

So no, while I’m sure that a nose job would make me look better than I do now- my intention is not to change my looks (especially not because of a disgusting excuse for a man), but to change my attitude.

Don’t get me wrong, I highly doubt my sass is going anywhere- but my outlook on physical perfection has got to get the boot.

I am tired of hearing men tell me that I’m not fit enough or that my nose is too big or that my boobs are too small.  It’s my body!  If I like it, that’s all that matters.  If you don’t like it, there are a million fish in the sea, sweetheart.

Go fish.



Invisible Scars (Escaping the Abuse)

I wonder…how many of us know what constitutes emotional abuse?

In a world of fine lines, what is too much and what is normal?  Normal is such a relative word and sometimes, I find myself making excuses for those crossing that oh so fine, near invisible, line – myself included.

I know what it is to be in an abusive relationship, even though it took me years to recognize it.  I know how easy it is to ignore the signs.  I know how hard it can be to overcome.  I know the damage it can cause.  The scars don’t just disappear and if you’re not careful, they will only grow deeper.

I am not a psychologist and I will not pretend to know more than I do. You may agree with what I say or you may not.  That choice is yours.

That being said, I would like to point out that abuse does not reside only in romantic relationships.  Friends, family, co-workers, and employers are all capable of emotional and mental abuse.  I won’t belittle any one relationship by saying that one is easier to leave than another.  Who am I to say that you should quit your job because your boss is abusive?  You may not be financially stable enough to give up the paycheck.  But keep looking for new work, you WILL find something with persistence!  Breaking up with a friend can be just as difficult, if not more devastating than losing a romantic partner.  If you feel couples therapy (yes, for a friendship too) is worth it, then go for it.  If you feel that confrontation is dangerous, by all means, please don’t put yourself in harm’s way!

Life is not easy.  Asking for help is not easy.  Confronting an abuser is not easy (and not always recommended).  My wish for those suffering is that you realize that you are WORTH IT and that you find the strength to do what it takes to help yourself.




If you think that you are in an abusive relationship (or if you recognize abusive qualities in yourself) and are having trouble , please seek help.  Please talk to a professional.  I know this is easier said than done but then again…what isn’t?

Check out the article here to review the signs of emotional abuse.  It may not leave the same scars as physical abuse, but the scars remain  just the same.

If you are suffering or know someone suffering from emotional abuse, please see these organizations below.  Both women AND men can be victims of abuse.





Finally, A Note for Everyone- especially around the stressful holiday season- Remember to tell those you love that you love them.  Tell them what they mean to you.  Please don’t assume that they “just know.”  It is so important to TELL our loved ones how we feel.  You never know when you may lose that opportunity.

Take care of yourselves and those you love.  God bless.

❤ G




Gracias, Obrigado, Grazie, Merci & Thank You

I have spent the last few weeks marvelling at all of the things for which I am thankful.  Thanksgiving is fast approaching and while this post is rather timely, I wanted to write it not to jump on the gravy train, pardon the pun, (or don’t- haters gonna hate) but because giving thanks truly has been my saving grace over the past few months.

My religious beliefs may differ from yours, and that’s okay, but in constantly thanking God lately, I have felt much better about everything in my life.  I say this knowing that this has been one of my most difficult years, but I am still here and for that, I am grateful.

Maybe you don’t believe in God.  Maybe you believe in a different God. Maybe you believe in a Greater Power.  I don’t know your beliefs and I don’t need to because no matter what you believe, being grateful for all that you have is the wise and healthy choice.

There have been a great many struggles that I’ve faced this year, but I won’t waste any more time dwelling on the past.  I am doing my best to keep a positive outlook and remain thankful for EVERYTHING.

I am thankful for my employment, for the roof over my head, for my family and friends who love me and have been nothing but supportive in times of need, for the lessons I’ve learned, and for the fact that ABC Family has had a Disney marathon on all evening.

Sometimes, even the simplest things can make a difference.  Be positive.  Smile.  Say thank you. Love your life, even when it gets difficult.  I promise that it won’t stay that way forever.

Merry Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night. 😉


Is This Love?- “New Girl” Revelations

I have always wondered how it could be possible to be in love with more than one person.  But now, NOW…I know.


I have very recently started binge-watching “New Girl” (thanks to my glorious boyfriend, Netflix) and I have without warning fallen in love with Schmidt, Nick, Winston, AND Coach.  That’s not even a triangle anymore.  That’s a pentagon.

I am in a love pentagon.

Does it count as a love-agon if none of them love me back?  (And the only reason that they don’t love me back is that they haven’t met me.  I mean, come on now, who wouldn’t love me?)

Sorry, guys.  I threw $5 in the Douchebag Jar for that last sentence.

Moving along…

My obsession with New Girl has taught me a lot about myself.

#1: I fall in love with tropes- quite easily and quite shamefully.  

These characters have moments of tenderness and genuine humanity but most often they are caricatures of real people.  Schmidt is the insecure romantic hiding it with an obnoxious level of bravado and machismo; Nick is the clueless, curmudgeon who will never live up to his potential, Winston is the handsome guy who you wouldn’t expect to be as doofy or lacking in game as he actually is, and Coach…well Coach is kind of a lot like Winston if Winston were Damon Wayans.  Oh…wait.

But I don’t care, dammit!  I love them and their tropey tropeness because real men with real problems and real feelings are just too damn complicated.  Which leads me to my next lesson.

# 2: I love falling in love with fictional characters because they will NEVER break my heart.

Real love is scary.  Storybook characters, television characters, and movie characters will never leave me.  Even when their storyline ends…I can just go back and re-read or re-watch.  Not one of them will use me, laugh at me, or leave me.

They are perfection.

#3: I admire bad ass bitches with a heart of gold moreso than the overtly sweet, bubble gum good girls.

That’s code for I like CeCe better than Jess.  (Jess is the tropiest of tropey tropes in a negative way.  ::Insert Manic Pixie Dreamgirl here::  She plays the wounded baby bird too often.  GET A HOLD OF YOUR LIFE, GIRL).

Disclaimer- I still really like Zooey Deschanel.

1x05-CeCe-Crashes-new-girl-26696543-1280-720The truth of it is that I can relate more to CeCe (minus the part about being a drop dead gorgeous and gainfully employed model) but…I just get her.  She’s not as tough as she likes to act.  She is a romantic at heart but sees her emotions as a weakness and does everything in her power to deflect attention from her true feelings.

I get you, girl.  I. Get. You.


If you forced me to choose just one of these beautiful characters to love (by holding my chocolate stash hostage or something equally as traumatizing) I would have to choose CeCe.  I can only hope to be half as cool as CeCe one day.

Oh, was I supposed to choose a guy?  Fine.  Schmidt.  My guy will always be Schmidt- the successful and secretly insecure romantic hiding beneath an idiotic bravado.

Clearly, I have great taste in men.

So…who wants to play “True American”?

Can Exes Be Friends? Would they be Frexes?

exfriendsTherapy is expensive.

WordPress is free.

Welcome to my open session therapy with myself!

Sometimes I just need to sit down and write everything out before I can truly process it.  I know that everyone processes things differently but for me, a keyboard or pen and paper is the only way I know how.

One of my friends suggested that I write a blog about friendship between exes (Look Alex, you got a shout out!).  It has always been an area of intrigue for me, so I figured…why not?  Let me exercise my demons via QWERTY and see where we land.


I know a small number of people who have maintained friendships with their exes. I can count them on one hand.  I stare at them in awe and wonderment, the same way I stare at people who eat anchovy and banana sandwiches (Just…why??).  I don’t understand it.

Now, this blog is in reference to the people who jump into “friendships” immediately after a breakup.  (Those of you who rekindle a friendship years later are excused.  I can understand that part to a greater degree– though I still struggle with it).  How can you be friends with an ex?  Furthermore, why would you want to be friends with an ex?  If you still want that person in your life, why did you bother breaking up?  I understand that sometimes things just don’t work out.  Sometimes two wonderful people get together but for one reason or another they just don’t make a good pair.  I can see that.  However, I still do not see why you would want to remain friends with that person.  There were still reasons you had to end things, no?

Maybe it’s just the way I’m wired but I can’t seem to wrap my head around the concept.  What is the point?  I see a lot of people do it for the wrong reasons…aspirations of reconciliation, money, dependence.  What are the right reasons?


Another friend (whaddup Hayet, you get a shout out too!) pointed out that perhaps if the breakup were due to extenuating circumstances (job re-location, moving cross country, etc) friendship seems feasible.  But when someone decides that they don’t want to be in a romantic relationship with you any more, why would you want to be friends with that person?

That seems like a slap in the face to me.  “You’re not good enough for me to spend my life with, but let’s have dinner… occasionally.”  Am I missing something here? What exactly is enticing about this idea?

Personally (and everything about this blog is simply personal opinion, feel free to talk shit later), I think that the people claiming they want “friendship” really just want to keep you on the back burner.  You know, in case they can’t find anyone better.  I happen to think I deserve more than that.  I think that I deserve someone who knows my worth, appreciates me, respects me and WANTS to be with me.  Call me crazy, but I do and I think you deserve that too.

Know your worth.  Don’t let anyone use you or abuse you.  You deserve better than that.

If I’m lucky, maybe just maybe, I will find a love like this.  A love that never dies.  Because we all deserve that, don’t we?  It seems worth waiting for.

(If you watch this video, you WILL cry).

The Strongest Love

As I walk into what was once my grandparent’s dining room, I am struck by a rush of emotions.  In the center of the room remain the indentations in the plush creme carpet left by a long-gone, beautiful wooden dinette set.  Now in its place lies an empty wheelchair.  Up against the far left wall is a twin-sized bed; its mate upon the opposite wall.  A stack of adult diapers and an I.V. pole sit ominously between the twins with a small baby monitor perched upon the nearby table.

This is not the Thanksgiving of my youth.  Years have passed and life has taken its toll.  A few years ago my grandmother suffered a massive stroke, leaving her unable to communicate or move on her own.  She now resides in what was once her prized dining room, unable to climb the stairs to the bedroom she once shared with her husband.  While I feel for her tremendously and constantly wonder what she might be thinking and feeling in the days of late, that is not what moves me most in this room.  What moves me most is that second twin bed against the far left wall.

With fifty-eight years of marriage behind them, my grandfather left the comfort of his bedroom to lay with his wife.  She isn’t the same woman he married, they can’t talk the way they once could, and her condition leaves her quite temperamental but that means nothing to him.  He loves her just the same.  After fifty-eight years, he’s not about to leave her side now.

Perhaps this doesn’t mean much to those of you who don’t know my grandparents, but to me it means a great deal.  I am a child of divorce and for those of you who have been there, it leaves a scar.  But to see these two people who have been together through thick and thin is enough to bring back a glimmer of hope.  Even during her hardest moments, moments that wear just as heavily on my grandfather, he stands strong.  You can see the love in his eyes when he looks at her.  There now resides a sadness behind those eyes, but never to be overshadowed by his love.  I am grateful that a love so strong truly does exist.

Happy Thanksgiving.

A Love Letter

Sorry folks, I took a day off but I am back and raring to go!  I thought it best to sit down and write a long overdue love-letter.  My original recipient was briefly overshadowed by a wonderfully delicious bag of sour patch kids that I just devoured.  At the time they seemed like they were deserving of a love letter, but now that the sugar rush has faded, I have returned to my true love; Seth MacFarlane.  For those of you who don’t know, Seth is the creator of the ever popular Family Guy and this is my profession of loveIf you are not Seth MacFarlane, please stop reading.  Obviously this is personal and between the two of us.  (I’m merely posting it on the internet to be…ya know..ironic).

To My Dearest Seth,

I know that we have never met and most likely never will, but I can no longer hide my love for you.  I need you to know how wonderful you are and what a wonderful couple we would make! Firstly, I would like to say that I am nothing like those women who throw themselves at rich, famous, attractive older men for little more than 15 minutes of fame!  (I’m aiming for at least a half hour.  AT LEAST.)

I admire your talents and ballsiness, for lack of a better word.  I’m sure there are better words but it’s late and I’m too lazy to find a thesaurus, so ballsy it is, darling.  Family Guy is constantly offending people , even myself on occasion, but that’s what makes the show so damn fantastic.  I love watching you take aim at what you disagree with through snide yet entertaining comments in cartoon form.  (If only I could do the same, there would be a very unpopular cartoon about an unemployed want-to-be-actress who continually badmouths her former employer who let her go because she was younger and hotter than her).  But I digress.  Please continue taking shots at Fox and bad politics and for the love of god, never lose the musical numbers!  I would be lying if I said that your music hasn’t seduced me.  With songs like Bag of Weed, Drunken Irish Dad and Down Syndrome Girl; how could I ever resist?

Truthfully, I knew that I was in love as soon as I heard this song:

With your many talents and male bravado (I prefer to call it that rather than cockiness), I am immediately drawn to you and with a voice like that, what woman could keep her panties on?  Keep singing my darling, keep making people laugh, but most importantly, keep this in mind:

Love me, marry me, sing to me, but most of all…make me famous?  Afterall, we discussed that 30 minutes of fame, right? 😉

Please say you’ll be my Shipoopi?