Wow, I can’t believe we have been together for one year. It feels like just yesterday that we met. It’s funny how time flies, isn’t it? I remember our first date vividly. I was pregnant. You were sunny and skinny and tempted me with cocktails and late nights. It wasn’t the best first date I had ever been on, especially for someone who was 4 months pregnant and awkwardly chunky. But, I continued to stay interested.
You played hard to get with helping me find a house. I think that’s when I seriously considered breaking up with you. Houses with mirrors. Houses with rodents. Houses with teenage Argentinean boys living in the kitchen, on a mattress, with a box of chips ahoy cookies. Houses that qualified perfectly for HGTV’s Fixer Upper. But, what is a fixer upper without Chip and Joanna Gaines? Nothing. It’s nothing.
And while you dangled crappy and/or ridiculously overpriced homes in front of me, I lived in a hotel. I worked in a hotel. I ate in a hotel. I slept in a hotel. Yes, hotel living seems glamorous. And yes, the W South Beach is certainly an okay place to live. For a couple weeks. But, really, Miami? 5 months and you couldn’t get me a house? Come on, that’s such a tease! I know you are known for hotels and Collins avenue and Lincoln road and bad traffic and Lebron James and sushi hand rolls for $10 and hot, unpregnant Latin American babes rollerblading on the boardwalk. But. Come on. You had to offer more than hotels and Lincoln Road for me to take you seriously.
Okay. You wanted to play hard to get? Fine. Challenge accepted. I knew there had to be more to you. I knew I just needed to get past the surface, peel back some layers and dig deeper to find out who the real you was. The real Miami. Not Collins avenue Miami.
In the meantime, I do owe you an apology. While you were tempting and teasing during our romantic courtship (and being a bit of a jack a$$), I was having a mental love affair with my former relationship, Chicago. Have you met her? I can say for certain if you did, you would fall in love (despite how hot and cold you both can be). I won’t go into the details as the sin has been committed. But, count this as my open confession of how I cheated on you (just emotionally and mentally; not physically). Don’t worry, I have repented. Chicago moved on. I’ve moved on.
When I just couldn’t go back to Chicago, I refocused back on you. Because, after all, you were pursuing me very, very hard. And I was flattered. And interested. With your bright sunshine. Your palm trees waiving in the sky. Your slight jerkiness/bad boy attitude. Your mildly perfect temperature on those blissful October evenings. Okay fine, there was something between us. Something I slowly starting seeing in you.
You eventually gave me a home that I didn’t have to spend $100k rehabbing. Yes, it’s in what I would call sub-urbania (a cross between suburbia and urban living). But, it has a backyard that is lush and screams “please, please drink wine and eat food out here!” And Alex, my gardener, who picked avocados from MY avocado tree? And Helen and Jim, the retired, lovely neighbors? And a grocery store that is walkable? And a perfect nursery for our soon-to-be baby? Oh and speaking of the baby. Yeah, the conception happened in…gasp…Chicago. Please see aforementioned apology.
And Barbara and Sebastian, our first friends? And a beach within 15 minutes? And a church that feels like home? And the best Italian pizza joint in all of Miami? And a gourmet sausage shop? And nice people who work at the post office? And more neighbors? And more friends?
Okay, Miami, you had me at sausage and pizza.
Seriously. I really wanted to give up on you. There are so many other cities I could be dating, per Tinder. Er, I mean, Zillow.
But I guess this is what relationships are like, aren’t they? Tempting and honeymoon-esque at first. And then the first fight. And judging what’s on the outer layers. And praying it will work out. Out of desperation, out of fear of failure, out of pride. And wanting to run so far away, even to Orlando for crying out loud. At 6 months in, I wanted to leave. Be done. Look for some other city more perfect. Skinnier. Prettier. With better farmers markets. And better people. Because you aren’t perfect and I am looking for perfection.
And this is where the rubber meets the road, Miami. And I didn’t leave. Because perfect doesn’t exist in any city. Not even in…Chicago (but man oh man, she’s a beaut).
So I stayed. And you introduced me to your friends. Your restaurants. Your Barre class. Your babies. Your babies’ momma’s. You let me in. Into your family, your culture, your cuisine.
And. I got butterflies again. Like on our first date (except this time I was able to drink the cocktail). And as I got to know the real, flawed you, I fell harder. I fell harder for the Miami that, yes, has issues. And isn’t perfect. And still has bad traffic and overpriced crappy sushi hand rolls (Come on! You are on the ocean! How could Chicago have better sushi than Miami?!). But the Miami that also is vibrant. Illustrious. Mysterious. Cultured. Beautiful, inside and out. Filled with love and hearts of people from all over the world. This is the Miami I am falling in love with.
And so. It has been a year. And I think I am ready to take the next step in our relationship.
Miami, will you marry me?