Friday, October 24, 2014

My DJ



The other night I watched an old episode I had recorded of Oprah’s Master Class. The guest was Robin Roberts. I thought she was absolutely brilliant. In fact, I jotted down some of her pearls of wisdom because they were that good. One of the things she said that resonated with me was that God has three answers to our prayers: 1) Yes 2) Not yet 3) I have something even better in mind. Robin said that her favorite is the third one. She thinks it takes courage to believe that the best is yet to come.

I have been reflecting a lot on the prayers and requests I made of God in my lifetime and how so many times I felt like he wasn’t listening. He let me down when I lost my mom when I was only 16; He let me down when my relationship with my dad was rocky; He let me down when I suffered the second-trimester miscarriage of my sweet baby Gabriel. He let me down month after month, year after year, when I was trying to get pregnant. He let me down when we had an adoption fall through. Over the course of 25 years, He let me down more times than I care to count. To be honest, I lost my faith for a long while because I felt that God had forgotten about me.

But the truth is, He really hadn’t forgotten about me. It’s like Robin Roberts said…He had something even better in mind. Losing my mom was one of the worst tragedies of my life. But as a result of the circumstances that followed her death, I met my husband. So many times I have thought that if she hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have met him. Losing Gabriel and suffering through infertility for years were my two other great tragedies. But again, if I hadn’t gone through those things, I wouldn’t have the children I have today.

So it all goes back to what I always say…everything happens for a reason. Everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen, when it’s supposed to happen. We just need to keep the faith and know that God doesn’t forget about us. And as someone once reminded me as I was crying about my infertility…God is perfect. He doesn’t make mistakes. I’m not gonna lie. This is a very tough concept for me to accept because SO many times I have been 100% certain He has made a terrible mistake in not answering my prayers and requests. There are still some things I’m not sure I understand how/why they happened the way they did and maybe I never will. I just have to believe that He has my best interest at heart and knows what is best for me.


For the most part, I’ve kept God out of my writing. Believe it or not, my religious beliefs are one of the few things I’m not super comfortable talking about to the masses (i.e., the 40-something people that read this blog). I think God is a very personal thing and I don’t like sounding preachy or holier than thou. So, just know that this isn’t that. I’m just sharing what has helped and worked for me in getting where I am today.
*****
The summer of 1990 was a fun one. I was going dancing every weekend with my cousin and friends. I really was enjoying life; just having fun being 20. I was also taking a Calculus class in the evenings, four times a week. In the early mornings, I took an Aerobics class four times a week with my cousin and my friend, Tracy (the one who had had a Halloween party two years prior). Anyway, anyone that knows me knows that 1) I am not a morning person. 2) I am not an athletic person. 3) I hate to sweat. So, it was just absurd of me to think that I could manage to be at school by 8:00AM every day for a class that involved exercise and sweating. Many times, my cousin and I would arrive late (we lived together so we drove together), meet up with Tracy, and go to Denny’s for breakfast instead. The times we managed to make it to class, we goofed off in the back of the room, trying to avoid eye-contact with the instructor.

August 1990
Imitating a Clothestime commerical
with my cousin just before going dancing
at Mr. Jay's in El Monte.
That summer, I also spent more time than usual visiting Tracy. Her parents went away on vacation and she had a party one of the nights. I drank (a rarity for me), I laughed, and I had a jolly good time hanging out with her, her boyfriend, and her neighbors. Later, her two younger brothers showed up. At this point, I had known the family for two years, but her brother the DJ was a mystery. He was quiet and kept to himself. He intrigued me though and I had the urge to crack his code; crack his hard shell; and win him over with my wit and charm. I liked the challenge he presented. But what I especially liked was that he was a passionate music lover like me.  That was my connection with him and a sure way to get to know this mystery boy.

As I perused through his crates of 12-inch singles one weekend morning, DJ invited me to go with him to check out a home stereo at Federated in Newport Beach. I said yes immediately. Not so much because I wanted to look at stereos but more so because I loved his lowered white mini truck with the bass-kicking sound system and honestly, it sounded like fun to hang out with him alone for a while (a first). I don't remember much about the conversation in the car that day or if he bought anything at Federated, but I do remember on the way back home asking him if he could get back together with an ex-girlfriend, which one he would choose. (He was single at the time.) He answered openly and honestly and I believe that it was in that moment that our friendship really started to form.

Little by little that summer, DJ became more and more my friend. When the fall semester was about to begin, he informed me that he was transferring from Orange Coast College to Cypress College. I was happy to hear the news and I encouraged him to take a class with me. So he did.

By that time, Tracy and most of the friends I had made were gone from Cypress College. So DJ was one of the few friends I had there. He started coming over to visit me at my cousin's house after class and we would run errands together, go to lunch, and just hang out. We were genuinely good friends who enjoyed each other's company.

When I wasn’t at school, I was working…A LOT. Earlier in the year, I had decided that I needed to make more money than what I was making at the Flower and Card shop, so I took on a second part-time job working as a Bilingual Instructional Aide for the Cypress School District at two different elementary schools. Honestly, I had no business teaching kids English or anything else. It’s kind of ridiculous when I think of it now. They literally handed me a boxed kit and told me to just go through the flashcards with the kids. That was the extent of my training. I was in a classroom, all by myself, unsupervised, with about four Kindergarteners or 1st graders, pretending I knew what I was doing; trying to maintain their attention by making it fun and acting silly. Did I mention I had ZERO experience in working with kids or tutoring? Anyway, I was relieved when the school year ended because I had no interest in doing it any longer and truth be told <whispering voice> I didn’t even like kids.

When summer was over, after two years of employment, I resigned from my job at the Flower and Card Shop in my on-going quest to make more money, and I started working three different part-time jobs. One was at a sandwich shop across from school. Another job was working as a nanny for a three-year old girl in Brea. The third job was working as an English tutor at the college.

It was at the college tutoring job that I met a fellow Argentinean. In fact, he was my student. Well, I immediately had flashbacks of Robbie and within a couple of days of meeting him, we were out on a date. I quickly realized he was an arrogant, obnoxious ass, but I still went out with him a few more times because...well, I'm not sure why.

In the meantime, DJ had also started dating a new girl. I felt a twinge of jealousy when I heard the news. Why was my friend going out with this troubled girl? At the same time, I wondered why I was going out with someone I had no interest in. DJ and I went to Taco Bell for lunch one Saturday and commiserated over our love lives. He told me about a party he was going to later that night. I made a mental note: "Go stalk DJ tonight and check out the bimbo he's dating."

That night, a couple of friends and I got in my car and drove to Garden Grove to find the party. Just as we were driving up, I saw DJ walking toward the house, holding hands with the girl. His brother and cousin came to my window to say hi. DJ did not. I was hurt and offended. How could he be so rude and ignore me, I thought. I also realized that I didn't like what I felt when I saw him holding hands with that girl. We decided not to stay and drove away. It was then that I started to question what it was I was feeling for this boy.

What I pondered over the next few days was that DJ wasn't just my friend; he had become my hero and my knight in shining armor. When my car stereo busted, DJ fixed it. When my antenna broke, he installed a new one for me. Same with my windshield wipers and anything else that needed fixing on my jalopy. He did what I had longed for: he took care of me. And he wasn't even my boyfriend!

I have always been the type of person that likes to let others know what they mean to me or show my appreciation for them. To make sure DJ knew his kindness did not go unnoticed, I bought him a bottle of cologne called “Samba” at Mervyn’s (Hey, I had limited funds.) and I wrote him a thank you card listing in detail all he had helped me with and how much it meant to me. DJ was surprised at my gift but I could tell he was happy too. (In case you're wondering...we still have the card.)

I had come to the realization that I didn’t just care for DJ as my friend, I was also falling in love with him.

*****

Whenever I go through difficult times and it feels like the world is ending, I need to remember Robin Roberts’ words. Maybe it is because God has something even better in mind. I thought that losing Robbie was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I was angry at myself for letting him go and at God for allowing me so much pain and suffering. But God knew what he was doing. He had something even better in mind for me…My DJ.


OMG! I can't believe they still make this! Just found it online.
It's only $12.74! HA!
Maybe I will buy him a bottle for Christmas...

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