On September 6th, I signed the lease. Shook the hand. Drove back home with a very important looking stack of papers and a very real commitment to pay rent on the 1st of every month.
I bought boxes, took down my posters, went through my belongings...
And called my cousin. You know, the one with the pool.
So the following week, my cousin and I set the date and made a guest list. Piecing together wisdom from parents and friends, we created a cumulative list of "necessities and luxuries for the first move."
Claiming an empty corner of my soon-to-be-totally-empty bedroom, I borrowed an obnoxious shirt from my brother and snatched up my less-than-willing pet to participate in a brief photoshoot.
I set to work on a quick and dirty design for an invite. Yes, a physical two-sided, printed-on-cardstock invitation-to-be-mailed. I've truly honestly never been a fan of Facebook invitations. I always ignore them... I figure so does everyone else.
Invites were sent. RSVPs were received.
When the date arrived, California cooperated and gave us 90 degree weather the first week of October.
Catered by Porto's Bakery & Café, my mom and I laid out a small table of various tapas for our guests.
Under the watchful eye of my 100 year-old abuela, my aunt and cousins created my very own "cleaning lady." Body of a broom, cleaning gloves for hands, a dustpan for her feet, and an apron for a dress. "Molly-Josefina-Lupé" (as we came to call her) brought me a bucket with "all the things you forget you really need."
When it came time for me to sit and open up my "necessities," I was blown away by the generosity of my family. From dishes, new silverware and a floor lamp to aluminum foil, Scotch tape and WD-40, I crossed off nearly everything on my list.
I was all-smiles the entire afternoon. Especially when I opened up a present from my sister who recently moved to Miami. She managed to send me our weekly tradition of popcorn, poptarts and M&Ms.
My family is loud. My family is proud. They're Cuban, they're sassy and they know how to throw a damn good party.
Their blessings come in the form of loud laughter and loud kisses and warm guava pastries. And it's great. It's so so great.
My grandmother Luz and I have a bit of a language barrier, but we don't care. We'll still sit and chat with each other as best as we can. She told me to always cook hot food and keep my house clean...
Or something along those lines.
Muchas gracias, mi familia. No podría haberlo hecho sin ti.
I couldn't have done it without you.