Tag Archives: love

New Travel Blog

Hi all-

hoping this finds you well…. My apologies for the lack of time spent here, but I have been writing for television. I’ve also  teamed up with my bf to start a new travel blog on Instagram. He’s a professional photographer and I’m , well…. you know me. …sassy as ever and now with a  muse to travel with!! The pics will dazzle your eye sockets. Promise.

Find me on instagram at @followusanywhere

Xoxo, Ronna


f*ck you carrie bradshaw

 

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I hate you, Carrie Bradshaw. I hate that we have the same problems, date the same shitty men, that you have a closet full of Manolo Blahniks and I have to budget in my Jimmy Choos.

This is not a rant but could easily turn into one.

He broke up with me on a post-it.” ~ Carrie Bradshaw.

My dating life is a series of Carrie Bradshaw quotes, if a very short email is the electronic equivalent of a post-it. Let’s just say, for the sake of my non-rant that it is considered to be the truth in all varying forms of reality. I’m also the writer which means that I get to pick whatever direction this goes. So…

Most men would raise a brow, or roll their eyes, or make some sort of facial gesture (with or without hand involvement) to the Sex And The City reference, in which case, I would like to make two quick points.

1. I’m not writing this for you.

2. It is our femininity, the yin/yang that attracted you to us in the first place.

I think we can just leave this first quote as is, ladies. I received a short and sweet email. No phone call, no face to face, no balls. Make no mistake, there was a part of me that wanted to respond, and a part of me that wanted to light a cigarette. Part of me had a dent in my heart that only his smile, and the way it felt when he held me, could fix. And yet there was another part of me that started to question my actions, my looks, even myself.

When the questioning starts, all kinds of terrible things can happen. Don’t go there.

“When it comes to life and love, why do we believe our worst reviews?”

If you’re anything like me, you’ve either completely ignored my “don’t go there”, or worse, you think… I’m different. I can handle this. It’s a growth spurt of self-analysis. Sure it is, sugar puff. If we continue to question ourselves, a certain phenomenon can occur.

This phenomenon begins with a very tiny speck of a thought. When I say tiny, I’m talking as close as you can become to non-existent without actually being invisible. You’ll suddenly remember your “him” saying something that was completely harmless at the time, and not intended to be anything malicious. You’ll remember him asking, “Hey, what happened to that black dress you wore when we went to (insert name of place)?” Here’s where it gets tricky. Your next thought is… did he only like me in black?… maybe I didn’t wear enough black… he hated the way I dress… black is slimming… he thinks I’m fat… he dumped me because I’m fat… oh god… this is ridiculous, I can’t believe I’m even thinking something so stupid… fuck, he thinks I’m stupid… I need to buy more black…

See what I mean? The thoughts are certainly ugly ladies, but you aren’t.

“Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate.”

Ever meet Mr. Could Be Right while pining over Mr. Wrong? Don’t worry… you will.

There is one thing through all of the trials and tribulations of the heart and the penis that remains intact. And that thing is my dignity. That doesn’t mean that my pillow won’t be stained with mascara when I try to sleep tonight, but it will be a dignified cry. Such a thing must exist… right? (holds head up in gesture)

Maybe you’re only allotted a certain amount of tears per man, and I’ve used mine up.”

Sometimes tears are messy. Sometimes they are soulful. Sometimes they start to roll down your cheek before you even know what hit you.

As I’ve expressed, my pillow will more than likely see some tears, as they have been intermittent post email. There’s some venting in front of me. My tear quota has not been reached… yet. Which brings me to my Mr. Big.

My Big story did not end the same way that it did in the movie. I know! I was just as surprised as you are. Everything up to the actual public acknowledgement of a real relationship was spot on though. The break ups, the tears, the love, the passion, the tears, the laughter, the tears, the pain, the lies, the tears, the cheating; I married someone else, divorced someone else, dated Big again, more tears… that was all the same. It was cut you to the bone awful.

My Big and I definitely needed a new word for “over.”

The last time I found myself hurt by him there were no tears. I literally couldn’t cry. Not one more drop. That was one year ago and that was the day I knew over was really over.

“After a break-up, certain streets, locations, even times of day are off limits. The city becomes a deserted battlefield, loaded with emotional landmines. You have to be very careful where you step or you could get blown to pieces.”

Anyone else narrow their “spectrum of living” grid to a minimum? (Because what you really are gunning for is seeing your ex with someone else… something that’s only a touch more fun than peeling your own skin off.)

Even driving holds the potential for a disaster on two to four tires. Have you ever noticed when you are going through a break-up that suddenly everyone drives the same car as your ex? It could be the most random car ever, but suddenly everyone is driving a 1982 fucking Fiat. What is that, exactly?

“I don’t understand this. I get mugged and you get him? Maybe that’s just my karma.”

My friends that know me well have all heard me say at one time or another, “in a past life I must have killed an ex by running him over with my car. My guy luck and my car luck are the same. They both suck.” I think that statement may just wrap that quote up in a nice little package. Yes?
This brings me to the last quote, and this quote may be the most important of all. It wasn’t Carrie, but Samantha Jones.

So not sexy honey. Dump him immediately, here use my cell phone.”

You see, no matter what you’ve experienced in matters of the heart, no matter how many times it has been broken or how long you were seeing him, no matter how deeply you loved or if it was a new flicker of hope that got extinguished before it’s time, we need our friends to get us through. I hope you all have a Samantha.

We need to laugh, and laugh at ourselves. Find the humor, and most of all find what you need inside yourself.


when it comes to love: truth or dare

When I was younger, the game Truth or Dare terrified me.

It scared the ever loving crap out of me. Truth? You mean actual honesty at the age of 17? Thank you, no. The last thing I would have been cool with was telling a room full of my peers the person who I secretly wished to take me to prom or my most embarrassing moment.

Dare? Kiss every guy in the room? What? Streak? Now?

Now.

Now would be my most embarrassing moment.

I prided myself on being a bit of a bad ass when I was younger. I always tried to be tough, and I’m certain I did a half decent job of hiding my fear. Despite the layers of armor I wore, I was incredibly shy. Truth or Dare cracked my armor and I was not a fan of letting anyone in.

I can remember only a couple of times that stupid game reared its ugly head, usually at an infamous teenage house party. You recall those…guys, girls, a keg, possibly some weed and a flask floating around. (“Floating around” for me meant in my pocket, by the way.)

I didn’t think anything could make me more uncomfortable than Truth or Dare, until Five Minutes in the Closet happened. I know, I know. Some of you called it Seven Minutes in Heaven. Seven minutes was pushing it, and it was slightly was closer to hell.

I dreaded that closet. I wasn’t claustrophobic. Leatherface wasn’t hiding there. (I checked. Twice.) I had no skeletons at 15—possibly a pair of rad skeleton leggings, but I hadn’t created anything incriminating yet. My closet was filled with shoes, boxes of photographs and posters of last Tuesday’s rock star.

When you sit in that circle, watching a bottle spin is like the longest three seconds of ever. How many thoughts can race through your mind in three seconds? Apparently more than four. Who is it going to land on? God please not him…maybe him…no. What if it’s the lame guy and he says I have to take my shirt off? What if it’s the hot guy and he says I suck at kissing? Do I do anything? Do I lie and say I did? Do I lie and say I didn’t ? You get my point.

Shaping my teenage romantic life in a closet didn’t seem very Hollywood. It did, however, feel a bit like a John Hughes film. Potentially Stephen King. Definitely not Disney.

There wasn’t really anything to be scared of. As I said, I had no skeletons; I left those closets with my dignity intact and my bra facing the right way. Truth or Dare wasn’t ever that bad either. It was just a bunch of experiments in our parent’s coat closets.

Looking back I almost miss how simply playful it was.

Being an adult puts a completely different spin on it. Truth can be hard to get the gist of for some people, but it sure is worth walking through the fear. I find nothing scary about speaking my truth. To me, speaking my truth it what grants me dignity. It allows me to have self respect. It is essential for human growth. It is what keeps me sure of myself. It is invaluable.

Others run from the truth like their ass is on fire. Fear of being vulnerable? Letting someone see that you aren’t perfect? Honey, your faults are what make you perfect. The vulnerability of truth makes us human. It makes us real. Truth give us depth, and hopefully character.

Truth is the very thing that allows people to know who you actually are, and that takes more than five minutes in a closet.

Dares? Now they’re just challenges; challenging myself, or perhaps it’s challenging someone to a game of air hockey, or making a bet about whether or not they can sleep on a plane. Dares can also be incredibly sexy. Dare me to kiss you in an alley up against a cold brick wall? Don’t think I won’t. Dare me to hold still? Um…. OK.

Dare to be yourself.

Dares are taking chances. Some people grow up and long to take chances, but they never do. I take them over and over. Perhaps you’d call me stupid, because they don’t always work out. When a “chance” doesn’t go as planned, good or bad, I get to call it an experience. Does this mean I’m not terrified? No. Not even close. I’ve been knocked down, kicked sideways and hung up to dry. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying.

Does this mean there may be tears involved? Absofuckinglutely. I’ve cried enough tears for my best friend, my next door neighbor and anyone who has ever bought a self help book. I always dust off and see what the universe has next. It’s usually better than I could plan anyway.

Being a grown-up gets us scared for grown-up reasons, but I’m no longer scared of being kissed by my 8th grade crush, or anyone’s closet.

Speak your truth. Fall hard. Take a chance in love. Go on. I dare you. It’s worth everything.


to my fellow writers

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Last night I was inspired to speak, in the ways that I know how. I was reminded what it means to be a writer. I was reminded of who we actually are. I was reminded that we have no fear where a blank page is concerned. Give me scraps, canvas, bar napkins…I will write on your wall if I’m left with enough chalk.

We are driven by our passion…an innate need to tell a story. To touch someone, move them, help them….drive them. I see in words, in punctuation, in quotes.I see in script and type. I see stories everywhere I look. My eyes widen like a child’s…and it was during my childhood that I first wanted a muse. I don’t want to kill the mood, but I was watching Xanudu.

I even dream in stories; bright beautiful full stories. Last night I was reminded of this one…It woke me out of a deep sleep one night. I immediately grabbed the nearest tool, which happened to be eyeliner. It is a description of a lifetime with a man……My dream was set in a small town in Italy in the 1700’s. He was a painter, she was his muse.

It seemed easier then, you know, hidden away in the hills of our place.
“You are my muse”, he said.
“You are my heart”, she whispered.
Hours and hours, days upon days buried under pain and the promise of betrayal, I watched him work. Longing for our worlds to intertwine beyond the canvas and the sunset.

I do not remember the past clearly but as I woke this morning my eyes opened for the first time. Antiqued shards of pain wiped away as I thought of you. ….again.
“You empower me”, he said.
“You heal me”, she whispered.
To no longer battle time….It is infinate freedom. It is infinate spirit. Mirrors form a true reflection and I catch a glimpse of hope. Your hand brushes against mine and I remember. Your gaze locks mine and I feel. Your lips touch my mouth and I realize…you have always been my beloved.

I had challenges artistically when I was younger. My mother and father were not a fan of my artistic (endeavors? desires?  need? ). It wasn’t becuase they did not support me. They are old school. They believe in tangible skills. Degrees. Paper proof. They could not understand my need to create.

I went down every avenue. Acting, fashion, painting, every medium was a new adventure. I used to wrap myself in bath sheets when I was seven and parade my latest design for my mom. I couldn’t stop it, even then. It was a drive I was unable to control.

They encouraged me, but I knew they wanted  more….perhaps an interest in math? That remained their hope for me, until I wrote. I can still remember my mom telling me that she cried every time I gave her a birthday card or anniversary card. She would always say You write so beautifully. You should write for Hallmark. It still makes me smile.

We, as artists, know the power of words, and that power is, ironically, the only thing that ever slows me down. It scares me ever so slightly. That and perhaps my muse takes too many smoke breaks. My muse is not that robey Grecian chick on roller skates. They are my fellow writers, my soul mates, the man who cracks my armor. The ones who will listen to me vent and laugh, cry. They watch me fear and love unconditionally.

I’m sure you’re wondering why this power frightens me? It should be cherished. Shouldn’t it? It is because words can be misconstrued, twisted into ugly horrible things. They can cause the kind of pain that will cut your heart open. I cannot think and write at the same time. I must relinquish my thoughts and just keep going. If I say this will I hurt you? If I say this will you mistake it for opening my soul? Will my true self frighten you? Every word I type is vulnerable. Everything I write is a piece of me.

Perhaps I’ve offended some, certainly not intended in a hurtful or cruel manner, but every writer likes a good bout of controversy every now and again.

I am a writer. I am a creator. Some days I create pure shit. This is all a process. I don’t know if you are an artist, if you have all of our muses hidden in your closet or in a roller rink somewhere…. if you do please let them out (if only for coffee and some light conversation).

I do know this: As artists the only wrong we can do is to judge ourselves. We all have our uniqueness, qualities unlike any other. We all share a passion. So pick up your tool, your paint brush, pen, camera, your guitar with the missing e string. Get your hands dirty. Resist nothing.

Love each other, support one another and find your muse in everyone.


not your mother’s disney

Once in a blue moon we can get caught up in a relationship that we perceive to be fulfilling. Ever realized after taking a step back that it was a shit storm?

It never hits you at first. Why? Because you think you’re in a relationship with Prince Charming. Turns out he is nothing more than a charmer. If you aren’t sure what I mean he’s the guy who talks a good game. He can talk up a storm. Words words words. Problem is, words can’t carry a relationship.

Charming: He’s well spoken.
He opens your door.
He wants to take you and your mother to dinner.

Charmer: He’s well spoken with multiple women.
When he’s opening your door he’s distracting you to check out her ass.
He wants to sleep with your sister.

Once upon a few years ago I was in a very lame yet cosmopolitan magazine situation. He called it a relationship, but only to me.

What can I say? He was a sweet talker. I had been through the ringer and he spotted that a mile away. I was vulnerable and naive. I have fortunately grown miles away from that darkness but growth did not come without lessons that hit me over the head with a 2 x 4.

He wasn’t entirely at fault. I was listening to his words and not looking at his actions.

I learned a lot from that so called relationship. I learned that words aren’t actions.

He tells you he loves you but he won’t acknowledge that you are in a relationship. He never follows through and he always has an excuse, which usually consists of more words. You’d think by now I would hate words more than anything else, yet here I am writing.

Buying me stilettos cannot make up for not being around. (They’d have to be really great stilettos…I’m talking Christian Louboutin great.) There is no price tag for being present- pun seriously not intended.

I’ll take an authentic man who makes an honest living and is there when I need him over cash and prizes any day. I don’t give a twirly fuck how much money you have. Showing off is not showing up. That was my second lesson.

I also learned where I draw the line in the name of “love”. One night, over dinner, the Charmer strikes up a conversation which very quickly cut to – “How would you feel about an open relationship?” I couldn’t believe the words were coming out of his mouth- dude are you serious?? No warning, just bam! He may as well have said, “I’m done”.

No judgment. If you want to have an orgy, knock your socks off. Throw in bacon grease and firecrackers if that works for you. Go nuts. All I could say was, “Um….I’m gonna go with No.”

I knew I couldn’t wouldn’t compromise my beliefs to stay with him. He did me the biggest favor he could have done for me. At that moment, I saw things clearly and I saw him clearly. His response: “I guess we aren’t compatible.” Clearly. That was my third lesson.

In case you’re wondering, his desire for an open relationship, was that so he didn’t have to hide that he was already cheating, which I found out post mortem, illuminating my point that he was not charming at all. He was a charmer. Maybe not all charmers cheat, but this one did.

Lessons in love aren’t always easy to take. They can be gentle to be sure, but for me they usually come in the form of bone cutting-jump on the cross-shock to my system-holy shit snacks-fuck my life experiences.

I walked away from that relationship, walked back, walked away, walked back, walked away and slammed the door. I was stuck in a vicious cycle of struggle. I knew that we had a connection, I couldn’t have been more certain of that. You see, there were probably tons of things I could have or perhaps should have done differently in that relationship. I’m sure I could have second guessed myself all day long, but none of that needs to go on paper.

For the longest time I assumed that having a connection, especially one that I thought to be karmic, meant that it was supposed to work.

I didn’t understand that perhaps karma needs to be worked out by ourselves, for ourselves. That was my biggest lesson of all.

Having karma doesn’t mean that we are soul mates. Please don’t confuse the two. I do believe that every relationship, every connection, presents us with opportunities to either learn or teach. Maybe, just maybe our lessons aren’t in the way we behave in our relationship, maybe the lessons are in how we behave when it’s over.


my father is cancer free

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“There is no cancer in your body.”

Those were the words my father’s doctor spoke at his follow up last week.

There are no cells left.

I hadn’t seen my parents for quite some time—I’ll admit, it was way too long. I recently moved closer to them; it wasn’t necessarily out of concern, but it was important to me to be closer than a five hour flight.

My father has gotten in to the habit of scaring us—us being his family. He had three visits to the emergency room this year. The first time he was complaining of stomach problems; it turned out his appendix was about to rupture. They kept him for surgery.

The second time was in Paris. He fell, hit his head and need stitches. (I should interject that my parents are adorable. My mom told my dad at age 74 she had never seen Paris. He took her. They still go on dates and he still buys her flowers after 54 years of marriage. I love what they have.)

His next trip to the ER, he was complaining of headaches. It turns out that they never did an MRI in Paris. He had a subdural hematoma from the fall and once more, he ended up in emergency surgery. His complaint while healing in ICU was that he looked like Herman Munster.

My dad has always had a dry sense of humor. My brother and I grew up on Monty Python and Masterpiece Theatre. Truth be told, I never made it all the way though an episode of MasterpieceTheatre back then. I was eight. I inherited the same humor. My father and I can banter for days…and no matter what he goes through I will never stop trying to get a laugh out of him.

It was at this point I said to him, Hey Dad…you’re allowed three scares a year. Knock it off. You’ve met your quota.

Last month I went up to visit them for a family event. One of my favorite things to listen to is my dad telling stories about his childhood, more specifically my grandfather. I love my father’s stories. I love history. I soak it up like a sponge…I digress.

I went back home with my parents after the second party. The three of us reminisced for a while before my mom went to bed. And then my father sat me down at the kitchen table. In my family, when someone your senior asks you to sit down, it is typically not good news. It was always one of three things: I was grounded, I was about to hear something that could potentially traumatize me, or someone had died. Since I hadn’t skipped school in over 20 years, my heart lodged itself in my throat.

This time was no different. My father told me that when they had taken part of his appendix out, they found cancer cells in the part that was removed. I do not know all the technical terms, nor do I care.

The moment I heard the word cancer, memories with my father flooded my head.

I recalled my father teaching me how to ride a bike and the sound of my own laughter when I peeked behind me and realized I was half way down the street..the vacations spent in Pennsylvania in our cabin. His signing me up for the summer camp program that his company offered. It was for children with special needs.

Sure, there was an indoor and outdoor pool, there were also peers that needed me. I promise you that I learned much more from them than I could have possibly given. My father, in his infinite wisdom, taught me that summer that everyone is special. He taught me that anyone can learn from another human being. I thought of our family Thanksgivings which were always held at my house. There were never less than 25 family members and as my mom calls them, the strays (aka my friends who always stopped by.) They were always welcome.

I sat at that table, scared. I was angry that they had known for three months and didn’t say anything. I stared at my father, my eyes as big as saucers and lined with tears. He sat to my right with his head lowered as he spoke. I didn’t want to tell you over the phone. They knew I would have spent every dime I had just to get on a plane the moment they told me.

He continued:When they removed the appendix, the doctors found what they call carcinoid cells. The surgery is on Thursday. They are removing the rest of the appendix, and part of the colon as a prevention. While I’m under they are doing a procedure called a chemo wash. It’s not like chemotherapy. I started to cry.

At that moment, my dad looked up at me and had tears in his eyes. We wiped them away with a handkerchief. He has kept one in his pocket as long as I can remember. He said, Don’t make me cry. You know, Ronna, I’ve only cried twice; when I married your mother and when my brother died. I said, I know, Dad.

Seeing my dad with tears on his face hurt my heart. Seeing him scared broke it in 1,000 pieces. My father died from colon cancer. His next words ripped my heart completely out of my chest. I’m not ready to go. I want to watch my grandchildren grow up.

It was the most honest and loving moment my dad and I have ever had. It doesn’t get more real than that. Dad you’re not going anywhere. You’re going to be ok. I know you are, and you know that I haven’t been wrong yet.

I hugged my dad so hard that night and I didn’t want to let him go.

No family is perfect and I’m not claiming that mine is, but I’ll tell you something…nothing in this entire world is more important.

There is no greater love.

I got to end my night tonight with one call. Hi Daddy…I just wanted to tell you how much I love you.


the sun is always shining

When nothing makes sense, I drift to the enveloping

scent of jasmine entangled around the window pulling

tightly on my heart strings….

Thoughts reel through a perfect day— sun beaming,

emotions cluttered, laughter flooding common sense,

voices of reason choked out by strong hands close

enough to wander…..laying on tarnished hardwoods,

covered in a thick layer of overdue sentiment mixed

with delicately placed kisses…

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