Life Is Not a Reality Show (2 page)

BOOK: Life Is Not a Reality Show
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Pull It Together

I don’t look paparazzi-ready every time I leave the house. But I do try to look pulled-together. It’s not that hard, but I believe it entails four absolute musts:

1. Being fresh and clean.

2. Having my hair look decent, which for me means blow-drying it.

3. Wearing earrings. Gotta have ’em. I feel naked without them!

4. Putting on lip gloss. I just won’t go without lip gloss—even in my own home!

What matters more than anything to me are relationships—my family, my friends, the ones I love. I think I have this persona now from
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
that I’m this really strong girl, some kind of roaring tiger. The truth is I do have a lot of inner strength, but I’m also very emotional. I’m very sensitive—overly sensitive, maybe. I am touched easily and quite intensely by things, and sometimes I’m given to uncontrollable tears. I don’t think it came across in season 1 that I’m not only passionate, but also
-passionate. Hopefully in season 2 viewers saw me as not just a tiger but a pussycat sometimes too. (I suppose I
be fierce, but that’s one aspect of my personality, not the majority of who I am.)

Mostly I’m a wife and a mother who puts her children at the absolute center of her world. So much of what I do and base my life on revolves around doing what’s right for them. People often ask me about that too—about being a mom and juggling the demands of that role with the show and everything else. Well, get ready, because I
talking about my kids! They’re my favorite topic!

One of the most important things I try to pass on to my daughters is confidence. It’s not always easy to be confident, but, as I like to say, when you’re not feelin’ it, you just have to fake it till you make it! This is one of my favorite expressions, and you’ll hear me use it more than once in this book. It doesn’t mean you should be someone you’re not, but confidence lives inside you, even when you can’t feel it. Faking it till you make it is just part of the process of finding that confidence and nurturing it and letting it come to the surface.

I believe confidence comes from being yourself. From watching
Real Housewives
some people might think that my life is all glamour. Ha! So untrue! When I entertain, though, I do want my guests to feel glamorous. You may know from the show that Mauricio and I love to throw a party! I can share some of my secrets to throwing a good one in record time—while keeping costs down too. Entertaining is a way to express yourself creatively, but it’s also a way of celebrating family and friendship and fun. It’s an expression of love. That’s why I want my guests not only feeling glamorous but also feeling comfortable. I want everyone to relax and be themselves.

Being myself is something I do well. And “myself” is not glamorous all the time! Believe me, life is not like the movies around here! It’s funny. One night my daughter Alexia was at a party and I went to pick her up. I was the first mom to arrive, and I didn’t want to go in to get her and embarrass her, so I texted her that I was outside. After a while still no Alexia, so I texted her again and said, “You better hurry and come out or I’m coming in to get you like this!”

And that would have
embarrassed her because I was in my pajamas! While I was waiting I took a picture of my slippers and tweeted it. I got so many comments from people laughing, saying, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you pick up those kids yourself!”

“I can’t believe you’re actually wearing your slippers!”

“You’re just like a normal person!”

That makes me laugh. I
a normal person! Of course I am! That’s why I relate to you.

And why I want to share what’s worked for me in my life.

So let’s get started. Let’s talk, girlfriend to girlfriend, and I’ll tell you everything I know.

Mr. Right

People always ask my advice about relationships—my friends, my daughters, my daughters’ friends, lately even people who simply walk up to me on the street! It’s gotten to the point that I think I could do a “Dear Kyle” column.

I do have some expertise in this area, partly from growing up in a house full of girls and listening to my mom guide them through all their boyfriend issues. But I’ve also gained insights from my own experience and from great couples I know among my friends and family.

When people ask me, “What’s the secret to lasting love?” I tell them that it’s based on many factors, but one stands out above the rest. My absolute, number-one tip for creating a successful relationship is…

Pick the right guy.

Seriously. The quality of the people within a relationship is the greatest indicator of the quality of the relationship. Choosing a person who truly and deeply shares your values and goals will do far more to keep love alive than a whole closet of sexy lingerie!

Don’t Kid Yourself

So you think he’s the one? Really?
It’s very easy to get carried away when you fall in love. You may feel certain you’ve found your ultimate dream guy because of this or that. For example:

   » We have great chemistry!

   » We have so much in common!

   » We have great sex!

   » We have such fun together!

   » He tells me he loves me!

I’m sorry, but these things do not guarantee he’s the one you should spend your whole life with. And I know that last one, especially, is a bummer. But it’s the most dangerous one! Keep your head! Don’t get swept away by your feelings or his words. Instead…

Ask Yourself

When you find yourself dreaming of china patterns and the pitter-patter of little feet, it’s time to get serious—with yourself. You have to be ruthlessly honest about determining whether the guy truly has the qualities you’ll both need to build a lasting relationship. Answer these questions:

   » How attentive is he to you? If a man doesn’t make you feel adored and taken care of, he doesn’t deserve you.

   » What’s his relationship with his mother? We’re looking for respectful and kind here. Close—but not
close! Ha!

   » What are his friends like? Let’s hope they’re wonderful, sweet, honest men who are good to the women in their lives.

   » How does he get along with his family? If he has a good family life before you marry him, he’ll likely be a good family man with you and your kids.

   » How does he treat animals? When I see a single guy who owns a dog I usually assume he has at least some capacity for emotion and sensitivity, and the ability and desire to take care of something or someone other than himself. (My husband, though, never had a dog. Oh well, no one’s perfect.)

   » Last but not least is a real deal-breaker for me, though you may disagree. Does he obviously check out other women when he’s with you? I think it’s not only sleazy and disrespectful; it betrays a certain shallowness that I find totally unappealing. Disgusting!

Okay, this is where I imagine some people chiming in and saying, “Oh yeah, easy for you to say, married to such a great guy.” I can’t argue—I do have a wonderful husband. I’m not denying that fate and chance are part of what steers our lives. I was lucky to find Mauricio.

But I don’t give luck all the credit. I had something to do with it—I picked a good one! I chose a man who I admired, someone who valued the same things in life that I did, had the same priorities, who treated me—and my daughter—well. Those qualities make up a big part of why I fell in love with him.

Or, to put it another way, I believe I made a very wise choice. And I believe that any woman can.

It’s so easy for us to focus on how to please a man. Actually, I think it’s even hardwired into us to some extent because it’s part of our natural impulse to take care of people.

But being confident includes taking care of yourself and looking out for your own needs. Having a clear idea of who you are and what you really want is part of being comfortable with yourself.

Choosing a mate based on those considerations is the way to go.

Not to take all the romance out of it, but it might be helpful to think of dating as a hiring process. You’re considering whether you want this guy in your life long-term, and it’s a very important position to fill. You have to be clear-eyed in assessing whether he really fits the job. (You, of course, will also be competing for the “job” of being a part of his life, but we’ll cover that later!)

So, what kind of man are you looking to hire?

I have some friends who’ve always been drawn to bad boys—you know, the type who’s charming and exciting but also a little dangerous. You can’t always be sure of what they’re doing or with whom! I was never attracted to the bad boys; I always wanted the nice ones, the kind ones, the good guys—even when I was very young. I said to a friend once, “You always go for the guy with the tattoos, and I’m looking for the one in a suit!” Not that you can’t find a nice guy with tattoos or an ass in a suit. I’m just saying, if you’re looking for a satisfying, stable, long-term relationship, bad boys may not be your best bet.

And the really hot guys aren’t always your best bet either. When you’re out there surveying your field of candidates, your eye may instantly go to the guy that is stunning and sexy and has an incredible body. Of course! But that doesn’t mean your heart has to follow. I have a friend who’s completely obsessed with a guy who works at her local coffee shop. “Oh, he’s so hot!” she tells me. Okay, but what else? His character needs to match up. This friend has another guy who’s been pursuing her. He’s absolutely smitten; he sends her gifts and flowers and isn’t afraid to show her that he wants to make her the most important person in his life. “I’m sorry,” I say, “but do you really have to analyze this?” Do you really want to be with the person whose looks are going to fade, who’s going to make you worry, who may not return your phone calls? The one who’s going to torture you?

Don’t spend your time looking for the hot guy and miss the one who’s going to treat you like a princess and make you fall so in love with him that you can’t imagine yourself with anyone else. It may take you longer to fall in love, but you’ll have a much better life with the second guy. Believe me, in the community I live in, which as we all know tends to emphasize looks (and has more than its share of beautiful bad boys), I’ve seen it go both ways.

If you want a solid relationship, pick a solid guy. I’m not saying attraction isn’t important. Of course you have to be attracted to a man to even consider spending your life with him! But don’t, please, pick a man based on his looks.

I am fortunate, because I got the complete package in Mauricio. He’s not only a good, loving person and a terrific father—totally solid—but he’s also gorgeous, if I do say so myself. But that’s just a little bonus, an area where I got lucky. I don’t think he was as hot when I first met him; he’s actually gotten better looking through the years! I used to think he was my little secret, but now the secret’s out!

Remember that women’s looks matter a lot to men. How could we ever forget it! Obviously, the way you look is what initially draws guys. It’s the first thing they notice. Now ask yourself, what are you putting out there for them to notice? Think back to the job metaphor—you want to make sure you’re advertising correctly for the position you have to fill and the kind of person you want to fill it.

For example, if you want to attract the guy who’s into porn stars, or maybe the one who only thinks about sex, or perhaps the guy who’s a cheater, then wear something that barely covers your ass and lets your boobs hang out.

If that’s not your type, if you’re looking for a man who is more interested in substance, then dress in something a little more substantial! Show a little less. A classy look will appeal to classy types of guys. Sure, it’s possible that fewer men will look at you when you’re walking through the restaurant. But the ones who
look at you are the ones you
looking at you! And once they come to talk to you, you can be pretty certain that they like what they see.

Which reminds me of a type of guy who spells trouble from the get-go—the guy who sees a pretty girl go by and swivels his neck around like he’s in
The Exorcist
to watch her until she’s out of sight. To me that is such a red flag. It shows complete lack of respect for the woman he’s with. My husband would never do that. If he did, he’d have no more eyeballs! They would be removed from the sockets and put in a box and locked away. Ha-ha!

Old-Fashioned Girl

I grew up with a lot of traditional values, especially when it comes to relationships between men and women. For example, the whole idea of going on a date with a guy and splitting the bill … that does not work for me. That would
work for me. I can’t imagine it, because I was raised to think a gentleman should pay for a lady.

Even when we first started dating, Mauricio would never allow a woman to lay down money for a bill. I’ll never forget one time when my friend handed him twenty dollars for something and it sat on the table while we were all talking. I kept staring at that $20 bill, thinking, “Oh my God, if he picks that up, it’s gonna be over!” I couldn’t even concentrate on the conversation.

Finally he picked up the bill and said, “Whose is this? Here, take it back,” and he handed it back to her. I was so relieved! He passed the test!

BOOK: Life Is Not a Reality Show
8.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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