The Three Fictional Characters of loveleemonicaa

Let’s lighten things up a bit shall we? Sorry, no Lovelee Lesson here. You just get to laugh at me, with me on this one.

Three Fictional Characters

A while ago, there was a trend on Twitter for #3FictionalCharacters. Scrolling through the hashtag, I thought it’d be fun to see how people related themselves to characters on their favorite shows. Television has always been an alternate reality for me and I grow to love and care for characters as seasons develop them into people I actually know and care about. You get me here right? 

Well, while scrolling through the trending hashtag, it suddenly dawned on me—I too resembled three characters from three of my favorite shows:

Hmm…all leading ladies. Coincidence? I think not.

If you spend enough time with me and watch any one of these shows, you’ll get it. If not, then just laugh at the stories I use as supporting evidence to prove my point.

Jane Villanueva

Life is full of tough moments and you have to fight for what you want.”

I’m a writer.

I took Rafael’s advice and decided to be brave. The first step was starting this blog, and I’m excited to say that my first novel is in the works. For the first time on television, I was finally able to see how someone wrote like I did. Talking to characters, making outlines and edits, using personal experience as inspiration, I saw myself as Jane the Writer because I am Jane the Writer.

I’ve been a writer my whole life. Sometimes I forget things that I once wrote. I have notes, spirals, USBs, filled with ideas and short stories. When I’m looking back on things, a lot of times I’m like dang girl you wrote that?

And like every writer uses reading as a guide to inspiration and wisdom, like Jane, I also buy way too many books. For writing research! Thank goodness I ventured to the public library recently and had a Belle moment. I now rent more books than I can read in a span of 21 days, but my wallet needed a break because I needed more bookshelves. But when is that ever a problem? Books are a lifetime investment.

I’m a fighter.

Like Jane, I fight for what I want, what I believe in. Like Jane, sometimes I have my doubts and I lose parts of myself, but I get myself back up. There have been a lot of shitty things that have happened to me in this life, some more painful than others, but I’m still busting out random dance moves and celebrating the small victories. And even after everything that does happen to me, I’m still chugging along. Trying to make sure I live the life I want, and hopefully making a difference in the world by helping those I have in my family circle and strangers I offer my random acts of kindness to.

I fight for me, for my friends, my family. I fight with my heart and soul, with my words, my honesty, with love. And yes, sometimes my honesty comes out a bit strong, the tough love comes out and gets mistaken for judgy-Jane. But, it’s all out of love, for love, for the people I love, for the things I want and love.

La Familia.

Now I want a cannoli. I’ve always been able to relate to Jane here. Family is extremely important to me. I see myself as a second mother to my siblings, I would do anything for them. Throughout my life, I have defined family very differently. I don’t always think family means blood. To me, family are those that know the little things that make my nose flare. They call when I’m sick and they know how to make me laugh. They call to check on me to ask if I’m okay, because they get notified that I keep pinning things to the “For When We Need To Hear It” board on Pinterest.

They are there for me. Not for the milestones, but for the little day-to-day things where I need someone to check-in on me without asking, or when they know I need a laugh. That’s family to me. And mine changes and evolves over time, and I love every single one of them, blood or not.

Before we move on—

Dear universe, could ya send me a Michael Cordero and Zen Rafael mix? You know, just a hilarious, supportive guy who helps me be brave and loves a goofy Jane? Cool, thanks.

Leslie Knope

 I care. I care a lot. It’s kind of my thing.”

I’m a planner.

Just ask my brother. Seriously, trust me. I planned his academic life using an excel spreadsheet on our shared Google Drive. When my little brother didn’t know what he wanted to major in in college, I made sure to explore all options, all possible outcomes (even Mt. Doom). Yes Mt. Doom was real. I did all the color coded tabs, all, everything, pero, like, todo. I don’t think my brother would’ve graduated college without me to be honest. My spreadsheets work. Life planning is what I do, well as much as I can do…but man it gives me a high like no other. You should see my budget spreadsheets too.

Riddle me this.

Also, scavenger hunts…that’s kind of my thing too. When we were younger, we would go to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, a lot. I love museums. They’re one of my happy places. I would make scavenger hunts growing up and we’d split up and do them as a family. Cough, cough future husband, where ever you are… #familygoals. When I grew older I’d do the scavenger hunts with my friends, I would write them for my friends, I gave one to my sister for her friends to do at her birthday party.

As a birthday surprise, I found a dinosaur museum in Venice, Italy for my brother. Everything was in Italian, so there was no scavenger hunt. But the surprise of making sure that I found something I knew he would love, that’s the Leslie in me making sure everyone is happy. Making people happy, makes me happy.

Werk, werk, werk, werk, werk werk.

love working. If I allow myself to, I can become a workaholic. It gets pretty bad. But, it’s because I care. A lot. Sometimes too much. I’m really good at my job. Any job really. I’m a quick learner and I get the job done. Efficiency people, efficiency. Just ask any one of my old bosses, even the ones that tried to roll over me and take credit for all the work I did for them. I guess that’s the problem with the Leslie in me though, I’m a hard worker and I’m willing to help anyone but sometimes people take advantage of that. And, well, it brings out my inner Leslie badger. Watch out.

I love my friends, including me.

I always seem to have an Ann Perkins by my side, and yes I compliment them all the time. They are beautiful, dazzling, talented tree sharks. And yes, sometimes I ask them to text me every five seconds to tell me everything is going to be okay and they do it. So, my Ann’s are BOMB. And from time to time I message myself via post-it note, put it in a random pocket or bag, and say:

Hey Monica, It’s Monica. (Damn girl you lookin’ fine.) Hang in there. I love you. Bye.”

Because sometimes, as a strong woman, you’re the only one that can boost your spirits. And better yet, sometimes I buy myself things on Amazon and forget that I do, and when they come in I’m like:

Omg! Monica! This is the perfect book, how on earth did you know I needed to read this? Especially today, how did you know I had a bad day? Ugh, you’re so awesome. Thanks for always thinking of me. And, buying me chocolate, roses, and most importantly, waffles and gelato.”

Oh, and one more thing…I love breakfast food.

Why would anyone eat anything other than breakfast food? One of my best friends even gave me a Mickey Mouse mini-waffle maker for Christmas. It’s legit. 

Jessica Day

I like being weird!”

The hopeless hopeful romantic.

I have the heart of Jessica Day. The romantic, selfless kind of love that she just can’t help herself with. I would totally tell my future boyfriend I found out his best friend from med school was in love with him, because I couldn’t live with myself knowing I denied him that opportunity for happiness. Even if I loved him so, so much. That kind of romantic, selfless love.

And to be honest I’m a sucker for any love story. Even ones that are in commercials. And sometimes when there isn’t any romance in my life, I tend to just leave that business to the movies, the books I read, the words I write in letters, and the couples strategically placed in front of me in public, all the things reminding me to believe in the magic and remind me that love exists.

Mon as Sitcom Jess:

I also have total Jessica Day moments, my life is basically a sitcom. No joke. Well, yes, joke.

Episode 101:

Monica’s friend won 3-day passes to ACL. Monica’s friend wins a lot of things, so this was no surprise. These were a hassle to get from the radio station to say the least, totally legal stuff happening here, no worries… Her friend was trying to sell them and finally found someone last minute willing to buy. As her friend was gathering their things to go meet the buyer, Monica stopped by to talk festival plans. She found the wristbands laying on the table and thought it would be fun to show her friend how small her wrist was. So as Monica’s friend grabbed their keys, about to leave, Monica slid the wristband onto her hand. It all happened so fast…

MONICA: (Grabs wristband on table, excitedly.) Ooooo is this the wristband you’re about to go sell?

FRIEND: (Grabs keys, not looking at MONICA, in a rush.) Yeah, I’m leaving now. I have to meet him in like five minutes.

MONICA: (Still excited, easily amused.) Hey, look how small my wrist—

FRIEND: (Turns immediately, grabs MONICA’s wrist, yells in sheer panic.) MONICA, NO!

(It was too late, the damage had been done. Both FRIEND and MONICA stare at each other, eyes widened.)

MONICA: (Panicking.) OH MY GOD. NO. WHAT DID I JUST DO?

The wristband was tight. As tight as you could possibly pull it.

Note: Some of you know exactly what this means. For those that don’t…once you put on this wristband, you can’t take it off. Yeah, I know…just like Nick’s football helmet.

Monica had her wrist band for the festival at home, tucked away in a drawer. Thankfully she hadn’t gotten around to activating it yet, so the contraband she had, squeezing the life out of her left wrist with was now her wristband. Yeah, she even put it on the wrong wrist, let’s alllll laugh about it *queue sitcom laugh recording.* 

As a Hufflepuff, this scared the living shit out of Monica. She somehow got pulled into this mess by well…being a Hufflepuff. Thankfully and out of sheer luck, Monica’s friend had also brought their wristband that day. So, her wristband at home, the innocent one, became theirs. I seriously am not doing a good job bringing honor to my house. But, hey it’s a great story now right?

Episode 102:

Monica was walking with her friend one day. They were catching up from the weekend. It’s important to note here that Monica is very animated—she likes to use funny voices and actions to tell stories. If you’ve ever heard one, it’s like she’s playing charades…seriously, she acts out all parts. Anyways, she was making a comment about one of her friend’s stories. Trying to bring in the comic relief, it’s what she does.

Well, Monica started making these repetitive kissing noises to add some flare. Very. Obviously. And she tends to not really care about the strangers around her…but, as she was making these kissing noises, Monica was unknowingly, also walking into a swarm of construction workers. I’m going to let that sink in for a second.

They ALL stopped, turned and looked at Monica. It took a few more kissing noises to let Monica realize what was happening. She was literally the only one, who was oblivious to what was going on. As she realized what was happening, her eyes widened and she immediately sucked her kissing face in, then squeezed her lips tight as hard as she could. She turned bright red, immediately panicked and started walking faster. Of course her friend was bathing in laughter from this, while Monica was mortified.

Once they were a few feet away, her friend still laughing, Monica yelled back in her Boston accent: “Oh yeah, how does it feel huh? Not so nice to get cat called is it? Get in the cah Jimmy.” Yup. That happened. Also, sorry, she was in character. There is no Jimmy.

Other Jess-isms:

  • My mother always told me I’d be a teacher one day, and she’s probably right…I will. Probably when I have kids.
  • Like Jess, whenever I leave my friends for a while, I make sure to have some sort of jar with little notes for them, when they feel like they need me. In my case, when I left for college, I made my closest friends and siblings horcruxes. I wrote on the front of each envelope “open this when…” and it contained a note along with a gift that was either super funny or MADE YOU CRY. They obviously each got seven.
  • I sing almost any task that I’m doing. My office mate hates me. I sing what the weather is like, the actions of my dog, the emotions of others. You name it, I sing it. I like to FaceTime my sister, have her give me a topic and I sing about it while I play my uke. It’s really funny, I’m pretty good at it. It’ll be my SNL audition one day. But, my most popular song-to-action duo, is my rendition of Waka Waka by Shakira when I make Guacamole. Yup, it’s exactly what you’re thinking right now. It does go “Guaca, Guaca, Mo-le.” I do a pretty good Shakira impression, hips and all. Very few have heard Guaca Guaca Mo-le. Maybe one day you’ll get lucky. My brother hates it. I make a lot of guacamole…I eat a lot of tacos.
  • One last thing…Below you will find my ice breaker on all dating apps that allowed gifs. It was a hit or miss. I can’t always guarantee results, but go for it. Yes, I do this in real life too.

And there you have it.

The three fictional characters of loveleemonicaa. Convinced yet? No? We should hang out more.

Hey Jude, Don’t Make it Bad.

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Dog mom.

There’s usually an eye roll that follows when I tell people that I’m a dog mom. Little do they know that all that means to me, is that I love my dog. My dog pictured above might look like he wears clothes on a regular basis, and although he is the most humanly dog you’ll ever meet, that’s just him on Halloween as Winnie the Pooh. An adorable, affordable way to celebrate Halloween.

But, most people confuse that title with spoils, costumes or assuming my dog is a beggar. These are dog mom (or dog dad) stereotypes, but that’s not at all how I see it. Even if some of these things are true for some, this is not the meaning of being a beloved pet owner. We all have our own love language. We all show love in different ways. I love my dog the way I love anything because that’s just the only way I know how to love.

Let me explain…

Ever since Comet on Full House and Shadow from Homeward Bound, I always wanted a Golden Retriever. It was my thing. Then when Air Bud came out, forget it—I was sold. We ended up getting a yellow Labrador Retriever when I was young and named our family dog Buddy. We started a family dog tradition that every birthday, Buddy would receive a vanilla pudding cup, just like the movie. We are dog people. The pudding tradition is alive and well with all our dogs still to this day. Although for my dog, I’ve upgraded the pudding cup to dog ice cream. It’s also a huge hit.

But ever since then, my heart was committed to the idea that I would one day have a Golden Retriever. Well, until I started to get older and allergies were a thing. I discovered that I was slightly allergic to man’s best friend. It was a tragic day. But, I was still determined to get a dog.

When I was about to graduate college, it dawned on me how much free time I would have. I don’t do well with free time. Relaxing? What’s that? I was still single and dreading not being able to focus my love on something healthy, so I decided to get a dog after graduation. I started doing some research and fell in love with the Golden Doodle. A allergy friendly version of a Golden Retriever, where a Golden Retriever is mixed with a Poodle and you have yourself a hypo-allergenic ball of fluff. It was the best gift I ever gave myself.

The name game.

Getting a dog was the first adult decision I ever made. I did the process all by myself—the research, the payment, the preparation, the name brainstorm. Well, thankfully I had a few helpers in the name game. Thanks to my siblings, I had narrowed down my beloved future dog’s top two names: Jude or Aslan. One of my favorite bands is and will always be, The Beatles. One of my favorite songs is Hey Jude. Aslan came from Narnia of course, and the obsession I had with the lion-look I’d hope to get when I finally got my future pup. But I also felt an extreme pressure for this dog to be named after God, so ultimately I settled with Jude.

And it fit. Perfectly. Jude really does take a sad song and makes it better.

Jude is just mouth breathing with a smile, looking at me as I write this. He’s a great editor, he knows just when to interrupt for attention. He’s always there for me. He knows just what I need to help me feel loved.

Jude is the kind of dog that senses things. When you sneeze or you gasp when you’re telling a story, Jude will run to you and kiss you and give you love to make sure you’re okay. If you’re crying, he will lick your face until all the tears have been dried away.

I mean, just look at that face! And yes, that’s Stitch.

The mac to my cheese.

Jude and I have the same love language, we both speak through affection. I wake him up from his nightmares because I don’t even want him suffering in his sleep. When I’m sad, he will come lay on my chest or put his paw on my shoulder and stare at me, some how communicating that everything is going to be okay.

He literally hugs me whenever I get home. We eat together, snuggle together and do our favorite things together. He’s always my award show buddy, although he personally prefers the Oscars. Maybe that’s because he knows there will be a lot of popcorn that gets dropped…

But Jude and I are two peas in a pod. Some people even say we look alike…I don’t see it, but cool. I’ll take it.

Jude gets me. We understand each other. He’s my best friend.

Modern Scooby Doo.

Although Jude is a loving soul, he is also always afraid. He’s a scruffy graham cracker version of Scooby Doo. And I’m not exaggerating that one. Plastic bag, wind, noise, flower pot, stranger, bicycle, ukulele, you name it—Jude is probably scared of it. His most feared nemesis is a fly. Yes, a fly. He will run into my room and hide under my bed until I kill it and show him that it’s dead. I’m serious. Ask my brother.

But don’t let that fool you, he has some Richard Parker in him. Especially when it comes to protecting his lifeboat—Me. Jude is the ultimate guard dog. He sits on his watch tower, waiting for me to get home and patrols our apartment on the third floor. He will bark at you if you’re extremely tall and has a tendency to bark excessively at you if you’re delivering a pizza. Public apology to every pizza delivery person that has knocked on our door. 

Puppy blessing.

I describe my dog as if he has a personality because if you met Jude, you know he does. I know my dog and he knows me. Jude has taught me a lot of things, but the biggest gift he ever gave me was love. Learning what it felt like to be unconditionally loved by something you chose to love back was one of the greatest things he ever gave to me.

Thinking back to before I got Jude, I think my life would have turned out completely different. Without Jude in my life, I would have been dangerously lonely. Jude has helped me get out of my shell, he has helped me love myself more because he loves unconditionally. He reminds me what it feels like to be lovely.

There are also life events that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Jude. Without Jude, I wouldn’t have met the lifeboat that got me out of a miserable job and helped me have the job I have now. Without Jude, I would’ve never bumped into a girl with a white Golden Doodle puppy on my way back from the dog park, who is now one of my dearest, most supportive friends. And, that white Golden Doodle puppy, turned out to become Jude’s best friend.

It’s only been three years, but having a dog changed my life. They say once you go doodle, you never go back. And although I always pictured my kids growing up with a Husky named Kenobi, I think the name Kenobi fits well with a doodle too. Until then, Jude and I will be the best of friends, and I know I’m the best mom he could ever have.

There’s a quote about dogs that reads:

He might only be here for a part of your life, but to him you are his whole life.

If the roles were reversed, wouldn’t you want someone to love you as much as they could your whole life? And that my friends, that is what I mean when I say that I’m a dog mom. I love, I care, it’s what I do best. And I love that I have something as wonderful as Jude to love me the same way back.

If you’re anything like me and need to love something and have it love you back, get a dog. If you feel like you can’t even keep a cactus alive or aren’t ready for so much responsibility, wait. In the meantime, go volunteer at a shelter! Or, you are more than welcome to come over and get a Jude hug, he has plenty of love to share. Also, the cactus won’t love you back like a dog will. Maybe that’s why it didn’t work out. Just saying.

But, if you’re thinking about it and still unsure, you’ll know when the time is right. It will be the best decision you ever made.

Lovelee Lesson:

Animals can teach us so much about ourselves. They were created first and are the creatures I look to when I feel I need to be reminded how lovely life is. They help us grow, help us love. They are here to guide us. They can even lead you to your next adventure or be an adventure in itself. They are here to remind us how short life is. They remind us how much life can be full of joy, love and personality. They remind us how devoted love can feel like. They can help us grow and love ourselves as much as they love us.

Don’t be ashamed of being a dog mom (or dad) whoever doesn’t get it probably needs a hug from Jude. Love how you love. Even if that means spoiling your dog. Because you’re showing them how much you care, and in their short life they are blessed to be a part of your world.