By Mahlia Lindquist
Carlos, a trainer at the gym, recently remarked that living in Miami is hell. His fantasy is to live in Colorado and he asked why on earth I moved from Boulder back to Hades. I get that question a lot. Boulder friends who have never been to Miami are mildly curious, while most Miamians are, like Carlos, incredulous.
It’s like this…
If Boulder was a woman, it would be beautiful, wholesome, reliable, cheerful, organized, great with kids and a gourmet cook. The sort of city you feel proud to take home to mom.
As a woman, Miami would be an ignorant slut who leaves people wondering, “are those real?” Miami has a nasty temper and won’t think twice about taking a key to your car. If Miami had kids, they would be in foster care. If your son came home with Miami, you would change the locks and disinherit him. If Miami was a woman, my ex-husband would move her in and later have to obtain a restraining order and hire a mover to get her out.
Admittedly, whether we are talking people or cities, having an affinity for crazy bitches is messed up. Yet, I can’t deny that when it comes to places I am drawn to the off-kilter. It would take too many years of therapy to get to the root of why I get the chills at the thought of suburbia. Or why I have chosen to reside in the Twilight Zone that is Miami.
Instead of overanalyzing, I have simply accepted that I live in a city that exists in an alternate dimension and that, inexplicably, I like in a sordid, sick sort of way.
Take butts for example. The female buttocks situation in Miami is different than anywhere else. In the rest of the US, big asses are generally considered to be inferior to ones that are more compact, the famous song “Baby Got Back” and J.Lo notwithstanding. This is why over my lifetime, in order to keep the size of my rear end in check, I have tortured myself with thousands of squats and lunges.
In Miami, bigger is better when it comes to cars, houses, jewelry, hair, boobs and now butts. Boob jobs are a Miami staple, and even post-menopausal women proudly display theirs in outfits that would make a Victoria Secret model blush. However, surgically enhanced breasts are passé compared to Brazilian Butt Lifts.
The lift procedure rounds and enlarges the butt, so that it juts out like a window ledge. I learned about the Brazilian Butt Lift recently while viewing the local wildlife at the Fontainebleau pool on Miami Beach. I commented to my friend Jackie that a lot of the women around the pool looked like the Jessica Rabbit character in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She explained that’s what happens with the boob/butt plastic surgery combo.
I was simultaneously shocked, horrified and fascinated. Just to make sure I fully understood, I clarified, “do you mean they made their butts like that on purpose?” Jackie assured me that, yes, women actually pay a doctor to enlarge and enhance their butts, which is accomplished by liposuctioning unwanted fat from one body part and injecting it into the rear end.
I reflected on what getting a butt lift means. It means going to a doctor and actually asking for a bigger butt. It means researching the best butt doctors, making an appointment, driving there, getting naked in front of someone who injects fat into asses for a living, measurements, perusing before and after photos of other butts and then finally deciding, “That one. That’s the rear end I want.”
The other bizarre part is men who choose to be with butt enhanced women. They seem proud. I saw a guy at the Fontainebleau encouraging his girl to pose for photos. She struck various poses in and out of the pool, all of them akin to cheesecake shots that grace the pages of men's magazines. After they finished taking photos, the couple spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool sucking face and gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes.
I saw the same scene play out at a bar last week. A woman in a tight red dress, tits and ass protruding, lifted her butt up off the barstool and looked back over her shoulder demurely as her boyfriend took photos of her ass from various angles. They cozied up to review the results afterward, perhaps debating which ones to put on Instagram and which ones to use for their Christmas cards.
Neither of the couples were self conscious. Dozens of people milled around the pool and in the bar, and the couples posed just as casually as sneaker clad tourists in front of the Eiffel Tower. While I was agog, no one else seemed to even notice.
So, what do brazilian butt lifts have to do with an irrational attraction to Miami?
The ass-enhanced women at the Fontainebleau and bar are nothing like me.
The same goes for the cross dresser who loiters on “crack corner” near my house. Nor do I have much in common with the WASPy members of the nearby yacht club where my friend Mary occasionally invites me to lunch. Ditto for the many latino parents at Zoe’s school who speak broken English, and whose teenaged children drive Mercedes and wear Tiffany jewelry.
They are all foreign to me. I can’t fathom what they talk about, or what type of movies and books they might enjoy. We are unlikely to ever be close friends, but for some reason I like that they are part of my community.
I also like to complain about them (and the withering humidity, mind-numbing traffic, homicidal mosquitos, lack of recycling, lack of civility, and political corruption.) Every day, to whomever will listen.
I have never seen anyone like the women with the surgically enhanced butts in Boulder. Nor have I seen anyone like the cross dresser, prim yacht club WASPS or conspicuously rich latinos. I have a good idea what the people in Boulder are reading, watching, and doing for fun. And I like that too.
Even though I also complained in Boulder (about the homogenous population, political correctness, tameness, brittle weather and restaurants that close at 9.) Every day, to whomever would listen.
I get a lot of satisfaction from being outraged, scandalized and amazed, and Miami provides that in spades. Only one thing compares to the pleasure of living in a bizarre alternate universe. That’s living among healthy, happy people with shared values in a beautiful place.
After spending a month in Boulder this summer after a year in Miami, I felt the remorse of a guy who has gone on an extended midlife manic bender, and discovers that he has abandoned his wife and kids for Jessica Rabbit.
Fortunately, unlike a wronged wife, Boulder will take me back when I'm ready. And, if worse comes to worse and I can't stay away from my crazy bitch, when it comes to cities, polygamy is perfectly legal.