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Xazmin Garza

Ending the innocence all at once, starting with Santa

My mom decided it was time to give me the ol’ sex talk when I came home asking my older sister to interpret terms I’d never before heard. Terms tossed around by neighborhood junior high girls wearing excessive eyeliner. Terms that cocked a fourth-grader’s head and had her wondering what a cherry, much less a “popped cherry,” had to do with anything.

My job title now? How about 'residential mastermind'?

Certain realizations hit you much harder than others. Realizing you may have gone from a career woman to a freakin’ housewife in a matter of a few short months, despite years and years of rolling your eyes at pie-baking and baby-making? Well, as I’ve discovered, that’s one heavy-handed blow right there.

Oh, Soley and Mia, to sing of you again, with my friend ...

I woke up one morning, in 2001, singing a single line from a hit song at the time. Not the chorus, just one line that caught me: “And on the way I grabbed Soley and Mia.” I sang it enough times that morning to annoy my boyfriend, who wanted to know why I chose that line, of all the lines in Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ’em Up Style” to sing over and over.

Someone was put in her place, but not the kid

Ally wants her Ariel doll. I’ve never met Ally, but she’s standing next to me in line at the Orlando International Airport, where, just like at Disney World, there are signs telling people how long they can expect to wait. It will be 15 minutes before we reach the security checkpoint.

Society needs to rewire thinking on thin

If you’re a woman working in corporate America, you’ve probably heard of the wage gap. If you’re a parent living with expressions such as “adorbs” and “bestie” on a daily basis, you’re familiar with the generation gap.

That obsequious 'helper' may just be a busybody

Every workplace is cursed with one. Every extended family learns to endure one. Every church tolerates, well, several of them. But when a busybody poisons your condominium building, a place where you escape every other life nuisance, things reach a whole new level of “mind your own damn business.”

Passenger seat view, parents seen anew

Las Vegas is about 400 miles from my hometown of West Valley City, Utah. That’s about a six-hour drive, which translates to less than one full workday. Or three on-demand movie rentals. Or two college football games.

Time to go toward destiny

Las Vegas was supposed to be a pit stop for me, a layover between aspirations and realizations. Ten years later, you could say plans got revised.

Unofficial traffic cop made commuting colorful

And, of course, the homeless man who makes his way to his turf at the same time you exit the highway. He usually holds a brown bag. His silver hair is combed back off his leathery, brick-red face. He stumbles like a toddler learning to walk and occasionally directs traffic.

Chitchat evolves into flight of fancy

Within two minutes of meeting, she mentioned she was a recovering sex addict. Who knows when it’s appropriate to reveal that kind of information, but it’s probably not sometime between stowing baggage in the overhead compartment and fastening seat belts.

Where there are wheels, there's a way

My Las Vegas house is about 1,800 square feet with a decent backyard and a two-car garage that offers plenty of storage space. The condominium my husband and I will occupy when I move to Massachusetts in two months is 800 square feet.

Platform shouldn't limit who gets heard

Five hundred dollars can change someone’s life. It can mean the difference between paying rent and an eviction notice. It can mean three meals a day or a fridge holding nothing but spoiled milk and ketchup. It can mean you’re content or you’re screwed.

Dreaming my little dreams, just like Dad

Dreamers are advised not to marry other dreamers. Everyone knows clouds don’t provide sturdy, stable homes. And without a cold splash of reality, someone could end up holding more lottery tickets than jobs.

This party of one needs no pity

If you’ve ever worn headphones with the sound on mute, you might get it. If you prefer a game of Solitaire over Spades, the concept may appeal to you. But, if you’ve ever sat down in a crowded restaurant, placed an order and enjoyed every bite of your meal while staring at an empty chair, you’re already on board.

Making friends in your 30s takes guts

They were there all of 20 minutes before the “Days of Our Lives” rehearsals began. Take five women out of a car they’ve occupied for five-plus hours and it’s bound to happen. A disagreement spurs hurt feelings spurs not one, but two dramatic exits.