I swear I didn’t steal Cameron Diaz’s cell phone…

Now that I had met another new best friend, I wanted to be single. But poor Dan had just spent $8000 on a stunning engagement ring, even though we had only known each other for 6 weeks. The many things about him that bothered me were now even more annoying, but he was so sweet, what was I to do? The fights kept coming, all provoked by me. All of a sudden I was questioning him about what he did while I was out of town and why he didn’t answer his cell phone when I was around. To be honest, I was legitimately jealous and couldn’t believe it. I had thought the past was behind me, that maybe it was possible for me to date without being crazy jealous. There was no way this man would have cheated on me and I see that now, but in 2003, at 31, I was still insecure. My body wasn’t terrible and I was a cute girl, fun, outgoing and obviously brave having picked up and moved from Indiana all the way to Florida, so why did I still think every man was cheating on me?

One night, as we were eating take out, I started arguing with him over something dumb I’m sure. Somehow I managed to make him think it was his fault, when in reality, it was me, I was manipulative and evil and I knew it, but I wanted out and didn’t have the heart to tell him. So I stormed out of his place leaving the ring on the kitchen counter and headed out to go party. He couldn’t believe his eyes and to this day, I still feel a bit guilty for what happened!!

My new friend Cathy lived just around the corner but was out of town so I headed straight to the coolest spot around. Shooters was this huge restaurant/bar on the water with plenty of slips for boats to dock and they did, tons of them. This place was always packed with heavy hitters hanging out at the bar and on Sunday’s they typically held a bikini contest by their pool. This was the perfect spot to go, one because I wanted to meet boys, but also because it was so crowded I figured maybe no one would notice I was alone. At this point I had only been flying for a couple of months and while on the road, most nights, was still clinging on to the pilots to hang out with. I did venture out once in a while alone but once I walked into this place, it felt like everyone knew I had no friends.

There was no way anyone could have known I was by myself but my insecurities had the best of me so off to the bathroom I went to figure out my next move. As always, I was chatting with the bathroom attendant lady spilling my troubles to her about leaving my fiancé and feeling weird about being alone when the most magnificent girl came busting out of the stall and in my direction. She overheard my conversation, was also there solo and wanted to know if we could hang together??? My savior Farah was blonde, fit, super fun, brave and loved boating. She grabbed my arm and off we went, like balls of fire through that crowd. My goal was to hang at the bar but not Farah, she was determined to get us on one of those yachts…and she did!!

Within minutes, we were drinking for free and mingling with the elite on an 80 foot boat. I had never been on one before and was just in awe of how beautiful it was. After a few hours Dan had been erased from my memory, I was the happiest single girl in Ft. Lauderdale and now had new bestie number two! To this day, her and Cathy are two of only a few friends that I’ve met in the 15 years of living in South Florida who are real, honest and genuine.

Life could not have been better!! I lived in a huge house on the water for dirt cheap, was making $300 a day flying around the world, single and had two girlfriends that loved to go out and party…and that we did, anytime I was in town, until my flight with Cameron Diaz almost ruined everything. We picked her and 5 other people up in Miami and were taking them to California, about a 5 hour flight. She had just finished filming a movie so the plane was overflowing with luggage from their long stay. What was so cool about her was that she had no entourage, no body guards and seemed to have driven herself there in a regular car, not a limo or a chauffeured vehicle. When Cameron boarded the plane, the first thing she did was run right over to me and asked if Carrie Grant was really my name? She thought that was the coolest thing and then proceeded to tell me how pretty I was and that I reminded her of a good friend, which was a compliment because her friend was awesome.

In my head, blasting loudly were the words OMG, OMG, OMG but on the outside I was cool as a cucumber while pouring everyone champagne. She was the most normal celebrity, fame had not ruined her or made her feel as though she was better than anyone else and at that point, it was the coolest day of my life. There was one boy with the group, not a body guard or someone famous, just a friend and as everyone was falling asleep, asked if I wanted to play cards to pass the time. I was so happy because with nothing to do since they were all passed out would mean that I would have had to sit in the cockpit on the most uncomfortable and smallest seat ever. It was located just behind the pilots, pulled out of the wall and was definitely not made for comfort or long distance flights.

Once landing, Cameron and her friends all hugged me as if we had know each other all of our lives. Since there were so many bags, the crew and I helped to take everything inside and then loaded them up in her SUV, which once again, she drove herself. The pilots were busy making our hotel reservation at the front desk and I was heading back to the plane to get it cleaned up when all of a sudden we heard Cameron yell, ‘I can’t find my cell phone’!!! ‘No problem, I’ll go and search the jet’. About 20 minutes in, there was no phone to be found anywhere on that plane and I began to panic. Her assistant was now searching with me and in so many words managed to get across that I was the only person in that fuselage the whole flight that they didn’t know, which meant they thought I stole it. To make things worse, she knew my name, and if Cameron wanted to, she could smear my reputation across Hollywood….

 

 

 

 

At 19, I was fired from a Country Club for talking dirty over the golf course loud speakers….

It was a set up!!!! College was a 3 hour drive south of Mom’s in Indiana so during the summers I would stay with her in my old room and find work. She had a friend who managed a Country Club which was the only 5 star anything in N.W Indiana so he hooked me up with a job as a banquet server. It was awesome and my first time around wealthy people. We would set up the tables for lunch, serve, clean everything up and then do the same for dinner service, easy peasy.

This place was great, fun, good tips, a cool vibe and fun people to work with. Then about 2 weeks in I noticed him…..tall, slender, slicked back hair, gorgeous lips and shiny shoes, just like one of those wise guys in the movies, but fit, handsome and about 21. He walked right up to me, grabbed my hand and said, ‘come with me’. As mesmerizing as this Goodfella was, I was on the clock and wasn’t about to let some guy get me into trouble at my new job. But he was smooth, told me he was in management and that he needed my help with a member’s private porker party. Next thing you know, I’m sitting with 4 senior citizens in the men’s locker room playing cards with money they gave me to bet and winning.

All through the game, he stared right through me, it was intense, nothing I’d ever experienced before, but at 19, I was still learning about lust, passion and being intimate with boys. I could feel his gaze, I knew what he wanted and it terrified me because it was obvious he knew his way around the bedroom and I didn’t.  Over the next month there was a great deal of flirting going on at work and I could hear the chatter and gossip around us. Goodfella was a hottie, all the girls working at the club wanted him and he wanted me, I could feel the daggers piercing my back as they walked by, but didn’t care. We went on tons of dates, always to dinner then after would hang at the bars where he was a regular. No one cared how old I was, I was with him, he was the man and wow…what a dancer. I didn’t know my town could be this much fun. There was never a time I felt pressured to do anything, always a gentlemen, the whole summer.

During the last week of warm weather, it was “Company Monday”, which the club closed off to members and rented out to big corporations for golf events. We were setting up for lunch when a couple of the mean girls were joking around while singing into a microphone. Of course I joined in and as the jealous brats handed me the mic, they turned it on. Silly me thought it would be funny to imitate a 1-800 adult commercial and within seconds of my skit, my mom’s friend comes bursting through the doors, almost tackling me to get to that mic and the whole time yelling, “It’s on, it’s on”!!!!!

Turns out that microphone was connected to every single speaker covering 18 holes full of beer guzzling lawyers and their bosses. I was immediately sent home and the next day received a call saying they wouldn’t be needing me anymore. As for hottie, well, I kissed him a few more times but that was it. I think he knew I would get hurt if we let it get to far, I was going back to college and he was never going to leave that small town, that’s just how small towns work.  Goodfella was man enough to just enjoy my company without expecting anymore and then let he me go.

That wasn’t the first time I was fired for doing something stupid. Fast forward 10 years, once I was done with my ‘boogie nights’ life style in Tampa, something in me changed. AT&T was a great job, good pay, unionized and hard to get fired from, which was perfect for my party lifestyle. But those mind altering experiences helped me to realize I wasn’t going anywhere in life. Then my manager at work had us read a book called, ‘Who moved my Cheese’ which was just what I needed. AT&T was about to start laying people off and he was trying to motivate the staff to keep an eye out for other opportunities. During that same time a friend of mine, who is a wine expert and hilarious, informed me that her company, Auto Trader was hiring sales people. She loved her job, was her own boss and did pretty well so I interviewed, got hired, left my cushy desk job with AT&T after 5 years and within in one month, was let go.  I was terrible at sales and self motivation and I’m embarrassed to say, but I dressed a bit too scantily clad for the clients.

I was devastated, broke, my lease was up and I had no idea what I was going to do. No way would I back to waitressing and bartending, I couldn’t bear it. Luckily for me I had met Blue Eyes about 2 weeks before I was fired. He was one of my higher end customers, not my type at all, smoked cigarettes and was a terrible dresser but he always made me laugh so when he asked me to dinner, I said yes. Once he found out I was jobless and soon to be homeless, Blue Eyes insisted I move into his big, beautiful home and let him take care of me…so I did, after a month of dating.