She Inks In Pink

Blonde, and drenched in pink. That's me. I live in Minnesota, although I hate that part of my life. I was not meant to be cold and shivering, coming from the hot tropics of Puerto Rico, where I wish I had never left.

But then I wouldn't have the things I have now, and I guess a lot of things would be totally different so let's take that wish back. And I'm getting ahead of myself a little - let me backtrack.

I was born in Puerto Rico. My mom was a beautiful Puerto Rican woman, who by the age of 17 had already married, given birth to my beautiful sister Cookie, and gotten divorced. She was not even twenty-years-old when she met my father. Thrilled with the prospect of moving to New York where she would be fulfilling her dream of becoming a famous dancer, she was shopping for new luggage when she caught the eye of a young service man. He, far away from home, and lonesome for his friends and family thought she was the prettiest thing he had ever seen and he was right. She was pretty. But in her case her beauty was only skin deep. My father began a conversation, somehow wrangled an invitation to visit her at home, and eventually, he won her over.

I have to believe he was an unbelievable talker, because the day came when my mother gave up those New York plans to become a wife and soon after, a mother to me. And instead of metropolitan New York with all the lights and music, my dad, my mom, Cookie and I, moved to quiet, rural Minnesota, in a country home with not a neighbor in sight.

I think my mom would have thought the change of heart was worth it had my father had been a good husband and provider, but that's not what happened. Reunited with his friends and family once back in Minnesota, he reverted to the behavior of a single man with no cares and no obligations, and nothing to stop him from moving away and leaving his family behind. Years later my mother would say it was the nicest thing he did for her. Soon after, she met my "dad" Ruben, and they married, had one more child - a brother for us. Our family of three girls and two boys was complete. I have often wondered how a man can take on four children of another but he was and still is so enamored of her, he would have withstood anything to be with her. My other father went on to marry another woman and to them my sister Alice was born. I am no more closer to her than I am with my other siblings. We are nothing alike.

I am second to the oldest and the rebel in our family. I am Shirliana Varod Gili, a Puerto Rican Jew who now resides in the Capitol city of Minnesota, having escaped the ties of my family to live amidst the lights and excitement my mother once craved.

I live with my crabby husband Ira, our daughter Amelia, our tabby cat - Mr. B. Jun, our English Springer, Mister Melvin, and our Poodle - CoCo Chanel. I may be the human, but they truly rule the roost.

After working at the same organization for nearly eight years, in the fall of 2008 I found myself laid off - something I never thought would happen. For four months I looked for a place to call my second home, and where I would be doing something as worthwhile as I did in my former one. Lucky me - with so many people out of work, I found a place that was meaningful beyond belief. My boss - lucky me in that area too. I have three of them, and their all incredible - AND if that wasn't enough, my co-workers are incredible too. Lucky, lucky me in so many ways. I've been here going on ten years now.

Aside from working, my interests are vaired. I spend a good deal of time on my computer - keeping up with my blog, editing photos and graphics, web designing, reading, anything related to the color pink. My other hobby, without a doubt, is shopping. After all, I am still a girl! My most necessary evil is the gym and I love dancing.


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