PREFACE: What is Salahi-ism?
(n) 1. a condition of, or pertaining to total self-centeredness; 2. A mental state; characterized by absolute pre-occupation with oneself and/or self-interests. See also: narcissism.
The craziest people in the world, the ones who really do the most damage, ironically, are the same ones who believe that they are completely sane; that it's the rest of us who are crazy!! When their craziness is exposed, they see themselves as the victims, not the offenders. The rules of society that most of us abide by, regardless of culture, are completely irrelevant to the condition of Salahi-ism.
Tareq works extremely hard to convince others that he's the blue-blood Virginia gentleman: Polo player, wine maker, global connoisseur, philanthropist, and overall bon vivant, married to the tall, cute blonde. In HIS mind, he's wealthy, polished and knowledgeable; he's THE winner everyone wants to be. He's "the most interesting man in the world." Michaele is his enabler; she reinforces the crazy and validates the crazy as normal. Together, they are convinced that they are THE couple everyone wants to be around. She has a fancy hotel room key, a white stretch limo, and a horse named Sparkle to prove it. He has Oasis and a dream. Tareq and Michaele are perfect for one another!
"Something about Mary"
We didn't know the Salahis previously. They seemed cool, we shared similar interests, kicked it in Paris; we basically gave them the benefit of the doubt. That was then, this is now. For Jason and me, family is the most important thing in our lives. All jokes stop when dealing with family. Our commitment to our kids, their values and experiences is, like most sane people, our number one priority in life.
So when Tareq launched into a tirade of criminal allegations against Lolly, on national TV no less, we were shocked and horrified at the same time. All we could both think of was how literally sick to our stomachs we would be, if we were in Mary's shoes. All I could imagine was my husband flying across the table and whippin' some a-- if Tareq even thought to say something crazy about our kids. What kind of man attacks a woman, especially without the presence of her man? Like Rich says, there are some SERIOUS man rules being violated here. Rich and Mary are lovely people - and Jason really likes Rich. Both men are so funny and sarcastic - which as Mary says can get on our nerves sometimes...but a man with a sense of humor IS sexy isn't it??
I don't knowingly deal with shady or suspect people; but now finding out about all the people the Salahis have charmed (read: tricked) in recent months (years), all I can say is that the Turners are in good company, and will not be fooled again.
Cat Out of the Bag
I loved the scene with Cat and her kids finding something outrageous to wear to the stuffy healthcare forum. TV could not capture how truly hysterical the moment was when she arrived at the party dressed as Sarah Palin. Too funny! Just what a boring party needs to pep it up. This is a side of Cat's personality that I really like. She is not afraid to do the unexpected - say what's on her mind (i.e. as she shares her opinion on healthcare and Republicans to a Republican). Say it to her face - with no shame. Edwina was so not ready for the directness. I've gotten used to it - and rather like it. In time, I have seen the authentically fun, endearing side of Cat's personality. Now while I still believe that she is impulsively inappropriate in many situations, she is also extremely smart, funny, and deeply sensitive. We can see that the death of her close friend was extremely difficult, especially when Cat is thousands of miles away from her extended support system. My heart really went out to her. I can vouch for the fact that Jade and Ruby are delightful, smart, and highly poised young ladies for their ages.
Still, adult reactions to death and grieving must be hard for an 11 year old to digest...
Lynda - The Southern Baptist Jewish Astrological Love Child
Lynda is a naturally sweet person who genuinely tries to live according to "energy based principles". In fact, I love being in her company because she always exudes such positive energy. I actually wish Jason and I had some of that sage blessing when we first gut renovated our house 10 years ago! I was flattered that Lynda called to talk to me about her plans to purchase a home in Virginia. She called me as a friend first - who happens to know the real estate market. So I felt compelled to express to her my surprise that she was leaving her FAB-U-LOUS condo (can I say huge, waterfront, prime location, amazing views, etc.) to move to the suburbs seemed extreme. I didn't like seeing myself seeming to "bash" Virginia, where I'm a licensed real estate agent. Besides, I grew up in Virginia, love Virginia wine, my hubby is a UVA alum, Aunt Frances is in Virginia - we are VA loving people - we just loving living in the city right now. To be clear: I was not a fan of Virginia for Lynda - knowing her lifestyle and (selfishly) knowing that I would no longer enjoy cocktails on her balcony overlooking the Potomac. Lynda is so connected to the city - running a DC based business and having a very active social and civic life - that I wanted to make sure she had fully thought through the lifestyle changes which are equally important as making a smart investment decision. I am just happy that Lynda and her family are happy - and I know
that her new home will be as inviting and warm as the previous. I can't wait for the housewarming party!
I can't leave a Lynda discussion without sharing my thoughts about Lynda and Ebong as a couple. I love low-maintenance people who are happy, which is what comes through when you hang out with them. They have that real, easy, laid back, "love is good" feeling that you can maintain with a boyfriend - she's had enough experience to know a husband is a little more complicated. I love Jason to death, but I am a big fan of her relationship "boot camp" for men idea! Where do I sign him up? Gotta keep your man in shape!!
Real Estate for Dummies
For real, I am no joke when it comes to my real estate practice. I love the benefits of the profession - the freedom of running your own business and unlimited income potential - but it comes with a price.
Any successful agent knows this gig can be tough on family, as I routinely put in 50+ hours per week. I work nights and weekends on the regular - so sadly, I miss many dinners with the family. Sunday brunch after church? I think not - got an open house from 1-4! Needless to say, my time is valuable, and I don't waste a minute of it.
When talking real estate, I draw a thick line between business and personal. As a friend, I can freely give my personal opinion (like saying I don't see the Virginia suburbs for Lynda's lifestyle). As a realtor, my personal opinion doesn't matter; I work to meet my clients'
objectives wherever (i.e. McLean is a great buy). I am always happy to talk to friends and family about real estate matters, but I also recommend caution when considering hiring an agent you know too personally. As a buyer's agent, that friend must be willing to share their most sensitive financial information with you, which can be difficult for some (mission impossible: Salahi). When listing a friend's home, it can be difficult to explain why you think your friend's place isn't anywhere close to what they think it's worth! This is why I am extremely numbers based as a professional - the market dictates value, not your faux-painted accent wall.
I somewhat reluctantly went out house-hunting with Tareq and Michaele. Defunct (but gorgeous) wineries don't generate cash flow. Michaele doesn't come from wealth that I am aware of - so I am SERIOUSLY doubting their money making mojo! An $8 million dollar home? Are you kidding me?
For perspective, a qualified buyer will need proof of income around $2.0 million annually to even entertain a contract. Regardless of price, my serious buyers are prepared, and quickly produce such documents. Know this: your buy/sell agent's market reputation is a BIG factor at the table. People know that my clients can do the deal. I am baffled about what "business" they can work this deal through. Time is money. I don't have time, and now, I don't believe they have money. See "Salahi-ism" above.
Legitimate clients, please go to www.stacieturnerhomes.com. My team and I are at your service.
Jason promised me years ago, just after my Dad died in 1999, that he was going to find my birth parents for me. I thought that was sweet of him, but did not think much more about it. Of course, in retrospect, I should have known that my husband's resourcefulness, creativity, and love for me would make it happen. The problem with knowledge is that once you have it, you want more of it. And especially when it comes to who I am...who my children are...and those whom I don't know, but whose presence I can sense in some weird way. Jason has been very patient with me over the years of this search. He understands that I want this knowledge more than anything, but that it is also scary as hell to confront a past and future that is totally unclear, and potentially painful.
I was so shocked when Jason discovered my birth mom's son on Facebook. I mean technology is so crazy! Here my birth mom is keeping me from what I feel is MY story, and my blood family! I am so deeply appreciative of her sacrifice...she could have easily aborted me.
That action of carrying me to term says so much about who my birth mother is, and the tough choices she made in a tough period of time in the mid-sixties. The thought of connecting with her son on Facebook seems so devious to me, kind of like I am breaking the "rules" in some major way. Yet, FB is the people connection tool of the 21st century...like me not getting in a car because I might drive past her house (since I know her address, this has crossed my mind). It's crazy how birth-mommy imagination-TV plays in my head. Sometimes the mental show is happy, deeply appreciative to someone I don't know; other times its anger on demand! We'll see what happens with this route...I mean it's just a friend request. He won't even know who I am right?? More than anything, at that time, that day, reaching out on Facebook really shows the urgency, and increasing anger that I feel about getting the full truth - by any means necessary.