Bravotv.com: In one of this episode's voice-over, you say that your mom is very controlling, but she comes off as very smart and a hell of a lot of fun. How is your relationship with her?
My mom is very smart and has a bit of that Latin fire in her which makes her the matriarch of our family. She is, above all, very loving and protective of her children — even though we are all now grown adults. She has always been there, without fail, for my sister, my brother, and me.
I wish I could re-record that voice-over because it really does not capture what I really feel. My mother was a single working mother with no outside financial support to raise her three kids. She managed to raise the three of us by working her tail off. Looking back, I can now fully recognize how hard it was for her and understand the sacrifices that she made for all of us. No matter what difficulties our family had — I always knew that my mother loved me and she would do anything for me.
My mom has strong opinions on many things. Sometimes we don't see things the same way, and sometimes, when my desire to make her proud collides with her a difference of opinion, I feel a difficult tension inside — torn between my loyalty and respect to her and doing what that little voice inside me says I should do. The truth is, she is not controlling, this is really all my issue, not hers.
Bravotv.com: How have people responded to you since the first episode aired?
There is no difference compared to before the first episode. People who know me treat me the same. As of yet, no one has recognized me from being on the show, and that sits well with me.
Bravotv.com: This episode shows you moving into a new house. Your old house flooded?
Though I would very much like to recount the events that have left my home in the condition that was demonstrated on camera, it is a matter of pending litigation that I cannot discuss until the case has been resolved.
I can say that it has been over three years since the damage and the ordeal has been very sad and frustrating, from the loss of sentimental personal possessions, to relocating, to having to still make the mortgage on that property while supporting a home somewhere else.
Bravotv.com: You are refreshingly upfront and seem very accepting of others. How did you develop that skill set?
While I am flattered by the compliment, I am not so sure that it is true. Believe me, I have my moments, like we all do. To the degree that I might be these things — I am not sure it is a skill set, per se, but more just getting the way life is, at least how I see it.
I have experienced amazing highs as well as very low lows: business successes and crashes, true loves that come into my life and leave, children that are thriving at one moment and breaking my heart the next. It has all left me feeling pretty humble, but with a sense that I learned something from the process.
What I have learned is that we are all, on the same path of just trying to figure out what it is we are supposed to be learning from our life. Some of us have certain parts figured out, while others of us "get it" on other matters. Some of us are fast learners, others of us only get life's lessons after wearing ourselves out kicking and screaming and defying reality because it is not what we want it to be.
Though we may be in different places, we are all in the same boat. Who am I kidding if think I am any better than anyone else? What place is there then for me to judge anybody?
For my part, allowing myself to be in other people's space while they make their journey, sharing their joys, and feeling their lows with them — these things give life its color and quite frankly, sometimes its humor. It is not really a skill set, its just that once I understood all of these things — there was really no place from which I could not be accepting.
Bravotv.com: Though you and Duff are no longer together, you seem to have a fairly healthy friendship. How is that going?
I will tell no secrets regarding future episodes!