As you know, Best and Worst Brands of the Week would be mind-numbing if it were just about reviewing products and services. Branding, after all, is about how products fit into people's lives. And my life this past week was about many things, but in particular: a break-up. That's why this column takes on the the Best Worst Brands for my 5-step break-up cure.
1. Stop Trying To Emulate The Dalai Lama:
The Dalai Lama tweets about compassion. But when it comes to the first step in my break up cure, his brand of Holiness gets a thumbs down. You don't need to be compassionate. Take it from me, Ms. Mostly Takes The High Road -- that's not the best way to end things. You need to call your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend and say what needs to be said, full force, yet graceful. Make sure there are no holes in your soliloquy, because what you don't want is for your now ex-boyfriend to stalk you, I mean call you, for 18 months after you thought you said goodbye and tell you that he's made a huge mistake and wants to get married and have kids.
Here is a modified tweet inspired by His Holiness: "If we generally practice calm and compassion, it's ok to rip into your soon-to-be ex..." In other words: "Practice compassion, but must say what needs to b said b/c while all may be lost, truths remain that must b revealed."
2. Steal Time:
Once you've given him a dose of whoop a**, take some time out for yourself. In my case, I decided to reclaim a misappropriated summer in Miami for a 3-day work/play trip. Think Eat Pray Love without the premeditated inspiration of a book advance and the annoying voice of Ms. Gilbert (and a few client meetings).
I arrived on Day One to the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Avenue. The Mandarin knows how to do customer service like no other hotel. The Mandarin knows that the appropriate guest-to-hotel employee ratio is 1 to 100. It's a quiet haven overlooking Biscayne Bay and it offers the best combination of luxury hotel, executive travel, and spa resort. I think this detail says it all when it comes to ensuring a good start to your break up cure:
It's really important to adhere to my TLC program (that's NO Tequila, Levain Bakery cookies, or Cigarettes) because tequila wisdom leads to theories like "the best way to get over someone is to get under someone." So on Day 2, I prepared for a South Beach work/spa day and ventured to The Palms Hotel and Resort, a beautiful eco chic resort--so eco in fact, there was only a shower and no bathtub in my room. After a long day of "work" (in their Havana inspired outdoor salon/hideaway) I treated myself to a manicure and facial at their Aveda Day Spa. With every slough Talia took off my face, and every stroke of Snowsicle nail varnish that Ronan applied, I felt more and more like Alona again. And topped with an angelic night's sleep, 3 days in Miami is all you need.
4. Don't Take Advice From People Magazine
Back in Newark Airport after my 3-day summer reclamation, I saw the cover of this week's People: Kim Kardashian. The headline? "Kim Kardashian at 30: I thought I'd be married by now." Really, People? Is it 1950? I'm confused. If you are going to read this week's issue, you might as well ask your grandmother for dating advice. The stupidity transformed:
5. Be a Maniac:
Like I said, the best way to get over someone is not to get under someone. It's to do the things you really love. Now that I'm feeling rejuvenated, I want to conquer life head on in a Flashdance sort of way. So I decided to enroll in a beginners' hip hop class at the Broadway Dance Center. My teacher, Chio, was a sprite Japanese dancer who surprised me with her popping and locking. Though I knew I was surrounded by professional dancers even in the beginners' class, Chio was sympathetic to newcomers. The trick? To break down every move until you can follow and participate--or, as Chio says, "fake it till you make it."
So with my off-the-shoulder sweatshirt and a joyful innocence, I acted like a maniac. And I never danced like that before.