Just one of the fam

September 19th, 2009- Seat 3B, American Airlines flight ORD to LAX.

A year ago, I was making a similar yet oh-so-different trip. Day was the same, so was the destination- but this time my trip to LA was for fun with people I now consider true friends.

Last September one week before the Emmy Awards, I was informed that Project Runway star Christian Ciriano would not be reporting for Sprint from the Red Carpet- I would. I had roughly seven days to find a dress, and learn everything about the nominated shows and actors. The experience was surreal, Luca Luca provided me with the most beautiful gown (flown in from NYC) I’ve ever put on my body and thanks to Sprit’s sponsorship of the awards show- I was 4th position out of hundreds of media on the massive carpet. I was shipped into LA the morning before the show, and flew out immediately after the carpet closed. It was literally the most nerve-wracking and amazing 48 hours of my career.

This trip, has a completely different feel. I am completely relaxed yet disappointed that I won’t be working on the carpet (damn economy!), but I’m beyond fortunate to be making the cross-country journey.

It’s too easy to judge and give up on people, and if that’s how Jerrod Melman and I lived our lives- there’s no chance I’d be in seat 3B right now. But, as Jerrod reminded me over and over, it takes time to get to know a person and decide if you’d like to build a relationship with them or not. As easily as the Melman family can shake a hand, or welcome a guest into their home or restaurants- it’s the shared experiences that expose character and build lasting friendships.

RJ, Jerrod and Molly are three of the hardest working, honest and inspiring kids I’ve ever been exposed to. Think- 5 pm airport pick-up offers, phone calls on birthdays, and family holiday dinner invitations. After meeting Mom and Dad- it’s easy to see where they developed this character.

Weather they know it or not, this family has taught me valuable life lessons like: hard work is the only way to achieve true success, no one is above any task, always stay in control, even nice couches are meant to be laid on and homes are supposed to be lived in with comfort and love. Most importantly- not everyone is perfect and it’s ok to ask for help.

This weekend is all about toasting to the Melman’s success with a party at their LA spot- “La Grande Orange”.  I’m honored and grateful to celebrate another holiday with these amazing friends I’ve made, but most of all I’m looking forward to relationship advice from the my own personal love advisor Mr. Rich Melman.

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