Lost Girl of the Week: Melissa Braverman

City Travel, Lost Girl of the Week, Websites and Blogs — By on July 28, 2008 at 6:34 pm

A few years ago, in the scary in-between time of leaving my position at an assistant editor at a women’s magazine and actually getting my toe in the door of the freelance writing world, I received an email from a travel publicist Melissa Braverman. It seemed that the Hilton Barbados was hosting a press trip for a few select journalists, and she wanted to know if I’d like to join them for the grand reopening of the hotel.

Saying yes would require me to fly down the Caribbean, stay in my own corner suite in the new Hilton, feast on traditional Bajan cuisine, and fill my time with various activities like scuba diving, watching local dance performances and sipping cocktails by the pool. Of course, it was a difficult decision, but after consulting the vast wasteland that was my work schedule at the time, I wrote Melissa back to give her the appropriate (but very professional) “hell’s yeah!” response.

Upon arriving at JFK several weeks later, I managed to locate our little crew of press junketeers and fell into easy conversation with Melissa, who, within an hour takeoff, had revealed that her then-boyfriend had nasty little habit of putting his two dogs before her in the relationship. In fact, she’d practically gotten pushed to the floor on more than one occasion when the girl dog Jasmine had commandeered a place on her guy’s bed.

“I don’t know how much more of this I can handle,” she said, pouring her heart out to me over the shared packet of airline peanuts between us. “It’s like I’m in…a ménage a dog!”

Relationship puns? I liked this girl already.

We spent the rest of weekend in Barbados doing exactly the opposite of what I’d anticipated-rather than lounging poolside with pina coladas, our group rose with the sun to participate in property walk-throughs, press conferences, island tours, and something called “Crop Over,” a multiple day Soca dancing festival held in the national stadium. The latter probably would have been pretty cool, had the pouring rain not transformed the bald grass field in one gigantic mud-wrestling pit. Melissa and I buddied up to brave the elements, share an umbrella and go “local” by trying out the national dish, cou cou and fried flying fish sold by the local food vendor.

Despite our initial efforts to stay dry and avoid ruining our shoes, we eventually gave up and just slogged it out in the rain and mud with the rest of the revelers, trying (and failing) to keep up with all of the locals as they jammed out to the beat. I know I felt pretty ridiculous (that lightening fast “booty clap” perfected in hip hip videos surely originated in Barbados) but it was actually kinda fun to let loose in the pouring rain with a thousand strangers. A Carib-a-polooza, if you will.

Long after returning home and writing up a short piece on the island for Bride’s magazine (I did not advise newlyweds to make Crop Over a part of their romantic getaway) Melissa and I stayed friends. In fact, she was the lifesaver who took me in for a full month (for free!) when the girls and I returned from our year around the world. She’s one of my favorite people-not just a loyal friend, but a crack-you-up funny storyteller whose relationship dramas could rival any of the SATC girls.

And since we don’t have the musing of one Miss Carrie Bradshaw to keep us entertained any more (sniff!), Miss Braverman has volunteered to fill the void by launching her very own blog-Melissa, Single Gal in the City (www.melissa-singlegalinthecity.blogspot.com). I’m so psyched that she’s going to be sharing all of the relationship heartaches, successes, dramas and mayhem that have kept me so entertained (and feeling in good company!) these past few years. Click on over there and pay her a visit. And ask her to share the full ménage a dog tale-her ex in the city will make your own guy seem like a saint.

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  • Keren Moran says:

    It’s good to hear of journalists braving the freelance world. I’m finishing off my masters of journalism and the need to find a job is looming. But it doesn’t have to be all 9-5 doom and gloom, right? An overseas adventure sounds way better.

  • hotheadchick says:

    Drop by my country, the Philippines. You are most welcome to visit my unique country. if you need help with tips on where to go, just send me a note. Have fun, you guys. Stay safe.

  • tiffany says:

    Melissa is amazing! I went on my first press trip with her to Buenos Aires / Sao Paulo a few years back. Great to hear she’s still out there taking journalists on grand adventures!