You Can't Find The Rewind Button, Girl
Note: This is a character journal for the Law & Order RPG lawandorder_siu. For more information, see that community. I am not Connie Rubirosa, or the actress who portrays her, Alana de la Garza. This is all in good fun :)
Character: Consuela “Connie” Rubirosa
Squad: Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Homicide division
Connie is the daughter of Spanish immigrants, Alejandro and Dolores Rubirosa. In Spain, her father was a doctor and her mother was a stay-at-home wife, who had once been a flamenco dancer. They were used to a comfortable life but economic conditions, along with a family rift, caused them to move to the United States in the mid-1970s. They were optimistic, but when they arrived, they didn't exactly live the dream.
After his medical license was not recognized in the United States, Alejandro was forced to take a position as an orderly at Sacred Heart Hospital in Queens, cleaning bedpans. This is where the family settled. He had hoped to save money to attend American medical school but the cost of living, added with first one, and then three young children, pushed his dreams to the background. Instead, he worked at the hospital and took whatever side jobs he could, desperately hoping that his daughters would have a better life than the one he was resigned to. He began taking odd jobs around the apartment building where they lived and eventually became the manager of the building.
Connie is the oldest of the three Rubirosa sisters, born in 1976. She was two years old when her younger sister Ileana was born. Four years after that, their third and youngest sister, Corina, followed.
To be Hispanic in America in the 1970s and 80s was not an easy thing and the Rubirosa girls often faced ridicule in school for speaking both English and Spanish, their occasionally-accented voices making them easy targets. Their father, however, used this to his advantage, and offered to become the manager of their apartment building, where no one wanted to take the job of overseeing so many immigrants. He was shrewd in his money management as well and eventually ended up buying the building, which was heading for foreclosure at the helm of the current slumlord. Over the years, the property grew and today the Rubirosas own several buildings in Queens.
Her parents pushed Connie hard, since the time she could walk, to make something of herself. Her father’s dreams of being a doctor had faded and he didn’t want the same thing to happen to his own children.
Connie began taking dance lessons when she was young and had dreams of being a prima ballerina. Her parents were very proud of her and expected much to come out of all the money they put toward dance lessons. Her senior year of high school, during the most important moment of her dancing career —an audition for Julliard-- her foot broke in such a way that she would never be able to resume dancing the way that she had been.
This was a big blow for Connie, and it’s something that is still hard for her to deal with to this day. While she no longer does ballet, she still carries the graceful posture of a dancer.
Connie’s relationship with her parents and sisters is close. She gets together regularly with her sisters and they have family dinners once a month or so. She cares a lot about what her parents think, particularly her father, and his opinion has always meant a lot to her.
She is closest to her middle sister, Ileana, who is a writer for the New York Ledger and occasional freelancer. Ileana is Connie’s opposite—loud, flashy, daring-- and yet when it comes down to it, they relate to each other more than anyone else. They were close in age, and thus were often competitive, particularly for their parents’ attention and making a place for themselves, not just in the family but as the good Americans their parents wanted them to be. They both chose the arts—Ileana with writing and Connie with dancing—and both relate to gaining their parents’ ire for it on occasion. Their youngest sister, Corina, is the one they call the “good” sister—quiet and shy, she chose science like their father and is currently enrolled at NYU’s medical school.
After finding herself at 17 with her lifelong ambition crushed, Connie wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do for college. She enrolled at NYU and began her general ed classes. While attending an activities fair, a friend of hers encouraged her to sign up for Mock Trial. On a whim, she agreed, and ended up loving it. She’d always loved performing for an audience and the law would soon become a surrogate for the stage she no longer had as a ballerina.
The next year, she declared her major as pre-law. After graduating, Connie stayed at NYU for law school. Right before turning 25, she finished law school. After passing the bar, she went to work for the Queen’s District Attorney’s Office, in the Narcotics Division. At age 30, she was transferred to the Manhattan DA’s Office, Homicide Division.
Unlike her boss, Jack McCoy, or the more famed attorneys around Hogan Place, Connie looks at the law from a more practical point of view and not as an “art.” She is passionate about immigrants' rights and women's rights and she also loves kids - all things that affect her personal reaction to cases, but that she tries not to let influence her judgment in cases.
She has learned to love the law and is still learning about it, but it is not her life. She is hard-nosed in the courtroom and meticulously organized in her office, but at home, her life is not so black-and-white, nor is she as “together.”
After such a big part of her life was taken away when her dancing career ended, Connie, already an organized person, became OCD in some aspects of her life, trying to control what little she could. She can be tightly-wound, though she rarely shows it in the courtroom. She has a habit of playing with her hands and fidgeting when she’s in the office or generally when she’s nervous. She’s known to make origami swans when she’s stuck on a thought or trying to distract herself and her desk is littered with them.
Connie has always loved sports, from the time she was enrolled in her first tap dance lesson. While her sisters played softball, she never did, always having to watch from the sidelines so she wouldn’t injure her dancer’s legs. When she injured her foot and was unable to go back to dancing, she took up recreational softball. Having grown up not too far from Shea Stadium, Connie is a huge Mets fan and follows their stats, trying to make it to a game or two a year, if she can.
She is a romantic at heart, although her whole life she has been taught by her parents to be practical. She believes in the American dream, although she believes the means to get there are not always easy. Despite the racism that she and her family have faced, she tries not to dwell on it, choosing instead to speak out for others who were once in their situation.
Connie enjoys classic romance movies, the occasional action flick, and even the occasional cheesy old horror movie. She's not fond of modern-day, excessively gory horror films or excess in general. She’s very low-maintenance. She is health-conscious and tries to watch what she eats, likely left over from her days as a dancer. She listens to an odd variety of music, from classical to reggaeton. She sings only in the shower and terribly at that.
Connie has one cat, Aurora Borealis.