She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Strip Club Follies

This past Saturday, in celebration of my girl’s 30th birthday, the crew decided to do something different.  Here we were, five educated women, who originally met at an all girls Catholic college preparatory high school years ago, trying to figure out exactly what to do.  We kick it, but we don’t kick it. Typically we are the dinner party, French Market fresh produce shopping, outdoor music and art fest, drinks at a lounge or blues club and neo-soul concert-going type.  But we’re talking a 30th birthday here; you have to go hard, or go home.  
As a group, we decided to fly my girl in from Seattle, where she had recently relocated for her career.  The night started out wholesome enough, dinner at Hamada’s Japanese restaurant in Tinley Park.  It was here that we collectively agreed that the party would continue at The Factory, a BYOB strip club.  Now if you go to the website, and check out the girls, you get the impression that it’s primarily white, ex-porno-type ‘talent’.  But don’t be fooled, it’s straight booty-clapping, ‘get down low’ girls.  There were only about 3 white, latin or undetermined ethnicity strippers.  
The club has been open for a few years now.  I can recall how upset the nearby church members were about it’s opening.  These were the same church folks (primarily black) who had to fight to get their chosen location because the neighborhood (primarily white) did not want them around either.  Lately, it’s popularity has grown amongst women.  It is ghetto.  And until you get a little ‘oil‘ in your system, kind of uncomfortable.  Once inside, with my purse strap wrapped closely around my arm, I realized, it was like a big ‘hood’ club that just happened to have strippers.  So here we go...
Parking= $15
Entrance= $30 (even for us ladies; this price increased to $40 later on)
Getting drunk with the girls and having an all out ball= PRICELESS
We witnessed and/or experienced the following...
A stripper get yanked off the stage by a female patron, while she was performing.  A serious Jerry Springer-esque fight ensued.  When she emerged from the floor, topless, her wig was off.  Yikes!
Another fight, this time on our side of the stage.  We weren’t sure who was actually fighting, but liquor was thrown and security had to intervene.
The DJ had to interject the music several times stressing that if you were not on stage, the ladies were to keep their underwear on.  There was lap dances and stripping by the ‘audience’ as well.
Strippers with C-section scars and deflated and severely wrinkled former pregnant bellies.  We just casually turned our heads until the ‘gross’ ones left.
Lessons learned...
Although it is against the rules, I found it beneficial to pick up dollars already thrown on the stage that landed near me and throw it back at the girls.  I mean, why spend my own money when someone else has already been so kind to spend theirs?
If you are slick with it, you can actually come up on some extra cash.  From time to time when the brothas made it ‘rain’, I picked up the dollars on the floor and either gave it to the strippers as if it was my tip, or kept the money for myself.  Yeah, that was the liquor encouraging the ‘no one gets hurt’ thievery.  Let’s just say I left with $5 dollars I did not come in with.
Also, if you go to the bathroom, and almost break your neck because there is about 3/4 of an inch of mysterious liquid on the floor, charge it to the game and pray it’s spilled water.
Will we do that again, hell no!  But was it a blast that will go down in history as one of our most memorable and fun nights together, hell yeah!
Until next time...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The More Things Change...

...the more they stay the same.

This is one of the realest things ever stated.  This morning before jumping in the shower and heading out to my boot camp class, I rolled over and read the last 30 pages of my autographed paperback copy of Terry McMillan's, Waiting To Exhale.  The book, originally published in 1992, was not on my 'must read' list at 12.  Don't get me wrong, by 12, I had tackled Dick Gregory's autobiography, Nigger, read Alice Walker's, The Color Purple, enjoyed Gloria Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place and even tried to complete Alex Haley's, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (sadly I failed; I'll pick it up again, one day).  Although it was on my mom's bookshelf for years (I'm envisioning the hard cover now), it was never read.

My girlfriend and I attended the 2011 Lit Fest in June.  Terry McMillan was a featured author.  She read excerpts from the sequel of Waiting To Exhale.  Afterwards, the audience was given the opportunity to have Ms. McMillan sign any copy of one of her books you had.  My girl's friend was kind enough to give me a copy of a book she brought, 'Girl, I by books all the time!  I've read it already and I have other books she can sign.'  I was grateful.  Terry McMillan is an author I truly enjoy.  I wanted to meet her.

I, as a book lover, like to pick up and buy multiple books.  I collect never-before-read books, then I have the hardest time trying to figure out which one I want to read next.  I just finished Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell (another one I tried to read when it first came out, but did not get it at all at the time) and wanted to follow it up with something good.  Sex and the City dealt with being white, rich (or at least financially comfortable) and single on the world-famous island of Manhattan.  So I was not sure I wanted to read about sistas struggling with dating too.  I mean, haven't we all been reading the articles about how Black women are, if you believe these ridiculous studies, the most undesirable women on planet Earth?  I sucked it up and decided to read it anyway.

The story, which takes place nearly the entire span of 1990, has the exact same themes and issues in it, regarding dating while black and woman, that we are still talking about and facing today.  The book could have been written in 2011!  The four characters this 'fictional' story revolves around, are all in their mid-late 30s, all single, whether newly (Bernadine) or habitually (the rest of them:  Savannah, Gloria and Robin).  I put fictional in quotes, because although this may have been a fictitious novel created by Ms. McMillan, let's be honest, this story is familiar to all of us.  The characters are not far-fetched or out of most of our 'norms'.  Robin is dealing with a dog-ass dude.  Her hopefulness will not allow her to see him for what he is.  She is one of those 'feeling' girls.  You know, the 'I need to feel some kind of chemistry' girls.  Savannah, as smart, talented, self-sufficient and sharp as she is cannot seem to catch a break.  Gloria uses food as her comfort and is unofficially married to her teenage son.  Bernadine has learned the hard way how easily someone can take your loyalty and time for granted.

Now most have read the book or seen the movie; I am not going to give a review.  What struck me to the core was, here is a book released when I was 12 and now, 19 years later, at 31, I still can relate.  The story is still relevant.  I could look at that as being a sad situation.  But I choose to look at the bright side. It means I am in good company.  Women have been dealing with the single state for years.  Black women have had the same gripes, complaints and issues with brothas for years.  And in reading Sex in the City, I have come to the conclusion, White women are not immune from the lonely and single 30s club either.  The women were real or based on real people Ms. Bushnell knew or had met in life.  They were all in their 30s or 40s and in different states of singleness.

So there is hope.  Terry McMillan signed my book with:  Maya Best of the best.  Yes Terry, best of the best!

Please Forgive Me

Any 'good Christian' learned from an early age, the value and power of forgiveness.  However, at an early age it is taught as something you do to be a good 'brother' or 'sister' to someone else.  You forgive others, because you would want them to forgive you.  The lesson is a good one, but the greater lesson is the importance of forgiveness in the lives of the person who is actually forgiving.

I have rekindled about four relationships recently.  Each one special in their own way, varying in levels of importance.  I had pretty much written all four off, thinking we had reached the point of no return.  What I discovered was, there is no need to 'return'.  Instead, forgiveness gave us a chance to move forward.  With each situation, I felt relieved, at peace and at rest once we reunited.  The restless feeling that can come with anger and the uncomfortable anxiety that accompanies hurt, subsided.  I remembered why I liked, or loved them in the first place.  And I moved forward.

I cannot say we will be at the same level we were when we left off, but the importance is each of them is one less person I have had to write off entirely.  They each represent one more person I can flex my maturity muscles with, by being the bigger person or following the lead when they are the bigger person.  The individual situations are proof that the initial effect of our 'fall-out' behavior has not really affected me in the long run.  Not negatively at least.  I have kept my stride.  Have I forgotten how things went down?  No. I probably never will.  But for the time being, I am taking it one day at a time, with the understanding that nothing last forever.  And 'forever' is what we make of it.  If I meet someone and spend a mere 20 minutes with them, that is our forever.  And that is okay.  Today, thinking of this lesson that has come with time, I feel fresher, lighter, freer.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Point of View...

Good Thursday morning to you!  While in the past couple of weeks, the plight of the SBF (single black female) has been the major topic on everyone's mind.  This week, I found myself discussing and debating the new movie The Help.  Our last post, so honestly written by Antoine Banks-Sullivan, was one view.  Here is another.  This is also written by a guest blogger, a friend, who wanted to remain anonymous, but was downright annoyed and outraged by the movie.  He admittedly has not read the book, but feels the movie is tasteless and insulting.  Like Antoine, he is African American, accomplished, loves literature and someone I enjoy listening to.  Read his thoughts.

The Help and Astute Student of Black Folklore and Fiction

“Minny did what?”

The true literary would understand that the surface messages shared in folklore must be taken totally in the proper context to understand the character’s true meaning.  Even if the author missed it, as she reveals the stories of the maids of Jackson, Mississippi, we who understand the culture know what Minny is really doing.  Miss Hilly had a phobia that Minny exploited.  The point she makes is that we can use separate toilets, remain subject to the scorning of bigots and worse, but maintain the upper hand.  Why?  Because as maids in the households, we are left alone with the children; we feed Missy and her entire family, and  we can put some real funky ‘crap’ in the mix at any time we choose.

Now as a son of the southern black family, I know without any doubt that no Christian black woman would ever violate the trust of the family she serves.  I also know that at various moments of frustration she would share conjecture with her friends that many horrible acts are possible.  And possible beyond reason.  She might share with all who would listen (even folk like Skeeter) that 'Missy made me so mad I wanted her to think that I contaminated her world'.  I feel you Minny.

I struggled to get over the obvious grossness of the act reported, but my literary sense of the true “BLACK” culture of that era  tells me that either the author was ill equipped to deal with the folklore that had been shared with her; or she simply made up a poor story in her ignorance. I kept waiting for Minny to tell her pals that she would never ever do such a thing but she wanted to leave the ‘insurance’ out there since it was working so well.  

I imagined the unveiling of this truth at a celebration luncheon.  I hear our heroine in a rich voice and character blurting out for all to hear….”Chile, that Minny is a mess! ”


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Help! by Antoine Banks-Sullivan (Guest Blogger)

This has been one of the hardest writings that I have had to put on “paper”. The subject is touchy to say the least and I'm not always the most politically correct person to discuss a sensitive matter such as race relations, but here goes. I would like to talk about both the book and movie THE HELP. I also want to discuss the pressing issue of racism in this day and age.
The Book 
The book is a well written debut novel by author Kathryn Stockett. Taking place in the middle of the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s in Jackson, MS, telling the stories of the black maids/nannies, The Help is a triumphant novel for all people. The book tugs at all emotions, making you cry and laugh on the same page. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book from page 1 to 530. I can see why the book is the favorite around some groups and again I say I enjoyed the book, but it did not hit a home run for me. While reading, something just was not right for me. It seemed to be a bit fake and contrived. So, I turned to the last page and saw that Kathryn Stockett was white!!! And then it made sense. The book was written by a white woman in this era about black women of the civil rights era, hmmmmmmmm nope I can’t go. No matter how good the author is or how much research is done on the subject, a white person cannot tell the story of a black person, I'm just saying. I do not think that it reads well for a black person, but it is probably the closest others will get to the true story.
The Movie
The movie is written, directed and acted superbly. I can find no fault in the actors or actresses and the story came across absolutely genuine. Now as far as the movie following the book, thats a completely different story. I think that one of the few things that the movie got right were the names of the characters. It was a bit disturbing to watch the movie not follow the book. Although there are some similarities between the two, the storyline is a bit off, to say the least. The movie also made light of situations, that to me, were not laughing matters. Again, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie. I think that the acting was superb and I'm sure there will be Oscar nominations throughout the cast and crew. Again, I laughed and cried and everything in between. For me the movie was a bit more realistic because I got to see black faces portraying black people (call me shallow) and not someone telling the story of how they thought a people felt in a certain situation. 

My Thoughts
Having read the book and watched the movie I came to the conclusion that I had to judge each as if the other didn't exist. Separately they are amazing works of art, written well and directed/produced/acted well. The problem I have is with the content. The book does not paint an accurate picture of what MY people went through. And though it may be an accurate story of some, it does not seem to speak to the majority. The movie, while done really well, again does not tell a true and complete story of blacks in Jackson, MS during the civil rights movement. And I am just a bit appalled on how comical the movie came across. 
Another point I want to make is on the theater experience itself. There were five blacks in the theater when I went and saw the movie, myself and a friend included. It was crazy to see that we, blacks, found certain scenes funny while others didn't and vice versa. There were times when I wanted to get up and ask someone what was so funny about what was happening, i.e. the maids saying that they would help Ms. Skeeter with the book or the church scenes. I definitely had to calm myself when leaving the theater because I was a bit hostile and really did feel some type of way towards some people. 
There are people who don't understand that this movie was set 60 years ago. That's a stones throw in time. I was fortunate enough to have spent time with my great grand parents and grand parents before they left this earth. I listened to the stories that they told of this time. I watched how they acted towards people. I saw the fear in their eyes in certain situations. This is not ancient history people. Our parents lived this, our family lived this, some of US lived this. You have to respect that. Forgive but NEVER forget. 
The discussion 
The first question that I want to pose is, if you saw the movie, how did it make you feel to be in the theater with other races? 
If you read the book and saw the movie, did you prefer one to the other? 
Did the book portray an accurate story for you? 
Do we wear blinders about racism in today's world?
Lastly, have we forgotten what our people went through just a few decades ago?


Antoine Banks-Sullivan is a Contemporary Ballet Dancer in Las Vegas, NV

Don't Lose Your Crown

Bonjour Face du Livre (FB)"" I am up aand about.. I am thinking on hitin' the gym before I go to the Planation... (Work)"""hmmm let me see not a bad idea at all.. What do you guys think?

August 3 at 8:19am via Facebook Mobile ·  · 

    • MWhy not? It may give you energy for the 'plantation'. LOL! Have a great day!
      August 3 at 9:58am · 
    • MD ‎@ Excuse me, who are you? My hubby is fine and does not need ANY energy from you. You Mad disrespectful need Fall back.
      August 11 at 7:18pm · 

    • MJ ‎@'MD'-what are you talking about? I am merely a friend who commented on his post. FYI-going to the gym and working out does increase your energy. Which is helpful at work, which is where he said he was going. There is no need to look deeper into the post. Enjoy your night, and be blessed. Peace.
      August 11 at 9:09pm · 

What you just read was an exchange between myself and a woman whose supposed man’s FB page I commented on.  I say supposed because I had never heard of this girl as he has never mentioned her and prior to this, I never noticed her on his page.  We will refer to her as MD.  My friend’s original post was made on Aug 3rd; the same day I responded.  Some 8 days later, she adds her 2 cents.  Me being me, I had to get that final word.  I wanted to be nicety enough to let her know she was out of order.  I kept it mature and did not lose my crown in the process.  I got the phrase 'lose my crown' from my dad.  When I still lived at home with him, he would say to me sometimes, 'don't lose your crown', on my way out to hang with my friends.  At the time I simply took it as, 'don't be out there on no ho shit.'  But as I got older I realized my 'crown' was an all-encompassing metaphor for my dignity, sanity, womanhood, lady-like nature and overall cool.  
Here is my issue and question.  And before I start, know that I am saying this as a woman who  has done some comparable stupid things myself in the past.  Why do women do this?  Here is a woman on her man’s page, searching and scouring, for something, anything.  When she finds something that catches her eye, she immediately confronts me, publicly no less.  However, her first response should have been to ask him who I was.  As I am sure she does not know all of his FB ‘friends’.  Plus, he is her man, not me.  He and I have never been intimate and besides the occasional harmless flirty text, there is absolutely nothing going on between us.  He lives in New York, there’s not that much I can do.  She played herself.
We all get jealous.  I have had to pray myself out of a jealous rage on many occasions.  But when I became a woman.  A GROWN woman; I learned not to let others see that jealously.  It makes you look and sound inferior.  It totally gives power to the person your jealously is pointed towards.  In that single exchange, she confirmed to anyone who might be wondering, that their ‘relationship’ is not only not solid, but lacks trust.  Maybe it’s me, but there was nothing in my response to his post that I feel was disrespectful, or crossed any line.  But she read it that way.  She is obviously insecure about her status as his woman.
Furthermore, while we are on the subject of statuses; I detest terms like ‘hubby’ and ‘wifey’.  Particularly when the couple is not actually married.  In this day and age, just about anyone can get married if they so choose, straight, gay, young, old, hell a while back a woman married her house for goodness sake.  Why give someone a title they do not deserve and have not earned?  I think it’s tacky and childish.  
Finally, this morning I received a semi-routine ‘good morning’ text from my friend, her ‘hubby’, that went like this:  ‘Good Morning dear...hope all is well...Have a funtabulous day’.  I used this as a chance to remind him of my previous text asking him about MD.  I asked if he had gotten a chance to see the exchange and was it still okay for me to post on his page as I did not want to ruffle any feathers.  His response:  ‘I meant to get back to you about apologies darling...Of course you can.’  Humph...if she only knew.
Ironically, it was also today that I realized she had sent me an inbox message on the 13th.  See below.

  • August 13
    • Hello Maya, thanks your repsonse but I misread your comment. Apologies.
  • 7 hours ago
    • Apology accepted.

      In a situation like this, I think that is the best resolve.  Although I am not mad at her, I hate that she let her crown slip.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nappturally Ever After

So FB had an, 'On This Day' notice on my feed screen.  It was a year ago today that I announced my BIG CHOP!!  It feels like a lifetime ago and it has grown so much!  I look back now and wonder what took me so long!?  And what was the big fuss anyway?  I remember this day last year; it was a Saturday.  I was in the salon discussing with my stylist what we should do to my hair that day.  I had been growing it out for about 8 months and it was in that weird in between stage, nappy at the roots, straight at the ends.  I had wanted to try so many natural styles, but the relaxed ends did not allow for it.  Although I wanted to do a big chop desperately, I was not sure how my employers would accept it.  I had already been called out about how my business casual attire was leaning a little much to casual and less business.  
So needless to say, I was nervous.  My stylist, Trina, has been doing my hair since I was 16.  She has done my hair for 2 proms, 3 graduations, countless dinners, dates, galas, events, parties and if it happens within either of our lifetimes, I intend for her to do my wedding hair as well.  She knows me.  We have barely spoken words and she will know exactly the style I am looking for.  So I was able to discuss my concerns and she put me at ease.  I vividly remember us at the shampoo bowl, I was seated and she prayed over my hair.  She asked God to guide us.  The option that day was add weave or chop it off.  I know this sounds crazy, but the Holy Spirit (yes she guides in all avenues of life) urged me to chop it off.  I said to Trina, ‘let’s do it’.  And we did.  The moment she began to cut, I felt a bit nervous.  But when I swiveled my chair and looked directly into the mirror, I was shocked but mainly, instantly liberated!  It felt good.  It looked good.  I looked good.  I was giddy, and had a fuck it attitude.  I felt rebellious and little revolutionary.  This was my hair, take it or leave it.  
I have since simmered down my, ‘I am a Black woman, hear me roar!’ attitude.  Lo and behold, I had a great workable texture underneath all of my relaxed tresses.  Now, I see my stylist less frequently as I have managed to maintain my hair on my own.  It has become a welcomed ritual to wash it, twist it, coil it or just let it be.  On any given Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, you may not find me out at a club, bar or lounge, but at home doing my hair instead.  Becoming it’s master and not letting it rule me has been exhilarating.  I have conquered all of my major hair fears and concerns.  
I cannot tell you how many conversations I have about it on a regular basis.  Strangers, men and women alike, all nationalities ask me about my hair.  It simply fascinates some and makes believers out of others.  The urban girls ask if I have a straw set, when I have just pulled apart my coiled curls.  Professional brothas lament on how they wish their hair would do what mine does after a wash-n-wear morning, but they cannot stand the grow out process.  A Korean co-worker stands over me while I am seated and asks how I get my hair to coil so perfectly, to which I responded, ‘it just does that by itself.’  Just last week, a city commissioner asked me how I got my hair to ‘do that’.  I gave her a quick tutorial and we swapped e-mails for any follow-up questions.  I have house call requests and one girlfriend, not knowing most of my styles I had done myself, wants me to do her hair in the future.  I even have curious men ask a series of questions; they want their wives to go natural, but are having trouble convincing them to do so.  And I cannot count the number of times, people have hypnotically reached out and touched, pulled and grabbed my hair.  Unable to help themselves it would seem.  Plus, contrary to my initial thought, brothas LOVE it!  
It is all love and it is all good.  I absolutely love my hair, more than ever.  I encourage others to chop it off and go natural at least once, if only to experience it in it’s rawness.  Like most black girls of my generation and earlier, we had ‘perms’ and press-n-curls at such an early age, we did not get to fully experience our hair.  So much time was spent trying to make it manageable.  My major fear with chopping it was, ‘what will it look like?’.  Now I know, and I have a hard time imagining me going back.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

5 Questions For Him

I really liked my 5 Questions for Him post.  When I discussed it with some of my men friends, they wanted to participate.  Plus, ‘John’ said he wanted to be my resident ‘Him’.  So for this post, I have brought back ‘John’ and 2 new ‘Hims’.  Each man’s name has been changed, but their answers are real.

The questions...
1.  Your thought on head scarves, wraps, rollers, satin caps, ‘do rags,   the    bedroom.
2.  Is there such a thing as ‘bad head’?
3.  What are 3 vacation spots you would never bring a (your) woman?
4.  Your thoughts on women with super-tight cliques/crews.
5.  How ‘natural’ can your woman be?  Bikini waxes, brows, feet, nails, hair, etc...
The answers...
John the very first 5QFH man.  You can find his deets in the previous post
I don’t really get the scarf thing because I’m bald but...she sexy to me anyways.
Bad head is really, for me, head that she really is lukewarm on giving and maybe doesn’t “wanna” do it...just doing it because...
My woman can go with me anywhere cause she my priority not the environment.
I have no qualms with a woman with good friends that spend a lot of time together so long as she can accept the same...
I’m definitely into the natural thing...I like a bush, I’m ok with eyebrows being undone, feet...I don’t like “crusty”, nails...I like the au natural its confidence, as for the hair...I don’t mind any style so long as its unkept and looks ok (in my opinion).
Jay 31, married for 7 years, 3 young daughters, advance degreed, active church-goer
In general, I believe in maintaining that beautiful mane. I understand that head scarves are a part of said maintenance BUT I have a little saying that ill share: 'Head scarves are a distraction when I'm about to get some action'. Unless we are role-playing and your character name is Boonquisha, remove the head apparatus until the special events are over.
I don't think I can answer this question with bursting out in tears, but YES, YES, YES a lady can be bad at...umm...alternative ways of pleasing a man. Now if you are TOO good and seem like a 2011 Superhead, that's suspect! After you are done (what, you think I would turn away a willing participant!?!), I may have some concerns. Let me tell you what I like and we will be all good. But if you all over the place gobbling like a Nathan’s Hotdog championship and that's not what I like, we may not have a happy ending.
I would say South America, Europe and any other spot outside of the continental United States. It would be too painful of an experience. My neck would be hurting from turning to look at all the women and my jaw would be hurting from getting hit by my lady.
I don't have an issue with a woman having a clique or a crew. My issue is her inability to separate herself when its time to cleave to her husband and forsake all others. There comes a time when we both must realize that part of moving from just dating to something more serious involves clearing out some of the 'noise' that can create interference. Your homies and your girls sometimes have to be the first to be put at a distance.  While having some comrades you can depend on is admirable, please make sure they are not acting as your guard dogs, your advisory board, or worse, a double agent that's using your secrets to get an advantage.
I believe natural and neat do not have to be mutually exclusive. If you happen to be natural keep it tight. I like a woman that shows that the effort is being put into whatever style you got. Waxing? If you want to have the enchanted forest down there that's cool, just know that I may not want to skip through the woods if I cant see a path! There is no reason why your hair should be running down the inside of your thighs, EVER! Nail, feet, hair (on your head) have to be maintained consistently, not as in glamour, but as in presentable in public...
Greg mid-late 30s, urban professional, degreed, single, no kids 
Let's just say, I was raised by traditional/old school black women.  I've seen it all.  It comes with the territory.  I have no problem with it.  My only request from my lady is that during the "adults ONLY" portion of the bedroom activities, that she refrains from wearing the head gear.  Who wants to make love to Anja-Mima. When the cuddling begins and it's time to count sheep...the head gear can be applied.
WOW...I wanna stay PG-13 on this one, but it's impossible.  Sorry ladies...I'm going in.  I think all guys will agree with me on this one.  Is there such a thing as "bad head"....HELL YES!  If your teeth scrape, scratch, or even come into contact with a my sugar cane...we got big problems.  And stop staring at me while you're surveying the land.  That freaks us out.  And keep in mind, it's a muscle...not a joystick.  And I have no problem in giving you directions on how I like it, BUT don't think you're going to have one bad session and you're done for good.  Nope!  Not gonna happen captain.  To steal a line from the late great Bernie Mac, "she's gotta learn, she's gotta learn". 
Any place where I wouldn't get popped in the back of the head for looking in the direction of a beautiful woman who is not my lady.  "Hey, I was looking in that direction already.  She crossed into my line of vision".  But if I had to choose, I'd some type of couples only resort...during the offseason.  Safest bet and assures you of a week of no late night dates with the couch or floor.
Let's just say, I don't mind women having tight cliques or crews, HOWEVER, she must know "the boundaries".  She should never talk to her girls about how good or how bad her man is in bed.  For if her man is good in bed, and she tells her girls...let's just say she shouldn't be surprised if one of her girls tries to (fill in the blank) her man.
I'm a fan of waxing.  Who wants to crawl through the bushes to find his honey pot.  And a woman should not have more hair under her arms or on her legs than a man does.  A sister also has to have her nails and feet correct.  Who wants to date a woman with feet and nails that look like she's been forging through the forrest looking for nuts and berries?  Don't get me wrong, polished nails are a plus, but not necessary.  Just make sure they're clean and filed.  
On another note, I'm a fan of natural hair.  No weaves or extensions, please.  One of my worse nightmares is for her track to end up in my hand during a make out session.  If GOD wanted you to have long hair, you'd have long hair.  If you had long hair and decided to cut with it.  If you have short hair and want long hair..wait for it.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Woman Hater

Two Sundays ago, I attended the Jill Scott concert.  It was amazing!  This is my second time seeing her; she has never disappointed.  The tour continues to promote her new album, ‘Light of the Sun’.  I was the fan who listened to the album in its entirety on NPR’s website for free before the official release date.  Then I went out and bought it, playing it over and over (currently in the car stereo now).  I love it!  So of course I was one of the attendees who came to the show knowing the lyrics to all of her new material.  On the other hand, as what usually happens at concerts, there were those who only knew her radio hits and songs from previous recordings.
During the show, she performed ‘Quick’.  It is an up-tempo, jazzy, poetic type of abstract art.  The song is about how she moved so quick with this brotha and just as soon as it began, it ended.  Out of nowhere, the whirlwind romance was over.  The song ends with the lyrics, ‘over, can’t believe it’s over’ repeated.  Well I have been there.  So I feel the song.  Meanwhile these sistas behind me had struck up a conversation with one of my girls.  They were talking during the songs they were not as familiar with; I on the other hand was intensely anticipating everything.  In Jill fashion, she switched up the song a bit, putting her live spin on it, by singing/saying ‘Damn!’ over and over at the end.  It was at this point that I heard one of the chatty girls say something to the affect of, ‘Jill, is just like Mary (J. Blige).  Her music ain’t good unless she going through some mess with her man, or getting drunk or beat and stuff like that.’  Her crew cackled with laughter.  She went on to say that she does not like ‘happy Jill’ or ‘happy Mary’, ‘I mean, what is she talking about?’, she added.  
I found it unsettling and upsetting that one woman would say that about another.  First of all, if she really listened to the lyrics she would see that the song would constitute as a sad song.  That is what makes it so genius, she is singing in a happy tone, about a sad occurrence- love lost.  Second, I’m thinking, ‘let me get this straight.  You would rather see another woman downtrodden, so that you have something to sing to in your car or house when you feel like shit?  So for the sake of your listening pleasure, you’re okay with a woman feeling sad, so she can pour that into a jam for you?  Am I correct?’.  As a music lover and a child born into a household where music of all kinds was blasted everyday, I cannot stand immature music listeners.  You know the kind who only listen to the beat.  The ones who will jump to the dance floor to any rhythmic, yet misogynistic, redundant mess they hear.  Now don’t get me wrong, I too am guilty of liking ‘simple’ songs from time to time.  Those are usually the one’s that get the party started, but I know what I am singing.  It may be raunchy, but I don’t pussy-pop to just anything.
But furthermore, why would one human delight in another’s misfortune for art’s sake?  The problem is, it’s not just in music, it is in life.  How many times have you sat back and internally smirked at someone’s struggle with weight loss?  Or, that girl who seems to have it all together, whose boyfriend turns out to be not so wonderful?  We have all at some point in our lives, whether outwardly or secretly grinned about things not going quite right in another’s life.  We have found pleasure in someone else’s pain.  Their struggle may have given us a boost of self-esteem, if only for a second.  We have all been ‘haters’ to some degree.  Sometimes it’s because misery does truly love company.  But let’s get our pleasure from witnessing someone’s success.  It has been said, if God is blessing your neighbor, you should rejoice because it means He is in your neighborhood.  Now that’s something to ‘groove‘ to.   

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Conscious Conscience

My conscience, the Holy Spirit, women’s intuition or whatever you feel comfortable calling it, can be annoying at times.  ‘It’ will not let me be conniving, manipulative, dishonest or troublesome even when I really want to be.  No matter how tough I am, or try to be, that voice, that tug, that nagging feeling of guilt will not go away.  Remember when I talked about Mr. Friend and the Sade tickets?  (see the last Update post)  Well, my mother had me thinking and so did a friend of mine.  Then my conscience went into overdrive.  Maybe it’s wrong not to remind him and formally invite him to the concert.  
The feeling that I was being dishonest bothered me.  Plus, someone had just given me good news.  I don’t want to block my blessings because I am being deceitful or sneaky.  So I broke down and called him.  I reminded him of the concert and asked if he still wanted to go or if he wanted me to repay him the cost of the ticket.  He said he would be attending a family reunion in Merriville, IN (who does that??), that he forgot all about it and that I should enjoy myself.  He said to consider it payback for the Blackhawks game I took him to.  I was giddy when I got off of the phone.  I thought, ‘consider it done.’  
I felt freed doing the right thing.  Plus, now everything is on the up-and-up.  I owe him nothing and I can enjoy myself completely.  When I pray, I often ask God for wisdom and discernment.  I started asking for wisdom at a really young age, around 11 or so.  I was so young, I was not really sure what wisdom meant.  But ask and you shall receive.  It puts me in a position where I sometimes think things out differently, more thoroughly.  Plus, my prayer life, as weak as I think it is sometimes, puts me in a position where God will not allow me to take the ‘easy’ way out.  It felt really uncomfortable calling him.  And truth be told, I did not want to go with him, but I was prepared to, if that’s what the situation called for.
There is only one thing better than having a conscience, having a free one.

The Guest Blogger Effect

I am so proud of and grateful to my girl Angie for being my first guest blogger and helping me garnish the most traffic (to my knowledge) since starting this blog.  I had been asking her to write and she reluctantly one day churned out a great and inspirational post (read 100% RESPONSIBLE).  I am glad I could create a safe space for that to occur.  Thanks again Angie!  Muah!

Monday, August 1, 2011

100% Responsible by Angela (Guest Blogger)

This past weekend I read a 29-page ebook that has kept me up for two nights.  The book, while short, had a powerful message and was centered around one sentence:  I AM 100% RESPONSIBLE.  Now, that doesn’t sound like much, and believe me I wasn’t immediately moved.  But, as my weekend went on, I couldn’t get those words out of my head:  I AM 100% RESPONSIBLE.  Hmmmmm…..something about that sentence is making me uncomfortable.
In the book, the author talks about making choices and more importantly, taking ownership of those choices.  He talks about his own personal experiences of being unhappy in his job, but blaming his mortgage and other bills as the reason why he couldn’t leave.  He talks about how out of shape he was, but was convinced he didn’t have time to work out because he worked such long hours.  He then shares his story of a personal relationship gone wrong, and cites all of the things she did wrong as the cause.  He woke up one morning and realized he was spending too much time “hoping, blaming, complaining and not taking action”.  That is when he decided to take 100% responsibility for everything that was preventing him from living the life he actually wanted.
Now I’m thinking….”I have a job I’m not completely happy with….I mean, I know what I want to do…but, I am a single mother of 2 teenage kids…they need a stable environment, and clothes, and shoes, and college tuition….yes, I’ve picked up a few pounds….but I need to come straight home after work and make sure homework is done and do other parenting things….yes, I’m single, just out of a 10 year “relationship”….but it ended because of his lies, his attitude and his inability to commit….yes, I have more outgoing cash than incoming cash some months…but that’s because….…..”
My sleepless nights have made me realize that I have become the queen of sitting around thinking about what could have been if only I had done this instead of that.  Lately, I have been sitting around mad at myself for letting a relationship that should have ended 10 days after it started, go on for 10 years.  Mad at him for the 10 years of my life I “wasted”.  But, he never made me any promises or commitments.  He was clear from the beginning about who he is and would always be.  He didn’t make me stay, and it’s time I took ownership of that.  
I have been convinced that because of my age, my weight, my single parent status, etc, etc, etc, I would not find a stable, loving relationship; so I compromised my values and took what I could get from a man who had no interest in a the things I was looking for in a relationship.  MY CHOICE.  I spent plenty of nights alone, crying, wondering where he was and who he was with yet welcomed him with open arms when he finally called or showed up.  MY CHOICE.  I filled my loneliness with one night stands and other destructive behavior.  MY CHOICE.  I financially invested in him thinking it would somehow show him how much I actually cared.  MY CHOICE.
Today, I have decided to conscientiously make different choices.  Yes, I have a job I am not completely happy with; but I choose to work that job until I can walk away and spend my free time working on doing what I ultimately want to do for a living.  Yes, I am still a few pounds overweight; but I choose to spend at least 30 minutes a day doing some type of physical activity instead of sitting on the couch surfing the internet.  Yes, I still have more cash outflows than inflows; but I choose to find ways to cut my expenses and begin to dig out of this financial hole.
And yes, I am still single; but I choose not to be in hurting, unhealthy, destructive relationships that in the end bring me no joy, just for the sake of a relationship.  Today, I choose to be 100% responsible.