She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

What Tomorrow Brings

So here it is, New Year's Eve 2011.  It is the last day of the year and I have finally decided what my goals are for 2012.  Last year I had so many awesome and outright blessings that I was able to document each in bulk on Facebook for an entire week.  This year was a little more quiet.  So instead of breaking 2011's events down, let's look forward.  Here are my goals:

Be a Better Friend
When I tell you my friends look after me and take care of me, I am not exaggerating.  They have been so good to me; yet, I feel I have been lackluster in showing reciprocity.  I just finished a 30 minute conversation with my Mom about me and my friendship.  It is sad you have to get tips from your mother on being nice to people.  I mean it's not like I'm in kindergarten, but some things need to be said.  I need to learn to depend on me more and use them less for necessities and allow them to just be friends for friends' sake.

Visit Friends in Other Cities
I make a point of visiting Antoine in every state/city he decides to move to, no matter where.  I say state/city because I only visited him when he lived in Orlando not Tampa (I do not like Tampon, I mean Tampa).  So Orlando covered his Florida move.  Yet I still have not made it to Las Vegas, where he currently resides.  Which is crazy, because I could not wait until he moved there so I would have a cool place to visit.  Tickets to Vegas can be a bit pricey and I keep putting it off.  Knowing Antoine, he may be anywhere in the next couple of months.  So the sooner the better.  Then there are 3 other good friends of mine that I need to visit who also moved out of state.  I promised each I would, but this year, I am going to make it happen with at least one.

Pay Off My Car and All Credit Cards
I have discussed this before and so here we are again.  In my post IR(arely)S(ave) I discuss how I want to have at least one of my cards paid off by the end of the year.  It seemed possible and it was until the hood of my car flew up, while I was driving mind you!  My 'baby' is currently in the car hospital being repaired (hopefully to good as new standards).  That put a bit of a dent in my plans.  But fear not, I will have that Ann Taylor card paid off by February.  I have $551.96 left, which I can knock out in two payments, just not now.  After that, there is the $2000 balance on my Visa.  It is actually less than $2000, but when it's that close, there really isn't a difference.  My goal is to clear that up in 4-6 payments.  My car needs to be paid off soon and very soon.  I feel I can appreciate my car more, if I did not have to pay for her every month.  By June, I should be free of all three.  Then I will focus on my medical bills.  If you remember I had a surgery in September; that was not cheap.  All in all, this all seems manageable and doable, so it will be done.

Get Back to Europe
This is not life or death, but it feels like it.  So it has made the list.  I am just going to claim it...nuff said.

Start Actively Dating Again
Yep, I said it.  And I am not the only one who feels this way.  I just have the courage to say it/write it out loud.  When I think back on 2011, it seemed as if I had a lonely existence, but actually, when I do the math, I can say I went on at least 16 dates this year.  Not bad considering 2 were from eHarmony (yeah I gave that a whirl for all of 2 months), 1 was Nigerian (before you 'shutter to think', I liked him the best), 1 Serbian (I liked him to), 1 was 6 years younger (purrr) and 1 had a girlfriend, now fiancee, with whom he lived.  You remember him from We Can't Be Friends, he was 'trying' to break up, but never did.  Well now his Facebook relationship status reads engaged, with the link to the other person!  Yikes!  I am not counting Panty-Man, because we never actually went out on a date- broke mutha... If you factor in my 5 month hiatus where I couldn't do any strenuous activities, doctor's orders, I did alright.

With that said, I want to take it up a notch in 2012.  I am truly ready to settle down.  I feel like this is my year.  I say that every year, but I really feel it this year.  Although, I have not secured a steady, long-term mate, I have noticed, my caliber of men has shifted.  They are all 'on point' as I like to say.  We did not have a love or sex connection (read), but I still liked the fact that I have increasingly attracted 'better' men (in my opinion) as I have matured.  The most recent men are more of a reflection of my tastes.  I just need to find the one whose personality links best with mine (not an easy task).  Of all of my goals for 2012, this is the hardest because I have the least control over this one.  But I feel if I put in the Universe that I want to establish a positive and healthy relationship, blessed by God, where the man and I are mutually suited for each other, it will happen.  Doubt and worry are for non-believers...

Give God More of My Time
I need to get back on an active church schedule.  I have really been trippin' this year!  Not only do I want to start back going to service on a regular, I need to be more active in the church again, joining a Bible study group and choosing a ministry to participate in, God has been so good, I cannot even begin to tell you, but I'm sure you have your own stories so you know.  I can at least try to give back with my time not just my tithes (yes, although I have not been active in the church, they take their 10% off top from each paycheck).

So there, I have exposed my personal goals in the hope of conquering each in 12 months time.  I am a firm believer that the way you bring in a new year is indicative to how you will spend that year.  But regardless of if I kick it, kiss someone, party or get 'tipped' on champaign tonight, here's to new beginnings, good friendships, happy and healthy family, good times and love across the board!  However I usher in 2012, I have 366 days (it's a leap year) to get it right.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blue Christmas

Today is December 27th.  In observance of Christmas, my company gave us yesterday off.  So today, being the first day back after the holiday, the #1 question wasn't the typical, 'how was your weekend?'.  Rather, 'how was your Christmas?'  Although I wasn't dreading this question, I was dreading the awkward responses I anticipated receiving when I said my holiday was, 'meh' with a shrug.  As a follow-up I said it was alright, with a face that told it all.  I spoke the truth, because there is no use lying.  I was in a blue funk pretty much all weekend long.

There were a couple of things that triggered this indigo mood, but I don't even feel like going there right now.  What I do want to focus on is how holidays, especially Christmas, can be duds.  I don't know if it was the fact that Christmas landed on a Sunday this year, or what, but I was not in the mood.  I did not get too many gifts this year, which really makes people weird.  It's like they feel sorry for you, even though I'm a grown woman who did not give it much thought.  Nor did I give gifts this year myself.

I am happy to report that after taking a 3 hour nap yesterday afternoon, I found that I felt increasingly better by the minute.  I don't know if it was rest I needed, or special attention, but by 7pm, I was back to dancing around my house to the music in my mind.  Maybe watching my favorite shows, marathon-style, on my dvr did the trick.  I particularly enjoyed the 60 Minutes feature on the 20 Eastern Orthodox Monastaries of Mount Athos in Macedonia, Greece.  These monks prayed 'without ceasing' as instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.  All day long, no matter what they were doing, their lips were moving as they prayed almost continuously something to the effect of, 'Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.'  Although this group is extremely private and they do not allow women on the island at all, I really appreciated them and found them inspiring.

While I was going through my funk, I called a good girlfriend up to tell her how I was feeling.  She told me simply not to fight the feeling, just kind of let it wash over you.  She knew I was grateful, because I started the conversation saying that I knew I was being a brat.  I quickly rattled off a number of things that I was grateful for, but I admitted that I still was pissy.  What the monks and my girlfriend showed me was not just to be grateful and appreciative for what God has given you, but also, take life for what it is at that particular moment.  More importantly, push through to the other side.  For me this meant mentally listing things I am grateful for whenever I wanted to cry.  Or, taking the advice from another girlfriend, pretend what you thanked God for today is what you were given tomorrow.  This will really help you change your attitude to gratitude.  If you think of only having what you have thanked God for, you will run out of time trying to fit it all in one day.  The monks had no t.v., very little communication with the outside world, two meals a day (10 minutes each), and other rules we outsiders would consider restrictions.  However, they seemed healthy and happy and at peace.

I had the blues, but now I don't.  It is not the easiest emotion to have around Christmas, I'll admit, but I am only human.  The key is, I pushed through.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Eat Me!

When I was a little girl, I spent weekends with my sister's mother,my father's first wife, who I referred to as my step-mother.  Yeah, we were a blended family indeed.  Anyway, Rosa was a good cook.  She is single-handedly the sole person responsible for my love of blue cheese dressing and pickled beets and my ultimate respect for 'government cheese'.  One of the many fond memories I have of Rosa *God rest her soul*, was how she would sit and watch me eat.  As a little girl, I was sometimes annoyed that she would ask me over and over, 'Is it good?' or 'Do you like it?'  As a woman and still a relatively self-proclaimed novice cook, I now understand.  It means a lot and it's such a good feeling if someone genuinely enjoys your food.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to eat.  What people may not know is that I enjoy cooking.  But cooking does not always come naturally to me as it does for others.  Which makes me shy when it comes to sharing my food.  I make certain people test it out, but for the most part, I base the success of my food on my personal tastes, which in my opinion I have an impeccable palate (but doesn't everyone think that??).  So I rarely invite people over to try my food, and I hardly ever offer to cook.  However, lately, I have been expanding my food tasting 'circle'.  Plus, I have been trying certain new recipes and perfecting others.  By perfecting I mean, I try to cook it more than once.  I used to have a bad habit of just cooking something once and not trying it again, only making a mental note of what I needed to do the next time to make it right.  The good news is, folks like my food.  I have 'tried' my guacamole on at least 4 people, all of whom loved it.  One of which comes from a traditional Mexican family.  Now that may sound racist, but it meant a lot to me that she enjoyed it and asked how I made my guac, because her mom still makes homemade tamales!  So the girl knows her Mexican food.  A couple of weeks ago, one of my BFs came over for pot roast and sauteed brussel sprouts and he thoroughly enjoyed it.  And just this week my Aunt came by for some chili (which I jammed on).  I asked her for her honest opinion and she called to say that not only did she like it, but whenever I make it, she wants me to set aside some for her.  Add the fried green tomatoes I made for my grandma last week and the artichoke parmesan casserole a few weeks prior and I am on a roll!

It may not sound like a big deal, but I enjoy food too much to rely on other people (even restaurants) to feed me.  I made a pact with myself in October to cook a meal every week.  I also promised myself that I would share my food.  So far, I have stuck to this.  The thing about food is it is so personal.  I have had people invite me over for dinner, with the confidence of a good cook, and I was highly disappointed.  Which lessened the chances of me going back for seconds.  To a food lover like myself, by sharing their food, they kind of shared themselves.  A real food lover does not forget a bad meal.  So as I thaw out my lamb chops in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner, I am scouring my favorite recipe site for meals I want to try and master.  Bon appetit!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hot Sex On A Platter

CONFESSION:  I am hot!!  I am not referring to the, as my mother refers to it, 'ghetto project heat' in my apartment.  I am speaking of the heat that radiates within.  The sizzles that makes your body ache in the midnight hours.  The sometimes throbbing pulse that makes it hard to concentrate.  That thump that makes regular dudes start to look like Idris.

I will spare you the details of how long and with whom and so on and so forth.  But I will say, it has been a minute.  Every time I think I have hit my brick wall, another month will pass and I think to myself, 'whoa, this is crazy!'  I have a good girlfriend studying ministry who lights up when I talk about it.  To her, this is the way it is supposed to be until you are married.  Hmmm, something to think about.  Another friend scoffs when I tell her I have no prospects.  She thinks I have potential suitors to cool the fire, I just have to separate my feelings from the act.  That is much easier said than done.  A male friend of mine shared her sentiments, stating, and I quote, 'You need to take care of that.  You're too young.'  He feels I need to have someone knock the dust off of these pipes for my sanity's sake.

I agree with all sides of the argument.  Yes, I feel if I do not cool off soon, I will implode.  But, no, why waste my time (and sweat) on someone not worthy?  This means my 'throwbacks' are out.  If the person is 'new' that presents an even greater problem, because you take on the risk that it won't be good period.  No emotion added to bad attempt, we are talking an all around disaster.  Since I cannot be guaranteed it will be a Jimmy 'JJ' Walker dy-no-mite-esque experience, I think I will pass.  While my internal thermostat continues to go up, I will increase my cold showers, pick up my knitting again (don't be surprised if you see me on the boulevard with a full knitted suit!), try some new arts and crafts and just keep praying that someone worthy of these rolling hills will show up soon.      

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mean Girls

As I look back on this year, I cannot help but to think that 2011 seemed to revolve around the Black woman and her 'plight'.  Her plight of singleness, single motherhood, too much education and so on and so forth.  Although this may be salacious and titillating to outsiders (i.e. single Black men with no intention of settling down any time soon, the married or coupled black women who always have advice on what you have to do, because that's how they met Darnell/Michael/Greg or whomever or mainstream media and Harvard professors) this is not nearly as heartbreaking to me as the angry Black woman.  

This week, I had a few unsavory encounters with angry Black women (we'll refer to them as ABWs).  Each encounter was on the bus, which may be the real issue, but that's too easy and general to be true.  I started the week running for my bus.  I called out to the woman already on the bus stop to hold it for me.  She did, even though it wasn't her bus.  I thanked her and I got on.  I always greet the bus driver with a 'hey how you doing', 'good morning', etc.  If I've had to chase the bus down and they stopped, I make sure to start with a grateful 'thank you'.  This day was no different.  The bus driver however, shook her head, 'no' and started complaining about how, you have to be on the bus stop and they cannot wait for passengers anymore, because they are behind their schedules and yadda, yadda, ya.  I simply said, 'well thank you anyway'.  

I headed back to an open seat, where this woman had her purse.  I, as always, in an effort to be polite and kind, asked, 'may I have that seat?'.  The 'lady' responds in a nasty tone, 'I don't care.'  Okay, then what's with the nastiness?  If I had grabbed your purse and threw that shit on the floor, you'd be mad (and I'd probably have some injuries to report, ya'll know I don't fight).  I squeezed between her and another passenger and she continued her frivolous conversation with a standing passenger.  They apparently live in the same building and used to work for the same company, and this was their first conversation.  It was shallow and the 'lady' was acting all extra, in that, 'I'm above it all', type of attitude.  She had a bad lace front, that she put a barrette in, I guess for authenticity.  And although she moved her bag, she could not do anything with those hips-a-plenty...okay, now I'm just being mean-spirited...I digress.  So the two of them were annoyed with everything, the girl standing up was younger and seemed to have a glimmer of idolization in her eye for this 'diva'.  At one point the 'lady' mentioned how she goes to Manhattan on business and would love to live there.  The younger woman asked (and I quote), 'now where's Manhattan?'...I can't...I just had to throw that in so you know what we're working with here.  She eagerly asked a lot of questions and started mimicking the same snooty attitude while being asked to move out of the way by passengers coming and going.  The 'lady' at one point said, 'I hate people.'  To which I thought, 'no boo, you hate yourself.'  And I can't say I blame her.  Instead of letting their contagious nastiness affect me, I closed my eyes and did my morning prayer.  I prayed thoughtfully for both of them.

Another morning, a woman who is on the bus a lot, scolded a mother for not having gloves and a hat on her baby.  When I got on the bus, she had just started, 'Where's the baby's hat and scarf?'  The mother replied, 'We're getting off the bus and walking right into the building.'  That didn't satisfy the woman, 'But it's cold, you shouldn't have her out without a hat and scarf.'  The mother, who happened to be White, responded tersely, 'I'm her mother and she's fine, thank you.'  The woman went on, mumbling about 'young mothers' (even though the mother was at least 35) and then asked her bus buddy in the wheelchair, if she had her DCFS badge, that she should call the mother in!  Really!?  Would this older Black woman be so bold if it really was a young mother?  One of these 'urban' Black girls who are quick to talk slick and dare you to say something, less they have one of their girls meet you at your bus stop.  I bet she would not have said anything.  And to try and get this woman reported to child protective services?  Come on!  It was not even that cold.  Plus, we all know *racial stereotype alert* that our White brothas and sistas have a different tolerance for the cold than we do.  You have seen them out with a wool hat, shorts, gloves and flip flops on, while we have 5 layers of clothes.

Finally, yesterday a bus driver who was 3rd in a line of buses at the bus stop, refused to open the door until she moved up to 2nd in line.  When I got on the bus, she dryly and coldly stared straight ahead.  I cheerily said, 'hello', to which she did not even flinch, saying nothing.  Point taken.  What struck me in all of these incidents, is how truly angry my sistas can be.  I reflected on it intently and came up with this:  there seems to be not a lot of in-between when it comes to our Black 'sisterhood'.  Either Black women are kind, warm, good and sweet or they are just ignorant-ass bitches.  Yep, I said it...ignorant-ass bitches.  There is not a lot of, 'hey I don't know you, but I'm courteous and polite regardless because we are both adults and human.'  And furthermore, there is very little, 'gee I'm grateful that you are courteous to me, although you don't know me.'  

While everyone is talking about our dating lives, what is really hurting us, is our attitudes.  The problem is, if I was a bitch, because those women were bitches, it would have just spiraled out of control.  Now, although I'm not a sociologist, I understand that there are many factors as to why sistas are upset, irritated and mean.  I get it.  Because I used to be that way myself.  I understand that there are a lot of factors that bring you to the point where you are just angry and frustrated.  I grew up in a family of ABWs.  It was a family of strong, good, loving women, but they'd be quick to cuss you out if need be too.  As everyone has grown older and changed some things in their lives, this attitude has softened for the better.  But you have to want to change and you have to have the strength and courage to remove yourself from certain circumstances.  Our 'plight' as Black women and the spotlight that is placed on it, which is not helpful or is only concerned in a condescending way, would make anyone irritable.  But let's not find solace in that anger.  Let us not turn on each other.  It is true, hurt people, hurt people.  So when I think of the 'lady' on the bus, stating she hates people, I knew in her statement, that there was no real and genuine love for herself.  The fussy bus driver and the one who had totally checked out, both were well over 50 and probably just tired, not just because of that day's work, but of work overall.  The bossy and nosy lady lecturing about motherhood, left the bus asking for a late slip to give to her boss.  It does not take a rocket scientist to know she is powerless at work.  That is why she is bold elsewhere.  She looks about 60 and I'm sure she understands that in this job market, you have to hold on to what you have.  Not many employers are looking for job seekers over 50.  

Some of you might be saying, it may be time to try another commuting method.  But I think the bigger issue is how we as Black women view ourselves.  How we view others as they can be a mirror of ourselves. The anger and eager annoyance you show someone else, is evidence of the lack of love you have for yourself.  And that is unacceptable and sad.  If women's view of themselves was humble, yet proud, and that became their normal method of operation, they could more readily pass and receive a positive light.  Paying forward the goodness they themselves have received and repelling any negativity.  Think of how much closer our sisterhood could/would become.  Just a thought...