Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Music Snob: The (Wo)Man & the Music

Its been a minute - a LONG minute since I've blogged. I know and I apologize. I appreciate you all checking for me though. Now, let us move something to say. And it MIGHT be long.

Robert Kelly. AKA R. Kelly...aka The R (or Arrah)...aka the Pied Piper...aka Kellz. Whatever you want to call him, R. Kelly has a new album called "Love Letter." I gave it a listen over the weekend (its in stores now) and though I'm not what you would call fan of R. Kelly right now, I fully admit that the cd is really good. REALLY good. It almost makes him again. Let me go back.

When the rumors - and subsequently, the video - came out about him with the 13 year old girl, I was totally disgusted. As a HUGE fan, it really disheartened me to know that a grown ass man would have any type of sexual relations with a child. Before you start to comment before you finish reading, I'm fully aware that some of our past great artists have had their own share of troubles - some with young girls as well. I don't discredit that point; but to be honest, they weren't in my era and I wasn't an "in the moment" fan like I was with Kellz. I have quite the problems separating music from the person, especially those who are relevant in so far in my lifetime. Me and Alicia Keys? Nah, not much of a fan anymore. Kanye and his antics? Eh, we go back and forth because sometimes his asshole-ishness is too much for me. There are others (I think, and it isn't even limited to music) but you get my point. So to be honest, it kind of hurt that I knew I wouldn't be much of a fan after that whole situation.

If I'm being honest, I've "Stepped in the Name of Love" a few times over the years but in those few moments, I just heard a good beat. Overall though, even when hearing his old music, I couldn't listen to it the same. I honestly would see him as a different person. The new music (which was mostly bad to be honest) I just couldn't even stomach. I've had my share of discussions on why I cannot listen to TP2. Com or The Chocolate Factory anymore. A few of my friends disagree with me. But it is my truth and I stand by it. R. Kelly and I were no longer in music love and we couldn't even be associates.

Until I heard "Love Letter" this weekend. This cd takes me right back to Chocolate Factory. The entire vibe is back to R. Kelly basics. Gone are the braids. Gone is the middle-aged man trying to act like he's 25 and kick it with the rappers. Gone are all the "r&b" songs that sound like rap songs. Praise the music Gods that the "Trapped in the Closet" era is gone. This cd is real music in classic Kellz vibe. To quote the end of his song "Number One Hit," ...My Elvis and Priscilla/My Michael Jackson Thriller/ movie Coming to Avatar..." That is the Kelly we remember and I've to say, I'm glad to see the change.

So I'm conflicted. The cd almost makes me want to say "Alright. I don't 'forgive' his wrong but can I put the the MAN to the side for the sake of the music?" I think all too often people are just absolutely too forgiving b/c whatever the wrong was didn't happen to them or their family. But this cd is...calling me. Some of you may find this hilarious but I really think about things like this because I somehow turn this into a thing of "What type of person does it make ME to just act like it didn't happen?" I just don't know.

Not ready to call a truce yet (not that he cares) but if his next album is GOOD, we'll revisit.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Marriage: From The Mouths of Men

Obviously, I'm not a man. As a woman, I don't believe that we can think for men nor should we try and vice versa. I believe we should do the best we can to have clarity in our own relationships. That's about it.

That said, I wanted to know what some of the men I know think about marriage. Most are single and dating while another is engaged. Finally, I know a man who's been married 18 years and to hear him speak, they're like newlyweds. These are THEIR words, only edited for brevity (but not ruining the integrity of what they've said) and grammar. Its their truth. It might get a little lengthy but there's some good stuff here & might spark another post later. SO the question was: Do you want to get married? If so, why?

M.O.B, mid-20s: No time soon...would be nice to eventually get married but probability of it happening the correct way is not in favor. Ducks must be lined up and everything fall into place beforehand. So to answer your question, don't think so. *Clarity to ducks must be lined up* Both must compliment each other somehow. Finances are #1, admit it or not. Trust, security, respect, and health.

G, early 30s: Yes, I would like a family and if I were to have children, it would be by my wife.

Kane (engaged to one of my SisterFriends/Wondertwin), mid 30s: I look at Lucky and I love her like Neo and Trinity ("The Matrix"). I would fight to the end for her. Even though we're different in some ways, she helps keep my Universe balanced. I loved her from the first time I saw her and thinks she's just as beautiful as the first day I saw her. As far as getting married, I can’t see myself with anyone else. She holds me down and my two boys. Well OUR two boys. We have great conversations and talk about anything. One great thing is she makes me laugh so much. I love coming home to her. It’s nothing like working all day and she's at home and I get to see her beautiful face. I kiss her when I leave and when I come home - that’s the best part of the day. At the end of the day it is no option for me whether I would be marrying her. I always knew that. Almost instantly. I would be playing myself if I don’t. It’s all love

Bread, early 30s: Not really but I will have to because I don't want my kids to possibly feel weird or under-served. I would get married if we could have regular threesomes or I could have a random sex partner outside the marriage every now and then. I like sex too much and I usually get bored with one person after like a year. I don't believe in the feasibility of monogamy...I think it goes against nature, but society forces us to do it...thus a 50+% divorce rate.

Aston, late 20s: I think I do. I don't see it happening or want it to happen any time soon. I assume later on I would want to. After I'm stable with a career, maybe a condo or house and traveled a few places then I would evaluate again how I feel about marriage. Why do I want to get married? Honestly IDK...but I know why I wouldn't: (1) I'm worried that the relationship would get stale/boring and (2) If we're not legally married then there's no ugly divorce process and paperwork - both of us can just leave. I have no problem spending the rest of my life with one person so that's not a reason why I wouldn't get married.

FP (paraphrased - it was late when I heard this so please don't kill me. This was the gist of what he had to say), early 30s: Yes, I would like to get married to the right person when the time is right. I've been in fulfilling relationships in the past with women who've had great qualities and so I know what its like to be with someone who satisfies you on different levels. A person who shares your ideals and where there's a mutual trust and respect are some of the basics for a successful type of marriage. I'd also like to have children and I'd like to do that with my wife.

Lion (married 18 years), early 40s: I was always taught to respect women and put women on pedestals. I can count the number of relationships I've had on one had from my late teen years through my early 20s before I started dating the wife. I knew her for awhile before we started dating. Oncee we started and fell in love, we realized how much we had in common. It didn't take us much longer before we had "the talk" where we discussed our intentions, desires and future plans. So, the short answer to why did I get married is: we decided together that we were ready to take that step since we were in love, serious about our commitment, and were ready to move on and put in the work to make the union last forever.

Let's Discuss.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Who's Mad?

"I may sound bitter/I’m a little bitter/ Just a little bitter/because you were with her..."

Well that's putting it mildly, Marsha. I don't know if you've heard this song by Marsha Ambrosius (former member of Floetry *le sigh*) but the title "I Hope She Cheats On You (With a Basketball Player) has become a little topic of discussion in certain circles. Why? Marsha is...bitter. It seems as though one of two things happened here: (1) the man left her for another woman or (2) they broke up and she's found out that he's with someone else now. I'm going with the former because otherwise, is there a real need for the song? Plus, it just makes a better story.

Before I go on, let me also say that this topic also has to do with me having just finished reading Getting To Happy by Terry McMillian. It revisits our four friends from Waiting To Exhale and goodness, one of them is bitter. Not to ruin the book for anyone, that's all I'll say.

Moving on.

When a break-up occurs, especially when an outside party is involved, there's lots of anger. Seemingly even more anger than a break-up where two people have outgrown each other or some other reason. One party (or maybe, both) has chosen to avoid the issues and instead, go out to have some fun with someone else which results in extra problems. When the truth comes to the light, the cheated on person usually says something like "You're gonna get what's coming to you. Its called karma, muthaeffa!"

So to hear Marsha say "I hope she cheats on you with a basketball player," is saying "I hope she does to you what you did to me but with someone who is hotter than you." Is it bitter? Perhaps. Is it honest? In the moment - definitely. The reason is because they want you to feel the pain even worse. They want your pride and your confidence to be broken down in a way that you have never known. They want you to remember when you did it to them and to realize, "Maybe I deserved this."

How long do you let this go on though? Do you write a song? A book? A letter? Poem? Do you cry it out? Or even more dreadful, do you put yourself through the pain of keeping in contact with the person just to say angry things to them (no matter how true) until you're over it? And further, what if you have more than one relationship that ends because of infidelity? Do you have that bitter feeling for every failed relationship? Or worse, do you relive the old bitterness and add it to the new bitterness?

Questions I ask as I listen to songs like this. Let's Discuss.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Calling Me Out My Name

There aren't many neighborhoods in Brooklyn that aren't very active. Mine is no different. My particular block is split in half - one half of the block is extremely loud and the rest is pretty quiet. On the more loud end (and subsequently, the rest of the neighborhood), the conversations can be quite colorful and more often than not, no one is trying to hide what is being said. Even on the quiet end, the "entertainment" often reaches right in front of my window to give me everything tv can't at the moment.

But there's always a problem with the conversations I pass and hear on an almost daily basis: the disrespectful words that come out of some mens' mouths when they're talking to their wives/girlfriends/shorty.

Even worse is how the women allow themselves to be spoken to and treated. I have seen men say (and do) things that have been so cold and disgusting that no apology or "talking it out" could ever really make it better. But the women are always running behind the man to cry and say "Why would you say that to me," "Let's talk - you're just upset" and variations of the sort. Now I don't condone a woman being called out of her name or being treated like she's the bottom of her man's shoe and I recognize that some harsh words are spoken during arguments right in the moment. However, when a man can continuously speaking to his woman like she is the scum of the earth, it is time to turn it around and ask: Why keep blaming him?

It sounds good and plausible to see a situation where a guy is being disrespectful to his girl and always label him a dog or a jerk. He's probably both. As women, we do it more often than not and especially when it comes to defending our friends and the shenanigans of theirs significant others. But if we're being true friends, is it not important that we also help our friends (and OURSELVES) realize that we are continuing a trend in our relationships by allowing someone to disrespect and berate seemingly on schedule? There comes a time (and that time should be all the time) when you have to realize that you cannot change any other person but you can change your REACTION to how a person treats you.

So in addition to asking, "Who you calling a bitch," we should be asking ourselves, "Why'd I let you call me a bitch."


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Symbol of My Love


I was over at The YBF checking out the latest and greatest in the Celeb World when I came upon some pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Harris (better known as T.I. and Tiny) in the city while he's promoting the movie, "Takers." Tiny, of course, is wearing the Rock of Gibraltar on her ring finger proudly. They've been together for a long time and she's "held him down" during his stint in prison and now that they're married you can best believe we're going to see an inconspicuous ring pose even though she's "not trying." T.I.? Not so much. I looked at various pictures and he didn't have the ring on. Some men don't' wear their rings and I don't get it too much but I scrolled down to the comments section. Here's the first comment:

"TI wearing his ring around his neck remind me of Carrie from Sex & The City. She thought of some bullish lie, talkin' about ''s closer to my heart that way' but then a week later, they broke up. Mmmhmm."

Wait, what? His neck? I scroll up and sure enough, TI has the ring on a necklace in all his pictures. Interesting. Now, Clifford (I call these celeb types by their government names when I'm serious) could quite possibly be allergic to the of metal used made to design the ring. But as a rich man who could probably have a ring designed using material that he wouldn't be allergic to, I'm guessing that's not the reason. So what reason could he have for not wearing the ring? Aren't rings - wedding rings in particular - made to be worn on the ring finger?

This topic has come across in discussion at the workplace. Dubb has said that it is okay to not wear a ring all the time because some people just don't like jewelry. Others have been of the opinion that a wedding ring is not just any other piece of jewelry; instead, it is a symbol of the union two people have made towards each other. That if you're going to put it on your finger during the ceremony, why do you have a problem wearing it all the time? Finally, some said "Its not a big deal if a person wears a ring or not - that doesn't mean they're denying that they're married." Yes, a man surely can (and lots do) admit that he's married without wearing the ring.

Someone like TI, of course, is in the public eye so we know for a fact that he's married. We don't know the average man on the street and for many single women, seeing a ring (or the outline of wear is supposed to be before the man took it off to go get something on the side) is an indication of a marriage. For some of us, it makes it easy for us to say "okay, he's not available to me." Others don't care and are quite attracted to a married, basically unavailable man. If the ring is on a chain being worn as a necklace, it is quite possible that we'll never see it. It can be hidden under a shirt, taken off, or actually worn right in front of us without paying attention to a necklace.

So, if you don't want to wear your wedding ring, are you in essence saying that you don't want to make it known that you're married?

Let's Discuss.

NOTE: Yes, this can be applied to a woman to but since I happened to see it on T.I., I kept it a little more male skewed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Faith and The Single Woman

My mother prays for me.

To be clear, she prays for me all the time. She's not overly religious but she definitely believes in God, goes to church, and fully believes that through prayer and faith, all things will work out. Because of that, she prays that I have a good life and am happy in all that I do. But there's more. Two years ago, she wrote me a letter that she put in with my Christmas gifts where she said, "...I pray that you find a partner worthy of all you are." Sweet lady, that woman is. A couple months ago, I was telling her something - very light and just a quick story for conversations sake - that deserved nothing more than a quick laugh. She did laugh and then she said, "I'm praying for the two of you. It is bigger than what you two know or see." My response was, "Ma, you worried bout the wrong things, the wrong things." She just said "okay" but would continue her prayers. *NOTE: I'm sure you can figure out who she was talking about if you follow...or go back. She hates to believe the truth of what it is.

My [now former] co-worker is getting married. One day. To someone. Two weeks ago, she started looking for a wedding dress. And a reception hall. And bridesmaid dresses. Try as I may to mind my business, I finally looked over and said, "You're getting married?" She said, "Yes, one day." Now she has an on/off boyfriend so when I asked if she was marrying him she responded, "Maybe. Or maybe not. But I want to be ready. I know it will happen so I'm going to start looking. I speaking it into existence. Going on my faith." Okay. I don't always show a poker face and this time was no difference because she said, "What's wrong with faith?" Nothing. Nothing at all.

But maybe there could be. My mom is praying on something that likely won't ever be. I won't say "never" because if for some odd reason the moon turns royal blue and a tide changes, I don't want you all to say 'I thought you said never.'" My old co-worker is planning a wedding when a proposal hasn't happened. Now, if that's what she wants to do, fine. I do wonder though: Can the faith lead to becoming delusional? Women walk out on faith all the time when it comes to relationships. We so often hope that though "he may be like this now, he'll get better as he grows." That's because its the hope we want for ourselves. To make us happy. We pray and keep the faith that things will change. In reality, sometimes things are getting worse even we just know that "God is making a way."

There is nothing wrong with prayer and faith. We all need something to get us through - through life, work, relationships, etc. When you want something, you should work toward it and if prayer is part of who you are, pray for it to happen.

Does/Can Faith cloud your judgment? Let's discuss.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Change For You

Lebron's going to Miami. By now, some have jumped for joy, some have wished him ill things, some have acted like life is over. Some...well see Cavs' owner Dan Gilbert's letter here (if you haven't read it already). While I'm a huge fan, that is not why we're here today.

Savannah. Savannah Brinson, to be exact. Still not ringing a bell? Well, she is Lebron's long time girlfriend and mother of his two sons. They're roughly the same age (though she might be a year younger) and from what's known, they've been together about 6-7 years. High school sweethearts, she's been with him since he was a scruffy kid with no money and years later, she's with the scruffy young man (minus his appearance on ESPN to announce "the decision" - did you see that SHARP line) who has millions of dollars. He's leaving "working class" Cleveland to head down to Miami - home of the pretty beaches and hot women.

All of a sudden, its time for Savannah to "step her game up." I read message boards and blogs all weekend and saw all the comments of "Savannah needs to get her sh*t together" and "Savannah needs to lose some weight if she wants to compete with those women." Wait, here's my favorite: "Savannah needs to stop looking so regular. She's going to be in South Beach." WHAT? Really? Admittedly, I laughed and shook my head when she and Lebron arrived in Miami and she had a doorag on her head (I read it was 3am when they got in) but not because I was thinking, "She'll never 'keep him' that way." Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing about walking out the house with a doorag on my head. Lucky and I also briefly discussed that "Savannah #mightdontmakeit" down there - but not because of her looks. To our understanding (from reading an interview of a former player's wife), Miami is a different beast and the groupies are hardcore.

But why should Savannah have to physically change her look just because the groupies will be crawling out at a more swarming rate than when he was in Cleveland or because his money might be longer? If the man is going to cheat, he is going to cheat - no matter how good Savannah looks, how dope or expensive her clothes are, how well she cooks, or how HARD she puts it down in the bedroom. He'll do what he wants...if he wants to (and this is not to say he currently is or will) and nothing she does can stop that. They've been together when they both wore Guess jeans and flannel shirts (I'm stereotyping and in my head, that's what they wore in Akron during their HS years)

In fact, why should any woman HAVE to do that? So you meet a man that's universally FINE. HE pursued, you let him and you BOTH liked what you saw on the surface and beneath. Now when people see you, they may say "He dresses NICE all the time? She dresses down - what would he want with her," but is that really necessary? Sure, there may be some aesthetics that to the naked eye that are different but that's why you look deeper. I'm the type of woman that dresses up sometimes, wears jeans/sneakers most the time and am cute ALWAYS - so if someone is with me and he's more "clean cut" than you'd expect ME to have its because there's something more there. When you get with someone, you know what you're getting into. So while you may yearn for something different, you can't change a person and they shouldn't be subjected to have to "upgrade" because their significant other is wealthy or fine (but yes, clean up for a special event - even if its your own style).

Really? Savannah's got to step her game up to compete for her man? The one she's been with for close to a decade?

Let's discuss.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I Love You - Here's a...Plate?

Some friends and I got together for a 4th of July bbq in my second home of Harlem at the park. Whilst we were basking (and baking) in the sun, our hostess Precious introduces us to a friend of hers - affectionately describing him as her "brother." Now understand, many of us at the bbq are pretty close to her and we've never, EVER heard of this brother (and trust, we've heard of just about all the play cousins, play sisters, play brothers, god sisters and god brothers). We observe (and in a playful way, instigate) her with "brother" and a friend informs us that she fixed his plate. Ahhh, and here we go!

Ju: She MUST like him if she's fixing his plate.

B: That's the kind of thing you do for your man or someone you want to be your man.

Shelleys: Yeah, you don't just see that all the time.

Ju (again): But you know she's country. That's the South in her.

Me: I think its just her way.

B and Shelleys' comments are the one that strikes the cord. B continues to tell a story of how a friend (or maybe it was a family member - it was hot and I couldn't focus on small details) came over for a get together and when her mother asked her why she didn't fix him a plate, she told her mom "He has two hands and two feet - he can walk to get his own plate!" Her mom responded "That's why you don't have a man now!" We laughed but I thought about my own experiences and added: "I don't know if I've ever fixed a man I was dating a plate but I do know that when the FP and I went to a baby shower once, I asked if he wanted me to get his plate while I was getting mine." They responded, "Eh but you liked him." True. But my friend ShonDon was there and he confirmed that when he came to my house for a get together, I made a plate for him, his cousin and possibly other guys.

For me, that's just my way. I'll ask my homegirls if they want me to get them a plate too while I'm up or if they're at my place (but only up until the second visit because you know "the rule). I just think its proper. I don't even know if I think its something I should do for "my man." I talked to Lucky about it and we're on a similar page. I suppose it could be subjective depending on the person.

We could take it a step further and say this is a sign of society's male/female roles. A woman is supposed to "do" for her husband and much like back in the day where women were housewives, they had their husband's dinner on the table when he got home from work. Many like to dispute that because of the womens' movement, these gender roles don't exist. but how true is that? Could it be that even through the womens' movement (I could actually write a book on my feelings about that) and other progressive moments in history, we have still passed on certain things that show our domestic ways?

If you fix his plate, do you love him? If you fix his plate, are you setting the womens' movement back? If you fix his plate, are you just doing what comes natural to your personality?

Let's discuss.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Finding A Way Back

"If I call you, would you call back so I could tell you that I miss you?"*

First thought I had when I heard this was, "Ummm...NO." Why would I call someone back that I was in a relationship that ended for whatever reason just to let them tell me they missed me? We obviously broke up for a reason and these things will inevitably be rehashed so why bother? Then as I thought about it and kept listening to the words that followed the initial question, I wondered if I should rethink my position.

I know of two people who were in a relationship for two years way back when (okay, just early 2000s) and because of immaturity levels on both sides, they broke up. Rightfully so. Fast forward to present day - they've both matured, gone through some good and bad things, and both seem to be in a better place now. In MY mind they're perfect for each other today. But they're exes. And exes are such for a reason, right? The two of them wouldn't be in a horrible place so if all things were aligned (okay, I left out the part that one of them is in a relationship now), would it be wrong for someone to reach to open the lines of the communication if that's what they felt?

I never rekindled anything with my ex (from many moons ago) because he was just way too corny. Even five years after we dated, he would reach out to me with a "Hey shorty, how you doing? I miss you." I'd gotten a cell phone by then to which he didn't have the number to so he would call my mom's house and I didn't recognize the number, so I would answer. Always polite, I would tell him "That's very nice but no thank you...I'm not interested." Before I would hang up, he would express his sadness over my response and I would reply "It's okay. It wasn't meant to be" and just hang up. Did I tell you this relationship lasted all of two months? Yeah, just to say I "had a man."

But really, are there any instances when an ex can reach back out trying to get that "old thang back" (which is virtually impossible and probably not smart considering you broke up)? Should exes be that way forever?

Let's Discuss.

*Note: Apparently my girl Jilly from Philly is performing a new song, "I Love You," on the Maxwell tour which is where the first line comes from. Its pretty dope.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Kiss Is Still A Kiss

circa 1993

I'd had a crush on Rebel since I was 12 or13 and though he was the smartest boy in school (he was 15 or maybe 16 in the 8th grade), he was definitely the cutest. I would go home and fantasize about being his girlfriend. One time, I even wrote his name - with GLUE, no less - into the speakers of a small radio in my house. Once I wiped it off, you couldn't see that it spelled anything and I was able to blame it on me dropping glue while doing a project. BACK TO THE STORY. One day, my English teacher sent me upstairs to pick up something from another teacher and on the way back downstairs, I ran into Rebel. Keep in mind, he'd never, EVER said a word to me. But he walked up to me...and kissed me. I was shocked but this was MY moment in time so I kissed him back. Then, he started trying to feel my butt. I got scared. "Why is he trying to touch my butt," I thought. So in true Catholic schoolgirl fashion (yes, I went to Catholic school), I pushed him away and ran back to my class. We carried on with our "never speak to each other thing." I never told any of my friends at the time about my FIRST KISS. Consider yourselves lucky.

circa 1998

The Rock and I had been friends for a few months at this point, with hours of conversation complete with sexual tension and him telling me things in a language I couldn't understand. During our winter break (remember we went to college together), he came over to my house so we could "hang." We stood on the wall next to each other - I was nervous as hell - and then he kissed me on the cheek in order to, or so I think, loosen me up. I gave him a tour and when we got to the bedroom, I looked in the mirror, noticed and noted to him that I thought he was short. "I'm not that short...look," was the reply and then he kissed me. This. Was. It. THIS was the meaning of a real First Kiss. *When we first kissed I was surprised to get...that feeling...the kind you don't wash away with soap* There was a lot going on in that moment but between that particular kiss and those that followed that day and the other days he came over during break, I was being taught by a Master. This sounds over the top, I know, but it is so true. Brothers should thank that man if they knew who he was (yes, that's me giving myself a pat on the back, lol).

And you? Give us a look at your First Kiss. OR, your first kiss with the best kisser you've had. Share!

Note: Anybody know what song that italicized line is from?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tell Me Again: Lovers or Friends?

Last week I was reading Pearl Cleage's I Wish I had a Red Dress. The main character, Joyce, asked her best friend, Sister (who's a minister, fyi) if she thought men and women could be just friends. Sister said she'd had this discussion before and decided that the answer YES but one of the following situations was going on within the friendship:

(1) acknowledged sexual attraction on both sides and it's only a matter of time before friends become lovers, unless there's an honorable reason why they shouldn't such as health or a serious prior commitment;

(2)there's sexual attraction on one side only which unless handled carefully, can result in complicated fantasies, unrequited longings, serious bouts of denial and ultimately a busted friendship & broken heart;

(3) there's no sexual attraction present on either side in which case the friendship will quickly run its course since in most cases the only reason people cross gender divide is if there are sexual opportunities present. If not, you'd be better hanging w/ same sex friends. And finally;

(4) sexual attraction on both sides but the parties for whatever reasons have been unwilling or unable to express it so they sublimate all the energy into shared work experiences that keep them in close contact til they figure out how to get together.

So I stopped and thought about this for a minute. HARD. I can name two men that I'm platonic with (minus some innocent flirting) that fit one or more of those scenarios. But for a lot of reasons, we just keep it moving. In one case, we've crossed the line in the past but we've come back to the safe side of the shore . Actually, I think that's just how the chips have fallen but if we shake them up again, things could be different. So are we really platonic?

Then, I have some very platonic male friends where lines have never, EVER been crossed. There are a couple of them that I believe have never had any sexual interest in me. There are others that I think, if given the opportunity, would sleep with me. I, on the other hand, have never had any interest in these men. Truth be told, I don't think that any of those guys fall into any of the aforementioned scenarios. But is that "the real" or is that just the girl in me who would like to believe that?

So what do you think? Is Sister right? Are her situations the only way heterosexual men and women can be friends?

I'm still pondering. Let's discuss.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Check, Check and CHECK!

So, three weeks ago, VH1 premiered, "What Chilli Wants" which follows the "new" dating life of TLC's Chilli. She has a list of what she WANTS in a man and based on the introduction of the show, she isn't willing to compromise much. What's on the list? Here are a few things:
  • He must be FINE (in the South, "fine" is a definition for a cute face AND a great body);
  • He can't be too young;
  • He has to be spiritual;
  • He can't eat pork;
  • He can't drink or smoke;
  • He has to be sensitive and caring and finally;
  • He must be PACKING (for those who want to act like they don't know - he has to have a big penis
Hmmmm. After the first episode premiered a couple of weeks ago, people (primarily women) were in a complete uproar saying that her list was completely unreasonable and its no wonder she can't find a man. That her list was impossible and she's asking for too much. Her friends on the show and dating coach, Tionna, believe the same thing. The intro of the show includes Chilli stating that she's not willing to compromise. Okay, girl - NO compromise? Last time I checked in on "girl talk," a man with a big penis does not equate to knowing what to do with it. I don't know that Tiny Tim could hit it just right either but I think my point is made. No pork? Ehh, I don't eat it either but I'm not mad at someone who does. She rations that here by saying, "I’m very healthy. I’m into eating right and there are just some things to me, when you talk about eating right, you shouldn't eat." Ummm, alright. So with these thoughts in mind, I think that those "Requirements" might be a little far-fetched.

I wondered why people were so "mad" about this list. Women and men, to my knowledge, generally have always had standards that they've tried to keep when they feel they've reached a certain level where they believe they're deserving of a certain type of person. I don't know anyone who has NEVER had a list in mind of the person they wanted or, more importantly, a person they needed. Sure, those things are usually more about the QUALITY of the person but notwithstanding the same, they had a list. I've always had a list in mind and while I've definitely compromised on the outer appearance (my tall, football build preference has been known to change from time to time but I do try to stick hard to the "tall" part), its actually helped in knowing what I need and don't need from a man. I don't neither need nor want perfection and the more important things on that list are more of an internal thing within a man's being. Now will Chilli, any woman, any man, or myself get everything on that list? That remains to be seen. Just because you have an idea of what you think you want, what you really need may come in a different package altogether. But a list? Hmmm, yeah I get it.

I'm a strong believer that if you can provide something, you should be able to ask for it in return. So if Chilli can manage to be everything on her list (minus "PACKING," which then should equate to her being a straight up freak), is it asking too much for her to receive it in return?

What's wrong with a list? Let's Talk.

Note: I saw the second episode and I was kind of turned off by her behavior with Dolvett. The idea of her having a list almost didn't make sense because she halfway didn't apply it. My blog "argument" still stands though.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Quality vs. Quantity

Gotta love Facebook sometimes.

I was on FB last night and I came upon my friend Far Rock's status update which read: "Do You REALLY have to know someone for YEARS in order to marry them?" Now my initial thought was, "Is he about to consider proposing to someone?" But my next thought was, "Thanks for the blog topic." Let's consider the options.

Two people meet and immediately find that they have a "connection." It's very strong, very real, and after maybe about 4-5 months, they decide there is no one else for the other and they should get married. For the sake of what some would consider "adults," let's age them 27-30. Some might argue that they haven't known each other long enough, that they're still in the "honeymoon" stage and haven't gotten to know they true essence of the other person, and/or that their significant other could be crazy and because you all haven't been together long enough, you haven't given it time to come out. Some would further argue that neither of you, in 4-5 months, have been able to go really "deep" with the person and find out what truly makes them who they are in such a short span. How could a marriage "stand the test of time" when the two people haven't even known each other long?

Two people meet and immediately they think, "Oh, he/she is real cool." They begin to casually date (which means, for those who don't know MY definition, that they see each other but are not mutually exclusive and are free to date others) for a few months - taking time to get to know each other and having fun. After a time period of keeping it "light," they decide that being exclusive with each other is what they both want and are now in a relationship. Though they've decide that this is what they both want, it doesn't stop them from getting to know one another. They haven't rushed to any hasty decisions but after 4 years (for the sake of Far Rock's question I had to put a few years on it), they're getting married. Some would say that they took the time to get to know each other as best they could (keeping in my that people are ever changing), see what made the other person tick and made them happy, see what the others' dreams were, etc. These two should be together forever, right?

Quick personal story: My parents knew each other for 6-8 months (as I can gather) before they were married. They were together for about 21 years, I believe. Granted, it was clear to me from an early age that they weren't a "fit" but for their own reasons, they made a way for all those years.

So what of it? In your world, is it conceivable that a marriage can last when the couple has only been together for a few months? In your eyes, is a couple destined to be together forever because they took the time to get to know each other?

Let's discuss.

Drenna Note: I don't THINK Far Rock is getting married. He better not be keeping secrets!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It Had To Be You

Circa '01

My friends and I were in New Orleans for either a stepshow or a football game (HBCU road trip - it had to have been one or the other). While in the French Quarters, we ran into one of our other friends and his cousin, NL,. Tall, locs, cute and one of those accents that make you drool. Yessss. Anyway, he and I became cool when a bug-a-boo would NOT leave me alone -he pretended to be my boyfriend. NL lived in New Orleans so we only hung out for those couple of hours. After we got back to school, we would pass pleasantries through his cousin until one day his cousin told me, "Here's his number - just call him." Ummm, no. I wasn't going to do that but hoped that I would see him again when I visited N.O. again. Unbeknownst to me, cousin gave NL my number and he called me first.

We would talk for HOURS about music, sports, dating, school life...whatever came to mind. It was fun. I would come in from step practice and right on cue, the phone would ring. My roommate/then best friend would say, "And there's your boyfriend calling." He wasn't but he made it very clear he liked me and why and vice versa. We just knew it wouldn't work being in college and trying to be in a long distance relationship. So we continued to be friends while liking each other.

Summer came. We talked just as much and still hadn't seen each other since that first time. He loved Puerto Rican culture and would always ask me to go to abc place to see if I could find xyz for him. He wanted Uptowns with the PR flag on it so he could watch the PR Day Parade on tv in them while waving the PR flag I sent him. Weird and funny...but it worked. My mother would even say, "I don't know...this might be the start of something good."

And then he mentioned his friend. He'd call me form time to time and say, "meant to call you back but I was at my homegirl's house and fell asleep. I didn't get up til __ o'clock this morning." Oh really? I had a problem with it but I didn't know what to do. I was even worse back then expressing myself than I am now so what'd I do? Write a letter. I told NL how it was always a little weird for me how he always "fell asleep" at her house and how it wasn't cool for him to tell me how much he liked me but was chillin overnight at his "friend's" house. Here's the kicker: At the end of the letter, I told him I didn't want to talk about what I'd written - just wanted to tell him. At 21, I still wasn't ready to have talks like that and especially not to someone who wasn't really my boyfriend. So, he acknowledged that he got the letter was "Ohhh okay cool" and changed the subject.

We never really spoke much after that brush off and after a couple more conversations, it ended completely. Just like that. I saw him two years later at his cousin's graduation. I saw NL from a distance so he never knew I saw him. He looked...different. Worn down...BEAT even. I told my friend, "There's NL. Looks like I dodged something with that one." He was with some girl and I was a-ok with that. It was only a few months that lasted with us. More of a phone rendezvous than anything.

But for about a year and a half, I'd off an on ask myself: Was he the one that got away? Was he one of my "soulmates?" Could that have been it?

That's my story...and that's all I've got on that one.

And You??

Monday, February 22, 2010

Practicality vs. Passion

Last night, I was watching one of my favorite shows, Brothers & Sisters, when Sarah (one of the sisters) was explaining to her daughter that it was okay for her to have a Valentine who would say "thank you" for her giving him a V-Day card versus the boy she REALLY liked who would probably throw her Valentine away. Her mom said, "...As you grow up, you'll see that the guy who makes you barf and blush isn't really Mr. Perfect. Nope. There's something to be said for a nice thank you."

So I began to think: When we as men and women are ultimately looking to find a mate, which quality is more important: Passion or Practicality?

This is not a case of Good Guy/Girl vs. Bad Boy/Girl. NO. What we are talking about here is being with someone who you sincerely like/love but don't feel complete PASSION and "yearn" for but they are nice and you know you're "safe" with them. The Practical person might be one that you don't have as much in common with as you'd like but you know they care for you and won't do anything to hurt you. They make you laugh from time to time (though it's not gut busting laughter), your family loves them, and anything you want you can have. When you argue, the Practical person might just let it go or "let you win." The sex certainly is not bad (because I mean, Practical or Passionate, no one wants to have bad sex) but its not a scene you replay over and over. Its not a relationship of convenience or settling; instead, this is just not a person who lights any extra flames for you. When friends ask you what you think of a person after somewhere between the second and fourth dates, you say, "Tracey's cool."

And then there's the PASSION. This is the one who you love deep up in your soul. They're just as nice as "Practical," but there's another level here. "Passion" makes you smile and get a little tingle just at the thought of them. Passion can take care of you just as well as Practical can, there's a connection like none other. People like your passionate significant other but they can get on everyone's nerves from time to time. Probably because they're so much like you. The laughs you share sometimes send you into tears. You both are going to argue your points until you don't want to speak but barring nothing totally disrespectful or below the belt being said, you'll work your way through it. When friends ask you about the person somewhere between the second and fourth dates, you respond with a smile, "Mmmm, Kelly is great. Damn." The way "Passion" feels about you and vice versa sometimes seems like it is so intense that you almost think it is a "dangerous" love.

So you see, it's not as though "Passion" is any less responsible than "Practical." It just might be that with "Passion," you allow yourself and your emotions to go to a place that you may not have ever dreamed. "Practical" might keep you in your comfort zone and not allow you to dig deeper.

Just thoughts. What do you think: Practicality or Passion?

Let's Discuss.

Note: Tracey and Kelly are unisex names that's why I chose them.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

That's What Friends Are For...

...til you get a man.

A couple of weeks ago, Tamale asked, "Why is it that when your friends start dating someone, the friendship goes on the backburner?" To me, there was an obvious answer but as I started paying attention to the feedback, it seemed as though there were some very strong opinions to what was seemingly a simple explanation.

Here's the thing for me: When two people meet and think they have a "connection," the only way to know if that's real or not is to spend time together. So, if they don't hang out with their friends as much - especially in the "getting to know you" phase - that's to be expected. There are going to be plenty of times when that happens because it's something new and exciting and the possibilities just get you all soft and pink inside (for women anyway. Guys might be lowkey excited). All relationships need to be continuously nurtured but there's something to be said about the "newness" of a relationship. If people don't see their friends as much, primarily for like the first six months (to me) of a relationship, that's okay.

Not according to Tamale. Her opinion is that a friendship should never be placed on the backburner just because a relationship is new and people have a choice who they want to spend their quality time with. She also says the potential of "the booty" plays a big part in who gets quality time. Is it the fact that you can get sex from this person versus from your friends the main reason why you would choose to spend time with them over your friends? I've never thought about that option. It would SEEM that you could get sex whenever you wanted and wouldn't have to spend "QT" with a person to get that. Most of us can make a call and get worked out. But isn't the idea of "QT" is that it's more than just sex, particularly as we get older?

I've always thought that most friends should understand that because there's someone that's come into your life that you really like, you may not be around all the time. It's not that you're trying to be or are any less of a friend, its that you're just not participating in the "girls' night out" events or you're not going to go to the movies or sit around and talk about "where are all the good men." Hell, you MIGHT have one but need to spend some time with him to make sure your thinking is on the right track. Personally, I've had friends do it and there has been a time or two when someone in the circle has said "Ill, she dropping us for a dude?" My response? "YES and let her live. Yes, she's seeing someone and she likes him so they're spending time together. Give her some time to be able to get some balance back." I think that after six months or so, some type of normalcy will be regained and the friend might be able to balance all her relationships better. What's wrong with that?

Is it wrong to place friendships or the friendship events on the backburner when a possible new RELATIONSHIP arises? Can you call yourself a friend if you have a serious problem with someone putting their intimate relationship at the forefront for a little while?

Let's discuss.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Excuse Me...You Are??

New Year's Eve 2009

Me and my girls, affectionately known as PDS (Party Don't Stop crew), were doing the in-house thing and a few "regulars" were also there. For some reason, everyone we come in contact with really likes hanging out with us so even if it's a guy, we quickly become so "cool" with them that they're like buddies. Anyway, it was a small group of us which included a co-worker of mine and a friend and his girlfriend ringing in the new year together. The ball had dropped, we'd discussed J. Lo's desperation performance and indirect plea to stay relevant, and were about to start what was sure to be an INTENSE game of Taboo. Then the doorbell rang.

He walks in. "Oh my," I'm thinking, "He is cah-ute. Whose friend is he? Is he kicking it with one of my girls?" Tall, brown-skin, glasses, nice build...just CUTE. So, when my friends and I think a guy is "universally attractive," we all give each other the quick glance around the room. But this time - thankfully - I'm the only one glancing. Come to find out, one of the guys who was there told him to come through. Introductions were made and we keep the party going with our latest addition. The night goes on and we're having a great time with Taboo. As it turns out, the Cutie has fallen right into comfort with us like he belongs here. After the game is done, we all chat while watching a movie and I find out he's involved in music and/or entertainment and...he's from down south. Be still, my beating heart - everyone who knows me knows I have a thing for a man from the South with some swagger. The conversation between all of us (the Cutie and I had no "me and Cutie" time) was great and as we hugged (cut it out, he was cool and we all became friendly very quick) I told him to make sure he came around more because "we like you."

Two weeks later.

Ladybug (member of the PDS crew) is trying to find out why Cutie and I haven't become even more cool. I realize that I'm the "odd man out" and we become Facebook friends. Riddle me this: When you become friends with someone on FB that you're attracted to, what are the first two things you check? *waiting* EXAAAAACTLY! You check their "status" if its available and you look at the pictures. So you know that's what I did because by now, my faithful readers get the feeling I would do that, right? Right. Aaaaaaaand, crush OVER.

Cutie is "in a relationship" and...I know her!! How funny is that?! We're not good friends or even associates but we've seen each other enough times to be cordial to each other to the point where I can say, "Yeahhh, I know her." They're a SERIOUS couple too. And you know what? I couldn't even roll my eyes (more than once) or be like "Whatever" because the truth is, they are SO cute together. Like, for real cute together. Thinking back to New Year's Eve, I was actually happy about my bout with shyness that I sometimes have when it comes to men. So after I rolled my eyes once and said, "DRATS," I was over it.

We crush and keep cruisin'.

But DAMN (that's to emphasize the cute level)!!

On to the next one.
*I actually hate that song "On To The Next One" but it was fitting for the end*

**Strong possibility the person this is referring to will read it. I guess if this blog is going to be full disclosure, I can't leave out important things - even if it is clear who I'm talking about. Still, that would be odd, huh? He's still cute though...just can't be looking LIKE THAT anymore**

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Game. Set. Match.

"I know you don't believe in fairy tales but let me be your knight in shining armor. All you have to do is get up in the morning and I'll do the rest." - Shemar Moore, Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Okay, now that you've read that line or remember even more mushy lines from the movie, how many of you all said, "Awww that's sweet." *looks around and waits*

Well, okay then. Who laughed? Snorted? Rolled their eyes? It wouldn't surprise me if you just laughed at those questions...probably because that's exactly what your reaction was to that line. Orlando (Shemar's character) seemed really sincere in professing his love for his woman and in defense, this was the beginning of his marriage proposal. So let's back up a bit.

Let's assume two people meet and there's enough of an attraction and initial likeness for one another that they can go out on a date. Like most dates, there are lots of compliments being handed out in the midst of having conversation - often times coming from the man to the woman. Date's over, you've enjoyed yourself and while you don't see each other for a few days, you speak regularly on the phone. This man can throw a compliment like nobody's business! Now, it sounds good to you but at some point do you start thinking "Here goes...trying to drop that game."

Game. This is what ruins most of the intimate interaction between two people because one usually thinks the other is dropping too much of it. Most times, we as women can only take so many compliments before we wish he'd "cut it out and stop trying so hard." If he calls on the regular (like we always wish but can somehow never seem to meet the guy who'll do that), wants to go out, AND keeps the compliments coming? Oh, we LIKE it but for some reason, many of us are waiting on the other shoe to fall and let the man's "game" fully reveal itself. But how do you know that it's game because what he says and does is not what you're used to hearing and seeing? How can you tell the difference?

When do we cut some slack? And if every man you meet is someone you think is running game, how is it that you see through clearly to the one who isn't try to beat you with it?

Let's discuss.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Love Is A Battlefield...

But does it have to be?

"Trouble in my life
Problems when you don’t come home at night
But when you do you always start a fight
But I cant be alone , I need you to come on home
I know you messin around, but who the hell else is gonna hold me down" -Melanie Fiona, "It Kills Me"

This song, though I admittedly really like it (and probably moreso because of the WAY she sings it), gets on my damn nerves. This child is pulling herself into a deep depression over a man doesn't come home and when he does, starts a fight with HER. But she refuses to leave him because she is scared to be single. In the words of Twitter (and someone who I think made a song of the same name), #wheredeydothatat? Why in the world is a grown woman screaming from the rooftop (and now, Melanie is just the messenger because even if she were the one really acting like this, she wouldn't be alone) about how her man is CLEARLY doing her wrong but she can't leave him? We aren't embarrassed about things like this anymore?

Oh, but it gets better (same song):

"Should I grab his cell, call this chick up
Start some shhhh then hang up
Or I should I be a lady
Oohh maybe cuz I wanna have his babies
Ohh yah yahh cuz I don’t wanna be alone
I dont need to be on my own
But I love this man
But some things I cant stand..."

So now we're going to call up the jumpoff and start a fight with her. Right or wrong, the man in the situation is who needs to be dealt with. What part of the game is it that we as women must put with any type of disrespect just to say that we "aren't single?" What is the purpose of fighting for a relationship that TRULY only one of you are committed to being in? The answer seems to be somewhere along the lines of "He needs to know I'm a ride or die chick and not just going to let him go for some bull." Oh okay.

When did it become acceptable to fight for a relationship when one of the people involved in it is clearly not concerned if you catch the "beatdown" for trying to save something that's not there.

Let's hope that Melanie's song (which is smoking up the Billboard charts) is just that. Or if this was about her, she hasn't dealt with this foolishness since she was a teen. OR better still, this was actually a song of sarcasm that's telling women (and hell men too if you put yourself in this situation) NOT to act like this.

It Kills Me too. For real.

Let's Discuss.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Vows: Making Them and Breaking Them

Happy New Year everyone!! I'm going to be way more regular on here and have a slew of topics waiting to be tackled. I need accountability partners (the FP came up with that) so if ya'll don't see me with two or more posts a week, hit me up on Twitter and light a flame up under my butt!

So I was watching "The Jacksons: An American Dream" last night and the scene in which Katherine caught Joseph on the phone with his mistress was on. She'd gone to her mother's house to clear her mind and the impression I got (unless the tv was really watching me) is that her mother wanted her to go on back home, forgive Joe, and just make the marriage work. I think, as I always do when I hear something like this, "So, that's just it, huh? Someone in the marriage cheats - someone breaks the vow - and you're supposed to just get over it?"

Let me start off by saying that I am all for marriage - completely, utterly and overjoyed for people who have found each other and ca stand before whomever they believe in, family/friends and most importantly, each other, to say "We are to be ONE." Now, in traditional wedding vows, the man/woman announce that they take their bride/groom to be their wife/husband and in which, they're "having and holding" and "cherishing each other" til death do them part. GREAT! *insert two thumbs up* In some vows, they also include forsaking all others and a slew of other things. Some who choose non-traditional vows may put some personal notes in there but some way or the other, they have the same general meaning. If that's the case, and you've made the vow to have and to hold, cherish them and forsake all others, why is it that if one breaks the vow, it's now up to the other person to make sure the rest of the vows (primarily the "in good and bad...til death do us part" part) are upheld?

This continues to confuse me. I've known men and women who've had their spouses cheat and everyone tells them, "You need to work it out. Remember the vows you took." I'm sorry, did the man/woman who cheated not take those same vows to be committed to their wife/husband? Why is it that now I'm (obviously not ME but you know what I'm saying) being held responsible for putting the pieces back together? Why is that even though I've lost the trust in the person, I still have to find some more so that we can "make it work?" Where does the man/woman who cheated play a role?

I've asked around and have been told by women, "Men are visual. It's usually just sex - if you can't forgive for one indiscretion then you weren't ready to be married in the first place." *le sigh* Is that it? Does it mean I was never ready for marriage if my husband cheats on me and I choose to not "let it go" and seek to not make it work for the both of us? See, I get confused because if someone cheats on you that one time that you find out about it, are you not now curious about if they've done it before and if so, how many times? Do you not wonder inf they're going to do it again? If you forgive the person for cheating (which by the way, I am NOT trying to suggest that people who have found out their spouse is cheating should just get a divorce - just working thoughts out in my mind), in my mind you CANNOT bring it up again. That's it, you're wiping your hands and slate clean to start from that point and move on.

Men have told me that if their wife cheats, that's IT. There's no going back, there's nothing to work out and in case you don't get the picture, I heard "Maaaaaan, F*CK THAT B!TCH!" Their initial thoughts (whether they go through with it or not) are to leave because their vows have been broken, he can no longer trust her, and she's a hoe. The contrast in response to the exact same situation is interesting.

So when someone says "I DO" and means it but the person who said "I DO" back meant it at the time but somehow lost their way, is it your responsibility to keep it together?

Let's discuss.

Note: I'm sure someone will bring up the topic of "but if they have kids" and that's fine. Include every point you want to make.