Friday, September 23, 2011

One Last Teardrop

I like to believe I'm a strong person. I'm very clear-headed about most situations that I've been in and even when I don't want to, I prevail with something in terms of resolution. But I've also learned over the years that I am also fairly sensitive. Listen: I cry at tv shows and movies at the drop of a dime. Let someone say one sad sentence or the scene be emotional, I'm a wreck. I cry at the SAME scenes when watching "Antwone Fisher," Steel Magnolias" and during the scene when Will and Uncle Phil are having the one on one after Will's dad leaves on "Fresh Prince." So yes, I'm a crier at times. More emotional during fake things than I am during things that happen in my own life.

But when I do cry over something happening in my life, I get really upset at myself. While I've heard that crying can make you feel better (even though this says otherwise), I often come out on the other side of crying session - whether it be six or 60 minutes - feeling like a punk or weak. Then I'm mad that I allowed myself to get to that point. Crying in front of people? Forget about it. I might as well send myself to the guillotine if that happens. In my mind, it is not smart to let people see you cry because depending on the person, they use it against you. Don't get me wrong: I'm SLIGHTLY okay with crying in front of certain people because they only want the best for me. But still...I'd rather not. I wonder if this is part of being emotionally unavailable (which I'm not sure that I am or not..another topic, another day).

Oddly enough, I urge others to get out a cry if they need it. I don't say it to see them at a "weak point" because quite frankly, I don't find crying for others to be weak. Perhaps it's the part of me that always wants to help someone and make things better for them if I can. But for me and my problems...I'll figure it out.


Complicated Note: While I have been crying more than I'd like to admit lately (and actually let a couple tears slip in from of someone I TOTALLY shouldn't have), this post didn't come based on my random thoughts. I was actually watching Jersey Shore and Jenny was crying because her boyfriend couldn't come to Italy. While I was upset for her and felt like I'd cry in the same situation, I also thought "UGH, I'd feel like such an ass for crying so hard over that." I need to grow up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


If you ever have a conversation with me, you'll quickly learn that I have an opinion on almost everything. I try to keep up with a little bit of everything just so I won't look silly when people bring up subjects. I don't like to feel stupid on my own and I don't like to be made to feel stupid by anyone else. So on subjects of life, politics, entertainment, etc...I can SOMETHING at all times.

But then there's the "little" topic of...ME. I've long since known that I'm a private person. But not private in the way you'd think. If there is something going on and I think that something which has happened to me in the past can help, I'm more than willing to share. Hell, I'm more than willing to share if nothing has happened. I just don't find that my "business" is so personal that I can't share it.

What is private - maybe even from myself - is my feelings about me and my life. I can be sensitive but only when something really hurts me and can almost easily identify the feelings that relate to it. But just in general? I don't think I know. I don't believe I'm "hiding" from these feelings. This all stemmed from a letter I received from my mom who is worried about our relationship and my very quiet and at times, closed off demeanor. I mentioned it to Lucky and she said she noticed it too but she knows I have feelings and loves me all the same (great friend, she is). But this is something I need to work on little by little.

I don't know where to start or how. Every time I think about it, I get a little misty-eyes because I'm not really sure of the steps to take to be a more open person. No, I don't want to become a big ol' "sap" or anything but I want to do better so that I can have even better relationships with people in my life that I care about. I mentioned this to the FP and he said that he doesn't necessarily have that "problem" with me but then again, he isn't sure. He totally agrees with Lucky in that I have a feeling about almost everything except for the things that have to do with me.

As I try to pull back a layer and find a question I wonder, "Now what?" I mean, what am I supposed to do with the thoughts that go with it? How do I figure it out? If I can't figure it out on my own, should I go to therapy (which I'm not against at all)?

I'm not depressed or anything about it and it doesn't take up my thoughts for the day. But as I do think about it more and more, I find myself feeling a little...


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Comes from...

...Being thrown around so quickly that you barely get to see what's happening.

Comes from...

...Knowing you're good at what you do and that it'll likely never be enough.

Comes from...

...Observing that other people see how good you are and take advantage of it.

Comes from...

...Comes from realizing very quickly how unhappy you are in a situation.

Comes from...

...Seeing other people figure out ways to live their dreams regardless of huge, material success.

Comes from...

...Knowing that your talents are awesome yet you don't hone them, perfect them and let the world see them.

Comes from...

...Other people having so much faith in you.

Comes from...

...Knowing that opportunities won't always be there if you continue to let them pass.

Yes, I am...INSPIRED.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Music Snob: Musical Peter Pans

I'm part of the 90s generation of music - Mary, Usher, Jay, R. Kelly, etc - that has always been excited because our faves have withstood the hands of musical time, much like our parents' favorite artists who are still going strong. But the 90s artists have lost their minds. Our generation's legends have gone way left and decided not to grow up with their fans - their paying customers. They are insisting upon recording and singing for people who aren't paying to hear them: teenagers. Teens, as much as they might like a song in the moment, aren't going to see our 90s "kings and queens" who have managed to ease into 2011. So sadly, they are possibly ruining their own musical legacies. I have a problem with this - a big one. It is beyond me why they won't realize that no matter how hard they try to remain "young," they just cannot play to people under 23 and satisfy those over that age. Those that grew up with them and "remember when."

This entire post stems from three of the four I mentioned in the first paragraph - Mary, Usher and Jay - and will therefore address my issues with them one at a time. I leave R. Kelly off because (1) I'm not a huge fan anymore, (2) he seems to have found the error of his musical ways and (3) despite my not being a fan anymore, his latest release is great. So let's get down to business...

Mary: I am MOST disturbed by my beloved MJB. Nobody can do "feel" a song like her or bust a Mary stomp. But the buck stops there. I'm not in the mood for autotune Mary from the last album nor am I with this Mary who is doing some weird type of singing on her latest song with Lil Wayne and Diddy. I don't want the beatdown Mary back; I'm cool with "happy" Mary but I want the Mary that sings from the heart. It is just my opinion but it seems that she is making a desperate attempt at staying on a V-103 or Hot 97 type of station versus growing up and accepting that YES, Mary, you are a grown woman who needs to stop playing down to these kids who really don't give a damn what you put out. THEY'RE. NOT. BUYING. IT. Let's keep it real: How many of those hip-hop stations would play the music had Wayne not been on it? Yeah, I'll wait and let's leave it at that with her.

Usher: Geez. I don't know what went wrong here. He got married and it seems to have all gone downhill from there. I certainly won't blame it on the marriage because if anything, it might inspire you to write (or select if you're not a writer) better material. Instead, I'll say that Usher [rightfully] shifted his priorities but was never able to get them back when it was time to make music. This latest album - though I like it more than the previous release - shows ME (you don't have to agree) he wanted to hit the trends in music and put the album together and get it out there. He's a megastar so it was no surprise we saw him everywhere. But his vocals have been almost always off, the dancing was lazy and he just showed no gumption about himself in music. It's just...gone.

Jay-Z: Jay is my heart. I've loved him since before his first album and was just hearing him randomly on a couple of tapes. I'm going to make this simple: he doesn't give a damn about putting out good lyrics - this is just something to do. Yet, he continues to mention "I got my swagger back." HELLOOOOO, this means that you know something is wrong!! But he won't stop. The bleeding continues and yet whenever a new song comes out with him on it, people act like it is awesome. STOP.

Am I rambling? NO. This has a point: This has to stop. The legends are bringing themselves down and are making us all screw our faces up. The ones I mentioned aren't the only ones but these are most important for me to discuss now. These boys and girls must grow up. You can't put out kid music forever.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Broke and Opinionated

Every Saturday - seriously, EVERY Saturday - a group of men are outside of my window waking me up with their early morning banter. Now, I'm not sure if it is the same group but they tend to talk about the same things: women, sex, money and the general shit talking of the passers-by. Here's the thing: they live in a shelter. They're outside talking because they are REQUIRED to leave the premises for most of the day so that it can be cleaned and inspected. You should hear them (an excerpt from two weekends ago): "Yeah, I called that [bleep] and she wanted to go out and shit. I wasn't with it...she was mad. Fuck it. Called the next [bleep]." Last weekend, I heard them talking real slick about some people; I looked out the window and they were talking about people who live in my building. SERIOUSLY?! You're talking about people who pay rent and likely have some sort of job while you're in the shelter (and some I've seen just as long as I've been in my apartment so they're not on some "Pursuit of Happiness" type of thing).

As I was telling my co-workers about them, I wondered if I were being stuck up or something. Like, people who live in a shelter should be free to have their opinions on men/women, money and other people, right? I guess they should. But in my mind, NO THEY AREN'T. Stop talking about other people and go get your life right! While you're outside the shelter waiting for them to re-open, you can use the library for free to find out where the free Saturday programs are to help you get your world together. NO, you cannot talk about the woman who won't give you any because...WAIT. What employed woman with even one-tenth of common sense is even giving you the time of day? Back to the point. How are you talking about a woman not giving you any when you spend your days outside the shelter just waiting to go back in?

Is this some type of "manly" thing? Something in the "Gender Rules" that men who don't even have their own pot to piss in still have the ability to talk down about others and it be accepted? If it were a woman, I believe that other people in my building and folks walking down the street would actually SAY something to them along the lines of, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself being a woman out here doing nothing. Get a job." I truly believe that even in the midst of being at your lowest level of poor, gender laws and rules still apply.

I don't know if I'm being bougie about this but I stand my ground. I also think that there's a bigger issue here. I wonder if I did a real study and had "fake homeless women" out there talking about those same topics would people listen. Maybe I should contact John Quinones from "What Would You Do?"

Just some thoughts.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Silent Friend

Friendships can be difficult. You have to know how to "handle" certain people. If you're a true friend, you know that honesty is most important - but you have to know how to give it to each person. Some can take that "blunt talk" while others, try as they may, can't take it and need to be told the truth but in a more "soft" way. When asked about situations, friends normally give the REAL about what they think or they take more of a psychiatrist's approach and asks questions which all but spills out how they really feel. Either way, it's a point that's generally understood.

Then there's the gift of...silence. When you tell someone about something you're going through or something you're about to do and they say NOTHING, it tells you everything. Sure, you can say, "Hey what do you think about that" or, "Why are you so quiet," but you know the answer. They completely disapprove and though as we get older we care less and less about what people think of us and our actions, we want our friends' opinions (at least the good friends who've always been loyal and honest) about said situation.

I've been on both sides of the coin. On the heads side: A friend has been going through something for at least 9 years and after the first two to three years of listening and voicing my displeasure (oh I can be real "stank"), I decided that enough was enough. I told her and our other friends who would listen that I no longer wanted to hear about it because I thought it to be stupid and ridiculous. For the record, the other friends did too but they think/thought that as a friend, they should listen. When my friend would bring up the topic, I'd blank stare and she'd say, "Ok ok, I know you don't want to hear it." Lately, she's been slipping it in to our conversations but my silence on the other end of the phone makes her totally uncomfortable and she will always say, "Ok...moving on."

On the tails: My friend didn't like a way I was handling something. She thought I was giving more than I was getting out of a situation. I always saw her point but [somewhat] disagreed so I continued to tell her and she'd give her opinion. One day, I told her something (don't remember what it was)and she said, "Oh ok." At that moment, I knew she was not checking for it anymore and preferred that I give it a least for a little while. I wasn't upset or even hurt; I just came to the conclusion that she thought, "What the hell else can I say to this grown woman? She's going to do what she wants." Indeed.

The Point of It All? The silence is not [necessarily] meant for you to think your friend no longer cares about the things going on in your world. Perhaps, they want the best for you and know that nothing they say can help you. So by saying nothing, you get an idea of their opinion without having to literally hear it again (thought we know that silence speaks loud too). You have to come to your own realizations and if you don't, you have to be able to sit well with that too. On your Own.

Just some thoughts.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Female Approach

Last week at a going away dinner, a friend was trying to give me tips on how to walk the fine line between flirting and being my "always cool and down to earth" self. Here's the thing: most of my friends think that I'm SO down to earth when I'm talking to men that they can't tell if I'm interested in them or not to go on a date. They say, "You have to get a little touchy feely or say a little something that gives them that vibe." My girl Shana then said, "Or you could just approach it on some 'What's good' and let it be taken from there." We know by now I'm not THAT girl so that was laughed off but another friend said, "No because if you do the approaching, then they expect them to chase you. It's over."

I disagree. Again, I'm not the woman who is going to approach a man first that I might have some interest in but I certainly don't believe that this now leaves the door open for us to do the chasing. I've witnessed with my own eyes women doing the approaching and really, the men have seemingly taken the lead from there. My friends who've done this? They have gotten similar results: the men have called them continuously (without the woman having called first), they've asked the women on dates and whatever else goes along in the courting process for them. The only thing that was different was the initial "hello." For reference, I asked a couple of guy friends if they expect a woman to always be the one to "chase" if she approaches and the exchange numbers and they all said the exact same thing: "Not at all. Once the numbers are exchanged, it can go back to the guy chasing."

As a whole, I think we have to slow down on the idea of always seeing who's winning "the race." Yes, as women we like to be able to SEE that the man (or men) we're dating or trying to date is showing serious interest because let's face it: when we're really feeling a guy, we get all caught up and don't always realize that we're giving a little more than we're giving. But when its right, its right and only one person is slightly in the lead, lol. But the person doing the "most" chasing (especially when they're just jumping all the way out there) isn't doing so because they got the number first; they're doing it because they don't know how to be stopped and want to make sure the person they're after will dig them.

So ladies, if you want to approach a man and aren't fearful of rejection or anything like that, go ahead. That doesn't mean that you have to go 0 to 90 in chasing him. Men, just because she approaches you, don't think that she's going to be running up behind you all the time.

That's all.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Words of Love After It's Over

A couple of weeks ago I was reading gossip sites, getting what was probably my second or third dose of "celebreality" for the day when I came upon a piece on Justin Timberlake's recent interview with Vanity Fair. Now, if any of you follow the celebs, Justin has always been in the tabloids for being quite the ladies' man and during this particular relationship with Jessica Biel, the paps have allegedly caught him plenty of times with woman who aren't Jess. Apparently they asked about their breakup and he said, "She is the single-handedly most significant person in my life. In my 30 years, she is the most special person, okay? … I don't want to say much more, because I have to protect things that are dear to me – for instance, her."

Instantly, I rolled my eyes. If I believe the rags, then it's obvious why I would roll my eyes about such an admission of "affection," or whatever you want to call it, post-breakup. Even if I didn't believe anything the rags were saying, JT can miss me with that mess. Like...DON'T ANSWER THE QUESTION WITH THAT TYPE OF RESPONSE. Say, "What we had was special and our time together will always mean something to me." Anything "deeper" leaves me feeling a certain type of way. So you allegedly cheated (on a semi-regular basis) on the single-handled most significant person in your life? Is that part of the JT web?

But this is not just celebs. So often when people break up - particularly when one person has lost all their marbles and done something terribly wrong - mutual friends hear so much of the after-story. What do we so often hear from the person who's messed up? "You know I love him/her. He/She means sooo much to me. I'll never find anyone better." What? Shut up. What is the point? Are you trying to make sure that the message gets back to the wronged? Do you want to make yourself look like a fellow "victim?" Is this a way to make sure you stay on your ex's mind until you're ready (or if it was a mutual breakup, until you guys possibly find your way back to each other)? What? Hell, maybe you DO actually feel that way. But guess what? So sad, too bad. Actually, I think even less of a person who has to make these types of professions to anyone who'll listen. Contact your ex directly to get the guilt (because that's what it is) off your chest or keep it to yourself altogether.

Maybe I'm a little jaded and am using very harsh judgment in cases I know nothing about (I've never been in a situation like this) but my heart (and my attitude) on this almost jumped out of my chest when I read the story. I was actually ranting at my office to just about anyone who would listen to me. So weigh in. Am I jumping to rash conclusions? On to something? Have you been there before?

Let's discuss.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet The Parents

Okay, so by now most of you know (and if you don't and are new to reading, you'll see in the next few words) that I've tried to steer clear of men with children. I casually dated a guy off and on for about a year and a half with a child but I knew we'd never be serious so I didn't think too much about it. For me, its a Catch 22: I don't need a lot of attention but when I do need/want it, I want it WHEN I want it and don't really want to have to "wait." At the same time, if you DARE drop me for your child, I'm giving you all kinds of side eye and wondering in my mind, "What kind of man drops his child just because his girl wanted some damn attention. ILL." So because of that, I've mostly stayed away from it. But for the last year, I've slowly - and I mean, sloooooowly - started rethinking things and maybe it's okay for me to date a man with a child. It has nothing to do with me getting older; I just think it isn't always that big of a deal to date a man who has (and presumably, takes good care of) a child. A CHILD. ONE. I'm not yet open to more than that but who knows! Moving on...

With this new thinking of me dating this currently invisible man with a child comes the mother of this child. For the sake of the post, let's say mother and father of the child have a cordial relationship. They may or may not be good friends but they're good co-parents working together for the sake of their child's well-being. Now, here I come into the picture. After having spent ample time together (whatever that may be) and building our relationship, Invisible Man thinks I should meet his child. Now the nervousness might set in because this is HIS child and I want to make sure I make a good impression; but being the person I am, I will because I'm actually REALLY, REALLY good with kids. *brushes that dirt off my shoulder* So I know things would go well and we would keep on keeping on with our relationship.

But hold up. Is there a protocol here? Am I supposed to meet his child's mother first? Should I bring it up on a, "Hey I know we're moving things to a super serious level but don't you think I should meet his (for grammatical purposes) mother" tip? Is he supposed to tell me - especially if they're cordial - that he wants me to meet his child's mother?

I always wonder how that works because the last thing I'd want to be is disrespectful, especially if there's a possibility that I'll be spending a lot of time around MY Invisible Man's child. In my head, if I had a child and was getting serious with someone who was not his father, I'd try to make sure they're introduced so at least my child's father would know who he'd be around. It isn't for "approval" or anything, but I think I would think I'm showing some respect by doing so. And I'd LIKE for that to work if the tables were turned. Is that doing the most? And LORD, what happens if the parents of a child can't stand each other? Then what (my mind tells me to run but I don't know if that's right) do you do?

Meeting the parents...what's the protocol? Let's discuss.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Color of You

While I was on "The Devil" last night (check my last post for what "The Devil" actually is), a friend of mine posted a video which showed a preview of Bill Duke's new documentary Dark Girls. As I watched the four minute video, I cringed a couple of times. As a Black woman, I've obviously been involved in many race related conversations and the dialogue has, by and large, been between other Black people. We've argued about interracial relationships, "the man" bringing us down and a host of other things. But, one of the most heated debates I've ever witness was the light-skinned vs. dark-skinned "issue."

It is my belief that this issue which has plagued us for YEARS is one of our biggest downfalls. Dark-skinned women have continuously been shunned for their complexions, whether it be in music videos (and not just the infamous "video hoe," which I don't believe anyone wants to REALLY be portrayed - I'm talking about a regular lead), movies or tv shows, in their relationships and lest we forget, the paper bag test which some might say really catapulted this problem. I've never, EVER had a problem with my complexion. I've always been taught to love who I am and what I am and whoever doesn't like it...well, they can kick rocks. But sadly, some of my other sisters have not been told that and if they have, they've not been able to believe it. And how can they? One woman in the video stated they her friends saw a pretty black woman and they said, "...she's pretty for a dark-skinned girl." I've been told the same thing and being that these are one of the topics that have the tendency to rile me up, a side eye with a slick comment is right around the bend. Another woman in the film said she heard her own mother speak so highly of her and then said at the end, "...can you imagine if she had any lightness in her skin at all? She'd be gorgeous." This is from someone's mother. Names like "tar baby," "blackie," and "monkey"have been thrown around towards dark-skinned women for YEARS so its no wonder some of us can't "get past it." If it were that easy, it may have changed a long time ago.

Further in the video, it shows a man saying that he'd rather not date a dark-skinned woman because she would look weird with him. Now based on the video, the man didn't exactly resemble a glowworm himself but that's neither here nor there. We can be as gung ho as we want but unless that never wavering self-esteem is there, there is the strong possibility that not only will we question ourselves but we'll also accept anything from any man (or any woman, if that's your preference) just so that somebody...anybody will accept us. People are entitled to have a preference in terms of "the look" but it goes beyond just a preference when you outright hate or are disgusted by one of your own because of their complexion. This, in turn, further destroys our families and continues the cycle of self-esteem. This problem - this COLORSTRUCK life that many of of us are living, whether openly or not - is doing more damage than we know.

But, then there's the other side. The side that says, "Okay, so some people don't love dark-skinned women. So what? Get over it." Honestly, I've said it myself a time or two. Part of me does not understand how as we get older, we fully let people have so much control over how we feel about ourselves. Part of me thinks that people still feel the way they feel about dark-skinned women because we as dark-skinned women have not empowered ourselves enough to let it show that we will continue to be beautiful despite what some may say. Again, maybe I have these questions because I've never felt "less than" because I was darker than some other girls and they may have gotten the boy because they were light-skinned (and yes, most had the long hair as well). In having the conversation with some of my friends about this very subject, I've been very clear that they've allowed a voice other than their own lead the way on how they will be seen. The woman in Duke's film? Some of them I truly felt pain for in the pit of my stomach but others, I really believed that they might choose to stay in a place of "feeling bad" because that way, it might give them some sort of an excuse for not pulling themselves out of out of place in their own community. I know having self-esteem isn't always easy to build but it is necessary. Its a cold war out there...we better bundle up.

I could go on and on, without a doubt, on both sides of this. I didn't even want to really touch on the "light-skinned views" I've heard. This post would truly take flight in yet another direction. What I did want to do is just get a starter topic going [again] based on what I saw which focused on how the "Dark Girls" felt about this and how hurt they've been over the years. There is a pain and there is a cut and no matter how much I might feel that we have to get over it ourselves, we must first fully acknowledge that there has been a separation for decades and it will continue (as seen in the preview, there seems to have been a recent version of the Clark Doll Experiment done for the film) and be HONEST about it so that we can perhaps scratch the surface on how to fix this.

How to figure out how we ALL can get out of our own way.

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Devil Has a Website?

In case you've been in a remote part of the world where you are the ONLY person there and there is absolutely no form of communication, Facebook is THE phenomenon of ALL phenomenons. It has over 500 million active users as of July 2010 and it seems as though our connections and re-connections become closer everyday. These connections have led to job opportunities, new and/or rekindled friendships, and new and/or rekindled relationships. It can be exciting, annoying, funny, and downright scandalous sometimes. When it becomes closer to the latter, you almost always hear or read, "Facebook is the devil."

Facebook is the Devil? The DEVIL?? REALLY?

Since I've been a member, I've seen my fair share of relationships crumble right on my screen. On the internet. It has always amazed me that FACEBOOK, a website, is blamed for relationships blowing up in an ugly way. All it has ever been is a platform for people to show a side of themselves that some may not have ever seen. People are behind these profiles. People are the ones posting subliminal wall posts on the jumpoff's profile, thinking no one will notice. People are sending private messages to others that they think will never get out. What happens is curiosity kills the cat and these people who decide to cheat using the internet think it is a way for their dirt to never be found out. So is FACEBOOK the devil?

What is could be is that some people are showing who they really are - sneaky, conniving, and dishonest - via a website. Sadly, when someone's relationship comes to a nasty head out in public, the person on the receiving in adds in a, "Facebook is just the devil. I can't deal with it." No, the person who carried on the indiscretion(s) is the only one of maybe two people who's to blame for the "devilish" behavior.

We need to be honest here: Facebook (and rest its soul, Myspace) has not ever been to blame. I don't think. Am I missing something here? Did the Devil get a username and password?

Let's Discuss.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Girl Melanie Effect

In keeping with the mention of Girl Melanie from "The Game" yesterday, a conversation has been brewing within me. For those of you who've never seen the show and those who need a reminder, Melanie decided to forgo medical school at John Hopkins Medical School (her DREAM school and apparently, one of the best) to follow her boyfriend Derwin across the country once he was drafted into the NFL and go to med school in California. Now, some would say, "And? So what she didn't go to John Hopkins - she still went to school." Others would say, "Well, she wanted to live that lavish life and to 'keep the man,' you likely have to follow him." Another alleged example of this scenario, is Ludacris' girlfriend, Eudoxie, who is said to have dropped out of her pre-med program to travel and be with him (some reports say that she failed her MCATs and other reports say he told her to drop out - I don't know the truth but I'm giving alleged "tea"). Again, another example of a woman putting her life "wants" to the side to be with her man.

Now, let me be clear: If your main goal as a woman (because that's who we're talking about here) is to find a man - especially a wealthy or soon to be wealthy one - and "lock him down," then so be it and I suppose you have to do what you have to do. That's not something that I understand because (1) I wasn't raised to "find" a man and (2) once I was old enough to decide what I wanted out of life, carving my own way was always number one on my list. I've always believed that by society's definition (and we believe it too), women already stand in the shadows of men so why not go grab more for yourself first or in conjunction with "having your man?" There is something to be said for a woman whose name and work (no matter WHAT it is or how much money it makes, as long as its her own) can stand by itself. What do you have left of yourself if you drop what you're doing to follow your man's dreams and his life? Again, when you don't fully have anything for your own yet?

Conversely, the argument can be made that why should it matter if they can have all the things (likely material) they want in life and more without having to work that hard for it? You have money, you have a lavish lifestyle (if you have a man who is wealthy or about to be), and hell, you have the man? People primarily work hard so they can do better for themselves so if you don't have to work hard and still reap the same rewards, isn't there a balance? Granted, Girl Melanie had her trials with Derwin (cheating, a baby, his attitude, his celebrity, etc) and if Eudoxie's choices are true, I'm sure she's had her tribulations with Luda (ladies love the guy and he's made no secret that he loves them back), but compared to me...they're CHILLIN. I can barely get all my ducks in a row sometimes to go to the South of the U.S., but these women are lounging in the South of France! I might have to think about if I have the game twisted!

My position is...well, I think that is pretty clear. But what say you? Is it okay to put your life and dreams on temporary or indefinite hold to run the world with your man and follow his life and dreams?

Let's discuss.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The First Time

Relax, it's not a sexual post...this time.

I have a good friend who admittedly has had visions of grandeur of a dream man and relationship. Now, maybe this dream comes from a fictional "perfect man" that we sometimes see on television who would come her way, and sweep her off her. Of course, they'd get married, buy the house, have some children and add whatever else comes with that "fairytale" life. Here's her reality: she recently started dating a man who is a widower with three children. No, it isn't her ideal situation but she's giving it a whirl. When I asked what was the fairytale she was looking for, she mentioned something that I've only heard once before (on the tv show The Game): "...Just a fairytale about me being a first wife to someone and being the mother of his first children."


I thought about this. I thought again. And then I thought some more. I've dated a man with a child and I've dated a divorced man. My preference has always been to not date either of those options if I can help it but we all go against the grain from time to time. In my experiences, the latter of the two listed what I would like to never do again. Having said that, my reasons for not wanting to date any man who comes with one or both of those has never been "because I want to be the first." As I reflected, I can honestly say I never even thought about it that way. In thinking about it now, it still isn't something that holds weight with me. To me, being "the first" only matters because you're literally just that: the first. The reality is that, in my opinion, it doesn't matter. Whether you're the first or - Cupid forbid - the third, if a man is going to be good to you as a husband and/or father, that's just his way. If he's trash as a husband and/or father, then it won't matter that you're the first. It sucks in a major way but it's true.

But this is just me. This is something I know nothing about so I need some views. Ladies, have you or your friends ever had this conversation and learned that one (or all) of you think that way? Men, have you ever been turned down by a woman over this?

Let's discuss.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May/December...Not so much!

When I was 19 years old, I had an experience with a 28/29 year old man. He was not trying to be in a relationship with me and I, being a college student only home for certain breaks, definitely did not want to be serious with him. At 24, I dated a man who was 32 (ironically, we *stupidly* tried to kick it again when I was 29 and he told me he was 34...blank stare) years old. The latter guy had owned a couple of business, seen a couple of things I definitely hadn't at my age, been married and divorced, and subsequently, was kind of bitter towards women. Yet, he was ready to settle down again and be married/have children. By the end of that, I realized that older men were just not my cup of tea. It wasn't solely because of who he was as a person but rather, he was just on a very different page than I was and I find that more when I do meet men more than 5-7 years older than me.

A friend of mine is 30 and is dating a 43 year old man. She questioned before they started dating if there were such thing as "too old" but even with whatever responses she received, she pursued it. I spoke to her about it prior to writing this and she told me that she chose to give him a try because (1) she doesn't seem to be having any luck with the guys she's been meeting who are closer to her age and (2) he treats her nice and she doesn't want to miss out on a possible "good man" because of her fears over his age. But she does have her reservations: not only is he older but he is a single father already. "Being that he has children already, will he even want to have anymore?" Good question and personally, I think this is what women in particular question as we get older and are involved in dating or just dating, in general, men with children.

But its not just "dating up." A male friend of mine dated a woman who was 28 when he was just a mere 21 year old lad. Now, I don't find that men ever have a problem with dating older women and this was no exception. He enjoyed it but they broke up because of some personal issues he said she had (he knew this was going on the blog so he wasn't about to share which is totally understandable but likely not to be posted if it had nothing to do with the topic). Ironically enough, he says he would never be serious with a woman roughly seven years younger than him (he's about to be 28) because they need to "see" things and do things that he likely has already gotten out of his system.

I'm still not checking for men that are more than about seven years older than me (and let's keep it real: I'd prefer you'd not be more than five years older) AND I will date younger than me. Let's not get out of hand, the man would have to be at least 25 but I'd absolutely be down with it. I'm not sure if I'm right or wrong by excluding the men that might be 10 years older than me. Is there a right or wrong?

Hi, I'm DrennaB...and I'm an ageist.

And you? Let's discuss.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A New Dawn, A New Day!

And I'm feelin' gooooooooooooooood! That, my friends, was the Nina Simone original version.

Sooo its been a couple months. I needed time to refocus on everything I'm trying to do and why this blog exists. So I decided that I have it because: (1) I like to talk to people and find out their opinions on things that go on in the world whether it's something serious or lighthearted, (2) this helps me with my writing and (3) I find myself slightly entertaining at times so why not?! Sometimes I'm long-winded and those who either know me personally or know me through the blog know this. I just have a lot to say and sometimes just want you to fully understand my point of view!

We can talk about the things that go on in my life and how they should be or were dealt with. Well, not everything since we all have a little "business" we keep to ourselves but I do like to open some of the chapters of my book. There are few things that are off limits. My opinions are just that and not everyone will agree with me. That's okay because that's why they call it a discussion.

So let's get this engine moving again! This is life and it can be simply complicated!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Music Snob: Mary Mary...Why You Buggin?

Dear Mary Mary,

*sigh* We've come to this point in our relationship that I always hoped we would have avoided. You ladies - my GIRLS - are going way left with your gospel music. Granted, I'm very particular and extremely conservative when it comes to the music I like but when I first heard "Shackles" I said, "Hmmm, they're a little too pop and 'hip' for my taste but I can still hear the message." And you didn't disappoint. I absolutely loved "In The Morning," "Heaven," "Yesterday" and songs that weren't released as singles. You were the one group that were really hip but didn't seem to dilute the message and that, I genuinely loved. Although I haven't been a consistent churchgoer in my adult years, I always saw "the spirit" in you all and it made me accept this "young people" gospel music even more.

And then..."The God In Me." I liked the song to an extent but when I realized that it beared a close resemblance (if not the same) beat of "Blame It On the Alcohol" by Jamie Foxx, I knew we might be heading to a problem. I snapped my fingers to it. Did a slightly out of control two step to it. Both actions that I deem unacceptable to spiritual music. Nevertheless, I accepted that you were just trying a new sound for that particular album and was ready for the next one whenever you all were ready to release it.

And here we are. Now, we might be on the brink of the one thing I feared: a musical break-up. "Walking" at best. It is more of an inspirational song than a gospel song which is perfectly fine. The beat is even more hip-hop than "The God in Me" and it has me worried. At the BET Celebration of Gospel, you all performed "Something Big" and I knew that our official status was "It's Complicated." Last week, I saw the video for "Walking" and its pretty safe to say that we're taking a break. That video serves no purpose. There's no vision. Shoot, you two are barely walking. Its like a block party but not really.

You all seem to be looking for crossover success but at what cost? Is this the way? I'm lost and I don't like it one bit. me. You don't have to rewind 9 years but can you please let me know if what you're going for now is the message...or the money?


I'm in a Relationship But Its Complicated

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Men and their Self-Esteem

When it comes to men and the type that I go for, there are some things that are important to me that have nothing to do with looks: smart, funny, hard-working, ambitious, kind, trustworthy, and confident.

Confident. A confident - not cocky or arrogant - man is very important. A confident man that believes in himself and his talents/attributes, has his beliefs and stands strong in them (even though he'll listen to your POV) and just all around exudes strength is important. For me, thinking "Damn, I like that about him" and sometimes "Lawd, will he shut UP," is kinda dope. I think that a confident person can help inspire the people they're around because even if they haven't reached their ultimate goals, you see the tenacity that's going to get them there.

What I can't a man with low self-esteem. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why we are gathered here today. Over the past few months, I think I've encountered more than I care to mention (no, not for me to date - just people I've met) and I just don't know how this has happened. Of course, we all have our days when we don't believe we can reach our full potential or our outfits look ridiculous or we just feel ugly. But I've met men who are completely disengaged with what it means to have self-esteem. And I don't like this "trend." Not one bit.

Let me say this: I have a hard time enjoying the company of anyone, male AND female, who has low self-esteem. I do think that because of the pressures of societies, some women will let it get completely in their heads and feel less than worthy of...whatever. But it gets old at some point and try as I may to give you a pick-me-up, I can't make my homegirl feel better about herself all the time. So if I can't do it with a female, I damn am not doing it with a male. Is it a double standard that I'll probably deal with it longer from a female friend than I will from a male friend or man I'm dating? Yes, that's probably a fair assessment and I'm okay with that.

But I need help understanding: Where does low self-esteem in men come from? From the same place women get it? Are they looking through the pages of V magazine and wish they were those so-called sexy European men? Did a girl they date or have a crush on break them down to their lowest points of being and now they needed consistent reminders that they're good guys and are attractive? Were they teased as children? Did their parents not show them lots of love and affection as children? The last question you might read as a "tone" but it certainly isn't; I'm genuinely trying to understand.

Further, does this affect they type of women they date? For example, if they think they're a little on the bigger side (which to many women they probably look like men with football player builds), do they only date slim women? If black men, in particular, were teased about being brown/dark skinned or light skinned, do they only date light-skinned/non-black women or dark skinned women, respectively? I mean, of course, they could have just grown into their own preferences and their lack of self-esteem hasn't affected that at all. These are just the questions I ask and the thoughts I have about it.

So have any of you dated a man with low self-esteem? If so, how do/did you deal with it? Men, if you're brave enough: are you dealing or have you dealt low self-esteem? Where did it come from and has it affected your dating lifestyle? I'm not attempting to fix because I'm not a man so I'm looking to you.

This is serious for me. Let's discuss.

Monday, February 14, 2011

XOXO...You Know You Love Me!

I've never been big on Valentine's Day. Sure its commercial and all that stuff people who HATE it say it is but that's not the reason. I'm actually not big on any holidays so this is no different. However, on this Valentine's Day 2011, I thought I'd get in on the fun.

Valentine's Day is not just a day for people in relationships to celebrate; rather, its a day for people to dote a little bit more on ANYONE they love. I actually haven't been privy to being a significant other's Valentine however, my mama loooooove me so she's done some nice things. Today, I'll share my cute story (which isn't THAT cute but I like it all the same):

Every year when my brother and I were younger, my mother would bring us the small heart box of four pieces of chocolate. (Hellooooo, don't we all remember those?) I mean, we'd get it every year through my high school years. When I got to college, I think two of the years she sent me special Valentine's Day packages full of candy and snacks/food to keep in my dorm room. But after college, that was it. No more cards, no more candy...nothing. But I never really gave it two thoughts because like I said, holidays aren't really a big deal to me.

Until two weeks ago. Yes, two weeks ago. My mother likes to send things early to ensure that they will reach their by their intended date (mind you, she lives right up the block for me - it takes like a day for mail from either of us to get to the other). She sent me the SWEETEST card! Seriously, I've always known that I get my impeccable sense of card picking from her - the woman knows what she's doing. Check it out (just a lil bit): "...You have such a positive outlook on life and a warm sense of humor that makes it fun just to be around you..." Awwww, Ma!!! The card pounds on the compliments and I love every bit of it.

So my sweet memory comes from my mom. Now, share yours! It can be from a current or former significant other, a good friend, family member, child...whoever! It can be something someone did or said for you OR something you did or said for someone else!

Share the love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Loving Bad To Love Good

"Brothers, a woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life to be thankful for a good one. Be the good one." -Bishop Dale C. Bronner

A college friend of mine posted this as her Facebook status and as I finished reading it, I leaned back to think about it. Some people agreed and after about 20 minutes or so, I responded that I don't know that I agreed with that. I do believe that there is often times truth in the saying that sometimes "You have to kiss many frogs before you kiss your prince." But even in saying that, it doesn't mean that those "frogs" were bad guys. In fact, many women come across good men who just weren't good men for THEM (yes, that exists: not every good man/woman you meet is the person for you...and please throw them back in the water for the person they're meant for to catch them). I've seen this happen many times with friends of mine and they openly admit that maybe they just weren't ready for the person or vice versa.

Yes, there are bad men. Yes, we as women date them sometimes. Every now and then we don't realize they're "bad men" and other times, we ignore the clear signs that they are not good men. Not for us or even our worst [female] enemy/ Well maybe for her but I'm keeping it positive so yeah, not for her either. And yes, bad guys that we choose to date or sleep with or whatever we do with them serve a purpose at times. Maybe its because after all is said and done we need to be able to say, "What in the world was I thinking?" Perhaps its because we feel we need a little excitement. Sidenote: Spare me that "excitement" bit - at some point you can find excitement in even the nicest and lowkey guy. Or, we need to be broken off a lil something and even if you don't like "bad guys," he is the one who came along who you let put it down one good time and you feel the need to be hooked for a minute. So yeah, there's a purpose. Sometimes.

But here's where I disagree with the Bishop: I don't at all believe that women HAVE to love a bad man once or twice in order to be able to be thankful for a good man. As I've already acknowledged, sometimes men come around for different reasons. But let's focus on the woman - let's give credit where its due and not group everyone: There are level headed women in the world who have always been able to recognize good men and know that that's what they want in their lives. I've met them in the past and I know them current. There are women who, even if they're single now, have loved really good men in the past and even though they aren't with them anymore, there's not much bad to say about them. Some women had fathers or father figures in their lives that treated them so well and showed them what it was like to be treated like a lady that, as long as they can help it, they wouldn't date a man who showed them any less than the respect the have for themselves. Other women didn't have positive fathers or father figures in their lives but turned that negative into a positive for their future relationships. These examples of women go to show that you don't have to love a bad man to be thankful for a good one.

So yes, some of us will make a choice to continue to deal with the bull from some men (and I'm talking about the "Girl,'re REALLY dealing with that?" bull) and until we look INWARDLY, that's all we'll attract and be attracted to. No good man will really change that because to appreciate anyone or anything, you have to change your own mindset.

Sorry, Rev...I disagree.

Let's discuss.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Marriage, Babies & a Change of Mind

I was having a conversation with friends about relationships and children. We have a friend who is in a serious relationship with a man who has been raising children for quite some time now. She, on the other hand, does not have any children yet and presumably wants some. One friend raised the question of whether or not he would even want anymore children since its been years (and perhaps because he doesn't want to be an "old" dad with a small child/children) since he's had to run behind kids. I maintain that because their relationship is so serious, they've likely had the discussion about marriage and having more children. I am of the opinion that when two people are considering getting very serious about their commitment to one another (whether they're deciding to be exclusive or they're beyond that and considering marriage), this is one of those very important topics to be discussed.

One of the things I got in response was, "But why do you HAVE to talk about that?" Admittedly, I was stumped because I was shocked by the rebuttal so I asked my friend to explain a bit further. Simply put, she feels that while it might be "smart" to talk about children and whether or not one or both party wants them, a person can change their mind at any time and that conversation can be right out the window. "So let's say you're married and at the time you both wanted kids," she says, "but after that year or two of being married, one of you decides that you like things the way they are and don't want children. Then what? Its like, what was the point of ever talking about it if someone has changed their mind?" My response is that we need to seriously discuss if we're at a crossroads with this because if one person has decided to change their mind (and a change of mind is a person's right) and the other hasn't, this could be a deal breaker. She further states that the person in the relationship who wants children - and this is all prior to marriage but in the getting to know you stage or committed stage - should not say
anything and the other person, if they DON'T want children, should be the one to speak up first. Why? Because if pregnancy should occur and the person who didn't want children finds themselves upset about it, the response can be, "Well, you never said you didn't want children."

I laughed because the SENTENCE was funny to me - the idea behind all of that didn't fully sit well with me. Yes, I believe people are allowed to change their minds about anything and I wouldn't dare try to change it back - makes no sense, probably won't work and even if it does, there will be resentment - but there's possibly a lot riding on something like this. First, these are important discussions to be had before marriage (even if someone's mind changed later) to at least see if you're somewhat on the same page; if you're not, the discussion would move on to see if there's something here that you still need to pursue. Second, I wouldn't want to play the "but you never said xyz" game. Finally, if we get to the point of marriage and afterward your mind changes, this MIGHT be a deal breaker. We might have to divorce. Maybe not but the conversation has to be had so that we know what we're dealing with.

So in a committed relationship (I'd like to solely say marriage but that's not for everyone and I recognize/respect it) where there is love, deep feelings and all "caught up-ness," what if a person just ups and changes their mind about what you both wanted in life and with each other?

Let's discuss.

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Apology

Over the past few months I've regained a sort of affection for General Hospital. Two of the characters, Robin and Patrick, are sort of at an impasse because of a prior indiscretion: Patrick cheated on Robin with a friend, Lisa, from college (they are all doctors, by the way, at the same hospital). According to Patrick, it was a one time thing; he's apologized profusely and has continued to profess his love for Robin and their family (they have a 2 year old daughter). Up until recently - and this storyline has been going on since about July 2010 - Patrick was apologizing for his infidelity every chance he got and every time Robin got mad she'd scream something to the effect of, "Go tell it to LISA." At the same time, however, Robin was still considering reconciling with Patrick because she still loves him.

This got me to wondering: How long is a person to continue apologizing for something that they did which was wrong? It is no secret that I do not condone cheating of any kind and pretty much believe more often than not, a person is only sorry because they got caught (Patrick only admitted his infidelity because Lisa is actually crazy and was stalking them, breaking into their home, etc., and Robin didn't know why they were being targeted). But if a person is seemingly apologetic - putting my feelings about that to the side - why keep taking them through the ringer? It would seem to me that by allowing them to continue to apologize, you might be running the risk of hearing someone say "I'm sorry" more times than they actually are; they might be just saying what they think you want to hear.

Further, if (and let's stick with cheating here as the focal point) the person who was wronged is considering reconciliation, what is the point of making them feel like they have to keep apologizing and/or throwing the indiscretion in their face? If forgiveness is granted AND you say "let's work this out," how is that genuine by throwing something like that in their face? Have their apologies and their actions going forth not proven to be enough? Is it that you need to hear the words to make sure that's how they really feel? Does that even make sense?

Doesn't a person ever get sick of HEARING "I'm Sorry?"

My question is: Is Saying "Sorry" - including actions to encourage that - ever enough?

Let's Discuss.