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Archive for the month “August, 2012”

On Office Rumors And Relationship Closure

I am emotionally drained today.

Yesterday, after the immature text war I had with my ex, I was approached by a co-worker who is always talking about the imminent shake up of our company. Today she heard one of our top-level execs in another state was clearing out his desk.

No email that he’s no longer with us. No other facts, that’s all she had.

It set off a firestorm of hysteria. I was already reeling from just being sick and tired of being at an emotional stalemate about my past relationship and wanting to just end it and walk away for good. No being a supportive friend who wants to hear quarterly updates, no Facebook, just free and clear. So this information about the job did not improve my mood.

I instantly thought of a top 10 list that Forbes put out about signs that your company is going to go through a massive shake up. One of those rules mentioned top dogs, resigning, getting fired, or seeing them clean up their LinkedIn profiles. So I went into full panic mode.

Shit was going to go down.

Welp, let’s get to this morning. It was a false alarm. He was indeed cleaning out his desk, but ridding it of several magazines he has no doubt collected over time. No resignation, no firing.

Ridiculous. So I’m irritated. If I don’t hear anything from the boss or see a company wide email I’m not entertaining any more end of the job world talk. I’m through. I’m going to keep applying for other jobs, so I can get the hell out before things get worse. That’s it.

Boom.

As for “Relationship Closure” another thing I promised in today’s headline, I’m going to try to make this brief.

My ex wants to hang on to his pain, and my pain and punish himself forever.

I told him I forgave him a long time ago, and him inflicting emotional pain on himself will never settle the score or make us even, it’s only going to make him have a horrible life.

We both have to move forward. I still love him, but going on two years just in limbo, or having him tell me every three months that he loves me and he can’t get his shit together is not helping me.

I’ve grown from this and I’m not willing to just roll up and die anymore because I’ve been hurt.

He says it’s easier for me to move on because I wasn’t the one who inflicted the pain.

I asked him if he learned anything at all, and he asked how can he learn and grow from hurting someone so badly?

I told him if anything, the lesson should be that if you ever get the chance to love, you will do everything in your power not to hurt someone so badly, you’ll fight for what you want, you’ll appreciate what you have, and you will have faith to try and get up even if you fail.

I told him I didn’t know the person I was talking to. I was crying that it killed me that he couldn’t see the good in him that I could still see, even after all he put me through. But I can’t make him see it, I can’t make him forgive himself, I can’t make him believe in himself, I can’t make him trust himself and trust God.

And that’s when I knew. The gulf between us had grown into a black hole.

Any man who loves me has to completely love and know himself first, so that when he is with me there isn’t any doubt, there isn’t any fear, the thought of failure in loving me will not exist because if he’s loving me to the best of his ability every day, he isn’t failing. He can’t.

That man has to know that.

I can’t squander my love and my sanity and my mental and physical health on someone like that. And it hurts me right now.

Believe it or not, I want him to succeed and be happy and healthy.

He said “it wouldn’t make you feel better if things were the complete opposite and I was totally happy after all of this.”

I said, “Dude, I love you so much and yes I have pride and ego. The greatest extent of bad I would want to happen to you is to have a flat tire every month for two years. And there, that’s real.”

“But in terms of you having all of this anguish off of hurting me, you not growing, you not learning, you making yourself a martyr, that doesn’t please me. That doesn’t make me feel better. You have to heal. That’s what real love is, that’s what deep love is, that’s what it is to love someone on the level I love you. It’s sick to want you to carry on like this for the rest of your life.”

“I’m a fucked up person, that’s the real me,” he said.

“Baby, I’m not ready to let the pain of you and me kill me. I’m not ready to die. I want to live. I have to live. I can’t have you have this hold on me. I can’t go into another year feeling like I can’t really dig into new relationships because I’m hanging on to you, or worried about you and what’s going to happen to you because you are talking the way you are talking. You have to get help, you have to talk to somebody.

You don’t have to feel like you have no purpose. Even if you have to pick one thing to thank God for everyday when you get up, start there. But you got to want more for yourself. You got to want to do better.”

He replied he doesn’t want anything. That he is no good to anyone.

I didn’t know what else to say. I cried and begged him to get it together, not for me but for himself. To dig deep and heal his wounds from us, from his past, from his family, because the road he is on is dark and horrible.

I cannot join him any longer. Even though we haven’t been together for going on almost two years, I was still with him on this path.

This is really the end for me.

I’ve come too far and I see it. I can’t look back. I can’t wait for the fantasy I once had. I don’t want to say that it’s a hopeless situation. God can turn anything around. But what can you do with a person who does not want to save themselves?

I see him drowning. But I told him as much as I love him, I can’t put myself out there for him again or say we can start over. I can’t put myself out there to save someone who is so far gone. I barely survived the last time.

Still crying, my last words were, “I’ve got to hang up now. Goodbye.”

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Bonus Post: And That’s A Wrap, Folks

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When God wants you to really let go of something, and finds you are taking too long or not able to do it yourself, He allows something ridiculous to happen so it is a no-brainer for you to walk away from it and keep steppin for good.

The last time I struggled with a situation like this, I had to have an ex tell me he let his ex suck his dick, move a little person into his house, and impregnate her, before I got the hint.

It’s over boo.

Dead, decomposing horse, turning to glue.

So here I am again. Yall have been on the journey you’ve seen me get up, fall down, get riled up over my ex-fiance.

Welp, no more.

I told yall I hate Facebook. But I admitted I stalk from time to time.

I was strongly considering unfriending him, feeling quite empowered. It was time. No need to keep torturing myself or looking for something. I guess a Mary J. Blige concert will do that to you.

Well, this fool went to Vegas.

He had an interesting exchange with a woman who said, she still couldn’t figure out how he got her panties,

to which he replied, “The bigger mystery is how I stole that ass.”

Ok, before yall jump on me, the relationship is over. I know. But neither one of us unfriended the other, and barely a month ago this fool is declaring how he is trying everything under the sun to have work assign him to come to me and how we need to have this grand talk and all sorts of nonsense.

So, I unfriended him. I sent him a text basically telling him never to speak to me again and that I thought we could be friends, but popping off on Facebook is some ridiculoussness and while it’s been almost two years since our split, I’m still feeling disrespected. Keep whatever happened in Vegas in Vegas. I told him I must have been nuts to keep hanging on, but he no longer has to worry about that. Send me your new address and I’ll send you the ring.

So he texts me from a different number asking what he did wrong.

First of all, if you didn’t take the time to at least look at your most recent posts regarding Vegas on Facebook before asking me that, you don’t deserve a refresher. Put quite simply, you are a dumbass. I put it out there. I’m not trying to be vague. I said, foolishness on Facebook and Vegas. Put it together, please.

Either way, he can really say whatever he wants now. I won’t see it. Good luck. Please take photos of the two of us down now, that’s all I ask.

My friend told me to go home sick if I’m really messed up.

I will not do that over his ass again. I won’t.

I actually want to punch a punching bag or do some push ups. I want to fight and beat up on something.

I don’t know who this dude is at all anymore.

So thank you God. I hear you. Dang. That was harsh, but effective. Can’t hate.

On Office Mentorship: Be A Good Example First

Oh to be young and early in your career.

I think I’ve stressed many other times in this blog that when you are a young person in the office, you have to seek out allies and people to vent to in a safe environment. You need people who can speak a good word about you and increase your interoffice PR, and eventually you need somebody who will be an awesome non-direct supervisor reference (but still can vouch for your current work abilities) for the day you finally want to leave.

It’s been happening slowly, but a young woman on my job has been dropping by for some nuggets on how to navigate the culture of our office.

It’s wild because I’ve been so busy going to my office rock and getting advice and support from her. I love, love, love that woman. She is a great listener and so supportive. She pumps me up and tells me how wonderful I am even when I feel like I’m the biggest loser on earth going nowhere fast, destined to shrivel up and just die unfulfilled and unappreciated.

I didn’t notice it at first when the young woman would just ask a question here and there or my opinion on a situation.

I recently talked to her about her growing responsibilities and how when I was a younger person in the newsroom, I just expected to be told what to do and to do what I was told because well, I was taught to respect my elders and older people and surely they knew what was best because, they were older and they were the editors. And I was happy to just have a job in the field I studied. I would do anything to stay. I feel horrible for today’s recent graduates. It’s even worse.

After a lot of heartache and drama, I had to learn that I wasn’t hired to be anyone’s whipping post. I was hired because I had talent and a brain, and that it was my right to remind people what I was hired for, tell them my limitations and think of creative and efficient ways to get the additional things done, while improving my regular responsibilities and growing as a reporter and writer.

When you get hired for a job, you should feel like you are a partner and not a workhorse who has no say. But you have to present yourself that way and speak up when your workload is too heavy, or you’ve just been put in a situation that’s way over your head. You won’t look weak, in fact you will be organized and set a precedent for your superiors that you are honest, rational, and will speak up on things. People respect that. You can say, “I appreciate this opportunity and your faith in me, but I would like to adjust this a bit so you can get better performance from me. Let’s work on a solution together.”

So it felt good to share the knowledge that I’ve gained professionally over the years. I think she walked away feeling more empowered, and I felt good for helping her feel that way. I hope I’m saving her years of nonsense if she applies what I said. There are a number of women who have nurtured me and I really would be lost without them. Some have even stepped in the line of fire, even when they didn’t have to and in one case, even saved my job.

It’s odd, because another young woman who I really admire who used to work with me says to people all the time how I should write a book about office politics. She said, my example saved her work life. She said she used to get too personal with people and tried to make friends with everyone. She said she watched me carefully. I never ended up in any gossip, and no one had anything negative to say about me. They just knew I worked hard. I would speak to people and exchange pleasantries, but I wouldn’t go too deep. I wasn’t stern,  but I was serious. You knew I was in there meaning business.

She told me she applied some of my tactics to her new job and hasn’t been happier. I was shocked. In my mind, this woman was too brilliant for our company anyway and I was glad to see her soar in her latest opportunities. And this person credited little ol me with how she handles herself professionally. Wow.

These exchanges remind me of my passion for empowering women in the workplace and anyplace. We lift one another up and even in having someone come to me for advice, that really lifted my spirits and reminded me that people are watching. On my good days, and on my bad days, how am I handling myself? Others can see how people respond to me. What am I putting out there?

Why I Don’t Like White Parties/Liberation Tour Recap

Welp, Labor Day is around the corner.

It signals the close of summer.

Old school fashion nazis say that one should not wear white after Labor Day, so I guess that’s why people love to have white parties that weekend.

I’m going to one where they say wearing all white is optional, so I may make some kind of spin on it.

I think white looks great before you leave the house and maybe as soon as you get someplace, but once you get to the summer party and start dancing, everyone looks even more disheveled as the night goes on.

The white linens stick to folks, you’re wrinkled, it’s easy to spill something on it, you’re always checking to see if you’ve spilled something on it. At the end of the night, everyone looks greasy.

Don’t even get me started on a white party I went to years ago, where I looked awesome. Even had a funky white hat that I wore.

Well, I ended up having a really great night, and NOTHING is grosser than doing the walk of shame in an all white outfit you partied and sweated out the previous night. I took two showers, back-to-back.

I already know I don’t want to wear a white dress. I hate white shoes, so that’s not going down.

I’ve already taken to pinterest for outfit ideas. I am in love with this. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0ZxSHkXY59Q/UABdpaMhbLI/AAAAAAAAvFQ/FqZ1u3-1W8A/s1600/4.+unknown+tumblr.jpg

I feel like ever since Diddy’s summer Hamptons party became on the radar of regular folks, party promoters and white linen enthusiasts have tried to recreate the original.

Also, I hate wearing all white to summer events, because it makes me think of all of those older couples who like to dress alike, often in white and usually the woman overdoes it and ends up looking crazy and uncomfortable with the heels and the accessories. I saw this over and over at the Mary J. Blige concert in Philly this weekend. BTW, it was awesomeness. She had folks going nuts. Awesome energy, I loved every minute.

I know why people love Mary so much. She gives everything. She is a massive superstar, but she gives everything when she performs and she just speaks to women. She speaks to us when we are down, she speaks to us when we are doing, “Just Fine.” There is something so honest about her, and when you see where she came from, her ups and downs and her battles, and you see how glamorous she is and what a major philanthropist and business woman she has become, NOW THAT’S EMPOWERMENT. She does not deviate from the formula. She sings to the heart, soul and pain of women, and she just does it right.

Nobody is doing it like her. D’Angelo never lost a beat, he is not is old cut up self from the untitled video, but he has such a sexy smile and his voice is gold. No one makes music like his. It was sexy, it was spiritual, the chanting, his pitch perfect screams (very Prince), it was part musical orgy/revival.

I also loved Melanie Fiona. Like my companion turned to me and said, wow, I didn’t realize how many hits she has. And he was right. Melanie has been slowly building. She’s a great performer and her voice was awesome too. Can’t wait to see her grow.

If anyone has any white party ideas, or do’s and don’ts, I really need some inspiration that will make me look fresh the whole night through.

This is really old, and not from the concert this weekend. But sample the greatness. Mary singing “No More Drama” is a revelation. I almost fought back tears. It’s ironic she’s wearing white! LOL. I was looking for the best quality in sound and such. Lucky day!

TMI Alert: A Hairy Situation

Spoiler Alert: I’m talking about body hair and I’m also talking about the love below. If you are a young reader, you may want to have a discussion with a cool aunt, older sister or your mom before or after reading this. I’m kinda graphic, but it could have been much worse. If you are a man, you may get privy to how to have a civil conversation with your lady about her parts without wrecking her sexual self-esteem.

Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net

Back in the late 90s early 2000’s a lot of rap artists put silly skits in between songs.  One of the quotes often quoted by me and my friends come in the form of a skit called the “mad rapper.”

The angry rapper was just a certified, bona-fide, hater and he’d always have someone say, “Tell em why you mad, son.” And then he goes on his rant.

Well I had that moment today.

I need to get my eyebrows threaded. Yes, I am that chick. I’ve stopped waxing because, it seems to last longer in my opinion.

So I purposely go to the quiet mall that elderly people like, and get my brows done during my lunch break.

No one is ever in that place.

Oh, but not today. There was not one but two young girls. One clicking away on a cell phone. She was probably 13 or 14. The girl in the chair getting her brows done looked like a younger sister maybe 9. The little girl is saying, “ouch, this hurts.”

The older one not looking up from the cell phone says, “it’s supposed to.”

So I sit and wait hoping they will leave. Nope, the older snarky one still has to go and is telling the eyebrow stylist (I made that up) to just hold on while she’s figuring out why her instagram isn’t working.

I’m through so I walk out and go to the sad, sad food court to eat and hope they are gone by the time I return.

I eat, I return and now their mother is hovering over the chair inspecting the handiwork of the eyebrow stylist, and with her is a third adolescent girl.

I was so mad.

First of all, I never got my eyebrows formally waxed until my freshman year of college. And boy did it make a difference in my features. We aren’t friends anymore, but thank you Maya, wherever you are.

Back to why all of this matters. I couldn’t believe how casual these girls, who were all under 17 were about getting their eyebrows done.

It made me a little sad. Then it made me think of how I didn’t have a problem with any of my body hair, until other people pointed it out and made me feel bad about it. So people are starting on these girls, really early. Or I was just really sheltered and oblivious.

I really wasn’t aware of my hairs, or how unattractive they are to society until middle school while working on my rocket in technology club a boy pointed out he could see my armpit hairs when I raised my arms to work on it.

I was mortified.

Until that day, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me, those hairs, and that boys were looking up under there.

I immediately took my dad’s razor and began secretly shaving my pits.

I’m so sorry daddy. Here you are shaving your face after I’ve shaved my little 13-year-old pits. I’m so, very sorry.

Then I found out a year or so later on the volleyball team that leg hair just really had to go too.

I was so depressed. So I shaved my legs, once again with daddy’s razor. My mom didn’t want me to start shaving and said so when I brought it up. So I snuck. So sorry daddy.

When the other only black girl on the team, a year older than me declared she didn’t shave above her knees, I felt as if that was a good idea, and so, I didn’t shave above my knees.

I told them to go take a hike when they all agreed one girl on the team was perfect because her thighs never touched when she walked.

I decided in my mind that girl was a genetic anomaly and that a little contact while you walked wasn’t a serious issue.

It wasn’t until college that I realized men were waaay more obsessed with the “hair down there” than I was.

For spring break one year, I knew the importance of keeping the bikini line clean and raced for the Nair. I wasn’t about to be looking crazy in South Beach.

But once again, sheltered little me didn’t know the rules of the game.

I was so busy concentrating on the bikini line, a Miami weed man with dreads, and Caribbean accent, who was crushing on me that week complemented me on my confidence and declared my “happy trail” was sexy.

I was totally confused as to what he was talking about. Noticing I needed further explanation, he tickled my stomach and stopped just short of my bikini bottom.

Damn it. Those little bitty hairs? You have to shave your stomach too? I must be a hairy monster.

Why didn’t anyone tell me?

I was so embarrassed. He could tell I had no clue and he just kept telling me how cute I was.

I went back to the room and commenced with the Nair on my stomach too, just below the belly button. Damn.

I honestly thought the hair on the love below was supposed to be there, because it was there and more covering for well, the private parts. And after having a first sexual partner, who was my long time boyfriend, who never had a problem with it or mentioned it, it didn’t occur to me until a couple of partners later, hair or no hair was such a big deal to certain men.

One jerky boyfriend during my early 20s wouldn’t leave it alone.

“You should really shave it. It will make it feel better, for both of us.”

I was livid.

I felt like he was rejecting me and my little lady. That it wasn’t good enough, which was a damn lie, because my first loved me and it, and had no problems with saying hello face, to, um face before, now he wants to bring this up.

So after that conversation, and finally the end of that relationship, I decided that it was my choice to shave or not shave because it was a private part of my body and you can take it or leave it.

So that was my take on it. If you want some of this lovin bad enough. You will take it as it is, however I decide I want it.

I blame porn. Silly men and their silly porn.

Years after the boyfriend with no tact who made me feel like I had an ugly kitty, I had another lover who used a different and most effective approach.

“It’s beautiful, I love it and I will still enjoy eating you out, however if you shave it, it will help me do an even better job.”

And Bingo was his name oh.

I didn’t have no Harriet Tubman speech about accepting my hairy parts, and accepting me and rejection and the are you a pedophile question session.

Nope.

The hair? Gone.

But at a certain point in time, I came to the conclusion that sometimes I like being bare and sometimes I keep it au naturale when I know I’m not having company for awhile. It depends on how I feel and to me that’s the point. I’m not asking for anyone to lean one way or the other, just feel good with what it is you’ve got and don’t let anyone else sway you.

That’s your stuff!

I do believe you should make it as presentable as possible for your special partner, but you should ALWAYS do what is most comfortable to you.

I know I went totally left today. I’m gross. Some of you may stop reading my blog forever. If I went too far, I’m sorry. But this was the post on my heart and mind today.

But seeing how these really young girls barely batted an eye at the thought of body hair removal and how long it took me to even understand the hairs, let alone the social, and sexual implications of it all, I had to laugh and I had to share these thoughts.

I’m glad I had a childhood. I’m glad I maintained my innocence for as long as I could.

Maybe I was late to the hair removal game, but if I joined it any sooner than I did, I would be even more jaded than I already am. I’m glad I was militant about shaving my special parts early on, and I’m equally glad someone showed me the other side of the argument in a nurturing way.

And for those wondering during the college years and after… I bring my own razors when I visit home.

My poor, poor father. God bless him.

Leave My “Stuff” But “Take the Box”

I looked in the mirror this morning, and I liked what I saw staring back at me.

I liked my new short, curly hair, my high cheekbones, my gap-toothed smile.

I felt good.

So good, I practiced my speech for whenever my ex plans to drop in on my life.

I’ll give him back the ring and say how holding on to it is holding me back. How I thought keeping it would be a reminder that at some point in time, someone loved me that much and thought so highly of me.

Now, that’s not what that ring means. A ring is a thing and a symbol of what ever we choose.

The ring lost its original meaning of a promise to stand with me and love me forever, when he just left me hanging.

The symbolism of the ring kept changing for me over the course of me dealing with my pain of his abandonment.

It was a symbol of hope at one point. After all, he told me to keep it because he wanted to put it back on my finger some day.

It was a symbol of failure because the relationship was really over. He wasn’t going to get himself together anytime soon. He was too busy thinking of himself, his own self-preservation, finding his own way, a better job, dealing with his family issues.

It was a symbol that it belonged to me and not him and that I would be damned if he gets the satisfaction of getting any of his hard-earned money back.

I even hate the fact that the word forever is inscribed on the inside.

And now it’s just a pretty ring in a box.

Some people say the best way to get over an old man is to get under a new one.

While I’m not chomping at the bit to be in a relationship, I can appreciate the attention of someone who is genuinely interested in me.

That genuine interest and the knowledge that you always have something to offer someone else and that person will appreciate it, respect it and not let it go, and will fight to keep it will give you the confidence to finally get over the old man.

When a relationship ends, you often blame yourself first and think of all of the things you did wrong, or could have done better even if the demise of the relationship wasn’t even your fault.

Having a new person in your life, who is encouraging you and complimenting you from an honest place (not just trying to have sex) will help you see yourself through new eyes.

In the scenario with my ex. I also see myself looking across the table and saying to him. I’m not the same person. You preferred my hair straight and long. I love it short and curly. You preferred me 20 pounds lighter. I’m a solid six pounds lighter, but I’m steadily working on me and I don’t think I look bad.

I’m nothing like who I was when you were with me, and you had a lot to do with that. So who knows? You may not even like who I am now.

And I’m not quite sure if who I am now, will even like you.

I really thought I couldn’t live without you. And once I stopped crying, and took one step at a time, once I realized that I could laugh and smile again, it got easier.

Silly me. I thought I couldn’t live with out you, meanwhile, you didn’t give me much of a choice. You just left.

There was a time I saw nothing but darkness. The thought of me not mourning over us was impossible to conceive.

I’m thankful for the moments when I think of nothing at all, where I just feel sunshine on my face, or warm shower water running down my back.

I remember when I could feel nothing but pain.

I’m so glad I can taste a really great meal, smell a sweet smell, and hear happy music.

It would have been tragic if I let you take all of that with you when you left. Makes me think of the poem from from “For Colored Girls” “Somebody almost walked away with all of my stuff.” (Alfre Woodard killlllled this.)

I wish you the best. And I really do love you. But you proved to me the extent of your ability to love me and it just wasn’t good enough. I do believe you gave me what you thought was your best at the time.

However, I believe that I deserved better than that then, and I certainly deserve better than that now.

And now, this lovely Amy Winehouse jam. “Take the Box” This is from that early “Frank” album. So no, no beehive hair. I would have done a more recent live version, but you can’t hear the lyrics as clearly.

Older Men and the No Game, Long Game, Game

Time flies when you’re having fun.

For a little more than two months, I’ve been basically hanging with my older gent at least twice a week.

We’ve been going to restaurants, museums, taking in shows, having drinks, and I’ve cooked for him twice. We’ve even started the television series, “Breaking Bad” together. Yes. We are only on season one. We are waaay behind. No spoilers please.

He just disclosed to me last night that his birthday was coming up. Actually I brought it up because I wanted to know what his sign was. And when he said Virgo, I realized, that’s quickly approaching.

So of course I wanted to do something for him. It was instinctive. I’m excited because it gives me an opportunity to do something really nice for him. All of the wining and dining without a flinch, has made me feel like its high time to return the favor and I want to because he deserves it, in my opinion.

I’ve had a drama-free two months, no pressure for sex or a relationship and he basically enjoys my company, compliments me, listens to me and thinks I’m awesome.

So in honor of his, eek now 48th birthday which still makes me feel like the age gap has grown even wider and gulf-like, I’ve narrowed down the gifts and celebration ideas.

  • He’s a steak fan so the über fabulous Ruth Chris. It’s expensive, but if you add up all of the money he’s been shelling out, one Ruth Chris dinner on me really is a drop in the bucket.
  • He’s a golf fanatic, and he often plays at the club near my house. I was able to find out that there is such a thing as a golf gift certificate, so I was thinking two rounds of golf at the club on me.
  • And lastly, because he really likes go karts and thought of opening one, I would take him to this really awesome go-kart spot in Northern Virginia where you even wear a uniform, gloves and a helmet at a fabulous indoor track.

I was out with him last night, and he’s growing more physically attractive to me. His eyes, his smile, the beard he grew just for me because I wanted to know what it looked like. He doesn’t look like he’s “damn near 50.” Early 40’s totally.

I’ll actually be hosting a house guest the weekend of his birthday, so whatever we do will have to come a little later.

So, I think I like him. And no, we still haven’t kissed yet. Now that we haven’t done it, I feel like there has to be a right, special time for some reason.

I’m also nervous about it because things will certainly change.

Now that part, I’m not quite sure I’m ready for.

At this point, either of us would be free to walk away and it wouldn’t hurt that badly, but introduce the other stuff and full-blown feelings are involved and expectations.

But I guess if I’m willing to go all out for his birthday to show my appreciation for how awesome I think he is, something is already happening.

He said that he’s mentioned me to his friends and that he believes we are certainly more than friends.

He’s also mentioned to me that even though he hasn’t put any “Mack daddy” moves on me and he’s going very slow, that I should make no mistake,  he’s  interested.

And my personal favorite, was when he nonchalantly declared that men under 35 still have no clue how to truly satisfy a woman.

Bam.

I quickly followed up saying, um, is this some kind of self-endorsement? He said no, but he did say it was the truth and that men of a certain age appreciate women more and aren’t as enthusiastic about finding that elusive “something better.” They start appreciating what they have more and in turn will, do a far better job.

Well oh my.

For the man who says he has no game, once I started blushing and squirming in my seat, I could have sworn I heard “checkmate.”

So, while he’s patient, he’s made it clear that he’s gladly investing his time and energy in me.

I should be flattered. And I am.

This is all just very different for me.

Older men may claim to have the no game, game, but I’m starting to realize for a man willing to play one game of golf for five hours, wooing a quality woman for two months, without even a kiss is nothing. A man willing to play the long game and play it cool, has the ultimate game.

I respect his gangsta.

Elvis and the Love and Hip Hop Connection

Last night I checked out Flicks From the Hill in the Federal Hill section of Baltimore just outside of the American Visionary Arts Museum.

It’s a really cool museum with all kinds of random art, much of it made out of discarded items, transformed into amazing works.

The other reason why this museum really resonated with me is the fact that a number of artists they feature, are struggling with or have struggled with life long mental illness, incarceration or some really troubled pasts.

I told my date, (yes, the older gentleman) that I appreciated the museum’s transparency about the artist’s illnesses and instead of just brushing off this very fragile and often purposely ignored segment of our community, they see the good in them, even the brilliance and put it on display. These people still have much to offer us, even if we don’t understand them, or we’re even scared of the more negative ways their illnesses manifest. It brought so much more humanity to it.

The odd thing is, while the museum–especially its shop– is totally a freak show filled with the wildest gifts and oddities from all over the world, the respect of the art is very real and is serious business. As a daughter of a mother who is suffering, it touched me on another level that was kind of hard to describe to my date.

That aside, on their movie nights, they waive the $15 admission and you can roam the hodgepodge gratis. So that was pretty cool. They put a large screen on the back of one of their buildings facing a lovely grassy hill that’s part of a neighborhood park. It was a beautiful night and I enjoyed every moment.

Ok. Let’s get back to Elvis.

I guess the movie “Blue Hawaii” was selected because it was the 35th anniversary of his death yesterday.

So I’m in no way dissing the legend to all the fans, but I want to bring up some interesting things I noticed.

The movie begins with a gorgeous woman speeding to the airport in a spunky little red convertible to welcome her man home from a two-year stint overseas for the Army.

Well, Elvis is Elvis and has to make an entrance. As this chick walks up to the plane, like literally as it’s rolling up (which was also hilarious in the post 911 world where we get anal probed prior to boarding and none of our families have even been able to hug us at the gate since Clinton was in office). Elvis is tonguing down as stewardess, I mean flight attendant, I mean, hell this movie was like in the sixties, so a stewardess.

His woman is furious. He flashes her a smile, doesn’t deny what happened, changes the subject, and now his old lady is kissing him too. I don’t even think the dropped food five second rule elapsed. She basically kissed that stewardess too, letting him plant a good one on her. But she’s happy again, and now beaming once he tells her, “Now that’s a kiss.”

I instantly thought of the much hated hip-hop producer and star of reality show Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Stevie J.

*Background. This dude has a baby’s mother (Mimi) who he claims to love dearly, but he basically screws one of his musical artists he’s developing and claims to love her too. He does this openly. He even got the artist pregnant, but was kind enough to take her to the clinic to abort the child. Classy. He even managed to get BOTH women into counseling with him. At the same time. Yup. Are you seeing the parallels here?

Back to Elvis.

So much like Mimi, Elvis’s woman asks questions she already knows the answer to, like, were you faithful when you were overseas?

Elvis, being the true playa pimp he is, actually went into song about how he was almost faithful, for the most part during his tour of duty, and to a happy up beat version of “Aleuette” no less.

If this ain’t Stevie J. I don’t know what is. But Elvis does it, far, far better!

Like Stevie makes this weird face, looks deep in their eyes, and no matter how disrespected both of these women have been, and even in public, all is well, and this jerk wins again. He doesn’t skip a beat.

Elvis even has this broad singing along providing backup during his, “Yes, I did cheat on you song” at a certain point.

Throughout the movie, Elvis is getting much Hawaiian tourist booty shuffled in his face, and his woman puts on a sourpuss for awhile, when she feels she’s been disrespected and then boom he flashes that smile, sings a song, and she’s singing and dancing along.

I swear Stevie J. watches this move in footie pajamas while eating Lucky Charms.

Another hilarious scene, which is jacked up is while he’s telling his best buddies about one of his overseas jump offs, in song, his woman is wading deep in the ocean because his “I know I effed up while I was gone” gift of a bikini top had drifted back to shore so she was stuck out in the water so she wouldn’t show her fun bags to the men. My date was cracking up and basically blurted, “Elvis is singing a p- story!” When I told him to repeat himself, he wouldn’t. However, he told me those are basically the fireside chats men have about their dalliances with women who are not the women they really love.

To Elvis’ credit, as he’s learning to get himself together and stand on his own two feet, not getting a cushy job for his father’s massive pineapple company, he does start resisting temptation.

When a sticky situation presents itself and it looks like he may have cheated, his woman is almost one foot out the door until she finds proof he didn’t cheat and boom. Elvis kinda sorta asks her to marry him. He even says something slick, like, “You realize that’s a proposal, right?” (Anyone remember Jim Jones’ mumble, non-proposal, shut up ring offering to his long time, long-suffering boo Chrissy from Love and Hip Hop Season One? Anyone?) How romantic.

Then there’s the big, Hawaiian wedding at the end.

In this movie women, tell Elvis they aren’t wearing any panties, and he literally spanks a really bitchy teenage female tourist into non-bitch for the rest of the movie. Like when he said, “You need a good spanking.” The nasty-minded crowd dotted on the lawn went nuts from their blankets and lawn chairs. And as he proceeded to put the spunky blonde over his knee and spank her until the scene faded to black, with her kicking and screaming, the laughter was echoing through the streets at a fever pitch.

Needless to say, I was totally entertained and couldn’t help but think, the man credited with “stealing” from black blues and rock and roll artists, was ahead of his time. The fact that these lusty hip hop artists, are doing the same thing, and it just looks much, much worse, reinforces there is nothing new under the sun and well, Elvis is Elvis and could virtually get away with everything. King indeed. Slick S.O.B.

Stevie J., round up Mimi and Joseline for a movie night, son. Might as well.

All three of yall can learn “Almost, Always True” together.

Please enjoy the old school trailer for “Blue Hawaii” here:

The ‘Well Do Something, Then’ Campaign

Photo credit: David Castillo/Freedigitalphotos.net
“Well do something, then.”

There once was a time where when you were a kid (or even for some real belligerent adults), when folks were about to fight they’d stand toe-to-toe and someone would have to be the first to do that step-in-the-face-flinch thing to assert they weren’t playing around, but they weren’t quite ready to just pop off and be the first one to land the punch.

I mean after all, there are usually witnesses, and we all know the person labeled as the fight starter is automatically at fault and eligible for the most severe punishment of the fighters.

An interesting thing happens though.

If the flincher doesn’t go ahead and just throw the first blow, the other person, to show they are now equally fearless as the initiator, will up the ante, and often reply, “Well do something, then.”

Not to be outdone, the flincher has been tested and has to go through with it. If they don’t, all of the pomp and circumstance was for not, and they’ve lost credibility as a bad ass.

If the flincher relents, the other person wins philosophically and usually twists the knife further by saying, “Thought so.” Either pandemonium breaks loose, or the nerve has been lost and the flincher has to slink away in shame.

I often think when we tackle things in life, we are the flincher. We even let life get to the point where it tells us, “Yeah, that’s what I thought” as soon as we turn and walk away after a failure, an embarrassment or if someone hurts our feelings or tells us no.

We want to ask someone out, we want to stand up to a bully, we want to tell people how we really feel, or try something new, or wear our hair a certain way, or we want to take a big risk.

We dance all around this stuff making a big show, talking about what we are going to do, we move our hands, we have a solid stance.

Meanwhile, that thing is staring us in the face saying, “Well do something, then.”

I’ve been working on/ignoring a novel that I’ve managed to write over 100 pages. I keep saying there’s something missing, and I just can’t get there, but I’m kind of almost done.

“Well do something, then.”

I’ve decided this weekend, I’m going to Kinkos and I’m going to actually print the whole damn thing out for the very first time. No, I’ve never printed it out. Crazy, yes. And I will read it, and take a red pen to it and get all up in its rectum and finally finish that thing for real.

There are two jobs I want to apply for.

“Well do something, then.”

Looks like I’ll be working on that too this weekend.

Unused Living Social gym 3-month membership that expires in October.

“Well do something, then. And stop wasting that money.”

Don’t even get me started on the t-shirt business. Things have slowed down, but I’m not as far behind as I think I am.

“Well do something, then.”

I know a friend who is choosing to live in a fantasy world they made up to avoid dealing with the possibility of rejection and dealing with what other people think of his decision, instead of stepping up and being honest with himself and the parties involved. He’s gonna have to take a risk, it’s the only way, even if he fails miserably. He’s got to take those steps as a man.

His fear is crippling him and making it increasingly more difficult to tell the difference between reality and things he’s made up to make himself feel better.

It made me think of what I’ve been telling myself lately. What are the lies? What is the truth?

Am I thinking clearly?

What am I afraid of? And how do I face that honestly?

I think a clear indication of what’s in your heart is what you decide to do even when you’re scared.

If you flinch more than once, especially after you’ve been called out to, “well do something, then,” no one is going to take you seriously.

How many times have you told folks what you’re going to do? And did you immediately do it? Did you wait until such and such happens? Are you still waiting for such and such to happen?

Do you have to wait for the situation to hit you first, so you can feel justified in hitting back and then by default you’re not the one to get in as much trouble because technically you didn’t start it?

Either way, that’s punk theory. Sometimes you just got to start something to force you to finish what you start.

I’m not in any way an advocate for picking fights, but in these kind of circumstances, we need to be unflinching bullies for our dreams, for our beliefs, for our respect and to just get difficult things done.

You don’t like it?

“Well do something, then.”

A Random Rant On Zumba Subs

It’s been awhile since I wrote a Zumba post and a big part of that is I haven’t been in three weeks.

I’ve been running around like a maniac trying to see my friend who has been in the hospital (she’s out now!!) and when not exhausted, hanging out with my older gentleman friend for lovely meals.

Yesterday was my first day back. I was looking forward to it, because I know I always just feel better mentally and physically after class.

Well, I remember we got emails that there was a different schedule with different instructors because the regular instructors were on vacation.

So, yesterday was my first time with one of their subs.

It was a strange experience.

I think the Zumba instructor was good, but I don’t know if I wasn’t feeling her, or just not feeling her routine or I wasn’t receptive to change and of all places, my Zumba sanctuary.

So here was my main beef. The class did not feel challenging at all.

Usually, if I’ve been gone for two weeks, that first class back is hell. I feel it. So that let’s me know right there, we didn’t go in as hard as we could have.

Nope, it all felt rather pedestrian. There were moments I made myself jump higher or squat deeper, because I just wasn’t getting “there.”

Usually Zumba classes are always going to have a hip-hop song, latin song, Caribbean song, sometimes Bollywood and in general high-energy world music (I hate the term world music, but I’m sure you know exactly what I mean).

Usually all of the Zumba instructors follow a formula and always include some standard moves, so no matter who you take it with, if you’ve done it enough, the steps will be familiar and easy to pick up regardless of the song or the instructor.

So fine, the sub was doing all the moves, but she lost me when she played a rock and roll song from the 1950s.

I was irritated. The elderly women, whom I love dearly were doing their thang, but I felt like I was no longer in Zumba, but at Sweatin to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. A good friend actually took a class with the master himself, but she at least was actually sweating. And damn it Richard Simmons is entertaining as all get out.

Not only was I upset at the studio being momentarily transformed into a sock hop, I was further irritated that she swiped moves like the quickstep, which I identified from Dancing With the Stars.

I don’t claim to be a Zumba expert by any means. But I think she was really stretching the line. To me,  Zumba music has to be beat and rhythm driven, primarily with world music. Even when there’s too much popular music, I get a bit annoyed (“Move Like Jagger” is the only pop song I give a pass on).

The other part of the class that always makes me feel odd is often during the hip hop portion. Because I’m young and black, I think people assume I’m going to do those moves well and I feel people watching me.

But the other thing is, now that there are hip hop dance classes, (and the popularity of it growing on shows like So You Think You Can Dance, when it gets to the mainstream and in Zumba classes) sometimes the moves feel watered down to be consumed by the masses, and I sometimes feel goofy doing those too.

While I’m glad that hip hop is being accepted by the formal dance community, I won’t say it’s lost it’s edge, but it kind of feels like WalMart came to town and killed all of my favorite mom and pop stores.

I may have been a grumpy Gus yesterday and not receptive to change. But for all of my Zumba heads out there, have you ever had an instructor get a bit too experimental in terms of the music and their choices made you scratch your head in confusion?

 

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