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“Black Don’t Crack, But You Should Start Early, For Only $500…”

I knew I was in trouble when the siren call of the mall was completely drowning out that of the gym during the later hours of work yesterday.

So I listened. After all, the day after tomorrow, I will be in the fabulous city of New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival.

This will be the third time I’m going. I went for the first time in 2005, and then again in 2008.

Let me break this down for you. The Essence Music Festival is always held fourth of July weekend and draws hundreds of thousands of primarily black women from all over.

This straight up is black woman/girlfriends/exhale weekend. It’s a spring break for black chicks with wall-to-wall concerts with the most amazing R&B, neo-soul, jazz and gospel artists on the planet. Beyoncé is headlining. That alone is a reason to go, but I’m foaming at the mouth to see the following artists:

Friday, July 5: Maxwell, Jill Scott, LL Cool J and Brandy will take the mainstage. While Blackstreet, Anthony David, Les Nubians, Emeli Sande, Maya Azucena, Simphiwe Dana, Mali Music, Shamarr Allen and The Underdawgs will perform in the superlounges.

Saturday, July 6: New Edition, Charlie Wilson, Trey Songz, Keyshia Cole and Solange will grace the mainstage. Faith Evans, Bridget Kelly, Big Daddy Kane, F. Stokes, PJ Morton, Jody Watley, Leela James and Avery*Sunshine will rock the superlounges.

Sunday, July 7: Beyoncé, Janelle Monáe and supergroup TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank) will storm the mainstage while Rachelle Ferrell, Mia Borders, Mint Condition, Luke James, Daley, Tamia, Kourtney Heart, Greta Prince and Alice Smith perform in the superlounges.

http://www.essence.com/2013/04/04/2013-essence-festival-night-night-concert-schedule-revealed/

Let’s also keep in mind that every year I’ve gone, I’ve gone with dear friends that I really love. We’ve enjoyed the amazing food that only New Orleans can offer (including Brothers chicken, the most amazing chicken you can buy in a convenience store 24 hours for like $3 for a three-piece), the drinks (I will have a hurricane or a hand grenade or both at nearly all times) and just the fun and revelry of being in such a sexy, awesome, historic city.

This year is the first year I won’t be with one of my most fabulous travel partners. I’m going to miss her. Instead, I’m accompanied by some EMF virgins- my college roommate, and two older cousins. These ladies are a lot of fun, so I’m sure they will bring an interesting vibe to all of the festivities.

This will also be the first year I actually spring for nicer seats at the concerts, so it’s going to be cool to enjoy that perk. I had loads of fun in the nosebleeds getting plastered and making friends with the bartender, but it’s nice to take it up a notch in that department.

Because there are droves and droves of women, men make it their business to come and take advantage of women loosening up because they are on vacation and in New Orleans, fueled by liquor and the atmosphere.

I won’t lie. I’ve packed short, shorts, revealing tops and a freakum dress or two. I’m ready to get loose. I’ve got cute flats, breezy summer dresses (truth be told I’ve been shopping for this trip since March.)

But the initial inspiration for today’s post comes from my visit to the mall. A sweet charismatic young lady got me to walk over to her kiosk for high-end, paraben free, mineral make up.

Her presentation was impressive. I did enjoy how the eyeshadow could transform to a lip gloss with just a little bit of water. I was most impressed with the foundation.

I won’t lie. I hate make up and I want things to be as simple as possible. If someone can help me find a foundation, that’s half the battle and that’s why I let her do her thing, and that’s why I forked over the ridiculous amount of money for it. It was light and it did make my skin look great and naturally glowy.

But what killed me was her partner who was giving me a facial with all of this stuff that’s supposed to tighten my face and fight aging. He went on and on about botox and how even at the tender age of 31, the key is to start with all these creams and gels.

“You look great, you look beautiful. But everyone thinks in 20s and 30s they don’t have to start with the creams. In 40s and 50s, you are already too late. You must start now. Black don’t crack right? But you should start early. For $500 I will give you…”

And he starts stacking boxes of so many products, I just couldn’t take it and I knew for damn sure I wasn’t going to spend $500 on any of that mess. I’d buy a new bag or some damn Jimmy Choos before I spend that on those kinds of products. Beauty products are not my drug of choice. They just aren’t.

The women in my family age beautifully. My late aunt was a faithful Oil of Olay user. So I’ma stick to that and my occasional bentonite clay mask.

He can go somewhere with all of that.

AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT, SIR!

So I would like to share a few tips for the newbies.

You need flats. Or wedges you know you are comfy walking or standing in (standing particularly if you hang in the superlounges). Most people walk to the Superdome every night because the weather is awesome, the people watching is great and most people want to burn off the calories from all of the amazing food. Now for the more practical reason. Traffic near and around the Superdome is stupid. You’ll just be sitting in your cab. You’ll get there faster if you walk. If your hotel is in a mile radius, hoof it.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER. I know, you are going to be taking down those hurricanes and hand grenades, but seriously, get you some water, you are going to need it.

Sundresses are the way to go. It’s a music festival, they are cute and sexy and women of all sizes usually look pretty nice in them. You feel better when you catch a breeze. Trying to teeter around in heels or things that are too tight, you are going to end up looking silly as the night goes on, unless you have VIP tickets. Keep it simple.

Buddy system. Ladies, you are grown, but seriously stick with at least one other person in your party at all times. It’s easy to get lost. Put your section number in your phone and text it to yourself. One of my homies came up with the brilliant idea of texting the address and room number of our hotel to herself. I’d suggest that too. The street names can be hard to pronounce anyway and when you are stumbling in with the sun in the a.m. remembering your room number is harder than it looks.

Keep your cell phone charged. For some reason, I remember my service being spotty in the Superdome. But who needs a phone? It’s too loud to talk. Just use it for selfies and cute pics with the homies.

Safe sex. That’s a no-brainer. Let’s keep it real. People relax their standards during these kinds of trips. Wrap it up. No exceptions.

It’s always a good idea to have blotting papers and hand sanitizer. The heat and the nastiness of Burbon street will get all up on ya. It’s nice to be able to freshen up a little.

No large bags. You do not want to be fumbling with a huge handbag. Get yourself a cute, small cross body or a wristlet with just enough room your id, cash, cards, room key, phone, lip gloss and blotting papers and hand sanitizer.

Carry a little cash. The restaurants are packed. If you and your party pay in cash you can get the hell out a lot faster. Also if you pay in cash, you may be able to haggle with the fantastic street vendors for art and various things. Now, I’ve never managed to make it to the convention center, but this year, I plan to check out the day time events over there. It should be pretty cool. So I don’t have tips for that.

Oh yes! The superdome is freezing. A cute cardi is a must.

So if you’re going, have a fantastic and safe time! It’s going to be amazing!!!

xoxox

 

 

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Kyle Barker Returns, Again

A situation that took place yesterday kind of starts out the way the guy from the barbershop in Coming to America tells his story about meeting Dr. Martin Luther, the kang.

Clarence: “One day, I was walking down the street, just walking along, feeling good. I walk around a corner, A man walk up, hit me in the chest. I fall on the ground, right. And I look up and it’s Dr. Martin Luther King. I said ‘Dr. King?’ and he said ‘Ooops, I thought you were some body else.’ ”
Sweets: Oh man, you lyin’. You ain’t never met Martin Luther the King.
Clarence: Knocked the wind out of me, yes he did.
Sweets: No, he didn’t.
Clarence: Yes, he did.
Sweets: No, he did not!

Well. No, someone did not hit me in the chest after I walked around the corner, but it felt that way. And I was left feeling like the wind was knocked out of me, just the same.

I was rushing off to the metro near my job, to meet up with friends in DC after work. I looked great, felt great, like my friend Clarence and all of a sudden, I hear a man cat-calling me.

I’m grown. I aint got time for that. So then, the voice yells my name.

I twist around to see where this is coming from.

Lo and behold, it’s Kyle Barker.

Damn. Dressed like Harrison from Scandal (Always has. He’s been wearing gingham dress shirts for ages. I joke with him and call them picnic basket and graph paper shirts), looking so good and smiling that million dollar smile.

Oh he has a great smile.

So, I smile say hello. He asks me what I’m doing here and I tell him that I work nearby. He’s shocked because basically he works in the building across the street from me. He asks me how long have I been working in that building, and I tell him rolling my eyes, six years.

So we laugh at the coincidence. He asks me where I am going and tells me to hop in and allow him to drop me off to the metro. He has to switch out of the turning lane to get back toward the Metro, but he does. As we get closer, I tell him where he can drop me and he says, no, he wants to wait for another car to move out of the way to keep me in the car longer. I laugh him off and switch subjects.

I ask him if he’s still djaying and to let me know when he’s having the next gig. “Maybe I’ll grace the place with my face,” I said playfully.

“And your ass too?”

“And my ass too.”

He tells me he likes my hair and continues to look at me like a desert cart. I’m taking in the view myself. Damn, sir. Trying to fight instant flashbacks of old, naughty behavior, I’m calm, I’m cool. However if he saw or felt what was going on in my panties, I would have been a goner. My cover completely blown.

The sun was shining, I had on an amazing, super flattering Ann Taylor dress. It was, the peeerfect moment you pray for to have the man who pisses you off yet, curls your toes see you. I mean, I would have never calculated that moment for myself so well.

I was laughing at the irony. Kyle Barker hadn’t really crossed my mind. And BOOM. There he is.

Fine.

But before I drifted into my primitive thoughts and had Ciara’s “Body Party” playing in my head on repeat, upon entering his vehicle, the smell of stale weed met me in his car. I had to laugh about that too. He’s fine, he’s smart, he’s educated and has a good job, but him and that damn weed.

I used to smell it on him and taste it on his lips, back in the day. But I didn’t care, not one frigging bit. He put it all the way down.

I was having an Olivia Pope moment. He’s my Fitz. He’s my Mr. Big. No matter where I go, or what I do, I can’t seem to escape his draw. The magnatism.

He makes me primitave. It’s intense, the desire. He’s no good.

We’ve gone over this numerous times on this blog. No good. But uh, uh, uh. He’s fine.

So we make a little more small talk, I keep it short. Got places to be. I bid him adieu. So he purposely says the corny line, like, “I hate to see you leave, but I love seeing you walk away.”

I laughed, and casually said, “Thanks for the ride, darlin.” And stomped off like a true G.

And like a true G, I never turned around to look back at him in the car.

Yes, hunty! Go in and let have! I was giving it everythang, strutting to the Metro like he didn’t phase me. (Inside, I wanted to straddle him in the car. I need Jesus. For real.)

Oh rapturous fabulousness!

And in honor of our ridiculous fauxlationship, Wale’s Bad. Shout out to Olivia and Fitz and Olivia and Jake… Bad girl…

Since I mentioned Body Party, why not?

The Week O Dreams Continues; Oprah, I Mean, Ms. Winfrey, Pays Me a Visit

My most recent dream did not involve a man, or love or exes.

Thank you, God!

My most recent dream involved me hitting the road and visiting a dear friend in the state of Ohio.

I managed to pull over on the side of the road and get into an argument with a coach of what seemed like a new version of the Bad News Bears. I couldn’t remember much.

But another part of my dream, or a second dream that sticks out in my mind is that I had a ten-minute meeting with Oprah.

That’s right. I was kicking it with The Mighty O.

She was just as splendid meeting her in dream life than I would have ever imagined in real life.

Yeah. Play that back.

Lol.

Okay, so we are in a lovely room. Sunlight has entered. Lady O was wearing some soft, white top that I’m sure Olivia Pope, already has in her wardrobe. I’m sure.

Women with the confidence to wear delicate white clothing and not look afraid of dirt touching it all day inspire me. They are truly fearless.

Anyway. For some reason, I know I really only have ten minutes with Oprah, so I’m trying to make it count.

So, I keep it simple. I’m not asking her for a job, or a loan, or to send me to college. We are simply talking about books. We are specifically talking about “Twelve Tribes of Hattie” and while although she put her stamp of approval on it and made it apart of her book club, it left me feeling some kind of way and quite sad.

We agree to disagree on the awesomeness of the book, and I felt so at ease with Oprah. She was so awesome and gracious and present in the moment with me. She didn’t rush me, this was our time. She was all in. She wasn’t condescending or diva-like. She saw my humanity and we enjoyed our brief conversation.

Well, I felt really comfortable. Too comfortable. And I began to speak. I said, “Ms. Oprah…”

I was instantly stopped short. Oprah interrupted me.

Making one of her “honeychile” faces she looked me straight in the eyes and said, “No sweetie. Not yet. Ms. Winfrey.”

And she laughed.

And I had to laugh too. Totally embarrassed, thinking I committed the worst offense of all time, I think I managed a quiet, humble, “Yes, yes, Ms. Winfrey.”

Her smile and laugh was warm. She asserted herself to correct my misstep, but it was in a confident, kind, instructional way.

She did it in a way, not like a diva, or not like she was speaking down to me like a peasant.

It was wonderful.

But what I appreciated most was after her gentle, yet authoritative response was that she said, “Not yet.”

Not yet?

Hol up.

Does this mean, Opr… I mean Ms. Winfrey wants to actually speak to me again, where I can get to call her Ms. Oprah? Not Oprah, because I don’t even think Gayle can call her that. I just want to be able to like a good child, raised by Southern parents, refer to her lovingly as Ms. Oprah. It really is respectful. I mean it in a highly respectful, old school way.

Oh rapturous joy!

Does this mean Ms. Winfrey has taken an interest in me???

Oh what a dream!

There are a few things I can gather from this in real life, that I’ve been mulling over as I share this awesome story.

One, I have something in me that can be attractive to people from all walks of life. Humanity is shared, therefore from the youngest to the oldest, richest to the poorest, we can connect and we can learn and give and take something valuable from one another. Period.

When you walk into a room humbled by that fact, you can own that room.

I have some level of power and influence within myself that I haven’t tapped into… yet.

There was something so powerful and hopeful about that dream. Maybe I will meet Ms. Winfrey someday and she’ll think I’m awesome.

But I also learned something from the way Ms. Winfrey, in one sentence, spoke with such conviction into my life and hers, by saying yet… and by also reminding me of who she was in an authoritative, yet kind way.

It reminded me, one you can let people know who you are without being loud, or boisterous or saying, “Do you know who I am?”

Don’t be afraid to correct people when they have not earned the right to call you by your proper name. Don’t be a jerk, but when you know who you are, you can confidently let people know where they stand with you, without being offensive or coming off like you are better.

Be unapologetic. Let people know who you are. And know who you are so when people get it wrong, you can stop them right away.

I’ma say it one more time.

When you know who you are, correct folks right then when they incorrectly say who they think you are.

I got chills off of that.

That level of class speaks volumes of you and elevates others, because you took the time to respect them regardless of status or income or amount of power.

You can energize someone else “lower” than you, by showing them respect, giving them hope and showing that you share the same humanity.

I woke up this morning feeling like I could take on the world. Could you imagine if I actually met Ms. Winfrey? Lawd.

I’d just go ahead and run for president 2016 myself and really believe I could win.

“Lighthouse” by Fantasia (This is my latest, favorite positive jam.)

Dating Diversity: I’m Not As Tolerant As I Probably Should Be

This is a race post. I’m warning you now. These are my observations and opinions.

So, I came to a very interesting revelation last night.

After going out with a co-worker last night, I realized how fun it is to flirt with men outside of my race as long as all parties are interested in the flirting and don’t have any real expectations.

Maybe Olivia Pope and President Fitz of the hit T.V. show “Scandal” are changing hearts and minds and finally making interracial voyeurs finally come out and be open. Maybe I’m one of them.

I am a black woman. I love black men. I prefer dating black men. I haven’t really ever gone out on dates with men of other races. Either guys I’ve dated may be mixed with black or they may have been Latino. All of my serious relationships have been with men who identify as black.

I often tend to feel that way because usually black men are the majority of men who approach me or try to ask me out. There have been a few occasions where I was in a conversation with a white man and I was completely oblivious to the fact that he may have been flirting or interested, because I honestly assume I’m not their type and I assume that there’s no way they’d be interested.

And even if I sense it, I have a tendency to also unfairly assume that white men see me as some exotic fruit. Remnants of American history and the relationship between white slave masters and black women upset me. A sign goes off in my head that says they see me and think, “good for freaky crazy, fetish sex only.” It makes me nervous and uncomfortable. There are some white women who may be afraid of a group of black men and that they’ll rape them. I get nervous if I’m in a room filled with really drunk, white men. Will they feel like they have the right to rape or disrespect me? I’ve had male friends who would say, “Let’s leave before they all want to start hanging us.” Or “Let’s leave when they start talking about Obama. It can only go downhill from here.” And we’d laugh, but it’s a real thought. It was not that long ago, that things like that happened in this country and on a regular basis.

Inhumanity, wrapped in revelry was a serious American pastime for a long time. Lynchings were celebratory events. People took photos, had smiling children and took pieces of the corpses home as souvenirs. So yeah, I don’t want to lump people in with folks a few generations ago, but the history does not completely elude me. It guides how I feel I am viewed by white men.

We are all more alike than we know. I think we are all curious about each other. They want to know if black women are really freaky, are our butts really that big? What do our private parts look like? And hell, behind closed doors me and my friends have wondered how big are they, are they pink? Like piglet pink? Do they perform oral sex better and like it way more than black men?

I just really believe that for whatever reason, they just aren’t attracted to me. So if someone else points it out, I’ll be like, for real? Wow. Cool, I’m crossing demographics.

Well in addition to chatting up some white guys who were interested, I want to include a caveat in this story.

The white men who make it known they are interested in me tend to be working class, not usually college-educated guys who are exceptional at various specialized, blue-collar trades. They tend to have grown up in diverse areas, they may have a child or two and are conversant in slang. I’ve yet to date, what I call a regular 100 percent white guy. The kind of white guy who shops at Hollister, knows how to make his own beer, was in a fraternity, who did not grow up around black people or tries to imitate hip hop culture. (I already know there is no such thing as my idea of the 100 percent stereotypical white guy, but it’s what I tend to imagine.) Those white guys never seem to approach me and I feel like I’d have more in common or share the same values with them than the ones who go out of their way to quote rap lyrics, or wear gold chains or drive tricked-out impalas. I don’t even mesh with a majority of black men who fit that description.

I’m amused, because these men shatter stereotypes across cultures and remind me, people are indeed people and that black people do not have a monopoly on trifling behavior.

More on trifling behavior in a moment. This story is going to get good.

These two men convinced me and my friend to join them at a Mexican bar and restaurant because one of them wanted to prove that he could do a mean Bachata for “a white guy.”

So fine, we didn’t pass this up.

One guy is very interested in my friend. My friend is Latina. He didn’t have any cash and managed to sweet talk one of the waitresses into giving him $5 so he can hit up the jukebox and find the proper tune. The other friend, who was the “self-proclaimed” wing man, mentioned this restaurant wasn’t his scene, but he was taking the L for his boy. After trying to get my number earlier and it not working out, we simply chatted about stuff and the more he drank, the more sad and frustrated he was.

He basically said, he’s been through a lot and I’m a classy lady. It’s not that he wasn’t interested in me,  or that I wasn’t attractive, but he’s going through a lot and, well I’m a classy lady. He emphasized that I was classy. I rubbed his arm and I told him, “It’s really ok. Really.”

But on the other side of me at the bar was a latino man speaking to me in Spanish. I guess he noticed things weren’t going so hot with the guy I was originally talking to and that he’d go for it. I stumbled through the conversation, apologizing for messing up the language, while others at the bar chimed in to fill in words for me. Everyone was amused. Everyone wanted to help me communicate or tell me which word was missing. They seemed pleased that I knew what I did, and that I actually tried. When I answered one of their questions by saying, “Yo no se, estoy baracha” (I don’t know, I’m drunk) the bar erupted in laughter. Two men asked me to dance about two different times and I obliged.

My earlier male companion egged me on to dance, since I was not interested and he got the hint, and so I danced, twirled and laughed and spoke mangled Spanish.

In Spanish, I thanked my dance partners for their patience with me and for being such good teachers.

They were tickled by this and their appreciation and approval showed prominently in their pants. Men.

I was mildly grossed out, but not really, because I was tipsy, but at the same time, I felt like I was an ambassador for Black women. I was getting my Susan Rice on.

We all aren’t always angry, or mad or loud like most of the black women on t.v. Sometimes we want to branch out and try new things and test our Spanish if someone is willing to listen. We want to laugh and flirt, and have someone lead us off our bar stool, by the hand and be spun awhile. We want to listen to other kinds of music. We want men of all backgrounds to find us genuinely beautiful and attractive and interesting.

I was glad to swap stories with two white guys who I would never normally talk to. Maybe they got to see something different from what they are used to, and to me that’s cool.

So in some convoluted way, I’ve talked about a lot of things here, I want to shout out the men I talked to in English and Spanish last night who helped me have a fun night, but didn’t act all pissy because I didn’t want to hang out with them again. Everyone just appreciated the moment, a dance was a dance. A conversation was a conversation.

But back to trifling behavior. The guys we originally showed up with, well the one I was talking to showed me a ridiculous switch blade he carried in case someone tried to steal his diamond chain (he likes the bling) I was suddenly chillin with Paul Wall. And I nodded and kept cool and said, hey, “I guess you got to do what you got to do sometimes.” He smiled proudly and took a sip of his drink.

I cashed out with the bartender and made sure he knew in English and Spanish that I was only paying for my drinks. Frick and Frack had a couple of beers and a shot of patron each.

At the previous bar, those two offered us a drink, but we said we were good and they said, well at least stay longer and have half a drink (they bought one drink, had the waitress put it in two glasses).

After hearing one of them talk about how he hadn’t paid a gas bill and that he still had one more notice before it was cut off, I had a feeling these guys were shady and I didn’t think either one of them was going to spring for my $8 tab.

So, me and my home girl headed to the bathroom at the Mexican bar, and when we returned, Frick and Frack were gone. They kept making jokes about skipping out on the bill, before they left and it appears that’s what they did. The bartender looked confused, and a bit annoyed as my friend settled her tab, only paying for her drinks and explaining she was only paying for her drinks.

Frick and Frack rode off into the night in their tricked-out Lincoln.

We were hysterical in laughter.

People are people. Gente son gente.

A Culture of Last-Minute Cramming

I had a good hard laugh at myself the other day, prior to my dentist appointment.

I’m not a regular flosser. I know I’m not a regular flosser, and I know the Dr. and the hygienist will know I am not a regular flosser. Once they open my mouth and poke around, they will know. They are professionals. I am not. They will know and they will tell me. And I will be ashamed for my negligence to my dear gums.

But prior to my appointment, I was looking for floss. I was brushing my teeth and my tongue with vigor.

Luckily, I didn’t have any cavities, but they hygienist told me I needed to floss, everyday. No exceptions. My gums were slightly sensitive and bleeding a bit, but I needed to do this to save my perfect teeth.

When I got in my car, I realized the last-ditch efforts we do to make ourselves feel better for not doing what we are supposed to all along. Or to just make ourselves look better when someone has to look at something in our lives a bit closer than normal.

Prior to dates, or sex or an obgyn appointment… most women try to groom their lady parts. Some physicians laugh that some patients go through the trouble of spraying perfume or putting on baby powder down there to “freshen it up.”

But it doesn’t bother medical professionals when a person actually bathed before the grooming…their gripe is when they didn’t bathe at all. The person left out the water and soap part, and only spritzed themselves in some fruity Bath and Body Works concoction, hence making the entire encounter offensive.

I remember rushing to shave my legs before a date, because I had a feeling he was going to see my legs, and trying to sneak and wipe off a dot of blood I noticed, left behind from the rush hack job I did to my gams. Last minute cramming…

I remember recently making an impromptu emergency massage appointment and then having a momentary freak out because I had a little stubble on my legs and hadn’t shaved in a while. I didn’t want the masseuse to think I was an unkept, hairy beast. But that’s not their job to think it, or let me know they think it. So I shouldn’t care. I want to be clean, but a little stubble on my legs is not going to send them out of the room, refusing me service. I had a silly panic moment.

And once I let that go, I managed to have a wonderful massage.

When we have to expose ourselves to others, a lot of us, panic and worry about the outside reaction and then “cram.”

Me and one of my friends have a saying from an old rap song. “If you stay ready, you ain’t got to get ready.”

With that simple mantra, you don’t have to worry about being unprepared or caught unaware if you are constantly handling your business, maintaining your health, car maintenance, financial business, personal grooming, etc. And other motivational gurus also talk about the importance of being ready for an opportunity, because they often come at random, unexpected times.

But the need to cram, I think, happens to everyone. And I think it’s a natural reaction to pending evaluation-related events or people who have to evaluate us or a situation created by us.

The same thing happens for people who clean their homes right before company comes over, or does a pre clean prior to having a hired person clean their house. We don’t want folks to think we are nasty, we say. Yet, we don’t accept the real reason we needed help in the first place. We either didn’t have time, or we are lazy, or the house is to big or too messy for us to tackle alone and we want a simple solution.

There’s nothing wrong with that in that instance. If you can afford it, I say do it. Don’t even think about the judgement you think the person you are paying has. They probably don’t. And if they think you are nasty, they’ve agreed to help you anyway. Move on.

These actions are like the kids who don’t study for exams and may have studied the material the night before, and yet have their book out scrambling moments before the teacher says, put the book away, let’s begin.

It reminds me of the friend who would say, “If you are five minutes early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late. So if you are already late, why are you still running? Even if you show up a half-hour later, it still makes you no worse than the person who is five minutes late to someone who values time. Showing up a half hour late, you just really, really pissed them off. If you are a minute late, you are late.”

Then I’d say, “being a minute late is still a lot better than, five, ten or twenty minutes late.” I still think a minute late is way better than twenty, but my friend still had a valid point.

What is it that makes us do this?

Why do we think these last-ditch efforts make a difference? Why is this an automatic reaction?

Why did I really think breaking out the floss twenty minutes before my dental appointment was going to erase all of the days I’ve skipped it?

Because, we are a culture of crammers. Sometimes we do just enough or we slapped together something at the very.last.minute  and we want to be rewarded for that.

So we trick ourselves into thinking that these things work, especially when we actually do pass the test, or don’t get a cavity or we get a compliment about how lovely our homes are.

We breathe a sigh of relief, and we continue our trifling ways, until we are called to the carpet once more for an outside inspection or assessment, yet again.

Texting Snobs

sippakorn/freedigitalphotos.net

sippakorn/freedigitalphotos.net

Welp. We all know I’m back out there trying to date. Trying to see what’s what.

I was texting one gentleman caller and he seems to be a nice guy, but a recent text messed me up completely.

He used the word “presents” instead of “presence.”

Being a writer, I try not to be jerky about texts and emails from non-writers.

I’ll let it slide when people misuse your and you’re, or there, their and they’re. It picks at my nerves, but I let it go.

But when people do it regularly, it does make me slowly lose ounces of respect for them.

Presents and presence are two totally different words that mean two totally different things.

Santa gives out presents.

Folks request your presence at their fancy tea or brunch and the honor of your presence at their wedding. Now you can go to a registry and buy them presents, but that’s all you can do with that.

Your presence at this meeting is mandatory, says your boss.

When teachers take attendance and the proper kids don’t want to just simply say, “here” (or in this dude’s case, “hear”), they don’t say, “presence” they say, “present.”

I’m a snob.

In my account of the situation to my bestie, via text, I did say that my vagina instantly becomes dry when men abuse the English language. Fine men suddenly grow warts on their chin that only I can see because they used the word mines in a sentence. Not mines, like a place of work for miners…(and they are of age to work in a mine because they are not minors). He meant as the possessive, mine but I guess, his logic is if the item in his possession is plural, then add the -s. Mines.

Ok. The English language is kinda tricky…

I’m not surprised things didn’t work out with my ex. He always misused worse and worst. Whatever should have been worst, he used worse and vice versa. IT MADE ME CRAZY.

I would try to repeat what he said by using the proper word to show him an example– without being mean– but he never took the hint. And he was college-educated. Ugh.

So this does make me a snob?

Meanwhile, Lancelot will be returning from his mini vacay in Vegas, where he casually mentioned winning $4,000 (wonder how much he lost though) and I’m sure, I’ll be connecting with him soon.

His texts were grammatically correct and he’s coming home with $4,000.

Moisture is returning to my nether regions…

I am a snob and a gold digger.

Size Ain’t Nothing But A Number, and Other Random Weight-Related Rants

I was feeling all kinds of warm and fuzzy.

I’d been inspiring folks to replace negative behavior with positive ones.

I was trying to stick to my own, when this morning, I just stayed in bed.

No A.M. workout.

No breakfast.

I’d been embracing my natural curly hair, and last night I decided to straighten it to get an idea of how much its grown and to clip some ends.

Guess what?

Hated it. Didn’t feel like myself. After watching a few videos on youtube, seems like a lot of women who go natural go through this.

They aren’t as excited about their straight hair as they thought, and if it weren’t for all the work they put in, they’d wet it and just go back. Some actually did right after they straightened it.

Didn’t want to waste the two hours I put in, so I just slicked it all back and stuck a straight pony tail hair piece on and wrapped it in a bun. I’m still not enthused.

So anyway, I try to put on pants and all of them are hell to put on. I know that I ate over my birthday weekend, but really? So none of my workouts during the week helped the cause??? Nothing?

Ok, fine. So here I am in the office, feeling all kinds of ways about myself. Even unattractive. After feeling pretty great about myself on Monday. How can it flip soooo fast???

Because I feel like I’m a thick girl, I decided to take a look at plus-sized models on Pinterest.

I’m not quite plus-sized, but I hover around a 10-12 in most of my clothes. (This is supposed to actually be the average weight of an American woman)

One thing I always admire about plus-sized models is, they weigh more than me, and they are gorgeous. Like put them side-by-side with me, and they wipe the floor with me. Why? Because they are still professional models! Models of any size are still more fly and amazing because they are friggin models. So people who think they can roll out of bed and assume they are hotter than a plus-sized model because they are a size four? You just played yourself. That size 16 Lane Bryant model is going to look better than you in her underwear. She’s still a model. Just saying.

They have confidence out the butt-crack, and they always wear clothes that fit.

I think the key to life and confidence, is wearing damn clothes that fit. Period. Take your award and exit stage left.

Even if it’s a short skirt, or tight pants, or even in some cases midriff tops, Plus-sized models’ clothes frigging fit. Some don’t have flat stomachs, but their clothes fit properly and give that illusion.

What are the rest of us doing wrong? If it’s just that simple? Someone tell me please.

They understand the importance of great undergarments and their hair and make up and shoes and accessories are always on point.

So ok, it may take me awhile to lose the 20-30 pounds I want to lose. But even on the days I can’t seem to fit my pants, I need to rock the ones that fit properly with attitude.

I’ve discussed this in a previous blog, that people will wear unflattering clothes, especially pants and skirts because if they move up a size they are surrendering to the larger weight.

If you think wearing ill-fitting pants like an albatross or a scarlet F for fat is supposed to shame you into going to the gym and losing the weight, it’s not. You are going to look like a muffin-top, sausage casing of hot mess. That’s what’s going to happen.

Now you feel even more self-conscious.

Oh hell no.

Do I want to wear more size 12 pants? No! But I’ve also noticed that it’s not so much size, it’s cut. Sometimes we can’t read so much into the NUMBER.

So yes, some days I can wear size 8 clothes. Or mediums.. Some days 10s, 12’s and there might even be a size 13 jean. But hey, I’ve got bootie and thighs and thicker legs anyway.

Today, my muses are plus-sized models. I should love myself at every step of the way and actually look like it via my clothing choices and focus on my health and getting in shape. The weight will come off.

Here are some links and stories about the it girls of plus-sized fashion blogging:

http://jezebel.com/5958726/plus+size-lady-bloggers-look-fly-make-us-want-to-go-shopping

The chick who is murdering the game is Nadia Aboulhosn. Most articles that mention plus-sized bloggers always mention her! http://nadiaaboulhosn.com/

Another young lady I absolutely adore is is gabifresh. This chick is also everything. I love her looks, I love her confidence. She is rocking a middriff on her blog and it freaking works. Inspiration. Sigh. Gangsta. Sigh.

No matter what your size, if you’ve never checked out a plus-sized fashion blog, they still have great tips for everyone. You may be inspired, like me!

I’m about to go buy some sturdier bras…

Today’s lesson. Whatever size you are. Wear what fits. You’ll feel better. Wearing something a size too small or wearing clothes that are too big serves no one.

Ain’t Nobody’s Buisness…Stop Scrolling Through My Phone Pics

Oh, nosey people.

Yall kill me. You really do.

I won’t front, at the job, I am on some Beyonce-type, Oprah Winfrey top-secret stuff when it comes to my personal life.

So there were like three people I did not mind showing a few New Year’s Eve photos to, mainly because they wanted to see me all jazzed up, and wanted to see my super awesome hairstyle.

Well, the most super nosey person on my job was told I had said pics, and whilst she was near my desk she asked to see them I specifically scrolled through and picked the photo I wanted her to see.

Under the guise of wanting to take a closer look at the approved photo, she asks if she can handle my smartphone and then this broad begins scrolling like a mug. Then there’s the ah, who’s the guy? And so on and so forth.

I’m mildly irritated, but manage to snatch my phone back.

I’m going to start taking pics of my hoo ha and periodically place them between photos.

So I pose this question to everyone. Do people have the right to keep on scrolling if they ask to see a pic? Or do I have to go old school and say, “See with your eyes and not with your hands?”

Or, should I just assume in the days where we keep photos on our phones, and have digital cameras, it’s just a given for folks to “over scroll?”

I try to stop especially if all of a sudden the photos become unrelated to what the person intended for me to see. Some closer friends will announce to me that they are about to overscroll and say, “I’m about to be nosey.” And they are close friends and it’s ok. I allow it. Then I make jokes about them not getting upset if they see some nasty stuff intended for a boo thang.

But if we aren’t that cool, and you are just an acquaintance,  is it socially acceptable for a person to keep on scrolling? I say it is poor manners and one should not do it; just look at the specific photo they pulled up for you.

In honor of my feelings on scrolling on beyond where I feel appropriate… I present the king and queen of oversharing…Rihanna and Chris Brown. They clearly wouldn’t have a problem.

And why didn’t I think of this earlier???? Thanks Will and Ashley!!!

Tired Of Shopping

I am tired of shopping. Like, I am basically done with my Christmas shopping. And I’m glad.

I guess it’s tiring because I want to give people good gifts and I really put thought into it. It’s easy to buy random crap and hand it out.

It takes effort to get something for folks and really take into consideration their likes or anticipate something they didn’t realize they’d enjoy so much.

Between online shopping and going H.A.M with my bestie back home at the outlets, for the first time ever, I don’t think I will have to do any last-minute shopping the week of Christmas for anyone.

I am proud.

I did buy some stuff for myself,  and I indulged in the Coach bag I wanted.

I signed my soul away to Coach on Facebook to get a very rare 25 percent off coupon for regular priced items in the store. Not the outlet, the store. They never have sales in the for real, for real store.

I tricked out my social media self, for a bag. Well, I tricked myself out to get a $100 discount on a bag. Either way, I tricked myself for an excellent deal.

I’d do it again. The bag is awesome. Even New Guy approved and said, the black is nice, but the brown says, “I’m here.” And it’s not brown, it’s… let me look it up. It’s cognac!!!

When I was out with my dad, and showed him the bag, he simply said, “For that much, that purse needs to jump on your arm, turn out the light when you leave the house and start your car.”

I told him, it was only a Coach, and if a Coach had to do that, a Louis Vuitton and a Chanel would have to do something ungodly, that I will wisely choose not to talk about with my father.

He shook his head. But he did say there is nothing wrong with working hard and enjoying nice things from time to time. For some people, it’s gadgets, for some it’s shoes and for some it’s bags.

But seriously, I’ve seen malls and outlets too much in the last week.

I’m fatigued from the barrage of sales emails I’m getting every hour on the hour. So I’m glad to basically be done with everyone on my list.

The only thing left on my list is my new laptop! Maybe dad will put in on it as my gift and help a sista out.

I have most of what I want and certainly all I need. I do dig the nine west perfume love fury, and I wouldn’t mind a spa treatment and I’m always down for gift cards to Panera, Chipotle, Potbelly or Subway. Oh, I would like a DVD of one of my favorite movies Best In Show. I could watch that movie a million times! It’s so friggin awesome. And I’ve been looking for Vivian Green’s physical CD “The Green Room.”

Oh! I have to say, I’m a fan of Ruby Tuesday’s menu. They have some really good red velvet cupcakes and this really great cider fizz!!! I know that’s random, but it was really good, and this chicken and shrimp dish was good on calories and actually tasty! Hurray Ruby Tuesday!

Who else has finished shopping? And who else is already tired of shopping? And that’s hard for me to say, I usually enjoy it, but I’m tired. I really don’t need to see another mall for a minute.

Even though I’m never home for actual Christmas day, I did try to put myself in the holiday spirit and break out my little “single girl tree.” It is no muss, no fuss. I plug it in, it lights up, it’s small, I throw a few dollar store ornaments on it and I’m set! I do like to put all the presents I wrap for other people around it to make it look real baller.

Fun fact about me.

I really enjoy wrapping gifts.

Like, I take it seriously.

It soothes me.

I should volunteer to wrap gifts this year for charity at the mall.

So I think I’ll wrap gifts this weekend! Whoo hoo.

Happy shopping dear ones!

Real Things That Scare Grown Women– The Halloween Edition

James Barker/freedigitalphotos.net
Even though she had to get with Dracula, she’s a bride no less, and got a man, uh vampire. She was on it before Twilight and True Blood, just sayin…

So Halloween is upon us. You know.

Gobblins, the undead, Jason, blah, blah, blah.

I hate scary movies. My friends know this. They tend to screw with my mind well after the credits have rolled and every shadow, noise or what not puts me on edge. I know the stuff isn’t real, but , I just don’t get a kick out of being scared.

Me and my friends went to a really great haunted house once, and I won’t lie, my bladder gave in just a bit.

I ran enough to air dry, but I was like see, I paid $15 to trickle on myself. This ain’t cool. I also ended up bruised because my purse got stuck on one of the props, as I tried to escape in pure horror flick action. Why didn’t I lose a shoe like the busty, blondes in our favorite horror flicks.

Anyway, after thinking about the panic attack I had just walking into Babies R Us, and my preparing to go to another friend’s baby shower (yall know how I feel about babies, they scare the crap out of me. Carrying them, having them, being in charge of their maintenance to only have them grow up, not need me anymore and send me to an old folks home).

Just walking in there I only had one thought, “let’s make this quick, let’s get out of here.”

I’m the same girl who would be strolling along in the mall and as soon as I caught sight of Pea in a Pod or Motherhood Maternity, I’d literally hold my breath as I walked past the store, like little kids do when they pass a cemetery.

That’s just how real it is. Me and my friends send texts on Mother’s Day congratulating one another that we made it one more year managing not to be anyone’s mother and thanking all of the birth control and condom manufacturers.

Ok. So without further ado, I’m going to share with you my list of things that scare grown women, mainly of my kind–non married and without children. This list is in no particular order, by the way. It’s all bad.

1. Your mother looking hotter than you.  Good for mom, but awful for you.

2. A negative balance in your bank account.

3. You are on your period and the McFlurry machine is broken, or the folks simply say, “the ice cream machine isn’t working” What? Huh? Are you crazy? What do you mean it’s not working? I’ma call corporate. This is unacceptable.

4. They no longer make your favorite lipstick/foundation.

5. Gas station restrooms.

6. Public bathroom tampons.

7. Having to unclog your own drain.

8. Bugs of any kind.

9. Walking to your seat on the plane, and yup, you are sitting next to the creepy guy who can’t stop smiling at his good fortune.

10. Being that overzealous girl at the bouquet toss… Don’t be that girl. Don’t.

11. Online dating.

12. Blind dates.

13. Having to buy jeans in a bigger size.

14. Going to a new hair stylist.

15. Owing the IRS.

16. Being audited by the IRS.

17. You purchase hot, hot shoes and got two right feet and you are already back home.

18. You had a great date, yet he never followed up. Where did he go? Did he die? Witness protection?

19. You marry the wrong dude.

20. Gaining more weight.

21. 40-year-old women shopping in the juniors section.

22. Unhappy, married mothers.

23. When the boss says, “um we need to stay late.”

24. Going to the mechanic for an oil change.

25. Pap Smears and the doctor is looking at your junk for an extra long time saying, hmmmm.

26. When the mechanic asks you to step aside for a minute.

27. When your gyno wants to meet with you again once you’ve put your clothes on.

28. When you are this close to maxing out your card, but you get one…more…thing.

29. When you seriously start to think the Liz Lemon character is based on you.

30. When your friends seem happier than you and you’re jealous. Shame!!! Don’t be like that!

31. Finding out after all these years, you are allergic to something you love.

32. Any man over the age of 22 who says he doesn’t “eat.”

33. Any man who says he doesn’t have a job.

34. Any man who says, “you got this, right?”

35. Any man who suggests he move into your place. Not find a new place together, just move into your place.

36. Becoming a cat lady.

37. loneliness.

38. Slipping and falling in your tub, dying and being more afraid of being found naked than not being found at all.

39. Dark alleys.

40. Man boobs.

41. Saggy, female boobs.

42. Any kind of cancer.

43. Belly fat.

44. Stretch marks.

45. Grey hair.

45. When the college sluts, H.S. bitches, and unattractive booger-pickers manage to get married and you are still single, with no prospects whatsoever.

46. When you start pouring the french vanilla iced coffee at 7-11 and you run out at half a cup.

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