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Work, School, Book Club Too?

On top of everything else going on in my life, working full-time, being a graduate school student, I’ve added a book club to the list.
It started off innocently enough. Some very smart, sweet, creative and conscious women from my former job had been meeting with each other to discuss books and art and culture and to just unwind and share goodies (hand-made and store bought) for some time.
A dear co-worker of mine mentioned that they were reading one of my new favorites “Americanah” and I was very curious about the perspective of this very diverse group of women. So I crashed the party.
After having a very wonderful time– they were excited to see me since I’d recently left that job– I was invited to return anytime and to read the next book.
So despite homework, assignments, class and work, I took on the next selection, which was massive “The Goldfinch” and although I stayed up all hours of the night to complete it in time for the next gathering, I enjoyed the book a great deal, and enjoyed talking about it with this group even more.
Our next meeting is coming around the first of the month and have I started the book yet?
Of course not. I plan to this week for sure.
Should I be taking on any other extra activities, common sense says no, but my intellectual and creative side says yes.
For some reason, it’s worth it to me not only to read these books, that I may not have otherwise selected for myself and voluntarily spend a Saturday morning being the youngest in a group of women of different backgrounds and cultures, married and single, mothers and childless.
It enriches my soul in a time where I’m racing to get things done. It allows me to slow down, and be nurtured by other women who’ve been there and done that and who get my yearning for education and beautiful things and humanity.
I enjoy how they show pride in all of the things I’m trying to accomplish and encourage me that I can in fact, pull it off.
They are like doting aunties who want me to find Prince Charming, but are relieved it’s not an obsession. They understand how important the expanding of my mind is to me and they share that vision in their own personal lives.
I appreciate their honesty and confusion about issues of race and sexuality and what it is to be a woman in the world. It’s refreshing to discuss these things in a civilized way with people who are outside of my usual circle.
What I appreciate the most is knowing how different we are, but seeing just how similar we are too. We are curious, we love sweets, we appreciate art and music and culture, we love books and we love talking about them.
The most wonderful thing about a great book is the tangential life discussions and real anecdotes that arise from a fictitious character’s struggle or triumph.
As a black woman, I’ve often stayed away from book clubs because many black women want to read books by only black authors. I can understand why. When you escape, you want to be in a world that looks like you and talks like you and thinks like you. For me, I only want that sometimes, and not every book by every black author is good. So what excites me about the book group I’m in is the value the non-black members place in reading books about black people as well as people of all races, genders or sexuality. Their acceptance of Americanah, made me more interested in their book choices that involved non-black characters because I was confident, they were simply picking really great books, period. When they suggested books by international authors, I knew I was in the right place.
Reading great books makes us smarter, makes us critical thinkers, exercises our imagination and gives us access to worlds that may be impenetrable in real life.
The book club is just as essential as my studies or my job because it feeds my soul. Staying up later to do some extra reading is only a small sacrifice to make for what I’ve gained in return as a human.

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I’m dying for a love song.

On my way to work today, I carefully listened to the words of Rico Love’s “They Don’t Know.”

The beat was sexy. I was about to drift off into my sexy thoughts and get in to my Mrs. Carter/Crazy Horse Dancer mode when something stopped me dead in my tracks.

The actual lyrics.

I’ll put them at the bottom of the blog. It’s actually worse if you read them. But I found that as I kept on driving,  I kept getting more angry.

I used to rock out to “OPP” and all sorts of songs about ratchet behavior and man-stealing, and still consider myself a classy chick, so I asked myself: “Self, what about this song in particular has you so upset?”

Welp, I do think it’s my three-year stretch of bad dating and no real relationships being formed that last past two months. I can do the chicken or the egg thing and wonder if it’s me or if it’s who I’m picking and why I’m picking who I’m picking. But the nearly 32-year-old who has just had it, and is over it was pissed at this song, pissed at the people who wrote it, sang it and the people who will consume it and love it. I’m pissed for the young women who think as long as a man gives them lavish gifts and trips in return for their bodies, loyalty and silence to be “shared” with his wifey, (who apparently lives under the same terms and conditions as the beloved, discreet side chick, but with the title, and probably the kids) that’s the ideal life.

The funny thing is, there’s nothing new to this. And some women will argue they have given it up for far less on far more ridiculous and unworthy suitors.

In this song, Rico’s lady love meets up at hotels, goes to the all-star weekend, with the latest Birkin bag on her arm. She is prime, on call vagina.

What have I been doing with my entire life? Why didn’t I think to sign up for such a thing?

Oh, Rico would have us believe as he croons, that the situation is puppies and kittens. Two women who know about each other, and (it is implied) are willing to have sex with one another with or without him and everyone is pleased as punch with this arrangement because, they are living the lush life.

This is on the radio.

There are no words of love, there isn’t even the illusion. He says so himself. Because Rico gets a kick out of no one except his wifey even knowing who this girl is. She’s just in the shadows, dressed to the nines, flown to where he is in the G5. He won’t even say, girl if loving you is wrong I don’t want to be right. She’s just something to be used up, and quiet and just take the money and the cars and the stuff. This fool takes it further, and says his name is on her body, so this chick took permanent steps to tat his name on her body, and he says you belong to me. I guess so. She was bought and paid for.

There has always been the concept of bitch, look pretty, shut up and open your legs as long as I’m paying. But in a day in age where women have come so far, gained so much and in a lot of cases actually out earn men, have more degrees, the fact that this kind of music can be so popular, that we say it’s only music, and we don’t demand better, it breaks my heart.

I’m going to have to listen to Stevie Wonder for the rest of the day, to get 4 minutes of Rico Love out of my system. I guess I am getting old. And that’s fine.

“They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know

We be in the same room N’ we don’t ever say shit Let’s  keep it between me and you N’ we cool, ’cause they don’t know

I’m the one you’ll be texting When you be up at cho job  (they don’t know) I’m the one that bought that Benz That’s in your garage  (they don’t know) I’m the reason you don’t stress when shit gets hard And  anything you want It’s all yours (they don’t know)

On your birthday I’m the one who saw yo birthday suit (They  don’t know) That the Birkin bag It bought that birthday coupe (they don’t  know) I keep it all real I ain’t gotta tell lies to you You the only  one who knows, the truth

They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know

We be in the same room N’ we don’t never say shit Let’s  keep it between me and you N’ we cool, ’cause they don’t know

They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t  know They don’t know

They don’t even know I know you You don’t be talking like a  lame bitch You follow the rules but keep it cool ‘Cause they don’t  know

We was at the same hotel Superbowling all star week (they  don’t know) You be acting shy But you chu really an all star freak (they  don’t know) That you got my name tattooed on yo body They don’t know you  belong to me, yeah (They don’t know) bout the cold nights And the secret  island trips (They don’t know) when I be up in that pussy I be calling you  my bitch (they don’t know) They don’t know you like me They don’t know you  like me They don’t even know that I share you, with my wifey

They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know

We be in the same room N’ we don’t never say shit Let’s  keep it between me and you N’ we cool, ’cause they don’t know

They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t  know They don’t know

They don’t even know I know you You don’t be talking like a  lame bitch You follow the rules but keep it cool ‘Cause they don’t  know

You deserve the rewards G5 planes, you deserve the board Tell them other lames They can swerve of course And I swear to God Imma  curve the broads ‘Cause they don’t know Vacations they don’t go You  stay patient and I respect that ‘Cause you know how to play ya post

Them other bitches get antsy That’s why a nigga never  treat’em fancy You get urs off, in Bergdorf While they bargain shoppin on  Delancy You ain’t even tell ya sister Mama thinking you don’t even like  niggas Instagram, you don’t even like pictures That’s why I’m fucking  withcha

They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t,  they don’t know They don’t know

We be in the same room N’ we don’t never say shit Let’s  keep it between me and you N’ we cool, ’cause they don’t know

They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t  know They don’t know

They don’t even know I know you You don’t be talking like a  lame bitch You follow the rules but keep it cool ‘Cause they don’t  know They don’t, they don’t know They don’t, they don’t know ‘Cause  they don’t know”

Read more:  Rico Love – They Don’t Know Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Bonus Post: The Beyonce Conversation

I think even people living under a rock found out about Beyonce’s surprise new album that dropped this week.

The reactions to her musical colossus were all over the place. It left culture and music critics scrambling to figure out how to describe it and define it. The feminists were in a tizzy about how feminist it was or it was not. People who weren’t big fans of hers were irritated with the saturation of their social media timelines and the fans/stans/etc. their cult-like praise was in over drive.

So people have been sending me the articles either in favor of, or against Mrs. Carter, Beyzus, Yonce, Sasha Fierce, Peaches, Baddie Bey, King Bey or whatever you want to call her.

My feelings are mixed. I was accused of being a stan this week when I was reacting to Bey’s whopping 17 videos released with the album on Twitter. Because they were all pretty awesome and visually stunning. Then on the flipside, I was sent a link that was basically ripping Bey to pieces and saying she is a horrible person for black or brown women to aspire to be.

Here’s where I fall, in case yall wanted to know or care. And you may be so tired of Beyonce right now, that you don’t feel like reading yet another blog post or article about her. Here is what I wrote to the person who sent me the more negative link.

When Beyonce came out with Destiny’s Child, I didn’t like her. I was shamed into not liking her because she was always singing lead, she was the light-skinned girl and her daddy managed the group. I was shamed into not supporting her because if I did, it would affirm to others that I believed light-skinned girls were prettier and better than everyone else and they were allowed to have the spotlight regardless. As a light-skinned girl who saw the beauty in all women, I didn’t want people to think that. Folks assumed that about me anyway. Me and Bey are basically the same age. I could not openly stan for Bey. So while I enjoyed DC’s music, I publicly hated Beyonce. Made jokes about how she won’t let the other girls sing, and I gushed about Kelly and said LaTavia seemed to have the spunk of the group. Greg made fun of me about what a Bey hater I was and he even brought up the light-skinned thing. I shrugged him off, but he was right.

Some time had passed and VH1s Divas came on. Beyonce was about to break out in her solo career and she preformed “Dangerously in Love.” And.She.Nailed it. She wore a gorgeous gown and sang her face off with so much soul. You could tell she wanted to prove to everyone she was much more than the lead singer of a group and that she deserved her spot in the light. At that point, I felt like she finally “earned” my respect. I’ve seen Beyonce shows. That woman works hard and has so many people picking at everything she does. Beyonce hasn’t gotten into any major trouble, she’s been meticulous about her brand, she is a philanthropist and does a lot of work for women and children in Houston, back home. And you can tell she admires smart people. She stans for Michelle Obama because she is so educated and has used her mind to be successful. To me, that says a lot about Beyonce and the kind of woman she wants to be, and the woman people assume she is.

I think the hero-worship and fandom/standom is scary. But I actually respect Beyonce a great deal. I can respect anyone who is a hard worker and she really works at what she does and has high expectations, down to every detail. I think it’s safe to say, she pushes herself to new levels all of the time. If every fan decided to work at what they do with the same vigor, despite haters and negative talk about them, we would have a nation of very strong, capable people. If Beyonce can inspire women to be better and work harder, that’s the message that should get out there. But because people are so stupid, they take a lot of stuff at face value and they just want to be rich and beautiful and sexy. I love the fact that people of all cultures and mainstream and black magazines alike are really trying to dissect her latest album and discuss feminism and culture and how black women are looked at. There’s another article floating around that Beyonce isn’t for regular black women because she flaunts her wealth. What who and what is a regular black woman? After reading a powerful and sad article in the Washington Post about a woman waiting on her assistance on the 8th of every month and getting her children to apply for ebt cards so they can get more food for the family, that’s not me either. I’m not knocking that woman. But let’s face it. The world either wants me to be her, or Sharkeshia. They don’t even expect me to be Beyonce. That’s all we have. That’s mostly what the media wants to project us to be. I’m not even Michelle Obama, but I can still relate to her. And thank God she’s real. She’s not an actress, she’s a real person who worked hard, and achieved and landed in one of the most powerful houses in the land. But among those figures, it seems like black women don’t have much wiggle room and that bothers me. Because I know all kinds of black women. Funny, serious, silly, sexy. Hard-working. Impressive, quiet, loud, sensitive, courageous.

I appreciate the conversations Beyonce is generating.  That says a lot about her influence. You can’t be mad at that. I’m not. She had all the intellectual black women going nuts at the fact she sampled Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s recent TED talk in her song “Flawless.” I went nuts too, because I recently watched that video the week before and loved everything that young woman said. I plan to purchase and read some of her books over the holiday.

That is not the move of a vapid, pop star. Something else is evolving as Beyonce matures and I’m probably going to like her music even more going forward, because even though I’m not a wealthy, beloved pop star and sex symbol, I’m a woman in my 30s, feeling more comfortable in who I am, and making firm decisions about how I define my life, and success and love. I better understand my value, my faults, what I know, what I don’t know. What makes me happy. What I need to leave alone and what I need to do to make my life fuller. That my inner voice is very real, and should have a significant vote.

I don’t like how people attack her for being proud of being a wife. Black women should want to have in tact families and be in healthy relationships where there is genuine love, respect and partnership. And even though I would have never seen it coming, she coming from a two parent upper middle class family and Jay, coming from the projects with a dad who left, their relationship should give folks hope that it can be done.

I don’t like the vitriolic hate and I don’t like the religion-like cult blind allegiance either. But that heifer works hard. She’s not Kim K. She works for everything she’s got. Period. And she continues to push herself. Bey could be lazy at this point. But nope. She was quoted saying she put this album out the way she did because she was “bored” with the traditional way it was done. She knew she had the power and the influence to just drop it. Surprise. She knows her fans, her brand and her product. Folks are scrambling. You know Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, they are all taking notes. Record company execs minds are blown right now. Who’s going to try it next? When you can have confidence and power to take risks, that’s real power. That’s higher level thinking. Regular broads won’t wrap their heads around it. That is being a bawse. That’s moving up from a 2000 focus to a 2013 elantra. LOL.

I don’t think I’m a stan. Because I don’t want to be Beyonce. But I salute any woman who is on her grind, who pushes herself even when she really doesn’t have to and inspires others to do the same. Do I feel sexy when I play her music? Yes. I like dancing around in my heels and panties and pretending I’m a vixen too and then I put on my clothes and go to work. I like that she’s saying as women we really do have a choice to be those things. As a journalist, I respect anyone who creates legitimate conversation on real things. And love her or hate her, the conversations have been created and will continue.

Breaking the Study Wall

I hit a wall of walls yesterday, trying to study for the GRE.
The panic and anxiety were setting in that at this point it was a week away.
As the days inch closer, I ain’t gonna know, what I ain’t gonna know and the reality of that is settling in.
So I’m trying my best to get really good at what I do know and ride that till the wheels fall off.
It’s so much information.
It’s so overwhelming.
So after staring at the study books, and staring. I decided, I’ll go to the gym.
And that helped. Then I went to the grocery store and got some veggies and a cookies and cream candy bar and ate the joker in my car on the way home.
Did I negate my hard work at the gym?
Possibly. But that wasn’t the point. I needed motivation I needed to physically do something to get my juices flowing.
And they began to flow.
I took out some poster board that I use for my vision boards and I began to write.
I wrote the school I was going to attend. I wrote my March 2014 start date for my program.
And in very large letters I wrote my graduation date and new fancy title. Masters of Public Health.
I wrote things like, “Change the game.”
“Shape Policy” “Create Access”
“If you do your best, let God do the rest.”
Then things changed in my spirit. I wrote things like calm.
Redefine success.
Then I started writing the names of women who inspired me. And they started out as celebrities, singers, artists, dancers, great thinkers and writers, and women in politics, educators.
Then it started to get personal. I listed mentors, and old women from church, women who passed on, and then I wrote the names of my contemporaries, my friends, my sister friends.
I found myself praying for them, praying for their strength to keep on doing what they are doing. I was proud of them.
I found myself thanking God for the women who were no longer with us on Earth and their influence on my life. Just the writing of the names, the speaking of the names was giving me an unexpected strength. I even thought of my ancestors. Women who didn’t have very many choices. My great, great, great-grandmother, who according to some records had no name but negro woman, who bore my great great-grandfather. What a world.
To know what I’ve come from.
I realized I had no choice.
I couldn’t sit and get upset because I’m not great at math. I just had to pick myself up and keep working.
I spoke to the only person I knew who would get it. And not think I was crazy for writing down the names of all these women and feeling some spiritual connection and feeling overwhelmed and humbled and blessed, just by taking time to acknowledge.
The friend told me it was a wonderful experience I had.
She reminded me that I wasn’t like everyone else and that I was far too talented and creative and gifted to just sit down and claim mediocrity as part and parcel of becoming an adult in this world.
She told me, this is my time.
This is my time to study and research and be at the table in terms of helping people with mental illness. The world needs someone like me, who looks like me, who has experienced what I’ve experienced, who knows what I know to go forth and take my place at the table.
These were powerful, yet true words.
My wise friend told me to shut out the noise. To not live in the bubble and to fully and truly follow the path I feel deep down inside of me and not abandon that.
I managed to study for a little more before going to bed. I didn’t log several hours, like the previous day.
But the spiritual boost I had from her, from my prayer and from going to the gym, proved to be just as essential.

Inner Freak: Sex, Senusality, Vulnerability, Power

I was having a discussion with one of my besties where she declared I was a freak, but I pretend not to be.

I had to correct her.

I flat-out admitted I was one, but I don’t advertise.

And these days, I refuse to waste it on the unworthy.

A lot of women, young and old have gotten female sexual liberation all twisted up and we’ve let go of some of the things that make us naturally sexy in the process.

We’re getting too literal with it. Too in your face.

We take strip tease classes and learn how to hang upside down from poles. We smack our booties and laugh, surrounded by strangers.

We drop it like it’s hot and make it clap in clubs. “Left cheek, right cheek.”

It’s fun. It is what it is.

But I reflect, and I’ve mentioned this in a post a long time ago.

I had never felt so free, so sexy and at the same time so vulnerable than when I was making love to the man I was engaged to.

I was ridiculously turned on by wearing nothing but the ring during the act and wiping the sweat off his face and looking right into his eyes.

Vulnerability is our strength as women. When we balance that, in my opinion, we’ve won the game.

As women, we are so busy trying to be EVERYTHING, we stop just being ourselves.

We get lost in all of the things we think we are supposed to be, and we don’t listen to who we are. This is across the board, at work, with our families, all of the lines blur and blur, and we are expected to hold every single thing together, we are responsible for maintaining everyone else’s happiness and success, while neglecting our own.

It’s the curse of being nurturers and multitaskters.

Maybe on some level women are the ultimate egoists, because we are convinced that we can and will do it all.

I do this to myself everyday and then I criticize myself.

There’s nothing wrong with being vulnerable in the right arms.

In fact, it’s otherworldly. It’s safe. It’s honest. It’s the realist thing you can reach out and touch and feel and be reminded of how alive you are and how fortunate you are to be suspended in that moment with that person.

There’s nothing wrong with being a freak there either.

I suggest all women figure out what kind of freak they are and accept it, and master it. As I told my friend, even professional athletes go to training camp at the beginning of the season.

Freaks gotta sharpen their skills too.

The most passionate sessions I’ve encountered was when I was giving up more than my body to someone I trusted and felt safe with and it was as equally terrifying as it was intense and freeing. Terrifying because I was being me. Vulnerable, a little nasty, but me.

Nothing is worse than doing something and wondering if your partner is going to think you are too advanced, or too nasty. Your head is already out of the game. You are self-conscious. There’s no way you will come out of this session satisfied.

Your bedroom should be the last place to feel like you can’t be yourself, as reserved or as raging freak as you may be.

On the flip side, you shouldn’t feel like you’ve got to put on a show or pull a hammie in the process.

You should be who you truly are and the person you are with should be enjoying you as you are. Period. If not, you don’t need to be with them. The end.

I hate the pressure placed on women to do all of this extra stuff that they may not be comfortable with to please their partner and his perception of what he thinks great sex should be as dictated by porn or multi-jointed exotic dancers.

It’s stupid.

If the roles were reversed and women had the expectations of male porn stars, just off of size alone, men would throw in the towel and not even show up.

So how is this fair? How is this right?

I’ve got to be able to hang upside down, in heels and have a non-existent gag reflex?

Give me a break.

Women be glad we are the emotional yin to a man’s physical yang. All of these things are connected. There is a reason we are wired the way we are and the whole “having sex like a man” (“no feelings”) thing is a farce. It’s also a farce because men actually have feelings too! What? Nah…

Yes. They do. It’s just about the woman they deem to be the right woman, but hot damn, they have feelings too and are just as sensitive, if not more sensitive than us.

That’s why we bring the spirit of sensuality, we bring the soft side. That is where we specialize. By us setting that tone, just as the right man makes us feel safe, we in turn, make them feel safe to be more emotional. We shouldn’t minimize that very important role or chastise ourselves for being so “emotional.” It is an emotional thing. And that is what we bring. It’s beautiful.

Seems like we women have to exchange a little freak and the men need to exchange a little vulnerablity.

Maybe if we saw ourselves as bringing more than the sum of our body parts to the table, and that we are seeking an exchange that satisfies all of our parts physical and emotional, we wouldn’t give in to men who aren’t worthy. We wouldn’t subject ourselves over and over again to bad sex because we will have recognized our value and not placed our partner’s satisfaction way, way, way above our own.

I’ve done it. It ain’t cute.

It sucks.

Our brains and bodies and soul have to be aroused. And as I get older, I’m glad it works this way. I’m glad it’s all connected to remind me that the person unlocking my inner freak has to have the skill set to get all of those things going.

If not, it’s a disservice to myself. A huge one.

A massive one.

It makes me more selective.

It makes me become a bit more selfish sexually, as opposed to just being proud of myself that I pleased a man and he thought I was great or the best or whatever.

It’s more than that.  We have power. And it’s not the kind you hang over someone’s head, or the kind you use to get rent paid and hair done. Our sensual and sexual power is more than currency, it sustains our own self-esteem and reminds us of our value.

I’ve Always Depended on the Kindness of…Women

It’s been an interesting month.

It’s been in my spirit for a while now to just be encouraging to people. Track down old friends and tell them I love them, and tell new friends I think they are fantastic.

I’ve had so many great women influence me in my life and I just wanted to pay it forward. You don’t know what that encouraging word will do for someone on that particular day. Sometimes it’s exactly what they need to hear. People often need to be affirmed and they are looking for a sign, and you could be that unexpected push to help them that particular day.

But the more I’ve been reaching out to ladies in my life who I love and admire and who just make me so proud, they’ve been giving back to me.

They have been making me feel good and special and blessed.

It’s amazing how even taking time out to have game night with some girlfriends can help you relax and bring out smiles.

My friend who had the stroke earlier this year was in attendance and she looked just gorgeous. She is the resident makeup and hair queen of our group, and I told her that I felt bad we were just staying in because she looked so flawless. We really needed to be out in the streets.

We had a fun time playing board games, and we ended up having more fun with the game that I bought for my other friend’s young son.

It was a basketball hoop that one sucker, I mean person straps to their head.

I instantly thought I was getting ready for a challenge on Double Dare. Yall know you remember that show. Well I had a ball having small plastic balls pelted at my face and head and we all had a great laugh taking turns.

I got a chance to spread more encouragement to my sister, who really wanted a specific bag from Coach, but kept guilting herself out of it.

I gave her the pep talk of my life, convincing her there is nothing wrong with her having nice things because she works very hard and is an amazing wife and mother who puts everyone else first anyway.

I had to pull out the big guns and tell her a story about the day my mother decided to go ahead and make a luxury purchase of some high end shoes and how that has always stuck with me and was a fine example of a woman shutting up that voice, and treating herself for once.

My sister seemed a bit surprised, but I think the story empowered her to feel better about it. Not to mention, she ended up wanting the same bag I just treated myself to last week. LOL. So she sent the pic I sent her to her husband, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to get it done. He better… Before we even had this discussion, I had already bought her a Coach wallet for Christmas! So this was too funny and cute.

I spent time with another friend who I hadn’t seen in ages this weekend, with whom I was a spunky intern 10 years ago (she reminded me). Geez. It was refreshing to sit back, talk about life and then see the legendary Ellis Marsalis, yes, the daddy who blessed all of those Jazzy Marasalises with his ridiculous DNA.

We were in fact, the classy, professional, independent women we spent countless lunch breaks dreaming about becoming. We still don’t own major media companies just yet, and we don’t have to, but I’m proud of the women we’ve become and I love just exchanging encouraging words and big hugs with this brilliant woman.

So I leave you all with this. Love this song and I’m having a Whitney moment. I watched The Preacher’s Wife this weekend in honor of the holiday season. I love that movie. Here’s “Count on Me” featuring the fab CeCe Winans!

One more fun girlfriends song. “Girl.” By Destiny’s Chiren. I love the video’s nod to Sex and the City.

The Men Are Where You’re Not

I had a great weekend.

I got to meet up with old friends, out-of-town friends, and meet new people.

Every group of brilliant, beautiful women I encountered, the majority of us were single and did not have boyfriends and weren’t even close.

Each woman took a different approach.

Some said, “Forget it, I stopped having sex.”

Some said God will send the man.

Some said “we got along, the sex was great, now he doesn’t want it anymore? I’m offended. Why doesn’t he want my ass? He would at least want that right?”

Some said they don’t mind putting objects up a man’s butt and he should feel free to express himself sexually without fear of being seen as homosexual.

Some said, you need to trust your instincts if a man likes things up his butt too much and stop trying to be over open-minded to the point of losing your own boundaries or sacrificing your own sexual comfort zone. You are not a prude if you don’t do everything.

Forget some said. I said that.

Some said they would go to a strip club with their man, while others said they absolutely would not. They feared getting hit in the face with a flying crab, from off of the dancers…

These conversations, as varied as they were, always returned to, well, where are they?

I felt like an outsider really, because I’ve been relishing my singledom as of late. My heart had been broken so badly, I have nothing to lose anymore. I’m taking the time to pursue interests I let slide and finding joy in that.

I do get lonely, but it is a temporary thing. Men are everywhere. It’s not that hard to get a date, it’s not hard to get sex.

It’s just hard finding the right man you click with and want to stick with and who wants to click and stick with you.

When I suggested brutal honesty to the girl who was pining for a guy she had great sex with, another chimed in and said it’s bad to put her cards on the table and look desperate.

I said well alrighty. Personally, brutal honesty from saying, I’m not feeling this situation to talking bluntly about sex, and bluntly about relationships has worked well for me. It was a shocking revelation. I’ll let those chicks figure it out for themselves.

I did give them these tips. One girl almost looked ready to write it down.

I said the men are friends of people you know and will be at house parties thrown by a friend of a friend.

The men are going to be at the restaurant you stop in one night after work on a random weeknight.

The man is going to be the one working on the Habitat for Humanity project you finally decide to sign up for or a meetup.com group outing.

He’s going to be standing in line at Boston Market after work because he has no one to cook for him (I’ve seen fine men at Boston Market).

He’ll be the one to help you when you are sucking at your first golf lesson or indoor rock climbing class, but still having a great time, not taking yourself too seriously.

He’s going to be walking back from lunch on a street you never walk down because you make a bee line to the same sandwich spot back to your job and never divert from your routine.

He’s going to be the guy that watched you walking down the street looking angry, stressed or too busy to be bothered.

He’s going to be the guy who saw you diss and dismantle the pride of the last guy who tried to buy you a drink and then decide to say forget it.

He’s going to be the guy one table over who heard you say “men ain’t shit” over drinks with your friends.

He faithfully goes to your gym, an hour earlier, or an hour later than you.

He is where you aren’t until you decide to show up.

And show up looking put together (don’t need expensive clothes or a lot of make up or sky high heels), and armed with a positive attitude.

So it’s all about timing, and it’s all about taking a good look at what you do with your time, where you go, who you are with and then taking a chance to flip the script, shake up the routine.

There was research I read a long time ago that said people should not drive home the same way every single day because it dumbs down your brain and you will eventually be on auto pilot and not as alert and more prone to get into accidents.

Same thing with your dating life. If you want to meet new people, you got to change the routine and your route.

Let’s get this Monday going…This beat makes me feel like Mary is on the hunt.

VIDEO POST: Talk About Perspective…

africa/freedigitalphotos.net

The women featured in this documentary put all these wack chicks fretting over turning 30 to SHAME!!!!

It’s called “The Beauty of Aging.” All of the women in this video are over the age of 80, and they are freaking inspirational. They have been through it all and they are sharp, powerful and amazing.

They talk about the loss of friends and loved ones and being left behind and they also talk about still gettin it in!!! These ladies are fabulous.

Perspective folks, live your best life the whole way through. Be thankful, find ways to be happy. I was in a crappy mood today, and this video helped!! There is so much wisdom in our older generations, they are awe-inspiring.

http://www.beautyofaging.com/the-trailer.html

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