Monday, May 23, 2011

Riding on the Train

What do you do when you’re happy and riding on the We-train and your SO decides they want to ride on the I-train every now and then? I was watching the “All that Glitters” episode of Sex and the City and Carrie Bradshaw said this… 

“Once we find what we are searching for, why are some of us reluctant to let go of our single selves? Is single life in New York such a constant flurry of fun and friends that settling down immediately fills us with the urge to shake things up again? And why does becoming part of a couple imply settling down? Maybe Oliver does have the key in that we shouldn’t expect to get everything from one man but instead feel comfortable getting different things from different people. Although at what point do separate interests become separate bedrooms? I couldn’t help but wonder to be a couple do you have to put your single self on a shelf?”

It’s hard because you live your whole life as a single person and then all of a sudden every decision that you make you have to consider this other person. When you get in a relationship you move from single me to almost a whatever you like hopping on one leg barking like a dog for them kind of woman. When they wrong you you’re saying, “I never intended to be this chick” (word to Jill Scott)

Belle has warned us about giving all the wife privileges with no ring on our fingers but do we listen? No. We cook and clean, set reminders, pick up dry cleaning, help pay bills, wear our hair the way they like us to wear it, and generally put aspects of our lives on hold for them. And how do they repay us? By being inconsiderate children of God who don’t properly communicate when we need them to.

The situation usually goes like this: You are going about your usual Saturday morning routine. Taking a trip to the salon for a mani pedi, running to Walmart and the grocery store for household items, and prepping for Sunday dinner. You have some time to relax because SO has plans with some friends for lunch which is no big deal; you love that he has friends and a life outside of your relationship. While you’re washing greens SO texts you the he hasn’t gone to lunch yet because he’s waiting on one friend that decided to come last minute. Okay fine, it’s still early and you have plenty to do before tonight when you guys have your weekly Saturday night movie and pizza date. He later texts you saying that he’s an hour away and the wait for lunch at the restaurant was and hour and a half so they decided to get in a “quick” game of golf. It’s now 4pm so that means he’s going to be home at what time?  Nine, Ten? He’s not sure but he’ll be home later. Two hours pass and he texts you saying that they decided to go for drinks at a bar. Now you’re pissed because a day that was supposed to be a quick 2 hour trip with the guys has now turned into an all day thing.

SO doesn’t understand why you’re upset because he told you every change of plan as soon as he found out about it. (extra girlfriend side eye) True and thanks for that but what SO fails to understand is that when he saw that the plans went from 2 hours to all day what he should have done was asked if you were okay with rescheduling your usual Saturday night plans.

Now for some that sounds too much like being whipped or asking for permission. Or even that the person you’re in a relationship with doesn’t want you to have fun without them or spend time with friends. (if that’s the case that’s a whole new set of issues) But a relationship is a We-train. If you want to be on the I-train that’s cool but you can’t be on both. If you have plans later with your SO you can’t suddenly change plans and hang with the guys or girls all day and expect the other person to be okay with it and not feel some type of way at all.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, May 16, 2011

What Would Really Change?

The other day I was feeling a little down. I’m not where I thought I would be in this stage in life and everything seems to be going the opposite of the way I want it to go. Of course I have a good portion of health and strength, I wake up in the morning clothed in my right mind and I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back etc. But when you’re feeling down those aren’t the kind of things that you focus on, you’re thinking about all the things that are going wrong.

We spend a lot of time thinking about how we would rather have something different than what we have. The curly haired people want straight hair so they’re getting relaxers and the super straight haired  people are getting curly perms. The dark skinned people want lighter skin and the white people are spending tons of time and money in tanning salons.  The overweight people are getting gastric bypass and the girls with no booty or boobs are getting plastic surgery.

Then I thought to myself if I made some of these changes that cross my mind what would really be different? If I had a donk like Trina what would really change in my everyday life? More men staring at my backside? If I had lighter skin or straight hair what would that change? If I had Oprah money how much would different would my life be? I thought if I woke up tomorrow morning with all of these changes (like how that sometimes happens in movies) would it be a fabulous wonderful change or would I feel like I was happier the way I was.

I’d still be me with the same family same friends. I would still wake up with morning breath and hair all over my head. I’d still go to my local Starbucks and get a Doubleshot everyday. Sure I could buy all the things that I wanted, travel the world, hire some help, eat at the best restaurants, and live the life of my dreams but would all of that change who I am? No matter what I look like or how much money I have I can’t change what’s done in the past or my regrets in life. It wouldn’t bring back the people that were near and dear to me that passed away.

All that said I know I need to count my blessings and focus on the things I can change instead of the things that I can’t change. But damn if it ain’t hard to do that sometimes.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

When it Hurts So Bad

I’ve heard stores of women finding out that their husband Carl now wants to be Carla. Or stories of women who’s husbands have given them AIDS or some other STD. Some women’s husbands have children with other women while they’re pregnant. This is the kind of hurt that I can imagine could paralyze a woman and make her just want to crawl into a hole and die. I know that God never puts more on us than we can handle but some kinds of pain seem like more than we can bear.

What do you do when the one person that you never thought would hurt you does just that? When the person you trusted and put your all into really hurts your feelings and even worse doesn’t seem to be phased that you’re hurt. Of course you know that people will let you down at some point, to err is human. But when that one person be it a best friend, a husband, a pastor, or a parent lets you down how do you deal with it?

When the thoughts continue to race in your head. When you have the Goodbyes and Flashbacks constantly on your mind and you can’t seem to go 5 minutes without thinking about how bad it hurts, what then? What do you do when you can’t look at them without seeing what they did to hurt you? You can’t have much of a happy relationship when you’re trying to act like everything is normal and inside you’re hurting and wanting to either cry or lash out at the person you once loved (and in some ways still do) with all your heart.

Many times people do us wrong and apologize, buy flowers or candy or whatever your love gift of choice is and expect things to go back to normal. It’s much easier to forgive than forget. And how can you say you truly forgive someone if you can’t look at them the same way? How do you try to cope without putting up walls or acting totally different towards them?

What are some ways that you have coped with hurt in your relationships?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Committing Emotional Adultery

Have you ever had a next lifetime moment? You were with someone that you loved more than you ever thought you could love someone, then you met someone else, this man that had to be the one that gave you a rib. You had a Jill Scott “Lonely Whenever You’re Around” moment in your relationship and ended up committing emotional adultery.

What do you do when you’ve lost the spark that you once felt for the person that you’re in a relationship with? Things have become the same ‘ol same ‘ol. You talk on the way to work, at your lunch breaks, and have dinner together before going to your separate homes. You spend weekends doing the same things you do every weekend and you begin to feel like an old married couple. Along comes this new friend and it seems as though this friend is doing and saying everything right where SO is getting more and more annoying by the minute. You find yourself talking to this person instead of SO. You’ll ignore SO calls and texts to talk to this person, you now talk to this new friend on lunch breaks and on the way home. You spend way more time with this new person than the person you are in a relationship with.

You forgot all about the years that SO has put up with your BS and loved you more than anything. All the good times and working though the bad times with you. You’re putting your feelings and this friendship in its infancy before your long standing established relationship. When SO tells you that they don’t like said friend you don’t care and continue to talk and hang out with them causing friction in your relationship over someone who in most cases after you’ve broken up with SO you find to be not worth a damn. Did you make a mistake and pick the wrong one? Now you’re thinking…SO wasn’t that bad I was just trippin’, wanting my cake and to be able to eat it too.

Or have you been on the other side of it? Your SO has kind of checked out of the relationship. You notice they spend hours on the computer or keep their phone closer to them than they used to. You don’t know of anyone that they need to talk to that much. When you look over your SO is just typing away to some mystery person with a smile at every text message alert. Hmmmm…

When something like this happens what do you do? Find a “friend” of your own to talk to? Now you’re both sitting on the couch not talking to each other but talking to other people. Do you snoop and hack into every social networking site your SO has or check their emails and texts? What happens if you go searching and find something that you didn’t want to find or gasp something far worse than what you really thought it was? Do you confront your SO with the info you find or hold all your feelings inside and blow up at them about their emotional adultery over something that is completely unrelated?

The truth is no one wants to feel like the one that they are with isn’t really invested or paying attention to the relationship anymore. That, my friends is a recipe for a disaster! Find some ways to keep the spice in your relationship. I don’t live my life by the notion of “what you won’t do for him another woman will” (although I have no doubt that its true) because as we all know in relationships communication is key and if you are unhappy with or don’t want to be in said relationship anymore then you need to be talking to the person you’re in a relationship with not some stranger b*itch. (Can I get an AMEN?!) And if you talk to your SO and they make it clear that they could care less about your legitimate concerns or don’t make the necessary changes that you need them to, then it’s time to move on because they don’t love you like they say they do.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jumping the Broom: A Review

If you know me in real life or have been reading for a while you know that I am (word to Tamar Braxton) with weddings. When I first heard about the film Jumping the Broom (sometime last year I believe) I was super excited to see the movie. Bourgeois French speaking black folks in Marthas Vineyard having a wedding! Right up my alley. Not to mention that the film is produced by T.D. Jakes and Tracey Edmonds.  ( I love them both) For those you that don’t know, jumping the broom is an African American tradition that has been around since the times of slavery. Slaves weren’t allowed to marry so to signify their marriage they would jump a broom, the broom signifies sweeping away your old life and jumping over into a new one with your husband or wife. A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the film so here goes my review. (No spoilers)

The film starts with Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton) promising to God that she would wait until she was married to sleep with a man after a horribly failed one night stand. Later she meets Jason Taylor (Laz Alonzo) when she hits him with her car. They date in what I’m assuming to be a whirlwind romance filled with dates to the Opera and fancy dinners for about six months then get engaged before her job transfers her to China. They decided to have the wedding at the brides’ parent’s home in Martha’s Vineyard and over the wedding weekend is where all the drama happens.

We find that each family has preconceived notions about the other family and their own sets of issues. The Watson family is fluent French speaking high society prim and proper their ancestors weren’t slaves they owned slaves family. They are hiding a dark secret that threatens to tear the families and entire wedding apart. Claudine (Angela Bassett) and Gregory (Brian Stokes Mitchell) are Sabrina’s parents. Blythe (Meagan Good) is the looking for Mr. Right (with everything on her long list) maid of honor and Sebastian (Romeo Miller) is the bride’s twenty-year-old cougar loving cousin who is an undergrad at Yale. Rounding out their family is Claudine’s sister,  the inappropriate auntie, every family has one, (Valarie Pettiford) who crashes the wedding.

The Taylor family is a working class family from Brooklyn. They aren’t into frills just living life one day at a time. They remind me of some of my family that I probably wouldn’t want to claim at times. (Sad but true). We meet Pam Taylor (Loretta Devine) Jason’s mom who is an excellent sweet potato pie making widowed postal worker and her best friend and co-worker Shonda (Tasha Smith). Malcolm (DeRay Davis) Jason’s old neighborhood friend and Willie Earl (Mike Epps) his been married 4 or 5 times uncle.

With these families coming from two sides of the tracks you know there is bound to be some tension and drama that has nothing to do with the stress of the wedding day. Mrs. Taylor first issue is with the fact that she’s never met Sabrina. She has made up her mind that she is rude and looks down upon her family for their socioeconomic status. While Sabrina does her best to make Mrs. Taylor feel as welcome as possible, Claudine spends much of the movie being stressed about getting the details perfect for the wedding and making sure everything is up to her exacting standards. Her husband is away on business and makes it home in time for the wedding festivities but you can tell that their marriage is very strained.

One of the issues in the Taylor family is that Mrs. Taylor doesn’t want to let Jason go to any woman let alone one that didn’t properly introduce herself.  In an argument they have towards the end of the film he tells her “You treat me like a little boy or your husband but I am neither. I am your son” which is long standing issue in many of our communities where the father was never present or passed away and now sons are treated as their mothers boyfriends. You can read what Demetria Lucas had to say about that on her blog A Belle In Brooklyn here.

The film isn’t all the way serious, there is a lot of comedic relief with the inappropriate white wedding coordinator played by Julie Bowen and the mature speaks what’s on her mind housekeeper for the Watson family. And you know Mike Epps, Tasha Smith, and DeRay Davis are there to add a few laughs to the film.

There is a lot of black beauty in this film with Pooch Hall, Laz Alonozo, Gary Dourdan and Romeo for the ladies. Meagan Good looks super hot as usual and Paula Patton (who IMHO looks like the product of Halle Berry and Alicia Keys having a baby together) and Angela Bassett look great as usual.  (New post on Haute Chocolate Beauty for looks in the film coming soon)

This is a story of love and family. When you marry a man you also get his family with it as a package deal. If we’re honest with ourselves, if we were in a similar situation as the Taylor and Watson families our wedding would probably go very similary. Go see the film in theaters May 6 for the laughs the love and of course the wedding!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Can You Ever Really Be Friends With An Ex?

By the time most of us have reached the 20-something stage in life we have lived a little. Had a few good and bad relationships and some even that we wish never happened. But what happens when your ex is someone that you genuinely like as a person but the relationship just didn’t work out for one reason or another?

Being friends with an ex can be a great learning tool but it can also be very tricky. An ex can help you see what you did wrong in the past and help you to be a better girlfriend in the future. They know you so you can’t fake the funk with them about anything. It’s good to have a person around who really knows all your nuances; the way you bite your lip when you’re nervous or look down and use a qualifier when you’re lying.

The tricky part comes when one of you didn’t want the relationship to end. If he dumped you because he just wasn’t ready for all the commitment that comes with a relationship and now you’re trying to be friends but he’s getting engaged to this new chick that he’s known for 2 months and you guys just broke up a month ago that can be an issue. No matter if you’re over them or not no one wants to see the person they used to share intimate moments with kissing another person or talking about them all the time.

How do you make a friendship work when you’re not over them or they’re not over you? That leads to anger, jealousy, and not much of a friendship especially when you see them dating all kinds of other people. If the girl is a downgrade, lookin’ like Miss Celie you’re insulted like “Hmmph how you go from me to that?” If the girl is an upgrade you’ll find a reason to dislike her even if it’s something like “She thank she cute! Look at all that designer ish she’s rockin’. She prolly just wants to spend his money.” Cues Kanye’s “Golddiger”

Another issue that arises is when you get into a new relationship. How does your new SO feel about you spending time with someone that they are 100% sure that you used to sleep with? Awkward… That can lead to a lot of issues in your new relationship.

Is it worth it to keep an ex around as a friend? Weigh in

Monday, May 2, 2011


The May 2011 issue of Essence magazine is “the girlfriends issue”. As I read through the issue a few weeks ago I was touched by all the wonderful things that these black women had to say about their best friends. So many times we see black women bashing each other and if you look at reality TV you would think that black women are incapable of being real friends with other black women.

It is so hard to find real girlfriends. I’m blessed to have a few in my life and my bestie is literally THE BEST.  I know a lot of women that I consider acquaintances; we can talk makeup, meet for coffee, go to club together or talk for hours on bbm or gchat when we’re bored, but these people aren’t my friends.

Real girlfriends are women that you can do all of the above with and much more. You don’t have to talk every day to know that they love you. They don’t gossip about you and they aren’t jealous of you. They keep it real when you have one eyebrow higher than the other, and let you know when you’re passing up a good man just because he doesn’t have everything that is on your list.  They bring you medicine when you’re sick, loan you money when you’re in a jam.  They are your support system and become part of your family.

Real girlfriends are there for you in good times such as your graduation, when you got promoted at work or when you got engaged. They are also there for you in bad times like the loss of a family member, when your man cheated on you or when you went to have an abortion and you didn’t want anyone to know.  They keep your secrets with no fear of them being shared with others. And the truly have your best interest at heart.

For all those of you who “don’t mess with females” or “don’t get along with women” be open when the right kind of woman comes along. Having a SO is great but he’s a man and it’s not the same, and having family is wonderful but there’s nothing like a true sisterfriend that really understands everything you go through and who you are.