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. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

I've Still Got A Ways to Go

I consider myself to be a conscious modern sista. I know my history and love and accept myself just the way that I am. I embrace my hair the way it grows out of my head. I love my full lips and cocoa skin. From the words of Jill Scott,“ I believe black people are beautiful. Always have been and always will be.” So I was shocked to have a revelation about myself last week.  


I’ve been living the life of a writer for that past few months. My days have been spent writing, making lists and plans etc. My wardrobe has become yoga pants, ponytails and fuzzy socks. My diet has become lattes, coffee, and Starbucks Doubleshots. Healthy right?

Because I would rather focus on my writing than anything else I’ve made some changes in my everyday routine of getting ready in the morning. For the past maybe month or so I have flat ironed my hair once. I’ve been blow-drying it and wearing it in a French braid, its still looks nice and well groomed and I like the hairstyle. But I’ve found with the French braid I won’t wear any makeup other than a little mascara and well groomed brows. I don’t feel ugly with the braid but I definitely don’t feel as pretty as I usually do when my hair is straight or even in its natural state.

Where did this come from? I love makeup and I love my natural hair in it various forms, so why do I feel awkward with natural hair and a beat face? Something about that combo just doesn’t sit well with my spirit.

I know that we have been conditioned by and bombarded with European standards of beauty. I’m aware of its effects on the African American community. I thought I was above all of this madness. I’m a well educated and conscious modern black woman. I believe that beauty comes in all forms and colors and textures. I thought I was above what other people thought of me, for the most part. I thought I embraced my natural self, the way I was, without any enhancements. Guess I’ve still got a ways to go.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Goodbyes and Flashbacks

The other day someone on my Twitter timeline posted a retweet:

 “@TheNotebook : It’s not the goodbye that hurts, but the flashbacks that follow.”

A light bulb went off in my head. Ugh, how true is this statement?! When you break up with someone that you loved with the deepest, purest, truest part of you saying goodbye and not having any contact with them seems like the worst thing in world. The flashbacks are hard as well, but in that moment you feel like part of you is being ripped out of your soul. This isn’t just true for romantic relationships but it also applies to family and friends that you’ve had to say goodbye to in one way or another.

When you break up with someone and they wronged you it's no problem to say goodbye, in fact you’re all too happy to end things. But in this instance the flashbacks are the worst part because you think of all the ways they wronged you, all the time you wasted and all the things that you probably should have done differently. You find yourself in a rage about all the time that you can’t get back, and how much you want to call them and yell and tell them off. All the memories that used to be good ones are now places that you don’t want to go to because that was your first date or place you used to frequent with that rat bastard your ex.

Le sigh...

Monday, March 14, 2011

The 20-Something Serious Relationship Dilemma

So you’ve been dating your S.O for 3 years now. The relationship has had its ups and downs but the good definitely outweighs the bad. He’s seen you through graduation from college and grad school applications. You have enough of your stuff at his place to move in, he talks to your parents almost more than you do and you trust him with your life. With your busy schedule you don’t really have that much time to go out but when you do, you have a good group of friends that you like to spend time with aside from your S.O.

Now you’re in your mid to late twenties and you’ve come to a point in your relationship where everyone around you is inquiring about when you getting married. Of course you and S.O have thought and talked about marriage but one night sitting on the couch watching a movie you look at him and really see him. You think to yourself “I’m not getting any younger” and “Is this the person I really want to spend the rest of my life with?” You couldn’t see yourself with anyone else but at the same time you’re not sure that you’re ready to take it to the next level.

This happens to most of us. I call it the 20-something serious relationship dilemma. This happens when you’re in a point of your relationship that seems like you should be moving on to another level of commitment but you have some reservations. Don’t be concerned about a timeline when it comes to your relationship. Talk to the person that you are in a relationship with and go with what feels comfortable for you guys. Don’t move in with someone, get engaged or marry someone just because you’ve been together x-amount of years.

If you’re out and feeling like you’re missing out on something, be honest with yourself and think about if you still want to be in a relationship or if you want to be single and casually date. Don’t lie to yourself and stay in a relationship if it’s not working. Those are not wasted years, those are years in which you learned what you want and don’t want in a relationship, information that is so invaluable in your life.

However keep in mind the 80/20 rule. The grass often seems greener on the other side. I’ve been out to different events and even in my everyday life I don’t see anything better than what I have. It’s slim pickins out there!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What Happened to Individuality?

As human beings it’s in our nature to want to fit in. We want to stand out and yet be part of the acceptable crowd. Standing out for having great hair or nail polish is good but standing out in a way that would cause someone to laugh at us or make us feel bad because we are different is not.

I don’t know about your city but when I’m out I see women in just a few different kinds of outfits. We have the women in leggings or short tight dresses that they shouldn’t be wearing with 5 inch heels that they don’t know how to walk in or those puss-in-boots style shoes that they likely got from Sheikh. They usually have a Kim Kardashian-esque weaves and smoky eye makeup. We all know that most women want to look like celebrities and video vixens but what happened to individuality?

 I know there are only so many styles of clothes to choose from and only so many stores to shop at. Why are people so okay with looking like everyone else? While I don’t think that my style is so original that no one could possibly have the same shoes or dress that I have but at the same time I know for sure that I don’t look like everyone else.

Don’t be afraid to step out of the usual or what everyone else is wearing. No matter if it’s going from weave to big chop, full makeup to none at all or just trying a different nail polish color, its okay. Hair grows back; you can take clothes and makeup off and try again. I’m not suggesting that you go outside looking crazy in the streets but don’t look like a clone. Try shopping at a boutique, thrift store, or adding unique accessories to personalize your outfit.

And if you’re looking for a man how can he tell the difference between you and the next chick if you’re wearing the same thing? Think about it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lets Talk: Friends with Benefits

A friends with benefits situation is very common among 20-somethings. We want the booty without the commitment and drama. We’re busy women with blossoming careers, grad school study sessions, volunteering at church, and not to mention Sallie Mae blowing up our phones and gmail accts. That’s enough stress to have us singing “This here, celibacy thang…” (word to Jilly from Philly) But we all know that most friends with benefits situations end up in someone, usually us ladies, getting hurt.

You’ve known this Morris Chestnut look-a-like since high school and you’ve always had a crush on him. He hung out with the cool kids and you…weren’t as cool. Since then you’ve gone from Monica Wright to Sidney Shaw. You run into him again at a local show, you exchange twitter names and bbm pins. Another week goes by when the two of you decide to meet for coffee where you catch up on the past 7 years of your lives. That same weekend you get your dutty wine on at your local regaae club and decide to go home together. The s*x is spectacular ( I had to do it) and in your mind you have officially found your new BUDDY, word to De la Soul and Musiq.

As time goes on you continue to have wonderful times in and out of the bedroom. He invites you to parties and church events. You share lunches and dinners often, he even got you a Christmas present. You love it because times with him are really easy going and this is one of the nest relationship that you’ve been in since…well since…ever.  

Here comes the crazy part. Week 5 you learn that the person that he just broke up with and by just broke up with I mean is still dealing with is definitely still in the picture, when he shows up at a mutual friends party with her. It doesn’t help that she looks like Rochelle Aytes and has the attitude of Lilith. You can’t understand why he’s still dealing with her, she’s gorgeous but she’s thee queen b*tch. It’s whatever for the most part because you have your own life and you guys aren’t really dating.  You don’t have an issue with it until the girl is calling your phone and harassing you.

Now this man that you thought was the best thing since red velvet cupcakes has brought all this drama into your life. You don’t blame him for her actions but your feelings are hurt because although you weren’t official you spent so much time together that you started to catch feelings. You decide to end it, now you’re left with dealing with getting a restraining order against this crazy chick and a cold bed.

Do the pros ever outweigh the cons in a friends with benefit situation?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Smaller Waist = More Dates?

Over the holidays I went to a party that some high school friends put together. For entertainment we watched old home videos that were made by the host walking up and down the halls of the school. As we were watching and laughing at what we wore and what we thought was cool (it was the height of the bling bling era), who changed for the worse and who changed for the better, a particular comment caught me off guard.

When a certain girl, X, came on the TV, someone said “What happened to X?”
Another person said, “Oh I saw her she got really fat”.
A guy, who is not known for being nice or politically correct, said with certainty, “Oh yeah she had fat tendencies.” (Mmmhmm he said it)

Generally in the black community our men like black women with “a little meat on their bones” a la Beyonce and any video girl featured in a rap video. But that waist to hip ratio has to be on point. So a woman with a gut, excessive back rolls, and no hips doesn’t count as attractive in the meat on her bones category. The meat has to be placed in the right areas i.e. hips, thighs, butt, and breasts. Thick is good, fat is not.

I wonder if the circumferences of our waists have anything to do with how many dates we go on. Some men like their women plus size. A beautiful woman is a beautiful woman. And studies show that men prefer a pretty face over a bangin body in the long run (see here) However, I’ve noticed with a lot of people in my life when they lost weight they got more dates. Was it the weight loss and slimmer figure or was it the confidence that came with that new figure that got them more dates?


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where Can A Black Woman Be Herself?

This morning, like most mornings, I woke up to the blinking red light on my Blackberry. Emails. Saks, Victoria’s Secret, Carol’s Daughter, Sigma Beauty…more stuff I don’t need to buy. A few good morning texts and one long text that stood out. A new friend went to an event the other night. This friend is a beautiful petite HCB; she’s driven, educated, and has an eye for fashion. The event that she went to was one that was filled with local hip hop artists, bloggers, photographers etc. Sounds like a good networking event for those that want to get into the industry right?

As I read on she went on to tell me that she was discussing the event with an acquaintance and all the girl wanted to know was if the people that she was interviewing were cute. *major eye roll* You can’t take everybody everywhere. (see here) She discussed how she didn’t dress up for the event so that she could get her work done without any distractions. Hmmm The other women in heels and makeup that did interviews weren’t taken as seriously as she was dressed in jeans and a hat.

This conversation troubled my soul and made me think where can a black woman be herself? Not at a hip hop event, surrounded by other brothas and sistas. I know, I know, what do I expect from an event that is centered around something that has become as misogynistic as hip-hop but that aside why can’t we be comfortable around our own people. Why do we have to dim our shine to be taken seriously by our own people?

We have to be Kenya McQueen’s in corporate America. Blacks, greys, taupes, and navy suits, weaves and relaxed hair to make the other people around us relaxed. We have to dim our shine in this situation to make our money and be taken seriously. We have the “black tax” working against us everyday at the “plantation”.

We can be ourselves around other black women, yet if we stand out too much we’ll have to deal with “haters” So again I say…

Where can a black woman be herself?

Monday, January 31, 2011

When Someone Shows You Who They Are Believe Them

How many times have you or someone you know met someone who you liked so much you thought you could change them? It could be a man, a friend, or even a parent. This person is someone you love with all your heart and you want the best for. Usually we want to bend over backwards for these people, prove to them that our love is sufficient.

When your new boo tells you he has trust issues, it’s okay to work with him on them. But when he starts being worried bout where you been or who you saw or, what club you went to with your homies…that’s a you need to believe him and look further into what he meant by trust issues.

That situation gave you an advantage because the man out right said “I have trust issues”. What I’m really talking about is when your bff drinks till she can’t walk straight every time you go to the club but says she’s all about keeping her temple clean. She’s showing you who she really is in those drunken moments.

Or think back to as a child when your dad said that he was going to come pick you and never showed up. The first time it happened you were disappointed and it took hours for you to stop crying but by the 5th time you didn’t really believe him when he said he was on his way.

Even as a child you learned early on when someone shows you who they really are believe them. Now as adults why aren’t we applying that same principle to friendships and romantic relationships?  When will we start believing people when they show us who they really are?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Happens in This House Stays in This House

A very popular phrase among African Americans, especially those with Southern roots is “what happens in this house stays in this house.” Discretion is key in most black families. This is the phrase that is a precursor, or close relative to another dangerous saying in the black community “snitches get stitches”.

In some ways this is a great phrase. When it comes to friendships, romantic relationships etc, what goes on in your relationship stays in your relationship. That is so important to remember. You don’t need to blab to your girlfriends about how that fool ain’t no good or even that he the, he the best, best you ever had. Why? Because a relationship is between the 2 people that are in it and when you have problems, issues, or concerns the person that you need to talk to first is the person that is in that relationship with you.Yes ladies, even all the good things about your man you don't have to tell it on the mountain top, some of these hoes that smile in your face but have a knife in their hand waiting for you to turn your back so they can stab you women aren't your friends, that's another post for another time.

That's the positive that we can take from this phrase. Let's talk about the other dangerous side of it.

On the other hand as children many people were told to keep their mouths shut on issues and situations that needed to be discussed with someone outside the home. If Uncle Junebug was making advances towards you, many young black girls were told to keep it in the family, if they told anyone at all. Dads alcohol and gambling problems were to be kept in this house. Moms black eyes and bruises were to be kept in this house. Why?

Black people have traditionally kept their homes and children well groomed and neat. I know ya’ll remember seeing kids at church and school with greased faces. As a child I was told that when I went out in public I was a reflection of my parents and family in general. If I was out doin’ the fool or wearing ill fitting clothes that was viewed a negative reflection on my family, “her mama must not have combed her hair today” or “she don’t have no home trainin’!” comments would surely have been directed towards me if I didn’t look and act my best.

Now if I went out and told “family business” to other people that didn’t reflect on my family in a positive light, that wouldn’t have been tolerated. Great shame is brought upon a family that “allows” a child to be molested in the home or where domestic violence is an issue. No one wants their family to be shamed and as a child most are concerned with no getting in trouble when they get home. Let’s face it some things that happen in life need to be told. It’s okay to reach out for help from someone you trust and dare I say if some things are troubling your soul, get some therapy. (Gasp)

We got to do better.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friends: When It's Time to Move On

It usually goes like this, you have known this person since you came out the womb, twenty plus years of friendship and you don’t want to let it go to waste. You’ve known all along that you two were different but she is your oldest friend so you try to include her in all the new things you’re doing. When you were little you told her to take ballet with you and she pushed another little girl into the bar so she got kicked out. In high school you wanted her to take Honors and AP classes with you but she didn’t want to do the summer reading and be in a class with a bunch of “Asian nerds”. You went away to school at an HBCU and she stayed at home because she needed a break from school. When she came to school to visit you, you told her how you wanted to join a sorority and she rolled her eyes because according to her “females can’t be trusted”. You invited her to a local open mic night and she pouted and sighed the whole time because she couldn’t wait to get out of there and go to club ratchet.

She has a short temper and embarrasses you in public, thinks all white people are out to get her and lets them know it when the cashier helps another customer before her even though she wasn’t standing in line. She accuses black men of not liking black women when they don’t accept her advances and she thinks every other black woman is staring her down and talking behind her back.

Although she is negative and “so hood”, she’s been a good friend to you. She’s never betrayed your trust and always had your back through whatever circumstances. As many issues as you have with this friend you don’t want to leave her behind. She didn’t have the same home life that you had and you feel like you’re all she’s got. Maybe she didn’t have all the same opportunities that you had but you can't want better for someone than they want for themselves.

The reality is some people you need to let go of to get where you want to be in life. You notice that now you are cussing way more than usual. You’re watching reality TV and less news. You stay out late and can’t function properly at work. Why? Because the behaviors and tendencies of this friend are rubbing off on you. Holding on to this friendship isn’t helping you become a better person. A friend is supposed to be there for you but also should be someone that you can grow with and make each other better people.

Don’t be afraid to let people go that are hindering your growth. What’s worse a person being mad at you for doing what’s best for you or not becoming the person you were meant to be because you were too afraid to let your oldest “friend” go?

Monday, January 10, 2011

5 Things You Need to Stop Doing Yesterday

The other day I was watching MTV’s True Life: I Have Digital Drama (for the 40th time ya’ll know how MTV is with re-runs) and I had to turn the channel because watching it was making me angry. It was pure foolishness and reminded me of too many people that specialize in that particular brand of drama.

How many of us have friends who obsess over a man, who he’s talking to, for how long, listening for clues, leaving messages on his phone playing “Say My Name”? She’s the same friend you can’t even go to lunch with her without her calling his phone 20 times in 3 minutes. (If his phone goes straight to voicemail, calling him forty-leven times isn’t going to make him pick up) She’s always calling his friends to make sure that he’s with who he says he’s with. Here’s a list you can give to said friend.

1)      Checking Emails, Facebook accounts and text messages
My thing is if I don’t trust you then I don’t need to be with you. If I even have to question if you’re cheating on me then we need to break up because then my mind will always wonder what you’re doing or who you’re doing it with. Checking every kind of media and social networking is only going to drive you crazy and drive him away.

2)      Driving past his house, his mama’s house etc…
Gas is too expensive to ride around looking for someone. Also usually you want to bring a friend along, but seriously who wants to spend their time riding around looking for your man. Come on now.

3)      Showing up where you know he is going to be
What do you really accomplish with this except making yourself look crazy and getting yourself kicked out and on a list for the security to give you the boot should you ever return.

4)      Calling his Mama, telling her that he did you wrong
We are grown a$$ people. How old are we that we are telling on people to their mothers? She can’t control her son even if she really does like you and called you “the daughter she never had” And come close…closer. If she doesn’t like you, you’ve really messed yourself up in her eyes.

5)      Busting the windows out his car   
The song was cute, but it will also have your cute behind in jail. He is not worth catching a case over and having to deal with some big ratchet scary cellmate when you get sent to ‘Rita.

My whole point is while you’re stressing yourself out, developing ulcers and losing your hair over this man, he’s out living his life and not thinking twice about you. Focus on living your best life, looking the best that you can, and finding a new man that looks like a Boris to his Don Cheadle. Pow! ;)

Do you have anything to add to this list? Discuss and Share.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hip Hop VS Rap

This post was inspired by the film Brown Sugar. During almost the entire movie Sidney Shaw (Sanaa Lathan) is writing a book and in it she compares Hip Hop and Rap. If you haven’t seen the movie, spank yourself then go watch it immediately.

He was the one I could depend on. The one that had been there to bring me hot and sour soup and mint tea when I was sick. The one that had me singing Lyzel in E flat like I wrote the song. He was all encompassing, not just a genre he was an entire culture. An old soul with a dark and gloomy past.  Mindful of the influences of the ancestors and humble despite his extreme successes.  5 mics in the source a classic, no gimmicks. Raw and pure like African shea butter. Quality always came before quantity. No degree but had read more Sanchez, Hughes and DuBois than anyone I knew. I was constantly learning new and interesting things.  He couldn’t be forgotten; he made a permanent and indelible impression on my very being. He was my first love.

And on the other hand…                                                      

He was the one that I was perfectly matched with. One dimensional somewhat simplistic, what was hot right now.  He came from a good family, double degrees, had the right pedigree. He was chart topping, top forty, on the cover of Time magazine. He was predictable, got the party started, popped bottles, danced on tables, kept some fresh bling at all times. He wasn’t into classics he was ‘on to the next’. The definition of “Houstatlantavegas”; Surrounded by a flurry of stylists, PR people and yes men; the flashing lights were so bright that my vision became blurred. “You betta hold on to that man” was the mantra of my friends and frenemies alike. Mom loved that he was handsome and clean cut; Daddy loved the security he provided. He was everything I had been told that I needed by everyone my entire life

So do I go with my heart or with what is expected of me?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Friends; How Many of Us Have Them?

It was a typical Thursday night; 3M’s, loud music and an abundance of estrogen. I sat down in a velvet leopard side chair with my glass of sangria and was chatting with the host. There are a few girls that have yet to arrive but there are about 6 of us there having a good time in general.

Most of us came to the get together fancy, nails done, hair done, everything did, so naturally we start talking about makeup. The host is an everyday false lash wearer so we start talking about our favorite brands and style numbers. Lisa, an average woman by most standards that I am meeting for the first time tonight, says “Well y’all need to help Kim out cuz her lashes be looking a mess. If her shadow is purple her lashes is purple. Just a mess girl!”

I laughed thinking wow that’s terrible and we discussed the proper way to put on lashes. (Which is not before you put on eyeshadow!)

Two rounds of shots, and a glass of moscato later, the conversation goes down relationship lane and because it’s the holiday season we get on the topic of good and bad Christmas gifts. Once again Lisa speaks up and says. “Last year for Christmas Kim got her man a new flat screen, a DVD player, and some Timberland boots. You know what that fool got her? A damn $30 watch! That’s unacceptable”.

I made a face what woman doesn’t like to be spoiled, or at the very least feel like she’s in a reciprocal relationship. At the same time I thought who was I to say anything?  I didn’t know Kim, her man, or their relationship. Besides who is Kim and why does Lisa keep bringing her name up anyway? Obsessed much?

Maybe 5 minutes later a really pretty girl that I’ve never seen before comes in. The first thing I notice about her is that she has amazing skin that looks like the caramel on the Frappuccino that I had earlier in the day. The host greets her and introduces her as Kim.

“Girl you must didn’t have no money to get your hair done this week.” Lisa said as she stood up to give Kim a hug. I turned to look at the girl’s hair and it didn’t look terrible but I could tell that it wasn’t freshly done. Hmm interesting way to say hello; what happened to “hey girl I’m glad you made it”?

The night wears down bbm contacts are made, hugs given, and promises are made to do it again soon. I stick around to help the host clean up and we’re recapping the night. I inquired what was with Lisa and Kim. She says “they have a crazy relationship, way too honest. Don’t be that honest wit me.” Hmm honest is a nice way to put it…

On the ride home I thought about Kim and Lisa. First Lisa is telling all of Kim’s business to people that don’t even know her when she’s coming to the party later, #wheredeydodatat? I assumed Kim was someone that I would probably never see; you know one of those ratchet friends that you deal with but always hang with them solo because you can’t take them no where, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to see her that night.

The second thing that really stuck out to me was the greeting. Kim didn’t even seem phased by it. If that’s not shade I don’t know what is. Granted Lisa did it in a way that was a little more subtle but it still was a shot at Kim. These girls call each other best friends?

How many of us have “friends” like that?