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?