Monday, August 31, 2009

Ebonics to Bougie Translation Guide

You know what, young ‘uns – ya’ll aint said nuthin’ but a word. Unfortunately, some of the things you say… those of us born before 1985 do not comprehend. I’ve received scores of emails asking me to define “stuff”. I am not an Ebonics dictionary people but since I referred you to some younghead sites, I guess I’m responsible. Below, a tongue in cheek look at what some of these words and phrases mean:

Here ends my ebonics translation. Some words I did not include because they are self-defining such as B*tchassedness and Bullshiggity. J Now do not go out there trying this all at once: Saw this 5-star chick I used to smash out in the spot all flagrant with her stuntin', I had to put her pause like WDDDA? Cuz that's how I do, ninja! Hold yourself back. All of these will be played out by the time you use them correctly, anyway. Please feel free to share any that I missed (or correct any I got wrong - I can't keep up).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Raise your frozen Hurricane up: Katrina’s anniversary

Believe it or not, it's been four years since the ridiculously unnecessary catastrophe in New Orleans (and Mississippi) which began with Hurricane Katrina slamming into the Gulf Coast. When a storm turns into an EPIC government FAIL recorded live for the world to see, it is worthy of a re-visit and an official anniversary. This little blog cannot begin to express the breadth of issues past and present in the Big Easy. So I'll allow others to do it for me.

If you never got the chance, check out the documentary from Spike Lee (get your Kleenex ready): When the Levees Broke - A Requiem In Four Acts. Spike has his video content on lock but here's a preview video clip:

On the NPR show Tell Me More they have followed the recovery of one New Orleans resident, Gralen Banks; in his quest for normalcy as he attempts to reclaim the life he once knew. Four years after the storm, Banks tells why he is still unable to move back into his home, his optimism for the Crescent City's vibrant return, and reflects on a favorite pair of shoes washed away in the 2005 devastation. Audio Clip embedded:

Plenty of help still needed for recovery. Here are some links if you've got it to give or just want some information:

The Rockfeller Foundation- Rebuilding New Orleans Initiative

Greater New Orleans Foundation

Red Cross- SouthEast Louisiana Chapter

Also, not endorsing but this guy has interesting things to say: James Perry, running for N.O. Mayor in 2010

So as we go about our lives this weekend, take a moment to raise a frosty Pat O'Brien Hurricane for my crawfish-boiling neighbors to the east.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

When Bad Dates Happen to Good People

Ya'll some old sadistic types, just enjoying the BougieTales of relationship woe. We had over 200 new visitors on BnB for relationship week. This makes me laugh. For your reading pleasure, here is a OneChele date classic... enjoy:

I was dating a gentleman out in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were five dates into the relationship with that "this could really be something" feeling in the air. We were at a gorgeous restaurant on the wharf in San Fran. Bridge lights twinkling, boats sailing by. Brother's game was tight: he was saying all the right words at the right time.

I was sipping wine, enjoying my meal when he reached across the table, took my hand and then started quoting from Green Eggs and Ham. Yes, Green Eggs and Ham! And I mean, he was reciting it slow and in a deep voice like Dr. Seuss was some Shakespeare or he was bringing some Love Jones-style def Poetry Jam to the table. Trying to hit me with the sexy-eye while rhyming house and mouse.

When he finished, he kissed my palm and said, "Baby I just want to reach you with my mentals." I laughed so hard, I spit wine all over the place. (what are mentals?!) He was really hurt but I could not get past the "Sam, I am" of it all. Worse, he explained to me that "The Seuss" was really the original rapper and I needed to recognize the "sensual cadence" of his rhymes. "Are you feeling me?" he asked.

No, I was not. I tried to just let the night go (trying to finish my surf and turf ya'll) but then he just got more forceful in his defense of all things Seussian. I tried to make it into an intellectual debate, Seuss vs. Robert Frost - who brings it harder? (Give me credit for the attempt)

Brother got loud, "Frost was a poet, Seuss was a lyrical master! To understand Seuss is to understand me! You need to get on board if we are going to take this relationship any further!" I nodded as I speared the last piece of chipotle-rubbed lobster with my fork. "Absolutely, I understand." Swigging the wine now.

"So, are you ready for us to go to that next level?" He stared into my eyes. Do you how much intestinal fortitude it took for me not to say: I would not, could not, in a box. I could not, would not, with a fox? Instead, I threw a $20 on the table and bailed. Later I thought, that ish MUST have worked on some chick before, he was too confident. I cannot fathom how Dr. Seuss had ever closed the deal for a brother.

Okay, get up off the ground now. Yes my date was bad but NOT as bad as this sister's (From AP) :

FERNDALE, Mich. - Police in Michigan say a first date went from bad to worse when a Detroit man skipped out on the restaurant bill, then stole his date's car.

Police say 23-year-old Terrance Dejuan McCoy had dinner with a woman April 24 at Buffalo Wild Wings in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale. The woman says the two met a week earlier at a Detroit casino and she knew McCoy only as "Chris."

The woman told police that McCoy said he left his wallet in her car and asked for keys. He then sped away in the 2000 Chevrolet Impala.

The Daily Tribune of Royal Oak reports that police identified McCoy by a photo he'd sent to the woman's cell phone, and his phone number.

McCoy is charged with unlawfully taking the car, a five-year felony. He waived a preliminary exam and was bound over for trial Thursday.

I think getting jacked by your date trumps DJ Seuss. At least none of my dates have required police reports (so far). Comment as you will.

Saturday Short - Memories at a Glance

Someone sent me this picture from Life Magazine, not sure where it was taken. The "Lion of the Senate" no longer roars and the "King of Pop" is silent but their imprints on American culture will endure forever. (I couldn't crop out Shirley MacLaine - but isn't this a conversation we would love to have on YouTube).

Rest in Peace, Teddy. Happy Birthday, Michael.

Friday, August 28, 2009

From Feast to Famine… an eHarmony Fail follow-up

Let's wrap up relationship week with a long sad BougieTale from the DisHarmony Files. When last we visited the Disharmony of eHarmony, I had five potential Mr. OneCheles to consider. Allow me to share the story of Bachelor # 2, we'll call him Greg.

To truly appreciate my Greg story, I am forced to say a little more about the Ex-Significant Other and our time together. He of the violently imploding relationship, French cuff fetish and truthfulness fail. We'll call him Eugene. Eugene was (still is) a man of means and mental acuity. He is educated and savvy. He is tall, good looking, urbane. He is in a word… slick. He's the guy that guys want to hang out with and girls want to be with and he is well aware of this fact. He earned his dollars in a very high profile job that allows for people who don't really know you to revere you. He had a stint as a model and spokesperson. He sat on company boards and had designers sending him clothes to wear. Lack of confidence and swagger were never an issue with Eugene.

During a lot of the time that we were together, we were both in jobs that required intense travel. Since we lived in separate cities, it was nothing for us to decide to hop a plane and meet in __________. Fill in the blank, we probably went there too. We dined well, I drank wine, and he smoked cigars. I wore heels and diamonds; he wore Armani suits and platinum. We met famous and influential people at charity events. We sipped chi-chi drinks on rooftop bars. Beaches were walked, malls were visited, four star hotel concierges would greet us and say "Welcome back."

Okay, so I've painted the picture of what I was used to. It took a very short period of time for me to realize that I was not going to easily find someone on that high-rolling level. And I was okay with that. So after optimistically trading emails and then phone calls with Greg, I was excited to meet him. He was in Sales and lived in a house outside of Dallas, had sole custody of his two kids from a previous marriage and was a charming person to talk to.

I met Greg at the Waffle House outside of a little town called Mesquite, Texas. I was cool meeting there because it was halfway between our houses and after all, this was a coffee date. Greg was gorgeous. 6'4", chocolate, great smile, wore the heck out of simple jeans and sweater… I was in like. The first month was great – we went to the movies, the lake, grabbed dinner, he came over to my house and we watched TV, football, all good. He called when he said would call, followed up on plans, opened doors and made clear he thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. (Rightly so J)

The first crack appeared when he called me frantically one afternoon and asked if I could meet him in Mesquite. I said sure. I met him and he said he was out of gas and needed to borrow twenty dollars. I kind of blinked but said okay. After all, I was sure there was a reason and I was trying not to judge. I gave him forty dollars and drove home.

Later that night he called and said he hadn't been truthful about a few things. He was in Sales but it was used car sales and he hadn't sold a car in weeks. He was a Floor Manager though so he got override on everyone else's sales. He was in a house but it was not his house, he and the kids were living with his brother and his brother's wife. But he had a plan of how to turn it around and get on his feet. I was admittedly skeptical but trying not to be shallow here, people.

Now since I work from home, he took to showing up at my house around lunch time… hungry. The first few days I feed him, he fell asleep on my couch after eating and then got up and went back to work. Now I was not really feeling this but still trying to be nice. On day four when he got up from his nap, he asked to "borrow" money again. Now I was hella-uncomfortable. I had never been that out-of-pocket girl. He was a nice guy, I knew he was struggling but I was starting to feel like a sugar-mama. (Not a good look). So I asked, "What's the value add in me fixing you lunch every day and then you going to sleep while I make money for you to borrow?" He said, "Well I really appreciate it and I'll pay you back, I swear I'm not usually this trifling." Benefit of the doubt take two but I didn't loan him the money. He did stop dropping by for his midday sustenance and siesta.

We went back to the way it was pre-money borrowing until right before Christmas. He lost the job. Got another and one week later, walked out on it. He told me about the $36,000 he owed the IRS. Then his car broke down. He asked to borrow money again and I had to just say no. We were now eating very "down market" (from a Friday's to a Sonic) but I am determined not to be that girl who doesn't give a brother a break because he was struggling. So I decided to hang for a little while longer when he started to make noises about moving closer to me. He introduced me to his kids by saying, "Meet your new mommy." He laughed and said he was just joking but now I was getting nervous on top of the discontent.

My birthday rolled around. Now I'm not the girl who needs banners and balloons and bling for birthdays. Granted, the year before Eugene and I were in Vegas in a suite at the Bellagio shopping Gucci pumps and Coach bags. But I was moving on, right? Greg who started and quit his 4th job since we met said, "I've got some money saved up; we're gonna do it up big." Great! The day came, night fell and soon it was close to 9:00p.m. He called to say he got hung up chasing down some money but was on his way. When he got there and saw me all dressed up while he was in sweats he said, "Oh yeah, I forgot. Well, let's go grab something to eat."

He pulled into Chili's and said, "Is this okay?" At this point, I was way over the day so I said, "Sure." We went in, sat down, ordered and for some reason this was the time he chose to tell me the story of his ex-wife. It wasn't pretty and involved her being in and out of rehab, locked up in jail, custody battle for the kids - just all sort of not-bougie stuff that I was trying to process on my BIRTHDAY. He was so agitated talking about it that he got loud and people send us the "Uh-oh, angry black people in the house," look.

He finally calmed down to say, "I just wanted you to know what I've been through so you can know how much I appreciate having someone like you in my life." I nodded. No doubt. By this time I was on my 3rd glass of wine because as birthdays go, this one was kinda sucky. When the bill came, he pushed it across the table and said, "Oh babe, I'm short." I just sat there for a minute having my light bulb moment.

Now my light bulb moments are not what you think. My light bulb moments are not when my brain kicks in and I have a revelation (those are my ah-ha moments). My light bulb moments are when the light that I had shining (even dimly) for someone or something that I care about turns out. The filament breaks. And as you know, once that little thread breaks – you never get that bulb to work again. Reaching in my wallet to pay my Chili's bill on my birthday; I was surprised no one else could hear the audible CLICK of the light switch.

As Greg drove me home he said, "I'm kinda of a terrible boyfriend, huh? I don't get you anything, make you pay for dinner, show up all late. I can't believe you put up with me." I didn't say anything just smiled. When we got back to the house I hopped out and said, "Thanks, talk to you later" before zipping inside and locking the door.

Two days later I called him. I told him to take six months (or longer), get himself together and then give me a call. I explained that I've got myself and my mother to take care of and as nice a guy as he might be, I couldn't do it. I could already see the road ahead… me working like crazy while taking care of him, his kids, my mother, the IRS bills, the brokedown car all up in my house. It was too much. I just couldn't. In a very sad voice, he said he understood and knew he didn't deserve me and he hoped I found what I was looking for.

One year later, he was living with a woman who had her own house, worked from home and was looking after his kids while he looked for another job, having recently quit another one. Sound familiar?

The whole thing was too much culture shock for me, BougeNation. I could not go from champagne in crystal flutes to Kool-Aid in paper cups that quickly. I needed some sort of step down in between (Sprite in a glass?). I couldn't go from "Baby, bring your passport and let's go" to "Girl, I got a Popeye's coupon". It was too drastic a change. That and all the drama. The taxes and the jobs and exes in jail… eek!

Now I will tell you that my girlfriends HOWLED at me while I was trying to date this guy. They were all, "You wouldn't have dated this guy in high school, what are you trying to do it now for?" My girl Shirl who is Ms. Give-Everybody-A-Shot said, "Uh-uh, Chele- not for you. Not after where you've been. You are not 30 anymore." I said, "I'm trying to be more realistic." And my girl C said, "And how'd that work out for ya?" Heifa. She was right. I tried to be so flexible that I landed somewhere I didn't want to be. I blame it on the rebounding. (Which means really, it's all Eugene's fault – ha!) But let the record reflect, this bougie chick gave a broke-a$$ brother a shot… sort of.

So I ask you… was I wrong to cut and run? Would you have done the same? And is Chris Rock* right- can women never step down in lifestyle with their relationships once they reach a certain level?

*(The quote is at 10:22 of the video on this link, NOT WORK APPROPRIATE, Rated R for Language)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Who wears the pants?

I was noticing the back and forth between the men and women in the comment section of my post on black women trying to take a breath. Some men and women wanted men to step up, others thought women could now take the lead. Understanding that everyone would wish for a balanced, fair and equal relationship (am I overassuming?)… we all know it rarely plays out that way. So it leads me to wonder, who wears the pants and why in a relationship? Or as Chris Rock would say… who gets the big piece of chicken? Who ultimately has the power and control?

Let's break this down into a few categories:

  • Bible-based: The Bible really doesn't waver on this one. The man is in charge unless he proves himself completely unworthy and even then, you gotta cut him slack and try to get that man worthy. Some verses:
    • Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:22
    • Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. Genesis 3:16
    • Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
    • But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3

    I could go on but you get my point. Every Christian scholar I have ever heard preaches the belief that it was God's intent for man to have final authority over his home. They will also say that if he is driving off path, you help him steer before he drives you off a cliff. Moving on…

Supposing your belief system does not extend towards organized religion and the inherent ideologies? Or even if it does, suppose you want to take a look at this from another angle. Here it is and in preface let me say Don't Taze me, bro – I'm just spitting out theories:

  • Finance: Do you think (I know I have seen) the balance of power sits with whoever has the bigger… wallet? As a really bad professor once quipped, "The one with the check can give you heck but she who asks must come in last." Yeah, doesn't rhyme and is completely sexist but you take the meaning. The problem with money-earning ruling the roost is that these days that can change on a dime (no pun intended). Over the past eighteen months, men have been laid off at a rate 37% higher than females. Ironically, this is because a lot of men were earning over 12% more than females in the workplace. When it came time to cut back, it was more cost-effective to cut the higher-earners (i.e. men). So in many cases, people that have been together for years with the husband as primary wage-earner found the script completely flipped. I don't know if you all have watched some of these stories but some of the fellas are NOT feeling the Mr. Mom role. Then again, some of them like it a little too well. But I digress. Basing the big piece of chicken on the money is problematic at best unless that was the agreement from the beginning (Cougar with BoyToy or Old-Ass guy with Anna Nicole-type chick).

  • Emotional/Mental: Maybe it's just a case of the smarter, stronger person taking the lead. Leadership is not everybody's forte. As I've said before, if one person is Batman, someone's gotta be Robin. Sometimes one person just imposes their will on the household (not necessarily in a tyrannical way) and that's the way it works. Only two drawbacks, what if the woman is Batman and her man is Robin? Can men take the back seat (and not take sh*t about it?) How many derogatory comments have you heard about mama's boys or fellas who need their wives permission to buy a shirt. Isn't this where the phrase MAN UP comes from? I'm just thinking out loud here. The other drawback, what if something happens to Batman? Can Robin step in and keep the Bat Cave running? Is there ultimately a Batman living inside every Robin? These are things that make me go hmmm.

  • Sexual: Okay TMI but come on, the phrase whipped is out there for a reason. Isn't this the entire reason most folks thought Whitney married Bobby (and stayed for way too long)? Is the person who breaks it down like WHOA! in the bedroom the ruler of every other room as well? Can a person so deeply impose their sexual will on another as to control their lives? (Think Svengali or 9 ½ Weeks)

  • Combination: The theory is that in order for a relationship to work, there has to be give and take across the board. Maybe the woman earns more, but the man is smarter with finance. Maybe they are both capable of freaking each other to forest-fire heat but she wins the arguments because she talks more. Maybe he picks out all the clothes and she picks out all the food. What if they play to each other's strengths? At the end of the day, if there is a decision to be made and it has been debated with no agreement, whose word is law?

When it's all said and done, I'm a traditionalist at heart and a Christian by faith. I believe the man is supposed to be the head of the household. Lord knows my father was, this did not mean that BougieMom did not make sure her feelings and thoughts weren't heard and acted on. This did not mean that in my last long-term relationship there were not that I didn't grit my teeth when things didn't go "my way". As BougieMom says, "Baby, you pick your battles." My Aunt Violet used to say, "You don't tell a man to drink tea, you lead him to believe tea is the thing he wants to drink." I can already hear my menfolk out there sucking their teeth and hollering out, "Manipulation!" Calm down and take deep breaths, you won't feel a thing. J

You out in BougieLand of the successfully sustained relationships will have to answer the questions: Who wears the pants? How do you decide? And when do you know it's time to switch it up?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Breaking up is hard to do… but that doesn’t mean you can’t be classy about it!

OneChele loves the romance. I read it, write it, revel in it. Regardless of life experience, I still believe in some variation on two people trying to make happily ever after work. And all the mushy-gushy stuff along the way… aww. ©Lifetime movie of the week© (Wait a minute, not the ones where the woman gets beat down by her stalker ex-husband or goes crazy and sets his bed on fire, the other ones… ya'll know what I mean!)

At any rate, when love goes wrong (and Lord knows there are SO many ways for it to go wrong), sometimes the best thing to do is leave skid marks running as far away as you can just walk away. And how you walk away can be just as important as how you walked together for however long it lasted. I believe most of you will co-sign with me when I say that a bad break up can temporarily overshadow a good relationship. Like chasing a fine wine with a shot of vinegar; for a while all you can taste is the vinegar. It's not until you put something else in your mouth that the bad taste goes away. (okay, that sounds WAY dirtier than it should have. Keep it PG-13, people – I did not mean it like that).

ANYWAY, I gathered my notes, emails and tweets and can present to you… 10 of the worst break up scenarios EVER. (Yes, I've changed all the names to protect the guilty):

  • Ted and Gina were at a basketball game for their sixth date. At some point after half-time with no apparent provocation Gina looked at Teddy and started screaming, "I hate you! I never want to see you again!" He blinked a couple of times and said, "So do you not want to see the rest of the game?" This set her off again. Onlookers said Gina has quite an octave range. They left separately and never saw each other again. Note:I don't know, Ted. You might have dodged a bullet on that one.

  • Earline and Johnny had been married for 25 years. One night when Johnny came home from work, Earline had a big home-cooked dinner waiting for him. Pleased that after so many nights of take out and frozen entrees, Earline was hooking him up; Johnny sat down and dug in. "You're not gonna eat?" he asked. (red flag #1 dude) She shook her head, "No, I worked in the garden and snacked all day. I'm going to get into bed and wait for you." (red flag #2) Excited that not only was he getting fed but getting some, Johnny wolfed down his food and headed into the bedroom. The next thing he knew, Johnny was waking up in a hospital bed. The nurse handed him a note, "This is from your wife." The note read: "If you are reading this note I guess you survived, you cheating sack of sh**. Johnny, what we had was beautiful but you ruined it when you put your thing inside your secretary over and over again for the past six weeks. I put something beautiful inside of you, good luck and good bye." Turns out she put white oleander (super poisonous but very beautiful flower) along with some other herbs from her yard into the food she had cooked for him. The doctors never got the exact toxicology of what all she used on him. She disappeared with the money and to my knowledge has not been caught or prosecuted. Note: Earline! That's way extreme. It's not bougie to catch a case because of your cheating significant other. No, no – jail time is not bougenificent! NO one looks good in the orange jumpsuit.

  • Suzie and Ben were "sharing physical intimacy" when suddenly Ben stopped. "What's wrong?" Suzie asked. "Nothing, I just don't want to do this anymore." He responded. "This as in me or are you talking about something else?" "I just want out. Of you, the relationship, this apartment. I'm done." He um- dismounted and got dressed. Ben left and never returned, not one look back. Suzie never found out what prompted the interruptus and consequent leave-taking. Note: WTF, Ben? You broke up mid-stroke? ETIQUETTE FAIL.

  • Jason and Terry were in the Caribbean with their family and friends to get married. On the night before the wedding, they went their separate ways to have their bachelor/bachelorette parties. The next morning, Jason woke up to a 3" x 3" pink post-it note stuck on his hotel room door stating: "The wedding is off. You know what you did. Don't try and find me." Now since I heard this story from the groom's mother, I never found out what happened but I do know they did not reconcile. Note: Uh Jason, what DID you do at the bachelor party, son? Terry, post-it note is tacky. What if it fell off the door? At least leave a message at the front desk.

  • Shanice and Daquan had been kickin' it for six months (I don't know – it's what the kids say to indicate some sort of relationship). Anyway, one day Shanice gets an email saying Daquan has posted new photos to Facebook. She goes out to FB and sees Daquan all hugged up with a girl that is not her. He captioned the picture: Shanice, I'm upgrading. Peace! Note: No he DID NOT! See? And folks wonder how chicks go Jazmine Sullivan on their behinds.

  • Hector and Yvette had been dating for close to two years. One day for reasons he swears he does not know Yvette called him on his cell phone and said, "I want to break up." He asked why and she replied, "I just do." Note: Hector, something is rotten in the state of BougieDom. You had no clue? Nothing happened? Just out the blue she's done? Ooo-kay.

  • Dick and Jane had been married for 7 years. Somewhere around year six and a half, they stopped having meaningful conversation. Their style of communication became very passive-aggressive. They would send each other emails, texts and voicemails and then in the evening one would ask, "Did you have any questions about what I wrote?" The other would answer, "Nope, got it." Jane had suggested all manner of counseling which Dick refused. Finally one day, she sent him a text: "I quit, I want a divorce". He texted back: "Okay, sounds good". (Wow like, do you want Chinese for dinner? Okay, sounds good.) Later that night as she handed him a pillow and blanket for the guest room she asked, "Did you have any questions about what I wrote?" He looked at her and said, "Nope, got it." According the divorce records, those we the last words they spoke to each other without an attorney present. Note: Brrr. It's cold up in there. Now THAT is the coldest break up I've ever heard of.

  • Selena and Greg had been living together since her sophomore year of college. He was wrapping up his PhD and she was finishing her MBA. One day he asked her to read his dissertation. It was on post modern gender relations in a technology driven society. (I already see where this going) Anyway as she read she realized that he has used examples from their relationship. As she got closer to the end she noticed that he had started talking about them in the past tense. His last four paragraphs basically stated that he no longer believed monogamous relationships and life partners were necessary in the age we live in. She shrieked, "This is how you tell me it's over?" and apparently the situation disintegrated from there. Campus police were involved. Greg needed stitches. Note: Greg, you went way too cerebral on a girl who was willing to get physical. Know your audience.

  • Charlie and Beth had been dating for two years. Tonight, Charlie was taking Beth out for a fancy dinner. When they got to the restaurant, he ordered the best champagne, multiple courses, wine and dessert. Candles were flickering, soft music playing, the atmosphere was trés romantique. Beth was thrilled; he was finally going to pop the question! After dessert, the waiter brought the check. He also delivered a small box to the table. Beth opened the box expecting a ring and instead saw a bracelet. A bracelet she already owned. "Oh, I thought I lost this!" She looked confused. Charlie replied, "You did lose it along with your mind in David's bed the last two times I was out of town." He gets up, "You also lost me but you do get one thing." He shoves the bill of more than $300 across the table, "You get to pay the way and find a ride home." With that he walks out. David was his best friend. Note: High five Charlie. Boo to David for sleeping with your girl but thumbs up to David for fessing up before Charlie wifed up.

  • Lisa and Larry have been married for twelve years. To combat boredom, Larry has been "trying" new and different things in the bedroom. Apparently one night he went too far. The next night he came home and found all his positions packed into a Portable Storage Unit on the back of the truck. Taped across the unit was a banner that read, "Not with me, not up in here." Note: Wow Lisa – no second chances huh? Makes me really curious to find out what he wanted to do?!

To the guy who shared his story about finding his girl's sextape with another man and had it played at their engagement party… dude, I might have to do a post on that one alone. Thanks to all who contributed stories. I would say I'm sorry it didn't work out but in light of some of these circumstances… you may be better off?

I'm sure ya'll have some stories to rival these but truthfully, my romantic heart does not want to hear any more. As far as my break up strategy - I'm a believer in shooting straight but letting someone down gently (unless they force you to be harsh). But I'll put the question to you… is there really any GOOD way to break up?

Raise your tumbler of scotch up for Ted Kennedy (1932-2009)

Teddy Kennedy was one of those rare individuals where you can say: they don't make 'em like that anymore. Love him or hate him, he was a polarizing figure for the Democratic Party and made no apologies for it. Flawed, human and living in the shadows of his slain older brothers; Teddy forged a legacy of public works and legislature that will impact generations to come.

The last in his generation of a dynastic family, public servant to the end, imbued with larger than life charisma and committed to the liberal ideologies of democracy until the very end. Teddy Kennedy has passed away from brain cancer at the age of 77. From ABC News (<-click link for more on his life and legacy):

Sen. Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.

The man known as the "liberal lion of the Senate" had fought a more than year-long battle with brain cancer, and according to his son had lived longer with the disease than his doctors expected him to.

"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," the Kennedy family said in a statement. "He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it."

Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy, the youngest Kennedy brother who was left to head the family's political dynasty after his brothers President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated.

Kennedy championed health care reform, working wages and equal rights in his storied career. In August, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the nation's highest civilian honor -- by President Obama. His daughter, Kara Kennedy, accepted the award on his behalf.

I'll close with one of Ted's signature quotes: "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." Rest in peace, Mr. Kennedy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Should I stay or should I go?

Disclaimer: I am not a relationship expert by any stretch of the imagination. If anything, I can offer cautionary tales of what NOT to do. However, folks keep asking for my opinion so here goes…

Apparently, we're having Relationship week on BnB. So, in this episode of Ask a Bougie Chick, I'll answer a few letters from my readers who think I know what I'm talking about. I probably don't but what I will do is shoot straight and tell you what I would do. I've abbreviated the names for confidentiality.

Dear OneChele,

My boyfriend says I am too stuck up and bougie so he is leaving. Says he cannot afford my "foolishness". Just because I have standards in the way I live my life, does that make me stuck up and bougie? Granted, going in I realized that he is more street than uptown but I thought those differences could be overcome. I let him move in with me so he could get himself together after being laid off. I suggested that he use some of the time off to take classes, maybe pick up a certificate or two. He said I was pushing him to be something he isn't. From there, everything I did was questioned. He was upset at the brand of groceries I got (complained I spent too much), asked me why I needed to buy things (shoes, clothes) and became for lack of a better term, quarrelsome. I attributed this to him losing his job and all of the money in the house being mine. Even though I haven't made it seem like it, he's really a nice guy. Should I fight for him? Just asking for your opinion since I read your blog and you know your way around the bougie lifestyle.

Thanks! Sincerely, J.I.C.

Dear J.I.C.,

I guess I'll take this point by point. Stuck up and bougie are not necessarily the same thing. You can be one (either) without the other. If you have high standards and can afford to maintain them, I don't see anything wrong with that. Now when you say your man is "street" are we talking "can handle himself in the hood street" or "has a parole officer on speed dial street"? If he is straight outta Compton and you are straight outta Martha's Vineyard; that's more of a bridge than a stepping stone to cross if you catch my meaning. Both can be done but one takes longer.

A quick pause for the cause here: OneChele does not believe in the shacking. Letting a man move in with you is always a tricky situation. I understand you did it for financial reasons but sharing a space with someone is serious business. Things (such as finances, personal habits, what the future holds) suddenly have be taken into account.

Let me see if I understand: you are making all the money and paying all of the bills, but he is concerned with your spending? Does this mean that your money is now community property money? Is that what he means by "foolishness"?

Okay, in tough economic times I understand why you are trying very hard to be a ride-or-die chick for your man. Ask yourself this, if the tables were turned and you had no job, no money and a "quarrelsome" attitude – would he do the same for you? If so, ride it out. Of course the fact that he has decided to leave takes a lot of the decision making out of your hands. So one last question, when you ask if you should fight for him? What would you do differently to get him to stay? And is it worth it?

Not sure I really answered your question or gave you more to think about. Hope I helped and thanks for visiting Black 'n Bougie.

Dear OneChele,

I am losing my boyfriend of two years to a bougie b*tch. No offense. She's not a b*tch because she's bougie but because she's going after a man that she knows is taken. She takes him places (Aruba) and buys him things (Rolex) that I can't afford to. I look better but she has more education and a better job. I don't know how to fight on her level? I mean in five years I can probably match her crib for crib and degree to degree but I'm losing him now. He is not even bothering to hide the evidence of his cheating anymore. Any advice for a sister trying to get there but not to lose everything in the meantime?

From a bougie in training, AP

Dear AP,

No offense taken, b*tch comes in all flavors including bougie. K I have to make a quick joke though and say I'm not sure how bougie she is if she's coming out the pocket like that for a man (aruba and rolex, wtf?). Okay, here's my opinion:

First and foremost let me say, you do NOT want a man that you have to BUY to keep. He saw something in you to begin with when he knew you did not have the car, the crib, the paper. This sounds cliché but you really do want a man to want you for YOU.

Second thing you need to know is that OneChele does not believe in fighting over a man. Your relationship is between you and him. Her station in life has nothing to do with it. A man cannot be stolen away; he goes where he wants to go. Some may disagree but I feel the ultimate decision to stray sits with he who strays not she who he strays with.

If your man is already accepting stuff from her and going places with her, he's already gone. I repeat: if he is supposed to be in a relationship with you yet goes to Aruba with some other chick, he is not your man anymore. Let me go one step further and say sure, it's his prerogative to see something else he likes and go after it but he has to reconcile his relationship with you first. Otherwise we call that having your cake and eating it too. Relationship FAIL.

Personally I think he's disrespecting you in a way that is tough to get past but I never underestimate the depth of women's love, dedication and devotion to their man coupled with their capacity to forgive and forget. So, if you really still want this guy in your life, you're going to have to give him a CHOOSE OR LOSE option point blank. Fact three, I hate ultimatums except when you have no other choice. You can't go on as is not only is it tacky; it's potentially dangerous physically if you don't know how intimate he is with someone who is not you.

I would ask this of you, do not be so anxious to hang on to this guy that you lose your way on your own path. All jokes aside, your focus is taking care of you. Losing him does not mean you are losing "everything." He is a piece of your puzzle, not the whole picture. Hope I helped and thanks for visiting Black 'n Bougie.

So what do you think? Anything you would say to these two young ladies? Anything you think I left out, should not have said? Help the ladies out, sometimes it takes a village ya'll.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Black Women Turning Blue (cuz apparently we don’t get to exhale)

Note: So apparently my need for sleep and "rest" was not that deep. I woke up at 2:00am and typed this post like a woman on a mission… and maybe I am.

Let me start by saying there is nothing a woman loves more than being told what she can't do. Yes, this is sarcasm. Women hate hearing how their fairy tales won't come true more than Fox News hates a fact checker (and you know that's serious). Now imagine this woman is black and single and the recipient of not four, not five but SIX emails with an article entitled: Marriage eludes high-achieving Black Women. Some of the fun from MSNBC:

Yale researchers Natalie Nitsche and Hannah Brueckner argued that "marriage chances for highly educated black women have declined over time relative to white women." Women of both races with postgraduate educations "face particularly hard choices between career and motherhood," they said, "but especially in the absence of a reliable partner."

Another Yale sociologist, Averil Clarke, who has written a soon-to-be-published book called "Love Inequality: Black Women, College Degrees, and the Family We Can't Have," sees the impact of this demographic trend in a slightly different, and more romantic, light. It's not about passing on economic and educational advantages, though these concerns are valid, she said. It's about love.

"I think this inequality can be construed around outcomes in love," she said. "We are very caught up right now in [the controversy] over gay marriage. Well, what are we arguing about? Whether people can have these kinds of emotionally satisfying experiences and if not, if that is unequal." She also believes that these demographic facts, and the reasons for them, constrain the sexuality of some African-American women. She has found that many more are celibate than are white women with similar education levels. "So for me it matters because love matters."

One big reason why these women remained childless is, as one might expect, that they go unmarried, experts say. Among highly educated women of both races, about 22 percent between the ages of 20 and 45 were single in the 1970s. But then that number diverged. It has remained the same for white women, but now 38 percent of black women have never been married.

"Their marriage chances have declined," Brueckner explained. "This may sound trivial but one reason is that they outnumber men in this education group." The disparity in education is important because Americans have a strong tendency to marry those with equal levels of education, a trend that has only grown stronger since World War II. "So since there are fewer men with the same education," Brueckner continued, "you either have to find another group you can marry or you are out of luck. You have nowhere to go."

Highly educated black men tend to "outmarry" (marry outside race, religion or ethnicity) at a higher rate than black women, researchers say. Think of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates or Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Both married white women.

Black women are either much more reluctant to marry outside their race, or do not have the opportunity to do so. The answer is both, Clarke said.

The article opened by sharing that Michelle Obama "appears" to have it all but she is the exception not the rule. The article goes on to discuss how the lack of marriage leads to lack of children. So basically unless they marry outside the race or to someone less accomplished; black women who are educated and employed are destined to be dried up spinsters with great 401(k)s. (Cue the lace doily and cat named Fluffy) K Sidebar for Nitsche, Brueckner and Clarke: kindly KMEBA (Kiss My Entire… you get the rest) for doing this study at all.

As I turn my attention away from the article, I see this theme reinforced in the blogosphere. Single Black Male is a blog I visit; it's always interesting to read different perspectives. Sometimes I agree with their points of view, sometimes I do not. Today's post was one guy's perspective who felt that women with advanced degrees thought this would assist them in landing a man. It was titled: Degrees don't make you sexy, miss… Sorry.

I added a comment to share that I know no such delusional black women who think this. Cuz I'm sorry too. I'm sorry that listening to all the "helpful" and "insightful" feedback given to sistahs makes me want to dig up Walt Disney and pop him squarely in the jaw while shouting, "Cinderella is a LIE." Seriously, Prince Charming coming to save you? Sistah, get that paper and save yo'self.

Just based on what I've read in the last month in the blogosphere a black woman cannot be too light or too dark. She cannot be too big or too thin. She cannot overachieve or underachieve. She must speak her mind but not get mouthy. She must have her own money but not lord this fact over her man (if she has one). She needs to have a combination of HGTV and ESPN knowledge in her head. She must be confident but not stuck-up. She can work but not let her career infringe on her role as wife/girlfriend/mother/boo. She can be cute, beautiful or hot but only one of those is marriage material apparently. She must be talented in bed but not so talented as to be hoe-ish (is that word?). And it's a whole other thing discussing a black woman and her hair (the debate between natural vs. permed vs. weave rages on). You find the girl who can straddle all of that and I say clone her DNA immediately and hustle her down the aisle.

Ladies, to all of this I call BULLSHIGGITY. I've got one 44-year old friend that just got engaged. I have a 34-year old friend who is getting divorced. They both have advanced degrees and are well-maintained, good looking women. That didn't stop one from catching a guy or the other from losing hers. But that doesn't make for snazzy headlines or controversial blog posts. It's much easier to pile on all these smart-ass black Superwomen who have "priced themselves out of the market." Le Sigh… backing away from the keyboard.

One last thing… I wish before these Harvard ladies shared their study, they took a second to understand its impact. I wish before another fella writes a post to black women about how to catch and keep a man, they would walk a mile in our pumps. And more than that, I wish for my sisters to keep their head up, keep on steppin' and keep the faith. Now take a second, take a deep breath and exhale.

Was this just a sleep deprived rant or do I have some valid points in here?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How OneChele lost her hustle...

Okay, it's called burn out ya'll. I finished my short story. Sent in two articles. Finished the final edit on my first book (due out in January - more to come) and started getting serious about book number two. I poured all my creativity into Tax-Free Weekend shopping today (it was brutal out there).

More bouge to come. Thanks for stopping by! In the meantime, feel free to check out my blog cousins:
Enjoy and see ya soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Short(s) - She's got legs!

We present to you… Michelle Obama's legs. (gasp!) Tired of discussing healthcare and mired in the dog days of summer slow news cycle, the mainstream media spent ridiculous amounts of time discussing Mrs. Obama's apparel while visiting the Grand Canyon. Umpteenth call-in shows, viewers' polls and candid interviews later we discovered… nobody gave a damn. From Associated Press:

When Anya Strzemien, style editor at The Huffington Post, saw Obama's shorts, she knew there would be interest.

"I thought the fact that she wore shorts was newsworthy because she's the first first lady to wear shorts on Air Force One," Strzemien said. "I was interested as a newsperson because it was a first. A lot of things the Obamas have done have been firsts."

She posted a poll for readers to explain what they thought: Most were in favor of the outfit, but others thought the shorts were inappropriate or too short.

NBC's "Today" show poll had similar results with a whopping 300,000 people responding to the vote. The blog post was the show's most commented-on of 2009, said Dee Dee Thomas, a "Today" senior producer.

"People love talking about Michelle Obama," Thomas said. "She's pushing the envelope on how we see the first lady."

And it's clear the media loves talking about Michelle Obama, too. Many news outlets rallied to the first lady's defense, noting that she was on vacation when she wore the shorts over the weekend, in sweltering desert heat.

"What should she have worn to the Grand Canyon? A tweed pantsuit? A ballgown? What do you wear on your summer vacation?" asked Elizabeth Snead of the Los Angeles Times.

But others wondered from whom, exactly, the media was defending the first lady.

"Everyone is up in arms — if by 'everyone' you mean no one, or rather a large, shadow-y group of no ones," Kate Dailey wrote for Newsweek. "August is a slow news month, and covering people who are actually shocked and outraged about health care can only fill so many minutes in the Twitterfied news cycle."

True, there were critics online, as there tend to be.

"Why not wear linen pants ... more tasteful," Charlie Smith, of Montgomery, Ala., wrote on the "Today" site. "She may have been on vacation ... but she should respect the Office of the President and the USA."

But it was clear most responses fell firmly on the side of shorts.

"First Lady Michelle Obama looks great in her shorts and it shouldn't even be a news worthy issue ... Leave her alone," wrote Joann Begonja, of North Bellmore, N.Y.

"Get a grip folks — these aren't 'Daisy Duke' shorts," echoed John Johnson of Dover, Ohio. "Looks O.K. to me and I am NOT an Obama fan by any stretch of the imagination!"

Mrs. Obama's office had no comment on the matter.

Thomas, the "Today" producer, said she wasn't surprised by the support for the outfit.

"I would be surprised to hear of any woman in her 40s who has not worn shorts," she said. "She's a mother of two tweens on vacation in the hottest place in the country."

Mary Tomer, founder of the New York City-based blog, which chronicles Mrs. Obama's style, said the brouhaha over her legs is media-created.

"From what I can tell most people are wondering how this became major news," Tomer said. "Who doesn't wear shorts while hiking in the Grand Canyon in mid-August with your family?"

Wearing shorts is disrespectful of the Office of the President? But starting a war to jack some oil isn't? Lying out of both sides of your face (daily) was fine because even though G-Dub was a liar, traitor and a cheat, at least his wife never wore a sheath dress to any of his speeches? Don't get me started.

Here's what I know… no one wanted to see Laura, Barbara, or Hillary in shorts so we thank them for their discretion. If Michelle rocks a tankini on Martha's Vineyard, all hell will break loose. Comment as you will...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bougie Etiquette Lessons: Social Media 101

This is the world we now live in. I have "friends" that I haven't talked to live in years but we have emailed each other religiously. People that I was happy to leave behind have tracked me down via Facebook or Linked in. And just when I believe I'm "plugged in" enough, someone sends me an invite to some new thing. Seriously now, I have Twitter, Google, Yahoo, digg, Facebook, Blackberry Messenger, AIM and LinkedIn. Today I got an email about something called FriendFeed. I currently have nine (yes 9) email addresses, 2 websites, 3 phone numbers, one physical address and a P.O. Box. Do I really need to be any more accessible than this? I think not.

It does occur to me (regularly) with all of this social media out there that people have seriously (egregiously) relaxed their standards of etiquette when it comes to "new" communication. Being a helpful sort, I've compiled a few tips to steer folks back onto the right path. And yes, all of these examples are real:

  • Who you callin' a B*tch?: What's up with the language, people? I'm posted up in Twitterland (via Tweetdeck) the other day when someone apparently got a little ticked off at a follower. The torrent of language that spewed forth was impressive only in its creative viciousness. Just because we can't hear you say it, doesn't mean we are not offended. Whew! Don't type angry!

  • TMI! (Too Much Information): Why are you all flagrant with the pictures and descriptions of you and your latest boo's weekend away? "We had a nice time" with a picture of you two by the shore is perfect. You and he dry humpin' on the hotel mattress… not hot.

  • More TMI: I know some of ya'll can't get through a day without constant validation that you are important. This means sharing every waking second of your day with folks you really don't know. ETIQUETTE FAIL: Do not tweet anything about your digestive functions… ever. And ladies, we know you are following the ballers thinkin' to catch one but broadcasting your XXX-rated promises of what you will do if he gives you a try? That's skanky.

  • Speaking of Ballers: Ballers, don't get mad that folks are following to see how you act before drafting you for their fantasy football league. It took me two days of following Reggie Bush to see that he is spending more time watching TV, sleeping and making cyberdates than he is working out and hitting the playbook. Ocho Cinco was eating beignets less than four hours before kickoff a week ago. I know this because ya'll steady tweetin'. I cannot draft you if you don't show dedication to your craft, son!

  • Stop begging: Begging, bribing (and threatening) people to follow you on Twitter, accept your Facebook invite or return your text message is just a little bit pathetic. Wouldn't you rather have 6 loyal friends/followers/connections than 6,000 folks you don't know or care about? No? Okay, that's just me. Regardless of what you're being told, it's not a popularity contest. Quality over quantity.

  • Speaking of Quality (FAIL): What's with all the porn chicks on Twitter? At least three times a week, I have to make sure some chick with an "exclusive exotic" website isn't following me and spamming all my followers. I inadvertently clicked on a "Check this Out!" link the other day and all manner of surgically enhanced cleavage was up in my face. Me no like.

  • Get some 007 about yourself: Fellas, your girl can read. And yes, she is checking your Facebook page to see if you've changed your status from "in a relationship" to "it's complicated" after your last fight. She knows who you sent cyber-drinks and cyber-flowers to. She sees you cyber-flirting with HotGirl06. If you are receiving instant messages and text messages after midnight, this is no bueno. No one needs a burning bush to read those signs. If you gotta creep, remember how easy it is to get busted in this day and age. Embedded video (Rated R for language, not work appropriate) below satires folks getting busted because of their Facebook pages…

  • Speaking of CyberFlirting: Watch yourself out there. Some of the things that you say and do "just being friendly" may be interpreted differently by the person who reads them. I had an email earlier this week from a girl who was "heartbroken" that her cyber-fling was cyber-dating someone else… publicly. I had to remind her not to confuse the Internet with real life. They can complement and reflect each other but only one is real. If you've never laid eyes on the person, that's not your boo.

  • That's just rude: Let me see if I understand… you just updated your Facebook and sent twenty tweets but you're not answering your cell? Okay, now you are texting back but still not calling? Someone left you a message two days ago and you respond on Facebook by saying, "Hey what's up, missed your call." This is the number one complaint I hear about the media outlets… people who will tweet, post and text but not talk. What's that about? Tacky, people. Verbal communication still trumps cyber contact. Respond in kind, media to media. That includes the one dude who dumped his girlfriend of 3 years via Facebook also. Cyber equivalent of post-it note to front door. Not classy.

  • GRAMMATICAL FAIL: When you are tweeting and texting, you can say things like CALL U BACK N 2 SEC. But you cannot type like that in your professional correspondence or even your personal email if you want to be taken seriously. U R 2 HOTT 2 BE TRU is not a compliment to anyone over the age of 16. Please use your words.

  • Inappropriate YouTubing/UStreaming: I touched on this earlier with my Why Nekkid rant; let me take it one step further. We don't need to share every moment. You and Pookie and dem ridin' up to the 7-11 for a Slurpee – no one cares. Stop broadcasting your life… it's not that interesting. If it was, they would've optioned it for a reality show by now. (and even then...)

  • No Stalking: If someone hasn't returned your text, email, voicemail… there's probably a reason why. Do not cyberstalk folks by tweeting every hour, SCREAMING (why the ALL CAPS, why?) at them on their various pages and blasting them on your blog. Do not lie in wait on AOL (Yahoo/Google) Messenger for them to login so you can vent. Just move on, people. Just move on.

So in conclusion, let me say: Behavior that is unacceptable in a "real" social context is still not a good idea in cyberspace. I would also advise against thinking you know someone just because you've exchanged tweets for two months straight. For obvious reasons, people tend to get very brave when you are not looking them in the face. They adopt traits and characteristics that may or may not carry over to reality. Not me of course, I'm too busy ironing out the one persona I've got. Only got time enough each day to be Michele. J

Can you think of any social media faux pas that I missed?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It might be just this simple...

Editor's note: For some reason, on some browsers the embedded picture isn't working. Here's the link.

Perhaps all the nuttiness has nothing to do with healthcare reform or socialism or Michelle Obama's shorts (I wish I was joking, do NOT get me started on folks telling a grown woman what she shouldn't wear to hike the freakin' Grand Canyon... oh I started a little bit. My bad - moving on).

Maybe it's just as simple as this parody above (kindly provided by Independent A). Mayhaps some folks are uncomfortable with People of Color posted up in 1600 Penn Ave (position of power and all those repercussions). And isn't that a shame in 2009? In 1990, Public Enemy put out an album called Fear of a Black Planet. Those songs get less radical and more real every year.

I've been pretty clear on my thoughts but what do you think? Will some people never accept Obama because of his race?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What’s the statute of limitation on anger?

This is not a post on the overhyped stereotype of the Angry Black Woman. It's a tale about one angry (sort of) black woman (maybe two). Read on...

So I'm attending a Women of Faith discussion group not too long ago. The group consists of around fifteen women of all ages and colors, going through guided workshops from the book series by the same name. Now bear in mind, these are supposed to be Christian folks working on expanding their knowledge of the faith. Unfortunately in this setting, folks get bathed with the warm of acceptance and the promise of no judgment to the point where they over share. (TMI)

It was one such circumstance as we talked about small moments in time or brief encounters that changed our paths when a young lady spoke up. She spoke of having been somewhat of a wild child when she lived in California. She paused so I asked, "What part?" She replied, "Oakland." I smiled at her, "I used to live in Alameda." (They are right next to each other.) Feeling relaxed, she launched into a story about how she met a guy at a restaurant bar (she named one of favorites).

She went on to tell us how the evening progressed and shared their conversation. She described what the guy looked like and his profession. Now I was getting a little twitchy because it sure sounded like my ex she was describing. As in he's an ex now but at that time, he was most definitely a Significant Other. But, I reasoned, how many guys looked like that, sounded like that and had that particular profession? Not many but more than one or two. What were the odds? I thought to myself. Her story continued with him giving her a ride home. She described the car. Now I was REALLY interested in hearing the outcome of this story. She shared (in more detail than was necessary at a church function) the manner of foreplay they engaged in before he called a halt. Apparently he apologized, advised her against "hooking up" with strange men, wished her luck and left. And then she told us his name. Same guy. I couldn't even focus on the rest of story about how this experience turned her around. I just went through the motions until the meeting ended and bolted.

In discussing this with one of my girlfriends (who ADORED this guy) she said, "But he didn't really DO anything!" I cut my eyes at her, "You mean besides picking up women in restaurant bars, taking them home and feeling them up? I TOLD you he was a cheatin'-ass cheater!" She patted my hand, "Okay Chele but it was over five years ago. You all have been broken up for a long time. I don't think you still get to be mad about his behavior. What are you gonna do? Break up with him again?"

She had a point. This, however; did not stop me from letting the anger take me on a roller coaster ride for a while. I started thinking if he picked up one chick, he picked up five others. If he felt up one, goodness knows what he did with the others. And yes, I got angry all over again. Every negative thing I had ever assumed he'd done was suddenly real. And instead of being in the comfortable place where I stashed him as "that guy I used to date" he became the Villain (yes, with the capital "V"). It was like going through the break-up all over again. (sigh) I held myself back from angry-texting, turning him into Don'tdatehimgirl dot com and firing off a blistering two a.m email with my keyboard of FIYAH! (Yeah, the angry OneChele emails are legend). I eventually let it go... kinda, I mean I did write this post. But nicely, no?

On the flip side, I was working a contract assignment helping a company with their Human Resources. During a conference call, I overheard one of the other staff members talking about her son. Her son had an unusual name. He was named after his father and grandfather. Turns out I used to date the guy who is now her husband. Over the course of time as she and I talked, I started to put a timeline together in my head. There was a grey area of about five months where it appears he may have been "courting" the both of us at the same time… awkward. Especially when you consider that things ended so poorly between the two of us that I ended up blocking his calls and emails. So I wondered: if she found out about it- does she still have the right to be angry? Does it at all change the scope of their "married with two kids and a mortgage" relationship?

Which leads me to ask, what's the statute of limitation on anger? How long after the event that triggers your anger can you summon up that emotion, especially if you just found out about it? I'm told that at a certain point you just have to let it all go and I believe that to be true. You cannot walk around with your fist balled up mad at all the crap life has thrown at you. Again, that's easier said than done. So I'll ask you, BnB reader? What do you think?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No More Mr. Nice Guy?

So I'm scanning some of my favorite liberal, progressive sites to take the temperature of Obama-Nation and I began noticing a bit of a trend.

From This Week in Barack Obama: Does President Obama Have the Guts?

From Thinking:Revised: Was Obama too nice to Chavez?

From Daily Kos: Obama needs a shot of LBJ

From Huffington Post: Obama needs to get tougher on domestic issues

From NPR: Has Obama been tough enough on Iran?

From AverageBro who states:

Even when he's being mad, he still is so damn congenial about it. Arrghh, I'm not impressed. Sorry, Barry. I am still waiting too see the Chi-Town in you come out, and drop a couple of expletives to put some fools in check. The "go along to get along" thing clearly isn't getting anything done. Knuckle up, Challie!

With all of this commentary to review, I had to wonder: Is Obama being too nice? Do we need more pugilist and less pontificator? More Li'l Wayne and less Will Smith? Are we secretly dying for him to "break his foot off" in someone's ass?

I'll guiltily admit that I am… just a little bit. Back in the day, if I thought I was in trouble with my Dad; I'd give him the big eyes and infuse them with a little moisture. He would say (in a West Indian accent), "Gurl, whatchu' cryin' bout? I'll give you sumting to cry about!" And he usually did. My point being, folks in this nation are running around scared and talking trash anyway… why not really give them something to talk about? Here's how I would script his next press conference:

President Obama, what are your thoughts on people who say you are a socialist Nazi determined to grant reparations to your people?

Is that how we rolling with the questions today? Okay, I say – come over to 1600 Penn and say it to my face.

Are you suggesting a fight of some sort, President?

Look here, folks wanna squirrely with me, I'm gonna get squirrely right back. I'm from ChiTown, son! We don't start fights, we end 'em. I work out ev'ry day, have you seen my abs? Have you peeped Reggie Love? You wanna get into a rumble with that? I got your Socialist Nazi right here.

What about this talk of reparations for African-Americans?

Even with all my cred, all I could get was an apology out of Congress. Unless ya'll planning a Million Reparation March, I don't think it's happening.

Sir, do you hate White People?

Are you talking about my mama? Cuz we can go right now!

You ran on a ticket of inclusion and one America for all. Do you still believe this to be possible?

Hell to the naw. Ya'll fools don't respect a brother's hustle. I'm up in here trying to get ya'll heath care and whatnot and in return my own peeps rolling up to my town halls with guns.

What do you think about resistance within your own party to your administration's policies?

I call bullshiggity on that nonsense. Half of 'em rolled into office on MY coattails and I can't get a vote when I need it? Bunch of sorry asses. Last question.

Mr. President, what do you have to say to the people who feel you are trying to do too much and that there is no way you can fulfill your lofty campaign promises?

To them I say, I'm up in here now… whatcha gonna do about it? Seriously, I'm working like a dog, can't take my wife on a date without folks getting frosty. Haven't had a real vacation in two years, do you know how much sleep I get at night? About one hour, than someone is calling with some crisis to that I need to solve for ya'lls ungrateful asses. You know what? I'm done talking for today. I'm out. {he drops the mic}

Come on, you have to admit – it would be fun as all get out to see.

All jokes aside, is Obama being too nice for his own good? Do we need to see more Southside Chicago and less Harvard scholar?

Tuesday Reality Check – Favre won’t go quietly into that good night

Just when you thought it was safe… (sigh) Favre JUST cannot stay retired. Or get retired or really retire… you know what I mean. Back in my high-rolling days, I met Mr. Favre. I am not a fan. At any rate, I think at some point you should hang up the cleats. In my humble opinion, for Favre - that was four years ago. Yet here he is again, suiting up for yet another run. From ESPN:

A source close to Brett Favre said the quarterback, pending a physical, will sign a contract with the Minnesota Vikings for between $10 million to $12 million, according to ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

Favre, 39, arrived in Minnesota on Tuesday to meet with the Vikings, getting off a team plane at a small St. Paul airport and getting into an SUV after shaking hands with the ground crew.

Coach Brad Childress confirmed the planned meeting in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Asked if the plan was to sign Favre, Childress replied: "In a perfect world."

Favre is expected to take a physical later Tuesday.

Favre's mother, Bonita, told the Biloxi Sun Herald that her son would be working out with the Vikings on Wednesday. ESPN analyst Chris Carter reported Tuesday that Childress already has told the Vikings that Favre will be starting in Friday night's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I have mixed emotions, but I have always loved to watch him play," she told the Sun Herald. "This time, however, I thought he would stay retired and stay home. I guess he could not do it.

"They [Minnesota] seem to have a good team in place, and he liked that. I guess I need to get a Vikings jersey now."

Note to Favre: Your own mama is shaking her head.

The happiest person in the league about Brett returning? Mike Vick. Spotlight on someone else for at least a day or two. Second happiest, Bernard Berrain (Minnesota's WR), he's staring at a Pro Bowl year if Favre can stay on target and not gift the other teams' secondary. Next happiest is the NFL. Like him or not, he's ratings gold. I picture Goddell cabbage-patching down the hall as I type.

The buzz in Twitterville prompted me to say that after the apocalypse only three things will be left standing: Cockroaches, Cher and Brett Favre. I would say welcome back, but I don't mean it…

Any thoughts about the re-re-re-resurrection of Favre or do you simply not care anymore?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Not so post-racial… Chick-fil-A, Bentley and a racist

Thanks BougieMom for pointing out this bit of local buffoonery…

So apparently getting some Chick-fil-A is so crucial that Bentley-driving folks had to get all scrappy in the drive thru lane. (Sigh) The story from The Dallas Morning News:

Southlake police look for black Bentley after road-rage attack at Chick-fil-A

02:47 PM CDT on Monday, August 17, 2009 By LAURENCE ILIFF / The Dallas Morning News

Southlake police were still searching today for the owner of a late-model Bentley whose passengers were involved in a weekend road-rage incident that injured a woman at a fast-food restaurant.

Police have the vehicle's registration information and expect their investigation to move forward today, said Lt. Ben Brown.

Witnesses said confrontation began with an angry exchange of words in the drive-through lane of a Chick-fil-A in the 2300 block of Southlake Boulevard. There were at least two and possibly three men in the black Bentley.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the woman was punched after one of the men slapped her and she slapped him back.

According to the paper, she and her husband found their way blocked by the Bentley as they were trying to leave after making a purchase at the drive-through window.

The husband honked his horn. The driver got out of the Bentley, and the woman got out on the passenger side of her vehicle. A shouting match ensued, and the other men got out of the Bentley and joined in the fracas, the paper said.

One of the men slapped the woman, who slapped him back. She was then knocked to the ground and punched.

The Star-Telegram said the woman's husband tried to get out of his vehicle, but the Bentley driver blocked his way.

As employees and customers tried to intervene, the Bentley sped off.

The woman was bleeding, witnesses said, but did not require hospitalization.

Now first of all, etiquette FAIL! Do not get out of your car at the drive-thru and do NOT engage in stupid slap fights in the parking lot. But my favorite part of the entire tale is that the first comment I see attached to this story reads as follows:

Posted by You Are Wrong less than one minute ago

$1000 says the Bentley occupants are black

What? I read it again. Then I scanned the article again. Okay, we're assuming a black Bentley at a Chick-fil-A equals blackness. Maybe so, but I didn't like the tone. I was curious so I then did a search for all of commenter You Are Wrong's pearls of wisdom over the past few days:

Comment on: Southlake police look for black Bentley after road-rage attack at Chick-fil-A
Posted 8/17/2009 5:18 PM CDT on
$1000 says the Bentley occupants are black

Comment on: Southlake police look for black Bentley after road-rage attack at Chick-fil-A
Posted 8/17/2009 4:25 PM CDT on
@MeInBigD - what part of "85% (or more) of the rapes, robberies, and murders in this area are committed by blacks and latinos" are you having trouble understanding?Don't like the facts...

Comment on: Grand Prairie man arrested after bicyclist found partially lodged in back seat
Posted 8/17/2009 3:54 PM CDT on
a drunk driving mexican? no effin way! how extremely unusual and rare!I am shocked! FLABBERGASTED!!!!

Comment on: Southlake police look for black Bentley after road-rage attack at Chick-fil-A
Posted 8/17/2009 3:47 PM CDT on
"I think I have figured out why this forum--and crime stories in particular--always devolves into a racial attack."Maybe it is because blacks and latinos commit at least 85% (or more)... more >

Comment on: Southlake police look for black Bentley after road-rage attack at Chick-fil-A
Posted 8/17/2009 3:46 PM CDT on
they are obviously black

Comment on: Dallas man fatally stabbed in alley
Posted 8/15/2009 5:33 PM CDT on
so was he black or mexican? so was his killer black or mexican?

Does anyone else see the same pattern I do? So I sent in my complaint to and received an automated reply: Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention. Please allow us the next 48 hours to review this user's account. Thank you for reading

Note: The Dallas Moring News (owned by Belo Corporation) has long been accused of covert racism (sometimes overt). Dallas used to have two newspapers, the conservative Morning News and the more liberal Times Herald. The Times Herald folded years ago leaving us not of the right wing at a severe deficit for "fair and unbiased" reporting. Not necessarily bearing on this article, just giving you some background.

Not satisfied I emailed the writer of the piece and questioned if any one moderates the comments. I got a read receipt back but no reply. When I went back out to the article I noticed that the comments had been removed and in their place was an asterisk reading: This user profile has been removed by One down, umpteenth more to go. Unfortunately, there are many more comments just like this out there. Getting one ignorant racist's profile pulled is a small (hollow) victory that left me feeling like I was trying to empty the ocean with a thimble.

What is it going to take for America to truly embrace a "post-racial" doctrine? And what in the world do you think they were beefing about at Chick-fil-A?


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