Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Single Ladies of the Blogosphere… come have a seat

Blogger's Note: Please excuse the interruption of our regularly scheduled program. OneChele's Requirements for A Man Among Men will continue tomorrow. Today, I HAD to take a pause for the cause. Gents - this one really isn't for you though if you wanna gain a little insight... read on.

Ladies, let me chit and chat at you for a minute. OneChele is about to break it down so it will forever be broke. It's not my intention to wage war on any of my fellow bloggers out there but I'm afraid I gotta go Queen Latifah for a minute – OneChele's had it up to here. And Ooooo – Ladies first, Ladies first!

My sisters I don't want you to take offense at what I'm saying because I am saying this for your own good. Is everybody comfortable? Okay, good.

  1. Stop listening to single men under the age of thirty-five telling you how to catch a man, keep a man, treat a man. That's all some bullshiggity. THEY. DON'T. KNOW. Please go ask any married man over the age of 35 what he knew when he was 28 and single and they will tell you, "Not a damn thing." Seriously, go ask one now. I'll wait… um-hmm, that's what I thought. "How to show your man you love him," "How to keep your man happy," "How to get wifed up" (hate that phrase by the way). Contrary to popular thinking, single men are not all rare and exotic game to be hunted, trapped, tamed and kept. They are regular folk who put their pants on one leg at a time like ev'rybody else. Sidebar: Ladies, some fish that you catch need to be thrown back, ya hear me?

  2. Don't assume that what you read on a blog is gospel (except mine J). For the most part ladies, blogs are entertainment vehicles. Bloggers that want more visitors strive to be more entertaining than others. It's far sexier to write a post on Why Women Should Swallow (yes, it was about exactly what you think it was about) than to write a post on Why Women are forced to Swallow the BS that Men Feed Them. "But OneChele, it was all in good fun!" Sure it was. It's a mind game ladies. If I was running game, I'd be putting up posts on Why Men Should Just Say Yes and Okay While Handing Over the AMEX Black Card. Sure, I would do it in jest but reach one, teach one… right? I'm just sayin' – think about it.

  3. Not all "female empowerment" blogs are all that empowering. Some are, some are not. Some are written by bitter sisters with axes to grind who will not be happy until they've recruited a bunch more women to be as bitter and unhappy about their lives as they are. Try and find women that exude positivity and offer helpful hints rather than those who get preachy and try to hit you over the head. (this post excluded, ya'll know I'm on a roll)

  4. Please know who you are in "real life" before embarking on social media/blogosphere travels. These folks will have you thinking that the sky is orange, the sun is blue and grass comes in shades of lavender… and why didn't you know this already. There are people, both men and women, who do not have da-da in real life and this virtual reality is their universe. They want friends and followers and minions to join them and think like them and give them all the adoration no one in the real world plans to. Don't fall for it. If some folks had their way, it would be a law that every Sunday afternoon women must sit blindfolded and gagged, naked on top of a platter of hot wings with cold beer coming out of the right breast and ranch dressing coming out of the left. Stop me when I'm lying.

  5. Ain't none of these folks licensed therapists. While I enjoy Ask a Bougie Chick and joke around with my readers, I in no way believe that I know a damn thing more about life than anyone else (well, maybe more than a FEW of these fools… moving on). Don't make yourself crazy believing what so-called authorities and experts are peddling. If you have a serious problem, get a serious answer. And even then, you need to mix in some good old fashion common sense. I read a blog the other day where the man told the girl to stake her claim by sneaking into the brother's apartment and lying naked on his bed until he came home. WTF? Besides the class E misdemeanor and restraining order that could net you, claim staking of another woman's man is a dicey situation all the way around.

  6. Don't take the bait. Haters and antagonists are everywhere. When you speak your opinion, be prepared for someone not to agree with you. However, engaging in a two-hour TwitterBattle over how many sex partners makes a woman a skank is simply not productive. (yeah, it really happened) First of all, don't put yourself in a position to be judged by people who only know you from 140 character sound bites. Secondly, you do realize that freakin' Google keeps these tweets forever, right? Don't believe me? Go out to tweetree.com/your twitter name. Yep, there you are for the entire world to see. Unfiltered and unfettered. And on that note…

  7. Employers do twitter searches now. You better have a really good alias or be prepared to explain to a recruiter why you bemoaned the fact that your married co-worker used to inject you with protein on your lunch break (yes, a euphemism) and now he's injecting the new temp. Or that you only smoke pot when your boss is out of the office. Or that you were thinking of stealing a laptop but wondered if they lo-jacked it. All of these were public tweets I read in the last two weeks.

  8. You don't have to fall in. Without very much effort, I can tell you which male blogger likes long hair, short hair, light skin, dark skin, asses, breasts or painted toenails in sky high sandals. So what? You can read this blog and figure out that I prefer tall athletic chocolate men with killer smiles and change jingling in their pockets. The difference is a broke paunchy light-skinned man will read this blog and assume he has a shot anyway. A woman will read twenty blogposts telling her what's wrong with her and why everything she has is all wrong and go off the deep end trying to get it "right". There is no right. There's just you. And when I tell you there is a man out there who will love you in ripped up t-shirts, ballet flats with one toenail painted, hair looking like "who dunnit and why'd you let 'em"… you CAN take that as gospel. (Though I wouldn't recommend that for your first date look)

  9. Don't get it twisted. Your blog buddies don't KNOW you (unless they actually do in real life). Someone might visit this blog for the first time today and think I'm a man-bashing B! But ya'll know OneChele loves the men. Especially my mocha, caramel, bitter chocolate brothers. Strong, confident, smart and sexy… oh, on a tangent – bringing it back. My point is, do not assume that because you've swapped tweets and FB updates and clever blog comments with someone that you know a diggity-darned thing about them.

  10. And last but not least… understand that you are a completely whole and viable individual with or WITHOUT a man. Let me repeat, a man can NOT complete you. He can enhance what you already have but a man cannot MAKE you. He can inspire you to reach higher but he can't reach for you. Since you stopped by my blog, I've no doubt that you are a sparkling, glittering diamond of a woman. A force of nature, a beacon of beauty and a wellspring of intelligent charm. If you aren't where you want to be in life yet, if you aren't who you want to be yet please know that you should be appreciated for the work in progress that you are and admired for the efforts you are making to improve. Improve to your standards, not the standards of some faceless men with opinions and keyboards.

Okay, that's it. Rant over. Thank you for indulging me and for listening. Before I dismiss for the day… any questions?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A few things I need in a boo – Requirement #2: Someone to make it all go away

There are plenty of reasons I love being single – hogging the entire bed, wearing my hair in the same raggedy ponytail for three days straight, and not having to pretend to like WWE or UFC. But as we head into those snuggle buddy months, I recognize that there are any number of reasons to change my Facebook status from "Stop Asking Me" to "In a Relationship". But of course, it can't just be anybody… I do have my standards. So reflecting on my list of what Mr. OneChele must have, there is something I need placed way up there near the top of the list.

Requirement #2: Helpmate. Yes, Destiny's Child – I got your Independent Woman memo. House, car, clothes, jewelry – holding that down but sometimes, just sometimes it would nice to have someone of the male persuasion around who had my back. No offense to my BougieBros but it's not the same thing. You know that person who is feeling your pain, there when you get home with a glass of wine and a hot bath saying, "What can I do to make it all better?" Every now and then you just need someone who takes some of the weight of the world off your shoulders, eases your pain – no questions asked. The sexiest thing a man can say to me, "Don't worry, I got you." And for him to mean it and back it up? Watch me melt. Let me share another BougieTale from last week (it was a long, hard week ya'll) to illustrate my point:

So Thursday was a busy day, I woke up late and played catch up all day. Cut my workout short, ended up staying way too long in the hair chair (cut and color took forever), squeezed in a meeting with a client and spent fifty more dollars than I wanted to at Sam's Wholesale Club. Climbing into my car, I caught a glimpse of my hair color in the window. I didn't like the color in the sunlight. My stylist keeps inching me out of my auburn, medium brown comfort zone and into Beyonce/Queen Latifah blondeness. "You can totally pull that off" she told me. Yes, I could also pull off a leopard-print mini-skirt with thigh high boots but you won't see me rocking that either. But I digress, point is – I decided to swing by the drugstore on the way home to pick up L'oreal Feria #18 Pecan hair color with shimmering highlights.

I was rounding a corner less than three miles from my home when I noticed debris and glass in the road. I contemplated swerving to avoid it but the bright yellow Hummer to my right made that a no go. Reviewing it in my mind right now, I should have slowed down and waited then gone around it… but no – that's not what I did. I made the assumption that it wasn't that much stuff and drove right through it. I immediately heard a popping sound and the car went sluggish on the left hand side. My pleasant personality slipped and I muttered an impressive stream of expletives. Hitting the hazards, I went around the corner and pulled over in front of a fire station on a major side street just like BougieDad taught me. Getting out of the car, please imagine my glee to discover that I had shredded not one but BOTH left tires. Expensive, all weather tires no longer under warranty as of two months ago. L

Following the car maintenance rules BougieDad drilled into all of us, I broke out my AAA membership card and dialed in. Since my pleasant personality was on the slip, I held onto my patience as I maneuvered through four different menus to get to a human voice. I explained my situation, gave my location and was told a tow truck would be there within thirty minutes. A couple of fire dudes came out of the station to see if I needed help. They examined the damage and gave the universal male wince that says, "That's gonna be expensive, so glad I don't have to pay for it." After a few more minutes of chatting, I assured them I was fine and they went back inside. I called BougieMom to let her know where I was, then I called BougieBro to see if he was in town to scoop up the raw salmon and rotisserie chicken that was sitting in my trunk. He was not. I called three friends and a potential S.O., none of whom were available. It occurred to me that a boyfriend would be a good thing to have in this situation. BougieSis commiserated with me.

A few good Samaritans stopped to see if I needed assistance and I responded graciously. I sent a pitiful tweet about sitting by the side of the road and having an FML moment. Then I decided to look at the bright side, it was an absolutely beautiful night, not hot or cold, mild breeze. I was in a great part of town, I was safe and unharmed. I was fortunate enough to have AAA so it wasn't as if I didn't have resources. So what if I was hungry and thirsty and had to pee? So what if the mosquitoes were starting to circle (dive bomb)? I climbed back in the car to await the tow truck.

The phone rang thirty minutes later and the tow company informed me that since both left tires were shot, they needed to send a flatbed truck instead of the regular hauler so they would be another twenty minutes. Ooo-kay. What were my choices? If it wasn't for the fact that I had food in the trunk and had already made the call, I would have hoofed it home and dealt with the whole thing later. I will admit that as I popped open the trunk to get myself a bottle of water, I did contemplate breaking off a leg on that rotisserie chicken. My bouge would not allow me to sit on the side of the road gnawing on a chicken leg. I just couldn't do it. I dug a granola bar out of the bottom of my purse and pulled back out my BlackBerry. UberTwitter was down… fail.

Another thirty-five minutes passed before I called back the tow company. "Oh, Ms. Chele – AAA was supposed to call you. The truck that was on the way to get you broke down and they are going to have to find another service. Let me call them back and let them know you are still waiting." I said nothing, recalling the age-old adage – if you don't have anything nice to say… Seriously, the truck coming to save me now needed saving? For which youthful infraction was karma kicking me in the ass for this evening, I wondered?

I called AAA back and was assured that they were working on it. I did not believe. Looking around the car, I reached into the glove compartment and found my GEICO insurance card. On a whim (what did I have to lose?) I called the 800 number. I was put straight through to a human who took my information and actually asked after my welfare, "Are you hurt? Are you in need of medical attention? Are you in a safe neighborhood?" Good questions, none of which AAA had asked. GEICO assured me that their truck would be there in twenty-five minutes. Whatever.

It was now dark outside. I ran into the firehouse to use their facilities and flirt with one of Dallas' finest before heading back out to the car. A minute later, a red BMW pulled over and a young white guy got out of the car. Short, kinda pasty with rumpled polo shirt, khakis and sandals. He introduced himself as Paul and asked if I needed assistance. I answered him and told him he could go. He responded by settling in on the hood of my car. Le Sigh. Paul made small talk (I wasn't in the mood) for a few minutes until ratcheting up to his purpose, "Tell me, do you know the Word?" Le Double Sigh.

"Are you talking about the Word of the Lord, Paul?"

"Yes, yes I am – are you a believer?"

"Yes Paul, I grew up in the church, thank you."

"That's wonderful. I'm a missionary and I do Christian Outreach for at risk members of society."

You say "at risk", I hear "black and brown people without money". Le Triple Sigh. "Well that's important work, it must be fulfilling."

Ignoring the dry "can you please leave" tone of my voice, Paul launched into a soliloquy of his good works. I tuned him out and wondered just what I might have done to piss off the cosmos. This was not my finest week. Thankfully, a mere five minutes into his speech a truck came down the road. My flatbed had arrived at long last. I hopped out of the car. Out of curiosity I asked, "Who sent you?" Hottie Latino truck driver (HLTD) says, "GEICO ma'am, can you sign here?" Signing I turned to Paul, "So kind of you to wait, thank you and good luck." He continued to hover. While HLTD began loading up my wounded baby, I hit the redial on the Blackberry. I politely informed AAA that their 2.5-hour-still-not-here tow truck was no longer needed. "Oh are, you sure – we just found somebody." CLICK. STRATOSPHERIC FAIL AAA. After lo these many years of membership?!

Striding over to the tow truck to hop in the cab, I heard a throat clear behind me. I forgot about Paul. Le Quadruple Sigh. "Yes?" "Did you want to exchange numbers or something?" HLTD unsuccessfully covers up a laugh. I, for once in my life, am speechless. "Umm…" I floundered while Paul grabbed my hand, pressed a business card into it with a squeeze and says, "Just if you to chat or get coffee sometime. Be blessed." "Uh, okay. You too." Freaking cherry on the sundae of my day.

By the time I got home (close to three hours after the "Incident"), I really could've used an already cooked meal, a pitcher of wine, a hot bath, a big hug and whatever other stress-relieving remedy a man's creative mind could dream up. What I got was a pat on the back from BougieMom, a trunk load of groceries to put away, a shot of rum and a hastily tossed together meal. So while I'm making my wish list of requirements for Mr. Sweetheart, I believe I'll add compassionate with a soothing personality (when needed), a romantic problem solver who either cooks or gives good take out to the list.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A few things I need in a boo - Requirement #5: Someone to take the Bullet

There are plenty of things I love about being single – autonomy, no sharing of the remote control and the ability to skip shaving my legs for a day (or two) without complaints. [Don't judge me!] However, as we head towards the fall/winter season and the holidays, there are definite reasons for landing a significant other (aka getting booed up). But not just any boo will do. I have very specific requirements for Mr. Good-Bougie. This week I'll look at a few of them in my own special "OneChele" way.

Requirement #5: Security. No not financial or emotional, I'm talking actual firearm bearing, black suit wearing security. Allow me to share:

Last week, I'm at home upstairs in my office wrapping up some phone calls. BougieMom had lent her car to an in-law so she called me to come and scoop her up from the senior citizens' center where she plays bridge. (BougieMom's social life is better than mine. L Moving on.)

Now some background info, BougieMom is 77 and lives with me in a home large enough for us to sometimes ignore each others' existence. It's a two-story stone and brick structure in a gated community. When I am upstairs in my office, I can block out the world. I say all this to say, we have always felt extremely secure here.

So on this fine sunny day last week, I walked out of my office, across the game room and started down the stairs. Swinging my purse over my arm, I paused thinking I heard something. Please imagine my shock when I leaned over the banister to see a short pale acne-ridden white man standing in my kitchen. As I watched, he reached across the bar top and picked up the keys to my German luxury automobile and glanced around. His eyes landed on the flat screen TV we have in the breakfast nook.

I scanned him up and down and saw no noticeable weapons, a frail frame and I deduced that I outweighed him. In other words, I could take him if I had to. All of this brilliant thought in less than a minute. Now what I did next shocks me in hindsight and if asked ahead of time, I would have sworn that I would not have done this:

I opened my mouth and said, 'What the hell?" He turned and looked at me obviously shocked that someone was home. I went from stunned to pissed in no time flat and my inner Shaniqua came out. He made a move as if heading towards the garage and I said, "There's not a chance in hell that you can make it out of the garage in my m.f. car before I get down there and catch your ass." With that I flew down the stairs still talking trash," Not this house, not today!" As I hopped down from the last stair to the landing, he decided to cut his losses. "Shit!" he said before flinging my keys in one direction and running past me to the back door (answering my question of how he'd gotten in).

Still not thinking and still enraged, I snatched up the keys, ran out to my car and wheeled out looking for him. I skidded out of my garage and took a corner on damn-near two wheels, I dialed 911 and shared my story. Gunning it down the side street to try and catch him at the back gate, I gave a detailed description, "Meth-head tweaky looking narrow ass with dirty blond hair, bloodshot blue eyes, 5'8" in a grey tee and stonewash jeans."

I watched him jump the back gate and it occurred to me, "Chele, if you caught this guy, what were you going to do exactly?" I had no clue; I announced to the dispatcher that I was giving up the chase. Adrenaline still high, I retrieved BougieMom and told her the tale. When we got back to the house, we discovered that the lock on the back door was sticking and he was able to jiggle it to get in. Meth-head had opened some of her drawers and taken some cash she had in her nightstand but nothing else. We were counting our blessings when the police called me to say they had actually caught the guy (that never happens) and had him in custody.

Since I live less than two miles from a police substation and the guy had been on foot, they caught him meeting up with his partner behind a drugstore up the road. The duo had hit ten homes in the area. They were suspected of over fifty break-ins across the Dallas-Ft.Worth metroplex. Their m.o. was for one guy to go in during work hours and if there was a car, he could load your car up with your belongings and drive off. Then he met up with his friend who had a big rental truck to consolidate the haul… nervy.

He picked the wrong house on the wrong day. I went to the substation and picked him out in a line-up that same night. BougieMom and I have decided to just leave the alarm on all the time. It was only later when I thought about how many ways that day could have gone worse that I cringed a little. He could have had a gun, his partner could have been with him, my mother could have been home, he could have fought me, I could have fallen down the stairs (wouldn't be the first time).

Before you ask what in all that is bougie was I thinking, I'll tell you – I was thinking "the nerve of this guy! While I'm in my own home trying to earn a nice living and keep a roof over my mother's head to bust up in here and steal what's mine!" If I had it to do all over again, I'd hide in the closet and dial 911… maybe. Or if I had a man, I'd call him to come over and kick the guy's ass. SO while I'm making up my wish list of requirements for the pre-Christmas boo, I believe I'll add large, burly, intimidating or at least handy with firearms (or skilled in jujitsu) to the list.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What we learned from Relationship Week 2


Thanks to all of you who came by for BnB's second installment of Relationship Week. We had over 1200 new visitors. So what did this past week tell us?
  • Infidelity is a quite the "hot button" for BougieLand – We had the highest number of comments so far in reaction to the letters from Tanya and Raine who felt their men might be cheating. Somehow, folks went from giving advice to figuring out who was at fault. Interesting, something to think about for a later post.

  • Everyone is over the TapBack – no one had anything good to say about their tapback experiences… do I need to add a T-Shirt to the Bougie Store: No More TapBack?

  • Married folks are fun – the feedback from our married guest posters was universally enjoyed. Thanks for all of your emails as well.

  • My commenters are creative to say the least – I counted no less that 14 euphemisms for the act of sex. First prize for most creative goes to PrettyGirlsTwentyPearls for "ride on the disco stick." Honorable mention to ThinkLikeRiley for "smash and sprint." Classy.

  • Just keep the door closed – the general consensus is that skeletons need to remain locked away in that closet unless they are directly relatable to current behavior.

  • Bougie Boos Needed – From the surveys it's quite clear we have quite a few single folks in BougieLand. Hmm. I have a few ideas. More to follow.

As a follow-up to Friday's Ask a Bougie Chick, I received a letter back from "Darren." Enjoy

OneChele,

I read the responses in amazement and amusement. As it happens, I went ahead and pressed "Siddity-n-Pretty" on the unnecessary skittishness. Long story short, OneChele and SBM were correct – she wanted me to step up and she wanted to know there was more than the D&D combo SBM talked about. Yes, OneChele – we had the history talk and chances are there are a few bumps ahead but for now we're hanging in.

Thanks, "Darren"

P.S. If this doesn't work out, I'll keep those email addresses in mind

Well, all's well that ends well. I'll let you know if I hear back from Tanya and Raine. Any lessons learned that you want to share?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Three Men and a Bougie Chick (part II)


After the reaction to Part One this week, I roll this out with much interest. Citizen Ojo, SBM, TMCY and I acutally answered three letters but since the last post was so long, I decided to split this one off. As a reminder, guest posting are:

Our last letter came from Darren of the DMV (This stands for DC/Maryland/Virginia for those lost in BougieLand – keep up!)

OneChele,

You seem to know more than the average girl of a "certain age" about relationships and what it takes to get and please a man. So I'm writing in to see if you can make sense of my current situation. I'm doing my thing, 28, great job, saving up for real estate, keeping myself together. I'm told I'm a catch and modesty aside, I think it's true. About four months ago, I met a girl (kinda siddity but pretty) at a restaurant by the Waterfront. We hit it off and started hanging out. It's all going as I expected until we were about ninety days in. She tells me that she's scared to get hurt, she needs to back off, we need to stop "being intimate" so she can get her head together. When I pressed her on it, she said maybe we should take a break. Is that woman code for she's done? My instinct is to press forward because I know she's feeling me. But then again, I don't want to come off insensitive to her feelings. And now, I admit to being a little angry and wondering if I'm being played. What do you think and why do women do this?

From Ojo: Darren from BougieLand: Are all the women in DC/Southern Maryland/Northern Virginia siddity? I digress……. I was with a woman one time that did the exact same thing. The Sex was AMAZING but the chick was crazier than Bat #$%@! Do yourself a favor and lose her number. If you pursue a relationship with her you are asking for trouble. Instead of being in a relationship you will spend your days playing a psychiatrist. You can't compete against a person's worst fears. No matter how hard you try you will always be fighting against the issues of the last relationship. Women like this have been hurt by guys throughout their whole dating lives. I believe in the concept that every bad relationship leaves some type of emotional baggage. The more relationships you have the more baggage you pick up. Sometimes when you meet a person they have a carry-on bag and other times it's a complete luggage set. Your lady friend is probably keeping her baggage in a U-Haul truck. Please remember that this is not your fault. It's the fault of the last dude that was with her.

From SBM: My man Darren, A brother from the DMV ... so refreshing. Anyway, it's either one of two things. She finally came to the conclusion "I can't be smashing off this guy and we aren't together". I mean ... after 90 days of sex, it's not really surprising that she might actually want more from you than dates and dick (the D&D combo). As a result of some personal reflection (read: talking to her homegirl) she had to pull back the good's because she is feeling you and you haven't made a commitment.

I don't think you should "back down" really. If she is serious about being scared to get hurt and whatnot, she is really testing you to step it up. She wants you to prove she has nothing to worry about and that you want more than to just break her back. But please please please don't turn into some type of stalker or guy who can't take a hint. The DMV is small.

If all that doesn't work ... hit me up ... we'll hit up "The Park" (a DC club).

From TMCY: Darren, Based off of what you've said, I think that there's something Waterfront Girl doesn't like about you or something she likes more about someone else. What that is, I'm not sure of. But based on what you said, I wouldn't be surprised if it has to do with what you're doing or not doing for her in the bedroom. She said she wanted to stop the intimacy thing before she wanted to "take a break, period" right? That's a sign. She just doesn't want to have to tell you what it is specifically. So she copped to ending things on her terms. That's something a lot of men and women do. If I were you, I'd lament the situation some, but not too much. If you're the kind of catch that you say you are, finding a good woman shouldn't be much of a problem for you.

Last but not least from OneChele: I'm conflicted about you calling me "of a certain age" but we'll move on. Darren, you are 90 days in but have you had the "history" conversation? Chances are you did something that triggered a memory of someone else not so good. (We call this a "U Remind Me" moment). Ask her about it. And then LISTEN. Is she trapped in her past, too hurt to move forward, sounding like she pulled a Jazmine Sullivan, mention being medicated? If she's that wounded and you're not in a Mr. Fix-it mode just walk away. But if she's just hesitant and waiting on you to show her that you're not THAT GUY, she'll probably be okay. This, Darren, is a MAN UP moment. By the way, when a woman tells you she needs to "stop being intimate so she can get her head together," you are doing something mighty right or mighty wrong in that department. That is girl code for "trying not to act whipped and need to catch my breath long enough to think with my head and not my hormones." Or "I can't stand it if he touches me again." If you think about your "encounters" you'll know which one it is.

So ultimately, my advice is this: Try and talk about it, then give it a little time and a little space. Trust, she won't let you go too far for too long. Patience, Darren. Women do this cause we have truckloads of thoughts and emotions and sometimes need to figure out what to do with them all. Now you have a choice, you can be the next guy she sits up drinking with her friends talking about what an insensitive S.O.B. you were or you can be that guy that she tells her friends, "I forgot it could be like this." Think on it.

P.S. If it doesn't work out with Siddity 'n Pretty, I'm passing out your email address to some of my DMV chicks in BougieLand, they'll appreciate ya.

What have you got for Darren? Are we reading his situation correctly? Comment as you will.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Running from Skeletons: Does your relationship reputation follow you forever?

Relationship week continues with a look at those pesky skeletons tucked away in your closet. How long do those bones rattle anyway? I personally believe that people have the right to padlock that closet and take their secrets to the grave. Unfortunately, now that your life can become an overnight YouTube sensation and one stupid phrase can be dissected and circulated through a million people on Twitter in less than five minutes; your reputation is not always your own to protect.

I distinctly remember standing in the Eagles' Nest (my high school cafeteria) while one of the fellas proclaimed in a loud voice, "Oh! You dat siddity girl. You dating H? When ya gonna get off them cakes, girl?" And just like that, I had the reputation of being the hard-to-get bougie chick who would not "give up the cakes." At the time I was mortified but in retrospect, there are probably far worse things to be called. The funny thing is that I ran into that guy about a year and a half ago (we are well removed from High School) and he said, "Hey, it's the Good Girl." I just rolled my eyes. Really, what good comes of sharing that the halo has gotten a wee bit tarnished over the years?

Throughout my college and post-college dating life, I developed an almost Jane Bond persona for keeping what business I had out of the streets. I was never happier than when people would say, "I think she's seeing So&So but I don't know." A few years back I ran into a male friend of mine who gave me the side-eye and said, "I know you got something going on, but I'm never quite sure what." Exactly. I also have the reputation of only dating very wealthy men (not true), men over 6'0" (not true), and men chocolate of complexion (not true). Those are preferences, not Chele commandments. Yet, the reputation persists. I actually once had a guy say to me, "I always wanted to ask you out but didn't think I was up to your standards." Hmm. On the one hand, is he sure he knows what my standards are? On the other hand, if he isn't confident to step up to plate and take a swing… probably not my cup of tea. Anyway as far as I know, my relationship reputation isn't so tainted that it affects me negatively. Not everyone gets off this easy. Embedded below is a funny clip from Eddie Murphy Raw about those skeletons:

After yesterday's response to the Cheaty McCheatersons of the world, I wondered… does a cheating man always carry the "cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater" tag or does he get off the hook one day? A girlfriend of mine recently started dating a "nice guy." They just got around to the "ex" discussion. She asked him why he and his previous girlfriend broke up and he admitted that he had cheated on her. This gave her pause. Talking to me about it I was reminded of the old saying, "If he cheats once, he cheats twice." But is that true or an old wives' tale? Is it fair to judge the future from the past? I'd say it's worthy of a side-eye and a deeper conversation. So yes, he gets man points for honesty but now has a "CAUTION" sign hanging over his head.

So let's take the case of the person with a checkered past. We already know that the standards for men and women vary greatly. A man with a history of promiscuity is often considered a stud while the woman who does the same is often called a slut. Ya'll already know how I feel about folks (of either sex) handing it out like the midnight blue light special at Kmart. I'll start with the ladies. Some fellas I know speak of "passing the plate of cookies." Now it took me a minute (I was sheltered people!) to figure out what that meant but I did know that it wasn't good to be considered one of the cookies on the plate.

What happens if you were THAT chick? The one sneaking out of the football players' dorm at 4:00am (and coming back in a few hours to ask which room you left your panties in)? The girl who walked in the frat party and all the guys had the "been there, done that" look on their faces? How do you outrun that? Another male friend of mine got married a few years back. He brought his wife to a party and after they left, everyone was just a-buzzing. "What?" I asked. Apparently his wife used to be that pass-around chick on a southern college campus back in the day. Knowing him, I doubt he knows this. The fact that they met 3000 miles away from Texas probably had a lot to do with her ability to land him. Leaving me to wonder, can you move away from your past or in today's wired society will it just follow you? As for the fellas, is it as big a deal if a man was known for sleeping around? Or is it the context? If he was a serial monogamist as opposed to a hit-it-n-quit-it guy, is that a better reputation to have?

What about if the man has a reputation for being abusive or a liar or cheap or really bad in bed? What if a woman has a reputation for being a stalker, super-jealous or a gold-digger? The possibilities for reputation ruin are endless. Do we ever get past them? I think so. I think it's like crime and a statute of limitations. You can only be held accountable for a crime for a certain period of time, and then the law enforcement agency has to drop the case… unless you're still out there committing crimes. The more serious the crime, the longer the statute of limitations. If someone bounced a $5.00 check to 7-11 fifteen years ago, no one is worried about that rap sheet. But if you have graduated to knocking over banks, that's a whole different story. So no, I'm not holding a 35-year old man accountable for stepping out on his girlfriend when he was 22… but I will file it in my "things that make you hmmm" file. Now, if he was slapping folks around, no bueno.

Similarly, the 32-year old woman singing in the church choir only gets the raised eyebrow when she talks about dancing nekkid on a table top one Mardi Gras weekend when she was 18. Now if she's still showing her bare behinds in public 14 years later… that gets taken into consideration. Isn't everybody entitled to teenage-young 20s tomfoolery? Folks are supposed to mature, grow and do better, right?

I read on another blog recently about men trying to turn "a ho into a housewife" and whether this was viable or smart. The consensus was split. Some people seem to think that a female ho is a ho until she becomes a wife but a male ho is a ho for the rest of his life. No one (of course) wanted to knowingly marry a ho (male or female variety).

What do you think? If past is prologue and "those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it"; how much digging in closets should we do to determine what a person is really like today? When do you ever "let the past be the past" and move on? IS this even possible? I am curious to hear the responses to this one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Three Men and a Bougie Chick answer some relationship questions (part I)

Back by popular demand not only relationship week here on BnB but a new installment of Ask a Bougie Chick. I'll be answering a few letters from readers brave enough to email me and naïve enough to believe I actually have an answer. J Switching it up this time around and bringing in some male perspective. Allow me to introduce some contributors from the blogosphere:

Show the fellas some love. Again, let me preface this by saying that none of us are degreed relationship experts. We've just seen a lot of bullshiggity. Also, I did not edit the fellas' responses. I asked them to answer with raw honesty and that they did. NC-17 people, read on.

Okay, I picked two letters about women suspecting their men are cheating just to kick things off. Seriously, today's letters are like an episode of Maury Povich up in here: suspected gay boyfriend and creepin' hubby. Here we go: First on deck is Tanya. Tanya is writing in from Cali. As usual, I only made grammatical changes to the letters and I changed the names to protect the innocent.

Dear OneChele,

I have a suspicion that my boyfriend Thomas is gay. Well, not gay but bi. Though I won't go into the sexual details, his actions of late in that area definitely have me confused and concerned. He is spending a lot of time with his boy, Jerry. Until recently I thought Jerry was just, you know, his boy. But now I realize I have never seen Jerry with another woman and he is very possessive of Thomas' time and attention. That's not normal right? I mean don't most guys fall back when their boy gets a girl? My suspicions really arose when I heard Thomas on the phone the other night. He was talking low and sweet like he would to another woman. When I checked the call history, he was talking to Jerry. I did confront him but all he said was – what kind of question is that to ask me? Now he's spending nights over at Jerry's house. I'm not sure what to do next.

Tanya

From Ojo: Tanya from the Left Coast: Have you ever heard Erykah Badu's song "You better call Tyrone?" To answer your question about - "most men falling back when their boy gets a girl" the answer is: not all the time. It depends on what type of dude it is. You say you've never seen Jerry with a woman…mmmm…….is he a nerdy looking dude? Unattractive maybe? When you look at him do you feel like throwing up? If he is an okay looking dude, does he have any gay tendencies…I don't know….like maybe….he wears blouses and only has other dudes numbers in his cell phone? Without you going into sexual details it is hard to analyze the situation. If you and Thomas are getting it on, and he keeps moving into the doggy style position you might have a problem!!

There are only three reasons to why your man wouldn't want to stay at the crib with you.

  1. His boy has a fridge full of alcohol and all you can eat chicken wings.
  2. His boy lives next door to strippers.
  3. They are both gay lovers.

When you first start dating a guy, you have to ask his friends questions. I'm not talking about giving them the Spanish Inquisition but you do need to ask questions. This is how you figure out what you are working with. The phrase "Birds of a feather flock together" is very true. Looks like you might have to back track and examine Jerry's dating habits. If you don't want to go through all that work, you should find another man. But this time make sure that he doesn't know Jerry.

From SBM aka Stop with the gay witch hunt: Ms. Tanya, Now, you do make some points here and you present a little evidence, but I gotta admit that I'm not convinced. There is one very strong piece of evidence, which is him spending nights over there. Unless he is really really mad at you for some reason, I don't think there is any good reason he should voluntarily be spending nights over this guy's house. In terms of him being possessive of the time ... that is common. I mean, a lot of guys aren't fans of the girlfriends. They take away their good friend.

Really, what is happening is your man is f**ing some chick. He saved her name as "Jerry" in his phone, and when he is sleeping over at Jerry's, he is smashing her off. Unless he is failing the washcloth in the buttcrack test*, then you don't have enough evidence to say he is gay. He just got a regular ol' sidepiece.

*washcloth in the buttcrack test is when you're taking a shower with him. Try and wash his "spot" with the cloth, and get in deep. If he doesn't damn near try and fight you, worry.

From TMCY: Tanya, I don't want to spend any time humoring you concerning what he may or may not be doing. This is what you need to do: Leave. Your relationship is obviously on the rocks anyway considering that your man is spending that much time with someone else. And you don't trust what he's saying or doing because you've checked his phone logs. I'd advise you to just get out. Don't concern yourself with the potential drama that's there. Don't wait for it to come to fruition. Sure, you want some concrete evidence. But the best sign that you'll get that you need to move on is that you don't trust him or what he's doing. That usually means it's over, which in this case is probably a good thing.

Last but not least from OneChele: Look here girl, if your Gay-Dar is buzzing – respect that. When I tell you I know of what I speak, keep reading the blog – that BougieTale of Woe is sure to come out (no pun intended) another time. Moving on, I'm disassociating from SBM's buttcrack test above. Here's my indicator: when you confront your man about being gay and he doesn't come back at you with the immediate, "Hell naw, WTF?" Check him. Also, you sense something "off" about the sex? Kinky "let me try something" off? Or Brokeback "you should have suspected" off? Let me ask you this, how deep is this thing? This is your man but he's spending nights with someone other than you? Jerry is not your problem, Thomas is. He's disrespecting you. My advice – ask some questions. If you don't get the answers you are comfortable with, are you willing to take a break or walk away? Cuz nowadays you REALLY need to know who you're sleeping with. BTW – we are not down on gays. But you cannot ride the rainbow (NTTAWWT – not that there's anything wrong with that) and ride me… succinctly put. N.D.L.: No Down Low. 'Nuff said.

Next up is Raine from the ATL.

Hey OneChele,

I read something on your blog a few weeks ago that got me thinking- is my man creeping? I mean he has a history of creep but we've been married for over eight years and I'm determined to hang in. Lately though, I'm not getting any attention and he's not asking for any a**. If he's not getting it from me, he's getting it somewhere is what I've always been told. It has been over three months now. He is too smart to give lame excuses like working late but he calls from his mother's house late at night saying he just wants to spend time with her. She is not in great health so maybe that's what this is about? But he comes home, gets straight in the shower and then falls into bed without saying a word. He is also washing his own clothes lately.

I noticed some money missing from our savings account and just found out that he got a credit card I didn't know anything about. Now I'm turning into that chick you were talking about who is spying on his Facebook page, checking the online statement of his cell phone and making sure copies of all his emails come to me. I don't know how to tell which FB friends are harmless and which ones could be a problem. There are numbers in his cell log that I don't know but I'm not going to call them unless I really think he's up to something. The other day I caught myself following him to the mall. So now I'm (like you said) THAT CHICK. And I hate it. You said not to ask the question if I wasn't ready for the answer. So how do I know for sure without asking? From what I've told you, can you just give me an honest opinion? Am I making myself crazy or does it seem like something ain't right?

Raine

From Ojo: I always wondered how a man living in Atlanta could be faithful. I guess I got my answer…he can't. Ha Ha ha ha….I'm just joking girl. There are only two times when a man doesn't want sex.

  1. When he is frustrated by his job, life or other personal issues.
  2. When he just got some from another woman.

If your bedroom game hasn't fallen off, and he isn't dealing with any drama in his life, you got problems. Apparently your man isn't too bright that he thinks you wouldn't notice cash missing from the account. It's unfortunate that you have become "That Chick" because all men hate that type of woman. Instead of being in a relationship you are playing chief detective. I bet that wasn't what you imagined when you first met this dude. But now he's got you checking the phones like Dick Cheney and the CIA. Most men aren't looking to pick up extra duties when they come home. What man starts washing his own clothes when he wasn't doing it before? When I was a kid I washed my own clothes when I was hiding accidents that I made (Don't Judge Me!!!) I only started washing my own clothes on the regular when I lived by myself. If I could have found a woman to wash my clothes after I left home, I would never have known what fabric softener was. So to answer your question – yes!! Something ain't right!!!!

From SBM aka Let that ninja breathe: Dearest Raine, Hmmm ... he's not smashing you off. Well, I have heard after being married for a long time that can happen, but I am a strong believer that if he isn't getting it from you, he is getting it somewhere.

You are doing way too much by following him to the mall and tracking him down, but there is a very good chance he is cheating.

Problem is ... he may be really really torn up about his mother. And if you are snooping on him and accuse him when he is really just torn about the health of his mom ... then you will be a horrible horrible person. Horrible enough that you may push him back to cheating. Keep one eye open ... but no more playing private eye.

From TMCY: Raine, The something that's not right is your actions. I'm probably gonna sound like a broken record, but if you don't trust someone, you shouldn't be with them. It's a little different considering that you're married to him. But you shouldn't have to spy on your husband to figure out what he's doing. If there are things you're uncertain of, i.e. the new credit card, you should call your husband on such things. Don't be afraid to go there. That's the only thing that's making you crazy, that it doesn't seem as though you've approached him about much of any of this. When you don't confront him, if you're certain you're still not getting the truth, you should consider moving on, especially if you dealt with him stepping out on you before. That's not a sign of someone who cares for a healthy relationship.

Last but not least from OneChele: You lost me a little bit at "he has a history of creep." Almost sounds like you know what's up because you've seen this all before. But okay, let's say you don't. If Moms is really ill, you do have to cut him some slack. But only some. The clothes washing all of sudden, all the random broads on the cellie, FB, inbox – we call this suspect behavior. You're going to have to ask the hard questions and be prepared to deal with the answers. In the meantime, stop your SuperSleuth routine – you'll only make yourself crazy. Remember, information without context is not evidence (too much CSI!). Honestly, confront old boy. After eight years of marriage, you should know if he's lying.

So to Tanya and Raine – you probably got a little more than you asked for. But if you're like most people, you'll chose which answers suit what you already wanted to do anyway. We wish you luck in your relationships, be sure and check back to tell us which direction you took and how it all worked out.

As for the rest of BougieLand – you might as well wade in and pile on with your opinions for Tanya and Raine or share your similar experiences. Oh, and Part II where we answer a question from a young single brother, coming up later in the week. Comment as you will.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Relationship Fact or Fiction: Married Folks take us behind the Myths

Welcome back to Relationship Week on BnB. Today, we'll be getting the inside skinny from some happily married folks. There are any number of relationship do's and don'ts that are passed out as conveniently as fortune cookies at the end of a meal. Let's take a look at three of them and see what the "experts" have to say in response. Guest posting today:

Glen Antoine Palmer and His Lady from The Gentlemen's Standard

Average Bro (AB) from AverageBro.com

JaymeC (a regular blog commenter and a licensed Life Coach here in the Dallas area who specializes in relationship counseling), married 18 years.

  • Never go to bed angry: Any truth to this? Does it matter as long as the issue gets resolved?

    • AB says: This sounds great in theory, but like many other idioms about marriage, simply isn't practical. Sometimes you have to agree to end an argument/discussion because you have kids to put to bed, and have to get up for work in the morning. Sometimes, you are just going to agree to disagree, and need time and space for things to boil over. Not every discussion ends with a sorrowful "you're right Honey", and makeup nookie. I'm not saying couples shouldn't try to resolve things in a timely manner, but this is truly easier said than done.

    • Jayme says: You can't regulate anger. When you're upset, you're upset. Life goes on with or without a resolved argument. The key is that you have to resolve it. Sometimes that's respectful acceptance that you won't agree. Don't worry about the sun setting on your anger. If you get another day, take it as a blessing.

    • Gent and Lady say: It's best not to go to bed angry because the longer the anger and frustration goes on the worse it is. However, if you are not going to come to a resolution after a sincere effort, it's best to get some sleep and take a stab at it the next day. The last thing you need is an angry AND tired people going at it for days at a time. Resolution is important and in order to get to resolution you have to have a clear head and stay focused on the argument/issue at hand. That's hard to do when you are already upset and the clock reads 3am and you have to be up in 3 hours.
  • Just because you are married doesn't mean you can't look: When does looking go too far? Is Facebook flirting risky? How much "twitter-teasing" is allowed before it goes too far?

    • AB says: People have eyes, it is human nature to "look". I think you cross the line and can be disrespectful when you are blatantly doing so. My pastor always says, "the first look is natural, the second look is lusting". I sorta agree with that. In terms of flirting, it's a strict "no-no", regardless of which form it takes. Generally speaking, if it's not something I'd be happy about my wife doing, I don't do it. So please, no cyber groupies. I keed, I keed.

    • Jayme says: Eyes and ears appreciate beauty then the brain should engage for judgment. When thoughts slide from "He's fine" to "I want that", you've let the attraction go way too far. Exchanging a joke or two on a social media platform is fine but a good indicator that you're getting too involved is when you can't tweet/type/text in front of your significant other. You shouldn't be sharing anything that they can't see.

    • Gent and Lady say: Looking is fine as long as it's a casual glance (1 second max.) and not an all out gawk fest. Just because you're married doesn't mean you're blind and your spouse should recognize that. Facebook flirting/twitter-teasing and any other of that cyber sex (casual or otherwise) is not tolerated. Your friends/acquaintances, both real and virtual, need to know you are married and respect that. Just because you aren't face to face doesn't give you the right to disrespect me with some cyber chick. Cheating is cheating whether it's in person or in cyberspace-and NO you don't have to have sex to cheat. Emotional affairs happen every day, be prepared for your woman-bougie or not-to bring the pain when she finds out! Disrespect WILL NOT be tolerated.

  • The couple that sleeps together, stays together: In a recent study highlighted on WSJ.com, the New York Times, and various blogs more couples are opting to sleep apart (snoring, thrashing, allergies, kids). Assuming sex is still happening, how important is actually sleeping in the same bed with your spouse?

    • AB says: I do agree with this one. Whether you're dealing with babies who keep waking up, an unresolved argument, or someone who snores like the dickens, sleeping in the same bed gives a couple some level of consistent intimacy. Even if you have to have a child co-sleep with you (it happens), it's still best if the couples end the night, and start the day, together.

    • Jayme says: I give a four-day/ two week rule. Try not to spend more than four days out of any week sleeping apart and try not to spend more than two weeks out of any month away from each other. Relationships are living beings, it must be nurtured and fed and kept alive. Intimacy (with or without sex) is a huge part of that. As a matter of fact, if two people are more at ease sleeping and being away from each other for long stretches of time, that says something about the relationship.

    • Gent and Lady say: Sleeping together is important, however there are times when it's better to be apart (ie. one has to get up earlier than normal and doesn't want to disrupt your slumber or needs to turn in extra early). Just don't make it the norm. It's not okay to sleep apart because you can't stand to be near them, or they are afraid of waking up with you standing over them with a knife saying "Why don't you love me anymore!" That's some foolishness on a whole other level and requires a very capable therapist.

I found these answers fascinating as I have always attempted the "don't go to bed angry" thing and rarely has it worked. Now I know I can stop trying and get me some rest. J

So what do you think, BougieLand. Agree? Disagree? Thoughts of your own? Experiences to share?

Monday, September 21, 2009

I just called to say…

Kicking off Relationship Week (the remix) with a few true confessions stories. Feedback strongly encouraged! Enjoy...

Back in the day, I would spend hours on the phone. Catching up with friends, flirting with the fellas, being about business. In the last eighteen months, I have noticed a shift. More and more, I catch up with friends on Facebook or via email. These days I do a lot of flirting (okay, not THAT much) on Twitter or one of the three instant messaging programs loaded on the laptop. I'm not ashamed to say that if I don't recognize a phone number, I let it go to voicemail. Now I will call folks back and if you're saved into the Blackberry, you get answered on the second ring. As a matter of fact, chances are if you are someone of any sort of import – I've assigned you a ringtone on my cell and home phone. I like to know which calls to run for (or away from). It occurs to me that I actually don't recall what I did before caller ID.

So it was with no small trepidation a few weeks ago that I heard No Doubt's epic song, "Ex-Girlfriend" blaring from my BlackBerry. This is the song I've assigned to the ex-S/Os. I looked down to see which one and gave a sigh. Not a happy sigh, a weary sigh. It was the one we call Eugene. The so-called Feast in my from Feast to Famine story.

I answered the phone with the following sentiment, "This can't be good."

He was taken aback, "What do you mean? What kind of greeting is that?"

Sighing I moved on, "Hey, what's up?"

"Sitting out here chillin.'"

You see, back in the day- that was the hook. He tossed it out there; I nibbled by asking the follow-up question. I played along, "Out where, whatcha up to?"

"You know where I am." Again, back in the day… I did. I kept that boy's schedule like a secretary gunning for sainthood. I knew what time he flew, how much time it took him to get a rental car and usually I was sitting in the lobby of his hotel chatting up the concierge but the time he arrived. I had .pdf copies of his schedule filed chronologically on my desktop. In retrospect, that says something that I felt I had to keep that close a tab. But anyway…

Things had changed, "Gene, I have no clue."

"I'm in Dallas for work." And there's the bait.

"Oh okay."

"So what's your schedule like?" Fishing a little deeper.

"Why?"

"You should come out and have a drink with your boy."

Uh-huh. I should also douse myself with lighter fluid and strike a match the next time I want to BBQ. No. Thank. You. But I say, "Is your situation different?" In other words, have you fixed ANY of the f*ed up stuff that made our relationship completely unworkable in the past? I knew the answer before I asked the question.

"Uh no, but it's just a drink." Right, like Hurricane Katrina was just a little rain. I steers clear of disaster these days and don't need no burning bush to read these signs.

"I don't think that's a good idea, but you enjoy your time in Dallas." Now that was new. Time was, your girl would've have spun twice in the shower, whipped up the hair and makeup, thrown on tight jeans and pumps and been out the door in record time. As I sat there, I got a little angry. We had JUST had this discussion. I sent over a text, "Do you NOT recall what I said last time you came through?" Which was a "don't call me, I'll call you" "we're done, son" speech.

He texted back, "Of course, forgive me for wasting your time."

Zipped over my response, "You've kind of used up your credit at the forgiveness store. You take care."

I felt good about myself, stronger and wiser; and put it out of my mind. Two days later, the Gwen Stefani ringtone: Kinda always knew I'd end up your ex-girlfriend, whoa-oh! Who now? Jason. My ex whose latest fiancée broke up with him via Post-it note the night before their wedding. Ah jeez. Jason is an ex-Federal Drug Task Force with a GI Joe-complex and an irritating way of treating women like subordinate (and not so bright) members of his old squad. He liked women to be ornamental and lacking in opinion. He thought women belonged in the bedroom and the kitchen and should wear heels at all times. At last count, he has been engaged 5 times without making it to the altar.

He is 6'2", 210, caramel colored, quite fine, chock full of testosterone and confidence with an ego the size of Texas. He's that quintessential small town Texas boy that made good. Still wears Wranglers and Ropers (look it up, people) well enough to make you pause and look twice. We were briefly engaged way back when. So briefly I never told BougieFam and chalked it up to temporary hormonal overload of a girl who grew up sheltered. Moving on… every 18 months like clockwork Jason tracks me down. In a weak moment back in 2002, I made the mistake of seeing him. It took me 4 days and a Leverage-style con to get rid of him. Lesson learned. The thing was though – his mother and I kept in contact. She adored me (of course) and still laments at not being able to call me her daughter. She has been in poor health for a while so when he called, I was positive it was about her.

"How's Pauletta?" I answered my phone by getting straight to the point.

"She's okay, she misses you though."

On my end silence.

"I guess you heard what happened with me and Terry, huh?"

"Uh, yeah – your Mom sort of told me. Why'd she break it off?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know? Come on, you HAD to have done something for her to call off a Caribbean wedding the morning of… via post-it. Dude, remember who you're talking to!"

"There might have been a thing."

"A thing?"

"A slightly inappropriate thing with a chick from the hotel. Nothing serious though."

"So you sabotaged it."

"No! Why would you say that?"

"You grabbed the ass of a hotel employee where your fiancée was staying. You wanted to get caught, you didn't want to get married."

"I didn't want to get married to her."

"Uh-huh."

"I always only wanted to be married to you."

"And how'd that work out for you?"

"Still mean. Listen, you wanna hang out? I'm in town for a day or so."

What am I? The Dallas Hotel Hook-Up Chick all of a sudden? "Uh, no."

"Come on, it'll be fun. No strings. Just a couple of drinks, some laughs, a walk down memory lane." Like I don't know what that means?

Oh, so I'm the Dallas Hotel Hook-Up Chick that you have to get liquored up first. "If we're walking down memory lane, Jay… very few laughs."

"Oooh, still know how to cut a brother. Come on out, what are you afraid of? Afraid you'll like it?"

Deep, deep sigh. Ninja PLEASE. You couldn't punk me into doing what you wanted when I was twenty-five, it for REAL will not work now. And now, I know how to play too, "Ah baby, I'm afraid you'll get hooked again. And it took me a week to get rid of you last time."

"It was a good week though."

"For you. It was a good week for you. Listen, I gotta go."

"You still with that dude?" Okay, Eugene and Jason have never met face to face but do not care for each other on GP. Many a time I've convinced one not to seek out the other to declare war.

"Nope."

"That's something anyway. I always told you he was no good for you."

"He says the same thing about you."

"So you're free?"

Easier to lie, "No. New guy. Getting serious. As a matter of fact, I need to go ahead and get ready."

"So you're really not coming?"

"I'm really not coming."

"Well think about it and call me if you change your mind."

Don't hold your breath. But I say, "You take care."

So fellas, help me out. What's with the temperature taking calls? We used to call them "TapBack" because (obviously) someone was trying to come back and tap. I hear tell women are notorious for this as well. Not my scene. I don't get how anything good comes out of the TapBack beyond the temporary pleasure of the tap. My grandma Blanche had a saying, "When you start stirring up old sh!t, it just starts to stink again."

Another girlfriend of mine used to blame the TapBack on the full moon. She swore that every full moon brought out the crazies and the exes (sometimes one and the same). I used to get one of these calls per quarter. However, the older I get and the more of my exes that get married (whole other post, ya'll), the fewer of these I receive. Of course, the older I get the more exes I have. Okay... moving on.

Here what I wonder... is the TapBack an indicator that there's still something there or just that you were next up alphabetically in the BlackBerry contact list? And if you fall for (or go along with) the TapBack, are you re-igniting a relationship or scratching a temporary itch? What say you, BougieLand? Is there any merit in the TapBack? Does it ever lead to "reunited and it feels so good"? Any stories you'd care to share?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This week on BnB: Relationship Week (the remix)

Back by popular demand (and since I'm apparently both a masochist and a woman with near inexhaustible stories on the subject), this week will be Relationship Week (again) on Black n Bougie. We will have all sorts of guests gracing up us with their presence, I'll share more tales of OneChele Dating Woe (maybe even a happy memory?) and we'll have at least one installment of Ask a Bougie Chick. So be sure to drop on into to BougieLand and bring a friend.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hustle Day on BnB: Get your Click On!


Hey BougieLand, it's OneChele hustle for dollars day. Did you know that if you click any ad on this page, I earn pennies? If you enter a search in the Google Custom Search box to the right, I earn a few more. If you shop from the OneChele Amazon Store, ca-ching!

And now, I'm pleased to introduce the Black 'n Bougie Store. New link on the sidebar. Come on, you KNOW you want a T-shirt that says "I call Bullshiggity!" A coffee mug that states "Don't bother me, I'm busy being bougie!" Of course you do. Well, now they can be yours. Also, if you have a bougie saying you'd like to see on an item, let me know and I'll try and make it happen. Cool thing about the store is that any of the designs can be put on any of the products.



If none of this inspires you, we're always happy for you to hit up the "Bouge isn't free" tip cup on the side of the page. Still not inspired? Next week is Relationship Week (the remix) on BnB, get excited about that - it is shaping up to be one of our best week's ever.

As always, I appreciate your patronage of the Black and the Bouge. Ya'll come back now... and bring a friend.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Guest Post on Tyler Perry and For Colored Girls...


Now I have held my tongue on Tyler Perry because I was truly afraid that once I started, I wouldn't stop. While I admire his hustle and the fact that he consistently finds a way to make chicken salad out of chicken sh!t; I need him to back away from the stereotypical characters he tends to portray. I need him to get writers (not himself) that will make the plots three-dimensional and not so predictable that five minutes in I can tell you how it will end. I need him to stop portraying bougie females as if they are what's wrong with the race these days. I need him get behind the scenes, write the checks and give someone fresh a shot. And I need him to let Madea go. The image of the gun-toting, tell-it-straight Big Momma is worn and cold. Basically, I need Tyler Perry to Just. Do. Better. Now if you have surmised that I'm not a huge fan, I remain conflicted. I love anyone who puts black actors and writers to work. I just wish he would take the next steps.

For those in BougieLand unfamiliar with the play (the Author refers to it as a choreopoem), it is a brilliant work studying the lives of black women as represented by a color. Earlier this year, CNN profiled Ntozake Shange, the author and the interview gives you an idea of what it's all about. It is one of rite of passage things that women of color hold close to their hearts. When word came out that Tyler Perry bought the films rights... well - all hell broke loose. If you think I don't like Mr. Perry, take a gander at the post below by Thembi Ford. Enjoy!

Re-posted from the The Black Snob (guest post) By Thembi Ford

Getting his hot little hands on Ntozake Shange’s 1975 play “For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf," was coup of the year for Tyler Perry. Not only will he produce and direct the upcoming film version, the King of Coonery will also write the adaptation of what may be the most important work about black female identity ever. Ask any black woman, especially the artsy/moody/self-aware type, about “For Colored Girls…” and she will respond with a wistful look and fond memories.

I was Lady in Blue in a high school production and have told more than one sorry dude “insteada being sorry all the time, try being yourself,” quoting the Lady In Red (but playing it off like I came up with it on my own). This is classic material and now we can expect the intentionally stripped-down aesthetic of Shange’s work to be replaced by style choices that only a closeted gay man could make. Even worse, Perry has announced that he’d like to cast the likes of Oprah, Halle Berry, and Beyoncé to tackle the play’s issues, which include love, rape, abortion, and relationships. Beyoncé??? Please pass the Xanax.

How did we come to such a low point in black entertainment? Sadly, money always talks. Did you know that Tyler Perry’s films have grossed about $319 Million in seven years, while Spike Lee’s have grossed $372 million in twenty-three years? When you account for the inclusion of rather mainstream flicks like Inside Man ($88 mil) in Lee’s canon, Tyler Perry is really in black folks pockets at an alarming speed. We’re going to see his movies in droves and I just cannot figure out why. Maybe it’s easy for whole church buses to go see a Perry flick after Sunday service, maybe we’re just happy to see black folks on-screen no matter what they do, or maybe we don’t have the sense of a Billy goat when it comes to choosing meaningful entertainment – I just don’t know. But the end result is the proliferation of a parade of empty, stereotypical characters, humor so dry it could sop up Jermaine Jackson’s hairdo, and the persistent depiction of black women whose lives are not complete unless they can find and hold onto a good black man. When we begged for greater representation on-screen, this is not what we had in mind.

Can I go back to Beyoncé and the meds I’ll need to watch her act again, especially in such a groundbreaking piece? It’s hard for me to even write about it because my thumbs have spontaneously become paralyzed into the DOWN position. First of all, I haven’t forgotten Beyoncé notifying the world that she’s not black, she’s Creole, which is the exact OPPOSITE of the “For Colored Girls...” message. Let’s also not forget that Beyoncé CANNOT act. I’ve given her too many chances to demonstrate that she can, and after watching her try to squeeze out tears while trying not to look directly into the camera I’ve concluded that the only role she’d excel in is an adaptation of Pinocchio – on camera, the girl looks like she’s made of wood. Her clumsy speech pattern is the stuff that gets folks flunked out of Julliard. There’s something about how her tongue sits in her mouth – its too big, its too wide, its too strong, it won’t fit. Why is this happening, again? Greed. Not just greed for money, but for recognition.

Whether or not Beyoncé ends up in the film, Perry has a special talent for creating the illusion that otherwise credible black actors don’t have enough talent for mystery dinner theater, so I have to consider anything he controls creatively a lost cause. However, as executive producer in a joint venture with Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry sat in the audience for Precious, a film highly praised by critics at the Sundance Film Festival (you may have heard the buzz about excellent performances from Mariah Carey and Mo’Nique). As the audience ooh’d and ahh’d at how creatively stunning it was, Perry scratched his chin and said “Hmmm. I want me some of this.” So now what should be a landmark moment in black female cinema directed by any of the renown black female directors out there – Kasi Lemmon (Eve’s Bayou), Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees), Debbie Allen (no explanation needed) or Nzinga Stewart (who was originally slated to direct the film) - is instead sure to fall flat under Perry’s control.

What’s saddest of all to me is that, as much as we can expect Perry to butcher Shange’s work, won’t so many of us feel obligated to see it anyway? Will we bite our tongues and watch, even if just for the sake of criticism and cultural commentary? Or will we consider ourselves lucky to absorb the prose and poetry of “For Colored Girls…” on the big screen for the first time? Should we patronize questionable black films just because they’re intended for us or should we boycott what we suspect is garbage? This is a persistent quandary that those of us interested in thoughtful black entertainment continue to face. Just what is a black woman to do with such a mess? When I ask myself these questions I’m reminded of Shange’s Lady in Green: “bein’ alive, bein’ a woman, and being colored is a metaphysical dilemma/ I haven’t yet conquered.” After thirty-four years at least that much still rings true.

Thembi Ford is the author of the blog What Would Thembi Do?

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