Monday, May 31, 2010

It's a Holiday...

So I'm holidaying.

This week - Bougie Etiquette Re-Cap for Summer Wear. A BougieTale or two and the kick-off of Bougie Anniversary Month. Stay tuned... and have a great Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Good News Story: The Dedication of a Teacher

This story was brought to my attention by Da Smoking Ace who has the pleasure and honor of knowing this remarkable lady. In a world where people can't commit to the same coffee flavor for a week and don't remember what happened last week (let alone last millennium), comes the great story of Ms. Emma Brandon. She is teacher in Mississippi who is retiring after 63 years… yes, 63 years. From The Clarion-Ledger: (excerpt)

When Emma Brandon began teaching she earned $36 a month, walked three miles one way to school - seven miles if overnight rain made the creek too swollen to cross - and toted her own lunch of biscuits and syrup. A lot has changed in the 63 years since. There are computers and standardized tests. Schools have been consolidated and integrated. Principals have come and gone. Last week, Brandon decided to step out of the classroom for good, becoming one of the hundreds of Mississippi school teachers to retire this summer. Brandon said the key to her longevity was the ability to stay focused on the students. "I never had to push because I showed so much love for them," she said. "I showed them they were wanted in my class - like if they didn't say good morning, I would greet them. I taught them to be courteous and tried to set a good example." But she made the decision this year would be her last because her license expires.

"If my license had not expired in 2010, I would have stayed more years if health allowed," she said. "I never was absent (from school). I never was late." Brandon said she plans to spend her retired days in her garden, quilting and doing missionary work with her church. But it won't be easy for her to stay away. "Ever since I started school as a kid at 4 or 5 years old, I've been in a classroom," she said. "I'm just going to stay out of the La-Z Boy chair as long as I can."

Whole Story here: Retiring after 63 years.

Talk about dedication to the task! What an impact she's had on literal generations of people. You take your rest, Ms. Emma… you've earned it. Does anyone have a teacher from their youth they want to shout out today?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Video Shout-Out: Ay Yo by Melanie Fiona

Feeling this one today, here's a verse:
If you have a light
Then hold it up and let it shine
Would you make the choice to meet your destiny
Or let this lifetime pass you by
Only you can make it
What's yours is yours no one can take it
If you have a dream
Something you believe
It's time to set it free

Any other music to shout out today?

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Obligatory “It’s Friday and I’m too tired to write a post” post

I love ya'll (the majority of ya'll anyway) but this week wore me out. I was supposed to be taking the week off to finish up my short story but then I found had something that simply had to be said everyday. SO… today's the day I punt. Here are a few things on my mind:

  • Is it bad that I like that Jamie Foxx/Justin Timberlake/T.I. song Winner? It's catchy… sue me.

  • Be forewarned, if Sarah Palin runs for President of these here United States and wins… I quit. The entire country. You can find me on the family goat farm outside of Georgetown, Guyana. Yes we actually have one. No, I've never seen it. As long as I have wi-fi, air conditioning, indoor plumbing and rum - I'm good.

  • Television summer season is about to kick off. I (of course) am feenin' for new Leverage:

  • Why are people so surprised that Alicia Keys is pregnant and engaged to Swizz Beatz? She meant bidness when she wrecked that home. She's in it to win it. (But if I were her, I wouldn't leave Swizzie alone in the studio with the latest pop starlet)

  • For those of you who didn't catch it on Facebook, here's the cover of my new book due out Feb 2011. I hate it less than my last cover. And sure, in the book she is described as cocoa-colored (toasted walnut I believe I said) with straight jet black hair but hey... some battles you fight, others... Yes, I know she looks like a young Debbie Allen with malicious intent. That's all I have to say about that:

Any thoughts on my thoughts? Any thoughts of your own? Who has plans for Memorial Day? Enjoy the long weekend…

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Case of the Tweet-n-Run: An Open Letter

Pardon me while I handle some BnB internal business...

This open letter is on behalf of one of my Twitter friends. She was one of the first people to reach out to me on Twitlandia and is just flat out good people. I absolutely adore her. In my adoration, I semi-set her up with a dude from BougieLand. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa and colossal fail on my part. What had happened was... This gentleman hunted me down and begged for an introduction and an endorsement. He was (in his words) dazzled by the intelligence and charm of my friend and wanted to holler. I directed him to her website and Facebook page; he was more charmed and enthusiastic than before.

So I spoke with him, background checked him (which he agreed to and paid for). According to his background, he is divorced with one child, degreed, professional, solvent and without criminal history. I spoke with him again – hey, I'm a Human Resources girl, I interview folks and I generally know what to look for. After a discussion with him and a follow-up with her, I green-lit the introduction.

In the beginning, he was fun, he was flirty and it was banter, wit, and a little bit of sizzle. He flirted hard, he flirted regularly. He made plans and promises. He shared life anecdotes. All of this over Twitter (which was the first issue). Why Twitter only? No gchat, no skype, no fifty-million other venues? Finally, he got her phone number, made arrangements to call, set up plans to meet face to face and then… nothing. He popped up on BougieLand here and there with a comment or two, sent her a couple of half-assed tweets about some drama in his life and then… nothing. Fade to black. But this morning, he sent me a note (why me and not her, I don't know) asking if I thought he should contact her this weekend. (After 2 ½ weeks of zero contact?)

So because she's too classy to do it… allow me to say how I feel about that…

Dear Dude (you know who you are),

I'm not fond of grown-assed men who don't know their own minds and waste people's time. I'm not fond of men who chase women, hide behind equivocal language and then throw down a smoke bomb and disappear into the mist. I have a healthy sense of humor, but I'm not amused. One you pass the age of forty, game-playing isn't cute. Oh hell, it's not cute past twenty. The thing was… you were so completely "earnest" in your longing to get to know that person. I mean you worked hard to get the intro. And worked even harder to garner her interest. You did all but stalk the girl so fervent was your avowal that this was someone you simply had to get to know.

Sure, it's your prerogative to change your mind. It's your option not to pursue someone that you chased (hard and at some expense). And sure, I get that it was Twitter so how seriously should we take it all. You are allowed to simply fall back. I'm not saying what you did was a heinous crime… I'm saying it was trifling and rude. And a little bit unnecessary.

It's not as though you've gone missing. You're still tweeting and blogging and chatting away so we know you're alive and apparently well. What you did was start a conversation, up the intensity to red-hot and then stop speaking mid-sentence and leave the room. We call that mixed messages. Or in this case… a Tweet–n–Run.

The flirting was fine, the banter was fine. But why the full court press? Why all the personal questions? Why set up the coffee/tea/cocktail date? Why ask for the number and never use it? Was it a game, a diversion, something to pass the time? Did you meet someone else? Just what? Oh wait; you did have a lame explanation: you said "your interest and intentions were good but your follow-through and execution sucked". Nice to know and thank you for that bit of honesty. Here's some for you in return…

  1. It's just as irritating when men run hot and cold as when women do it.
  2. There's a phrase: don't start none, won't be none. Re-read and repeat.
  3. Remember when I recommended that you bring your "A" game to the table? This isn't it, is it?
  4. The person you should ask if you still have a shot? You have her phone number - use it. Don't tweet it, don't text it, call.
  5. You can forget any other attempts at a BougieLand hook-up. The Bougie Babes are off-limits to you now.

Anyway, good luck to you sir. It's my experience that once you raise a woman's expectations and then dash them, it's tough to get back in the game but go head on with your bad self. If you're going back in, I would strong suggest you go in with more than a tweet and a smile. You take care now. And watch where you tweet. I see you.



Okay, I feel better now. Thank you BougieLand for allowing me to handle that bit of administrative business. Unfortunately, there's no adequate interview process that screens for flaky. I'll be interested to see if said Dude responds. In the meantime, ever had a potential S.O. just disappear, no explanation? Have you ever faded to black on someone after chasing the hell out of them? As always… your thoughts, comments and insights are welcome. The floor is yours.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why Pookie gets no Play… A BougieTale

Yesterday, @CarolynEdgar started discussing Elin Woods' alleged request for $750MM in a divorce from Le Tigre. This sent a bunch of men into apoplectic fits of Twitter rage. Then it was pointed out that for most of them… this wasn't going to be an issue. It was further pointed out that in this day and age when professional women outnumber and out earn men (amongst the African American ranks) chances were that in a lot of divorces, the woman would end up paying the man anyway. This segued into her hilarious rant on why it's a not always a great for an upwardly mobile chick to date Pookie or Ray-Ray:

"Best advice? Um, don't marry Pookie. Don't even let him hit it. Cause if you're living well, dude's gonna show up on yr doorstep w/a bag." "So if you are a high wage earning woman who took Steve Harvey's advice and found yourself a Pookie to marry, and now Pookie's accustomed to your "high-end" lifestyle, be prepared to pay Pookie when things don't work out in the end." A firestorm broke out. I grabbed some popcorn. Then I realized that this could make for a great blogpost: The Perils of Pookie and What's Wrong with Ray Ray... a little over the top so I went a different direction.

But first, let me define a Pookie. Pookie is a man without a lot of ambition, going nowhere slowly. He's just getting by and he's okay with it. He may have potential (he may not) but he is not polished up. He may or may not be a recreational herb user. He may or may not be a purveyor of street pharmaceuticals. He generally drives a hooptie, lives with his mama and is terminally short on cash. His appearance is generally tore up from the floor up and he has mastered Ebonics as a first language. That's Pookie, okay? So don't come at me with "hustle" – Pookie ain't hustlin' unless it's to his mailbox to get a check from the gub'ment, ya feel me. That's the Pookie I'm talking about. No, I'm not hating on Pookie. There's a place for the Pookies of this world. Let's move on…

A BougieTale of WBFDD (What Bougie Folks Don't Do) - Marry Pookie...

I decided to get hands on knowledge. I called a friend of mine out in the Bay Area whose best friend married a Pookie. I wanted to see how that was working out. Yes, literally Pookie. Her best friend (a VP at an internet company in San Jose) Stacey married a guy named Percy who had one branch of his family tree that called him Pookie. Pookie was Stacey's "reparation project" – I'm not joking. She met him in their early 30s. She was a Senior Director, he was parking cars. (NTTAWWT - Not That There's Anything Wrong With That)

They started hanging out and she basically remade him. New teeth, new hair, new clothes, new job. He moved in with a raggedy duffle bag and a pretty new smile (her words, not mine). She paid for him to finish school, cleaned up his credit, took him to church, introduced to him people who knew people. He had evolved from Pookie to Percy. Two years later he proposed. Six years in, two kids later, Pookie started cuttin' a fool. He was rolling out of the house at all hours, missing for unknown reasons, not answering calls, not picking up the kids when it was his turn and yeah – you know where it's going.

She found out (because Pookie was using HER platinum card) that he was wining and dining other women, buying them gifts, taking random broads on vacation! While she's pulling down the six-figures, working, taking care of the kids – he's out spending her money on good times with women he would not have stood a chance with if she hadn't fixed him up. (Can you feel my outrage radiating through the monitor?) Fast forward through the drama and attempted reconciliation and we land in divorce court. Pookie's ass gets an ALLOWANCE, she had to sell the four-bedroom house because it was considered an asset of the marriage and she had to break him off a portion of the bank accounts. He gets to keep the BMW. They are currently battling over her retirement plan. HER retirement plan.

Therein lies the problem of dating Pookie. It's not that we don't appreciate Pookie's potential. But Pookie without a pre-nup is about to waltz off to Sausalito with a new girlfriend, a BMW and an allowance. She's in a two bedroom condo with two kids, the SUV and the credit card bills from Pookie's good times. Does that seem right to you?

This is the side of the story that you don't hear when Steve Harvey and Hill Harper are talking about potential, and giving the brother on the block a shot. Sometimes that shot bites you in the ass. I'm not saying it can't work out and I'm not saying that Pookie on that come up isn't a great thing to see. I'm saying when a woman has to literally re-make a man and mold him up to fit him into her world, it can go wrong. And that ain't right. So miss me with that "you are so judgmental" nonsense I know a few of you are dying to throw my way.

Seriously, BougieLand – I'm asking… does that seem right to you? Does anyone have a story with Upwardly Mobile Girl meets Pookie and it all works out? For that matter, are upwardly mobile guys are checking for round-the-way chick with zero ambition? Pookietta? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours…

(UPDATE: I was just informed by @sfreynolds that the female equivalent of Pookie is Peaches. I stand corrected)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ask a Bougie Chick: He Said/She Said

First a disclaimer: The opinions and advice shared on this blog are from the fertile soil of my mind based on my experiences. They are in no way professionally sanctioned or meant to influence anybody, anywhere, at any time. Thank you. ~The Management.

Today on BnB, we crack open some good times with a new Ask a Bougie Chick. For my BougieLand newbies, basically someone emails me a question and I answer it. Simple concept. Never dull.

Okay, now that the housekeeping is out of the way let me explain the tomfoolery and folderol you are about to partake of. A young lady going by the alias ClassyinCali sent me a letter. I read her letter and though inclined to roll my eyes and ditch it, instead I asked if she might have the gentleman referenced in the letter to write me his side. He did under the name LBC4E (took me hours to figure out he was referring to Long Beach City ForEver). Here they go (cleaned up somewhat for grammar, spelling and removal of obscenities):


Hey – love the book and the blog! Just wondered if I could get your opinion on something? About nine months ago, I started a physical relationship with a guy from work. We both agreed it was just for fun, not exclusive, good while it lasted. Then in early January he got laid off, about a month after that he asked if he could stay with me for a few days. I said sure why not, just for a week still no strings. I knew it was a problem when he pulled up and had a moving truck with him. I asked him why he needed a truck full of stuff if he was only staying a few days. This caused an argument but he put his stuff in storage and came back with a suitcase. Here we are almost six months later and he shows no signs of leaving. There was a reason we kept the relationship physical, that's all we have in common. Last week, we had an issue because he had another woman in the house. Based on that, I went out with someone else over the weekend. When I got home he went crazy. How do I get him out of here without drama or police?


I'll just nickname her CIC. Before we begin the discussion, here's old boy's side:


I didn't read your blog before yesterday. It's decent but a little high end for me. I met this girl at my job last year and we started smashing. She wanted more, I wasn't feeling it yet. Then I got cut by the job and without savings had to give up my apartment so I asked her if I stay for a little while. She invited me to move in and see if we could work out "something real". I was kinda stuck so why not. When I pull up, she all flip-floppy saying I can come in but not my stuff. So already I see how this is working out. Whatever, we give it a shot anyway. I got a job and starting kicking in towards rent and bills then I see she's got other dudes lined up. So I move to the guest room and fall back. She says I need to get out by the weekend. I paid through July, I'm staying until then. Now who's right and who's wrong?


Alrighty then. Both ya'll wrong and somebody (probably both of ya'll) is lying. Primarily, the relationship was all smash-n-dash… you don't move in with your sex buddy. Isn't that rule number one? You both knew that and went ahead. I don't know who decided to change the rules of the game, maybe LB when he asked to stay or maybe CIC when she let him. Either way I call bullshiggity on the both of you. Ya took a simple situation and jacked it up to hell and back. Beyond that, CIC – if you want him out, give him back his July rent and tell him to get gone. And you LB, take your July money and roll out. Otherwise, you kind of deserve each other.

Bougies – whatcha got for CIC and LB? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Life after the white dress…

Hey BougieLand! This week will all be "shorts": brief posts with random observations because it's deadline time for OneChele again.

So this weekend for reasons not entirely clear to me, I found myself watching a lot (a whole lot) of wedding shows: Girl meets Gown, Cake Bosses, Say Yes to the Dress, My Fair Wedding, Platinum Weddings and I tried to watch a Bridezillas but I couldn't get through that foolishness. I would have hauled off and backed slapped somebody.

It occurred to me in the midst of all this happiness and glee that this may be part of the problem. Are people too focused on the wedding and not worried about what comes after?

Kind of reminded me of the first Sex in the City movie where Carrie got so giddy and wrapped up in creating the perfect wedding day that she completely missed the signs that her relationship was on the skids. (BTW, Sex in the City 2 looks like it's doing too much, but we'll see.)

There are so many best chef, best designer, home makeover shows – would anyone else like to see a "Makeover my Marriage" show? You know they have that show Bang for your Buck to see who gets the most money back in equity for their home renovations? What about a show measuring return on investment from wedding to marriage? Now that would be interesting.

Just wondered if anyone else had this same thought about all the swirl over the wedding instead of the marriage? I was actually offended when I watched a Platinum Weddings where the couple spent $450,000 on the flowers alone… gimme a break with that. Any ideas of why there is so much wedding stuff on television lately?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Good News Story: BougieHousehold minus 1 ½ men

I love my family. I truly do. They can work a good nerve down to the bone but that does not diminish the love. As you may or may not know, when I moved back to Texas from California (has it been six years already?!) I did so with the express purpose of securing a home large (and bougie) enough for me and BougieMom. We found a place with 4 bedrooms (one of which I use as my office), 2.5 baths, two separate living areas, great kitchen, minimal upkeep, energy efficient. We can spend as much or as little time together as we like. Sometimes it works well, other days we stick to our separate floors saying "Good Morning" by the coffee maker and that's that. Some days a little bit of family goes a long way.

That being said… BougieYoungerBro showed up on my doorstep in mid-December needing a place to stay to get his head together for a few weeks. He just moved out this past Friday… bless his heart. He and I have always had a bit of a "us against the world" mentality. Our whol family is very "cradle to grave/womb to tomb". So when his youngest child, three year old BougieNephew3 was in need of temporary daycare for a few weeks, I agree to watch him since I work from home. For a few weeks. Seven weeks later (this upcoming Monday), he's heading to an actual day care for the first time. I will miss having them both underfoot around but glad to see onward and upward progress out of both of them.

Here's some of what I learned:

  1. Grown folks really need their own bathrooms
  2. Three year olds do not like the word "nap" (though I came to love it)
  3. Grown men don't appreciate you telling them to "bust them ashy ankles"
  4. Everybody loves an ice cold juice box
  5. I may be a little more anal than I thought, an on again/off again control freak and a tinsy bit germaphobic
  6. Mothers at the park are hella-competitive (and my nephew wins every time)
  7. Three people with really strong personalities and opinions makes for interesting times.
  8. Girls today are named Madison, Savannah, Taylor and Georgianna – and they all fell in love with BougieNephew3
  9. It is absolutely true that men come home and want a beer, a plate of food and silence.
  10. Kids are great fun when you can send them home at night… same thing with younger brothers

So starting tomorrow, it's back to just BougieMom and me. It will be interesting going back to a house that says quiet, crayon-free with toilets seats down. Whatever shall I do? J Truthfully, the glee on BougieYoungerBro's face when he rolled out told me he was just as happy to be leaving as I was to see him go. It's all love though.

This week, I'll only be posting "shorts" (brief updates) because it's deadline time again. I have a short story called "White Mocha" due to my publisher by June 1.

As a grown-up now, I've lived with my folks, my Mom, my sister and my younger brother. Have not attempted living with my older brother, I suspect we'd come to blows or quit speaking all together. Tell me BougieLand, could/have you lived with family as a grown-up? How'd you do? Would you do it again? Do share…

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Video Shout-Out: Nas and Damian Marley

Nas is back and joined by the youngest son of Bob Marley, Damian (also known as Junior Gong). This song kinda rocks. I like the blend of hip hop and reggae or as they say in the song "patois and rap star". The chorus is infectious, I like the cadence of their delivery, lyrics are clever and it's a great treadmill song. I'm happy. The whole collab named Distant Relatives is worth a listen.

Any music you are feeling this week? Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Let's Talk TV

I don’t have a super stirring and original post today and it’s Shonda Rhimes fault. I'm exhausted.

For those of you who did not see the Grey's Anatomy season finale… I don't know what to tell you. It was the most intense roller-coaster ride of a 2-hour show that I have seen in a while. The characters were stripped bare and allowed to be their purist selves (as generally happens in times of crisis – you get to see who people really are). And you found yourself cheering for a person one minute and almost praying for a stray bullet the next. They kept the suspense in place for all but the last ten minutes of the show. Who lives, who dies, what next, why and how?

A few issues (without spoilers) - really with Callie and Arizona sniping at each other in the middle of a lockdown? What kind of lame-assed SWAT does Seattle have? Mandy Moore's purpose was...? Where was Miranda's dude in her time of need? Who knew Richard had a straight gangsta psychologist card to play?

At the end of the day, the show may be called Grey's Anatomy but Miranda Bailey and Richard Webber are the heart and soul (no pun intended) of Seattle Grace.

Even if you never watch Grey's, I would recommend you check this out (with wine and an inhaler) to see what quality TV looks like. Where script is kept tight, dialogue can move the plot and the obvious isn't necessary. This episode was Emmy worthy. Here are the first ten minutes... (Warning: Graphic Violence)

Personally, it was the best season finale I've ever seen... and I've seen quite a few. Someone tried to compare it to an ER shootout finale but this was done with a more emotional (and believable) touch. And quite truthfully, it was written smarter. [Update: Ms. Rhimes responds to the swirl surrounding her finale right here:]

Even if you are not a Grey's fan, let's talk TV. I watched Criminal Minds Wednesday night. It was a about a serial killer who found his victims through social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) - that gave me significant pause and has be reviewing my privacy settings and network security. Speaking of Criminal Minds, CBS has picked up a spin-off starring Forest Whitaker. It doesn't have a title yet but is slotted for a mid-season replacement.

Here's what the fall 2010 network line up looks like (reminding me why I watch so much TNT and HBO): Fall 2010.

Did anyone watch Criminal Minds? If you watched the Grey's finale, what did you think? Any Lost watchers out there? Was/Is there a season finale you liked or are excited about? A show that you are sad to see go? (Flash Forward) Have you given up on TV altogether? Just waiting on football to start back up? The floor is yours...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There but for the grace…

"There but for the grace of God go I" ~A phrase attributed to sixteenth century writer John Bradford. Defined as recognition that others' misfortune could be one's own, if it weren't for the blessing/kindness/luck bestowed by fate or the Divine.

I talked to a friend of mine today. We were coworkers for about two years and stayed in touch. Ironically, she married a guy I dated on-again, off-again (mostly off) for a year. He and I grew up in the same "circle" and if you can believe this, his bouge was bigger than mine. My parents knew his parents and a bunch of bougie friends were encouraging the match. On a very superficial level, we matched. He was in medical school, I was beginning my climb up the corporate ladder.

I realized very early on that he was not the brightest bulb in the lamp. I'm serious, he wasn't a smart guy. Sort of sweet in a simple adoring way but not smart. Like not smart enough to date me and not grab other women's asses and think I wouldn't find out about it. Not smart enough to realize that he left me a voice message meant for another woman (wrong name and all). He wanted to be a player and wanted a woman to either not recognize it or look the other way. He had the wrong one. We parted ways no harm, no foul. I moved to California.

I recall that he came out the Bay Area for a convention and asked to see me. I offered to pick him up from the airport and take him to his hotel (thinking that would fulfill my obligation). Somehow that translated for him into "Come stay with me while you're in town." When I picked him up from the airport and asked him where he was staying, he replied, "With you." I tried (unsuccessfully) to get him into a hotel that he could afford near his convention site. I got him into one for the next night and agreed that he could stay in my guest room. We met my older brother (who was also in town) for dinner and that two-hour time period cemented our incompatibility (if I had any doubts). BougieOlderBro and I chatted, bantered and played our usual game of conversational tennis. Dude never even got a racquet in his hand.

Back at my place, I reiterated my "we're just friends, enjoy the guest room" speech and retired for the evening. Please tell me why this ninja tried the midnight tiptoe, sliding into bed move? I never moved but whispered to him what might happen to some of his extremities if he didn't slide on out the way he rolled in. We never spoke of it and I dropped him at his hotel early the next morning.

Fast forward to present day, close to a decade later. My friend is a quite a few years into her marriage with him (turns out they were dating when he tried the midnight creep) and has two kids. He's on the creep again and not doing a good job of hiding it. For reasons unknown, he is not practicing medicine but working in hospital administration which he apparently hates. He's miserable and making her miserable on top of her misery. By the way, I never told her that I used to date her husband. I just told her we were friends from childhood, which was true. So it was a little jarring when she asked me what I would do in her position. I opted out of answering by using my no motherhood-never married card.

I couldn't help but thank my lucky stars that I bailed when I did. It's one thing to be miserable with a shady dude in a casual dating relationship. It's a whole other thing when it's the father of your kids that you promised to have and to hold forever and ever.

Anyway, I know this was kind of random. But I was talking to ASmith86 about the show Snapped and why it's crazily addictive. I said it was a case of "there but for the grace of God…" and somehow the phrase fit this situation as well.

So Bougieland – ever feel like you definitely dodged a bullet? Watched someone going through something and though you empathized "there but for the grace" popped into your head? Random thoughts on exes you don't miss AT ALL? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours…

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

“So why are you single?” (Arrgh!)

Why are you single?

For the record, this is my least favorite question in the world.

A Bouginista reached out to me yesterday to tell me she enjoyed the blog and bought my book, officially making her my favorite person in the world yesterday. I noticed that she listed her blog address at the bottom of the well-penned note. I popped over to check it out and found a great post: Before I self-destruct. I was particularly intrigued when she said the reason she is single is all her fault. Now I'm a little older, I don't assign blame or point fingers about singlehood; but I do like the idea of everybody owning their own relationship status and not casting about for lists of reasons large or small, individual or societal, internal or external.

Someone in a movie (I think it was The Wedding Date) said every woman has exactly the love life she wants. I haven't decided if I 100% agree with that or not. What I will agree to is that getting asked why you're still single (especially by an equally single person) is not the hotness. Peep my latest BougieTale of good times…

Confession: I met a man while watching Just Wright the other day. I went to see the movie alone. I got a small popcorn and a medium Cherry-Coke ICEE. I sat about ten rows from the front with 3 open seats on one side and 5 on the other. Movie McCutie came in said hello and sat 2 seats down to my left. SistaGirl with the full meal deal came in and sat 3 seats to my right. When SistaGirl pulled out her picnic; he shot me the "are you seeing this shiggity" look. I responded with the head nod and "what's wrong with folks" look. He smiled, I smiled back. We turned our attention back to the movie. There was a particular scene where I could not help myself; I said out loud, "That doesn't happen in real life." He looked over and said, "No it really doesn't." We exchanged smiles again. When the movie ended, he waited until I got up and then followed me to the aisle. He made some small talk, I reciprocated and we exchanged phone numbers before parting ways in the parking lot.

Yesterday was our first opportunity to chat. The conversation was going well until he said: "So I don't get it! Why is a smart, accomplished beautiful woman like you still single?" I. Hate. This. Question. Because what the person is REALLY asking is, "What is wrong with you? Just tell me now so I can run the other direction." I have developed a set answer: "Wrong men at the wrong time, I guess. Why are you single?"

"I don't know, haven't found the right woman I guess." Uh-huh. We sat in silence. To his credit, he jumped in and said, "You're right, we don't have to do the whole history thing." And then we went on with the conversation.

That question is such a landmine. As irritating as it is being asked by a single man, it's just as bad when others roll up on you. One of my Mom's friends never misses an opportunity to exclaim (loudly), "Baby, you ain't married yet? You modern girls just don't need nobody." Le Sigh with gritted teeth. It's almost as irritating as when someone asks (in shocked voice), "You ain't got no kids? At your age?!" Laser beam side eye. Would it be better if I was married and divorced three times over with five kids? I somehow think not.

I remember I once asked one guy why he was still single only to have him say, "Oh I'm not." ______________ <~~ Flatline. There nothing to be revived after that. I remember one guy asking me The Question on a day when I just wasn't feeling it. I over shared in the hopes that he would hear my many BougieTales of Woe and run in the opposite direction. He didn't but he should have. Remind me to tell ya'll the story of Bradley & Buppie Bougie Backlash one day. Moving on…

Here's the dilemma to answering this question:

  1. Haven't found the right man yet leads to "Well what are you looking for?"
  2. Been concentrating on my career leads to "So you put your job ahead of a man?"
  3. Just had a lot going on leads to "Do you even have time in your life for a man right now?"
  4. Just got out of a long-term relationship leads to "So what happened?"
  5. I don't know why I'm single, if I knew I wouldn't be leads to **crickets**
  6. Because I killed the last guy who asked me that question and he's buried in my backyard by the rose bushes… well that just leads to jail time.

I wonder – is there a good answer to this question? (I know there's a bad one or two) How much history do you need to share in the answer of that question? Why even ask? Once you confirm the single status… how much more do you need to know? I'm just curious as to how others handle this question… the floor is yours.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Catching up on my Bougie Movie Reviews: “Death at a Funeral” “The Losers” and “Iron Man 2”

For once, I'm actually attempting to keep up with movies instead of playing catch up on cable twelve months later. So I've been to a few this spring. Here are my quick thoughts:

Death at a Funeral was chock full of way too many black "comedy" movie stereotypes. You'll notice I put comedy in quotes. To name a few overused bits: 2 brothers feuding, overdramatic mama playing favorites. Down low dude, midlife crisis guy hitting on young chick, angry "little" person, grumpy old man, toilet jokes (particularly nasty), hapless drug dealer, accidentally high guy, token white dudes, impatient minister… I could go on but I won't.

Synopsis (from MovieFone): Frank Oz's 2007 black comedy Death at a Funeral is given the remake treatment with an urban spin in this Chris Rock-produced production. When a dysfunctional clan reunites to mourn the passing of the family patriarch, a respectful funeral quickly turns into an all-out fiasco marked by bitter resentment, blackmail attempts, and scandalous revelations. Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan (three very funny men) are completely underutilized in this film.

Grade: 1.5 out of 5

Iron Man 2 was 40 minutes too long. It is at times amusing, at times action-packed, at times dragging and many, many times overdone… in my humble opinion. I liked Iron Man and was looking forward to this sequel. I felt they tried to put too much (and alternately not enough) into this film. But I love Don Cheadle and he was GI Joe all the way in this one… oh, that's a different film? At times it didn't feel like it. Congrats to the wardrobe designer. You could not get Gwyneth Paltrow or Scarlett Johansson into tighter clothes or more useless shoes. They looked good, if a little starved for breath and sustenance. Suspension of disbelief is needed early and often.

Synopsis (from MovieFone): Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, the wealthy playboy whose exploits as Iron Man are now public knowledge after his admission at the close of the first film. In the follow-up, Stark is pitted against his Russian arch nemesis, Whiplash (Mickey Rourke), and corporate rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell). Also making their Marvel debuts are Scarlett Johansson as the sexy Russian spy Black Widow, and Don Cheadle, who takes over the role of Colonel James Rhodes from Terrence Howard.

Grade: 3 out of 5

The Losers was an amazing, fast-paced humor-filled action film from start to finish. I loved, loved, loved it. Oh, did I mention that I loved it? I didn't expect a lot but it delivered over and above. Spectacularly cast and beautifully filmed, you are sucked in from the first scene and are sad to see the film end. The good thing is they set up for the sequel. I didn't know it was a comic franchise until the opening and they really did a great job of making it feel like a fast flip through a comic book. I also appreciated not understanding exactly who was a good guy or a bad guy until near the end. Oh and the entire cast spent much time in the gym… much time. Zoe Saldana brought some sizzle I didn't know she had. I can't hate on a girl that makes cargo pants, tank top and a ponytail look awesome. Plus she kicked much ass. Go girl.

Synopsis (from MovieFone): The Losers are a team of mercenaries who wage war on the CIA after they're double-crossed in the field and left to die. Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short), and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) were on a black-ops mission in the Bolivian jungle when rogue CIA agent Max (Jason Patric) hung them out to dry. After beating the odds and surviving their ordeal, the team decides to strike back against Max even if it means sacrificing their own lives to do so. Aiding them on their treacherous suicide mission is sexy operative Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who has her own reasons for wanting to see Max get his just deserts. But getting to Max won't be easy, because in addition to having the CIA on his side, he's about to spark a war that could plunge the entire globe into chaos. Their time quickly running out as Max's plan kicks into overdrive, the Special Forces unit that everyone assumed dead arms themselves to the teeth and prepares to strike back with a vengeance.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

So my recommendations – Hold off on Death at a Funeral until cable, do not go see The Losers before you see Iron Man 2. The pacing from one movie to the next is stark (no pun intended) and disappointing. Even if you are not a action film lover (like BougieOlderSis), you'll still like The Losers. Next up? I think Robin Hood (or as we are calling it, Gladiator in Tights). Thoughts, comments, agree/disagree?

The constant struggle for grown-up-ness

There's a certain age beyond which people rarely think childish behavior is cute or acceptable. There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to pull up the big boy/girl pants/panties and walk/talk like a grown person with sense in their head. I believe this is truth in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Don't we all know at least one (or ten) people who needed grown fourteen yesterdays ago? We've talked about characteristics of grown-up-ness before. I'm not sure why we think that as we mature, we are suddenly bestowed with wisdom and grace and all manner of maturity… it's work (sometimes hard work) to be a pleasant responsible citizen. Here are a few things I must confess that I still struggle to master:

Patience – Kids are allowed to be impatient. My 3 year old BougieNephew will cut a fool if he's hungry/sleepy/bored and there's no quick fix to these problems in front of him. He will repeat "I hungy. I hungy. I hungy." until someone places food in front of him. For a child it's very cut and dried. I need something now so I yell for it now. I have to secretly laugh when I tell him, "Can you ask me politely?" And while wailing impatience is not the greatest thing to witness from a chile… on a grown assed person foot-stomping and carrying on until you get your way is seriously frowned upon.

I have been cursed with zero patience. I mean none. I've learned to fake it and I've learned some tolerance but honestly, if I said what I actually thought even half of the time… well, let's just say it would be epic. The number of times when I would love to fall out and throw a tantrum with my lip stuck out saying, "I want it now!" well… let's just move on.

My impatience often manifests itself because I hate to wait. Hate. To. Wait. Waiting in lines I wonder where is the process improvement and why would anyone get in line to check out without double checking that they had sufficient payment first? What I say is, "No problem, I don't mind." Waiting in traffic I wonder why people with cars that they know are going to breakdown when the thermostat tops 90 even bother to put their rust buckets out there? But what I say is, "Can I call someone for you?" If someone tells me to be somewhere at 8:00, I call if it's going to be later than 8:05. I give everyone a five minute window. Nowadays with texting and twitter and cell phones, there's no excuse (unless you are sick or dying) not to let someone know if you're running late.

I also find that my patience threshold for rampant ignorance/stupidity/bullshiggity gets lower every year. I used to pray for patience all the time. When no more was forthcoming, I just prayed that I not cut a fool holding onto what little patience I have.

Not giving a damn – I'm getting better at this. It used to be that I was infused with empathy and sympathy for everybody's plights and pitfalls. Now… not as much. But I still haven't mastered the art of flat out not caring what people do, how they think, why they're mad why they don't agree with my impeccable logic or how I'm not one of their favorite people in the world. I just don't get how that's possible (yes, I'm joking). I've definitely developed a thicker skin as far as things people (who know nothing about me) say about me. My book? Well, I'm figuring out that everybody's a critic. And I do mean everybody. But as long as they bought it and read it to criticize… I'm okay with that too.

I actually have Twitter to thank for pumping up my Gibbadamness. (Just made it up) Having random folks call you everything but a child of God makes you develop selective hurt feelings. That tweet bounces off, that one stung a little. That one? Well, blocked. Onto da next. As BougieMom says, "Sometimes you just can't give flipping fig. Life is too short."

Stubbornness – The trick to this one is to disguise it as determination and stick-to-itiveness. Then it's an admirable trait and one that won't drive folks around you crazy. Once I get something in my head, once I back something, once I believe that something is worth my time, I'm all in. Not to the point of blind faith but definitely in a protective, why-don't-you-see-what-I-see kind of way. I could blame it on my inner Capricorn or just admit that I'm a stubborn kind of gal. It takes a minute to get my head turned to the left if I'm already facing right. Which kind of segues into my next one…

Knowing when to give up graciously – Hmm, thinking about this one now, I realize that it's really a combination of the above three issues. Impatience, giving too much of a damn and being too stubborn to back down mix together and evolve into a struggle to be gracious in defeat. This one I fake extraordinarily well. I'm actually fiercely competitive (family of four kids) and quite positive I'm right most of the time. This is why I rule in Scrabble. This is why I was good to let my nieces and nephews win on the Wii until they started talking smack. Then they had to be taught a lesson. (It was for their own good. Don't smack-talk Aunt Chele). Moving on…

So when I lose or have to admit that *gasp* I was wrong, it chafes yet I do it with southern honeyed charm. Doesn't mean I have to like it. Actually, typing this up I can say that I probably hung into some of my relationships and friendships a sconch (ya'll know what a sconch is) too long. Learning to cut my losses and get out while the getting is good is one of those lessons I have to keep learning.

Not sure what prompted this post today maybe just a few things on my mind. So I ask you, Bougieland – are there elements of grown-up-ness you struggle to achieve (and master)? The floor is yours.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I see Black People (on TV)... on a Major Network (not cable)! Pinch Me.

Fresh off a whole lotta FAIL, NBC tries to regain a li'l sumthin' sumthin' by putting some black folks in the fall line-up. I already know not to fall in love with anything… networks have a nasty habit of giving up on a series in no time flat. Maybe next fall they'll just cut broadcast midway through the pilot and show the peacock with it's nose in the air with the print reading "Sorry, I'm not Feeling It." Or maybe just something like this:

Moving on. (I might be a little bitter)

First up is Undercovers (get it – undercover and under the covers? Le Sigh with rolling eyes), starring Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as married former CIA agents called back into action. Peep the clip:

Produced and written by JJ Abrams (Lost and Fringe), I'm certain this clip doesn't showcase all the sizzly banter and heart-pounding drama we're supposed to witness. I'll just have to give it a shot and see.

Next is The Event. Blair Underwood is The President (yes, of the United States of these here Americas). "The Event" is a thriller chronicled from multiple points of view that centers on Sean (Jason Ritter), a regular man fighting his way through the mysterious circumstances of a conspiracy to assassinate the U.S. president. This show is being described as the new "24" – let's take a look, shall we?

Well now, that's a whole lot going on right there. Again, I'll just have to see. This one is put together by different folks behind Eureka and Medium so I'm sure we can expect a little bit of "supernatural woo-woo." <~~technical writing term.

In additional news, Shonda Rhimes' new medical drama Off the Map has been picked up by ABC for the fall. It centers on a team of medical professionals who flee the U.S. to work at a clinic on a tropical island and will star Jason George (current love interest of Miranda Bailey on Grey's Anatomy... we can assume that romance is not going to turn out so well).

At any rate, hip-hop hurray for employed black actors. (even if it's only temporarily)

SO... what do you think? Are you going to watch any of these?

New for the S.No.B. (So Not Bougie) Files

It's been a minute since I nominated some S.No.B.-worthy stuff but a few things I have witnessed simply must be put in the files. For those not in the know - from time to time my bougie sensibilities are trampled on mercilessly. These are things that I find So Not Bougie; I feel compelled to call them out. Check this list out and tell me if you agree:

  1. Hey sister-girl in the Whole Foods store last week! What's up!? This here is the Bou-Gie part of town. (capital B, capital G) This here is the Whole Foods Market, not the Piggly-Wiggly. This is PLANO, sweetheart. We don't wear rollers and bathrobes to the grocery store at noon. No we don't, not even over a sports bra and lace leggings. (???) Good look upping your shoe game with the five inch fire engine red suede platform peep toes… really made a statement with the tiger print robe and lavender rollers. I was so very tempted to ask you where you came from and where you were going next. You bought a bottle of sparkling moscato, six-layer chocolate cake, blackened salmon and green beans with almonds from the deli… so maybe it was date night? No excuse ma'am, big scarf and sweats please and thank you.

  2. Dear dude that I am not in contact with and haven't spoken to in months (you know who you are), please don't wake me up with a text message telling me you miss one of my lady-parts. What's that about? What did you seriously think I would have to say about that at 7:12am on a Saturday morning? That's actually quite insulting the more I think about it. You don't miss me but a part of me? Hmm… that clearly lets me know where your priorities lie. You can count on that particular part of me remaining a memory. Oh and by the way: FAIL. And go away.

  3. Random guy yapping about business in the line at the bank: When I ask for your business card and you hand me a Hello Kitty post-it note (cut crookedly with scissors) with your name typewritten (yes, typewritten) on it – that's not acceptable. It's really not. If you don't have business cards (you can get 250 for free at Vistaprint), you should just say "I don't have one with me" and then write your name and number down. That way I never have to look at you sideways for thinking a Hello Kitty post-it is business-appropriate. By the way, sir – what are you doing with Hello Kitty post-it notes anyway?

  4. To the lady I met in the movie theater yesterday. I understand we're in a recession and you didn't want to pay $12.75 for a small popcorn and two sips of Coca-Cola… I really get that. Bringing in the big tote with provisions is actually kind of enterprising. Had you brought a microwave bag of popcorn and a can of coke, I could cosign on that. But do you think it was appropriate to smuggle in a three-piece dinner from Popeye's? With a full-size bottle of Louisiana hot sauce? And a full-size bottle of honey? Plus the entire roll of paper towels? Okay, fine – perhaps you were hungry and wanted to get your grub on and clean up afterwards. But ur, um – the wine bottle? With an extra-long Slurpee straw hanging out? While I appreciated that you offered me "a sip", I have to report you to the S.No.B. Committee. And the slice of pecan pie was over the top. Way over the top.

  5. Last but not least - a special hat tip to you Mr. Criminal Mastermind at the Starbucks. Mr. Clever was apparently feenin' for some bougie coffee. Instead of buying some, he waited until someone's Venti Extra Hot Triple Latte was placed on the counter and tried to grab it and hotfoot out the door. When confronted by the fact that his name was not Mac and the steaming coffee in his hand did not belong to him, he refused to let the Venti cup go. He gripped it so hard that the top popped off, sloshing extra hot coffee down his front apparently landing on his sensitive manly bits. This is a coffee shop sir; there were not one, not two but THREE cops watching the whole thing. When I left (laughing) he had an ice pack pressed to his privates and was whining about a "grave misunderstand". Was it worth it, sir?

That's all I've got for the S.No.B. this time around. Any glaring violations of the Bougie Code you'd like to share? Any thoughts, comments, cackles at these I've named? The floor is yours…

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Good News Story: Florida bus driver makes reading FUNdamental

Meet Rosemary Peterson, fondly known as Miss Kookyi to her students. This Florida school bus driver got fed up with the her students' tomfoolery and found a smart way to handle it. From NBC Nightly News:

When Rosemary Peterson, a Florida bus driver, grew frustrated with the constant fighting and misbehaving that was taking place on her bus, she came up with an extraordinary idea. Peterson decided to use the elementary school students' energetic, competitive spirit to help the children practice reading with reading competitions. Now, her bus is as quiet as a library, with students studying the books they will write book reports about in order to win prizes from their beloved driver.

Now THAT's what I'm talking about. BougieMom used to "punish" us by making us checkout books from the library and write book reports on them. And they had to be a certain number of words, turned in on time and typewritten. Sometimes old school is the best school. You cannot go wrong teaching a love of books. Who knows how many young minds Miss Kookyi is shaping just driving that bus. Hat tip to you Ms. Peterson.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bougie Movie Review: “Just Wright”

I'm confused… I read all of these reviews about "Just Wright" being just okay and Common being terrible and the chemistry being off… I didn't see that. I bought Common as an NBA player much more than I bought Adam Sandler as an NFL quarterback. I thought their chemistry was fine. Especially during the scene at The Rucker and at the jazz club. It worked for me. Of course, I went in expecting a cute, basic romantic comedy with sports elements. That's what I got.

I would've liked to see a few more things fleshed out. That might be the writer in me. I wanted to understand what was up with Paula Patton's character… you don't get that shallow and clueless overnight. What was up with Pam Grier's character that she wasn't repping hard for her own daughter? Where were the rest of Common's character's friends? Every baller I ever met has at least one homeboy from back in the day that dishes it to them straight, where was that guy?

No it was not ground-breaking originality nor were there mesmerizing performances. But Common held his own, Queen La did her thing and the supporting (with the exception of Patton) was strong and well-cast. By now you all have heard the plotline – Leslie Wright, a physical therapist and basketball fan, runs into Scott Wright – an all-star player for the New Jersey Nets at a gas station. They strike up a conversation and he invites her to his birthday party. She attends and brings her god-sister/play cousin Morgan Alexander. Morgan immediately runs game on Scott and he falls for it. They become a couple while Leslie looks in, used to being cast in the role as the "gal-pal" forever consigned to the Friend Zone.

Mehcad Brooks (as the teammate), Phylicia Rashad (as Scott's Mom), Pam Grier (as Leslie's Mom) and James Pickens Jr (as Leslie's Dad) are completely underutilized but still add the right touch to their roles. James Pickens Jr (of Grey's Anatomy fame) does a particularly touching job as Leslie's dad, advocate and hapless handyman.

Scott gets hurt during the All-Star game, Leslie steps in to rehab him and Morgan flees not wanting to get stuck with a "B" player. With Morgan's bubble fake persona out of the way, Leslie and Scott develop a friendship and eventually take it to the next level. From there it's all redemption and choices. Will Scott ever play again, will he get a new contract, will he choose Leslie or Morgan, and is there a happily ever after in there?

The movie is worth a look even if you do nothing else but support African American artists, directors and theatre. For me, I liked it. I thought it was cute and it left me with the same "Aww" feeling that I expect from rom-coms. I gave it 3.5 purple sandals out of 5.

Who has seen it? What did you think? NO SPOILERS PLEASE!

Saturday Video Shout-Out: Hello, Good Morning

Okay let's clear a few things up... I like this song. It's a great song to work out to. I really like TI's section, he's doing his thing. However, I don't understand why the group is called Diddy Dirty Money. I don't understand the purpose of Rick Ross (who is not on the version I downloaded). I don't understand why Diddy is sorta singin' and then decides to break out his own whickety wack rap. Why is Diddy wearing a lower grill. Isn't he 40? How could no one have told him that he can't dance anymore? He kind of strolls around and breaks off half a kick step in front of the girls. The one girl is Dawn from the former group Danity Kane (which Diddy ruined) but who is the other chick?

I also don't understand what the temperature is. In one scene old girl has on a fur vest with leggings. In another she has on drawers and ribbon boots. Is it hot or cold outside? Yo no comprendo or for your French speakers Je ne comprends pas or for the Ebonic among us - I ain't get it. The video is extremely slick looking (as are all of Hype Williams videos) but this one is a Sean John/Ciroc/Whatever kinda car that is commercial... unabashedly.

I still like the song right up until the strange gratuitous I am Diddy still trying to rap and dance moment around the 3:30 mark. Any thoughts? Any new music you're really feeling right now?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wrapping up Questions for the Ladies Week: Worst of the rest

Usually, I would do the "Best of Rest" to wrap up Questions for the Ladies Week but some of the questions sent in were so very terrible that I had to share the worst. And these are bad. No offense to the guys that sent these in. I suspect that you are going through some things with your current S.O. and I apologize on behalf of all womanhood for that. Without further ado… here are the worst of the rest.

  1. What does it mean when a woman goes silent?
  2. What is the best pick up line you ever heard?
  3. If I say I love you and you don't say it back, what does that mean?
  4. What attracts you to that "bad boy" type?
  5. What is the best way to approach a woman about having a threesome? Or some other sex act she may not normally perform?
  6. Can you just fall back and let me be the man, please?

We touched on these on the radio show Wednesday night. If you missed the show, check it out. But here's the basic consensus of what we said:

Answer 1 ~ It means something is very, very wrong. When a woman can't even be bothered to put the words together to tell you how ticked off she is… that's bad.

Answer 2 ~ We don't like lines. Smile, walk over and introduce yourself. That works. Tell us we're pretty (in a good way not a 'hope to see you naked' way)

Answer 3 ~ Could mean many things. Could mean I don't love you back. Could mean I don't love you yet. What's the context? When are you saying it? How long have you known the person you are saying it to?

Answer 4 ~ I'll have to defer to someone else. I tried dating a bad boy once for prom (after my original date back out one week earlier). It was exciting right until the moment he pulled my mother's car up in front of a crackhouse to pick up some money for dinner. Um, yeah – he's still in jail. No more bad boys for me. Now if you're talking about men with confidence

Answer 5 ~ O__o <~~That's a side-eye. Seriously? Know who you got. If you have a woman open to that sort of thing, you already knowing. If you don't… you know that too.

Answer 6 ~ This is my favorite terrible question of the week. I have to assume that the person who sent this in is having a helluva time with the woman in his life. The easy answer is yes. The next answer is – many of us are dying for you to step up and be the man. The complex answer is actually a question – when you say "be the man" what exactly does it mean? Again, we need more context.

BougieLand – thanks for your input this week. Any comments, answers, thoughts or prayers about these raggedy questions and the week on the whole? The floor is yours.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Question for the Ladies: What’s with the game playing?

Continuing Question for the Ladies Week, it appears that there are still some women out there playing games and scotching it up for the straight-shooting sisters. Le Deep Sigh. I'm not going to sit here and say I never played games; I'm going to say it's been awhile. Moving on… The questions on this topic were as follows:
  1. How should men know when a woman is interested?
  2. Why accept a date when you're not interested?
  3. Why string us along if you've already put us in the friend zone?
  4. We get that "no means no" but when everything else you've done all night screams yes – what's with the last minute no?
  5. Why can't women ever say what they really mean?
I really don't want to project this back onto you fellas but from this week's questions and comments – I implore you to start seeking out a better class of female. No that's not all I have to say… let's get it started.
Answer 1 ~ She'll smile at you. She'll approach you. She'll tell you. If she smiles, approaches and tells you – you're all good. Check the various non-verbal signals. Is she happy to see you, takes your phone calls, answers your texts, making an effort to be around you, talk to you, trying to be up in your personal space? She's interested.
Answer 2 ~ Fellas, if this is happening to you, I'm sorry. This means she wasn't sure she was feeling you and decided to "test drive" you or her first choice date fell through and she wanted to go out. Sorry. It's true.
Answer 3 ~ The same reason you put us in the friend zone it's a "Save for Later" place where we can keep an eye on you. According to Chris Rock: A platonic friend to a woman is like “a d*** in a glass case. In case of emergency, break open glass.” We've talked about the friend zone, if you want out... make a move.
Answer 4 ~ This question is disturbing on a lot of levels. No means no regardless of what we've said and done. I'm going over in my mind what a woman could do that "screams yes" and I've decided I don't want to know. Just expect that the answer is no until it's yes. That way it's a pleasant surprise.
Answer 5 ~ I can't answer this one. I'm a shoot from the hip, card on the table girl. I need a man to understand me so I make it plain and repeat it. If you have a woman who is talking in circles, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but talking ain't one. <~~ Okay, that was flippant. (though a great Jay-Z reference) I've had wine. Let me get ya'll an answer...

I'm going to turn this over to BougieLand:
Fellas – Are you finding that a lot of women play games? If so, what kinds and how do you deal with it?
Ladies – Your take on any (or all) of the five questions above? We still game-playing in 2010?
The floor is yours…

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

For every @HillHarper, there are 39 taco-eatin’ Pookies & Ray-Nays – Do we know a “Good Man” when we see one?

By now, you probably heard the infamous story from Nightline Face/Off where it was revealed that Sherri Shepherd met Hill Harper years ago at a Taco Bell and blew him off. And shame on her for not recognizing the potential and hustle in a bus-pass-totin' 99-cent-taco eatin' brother with a cute smile. Um-hmm. Let me get to the point.

This week is Questions for the Ladies week and I received a whole flurry of self-righteous, indignant questions about why sisters can't SEE the potential in a brother. Matter of fact, one dude wrote in all caps, wouldn't it be fair to say that we (the sisters) would not know a "good man" if he came up and smacked us in the face with a letter of reference signed and sealed by Barack and Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou and Jesus Christ put together. Setting aside the improbability of any man possessing such a letter (but if you do, holla at me) and setting aside the fact that a "good man" would not have smacked us in the face with anything… let me say – let's get ready to rumble.

I have to preface my responses by reminding the readership that this here is the Black 'n BOUGIE blog. Not Black 'n On the Corner of the Block, not Black 'n In Yo Mama's Basement, not Black 'n Still Aspiring to Rap at age 40. No sir… this is Black 'n Bougie. If that makes me stuck up and siddity in your eyes, alrighty then. So no, I may not see your potential immediately if you're not in the geographic location or exterior packaging that I'm used to. Doesn't mean I won't see it… means I don't see it at a glance.

Next – Hill Harper is the Bougie Mascot. His parents are doctors and old boy is triple (yes triple) degreed. He has multiple revenue streams, a retirement plan and the ear of movers & shakers nationwide. Okay? Don't play us like the next Hill Harper is hanging out at every Taco Bell waiting on the hook-up. Sherri's flaw was that she didn't ask the first five Bougie Screening questions: Where are you from? Who are your people? What do you do? Why are you doing it? What's next for you? Guarantee if she'd heard the answers to those questions, she'd have hopped on the LA Metro bus right beside him and rolled out.

Today's Questions for the Ladies – Would you recognize potential in a man? Do we know what a "good man" looks like?

Answer 1 ~ Some of us would, some of us wouldn't. The broader issue being… how long would a woman wait on potential? I, for example, am over 35. The men I meet should be on the path of their chosen life plan. If they were sidetracked, they need to have another plan in place. It's not going to be a comfortable situation for me to date a 40 y/o who is still finding himself, living on someone's couch, or has no clue how to be a grown up. Someone needed to catch me in my 20s for all that. A woman in her twenties will no doubt have more tolerance for the lack of life plan than I do.

Answer 2 ~ Every woman is going to have a different definition of what a "good man" is. Sure we'll agree on the four cornerstones: Considerate, caring, compassionate and capable of honesty. That's just a foundation. Others are going to want to add in things that they need – some women may need a supportive man, a Christian man, a protective man, the list is endless. But if the question is do we know if someone is "good for us" right off the bat? The only answer I have for you is… some do and some don't.

Let me share a recent BougieTale:

For the record, I have NO issue with men who work with their hands. Honest hard day's work with the sweat of his brow, putting his back into it… um, let me leave that analogy right there. The point is… I've always considered myself an equal opportunity dater. When I said this out loud to a group of close friends, they fell out (one literally on the floor trying not to pee her pants) with laughter. "Sure you believe in equal opportunity – if his bank balance, resume, height and personality equal what you're used to." Le Boo to them. Just Le Freakin' Boo. For those of you who have hung out in BougieLand, I have chronicled (sometimes in painful detail) my attempts at dating "outside the box."

By outside the box, I refer to that which is not my norm or my comfort level. Some folks call it a "wheelhouse". Anyway, I tweeted a few weeks back about the Terminix man giving me his phone number. Yes, literally the dude who came to the door to spray for spiders. As he was leaving he handed me the invoice and then handed me a business card and let me know he'd be interested in seeing me on a personal level. He caught me completely off-guard but he was well-spoken and gorgeous (I'm talking fyyine) so I said why not. I received 19 tweets back telling me to give the Terminix man a shot. One from none other than Mr. Harper himself asking if dude seemed ambitious. I agreed to at least call and find out the basics. I called him the next day, it was a nice conversation. Lots of light-hearted back and forth. I did some minor interrogatory work and agreed to meet him for coffee that weekend.

We met for coffee and I'm not sure what happened to the guy I chatted with on the phone. The guy seated across from me talked about the principles of extermination for 40 minutes straight. Granted he looked real purdy while he talked but he was still going in on the intricacies of depopulating a termite colony. Believe me, I tried to steer the conversation in other directions but what even my best segue from wasps' nests to "What do you watch on TV?" started this dude on a tangent about "Billy the Exterminator" on A&E. I have no snappy, witty repartee after you tell a story about Billy chasing rats. I got nothing.

YET AND STILL! I knew that he was better than that. He had been better than that on the phone. I assumed he got nervous, wasn't a good first date guy and so when he asked me to the movies a few days later, I said "Sure." This guy had to be more than beautiful smiles, bulging biceps and bugs. He just had to be…

Long story short – he's great on the phone. On the phone he was expressive and funny, able to articulate plans and dreams, tell jokes, swap anecdotes. In person – nothing. I've never seen anything like it. Made me wonder if there was a twin answering the calls and a different twin coming out on dates. When I asked him about it he said he sometimes had a problem being himself. I think this guy could be great for someone. I don't know if it's me. I need the face-to-face sizzle/sparkle/zing. I don't know if he'll get that way with time and ease or what. Truthfully, I don't know what to do with that. And until I do, he's a phone pal.

I tell this BougieTale to say… potential is just that. It'll only get you so far and then you need to deliver. You may be a "good man" that doesn't necessary make you good for me. So all the semi-bitter "why don't you women recognize" rants I received?? To this I say, you haven't found the right woman yet. There is a woman who will think you are the hottest thing smoking and she won't know how she ever lived without you? You only need one… right?

I don't know, maybe some women don't know a "good man" when they see one… but they can surely spot a really bad one a mile away. Let me also send a stern side-eye to the ladies talking about "I just want a good man" – no, you don't. Quit saying that. If that's "all" you wanted, you'd be 10 years into marriage to whatshisname down the block who smiled at you in high school. Let's just put the notion that a "good man" is all we want.

And on that note, BougieLand:

Fellas, are women not seeing your potential? If not, why not? Do you consider yourself to be a "good man"? What is the best quality about you that screams "I'm good"?

Ladies, how much patience do you have for potential? Ambition in progress? Hustle on the come up? Name a few characteristics you would hope to find in a "good man".

We're going in! The floor is yours…


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