Saturday, July 31, 2010

RWNTD*: A Look Back

Well BougieLand, that was quite interesting this week. I appreciate almost all the comments and interaction. I'll try and have at least one more Relationship Week before year end. I can't do them too often, you guys will get spoiled and people get all worked up. Plus, I keep swearing that this is not a relationship blog. *crickets* Whatever.

Here are a couple polls for your enjoyment and a musical reminder. 

Just so we end on an upbeat note, here's a little Al Green for you. Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, July 30, 2010

RWNTD*: Doing too much

Let me share this letter from a gent we'll call Tired Dude and then we'll chat about it:
Dear Chele,
I know I’m going to sound selfish but hear me out - my girlfriend is trying too hard. Or as you like to say, she’s doing too much. Dropping by on the way to work to bring me a breakfast biscuit is great. Driving 32 miles to bring me a four course meal in the middle of the day when I told her I was going to be in meetings? Too much.
She texts at least twenty times a day. Calls just to "check in", shows up at my job, at the gym, at my house unannounced and uninvited. Given a chance I would invite her along but I don't get a chance to miss her. She is pressed! If I post something on Facebook she comments and likes it to death. She tweet-stalks me… I can’t breathe. Can I give you some of the backstory?
We met over a year ago, introduced by friends. In the beginning, all was well. She was a sweet girl, I’m a nice guy. We hit it off, talked, and laughed. Had things in common. Somewhere around the one year mark (two months ago) something got strange. She started being clingy and needy.
This may be TMI but she is wearing me out. Like everything has to be on and perfect, she’s pulling out sex tricks I’ve never even heard of and some I never wanted to. Sorry but it’s not fun when someone is trying that hard. I’ve tried to talk to her about just easing up a little bit. She cried and asked me what she was doing wrong. After that I just shut up. I don't want to break up with the her she was before her crazy alter ego took over.
Today, I came home from work and she had the landlord let her in so she could wash my clothes and clean the apartment. Not that I'm not appreciative but I'm looking for the bunny on the back burner next. 
Have any insights for me? A brother is tired.
I can actually empathize with his dilemma. In a similar scenario, I once dated a brother that stayed pressed. Like calling twice an hour, coming over and sitting right under me for hours, wanted to hold hands 24/7, all up in my personal space... I'm just not that clingy. He actually said, "I need us to share every thought and deed." Yeah, um - I needed space. It ended badly. I blogged about it in a tragic TapBack Post. So yes Tired Dude, I've been there.

Here's the deal, Tired Dude. First of all, respect for the Fatal Attraction bunny reference. Your girl "will not be ignored!" [apologies] Long story short, TD:  She wants a commitment, probably a ring. You passed the magic "12-month" time period and she wants to lock it down. Unfortunately, she's been brainwashed into thinking she can cook, clean, cling and coochie her way into Mrs. Tired Dude status. You're going to have to tell her (not ask her) to fall back and let you breathe.

Maybe if you let her know what your "future intentions" are for your relationship, she'll calm down. (Provided she's in your plans.) Sometimes the uncertainty mixed with the biological time clock can make a woman a little crazy. Have a little patience but be firm about what you want and what you're thinking. Sounds like she'll cry but you'll have to put the foot down and let her know she has got to stop being so "thirsty". Though I don't believe in ultimatums - she needs one: Back up or be gone. Chill or check out. Then I'd give her a little (very little) time to readjust the cling-factor. Let us know how it goes.

Don't know why I remember this but way back in the day, Brandy (the singer) had a reality show about her pregnancy on MTV. Her baby daddy (producer Robert Smith) was bailing on her all the time to go play ball (or whatever) with his boys. Brandy stood in the driveway screaming, "You'll be back jocking as soon as I'm fine again. You'll be back!" That threw me. And it applies to this post - she was just a little too thirsty in that relationship.

As a matter of fact, people - stop doing too much. Take two steps back from your S.O.'s breathing space and do you for a second. Trust if the relationship has any kind of staying power, they'll holla. Fellas you don't have to call/text fifteen times. We got the first message, we'll get back to you. Ladies, you don't have to pull out the whole bag of tricks to lock a brother down. If a man is into you, he's into you. If he's not, hanging sparklers out of your vijayjay isn't going to help. NO, not even if you serve him a perfectly grilled steak first.

Stop tricking for treats, please people. Get some pride about yourself. Be you and if that's not enough for your S.O. - you're with the wrong person.

Bougie out, ya'll. What cha got for Tired Dude and folks that are doing too much? Thoughts, insights, comments? The floor is yours.

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not to Do - Hope you enjoyed the week!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

RWNTD*: Get Real Already: Don't Date what you can't deal with

My blog cousin Slim Jackson wrote a post over at Three Ways To Take It on women who do not appreciate the random small gestures that men make. He felt that some women expected men to jump through hoops for their love. And he further goes on to say that it's really hard for men to even remember to make that effort because they are so caught up in their day to day lives. 
The effort isn’t because we’re reluctant. It’s because sometimes we get caught up in the flow of life and forget. Other times we don’t do things simply because we know that within hours, the gesture will be forgotten because it’s expected or because shorty got used to the small acts. I know women that have dated really nice guys who did stuff for them all the time, but let that dude mess up once. There’s a chance she’d hold whatever he did over his head for 6 months to a year despite everything else. I can speak to this because I’ve been that guy multiple times before.
First of all, that's a trifling chick who can't break off a "thank you baby" on the regular. Second of all, I absolutely do not cosign that it's so very cumbersome for men to remember to do nice things. Quite truthfully if a man slaps a post-it note on the mirror once a week saying "Love ya Babe!" - a woman is over the moon. How hard is that? Moving on.

Maybe it's just me but I'm that girl who appreciates the small everyday things as opposed to the grand gestures. I actually teared up one time when an S.O. brought me some yogurt and a bottled water. The thing is, for whatever reason, I don't expect a whole lot. Love me, respect and appreciate me, talk to me, listen to me like you give a damn, be an emotional support. I'll do the same. Everything else is frosting on the relationship cake.

Without getting into a whole "who are these women and why are you dating them" swirl, let me address a broader issue... it's time to get real about relationship expectations.

I have to be with a considerate talker so I date men who communicate. I made a conscious decision that it's more important for the man I date to be considerate, a listener, and a gentleman rather than fine, successful and fly. I just happen to be lucky enough to be dating someone who is all of that but this is like my 212th time at bat. (translation - I've done my time knocking it out of the park in the minors, it was time I reaped the rewards of the big show and made the All-Star Team. If you don't know baseball lingo, that went right past you)

My point is if you want a woman to appreciate you... date an appreciative woman. What's more important - that you have the shiniest dime or a dame who loves your dirty drawers? Who's to say you won't find both?

Women keep talking about how they want to get married and then they date completely unmarriageable men. Men that are already married, determined to stay single or just not suitable. How's that gonna work?

Don't date what you can't deal with. It's just that simple. Gents, if you don't want a gold-digger, stop trying to attract women with your income. Ladies, if you don't want to be treated like the recreational chick, stop passing it out like an all-you-eat buffet. Both guys and girls, if you're not a patient person - why are you with someone who is high-maintenance and needs hand-holding?

I'll wait while you think on that. 

Let's talk for about your "must-have" lists. I have seen both men and women who are completely unreasonable in what they want. Brains, beauty, bank - okay those I expect to see but when you start tacking on specific physical characteristics and the tiniest personality traits... you're doing too much. You really have a six-page list of characteristics Mr. or Mrs. Right must have? C'mon now people... it's not like custom ordering a car, shiny chrome and GPS are nice to have but do you need them? (I'm not even to get into people who expect a platinum platter mate when they are bringing paper plates to the table. Good luck with that.)

Ladies and Gents - understand this. It's rare that your significant other is going to undergo huge transformations in personality. At most, they might change some habits or traits. Usually, you get who you get. If dude is a playa with his d!ck in the streets when you meet him, just assume that's who he's going to be. If a girl is gorgeous but selfish as all hell when you meet her, just assume that's her and know that the gorgeous may not last. 

All of this to say, get your priorities right and chose wisely. Be realistic about what you want versus what you need. And then once you've got that person... know who you've got and don't expect them to be anyone other than who they are. Pick someone you want to be friends with first. 

I'm getting kinda preachy so let me wrap it up. What do you think about small gestures men make? Are people unrealistic with their dating expectations? Have you seen these "must-have" lists, do you have one? How long is it? Ever dated someone you wanted to "change"? How did that work out for ya? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Wrapping up the Week: Doing too Much

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not to Do Week

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

RWNTD*: Who's the rabbit?

Guy wants girl, girl finds out and flings herself at guy. Guy gets what he wants, loses interest moves on. Guy approaches girl, declares his fervent interest, girl takes advantage of all the fervent interest and puts guy in friend zone. Just two examples of stories we've all heard before. What went wrong?

Broken down to the most elemental basics, relationships begin with the chase. Sometimes a short chase, sometimes a long, drawn out exhausting chase where you wonder if the prize is even worth it at the end... but I digress. It's a rabbit hunt if you will. Someone's got to be the hunter, someone's got to be the rabbit.

In a traditional male-female meme... the woman is the rabbit. Let me repeat that for every damn body: The WOMAN is the RABBIT. Not the man. I don't care how many mainstream media outlets try to convince you that there is only one decent heterosexual black male left in the Western Hemisphere. That's no cause to fling your drawers at everything with an XY chromosome. Seriously girls, stop doing the modern equivalent of clubbing men over the head and dragging them back to your lair. 

Ladies, your job is to fluff your tail and present yourself as something the hunter wants to take home and keep. Your job is not to grab the gun and chase the hunter down. It's your forest, run until you get caught. Unless you don't want to be caught, in which case just stay in your hole and make it as comfy as possible. Whatever (this metaphor is killing me).

Simply put - Ladies, quit chasing! It's not attractive, it reeks of desperation and it rarely works. I understand we're all liberated, hear-me-roar and all of that but in my very humble opinion, some traditions need to stay right in place. He is man, you are women... let him come to you. Or at the very least, be slick enough to let him think it was his idea to approach you.

And gents, you don't get off easy here. A friend of mine used to say that when you're hunting and the rabbit comes to you... there's something wrong with that rabbit. Do you really want the rabbit that jumps in the pot and says, "Cook me?" Don't you want to work for it a l'il bit?

You should at least meet half way. And I mean some of you fellas have got to step your chase game up. Smiling at me across a room tells me that you're polite, not that you're interested. The black man head bop as you walk past? Again, that's a greeting not an acknowledged interest. Not trying to be difficult or play hard to get, we ladies just need you fellas to make it plain without being sleazy. "How are you doing today?" Is lovely. "Shake something for me, shawty." Is not. But ya'll already know this. You catch a rabbit with a carrot (or a carat), think on the metaphor.

Agree? Disagree? Do share your thoughts on the chase - and why it gets harder to figure out who's wearing the cottontail and who's dangling the carrot

Tomorrow on BnB: Get real already. Don't date what you can't deal with.

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not To Do

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

RWNTD*: Don’t give a test you’re not sure they’ll pass (pt 2)

Yesterday, we learned about the woman who basically self-sabotaged her relationship trying to run game on her man. Today, let's learn about a man who thought he was running game but in the end... not so much. Let me break down his letter for you:

Bless His Heart Dude (BHD) meets Somewhat Needy Chick (SNC) at church. She is (according to all the church saints) a "good woman" who has just had a few bad breaks in life. Had a baby young, got screwed over (literally and figuratively) by her baby daddy and was working at having that better life. It did not hurt that SNC was bangin' of body and cute of face.

BHD is in his late twenties and tired of that single life. He wants to settle down with a "good woman" and "get on with his grown-up life." He decided to give SNC a try. They dined out and on the first date, she's not quite as "refined" as he would like but he saw through lack of etiquette, diction and table manners to something that both interested him and attracted him.

Fast forward to two months later, BHD moved SNC and baby-SNC into his crib. Now from his letter I can't tell if that was the test or this: He gave SNC a credit card and told her "Use it for emergencies." [pause for the side-eye] He didn't give it another thought. She adored him, was rubbing him the right way and he had an instant family.

What he did think about was the fact that not only was she not a great housekeeper, she's not a great housemate. In fact, she's sloppy and her four year old has picked up the same habits of just leaving things laying around and assuming someone else will clean it up. BHD hired a maid/cook/nanny [do we need to pause again?] and kept rolling. After all, this was a "good woman."

So her round-the-way friends appeared to have set up headquarters at his house and SNC couldn't keep a job, this was what a "grown-up" relationship was about, right? Putting up with the good and the bad?

At least that's what he told himself right up until the credit card company called him at work and asked when he planned to settle the balance on his card. He would pay it off over the phone, he told them - how much was it? $14,632 they told him - which bank account did he want them to take that out of? After his heart started beating again he found out that SNC had not only used the card like her personal checking account but had gone online and transferred money to her personal Paypal account $1000 at a time. She had the billing address and primary phone number changed so he would not get the bills. And she was apparently very fond of a website that overnighted Christian Louboutin shoes direct from France.

He had her and the little one out by week's end. He prepaid a month at an extended stay hotel to get her out. He had to change locks, all of his cards and bank accounts and file a fraud alert. She had opened up a store and gas credit card using his information. She had told people she was his new wife. He said he's still discovering her fraudulent acts.

His question to me was... where did he go wrong?

To which I'm tempted to respond - where did you go right? You got bamboozled by the beauty + booty combination then you moved a virtual stranger and her son into your home. You turned a blind-eye to every flaw. And then you gave this stranger a credit card in your name with a $20,000 credit limit.

Let me ask you this - what was so "good" about her that is PG-rated? She wasn't up to your "refinement" standards, you weren't comfortable with her lifestyle, she was a slob who couldn't cook or keep a job and turned your house into the neighborhood hang-out. She better have been turning you inside out all day everyday. For the record, not everybody who goes to church is a Christian. Next time, I would take things slow. Check some references, keep your credit card (and other things) in your pocket for a minute. And don't let a cute face fool you.

Hmm, just re-read this - am I being too harsh? I should probably be more sympathetic, huh? BougieLand, whatcha got for BHD? Ever been the victim of identity theft from a S.O.? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Tomorrow on BnB: Who's the rabbit?

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not To Do

Monday, July 26, 2010

RWNTD*: Don’t give a test you’re not sure they’ll pass (pt 1)

Normally, I'm a tactful person but I received the most-stupidest (yeah, I said it) letter from a grown woman recently that I simply must point out the rampantly ignorant error of her ways. I'm not going to cut and paste the letter because it was long and painful to read. Let me paraphrase:

Thirty-two year old woman met "good man" also thirty-two years of age. Grown-Ass Woman (GAW) and Grown-Ass Man (GAM) are six months into the dating thing and it's all good. But GAW has doubts, is GAM really all he is cracked up to be? She thinks he's The One but does he feel the same way?

GAW devises a plot [if I soundtracked the blog here's where I would insert the ominous piano chords] to test her man. She enlists a "friend" [the quotes will be self-explanatory shortly] to help her with this test. The plan is for cute sexy friend (CSF) to roll up on GAM and see how he responds. Does he take the bait? Does he flirt? Or more?

To GAM's credit, the first time CSF ran game on him he smiled and politely declined her offer of naked olive oil slip 'n slide and went on about his day. He even went so far into the Good Man Handbook as to tell GAW that some random broad tried to pick him up while he was out drinking with the boys. They laughed about it.

GAW in her infinite ignorance sends CSF after him one mo' gin. He flirts back a little bit longer but sends CSF packing with the specific words, "I'm seeing someone else but I'm flattered." Again, he tells GAW and even says, "Why is this woman so persistent?" GAW answers with a laugh, "I guess she sees something she likes." She calls CSF and tells her to stand down - GAM passed the test and she's satisfied he is a "good man". 

Unbeknownst to GAW, she just hit the nail on the head. CSF did see something she liked... a lot. Having decided that GAM was an awesome catch, CSF went after him with a full scale attack. CSF even used information gleaned from conversations with GAW to hook that man and reel him in. Her intel was apparently considerable. She had that man's head turned around for months. GAW knew something was going on with him but wasn't sure what. CSF's slam dunk move (the one that won the game) was to tell GAM that GAW had sicced her on him but she couldn't do it anymore because she fell in love with him and she couldn't stand to see him deceived. He deserved so much better!

What do you think happened next?! Oh yes, GAM dumps GAW in an angry huff. He and CSF are now engaged to be married. GAW lost her man and her friend. She's spending her free time writing me twelve page emails chock full of bitter expletives about how she's been betrayed.

Sister-girl... betrayed my ass - let me count just some of the ways you JACKED this up yourself:
One - you were happy but you rocked the boat because of your own insecurities
Two - you sent temptation his way. Not once but at least twice.
Three - NEVER tell your girlfriends EVERYTHING about your man. That can bite you in the ass so many ways. 
Four - how good a friend was she if she was willing to go along with this?
Five - True, GAM could've resisted but that's a moot point now, isn't it?

Girl, I'm sorry but you're stupid. Put plain, you let the enemy into your camp having already handed them the blueprint and strategy to get to the prize. WDDDA? No, I'm not absolving your trifling "friend" or your former boyfriend but you have got to see where you brought trouble to your own doorstep. 

For the record ya'll - I don't like "tests" in relationships. I think time, judgment, intuition and observation will tell you what you need to know about someone. What say you, BougieLand? To test or not to test? Any insights on the story I just shared? Would you ever do such a thing? Thoughts, comments?

Tomorrow: Pt 2 of Don't give a test you're not sure they'll pass, a man's story. 

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not to Do

Sunday, July 25, 2010

This week on BnB: Relationship “What Not To Do” Week

Thank you so much to the 112th person who tweeted, emailed and Facebooked me to ask when the next Relationship Week was going to be. Well, here we are. Relationship What Not To Do (RWNTD) Week. We're going to talk about the viability of "testing" your S.O., who should chase whom among other fascinating topics. Drop by and join the discussion.

Disclaimer: I am not a relationship expert not do I care to be. But I've lived and loved and I have eyes, ears, a brain and a keyboard. Let my tragic yet never dull dating history be a lesson (or two) unto all of you. Here endeth the disclaimer.

Bougie Movie Review – Inception

I was forced to flee my house Saturday. It was being over run by youngsters and I just didn't have it in me to be Aunt Chele all day. After treating myself to brunch and a little retail therapy, I decided to take in Inception. My head still hurts... but in a good way. Like my brain had a good workout and just needs to rest for a second.

I'm not going to spoil the plot. I couldn't if I wanted to. It's one of those films you have see to understand. And even then, I'm positive I missed a few things. It is a very smart movie. One of the smartest and slickest I've ever seen. Great cast, any one of which could've carried the film. You don't know who to like or how to feel or what is around the next corner. 

It's not a movie that leads you. You just have to strap in and go along for the ride. And it's quite a thrill ride. It is visually jarring and extremely well scored. You start to associate certain sounds with certain things and you find yourself tensing up. Listen, if you don't like movies where you have to think, keep up and wonder 'what does that mean' several times throughout the film, it's not for you.

It's kind of Matrix meets Sixth Sense in your overly vivid dreams. It's a long film at 148 minutes and somewhere around the two-hour mark you start getting nervous as to how they are going to end the film. When they cut to black you are jarred. "What just happened?" The other movie patrons and I stumbled shell-shocked into the street wondering what to do with our lives... if they are indeed our lives. Who knows? 

All that being said, I loved it. I give it 4.5 sandals. Enjoy... at your own risk. For those that saw it, did you enjoy it? For those that haven't do you plan to?

Commenters... do NOT include spoilers in your remarks, please!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Video Shout-Out: Ne-Yo

Champagne Life by Ne-Yo is a damn catchy-ass song.

Got penthouse property on cloud nine (Oh) 
I got the sun jealous 'cause the way I shine (Oh) 
And reserved for time 'cause that's how I do mine 
Nice meal and a good wine, definition of a good time 
I'm living out my dreams, watching them come true (come true) 
Baby, I'm a boss, I don't know what they do (they do) 
You've put down the ride, come on and I'll take you 

The long version of the video was doing too much so here's the short version. Enjoy.

Does anyone have any music to shout out today?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Random Thought - 10 minute vacation

This is the view from a vacation villa at Four Seasons, Jimbaran Bay, Bali. I want one.

I was running (literally) through Target Thursday. I had a grocery list, a schedule to keep, a looming deadline and fifteen different things on my mind. I was inexplicably irritated that I couldn't find the package of pre-prepped diced rosemary and herb potatoes. I was thirsty and still hot from the 100° heat outside. Plainly put, I was tart. I went in search of a potato alternative and as I wheeled around the corner something caught my eye.

Over by the fresh flowers an older attractive black woman sat. I don't know where she got the stool from but she was perched with a smile on her face looking at the flowers. As I wondered what sister girl was doing sitting in the middle of the aisle in Target, she dug around in her bag and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper. She smoothed it out carefully and propped it up next to some yellow daisies. Then she sat back looking at her picture nestled amongst the flowers with a smile.

Inching closer, I took a look at the picture. Recognizing it, I spoke up. "Oh the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in Maui! Are you going soon?"

She said, "Oh is that where that is?"

I smiled with a little confusion. "Yes, that's the view out the back."

"I just like the way it looks. I saw it in a magazine and saved it. I don't if I'll ever get there so every now and then I pull it out, put it next to something pretty and take a ten minute vacation. I imagine myself right there, sipping on one of those pretty drinks with the breeze from water around me. So you've been there?"

"Yes ma'am a few years ago. It's lovely."

"I go everyday for ten minutes."

"Ten minutes, does it work?"

"It's like my power nap. While I'm on my little vacation I don't worry that my husband wants his dinner at seven, those kids ain't never gonna move out and I have too much month left with too little money. Gets me through the rest of the day. You should try it."

"I just might do that... you have a good vacation."

"I always do, sweetie."

At first, I thought it was a little sad that she couldn't take the real vacation but then it occurred to me - that woman looked happier sitting at her made up vacation spot than I had all day. Lesson learned. Sometimes a little bit of something good is all you need to get you through.

Do you take ten minute time outs during the day to recharge? What do you do? What would be your ten minute vacation picture look like? And Happy Friday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Random Thought - What exactly does the NAACP do now?

I'm not trying to be flippant. I really want to know. I heard this question posed on a news outlet and the entire panel went silent. As I started to purse my lips I realized... I don't know either. Not really clear on what their action plan is.

Recently, they asked the Tea Party to stop being so mean. They politely requested that the Senate reinstate unemployment. They got "snookered" into almost ruining a good woman's reputation by a right wing blogger. They celebrated their 101st anniversary and FLOTUS spoke at the convention. That's all I've got. 

 I checked their website and reviewed their Action Alerts. It appeared to be cosignage of programs and policies that other people are working on. Then I looked at the Citizen All Action Alerts where folks report on police misconduct and hate crimes. But it doesn't show if anyone is following up on these reports.

So I posed the question on Twitter - just exactly what color people are they advancing these days and how exactly are they doing it? The answers came back pink, purple and green. What ya'll got for me? Anyone? No, I'm serious. Do ya'll know how the NAACP is relevant and productive in 2010 America? And after the epic fail that this Shirley Sherrod hoodwinkery has become, where do they go from here? Please share your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Random Thought - Beware the Baggage

So I was having coffee with New Dude and my mind was actually on about twenty different things. I finally noticed that he was silent and looking at me with arched brow. 

"So what's up?" He asked.

I shook my head. "Nothing just working through some stuff in my head."

"Like what?"

"I don't want to bother you with it." I shrugged.

He got super still and said. "But that's what I'm here for. To be bothered. I'm trying to be bothered."

Uh-oh. He pulled out the "tart" tone of voice. "Um. Okay."

"I'm not clueless or incapable of picking up on signs. You've got trust issues and you rarely take things at face value. You don't pour out your feelings or wear your heart on your sleeve. I get that. But damn, I'm trying to earn your trust here. I'm trying to be that guy. Put you first, pay attention, the whole nine but you gotta give me a chance."

"I do, I mean... I am!"

"You know half the time you are giving me a side-eye just waiting for me to say or do something terrible. And I have to literally pry thoughts and feelings out of you. I'm feeling like the chick. Sucks and it's unsettling."

"No. I don't really, do I?" I thought about it, winced. Owned it. "Damn it, I might. That's terrible. I'm sorry. I'm overly cautious probably."

"Michele, you're gun-shy as hell."

"Or we could call it that. I'll do better."

"I mean, I'm generally a nice guy."

"You are."

"But I already know you well enough to know that you were dying to tack on 'so far' at the end of that sentence."

I really had wanted to. It was on the tip of my tongue. "It's gonna take some mental adjustment. I appreciate the patience."

He smiled. "If you weren't cute I would have given up weeks ago."

"Ha! Wait, what?"


"You got jokes."

"Okay then, so what were you thinking about?"

And I told him. I talked for close to an hour straight. (Hey, he asked) I talked about family and finances and sports and weather and epic fail of the NAACP (whole other topic). And he was so happy that I was "letting him in", he had this huge smile on his face. When we got up to leave, he gave me this huge tight hug. 

I felt like pure shiggity. Without really realizing it, I'd kind of been perching on the edge of this relationship (not even wanting to call it a relationship) with one foot in and one foot already out just in case it all imploded. He knew it but didn't say anything until now. If you had asked me if I thought I was dragging baggage from the past into the future, I would have vehemently said no. But there it was. 

Damn baggage. Eventually you have to just let it go. What are ya'lls thoughts on that?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Not so random thought: Did he say “Baby, it’s just sex”?

Okay, let me put it in context. One of my college youth that I call myself mentoring called me all bamboozled and halfway hoodwinked by the shiggity her boyfriend was throwing at her. They had been together since high school and now in the summer between their freshman and sophomore years, he got caught cheating. Caught in the act by her. Why fellas don't cheat somewhere their S.O.'s aren't likely to walk right in and find them? I don't know, maybe they want to get caught? Anywho… he tried to break off a Jedi mind trick by dropping that old Eddie Murphy line (link is to YouTube. Video is NSFW, Language & Mature Subject Matter) on her: "I [effed] her, I make love to you." When that didn't work he said, "Baby, it's just sex. It has nothing to do with you and me."

{strategic pause}

By the time he finished telling her that what they had was "an epic love sure to stand the test of time" if only she would stop letting "an afternoon's recreational activity" mean more than it really did; she wasn't sure what had happened. Was he wrong for cheating or was she wrong for getting upset about it? Yep, that's what she asked me. Should she apologize to him for being angry that she caught him doing naked insertion aerobics with some random chick?

I'm going to pause again and let that sink in for you.

Okay, moving on… Thankfully, no man of my acquaintance has been silly enough to utter these words in my direction. I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty positive my head would spin four or five times around like that Exorcist chick's prior to simply exploding into vapor. I can hear it now:

"What happened to Chele?"
"Her man said it was just sex, nothing for her to get upset about."
"Oh no. Spontaneous head combustion. Bad way to go."
"She'll want to be buried in purple silk."
"May she rest in peace." 

I'm not knocking sex for sex' sake… wave your freak flag high if you are free to do so. Get your groovy, swervy smash on. And okay for some people sex is just sex; I hear tell some folks view the swap and exchanging of pheromone-laden body parts and fluids as no more than a "Hello, how are you today." Good for them. But shouldn't one make sure their current Significant Other is on the same page before that happens? These two most assuredly did not have an "open" relationship. And I cannot help but wonder what he would have said if the situation was reversed?

Ladies, some fellas are slick and some just have to try. They will run that game on you if you let them. Here is an intelligent if somewhat socially naïve girl of twenty years of age. National Merit Scholar, at an Ivy League school majoring in Pre-Med/Microbiology. And this ninja has her questioning who's right and who's wrong. When she called me, she was thinking about asking HIM to forgive HER. THE HELL?

Now I'm not saying women shouldn't forgive men who cheat. I've never been able to do to it but many of ya'll probably think further outside the box than I can. But ya'll already know what I told her. Oh, I have to shout out @CarolynEdgar who had me rolling yesterday relating the story of a man who said if he wasn't laying down, it wasn't cheating. Yes, you read that right. Old boy said since he was standing up, it was nothing for his wife to worry about. I can't strategically pause any more, we'll be here all day.

You know I could go in for twelve more lengthy, ranty paragraphs on this one. But I'm going to turn it over to you. What say you? Fellas? Ladies? I'm not even going to lead you with my questions today. I wanna see what you're bringing on this one. "It's just sex"… Thoughts, comments, insights, similar experiences? The floor is yours…

Monday, July 19, 2010

Random Thought – The Tea Party sucks

I don't want this post to come off all Palin (all rhetoric, no fact or intellect) but nor do I plan to give a dissertation on all that is wrong with the Tea Party… we could be here all year. But I am seriously starting to wonder if the Tea Party isn't turning into Klan Lite – all of the hatred, none of the hoods or hangings (yet). Who exactly is their leader? Is it just of bunch of angry Jim-Bobs and Bobbie Jean's that long nostalgically for the days of plantations and keeping darkies in their place? I don't know, I haven't done the research but what I do see looks like a trip to CrazyTown. Did I see someone really comparing the Tea Party to the New Black Panther Party? Is the revolution about to be televised?

Does it seem as though all the overtly crazy, racist "We Want Our Country Back" crap is starting to see the light of day and the "Regular" right wing is thinking now is a good time to back away? Let's be clear, there are conservative policies and values and then there's the fear and hate-mongering that the Tea Party is pushing (gleefully with poorly made and misspelled signs). Over at Rippa's spot, he talked about it. There was also a great theological and intellectual viewpoint over at The Watchman. The Negro Intellectual dropped serious knowledge in his open letter to Glenn Beck (I hate Beck, I really do). Jack & Jill Politics brought this video to my attention; it asks the question – What if the Tea Party were Black?

Now that's food for thought. I think the role of the moderate, progressive, liberal, or sane person is to fight widespread ignorance and hate with tolerance and knowledge. Point out misinformation on the regular and for God's sake, vote for some people who are about something real and substantive that won't set the country back to pre-Civil Rights Era. I don't know about ya'll but I'm appreciating my little freedom, I'd like to pursue my happiness from the front of the bus. Just sayin'.

Got thoughts on the Tea Party? Do share...

Short Random Thoughts Week on BnB

Woo-Hoo, I'm in the home stretch editing my second book and finishing up some articles so this week, feel the joy of "Shorts" – short random thoughts from the corners of my mind. Pop in and take a look. Who knows what'll rattle around in there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Video Shout-Out: Mos Def

This song never gets old. Mos Def's Umi Says stays in my rotation.

Any music to shout out today?

Friday, July 16, 2010

No Shiggity: Gloom and Doom

My least favorite people on this Shiggity List are folks that can never see the silver lining. It's all black cloud no glimmer of sun. Negative Ned, Gloomy Glenda, Sorrowful Sue, Morose Marcus - the whole lot of them make me tired.

Okay so bad things happen in this world, I get that but does focusing on the half-empty side of the glass ever help? I think not. Take the case of a sorta-friend. We used to be close but she wore me out. Everything was some drama bordering on tragedy and I realized that I would leave her presence exhausted and wrung out but exhilarated to be getting away. I moved her to my "talk to you twice a year" list. Here was our conversation from a few days ago:

Me: Hey Girl, heard you got a new job. Congrats!
Her (sighing): They are working me like a damn slave and I'm underpaid.
Me: Well, at least after nine months you found something... that's a blessing.
Her: Not hardly, between gas and childcare and my nerves I barely break even.
Me (changing subject): How are the kids?
Her: Those little monsters like to drive me crazy.
Me (trying to keep it positive): But everybody's healthy?
Her: Yeah girl, shoot - eating me out of house and home.
Me (sensing I just need to hit the Eject button on the whole conversation): Well... okay. Just checking in to make sure everything is everything.
Her: Did you ever finish that book?
Me (rolling eyes, she only got  all 12 emails I sent out about it): Yeah, it's in stores now. 
Her: Anybody buying it?
Me (biting tongue that's already in cheek): One or two folks. 
Her: I would pick it up but you know my money's tight. 
Me: Um-hmm, well if you ask nicely I'll see about getting you a promo copy.
Her: Why didn't you say that in the first place? We could get together for some drinks this weekend?
Me (thinking Heckie Naw): Oh my time is tight right now but I'll drop it in the mail.
Her: You seeing somebody?
Me (not wanting to get into it): Working on it.
Her: He probably ain't about sh!t, just like the rest of them. You know T is marrying that young girl he left me for.
Me (five years ago he left!): It's been a few years.
Her: Anyway, don't make my mistake and marry a pretty boy. They are only in it for themselves.
Me (thinking T was not all that pretty): You know I don't like to fight for mirror time with the fellas.
Her: Well don't end up with a ruffneck either, my sister just had to file charges on her man.
Me (remembering why I backed away before): Well thanks for calling girl - stay well.
Her: Call me when you break up and are ready to go out again.
Me (gritting teeth): Nice. Bye girl.

Why's it got to be so hard? I know life has kicked us all in the tail a time or two but the bitter bitchiness... not attractive. We've talked about Bitterness before so I'll just leave off here. Try a smile people. Power of positive thinking. A please, a thank you, a have a nice day. Every now and then try sunshine and Skittles.

Have a lovely weekend, feel free to share your thoughts...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No Shiggity: Holier than Thou folks

"Listen sister, your Jesus may not be like mine!" These words were fired at me during a church lifegroup session where I innocently (okay maybe not so innocently) asked how one particular woman who was constantly smacking us around with her goodness and holiness reconciled lying to her friends and family for ten years about something fairly important. She said she was positive that Jesus forgave her and understood why she had to keep lying. Umm... I wondered if Jesus was that cool with repetitive sin for selfish reasons? And that's when I got screamed at. 
So most of you know, I love me some Jesus... but I don't pretend like I don't have quite the ways to go in my Christian walk. So while I will rep for JC on the regular, I tend not to beat folks upside the head with the Biblical Badgering. We all know some folks who call themselves Christian, stay up in the church house and still act any old kind of way. Check out this BougieTale: 

I met Brad through friends. We introduced ourselves through email and then the phone. Our first phone conversation was four and a half hours long. (For the record, that means nothing. Don't fall in love with the first phone call. Some folks, myself included, have mastered the art of giving good phone. Okay, here ends the PSA) It was our third phone conversation when he brought up his deeply conservative religious beliefs and how one of the reasons why a superb catch like him hadn't found a lifemate was because he could not find a women who had her Jesus game tight enough for him. 

He followed up that conversation by sending me a twelve page list of bible verses that he wanted me to "take into my spirit." Let me pause right here. Had I sounded so heathen that I needed someone sending me a booklet full of faith? Truth be told, I already knew half of his "cut-n-paste" verses and could have found the others if pressed. Dang! I sent him back a note telling him that I was already in a Bible Study but thanks. He sent back a note saying he wanted me to get to "his level." So at this point, I was starting to get a little irritated.

The following weekend he came up from Houston and we chatted some more over dinner. During the course of the meal, he dropped some other opinions (Michelle Obama wasn't attractive enough for Barack, Black people made too many excuses not to succeed, Condoleezza Rice's resume was not that impressive, Barack's cigarette smoking indicated that he was a deeply flawed human being?) that quite frankly left me stuttering and speechless. As you can imagine, I'm not often stuttering or speechless. 

So I did what I usually do when making a decision: Pros vs Cons. He was intelligent, good-looking, we had chemistry but on the downside he was preachy and pompous. I wondered how that would balance out. 

He went back to Houston and we kept talking on the phone over the course of the next few weeks. I noticed that he kept bringing up a number of "women friends" he had. Kept casually mentioning them "dropping by." One night after he asked me about my sex life and how I was scratching the itch (O__o), I asked about all the ladies. He said, "Oh, you found my Achilles' heel. I have to have sex often, it's my thing."

[strategic pause]

Hold up, Pope Poke-a-lot! All these women he had been mentioning were friends with benefits? And he was benefiting them all?! He admitted that he regularly rotated about 10 women [yes, you read TEN. Five times Two] and hoped I did not have a problem with it because that's what he needed until he got married again. Again? Now what now? And what about all the Jesus? What about your daily walk? He said (no joke exact quote), "It's my one flaw. But Jesus made me, he knows my spirit, he knows my heart. I have prayed for him to take this weakness away but this is my compromise." Uh-huh. 

"So you're looking for one woman who can satisfy you (replacing ten women) AND cook, clean, work, stay in shape, dress well, be politically active and get her 24/7 Jesus and charitable works on?" 

His response: "Is that a problem?"

I know now that my response should have been what Sister Girl told me: "Your Jesus ain't like mine." Suffice it to say, I shut that down. Not looking back.

Thoughts, comments, opinions? Know any SuperSinning Saints? The floor is yours.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

No Shiggity: Pimpin' without Paper

For those not in the know, pimpin' without paper is living flagrantly beyond one's means. 

Why do we do it? Goodness knows I used to be guilty of this back in the day but I'm too old for nonsense now. As a matter of fact, I try like hell to pay cash for as much as I can. My "if I can't pay for it outright, I don't need it" philosophy took me ten years to fully embrace and sometimes it's still not easy but knowing at the end of the day that everything under my roof is owned by me and not a bank... priceless. I spend way more on books, music, clothes and shoes than I should. I gave away eight bags of clothes and shoes in the last six weeks and my closets (yes, plural) are still full. But I own it all, bless my heart. So today's peeve is: why do folks always try to be glossy and flossy with zero bank to back it up? 

Folks wanna drive an Escalade on Escort dollars. Want Champagne on a beer budget? Wanna live Malibu when your bank account screams MLK Blvd? Rocking designer labels when you're dining on peanut butter and last week's tuna casserole? This is pimpin' without paper, blingin' without bank, cheesin' with no cheddar, mackin' with no mayo, swagga with no scrilla... Do I need to go further in the ebonics dictionary? No? Okay you get my point. 

It's just not cute, ya'll. My girl, Yvonne Bynoe, offers services to help folks step their financial game up no matter how limited your income. Please check her out, so you don't have to be this guy:

A few months ago, I was chilling in the Starbuck's as I tend to do. I was reading the Wall Street Journal which I actually don't do that often anymore. Suddenly into the relative peace of the morning, rolls a huge shiny "Pimp My Ride"-style Hummer. Black, chromed out, giant tires, just all sparkly and whatnot. Bass bumpin' to the point that I had to move my purse off of the table and onto the chair to keep it from falling over.  Out jumps Doing Too Much Dude. Designer jeans fastened with huge belt buckle, shirt a little tight tucked in only in the front so ev'body can see the designer name on the buckle. Rocking iced-out over-sized watch, iPhone clutched in one hand like a lifeline and sunglasses on even though it's cloudy as hell outside.

He pimp walks in and stands in the doorway waiting for people to look at him. I glance up, refrain from rolling my eyes and look back down. He walks straight to me like he knows me, "What you up to, sister?" I tilt my head towards the paper and say, "Reading." He takes the paper out of my hand, looks at what I'm reading and says, "Oh you follow stocks and stuff?" Me, "A little bit." He nods, "One of those 401(k) sisters, I see you. Siddity and don't need a man." My eyes narrow to slits... all of that, bruh? But I smiled and said, "You have a blessed day, brother."

He shrugs. "Whatever." He walks over to the counter and orders some sort of venti latte half something, I don't know. The woman told him it was $5.29 and he handed over some plastic. It was declined. Dude had three dollars and a dime in his pocket which he handed over and had her put the remaining $2.19 on his card. It was declined. He started talking loudly about how somebody must have been messing with his money and she could just make it a tall. He paid his $2.74 and walked out muttering under his breath.

Now let me say this. I wasn't laughing at old boy. I've been broke before and may well be again. There's no shame in not having money in the bank. It happens. There's no shame in living modestly. But why you pushing a luxury automobile, designer everything and a brand new iPhone and mad about me reading the finance section? You may want to get a peek yourself if you can't rustle up $5.00 for coffee. 

As a matter of fact, why are you buying $5.00 coffee if ya broke? BougieMom and I invested in a Cuisinart Grind-n-Brew and the Starbuck's beans from the wholesale warehouse when we realized our coffee budget was out of control.  Throw some International Delight creamer up in there and it's golden... just saying. Doesn't mean we never go to Starbuck's, it just means we did the math: if both of us get coffee at $4.00 each every day; we were spending $56.00/week to get a sip of mocha on. There are 52 weeks in a year, that equaled $2912 to Starbuck's in a year... no sir. Can't do it. Not condemning those who do, mind you. Just thinking about disposable income and priorities.

So to folks who have a $50,000 car parked in front of a shack, have four flat-screens but haven't paid child support in six months, spend more on red-soled shoes than you put in your IRA/401(k), carry six kinds of plastic (at 22% interest?) and zero cash, put your entire bonus check into rims and sub-woofers, worry more about hair care than healthcare... you are On. My. List.

What's with the pimpin' with no paper? Stories of pimpin' paupers to share? Thoughts, comments, insights? Do share...

Tonight on BnB Radio Network - Getting on the Path

Up next is Episode 3 of the Diva Summer Series with me, Carolyn Edgar and Yvonne Bynoe. This summer, we're discussing Creating the Life & Love you want. Next step: Getting on the Path. 

So what's next in Creating the Life & Love you want? Now that you have taken a good look in the mirror and cleaned out your closets... it's time to take that first step. In order to do that, you'll need to take advice straight out of the theme from Mahogany: Do you know where you're going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know? Come on through and let's talk about it. Join us tonight at 8:00pm central/ 9:00pm eastern as we discuss letting go, moving on and stepping up.

Yvonne Bynoe is the creator of Her mission is to teach professional women how to go from being underpaid to earning their worth. Carolyn Edgar is a New York City lawyer and writer. She is a frequent speaker on legal career and workplace issues, and writes about single motherhood and divorce on her blog Come join the Divas while we talk about life, love, health, wealth, music, men... to name a few.

If you have questions you want answered on the show, drop me an email at or call into the show at (646) 378-1171. We'll see you there!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No Shiggity: Please grow up

Cue the music... Hit it Teddy: "I like the way you work it. (No shiggity) Got to back it up. (Back it up) No shiggity. No doubt." What? That's not the way the song went? Maybe we can get T.R. to remake "No Diggity" into "No Shiggity" just for us... whatcha think? No? Okay... moving on.

Welcome to No Shiggity Week on BnB! For those A Different World aficionados out there, in the last two seasons Jenifer Lewis played the Dean who walked around with a notebook and anytime someone got out of line she wrote it down and said through clenched teeth, "You are ON. MY. LIST!" Tell 'em, sister. Point is... this week, I have a list too. 

Let's start out with grown folks (over the age of 25) who still act childish. I mean childish to the point where you have to say and wonder, "Seriously?" I have no patience for that form of shiggity. 

Here are some examples...

Vince, New Dude's friend, rolled over to his house at one a.m. (Yes, that's 1:00 in the mornin') Saturday and laid on the doorbell. Now it just so happened that I had drunk coffee at 6:00 pm and New Dude had taken a five hour nap and we were wide awake on the sofa... that's not the point. The point is why is a 42-year old man showing up at his friend's house uninvited after dark on the regular? Derrick, to his credit, did not move once he leaned back and saw it was Vince's car out front. He pulled out his cell and sent a text: "Not coming to the door, go the eff home." Vince hit the doorbell one more time and Derrick typed: "If you're bleeding call 911. Drunk? Call a cab. Otherwise, bye." We heard Vince muttering something under his breath as he walked back to his car. Grow up and get some manners. And a new girlfriend to occupy your time.

My friend that I'll name Jackie is a single parent with one daughter in college, no job and a retirement plan that she already borrowed against. She just turned fifty. Still talking about opening some sort of company (she hasn't defined exactly what it will do or how) and making her first million. No real plans, nothing in the back, no real anchor if something else goes wrong. She's just kinda out there in the wind. Waiting on the lottery or Prince Charming, I don't know. Grow up and get a clue. Even if you have to start entry level again somewhere, you can put in five years and re-vest in a retirement plan. 

This next one hurts me to write but it must be done. I've had three of my virtual "little brothers" reach out in the past week for relationship advice. All three are professional single men over the age of 30 living in large major cities. They are employed and working their way up and all three swear they are tired of dating and ready to find Mrs. Right. They came at me with the "I can't find a woman to meet my standards" line. And as of last week, all three of them were juggling multiple women (good women at that) and still looking to add more to the playlist. If you are serious about finding The One, grow up and quit playing with many. These women are auditioning to be your wife, not part of a rotating team. Pick your best single option, see how far it goes and cut everyone else loose. You really don't have to sample all 31 flavors at Baskin-Robbins once you find one that's your favorite. Welcome to your thirties.

Okay, off the soapbox for the day. Do you have a few "please grow up" points you'd like to make today? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fashion Felonies for the Fellas - Summer Edition

Gents, I have not forgotten about you… no sir. You were all giddy and happy over #SundressMonth so I just let ya’ll enjoy that. But now, it’s time for some of you to get your brethren. Literally, go snatch them up in the streets and ask them what the hell they are thinking. Summer is no excuse for flagrant foolery in the wardrobe department. We have just skated past another BBQ holiday and it’s time to pull your coattails… literally.

Some of you know better, some of you clearly do not give a damn but I beg of you... Read this and pass it along to a friend (or two). It’s America the Beautiful, not America the Brokedown. I'm not even going in on the 5x white tee with denim shorts. Unless your name is Pookie and you're standing on the corner, I don't know what to tell you but - what are you doing with your life? 

I’m going to assume you recognize that your clothes should fit. Let’s start with the basics. (By the way, you can click the pictures to see the full-size view.)

Fit – Read Esquire, GQ or my blog cousin The Gentlemen's Standard on how to match clothes to your body. Just like you don't want women looking like sausage trying to fight its way out of the casing... um, back at cha. And that oversized look ain't for everybody. 

As far as pants go: Pleats add volume, if you are slim this is a good look otherwise go flat-front. Skinny jeans look good on no man. Stop trying. One of my favorites quotes: "The sexiest thing a man can wear is a nice pair of jeans. Nothing too light, and they shouldn't be too tight or too loose. The only men who've managed to pull off tight jeans are Elvis and Tom Selleck, and everyone else should let go of that dream."
Relaxed/loose fit can look baggy on slim guys, low rise are for the young and slender, slim-fit really depend on the cut. No acid wash. If you don’t like a dark wash (what’s WRONG with you) get a medium rinse. You age yourself with the color of your jeans. Black is always a winner. The key to mens’ jeans (and I cannot emphasize this enough) is butt, length, waistline. In that order. The perfect pair of jeans make your butt look taut, your legs look long and waistline (true waistline, not where you heft it up or drop it down with a belt) look proportionate to your chest and hips. Get in the mirror with someone who will tell you the truth and figure it out. Straight-leg, bootcut, mid-rise, button fly – I know it’s confusing but so worth the effort when you get it right.

Drawers – Boxers or briefs? Do you. But this is undies done right.

This is undies done wrong.

Pull your pants up unless you’re taking them off for a good reason. You feel me? Okay.

What is wrong with that picture? The wifebeater + the gym shoes (without socks!) that cost more than the car they are fixing. Think on it people.

Linens & Silks – Great summer fabrics. But they both wrinkle and have to be done right.

But at no time should it look like a jungle is growing on your chest. Correction: If you are in Hawaii or Mexico or hosting a Tahitian Cocktail party, you're all clear otherwise flora and fauna linen is not your friend.

Sheer shirts. I like Mario but hell to the no. That's awful. Not sexy... awful.

Capri Pants. No. Sir. I don't care if Ashton wore them. He's wrong too. Oh and the mandals? I'd rather you didn't. But if you must, fellas - one word: Lotion. Okay one more: Hydrate.

V-neck: Stop it. Please. This means you too, Tyson. Just heckie no.

All plaid joints. Why? Sorry Big Willie but that's awful. And hat matching dude? Ugh.

Coordinated sets. You are not five years old. The Garanimal look is no longer cute. The father from Boomerang called, he wants his "co-ord-in-ates" back.

Pimp suits. Your suits should not come in fruit or sherbet flavors. Cranberry? Lime? Orange? Blueberry? No. Unless your name is Velvet Jones or Steve Harvey, there's no reason to own these. Let alone rock them.

Overbranding. Are they paying you? Then no. One logo per outfit please.

Short suits. Are you dressed up or casual? I. Do. Not. Understand.

All Denim joints. Once known as the Texas Tuxedo (we in Texas are not amused), this is doing too much. I know, I know. It's Ye and he is frequently doing too much but this looks like he found a sale at the Levi Strauss outlet. Buy one, get two free.

Lace up shirts? That’s a lifestyle choice. NTTAWWT*, just know what your shirt is saying about you.

I could go on but I feel this is plenty to start with. Oh let me just add this as a final thought.
Tube tops for men... did you see my statement about lifestyle above? Copy and paste here.

Thank you for your time and attention. I feel confident that I can speak for the women of the world when I say Teach One, Reach One and Pay It Forward. Please review your wardrobes and correct your infractions post haste. Appreciate it! Can anyone think of something I've left out? Any thoughts, comments, horror stories to share?

*NTTAWWT = Not That There's Anything Wrong With That


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