Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: Three Sides to Every Story


I don't know who first said it but I know it to be true, there are three sides to every he said/she said story:
  1. Her side
  2. His side
  3. The Truth
Today's letters illustrate just that point. Yes, today we have two for the price of one. We have a couple that we're going to call Tim and Lisa. Tim and Lisa dated for about a year and then moved in together. They've been shacking co-habbing for about a year. They are starting to get on each other's nerves a little bit and basically want us to play CoHab Ref. You know it's ridic when folks start writing in about shoes and milk. No, I'm not joking - here we go:
Lisa's story:
Chele - love the blog, especially when you give people your unvarnished opinion and then open it up for BougieLand to weigh in. Sometimes folks are brutal but no one is ever tentative in their opinion. "Tim" and I are in our late twenties, we live in North Carolina together in a two bedroom townhouse with a small yard and a dog. Tim is the love of my life but he's a slob. He leaves his stuff everywhere. He drinks milk out of the carton and when it's gone, he expects me to replace it. He does not grocery shop, he does not wash dishes, he does not wash clothes. I'm not even going to bring up the toilet seat because don't we universally know that it's the man's job to put the lid down? He will cook once a week, more if the weather is nice and he can grill something. All of this I would excuse if he hadn't recently taken up the habit of flirting with other women when we go out. just out of the blue one night he started doing it right in front of me. I love the guy but something's got to change. What do you think?  
Tim's story:
Hi - A friend hipped me to the blog and I like how you have both men and women in the readership who speak up. About me and Lisa, we met in Charlotte over a year and a half ago and live together now. I love her to death but she's killing me here. I'm sure she wrote you that I'm a slob and don't help out around the house. What she probably didn't share is that when we first moved in together and I offered to do those things, she wouldn't let me. She insisted that she wanted things done "a certain way" and it was not a problem. I'm making an effort to not have her pick up after me and to keep things straight in the sliver of closet that I'm allowed. Can you tell me why a women needs 100 pairs of shoes? Really? We started sniping at each other about stuff like this over a month ago and finally I just kind of shut down. I noticed that she's started checking out other men when we go out so I'm wondering if I should start to look around myself. I'd love to make this work because when it does it's special but I'm not going to wait for it to fall apart. I'm sure you have "thoughts and insights" please share.
Tim and Lisa:
Hey you two. Thanks for reading and appreciating the blog. Let me see how to put this...
Somebody's lying. And ya'll need to talk. For real though. It's great that you both decided to write in, maybe when you see what the other one has written, you'll double-blink and think about a few things. By the way, you both opened and closed by saying how much you love each other. Which makes me wonder if you both aren't at a crossroads trying to decide about happily ever after or not? Think on it.

I'm going to let BougieLand address the toilet, the milk, the shoes, the flirting and the passive-aggressiveness. BougieLand, can you holla at Tim and Lisa please. The floor is yours...

72 comments:

sol_dier said...

split up already or stop playing childish games.

Tim: I don't care what she said.. a grown man does grown up things and doesn't need anyone to pick up after him. You are in your late 20's and 'trying' to not have someone pick up after you? O_O grow  up. Jesu christi... Why are you letting yourself go?.  If you want a place to be a slob, get a man cave. What part of your slobby behaviour is supposed to keep your partner attracted to you?

Lisa: The cleanliness or lack thereof of his clothes are not your concern. If he doesn't wash them, leave them alone. If they bother you, buy a basket them, put them in. IF you don't like living with a slob, leave. You act like a doormat, you get treated like one. 

Tim & Lisa: This whole cooking busy is a nonsense. Cook for each other, or split chores. You both act like you are playing 'house', have some dignity and respect about yourselves and for each other
You are picking at each other looking over petty stuff, y'all are not ready. SPLIT UP

Seriously people, what type of petty nonsense is this?

rozb said...

Wooo! I happen to get out of bed before the crack of noon this week and see this great post. Yay!

Seems to me each person is not honest about their expectations. They move in together and Lisa wants to play wifey, and impress him in the beginning with her home-running skills. However, she expected him to insist to share the workload around the house. Not. Going. To. Happen. I'm thinking that Tim is not psychic and cannot read her mind if she isn't verbalizing what she is feeling or what she wants. Re-assess what you want to happen in the house - who does what, how often, and what the expected results are.

But Tim - you don't get off easy here. You know how to take care of your living environment - stop acting like you have a built-in maid, and do more than just put you drawers in the dirty pile on the floor. You probably realize she wanted to impress you in the beginning and you used that as a reason to sit on your hindparts and not contribute. Do your part - and if she tells you it isn't done right or something is missing, tell her you aren't psychic and she needs to be honest and open about what she wants.

As for the flirting with the opposite sex - it may be you both are either trying to provoke a reaction, or looking for an excuse to continue bad behavior. Stop it. Be real and be adult. You all are just being messy at this point.

BTW - ain't nothing wrong with owning 100 pairs of shoes. But Lisa - make a sacrifice and either donate, toss, or store the excess stuff you know you have and let the brother all the way in the house. Part of his reluctance to contribute is he probably doesn't feel fully vested in the home. If I can give up an entire closet and spare room for a man cave after living alone for 11 years, you can cut down on the closet space you are kinda hogging. I'm just sayin'...

Socialitedreams said...

i whole heartedly agree with your reply!

Lady4Real said...

I'm going to let BougieLand address the toilet, the milk, the shoes, the flirting and the passive-aggressiveness. BougieLand, can you holla at Tim and Lisa please. The floor is yours...

The legendary toilet argument, it has plagued mankind since Lord knows when, my hubby and I fought this fight for a year, love won and if he puts it down great, if not I know to look before I leak. I've come to learn that living with someone whether SO or roomate that no one person rules the roost, Lisa needs to ease up and Tim needs to step up, 50/50 is what it should be all across the board, agreements need to be made and minds need to be spoken. Tell each other how you really feel, what you really want, whats irks the living ish out of you and come to an agreement. My hubby and I spilt the different rooms in the house and do different chores, we both make market together and I do have more shoes then he does but I keep them on my side of the closet and that is split 50/50. The flirting is down right no holds barred, absolutely unacceptable. If you are unhappy, speak on it and work on it but don't disrespect each other and your relationship by window shopping, that right there is bullshiggity. Hope this helps, good luck Tim & Lisa.

Brandon St.Randy said...

Hire a maid. They're dirt cheap and it's worth it to have the piece of mind. Plus, coming home to a clean house makes you more conscious of keeping it clean. Like how people don't throw trash on the streets in a well-manicured neighborhood.

Or one of you move out. Some people's personal space issues don't work well with others.

Per the flirting with other people, go to relationship counseling and figure out if you're both just acting out because S*** or get off the pot time is upon you or you've both subliminally checked out of your relationship

taut_7 said...

oh wow. 

i can see both sides of the argument. one i'm an extremely neat person so i would hate to pick up after anyone. then again i don't like when i do something and someone overly criticizes how i do and says they'll do it themselves (women are notorious for this). tim still should have ignored her and continued to do things around the house. 

the flirting issue. i don't see anything wrong with harmless flirting but when you do it in front of your significant other the lines are crossed. both tim and lisa are wrong on this one. 

tim, women like shoes. you're just gonna have to deal with that. 

lisa, it takes just as much effort to put the toilet seat down as it does to put it up. actually it takes less effort because gravity is on your side. besides who doesn't look where they sit. when you sit in a chair do you sit down blindly without looking? i'll wait.....

NATASHA HUNTER said...

Thank you so much for validating my first thought of "This is petty as hell."

The flirting tho'? Stop that isht immediately, if yah'll think it's bad now...

Mina B. said...

Ya'll need to talk about whatever bigger issue is prompting all of this.

I will say that one of the hard lessons I learned when I got married was how to compromise when living with someone. I knew how my husband kept house before I married him and expecting him to become a neat freak was naive to say the least. I had to give up some of the things I liked done "a certain way" if I didn't want to be the only one doing them. We found a way to make it work. That being said...the frustration of cohabiting never lead to flirting...what's really going on?

CaliGirlED said...

"...make market together..." You know I love this, right?

Michele said...

I 100% agree with this response.  These two need to grow up and stop being so petty.  Either they want to be together or they don't. 

Lady4Real said...

lisa, it takes just as much effort to put the toilet seat down as it does to put it up. actually it takes less effort because gravity is on your side. besides who doesn't look where they sit. when you sit in a chair do you sit down blindly without looking? i'll wait.....

Are you related to my husband? That is what he says, so I gave up and when he remembers he puts it down and if he doesn't I know to 'look before I leak'. LOL

Lady4Real said...

lol, Cali you like so many of the little quirky things I say, I am now adopting you as my cyber play cousin.

Earthangel172 said...

"I had to give up some of the things I liked done "a certain way" if I didn't want to be the only one doing them"

This!!!

Earthangel172 said...

#cosignandstealingit  LOL

OwenCinDallas said...

Even though a lot of what Tim and Lisa are bickering over seems petty, anyone who has been married or cohabbing for a length of time can tell you - it's the petty stuff that grind away at the foundation. The major stuff you're on the look out for, no one every thinks that drinking the last of the almond milk could could back and bite you in the ass - but it does.

At a glance, I would say Lisa got frustrated with the household stuff and decided to flirt a little for attention and then Tim started flirting in a game of oneupsmanship. Or vice versa. Neither appear to be serious about leaving as they are still right there and writing in.

They did to sit down and put together a relationship rulebook. Division of labor, rules of engagement, communication styles, all of it. Write it down, agree on it and then put the book in a drawer somewhere.

It's entirely possible that I've been married to Jayme for too long, I'm starting to sound like her!

CaliGirlED said...

 It's that country talk! It's near and dear to my heart. I love ya like a play cousin!

blackprofessor said...

Are you guys in it all the way or not?? All I sense is confusion as in you love each other BUT......

It is decision time regarding the future of this relationship.  If you are going to be together, then you have to learn to compromise and come up with peaceful resolutions.  It is that simple!  If you aren't going to be together, let the relationship go and part ways.  If nothing else, stop playing games with each other and grow up.   

CaliGirlED said...

 Even" though a lot of what Tim and Lisa are bickering over seems petty,
anyone who has been married or cohabbing for a length of time can tell
you - it's the petty stuff that grind away at the foundation. The major
stuff you're on the look out for, no one every thinks that drinking the
last of the almond milk could could back and bite you in the ass - but
it does." This is everything!!!

Squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom, which way to face the toilet paper roll, clothes washed, dried and left in the laundry basket, etc. When you're in that stage of blissful love, these things matter not. But when I CAN'T STAND YOUR BLACK ASS, these are things that are a MAJOR issue!

Communication, Consideration, Consistency, Compromise (define them, discuss them, determine their necessity for your relationship to work).

taut_7 said...

lol i just might be. 

BlackButterfly said...

*Responding to both as if the other is telling the truth about the situation*

Lisa- When you welcomed your living situation with, "Welcome, I am here to be your servant and doormat" and he accepted, what did you actually think the outcome would be?  Know thyself and be true, to her.  Insecurity and desperation breed quickly and heavily in these type of situations so proceed cautiously.

Tim- Oh, so you want to fall back on the "she told me it was cool and that I didn't have to doooo anything" so that you could enjoy being a sloven, irresponsible, germ-ridden petri dish.  Really??? What grown ass person has to be told what needs to be done.  Shown how? Maybe. Told? FAIL!

I hope you'll sit down as two adults and get to the truth.

*Off to enjoy the CA sun but when the whole truth shows up I'll make another pass at this*

BB Waite said...

The day I got married, I was standing in my dress with a suitcase in one hand and my husband's hand in the other. My mother said "BB - start out as you mean to continue. What you do these next few weeks sets the stage for the rest of your life with this man. I mean it!"

If you start out doing all the cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping than you set the stage to continue doing all of that for years. The man is then confused when you say "why am I doing everything" - uh, that's how you set the wheel in motion, ma'am.

The flirting is some shiggity. A blatant cry for attention (just like these letters) from both of you. Pull it together. Neither of you are children. Make it work or walk away.

thinklikeRiley said...

Am I the onlyest one thinking there's some other shiggity going down over to Tim and Lisa's? Whatevs.

Tim - chicks need shoes like fish need water - deal wi' it and take yo azz to Sam's ev'ry now and then
Lisa - men pee standing up - deal wi' it and let Timmy-boo run outta towels one night, bet he find the washer and dryer right quick

SingLikeSassy said...

My mama says the way you start something is the way you will finish it. Lisa if you went in saying, "I got it" on the cleaning etc. then you set yourself up.

That said, Tim, you might have paid more attention to how she liked things done and done them that way.

However, I should add that I am anti-living together before marriage partly because if you two were married you would, I think, HAVE to find a solution to these issues that wasn't just, well, one of us needs to move out.

But honestly, I don't think all that up there in those letters is what the real problem is.
Y'all know what it is. Talk about it and/or talk to someone about it
together.

Or chunk the deuce and on to the next.

OneChele said...

#TeamHouseKeeper

Pure Choco said...

I'm a little irritated that instead of taking the time to talk this out they decided to write in and ask you - really?
Tim, Lisa - you're doing it wrong.

CaliGirlED said...

#TeamHouseKeeper #TeamDiscoNap

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

'Proper communication from the get go is necessary' - my take-away from this.

Lady4Real said...

but I'm not country, I'm a city girl. Damn this damn DMV area, makes a girl a litle country, a little city and a little rock-n-roll., Damn these southern influences in my life, #laserbeam side eye to cousin Bougie. lol

Big October said...

Tim: Man the fuck! Stop complaining and do what’s necessary
to secure that household and pay attention to what’s going on around you.



Lisa: Stop complaining, never start something that you’re
not willing to finish and stop buying so many pairs of shoes, you only have two
feet.



There’s a turd floating in the water here and from what I
read it appears that this relationship has possibly run its course. No?

It seems some deeper issues underlie the bickering and maybe
they liked one another’s representatives more than the actual clients. Compromise,
communication, understanding, patience and conflict resolution skills are necessary
in a co-habitation situation. It’s downright petty to point out every single flaw that
you think a person has and the flirting and complaining is doing unnecessary damage
to your spirits and the relationship. Either work it out or get out. If there
is no war there are no casualties.

SouthernWes said...

I learned a long time ago not to come in between a woman and her wardrobe. If we can afford it and have space to put it - knock yourself out. There's something bigger going on than the milk and the toilet lid. We can't tell Tim and Lisa what it is. I suspect both of these letters only give a tenth of the story. They broke it, they have to fix it.

CaliGirlED said...

Diversity is great, embrace it! Helps with that code switching!

CaliGirlED said...

Those who can do, those who can't complain. As my aunts would say, "Shit or get off the pot!"

Definitely deeper issues, which could very well stem from, "maybe
they liked one another’s representatives more than the actual clients."...Too many folks running around hiding behind their reps!

CaliGirlED said...

 And we may only have two feet, but there are 365 days in a year!

CaliGirlED said...

And the flirting thing is all bad!!! Someone said below that it's not ok when your SO is around. No sir, it's never ok! Picture it: Man at the bar waiting for his woman to arrive. He's doing some "innocent" flirting (no such thing) with another woman who's at the bar with a couple of friends. In walks his woman, and he IMMEDIATELY stops flirting with other woman. She does not stop her flirting. His woman instantly recognizes it...This could end a few different ways, none of them are good.

Big October said...

LOL! I hear you. My point is that buying lots of pairs of shoes is just as petty as him complaining about it, especially if it's causing drama in the relationship. 

Cocoa Winston said...

I agree with you, there's definitely a lil sumting going on that's been PG-13'd for these letters.

J B said...

I am so stealing "Disco Nap".

rozb said...

The DMV will do it to you every time!

C W said...

Love that "representative" comment.  I was just thinking about my last one and how that got all messed up when the real person showed up.

C W said...

LOL at DiscoNap.  Too funny.

C W said...

Yeah um, what dude really cares about how many shoes you have?  Unless you paying for them then WTF is the problem here?

C W said...

And let you wear the same shoes all the time and watch them take notice..."Damn baby, do you have some different shoes you can put on."
 
Shoe Game is like what gives us ladies our swagger.  It hikes that booty up in the air, makes ya hold that head up, and makes you swing that arm and switch your fanny with style.  Dudes y'all don't know the importance of shoes and how it affects the azzes y'all be staring at. 

C W said...

Noted.  What your moms said I will keep that in mind.

Bryan Anthony said...

This. Right. Here.

Bryan Anthony said...

The whole thing makes me wonder why they moved in together in the first place? I'd be curious to hear more about the progression of the relationship up to now because she didn't get 100 pairs of shoes overnight and he didn't just start drinking all the milk.

Grace said...

I'm trying to get like Owen, Jayme, BB and them. So whatever they said...

CaliGirlED said...

LOL!!! For real though!

Lady Ngo said...

I agree with a lot of what was said today. They are both just being childish and looking for excuses to be mad at each other. Either sit down, talk it out and come to a consensus or walk away. Plain and simple. She's mad that he doesn't clean up, then you should havet let him know from jump how you like things to be done. He's mad that she took over the closet space, then you should have told her when she was moving in her stuff that you need x-amount of space in the closet, if not your clothes will be all over the floor.

At the the end of the day, its called communicate and compromise. 

The Bunni said...

You ain't never lied!

Marioned said...

So right!!!! The petty stuff is what gets you over time.  Also ther are at that pivotal two year mark.  Do you stay or do you go!! 

CaliGirlED said...

He just took a shoe inventory last night? She woke up thirsty and in need of calcium this morning? Kidding...You're absolutely right, didn't happen overnight!

Jubilance said...

*high five* for using "disco nap - I use that all the time.

GuessImJay said...

What part of the game are these two letters?
Hell no.
Both of you.
Hell and no.

Mykeia said...

Adults clean up after themselves.
Adults share.
Adults communicate.
Y'all need to communicate not by text or twitter...say what you mean and mean what you say.
The whole notion of wanting things done a certain way gets tiresome and exhausting, you have to be flexible.  I say this as an only child.  I have now lived with my spouse for 15 years and he does not do household things my way but at the end of the day what ever the chore/need got done.
Flirting in front of your lovethang is bold, in my opinion.
Who is taking care of the dog?  How did it happen?  If you can trust someone with your dog then you can work things out.  I don't trust anyone with my dogs except my guy.
Good luck.  
Now I will be reading the comments. 

Singlelif said...

Both Lisa and Tim can miss me with this childish bs.  One's letter is as petty as the other, and neither one appears to be addressing the real issues within their relationship. 

Until and unless they are willing to confront what they are really unhappy with in the other, they will both continue to fan the flames of their passive aggressive behaviors,  and probably  end up as two single people litigating their relationship on Judge Judy, where Tim will be asking for $$ back on the shoes he paid for, and Lisa will be asking for the return of grocery money and maid services she provided over the course of their cohabitation. 

Lesson of the day: Don't play grown-up if you can't be grown-up.

I can't even believe they are , it's a good thing they're not married.  Maybe they can call up EJT from yesterday and he can give them some advice worth of their issues.

Singlelif said...

Tim/Lisa - Word to the Wise:  When it comes to relationships, "be yourself, or you'll find yourself, by yourself".  No representative allowed.

CaliGirlED said...

"end up as two single people litigating their relationship on Judge Judy,
where Tim will be asking for $$ back on the shoes he paid for, and Lisa
will be asking for the return of grocery money and maid services she
provided over the course of their cohabitation." DEAD!!!

JohnKinPDX said...

Let me see if I get this...
You have a chance to ask the greatest bougie blogger in all the land a question plus get the input of her knowledgeable readership and THIS is what you're coming with?

Milk and shoes and flirting? I came with Mexican vacations, drive-bys, court appearances and Pilates instructors...

STEP YOUR GAME UP.

OneChele said...

Comment. Of. The. Day! @JohnKinPDX wins for this one. 

Singlelif said...

They ain't ready...(grammatically incorrect, I know).

Angel Blanca said...

Tim and Lisa don't say how old they are, or if this is their first co-hab experience, but I would say they are on the younger side and doing this for the first time.

If you can't talk through the issues you've raised in your respective letters, then you're not ready to be in a live-in relationship.  You say the apt has two bedrooms?  Great.  Live in them separately and manage your own space until you come to an understanding of what it means to be in a committed, live-in relationship with each other.

While we here in BougieLand don't mind offering our POVs, I do believe that the couple should have invested in their own relationship as much as possible before bringing it before the masses.  Know yourselves individually and then you'll be able to determine if there's a collective you worth pursuing and working to keep.

MichelleG said...

Couldn't be bothered to log in earlier but had to solely to *fistbump*!

David Chase said...

Right?!

Singlelif said...

They say "late 20s).

tiffanyinhouston said...

HOLLERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JoycelynC said...

LOL! Lawd!

tiffanyinhouston said...

Have a conversation, get a maid, stop the flirting or break the hell up. I'm tired today, dammit. I can't with ya'll's silliness today!

And listen to Owen and BB Waite.

Earthangel172 said...

do.not.resuscitate.

GammasWorld said...

Y'all need to quit.  I mean it - quit.   Read Owen's comment.  Reflect on it.  Read it again.  

CorettaJG said...

Indeed John!

CorettaJG said...

So True!

AndreaPlaid said...

Day-um!

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