Saturday, April 30, 2011

You can sleep when you're dead... right?


For the third time in as many weeks, I heard a horrific story of someone relatively young just going about their merry way and then falling out. Dead. Heart attack. Gone. Called home. Just. Like. That. 

LeDamn! What thing did these three people have in common? Work, work, work, grind, grind, grind. We've become a culture that admires and reveres hard work over all else. The pastor spoke on it the other day. He called it, "Grind Nation" - we are a people on the grind, powered by caffeine and energy bars.

But at the detriment of what? Our health? Loved ones? Our future?

I recall working at Huge Consulting Co Inc and literally pausing in the middle of a conference call to tell everybody to cut out early. We were exhausted. We were working 90 - 100 hour weeks. Some of us hadn't spent more than a few minutes with our families or significant others in over 60 days. Someone said, "What about the client?" I responded, "Next week is soon enough. No one is putting 'they worked so hard' on your gravestone." 

Let's take a timeout for a blast from the past. Here's Vertical Hold with a young Angie Stone singing - Seems You're Just Too Busy...


I was noticing on Twitter the other day just how many people were announcing that they were still at work at some crazy hour or got in early or hadn't eaten or were too tired to do anything more than fire off a tweet and drop comatose into their beds. 

Lord knows I'm guilty of staying up trying to finish "just one last thing" and the next thing I know, it's 3:00 in the morning. [Author guiltily squints across room to see clock read out 2:47am - my bad] In my defense, I'm a creative person. I have to follow the dictates of my sometimey Muse. I wish I was the sort of writer who could pop on the computer at 8:00am, type up a few chapters and shut it down around four. But no, my divalicious Muse wants to get froggy round midnight. That heffa is silent as a mug all diggity damn day but just let me lay my head on a pillow and there she goes whispering, "You know what would be a great blog topic? Oh, and I figured out what was wrong with chapter seventeen. Get up! You can sleep when you're dead."

No need to tell Le Muse Miserable that stress caused by exhaustion and inability to turn one's brain off and decompress is a leading cause of stroke and other death-inducing ailments... she doesn't care.

But you should. I'm all for hustle, my friends. Life is short and I get it - you've got to get it in while the getting is good. Just make sure you don't look back in five, ten, fifteen years (if life lasts) to realize you have nothing but a slamming resume to show for it. Life happens. Grab you some.

I'm off to Florida to visit BougieSis for a week. I may have some guest posts this week. I may jot a thought or two myself, we'll just see how it goes. Now everybody get out there and enjoy some of the weekend, won't you?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: Where is my Princ(ess) Charming Already?!


Totally feeling this one, it's for everyone who ever wondered - when is it going to happen for me? Where is my Prince/Princess Charming? Is it my turn yet?!
Dear Michele Grant,
I’m in severe need of your advice or opinion about my “love” life. It seems that I can’t win. I've tried personal ads, dating different type of men and been open-minded. I’ll admit that I’m a strong minded woman but I’m fair. When it comes to my love life (or lack of), I can’t win. 
It’s so bad that I asked God on numerous occasions to take the desire to have a relationship, marriage or child away. It hurts to see people around you progressing in those areas while you’re standing still. It’s not that I want their experiences but my own. I hope that I don’t give the impression of someone whom stands around crying about what she doesn't have, I don’t. I just would like to know when I can stop telling myself ‘’It’s not your time”. 
The last substantial relationship was a decade ago. From them to now, I “dated” frequently and have been the amusement of my girlfriends (I always have an unbelievable story). After no real relationships, scares of being infertile (twice) followed by surgery, twice ovarian cancer scares and numerous hours of praying, I’m numb. I am grateful that everything turned out fine (no infertile and no cancer), it leads me to question ‘Now what?”. 
I had to come to the realization that maybe God’s plan for me isn't to be a mother or wife. I pray that his plan is shown to me and if it’s not what I want, let me be ok with it. I hold on to that prayer and it gives me peace until I meet someone and for whatever reason it doesn't work. And if that’s the case, why is he sending people in my life? What’s the reasoning? What is the lesson? 
I’ve been working on being the best me and believe wholeheartedly that I’m 90% there. Is it wrong to want to share my life with someone? How many more times do I have to be hurt and disappointed? I know that our experiences make us stronger and better, but my love life is a freak show. 
I’m in the hunt of peace in my life and tirelessly fighting not to be bitter.
Thank you for your time, CM78
CM78 - Well, I don't deign to know what God has in store for each of us. I've had this discussion with myself, with friends, with family for years before I just let it all go and said whatever will be will be. I know it's cliche and not what you want to hear but the truth is, there is no easy answer. 

If you've read the blog, you know I've had quite the ride on the Relationship Rollercoaster. Dizzying highs, depressing lows and nauseating flips and turns. But in the words of Maya Angelou, "Still I rise." The raw truth is, it happens when it happens. I'm in a happy place right now but if this goes to hell in a handbasket (sorry Ninja!), I'll dust myself off and try again. 

The good news is - people are still coming into your life. So you have options as well as hope. Try not to get too cynical about the ones that didn't work out or got away. Also, it's time to do a forensic review of boyfriends/date past. Just double check that you didn't overlook someone you dated before even if it was only briefly. This is also a great way to see if you are dating or attracting guys who ultimately are not your heart's desire. I made a spreadsheet and included things like how we met, how we communicated, their basic info and what went wrong. You'd be amazed the patterns you can see when it's broken down like that.

As you meet new people, take each person on their own merit. Also, it helps to treat each date or conversation as its own experience. Don't go into a situation thinking, "This might be The One." That's too much pressure. 

What helps is to pray to be fulfilled and satisfied regardless of circumstances. It's a tough one, I'm still waiting for it to 100% kick in. Most of all, stay upbeat and optimistic. Good luck to you!

BougieLand, words for CM78? Have you felt the same? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: "I want it all"


Continuing Ask a Bougie Chick week... today we have a 29 year old African-American gent from San Diego who calls himself Mr. Jack. I'm going to have you read this without pre-commentary. Let's take a look, shall we?
Chele,
What had happened was... no really. Let me be straight. I want that dime, 5-star, throw away the mold woman. Looks great, has her own career and ambitions, a little freaky-deaky, sweet natured, old fashioned values, spiritual, lets a man be a man, takes care of the home. I know it's everything and I've heard from so many people "You want Superwoman, you're not going to find all of that in one woman. You're going to have to compromise" - I don't think so. 
Not to pat myself on the back but I'm a good man. A catch if you will. Educated, employed, tall, straight, attractive and monogamous once I'm in a relationship. Good family background and values. Ready to settle down. Here's what's up. 
I was with this woman for almost two years. She was a good candidate for Mrs. Jack. Seriously gorgeous, professional, classy, paid, smart, everyone loved her, lady in the living room, beast in the bedroom and really loved me. Two things though, she couldn't (or wouldn't) cook and she did not know how to play her position. She challenged me on everything. In the beginning, it was cool like we could debate things from different perspectives but I started to wonder if she was just unable to let me say something and have it stand on its own.
She felt like she had to have an opinion on everything. Even when she agreed with me, it's a whole lot of back and forth. Sometimes, I'd just prefer a woman to just be quiet about it and keep it moving. When I called her on it she said maybe I just needed a different kind of woman that I could "mold and teach" to do and say what I wanted when I wanted. 
It was that kind of attitude right there that left me wondering "Is there someone better out there?"
When I broke up with her, everybody (fam, boys, female friends, church folks) told me I was making the biggest mistake of my life. Said she was the best thing that ever happened to me and kept me honest. I disagree. I don't think I'm asking for too much based on what I'm bringing to the table. I'm sure you and BougieLand have some thoughts. 
~Mr. Jack
What's the question? Can you have it all? Should you not have broken up with her? Let me see, you had a woman that was "Seriously gorgeous, professional, classy, paid, smart, everyone loved her, lady in the living room, beast in the bedroom and really loved me"... I don't know. Seems like you were at 98% and you tossed it away to search for the other 2. I need more back story on the debating and back-n-forthin'. I mean if she was just a shrew, okay. No one wants that. But if she was just chiming in with her thoughts???

Here's the problem. You want a professional woman that handles her own, has men drooling after her etcetera etcetera but you don't want her to disagree or challenge you? You do understand that to be a rock star at work she is required to have opinions and articulate them. You want her to turn that off when she gets home? Okay then. 

What do I know? Maybe the next woman will be 105%, You certainly shouldn't be with a woman if you think you're settling. Trust me if she's all you say she is, there's a man out there who is dying to have her. I think you're missing the forest for the trees but that's just my opinion... and the consensus of everybody you know. [side-eye]

It's interesting because I was discussing this with a group of men and women. Someone said women settle (for less than that 100% guy), men don't. That triggered a heated discussion. BougieLand, what do you think? Are people still looking for perfection? Do women give up on finding it before men do? Anything to say to Mr. Jack? Fellas, please weigh in today. I'm dying to know if Jack is alone in his principles. Thoughts, comments, insights?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: Him or My Hair


I'm so mad about this Ask a Bougie Chick Letter, I can hardly type it up. Ya'll know how much I hate talking about hair. Hate, hate, hate. Le Sigh. Okay, here we go. I'm going to call this girl LovelyLocks. Lovely Locks lives in the Seattle area and just got an ultimatum from her long-time boyfriend. Take a deep breath, a patience pill and read this mess.
Hey OneChele,
I appreciate the candid way you give advice on BnB. Hoping you can share a thought with me on this. I'm 26 and have been dating the same guy since the end of college (I was 22 then). We met on campus. One of the things he has always said he loved about me is my long hair. I've been getting perms since I was old enough to climb in the chair. 
But lately I've been thinking that I'd like to cut some (like a lot) and go natural. So I skipped my last perm appointment and have been letting it just kind of air dry so I can see the texture. He noticed it wasn't as flat and asked me why my hair was looking so kinky. I told him I wanted to go natural. He went crazy and said that's not what he signed up for. He said he liked my hair long and straight and I wouldn't be the same person. 
I asked him if my hair change would affect our relationship and he said I could have him or I could go natural but he wasn't sticking around for what I would turn into. Jeez, it's not that serious. I was just going to try it. I went and got the perm. But now I'm wondering - did he really ask me to choose between him and a hairstyle? What would you do?
~LovelyLocks
*Looks around for Ashton Kutcher* I'm being punk'd, right? Lovely, please tell me you did not write in to ask me if you should change your hair for A MAN?! *kicks over small stack of books* GIRL! Where is your pride? "Not what he signed up for" - are you joking with that? Okay, you know what - I'm going to bring it on back. Here we go. Teachable moment...

Ladies, here's how to tell if you are about to do a crazy, thirsty, need-more-people, need-self-esteem thing. Flip the script. For instance, would a man with dreads cut them off because you asked him to? Or NOT cut them off because you really liked them? Hell. To. The. Naw. If this is the answer, DON'T DO IT.

In the simplest terms, Lovely - the man is supposed to love you. Not your hair. It's YOUR hair. He ain't even put a ring on it and dictating your style? Really?

You know what, I can't even do this. I gotta turn it over to BougieLand. Men, has a woman ever asked you to change something about yourself? If so what, and did you do it? Would you break up with a woman over a haircut? Ladies, please get your girl. Has anyone gone through this type of hair hate? And seriously, WDDDA?!

Tonight on Blog Talk Radio: Divas after Dark - It's a Free for All



Divas after Dark, Bouge after Bedtime, Smacktalk after sundown....


Tonight at 9:00pm central/10:00pm eastern Carolyn Edgar and I will be going in on a variety of topics on Blog Talk Radio. Easter Sunday sent us into fits over the Twitter discussion about whether a woman should fix a man's plate of food or not. I can guaranteed we'll go in on that a little bit. We were also astonished to see how many people do not ask for help when they need it. We'll touch on that as well. Come on through and join the chat room or call in (646) 378-1171 and join the conversation. See you there!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: I didn't get married for this!


We're on day two of Ask a Bougie Chick week. I know we just discussed open relationships but here's an interesting conundrum. Today we have a gent that I'll call AB06 writing in over a discussion with his wife that is distressing him...
Hello OneChele,
I am sending you this email after reading your post about "Open Relationships".  I am a married man (6 years).  My wife and I dated for 3.5 years before we got married. We are both college graduates with Post graduate Degrees, professionals, mid 30's (38).  If you have a few minutes, I want to share my story, but also get your thoughts.  Right now, I am completely lost.
We started out as friends, dating exclusively, having a love connection and waited 5 months before we got intimate with each other. I stressed this because I knew once we got intimate, our relationship would move to the next level. Underneath our personalities, we are both were very sexual, she felt she was probably more experimental and adventurous than me (LOL), but we would talk about sex and our past experiences, etc. 
Fast forward to now, after being married and having 2 kids, the topic of Open Relationships was discussed one night while we were up watching the "Monique" Show. This prompted her to start doing research. My wife wanted to get my view/thoughts of having that kind of relationship. My initial reaction was "No", I didn't get married to you to be with other people, why is this coming up now, etc. My wife's response to me was she felt I was not being "sensual" enough with her and that although she feels I am good sexually with her, I may not be enough for her. She said maybe if I had another relationship with a woman, that I could learn something and possibly enhance our relationship. At this point was still in shock and still "No". She said "If I ever cheated" it wasn't a deal breaker for her, because of our foundation in our relationship. Which is why she thought an open relationship might work. 
Her position is that no species or human being on earth can be monogamous.  People have connections with people everyday (not sexual, but could be), so why block that human connection / experience.  I felt her for a sec, but I told her, Men and Women see people periodically and think in their mind a connection, vibe, or sexual thought, but doesn't mean people should act on it if they are in a relationship. If I was single, it would be different, but I am not.   
The topic ended there, but I brought it up again after 2 weeks of thinking about it. During this period, I was not only dealing with this but also the passing of my mother. With all of this, I just broke down one night on my own about everything.  My thinking was that I couldn't believe my wife brought this up as a topic in to our marriage. We have 2 little kids (3 and 1).  I told her at this point, that I am not interested in having an "Open Relationship." She stated that was fine, but she wants to discuss this more in the future.  I told her that if it's something she really wants to pursue, than we will need to discuss a "Divorce". 
She was shocked and got very emotional, because she later explained that she didn't see anything wrong with it. Her past relationships while she was dating except 1, were all open relationships (I didn't know this and she never put things in these terms when we were dating and talking about our past experiences.  My past relationships as I explained to her were monogamous.  So I concluded here is the root to this problem.)  
I have heard her rationale and I could see how people have these types of relationships.  But in my mind, I just think it's not right and could potentially involve too many feelings and emotions.  Thoughts?  
~AB06
This is terrible but my first thought is that she wants to "stir cocoa" with someone else and wants permission to do it. Maybe there is some out of the box thing she wants to do sexually but if that's the case she needs to teach you how to do it before seeking that thrill elsewhere. 

I was having a similar discussion with some people the other day (both married and single) and one thing we all agreed about is that if one person changes the structural dynamic of a marriage without complete buy in from the spouse - it's a slippery downhill slope from there. If you don't want to share, that should be that. 

I'm also giving her a little bit of a side-eye for just now disclosing that she prefers open relationships. I think she didn't tell you earlier because she knew you wouldn't go for it and she wanted the ring. Now two kids in, she thought she'd put it out there and see what you had to say. I would suggest some counseling. Just because she said she's going to back burner the discussion, doesn't mean she won't act on it. I don't know your wife but if you were troubled enough to write in, you have your doubts. Have someone help you talk it through. The sooner the better.

BougieLand, what do you think? What would you do in AB06's place? Have you ever been in a relationship when someone completely changed the rules on you? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: Mixing Business with the Boo

{Disclaimer - I'm not a counselor, life coach, relationship specialist or doctor of any sort. I've just been there, done that and written the book(s). My opinions are my own and not reflective of anything other than the corners of my mind.}

It's Ask a Bougie Chick Week! Woo-hoo!

First let me say that if I haven't responded to your email by reply or here on the blog, I apologize. My gmailbox downloads to two different computers (plus the BlackBerry) and I didn't realize that deleted on one, deleted on all - thought I had it set up separately. So, long story short - my bad. Technical difficulties may have prevented me from answering you. Write again, I'll do better.

Today's letter comes from a woman in her early thirties living in Arkansas. She calls herself BZLady. I've made edits for length and grammar. Let's take a look...
Hey Chele, 
Just wanted to say I love the books and your blog first. But I do have an issue to get your opinion on. I met a guy three years ago. Very nice, ambitious and respectful. We got along very well and quickly went from the friend zone to being together. After around 18 months, he proposed and I accepted. We moved in together and started consolidating bank accounts, etc. 
He was working as a mechanic at a national chain and got the opportunity to take over a franchise in a suburb about 30 minutes from where we were near Little Rock. To close the deal, he needed about $24,000. He had eight of that. One day he came home and asked me if I would pull the rest of the money out of my 401(k) and savings account.  
I work at a hospital as an administrator and have been here for close to ten years. I've been very aggressive with savings and putting away for retirement. So when he asked me for the $16,000 I have to admit that at first I was mad that he'd paid that much attention to my finances and knew I had it. Then I felt nervous. My 401(k) would be completely wiped out and my savings would take a serious hit.  
But he said we were building a life together and I already knew how profitable the franchise would be. Plus he said that in a few months, it would all be our money anyway. So I agreed with the stipulation that he put the money back as soon as the business started showing a profit. He agreed and we even shook hands on it laughing about sealing the deal.  
Fast forward to six months ago. We broke off the engagement for a number of reasons and he moved out. Also, his business is doing very, very well. Up until recently, I had access to the books and there is money coming in. I found out that he only needed about half of the $16,000 I gave him and the rest he used to put down on a house that he's living in with another woman. 
I want my money back. He said because we never had a binding contract, he considered it a gift and isn't required to pay me. Last time I tried to contact him about it, he got nasty and told me to quit stalking him. I feel fourteen kinds of stupid and wonder if he wasn't playing me all along. I guess that part doesn't matter but can you tell me if there's any way to get the money back? Isn't this a contract and isn't a handshake an agreement? Was I just being stupid?
~BZLady
BZ, I'm sorry this happened to you. It really, really sucks. I'm not an attorney (and you need one) but here's what I do know. Technically, you had all the contractual elements: offer, acceptance, mutual agreement, legal purpose, consideration, and sound mind of both parties (at least I assume so!). But because this agreement involved a debt one party owes the other to secure the sale or purchase of a business, you really should have put in writing to insure it's enforceability. The handshake does imply consent but if no one witnessed it.... you need an attorney.

Quickly. Like stop reading this and call one. Him telling you that you are stalking him is his way of flipping the script and setting up his defense when you build some sort of fraud/theft case against him. 

In the meantime, make sure you can prove the money came from your accounts and went to his. Technically until he pays you back, you own a part of that business. Do you by any chance still have access to his accounts? Is your name still on anything? I suggest you relieve his accounts of your funds. Hell if I'd be posted up with zero savings while he's shacked up high rolling which some chick on my dime?! No. Ma'am.

Make sure he doesn't have access to anything else of yours and get a fraud alert service on your social security number - he might have used your credit to secure credit of his own. Long story short: Fight back. 

BougieLand, any advice for BZ? Ladies and gents, would you "loan" your S.O. thousands of dollars on a handshake and a smile? What do we think about the concept of "our money" after marriage? Do you co-mingle everything? Would you go into business with your potential spouse? And what would you do to get your money back? Inquiring minds want to know. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sacrifice


After the last time I tried to talk about some Jesus in BougieLand and a Holy War broke out in the comments section, I'll just say I hope everybody has a wonderful day today. For my non-believers out there, this really isn't your day. I get that. 

Many of us will be celebrating Easter Sunday and giving thanks for the miracle of The Resurrection. The greatest sacrifice, the purest love. 

Whether you hie thee to a church, chapel, temple, brunch, bbq, Basketball Baptist, Television Tabernacle or Pillowtop Pentecostal - here's a wish that you take a moment to embrace the concept that there are people in this world that made sacrifices for you. Sacrifices born out of love. Be thankful for that. Be respectful of that. And pay it forward.

 Happy Easter everybody.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's that time again... Black Weblog Awards

Last year, BougieLand was proud and honored to be recognized with the Best Blog Post Series for "I Love Black Men" in the Black Weblog Awards.

This year, if you could do me the honor of nominating me for Best Writing, Best Blog Post Series for my Bougie Bachelorette Chronicles or really, anything you feel like filling in.

To fill out the form, head on over to the Black Weblogs 2011 website (click right here) and paste "http://www.blacknbougie.com/search/label/Bougie%20Bachelorette%20Chronicles" into the Best Series box and http://www.blacknbougie.com in the box for Best Writing and others as you see fit.

Much obliged. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Learning not to take the bait


There must be a sensor. Some sort of tingly spidey sense that men possess that tells them that their ex is in a happy place with someone else and have moved on. Fellas, am I right? Do you have a commission that keeps an eye on these things and sends out coded signals to let you know? Inquiring minds want to know because I swear it's uncanny. 

The very minute I relax and say, "You know what? This could be good. This could be what happy feels like," something wicked this way comes. In the form of a text or missed phone call indicator or the like.

But guess what? I finally learned. No one says you have to return a call or answer a ringing phone. That is why the tech gods created the IGNORE button. That's right. Just don't take the bait. If someone's dead, they can send an email about the funeral. If someone's sick, they can text the hospital address. If they just want to say they're sorry? We already know. Got news? Tell it to someone who is still required to give two shakes of a damn. Otherwise, I have nothing left to say except...

No. Thank. You. As a matter of fact, how cool would that be? If you had a "no thank you" setting for contacts so that if they called, emailed or texted they would get a pleasant voice and icon saying, "No thank you." That would rock.

Yes, good citizens of BnB. For the first time in I don't know how long. I ignored the missed calls from Certain Someone Upon Whom Many Years and Tears Were Wasted. The freedom of confirming that BlackBerry question, "Are you sure you want to delete?" - YES! Epic moment. Like booty dancing in the middle of the afternoon goodness. 

Just had to share. I know it's not a revelation. I know you are supposed to surgically excise human cancers from your life. But I finally learned to take my own advice. That's celebration-worthy.


Oh, I just got schooled. Apparently women do the ill-fated, unwarranted, malicious and untimely tapback too. My bad. Everybody should stop that. Seriously. Eyes forward. Nothing to see here.  Thoughts?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bougie Bachelorette Chronicles - Episode 8 - The case of the alpha male/female


For the purposes of this post, let's use these definition:
Alpha male - The leader of the pack. Dominant male, the guy who seems most at ease in his own skin. Generally can essentially marry or date any woman of his choice. The alpha male is often good-looking, has a great build, and may have a relatively high socioeconomic status. Next on the hierarchy is beta, second in command considered an alpha in waiting. Then gamma, delta and omega. 
Le Ninja Nouveau (Lenny for short) and I are participating in a 30-day fitness challenge with Jayme C, her husband and four other folks. We each had a certain number of calories to stay under per day, a certain number of calories to burn per week, and a target heart rate to achieve and sustain during our workouts. Three days on, one day off, three days on for the workout schedule. We have guys vs. girls with the ladies picking the exercise one day and the gents picking the activity the next. More about that in a series I'm sending over to the Fresh Xpress. Suffice it to say, it's been eye-opening. Is it May yet? A sister is tired.

One day, we were all congregating at Chez Carter. They have an awesome workout/media room  that saves us from making complete fools of ourselves in public when we try something new. Let the record reflect that the workouts were going smoothly until Ms. Jayme decided that in lieu of working out one day, we should have fajitas and margaritas on her patio. To be fair, the record should also reflect that none of us put up too much of a fight to ditching the sweat and firing up the grill and the blender. 

Three hours later, Jayme decided to start some mess. She asked me and Ninja Nouveau if we had experienced our first fight yet. [Why, Jayme, why?] I said no, he said yes. 

Awkward pause.

I sent him a look. "When did we fight?"

He sent me one back. "Over the thing the other day?"

"That wasn't a fight, it was a spirited discussion."

"You raised your voice in disagreement, that's a fight."

"You said... and I quote, 'Fall back woman -I got this.' Hell yes, I disagreed."

He shrugged, "We worked it out."

I rolled my eyes and fell silent. Not sure we worked it out as much as we agreed to disagree on what were originally discussing and left it at that.

Jayme (who was a few margaritas in) laughed, "You two have an alpha problem."

I was confused. He's an Alpha. I didn't pledge. What was she talking about?

"Not Alpha Phi Alpha. But alpha alpha. As in he's an alpha male and you're an alpha female. It's always going to be a tussle to see who running in the lead position."

"I'm not an alpha female."

Everybody at the table laughed.... except me. "No I'm serious, I think I'm beta exuding some alpha-like qualities. From what I've read the alpha female is kind of a rigid condescending b*tch. And I'm sweet as pie."

Jayme choked on her drink, "The alpha female is b*tchy in such a way that others excuse it because she's charming so it just comes across as a strong opinion. Men want to be with her, women want to be her. She's a great gal pal unless there's an agenda she's not down with and then she's out. She's busy and not waiting around for a man to do what she can do herself. She pays her own way. She's confident, she's driven and takes no shiggity. Men have to work to get her and keep her. Sound familiar?"

Lenny says, "It does to me." He earned a side-eye.

"But..." I wanted to be clear, "I don't automatically assume the lead position. Especially not with an alpha male. I'm only alpha by circumstance or necessity. Otherwise, I'm totally chill in the beta position."

Jayme nodded, "Okay, I will say that you're not initimidating, you're very approachable and though you like to get your own way, you give in gracefully if you don't. And you've found a way to be confident without being a vain egomaniac. We'll call you alpha-beta."

Then Lenny tried to make an argument about not being the alpha male and his two friends shut him down and reminded him that he had nicknames in college "The Alpha's Alpha" and "Top Dog". Ni-ice. 

So this got me to thinking - do I only date alpha? Do I prefer alpha to beta or even omega males? Maybe (okay definitely) in the past, I've dated omega who only pretended to be alpha and then I was irked because I had to step out of my beta comfort zone. Hmmm. Food for thought. Can we fall back on the cliché: it takes a strong woman to be with a strong man? Or is it vice versa? Anyway...

Ladies - let's start with you, do you think you're an alpha female? Take the quiz to see.

                                   

Gents - Your quiz is over on my Tumblr page. Sorry, I couldn't fit it here so it would look pretty.

BougieLand (ladies and gents) - what say you? Where do you think you fall? Are you drawn more to alpha or beta significant others? How much do you think it matters in relationship dynamics? Thoughts on leading the pack? What's so wrong with hanging in the middle or bringing up the rear? Any insights, commentary, feedback?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Five Topics Black Twitter need not debate anymore (please)


For those not dwelling in the Twittersphere, let me just share a few things. Twitter, Black Twitter in particular, is kind of like high school. You have the intellectuals, the militants, the hoodrats, the artists, the popular set, the invisibles and those that kind of fall somewhere in between. On a weekly basis, some of the exact same debates/beefs/comments sprout up and the various factions line up on one side or the other and fire at will. It's like Breakfast Club meets Groundhog Day

Sometimes I enter the fray and lob a grenade or two myself. Particularly when MSNBC aired the Black Agenda with no black host to be found. Don't get me started. Here are the list of topics that Black Twitter can retire or kill or bury alive - it's doesn't matter... just make them stop:

1. Obama's blackness - Far as I can tell, not a one of these people has been cuddled up next to Obeezy and therefore have not a clue what it's like to be the 44th President of the United States while being black. This does not stop numerous random pontifications about whether he's doing enough "for the people" or is just a big sell out. The debate over whether he'd be President if he were dark-skinned, had attended an HBCU or married a white woman? Beaten to death and useless.

Every speech, every plane ride, every congressional wiggle sets both liberals and conservatives alike into a frenzy. They have to let you know how much they love hate wish they were are just like mis/understand Obama with increasing volume and rhetoric. It's exhausting to watch. After a certain period of time, you start noticing people just tweeting "co-sign" or "fist bump" or my favorite "hmmm" - it's easier to just let it fade out... until the next time. Look, the man is black. He's the President. He's either doing what he can or he's not. It's as simple as that. 

2. Hair - Who cares if you rock a weave or sport a natural? Apparently, a good number of Black Twitteratti. Generally it will start with an incendiary comment from some man trying to instigate. Something like, "Black women who wear weaves are self-hating fakers!" Someone follows up with, "Natural hair people are nazis!" [These are actual tweets folks!] And we're off... You get the testimony of people who have gone natural and a sidebar conversation into hair care product starts. Then you get the weavologists jumping in with a sidebar into where the best virgin Indian hair is to be scored.

At some point a magazine or webzine focusing on "issues important to black women" enters the fray with a link to "weave horror stories" or "how perms are dangerous to your health" - I wish I was kidding. Before and after pictures spring up. Men align themselves: for, against, or we don't care as long as the cocoa gets stirred. This happens at least once a week. More often during award and reality show season. Nothing gets Black Twitter going like badweavitis (see The Braxtons for reference). Enough already. Please put India.Arie's I Am Not My Hair on repeat and exhale.

3. Tyler Perry - Let us pray... Father God, please let folks of African descent living on this side of the continent come together and recognize that Tyler Perry is neither the second coming of your son, King Jesus nor the earthbound incarnation of Lucifer, Prince of Darkness. In your name we pray, Amen. 

There are few shades of grey on the TP of it all. People either really, really love him or really, really hate him. And ne'er will the two sides agree. It is what it is - no more discussion needed. [We can also place Oprah, Beyonce, Diddy, Nicki Minaj, Steve Harvey and Tyrese in this same category]

4. BET - Pretty universally people agree that it sucks. And sucks a lot. But you have a group that rails over it's suckability and watch anyway, this infuriates the group that would refuse to turn to BET if they were the last station standing after Armageddon. It's just that serious. 
Tweegro A: "God! BET sucks"
Tweegro B: "And yet you still watch."
Tweegro A: "Don't judge me!"
Tweegro B: "Don't be a hypocrite."
And we're off.  [This is the same discussion for "Insert the name of any Reality Show with Wives in the Title here" as well. Yes, we know most of them are not actual wives, the title is for entertainment purposes only] Just once, I'd love to see some solution-based tweeting. If every time one of these arguments broke out, folks donated a dollar per tweet, we could buy BET from Viacom and use its power for good.

5. Dateability/Doability - The same unemployed troll who is living in his Grandma's basement with a blow up doll for a girlfriend starts these stupid trending topics at least once a week. Clever and classy topics like #Thisiswhyyouresingle #WifeyMaterial #OnlyCrunkwJunkintheTrunk #IwoulddoUif ... again - I wish I was joking. Then the women come back with #DudesNotDateableIf #Mymanbetta #DontDateHimGirl ... oh it goes on and on.

If not a trending topic, then someone writes an article about the best women to date, the men that women overlook, the best way for women to make themselves more doable/dateable and the battle begins. Women go in about scrubs trying to come across pimpalicious, men go in about single women who will never get a man. Is it impolite of me to say that in the time it took to sling those Twitter arrows forth and yon, folks could've been done and dated and moved on? 

Honorable Mention goes to the Black Representative Debate - (I'll admit a fondness for this one). This is the swirl around the Cornel Wests, Michael Eric Dysons, Reverend Als et al. The question is asked - are these the best "spokespeople" we've got? And then we discuss who should step up and replace the current talking heads. But since the mainstream media is more than happy to have Al spouting his rhetoric, we just wince our way through.

2nd Honorable Mention to the ever popular interactive game Where's Black Waldo. Yes, this is when Black Twitter convenes in front of our televisions for some sort of major event  (like for instance, the Oscars) and begins to search (usually fruitlessly) for Black People.
"Wait, there's one! Oh she looks good."
"Seriously, they couldn't find a single person of color for this?"
 "Spike Lee got robbed with Malcolm X" <~~~ comes up every year like clockwork
"2011 and this is the best we can do?"
There's my list. I know it's a fruitless wish that these topics go extinct. Some of these discussions are tales as old as time. But a girl can dream, can't she? Or is that up for debate too?

Wanna add to the list? Agree or disagree with mine? The floor is yours...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Whitewashing" your name (and your resume)

Last week, I was helping a friend of mine review some resumes. I came across one where the applicant's first name was Shardoneneah. This perplexed me until I realized that someone was trying to spell Chardonnay.

Now before people start going in about freedom of expression and cultural heritage, there's a vast difference between Akilah and Shaqueenlakiki. Stop it. There's a difference between ethnic and ghetto-fab. Akilah is Arabic in origin and means bright or intelligent. Shaqueenlakiki is just some nonsense slapped together.

I spent years in Human Resources.  I've had to whitewash [pardon the expression] many a resume in my day to get a hiring manager to look at it objectively. Let's face facts, prejudice happens. If your parent(s) gifted you with a name that may reveal your race, you should just understand what that means for you job search wise.

I've had hiring managers say they needed someone "who fit in with the team" - that's code for talks like us, thinks like us, and sometimes looks like us. Unless you are positive your resume will stand on it's own merits, your name should be Shar in that header. 

Unfortunately, people are going to make assumptions about a woman named Shardoneneah or Shaqueenlakiki. Deserved or not. Like I was telling someone one on Twitter, no - it's not fair that Moonbeam and Apple get a break but that's life. One person named Rashed told me that since 9/11, he's had crazy backlash from his name. He's not Muslim but even if he happened to be- that doesn't make him a terrorist. But that hasn't stopped people from acting wonky. He goes by Shed on his professional documents now.

One of our BnB regulars, Diamond Jackson, shared that she has lamented over her name for years. According to her, "Diamond Jackson" sounds like the name of someone who shakes her hindparts on a pole down at the House of Cheeks during Happy Hour. Professionally, she goes by Di or D. C. Jackson.

[In addition to your name, I've also advised folks against claiming their Greek affiliations, charitable causes or political leanings on a resume. You don't want to give a company any reason to rule you out on paper alone. Yes it's against all the rules to discriminate. Guess what? People do it anyway.]

Names are important. They are the often the only thing someone knows about you. Like it or not, they leave an impression. I remember my father telling me about twins one of his patients had. Phonetically, they were named -aur-ang-el-loh and lay-mong-el-loh. Yes, the mother had named them OrangeJello and LemonJello. I'm sorry, mama should've been slapped for that. Then there was the woman who named her child Metamucil because that's what was on TV while she was in labor. The woman who saw the bracelet on her baby's arm and thought she was already named Fah-maul-lay... the tag said "Female". :-/

What do you think of these super creative names? We joke about Peaches versus Priscilla and Preston versus Pookie but don't you believe that some preconceptions come with certain names? Have you taken things off your resume to appear as bland as possible? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Battery low indicator...

When you see that icon on your phone, you know it's time to put it down, plug it in and let it recharge. Well, let's just imagine that the human body/brain has a similar icon... mine is flashing red. And I have miles to go before I sleep. Gazillion things to do, not enough time to do it in. Something's gotta give.

So I'm going to take a little bit of time away from BougieLand (unless something strikes me as super blogworthy). When I come back, I'll be stronger, smarter, better... well, I'll be back anyway. See you soon!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Allergies and why we hate them...


One thing I really, really miss about living in Cali is that I had no seasonal allergy problems there. Maybe it was because I lived near the water both in Northern and Southern California so all the pollen just went out to sea, I don't know. But the joy of breathing freely, 24/7/365 is greatly missed.

My mother is allergic to shellfish and I was always deathly afraid of manifesting that problem. I'm a shrimp-grillin', crawfish-boilin', scallop-sautéeing sister. I need my surf alongside my turf. For years I prayed (and prayed) to be spared the seafood allergy. Watch what you ask for (or rather how you ask for it). About a month after my 34th birthday, I went and scooped up my mango-strawberry smoothie from Jamba Juice as per normal. About halfway through, I started feeling uncomfortable but didn't know what it was.

I went home, drank some water, and went to bed. The next morning I put some lemon in my tea, grabbed some apple slices and headed out. Less than an hour later I felt terrible again. I'm sure you've figured it out but it took me two weeks, three doctors and my lips swelling up like Mike Tyson punched me squarely in the mouth until I figured it out - I'd developed a late onset allergy to fruit. All fruit? I don't know, I tried six or seven and was so miserable I just gave up. So sure, I can still eat seafood - just don't put any lemon on it. 

I used to eat fruit a few times a day. There really is NO subsitute. I eat a lot of veggies and drink carrot and tomato juice <~~~so not the same. Thankfully, I can still drink fruit flavored tea. The Cherry Me Bloom and Strawberry Passion from Village Tea Co have saved my life. [Shout out to Martin from Village Tea Co whose party I missed... see below]

This week, BougieMom ate something that didn't agree with her. All we know is the throat started closing up. She got dosed with epic levels of Benadryl and bounced back the next day. Because old girl is 78, I freak out anytime something distrubs the Nellie-bio-eco-system. We're still not 100% sure what caused the reaction. 

Ninja Nouveau and I had two parties and a late dinner to go to Saturday night. We decided to pop in on the party his boss was giving first so we had the excuse of "we have somewhere else to be" to use as needed. I tasted the Asian slaw on a radicchio leaf and said, "I can't eat that, there's lime juice squeezed all over it." Ninja nodded and reached out to grab one. I said, "I also thought I tasted some peanut oil." Ninja Nouveau has been allergic to all things peanut since childhood. A little nugget I found out when I tried to inadvertently kill him with a slice of peanut brittle cheesecake. My bad.

Ninja sniffed the appetizer and decided it's fine. {Men!!!} He wolfed down three before starting to wheeze. I broke out two chewable Benadryl tablets and got him to chew and swallow before his throat closed up. He started to get that 'I need to be horizontal' (and not in a good way) look so I mumbled some excuses, snatched the keys from his hands and asked if he wanted more Benadryl or did he want to go to a hospital? He opted for more Benadryl. I stopped, picked up a Sprite and a bottle of Benadryl syrup, blended him up a yummy cocktail and back to his house we go.

In the meantime, the temperature changed for the umpteenth time that week and something had kicked up in the air. So there we were sprawled on his sofa. He's sipping a Benadryl Spritzer with a straw and I was inhaling Flonase with an Allegra chaser. We living sexy, ya'll.

Ya'll know the scene in Hitch with the food allergy? Yeah... like that right there. This Ninja broke out a really piss-poor version of Trey Songz' Say Aah. Then he switched to Teddy Pendergrass. When he started in on Bon Jovi, I prayed for the meds to kick in. He's lucky I didn't YouTube that mess. 

This week, Allergies: 3 - Michele: 0. Who else has allergy drama? And can't SOMEONE come up with a cure?!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Wait - so now I'm a racist?

So I'm at the drugstore Friday and the guy behind the counter asks me if I'm a golf enthusiast and will I be watching The Masters this weekend. I responded truthfully, "I only watch if Tiger's in the hunt." The older white guy clutching a box of Merlot, a container of berry-flavored Metamucil and a king size snickers bar standing right behind me in line said, "Well that's racist."

Le Sigh. "I beg your pardon?" I turned to look at him.

He's waving his Metamucil at me. "You only support golf if the black guy has a chance to win? That's racist!"

"Um, no. I'm not a golf lover, but I'm a Tiger Woods fan. So if he's on and doing well, I'll watch."

"Even after he screwed around on his wife?"

"What does his infidelity have to do with his golf game?"

He shrugged, "I don't know. That's how you people are."

When will folks learn that letting the phrase 'you people' fall out of your mouth is just never bueno. "Which people are those?"

"Black people. Or uh - African Americans is what you're called now, right?"

So much wrong with what he just said, I chose to ignore most of it. "I think I read that Tiger doesn't consider himself black, sir."

Dude is turning red in the face now. "What about Obama?" 

Oh here we go. "What about him?" I swiped my card and entered the PIN number. Half the folks in the CVS where starting to look nervous.

"Is he black enough for you?" <~~yup, he really said that.

"Okay beyond the fact that you called me racist but every sentence out of your mouth is sounding mighty confederate; I don't know what you want me to say here. I'd love and support America if Barack wasn't president. It just so happens that he is the President of the United States of America, he is biracial, one of those races being black. He claims that. But I'm an American. Not a golfer. Maybe if I was a golfer, I'd watch golf even if Tiger wasn't playing."

"So you admit you only watch golf when a black man has a chance of beating a white man?"

I rolled my eyes, "I'm sorry - who are you?"

He stuck his chest out, "I'm a veteran, served my country proudly for thirty years."

"Well I appreciate your service to this nation, sir." I grabbed my bags and walked out. When I looked back he had started arguing with the guy behind the counter.

This is what we have now? Folks pleading reverse racism over a golf tournament? Rush Limbaugh saying that Obama is treating the troops like slaves? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Let me just leave with this En Vogue classic, Free Your Mind...

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Gamechangers...


We've chatted all week about game killers. And we talked a little about people that we don't even want to invite to the festivities. The game is still the game but wouldn't it be great to get to the point where you don't have to play anymore? That part of the game is called winning. You get the girl/guy and you keep them. Happily. If not ever after, at least long enough for both parties to smile over the "good times."

So what are some characteristics that can change the outcome of the game?

1) Attention to detail

Losing: A male friend of mine used to do the exact (exact!) same thing first three dates. First date, he'd show up with daisies and take the lady to an out of the way jazz spot. Second date, mixed bouquet and a seafood place. Third date, roses and dinner at his place. He'd ask her to bring dessert (or be dessert, whichever worked). Why did two exes meet up at the jazz spot by chance one night and compare notes? The fall-out was EPIC. All he had to do was take five minutes to play twenty questions: What's your favorite flower? What's your favorite color? What's your favorite food? Dude, make an effort. He didn't. He lost.

Winning: Rob, a BnB regular, wanted to propose to Amy with a great ring. All he knew was that she didn't want a traditional princess cut diamond in a regular setting. He called me and Jayme and said, "She loves pink, she hates gold, and she wants simple." He gave us a price range and that's how Amy ended up rocking a gorgeous pink diamond in a platinum setting on a simple band. (Yes, she would have accepted his proposal even with a crap ring but that's not the point of the story) Attention to detail, people. Rob won. 

2) Sincerity. Check this ridiculous but true story:

Dude had been hitting on chick forever (seven weeks). He tried every ticky-tacky line in the book. Finally, he just rolled up and said, "I don't want to get married, I just thought we could get some hot wings and have some sex." 

Dude got the date and the cocoa. Sometimes, people just want to hear the truth - even if it's raw. He won.

3) Ability to communicate -

Losing: Ladies and Gents, we have GOT to stop thinking that our psychic powers will kick in at any second. Very few of  us have the ability to read minds. I vividly recall a girlfriend of mine just bitching about her boyfriend. "By now he should KNOW what I WANT!" I wondered aloud, "Did you ever tell him that's what you wanted?" Her response, "Well no." Me (with eye roll), "If he's done it this way all along and you never told him you don't like it, how is he supposed to know?" Her, "He just SHOULD." Girl bye. Which is exactly what old boy said not too long after this drama. She lost.

Winning: Let me take a moment and send out some soul claps, 14 snaps, 6 hallelujahs and an ovation to the folks here in BougieLand. One thing we are not shy about is sharing what we think, how we feel and really just about anything else that pops into our heads. I get emails from people really appreciating the fact that we try (really, really try) to stay open to everyone's opinions on all our random topics. Doesn't hurt that some of our commenters appear to be real easy on the eyes. Game on. Communication rocks. Skills and knowledge you pick up here can only make you shine brighter in the real world. We win.

Talk to me BougieLand, finish this scenario. Someone is interested in you, you are just not feeling it. What is the one (or two or three) things they could do to change that no to a yes? Top gamechangers... the floor is yours.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Are you just too ratchet to play the game of love?


If I sat and took inventory of some of the just plain out-of-pocketness ratchetery told to me and experienced by me on the rocky pathway to Lovetown, I'd have to wonder how the relationship game EVER gets won. Let's face facts. Not everyone is ready to play. Some folks should just sit on the sidelines until they've studied the playbook a little more closely. Let me share a few examples:

Stan the Screamer - Yeah... I don't mean this in a good way. A girlfriend of mine tried really hard to date Stan. At first impression, he was good-looking, employed, well-spoken, charming enough. Stan had short-fuse-itis. He's that guy you see screaming at the attendant in 7-11 because they are out of Cherry Slurpee. He's the guy who drives on your bumper through a school zone then whips around you and guns down the street (shooting you the finger as he whizzes past). He yells at waiters, valets, flight attendants and then one day, he yells at you... for no damn good reason. The Stans of the world have issues. I have to ask, "Why so angry?" Until Stan attends some anger management seminars, he's not allowed to play.

Melanie the Messy - Something must be done about her. She lives for mess, lives in mess, and is always starting some mess. I have cut SO many Messy Melanie's out of my life, there should be a support group somewhere. You tell this woman the sky is blue and next thing you know there's a rumor going around town that you slept with a ninja named Blue and you did it outside in public under a cloudless sky. She gossips and without fodder for gossip, she just makes shiggity up. She's so good at it, when you hear her discussing your relationship and none of it sounds familiar... you wonder if your memory is going. Leave Melanie alone until she learns to zip it and embrace truth.

L-Dub the Dramatical - We KNOW this guy. Drama clings to him like Lycra on Amber Rose's hindparts. I was seeing a guy (I can't even call him a gentleman) that I'll name L-Dub. Six weeks into the relationship, I'm at his house at 3:00am when the doorbell rings. Laser. Beam. Side. Eye. Ex-girlfriend of his, now a "friend" just "dropping by. No ma'am. No sir. Two weeks later, we're at dinner with her and her fiancé when the story flies out of her mouth that her 7-year old is actually L-Dub's. When we broke up (very shortly after the baby daddy revelation and the fact that mysterious women's underwear kept showing up in his laundry), this ninja sat on my front porch in the rain with "Until You Come Back to Me" on repeat. [Can someone say 911?] Ya'll see why I avoid drama like John Boehner avoids the truth? Someone queue up Mary J's "No More Drama" please...

Suzette the Sorrowful - Suzi is sad. And in case you weren't sure why, she'll tell you. In excruciating detail. Who hurt her and how. She can't let it go and she won't let you. I'm not talking about a little sad three or four days out of the month. This chick is a sucking black hole of glass-half-empty, black cloud misery. She may disguise it as being mysterious and quiet but the despair that rolls off of her like waves is fairly visible. One of my male friends from college had a wife like this. He thought he (and Zoloft) could fix her. She didn't want to be fixed. Her favorite saying was "It's always darkest before it's pitch black" - fun! If you run across Suzette, just point her towards the closest mental health professional and check back in a year. 

Ivan and Ivanka the Infidels - Simply put... they cheat. Infidelity is thy middle (and first and last) name. It's compulsive. I don't know whether they need constant validation, just want that feeling of something new or some other more complex issue from a troubled childhood is rearing it's ugly head. Whatever the reason, they can't keep it zipped or closed or whatever the "no cocoa" position happens to be. What's the worst thing about Ivan/ka? They always (always, always) try to make it your fault. It's never just, "Okay, you caught me. My bad." It's some exotic, deflective explanation, "You know I was ho-centric (skankalicious?) when you met me." "I didn't mean to do it but you've been so cold to me." Or my personal favorite, "This is obviously a sign that something is wrong between us." Um-hmm. Ivan/ka is not invited to the party, I wish people would quit letting them in.

I could go all day, but I'll let you go in. If the game of love is a party, who just shouldn't get an invite to the dance? BougieLand - thoughts, comments, insights?

Due to circumstances beyond my control...

BougieMom had an allergic reaction to something and we've enjoyed some real quality time over here. Not to mention in depth discussions about Benadryl, antihistamines and EpiPens. Living real sexy! Suffice it to say, no fresh bouge this morning. I'll holla...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Lingering Gamekiller: Baggage

We're going to keep it short and sweet today.

My friend Chad got divorced last year and ever since then he has been Mr. Hit~n~Quit. Yet calls me to tell me there are no "suitable" women in all of Northern California. Um sir, how would you know when you are only spending enough time to learn name and bra size?

He says he not ready to give his "whole heart" to anybody yet. (To which I say okay, but maybe some part of you above the waist?) Moving on...

My last relationship (though hella-trifling) really taught me something - the only things you need to drag forward from your previous relationships are constructive lessons learned. Nothing else. It's best to cut as many of those strings as possible.

Emotional baggage - everyone over the age of 18 has it. It's heavy, it's depressing and it slows you down. Unless you learn how to discard it and let go, the further you get from 18 - the more you have. It just stacks up one on top the other until it all topples down... generally on your head. 

I found this out during my adventures with Dude Formerly Known as New. I kept giving him side-eyes meant for the one before him. Of course, it later turned out that Dude was capable of earning side-eyes all on his own. But that's not the point.

The point is dragging issues, hurts, bad memories and misdeeds from one relationship to the next is a gamekiller. Relax, relate, and release people... It's hard because so many times you don't get closure and memories are a b*tch.

I was talking about this on Twitter the other day. There are some songs it is hard to listen to just because of the sense memory attached. *exhales, shakes it off *

BougieLand, who has trouble letting go of the past? Who has recommnedations for the best way to just move on? How irritating is it to have your new S.O. judge you by what the old one did? I'm interested to hear thoughts and experiences on this one. The floor is yours...

Join me & @CarolynEdgar on BlogTalkRadio - 4/6 9:00pm cst/10:00pm est


TONIGHT! The ever talented and witty Carolyn Edgar is back with me this month while we discuss game. The game of life, the game of love - do you think you're winning or losing? Are you killing your own game? Are you setting yourself up to lose? 

Join me and Carolyn (lawyer, mother, blogger, writer, all around diva from carolynedgar.wordpress.com) while we unravel the mystery. You can call in at (646) 378-1171 or swing by BnB Radio. Looking forward to chatting with ya'll!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Insidious Gamekiller - Complacency


Scenario - It's Tuesday night. It's not your anniversary, nothing special happened today, it's just the night of the day of the week sandwiched between a Monday and a Wednesday. You and the S.O. got up, went to work, came home, had chicken for dinner, watched TV and climbed into bed. Just another Tuesday night. Or is it?

I was sitting in on one of Dr. Jayme's group counseling sessions for long-term committed (over 3 years) and married couples. What do you think the one thing they ALL agreed upon as a lurking problem in their relationships? Complacency, boredom and taking each other for granted.

The men complained (a lot) that their women had tucked away the Vicki's only to be brought out on special occasions and the women complained (a lot) that the men didn't pay the same amount of attention to them as they did in the beginning of the relationship. There was also a lot of swirl about housework.

I remember one guy saying, "I finally told her I wasn't going to spend one more Tuesday night watching back to back NCIS. Enough was enough!" The wife said, "It was the only time we spent time together - in front of the TV. At least I knew he'd talk to me during the commercial break." Le Ouch!

Jayme calls it Moldy Marriage Syndrome. When a couple has let the relationship go so stale, it turns into something other than what it originally was.

Happens in short term relationships too. Everyone wants to get to the point in a relationship where you just sit on the sofa and chill but no one wants to get there too fast or sit there forever. The chase can't last forever. It's not always going to be excitement and fireworks. Relationships fall into a rhythm and apparently it's easy to just glide along and eventually take each other for granted. Moldy. One day it's not there, the next day there it is.

It's one thing to be consistent, a whole other to get lazy. Now let's be real for a second. Fellas, your lady isn't coming to bed smelling like a field of flowers and looking like a Victoria's Secret model every night. She's just not. Sometimes she's gonna wear the 10-year old t-shirt, head wrap and smell like Icy Hot. Lo siento mucho, papi - some nights it's Brazilian babe, some nights it's Beulah Mae. Deal with it.

Ladies, your man isn't going to hang on every word. They just aren't wired that way. It doesn't mean he's not listening. It just means that each and every word you speak isn't a precious pearl wrapped in platinum that he must treasure. Sure, he seemed to think so when you first got together but um... he's got you know. Let a brother listen to Sportscenter in peace.

The Impressions had a song back in the day, the lyrics went "Same thing it took, to get your baby hooked, gonna take the same thing, to keep her." Um-hmm. Sho nuff.

What's my point? Every once and a while, Ladies and Gents; you might wanna treat Tuesday night like New Year's Eve. Candlelight, special dinner, adult beverage, saran-wrap-and-chocolate-syrup fun time... you know what? You can figure it out.

BougieLand - who's feeling me on this one? Who has seen complacency creep into a relationship? Who has suggestions for how to shake it up?  Keep it fresh? Thoughts, insights, comments? The  floor is yours.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Irritating Gamekiller - Thirst

We are just going to keep reinforcing this point until people stop going all biblical in their thirst. By biblical, I mean like the Hebrews wandering 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. Parched, dry, desperate to get to green pastures. Biblical.

Let's take these two examples:

Peter Parched meets Lucy Laidback at a sports bar. They exchange numbers. They chat. He wins the privilege of a date. The date goes well. This kicks the thirst into overdrive. 47 texts, 23 phone calls and a drive by... all in ten days' time. 

Daisy DryMouth sees Michael MindingHisOwn at work. He's cute, he's single and she wants him. She strikes up a conversation. He asks her out for lunch. She sees this as the green light she's been waiting for. Within 48 hours of lunch, she has sent him naked pics, lurid emails and a pair of thong underwear with "I'm yours" strategically stitched on the front panel.

Sound outlandish? Both stories are true. Thirst is just one sleepless night and a threat away from stalking, people. It's not pretty. There's flattering pursuit and then there's desperation. And desperation is sooooo not sexy. 

What's causing it? Are women believing the hype that there's only one "good man" left for a thousand ladies to fight over? <~~~ not true. Do men think that the 17th text is the one that will make the difference? <~~~ also not true. Do we just need to hand out shots of self-esteem like bottled water? Quenching thirst by any means necessary?

Have ya'll witnessed this phenomenon? Any examples to share? Is thirst new or just more glaringly obvious? What do you think can be done to stop it? Do share. Peter and Daisy need your help. The floor is yours.

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