Thursday, June 30, 2011

Which is worse: whipped or thirsty? An Ask a Bougie Chick special

I have to take a minute and giggle at the graphic. Just putting it together, I cracked myself up. [falls off chair, picks self back up] Okay, I'm back. Today, we have two letters from fellas on opposite sides of the dating scale. One might be getting too much; one might not ever get any again. Now for your reading pleasure:

From Q-gent in Charlotte:
Quick question for you. What's so wrong with being whipped (if that's even what I am)? I'm 28, been searching for "that girl" for a long time. I found her, she digs me. My free time is pretty much all about her right now. It's been about two months. My boys staged a "player-vention" last weekend and presented me with a fake ball and chain and a t-shirt with a cat on it. They said that's the whipped man's uniform.They took my phone, looked in my history to count how many times I call her in a day. I average eight calls a day. They were killing me with it. It was funny but then again not so much. This is what it's supposed to be in the beginning, right? You want to talk every second and be with her all the time. She's not controlling me, she's making me happy. Is that whipped? Do you have a definition? Can you get the opinion of the BnB audience? - Q
From PB&James in Fresno:
Hi Chele,
I'm a 24 year old decent looking black man in the middle of a serious dry spell. It's been 18 months and no "cocoa" in sight. No milk, no powder, no cups, know what I'm saying? So now I'm coming across pressed when I want to play it cool. None of my usual stuff works at the clubs and I don't want to pretend like I want to start a relationship when I'm trolling for cocoa. I'm thinking about moving one lady friend of mine out of the Friend Zone. If I tell her in advance it's just about the cocoa and she says it's okay, that's cool, right? Looking for opinions, advice, any guys that have gone through the same thing, stuff like that. -James
I'm only going to say two things and then I'm turning it over to BougieLand:

Q - there's a difference between new love and someone having your balls in a jar on their night stand, only you know which is which.

James - Thirst kills. Slaking thirst with deceit and game kills in ugly ways.

BougieLand, what say you? Who can define the concept of "whippedness" to Q? Who can drop some knowledge on James? Who is a little irritated with both of them? Fellas? Thoughts, comments, insights? It's in your hands today, let 'em know...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

5 Questions, 5 Answers - Getting to Know you Day

Hey everybody, it's audience participation day in BougieLand. Since we've grown as a community, it's time for some getting to know you. Yes you, even you in Lurkerville. Join us won't you?

1. Where do you live?
2. If you're on Twitter, what's your profile name?
3. What brought you to BnB?
4. Who (besides me of course) is your fave commenter?
5. Are you going on vacation this summer? Where? (Yes, staycations count)
6. (Bonus Question) Married, dating, single, don't wanna talk about it, it's complicated?
 You know all of mine but here we go anyway:

1. I live in Dallas and BougieLand (and apparently in my own head, long story - let's move on)
2. Find me on Twitter @OneChele and @MGrantAuthor
3. I was brought to BnB by the innervisions of my fertile mind.
4. My fave commenter? Tough one. BrendaKay gives good comment, as does ASmith.
5. Yes to the vacay! Maybe Jamaica, definitely Napa and definitely Florida.
6. I'm dating.

By the way, we have a Twitter List of Bougienistas and those that inspire BnB. Check it out here. If you're not on it and want to be, let me know. Now it's your turn. Answer all or none, be vague or specific. This is just chatter, good people. Do share...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just yell at a bougie chick? Really?

I was going through emails making sure I haven't missed any requests or Ask a Bougie Chick questions. For the record, I've missed quite a few. I'm working on it, hang in there. But while get my peruse on, my eye fell across a few letters with interesting subject titles. One was literally entitled "Truth you need to hear about yourself" and the other had the subject "Go to Hell" - now that's just wrong on so many levels.

After reading a few lines of both, I've decided they are in a category new to BnB: Yell at a Bougie Chick. (Let's hope this doesn't become a thing) Take a peek at some excerpts and see what I mean..
Hey Chele,
I guess you're doing your thing but I think the overall message you are sending to people is irresponsible and elitist. You put up these posts acting like being a stuck up snob is something to aspire to. I don't think you're better than anybody else and the sooner you get over yourself the better. You're not that cute, your boyfriend's not that hot and your books have no social value at all..

I only started reading you because I thought you were about something but you are really in it for you. I hate people like you. I've had to put up with that my whole life.

{...three more paragraphs of the same} So in closing, I'm unsubscribing, unfollowing and throwing out the book I bought. Good luck in your self-absorbed life.
Ummmm, well let me digest some of that. Okay then.

Hey CPW, you may call me Ms. Grant since you took kind of a tone with me right out the gate there. Irresponsible? Elitist? You lost me. Did you read any of the Bouge Rules? Sounds like you have me confused with someone who stole your lollipop and threw it in the mud at recess... in kindergarten. I don't feel any need to defend myself to you, I'm not sure I'm who you're mad at. As for the books/blog posts: love 'em or leave 'em alone. But the man? He's hella-hot, hate if you want to. Thanks for sharing, OneChele

Next up, Allen... who swears I ruined his relationship.
My girlfriend reads this f**king blog every damn day like it's her Bible. And now she thinks that I don't do enough for her or period. She's not happy with my job or my clothes or my eating habits or our sex life which she has started calling cocoa thanks to your inane made up chatter. She was perfectly happy with me before she started reading you and now nothing is "fabulous" enough for her. This is bullshit. I'm blocking your web page and you should be ashamed. She bought one of your books this weekend, guess what I'm using to start the bar-b-q? -Allen
Hey Allen, not to rile you up any further but I suspect your girl was unhappy long before she happened upon BougieLand. I'm catching a whiff of insecurity wafting from your direction. Also, the correct term is bullshiggity - just a little more of my inane made up chatter. "Fabulous"? I rarely go on about fab life, bougenificence? Yes. By the way, censorship of your girlfriend's reading/web material is just wrong. For the record, they did print more than one copy of my books. You may go out and purchase each and every one in your metropolitan area and have a massive bonfire. Hope things get better for you, OneChele

Am I the ONLY one who hates when people feel the need to announce that they are leaving? Just go. We'll survive. Did BougieLand break up Allen's happy home? Do ya'll have thoughts on CPW's haterade-fueled rant? Do share...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Let's get lifted: Elevate the conversation & get tested!

Dear OneChele, 
I just found out I have HIV and I feel so stupid. I've only been with one guy my entire life so I thought it was okay to have unprotected sex with him. Now I'm in the fight of my life. Is there anything you can do or say to get the word out so that no one else ends up where I am today? Please, please, please speak out and let people know it can happen to them. ~Devastated in Detroit
I don't ever want to get another letter like this one, BougieLand. I almost bawled like a baby reading that. So I've decided to do something about it. I've joined a movement, I hope you'll hop on board with me. Black Women's Health Initiative, in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative is hoping to get (at least) 5000 black women tested for HIV.

Today, June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. Do you know your status and the status of those you "interact" with? No? Why not? Check out some facts:
AIDS is the No. 1 cause of death for black women ages 25 to 44, beating out heart disease,cancer and homicide. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,black women made up 69 percent of AIDS diagnoses among women in 2004 and of all women living with AIDS, 64 percent are estimated to be black. 
Heterosexual transmission is now the most commonly reported mode of HIV transmission among women. Although non-Hispanic blacks constituted 13% of the population of the 32 states during these 4 years, they accounted for more than half (51.3%) of the HIV/AIDS diagnoses, including 68.8% of diagnoses among females and 44.5% of those among males.
Please check out Elevate and learn all you can about the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. You can follow Elevate at @UElevate2 or hit up their Facebook Page. There's nothing bougie about incurable (and completely preventable) disease. Need to find a testing center? Here's the link.

Step yo’ game up, HIV is nothing to play with. Know your status and stand your ground: no condom, no cocoa.

Join me, won't you? Who's been tested? Who's going this week? Yes, I will be taking roll call. 

Follow-up to Ask A Bougie Chick - Sweet Justice (sort of)

Remember the tale of BZ Lady, the woman whose ex-fiance had hornswoggled her out of $16,000 to start a business and never paid back a dime? Well, here is karma for you...
Hey Chele,
Just wanted to let you know that the woman Kenny moved in with left him and cleaned out the business and the checking accounts when she left. I only know this because she tracked me down and gave me five thousand dollars in cash and said she was sorry for her part in the "previous drama"- those were her exact words. 
I admit a part of me wanted to say that if she was truly sorry, she would give me back the entire $16k but you know what, it's better than what I had. I did take someone on your blog's advice and transfer about $3,000 out of the one account of Kenny's that I still had the number on before he shut it down. So between that and this I got about half back. I'm still going ahead with the suit against him because I want that judgment on his record. 
But yes, Chele - I did chuckle to see girlfriend pull up hauling a duffle bag full of his cash. Like my great aunt Sue used to say, "Life long enough, you'll see it all come back around." 
I'm going to try and start dating again. There's been a guy but I wasn't ready. I'm at least willing to give him a coffee date.  
Thanks for all the good wishes on advice on BnB. Appreciated!
What do you think? Did Kenny get what he deserved? Should BZ just take the cash she got back and be done with it? What would you do at this point? Do tell...

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Blogiversary Post: Because Life is Not a Reality Show

I think long and hard about what to post here in BougieLand. Well, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I'm just riled up and I sit down at the keyboard and fire off a stream of consciousness rant. Most the rest of the time, I think about it. I started this blog talking about what bougenificence means to me and but I very quickly realized that explaining/justifying the bouge lifestyle took up about a month's worth of posts and that was that.

I quite simply blog about my opinions and my life because that's what I know. And even then, I contemplate which pieces to share and which to keep but because bless ya'lls heart, you can take a simple post about snowflakes and turn it into a thesis on blizzards, how to build the best snowman, whether sleet is really snow and whether the term "White Christmas" is racist or not. 

This is also the reason why I only share snippets of the new relationship. And even when I share those, I don't write out the experience word for word, moment by moment. It's an overview not a reality show. And I generally only share what I share to open up a line of conversation. 

The crux of the matter is that I blog to open a forum. Happily, we've built a community of people from various sectors and industries and locations that are vocal and articulate. What I don't want BnB to become is a monolith where everybody thinks the same and cosigns each other constantly. No one grows that way. However, I also don't want an atmosphere where someone can't offer a differing opinion without being shredded, chargrilled and served up on a platter.Oh and last-word-itis? Some of you all have got to let that go. Please and thank you. 

The BougieTales and Ask A Bougie Chick segments are not fiction. These are real people. Granted, some of them have set themselves up to be blog fodder and if someone (Tracey!) writes in begging for a pen-lashing, I'm more than happy to oblige. So I'm not even asking that you sheath your swords when fencing is called for. But I would like to see us add a dimension where we put ourselves in that person's shoes for a minute and then offer them the best that we have whether it's criticism, encouragement, scorn or agreement. 

June 23, 2011 wrapped two years of BnB goodness. Let's take it to the next level for the next two. Thanks for hanging in here with me. Cupcakes and champagne for everybody!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bougie Bachelorette Chronicles - Episode 11: Revenge of the hit-n-quit chick

3N has a group of friends here in Dallas. We teasingly call them The Georgia Boys because they all attended UGa at some point in the last 20 years. Inside that group, there are six guys that are pretty close in age and all pledged Alpha. Once a month, they get together with significant others/dates to do something. Last month it was barbecue and softball at a park. This month- dinner at a nice spot with music.

Two of the guys are married, two are dating at least seriously enough to bring the same woman three months in a row, and two? Well... we never know who they're going to show up with.

So on Wednesday evening, we're enjoying the wonders of good food, good company, and great wine when the last guy (we'll call him Jay) rolls in late with his date. 3N looks up and immediately grabs my hand under the table. "Uh, listen. Here's what happened." My brow goes up. Anytime a man starts explaining before you ask a single question, you know something is about to go down.

He's talking low and fast into my ear. "The girl who just walked in with Jay? I know her. We went out once when I first got to town before you and I started going out. It was whack, she got clingy. I told her that I didn't think we were a fit and never called her again."

I nodded and gave her a closer look. Big hair, big boobs, tall heels, tiny dress, attitude. Plus, I got a hit of skank wafting from her. "So that's biblically that you know her?"

"Well yeah. Just the once."

He was so uncomfortable, I had to smirk at him. "So she's your Welcome to Dallas hit-n-quit (HnQ) chick!"

"You are way too amused by this."

I really was. I mean no, it wasn't great that he hit-n-quit but the whole thing was before my time and none of my business. Plus, usually it's my tragic dating history popping up out of nowhere. Seeing his stroll in on the arm of one his frat brothers shouldn't have tickled me... but it did. For the moment anyway.

Jay introduced her around and when he got to 3N, HnQ ran forward towards him. "Hey, great to see you again!" At which point, she started to lean down to get some sort of hug on. 3N extended a hand and said stiffly, "Nice to see you again, have you met my girl Michele yet?" Smooth.

HnQ kinda blinked, nodded in my direction and went around the table to where Jay was holding a chair out for her. He looked from her to 3N. "You two know each other?"

3N nodded. "Briefly." HnQ looked like she wanted to tack a disclaimer on that but the look 3N sent her shut all that nonsense down... or so we thought.

The waiter came to take their order and the conversation picked back up. I ate a seabass and pasta dish so delicious that it almost brought a tear to my eye. The band played a Latin-jazz fusion set and 3N who generally refuses to dance actually cut a step. 3N ordered a chocolatey dessert and I accidentally ate half of it. Good time was had by all. An after dinner mellow had settled over the group. And then...

Out of the blue HnQ said (loudly), "So how long have you been seeing her? And is she why you never called me back? I left you six messages! I know you were into me, what happened?" Damn girl, thirst be thy name?

Before anyone could say or do anything, Jay moved the martini glass away from HnQ and pushed his chair back to stand up. "We'll be leaving now. Say goodbye to HnQ, you won't be seeing her again."

HnQ, sensing she had a captive audience, refused to get up from the table and started going ALL the way in. She started detailing all of the things she did with 3N on their (apparently energetic) night together. 3N put head in hands and the rest of us stared unblinkingly in stunned annoyance. #WDDDA and S.No.B!!!

(for the newbies, that's Where Dey Do Dat At and So Not Bougie!)

Wesley, who is one of those guys who comes across all bougie and quiet but is a complete character, cut her off mid-rant by saying, "Sweetheart, you did all that and he never called you back? Have some pride and take a hint."

Le Ouch and Le Chuckle. That shut HnQ up. Jay lifted her from the chair, tossed some money on the table and rolled out. The evening broke shortly after. 3N was like, "Are you mad?" I said of course I wasn't. He brought up Dude Formerly Known as New and the SEW shenanigans. I let him know that was a totally different situation. "But if she shows up at your house with a halter top and some stripper heels on, we're gonna box." And that was that.

My thoughts on HnQ? First, Jay is a perfectly nice guy. All she had to do was play it cool and she could have kept that bird in the hand. Second, why are you announcing all your skank tendencies in mixed company? Third, six calls? Really tho?

Fellas, have you ever run into a HnQ or former girlfriend when you were out with your new s/o? How did you handle it? Ladies, if your man's former HnQ/Flame/Fiance showed up at a dinner party, how would you handle it? And I wonder, would 3N have been as cool as I was if one of my ex-something-somethings showed up to the party and cut a fool? What do you think? Do share, the floor is yours...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Six days in the Life

Did you miss me while I was gone? Wonder what I was up to? Wrote a blog about it, wanna hear it, here it go...

Wednesday June 15
By this time, I'm completely disillusioned about the "Back to Work" program I'm working for the state. I see too much disorganization, a flawed system and folks that wouldn't know professionalism if it bit them in the ass. On the flip side, I've help 36 people go back to work in five weeks' time. 

Wednesday morning, it's 102 degrees by 8:15 in the morning when I arrive to work a job fair for the great state of Texas. There's a weird vibe as though something is going on behind the scenes that we don't know about. I (as usual) have quadruple million other things I'm trying to do so I ignore it. We work the job fair. I get cussed out twice, hugged once, and hit on by one cap daddy, one gangsta and one cutie pie. The fair wraps and we head back to the office where they herd us into a conference room. Guess what? The funding for this project has been cut. That's all she wrote. Do you mind just clearing out today?

Folks were tart and tangy about it. The project was only supposed to go another week and a half  and I had other things to do anyway so I was cool. Although... why have me out there tap-dancing in all black in this heat for the peoples knowing that I was never going to get the chance to help them? Three words for how Texas Workforce Solution is handling their bidness: Ragg. Ed. Dy. Next!

Thursday June 16
The wonder of sleeping until 9:00 am. But lest I get too giddy with it the glaring red circle on my calendar reminds me. Book 3 (tentatively titled Pretty Boy Problems) is due with edits to the publisher on Monday. I place hair in ponytail, hindparts in yoga parts, feet in fuzzy socks and assume the position. I'm surgically attached to the keyboard. Phone rings - am I interested in starting a virtual consulting gig? Of course I am but um... next week. Words written? 3,500

Friday June 17
BougieYoungerBro is taking his eldest daughter and two of her friends to the beach for her 16th birthday. My job is to watch the two little ones. Oh wait, did he forget to tell me he needed me to watch the 17 y/o boy and 10 y/o daughter too? Yes. Yes he did. Four kids not two, one of them a teenager. That requires a whole different level of planning and food prep. God bless the pizza delivery dude. Netflix saves the evening as I plunk everyone down in front of a Glee marathon. Aunt Chele is tart. Words written? 400

Saturday June 18
Aunt Chele makes eggs, pancakes, bacon and sausage. The visiting hoard fall upon it like locusts in a dry corn field. Then she bribes the eldest boy into taking all these doggone kids to the movies and then the park and then the pool. The two youngest want to come in and hug Aunt Chele every 10 minutes. There is fighting and yelling and someone drops a grape popsicle on the new area rug. Grandma loses her temper and barricades herself in her room with her Bible for the rest of the night. Let the record reflect that 3N lasted less than 30 minutes with these chillen, pleaded housework and bailed leaving skidmarks on the sidewalk. 

One "accident" by the 7 y/o who didn't want to stop playing Wii long enough to go to the restroom. One tantrum by the 4 y/o who wanted his mommy at bedtime. One laptop snatched out of the 10 y/o's hands when she won't show Aunt Chele what she's looking at on the internet. The eldest makes curfew but managed to break his new cell phone. Aunt Chele stays up until 4:00 am writing. Caffeinated beverages consumed? 6 Words written? 6,100

Sunday June 19
The BougieHousehold awakens at 6:30, BougieMom is taking all these ragamuffin children to church in search of Jesus. Aunt Chele fixes heads of hair, dresses children, flings pop-tarts at everyone and shoos everyone out the door. After sneaking in a few hours of sleep, the drama starts popping. Apparently the children behaved like "hooligans" in church and BougieMom is through. Aunt Chele takes the eldest to the Sprint store and swings by Sam's to get something quick and easy to feed everybody. Chicken salad wraps with grapes and juice are devoured in an eye blink. 

There is an epic battle brewing over who gets to play the Xbox and who gets to play the Wii. In a fit of pique, Aunt Chele sends everyone out to the pool. Firing up the grill, I quickly prep chicken fajitas and veggies. Back inside I whip up guacamole and salsa and open a bag of Tostitos. Now I'm hot, smoky, testy and exhausted. Dinner is served. BougieYoungerBro arrives just in time for dinner (side-eye at his timing). He sits down with the three teenage girls and they eat as well. Aunt Chele retreats to her office and sends BYB a text: Get yo kids and get out. Happy Father's Day.

I love BougieNieces and Nephews but I needed peace, quiet and copious amounts of wine. What I got was a never-ending stream of "He hit me" "She laughed at me" "Will you come play" What's to eat" "Aunt Chele, may I..." OMG. 

I type until 3:00 am. Sometime round midnight someone on Twitter says that the problem with today's writers are that they aren't formally trained to be writers. She went on to say that she wouldn't let someone without a journalism or English degree type up an email for her. Furthermore, everyone knows that bloggers aren't "real writers" anyway. *blinkety-blinkety-blink* My degree is in pre-law. This is my third book and my blog rocks rather hard. Back to work.

Words written? 2,700

Monday June 20 - D-Day
All I want to do is add in two chapters to explain why my heroine forgave the hero for a tragic error. Without those two chapters, people will read this story and wonder if I have lost my damn mind. I can hear it now. "Chele, you wouldn't forgive a man who did that, why should she?" Okay fine. Two chapters  one from her point of view and one from his. Easy, right? 

My agent called. My publisher called. My siblings called. 3N called twice, "You done yet?" *CLICK* The guy from work that I told ya'll about weeks ago? He called six times in twelve hour period. I mention in passing to 3N that I don't know what this guy wants. 3N says that he does and is more than happy to go tell him in person why he's never going to get it. Le Sigh. All of the phones went to mute. I turned off the TV, turned off Twitter and got down to it. Finally. Done. Print it. Re-read it. Tweak it. 

Is that rain? With swirling winds? Do I hear the recycling bags blowing down the street? Yes, I do. At two in the freakin' morning. I run outside and chase blue bags down the street until I'm almost struck by lightning. Is it really that crucial? I create a creative pyramid of recycling and trash and run back inside dripping wet. I call myself fourteen kinds of idiots. 4:37 am, 78,000+ words off to the editor. Now I'm wide awake. I go to the TNT website and watch the season opener of HawthoRNe. I boo-hoo like a baby and go to bed as the sun is coming up.

So the next time you think you want to live sexy like me? Think again, it ain't all purple shoes and pear vodka. What did you guys for the last week of your lives?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

No more apologies for being a Daddy's girl

Last year, I ran a heartfelt tribute to my father on Father's Day. Then I was kinda taken aback by people that had real issues with Father's Day and didn't want to hear other people's happy stories. So I ran this post and a small ruckus broke out. I'll just accept that this holiday means different things to different people and keep it moving.

This year, we're keeping it simple. How cool is this picture? I came across this while rummaging in the family strongbox for my original birth certificate (gotta have those papers, doncha know). These are my dad's naturalization papers. He officially became an United States citizen in 1961, thus paving the way for me to run for President and not have to prove my nationality. (Jokes)

On this Father's Day, a simple commemorative toast to one of the greats. Rest in Peace, Daddy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The thing about stroking a man's big... ego

Explaining yesterday's epic dose of snark...

For the twenty-two-millionth time, someone decided to write an article telling women how to make a man feel like a man. Offering such sage advice as "Let him order for you" "Give him full reign in the bedroom" "Let him figure out the directions" "Pleasure him while he's driving" and "Fix his plate" the article says these are ways to let your man know how much you love and appreciate him. Just as him giving you "daily compliments and kisses" lets you know how much you are valued.

To which I respond with a resounding:
The whole vibe came across very Harlequin romance-y and not so much based in reality. It seemed to me as though the article was advocating ego-stroking just for stroking's sake. Which is fine every now and again but on the regular?  C'mon now. I love men. I don't mind giving a man his just due. If you are fantabulous I will show you and tell you and be uberappreciative. But if pumping you up is just propping you up, I have an issue. I decided to seek male opinion:

I had drinks with David, Trey, their frat brother Bryan and Jayme's husband Owen. I took the opportunity to discuss this whole "make a man feel like a man" concept. David is in a relationship, Trey is hunting looking, Bryan has been married for seven years, Owen has been married for close to twenty. Here's what they had to say:
Owen: A man is either a man or he isn't. If he's waiting on a woman to make him feel like one, there's a bigger problem underfoot. 
Trey: Agree but I don't mind a little ego stroke. 
Bryan: These days you'd be happy for any kind of stroke. 
Me: Play nice. 
Trey: What I mean is, it's great to feel appreciated but I don't need a woman to sit there in angry silence while I'm driving in circles. If I'm lost, say I'm lost. Help a brutha out. We wastin' gas cuz you want me to feel like a man behind the wheel? 
David: The overall vibe should be of mutual respect and admiration. Listen when I speak, act like I'm adding value to your world, be appreciative of things I do for you. I'll reciprocate. That stays with me longer than whether or not you scooped rice and chicken onto a plate for me. 
Owen: People get too caught up in these "How to" rules. How bout some basic common sense and courtesy? Jayme cooks most of the time so I get up and fix the plates. We have a GPS because I don't need "Owen, you missed the right turn" drama.  
Bryan: And speaking of driving - that whole treat him like a lollipop in traffic concept? That's some "we on vacation and don't care about the rental car" flow right there. C'mon now. I got kids. As for the daily compliment and kiss, that's sweet in theory. But when you've been in a relationship and married for a while, it's more genuine to say what you feel when you feel it. No, I don't tell my wife she's gorgeous everyday but when I say it,  I mean it and she's appreciative of that. 
Trey: That food ordering idea is a FAIL. People have allergies. I'm not presumptuous enough to think I can read a woman's mind and know what she wants. What I will do is defer to her first. "What do you think looks good?" or "Are you ready to order?"  
Me: The article also suggested going to company events with your man. 
David: Isn't that standard operating procedure once the relationship goes official? 
Me: And giving massages. 
Bryan: Naked massages? 
Me: That wasn't specified. 
Owen: Massages are nice if she's into it. But again, none of that is mandatory. I'd rather you give me one hour of companionable silence with a sandwich and the remote. Sometimes it's enough just to look over and see your lady sitting there with you. 
Bryan: Amen. 
David: About that giving a man full reign in bed concept.... isn't the point to be collaborative? 
Trey: I like how you kept that PG-13. 
Bryan: Yeah, I gotta say it's not a bad thing for the woman to take the reigns in mattress hockey from time to time. 
Owen: You're mixing your sports metaphors. 
Bryan: But you know what I mean. You have to keep it fresh, take turns, make a game out of it. Maybe a little role play- 
Me: Okay! We're good on that. So overall if you all had to give women advice on how to "appreciate a man" what would you tell her to do? 
Owen: Depends on the man. We're not all the same. Find out what matters to him and accommodate when you can. 
David: Just ask him. "How do you want to be treated?" Trust and believe, he'll have an answer. 
Trey: I'm of the Feed him, F**k him and let him get a nap mentality. It's really about that big piece of chicken.*
Bryan: And this is why you ain't got nobody, son. Listen, all those suggestions in the article were superficial. Treating a man like a man has nothing to do with massages and meatloaf. It's about letting your genuine respect and love for him show and acting on that. It shouldn't be a checklist like oh, this is what I gotta do for my man today. The other day Jazz (his wife) downloaded some music that I'd been talking about. The next time I was in the car, I plugged in the player and there it was. That was some thoughtful ish. 
David: I came home from a business trip overseas and found the house stocked with groceries and dinner ready to go into the microwave. I felt like a king. 
Owen: Jayme got those kids up and off to camp while I slept in. They'll be gone for three weeks. Now that's cause for gratitude. 
Trey: All ya'll braggin' azzes. Whatever. 
Me: And on that note.... thank you menfolk.
BougieLand, what say you? Ladies, how do let your man know he's appreciated? Gents, thoughts on the topic? What in all that is holy does "letting a man feel like a man" mean any damn way?!

*The "Big Piece of Chicken" references a Chris Rock joke. NSFW

Monday, June 13, 2011

How to make a woman feel like a woman

I read an article today, it pissed me off. (more on that tomorrow) Here's my knee jerk response. 

Hey fellas, found you a good woman? Need tips on how to keep her?  We don't want her getting away now do we? The good ones are so hard to find! All you have to do is make her feel like a woman. Your woman. Your queen-to-be! Here are some surefire ways to keep that cutie locked up tight.

1. Buy her only clothing and accessories in shades of pink. Nothing says girly girl like pink. 
2. Have her walk on nothing but rose petals. Sure, this can get expensive but isn't your girl worth it? 
3. Pay all her bills, in advance if possible. Nothing flutters the heart of your little sweetheart like free electricity and running water! 
4. Tell her she is the most beautifullest girl in the world all the time. As a matter of fact, to be sure she knows you're sincere you should start every sentence with "O Most Beautifullest Girl in The World lend me thine dainty feminine ear that I may whisper musings that please you."  
5. Give her a pedicure and foot massage once a week. If you're not sure of the technique, take some classes! Well worth your time and investment! 
6. Feed her. Don't just buy the food! You need to prep it, serve it on fine china and carry the food from plate to mouth via silver forks. This will make her yours forever! 
7. Agree with her on everything. Sure, you have opinions of your own. But no one wants to hear them. Just nod and say, "You're so right, baby." 
and last but not least...
8. Orgasms. The ladies require three a day. Everyday. For life. Now you are going to have to learn to sometimes achieve this quickly as women don't have all day to wait on you to get the pleasuring right. Work on your technique and bring your A game at all times. Here's a tip: Hydrate, Stretch, and Deep Breathing. Go get her, tiger!
So that's it. That's all you need to do to get, keep, trap and lock a woman in. Any woman. We're basically all the same anyway. 

If I have to tell you this is satire, you are losing at life. 


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Texas is a red state (even though Dallas County is now officially 53% blue), our governor is an idiot. We have tornadoes and you hate the Cowboys. Dirk is white and Jason Kidd should be in jail. I know. Shake it off for a second.

The Mavericks are NBA champions. It was a team effort. These guys showed a lot of heart. They kept finding ways to win when no one (least of all the sportscasters) gave them a chance. Congrats, Mavs.

P.S. I'm out getting a little celebration on. But I'm on deadline editing Book 3 this week so I'll post as I'm able. But don't hold your breath. In the meantime, have you caught up on my Tumblr? Take a peek and see you soon.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Open Mic Day - Topics to Dead

We spent all week talking about topics I plan to bury deep and never resurrect. Well, today it's your turn. Step on up and lay your topic down... never to be heard from again (maybe).

What are the "hot in the streetz" topics that you are way over? The floor is yours...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sexting - It's not for everyone... please!

I know I said there were only three topics to kill and bury. But here's another: Sexting.

To me, subtle is sexy. I'm of an age where sensuality and attraction is so much of a mind game, I almost (notice I said almost) don't care what you look like. I'm into the context and the conversation and painting with all the colors of the rainbow (not just the cocoa).  I get that everybody's not there yet. With Skype, GTalk and YouTube and videophones and the like, the instant access to see and be seen has clearly gone straight to some folks' heads.

But now it seems, it's not enough to just send a few candid pictures. Now people are flashing the full monty to ev'body. Let the record reflect that if someone ever (ever, ever) says they have naked Michele Grant pictures... they are lying and/or skilled at Photoshop. I don't play with it. One of the ex-fi's had a picture of me completely covered in bath bubbles from the neck down with nothing showing but a foot and an arm and don't you know I zapped it off his hard drive last time I was there? Sure he might have a copy, but he'll have a hell of time identifying that ankle as mine. 

Early in my tweeting days, there was a guy who started chatting with me. The conversation moved to DM (direct message, supposedly private) and then to exchanged cell phone numbers and calls. Before I knew it, there at 9:00am one morning came the triple-chime announcing picture mail. I clicked to open and there was naked genitalia winking at me. In unsolicited and ungroomed high definition. Hold up, playa. I don't know your middle name, your street address or your city of birth yet but I now know more about you than some men I've dated! No. Sir. 

You can't just foist naked pics of your junk on unsuspecting folks. The sun hadn't even set yet. At least let me get an adult beverage and half an impure thought going. I was in business mode. It takes me a minute to switch gears like that. Where is the build up and segue? Where is the romance? Save some of the mystery, please!

In light of WeinerGate and FavreGate and every other gate involving some random dude deciding to overshare; I need to set a few BougeRules if you must indulge in sexting:
1. There's no such thing as internet security - know this before you click send. Once that picture leaves your phone and heads out in the ubersphere, you have no control over it. Sure, the person you sent it to swears they'll delete it but um... we've seen how that works out time and again. Send at your own risk, I'm just sayin'. 
2. By personal request only - I mean the person has literally said "I want to see naked parts of you now, please send candid photos." They didn't hint or giggle or suggest, they actually asked to see your naked body. Don't just spring that on folks. TMI. TMI! 
3. Mutually agreed upon disposal method - what happens to that picture after the other person receives it? Have you talked about a "NOT sharing is TRULY caring" policy? This bears discussion. I'd hate for you to be flipping though someone's blog and see a picture of yourself doing a nekkid spread eagle split, waving around a Grey Goose bottle, blowing kisses at the camera. Get the ground rules straight up front. 
4. Know what you look like - I'm sorry to say this but not everyone looks good naked. Think about it. Ladies, there's a reason some of us wear support garments. And fellas, don't ever hold a ruler there unless you have something to really be proud of. O__o
5. Tighten your game up - Even if you do look good naked, have you uh... groomed thangs? No one likes to see ashy, rusty, wild kingdom in 300 pixels or better. Nuff said. 
6. And last but not least - if you are a public figure (elected official, celebrity, member of the CLERGY!!!) or if you are in a committed relationship to someone other than whom you plan on sexting - Just. Don't. Do. It. I don't need another tear-stained "I know I've let you down" press conference in my world. 
On a serious note - I got an Ask A Bougie Chick letter the other day from a thirteen year old girl. First, I told her she really doesn't need to be reading BougieLand until she skates up past age sixteen but second, her letter frightened me to death. She said that the boys at her school told the girls that they will only go out with the girls that send naked pictures to them for "pre-evaluation." The hell you say?

I hipped her to some reality and told her to (first tell an adult about this nonsense) and then introduce the boys to terms like "child pornography" "underage sex offender" "unsealed youth record" "predatory sex acts" and things to that effect. And then I let her know that she had some prepubescent punks trying to run game. If she gathered the girls up and they united in a "heckie naw and I'm telling" campaign, the entire script would be flipped. What's wrong with these children?! 

That is all. That's the sum and total of what I have to share on sexting. Whatcha got, BougieLand? Do you sext? To whom and why? Got any "when good sexting goes wrong" stories? Thougts, opinions, commentary...

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sarah Palin needs to go away... Third of three topics to kill dead.

I'm not one to hate people. Particularly people I don't know. But I feel such a strong dislike for all things Palin that it's a near thing. Like I seriously need to pray on it. She makes me crazy. I don't know the woman. And I have to admit that I don't want to. What I do know is that she refuses to go away. Like bad mold she creeps back into view and spreads herself around sometimes making people sick in the process. Is that harsh? Oh well.

It's to the point where I change the channel if she comes on or even if they start talking about her. I've put filters on my Twitter so I don't even see tweets with her name in them. I've decided that avoidance is the only way to go with her. 

So what's the problem, Chele? What's so bad about her?

I dislike insincere people. I dislike people who stepped (riverdanced) all over unsuspecting taxpayers to better their own circumstances. I dislike people who talk out one side of their hindparts with nothing (like pesky facts and truth) to back them up. I dislike bandwagoning. I dislike people who use the phrase "real Americans" like there is any such damn thing. I dislike women who pretend they aren't using their sexuality as a come-up. I dislike mothers who pimp their children for profit. And I dislike people who talk badly about my President when they can't hold a candle to him.

I don't think she's clever, I think she's a manipulator with a microphone and a stylist. I don't think she's an innovator, I think she's a talking head with a half-assed platform. I don't think she's what this country needs, I think she's what's wrong with this country on so many levels. Sound bites and photo ops but at the end of the day, what did you do but earn money for yourself and your pet causes? She's the Kim Kardashian of politics. #shadethrown #shotsfired

So here endeth my Palin rants. No more Palin in BougieLand. If (God forbid) she becomes President, I will live tweet my return to my ancestral homeland of Guyana where I will inform my cousins that my father financed most of their educations and I'm going to need a room. Immediately. With a satellite and wi-fi. At least for four years. Feel free to come visit. We'll call it BougieLand Caribe.

Thoughts on La Palin? Be forewarned, I have a short fuse about her. I will yank your comment if it crosses a line. The floor is yours... 

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Undies... the second of three topics to kill dead

And here's a topic we will never (ever, ever) discuss again in BougieLand - foundation garments. Yes, bras and drawers.

Every few days or so, someone on Twitter (usually a male) announces that women ain't on their five-star, "A" game if they are stepping out without matching their name brand bra to their name brand panties. I wish I was joking. I really do. 

Following this announcement comes a maelstrom of fevered debate from all sides. Folks start weighing in on brands (La Perla, Vicki's, Bali, Hanes), folks want to know what the male equivalent of matching lingerie sets might be, and then people start choosing sides. You have women that agree, women that tell you to kiss their entire mismatched azzes, guys who cosign, guys who are team #AslongastheycomeoffIdontcare and both sexes who think the conversation is pointless.

I'm a matchy-matchy kind of girl but I can't always make it work. Some days I give less than a damn. Some lingerie is um... "occasion specific" and not meant for all day wear. Women feel me when I say that some bras are just instruments of torture and even though you really wanted to rock the sky blue fit to match the striped boy shorts, it just wasn't meant to be. Sometimes an underwire goes awry. Sometimes the cream colored stretch lace meets an untimely end in the dryer and there goes the set. Seriously, it's not as easy as it sounds.

What I want to know is - who are these men who feel they can tell you what to wear? Especially when it comes to intimates? And seriously, a man has you to the point where you're down to undies and is going to stop because your cherry red bra clashes with your sunshine yellow thong? This is a man showing lack of motivation and focus, with that inability to stay on point... he can move along. 

The women who felt it was imperative to impress a man with their $300 matching lingerie set game? You're worried about the wrong things sweetheart. You need to step your game up so that old boy is drooling when you're rocking three year old Fruit-of-the-Loom, ya hear? And how are you going to feel when those $75 sheer triangles get torn (it happens) and old boy doesn't offer to replace them? Hmpfh. That's an expensive affectation. 

I don't even want to get into the double standard. Some of you fellas have got to do better with your drawers game. Seriously. Just. Do. Better.

So I'm deading the conversation right here. Do we really need folks telling us what to wear under there? Really? Thoughts, comments, astounded musings? Have at it, one day only... BnB discusses boxers, briefs, bras and boy shorts...

Monday, June 06, 2011

Who is to blame for infidelity? The first of three topics to kill dead

Since it seems that a public figure gets outed for cheating (usually flagrantly) every other darn day, people get caught up guessing and pontificating on the "why" of it all. Why did he cheat? Why did he cheat on her? Why was he so stupid as to get caught? And then, inevitably... someone decides to assign blame and fault. Often, there's a underlying "what wasn't he getting at home" vibe that sneaks in. This leads to various and sundry people listing all the things a woman must do to keep her man from cheating.

Guess what? None of them work. A man who wants to cheat is going to cheat. Same thing with an unfaithful woman. At some point, they make a decision and they go for it. I don't care if you are dipping yourself in chocolate sprinkles and swinging from the chandelier with a cherry on top... if a person decides to step out - they are stepping.

No it doesn't matter if you are finer, richer, better-looking, more accomplished, more freaky-deaky, more acquiescent,  more attentive... sorry. It just doesn't matter. That's the God's honest truth. Trust me, I know of what I speak on this topic.

Let's take (if we must) Maria Shriver and Arnold. There's some question about whether she really thought he was going to straighten up his womanizing ways when she married him but we don't know what the nature of their relationship expectations truly were. We do know Maria damn sure didn't expect that he'd be stirring the latte with their housekeeper without protection at the exact same time he was impregnating her. And we can feel very safe in assuming she did not preapprove him procreating outside of the marriage. This is one case where we know he was clearly being "handled" at home at the same time he decided to step out.

I don't want to get into what he was looking for. Who gives a damn? My point is this - there is no magic way to stop a man or woman from cheating on you if they so chose. You can't detach their private parts and lock it away when you're not there. You can't stalk them 24/7 to see what (who) they are into. And you damn sure can't sex them into compliance.

Stop telling women they need to be subservient, size six Superwomen who will perform circus sex acts on demand. Stop telling men they need to be paid, six-packed Mandingos who remember your favorite flower, perfume and shoe size. All of that is great... yet still provides no guarantee against being cheated on.

Here's what you can do -
1) Don't enter into relationships with known repeat Cheating McCheatersons
2) Understand supply & demand. If you are with someone requiring cocoa at frequent, regular intervals; plan accordingly.
3) Don't test the fidelity just to see what happens
4) Communicate
5) Be joyful in the cocoa stirring
Not saying any of that is a guarantee but it can't hurt. There's this great line in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof where the mama tells her daughter-in-law "When a marriage goes on the rocks, the rocks are right there." The daughter-in-law (played by Elizabeth Taylor) says, "Well that's not fair." And it's really not. Sometimes you don't see the rocks, someone just took the ship and ran right up into them, damn the consequences.

So I'm deading that "blame game" conversation right here. There is no magic bullet. There is no special formula. There is no set sequence of events and activities that insures that your mate won't stray. Let's stop assuming that we can pinpoint the moment when it goes to hell in a handbasket. Until we're invited in, let's just get out of grown folks' business, shall we? The one thing we can all agree on - Cheating sucks.

Thoughts, comments, insights?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Bougie Timeout

Quite a week we're having here in BougieLand. After looking over the past few days, it seems a good time for a Bougie Timeout. (Beyond the fact that I don't have a post ready and I'm shutting it down early tonight) Feels like time for a collective BnB "Woo-sah."

Inhale in, exhale out. Repeat. It's an excellent moment to reflect on what we've learned about each other and how much we've grown into a true community. 

So much so that we have insiders and those that keep to themselves. We have laws and bylaws and perhaps even a language of our own. We have original founding members and newbies and yes, even an exile or two (6). As we moonwalked into Blogiversary Month (2 years!) here on BnB, I did feel the need to say through it all: Thanks for visiting, thanks for sticking around. More to come. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

No Country for Territory Marking...

Here's the thing about 90% of the women I know and the woman I am. When I decide that I am "with" a guy, I'm with him. That's it. Until he puts me curbside, we mutually agree upon a split, or I've done all I can do... I'm in it. This is what grown azz women do. They stick. They've been to the circus, they've seen the clowns and their head is not going to be turned by a balloon trick or an offer of cotton candy. We don't want a pony ride when we've already got a stallion... ya dig?

So someone please tell me (fellas!) why men still feel the need to indulge in various forms of pissing contests? If the woman is already won, why mark the territory? Inquiring minds want to know.

About six years ago, BougieMom and I were in a house in Plano that we were thinking of buying. We sat down, worked the numbers, took a look at property taxes and skated our behinds back towards Dallas county. 

Here's some backstory: At the time, we had a completely ratchet landscaper named Darryl. This was back when I still worked that "give a brother a break" program. Darryl was a bruh-man trying to get his Plano hustle on. By doing our yard well, he was asked to handle other houses in the subdivision. Darryl got so full of himself doing all the other yards that ours started looking a hot mess. Darryl and BougieMom and I experienced many a falling out. But we were trying to "give a brother a break." Darryl also had the tendency to get real comfy about the home space. I was working from home at the time and he took to knocking on the door asking for water or coffee. Then he took to coming on inside to drink his beverage. We drew the line when he started letting himself in. I would come downstairs in the morning and Brother Darryl would be posted up with my coffee and BougieMom's newspaper. Talking about, "What's for breakfast?" No. Sir. Hell. No.

I was still seeing Gene then. Gene gave Darryl the black man "back the eff up" side-eye on the regular. Things came to a head on the first day of our move. I'm all for hiring movers but I like to take over my clothes, shoes, jewelry and electronics myself. Gene had come into town to assist. Just so happened that Brother Darryl was over tightening up the hedges and decided to get his volunteer on. The next four hours BougieMom and I watched in amazement (and some trepidation) as the two of them basically peed circles around each other.

"If that's too heavy for you, bruh, you can just set it down and I'll scoop it up for ya."
"Bruh, there's nothing I'd set down that you could even remotely begin to handle."

"You move any slower there homey and we'll both still be here at midnight."
"Best believe only one of us will still be here come nightfall, homeboy."

And on it went. Whelp! What was the point? Darryl's crazy azz knew he was married and never getting next to any of this. And Gene knew I wasn't looking twice at Darryl. But as he said, "It was the principal of the thing." Oh Damn.

Fast forward to this past weekend. I'm sharing this story because even 3N had to laugh at his damn self. Middle of the night, 3N is on da twitter talking randomly as he is known to do. Out of the blue, a dude from BnB tweets him to say that he figured out that 3N is the person I'm seeing. Behold the tweet:

I just figured this out. No disrespect but don't eff it up.

3N comes back with: Ain't this some shit. No worries, bruh. I got this.

Other dude comes round again: Good for you if you do. Just know that if you don't... nuff said

3N gets all alpha male: Line starts behind me. Be prepared to wait. A. Long. Time.

Then Riley (who was up at 3am est for some reason!) started throwing shots at the other dude, BaileyQC got in the mix behind 3N, a few other bougienistas weighed in and an entire round robin of shiggity went forth. Other dude started DM'ing 3N and by the time I got up the next morning I was faced with 6 feet 2 inches of salty ninja. What I do?!

First of all... what in the entire hell? Why was other dude coming at 3N sideways in the first place? Secondly, 3N.... bless his heart. He's new to Twitter and the blogosphere but first rule of stopping ratchetassness in its tracks:  do. not. engage. MUTE and BLOCK are your friends... use them!

Okay, I will admit to a time or two giving a chick the "he's taken, no trespassing" look but that's only been in the case of egregious claim-jumping attempts (otherwise known as habitual line-stepping). So I have to ask the question... why do men do this? Is this an alpha male thing? Do women territory mark with this same fervency as well? Ladies, have you experienced this? Men, have you done it? Do tell...


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