Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Music Spotlight: The Obama Playlist

Often I wish President Obeezy would sign-off on an official soundtrack for his presidency. So many times as he walks into a presser, I think he needs some walk on music. Other times he should definitely pipe some music in the speaker on the floor of Congress.

Here's the song he needs to drop on them this weekend. A blast from the past. It's from House Party, ya'll. Today's Why You Get Funky on Me...

Any suggestions for the Obeezy soundtrack?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Is there a case for Hereditary Ratchetassness?

The saying is that an apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. I say it's not where the apple falls, it's where it ends up. Check it out:

A group of civilized Dallasites almost came to blows in John K's brand new spacious living room one night this week. I don't even know what channel it was on but there on the TV screen was some dude talking about the reason he cheated on his wife was because his father cheated on his mother. He said that's all he'd over known. The psychologist said that often children that see cheating, hitting, yelling, and general ratchetass behavior accepted as the norm growing up will perpetuate the same shadiness in their own grown up relationships.

Jayme went onto give the example that the abused tend to become abusers. Bryan said that he didn't believe that if your parents never taught you to be neat, you'll be a messy grown-up. Annette said that her mother was that needy woman who always clung to a man and couldn't make a decision without one. Her sister became the same kind of woman in relationships, Annette became the polar opposite.

I argued that at some point, if you are made aware of the fact that your behavior is unacceptable, it's up to you to break that genetic chain and evolve. I couldn't get past the thought that "my father did it, so I do too" seemed like a cop out to me. Someone brought up the Kennedys and the Marleys as glaring generational examples of sons who followed in their fathers' unfaithful footsteps. If someone tries to tell me that there's a DNA indicator that can predict infidelity, I want to know how to patent it... immediately

So we had several heated conversations going. 
1) Do men with cheating fathers cheat? (And is it a valid excuse?)
2) How much behavior learned as a child can be corrected as adults?
3) Can we all agree that our parents' failure just might affect us more than their successes?
What say you? Agree, disagree? To one, two, all premises? Think nature vs. nurture is a bunch of hornswoggle? Here's your chance to share. The floor is yours...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

When love is not enough

Blogger's note - With the exception of the first paragraph or so where I talk about the past, this post isn't about me. I'm happy. I repeat, I'm happy. I know ya'll. One glance at the title and you'll be tweeting me and 3N asking if ev'thang is a-ight. It's good. Now.. let's begin:

I remember one tragic moment a few years ago when I realized that the man I loved didn't love me... enough. Oooo, it was a bitter bitter pill to swallow. After all the time, the talks, the emails, the texts, the up and the down, the fights, the make-ups, the "I only want to be with you" and the dinners and the trips and on and on... I finally (finally) figured out that though he loved me - he did not love me enough to be what I needed. To put me first. To make me Mrs. End All Be All. And I wept from the disillusionment. And then I got angry. And then I got moody. And then I got angry again. After time (after time after time), came acceptance.

I understand now that relationships need maintenance and brutal 100-point diagnostic tests. Years and years before the "he don't love me like he should" revelation, I should have figured it out. But somehow I was all wrapped up in the love story of it all. Romance will bite you in the azz, blind you and make you stupid if you let it. You can't be in love with love - it just doesn't work out. Love the person, love the relationship... not the idea of them.

You have to take a step back from the emotion and the cocoa and the laughter and say - is this what I want? Is this going anywhere? Am I getting what I need or am I settling thinking he'll eventually give it to me?

I say these things today after talking with a male friend of mine. He's been in an on-again, off-again relationship with the same woman for close to six years now. Watching them is like watching myself five years ago. Their relationship is long distance so when they are together it's all suspended animation. They exist from encounter to encounter. They don't have to handle any of the "tough stuff" becuase one of them always has a plane to catch.

They are now living in the same city and though they love each other... it's just not working. When it's not all hotel rooms and champagne from room service, things get seen in the light of day. Cranky mornings and tired afternoons and times of the month and "do your friends like my friends?" issues spring up out of nowhere. She's not in Vicki's Secret and pumps waving cinnamon massage oil at him first thing in the morning and he's on conference calls at midnight. On top of everything else, now that the shields are down they tend to disagree more often than they agree.

He called me all out of sorts talking about, "I love her but that's not getting it done anymore."

I actually wonder if he loves the real her, or the her he saw every other weekend for 72 hours in a cocoon. My Aunt Violet (who ironically never married) always said "If he loves you on your worst day when you're looking your worst way - he's the one. And then you have to decide if you want to be bothered." I remember wondering why I would ever listen to her about love - she'd never married so what did she know? Turns out quite a bit. I mean there's love and then there's love. And sometimes... it's just not enough.

When I told him that, he said "But without it, then what?" Well there's the thing. You have to have the love to get through all the other stuff but the other stuff can smother the love. I write relationship fiction, I'm just as guilty  of perpetuating the "love conquers all" belief as anyone else. I believe that love helps and love heals but even the greatest love needs a little bit of practical application to keep it moving. Long story short, it's not easy.

Anyone been in this place? Got some words of wisdom for Mr. It's Not Working? Know someone in love with love? Do share...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Shall Not Be Moved...

Ya'll know I'm straight salty about those Black Weblog Awards, right? Salt. Y. Three nominations and not one diggity damn trophy? I hate to lose. Anything. An argument, an earring, a tennis match on the Wii. At least I lose graciously [pauses to grind teeth and kick over small plant], I will say that I was all "I'm so happy for the winners, it was an honor to be nominated" while in the background 3N was pouring shots and pelting me with cupcakes hoping my mood elevated.

AND, I'm tart I'm not on the New York Times Bestsellers' List. Okay, I know that's a stretch but if you're going to dream, dream big - right? A Michele Grant book in every household. Who knows how much better the world would be if our men were a little more like Grown Man Steven and our women less like Renee. If you have no idea who I'm talking about... Le Boo.

Moving on. So I was approached by a well-known publicist who told me that if I just made a few "tweaks" to my overall style,  I could have more pageviews, more readers, more fame, more fortune, more fabulosity all the way around. Her idea was to make me the next [insert name of popular writer that I don't I really care for here] but with a bougie twist. All I had to do was... be a little more sexy and a little more controversial.

"Instead of talking about what you don't like about Kim Kardashian, why don't you write some sex tips for her?"


"Instead of blogging about your love of black men, why not tell them what they can do to be better men for the sisterhood?"

**angry crickets**

"And in your books, instead of making all your characters so upwardly mobile, why don't you make them just regular people and add in some more drama. Maybe a sexy minister who cheats on his pregnant wife or a trash collector who is sleeping with the women on his route and they all find out about each other?"

**really. pissed. off. crickets**

"Michele, are you there?"

"Uh yeah, listen... I don't think we're on the same page. I'm not [insert name of any blog that gives out regular sex tips] - there's nothing wrong with that, it's just not me. I don't tell black men what to do unless they ask for my advice because I don't want them telling me what to do. And I don't and won't ever, ever, ever plan to write about cheating ministers and pimpin' azz garbage men. Not. That. There's. ANY. DAMN. Thing. Wrong. With. That. It's just not me."

"I think you're missing out on a great opportunity here. I'm talking talk shows and magazine articles and guest spots on the Steve Harvey show. Who knows, maybe you could write a show for BET or VH1. You could be huge!"

**praying brain doesn't explode** "Thank you so much, I appreciate the call. I don't think I'm ready for all of that. Buh-bye now."

Folks, I gotta be me. I shall not be blogging about the Mandingo Chronicles and my next book will not be titled "Pastor, can you spare a condom?" No. I can't. I shall not be moved. If that means I never win a damn thing and my books languish like left over King's Cake four weeks past Mardi Gras... so be it. 

What say you? Is someone seriously waiting on me to break out Bougie After Dark - The CocoaSmoothe Collection? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

She was crazy when you met her, sir...

Stop for a minute, before all of the mental health advocates and professionals come at me sideways... I'm using crazy as a subjective term referring to folks that are a little bit out of control and a whole lot out of pocket. I'm not mocking mental illness, okay? Okay... let's move on.

Next disclaimer: yes, I know a lot of women date deranged-azz men but this post isn't about them. Umm-kay? Here we go.

Lately, I've been hearing a lot (I mean a lot) about these wack-a-doo (technical term) chicks and the fellas that date them and live to regret it. Women are cutting off body parts, poisoning food, calling jobs, lighting fires, trashing cars, pouring bleach on clothes, straight stalking, I mean it's out of control. And yet, they keep getting booed up while the rational ladies who are content to sit home on sandwich night watch from afar. I don't get it. And I really want to, so I'm asking the question.
Dear fellas,
Please help me to understand. All the beefing and b*tching about your crazy ex-girlfriend, wife, baby mama... cease and desist. Immediately. She was crazy when you met her. Something about her was just a little bit off-center. That level of ratchetassness does not manifest overnight. No woman wakes up on a Saturday and says "I'm going to shoot the tires out of Jeffrey's car today" just for kicks. No sir. She has shown signs of bullet-happy property destruction before... you chose to ignore it. 
*nods* I get it though. It was hot when she was standing on the bed in a thong pouring lukewarm honey on Mr. Happy. One hundred candles is sexy when the cocoa is on point. Never occured to you that a woman so eager to slather your jewels with heated substances might use that against you some day? (Reference Al Hot Grits Green please) Never thought that anyone who would take the time to light 100 candles might be a little fire-giddy? Umm-hmm.
There's always that girl who's a little quick to go off in the mall if some other woman looks at you twice. She's a little too concerned each and every time your phone beeps. She's all about you, baby. Have you ever stopped to wonder just why she's soooo into you in such a short period of time? Put your ego in park and think on it.
Lookie here. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you fellas this. I really am. You know OneChele loves the menfolk. I really do. But if your woman is crazy it's for two reasons: 1) She always was or 2) Someone (could be you) drove her there and dropped her off. 
Riddle me this though, guys - why do you keep hooking up with these off the chart chicks? I'm talking about women that have displayed their crazy before. Do you think you have the magic cure? Were you seriously just blinded by the cocoa? The bing-badda-boom? Have we learned nothing from the prophetic words of BBD - "Never trust a big butt and a smile"? 
Gents. Please explain. Thanks, 
Inquiring minds want to know. I know so many women who meet you guys right after you've come from Crazy Chick and they just want an answer... why? What is crazy chick doing right? Can anybody shed some insight into this? Anybody, anybody?

BTW - if you thought this post was over the top, you should have seen what I originally wrote when the title was "Why do hoes get chose while good girls take up knitting?" Yeah, it was rough.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bougie Confession: I don't believe in Soul Mates

Oh Lawd... I hope I didn't just trash my 3rd quarter book sales with that title. But I have to keep it real - I'm a writer of relationship fiction and I do not believe in Soul Mates. Or rather I don't believe we only get one.

From Wiki: A soulmate ( or soul mate) is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, or compatibility. A related concept is that of the twin flame or twin soul, which is thought to be the ultimate soulmate. In New Age spirituality, the ultimate soulmate is the one and only other half of one's soul.

All that? Doing. Too. Much.  

I do believe in love lust at first sight. I believe you can meet a person and know immediately that they are going to be a game-changer in your life. I do believe in instant attraction. I believe in chemistry. I believe in the power of love. I believe in partnership. I believe in synergy. I do believe in fate, destiny and serendipity. One of my favorite (though little known) Usher songs is called "It Is What It Is"  and though the song is a little scandalous, the title speaks to me. But soul mates? One person slated for one person, forever and ever? One shot at the gold ring? Only one hit at the plate? (I could go on) But I don't buy it.

The theory that there is only one person that is meant for you and you alone and nobody else in the world will do? Hogwash. 

The other day I tipped past a predominantly male blog and dude was trying to sell Ye Olde "Girl, you let him get away and now you're going to be alone... FOREVER" meme. Kisseth mine azz with that one. First of all, just because you "let" someone get away, doesn't mean they won't be back. Secondly, who's to say what's waiting around the corner? Maybe you needed to move his hindparts out of your way so the path would be clear for someone better.

I also had occasion to listen in to some sassy sisters getting their preach on over on BlogTalkRadio the only day. They were deep into the "I'm the best you ever had and you'll regret the day you left me" programming. Ladies, let's not kid ourselves. There's always someone out there willing to do more, do it better, faster and with fawning enthusiasm. Please lose that "You'll RUE the DAY!" speech. Maybe he will rue the day, maybe he won't - either way he's onto the next and you need to be also.

Gents, I don't want to leave you out. I've met so many of you who are on the hunt for perfection and won't settle for anything less. Some of you have a definition of a soul mate that comes wrapped up in such a perfect unattainable package, I wonder what woman will ever live up to the dream. Perfection is divine. We're all just human. Let's move on, shall we?

I have several issues with the soul mate fallacy:
1. It's a little too Cinderella for me. Cindy couldn't have hooked up with the baker or the butcher to get her up out the rodent-infested attic? She just had to wait on the Prince, huh? Seriously, in dire straits, isn't the coach driver starting to look real good? I bet the stable boy had a wicked sense of humor and buns of steel. But no, Cindy up in the house waiting on uncomfortable pumps and a high-fallutin' prince. You ever wonder how that happily ever turned out? What if the Prince was a spoiled Mama's Boy expecting Cindy to prance around in those glass shoes with the tiara on all the time? Hmm? Trust and believe, Cindy's fairy godmother would have done her a favor by hooking her up with some random dude one kingdom over and being done with it. 
2. It suggests a passive inevitability. The notion of waiting on That One True Love leans a mite too heavily on the waiting. Almost as if who you love is beyond your control. The cosmos has picked out this one person and you have to wait for their arrival. Hmmm... but in the meantime? 
3. It's limiting. Perfection and the search for it is a narrow trail to exhaustion. Seriously, if you are eyeing up people wondering "Is this my Soul Mate? Is it Him? It is Her? Are they The Perfect One for me?" - you've got too much time on your hands. Lookie here, find someone who puts up with your shiggity, you put up with theirs and have some laughs and cocoa along the way. 
4. The second guessing. Banking that the person you've found is The One, sets you up to wonder if there isn't a Better One out there somewhere. Let go of that whole "The One" and go with - I've found someone I love who loves me back... we in this.  
5. And then what happens... when your Soul Mate doesn't work out. When it all falls down? Are you done? That was your One, right? None other in the world? No sir, No ma'am. Some things are for a season.  Onto da next.
6. You complete me - No. You. Don't. Damn some Jerry Maguire. Please people, be a complete person in and amongst yourself. Pull your Me, Myself, and I together and make it work. If you are broken, shattered, tattered, halved or torn asunder... can't no man/woman put you to rights. You are in charge in you. So endeth the lesson.
Well BougieLand... those are my thoughts. What say you? Am I too cynical, mayhaps a tad snarky? Do you believe in soul mates? Do you feel you've found yours? Do share...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's minor rant week on BnB

Well, you know... I went as long as I could without going IN on some pure nonsensicals that have irked me a wee bit. I try to keep it peaceable around these parts but um... enough is enough. I have to call bullshiggity on a few things and you get to come along for the ride. Join me won't you? It's minor rant (otherwise known as Is It Just Me, otherwise known as I Call Bullshiggity) week on BnB. Stick around....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Music Spotlight: New Brian McKnight

I'm a Brian McKnight fan from way, way back in the day. To his credit, he's had a lot more hits than misses. So a few weeks back when I heard his distinctively soulful but pure tones on the radio, I stopped to take a listen. Wait... was that some autotune mixed in? Am I hearing that right? With BMcK? Why, King Jesus? He can actually sing! Le Arrgh!

Anyway, I heard Fall 5.0 (boo for the title)  a few more times and it started to grow on me. His new album, Just Me (combination of new songs and reworked classics), is available now. Here's the video for the first single, tell me what you think.

Okay, he has lost some of his sexy but tell me what you think of song and video.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mrs. Mr. Right - The Last Name Game

My last name isn't Grant. My editor and I picked the name out of the Baby Name Dictionary because I didn't want to write under my own last name (in an attempt to keep my HR consulting life separate from my writing life). Also I wanted a name near the beginning of the alphabet so that my books would be at eye-level on shelves in stores. I'm sneaky like that. I say all of that but if (when) I get married, I do intend to take my husband's last name personally though I'll probably always write under Grant. 

Several weeks ago, I sat in on one of Dr. Jayme's pre-marital group sessions as research for a short story I'm playing around with. The topic of the class was "What stays in your single life when you get married?" It was fascinating. Instead of giving couples the answers, Jayme lets each person write out a list and then everybody compares notes. One issue that was debated heatedly was whether a woman should take her husband's last name after marriage.

One young lady not only was eager to take her man's last name, she wanted the first name too. Instead of being Mary Smith, she was going to be Mrs. John Doe. Another lady was going to do a mash-up, moving her last name to her middle name so she would be Mary S. Doe. One woman felt that her family name was just as important as his so she wanted to hyphenate. Her fiance didn't care one way or the other. Another woman said she wouldn't change her name because she had worked hard to make a name for herself in her profession. Her future husband felt that she was clinging to her singlehood by clinging to her maiden name. 

Jayme talked about creating unity in a marriage. If one partner feels strongly about the issue, it can be a sticking point for years to come. She also shared a study that showed that women who take their husband's name are seen as warmer but less competent. They're also less likely to be hired for a job and will make about $500,000 less over the course of their lifetime:
Marital name change is not without consequences. Women who took their partner's name appear to be different from women who kept their own name on a variety of demographics and beliefs, which are more or less associated with the female stereotype (Study 1). Subsequent studies show that women's surnames are used as a cue for judgment (Studies 2–4). A woman who took her partner's name or a hyphenated name was judged as more caring, more dependent, less intelligent, more emotional, less competent, and less ambitious in comparison with a woman who kept her own name. A woman with her own name, on the other hand, was judged as less caring, more independent, more ambitious, more intelligent, and more competent, which was similar to an unmarried woman living together or a man. Finally, a job applicant who took her partner's name, in comparison with one with her own name, was less likely to be hired for a job and her monthly salary was estimated [euro]861,21 lower (calculated to a working life, [euro]361.708,20).
Source: "What's in a Name? 361.708 Euros: The Effects of Marital Name Change" from Basic and Applied Social Psychology Volume 32, Issue 1, 2010
That's wild. All of that in a name? So it got me to wondering how BougieLand feels about this. Ladies, will you (did you) take your husband's name when you marry? Why or why not? Fellas, do you expect your wife to take your name? Why or why not? Do share...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Did you miss me?

Well sort of. I'm back but not really ready with a new post today. Jamaica was wonderful. Something about those tropics... Le Sigh. Already looking forward to going back. If I should ever stumble into independent wealth, you'll know where to find me. 

How is everyone doing? What's new? Anything to share? Anything we need to discuss? I did want to take a second to send our best thoughts to CaliEd whose father passed away earlier this week. He's resting in peace now. Condolences to you and yours.

Fresh bouge tomorrow. In the meantime, peace be the journey.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vacation happens...

I'm in Jamaica. I'm going to lie here and sleep, occasionally turning over to sip rum. Be back late next week. I might sneak in a post. Then again... I might not. Ya'll be good. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Must See TV tonight: Who the (Bleep) did I marry? on ID

I've developed a minor (major) addiction to ID television. The kind folks over at Investigation Discovery let me sneak peek the Season 2 premiere of Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry? My first thought after watching it with my mouth open the entire time was "there by for the grace of God go I." Here's the description:
Tammi McCreary had never been lucky in love. So when she met handsome, romantic Eric Perteet at an Atlanta nightclub, she thought that this time, fate was on her side. Is there something wrong with her "Mr. Right"?

Yes, there's something very wrong with her Mr. Right. Watch the show tonight at 9:00pm central/10:00pm eastern and then come back through and discuss. What could Tammi have done to avoid this drama? Anything?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer TV - What are you watching?

Facts are facts, cable is killing the original programming game right now. I have no idea what is on the "Big Four" networks right now. But I do know that TNT, USA, AMC, HBO, Lifetime, etc are producing and putting out some pretty decent product.

I watch The Closer, Leverage, and HawthoRNe on TNT. I'm hoping to get through an entire season of HawthoRNe without getting irritated and quitting. Has anybody watched Falling Skies? I can't with the aliens but it seems to be getting good reviews? I tried watching a few moments of Franklin & Bash - that was good & terrible.

Drop Dead Diva has maybe one more week before I give up on it. How long must one woman pine over a man who has dated everybody but her? I don't know but a season and a half is enough. I watched one and a half episodes of The Protector starring the chick from Profiler and Tisha Campbell. Tisha needs a raise. She totally saves the show. 

I enjoyed the past season of Treme and I'm interested to see what Entourage will do for the last season. I never got into True Blood but you guys can let me know if it's holding your attention this year? Did anybody watch Game of Thrones? I heard buzz about it but never caught an episode.

Breaking Bad on AMC is another I hear good things about but I haven't had the time to watch. SyFy is premiering a show called Alphas that is getting a lot of buzz but really, there are only so many hours in the day. Rescue Me is coming back for a final season on FX, could this be the season they all get it together?

I did catch Necessary Roughness on USA. I'm on the fence about that one. First of all, I seriously hope Terrell Owens is getting royalties for the complete rip of his life/personality/issues that Mehcad Brooks is using as the the trouble wide receiver Terrance "TK" King. I think they need to flesh out those main characters a bit more before I'm sold on that one. They also debuted a show called Suits that has some pretty good writing plus the law firm has a sister as the managing partner - win.

I'm also dying to see The Curious Case of Curt Flood. Ever wonder who A-Rod has to thank for his $100MM contract? It's Curt Flood, the baseball player who sued Major League Baseball all the way to the Supreme Court. Even though he lost the case, his actions brought about player solidarity and free agency. Take a quick look:

Who has watched (will watch) what? What looks good? What looks bad? Rep your show. All suggestions entertained. Thoughts, comments, insights?

Monday, July 11, 2011

The problem with #OWN - The Oprah Winfrey Network

I like Oprah. I do. I'm not a squealing, OMG-ing, everything-she-recommends-I-must-try kind of fan but I respect her hustle, her reach and her general philosophies of reach one, teach one and first do no harm. There was a murky area there where I thought her show was a little too Oprah-centric. I also sent many a side-eye towards a lot of her book club selections (No love for a light-hearted romance?). There were definitely a few cringe-worthy moments from this final season (that Iyanla interview). But overall, Oprah is all right by me.

BougieMom retired in the late nineties and barring any appointments, she watched Oprah every single weekday up until the finale. I can't even tell you how many conversations she started with "Guess what happened on Oprah today?"

That's why I was excited to see what the Winfrey team could do with an entire channel. I watched quite a bit of OWN the first weekend and then popped in and out trying to find shows to love. It was hard to do. There were a lot of random reality shows, some psych-talk shows, a lot of Gayle. No shade to Gayle, she's just not Oprah.

Here's the problem: Not enough Oprah, too many random people I just don't care about. The Judds? Shania Twain? Chaz Bono? Sarah Ferguson? Tatum O'Neal? C'mon... seriously? I'm already not a fan of reality TV but reality TV about celebrities I never cared about?

The two best shows are Master Class and Behind the Scenes. By the way, did they ever show the Master Class on Sidney Poitier? He was in the original promo and then we never saw it. At any rate, Master Class was the smart idea of letting a personality tell their own story the way they wanted to tell it. Very well done. Maya Angelou's literally made me tear up. Behind the Scenes gives the viewer the back story for the goings-on at the Oprah Winfrey Show. But we're nearing the finale.

So the two best shows are done. Replacing them? A whole lotta random. A makeover show. A show about infidelity (Unfaithful - it's actually kind of interesting), talk show, documentary, talk show. 

The other problem I have with OWN - where are the stories for sistah girls? Playing The Color Purple every weekend doesn't count. 

Has anyone been watching OWN? What do you love? What would you change? Do share - who knows maybe someone will pay attention. BougieTales on OWN?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's TV week on BnB

Summer TV season is well underway. Treme has already come and gone. USA has debuted a new slate of shows. This week a few more cable blockbusters are coming back. Reportedly, this is the last season for two perennial favorites, The Closer and Entourage. I thought it was time to take a look at what's keeping us glued to those remotes. 

Swing by and share your thoughts, won't you?

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Spitzer Dilemma: Does sexual stupidity equal lack of leadership ability?

Follow me for a minute: Infidelity is immoral (not inevitable - that's a different post). Immorality reeks of poor judgment. Poor judgment hints at flawed character. Flawed character is not a desired trait in a great leader... right?

I watched Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer on Bio Channel the other night and it was... illuminating. There were so many machinations and subplots going on in the back drop of that scandal. There's no getting around the grimy 'married but paying for cocoa' element but the determination of pissy entitled old guard billionaires to bring him down seriously got my dander up. 

Now I'm not in any way saying that Spitzer wasn't a damn fool for all the hooker shenanigans. But it made me wonder, does swimming knee deep in heaux shiggity really impact his ability to lead the state of New York? Was Clinton not an effective President because of the Lewinsky (et al) of it all? Do we think less of Kennedy's public service knowing he was a complete and total hound dog? Would Gary Hart have made a good president?

These questions confound me because I believe that Eliot Spitzer was doing some good things. Admittedly some bad things as well. Does his bad outweigh the good that he could have done? I'm just not sure. What do high profile trailblazers do after they piss on their own trail? Can we trust men who trip over their own d**ks to lead us? Is sexual impropriety as tragic a flaw as embezzling? Or is dishonesty and weakness in any form unacceptable for men in leadership positions?

I don't know... it sort of becomes a slippery slope when you start thinking: well, there are worst things they could have done. Hmm, would their wives agree? Sure, these men owe their wives apologies but do they owe us the same thing?

The other fascinating aspect? The varying levels of disdain for the Cheaty McCheatersons. Some of these guys are reviled, some are still revered. Most everyone agrees it's especially heinous to cheat on your dying wife. Sneaking out for quickies while your wife is getting her chemo treatment just speaks to a callousness that makes John Edwards the least sympathetic of the group. I believe azzhole behavior was expected of Arnie but to impregnate the wife and the side chick (who works in your home) at the same time adds an 'eww ick' element that is hard to get around. 

Spitzer came across as such a Dudley Do Right that his fall from grace was shocking on a visceral level. Mark Sanford was just so whacktastic with his cheating. I mean his affair was a bad Lifetime Movie of the Week written by meth addicts. My goodness with the Latina lover, the long cheesy emails, the Appalachian trail? Dude, stop.

Clinton, well, his Oval Office slap-n-tickle was tragic because he lied about it (convincingly). One wonders what would have happened if he just said yeah, I did it, so what? What if Andrew Weiner had come forward and said that in a tequila-induced fugue state he twit-pic'd his privates to a random broad? Might he still be in office. 

The downfall of these guys is no longer shocking. In fact, it's almost expected. One of the best shows on TV right now, The Good Wife, is centered around these very scenarios. These events are so commonplace, I wonder if we'll get to the point where we don't even care anymore. And what will that say about us?

I guess my question is - Should cheating on your wife automatically disqualify you for running for (or staying in) public office? [squinting hard at Newt] Or is it the lying that really does it? What makes one situation worse than the others? Do these public figures owe the public an apology? Should they step down? And what in the world do they do next? I'm curious to know your thoughts. The floor is yours...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

What's your "type"?

Sunday a bunch of us were at a park in Allen, Texas to watch some fireworks. We were rolling about 12 people deep and had completely bougiefied about fifteen square feet of park grounds with lounge chairs, blankets, coolers, umbrellas, totes and tray tables. Even though the sun was setting, it was still warm (read hell-like hot) so someone was passing a portable fan with mister around. I leaned forward to get my mist on when my eyes caught a familiar frame off in the distance. I squinted, tilted my sunglasses down and then dove (unashamedly) behind two of the fellas.

"Woman, what is your problem?"

"It's Derrick and his wife."

"Did he re-marry her?"

"I don't know, that's not the point. I don't want any more drama so hide me."

They did but of course, they had commentary. "So does she only wear halter tops? I think every time you describe this chick, she rocking a halter." "He looks miserable." and most notably. "Well Chele, you do have a type, don't you?"

Hmm. Thought worthy. I peeked over Jayme's shoulder to look at Derrick. The only thing that he and 3N have in common at a glance is that they are both tall and chocolate. But okay, I'll own it. I have a type. Tall, dark, professional, articulate, confident with a sense of humor. That's me all day. Not saying I haven't dated outside of type but invariably, I find myself gravitating to that "type." But far more important than the exterior, I've gotten really picky about character traits. My friend Shirley says I keep dating improved versions of the same guy.

Le Bougie Shrug. I know what I like. But is that what's good for me? Time will tell. One of my friends, Jazz; always dated light-skinned boisterous, life of the party athletes who didn't take life too seriously. She married Bryan, a tech dude with a quiet wit who only plays sports if it comes in Xbox form. He has a 20-year life plan. So who knows?

Bougieland, I put the question to you? What's your type? Do you admit to having one? Do you date outside of it? For the married folks, did you marry someone that was your "type" or not? Have you all stopped to think whether your "prototype" is really the best person for you? Just curious. Do share...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Dating like Goldilocks - a guest post by @AnotherWord43

After my last Bougie Bachelorette Chronicle, I'm taking a break from blogging my own relationship adventures. I'll be soliciting some of you all to share your stories. Today, Trey Charles (also known as @AnotherWord43) has agreed to tell his story. Show him some love, won't you?

Stop. Wait a minute. I didn't say I'm dating Goldilocks. I'm an equal opportunity dater with a strong preference for #TeamSistaGirl. I said I'm dating like Goldilocks. Lemme 'splain.

I just turned 35. I'm degreed, employed, a homeowner and mighty fine to look at if I do say so myself. And I do. I was in a long relationship, about seven years but our careers took us to opposite sides of the country and neither of us made the effort to keep the relationship in tact after our moves. I know, that bears more scrutiny but not right now. Lately my dating history reads like a dark and twisted fairy tale: one girl is too much this and the next girl is too little that, I can't seem to find the one who fits just right. 

After the last three dates, Chele tells me I'm not allowed to pick my own companions for a while. Apparently, I'm only allowed to accept referral candidates from here on out. Le Manly Sigh. Here's what happened with the last three:

Bachelorette #1 - Meet her through a work friend at happy hour. She was pretty, articulate, sexy in an understated way, a little fancy. But I like that. We had good conversation. We had good first date. After that first date (no cocoa), she started calling and texting... a lot. Like we went out Saturday and by Monday she had asked me several (more than 7) times when we were going out again. I saw Fatal Attraction. I wasn't waiting on the boiling bunny. Next.

Bachelorette #2 - Meet her at church. Sweet, cute, a little conservative but that's not always a bad thing. On our second date, I took her to a dinner with the fellas and their s/o's. Yes, she wore a sweater set and pearls in June to a jazz spot. Yes she ordered a salad. Yes she was quiet and did not keep up with the banter. I assumed it was that she was shy. Plus in comparison to the other ladies there (Jazz is in marketing, Michele is a writer, Ivy is in sales) she wasn't going to fare well in communication comparison. But she's just a really reserved (to the point of uptight) woman. In all things... very, very quiet and conservative. That's all I"m going ot say about that. Next.

Bachorlette #3 - Meet her in the mall. She walked up to me and struck up a conversation. I liked the boldness. We talked a few times and went to a movie. Not bad. Took her to a cookout on Saturday night and found out that the boldness was actually brashness. Like she talked real reckless with no filter. Example? She announced that "Bougie black people are what's wrong with America today. If Obama had more hood in him, we could see some real change." Girlie, know your audience. She was at a party where me, Wil, John, David, Jay, Owen, Jayme, BB - all people who frequent a site called BougieLand were in attendance. Three-fourths of the party went silent. The other fourth ignored her. She went on and on and finally noticed that no one was feeling her. Chele was looking upward in prayer trying so clearly not to engage.

Girlie realized everyone was taking their cues from Chele so she starts going in on how bougie bitches lose their men to real sistahs like her because they had no bed game. She said something to David and I didn't even hear what her next sentence was but I did hear Michele tell her she needed to buy a clue and catch a case of sit-yo-ass-down. What followed thereafter shall forever be known as Michele's Epic Ether. She shredded this chick.You all have read a OneChele rant, right? Well dial it up, add a bougie twang and technicolor and you have this. Some highlights:
Chele telling girlie her weave looked like she bought it from from a crackhead's grocery cart. (Okay, the hair was a little tragic)
Chele making some sort of rhyme involving wide hips, loose lips and drop kicks. (I don't know exactly what she said but it was Grammy worthy)
Chele telling girlie that what she truly needed was a stiff drink, a stiffer d**k and an attitude adjustment. (At which point the ENTIRE backyard went "Ooooo Shit!") 
Girlie burst into tears and ran out front. Then I remembered that she came with me and I had to slink out to take her ratchet-ass home. She told me that my friends were "mean" and I should have stood up for her. Excuse me? Ya'll know what time it is... Next.

I'm taking a page out of Michele's book and taking a dating hiatus. Clearly I need to reflect or get perspective or whatever. So there's my chronicle, dissect away. 

BougieLand, in my defense I'd had a long day, three drinks and it was hot. But enough about me, based on what you've heard about Trey's dating shenanigans -what should he do differently (if anything)? What kind of woman should he date next? And shouldn't he wait until a few dates in to bring them around the entire crew? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Saturday Music Spotlight: Erro's Summertime Anthem

First of all, love the throwback artwork. Great homage to Spike's Do the Right Thing.

My man, Erro - Eric Roberson of Le Silky Smooth Neo Soul flow is back with a preview of his album due out in August. He's put together a catchy-azz tune called Summertime Anthem and featuring Chubb Rock (woo-hoo, real rapper!). Take a listen and tell me what you think...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Bougie Movie Review - Bad Teacher

There's 90 minutes of my life I will never get back. Ugh. Ick. Eww. And Ugh. The four funny lines you saw in the trailer? Those are the funny lines in the movie. My sister-in-law was in town and we thought we'd catch a comedy. We never saw one. 

Cameron Diaz is a teacher who wants to marry a rich guy and spend money. But in order to get the rich guy, she feels she must have a boob job. The boob job costs $10k. She spends the movie scheming on how to get the money and the rich guy while doing as little as possible. (Correction: she does the most as far as felonies committed and ethics trampled) They didn't bother to flesh out her character. Where are her friends, her family? How did she become this shallow, insensitive, boozy, druggy witch? We don't know and very quickly, we don't care. Cameron is still hot and wears the hell out of a sheath dress but it is time for someone to tell her she is not 26 any more. The baked on-caked on makeup look is also brutally awful in some camera shots. 

Justin Timberlake plays a nerdy rich teacher that all the female teachers want and oh, he's in a band. A five piece all male band. Total stretch acting? Yeah... moving on. There was this weird fully clothed dry humping scene with him and Cameron that given their history was just kind of awkward and hard to watch.

Jason Segel tries to save the movie with actual bouts of sardonic witty humor but he is completely underutilized and you don't really get his story either. Yet somehow they wrap the whole thing up in a cutesy bow that we're supposed to be okay with. I only had one glass of wine, perhaps with an entire bottle this would be hilarity.

I'm tired just typing about it. See at your own risk. Man that was awful. And a little pathological. One star for Cameron's wardrobe. 


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