Monday, October 31, 2011

Run your race, boo



Subtitled - stop worrying about why hoes get chose and why men (who act like) d*cks get the chicks.

I know, I know. Why in the world are chicks who have been passed around more than ganja at a reggae concert winning? They aren't - it just looks that way. And some of ya'll are mad as hell about it.

Why do guys with the emotional depth of a Kmart kiddie pool stay pulling five star women? There's pulling and there's keeping but you rarely hear that part of the story. And some of ya'll are bitter as hell about it.

It really only appears that nice girls and nice guys finish last out here in the relationship hustle. Goodness knows every time I've seen some random ratchet chick booed up with a guy I thought was a catch, I shake my head in confusion. I stay confused by skanky reality chicks that we know have been around the block so much that the block is named after them who appear to come out ahead in the game of love. Not that men and women of dubious background, nature and redeeming social value don't deserve love. Sure they do. It's just hard to see raggedy folks getting their happy while less raggedy folks take up Xbox and knitting. 

But anyone who has ever run track (or dated others who ran track or even watched track once) will tell you that the coaches all say the same thing - don't worry about who else is on the track, you run your race. We need to apply this principle in the relationship struggle. Instead of chicks trying to be more and more outrageous or guys deciding to act hard and play games - everybody should take a breath and just be true to themselves. 

I guarantee ladies, you do NOT want that guy who is out there booing up any damn body... at least not until he grows up and knows better. I promise you men, you do not want the girl who'll date a man who treats her any old kinda way.... at least not until she wakes up and know better. You getting my drift?

Stop worrying about who's with who and who ended up with who you thought you wanted. Life is a marathon not a sprint. Stretch, hydrate and get back out there. 

BougieLand, do you think we can get beyond the thought that "hoes stay winning"? I think the fact that we're calling them hoes keeps them losing, don't you? Can we get beyond the thought that "good guys finish last"? As long as you finish, do really care? Thoughts, comments, musings or anecdotes?

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's not that I'm always right... I'm just rarely wrong


The conversation:
"Michele, I've been singing this song for years. It's 'love is for me to find, how much I adore you.'"
"That doesn't even make sense. The words are 'love is too weak to define how much I adore you.'"
"Between the two of us, who knows more Prince lyrics?"
"Um, me?"
"No. I've been a Princeologist for years."
"Uh-huh. I'm seven years older than you, David. Do the math."
"There you go with the older thing."
"What older thing?"
"You think because you're older, you know more than me."
"I absolutely do not think that."
"Well, why do you think you're always right?"
I paused. Not wanting to say, "Because I usually am?!" What I said instead was, "Do you seriously think I always think I'm right?"
"I plead the fifth."
"That's an answer."
"That's a non-answer."
"By refusing to answer, you answered the question."
"And you know this because you're always right?"
"Really?"
"Let's not make it a thing. I love it that you're smart and confident. I love that you're usually the smartest person in the room."
"Now that's not true."
"Take a compliment. I'm just saying. Yes, you are right often. But sometimes, I'm right. And not just when I agree with you. Deal with it."
Thankfully we were on the phone and he couldn't see me rolling my eyes. "Acknowledged. You are right. Next topic?"
Silence but I hear him typing in the background. "Oh."
"Oh?"
"You might be right about the Prince lyrics."
"Hmm."
"Don't be smug."
"Me? Never."
"I should have known not to challenge you on anything remotely related to purple. Whatever. It's still a great song."
"One of the best."
"So we're good?"
"We're great."
David would not be the first (or the last) to tell me I have "I'm right and you're wrong"-itis. My bad. I've just always been the person who knows random stuff. Name two Triple Crown winners, a Nat King Cole song from 1952, who played running back for the Denver Broncos in 1998? What gets wine out of silk, what's the best way to prune roses before winter and what keeps avocado from turning brown? This is the kind of random nonsense my brain is filled with. I'm your girl for Trivial Pursuit.

To my credit, if I don't know something - I'm the first one to throw up my hands and say I'm clueless. And when I'm wrong, I will own up to it. (But that doesn't happen very often - okay, more often than I'd like). Is there a 12-step program for Hate-to-be-wrongitis?

Who's with me? Who "strongly dislikes" being wrong? Who is full of random information that has no substantive value unless we host a Bougie Jeopardy night? Is there a support group we can go to? Thoughts on the wrongness of always being right?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Very Special Episode of Ask a Bougie Chick: Should I leave?


Back in the day, any time they had a serious or "teachable moment" issue to delve into on a TV show, they would preface it with "A Very Special Episode." Today, we have some real talk for our Ask a Bougie Chick segment. In addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness month, October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

I received this letter a few weeks ago and the minute I read it, I referred the writer to someone smarter than me. Read what she had to say.
Hi Chele,
I don't want to talk to my friends and family about this because they will just be too judgy but I know you and BougieLand will tell it to me straight. I wonder if I'm overreacting or if it's all in my head.  
I've been seeing this guy for about eighteen months and I think I need to leave. I moved in with him just after two weeks and it was great. But a few weeks later, things got strange. He was very concerned about how I dressed and who my friends were and what I did while I was at work. It's kind of escalated, he calls all the time and doesn't like to be out with my friends or family. He's very meticulous about how we spend money. 
He's never been violent except for the one time he balled his fist up but he didn't hit me. He just seems to have some anger problems. Like he's not satisfied with things and he says I'm not trying hard enough to make a nice home. I try not to make waves and keep things pleasant but it seems I can't make him happy. I can admit that sometimes he scares me.   
He was always attentive but is it weird to say that I think he's trying to control me? I love him and he loves me but I feel smothered. With everyone saying how hard it is to find a good man, I know I haven't told you a lot of detail but based on what I've said, should I stay with him? Maybe get counseling? We're not married yet so maybe if I have these doubts, I should go.  
Am I making too much out of it? What do you think? Did I jump in too quick?
-KC

KC- I'm not a professional but just based on what you've said - run. Abuse is not always physical, the signs of an abusive relationship can be found here. Your dude is displaying a few too many for me. When you say he's never been violent, I hear a silent "yet." There are steps to take to extricate yourself from this situation safely. Read more by going here

Even if he wasn't potentially dangerous (and I think he is), don't ever, ever, ever stay with someone because you're worried about not finding anyone else. The worst case scenario of being alone is quite simply loneliness, and we can get you past that. The worst case scenario of staying with him is the worst case scenario. I hope you'll take the names and resources that I sent you via email to heart and do the right thing for you. Be safe! As you asked, I'll put it to BougieLand.

BougieLand, advice for KC?

To find out more or look for resources in your area, please visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Should you say you're sorry when you're really not?


There was an article on HuffPo (no I'm not linking it) on the 6 Secrets to a Happy Marriage. Nowhere in the list did it say to marry someone you actually think you'd like to stay married to but hey - we're moving on...
Number six on the list was about letting arguments go, which I agree with. You do have to pick your battles. But then she goes on to say that you should say "I'm sorry" even when you're not sorry at all.

***crickets***

Jayme called me up with her hair on fire over that one. Dr. Be Honest With Your Feelings in the Moment was not having it. And to be perfectly honest, I wasn't feeling it either. It's actually one of my pet peeves from a previous relationship. Dude would apologize and say whatever he thought he should say to get me to drop the topic and get onto the next.

If you're not sorry, don't fake the funk. I find that patronizing. An apology for apology's sake isn't worth the paper it's wrritten on. My favorite line from Shange's For Colored Girls is: "One thing i don’t need is any more apologies, I got sorry greetin' me at my front door. You can keep yours." Amen. Stand behind your complete lack of remorse. 

BougieDad used to come home after a long damn day, get his two fingers of scotch and then listen to BougieMom tell him which BougieChild he needed to beatdown. He would take a deep sigh, go back to his bedroom and get the wide belt and then snatch the problem child up by the arm. Once he'd tanned hide, we were required to say we were sorry. But that wasn't enough for the BougieParents. He would ask, "Well what are you sorry about?" And if you didn't have the right answer, she would assign you a 1000-word dissertation on what you had done wrong and why it wouldn't happen again. I wish I was joking. BougieRents didn't play.

So why say you're sorry if you're not sure what you're sorry about? Why apologize if you don't feel the least bit apologetic? That's just insincere. It's better to say, "I'm sorry you're upset and I'm sorry I don't feel the same way. Can we agree to disagree?"

Plus, I have to take into consideration what the apology is for. There's an "I'm sorry I turned on the light and woke you up." and there's an "I'm sorry I slept with your best friend on our bed when you were out of town." One you can accept easily, the other needs more than I'm sorry. 

Then let's look at folks who simply love to play the offended party. You can be genuinely remorseful and apologize a hundred times for the slightest misunderstanding and they're still not satisfied. Yeah... um - miss me with that. 

But these are just my thoughts. What say you, BougieLand. Should you apologize just to keep the peace? Is it easier to say, "I'm sorry" and shut the argument down? How much weight do you put behind an apology when you know it's not sincere? Is a simple "I'm sorry" like kissing a boo-boo, doesn't really solve the problem but we all feel better? Your thoughts on apologies? Do share...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rethinking the "Ex"-factor: Are you the same person now that you were then?


For lo these many years, I have firmly believed that it is important to know something about the way a person's previous relationships went so that you can gauge possible red flags in the making. But I think I'm changing my tune on that one. I still would like a heads up if dude has some Ike Turner-ish shiggity in his background, siphoned money from his ex's bank account or has his ex buried underneath the rosebushes out back but those are things I'd have to investigate on my own anyway.

The rest of it? How they were, what they did, why they broke up? I'm not sure it has as much impact on my thinking as it once did. I definitely have stopped carrying a ton of my issues from the last relationship(s) forward so shouldn't I assume the same for the s/o? Let me explain.

David is back from China for a few weeks since 1) He hated it there and 2) He wasn't really having face-to-face meetings with the client anyway. Since I headed off to Florida to visit my sister for a week or so, he headed down to Georgia to visit his fam. Sunday, he ran into one of his ex-girlfriends. Apparently, she had a few things to get off her chest. 

She told him that he was "emotionally unattached, stingy with his feelings, and hard to read." He apologized and told her that he really wasn't like that anymore. She told him that people like that don't change. Knowing that anything he said would be countered and dissected; he basically backed away with a "my bad" and fled.

I listened to this with no small amount of disbelief. Mister "Let's Take A Moment and Talk About This" used to be stingy with his feelings? The man who who requests "Relationship Status Reports" and "Cards on the Table Moments" was hard to read? When I asked him how this could possible be true, he said - I don't know, maybe I'm different with you.

Huh. Interesting. I mean I know people change a little (or should) to compliment the person that they are with but a complete change of communication styles? Let me think. Actually, I've done this. There was a long-term relationship where (believe it or not) I bit my tongue a lot. Which is (clearly) not my communication style. But I knew that speaking my mind would just kick up a whole of issues neither of us wanted to get into so I just kept my thoughts to myself. I don't do that anymore.

It got me wondering how much I've changed my relationship style over the years. More laidback, more communicative, less pressed, more "whatever will be will be." As one of my friends says, "I'm the same but... I'm not the same."

I guess my question, BougieLand is this - How much do (or should) we change to compliment the people we are with? Have you noticed what Jayme calls "Relationship Evolution" from one s/o to the next or with a long-term s/o? What's the easiest thing to change? What's the hardest? How much do we really need to know about our s/o's relationship past? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Confident or Arrogant? Or Something else?


As a writer, I like to create characters that I would either be best friends or mortal enemies with. Often, I've found that the difference between a character I love and one I love to hate is the degree to which they play up their strengths or weaknesses. Take, for instance; self-esteem. Healthy is good, inflated is irksome. Confidence can tip forward into arrogance, arrogance can slide into egomania. Or maybe it's something else altogether.  The following scenarios are from actual emails I have received. So take a look and decide.

1. Woman is dating two men- the men both know about each other. After a few months, the fellas decide enough is enough. They show up at her place at the same time and tell her she has to pick one or the other. One tells her, "You know what I have to offer. I hope you choose me," then he leaves. The other sits down, puts his feet up and pats the sofa beside him. "You know it's me, it was always gonna be me, and it's still me." How very N'Sync of him. But I ask you - is this arrogant or is this confident? Or something else?

2. Twenty-two year old college graduate goes into large corporation to interview for an entry-level position in the marketing department. Their resume consists of retail, restaurant and volunteer work. In the interview, the new grad admits that they have no practical hands-on experience but feels they are smart enough to pick up whatever is thrown their way. Even though the position pays $38,000 annually, the new grad says they won't take less than $45,000 because that is what they feel they are worth. Tell me - is this arrogant or confident? Or something else?

3. Thirty-five year old woman recently lost a lot of weight. She is back to her high school size and wants to flaunt it a little bit. She reaches into the back of her closet and pulls out her old high school outfits and starts wearing them. Several people (friends, family, coworkers) advise her that this is not a good look. She says, "The clothes are back in style, they aren't too revealing plus I look good in them." BougieLand, is this arrogance? Confidence? Or something else?

BougieLand, what say you about 1, 2, and 3? What's the difference (in your opinion) between confidence and arrogance? Which one are you? Do share.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

BnB Meet-n-Greets


Coming soon to a city near you. You don't have to wait for me to gather with the BougieLand faithful. Pick a spot with cocktails, round up one or two and enjoy! Send pics and highlights and we'll post! For details on the upcoming events in Houston and DMV, I've added a link (BnB Meet 'n Greet) to the sidebar. The link is also here.

If you have an event, let me know and I'll put it on the page. Have a Bougie Cocktail Moment but remember... let's be careful out there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

For the S.No.B. (So Not Bougie) Files - No. Ma'am.


You know we're equal opportunity around here. So it's only fair that we shine a spotlight on some of sisterhood. Without further ado, a few for the S.No.B. files no ma'am edition.

It's soooo not bougie:
1. For things to be wigglin', jigglin' and fallin' up out your clothes. I'm not talking about cleavage. I'm talking about rolls, muffin-tops, camel-toes, batwings, all of that. Even skinny women look unattractive with half a foot hanging over the edge of your shoe. What am I saying? Buy clothes that fit and flatter. Get a good bra. Tuck it in, strap it down, Spanx it up and get those toes done. Please and thank you.

2. For everything about you to be fake. Hair, eye color, nails, lashes, lips, boobs, waist-to-hip ratio, clothing labels, purse brand, perfume type, shoe material. Pick one... not all. If your purse says Kucci instead of Gucci, your suit is Channel instead of Chanel -just leave it at that. Don't be inauthentic from your rooter to your tooter.

3. To layer fragrance on top of funk. Now as much as we rag on the fellas for the funk, ladies-you know we have some special female issues we need to deal with. Yes, we have mornings where we just "hit the high spots," spritz on some fragrance and roll out. Some days, that won't do. And for some of you that have embraced that entire "layered fragrance" experience where you put the spritz, powder, shower gel, lotion and oil on every part of your body? It's too much. We shouldn't smell you three floors up when you get on the elevator. And by the way, putting expensive perfume on top of funk is just flowery funk.

4. To be 24/7 fabulous... when we know you're not. Ladies. We all struggle from time to time. It's fine. So please stop tweeting, blogging, facebooking about how you are the baddest boss five star dime chick this side of the Mason Dixon line when your life is a flaming pile of excrement. You're 2 days from eviction, haven't had a date since Adidas were hot and are only online by pirating your neighbors wi-fi. But you're talking about your glam-luxe-fab-mag life? I understanding projecting positivity. There's positivity and then there's fiction. Keep it real, sisters.

5. To whine about your trifling boyfriend/s.o. when you knew he was trifling from jump. Can I get an Amen on this one? I'll commiserate the first few times you tell me how your man (insert ratchet behavior here). But er, uh - after isse number 99 which sounds remarkably like issue number 1, 2 &3 - I'm done. Do you and him if it makes you happy but keep it to yourself. We're begging.

Ooo. I might have gotten a little rant-y today, I'm always strict with the ladies. I just want us to step up our bouge. BougieLand, thoughts, comments, anything to add to the list?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

For the S.No.B. (So Not Bougie) Files - No. Sir.


We've had a few posts now where people have shared some horrific tales of man fail. Not the least of which were the comments from yesterday's #WTHwasIthinkin post. In the spirit of reach one, teach one - let's talk about a few things that will quickly land a man squarely in the S.No.B. (So Not Bougie) files. (Don't worry fellas, we'll do a no ma'am episode as well)

1. Animal Print Drawers - DRED = Don't Rock 'Em, Dudes. Unless you all are playing some sort of jungle cocoa game where dude is Tarzan...never mind. Just don't do it.

2. Unsolicited Outbursts of Poetry and/or Rap - I don't know who decided it was hot in the dating streetz for a fella to get his Def Poetry Slam on at Red Lobster between the salad and dinner course but I  must implore fellas to cease and desist. There's a place to spit rhymes and hot fire, 9 times of 10 the dinner table is not that place.

3. "You got this, right?" - Date finances should always (always) be discussed prior to the check arriving at the table. Assumptions that your date will "cover" you may lead to misunderstandings, mild violence and misdemeanors. 

4. Suits in fruit colors - Apple, cranberry, lime, lemon, cantaloupe. Stop the madness. Not only is it S.No.B. it's S.No.Sexy to impersonate a Jolly Rancher. Unless you're dressing up as Steve Harvey for Halloween... don't do it.

5. Funk - I don't mean sweat from the gym. There's a grace period for that. I mean pungent funk emanating from your mouth, armpits, feet, wherever. That's unacceptable.  As is indiscriminate cologne usage. Fellas, please ask your most trusted crew if you smell like deep fried musky plant extract before splashing at will.

I say these things with love, fellas. 
BougieLand, care to add to the S.No.B. No Sir Files? Sharing is caring. The floor is yours.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hashtag Wednesday: #WTHwasIthinkin?


It's the return of Hashtag Wednesday. In fact, it's been so long I need to remind myself what it is. Oh. Yes. We pick a topic and hashtag the heck out of it. 

Today's hashtag #WTHwasIthinkin was brought on by running into a dude I thought was the hotness back in college. The first issue is that I don't know dude's real name. He was a Kappa and everybody called him Snake. Back in the day, he looked like a taller T.I. and I thought he was uberSexy. There was this one night after a step show... we had a moment. If I hadn't had to return my sister's car by midnight... ah well.

But now here we are in our grown and sexy years and the only name I have to call dude is Snake? Whatev. So there I am at the Target trying to decide if my hair should be the color of Moonlit Tortoise or Brazilian Bronze when dude strolls up with the "Hey, didn't you go to UT?" 

I turn and see GrandDad. No seriously. Dude skipped his thirties, forties and fifties and looks to be firmly into Paw-Paw territory. The onlyest (yes onlyest) reason I recognized him was because for some mysterious reason, he was in a red suit and had a cane with him. (Was there a Kappa convention at five in the afternoon near Target?!) Anyway, all I could say was "Hey Snake, how you been?"

"Shelley? Right?"

"Michele."

"Did we hook up?"

"No. Sorry."

"I think I wanted to but you were too bougie."

"Yep, that was me."

"So what are you doing right now?"

"Um... heading home to the hubby and kids. But you take care now."

"Hey, hubby don't have to know ev'thang!"

"Ha-ha! True dat. Great seeing you!" *flees Target in record time*

Today's top 5:
1. #WTHwasIthinkin when I thought he was a catch?
2. #WTHwasIthinkin with a dude only known as Snake? (I still don't know his real name)
3. #WTHwasIthinkin going into Target during dinner rush hour
4. #WTHwasIthinkin not having that glass of wine with lunch today. I needed it. Badly.
5. #WTHwasHEthinkin out in GrandDad Kappa Gear in the middle of a work week?

BougieLand, ever see an ex and wonder #WTHwasIthinkin? Got any other #WTHwasIthinkin to share today? The floor is yours...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things men say when women aren't around


I'm not sure how it happened. I spent many of my formative years at a private all girls' school. Men were mysterious creatures that my father told me to stay away from lest I end up flipping burgers at McDonald's. [I don't know, he had this whole story about the wrong man leading me off the garden path and somehow forcing me to live in a trailer while flipping burgers for a living] Anyway, so it's been with no little bit of amazement that at some point I became the girl that hung out with the guys. Granted, I'm usually "romantically attached" to one of the guys but somehow I tend to get the cool pass. I can't even tell you how many guys' weekends I've been eyewitness to. I seriously can't, I think I signed a non-disclosure for one or two of those joints.

Moving on... this past weekend I found myself the lone chick in a room of eleven men. At one point, the mood was so mellow that the guys either forgot I was in the room, forgot I was female or decided I'd heard it all before. That's when the testosterone took over and I started taking mental notes. Here are a few things of the conversational gems:

1. It seems that women gossip more often but men gossip about more important stuff. Women gossip about clothes and weaves, these dudes were going IN about some other dude's erectile dysfunction struggles. In vivid detail. Ouch. Though when they realized what they had spent 20 minutes talking about, they suddenly started discussing sports scores. Classic.

2. Men are sneakier than we think. (Not sneakier than women but still sneaky) One guy was bragging about how he hoodwinked the wife so she does the cooking and he takes the trash out. Somehow he has her convinced that the gathering and disposal of waste and recyclables is equal to her slicing, dicing, cooking and prepping meals. I may or may not have texted her to stage a minor kitchen boycott. [Don't side-eye me fellas, I told you women are sneaky too]

3. Men barter sex just as well as any woman out there. After one gentleman explained that all his s/o wanted to do was "get paid and get laid... often" - I had to bite my tongue to keep from speaking out. When he wants to "keep her in line" he withholds either the coin or the cocoa. I don't know his s/o or she would've received a textload of "wake the eff up, girl" too.

4. An interesting argument broke out when a dude said the main reason he was getting divorced was because his wife had gained fifty pounds and just "wasn't fun anymore." Maybe he was expecting sympathy but those guys hopped on him with some truth. Apparently dude had been going through some things, lost his job, started wilding out in the streets and wife had to hold down to two kids, two cars and mortgage while he pulled it together. Quote of the night, "Maybe she put on five pounds for every chick you cheated on her with. You need to fall back and get your house in order." Whoa.

5. And favorite part of the evening: Other married dude starts going in about the tough time he is having with his wife's pregnancy. It's their first child and he's freaking out about the responsibility and his wife's mood swings and whether the cocoa will be the same after the birth. If I wasn't so appalled, I would have been rolling around laughing. The fellas were all commiserating and nodding when suddenly one of them caught the look on my face. "We went too far?" Just a little bit. Sorry fellas, pregnancy is one of the things you don't get to bitch about. Ever. 

It's my conclusion that the sexes don't have different conversations, they just approach topics from different perspectives. But it got me to thinking - what topics do we not discuss in front of the other sex? Are there any conversations "not for mixed company"? Ladies? Gents?

Monday, October 17, 2011

A logical look at an illogical topic... by Carolyn Edgar




No post from me today. But my partner in crime, @CarolynEdgar, has dropped knowledge for the ages today. Apparently ladies, you are the problem with you. And if you're unsure about this, there are several (thousands) of people ready to reassure and advise you.

Here's a sample:
Telling women all the ways they are wrong –and then, for a fee, offering up a fix – has become a cottage industry. For $99, a woman can take a 6-week seminar from “relationship expert” Tony Gaskins, who will teach you everything from how to dress to how not to get cheated on. Gaskins’s dating course for course for men starts by asking men to think about the question, “Who am I?” – a question women taking Gaskins’ seminar apparently need not answer.
Head over to her blog and check out the post in its entirety: Dear Women, You're Doing It Wrong... Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Brown Sugar - WWYD?


Sanaa Lathan is the career woman on the rise. She's got the swag job, the trendy apartment, the cute wardrobe and no man (at first). She does have a good friend from childhood though. Taye Diggs plays the music exec with a crisis of conscience and a high maintenance fiance. He's so glad his good friend is moving back to NYC. Now they can hang out, he can give her dating tips, all sorts of fun is just around the corner. Nicole Ari Parker plays Taye's bougie-in-a-bad-way s/o and Boris Kodjoe plays Sanaa's self-absorbed (can we say stereotype?) baller boyfriend. In supporting sidekick roles are Queen Latifah and Mos Def (who kind of stole the movie). Anyway, put yourself in this situation:

You and one particularly tasty friend of yours go way back to elementary school days. You've seen each other through a lot and the friendship is still hanging in. You two are like grits and shrimp. (No? Too Southern?) You two are like popcorn and butter. Sure, you've wondered what it might be like to play clothes-free cocoa games with them but you value the friendship. You've been known to stare at this person like they are the last shrimp on the buffet and it's been a minute since you had seafood. Funny, they look at you the same way. But the timing is always off and now you're seeing somebody and they just got out of a bad relationship. 

Dear readers - what would you do? Would you risk losing a lifelong friendship to see if the chemistry is there for a real chance at love with your best friend? Or do you keep your pals in the friend zone and never cross that line? Do best friends make the best lovers? Who has ended up in a romantic relationship with a long-time friend and how did it turn out? Do tell...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Matrix - WWYD?


Keanu Reeves is a technical genius, a bit of a loner/loser, and is looking for meaning in his life. He's got the boring efficiency apartment, the cubicle job and no love life worth mentioning.  Love interest Carrie Ann Moss is a kick-ass cyberbabe with superpowers and the ability to wear vinyl and leather like nobody's business. Enter Laurence Fishburne, mind-bending bad-ass guru with a vision and a plan (and a bit of a God complex). All Keanu has to do is believe and he can save mankind (and wear cool black outfits while doing it). Put yourself in this situation:

You always suspected that there was some grand conspiracy going on around you. The world is not always as it seems. Someone supersexy approaches you and shows you things about yourself and your world you're not sure you're ready to know. Then supersexy person takes you to the leader and he offers you a choice. If you take the red pill, your life will go on as is. The world as you know it will the same. If you take the blue pill, nothing will ever be the same again. You are entering into an unknown. Exciting, tantalizing but still... unknown.

Good folks of BougieLand, what would you do? Do you take the red pill or the blue pill? What I'm asking is: Are you a pinky toe in the shallow end or high dive into the deep end? Are you a risk-taker? Would you venture into the unknown with no guarantees and no turn-back? Have you always been this way? Do you think you would ever change? Why? Think on it and then share...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just Wright - WWYD?


Queen Latifah plays the plus-sized beauty with a heart of gold that is always the gal-pal. Common plays the sweet though slightly clueless baller with abandonment issues, a helicopter mom and an expiring NBA contract. Paula Patton plays the wisp-thin gold-digging, entitled, (unemployed) cute cousin who is out to get hers, no matter what. Heart of gold chick meets baller and before sparks can really turn into something, gold digging cousin makes her move. Calamity befalls baller. He is wounded. Gold-digger bolts for greener pastures. Enter heart of gold chick to save the day. Soup, bidwhist and rainy nights by the piano follow. Baller is saved and thanks heart of gold chick with gifts and cocoa. Now put yourself in this situation:

You just spent an amazing evening with someone you're totally falling in love with. The next morning you wake up in their bed and find breakfast waiting for you. All is right with your world. Before the morning after glow has worn off, the doorbell rings. It's your new boo's ex (NBE) who wants back in. Your new potential s/o is conflicted and asks for time to think.

BougieLand - What would you do? Do you stay and fight for the new relationship? Do you stay and beat down NBE? Do you bounce and let someone have the love of your life? Do you have "friends" that you don't trust around your s/o? And last but least... is love stronger than pride? Do share...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Indecent Proposal: WWYD?


Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson are in love. Super-duty, can't breathe without you in my oxygen space love. One problem - they are broke. Eviction notice broke. In a stroke of brilliance (side-eye),  they decide to pool the last of their resources and head to Vegas. After all, it's so easy to gamble and win your entire house note in one weekend. (strategic pause) 

Anywho, they start off winning and then... shocker! They lose everything. Enter uber-wealthy, somewhat lecherous gajillionare Robert Redford who falls in instant lust with Demi. The man who can have anyone he wants just happens to want Woody's wife. So put yourself in this situation:

You and your s/o are secure in every area of your relationship except finances. The money struggle is overwhelming and overshadowing everything else. On a crazy Vegas weekend, a billionaire offers you $10 million (I bumped for inflation) for one night with your s/o. It's just one night and all your financial worries are over. Small problem: That one night is anything goes... anything.

Readers, would you "allow" your spouse/significant other to sleep with someone else for massive financial gain? Could you ever get past it? Could you do it if you were the chosen one? And before you scream "hell naw!" let me ask this? Is there a dollar amount that sways your answer one way or another? What if it was $100 million dollars -then what? Do tell...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Four Weddings & a Funeral - WWYD?


Hugh Grant plays the overgrown playboy in a man's body, Andie McDowell plays the quirky, free-spirited American woman who's not sure what she really wants in a man. Chemistry happens. As do four weddings and a funeral as the title aptly applies. Put yourself into one of the scenes...

It's your wedding day. Finally. You've been there, done that with the whole relationship struggle and have witnessed so many other nuptials you can recite the vows in your sleep. But now it's your turn. You've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. As you have a tendency to be late, you find yourself at the church early with nothing to do but wait for the festivities to begin. As you sit there, nervously contemplating your future... that person walks in. The one you thought could be The One if the two of you ever got your timing and geography together.

As you chat catching up on each other's lives you realize... the time is now. Right now at this very moment neither of you are in other relationships, both of you have strong unresolved feelings and you are in the same place at the same time. Small problem though: you're supposed to be marrying someone else within the hour.

I ask you, dear readers: What do you do? Do you go through with the wedding knowing the person you married is your second choice? Do you call off the wedding knowing you are hurting someone deeply? Or would you never, ever find yourself in a situation such as this and the entire concept is silly? Do answer and explain...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

This week on BnB - It's WWYD? Movie Dilemma Week


Ever caught yourself looking at a movie and wondering, "Why did she/he do that?" And then find yourself taking it even further to, "I would never do that!" Well let's find out, shall we? In this week of What Would YOU do? examples, let's just see how much fiction is fact or how life imitates art. Join me, won't you?

Also, you'll notice a new page on the side bar. It's for the random polls & surveys I dream up from time to time. The Financial Compatibility quiz is still up for now, I'll let you know when a new is coming. See you Monday morning, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick - Does a zebra ever really change his stripes?


Wrapping up the week, a letter from Dee who has this one ex... should he also become the next? Take a look...
I was dating a guy, CJ (not his real name) for ~3.5 yrs. We had our ups & downs. My fault was thinking I could force him to want a different type of relationship (focused on heading towards marriage). His fault was an emotional obliviousness & insensitivity common among men in their early 20s (I'm nearly 6 years older than him). We had two periods of not being together (6wks, 3mo), but outside of these breaks we were in an exclusive relationship. There has never been any evidence of cheating & no drama caused by outside parties. 
Less than a month ago, I decided that we needed to terminate our relationship. We argued a lot, his inconsiderate behavior was reappearing, and he started to exhibit problematic behavior (calling more frequently when he knew I was out, throwing a tantrum when I went on girls trips, trolling FB & blowing up over innocuous posts by HS classmates - nobody I dated, fwiw). 
Now, he was always a little emotionally daft in regardless to showing me that I was/am a priority, but his controlling nonsense kicked up last yr, when our relationship became long distance. But, after another incident of his ridiculous jealousy I realized that I needed to get out before things escalated.  I said we needed some time apart, he protested but eventually agreed. We don't FaceTime or talk on the phone, but we occasionally tweet & email. I would have cut off all contact except we are in the process of negotiating some stuff regarding joint intellectual property, and our breakup was civil so I harbor no hard feelings. 
He has always said that he wants to become a better man & try to rekindle our relationship sometime in the future. I do love him, but I'm not so wrapped up in my feelings that his resolutions move me. I'm not opposed to starting over after some time has gone by (at least 6mo); however, I don't know how I can judge if he's truly changed outside of the confines of a dating relationship? What do I need to look for? And, how do I do that since I've drawn very clear boundaries, and am no longer interacting with his friends & family (&vice versa)? 
I'm not too worried about what happens between us since I'm focusing on some goals I'd neglected during our relationship & using this time to rediscover me (& get comfortable w/ being solo again). I guess old feelings, and a feeling that at least hearing him out is the fair thing to do, are the only reasons why I'm even entertaining a future with him. 
I appreciate your insights, and the opinion of the Bougie faithful.

My first thought is: what has he really done to rectify his past behavior? He wants to become a better man but is he doing anything visible or tangible to achieve that goal? And since I am Queen of the "Oh let me give him another chance because I love him so" let me offer this advice - give yourself some time and a clean break and see what life is like without any part of his world touching any part of yours. If it feels pretty good, there's your answer. 

Bougie Faithful instead of lobbing your idea a la machine gun fire, why don't we do this differently? Pretend that you are Dee or that Dee is your sister... what do you do or advise her to do? How do you know if dude has really changed or changed for right now? Does a zebra ever change his stripes? Leopard change his spots? You know what I mean...

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: What if she's not the rabbit?


Before we dive into today's cauldron, if you never read my post "Who's the Rabbit?" feel free to take a looky-loo now. It's pertinent to today's discussion. Then come on back. Today we have a letter from a man we'll call Z. He shares the following scenario:
Hey Michele,
I've got a question for you and the rest of bougieland based on some recent conversations (ok, arguments) I've had. Without going into too much detail, here's the situation: "A friend" is dating a young lady and they both love each other...very, very much. No ifs, ands, or buts. The problem...uh, issue...is that she feels like she pursued him in the beginning which does not fit in with her image of herself and the idea that in a "typical" scenario, the guy pursues the girl, not the other way around. Because of this, she's questioning the relationship and whether it would have happened had she not pursued. You with me? That's the background.  
Here's the question(s): How important is it for women to feel pursued? Aren't there times when women see a guy, then put themselves in a position to be pursued? Is that different? How much does being pursued play into a woman's self image? If, after a woman expresses initial interest (on a couple/few occasions), the guy starts the pursuit, does that somehow diminish the relationship?  
Obviously, I know the answer will be different for every person, but at this point, any insights that can help "my friend" make sense of things and make things right so that the relationship can keep progressing, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
You're welcome! Most of these questions were answered in my rabbit post but there are a few things I want to point out. Sure, it's great to be the one pursued. But in the end, if you're both where you want to be - why ruin it by dwelling on how you got there? 

I don't think the relationship is diminished unless there was some stalkerish-Fatal-Attraction-type chase and capture going on. So the woman may have put herself in the path to be "discovered" by the man... that's just good use of feminine wiles. As long as once woman attracts man's attention, he goes all in - it matters not a wit. Let's not let ego and chaseology (yes, I made it up) scotch up a good thing. 

And I'm sorry to add this part on (but it's true) sometimes fellas can be... um... unfocused. If a woman helps him to focus in on her and he likes what he sees... again, that's just being helpful. If they are both happy in the end, so be it. 

We're in the midst of about twelve BougieLand hook-ups (that I'm aware of) right about now . Half of those are because the bougie chick spied bougie bruh and tapped old boy on the shoulder to say what's up. No one seems to be complaining. But let me put it to the people...

BougieLand babes and bruhs - do you prefer to be the rabbit or the hunter? How important is it to you to be the one on the chase or being chased? Does it affect your perception of the relationship? Words of advice for Z? The floor is yours...

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: I can't afford her


For the rest of this week, we're still playing catch up on some Ask a Bougie Chick questions. Enjoy the goodness of OPP (Other People's Problems). Below, a troubled young man writes in...
Hey OneChele,
I'm 30, single black male living in Charlotte. I've been seeing a woman a few years older than me for about five months now. I knew when we first hooked up that she was used to going out with guys with a lot of money. I get that doesn't make them better them me, it's not about that. It's that even though she doesn't say it, I can tell she'd rather be going to nicer restaurants and stuff like that. 
We just got back from a vacation in Mexico and when we checked in she kind of looked around the hotel like it wasn't what she was expecting. One time I had to stop in the middle of ordering because she asked for a $60 bottle of wine. I can't afford that! I try to step it up and do nice things but I'm on a limited budget and will be for a while. I'm back in school and working full-time. 
As much as I like her and feel we are compatible in many areas, I just can't afford the things I know she wants. Should I just walk away now before I get in any deeper? I notice in a lot of your stories, you haven't been able to make it work with guys that don't have money - should I just date women who understand my money issues and keep it moving?
-Gerald in NC
Hey Gerald, 
Let me start on defense - how did this become about me? Please don't make dating/life decisions based on Chele's BougieTales of Dating Woe. I have dated men of all income brackets. Dating gentlemen with money struggles has not worked out for me but generally not because of the finances. As a friend of mine used to say: if the romance ain't right and the finance ain't tight, we can't take flight. Catchy but the point is that if the relationship isn't working and then you throw money problems on top of it - it's a recipe for disaster.

Now about your situation: this woman knew you weren't ballin' when you met her, right? There's got to be a reason she's not dating those other guys anymore. She saw something in you beyond your wallet, I must assume. What does she do? How is she funded? Might I suggest that if she wants a $60 bottle of wine that she knows you cannot afford, she purchase it herself or go back to dating fellas who can afford that? Are ya'll splitting any checks? Have you discussed any of this with her? 

Best case scenario, she doesn't realize that she's making you feel this way and you need to let her know that it is what it is. Since she hasn't overtly said anything, maybe she's not keyed into your struggle? Worst case scenario, she's used to certain things and assumes you'll find a way to get them for her regardless of paycheck. Either way, how much do you like her? Is this something you feel you can talk out/work out? If the answer is a lot and yes - then have the discussion and hang in. If not, you already know what to do. There are plenty of women who would be sufficiently impressed that you found a way to whisk them off to Mexico that the wine list will be the last thing they are worrying about...

BougieLand - what say you? What to do if a man can't "afford" his woman? Should the woman step up? Or get real? What are your thoughts about dating across widely disparate economic brackets? Do share...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick - How soon is too soon?


Welcome back to BougieLand and another exciting episode of Ask a Bougie Chick. Today we have JG, who wants to jump in with both feet but is wondering if it would be more prudent to tiptoe into the shallow end. Let's get it started...
Hi Chele!
Is that too casual? I always wonder at the protocol. Hello Ms. Grant seemed too formal. Sorry, thinking out loud. Here's my question with a little background- 
I'm a 29 year old single black female. Thanks to my career, I'm well-traveled and been exposed to all kinds of people and cultures and things. I put that in because sometimes people under 30 are still thinking and acting like people under 20. I don't fall in that category. I've been around the block a bit. There may be a block named after me somewhere. 
I live in Los Angeles but commute fairly often to New York, Atlanta and Dallas. While in Dallas a little over a month ago, I met a man. A wonderful, sexy, intelligent man. He's 35. We clicked instantly. It was one of those things like in the movies. His eyes met mine and violins started playing Beethoven. Actually it was a Mint Condition concert and they started to play U Send Me Swingin' but same concept, right?  
We spent that entire weekend together and since then, he's come to Los Angeles twice, I've been to Dallas again. We talk everyday. This past weekend, he casually asked if I had ever considered living someplace other than Los Angeles or New York.  That got me to thinking. I'm at the point in my career where I need to think about what comes next. I have some friends here but most of my family is in Louisiana. I casually asked him what he would think about me moving to Dallas in the next few months. He asked me how much closet space I would need. 
How soon is too soon, Chele? It feels 100% right like this is it, he's The One and I'm ready. I've checked him out, I know his background and even though he's got a playboy past, I think he's ready too. Then again, a small part of me is thinking that I'm crazy for even considering shaking up my entire life for someone I've only known for six weeks. Am I crazy or do I trust my gut?
-JG in LA
JG - Hey girl! What's the rush? You travel, he travels - why not put in a little bit more time before packing and shacking? If it still feels right in 30, 60, 90, 180 days  - go for it. That small part of you wondering if you're crazy deserves a listen. Besides, won't it feel better to move forward with little or no doubt rather than that niggling doubt that has you second guessing yourself? 

On the other hand, you may be the kind of person that goes with their gut and just leaps. If that works for you and you feel that strongly about it - dive on in. But be careful, I don't want to see you on an episode of Who the Bleep Did I Marry or Snapped.

Yes, I know these last two paragraphs are conflicting. You know why? Because it's really up to you. Some people (such as myself) will not make a major life decision without dissecting it, flipping it over and over until I don't even remember what the initial problem was. By that's me. I'll turn it over to BougieLand.

Good people! Are you a toe in the water or a dive in the deep in kind of person when it comes to making life-changing decisions? How soon is too soon to uproot your life for someone else? Do you go with your gut or your head or your heart? If you were JG, what would you do? Do share...

Monday, October 03, 2011

This week on BnB... maybe


If I ever get over all of that... we'll be catching up on Ask a Bougie Chick. In the meantime, pass the Kleenex.

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