Saturday, December 31, 2011

What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Be safe out there. Check to see if AAA Tipsy Tow is working in your state. It's free: 1-800-AAA-HELP [222-4357]. Happy New Year, ya'll!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A few of my favorite things...

I've never completely understand why My Favorite Things is a Christmas song but let's just go with it. Just in time for this merriest of holidays - these are a few of my favorite things...
1. Tropical Beaches - Greetings from Key West by the way. 
2. Books that draw you in from the first sentence and don't let go when you're done. There's nothing like a book that makes you feel you are living it with the characters. To the point that you hate to see the book end and clamor for a sequel. 
3. Great kisses - a kiss that tells a whole story of emotion and there's no rush to get to the end? My favorite kind. Especially, if he puts his hands on my face and neck to start? Whew, boy... next topic. 
4. Paid Time Off. Self-explanatory, no? 
5. Chocolate. All varieties. Take that anyway you want. 
6. Sleep - really, is there anything better than 7+ uninterrupted hours of sleep when you have nowhere to be the next day? Or a 30 minute disco nap? Or sleep after um - satisfying aerobic activity? Sleep rocks. I plan to get more of it this year. 
7. Royalty checks - I would write for free. I really would. And I kinda do. But I gotta say, getting a check from my agent's office gives me a little thrill every single time. *throws confetti* 
8. Shoes. What can I say, it's an addiction. Sandals, loafers, boots, pumps - I don't discriminate. Right now, I'm having a love affair with driving loafers in funky colors with sparkle across the toe. Last month, I "enhanced" the boot wardrobe. Don't judge me.
9. Music that means something. Driving down to Key West from Fort Lauderdale today, we pulled up the iPod and selected a playlist at random. We ended up listening to Take 6. Two and a half hours in and we were still singing, swaying and snapping along - how many artists can you say that about? Good music rocks. {cliche but true} 
10. My Kindle Fire - Bougie OlderBro got me one for Christmas (I may or may not have opened it early) and I love it. Love, love, love it. My Amazon addiction knows no bounds now. 
Bonus - This blog - Yeah, I do love it. Some days I can't think of a thing to write and other days I write something one way and you guys take it a completely different way in the comments. Le Bougie Shrug. It's still all good. Free therapy for us all. 
Thanks for hanging out. Can you list one of two of your favorite things? The floor is yours...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

From the Archives: Christmas Memories

From December 2009:
There are some childhood memories that stay with us long into adulthood. Certain sights, sounds, smells and people that just take you back. This post is about a few of those things. The first was on TV last night. I never fully embrace Christmas until I see some Charlie Brown Christmas. Nothing makes me happier than this:
No, I still don't get why that one mixed-race looking kid in the back is doing an early version of the Running Man. I don't get why Chuck and the gang never have any adult supervision and I don't get how a brokedown tree with two twigs and a spindly trunk magically blooms and grows in 30 seconds flat. And I don't care. Christmas just ain't Christmas until I hear these words:
Sally: I've been looking for you, big brother. Will you please write a letter to Santa Claus for me?

Charlie Brown: Well, I don't have much time. I'm supposed to get down to the school auditorium to direct a Christmas play.

Sally: [hands a clipboard and pen to Charlie Brown] You write it and I'll tell you what I want to say.

Charlie Brown: [sticks pen in his mouth] Okay, shoot.

Sally: [dictating her letter to Santa Claus as Charlie Brown writes it for her] Dear Santa Claus, How have you been? Did you have a nice summer?
[Charlie Brown looks at her]
Sally: How is your wife? I have been extra good this year, so I have a long list of presents that I want.
Charlie Brown: Oh brother.
Sally: Please note the size and color of each item, and send as many as possible. If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself: just send money. How about tens and twenties?
Charlie Brown: TENS AND TWENTIES? Oh, even my baby sister!
Sally: All I want is what I... I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.

Now why everybody in the family would turn and give me the side-eye when Sally said these words is beyond me… maybe… moving on! The point is, the Charlie Brown Christmas show is as much a part of the BougieFam Christmas as this next gentleman, the late great Mr. Nat King Cole singing The Christmas Song:
Of course, we also had a Soulful Christmas including such classics as Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto by James Brown, Merry Christmas Baby by Booker T and the MGs, Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt and the perennial favorite Back Door Santa by Clarence Carter. Nothing like BougieOlderBro trying to get his air bass guitar groove on while singing (off-key) to Back Door Santa. I could do a whole post just on the Christmas songs (J5, Stevie). But I'll move on…

Cinnamon, evergreen and nutmeg are the scents I most closely associate with Christmas. Baked ham, my Guyanese cousin's terrible cologne, and wood smoke follow behind. We used to sip some concoction that was hot, had cinnamon sticks floating in it and was always laced with rum or bourbon (or both?). BougieMom would put it in a huge silver punch bowl near the fire and tell us not to drink too much (never worked). In retrospect, I suspect this was their slick way of knocking us out early so they could finish the wrapping.

Christmas morning still isn't the same without my father there. He was the biggest kid of all. As much as he loved putting smiles on all of our faces, if his stack of gifts wasn't piled as high as he expected, he could get a little funky with it. (Downright tart) So much so that we would have to assure him that we'd make up for it at the After-Christmas sales. He used to light cinnamon and evergreen scented candles all over the house the night before and wake us up at the crack of dawn by marching up and down the hallway banging on a pot and singing Day-O. (You can't make this stuff up) God rest his soul, the man was off the chains.

I could go on and on but I wanted to share a few sensory Christmas memories with you while Charlie Brown and the gang were fresh on my mind. What things remind you of Christmas? Was there a song you always played, a movie you always watched, a smell that takes you back? 'Tis the season in BougieLand, ya'll… Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What NOT to do at your Office Holiday Party

This post comes too late. Some of you have already cut a fool, spoken out of turn and shown your natural behinds at a "professional" function. S.No.B. (So Not Bougie) people. Anyway, just in case you need a refresher - here's a quick list of What Not To Do at your office holiday party. And let's just be clear, even if the event is not held on office property, if it's a party and people that you work with are there - it's an office party. Okay, let's begin:

1. Don't Drink Heavily - please learn the notion of "social drinking" and embrace it. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by getting blitzed at your company-sponsored event. No. Thing. Unless you are out for the rest of the year and plan on resigning via fax on January 3rd - you actually have to see these people again. Though she may not say anything, your human resources manager will never forget the image of you and that chick from accounting playing naked Twister in the conference room.

example - When I worked for a global telecom company, a woman (whose husband also worked for the company but did not attend the party with her) was making out with some random dude. She tripped and fell into the decorative fountain where upon we all realized that she wasn't wearing any undergarments under her sheer dress. Unfortunately, this happened in front of the children's choir that was caroling. When it was time to assign folks to attend the Ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility class, who do you think I picked first? #HRNeverForgets 

2. See number 1 and repeat - there is no good reason to do tequila shots (or any other kind of shots) where your boss can see you. I don't care if he's doing them too. There's regular socializing and there's work socializing. Draw the line, people. Trust me on this. 

example - Dude at David's boss' party was screaming about "eggnog shooters" - he put eggnog and extra whisky in a glass and set it aflame for a few seconds and then blew it out and drank it. When he almost caught the tablecloth on fire, he finally stopped. How's that going to look on the performance appraisal? Employee almost burned down my home creating elaborate drinks. :-/ Idiot.

3. If you gotta get freaky-sneaky, take it home. Liquor, sugar, mistletoe and chilled shrimp - throw in a jingle bell or two and apparently it's a natural aphrodisiac. Hold yourself back until you leave the premises. I mean it. Just like the separation of church and state, there should be delineation between work and cocoa. Ne'er the twain shall meet, people!

example - coat closets are for coats. I once gave away a lovely red wool joint because it was under a pile of coats that were used as cushion in an overtly jolly moment at the Christmas party. Just the thought of those pasty butt cheeks near my coat was enough to give it to Goodwill. Vaya con Dios. 

4. Just laugh at all the stupid jokes and keep it moving. There's a very good chance you hate some of your coworkers and they hate you back. There's a good chance that you don't agree on politics, religions, crime, the US dependence on foreign oil, Drake's "raps", whatever. Keep it to yourself. Learn the art of meaningless mindless social chitchat and add in a charming anecdote or two. Done. Safe topics - weather, parking spaces at the mall, the buffet options, sports (keep it bland) and the latest movies. Stay in that lane. Any deeper and there are sharks in the water.

example - Girlie starts amusing anecdote about some drama that went down at the sales conference last summer. Unbeknownst to her, three of the major players were within earshot and not only disputed her version but re-spun the stories so that she looked like the village idiot. "Oh, it got cold earlier this year, didn't it?" <~~Stay with that.

5. Remember your boss is still your boss, even if she's acting like your best friend. Yes it's a party and do enjoy yourself but keep some of your guard up. Again, this is a professional function.

example- I worked at a defense contractor in California and had to not only plan the damn Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah party but arrive early and stay late. I really didn't like those people. Particularly a VP who kept a side-eye on me 24/7. At the party he asked me to dance and chatted me up and spun me around the floor like we were buddies. At the the end of the dance everyone stood and applauded us. We took bows. He leaned in and said, "I want to review all the receipts for this party first thing Monday." Really? Did he think I padded the receipts with an extra box of candy canes for myself? 

6. Last but not least - this is a PROFESSIONAL function. But it could easily end up on YouTube, as blog fodder, someone's status of the day on Facebook. Dress accordingly. Act accordingly. Drink accordingly. Eat accordingly. Leave accordingly. 

example - Do you really want to be remembered as the girl in the too tight dress who did the booty dance in front of the CFO? Or as the guy who brought Tupperware and took home "snacks" from the buffet? Or as the chick whose husband left with somebody else? Dude whose girlfriend found out about his affair from the holiday party pics posted on the company website? The girl who drank too much and told her CEO the truth about how they all felt about him? #awkward... All of these things have happened, my friends. Don't let them happen to you.

Happy Holidays! We're on hiatus until next week some time when I'll share the BnB State of the Union results. Be safe, be happy and hey... let's keep it bougie out there!

Thoughts, insights, comments?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Holiday Party - WDDDA?

This was a Christmas party but we could call it a lesson in WDDDA (Where Dey Do Dat At)?

Last Thursday night, John held his first annual holiday bash. It was a combination of his friends, family and coworkers. We have met a few of his coworkers before - side-eye worthy to say the least. Let me give you some highlights from the party:

1. Who brings his mother along to the office holiday bash? Who DOES that? Especially your inappropriate loose-lipped Russian mother? WDDDA? One of John's peers brought his Mama along. Mama Evangeline was... special. Walked in the door, looked around and asked, "A black man lives here? Owns this? Really?" Ma'am. 

Once she got over that, she availed herself of the open bar... freely. She mixed peppermint schnapps and vanilla vodka... as shots. She began to relive her disco days as the night wore on. When she started dry-humping Wes and saying, "Don't you want to boogie with me?" - her son took her home. Too little. Too late.

2. Someone always says one thing too many. John proposed to Annette. She said (and I quote) "Hell yes!" Her family was there and she has that one cousin who is uh - outspoken. Interrupted the joyous celebration by shouting, "Girl, we'd thought you'd never find nobody good." WDDDA? They are planning an early fall wedding. Woo-hoo, another BnB nuptial.

3. Some chicks just won't disappear. The night of "the world is too damn small" continued as another of John's coworkers showed up with the old HnQ chick: David's one night stand and Jay's one time date. Man she gets around. Are there only 7 viable black women in the Allen-Frisco suburb of North Dallas? Apparently. At any rate, for whatever reason she completely ignored David and waltzed straight over to Jay with much attitude. Guess he never called her. And we all know how she feels about that. There was a moment where I was fairly positive that Joy was going to take off her earrings and ask old girl to meet her out back.

4. Finally and Amen. Let's lift a cocktail to Trey. His flu turned into a nasty case of bronchitis and laid him low for a little while. On the up side, when a girl he used to work with found out he was sick - she gave him a call and came by with food. The quickest way to Trey is through fine dining. He brought her to the party and guess what? She's sane! Cute. And brainy. We were stunned. We're holding our collective breath.

5. You ain't got to go home but uh... As the party was winding down, we walked around to make sure no one had left behind coats, purses, whatever. In the downstairs guest room, one of the coworkers had climbed into bed and gone to sleep. I mean taken off shoes, watch, cell phone and slid up underneath the covers. WDDDA? How does one avail themselves of sleeping quarters without invitation? Who raised these people?!

Tomorrow... What NOT to do at an office holiday party. Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours...

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Kobe reset

Vanessa is leaving Kobe. One might ask - what took her so long? To all the gents lamenting Kobe's pocketbook, fear not. He'll live to ball hog another day. He'll be groping new asses any second now. I, for one, was never a Kobe fan. Let me reset my post on why (from June 2010):

In honor of the NBA Finals, here's my obligatory basketball post. I'm a football girl and the best thing about these Finals is that we're that much closer to NFL season. That being said, let me get to the point: I don't care for Kobe, not one bit.

I had the temerity to express my dislike of Kobe "Black Mamba Thinks the Sun Rises and Sets on My Hindparts" Bryant on Twitter and was lambasted and called a hater. Pardon me… it's not hate if you have LEGIT reasons for your dislike. Well now you have done it. Forced me to dig back into my bag of "High-Rollin' BougieTales". Back in my "high-rollin' days", I jetsetted about with a variety of entertaining sports and celeb type folks. Mostly good times but a few… not so much.

First let me say that yes, he is a supremely talented basketball player. One you have to consider in the pantheon of "GOAT" (Greatest Of All Time) nominees. On that we can agree. But guess what? Being a talented (even brilliant) athlete does not equate to being a pleasingly pleasant person. I'm sure there are people who have met Kobe and enjoyed the experience. I'm not in that number. Allow me to present my evidence (sort of, some things I have promised to take to the grave):

The Case of the Mother's Day Mishap: At the time, I lived in Marina del Rey and BougieMom came out to visit. I had planned a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend for her including Sunday dinner at a chi-chi frou-frou restaurant in Santa Monica. Fifteen minutes prior to our reserved dining time we showed up, valet parked, and greeted the hostess. The place was packed. She double-checked our reservation, told us they were prepping our table and asked us to step to the side for five minutes. So far, so good. Very shortly thereafter, a flurry of activity broke off near the entrance. Enter Sir Kobe with entourage of at least ten peeps. Master Bryant wanted a table immediately. Flustered hostess naïvely asked if he perchance had a reservation. Silence.

The look on his face said it all. He was Kobe Bryant. This was Los Angeles… did he really need a reservation? The restaurant manager (maybe the owner) appeared and dove into the fray. So pleased to have you, Mr. Bryant. It's a crazy busy day, Mr. Bryant. Would you mind waiting for five minutes, Mr. Bryant. The hostess pointed to me and said, "Your table is ready, ma'am." As BougieMom and I stepped forward, Le Kobe said, "What's up with their table? Can't they wait?" Yeah he did. He said it. To a seventy-something year old woman and her daughter on Mother's Day. Just as I opened my mouth to break him off a bougie piece of my mind, one of his crew stepped forward. "Sorry ma'm, ya'll go on ahead." Um-hmm. I gave him the side-eye and he was looking sulky. Me no like.

The Case of the Charity Curmudgeon: I do so wish I could name names in this story but I promised years ago never to reveal all. I will say this… At a charity event, you are supposed to act charitable. i.e. Not complain about the room you were given (for free) or the food served to you (for free) or wonder whether other sports figures were treated better than thou. At no point should you speculate if someone was considered "a bigger name" and therefore given more shine and star treatment. It's also not classy to decide that not enough bowing, scraping and ass-kissing was happening and not show up to the event. No bueno.

The Case of the All-Star Shiggity: I will truly get my ass kicked if I tell this story. Ya'll don't even know. How can I tell it without telling it? Let me see… Oh here we go – Not every woman attending an All-Star weekend is a groupie. Not everybody wants some of you. And nasty, freaky, and rude does not look good on anybody. Puts me in the mind of that movie Kingdom Come where Whoopi wrote down two words to describe her deceased husband: Mean and surly.

Granted, others have said that Mamba-dude is nice as can be and devoted to his charity works, family, city, yada-blah. I'm just saying I haven't seen it. So when I say I don't like Kobe… I mean what I know of him, I personally do not care for. No worries, it's not keeping him or me up at night.

My point is (Rabid Laker Nation) that my dislike has nothing to do with his Lakerdom or celeb status. So quit tellin' me I'm hatin'. True, I've never really been a Lakers fan but I'm more of a girl who cheers for a player rather than a team in basketball anyway. For instance, I'm really not a Celtics fan but I love Kevin Garnett. Met him once. And yes, he was nice (and really, really fine). So guess who I'm cheering for in this series?

Stay tuned, one day I'll tell the stories of why I don't like Brett Favre or Warren Moon either.
Thoughts on Vanessa and Kobe? Give less than a damn? That's okay too. The floor is yours…

In the Meantime...

Last night... John's holiday party. Epic blog fodder. Trey brings a date that everyone actually likes. Jay gets embarrassed by his past (and David's). The sentence "Let me be Herman to your Ginger" was actually uttered. John makes an announcement. Someone's mother shows up to the party on one too many peppermint schnapps shots. All of that... coming soon. I'm still recovering. 

But in the meantime...
First of all - has everyone taken the BnB End of Year Survey?

Next up... It's Open Mic Day! *cue game show music* BougieLand, this is your chances. Share your thoughts, triumphs, weekend plans, musings over whatever in the comments with absolutely no moderation from me. Enjoy! And Happy Friday...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

When to admit you suck (not in a good way) - A Bougie Bachelorette Chronicle

What had happened was... Really, if you take each thing individually, it wasn't that bad but put all together? I kind of sucked as a girlfriend for the last week.

First of all, David was sick. I did go over and take soup and stuff. I stayed until he fell asleep and then I went to sleep in the guest room. This netted me the side-eye of life. But hey - he gets sick and he's up 24 hours later. I get sick, it turns into some kind of exotic infection and I'm down for 10 days. Could he really not feel the love from one room over? Apparently not.

Next on my list of transgressions, the airport drop off. I was supposed to take Le Ninja to the airport and I sort of sent a car service to get him instead. Okay but wait - I had a medical thing that had been rescheduled. It was supposed to a take a half hour but ended up taking two. So (without going into details) since I was stuck in the stirrups, I sent a text to him and a car to his house. 

Which brings us to my next mea culpa, I had a medical thing that was not a big deal but then again, kind of a big deal and I didn't tell him about it before hand. I told him later when all was good. I knew I was breaking the s.o. "share and share alike" code but I was trying to end around a discussion... Le Sigh. 

Then came the Incident at CVS. We swung by to pick up a prescription. I was minding my own damn business in line at the pharmacy when the store manager rolls up and starts hollering. Not discreetly. I mean full scale "here's my card, how u doin', holla atcha boy, hey baby hey baby hey" roll up. At first, I thought he was trying to offer me a discount on my purchases. Then I thought he was trying to sell me something. By the time I figured out what was what, David had stepped forward and announced, "She's flattered but not interested." Oh boy. CVS manager did not back down. In my haste to defuse the situation (why was the store manager hollering on a Saturday morning, why was David looking like he wanted to swing on fools in the CVS), I took the card and said, "Uh thanks." Wrong. Thing. To. Do. David looked at me like I had shot Bambi, stole Christmas and talked bad about his mama all in the same day. Lawd. Lawd.

Wrap that up with The #$%! bracelet and you see why I was getting all manner of attitude. So your girl had some work to do. Starting with getting to the bottom of the shaky ground I stood on. Apparently, this all started when one of the exes sent me a text and I responded. Didn't matter that is was a generic "Happy Holidays" text and all I said was "You too." It was enough with all the other yada piled on to land me in hot water.

David is the stoic type. He earned the nickname "Batman" for being quiet and inside his head half of the time but social and engaging the other half (not to mention being a generally cool guy who wears black really, really well. But I digress). He doesn't tend to get angry. He seethes quietly and then all of sudden it's Threat Level Orange round here.

After a four hour conversation where he looked at my side and I looked at his. We decided there are one or two hurdles to jump but they are manageable. I gotta do better, he's gotta do better and we have to agree on what to take seriously and what to shrug off. We have to agree to talk about things while we're still at Threat Level Green inching towards Blue. Once you hit Orange and Yellow, you're just firefighting. At some point, a couple has to come up with The Escalation Point Rules of Engagement. 

BougieLand, how do you decide what to get upset about and what to shrug off? What is your surefure "I know I effed up but you still love me anyway" apology tip? Thoughts, comments, insights? The floor is yours.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bougie Bachorette Chronicles - That #$%! bracelet

Who recalls the story of The Bracelet? Long story short, after the breakup with Dude Formerly Known as New (DFKN), he revealed that he had purchased a bracelet for me which his ex- and now current wife found. He offered to send it to me, I declined and he gave it to her with some elaborate tale of bullshiggity about how it was mean for her all along. When last I spoke with her (at a Whole Foods), she took great delight in waving that black diamond bracelet in my face.

All caught up? Okay... so now - what am I to think when I go to my p.o. box, pick up my packages and open one with DFKN's return name address on it. Monsieur Le Ninja was with me and already irritated (whole other post) so when I opened it and the infamous bracelet was inside? Let's just say... it wasn't a good moment. 

Along with the bracelet was a handwritten letter. Several pages in length. 

So what to do? Especially with Le Ninja standing on my shoulder sending me laser beam side-eye. Hmmm. Read the letter? Keep the bracelet? Send it back, burn the letter? A combination? 

Curiosity got the better of me. I opened the letter and read the first line, "You've probably guessed from seeing the bracelet that my marriage fell apart. I know you're not surprised but I really wanted to give it another shot and make it work this time. You were right all along and I should've played this whole situation differently..." That was enough for me. I ditched the letter, stuffed the bracelet back in the box and stepped up to the counter to ship it back. 

The whole time, the heat from Le Ninja's glare was singeing me from the left. When we got back to the car he asked, "So if I wasn't standing there, what would you have done?" With an eyeroll I answered, "The exact same thing."

Who is surprised that DFKN is getting divorced? What's it going to take to kill that bracelet (and all it stands for) dead for once and for all? Holiday TapBack, anyone? Comments, thoughts, insights?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The BnB End of Year Survey

It's that time again. You tell me what you liked, what you didn't like, what you wished to see more of and what you wish would go away.  And a special survey just about that comments' section:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick: Do I have to buy (him/her) a gift?

You all are killing me with the "Gift Etiquette in Relationship" emails, especially the fellas. The number of "Hey Chele, do I really have to buy a Christmas gift for this chick?" questions are legion. Let me give you all a peak at the emails I'm getting:
a. From a 28 y.o. man in DC:
Hey Chele, just started dating this girl in early November. Not sure if it's serious yet, do I have to buy a gift?
b. From a 32 y.o woman in Detriot:
OneChele, what's the rule on buying Christmas gifts for the cuddle boo? 
c. From a 30 y.o. man in Las Vegas:
Is it cliche to propose at Christmas? And if it's not, the ring is enough of a gift, right? 
d. From a 26 y.o. man in Phoenix:
Okay, third date is next Friday. Christmas is the week after that. Too early for a gift but some sort of acknowledgment. Any ideas?
Good people, I know the mainstream media has you twisted up in the game but the truth of the matter is that Christmas gift exchanging is not a requirement, it's a suggestion or a tradition or an option. Here are my rules when it comes to gift exchange:

1. Give without expectation of getting - You may the sort of person who loves to give gifts. God bless you. Not everyone feels that way. If you're only giving with the expectation of receiving, skip it.

2. Give only what you feel is appropriate - Think on this. Ladies, if you all aren't serious like that - don't break off the Xbox/HD Package. Unless you're applying to be his sugar mama. Yes, this actually happened. Girl had been dating guy for less than a month and bought him a Xbox, TV and home theater system. No. Ma'am.

3. Give only what you can afford to give - Christmas is one day, a year has 364 others to think about. Don't go broke trying to impress folks. Debt is not the reason for the season. Sometimes a heartfelt card, a candy cane and picnic in front of the fireplace are gift enough.

4. Think about what your gift is going to mean to the person getting it - Dude, if you just started dating girlie and you break off jewelry or lingerie... that says something. Be sure that's what you meant to say.

5. Think about what may happen if a) you don't buy that special person a gift or b) you buy the wrong darn gift. Okay, now you know if you're booed up and your s.o. is expecting something - do the right thing. I'm saying this because I know of a gent who made the massive mistake of buying his wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas when she was expecting jewelry. So what if it was a $400 Dyson - you don't buy a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. I mean it. Oh and ladies, do better than drawers and socks.

Now that we have that established - Can you answer the questions from our four emails above? Any Christmas gift rules to share? The floor is yours.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Survey says... Answers from the Good Morning poll

Last week, we took a poll to talk about the first thing on your mind when you wake up. It just occurred to me that it would be interesting to follow this up with a "last thought on your mind" before you go to sleep survey. Hmm. 

Anyway, as of this morning 308 people had taken the survey. Awesomeness. Here's how it broke down:

191 women and 117 men took the survey. Look at the fellas stepping up! The age ranges broke down as follows:

As suspected, most of BougieLand falls between 25 and 45 years of age. [Pause while blogger resists the urge to say something cute about being grown 'n sexy. Oh see what I did there?] 

Respondents had an opportunity to choose up to 3 answers each. Here's how that turned out (click to enlarge):

The most popular choice?

We like to get our zzz's on here in BougieLand. A few interesting trends. One for the fellas:

Sleep, bathroom, cocoa for the fellas. And the ladies say:

Sleep, the day's schedule and bathroom for the ladies. What we all care about least first thing in the morning?

Current events. Only four percent give it a thought. 

Thanks to all who participated! For those that love the surveys, it's almost that time again. State of the Bougie Union, the year end wrap up, is right around the corner. What will be the most popular post of the year? Who was the most prolific commenter? In preparation, next week - we'll do some follow-up on our Ask A Bougie Chick participants. Where are they now? Stay tuned!

Friday, December 09, 2011

5 things men and women can agree on (or can we?)

Dr. Jayme hosts a singles event for men and women from age 20 - 60 called Five Things You Need To Know About The Opposite Sex. Attending one of these reinforces the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same. A 25-year old man does not think all that differently from a 55-year old man though the way they say it and carry it out are vastly different. A 40-year old woman and a 20-year old woman may want similar things but for different reasons. It was fascinating.

One segment of the seminar breaks out the attendees into four small groups and challenges them to come up with five universal relationship rules that both men and women can agree on. Then they come back to the larger group and get debated. Here (after much bickering and heated word exchanging) are the five basic Relationship Rules of Engagement:
1. No hitting, ever. Not for any reason. 
2. The person who asks should either pay or include some verbiage like "Dutch" "split check" "50/50" prior to the start of the date. 
3. Both parties should feel free to initiate sex. Both parties have the right to decline sex.
4. No Cheating Allowed. However, it is not cheating if a) both parties haven't agreed that they are in a relationship or b) no one has invoked an exclusivity clause or c) you're on a break with defined consent to "explore your options" while apart 
5. Dating someone who is related to (or good friends with) a serious ex-s/o requires disclosure and in some cases, permission. For example, if you want to you date your ex-wife's best friend - some needs to chat with ex-wife before it gets too deep. 
Bonus Rule: 6. Never end a relationship via text or note. 
What say you, BougieLand? Do you agree or disagree? With which rules? Do you have any to add? Do share...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

First thing on your mind...

Quick, without thinking too hard about it - what's the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?

Studies show that how you start your day drives how the rest of it goes. There are also studies that say if you take an extra ten minutes before you get out of bed to deliberately focus on something pleasant, that ten minutes stays with you all day long. I'll let you decide what that "something pleasant" might be...

BougieLand, I'm not a morning person. I wake up thinking about if there is any way I can go to back to sleep. Who wakes up walking on sunshine? Who's a night owl? Who has come up with the perfect way to kick start the day? (Keep it NC-17 please) Do share...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

So much noise, there's silence

Ever have so many thoughts zipping around your brain that it all just coalesces into one big blank. Yep, me too. When this happens, I have to just brain dump by writing down every stray thought and then figuring out if any of it is important, worth writing about, worth talking about, or just some of Le Random Garbage that floats through my mind. In the meantime, tomorrow and Friday we have collaborative posts. Come back by and see what I mean - it's going to be fun.

Until then, stay warm & let's keep it Bougie out there. Show of hands, who's an overthinker?? An uberAnalytic? Is "contingency plan" one of your favorites phrases? Are you a listmaker? An outliner? A "wait a minute, let's talk about this first" person? Fess up...

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Could you be... Gloria Cain?

In the wake of Herman Cain's heauxnanigans, several people on the Twitter began speculating on his wife's state of mind and future plans. This past Saturday, as Gloria Cain stood doing her best Season One Alicia Florrick (if you don't watch The Good Wife, you really really should) imitation - I felt a little queasy. As Herman announced that he was "at peace with his wife" and she was at peace with him, she smiled and clapped like he'd just delivered the MLK "I Have a Dream" speech.

What, I wondered, could possibly motivate a woman to stand up and clap for a man who at the very least has a wandering eye but most probably is a blatant philanderer and grabber of random asses. The minute I asked the question, my timeline flooded with two flavors of responses. Either she was a good Christian woman and was standing by her man to keep the covenant or she had worked out her own economic recovery plan. In short, Gloria was getting paid.

Gloria has been married to dude for 43 years. Georgia is an "equitable distribution" state. I'm not an attorney but I believe that means she gets paid whether she stays or goes. 

There are a lot of things I joke about doing for money. And when push came to shove with millions of dollars at stake, I think I'd pause and consider the "what would you do" question. But this right here? Standing up at a nationally televised event with a man who has completely humiliated me? Could not do it.

I remember years ago, I was in a hair salon with Deion Sanders' first wife. She said she could not take all the extracurriculars and was going to bail. Now most of us in there were young and single and involved with some flavor of professional athlete. Half of the room told her to get a good attorney and bounce, the other half of the room said to give him a chance to turn the corner but stay. His earning potential in the long run was worth a little suffering now. I was stunned. I'd never heard marriage broken down like an income and expense sheet before or since. That "what happens on the road, stays on the road" nonsense did not fly with me. (Hence the failure of that relationship.) I just remember her saying, "I've run out of cheeks and blind eyes to turn." There it is.

We don't know Gloria Cain. She seems to be a real class act, old Southern bouge if you will. We definitely don't know Gloria's motivation. Maybe she really loves that idiot man, maybe she doesn't believe in divorce, maybe she believes these women are all just out to get him... I don't know. I do know that I couldn't do it. Not for all the money in the world.

Bougie Brothers and Sisters. I think we've asked before if you would stay with a cheating spouse. But would you stay with a cheating spouse for a multi-million dollar payout? Why do you think Gloria stayed? Do you think she'll leave eventually? And what do you think of the "Hillary stayed, Gloria should too" argument? Please discuss...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Bougie Bacherolette Chronicles - Testosterone & Tissues

When I'm sick, I go quiet. I shut down. I fight like hell not to get sick but then when I realize I really am, I fold like cheap paper in the wind. Or I flop like Chris Bosh in the 4th quarter. Either way, I'm down for the count. I take to my bed with a pot of tea and whatever sleep-inducing drug of choice is appropriate and I'll holla in a day or two. Those days of "powering through" and "sucking it up"? Unless I'm absolutely required to be somewhere? Done. 

Not talking cramps or a throat tickle here. I'm that person who sat on a six-hour flight with walking pneumonia praying my ears and lungs didn't explode thinking it was just a sinus flare-up. I'm the person who thought an intestinal virus was just "a little food poisoning" and I could "work through" it. I'm the chick who just thought she was "getting headaches" only to have my doctor say if I didn't slow my ass down, she was putting me in the hospital on "stroke watch." How's that for sobering verbiage?  [Allow me to take a moment to thank my folks for the genetic jackpot of ailments they gifted me with :-/]

My experience with ailing men has been... frustrating enlightening. There is first the complete unwillingness to admit that they could, indeed with all of their penis-having superpowers, fall prone to illness. I, unfortunately, have the uncanny ability to pick up any floating bug or virus looking for a host. So I don't appreciate a bruh being hugged up on me while assuring me that he's fine when he's really gifting me with the influenza strain from hell... Sorry, bad flashback, moving on.

Every time I hear a man say, "I don't get sick" - I cringe. Because you do get sick, sir. You just don't admit it.  Once dude admits the illness "I think I'm coming down with something", it's like the entire world has come to an end. Normally self-reliant "I got this" men become something entirely different. Either they go full-blown martyr "Don't worry about me, I'll muddle through." Or they get needy. "Can you bring me some soup, and a spoon, and room temperature ginger ale? And the remote?" 

My dude has been fighting off a cold for weeks. We both are but his brilliant decision to go out in the rain with the fellas to help Jay do some sort of home repair? Brilliant. (Putting aside the fact that these guys were pushing their DIY skills and they could afford to hire someone. Putting. That. Aside.) But six grown-assed men standing in the rain for four hours in the dark (while accomplishing nothing) has unleashed a small version of hell on the women that care about them.

Here were the six stages of illness:
1. Arguing about what it was. "It's just a cold." "No, once you have fever and a mix of symptoms, it's viral." "How do you know? Are you a doctor? No, are you?"
2. Arguing about how to cure it. "It's starve a cold, feed a fever." "No it's starve a fever, feed a cold." "Either way, you have both and you need to eat to take these meds."
3. Arguing over the meds. "I don't like Theraflu, it knocks me out." "That's the point." "You just want me to go to sleep." "Now we're getting somewhere, drink up."
4. Arguing over severity. "I'm not that bad." *hacking cough, hacking cough, sneeze, sneeze* "Right, I can tell but until the fever breaks, stay where you are." "Will you stay with me?" "What happens if I say no?"
5. Arguing over acceptance. "You know what, I feel like crap." "You don't say?" "Have some sympathy, woman." "Have some more Nyquil, man."
6. Arguing over recovery. "So now I can get up and get some hot wings with the fellas, right?" "I hate you." "What I do?" "I should have spiked your Nyquil and oh, you're welcome."

Even the most confirmed of confirmed bachelors wants a woman to bring him food and hold his hand when his throat is scratchy. We finally set up a round robin system where Nyquil, ginger tea, fruit, echinacea, soup & sandwiches were dispersed in six hour intervals. Jayme's housekeeper was slipped an undisclosed early Christmas bonus to assist with sheet-changing, bathroom recovery and kitchen sink cleansing for five homes. I won't even talk about the whining. I won't. I'll just let you imagine. We bit our tongues to keep from pointing out that they owed us, big time, and Christmas is just around the corner.

Is it me or are some men the biggest babies ever when they are "under the weather"? What do you do when you get sick? Do you give in? Ride it out? Ignore it? Drive everyone around you crazy? What's your go-to cold & flu remedy? Do tell.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Could you.. be on a reality show?

So BougieSis was approached earlier in the year about participating in a Miami-based reality series about Human Resources Professionals. Something about putting them all up in a South Beach hotel together and competing for talent. She politely declined but we had a good chuckle over that one. An HR reality show? Really? I'm not surprised I haven't seen the promos for Real Recruiters of South Beach..

Then I was called this week about a possible reality show about aspiring authors living a house together (Why does it always involve shoving strangers in a house together?) while battling to win a multi-book deal.  Um.. er. No. In fact, hell no. 

The woman who called me was stunned silent. She asked me, "Why not?" and then sat in silence while I listed no less than 15 reasons why I wasn't interested. When I finally wound down she asked, "Is there any scenario you can dream of where you'd appear on any reality show?"


Bougie Sistahs of Dallas? The Black and The Bougie? Who Wants to Be Bougie? How to Turn a Pookie Into a Preston?  Keep Peaches off the Pole? Bougie Hook-ups? After thinking it over for a nano-second, I replied - "Um, no."

She asked me to think about it and give her a call back. I sent her info over to my agent and asked her to make it go away. Forever.

So I ask you, BougieLand... could you appear on a reality show? If so, what kind of show? Talent? Match-Making? Competition? What would it take for you all to show up on Real Bougienistas of the Internet?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Could you... "Ginger White" yourself? (Out your own ratchetness)

I'm not sitting in judgment of Ginger White. I'm not even sure she's telling the truth. Nor do I 100% gibbadam. Herman "Candy" Cain was never going to be my candidate. (Never. Ever.) But let's say she is speaking true for the sake of this post. According to multiple sources, Ginger is a single mom, a former businesswoman who has been evicted from her home, filed for bankruptcy, been accused of stalking, sued someone (not Cain) for sexual harassment and lost a libel suit. Judgment aside, the fact is her life appears to be a hot mess. 

So why add to the hot messiness by claiming a 13-year affair with a married man who is allegedly running for President? This is one of those things that make you say "Hmmm."

A few thoughts before I make my point...
1) Thirteen years is not casual. That's not an affair. That's a second family.
2) Ginger had to know that by going public her entire life would be dissected for widespread consumption & speculation
3) What are these chicks seeing in Uncle Hermy that I'm not? Eww. And. Ick.

Moving on... I've got some ratchet in my historical closet and I'm taking most of that ish to da grave, ya heard? You will not be catching Michele on a talk show couch admitting to X, Y, or Z. In fact, unless someone can prove ratchety allegations about me? I will deny, deny, deny. Come at me Horatio Caine (not Herman Cain) style and maybe (just maybe) I'll admit that it was me.

What good comes of these public confessions? Are mistresses everywhere in a better place because Ging got a conscience? Are politicians and public figures going to stop extra-marital fornication in fear of getting Gingered? I just wonder why anyone would go on national TV and open up all their sintasticness (thanks @ShawnSoze for the word) for the world to see?

So I wonder, if it came down to it - could I out my own ratchetassness the way Ginger White did? She admitted that there was nothing admirable about her confession or her life struggles. So why tell it? Because, in her words, she doesn't feel that "Herman Cain is fit to be President." But Ginger - we already knew that sweetheart. So unless someone is buying you a house and replenishing your 401(k), your dirty laundry airing was for naught. As for me, I couldn't do it. 

Tell me BougieLand, could you "Ginger White" yourself? [Ginger-Whiting is my new favorite term for people who drop dime on themselves] Does it really serve the greater good to do so? And seriously, aren't some things just better kept in the back of the closet buried under leg warmers and parachute pants? Please discuss...


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