Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ask a Bougie Chick - What is wrong with these women?

In today's episode of Ask a Bougie Chick - we have a classic example of projection and deflection. I'll let you read this without further ado...
I was told about a year ago to read your blog to "gather more insight on women" so maybe that says something about me from the get go. But anyway, after reading your posts and reading the majority of the comments, it seems to me like my original supposition was correct. 
Take you for instance, from all accounts, you're a decent looking woman with a lot of stuff on the ball but your standards for your man are so high you are over 40 and not married. That's the entire problem right there and I would submit that you are simply perpetuating the problem.
Women are expecting to get way more than they give. As you say, I call bullshiggity on that. I don't understand what's wrong with these women. Particularly black women. Yeah, I said it. 
They seem to expect that a man make six figures, come straight home and swing long d**k all night long. If there's a minute in between, a guy is supposed to sit up and listen to them talk about whatever. It's too much. 
These women don't cook, they don't take care of themselves and they talk too much. I just want a quiet, professionally employed Christian woman with a decent shape and a nice personality. You know the combination, beauty, bedroom beast, brains for days. Is that too much to ask?  
Before you start, I know you are going to ask what I bring to the table? I'm tall, good looking, smart, well paid, degreed and church going. I'm that dude the women are looking for. So why can't I find what I'm looking for? 
Try not to beat on me too much, I"m just being honest based on what I see. 
-T in ATL
When you write in nonsense like this, you may call me Ms. Grant. :-/ I feel like once a year I get one of these letters from gents such as yourself. SwearforeGod this is the last of these that I will answer. Someone (I'm assuming a woman) told you to read this blog over a year ago and I must assume that not a lot has sunk in. As to your questions - There's a long scathing answer and there's a short answer. I'll give you something in between the two:

Is this about me or is this about you? Because I, me, myself, personally - always give as good as I get. I'm in a happy place so I'm going to skip that one paragraph you squeezed in there. Not. Taking. The. Bait.

Nor am I going to share the smackdown I could commence on your tired recycled meme of "black women ain't about ish" - sir, I will say this instead - do better. If you keep meeting women who aren't up to your standards is the problem with them or with you? What's the common denominator? But you say the women want too much? What is it they think you are lacking, I wonder?

So what you are saying is that you are ALL that and these foolhardy women out here ain't about shiggity. You are seriously telling me you can't find a "good woman" to date in Atlanta, Georgia. Seriously? Have several seats, sir.  ~M

BougieLand, talk to T for me... please.

Monday, February 27, 2012

What you won't do for love... A Bougie Bachelorette Chronicle

One of my favorite songs of all time is Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do For Love" - it's one of those soulful classics that I grew up singing and had not nary a clue what the feazy I was singing about. 

I was thinking about these lyrics the other night.
Some people go around the world for love
But they may never find what they dream of
What you won't do, do for love
You've tried everything but you don't give up
In my world only you makes me do
For love what I would not do
Mr. Dude was in town and we were enjoying an evening with Trey and his sweetie du jour, Robin. I had already shamed David at the spades table (Dude, did you seriously just cut my ace to make your book? What did you think the jack of diamonds was going to do for you? When you have more than 5 spades, you need to up your bid!). Then after a lengthy discussion in which for the sake of our relationship we decided not to play any more games for the evening, we found ourselves watching Sparkle

There's a fairly horrific scene in which crazy dude Satin tells pretty girl Sister that he wants her to crawl for him. I had a visceral reaction not just to him beating her all to hell but also the thought of being asked to crawl. Trey, perennial troublemaker, asked - "So you wouldn't crawl if your man asked you to?"

My jaw dropped open as David and I exchanged glances and the first thought in my head flew out of my mouth, "He wouldn't be my man if he's asking me to crawl."

Robin asked, "Why would you say that?"

Me, "Why would someone who signed on to be my equal, my partner expect me to crawl? I wouldn't expect him to."

David piped in, "It's a relationship not slavery."

Trey said, "So what would you do for your man? What's the most extreme thing you would do? Give up your last dime, go homeless? Would you take a bullet? Commit a crime? Go to jail?"

Me, "Am I dating Suge Knight all of a damn sudden?" Everyone laughed and Robin asked Trey, "Are you Ride or Die? Would you do all of those things for love?"

Trey shrugged, "I don't know. Aren't you supposed to do anything for love?"

David, "In theory, yes." We fell silent for a minute, then I said, "This is one of those, you don't know until you're tested type of things. Sitting here right now it's easy to say sure, I'll jump in front of a bullet but when it's going down I may be inclined to dive under a car and hope he runs like hell."

Trey snarks, "My man ain't worth a bullet?"

Me, "I'll tell you what, if you're around - I'll push YOU in front of the bullet, how's that?"

After that we changed the subject. (Though Robin was sending Trey laser beam side-eyes the rest of the night) But I was wondering- just what would I do for love? I don't think I'm as "ride-or-die-down-for-whatever" as I used to be. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? BougieLand, what would you do? Are you catching bullets for your s/o? Willing to burn-up-your-clothes-smash-up-your-ride? Do share...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Me or the Me You think I am?

Bougie Confession Time - having worked in HR for so long, I have a tendency to make snap judgments about people. I label them and put them in whatever category I see fit. Many, many times I've had to pull them off shelf A and moved them to shelf J with an asterisk and a post-it note. One person I thought was funny, engaging and a friend turned out to be sneaky, wily and a foe. One person I thought was shallow and bland turned out to be shy and funny as hell once you got to know them. So I never 100% let on what I think about someone until I've known them for a while. And even then... I tend to keep my thoughts to myself.

Sometimes it takes a little time to see the real person rather than the person they are trying so hard to show you. That's why shows on @DiscoveryID like "Who the Bleep Did I Marry?" and "The Nightmare Next Door" are so frightening - you think you know somebody...

So imagine my surprise when I caught up with a friend of mine from our college days. If asked, I would have said that I thought she knew me fairly well. Catching up with her on the phone this week, I realize she did not know me at all. Granted, I've changed a bit since college but I think at my core, fundamentally - I'm still me.

She mentioned something about me being more studious than fun-loving and a stickler for the rules. She thought of me as old-fashioned and not the most spontaneous person in the world. Hmm. Like most people, I'm old-fashioned in some aspects and forward-thinking in others. I can only assume that by old-fashioned she was referring to the fact that I didn't have a 'Now Serving' sign by the bed?

I like to laugh, I'll make situations that are uncomfortable easier by infusing humor. I spent a good bit of my college years tee-heeing when I should have been doing other things. I had no idea what kind of rules she was positive I stuck to... unless by rules she meant city, state and federal laws? I thought about asking her where those perceptions came from. I thought about telling her things about me to change her mind. And then I decided it just wasn't that important in the overall scheme of things.

Anyway, the whole conversation sent me to a reflective place. And I wondered how many people know the "Real Me" as opposed to the me that they think I am. If I had to make up a survey about myself, what would  I even ask? How hard is it to deduce that I love all things purple, I have affection for chocolate, shoes, fruity wine and tropical beaches? But what about a few layers deeper? Who could answer questions about that Michele?

And then I wondered if this is something I really need to know. Suppose people that I think know me don't and people that I'm sure don't know me at all hit it right on the head? Therein lies drama. Anyone who has ever taken a "How well do we know each other?" Cosmo quiz with their s/o knows that path is fraught with danger. 

I think I'll just assume that the people that I want to know me... know me well enough and if not they will surely figure it out in due time. The rest I'll leave alone.

BougieLand, how well do you think your friends and loved ones really know you? How important is it to you? And what , if anything, would you do to change their perception? How well do you think you know those closest to you? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Better to be Smart than Lucky

After reading the edge-of-your-seat post over at @CaroylnEdgar's spot today, for some reason I was instantly reminded of my misadventures with PsychoMike. So in lieu of post today, take a minute to read:

  1. Traveling Alone As a Woman - Carolyn Edgar
  2. The Long, Sad, Bad but True BougieTale of PsychoMike, Part I
  3. The Long, Sad, Bad but True BougieTale of PsychoMike, Part II
Both Carolyn and I, two fairly intelligent women, found ourselves in situations where we were more lucky than smart. And we all know that you cannot count on luck to hold. That one second that your brain shuts down and something else takes over or that you make a decision to zig when you should have zagged - that's when it all goes to hell in a handbasket. It's easy to say in hindsight exactly what we both should have done differently but when you are in the moment, all you can do if find a way to save yourself.

Thoughts, comments, insights?

Monday, February 20, 2012

I don't seek validation in 140 characters or less... nor should you

Watching TV and following major events while tweeting is a favorite pastime of mine. It's both enjoyable and irksome at the same time. I don't have as much time to indulge as I used to so when I'm on, I tend to get dive in and (for the most part) enjoy. In the past ten days, a few things that I watched while tweeting were the Grammys, a CNBC documentary on online dating, a PBS documentary Slavery by Another Name, and Whitney Houston's memorial service.

It must be said - one of the most infuriating things about social media is that people feel the need to critique your thoughts and emotions. No it's more than critique, there are people who exist to either dissect and oppose the things you express or vehemently try to get you to agree with them.

First of all, far too many of you are far too invested in these celebrity's lives. Does someone think Nicki Minaj is personally offended that I felt generationally challenged and musically confused by her Grammy performance?  Was it necessary for people to insist that there was no difference between Rihanna's tousled blond look (which I wasn't feeling) and Tina Turner's back in the day (which I loved)? Am I wrong for saying I gave not two shakes of a damn what went down with Bobby Brown at Whitney's memorial? It was Whitney's day, I can worry and wonder (or not) about Bobby after the woman has been laid to rest. Out of respect for the solemnity of the moment, I did not shade Tyler Perry or R-uh Kelly for their appearances at Whitney's memorial. Doncha know folks took time to call me a hypocrite. "But you HATE Tyler Perry." No. I don't. But whatever I feel for him and his body of work had no place at a ceremony where he was honoring a friend of his and an icon of mine.

Second of all, way too many people speak authoritatively and completely incorrectly at the same damn time. If I'm watching a documentary that says over 36 million people are on online dating services, how are you going to come at me with - "there a lot of desperate people out there." Stop. Yes there is some thirst but are you really making the leap that 36 million single people are desperate? I mean, c'mon, really? Then (and you'll love this one) while I was watching with horror and heavy heart at the treatment of African Americans in the early 1900's, I commented that unfortunately many of these closed-minded and narrow assumptions about people of color are still alive and well today. To which I was told to "get over it, stop playing the race card." Oh.

Third of all, stop telling people how to grieve. Seriously. This must stop immediately. Whatever way people have of dealing with grief - as long as it's not turning your world inside out - leave them be. Did it matter that some people who hadn't listened to a Whitney song since '92 were in mourning? Was their grief lessened because they had not steadfastly supported her over the last two decades? GTFOH with that. Every time a tragedy takes place, people go on the attack. As if you have to justify what you feel and why.

Lastly, stop assuming you know everything there is to know about somebody from following them on twitter, reading their blogs, whatever. My favorite (<~~sarcasm) tweet from Saturday was the following, "Chele, I didn't realize you were this religious. You never tweet or post about Jesus." Should I emblazon a flaming cross into the header of BnB? Should I hashtag all my tweets with #inJesusName? Can't I be a person of faith without tattooing the commandments on one ass cheek and the beattitudes on the other? Okay, that was a little snarky but Jesus knows how I meant that... :-/ 

Since when are our opinions not our own? Since when do our emotions need the validation of a mob to be legitimate? You feel what you feel. Others can disagree, so be it. Repeat after me: It is what it is. And sometimes that has absolutely nothing to do with me. 

Let folks live, won't you? Our time here is short. How about people get in touch with and own up to their own emotions and behavior before calling out other folks? Hmm? What would that world look like? Le Sigh.

BougieLand... thoughts, comments, insights?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Open Mic Day

I know, I know - it's mad raggedy to only post twice this week and then punt and tell ya'll to run with it but hey - your girl is swamped over here. Like buried. Next week I'm traveling so umm... you may get fresh bouge, you may not. Either way, smooches!

What do you have to talk about today? Any current events? Any weekend plans? Who's off on Monday? Which celebrity needs a kick in the ass this week? The floor is yours... 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine #WDDDA, an Ask a Bougie Chick special

Normally, I turn the sound off on my phone and Kindle Fire when I plug them in for the night. If it's that big of an emergency and you don't have my home number? I'll holla at ya in the morning. But for some reason (mayhaps the 3/4s a bottle of sparkling shiraz I swigged?) last night, I forgot. So at 2:13am when both the Kindle and the Android started beeping and buzzing in sync every ten minutes, I knew something was up. I glanced at the cell and saw it was a series of emails coming in from a BougieLand reader and friend. After verifying that the person wasn't dead, dying or incarcerated, I fell back to sleep. 

I present this story to you edited and reduced for blog size:
You will never, ever believe the shiggity I went through this evening. I told you about the new guy I've been seeing? Well, this was our first Valentine's Day of course and despite you warning about not making it into a big deal, I kinda made it a big deal. He sent flowers and brought a cookie bouquet. Tonight we went out to Pappadeaux. 
We ordered drinks and appetizers and then he said he was going to step outside for a second to call his mom. He's really close to his mother so I thought it was sweet that he was calling his Mom on Valentine's Day. Anyway, it took him a while to come back and he said she was having a bad night. I asked him if he wanted to leave but he said no, he would just check on her a few more times. 
The third time he left the table to call her, the waitress asked me if I had any idea what was going on. Confused, I looked at her and said no. She said, "Your man double-booked you on Valentine's Day." I was like, huh? She said every time he left the table, he ran across the parking lot to the P.F.Chang's. She was like, "Either he's really hungry or he's trying to run two dates at once... on Valentine's Day." She set my Mahi Alexander down in front of me and walked off shaking her head. 
You once said in situations like these there's a class move, a ratchet move and what you wish you had done.  So I sat there thinking WWCD (What Would Chele Do) and then I called the waitress back. I paid for the meal and had her wrap it up to go. I walked across the parking lot, into P.F.Changs and found his table. The look on his face when he saw me walking up - priceless! I slid into the booth next to the other girl and told her. "You know he's out on a date with both of us right now?" I held up the bag. "I was over at Pappadeaux waiting for him to finish talking to his mother." 
"He told me he was talking to his mom too!" She said. We both looked at this fool. He's looking at us like trying to figure out how he's going to get out of this. I said, "I rode with him so I assume you met him here?" She said yes and I asked her for a ride home. We bounced while he begged her and then me and then her to give him a minute to explain. On the way to my house we figured out he's been dating both of us "exclusively" for over four months. I invited her in and we sat and ate the Pappadeaux food like we were best friends. 
Best part of the night - Dude starts texting us not knowing that we are together. He's sending her a line, "Baby you're the only one for me, this is all a misunderstanding." And then sending the same exact thing to me. We weren't replying. He escalated sending e-cards (to both of us) and a Dwele song (to both of us) before going completely ratchet and sending the obligatory "You're going to miss this" peen pic (to BOTH of us). THEN he shows up on my doorstep an hour later (she and I were watching Waiting to Exhale) and starts banging on my door. But he's calling out her name. I swung up the door. "Do you even know which of us is which?"  He stumbled and mumbled upon seeing both of us there before he turned and walked away.
Oh, turns out he got us the exact same flowers and cookies too. What was there a 2-for-1 discount at Scumbag Valentine's R Us? 
I don't need any advice, I'm so done. Lost a man but gained a friend. She and I are going to hang out next weekend. My question to you and BougieLand is: WDDDA?
~A Bougie Friend 
Well Bougie Friend - 
Wow. Just. Wow. Okay maybe he didn't realize both of you thought your relationships were exclusive? No, I can't even pull that one together. I write fiction and I couldn't script that. uberRatchet. By the way, I'm not sure I would have done all that. I might have called a friend to come get me and rolled out. Then again, I might have done exactly this. Depending on my drink situation, I might have caused a minor scene. Then again, I know exactly where that Pappadeaux/PF Changs restaurant grouping is and I frequent them often so... Well played.

BougieLand, what part of the game.... People still try and double book? On a night like Valentine's Day? What would you have done if you were her or the other her or him even? Do share...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be yo' own damn Valentine first... please

Whew! There's a lot of bitterness towards Cupid in these streets. Folks just railing away about love gone awry, being led astray, torn asunder and what not. Alright, we get it - it's hard out here. Finding and keeping "good love" is truly the pursuit of a lifetime. 

It's tough and then those darned Romans who felt the need to make a festival for every damn thing, decided to celebrate a group of Christian martyrs - one of whom may have been named Valentinus and 1600 years later it has devolved into the red and pink pressure cooker of a spectacle that is today. (How it came to be about romantic love and a chubby baby wielding a lethal weapon, I'll never understand)

I think we can all agree that Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that is doing the most. This whole glorification of romance has gotten uber-commercialized along the way. People set expectations, people get depressed, people cut a fool - it's a mess out there. The pressure to have a date/be in love/be in a relationship/be validated by flower delivery/the list goes on... it's real and so unnecessary. Some make the most of the day, some crumble under the pressure, others dodge it all together. The number of Twitter announcements screaming "My s/o broke up with me the day before Valentine's Day" yesterday was ridiculous. Breaking up with your boo to get out of Valentine's Day is so damn ratchet, people. 

Oh and fellas, please stop acting like the ladies are the only ones pressed about Valentine's Day. Some of your brethren are flagrant with the thirst out here on these innanets. Eau de Desperation is not sexy on anybody. Chill  out. 

So maybe you have a Valentine, maybe you don't. (Maybe yours is 7000 miles away :-/) Either way, this year - how about you love you some you first? There's a Valentine that always knows what you want before you even speak. Pick yourself up a little something nice for dinner and raise a toast to another year with someone who truly cares about you. There are worst things to be than single, good people. Get through the day with a smile (and a sip or two if needed). Tomorrow, you'll still be you and you should okay with that.

Thoughts, comments, insights?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thanks for the Soundtrack, Whitney

When a celebrity passes away, you hate to make it about you. It's their family, their legacy, their life. But then again, all you really have left is their work and how it affected you. So I found myself both reflective and saddened at the sudden passing of Whitney Houston Saturday.

Because along with the sorrow for a life lost too young, a light extinguished too soon, I also felt inconsolably nostalgic. Major artists from the soundtrack of my "younger years" are gone. But instead of waxing poetic and morbid about the loss, I thought I'd share some of my life moments that were literally soundtracked by a few artists no longer with us.

1980something - On the highway between Dallas and Atlanta. Heading to my older brother's graduation from Emory. BougieDad insisted on heading out on road trips at the crack of dawn so we'd been in the car since two freakin' a.m. It was midday and we were over the wonder of the car trip. If we could have whined "Are we there yet?" without punishment, we would have. We were pretty much on punishment for everything having worked our parents' nerves to the nub. We had long since given up on finding music we could all agree on until the last bathroom stop before Atlanta. As the first one back to the car, I dug into my bag and pulled out the "Off The Wall" cassette (yes, cassette) and popped it in. When we got back on the road, "Rock with You" soared from the speakers. One by one, we each started singing along. Peace was restored. Thanks Michael!

1992 - Austin, Texas. It was $.25 drink night for the ladies at Club X. (I know, I know) For some diggity damn reason, your girl decided that tequila shots on nothing but a Jack in the Box taco and two tortilla chips was a good idea. I was rocking a forest green suede mini-skirt with a matching silk blouse and sky high pumps that were purple and green snakeskin. I was so fly. (Yes I said fly) Any damn way, "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D came on and some dude that I only knew by the name of Mac asked me to dance. Keep in mind, I've always been a serial two-step shuffle-shuffle hip shake shimmy-shimmy snap it up with a head bop kind of dancer. But oh no, not this evening. This evening I decided to get my New Jack on. I was hopping and skipping and high kicking like I was auditioning to be a House Party extra. Boobs defying gravity, hair frizzing up a la Chaka and ruining my "no water needed" outfit. And of course I fell out. Le Splat in the middle of the dance floor. Combination of pumps too high, moves too complicated, and girl too drunk. Just so happened the guy I had just broken up with was there and he carted my brokedown behinds out of there. Every time I hear that song, I get tempted to try that routine again. Then I hold myself back and bop my head. Thanks Heavy.

2000 - Alameda, CA. Me and the on-again off-again beau were off. Bitterly off. He was coming by so I could speak my peace (again). Being a bit dramatical, I decide to set a mood. Lights were off, candles were lit and I was dressed in all black. I put Whitney's "I Learned From The Best" on repeat and moved one of the speakers upstairs so that no corner of the house would miss a single word of her message. By the time dude got there, I was in rare form. I went on a quite, well-worded rant that lasted ten straight minutes without a pause for breath.  Then he went in. We fell silent as the song played over and over. Finally, he shot me a look and said, "If you don't want me here, I'm gone." I slammed the door behind him and sang that song about five times in a row at the top of my lungs. When I was done, I was done. Thanks Whitney.

I keep imaging a jam session with Whitney, Michael, Marvin and Tupac. Donny and Ray on the piano and Sam Cooke doing the arrangement? Billie and Nat tapping a foot from a seat on the side? That's platinum.

Gotta favorite #WhitneySoundtrackMoment? Favorite Whitney song? Do share...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

#SafeHouse is pure action - A Bougie Movie Review

If you like nonstop action with a moral to the story? This is your movie. 

Denzel plays the sympathetic villain, Tobin Frost, with full gusto. He's an anti-hero. Complicated and weary before trying to do the right thing (sort of). You are in turn horrified, fascinated, bewildered and in awe of Tobin as you struggle to figure out what he is doing and why. You find yourself looking for reasons to like the diabolical and driven Frost even when he's doing something hateful. I'm sure this is supposed to be a vehicle for Ryan Reynolds but really, it's Denzel's movie that insert young likeable white guy here appears in. 

Chase scenes, explosions, and gun battles flow seamlessly in this well-penned tale with the breathtakingly beautiful back drop of South Africa thrown in for good measure. (Capetown has moved up my list of Places to See) There is not a moment to catch your breath with this fast paced plot. In fact there were times when I was holding my breath. The minute you relax, the action ramps back up. You literally spend the entire movie wondering "how are they going to get out of this"? 

If you are squeamish about blood and high body count - this is not your movie. It's not a family film. Someone brought their baby to the theater and after the 120th gunshot, that baby was like, "This is some shiggity, yo! Where the dancing penguins at?" Okay actually, the baby started wailing and was so inconsolable they had to take him out of there. I just translated for you.  Who brings a baby to a shoot-em-up movie? Moving on...

Mr. Reynolds still needs to work on bringing some depth and dimension to his acting. But of course, next to Denzel - he just had to hold his own. The screenwriters played off this "old pro vs new kid" vibe with a few scenes where the youngster was clearly out of depth both in and on the film. Sam Shepard plays a grizzled CIA director quite aptly. A very well done plot twist has you wondering who knows what and who are the real villains?

There were also a few "suspension of disbelief" moments for the purists out there. Yeah, I'm not sure who really stops to call their boo in the middle of gun battle central. Also there's a moment when someone is critically wounded without a car miles from Capetown and somehow ends up somewhere unlikely where he is magically not only unscathed but no worse for wear. Really? A-ight den.

All in all I give this movie 4 out 5 stars. The ending was kinda meh but after all the fireworks, you still felt somewhat vindicated. Action junkies & Denzel fans - hie thee to this one! (btw - if this how they get down at CIA safe houses? I do. not. want.)

Friday, February 10, 2012

So much outrage, so little action

A minor rant. Short and sweet today:

The really wearying thing about 24/7 news cycles, social media and smartphones is that everybody has access to just about everything constantly. So no matter where you turn, there is someone on a soapbox lamenting (in FULL CAPS!!!) wrongdoing somewhere. I'm not saying these aren't real issues, I'm just saying that in a lot of cases, these continuous rants are full of sound and fury yet signifying nothing.

It exhausting and disheartening. Sometimes I have to unplug from all of it and rediscover some Zen. I get confused. It seems as though activism is fleeting and unsure of its purpose these days. I see a lot of outrage and irritation and not a lot being done to back it up. Twitter/Facebook activism is only effective is there is activity to prop up the rhetoric.

Case in point -  Did you see Susan G. Komen get their epic back pedal on? Classic campaign started in social media - spread the word, get a bunch of people riled up, exert some pressure, take it to mainstream media, threaten to withhold funds, organize ways to unleash unholy hell on the organization, repeat and escalate until someone makes a change. 

I signed about 6 petitions to get Jan Brewer's wig snatched when she tried to scold the President like he was a house boy beyond his station. I also sent the Obeezy campaign some dollars. Granted, they shan't be naming me contributor of the year but every time I get offended, ticked off, outraged and scared shitless of a Romney-led America, I drop a lil sumthin' sumthin' in the O-Please-Let-Barack-Get-Reelected Fund.

I'm not going to lie to you, I'm going to start calling people out the closer we get to this election. I want to see the same people who campaigned ferociously for 2+ years to bring friggity-frackin' The Game back to television working just as hard if not harder to keep America out of the clutches of crazy entitled folks who may or may not be in discussions to send all the poor and "unreal" Americans back from whence they came. (Okay that's extreme but I wouldn't put it past them. I'm just saying. If Obama loses and someone tells you that you won a free cruise, don't get on the boat.) 

It's one thing to talk smack, finger point and head wag. But in the words of Sean Connery's characters from The Untouchables: What are you prepared to do?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Gisele, Roland and foot-in-mouth disease

I think stupid ratchet less-than-intelligent things all the time. I have the presence of mind not to say them publicly. Many a moment my hand has hovered over a tweet before slowly hitting the back button while I shake my head. "Naw, Chele - that is not for public consumption." I distinctly recall being interviewed on a Los Angeles radio station and having to bite my tongue for fear of letting my true thoughts fly free (only to have them bite me in the ass later). Apparently not everyone does this?

God bless Gisele Bunchen-Brady. Bless her. She's rich, attractive, married to a future Hall-of-Famer and has a lifetime supply of Vicki's Secrets to chose from. Good for her.

After watching her hubs lose a close game (to the same team he lost to a few years back) on Sunday, she loudly proclaimed that her man can't do every damn thing. He can't win by himself. In fact she stated:
"My husband can not f***ing throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can't believe they dropped the ball so many times."
Oh. Keeping it classy.

Now on the one hand, I get it. I do. Having dated a player (or two) in my time, losses hurt and you're always looking for someone (not your boo) to blame. Secondly, that's her man. She's going to defend him and I can't be mad at that. Thirdly, even Wes Welker admitted that it wasn't his best game.

All that aside - really, girlfriend? When you kinda have ev-ery-thang and your man already has 3 rings, finger pointing at his teammates after a loss makes you look a little, er - sour grape-ish. Plus, it may not be a great idea to vent out in public. Where reporters and cameras may roam. Just saying.

However, I do not think she should be told to "continue to be cute and shut up." [Harsh side-eye to Brandon Jacobs] That's taking it too far. A wife is allowed to back her man even if her timing and delivery were a bit off.

Po' po' #AscotStruggle (Yes, this is how I refer to Roland Martin). During the SuperBowl after the Beckham undies ad {which was ni-ice!} aired to much fanfare, he tweeted:
If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl
Oh. Might one assume he wasn't wearing his ascot whilst tweeting this?

These words were taken as homophobic and all hell reigned down on him. GLAAD asked for him to be fired, people started taking sides. He defended his statement (poorly, very poorly) and now he has been suspended from CNN indefinitely. 

I didn't think his tweet was suspension worthy. In a perfect world, he would have been given an opportunity to apologize and then host a town hall airing before the next installment of Gay in America. That still could happen but for now he's not allowed in One CNN Center over a mindless tweet.

I didn't take his comments as homophobic or advocating the beatdown of homosexuals, I just thought he was trying to be funny and it didn't work out. Again... know your audience and understand how things will be perceived. #AscotStruggle should know that he's not going to get the Don Imus, Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh "sorry I was douchey" pass. Only white folks who generate millions are allowed to say whatever the heck they want and keep rolling. Black folks have to rain mea culpas down, go to rehab, tap dance, do the electric bugaloo and pretend to be off meds to get second chances. <~~ A teachable moment in Black History Month.  

Here's the thing. Both Gizzy & Rolo should have known better than to speak/tweet publicly thoughts that were ill-thought out and better kept private. But let's be clear - Gisele will be back in angel wings and stilettos by summer while Roland battles to stay relevant. This is the way of the world. Foot in mouth disease in these here 2010's can get you scorned and sent home in no time flat. Let this be a lesson to all who think Twitter is just a fun social media tool. When the world is watching, know what to say...

BougieLand, any thoughts on the Gisele/Roland of it all? Have you suffered from foot-in-mouth disease before? Is there a cure?! Do share your thoughts...

Monday, February 06, 2012

Reflections on a Monday Morning

The SuperBowl was kinda blah. The commercials were kinda meh. The best thing about the half-time show was the set and Cee-Lo's sequined Crypt Keeper outfit during Like a Prayer.

This weekend the weather went from 82 to 32 and landed everywhere in between. Boo. BougieMom and I spent the SuperBowl huddled up on the couch with Kleenex. This morning, I pop open my email to see some troll ran through BnB just to call me b*tches and hoes. *DELETE*

All that being said, you're on your own today. How was your weekend? What did you think of the big game (if you watched) and what's in store for you this week?

Friday, February 03, 2012

Think you're "grown"? 5 ways to prove it

Grown \ˈgrōn\- adj. Having achieved full growth. Possessing maturity. Produced or cultivated in a certain way.

We've talked a lot this week about being grown - as in putting away childish things and  being responsible for one's own actions and decisions. We've heard a lot of people claiming to be grown. And I think we can all agree it's not so much an age as a state of being. You don't get magically "grown" on your whateverth birthday. It's an evolution, a destination, a place to which (unfortunately) not everyone arrives. We all know one or two people "of a certain age" who act like they are one step out of kindergarten. That Peter Pan Syndrome is nothing to play with.

So you say you're grown... here are five ways to prove it:

1. Act like it - Children whine, point fingers, pout when they don't get their own way, find it hard to articulate their feelings, throw tantrums, cry with little provocation, require guidance, a steady stream of feedback, supervision and positive reinforcement. If more than two of these sound like your modus operandi - you needs to grow up.

2. Look like it - There comes an age whereupon  it's not cute to dress like an extra for a 90s New Jack video - male or female.  Sloppy, slouchy, slovenly - not three "S" words you want regularly attached to you. Sexy, suave/sophisticated or stylish sound a little closer to the mark. Certain occasions call for certain clothes. It's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Proceed accordingly. Your hair is an outward reflection of you - is that really what you're trying to convey? Ladies - lipstick should match your skin tone first, your outfit second. Eye shadow should be a whisper, not a shout. Eyeliner should be more nuance and less Nefertiti. If you're unclear, hie thee to a professional and catch a clue.

3. Speak like it - Grown ups should know their audience during conversational forays. There's a time and a place to share "urban colloquialisms" - if you are in doubt, fall back on the Queen's English. If you don't know what that is, you probably stumbled onto the wrong blog. Google and come back. We'll wait. Nothing says "infantile" like a person who can not articulate two or three intelligent thoughts together in a sentence. I'm pleading, have something to say about yourself. One or two sentences for all occasions. Trust me on this.

4. Live like it - Hmm. How to put this? You can only get away with a 10-year old lumpy mattress on the floor and a TV on a three legged plant stand for so long. At some point, get next to a Walmart or an Ikea to get some "I'm tryna be grown" furniture until you afford some Thomasville or Ethan Allen. Fellas, I cannot impress upon you the importance of decent linens and bath towels. Nothing says "My right hand is my Valentine" like tore up faded superhero sheets and towels of indistinguishable color. Target is your friend. The end cap near aisle 21 is there for you. You don't have to ascend to 500-thread count (right away) but if you are past 23, you need to be at 250 thread count - bare minimum. I mean it. Everybody - your refrigerator needs to hold more than last week's takeout pizza and a pitcher of Kool-aid. There is a rotisserie chicken, a bag of salad and a 90-second microwaveable package of Uncle Ben's rice waiting for you at your closest grocers. Make that happen.

5. Think like it - Looking back is only good if you reflect, dissect and move forward with some lessons learned. Having no discernible plan for the future is careless. To think like an adult you must actually have some sense of direction and a plan to head there. You must embrace a value system and live by it. Principles become less waffly and ideals are turned into actions. In short, you have a brain... use it. That's what grown ups do.

As Clay said yesterday - here endeth the lesson. BougieLand - thoughts, insights, opinons? Anything to add?

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Ask a Bougie Chick - But he said it was okay!

[Disclaimer - Le Dude is out of the country for the next six weeks. We have no such agreement or drama as the one described below nor do we plan to. Nobody need come at me sideways.]

We're just going to dive in today. Our letter comes from Janae. She's twenty-seven and she's been in a committed relationship with thirty year old Kendrick for three years. They live together in Kenner, Louisiana. Here we go:
Hey Chele and all the bougie dwellers:
The whole point of this letter is to ask if I'm right or wrong or does is just not make a difference? 
Kendrick and I have been together for three years, it's been a great relationship and I hope we get married someday. Right before Thanksgiving, Kendrick left to spend a year in Africa. I spent ten days with him and then came back for my job plus my family and friends are here. Before I got on the plane to come back, Kendrick and I had this long talk about our expectations for the upcoming year.  
He said he had no plans to be unfaithful but a year was a long time. He suggested that we make our relationship an open one until he returns. I went from zero to mad right then and there. He was putting me on a plane and basically saying whatever happened in Africa stayed in Africa? After everything we've been through? (Let's just say we've worked very hard to be together and stay together) 
But he explained that he was really saying this for me. I know, I know, Chele - I can feel your side-eye already but really, truly I believed that he was not looking for a Get Out Of Jail Free Card and thought a more open relationship would keep us from stressing out about what the other was doing. A year is a long time. So I agreed.  
Fast forward to a week ago, he and I are on Skype and he sees a friend of mine walking through the apartment in the background. He asked me who it was and I told him it was a friend of mine, Vaughn. He got really upset and asked who the hell Vaughn was and why was he in the apartment that late at night. After I asked Vaughn to leave, I tried to explain that Vaughn was just a friend. He asked me if I was sleeping with Vaughn and I answered truthfully it had only happened once. 
Kendrick asked me how I could do this to him and now he couldn't trust me and then he hung up. He won't take my calls or answer my emails. I'm confused - he's the one who said it was okay to be with other people? I didn't do anything wrong? What should I do now? - Janae
Well... I'm shaking my head reading this. First of all, Janae - thanks for reading BnB and writing in. Even though you've shared a lot of backstory, I find I'm still wondering - did Kendrick ask you to go with him? How did you define the scope of your relationship prior to him leaving? Have you all had any issues with infidelity in the past? 

Now that that is out the way - you cannot honestly tell me that you didn't know that when Kendrick said it was okay to sleep around he meant that is was okay for him and him alone? He was getting absolution in advance sweetie, that was never meant for you.

Even on the slimmest, tiniest, most minuscule off chance that he meant "sure, my woman of 3+ years, have a ball while I'm on another continent" - do you really think it was wise to have your cut buddy all up in screen range while Skypeing your boo-thang? Really? S.No.B. girlie. You never dangle your daisy in front of your rose, dig?

While talking about your daisy and your rose - I thought you were upset at the thought of either of you cheating? Though I'm not judging, it does not seem like it took you too long to find another plant for your secret garden. <~~Yes, that's the written equivalent of a non-judgy but quite perplexed side-eye.

Lastly, call him out. Kendrick bluffed and you called him on it, he has to acknowledge his part in this whole shebacle (that's shiggity + debacle). If he's not willing to stand behind what he said, you two don't have much of a relationship as it is.

These are just my two cents. Let me turn it over to BougieLand and see what they have for you. What say you all? Who is wrong? Kendrick? Janae? Both? Who's is "wronger" in this scenario and where (if anywhere) do the go from here? What are your thoughts on a "temporarily open relationship" - does that ever work? How long is too long to expect the other party to be faithful? Please respond...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Age ain't nuthin' but a number: How low will you go?

I'm over 40 so as much as I might eye up Cam Newton like he's freshly grilled lobster dipped in drawn butter laying on top of roasted garlic smashed potatoes next to a chili-rubbed filet mignon... that ship has sailed. (I also might be hungry but that's a different topic)

I gotta just say no to young men that I could have given birth to. That's my line in the sand. [Though um, Cam - you know - if you  are reading this, we can be friends. Special, special friends. Once or twice.]

As it is, Le Dude is over five years younger than me and every once and a while we bump into an issue where I have to remind him, "You needed to catch me in my late twenties, early thirties for that to work." He just rolls his eyes for the most part though I did catch him muttering, "Some days I feel older than you." under his breath. Side-eye to you, sir.

I don't really get the cradle-robbing feel with David. The age difference is less than a decade. He's his own man, mature in his own right, chockful of his own ideals and opinions and not in need of a second mother. 

But I ran into a guy from high school the other day. He graduated a year or so before me (read he's older) but appears to have kept himself looking right. When I saw him, he had a young girl on his arm that I assumed was his daughter. I thought this because she was rocking some clothes that shouted "this is my first new outfit that wasn't purchased in the juniors department" and she called him Daddy. So picture me schooling my face into blankness when he pulled her forward and introduced her as DeeDee, his bride to be. DeeDee might be able to drink legally in the state of Texas. May. Be. Either way, he's got a good 20+ years on her.

I was uber-conflicted. On the one hand, do you bruh. On the other hand - this was easier before I had nieces and nephews. The eldest BougieNephew is eighteen now and if he rolled up in here with a woman my age, I might be cutting some eyes. Then again, who am I to tell Stella how to get her groove back? (Though that didn't work out so well, did it?) Moving on...

On the flip, when I was still unattached and looking to get my mingle on, I kept getting approached by Cat Daddy and dem. (or is it Cap Daddy? Whichever, you know what I mean). This cat:

Or this cat:
I'm not ready. So ten years up or down is my cut off. Or maybe it's not as much the number as a state of mind? A way of being?  I just read a book where the hero is 50 and fights like hell not to fall in love with this 29 year old woman but they had this really cool vibe and they understood each other. And the whole book, I'm wondering - that's not so bad is it? I mean they're both adults. Different generations but if they like it...

My point and my question to you is this - how young is too young? Not just for you but for everybody. I'm not talking statutory here, people. Let's not break any laws. I'm just wondering if there's a number at which the union seems... unbalanced? Too much May to too much December? Or is it hard enough to find love without attaching an age limit of an expiration date to it? Do tell...


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