Monday, April 30, 2012

BMcK foolishness and the #StaySexyStruggle


[Disclaimer - I have long been a Brian McKnight fan. I will admit that I own the entire BMcK discography. I could write a series of books just from scenes in my life with a Brian soundtrack. Okay? Okay.]

So whilst I was away, the Secret Service got busted over Latin American heauxnanigans because they were too cheap to come up off a fiddy. Romney stopped hiding the fact that he's a bigoted elitist idiot. The NFL Draft was more "we'll just have to see how this all works out" than ever. Deion continued his public (and ill-advised) beef with the next soon-to-be-former Mrs. Sanders. And one of my Neo-Soul heroes, Brian McKnight, done lost his damn mind.

Out of all this foolishness, the only thing I truly care to delve into is B. McK's descent into "oh no he didnt"-ness. For those unaware, Mr. McKnight, noted R&B crooner (self-professed poonhound and "relationship expert") decided to drop a little knowledge in the form of a song. In the preview of an upcoming "adult mixtape" Brian shared with the world a tune he lovingly entitled, "If you're ready to learn" - just a little public service announcement to the ladies who need to be more in tune with how their vijayjays work. Yes ladies - Monsieur McKnight wants to "show you how your p***y works" and even finds a way to add catchy rhymes and dulcet beats. 

In the wake of a social media beatdown, Bri-Bri took down the video. But, I'm here to tell Mr. McKnight: I understand, bro. Setting aside the fact that you are not a gynecologist, a sex therapist or even still a sex symbol at this point... I still understand, sir. That struggle to stay relevant, cutting edge, and engaging? 

I get it, Mr. McKnight. I get it. Once upon a time, you were the shiznit (that word dates both of us, I know). Time was the mere mention of Brian McKnight and one of his songs had a direct gravitational pull on Vicki's drawers. They fell, they flew, they disappeared. Songs raced up the charts, women fell at his feet, people stopped comparing him to his older brothers from Take 6 and the world of Mr. McKnight was platinum plated.

Something happened, I don't know. I saw something where Brian was a judge for a Miss Apple Bottoms jeans contest and that's when I figured his career and his #CocoaSexy had taken a turn. Sometime after Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda and before Fall 2.0 (which though not his best was at least decent) - something went awry. Was it the divorce, the talk show, the corner turn from dude in hat to cap-daddy? I don't know.

Allow me to share something with BMcK and my readers that people find hard to accept. Time comes when you are not the hottest thing in the room. It's tough not to want to get that spotlight back. Believe me. For all of us women who strutted around daring anyone to hate on our fabulosity, the moment when you walk in a room and not every head turns (or not a single head turns) because someone cuter/younger/skinnier/more vibrant walked in behind you - it's a reality check. The ability to be okay when you don't get twenty head turns but get that one slow smile with the appreciative head nod - grownupness.

I was talking to a male friend of mine the other day who finally turned a corner. He was standing in the hottest club with the hottest girls, drinking the newest premium vodka and felt both detached and exhausted. I laughed because I've been there. I've been up in the club/at the party looking around wondering why I was there.

Not that we don't love a good party, not that it's not important to look your best - but please, please learn when you no longer have to be the life of that party. Please recognize that it's useless to be forty competing with a twenty year old. I was talking to my teenaged niece about this. We were discussing the lyrics of a Pussycat Dolls song (I know but sometimes you have to speak at their level) - "Number One chick when I step up on the scene." I related that the day would come when not only did she not care about being number one, she wouldn't care about the scene either.

There comes a time when the #StaySexyStruggle is real. We get real jobs, find ourselves in long relationships, have kids, gain or lose weight, tangle with family, juggle money problems, battle illness, stare down drama, bounce back from disappointment... it goes on and on. And with each thing, some of that #StaySexy slips away. Look, it's hard to step back into those stilettos when you've been rocking ballet flats. Fellas know that if they get used to sweatpants and t-shirt life, it's hard to put the suit and the dress shoes on. And really it's not even so much the exterior, it's the #StaySexy attitude - a mindset that you are the best that you can be and everybody better love it or leave it alone. Life sometimes erodes that. You have to hold on it. But you gotta learn to #StaySexy in your own lane. 

I don't care if you still have the body, a 50-year old woman should never be dressing like her 25-year old daughter on club night. There is an entire set of comedic routines based on that "old dude in the club" steez for a reason. Does anyone remember the discomfort when Justin Bieber and Usher did a song/dance routine at one of those reward shows about a year back? Watching the two of them - Usher looked liked a creepy older slower uncle. And Ush still has some sexy left in him, just not while standing next to a teenager. Like Madonna at the Superbowl? Madonna still has some hotness but the lazy gyrating next to people who weren't born when her first album dropped did not reflect well on her. Diddy Dirty Money? He looked dirty alright. Shall I go on?

Okay, on the flip - who watched last week's Grey's Anatomy? If you missed it, Chief Webber (James Pickens Jr) finally got his groove back (yes, I'm dating myself - stay with me) by having some super steamy grown folk time with Mama Avery (played by the still vibrant Debbie Allen). Now that's what I'm talking about. Grown folks don't talk about it, they be about it. 

Bri-Mac: What we do here, stays here man! (it does not go instructional on YouTube to piano accompaniment)  C'mon - that's like a grown and sexy anthem! But this right here? The crooning about ladyparts and how they work might be sexy if you were still 22 (I so very  much doubt it but let's move on) - but at 40+ it just comes across as a desperate attention-seeking stunt from that old guy at the club. Don't be that guy. (And for the record, yes - I called out Trey Songz when he thought he invented sex too) And in the meantime, #StaySexy, my friends.

Who understands what I'm talking about with this #StaySexyStruggle? Can I get a witness? What the hell was Brian thinking? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bougie Down... for more than a minute


Good folks, I'm out for minor surgery. I'll be back, better than ever before you can really miss me. Chat amongst yourselves. *waves*

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blast from the past


Hi there, good people - Happy Monday. Crazy week ahead alas no Fresh Bouge. So today, a few from the archives for you:
  1. I love Black Men but sometimes you Drive Me Crazy
  2. Five Women it's hard to be friends with (and I've really tried)
  3. Are you path-walking or place-holding? by JaymeC
Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We're Southern... not stupid


Over the course of the past few weeks, significant shade has been thrown at Ben Crump, the attorney for Trayvon Martin's family. Attorney Crump is not a natural orator and his Southern seeps into every single (and sometimes extra) syllable. Many have assumed that because his speech is so very "Urban Floridian" that this somehow reflects his legal prowess and/or brain power. It's both an insult and a mistake to assume this. 

I don't know how many of you heard Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Magic Johnson or Deion Sanders (countless others) back in the day before the professional speech coaches got hold of them. Not. Pretty. I mention this to say that Mr. Crump requires a speech coach or a smoother spokesperson and nothing more. I'll admit when I first heard Mr. Crump, I longed for the silver-tongued effervescence of Johnnie Cochran. And then I went and looked up brother Crump's bio.

He has quite the track record of impressive wins and tackling improbable causes and coming out on top. He has worked hand in hand with Rev Al, Rev Jesse and other activists to shine light on racial injustice. He is considered a bright and talented legal mind with a shimmering future ahead. And he wears a navy suit rather well. (Sorry, just a sidebar. Moving on...)

As a child of the South, I grew up amongst a variety of accents and dialects. My mother speaks a very crisp combination of polished Baltimoran and syrupy Georgian. My father spoke British West Indian. I went to private school for the first 10 years of education so my Texan only comes out with I'm tired, tipsy or around a whole lot of twanging. 

I distinctly remember in my teens being on a group trip to New York where the other teens asked us, "So do you have horses and stuff? You sound like you live on a ranch." And they were stunned when we wiped the floor with them at the academic decathlon. 

Don't let the accent fool you. 

I will admit that I cringe (we were having this discussion on Twitter the other day) when I hear folks adding an R (or an R-uh) in where none sat previously. What is an uRsher board? Or when someone adds an extra "ed" to the end of a conjugated verb "I loveded you, girl!" Hearing the English language mangled unapologetically  sets my teeth on edge but I'd never mistake it for lack of intelligence. Lack of polish? Yes. Naivete that "others" won't hear that mangled speech and be dismissive? Yes. 

So I do see both sides. As a Southerner, I get how a pronounced accent tends to send a certain message. As a Southerner who was drilled on "proper" speech patterns and enunciation, it's a sore point when others in the public eye don't do the same. But I can't shade a man for his diction when his dedication and delivery of service are so on point.

Just had to share. Thoughts, comments, insights?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hashtag Wednesday - #WordsForthePresident


BougieSis attended an event for the President yesterday. [Yes, I'm hatin!] Food and beverage was served, John Legend performed and the Prez wowed the crowd with his usual flawless delivery. She did not get a chance to speak with him personally but I wondered... what to say if you have one moment to speak with President Obama? 

Hence today's hashtag: #WordsforthePresident.

Mine? "Feel free to kick Romney's ass" - no? 
or "Can you Seal Team Six George Zimmerman?"
or "Good looking out on the equal pay for women thing."
or "Please visit Black 'n Bougie dot com"
Clearly, I have no clue what I would say once I got over the urge to squeal. "You totally rock!"

What say you? If you had that moment, what would your #WordsforthePresident be?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crime has no color (nor does idiocy)


Let's first present this shiggty (guised as lessons he tells his children) from John Derbyshire of the National Review without preface:
(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.

(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.

(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.

(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.

(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.

(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.

(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.

(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”
I have questions -
1. They still MAKE people like this?
2. What kind of event is he talking about where black folks just flood in all of sudden? 
3. I notice he didn't reference his source for those IQ stats? The KKK newsletter perhaps? Aryan Nation Weekly? 
4. So the fact that the burglar I caught in my house (in a predominantly non-black neighborhood) was white means... what?
5. The fact that the one time someone tried to snatch my purse, it was a white person in a sea of white people means... what?
6. The only time I feared being gunned down, the gun was being held by someone not of African descent means... what?
7. By the way, if these were rules 10-11, I'm scared to know what 1-9 might have been.

Let's piggyback the aforementioned idocy with the email I received from a Guy calling himself White Night:
We don't know each other, let's you and me tell the truth. All of your relationship issues stem from the fact that you need a strong white man who isn't intimidated by your afrrican power to tame you. You only love Obama because he's half white. And if Trayvon Martin was a white kid you wouldn't care. Why don't you try being black, bougie and believable?
Are you still blinking with disbelief at your screen as I did for several minutes after reading this? This guy gave me "permission" to publish his email address but I say why? To give him the attention he so obviously seeks? No. Thank. You. I want to respond but I'm too busy cackling to say anything besides - huh? What ya'll know about my African Power? Does that come bottled or in a cream based formula? Here are my answers:

1. I've never had a white guy offer to whip it out and tame me. I'll take #IgnantforAnyRace for $1000, Alex. I'm confused, is dude trying to chastise me or date me? 
2. Obama shade is so passe unless you're running for national office. In which case, carry on.
3. If Trayvon Martin was white, he'd still be alive today.
4. I can't fit black 'n bougie 'n believable on the banner. 

BougieLand, do discuss. Thoughts, comments, insights? Gotta response for White Night?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Is it too much to ask for some Jesus on Easter?


I was at church yesterday. I've been attending this church on and off for about nine years. It's a large non-denominational multicultural congregation. There were three campuses, five church services and if you still couldn't make it, the Sunday services streamed live on the internet. I went to new member class, joined what they called "life groups" and started doing some mentoring of the youth. My devotion to this church has waxed and waned as the head pastor's teeth got more white, hair got more shellacked and suits got more Italian. But Sunday was really the last straw for me.

Of course it was packed up, I expected that on Easter. And of course, there was a lot of "extracurricular" activity with singing and praise dancing and a children's program. Special offering, regular offering, outreach offering. Feeling impatient at one point, I glanced down at my watch. Over 45 minutes had passed and not a single word about Jesus rising? On Easter Sunday? If this was a news cast, isn't that the lead story?

It's enough that society has turned Easter into a bunny-hopping, chocolate eating, egg-hunting shoportunity?? I didn't expect that commercialization in my church.

It's not that I wanted to hear the same old, same old "He is Risen, get right or you won't be" sermon that many a pastor trots out for the occasion. But can we get some reference to King Jesus in the first hour of service? I can tell you where are the outreach programs are going to be this week and what we need to raise another $10 million for but you can't tell me anything about Jesus? When he finally got to preaching, it came across as very sterilized, commercial and stale. I went home and fired up the podcast of my former pastor in the Bay Area to get some kind of spiritual substance in.

I think sometimes when a church becomes very successful the focus becomes less about the kingdom of heaven and more about the kingdom of the church. Le Sigh. And now I have to find a new church home. As anyone who has ever gone hunting for one will attest, it's more than a notion. I think I'd like to go back to midsize for a little while. Not so small that they won't start service until you get there. But not so large that you can go three Sundays in a row and never see the same people twice. 

BougieLand, if you are a churchgoer - how did you find your church home? Is it too much to ask for a little Jesus on Easter Sunday? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Ask a Bougie Chick - Why is Easter such a big deal?


Happy Good Friday all and hope you enjoy your Easter weekend. I've been hanging on to this one and now here we are. We have a gentleman just turned 30 who is in a relationship with a woman a few years older. They've been seeing each over for a little less than a year with only a few hiccups along the way. Take a look..

OneChele,
I like the blog, you have an interesting perspective. I turned 30 two weeks ago, I live outside of Phoenix in a decent condo with my black lab. I work a very boring but bill paying 9 - 5 and I've been seeing a great woman who is four years older than me for almost a year.

We're getting along well except when it comes to church and holidays. She is very close to her family and very much of a church goer. My family is scattered around and I could take or leave church. I believe in God but I'm not a fan of organized worship. For most of the holiday weekends or celebrations, she goes to her parents' house and there's usually a cookout and a gathering of family and friends. Most Sundays she attends church with her family and then they have a meal.

I usually join in once every six weeks or so but every weekend is too much for me. The big disagreement came when I mentioned that it would be nice to go away for Easter weekend. She looked at me like I personally put Jesus on the cross. Easter is for church and family, she said. If I didn't get that, maybe I didn't understand her at all. 

Am I being unreasonable to want to take my girlfriend away for a holiday weekend? What's the big deal about Easter anyway? And do I come off like a jerk if I say I don't want to spend every Sunday with her family? Look forward to hearing your thoughts and the BnB readers. 
T in Phoenix

Hi T-
I'll keep this one short and sweet. First, you are right - it's not at all fair for her to expect you to spend every Sunday with her fam. Second, church is important to her so this is something that if you stay together, you will have to work out. Third, you are not being unreasonable to want to take your girlfriend away for a holiday weekend BUT... Fourth (and final), Easter is pretty much the cornerstone upon which Christianity stands. Even half-assed believers carry themselves to church or some flavor of celebration on Easter Sunday. Knowing your girlfriend is as faith-based as she is, you have to respect that. Overall, I think a conversation about expectations and what's next is in your immediate future. Good luck!

BougieLand? Whatcha got for T today? Family, Easter, Church-going - what to do?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Ask a Bougie Chick: Will my past come back to haunt me?


Today's letter comes from a young lady with an unorthodox past who wonders how it will affect her future. Without further ado...

Hello Michele,

I'm a big fan of your blog and have been reading for almost two years. I have a question I was hoping you and everyone else could weigh-in on. I'm a 25 year old woman, college educated, well traveled, well adjusted,employed and all that jazz. I used to be a sex worker(escort mainly, though I dabbled in stripping and domme-ing). It was something that I did for about nine months while in undergrad. Do I regret it? Sometimes. Mainly no because financially it was beneficial but it was emotionally taxing at times. I haven't had much dating experience but have had a relationship since I got out of that biz. My ex knew about it pretty early in and was cool with it, though he's European so I don't know if that factored into it. Lately I've been wondering if my past will dramatically affect my future romantic relationships. I was very safe as a sex worker so no problems health wise. Should I tell potential significant others about my past? If so, when? Also, do you think that my past will be a deal breaker with most men? Any words you have would be appreciated. 

Thanks, 

"Scarlet" in New York

Scarlet,
I know you've written in before about this and I hesitated to post/answer because it's not the bougiest of topics. However if I step back from the sexual aspect of it and think of this as "there's something in my past that not everyone will be on board with" then I can answer the same way. You should tell when the relationship starts getting serious. Far better to hear it from you then someone else and let's be clear, as my Aunt Violet used to say: the truth will out. It always rears it's head in one way or the other.

As for whether most men will have a problem with it? I'll have to put it to the brethren. I would have some reflection and thinking to do if I found out my boyfriend has a similar past. Let's put this to BougieLand, do you think Scarlet should tell her s/o's? Fellas, would have issues dating a woman with her past? Ladies, thought? Do share. But keep it bougie...

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Ask a Bougie Chick - Is he worth the wait?


Today a young lady wonders if the guy she met is for real and worth her continued investment. Take a look and weigh in.

Hi Chele, 

How are you? I'm having a guy issue and wanted to ask you about it. Love your blog by the way, I am a faithful reader. 

About 2 months ago, I met a guy "D" at a party I had at my apartment. A mutual friend brought him and I guess he was into me, because he asked my friend for my number. We started texting the next day. D was in Atlanta for the weekend looking for an apartment because he planned to move from Houston 2 weeks after I met him. Two weeks turned into 1 month because his aunt died right before he was set to leave. Now one month has turned into "indefinitely" because his mother has ended up in the hospital and he is going to stay in Houston to care for her and help cover some of the bills until she gets better. I am definitely understanding and compassionate, knowing that if my mom were in that situation, she would be my top priority. From the day after I met him until about 3 days ago, D and I have talked on the phone or exchanged text messages almost daily. I think he's a great person and I was excited for him to move to my city so we could continue getting to know each other and maybe take it further. 

But now I'm starting to feel antsy. He hasn't even been back to Atlanta for a visit, and doesn't know when he will be able to take that trip. He has no idea when he'll finally be able to move to Atlanta. I don't really want to carry on this phone-based interaction much longer when there's no prospect or promise of us moving forward. 

I also have that cynical voice in the back of my head that wonders if D is 100% real with me. I only met him about 2 months ago, and all I've had to go on is his word. The guy who introduced us vouches for D, but I personally haven't spent any time with him. It's not like we hung out alot in Atlanta before he went back to Houston--we met, and days later he was in Texas again. I've never gotten the feeling that he's lying to me, but I feel like I need to be wise and not naive. I just watched a show on ID about a man who made up elaborate stories about his parents and children dying and they were all lies! I know that's extreme, but still. 

He seems to be a great guy and we have great conversations. We laugh, we "get" each other, and we really click. I really want to see where this thing can go, but that can't happen until he's finally able to make the move to Atlanta (at least I don't feel like it can). A couple days ago I basically told him that I really don't think I can keep up all this phone talking and texting, and I really want him to come to Atlanta at least for a visit. He said he will when we can, but can't make any promises right now. 

Am I being unreasonable? Too impatient? Should I give him more time given his tough family circumstances? Should we stop talking everyday and just let some time pass? Should I stop caring because I don't really know know him? 

Also, not sure if you think age matters, but we're pretty young here. I'm 23 and he's 24. He was coming to Atlanta for an internship and to finish school. 
-Brianna in the A

Hey Bri! Thanks for being a faithful reader. We LOVE that. :) I say, at this point, no harm done. If you aren't seeing anyone else and all he's using up is your cell phone minutes and you're enjoying yourself, roll with it. The truth (good bad or ugly) will come to light eventually and then really all you've done is spend some time having great conversation with a guy you like. If you meet someone else or get information that puts him in a negative light, you can walk away. That's just my two cents.

BougieLand, what say you?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Ask a Bougie Chick - She doesn't date dark chocolate


I'm so mad about this letter, I could throw something. Not my laptop because it's new. *flings ballpoint pen across the room and kicks over trashcan* I simply refuse to believe that in 2012 we are still coming at each other with the paper bag test. *sighs and picks up trashcan* Read this letter and weep with me. 
Hi Chele,
Serial lurker here. I'm a 22 y/o guy, college student in DC. I found your blog by Googling "What do Bougie People do?" Your blog came up five times on the first page. Hat tip for cornering the bougie market :). Anyway, I had the oddest thing happen to me over spring break and I wanted to share and get your thoughts on it. 
I've been seeing a girl (Cheyanne) since just before Christmas. She is very attractive, funny, intelligent and focused. When we started dating she kept saying over and over again how she didn't usually date guys like me. I thought she meant tall, handsome, smart, a catch in every way. (I'm joking but I'm not modest haha) Things were going well. She's from Charlotte and I'm from outside of Charleston so we drove home for spring break. I stopped in to meet her family and was supposed to stay for a few days.  
When we pulled up to her house she said not to worry if her parents didn't like me at first. I really couldn't think why except for the fact that I was dating their baby girl. When they opened the door and saw me, their faces fell and then I knew. I was dressed well, hair cut, and hadn't even said anything. They were all light-skinned, I'm very chocolately.  
I introduced myself and reached out to shake her father's hand and he hesitated and then shook it. Her mom took her into the other room and I could hear them talking. Her mother distinctly said, "He's too dark for you. You know how things are." Cheyanne said, "I know but I really like him." Her father waved me in the house and walked away. I turned around, set her bags inside the door and left. She called three days later and apologized. We got back to campus a week ago and I haven't decided if I'm going to see her. I want to see her but I'm not sure I should. 
It never occurred to me that colorism is still an issue to this level. Racism yes, colorism though? It's one thing not to want your daughter to date outside the race but outside the skintone too? She had mentioned an Indian heritage and being able to trace her family tree back to colonial days which I thought was cool but not if it means her whole fam is about not diluting the bloodlines with any darkies. WTH, Chele? Have you ever seen something like this before? I really like this girl but I don't think I'm ready to be her exotic experiment. 
-XinDC
Hey X. Sad to say I have. I'm on the caramel latte side of the brown skin scale.  I distinctly recall one of the mothers in Jack & Jill lamenting that my mother and brother were darker skinned and that I was the only one really "suitable". Suffice it to say, there were no more play dates at their house. I once dated a very light-skinned dude whose sister held a grocery bag to my face and told me to stay out of the sun before I met their mother. Can you say cut pile? On the flip, I've had someone implore me to get some sun because I was looking passe blanc. :-/

I've heard ignant women say they don't trust light-skinned black men because they think they are too pretty. I've heard men say they would only date dark-skinned girls because they are more authentically black. Suffice it to say they are still plenty of uber-ratchet thoughts, words and deeds about skin color out there.

I've dated everything from vanilla to double dutch espresso - wait, that made me sound a little sleazy plus coffee obsessed. What I mean to say is what's under the skin is mo' betta than the color of it. Sounds like she needs more work on her inner beauty.

Only you can decide if you like the girl enough to put up with whatever her color-struck issues are. I'm so confused - her parents don't hang out with any people darker than they are? Or they are okay to hang out with but not to date? For cause why? Maybe she's been extremely sheltered and doesn't know any better? (Hard to accept since she's in Charlotte and not a one stoplight town) The fact that her father hesitated to shake your hand suggests a pathology that runs deeper than the waters you might want to tread in. Plus it took her three days to call you and apologize? Doesn't sit well with me and I don't even know you. 

BougieLand, what say you? If you were X, what what you do? Thoughts, insights, comments? 

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ask a Bougie Chick: Which guy is the one for me?


I'm way behind on answering these Ask a Bougie Chick questions so I thought we'd play some catch up this week. First up comes from a 29-year old woman who is struggling with a dilemma most ladies would be glad to have. She's dating two guys she likes and now she needs to decide between the two of them.

Hi Ms. Michele,
Wondering if you can just give me an opinion on something? I imagine myself to be a little bit like you- kinda bougie but not obnoxious with it. Educated, professional and know what I want in life. I'm very fortunate to have met two men that I like very much. They've both known about each other from the start but now after about five or six months of seeing them both, they have indicated and I agree that in order to move forward with one or the other, I have to chose.

They are both great guys but very different. One, I'll call him Allen, is kind of buttoned up. He went to college, came from a solid family background. He works in corporate America and is very traditional in his thinking about his career, gender roles, everything. I'm making him sound boring but he's not. The other guy, I'll call him Barry, is more of a self-made guy. His aunt raised him, he didn't go to college but he owns a company that is very successful. He is not predictable and a lot less structured in his life plans and expectations.

I have great chemistry with both. I enjoy spending time with both. I think they both speak to different sides of me. I don't know how to choose, any suggestions?
-Lana in Minneapolis

Hey Lana! All due respect but you do know. Somewhere inside you know which one you see yourself with for the long haul. But okay, let's assume you don't and you are truly torn. This is a classic dilemma that I (someone who creates male prototypes for entertainment) call Navy Polo vs. Black T-shirt. Not to be confused with Preston (White Button Down) or Pookie (White Tee) those are the extremes on the spectrum.

Navy Polo guy is corporate, drives a sensible car (Honda/Acura/BMW), and wants a house in the suburbs. He rocks a navy polo shirt with khakis and loafers well. Black T-shirt is entrepreneurial, has a sports car and/or a motorcycle and lives in a condo or loft in the city. He rocks a tight black tee, jeans and aviator sunglasses well. There's nothing wrong with either of these guys. One is a little predictable, one is a little more edgy. So what do you really want?

I tend to prefer a dude who can rock both. I like the boughetto blend. Which one of these guys can roll with all of you not just the parts you are currently choosing to share? Let us know how it turns out.


Bouginistas - what say you to Lana? Are we getting the whole story here? Ever had this kind of "who should I choose" dilemma? Gents, are you more Allen or Brian? Ladies, which would you prefer? Thoughts, comments, insights.

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