Friday, August 31, 2012

Six things I learned from #RNC2012

I watched bits and pieces of the Republican National Convention and I kept waiting. I kept waiting for that light bulb moment when I would finally understand why Mitt Romney was truly a viable candidate for the presidency. Would it shock you to know that the a-ha! moment never came?

But here's what I did learn from the Republicans this week:

1. Truth doesn't matter. Really, all of you fact checking watch dogs out there can just open up margarita huts in the Cayman Islands (next to Romney's bank). You are no longer needed. Apparently, things don't have to be true for you to say them. It's kind of like at a jury trial. Object if you like but as long as the jurors have already heard it...

2. Issues don't matter. One mo' gin, can someone give me the Republican rundown on ANY of the major issues impacting the day-to-day and long-term running of this country? Anyone? Anyone? 

3. Buzzwords = good, Details = bad. Romney detailed outlined PowerPointed his five step "turn the country around" plan but did not deign to back any of it up with details. How are you stimulating trade and ending dependency on foreign oil? Exactly? If he knew, he would tell us right? Or has he adopted an "when you pick me, I'll tell you" strategy?

4. Diversity? We don't need no stinking diversity. Alright now - trotting out Condi, some dude I didn't know, a biracial chick from Utah and having Bebe (serious side-eye to Mr. Winans) sing your closing song does not diversity make. Attendees counted what they described as a "handful" of "diverse" conventioneers. Where was the semblance of inclusion? In Tampa, you couldn't have bussed some folks in and given them a sammich to stand near a camera and pretend they cared? C'mon somebody.

5. Celebrity wins. When the biggest buzzword to come out of your convention is #Eastwooding... you're doing it wrong. I know they hate that Schwarzenegger messed all over Maria, he was their go to celeb for years. When an 82 year old celeb gets more buzz than your nominee? Something ain't right. Say what you want about the dems but we like our Presidents to be on some rock star status. Obeezy, Diamond Bill, LBJ, JFK? (Not Carter so much but darn he's a smart, personable guy)

6. Folks can't separate disagreement from discrimination  One thing the Republicans have got to learn is how to disagree with a policy or an ideal without it sounding like racist hate-speak. It's one thing to be disappointed in Obama because he didn't live up to your expectations but ReThugs had their folks all up in the camera calling him socialist, communist, Muslim, evil spawn of Satan... basically everything but a child of God. That kind of hatemongering always backfires. It takes some time but it always loses in the end. Let's make that happen in November, shall we?

And one more for a bonus-

7. Apparently the USA has left the building. So the country is gone? Who has it? Where did it go? Whose was it to begin with? If "they" didn't want "us" here, why did they bring us? Shouldn't Native Americans be waving this "take back" banner? So many questions, so few answers...

So in essence, I learned nothing about the Republican Party that I didn't already suspect. As soon as the balloon dropped, I ran to and gave up some more dollars. I cannot with the Romney of it all. I. CAN. NOT. 

BougieLand, a few questions - Did anything at the RNC surprise you? Who's looking forward to the DNC next week? What do you expect to see/hear? And it's about that time - what are you doing for Labor Day weekend?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

That pesky Love Triangle - when to tell it?

In today's episode of Ask a Bougie Chick, we have a young lady in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has some questions about basic rules of engagement. Here we go:
Hey Chele,
Love the blog, love the books! I've gotten myself into something that I'm not sure how to handle. I'm 23 and haven't dated a lot so forgive me if I sound like I don't know what I'm doing. (I don't!) I met a guy at work and we starting going out about two months ago. 
Three weeks ago I met a guy at a cookout by the lake and when he asked me out, I said yes. I've been seeing both of them pretty regularly though I try not to double book on the same night. That seems tacky and tiring. I'm not sleeping with either of them at this point and no one has talked exclusivity. Do I have to tell Guy A about Guy B? 
Are there basic rules about who to tell and when to tell? And when and if I have to choose? It's okay to date more than person at a time, right? I worry about being fair to everybody.
Dee in St. Paul
Hi Dee,
Bless your heart, if you are worrying over this - you've got some serious hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing in your future. You said it yourself - you're not sleeping with either of them and no one is saying "let's be exclusive" so you're fine. Myself, I tend to believe in full disclosure early and often so as to avoid drama but no, there aren't any rules per se.

Someone should write a real dating handbook "What to do when..." and not make it about some shiggity. But anyway, let's get back to you. 

Right now, you're just dating. You can date who you'd like as you like whenever you like. When strong feelings and/or cocoa come into play, it's time to have a discussion. We of the bougie set frown upon cocoa being sloshed into multiple cups around town, if you're sleeping with two people and Dude A is sleeping with three and Dude B is sleeping with four... ugh. Hate to feel like you're climbing into bed with half of Minnesota. 

I personally suck at dating more than one person at a time. I juggle enough other stuff in my life without throwing men into the equation. I've tried it, didn't like it but that's just me. If you and both guys are happy with the current situation, I say enjoy it while it lasts.

I'll put it to BougieLand - good people, does Dee have to tell Dude A about Dude B? When and why, in your opinion? For those of you that successfully "play the field" any tips for Dee? Thoughts, comments, insights? Do share...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dear Mrs. Romney, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine...

I could really only stomach ReThug Nation Convention for moments at a time. I just think when your entire campaign is about how much you hate the other guy, you've already lost credibility. As we head into Day 2 of the RNC, only Ann Romney seems to remember that folks are struggling for life and livelihood along the Gulf Coast. The apathetic callous disregard for regular folks continues.

And speaking of Ann... I've heard equal parts praise and condemnation of her heartfelt speechifying. From what I saw/heard/read/observed, she seems nice enough although clearly clueless and insulated from the reality in which most of us live. This is no political animal. She's no Hillary and she's no Michelle. If the best reason you can give me for voting for your husband is that he brought you home safe from the sock hop (where was it being held, Riker's Island?!) then I got nothing for you.

There was an opportunity here. I (and many others) have been saying for weeks that we just don't understand what the Republican message is. Ann had an opportunity to Sesame Street it out for us. Instead she wanted to let us know that her man is a swell husband and darn good provider. She loves her some Mitt.

Awesome, what's in that for me?

Ann's battle with MS would have been a great platform to explain what kind of healthcare plan Mitt foresees for the future of America. What is he going to do for people like me who came out of pocket to the tune of $22,000 in one year for healthcare? What about those who had to do without? What about job creation? Economic stimulus? Border security? Education? Senior care? Restructuring the NCAA BCS playoff system? I mean, throw us a bone Ann. Give me something so that I can find some commonality betwixt Team Romney and 90% of the nation? 

As she stood there in her silk-suited, blond-haired, Botoxed glory; I shook my head. Bless her entitled heart. She doesn't get it. She shared some story about her and Mitt eating tuna fish in a basement apartment but um ur - you both came from families of means. If you are walking a tightrope that is only one foot off the ground with a safety net, restraints and a paramedic on standby - that's not struggle. Look, I don't need an "up from the streetz" story to get behind you, but I need you to say something that resonates. Hell, I didn't come from struggle. I'm not looking for an up-by-the-bootstraps story, I'm looking to see what you did with the boot once it was on your foot.

If her job was to keep Mitt from looking like Richie Rich sitting on stacks while the rest of us are trying to making a dollar out of fifteen cents - she failed miserably. If her job was to tell us how awesome being in love with a rich successful man who loves you back is, she wins. 

But is that all you got? Alright then. I believe Mitt would make a great President... of the neighborhood association of whatever gated community they live in. And that's where he and his lovely wife Ann should stay.

Thoughts, comments, insights...
p.s. Did anyone else see Christie do a complete end around Mitt and post his bid for 2016? Whew!
p.p.s. How awesome is the DNC going to be when Michelle, Cory, Joe, Diamond Bill and Obeezy get to wig-snatchin'?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You might be a dog if...

Hello all, it's that time again. We're going to play catch up on the Ask a Bougie Chick letters clogging up sitting in my inbox. Today's letter comes from a 27 y.o. gent in Vallejo, CA (that's the Bay Area). It seems he's been accused of acute hound-doggery and he doesn't think it's fair or true. Here's his story:
Ms. Michele,
Can you settle an argument for me? I'm a single 27 year old black male in the Yay. Took me a while but I just graduated college and manage to land a decent job and for the first time, I'm living on my own no roomate, no mama's basement, all me. One of my boys told me that his girl doesn't like it when we hang out because she thinks I'm a dog and a bad influence on him. 
First, what's up with that? He's a grown azz man. Next, I'm really not a dog. Yes, I primarily pursue women for the purpose of the booty not for the promosie of a long term relationship. I'm not ready to settle down yet. But it's not like I hit and quit or anything. I always buy drinks and dinner first, sometimes breakfast afterwards. And even though I don't see the same woman more than once or twice, I'm upfront and make sure they keep their expectations realistic. It's not like I sleep with more than 4 or 5 women a month. 
See - What had happened was... We (me, my boy and his girl) were out at the mall last week and a woman came up to me and spoke for a while I couldn't remember her name. We hooked up earlier in the summer. I didn't introduce her because I didn't want to make her feel bad that I didn't remember her name. That's how this all started with his girl. 
I don't juggle women, I don't mistreat them, I don't lie to them. How am I a bad influence or a dog? Can you get BnB to weigh in?
Curtis in Vallejo
Beau? Is that you? Didn't I just write a book about you? Ha...
Hi Curtis. Well, hmm. I'll put it to a vote but er, um. Let me just say this:
You might be a dog if...
1. You can't remember the names of the women you've slept with... this season!
2. You  only see women for the purposes of nekkid aerobic activity
3. You rotate women like they are hot, swappable peripherals
4. You think buying a meal makes your activities less of a hit 'n quit
5. You think she didn't feel bad that you didn't introduce her to your friends for whatever reason
6. You think sleeping with 4 or 5 different women a month doesn't put you near "man-ho" status

Curtis, the Yay is big but it's small, son. Eventually everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who slept with you. Oh and by the way, your boy's girl has a point. You are who you hang out with. (JUST finished telling a friend of mine this last week). Your close friends, those you chose to spend time with are a reflection of you. She does not want her man getting any lifestyle ideas from you, Curt.

I don't know, I'll have to ask the fellas - is Curtis wildin' or is this how ya'll get down in the streetz when you are young, single and newly out on your own? Different girl every weekend, every month, all year? I'm exhausted thinking about it. Ladies? Dog or no? Who has a good definition for dog these days? Do weigh in...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Open Mic Day on BnB

Happy Friday! I'm working on next book plus day job plus I have book signings/fair/conferences to attend for the next four weekends. We're in hustle mode round here. For my Dallas folks, if you get a second tomorrow come visit me (and 50 other authors) at the Tulisoma Book Fair at the African American Art Museum in Fair Park. 

And now to you... What's on your mind today? The football season is about to kick off - what's your team looking like? Kids gone back to school yet? Are you starting a new semester? Summer's winding down, any plans for the fall? For the weekend? Hear any good music lately? Any final thoughts as we call this week a wrap?

Feel free to share. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Understand the end game before you take the field

I don't understand shortsightedness. Sure hindsight is 20/20 but um... that's hindsight. I'm a pinkie toe in the shallow end, ease my way into it making sure nothing nasty is in the water kind of girl. That's just me. Try as I might, I cannot understand people who dive into situations without forethought or an exit strategy. There are few things I do in life without taking at least a moment to review the path to get there and what happens next. Even as simple as breakfast in the morning. On my way to the fridge, I'm already contemplating the quickest way to get to one egg on top a whole grain piece of bread with sharp cheddar, bacon and a tomato slice. Hmm, I'm out of eggs - what's the backup plan? The end game is for me to get fed quick, fast with as much delicious and nutritious as I can pull together.

Michele, why are we talking about breakfast? Okay - its a metaphor people. In reviewing the Shawn-debacle from the other night, I can't help but wonder - what was the end game? We should use this as a teachable moment. Too many people throw the football down the field without checking for the pass rush or seeing if anyone's open. Not a sports person? Okay. Too many people throw the car in drive and take off speeding without mapping a route, checking for detours or seeing if there's gas in the tank or air in the tires. You with me?

Since I took you guys through the Monday night of it all, I might as well share what happened next so you are fully invested in my preachifying today.

Monday night, after Shawn left, I stewed. And by stewed I mean I stayed up writing the blog post and wondering who I'd pissed off in another life (or this one) to have this level of karmic bounceback in my world. Then I finished writing, said to hell with it and went to sleep. But I woke up at six in the morning and called David. I asked him if he told Shawn it was okay to come over and talk to me. "What are you talking about, Michele?" Oh. That answered that question. I decided to leave well enough alone, "Nothing, David. Have a good day."

Now the rest of the day's events, I had to piece together from various sources. Here's what went down:

7:05am: Byran's wife Jazz reads the blog. She calls Wesley's wife. Wes' wife hands him the printout at the breakfast table. Wes loses his mind.

8 something: Wes has called Bryan and they wonder if they should leave the whole thing alone. Wes checks the blog and Twitter and sees 50 comments/tweets before 8:15am and decides they're are going to have to get into it. 

8:15ish - Bryan calls Trey. Trey calls David. David is not happy. No one can find Shawn and Jay (the closest one to Shawn) is not answering his phone.

By 9:00am Bryan and David have posted responses on the blog and then logged off to find Shawn.

At 10:00am Jay reads the blog and joins the ranks of the unhappy. Jay finds Shawn and asks him to meet him over at David's for lunch. Shawn agrees. (He hasn't read the blog yet)

Round noonish all the Ga Boys are at David's house asking Shawn what he was thinking. It was just supposed to be David, Shawn and Jay but somehow everyone showed up. Shawn read the blog post. He denied that it went down that way. He hinted that I invited him over and then changed my mind. Apparently he used words that weren't appreciated, stepped into someone's personal space and put a finger in someone's face. Punches were thrown. 

Then folks started bringing up historical shenanigans that went down as far back as the 90s. Then everyone got irritated. More punches were thrown. Then folks remembered they were grown and had to go back to work. 

One person got stitches. One person ripped a brand new shirt. Four people got cussed out. One person slept on the couch. Four people called me to apologize (none were named Shawn). 

After hearing about all of this, I got to thinking - so what was gained? Really? What was in Shawn's mind as he climbed in his car and drove to my house? What was the game plan? Best case scenario, I took complete leave of my senses and let him stay, we fell in love and lived happily ever after. (No that was never going to happen) But then what? Did he think that was going to be okay with his best friends? Did he really think I was going for it? And if it was just about some HnQ - was it worth it? Really?

This is why I ask about quarterbacks throwing the ball down field all willy-nilly ignoring the 300  lb linebacker coming for that ass. When you are lying on the field waiting for the stretcher to wheel you off, you wish you'd called a different play. In this here post game wrap up, I have to wonder - doesn't Shawn wish he called a different play?

BougieLand, what say you? Do people leap before they look too often? Are you the sot of person who thinks about the consequences prior to taking action? What would make someone say "to hell with it, I'm doing it anyway?" Please discuss...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dear White Male Repubs, Say What Now?! Yours Truly, Magical Sperm-Repelling Uterus Carriers

I know, I know - it's just not fair, Joe Biden can get up and talk about folks being put "back in chains" and we shrug. "Oh that crazy-assed Joe, he didn't mean anything by it." William Jefferson Clinton can sling his presidential penis every which way but loose and we just wag a finger. "That Clinton is one scandalous sumbitch. But so damn likable!" Obama can soft pedal minority initiatives that we clamor for him to front burner and we sigh once or twice. "At least the brother is trying."

But White Male Republicans (WMRs) gets NO love from the community. Not the Black community and not the majority of women of voting age. Why? Because we don't trust them. We don't. We've had a front row seat to their long-standing effort to dial our (women and minorities) progress back to the Dark Ages and we wants none of it. Bush 1, Bush 2, Reagan - in my lifetime these have not been kindler, gentler Republicans. And lately they appear to care less and less about me and people that look like me. 

Even so, I find myself a little nervous about the upcoming election. You know after G-Dub straight jacked the country from Gore and posted up for eight years, I have to hold my breath at election time. Apparently anyone with a decent lawyer, a governor in his pocket and a wad of cash can flip an entire state's worth of electoral votes and declare themselves the winner of a Presidential race. So no matter how the popular vote goes (and let's face it, Mitt and RyRy aren't so very popular right now); this whole game could be changed up.

But God Bless the GOP. They keep finding ways to alienate entire swaths of folks in one fell swoop. It was bad enough that Rep. Todd Akin opened his mouth to declare than in cases of "legitimate rape" women's bodies had a mechanism to prevent pregnancy. [More on that in a second] But his own party can't get him and others that agree with him to STFU and GTFOH. What's that about? Dems that step knee deep in shiznit round election time (see Andrew Weiner for reference) get the hook off the national stage with much immediacy. The WMRs are arrogant with theirs. So what if he pissed of an entire sex, he gonna run dammit!

Where did these guys take SexEd? What magically sperm-repelling uteri are these and where oh where can I trade mine in for one? Believe me, if women had a way to choose which sperm made babies and which got the eject button? Woo, boy! Whole different ballgame. Prepping for the cocoa stir would take on new levels of anxiety. Let's see, do I reject or accept the sperm this evening? "Sweetie, before we do this? Imma need to see your test results, last three tax returns and the genetic code of your family for the last three generations." 

I really tried to figure out what exactly a "legitimate" rape is and I can not twist my mind around it. Perhaps I misunderstand the definition of the word rape. What the hell would legitimize it? And while Mittens and Ryan attempt to distance themselves from Akin's sinking ship, we have to look at a bill that Ryan sponsored seeking to redefine rape and only allowing abortions in cases of "forcible" rape. Isn't all rape forcible? Does a woman seriously need to prove intent in this day and age? When you are putting words in front of "rape" they should be "don't" or "convicted of" or "heinous act of" or "statutory" - don't try and get all fancy with rape. It's brutal, it's ugly, it's simple - don't jazz it up. No means no. Rape is rape. Leave it alone.

The bigger question here is who exactly are these conservative WMRs appealing to? Okay you've got some rich asses, some right wingers, some Tea Partiers, some rednecks and some old-school Klan but aren't you pissing off their wives and girlfriends right bout now? Has the Republican Party decided to run on a ticket of "Well We Ain't Bout Shit But At Least We're Not That Black Muslim Obama"? Is that what it's come down to?

I also wonder - who are the handlers on the Republican side of the aisle? Don't they have access to the same talent as the Dems? Is no one controlling the national message? Education, defense, healthcare, jobs, national security - are they for it, against it or for it if it's done their way (which is how exactly)? Color me confused. The Republican message is convoluted and messy right now. I'm missing the main idea, and I've actually been trying to listen. I couldn't tell you even with a cheat sheet what they stand for. Tax dodges? Private islands? P90X? Tanning Spray? Besides saying no to any and everything Obama sets in front of them, I don't know what they're about. And that scares me tremendously.

Therefore I'd like to respectfully request that they speak plain. I need them to spell it out. Oh, don't get it twisted... I'm not voting for WMRs on the state or federal level. Not sure about locally, I have to check out the tickets. But I feel like I should have a better idea of what you're working with, what you're striving for, what you're trying to do besides protect your money, control my magic uterus and send me back to Africa. By the way, I'm of Caribbean descent so if ish go bad in November, may I request extradition to Barbados or Trinidad? I'm just saying...

BougieLand, help me out. What the hell are the Republicans talking about? What's the master plan? What drugs is Akin taking? What were your thoughts about the redefining of rape and how it was handled in the media? Is Paul Ryan a good addition to the Romney candidacy? Are we all so fatigued by this campaign that we wish it was November 7th already? Thoughts, comments, questions...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The (Sometimes) Inappropriate Behavior of (Some) Men

Now ya'll know I love the fellas. Love, love, love them. Even when their Y chromosome cause their brains to stutter and fizzle on and off like a drowned firecracker on the 5th of July, I still have love for the fellas. You can always count on a man to bring in a perspective that perhaps women have not thought of in that exact same way. Good, bad or ugly. But you can also always count on men to get together and cook something up that women would never in a million years do. Bless their hearts.

Let me start with backstory for those who are regulars. I was dating a guy named David. He has about 5 or 6 close friends (all of them from UGa - Shawn, Trey, Bryan, Wes and Jay) that he still hangs out with. We dated for about 18 months, recently split for a variety of reasons and now you're all caught up. I've written this post four times now. The first time, it sounded like a scene from one of my books. The second time, it was just angry. The third was too much commentary. This one is what it was:

I was at the new Bouge Mahal late last night chilling. When you go back to living alone after years of roommateiness, you appreciate the beauty of chill time. I can sit on the sofa in shorts that are three sizes too big, a sports bra of indeterminate color and a ripped Cowboys t-shirt older than any of us care to think about. I can wash my hair and let it air dry because I don't have to be anywhere special the next day. Who cared if my hair was a wavy poufy mane of fail? I can sit there with only one dim lamp on sipping one of my homemade wine cocktails and doing absolutely nothing else. It was a heavenly moment.

The heavenly moment was rudely interrupted by frantic knocking at the front door. This was startling since as far as I knew, only about four people in the world have my new address and only one of them (BougieYoungerBro) would show up at this time of night. And he would call/text first. With a sigh, I got up and looked through the peephole. It was Shawn. 

Really Shawn? Because again, no one has my address and if they do - it's not an apartment you stumble across and lastly, who comes by without calling at 11:00pm on a Monday night? Assuming some sort of tragedy has befallen one of the Georgia Boyz crew, I opened the door. Shawn, who is never without words, stood there silently looking at me.

"What is it, Shawn? Is everyone okay?"

"Oh, yeah. Yeah. Everyone's real good. You look well."

No. I did not. But whatever. "How'd you get my address?"

"I have an ex who works at AT&T, she pulled up your U-verse bill." Security FAIL, AT&T. Security FAIL!!

I stepped to the side and invited him in. He took one cautious step inside the door, "Are you alone?"

"You would know if you'd called first. I'm alone. What is going on?"

He walked around (cased the joint) before coming back into the living room. "I like it."

"Awesome. I live for your approval. You have five minutes to explain this visit and then you can bounce." Understand my confusion: Shawn and I are friends but not drop-by-each-other's-house-after-dark-without-calling-first friends. 

He sat down on the couch next to me. "Listen, don't get mad..."

Don't people know that when they start a conversation like that, it automatically makes you mad? I heaved a sigh, "Oooo-kay."

"David and I talked."

"Something you do regularly."

"Woman, can a brother get his words together?"

Biting my tongue, I motioned for him to carry on.

"David and I talked and you should be with somebody."

I blinked slowly. "I see." I didn't see. Not at all.

"You should be with someone good. You know a real dude. Not some random that you have to start over from scratch and figure everything out with. Someone who will be good to you. Let's you be you but brings himself to the table too. Know what I'm saying?"

I nodded with mounting irritation, "You and David for some reason were talking about my next man? You think I need to be with someone real. Someone you two endorse? Approve of? That can't be what you're saying."

"David wants the best for you and if it can't be him than it should be someone of that caliber."

Uh. Huh. "And you just happen to know someone perfect and oh, by the way, David is cool with me seeing them? Who might this be?"

He shrugged and smiled, "Uh. Me."

I kid you not, I fell off the sofa. "You?! Are you kidding me? Mr. 'She Ain't Giving Up the Booty Fast Enough'? Mr. 'She Should Recognize She's Lucky to Be With Me'? Mr. 'My Way or The Highway'? What?!! Of the ten things I would change about David, you have 9 of those traits ratcheted up to the nth power." I stood up and went ballistic, "And what the hell am I? A plate of cookies to be passed around? Are you all smoking crack at poker night now? Who came up with this idea and are you seriously here saying this right now? To me?"

"So... you're just mad right now but you'll think about it or the whole concept of you and me is a no go?"

"Wait a minute? David signed off on this? Really?"

"Okay, here's what happened..."

"Please explain."

"We were talking about the not dating each other's exes rule and Jay said it was a shame because between us there were some quality exes on the shelf."

"ON THE SHELF?!" Yes, I shrieked.

"Uh - he didn't mean it like that. Anyway. So then we started discussing whose exes the others of us wouldn't mind dating and your name came up. David said if he had to see you with someone else, it might as well be one of us."

Wow. Magnanimous. Did he think that was a compliment? Cuz it wasn't - isn't. I was actually insulted as all hell that they sat around discussing my dateability like it was up for auction. Well hell, maybe it was. "Did ya'll draw straws, roll dice, Rock/Paper/Scissors to see who got next? Were bids involved? How close did I come to have Trey at the door instead of you?"

Finally, Shawn started to realize that his visit was not well-received and he was in danger of getting a satin-slippered foot raised near his hindparts. "I swear it wasn't like that. We spoke about you with the highest respect. And you know I have no problems finding women of my own to date but I think you and I could be interesting together. I brought up the topic and launched the conversation because this is my interest. Mine and I didn't want to be sneaky or creepy about it." He took two steps forward and I took three back. "Will you just think about it? It makes perfect sense. We have great chemistry. We have similar backgrounds, goals, future plans. We like a lot of the same things. We're both easy on the eyes. I already know you're an outstanding girlfriend. Who knows what this could be? At the very least, we'll have some fun together."

Sweet Jesus deliver me from male thinking. Dude has no problem getting women so I should be honored he was over here round midnight hollering? And that my EX was okay with it? And while I may be an outstanding girlfriend, Shawn has never shown himself to be that stellar a boyfriend. At the very least, we'd have SOME FUN together?! Anyway why was I even running through the pro/cons in my mind. I like Shawn but not like that. And I don't keep fishing in the same small pond after throwing one back. Nope. I answered, "Yeah, no. Thanks for coming by. Tell everyone I said hey."

Shawn nodded, "Think on it. Seriously. I'll call you tomorrow. You owe it to yourself and to me to give it some consideration. And when you blog about it, be sure to mention that everyone has your best interests at heart." I may have slammed the door before his left foot was completely outside. 

BougieLand - am I crazy to be super ticked off? I can't be the only one to think this is messy, messy, messy and did I say messy? Fellas, would you EVER do this? Ladies, what would you say to Shawn and to David? Shawn and David - Really DUDES? Thoughts, comments, explanations?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bougie Movie Review - Sparkle

I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.
Simply put, I found the remake of the 1976 film Sparkle to be good but not great nor an any way outstanding. Let me be honest and admit that I found the original to be just okay as well so my expectations were not soaring. For those unaware, Sparkle is about three sisters living with their strict mother in 1968 Detroit. Sparkle is the writer, Sister (the eldest) is the bombshell and Dee is along for the ride while waiting for her acceptance to medical school to kick in. For those of you who were strongly attached to the plot in the original, some surprises await you in the rebooted version.

Sparkle at its core is a good musical with entertainment value. Here's what truly resonated-

1. Whitney. She held her own and made a part that wasn't fully sketched out into a full-bodied character. Unfortunately, we were only given peeks at her backstory so we never completely understood her attitude. There was a spooky moment when as Emma, the mother of the three singing sisters, Whitney glared them all down and uttered, "Was my life not cautionary tale enough for you?" The entire audience held our collective breath for a minute. It was just a little too real. And watching Ms. Houston sing "His Eye is On The Sparrow" was tough. Say what you will about her voice in the last decade but she still knew how to deliver a song. 

2. The dudes - Derek Luke, Mike Epps, and Omari Hardwick play second fiddle to the sisters and it shows. We don't know a lot about them or what makes them tick so we just kind of take them at face value and keep it pushing.

3. Jordin Sparks - I have to admit not to paying a lot of attention to Ms. Sparks before this. I knew she was an American Idol winner and I liked her No Air song with the Bow-Tied Boy Wonder but I kind of wrote her off as a pop sort-of star who was kind of cute. Well, she showed me something. She's far more talented as a singer than I realized and there's something about her that's just likable.

4. Carmen Ejogo - In my opinion, this actress who played Sister stole the film. She's a gorgeous vibrating force on film and any time she entered a scene, your eyes stayed on her. Besides being physically blessed, I thought she added some depth to what could've been a shallow character.

Long story short, I didn't find it to be an instant classic. It was just nice. The music was well done (particularly the use of the great Nina Simone's Feeling Good) and the plot was as expected. But for a movie set in 1968 Detroit, I didn't get the feeling (with the exception of the makeup and clothing) that we were really immersed in that time and place. Especially with as much turmoil as 1968 brought to bear? I expected to feel more of that setting. At any rate, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

Thoughts, comments, questions? No spoilers in the comments, please!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Question - Since when is winning not enough?

You all know sometimes I can be a little slow on the uptake so I want to be sure I'm clear on a few things...

1) Gabby Douglas won gold and is the first African American gymnast to win in the all-around competition. She kicked ass. Girlie is medaled up. But what did the media choose to focus on? A made up controversy about her hair. First, I hotly dispute that five tart sisters on a website make up a consensus of "complaints from the African-American community." I also disavow the notion that more than .02% gave a damn. All that hopping, skipping, twirling and high-kicking she was doing? Shoooot. I'da been out there in a do rag and a wave cap. Okay maybe not. I'm just saying... Worse, still - they (the media) will not let this story die. It's like okay yes, she won the medals and she's awesome but look- she just hired a hair stylist! Stop. Please. For the trillionth time... WE ARE NOT OUR HAIR. She's a winner - isn't that all that matters?

2) The scorch marks Usain Bolt left on the track are still smoking. Dude talked shit, backed it up, then talked some more shit. No less than 12 reports felt the need to keynote Usain's arrogance. [I have to pause and see if anyone else heard John McEnroe interviewing Bolt and explaining that Bob Dylan is the Bob Marley of American music? Sir, several seats. Quickly] To Bolt's hyperbolic self-aggrandizement I say, so the freak what? It's not like he's sitting at home eating jerk chicken wraps calling himself the champion. He's standing at the top of the podium, medals gleaming saying look at me. Plus, isn't that what the whole hip-hop generation is about? Braggadacio with a booming soundtrack? Don't let Yeezy write dude a theme song. It's a wrap. He's a winner, isn't that all that matters?

And last but not least...

3) How in the heck of all that is holy can the Romney team accuse Obama of not knowing how to run the country? *pauses in confusion* What do we think he's been doing these past few years? Now if you don't like the way he's running it, that's one thing but to say he doesn't have the experience to do so? That's like being in mid-flight and questioning if the pilot knows how to fly. He got you this far, didn't he? The whole thing reminds me of an episode of The West Wing when the Martin Sheen's character (President Bartlet) was running for re-election. The signs on one campaign stop said Bartlet for President. His senior staffer took them all down and edited them to say Bartlet IS THE President. Mittens, Obama won... you're not there yet. [stopping to send up prayer he never is] Stick to talking about what you know - tax dodges, entitlement and rolling back civil liberties. Stay in your lane, sir. Obama's a winner - isn't that all that matters?

BougieLand, since when is winning not enough anymore? Do you have to win and be perfect in every way? Please discuss...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Question - Do guys hate it when girls outshine them?

So I'm minding my own at Chez Starbucks last week when John and Annette come in. These two happy-asses The lovely couple said to hell with all the wedding drama, broke out to the Dominican Republic and got married on the beach without telling anybody. They're giving a reception/party over Labor Day weekend. None of the parents are speaking to them and they gives not one damn. Congrats! It's our second BnB wedding. Seriously, I'm bout to start charging up in here. Unless one of you finds me a husband. A good one. Mayhaps one who has some change jingling and is built like anyone on the Jamaican Track Team? I'm just saying. Anyone? Le Sigh, never mind.

But onto the point...

On their way back from the beach, Annette and John sat in the airport lounge with another newlywed couple. They were talking about the Olympics and how the American women really shone. Annette went on to say that she really felt that the Ladies Team USA outshone the fellas. The other newlywed dude got salty and said she was taking it too far. (Anyone who watched track & field has to agree with Annette)

John being John - he Googled the stats. For the first time ever there were more female Olympians than men for Team USA. Of the overall medal count, the women brought home 29 gold and the men brought home 17. Total medal count for Team USA? Ladies - 58, Gents - 45. Maybe I'm unclear on the definition of outshining? Cuz um... ur... uh? Scoreboard.

Anywho... when Other New Bride agreed with Annette, Other New Groom stomped off and apparently stayed tart for the flight home and on up and through customs and baggage claim. Other New Bride lamented on the phone to her mother, "He's so sensitive about the slightest criticism!" (Even when it's not aimed at him but at his gender? Really dude?) Other New Bride's Mom said, "You have to let men think they are superior in every way, even when you know they're not. That's the only way for marriage to work."

** flag on the play **

BougieLand, am I the only one (besides Annette and John) to call bullshiggity? Seriously, shouldn't a grown assed man be able to take a little criticism about himself and/or his gender without feeling like it's an attack? Why can't we just admit the American Women kicked ass in London and clearly it's time to hit a reset on some of those men's teams? Is that an attack on all Y-chromosomes everywhere? Fellas - are you really that fragile? Please discuss...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Question - How far is it from hot mess to messy?

There was this one particular "bless her heart" friend of mine in college. She dated a dude who was a total misogynistic playa-playa asshole. (Can you tell how much I liked him?) When we asked her what she saw in him, her message to us was, "But he's not that way with me."

**epic pause**

Fast forward about one month. She sensed that sumthin' sumthin' just wasn't right. We attended a party at his place. She pulled me toward his room all frantic. Going into the restroom, dude had a bra hanging on back of  the door. It wasn't her size. There was makeup and Noxcema in the medicine cabinet. Not hers. Not hers. I looked at her. "Yes he's cheating, yes he wants you to know and no he doesn't care. Like we've been saying - asshole."

She blinked at me tearfully, "I thought I brought out the good in him." 

Umm. Hmm. Now I'm not saying one person can't bring out the best traits in someone. I'm saying people are who they are unless something happens to change them. Anal people show anal traits in their lives. Cheerful people tend to lead cheerful lives. I'm a creative person, my life has creative outlets. My home has color, I add commentary to everything and believe a little something fancy never hurts. See what I'm saying?

Let me segue to the drama between Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson and his soon-to-be-ex wife (of 42 days) Evelyn whoever. I don't know very much about either one of them except that they are media hoes. Seriously, neither of them met a camera that they didn't preen for. He was on his way to a Hall of Fame career when he fell off and I guess she's famous for doing rich dudes. (Am I oversimplifying - feel free to school me if I'm missing something) I've never seen any/either of their reality shows. Apparently they got married, fought about a condom receipt and he allegedly head-butted her and now he lost his his job, they've lost their VH1 show and are getting a divorce. Ummkay then. 

What I do know from the bits and pieces I've picked up from Twitter and the like - they both appear to be messy as all get out. I don't know if that's for the sake of the cameras or how they really get down. But all the personal biz in the Twittersphere? No bueno.

So I'm asking you, BougieLand - don't messy people lead messy lives and why are we surprised when the mess spills over? I'm not judging, I'm just asking. Of course super meticulous people can end up in messy situations - but is it the norm? How far is the distance from who you are to how you live? 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Bougie Down

Okay... it all caught up with me. The packing, the moving, the 100 degrees of it all. The book promoting, the new book writing, the unpacking. I'm toast folks. Burned toast at that. So I'm going to take the next few days to recoup: relax, relate, release and whatnot. Be back next week with my usual brand of sophisticated snark. Bougie bylines. Well-crafted witticisms? At any rate, I'll be back.


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