Monday, February 25, 2013

Taking MY name in vain...

Over the course of the past few days, it has come to my attention that some fellas are out here in these innanets using me as an entree to meet and/or engage with women. Normally, I would say... okay, I see you player. 

But in these four cases, dudes have turned ratchet and used my name to do so. That's So Not Bougie. At all. And actually, even if they hadn't turned ratchet - what's with using my name to get your game on? No sir.

For the record, let me state that unless I reach out to you directly and say "Yes, this is a good person - date him with my blessing" I haven't endorsed him. The people that I have endorsed, I generally take the time to introduce them via phone, chat or in person so that a friendly hand off can take place before I step out of the middle. If this has not happened, whoever tells you that I'm cool with them is full of rancid shiggity.

While it's true that I try to be fabulous (and modest, ha!) and try to surround myself with the same kind of people, not everybody gets that inner circle stamp of approval.

Apparently it's hot in the streetz to tell chicks that I've met you, signed off on you and given my blessing. One, I'm not the Pope - I don't give valediction. Two, do your homework - ratchet always leaves a trail. Three, email me and ask - I'll shoot straight.

As for the brethren who tried it? I wouldn't try it again. 
Try me and see...
BougieLand - What part of the game?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

No thank you, I don't want "next"

I'm not sure why, but I was watching Chad Johnson's (also known as Ochocinco) Twitter the other day and I was amazed but not amused at the sheer volume of women throwing their virtual drawers at him. I mean these chicks had zero chill. Zee-Roh. Even after 10 other chicks propositioned dude, 10 more stepped up to bat. And that was just in the few minutes I watched in shock and awe. 

What is up with that level of parchedassness? Please refresh your memory of the thirst scale below:

These chicks were beyond the Parched cup. I'm not knocking Chad. (Okay, maybe I am a little bit) But this dude has how many baby mommas and kids and former fiances? Isn't he on parole for allegedly whipping that one chick's ass? Wasn't he up on some TV show bemoaning his unemployed state? I get that he's a (former?) athlete and many find him attractive but really? What's the golden prize end game there? You can be next? Or maybe you'll be the one who finally claims and tames him? Okaayyy.... and then what happens? Iyanla can't fix ev'body.

Is there something sexy about taming and claiming the untameable bad boy? How do you look at that and say... Oooo -that's a catch? That's a mountain I've got to climb? Or am I missing something? Groupie mentality perhaps?

Like that rapper Shawty Whozywhatsit who has seventy-eleven kids? I simply do not understand how you meet a man who already has a basketball team's worth of children and decide that you want to not only date him but bear the backup benchwarmers as well? I mean, I'll give you two. But who is signing up to be baby momma numbers 3 through however many? 

Who wants that? What's that life like?

And it's not just thirsty chicks killing the game. I'm sorry, I know many of you are fans of that Kardash chick. I do not understand guys following her on Twitter telling Ye - "Yo, I got next." Really. This happened. I can't even joke about it. Okay, yes I can - who does this? 

It's not that I expect people to come to relationships brand new and re-virginized. It's not that I'm judging people for having an "active" "colorful" "checkered" "event-filled" past. In no way slut-shaming (I hate that word, by the way), I'm just wondering about the motivation to be next in line for someone who comes with a steamer trunk full of baggage. Relationships are hard enough to keep afloat when you're travelling light.

So I'm asking - how much of a past is too much of a past to get over? Is there some sort of challenge to being one of the chosen? Can someone just explain it to me so it makes sense? Let's talk about it...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Good Man or Sponsor?

After yesterday's chat about Terry, I had not one but five guys ask a variation of the same question: If you are taking a woman on trips, helping with her bills and buying her things, does that make you a good man or a sponsor?

My first thought was - where are this men? Do you hold meetings regularly? Is there a mailing list? Oh. Sorry... let's continue.

My answer to each of them is the same - if you stopped doing all of that stuff tomorrow would she still be with you? IF the answer is yes, then she considers you a good man. IF the answer is no, she considers you a sponsor. This is why you will notice folks who stick with the girl they were with when they were on the struggle coming up. If she loves you when you're down - it's all good when you're up.

Reverse this for a moment. IF a woman is dropping full-stun p-power on you and you are giving her all these things in apparent appreciation is she a good woman with stellar bed game or something else? Depends on what you continue to do when the legs close. Are you the dude who stays all night for marathon cocoa but can't spend two minutes for quiet conversation over cereal? Or are you the one who comes over with soup and Kleenex when you find out she's sick?

I think we've given up trying to define what a "good man" or "good woman" is since it is so subjective. Once you get beyond the basics of pleasant personality and striving to live by basic Golden Ruleness - that "good" description means different things to different people.

But I think we can agree that the difference between a romantic relationship and a business relationship is the deliberate inclusion of power, goods, services and quid-pro-quo-ness to the exclusion of the romance. Yes, I'm aware quid-pro-quo-ness is not a word but you get my point.

I hate to draw a direct parallel between money and sex. But let's face it, these are commodities. A man who closes his wallet will soon see who is truly there for him. A woman who closes her legs will find out the same. Am I wrong? BougieLand, it's on you - how can a (wo)man tell if (s)he's being appreciated or used? Do share...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why aren't you maximizing your P-power?

I met Jayme and a friend of hers that we'll call Terry for cocktails one day last week. Jayme has shared many a story about Terry over the years. Terry has been married three times and in between her marriages, she has what she refers to as "sponsors" - yes, you read that right. Terry, a drop dead gorgeous 52 year old woman who looks not a day over thirty refers to her male companions as sponsors.


When we met, she laughed and said she was so pleased to meet the other side of the coin. I asked her what she meant. She said that she was Jayme's over-the-top outrageous not-to-be-redeemed friend and I was the saintly one. Hearing this caused me to choke on my Godiva martini. Never in any of my years of living had I been referred to as saintly. And deservedly not.

I started to protest and she shut me down. She didn't say it to be mean, she explained. It was just that compared to the life she had chosen and the way she conducted herself, I was a bit of a goody two shoes.

I didn't like that any better. My problem, she went on to explain, was that I did not believe in maximizing my p**** power. I had to set the martini glass down. 

"I didn't realize I had a problem."

"Do you work to pay your own bills?"

"Well yes."

"You're doing it wrong. A woman who looks like you or even a facsimile of you should never pay her own bills. That is what men are for."

Mouth dropped open. "Oh."

"You only sleep with men that you're in love with or think you might be in love with."

I scanned my mental "did and done" list to see if she was correct but she interrupted my thinking.

"It's great to be in love, it really is. But it's better to love what a man can do for you. All this independent woman stuff is great but it's easier to be independent with someone else's money in the bank. As a woman, all you need is for a man to be so into how you make him feel that he'll give you the world to keep feeling like that. Once he gives you the world, it's yours. That's p**** power."

I had to play that back in my mind. I squinted. How did that work?

Jayme shook her head, "I've known Terry for forty years and no matter how many times I explain that her theory is lacking in moral fiber and she's setting the sisterhood back, she soldiers on."

Terry rolled  her eyes. "Did you two just get back from the Maldives? Are you two headed to Monaco next week? Am I the only one who hasn't checked her voicemail or email since we've been here? And before you say it, yes - I have a man waiting for me to get home tonight. I'm telling you sister, you're doing it wrong."

"May I be frank?" I asked.

"Sure girl. Whatever."

"Sounds a little bit like high-class hoedom."

"Only if you choose to see it that way. I'm in a relationship with someone I care about who cares for me. Part of him caring for me is providing for me. What's wrong with that? In fact, it's not that different from what you do. You date men of means, you expect certain things from them. You just legitimize yours by putting a love stamp on it. "

I opened my mouth and shut it. Jayme patted my hand. "She has the uncanny ability to make you doubt yourself and wonder if she hasn't stumbled onto something. To which I say, it takes a certain kind of person to do what she does. It's not for everybody."

After that we chatted about nonsense for a while and then went our separate ways. I thought about it. I really did. Could I become the sort of person who bartered relationships for goods, services, bank accounts and vacations? Could I be the person who handed someone my bills and expected them to get paid, just cause? Am I really doing it wrong?

Don't get me wrong, I do not hate the idea of someone else cutting checks for all of this bougie wonderland I've got going over here. But the minute they expect or ask me to do something I don't care to in exchange for that? It's a wrap. I believe for now, I'll keep my p-power on mid-range rather than full stun... O__o

BougieLand, what say you? Fellas, could/would/have you entered into a strictly pay for play relationship? Ladies, could/should/would you do it? And feel okay it? Why or why not?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lessons Learned from #Scandal - Love hurts but...

I've already admitted my obsession with the TV show, Scandal. So why not turn that into something useful? Like a new BnB series - Lessons Learned from Scandal. Today, let's talk about that quote Olivia dropped on Edison last week (seen above). The beauty of this is that even if you don't watch the show, you can read that quote and cringe right along with the rest of us.

The quote sent me into a momentary tailspin of self-reflection - was this my problem? Do I only love love if it's dramatical, mystical and magical and fraught with tension? For a moment, I thought yes and then slowly I swung back the other way... no. In fact, hell no. (remember Dude formerly Known as New and how he was ousted from the island due to what? DRAMA!)

The truth of the matter is - yes, love does hurt. It can grab you in the gut and twist you into pretzel shapes, chew you up and spit you out. This is true. But it should not torture you to death's door, have you peering over the edge into Lucifer's living room before snatching you back with a maniacal giggle. That's doing too much.

For a love to be extraordinary, it doesn't have to be a roller coaster ride, or at least not a death-defying one for criminy's sake. Olivia can have that constant love struggle. I do not want. My lesson learned from that quote - love means different things to different people. For Olivia, she appears to like her relationships on raging inferno status with no extinguisher in sight.

Now, had she said that she didn't want an easy-like-Sunday-Morning, dull-as-a-dishwater, comfortable-as-an-old shoe kind of love - that I understand. And no, fellas - please don't make this another argument for the "women only want thugs" or "nice guys finish last" memes. Women want chemistry. Whether it's wearing a leather jacket or a sweater vest. <~~ don't come at me for sweater vest bias. 

Not saying I don't want the relationship to be easy, but I prefer the take-my-breath-away, sparks-fly-when-our-eyes-meet, you-are-totally-feeling-me kind of love... that eventually feels like Sunday morning. I like my coffee strong, my food spicy and a little extra je-ne-sais-quoi in my love life. Not that steal-a-country, snuff-out-a-Supreme-Court-justice level of drama... I'm not here for that. Just want my breath to quicken and my eyes to light up when That Guy enters the room. If I'm rolling my eyes thinking, "Here he come again." It's not going to work out. 

So I wonder BougieLand - Are we drama/adrenaline junkies in our love lives? Do we only feel like it's love if it's some all-consuming orchestra music swelling to a crescendo maelstrom of emotion? Does love have to be extraordinary for us to accept it? Can you have "true" love without the chemistry? Can a love that's just easy work just as well? Do discuss...

Relationships Experts - The Good, the Bad & The Ugly

Join me, Carolyn Edgar, Slim Jackson, and Darryl Frierson tonight on BlogTalkRadio while we get into the ever growing hustle phenomenon known as relationship experts. The books they sell, the theories they espouse and whether any of it is worth a damn. We're on at 8:00pm central/9:00pm eastern.

Join us here on the live site in a chat room or dial in to 760-683-2631. Should be a fun conversation for all. See you there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

You might be in a relationship if...

Yesterday someone joked in the comments section that we should define what a relationship is. I found it amusing until I received emails with people sharing their stories and then asking "is this a relationship?" My first reaction is to say that if you have to ask... you probably are not. My second reaction is to say - I'm not sure I can define your relationship for you. But here's five quick ways to tell if what you've got is a romantic relationship... off the top of my mind:

1) Are there strong feelings beyond casual fondness that have been declared, reciprocated and acted on by both parties? 

2) Do you want to spend quality time with this person and they with you? Do you both make an effort to? This means doing things that you both enjoy and the experience is enhanced because you are together. 

3) Do you communicate with each other on more than a physical level, regularly?

4) Are you intimate? No, not the cocoa. Have you BOTH shared things (more than a toothbrush) with each other? Personal, middle of the night, 2 shots of tequila confessional type things. Do you often know what they are going to say or think before it's said or happened? 

5) Do you both talk about the future? As in the one you have together, beyond next week or next month.

If you answered yes to three or more of these, you just might be in a relationship. On the flip side, in response to the emails... No to the following:

1) He sees me everyday! 
I see my UPS guy everyday, we are not in love.

2) We stir the cocoa all the time. 
If all your activities can be replaced by battery operated appliances, it's not a relationship. That's a smash habit.

3) But I met his mother! 
Congrats... where, when and in what context? How did he introduce you? I need more intel.

4) I leave things at his house, and he lets me! 
Um, hmm. I left my purple laptop mouse in the waiting room of a hospital in Florida. What does that mean? Nothing.

5) She gets jealous. 
I get jealous of Beyonce's hair. I don't want to date her stylist.

Honorable mention to #6 - "She brings my favorite coffee every morning and  I buy her afternoon snack. We talk and laugh together at work all the time." Okay, that's cute. Ya'll are work flirts. Any after hours beverage sipping? If that's all ya got, nah son. Don't go ring shopping quite yet.

But really, you know what the easiest way to find out if you are in a relationship is? Ask. Listen to the answer. Maybe it's a friendship. Maybe there's a kinship. A mentorship. Something more, something less. Assume nothing. Ask and act accordingly. There it is.

BougieLand, any to add to the yes or no list? Thoughts. comments, insights? Please help these folks.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Relationship Realities Week on BnB and 5 on 5

It's about that time, good people. For those of you new to BnB, we used to do a "special" week abut four times a year called Relationship Week... and then whole blog turned into relationship life. And now I basically blog about whatever pops into my mind. But Valentine's Day is this week so let's just take it there. We'll start with some getting to know you questions today. We'll have some interactive stuff later in the week. And back from a long dormant hiatus, The BnB Radio Network will re-launch on Wednesday at 8:00pm central/ 9:00pm eastern. +Carolyn Edgar and I will be joining forces with +Slim Jackson and +Darryl Frierson to discuss where the heck all these s-called relationship "experts" came from and what to do now that they're here.

Today let's do a Five on Five. Five questions, five answers and then it's your turn to answer. I was sent a list of 50 questions (excessive) about relationships and asked to answer and return. That seemed like a lot of sharing. But here are five that I found interesting:
1) Is the last person you texted someone you're in a relationship with?
My younger brother and I have a life-long relationship, so I'll say yes. 
2) Do you remember the first person you kissed, how old were you and do you know where they are now?
Yes I do. I was 14. And no I don't know where he is. No clue. 
3) Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?
Hmmm. Depends on what they did to blow the first one. 
4) Who was the last person you danced with and are you in love with them?
I'm not naming names. In love with them? The votes are still out on that one. 
5) Could you be in a relationship with someone who doesn't make you laugh?
Absolutely not. Humorless conversation is so not the hotness.
It's your turn, answer one, answer all or merely discuss...

Thursday, February 07, 2013

It's not about the bacon, baby.

Not sure where this originated but it cracked me up.
disclaimer - this is not fiction. this mess actually happened. read on:

I was sitting in an airport coffee lounge not too long ago (don't ask me to be specific, I've been in 7 airports in the last 2 months). Next to me sat a youngish (mid-20s) looking couple with breakfast. Tight as the tables were, there's very little privacy. Consequently, when the couple looking like a Banana Republic ad come to life began to quarrel, I missed not nary a minute of it.
"Jonathon, you really should have gotten the granola and yogurt." The woman was eating a fruit cup and as she spoke, she waved her spoon around for emphasis.
"But I didn't want the granola and yogurt."
"It's better for you."
He paused and sent her a significant look. "So now you know what's better for me than I do? Really Susan?"
I immediately thought, "Girl, it's a trap question! Do. Not. Engage!" But I said nothing and Susan walked into the trap.
"Well in this case it is obvious so yes, I do know what's better for you."
"Uh huh." He picked up his bacon, egg and cheese bagel and took a huge bite.
She made a disgusted face and snapped. "Are you seriously going to eat that bacon?"
"Yep." He took another bite.
"Bacon is like the worst thing in the world, you'll be dead before you're 30."
"Bacon is one of the best things God invented."
"It's salty and fattening and you'll get fat when your metabolism slows down."
"My grandfather has eaten two eggs and three slices of bacon for breakfast for the past 40 years and he's fit as a fiddle."
"It's just like playing Russian Roulette with your health."
"I'll take my chances."
"That's just silly. Pull the bacon out of the sandwich and eat the rest."
Jonathon set down his sandwich slowly (it looked delicious by the way) and looked Susan dead in her eye before announcing, "It's what I want."
"You should have the discipline to know you can't always have what you want."
"That's it, I'm done."
"With the sandwich?"
"With us."
"What do you mean you're done? Like you're breaking up with me?"
"Not like I'm breaking up with you. I AM breaking up with you."
"Over bacon?"
"It's not about the bacon, baby. It's you always thinking you know how my life should be. Even down to what I should eat for breakfast."
She looked shell shocked. "It's my way of showing you I care."
"It's not working for me."
"I don't want to break up."
Ya'll already know what he said, right?
"You should have the discipline to know you can't always have what you want."
Dude walked off to eat his sandwich in peace. I was both fascinated and repelled. On the one hand, I'd never witnessed the actual break up of another couple. I've had enough of my own not to want to sit in on other folks' awkward "I'm outta here" moments. On the other hand, I was also irked that he went there in public. Dude, get through the plane ride and tell her when you land.

But then again, who knows how long it had been building up. That damn bacon was apparently the last straw. The bacon was the straw that broke that relationship's back. Now I don't know how long they were together and what there back story was. It's like a meteor strike. No one knows where it formed or how long it took to reach the earth's atmosphere. All we see is the impact and the fallout. Yes, BougieLand - I've now compared bacon to a meteor. Let me wrap this up.

It got me to thinking - do we know when we're approaching that bacon moment? Have we sat in relationships thinking "if he/she says one more damn thing about *insert issue here* - I'm outta here? Have we been the Susan, just positive we are doing what's best while the other person is ready to flee? Who do you empathize with? Susan or Jonathon? What's with the public break-up? Who has done this and why?

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Hmmm.. a house husband with no kids?

Someone shared an article from Slate where a married dude with no kids opted to stay at home and be a full-time homemaker. 
What can I say? I drop my wife off at her office (we're trying to remain a one-car couple), then clean, mend, cook, run errands, and deal with the various logistics of life. Kids are a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to breaking stereotypical gender roles, but without them homemaking is not really seen as an ambitious life-calling or even particularly time-consuming. I have to say, I don't see it that way...
...My salary was above average for a not-yet-licensed architect, and though sufficient to live on, it was nothing to write home about. When the-job-offer-she-couldn't-refuse landed, we realized she was going to be the big earner. In fact, she would make enough to support us both, and this put my vocation in an entirely new context. I had no insecurities about being outearned by my partner, but I had never really considered the idea that my job could be optional.
I'm sorry. I'm not evolved enough to be cool with this. Way too traditional. I understand he doesn't have to work (wife pulls down great salary) but I'm thinking that even if he worked part-time, wouldn't that bolster the retirement/vacation/expensive shoes fund? I'm of the mind that while you are able to maximize your earning potential - why not do it?

I'm also of the mind that it wouldn't be too many nights before I walked in and gave him the "what have you been doing all day" look. I know, totally Stone Age in my thinking but there it is. I think I've told this story before but it fits so I'll share it again. 

When I was living in LA, I was in a long-distance relationship. Dude was wealthy enough not to work and had just retired from his first career. He was doing a little bit of consulting and a whole lot of golf. When he came to visit, I would get up and go to work and come home to find him perched up in front of the TV. I hated it. Ha-ted it. It wasn't like he was a drain on my finances or the least bit shiftless. I just hated the thought that I was getting up hitting the bricks all day while he was lounging. In response, he started getting up an hour before me and running the vacuum and washing clothes. We made it a full month before I announced, "Lookie here, Bush in the White House. Everybody needs a job round here." He went back to work in less than a month.

Don't get me wrong, I'm skeptical anytime someone (male or female) who isn't raising kids, caring for someone, between jobs or battling illness isn't doing something. Anything. Go volunteer somewhere. Runa charitable foundation. Read to kids at the library three times a week. Something. Yes, I'm a dinosaur. I cannot fathom the day when I come home and tell dude, you can shut it down. Place your hindparts on the sofa for good. I got you, boo. Naw.

 If I work, everybody works dammit. You quit, I quit.  :-)

Maybe it's just me? Let's discuss. Ladies, could you deal with a stay-at-home dude even though there are no kids to take care of? Fellas, could you be this guy?


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