Date with no boundaries. Flirt with no fear.

As a follow up to yesterday… wow – did I get all flavor of blowback from that. Let me clear up a few things… first of all people – I am cute. So sorry to have to tell you that. You would not believe how many folks assumed I was beatdown by the ugly stick simply because I suggested not everybody has to have a model-quality mate on their arms. So let me reset: what I said was... shouldn't we look beyond that. Clearly you don't have to if you don't want to. Live your life. If you are that person who has found true and lasting abiding love with a drop dead gorgeous person who is also smart, paid, sensitive and loving, all of us here in BougieLand are happy-glad for you. So very, very, happy and glad for you. Matter of fact, if you are dating an endless stream of gorgeousness with no intention of ever slowing down, good on ya! Your world, enjoy your axis on full tilt.

Now for the rest of us. I did not write yesterday's post with the intent of telling people to settle. I don't believe in the concept. If you all knew me and how completely over the top sensitive I get when anyone even whispers the word "settle" in my direction, you would know this to be true. As irked as I get with trophy dating, I get just as irked at folks who just decide they are done with the whole shebang, look at the person closest to them at say, "You'll do." Who is that fair to? No, I'm not talking about people that have been together a long time and decide to take the next step. I'm talking about people who have just given up. Let's take a look at what settling really means…

From Merriam-Webster:

Settle – Pronunciation: \ˈse-təl\

Function: verb

1 : to come to rest

2 a : to sink gradually or to the bottom b : to become clear by the deposit of sediment or scum c : to become compact by sinking

3 a : to become fixed, resolved, or established b : to establish a residence or colony—often used with down

4 a : to become quiet or orderly b : to take up an ordered or stable life —often used with down

Um, none of that sounds sexy. A friend of mine in the Bay Area declared about three years ago that 2007 was the year she was going to get married, no matter what. We giggled at her (since she wasn't even seeing anyone at the time) and said, "Good luck with that." Nine months later she called from Vegas – a newlywed. Last week her divorce papers were final. Why? She settled. She is a person who spent her entire life chasing degrees and accomplishments and the next rung on the ladder. Her vacations were ten-day guided luxury excursions to places like the Bourdeaux region of France and Marrakesh. She married a guy who was happy parking cars at a downtown hotel (which he had been doing for 15 years) and whose idea of a vacation was fishing at his grandfather's property in a rural area of California. Now nothing is wrong with him and nothing is wrong with her but together nothing about them fit. I mean nothing. They didn't agree on sex, religion, child-rearing, finances or basic value systems. They agreed that she wanted to get married and he'd "give it a try." Ah yes, she proposed to him and his answer was, "I'll give it a try." PEOPLE! That is settling. And who did it help? When she asked me why I didn't stop her… I was a little bit offended.

Equally offensive is the oft-abused term, "Stay in your lane." That's right up there with "out of your league." This term is meant to discourage those considered one or two star personnel from approaching those considered five star players. I call bullshiggity. The thought that the quirky nerdy girl shouldn't shoot for the jock or that the pimply overweight dude shouldn't holla at the cheerleader is just a little too "Breakfast Club" for me. It realIy isn't all about the looks. Sometimes two people you would never imagine together just click and it works. I highly encourage dating and marrying outside your norm. Someone wrote an entire book on how to "marry up."

Flirt without fear folks. It's a few minutes out of your life. Take a shot of Patron, put your game face on and go in. All they can say is boo, go away or no. And no only stings for a minute or two. What is that saying? You'll never win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket.

Another girlfriend of mine, single mom, never married, a little out of shape was telling me how lonely she is. I asked her why she didn't get back out there. She said the guys she was interested in weren't interested in her and she just didn't want to face the rejection. I asked her if she had tried to approach one and she said no… thought they were out of her league. My head exploded. (okay, not really) I introduced her to the wonders of stretch denim and stack-heeled boots, got her hair whipped up and erased the "I'm tired and don't give a damn" look from her face and trotted her out to meet some friends. She got an invitation for coffee. Now there was no happily ever after (so far), they went out twice and decided to be friends but it gave her the boost she needed to get up and go for it. (cue the Rocky music) At the very least, she started taking pride in her appearance again and started spending less time with her behind glued to the sofa.

To make a long post short, I just want people to be happy. Happily ever after kind of happy. Word on the yard is that a great relationship will do that for you. Staying in your lane and settling nets you nada. Who's to say that your lane won't change? Believe me, there is always someone who wasn't checking for you at one time who will take a second look and try to holla. (Usually the minute you start shining or find somebody else).

I can hear you all now - wait a minute, Chele... are you saying that the crackhead chick should roll up on CEO dude? Okay, I said get out of your lane not alter your universe. But if crackhead chick gets herself together and sees CEO dude chilling, why not say hi? That's all I'm saying.

Alright, let me have it… what are your thoughts on settling? Do you think people should stay in their lane? Who gets to decide the lanes anyway? Thoughts? Comments?