5 on 5

Five things you (probably) don't know about me...

It's been a while since we did a 5 on 5. I share five things about me and then you share those five things about you. Ready, set, go...
1) Is your favorite color also the one most prevalent throughout your house? If not, what color is? And what color do you wear when you want to make a statement?
2) If you had to choose to live through an earthquake, a tornado or a typhoon - which one would you choose and why?
3) What is one show you've watched every episode of that would surprise people to know?
4) Last song you sang out loud in your car or shower?
5) Who would you cast to play you in bio-pic?
Bonus question - favorite winter comfort food?
My answers:
1) Purple is my favorite color but I have more green around my house. When I want to feel kick-ass, I wear red.
2) Tornado - I grew up with them so I know how they work (sorta).
3) Charmed. Yep. Every. Freaking. Episode. Judge me. Those TNT reruns used to call out to me.
4) Drink You Away by Justin Timberlake. Again... judge me.
5) Hmmm. Younger me or older me? I used to say Queen Latifah but I think now Nia Long. Cuz Nia plays tortured-love-life-with-heart-of-gold-sister-just-out-here-tryna-live like no one else. You feel me.
Bonus - Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, greens and cornbread. Anytime I just want everything to feel "normal" that's my go to meal.

Now you. Ladies, gents. Your answers please...

Five things that will eff with your gut instincts...

It's interesting, I've had a lot of discussion lately about gut instincts and going with it. 85.6% of the time (yes, that's my scientific number) I believe in going with my gut. It rarely steers me wrong. I have an inherent feeling when something is right and when something feels "off"... right until I don't. I've been known to miss a sign or two. I've been known to ignore a sign or two. I've allowed others to talk me out of my first thought. I've also been known to overthink. I also know people whose instincts are always off. And there are conditions that made instincts a little shaky. Here are five things that mess with your gut:

  • Self-Doubt. Your instincts are only as good as your self-confidence. If you second guess the hell out of your self, your gut doesn't know which way is up. You have to know who you are, what you believe it and what you are willing to do before you step out on faith. If your in the wilderness, your instincts are as well. 
  • Sex. Stellar cocoa can pickle the brain, muddle the mind, stop your heart, stealth your breath and twist your gut into pretzel shapes. Admit it or not, crazy good bed game can blind you to all else but getting more of that good-good. People have overlooked flaming red flags punctuated by firecrackers because they were too busy getting busy. Pheromones and endorphins, ya'll. Not. To. Be. Played. With.
  • Love. See #2 about stellar cocoa and multiply it to the nth degree. Once the heart is engaged, all bets are off.
  • Naivete. I consider myself relatively worldly but I still get stunned by things and have to shake my head at myself. There's always someone who'll do something to catch you off guard. If you haven't seen it before, you don't recognize it. Your gut can't do anything with that. Accept it, fix it, move on.
  • Thirst. It's real. When you are parched as hell, you'll overlook a lot of ish to get to that oasis. Even if it's just a mirage. Your gut may be screaming "Don't Do IT!" but the thirst hath taken over. Who hasn't just wanted a little sip of sumthin' sumthin'?

Bonus sixth thing-
History. You don't need to have been shot before to be gun-shy. You could have heard gunfire or been next to someone waving a gun or looked in someone's eyes and realized that if they had a gun you'd be deader than Paula Deen's career right now. All of this winding analogy to say - history has a tendency to repeat itself and those of us to whom history has not been kind? Tend not to want to repeat the same experiences. Sometimes our gut gets to churning when something starts feeling familiar in that "oh no, not this shiggity again" way. Sometimes the warning is legit, sometimes we're just damn skittish and getting in our own way. 

Long story short - trust your gut but level set it. Engage your brain and ask others around you *whose opinions you trust) if you are right or wrong. I was in a discussion last week about online dating and whether one should fact-check their dates. I say yes indeedy. At the very least peep their social media and Google them just to see what comes up. On a whim I Googled a guy I work with. Why? There's just something a little "hinky" about dude. First thing that came up was his mugshot for an assault and battery charge. #Awkward. I didn't say anything and since I work virtually I'll never see him but that was just a 20 second Google where I put in his name, city and state. Imagine if I got to digging around. Folks are wildin' - if your gut says something is off - it probably is. 

Are you the type of person that "goes with your gut" and has it ever steered you wrong? Do share...

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...

Five things women say to men (and vice versa) that drives them crazy

So after yesterday's post about conversational miscues- there was a lot of commenting about things the opposite sex says that drive the other crazy. I've listed the top five of each. Enjoy...

Five things women say that men can't stand:
1. "Nothing" - As in the answer to, "What's wrong?"
2. "It's fine" - When it's clearly not fine.
3. "Whatever" - It's a cop-out. You know it, we know it. So be it.
4. "We need to talk" - Strikes fear in the hearts of men globally.
5. Nothing at all - As in, we say nothing. That's when they know something is really, really wrong.
Five things men say that women can't stand:
1. "Let me call you back" - Thanks. Now we know we'll be hearing from you on 33rd of Neveruary.
2. "Babe, we cool." - So you're just using me for cocoa and I'll never meet your mother.
3. "She's just a friend." - Really tho?
4. "Did you say something?" - Weren't you listening?
5. Nothing at all accompanied by a shrug. -  As in, the sanswer to "Can you go by the store? Did you take out the trash? Did you hear the last five things I said? Do you love me?" The male shrug is epic in its ability to enrage  while saying nothing at all.
BougieLand - any to add to the list?

5 things men and women can agree on (or can we?)

Dr. Jayme hosts a singles event for men and women from age 20 - 60 called Five Things You Need To Know About The Opposite Sex. Attending one of these reinforces the fact that the more things change, the more they stay the same. A 25-year old man does not think all that differently from a 55-year old man though the way they say it and carry it out are vastly different. A 40-year old woman and a 20-year old woman may want similar things but for different reasons. It was fascinating.

One segment of the seminar breaks out the attendees into four small groups and challenges them to come up with five universal relationship rules that both men and women can agree on. Then they come back to the larger group and get debated. Here (after much bickering and heated word exchanging) are the five basic Relationship Rules of Engagement:
1. No hitting, ever. Not for any reason. 
2. The person who asks should either pay or include some verbiage like "Dutch" "split check" "50/50" prior to the start of the date. 
3. Both parties should feel free to initiate sex. Both parties have the right to decline sex.
4. No Cheating Allowed. However, it is not cheating if a) both parties haven't agreed that they are in a relationship or b) no one has invoked an exclusivity clause or c) you're on a break with defined consent to "explore your options" while apart 
5. Dating someone who is related to (or good friends with) a serious ex-s/o requires disclosure and in some cases, permission. For example, if you want to you date your ex-wife's best friend - some needs to chat with ex-wife before it gets too deep. 
Bonus Rule: 6. Never end a relationship via text or note. 
What say you, BougieLand? Do you agree or disagree? With which rules? Do you have any to add? Do share...

Five things NOT to do when running for President

It occurs to me just from the outside looking in that there are many things that should dissuade one from running for President. A lack of true commitment to public service, an unwillingness to open up every area of your life as an open book, a dearth of intelligence, criminal tendencies and the like. That's cool, not everybody is meant to be President. 

[strategic pause]

There should really be a few things that one ought to avoid doing if planning on leading our great nation. A Presidential What Not To Do, if you will. Here are five random things from the top of my head:

1. Make up a campy policy that when flipped upside down reads 666.
Does anyone even know what the 9-9-9 stand for? @CarolynEdgar suggested yesterday that it was 9 inches, 9 minutes, 9 women. But I thought that was too complementary.

2. Sing spirituals at a formal press conference.
Most of us that venture into professional life reach the understanding that there's a time and place for everything. You don't mix work hour activities with after hours activities. You don't mix professional and personal. You don't mix church and state... unless I guess you have a good singing voice and want to appear sympathetic when you're under siege. :-/ 

3. Mock the people that might have voted for yo' black azz you.
Nothing like telling an entire race of people (with the exception of Clarence Thomas and Michael Steele who we traded in the last racial draft anyway) that they are mindless idiots who can't think for themselves. Way to win friends and influence people.

4. Have sketchy financial statements.
Three things I don't play with: The I. The R. And the S.

5. Grab numerous white women's hindparts.
This is just poor thinking for married men. Married men in a position of power. Black married men in a position of power. Black married men in a position of power in the South. Black married men in a position of power in the South running for President. Nuff said.

What's that you say? A candidate did all these things and is still considered the forerunner? Oh. Uh. My bad. Carry on.

BougieLand, is this all one grand conspiracy to derail the Cain Train? Has no one told him that he's just the shill out front holding the GOP together until Perry or Romney figure out how to look the least bit Presidential? Did you believe Sharon Bialek? What are your thoughts on this entire hot mess?

5 Questions, 5 Answers... with a twist

3N and I were meeting our friends Dr. Jayme and her husband Owen for dinner a few weeks ago. Dr Jayme  had some sort of group therapy session running late so we swung by her office to wait for her to wrap up. Unbeknownst to us, we stumbled into the middle of one of her "Relationship 101" group sessions. When she saw us, she waved us over and announced, "This is 3N and Michele, they've been dating for six months."

We were greeted with laughter and side-eyes and a few choice phrases floated over to me:
"Fresh meat."
"Still at the fun part"

At this point, we suspected that we'd been bamboozled, hornswaggled and hoodwinked. We attempted a backtrack towards the door. "Oh come on, just play one game and we'll wrap for the night." Jayme said blinking with the baby seal eyes. That's when I knew we were in for it. Exchanging a look of resignation, we sat gingerly in two seats in the "sharing circle" and braced ourselves for whatever. It didn't help that she passed each of us five index cards and a Sharpie.

"Okay, this game we play with any two people in a relationship: friends, siblings, co-workers, significant others - it doesn't matter. You have to answer honestly and you cannot use a non-answer like 'he's perfect just the way he is' - that's it. Five questions, write your answers down as we go."

1. What's one thing you wish you could change about your partner but know it's probably not going to change?
2. If your partner could be any place in the world right now, where would they be?
3. Would they take you? And if not, who would they take?
4. What does your partner like most about you?
5. What is something you've been dying to ask your partner but haven't asked yet?

The four other couples went all the way in on these and minor skirmishes swept the circle. I have to admit that 3N and I were sitting there feeling kinda smug and positive that there would be no surprises from either of us. Here's how our lightning round went:
One thing to change that won't:
My answer - His Lastworditis. 
His - She's a perfectionist but won't admit it
"I am not"
"You totally are"
"So not true"
"I would say something else but I want you to have the last word"
Any place in the world:
Mine - Some place tropical
His - Bali, Tahiti, Hawaii 
Would they take you?
Mine - Yes
His - No, her sister
"What? Come on! I just got back from the beach with my sister"
"Oh damn" 
What does your partner like the most about you?
Mine - My sparkling personality
He couldn't get his answer out, he was laughing so hard.
"Your personality is great, but my favorite favorite thing?"
"You give good..."
"Do not say anything R-rated up in here"
"Conversation! You're an excellent communicator. But if I'm banned from the R-rated answers, I can't say what I think you like best about me"
"You cannot seriously think that's what I like best about you!"
"It doesn't hurt"
"Oh my God"
"I'm joking - my sense of humor"
"Well not right now"
Something you're dying to ask?
Mine - What really happened with his last girlfriend
His - Whether she's coming to China with me for three months
"Oh we should talk"
"We really should"
And we'll just wrap that conversation right there. Thanks Jayme for those good times. Why don't you play along at home? I'll switch it up a little:
1. What's one thing you probably should change about yourself but won't?
2. If you could be any place in the world right now, where would you be?
3. Who would you take?
4. What is the absolute best thing about you?
5. Is there something you're dying to ask me (or anyone in BougieLand) but haven't? (I may not answer)

Go for it. And try this at home with friends, sibs, spouses - let me know how it works for you! 

5 Questions, 5 Answers - Getting to Know you Day

Hey everybody, it's audience participation day in BougieLand. Since we've grown as a community, it's time for some getting to know you. Yes you, even you in Lurkerville. Join us won't you?

1. Where do you live?
2. If you're on Twitter, what's your profile name?
3. What brought you to BnB?
4. Who (besides me of course) is your fave commenter?
5. Are you going on vacation this summer? Where? (Yes, staycations count)
6. (Bonus Question) Married, dating, single, don't wanna talk about it, it's complicated?
 You know all of mine but here we go anyway:

1. I live in Dallas and BougieLand (and apparently in my own head, long story - let's move on)
2. Find me on Twitter @OneChele and @MGrantAuthor
3. I was brought to BnB by the innervisions of my fertile mind.
4. My fave commenter? Tough one. BrendaKay gives good comment, as does ASmith.
5. Yes to the vacay! Maybe Jamaica, definitely Napa and definitely Florida.
6. I'm dating.

By the way, we have a Twitter List of Bougienistas and those that inspire BnB. Check it out here. If you're not on it and want to be, let me know. Now it's your turn. Answer all or none, be vague or specific. This is just chatter, good people. Do share...

5 questions, 5 answers...

It's that time again. Good people send me random questions, many of them are about me. As if I don't share enough, good people?! Anyway, I ignore them until I have a free second (or someone asks repeatedly). Here's that free second. I answer then you answer. And here we go...
1. What was your first car and did you you pass your driving test the first time?
My first car was a dark brown '78 Monte Carlo that I aptly named Gertrude. The front fender was held up with duct tape. The ceiling fabric was safety-pinned and I rolled a boombox shotgun because hte radio never worked. Gertrude was a difficult chick. In the winter she had to be warmed up for 10 minutes before she was ready to go. And no, I did not pass my driver's test the first time. I couldn't parallel park worth a damn. I didn't get good a parallel parking unitl I moved to the Bay Area where it was a freaking necessity of life. 
2. What do you sleep in?
Kinda personal, huh? It depends. Let's just say I have a variety of sleepwear options. Everything  from t-shirts to gowns. Since you asked, I only like pajama tops, not bottoms. (Why does anyone care?!) 
3. When is the last time you made love, not had sex?
So extra personal, huh? I appreciate the differentiation yet I only have one word for ya: Nunya. 
4. If you cook, what's your signature dish?
I do cook. Hmm, my signature dish. I cook a lot of different styles and types of meals. I do a mean red beans and rice. Carnitas. Shrimp fettucine. Probably my grilled garlic salmon with veggies.  
5. How much of yourself do you reveal on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc?
More than I should but less than I could.
Your turn. Answer one, all, or none. The floor is yours...

Five Questions, Five Answers - play along, won't you?

It was pointed out to me that I'm am perennially on deadline. It's true. I never met a deadline I couldn't push back and stretch to it's limit. That being said... we'll be rocking some getting to know you group activities this week. (Negating the necessity for me to write actual posts). One thing I have been doing is quite a few interviews lately. I heard some deep and not so deep questions. I'll share five of them, plus my answers and then it's your turn.

1. What is your favorite cereal?
Cream of Wheat. I add brown sugar, cinnamon and almond milk - delicious!
2. Were you named after somebody? If so, who?
Nope. The Parental Units plucked "Michele Cara" out of the sky and gifted me with it.
3. Do you wear contacts or glasses?
Neither any more. I had Lasik surgury about seven year ago. Before that, I had it all. I was legally blind WITH an astigmatism.
4. What is your favorite scent?
Roses. There's a perfume by Vera Wang called Truly Pink that smells like fresh cut roses. I love it. [Hint, hint if anyone ever wonders what to get me]
5. What color is your car?
I must admit it is "Midnight Amethyst" - yes, that's dark purple.
Bonus Question: What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
My lack of patience. 
Okay people, it's your turn. 

1. What is your favorite cereal?
2. Were you named after somebody? If so, who?
3. Do you wear contacts or glasses?
4. What is your favorite scent?
5. What color is your car?
Bonus Question: What is your least favorite thing about yourself?

Answer one. Answer all. Or just mock other people's answers. The floor is yours...