General Bouge

Cocoa vs. Chocolate - When a casual conversation goes terribly wrong

For clarification purposes, let me start out by explaining that I started referring to naked aerobics between folks as "swirling the cocoa" or "sharing the cocoa" or "stirring the cocoa" (basically all verbiage involving making and partaking of cocoa) a few years back. I can't remember why. I had a good reason at the time and then it kind of became a thing: Cuddle cocoa, pity cocoa, hot and bubbly cocoa vs. yesterday's cold and curdled cocoa, measuring a man's stirring implement, sipping vs. over-indulging... you catch my drift.

Now that we've cleared that up, let me share a crazy conversation that I participated in the other day. It was an innocent enough get together of 6 girls and 4 guys. We ate and then three of the guys wandered off. Someone came by and offered me dessert - a chocolate mousse pie thing that I turned down with a sigh. I announced to the girl on my left, "I miss chocolate."

She nodded and said, "I miss sex."

The room went completely still. Even the crickets were like, "Wait... what?!"

Another girl sitting across from me kind of double-blinked and asked me, "Why did you give up chocolate? Are you allergic?"

"My waistline is allergic." I announced and everyone laughed. Awkwardness in room diffused.

Girl to left pipes up again, "You can live without chocolate though,  there is no substitute for sex." The three guys that had wandered off reappeared and took seats. Two leaned forward. One rubbed his hands together. Oh dear. We were really about to have this discussion?

Let's get the people in the room straight. There's me, guy I was with (Guy1), girl to my left (GTL), Trey, his girl T, Bryan, his wife Jazz, Some other dude (Dude), the girl seated across from me (Girl4) and then some other girl who shows up from time to time (RandomChick).

Before the guys could start, Jazz asked: "Why have you given up sex?"

GTL explains (in a lot of detail) that she's given up on men. Girl4 stops her in mid-whine and says, "Friend, that what toys are for."

Dude declares, "Toys are no substitute for the real thing."

Three of the women exchange looks and go silent.

Dude asks, "Seriously, the toys make up for not having the real thing? That's just not possible." He looked around like his feelings were about to be so hurt. I wondered which of the chicks in the room he was dating or had dated. 

"Sometimes the toys are better than the real thing!" RandomChick says. Hope it wasn't her.

Again, ladies - there are things we may think to ourselves and there are things we say in mixed company... learn the difference. Much chatter commenced about toys vs. human touch.

Trey asks, "Okay, if you had to chose between never having human interactive sex again or never buying new shoes, which would you do?"

I winced. I mean, shoes are important. I immediately started thinking of an out. "I get to keep all my current shoes?"

Bryan laughs, "You're going to wear something out, the shoes or the man. Which will it be?"

His wife answers, "Some of my shoes have been with me longer than you. I'm low-key tempted to go with shoes." She laughs, "Naw - I'll take you." No one 100% believes her but we let it ride. #DontStartNoneWontBeNone

Dude says, "That's like asking a man to give up sex or SportsCenter. I can catch the scores later."

Guy1 asks, "Bruh, you are comparing a man watching SportsCenter to a woman eating chocolate? That's not even apples or oranges. More like watching Durant vs Bron in a game seven for the championship."

"Like never disturbing your man during the Superbowl." RandomChick says.

"Or your woman. Is there a law against having sex while watching the SuperBowl?" I joked.

Guy1 is now side-eyeing me up and down. "Let's say you had to chose between sex and chocolate for the rest of your active sex years. Which do you pick?"

"Sex, for sure!" I say immediately. (I'm no fool) "But let me qualify that, it has to be good sex. I'm not giving up my chocolate high for lackluster cocoa."

"Right like when you really want chocolate, you want Godiva truffles, not a damned Hershey Kiss." Trey's girl T said. I like her.

Girl4 was like, "There's really no substitute for chocolate though. It releases serotonin and makes you feel so good."

Trey, "Like orgasmic?"


"Then why not just have the orgasm?" Guy1 asks.

Thirty minutes into endorphins, serotonin levels, calories burned vs calories consumed and I nipped it in the bud. "It's a moot point because you can have both. On a great day, you can have both at the same time. Okay?"

High-fiving commenced but the question remains. If you had to chose between sex and chocolate, which would you pick? And is this not the silliest that turned serious discussion ever had?

Question of the day - What's your intro?

I've been noticing as I've been out and about that people have a way of making (or not making) an entrance. Into rooms, conversations, restaurants, what have you.

I'm the sort of person who just walks in, looks around and then goes on about the business of whatever I walked in for. Other walk in, wait for people to notice them and then continue to clamor for attention. Some slide into a room hoping against hope that no one notices them at all. And other walk in wishing they were anywhere but there and clearly wondering how long until they can be gone again.

So I saw this question making the rounds on Facebook:

And I thought I'd ask it here. What's your intro music? And one step further, what do you think it says about you?

As for me, I'd need to rotate the playlist. Some days, I need Jill Scott's Golden. Other days, I need something from the Stevie Wonder playbook. And some days my mood is pure 90s-00s gangsta rap. what does that say about me? I'm a multi-faceted, complex woman but you learn to love me anyway.

BougieLand - got some intro music for yourself/ What would it be? What do you think it says about you?

Icepocalypse Now... Survival Tips

The weather outside is frightful across most of the country. I'm saddened to say that Dallas is thawing out at a balmy 34 degrees after spending the last three days buried under ice with temperatures in the teens. Le Boo. 

At any rate, it has occurred to me that many people simply do not know how to act in Wintertime on a number of fronts. I'm here for you... or rather the wonder of the BnB Archives is here for you.

Let's start with Bougie Basics for Wintertime then discuss whether Cuddling For Cocoa at Christmas is a good or not. For those of you traveling this season, let's talk what NOT to wear. Got a holiday party, here's a refresher on What Not To Do at the Company HolidayPalooza. Okay, are we all caught up? Great! Make yourself some Crockpot Chicken Chili while I share a few more tips:

Living/Driving Basics for IcePocalypse survival:

  • Driving in snow and ice - if you don't know how, please spare the rest of us and stay at home. Seriously. If you are determined to try, allow me to share the following - you do not brake while sliding on ice. Ever. You take your foot off the gas and turn gently (GENTLY!!) into the direction of the skid allowing your car to coast. 
  • Scrape off not just the windows but the whole car. Why? Because we (the rest of the drivers) don't need the solid two inch sheet of ice from your trunk to fly off and decapitate us on the highway. That would suck. K? Please and thanks.
  • You should always keep bottled water handy. Always. If there's a storm, if it's hot, if the zombies rise up, whatever - bottled water should be a survival staple for all.
  • What's your exit strategy? If you get iced in/snowed in and the electricity fails? Whatcha gonna do? Where's the closest walkable fire/police station/school/church/cousin's house where you can lay your head and plug in your tablet (priorities).These are things you should know prior to a ice-laden tree branch falling on the power lines and ruining your holiday happy.
  • How much non-perishable food do you need for one day to one week? This is something I had not thought about until faced with the prospect of being iced in for three days and staring at an appallingly empty refrigerator. I jetted out to the store at midnight four hours before the storm hit to get "essentials" - and yes, it's sad (tragically bougie, really) the items I decided were essential to my survival for three days. Let's just say if any of you are ever stranded at my house in a storm, it's a four - five star experience. SMH.
  • I don't really need to remind people about allowing your faucets to drip and keeping interior doors open so that your heat can circulate and keep pipes from freezing and bursting, do I? I didn't think so.
  • Flashlights, blankets, boots, gloves, fire-making implements, two of my books to read, water and chocolate...  you're set. :)

Now that I've shared things I'm so sure you already knew, feel free to add your own tips and advice in the comments. 

Hey, you didn't really think I'd let a snowy winter event come without reminding everyone (as we do each year around this time in Bougieland) about the tragic Snowpocalypse story? Let this be a lesson unto you...

Thoughts, comments, insights?

A week in the life... of a Bougie Chick

Crazy, crazy week. It started off in Florida where we, collectively as a fam, overstayed our Holiday welcome by at least one day at BougieSis' house. The true highlight was Monday afternoon when Sis, Bro & I attempted to have three separate conference calls at once. Crouching Conference Calls, Dueling Laptops... get into it. I celebrated CyberMonday by starting my Christmas shopping online and doing some book giveaways. Good times.

Tuesday was a blur because I stayed up late on Monday night writing. Sometimes a story rolls through my head like a movie and I just type what I see. When that happens, I literally work until I drop because I never know if it's going to flow that easily again. So despite the caffeine, I couldn't tell you what happened that day except for a great dinner at a little bistro BougieSis found. That was awesome. 

Wednesday was a travel day. Jumped up, restored Sis' house to some sort of order, worked for a few hours and then hopped a flight. Not sure why but I was uber-productive. I wrote about twenty pages in two hours which is definitely not my norm. The flight landed early - win. My luggage was the first off the carousel -win. The shuttle to the parking lot came right on time - win. I had a message from my Project Manager to call him urgently - FAIL. I called him back and he told me that he was over budget and I was an "expensive resource" so he had to lay me off. Friday would be my last day. What? Oookay. 

I was steaming because I had literally turned down two other opportunities earlier in the week trying to be dedicated to this tragic-assed consulting assignment. Had he given me some indication this was coming, I could have lined up another project. I listened to him talk about how much they were going to miss my expertise and then I said the appropriate "it's been great working with you" and got off the phone. 

The minute I got home (can we pause to chat about how I live in the third floor and this life hauling up two suitcases, a laptop case, purse, mail and coat is not the business  No? Moving on..), I started firing off emails. I work for a company that does HR consulting and there are always projects going or coming up so I started internally. Then I fired out emails to people who had reached out to see what was open in the market. I had a short one-sided argument with Jesus whereupon I demanded that He reveal just some of His master plan for me before I yanked out my hair and then I went to bed.

Cue up Thursday. Two calls from two exes and they both left me confused. I'm not sure what they want or whether I'm even interested in listening. Then the calls for interviews started coming in. So I was laid off Wednesday at 6:22pm. I had not one but two job offers by Thursday at 5:09pm. I hastily apologized to Jesus and promised to do better.

I watched Scandal last night with my wine and popcorn. Cannot be the same group of writers working on Scandal and Grey's Anatomy. Grey's lately makes me want to fight the air. Scandal is absolutely riveting. 

Anyway, it's Friday. I woke up with the migraine from hell but I'm powering through. I have a ton of writing and editing to get through this weekend and I start my new job on Monday. How was your week?

So close and yet...

I have about 10 half/semi-written posts for BnB. And I want to feel bad about that because really, you guys deserve fresh bouge. You've been hanging in here with me through No-Post-October and here we are more than halfway through Sorta-Post-Twice-A-Week November. But the truth of the matter is...

I'm almost done with Book Four. It's going to be called Losing to Win and it's about a young woman tricked into doing a weight loss reality TV show with her ex-fiance and 5 other people from her past. How fun is that? I gotta say, it's pretty fun to write. But here I am nearing the end and I still can't decide if the The Guy gets The Girl. Not sure he deserves her yet. We'll have to see. 

I'm off to Florida for 10 days but if things go as I plan, I'll have this book wrapped up by week's end and I'll be back to sharing random musings from my mind in no time. In the meantime, if you haven't checked out the BnB Facebook page yet? It's full of random stuff I like and notice. Right now it's very Obama-centric. 

In the meantime, happy holidays! Enjoy your Turkey Day and I'll be around!

BnB Fall Hiatus

At least once or twice a year, I try and take a little vacay from the blogosphere. For those of you that love your daily dose of Fresh Bouge... October is going to be a little harsh. I'll probably only post once a week or if something really drives me get a rant on. I'm going to try and actually turn in a book early for once in my publishing career. I'm off to Vegas next week for a conference and at the end of the month I'm heading to Maui to celebrate Bougie Older Sis' milestone birthday. In between all of that, I'm going to embrace some me time. I'll be around, you can find me on The Twitter or The Facebook. If you're wondering what your BnB play cousins are up to when they're not here, there is a BnB Twitter Group and Facebook page. (if you'd like to be added to the Twitter Group, let me know) We'll also be starting the discussion of Pretty Boy Problems in the BnB Reading Club.

Talk to you soon!

Check me out on @ForHarriet today

Greetings all. The kind folks over at decided to profile me for their Black Girls Blogging series. Make sure you swing by and check me out.

Also, today is Le Dude's birthday. Since more than likely, he's camped out on his couch plotting ways to send his mama back to Georgia, feel free to send him a salutation.

I. on the other hand, am feeling much better after 11 hours of sleep. Weirdest dream ever - I was having dinner with Barack and Michelle (yes we were on a first name basis), an ex-boyfriend, my father (who passed in 2000), my grandma Blanche (who died before I was born) and Donna Brazile. We got into a heated discussion  about the best way to keep the White House and take Congress back in November. And then we started talking about the TV show Breakout Kings and how I've boycotted it since they killed off Laz Alonso. Barack asked me if I would boycott the Presidency if he didn't win again and I explained how I hadn't listened to a Bush presser or briefing for the last 6 years G-Dub was in office. The whole table said, "Oh." They were serving the chocolate mousse when I woke up.

No idea what it meant. None whatsoever but happy Wednesday all. 

That song is stuck in my head...

Not a real deep post today, just a random question. Do any of my more cerebral folks know why certain songs get stuck in your head? Especially if you haven't heard them in a while? Where do they come from and how do we make them go away?

Yesterday it was Color me Badd's I Wanna Sex You Up. How very New Jack of me.

This morning I woke up with The Jackson's Blame It on The Boogie on repeat in my head.

By the way, my sister used to have this kickstep dead to rights. Could not tell BougieSis she was not getting her boogie on! So... Does anyone know what causes this? What's stuck in your head this fine Wednesday?

Think you're "grown"? 5 ways to prove it

Grown \ˈgrōn\- adj. Having achieved full growth. Possessing maturity. Produced or cultivated in a certain way.

We've talked a lot this week about being grown - as in putting away childish things and  being responsible for one's own actions and decisions. We've heard a lot of people claiming to be grown. And I think we can all agree it's not so much an age as a state of being. You don't get magically "grown" on your whateverth birthday. It's an evolution, a destination, a place to which (unfortunately) not everyone arrives. We all know one or two people "of a certain age" who act like they are one step out of kindergarten. That Peter Pan Syndrome is nothing to play with.

So you say you're grown... here are five ways to prove it:

1. Act like it - Children whine, point fingers, pout when they don't get their own way, find it hard to articulate their feelings, throw tantrums, cry with little provocation, require guidance, a steady stream of feedback, supervision and positive reinforcement. If more than two of these sound like your modus operandi - you needs to grow up.

2. Look like it - There comes an age whereupon  it's not cute to dress like an extra for a 90s New Jack video - male or female.  Sloppy, slouchy, slovenly - not three "S" words you want regularly attached to you. Sexy, suave/sophisticated or stylish sound a little closer to the mark. Certain occasions call for certain clothes. It's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Proceed accordingly. Your hair is an outward reflection of you - is that really what you're trying to convey? Ladies - lipstick should match your skin tone first, your outfit second. Eye shadow should be a whisper, not a shout. Eyeliner should be more nuance and less Nefertiti. If you're unclear, hie thee to a professional and catch a clue.

3. Speak like it - Grown ups should know their audience during conversational forays. There's a time and a place to share "urban colloquialisms" - if you are in doubt, fall back on the Queen's English. If you don't know what that is, you probably stumbled onto the wrong blog. Google and come back. We'll wait. Nothing says "infantile" like a person who can not articulate two or three intelligent thoughts together in a sentence. I'm pleading, have something to say about yourself. One or two sentences for all occasions. Trust me on this.

4. Live like it - Hmm. How to put this? You can only get away with a 10-year old lumpy mattress on the floor and a TV on a three legged plant stand for so long. At some point, get next to a Walmart or an Ikea to get some "I'm tryna be grown" furniture until you afford some Thomasville or Ethan Allen. Fellas, I cannot impress upon you the importance of decent linens and bath towels. Nothing says "My right hand is my Valentine" like tore up faded superhero sheets and towels of indistinguishable color. Target is your friend. The end cap near aisle 21 is there for you. You don't have to ascend to 500-thread count (right away) but if you are past 23, you need to be at 250 thread count - bare minimum. I mean it. Everybody - your refrigerator needs to hold more than last week's takeout pizza and a pitcher of Kool-aid. There is a rotisserie chicken, a bag of salad and a 90-second microwaveable package of Uncle Ben's rice waiting for you at your closest grocers. Make that happen.

5. Think like it - Looking back is only good if you reflect, dissect and move forward with some lessons learned. Having no discernible plan for the future is careless. To think like an adult you must actually have some sense of direction and a plan to head there. You must embrace a value system and live by it. Principles become less waffly and ideals are turned into actions. In short, you have a brain... use it. That's what grown ups do.

As Clay said yesterday - here endeth the lesson. BougieLand - thoughts, insights, opinons? Anything to add?