Get you some Jesus

That's not fate, sir... that's tomfoolery

I dream in Technicolor brilliance. I always have. I also dream in mini (maxi) series. Like I will start a dream and a few nights, months, years later - that dream picks back up where I left off like there's a DVR in my brain. I have one dream involving a black sandy beach and an amusement park that has been running since I was ten years of age. My late great father often visits in dreams. He's either laughing, lecturing or just looking at me with confusion on his face. 

Sometimes I think my dreams are trying to tell me something. Sometimes I double check what I had on the TV before I went to sleep. And I cannot eat spicy food too close to bedtime - if I do I dream myself into chase scenes and shoot outs and wake up exhausted. I know I'm "special" I'm okay with it.

When my sister and I went to Maui, we landed and there was a rainbow. When we took off five days later, there was also a rainbow. In almost the exact same spot. I decided it was a positive sign. (And not just refracted water in the sky)

How  much do you believe that dreams are prophecy? How much do you believe that a being from on high talks to you or sends you signs? I go back and forth on these things. I do believe in signs and higher powers but then I also believe in free will and responsible thought.

The gentleman who wrote to me goes all in and then some. Read his story and weigh in.
Hey Ms. Michele,
I read your blog and wonder what you think about this. I've been married for five years and have two young boys. But recently I left my wife. I had been having a dream about a woman (not my wife) for months. The dreams were so clear and beautiful, it was like I was living a different life when I was asleep than the one I was living when I was awake. About a year ago, I truly started feeling as though Jesus (or somebody like him) was trying to tell me something. A few months later I actually met the woman that was in my dreams. It was like meeting an old friend. She said she felt the same about me. Even though she's sixteen years younger than me (I'm 40) we are soulmates. We are now together and people think we are crazy but when fate shows you the hand, you have to play the cards. Don't you think?
-Perry in Decatur
**crickets**
Um. Okay. I'm so sorry, Perry. I have to call bullshiggity. In my heart of hearts  I believe you saw this woman out of the corner of your eye somewhere and wove her into your midnight fantasy. When given the opportunity, you made your fantasy come true. You left your wife and kids to get a little tenderoni because a dream told you to?! I can NOT even cosign on this tomfoolery. Did you write in for validation? I'm so not here for that. But do have your ex (soon to be ex?) write in so we can chit and chat with her. I weep for the example you set for your boys. Oh and "Jesus or someone like him" - what does that even mean!!!??? Man, please. 

BougieLand. Two separate issues here. Answer the poll and riddle me this - do you believe that things can be revealed to you in dreams? Do you believe any of what Perry just said? Have you ever done something (or decided not to do something) based on a dream, a sign or a gut feeling? What do you have to say to Perry? Do share...

If you just admit it, is it better in the long run?


One of the things that I hate about these so-called "celebrity" scandals is that there is so much damn wordsmithing. Let's take for instance the curious case of Creflo Dollar. I'm going to set aside the history of me and Pastor Dollar. Okay, I'm not. My ex - PsychoMike, loved him some Creflo. Sent checks, dragged us to see him when Flo-Flo D. came to Dallas, spent Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights with all the TVs in his house tuned in so he could head bob and agree with everything Creflo said. Me? Not so much. I never got that "authentic sanctification vibe" from Cref. Something about him came across as a little too packaged for my taste. I declined to worship alongside PsychoMike at the Dollar altar. 

When PsychoMike and I split for the very last time he told me that one of the many, many reasons (besides the fact that he was CRAY-ZEE) we could not work out was because he was convinced that I was going to hell. Yep, straight to Lucifer's Up All Night Tavern for me. One of the many, many reasons he knew I was Hades-bound was because I did not support, laud and applaud Dollar Flo Dollar. No, I'm not joking. So that's my background with Flo-Dizzle. Not that it's relevant here, just a little color commentary for you.

When the reports first trickled out that C-Dreezy was hauled off to jail at 2:00 in the a.m for attempted filicide  (okay, I'm being fancy, he allegedly attacked/choked/beat his fifteen year old daughter during an argument about a party that she wanted to attend), I didn't pay too much attention. When he tweeted, "The fight has already been won," I thought his word choice was ill-advised and felt compelled to frown at the timing and lingo.

I decided to wait until a few more facts came out prior to full-scale commenting. For various reasons:
1) I don't have kids and therefore trying not to pontificate about parenting
2) Arguing correct forms of kids' punishment is a no-win debate especially if #1 applies 
3) I like for 24-48 of news cycle to settle in before I start forming opinions and 
4) You never really know all the facts... goings-on behind closed doors and what not.

Now that Creflo has responded (see this great article by @CarolynEdgar about it), you know what I really wish?

I wish that when people get caught in these situations, they would just shoot straight. I would love for folks to just own it for once. I would love for Creflo to say - "Teenagers can hop up and down on your last nerve, I lost it and I know it was wrong. I ask for God's forgiveness and your understanding during this difficult time." Done. Don't come at me Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego talking about you are being tested by fire. That's preachy rhetoric that reflects poorly on the speaker. 

Just once wouldn't it be awesome if the person just stepped to the mike and said, "I did it, my bad, I'm sorry, I'm going to do better." How about a mea culpa without the fifty-eleven excuses? All we really want to know is: did you do it, why and how are you going to make up for it? It's kind of like that Chris Rock skit where the woman just wants the man to admit that he cheated. "I know ya did it, just admit it." Nothing worse that knowing something is blue and having someone stare you in the face and tell you it's green. Seriously, isn't it kinda cathartic (although ill-timed) in A Time To Kill when Samuel L. Jackson's character shouts, "Yes they deserve to die and I hope they burn in hell." Okay then. Just speak it true.

BougieLand, what do you think? Is it better to just fess up to your crimes and/or misdeeds or should you just "deny, deny, deny" and take the truth to the grave? Hmm, guess it depends on the crime/misdeed, huh? Share your thoughts on crimes, truth-telling and Creflo...

What makes one sorry? (And no, we don't mean apologetic)


And the buffoonery from the marriage struggle post continues. We  now turn our attention to my Facebook inbox which I generally ignore. But in the process of doing my "DELETE ALL" my eye fell on the title "You sistas ain't down for the struggle" - Hmm.

Opening this email, I was first assaulted by the irreverent overusage of ALL CAPS. A few phrases that jumped out at me:

"A BROTHER WITHOUT A JOB IS AUTOMATICALLY SORRY?"
"YOU B*TCHES wouldn't know what to do WITH A GOOD MAN ANYWAY"
"IF YOU AIN'T SEXING YOUR MAN DOWN CORRECTLY, he's entitled to do WHAT HE PLEASES"
"some of the sorriest PEOPLE I'VE MET HAVE BEEN BOUGIE CHICKS LIKE YOU"
"MAYBE you don't know WHAT SORRY means"

*repeats mantra in head* I'm taking the high road, this is a teachable moment. Woo-sah. *repeats 8 times*

The sorriness is not in not having a job. It's not wanting a job or a better job to improve your lot in life. I'll ignore the b*tches comment since that is the mantra of the Sorry-Ass Person assuming no one knows what to do with them. (We do, that's why we leave you alone). Sexing... what? Ugh. Bougie Chicks like me? Good look finding those. But this dude's last point. Maybe I don't know what sorry means? Let's get into that a little.

Let's bring this up a few levels. What, by general definition, makes one sorry? Well, first let's define sorry as we're using it here..
The Urban Dictionary defines sorry as: The state of being worthless, or poor in quality.
Merriam Webster defines sorry as: inspiring sorrow, pity, scorn, or ridicule : pitifulThe Wiktionary defines sorry as: poor, sad or regrettable
So, based on this I think I can come with a list of at least five characteristics of the truly sorry:
1. One who promises one thing and does another  (maliciously)
2. Liars, cheaters, thieves
3. Ne'er do wells, layabouts and lazy asses
4. Folks who find no fault in themselves but plenty in others
5. Idiots who have time to send emails such as the above

Any contributions to the list? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Is it too much to ask for some Jesus on Easter?


I was at church yesterday. I've been attending this church on and off for about nine years. It's a large non-denominational multicultural congregation. There were three campuses, five church services and if you still couldn't make it, the Sunday services streamed live on the internet. I went to new member class, joined what they called "life groups" and started doing some mentoring of the youth. My devotion to this church has waxed and waned as the head pastor's teeth got more white, hair got more shellacked and suits got more Italian. But Sunday was really the last straw for me.

Of course it was packed up, I expected that on Easter. And of course, there was a lot of "extracurricular" activity with singing and praise dancing and a children's program. Special offering, regular offering, outreach offering. Feeling impatient at one point, I glanced down at my watch. Over 45 minutes had passed and not a single word about Jesus rising? On Easter Sunday? If this was a news cast, isn't that the lead story?

It's enough that society has turned Easter into a bunny-hopping, chocolate eating, egg-hunting shoportunity?? I didn't expect that commercialization in my church.

It's not that I wanted to hear the same old, same old "He is Risen, get right or you won't be" sermon that many a pastor trots out for the occasion. But can we get some reference to King Jesus in the first hour of service? I can tell you where are the outreach programs are going to be this week and what we need to raise another $10 million for but you can't tell me anything about Jesus? When he finally got to preaching, it came across as very sterilized, commercial and stale. I went home and fired up the podcast of my former pastor in the Bay Area to get some kind of spiritual substance in.

I think sometimes when a church becomes very successful the focus becomes less about the kingdom of heaven and more about the kingdom of the church. Le Sigh. And now I have to find a new church home. As anyone who has ever gone hunting for one will attest, it's more than a notion. I think I'd like to go back to midsize for a little while. Not so small that they won't start service until you get there. But not so large that you can go three Sundays in a row and never see the same people twice. 

BougieLand, if you are a churchgoer - how did you find your church home? Is it too much to ask for a little Jesus on Easter Sunday? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Ask a Bougie Chick - Why is Easter such a big deal?


Happy Good Friday all and hope you enjoy your Easter weekend. I've been hanging on to this one and now here we are. We have a gentleman just turned 30 who is in a relationship with a woman a few years older. They've been seeing each over for a little less than a year with only a few hiccups along the way. Take a look..

OneChele,
I like the blog, you have an interesting perspective. I turned 30 two weeks ago, I live outside of Phoenix in a decent condo with my black lab. I work a very boring but bill paying 9 - 5 and I've been seeing a great woman who is four years older than me for almost a year.

We're getting along well except when it comes to church and holidays. She is very close to her family and very much of a church goer. My family is scattered around and I could take or leave church. I believe in God but I'm not a fan of organized worship. For most of the holiday weekends or celebrations, she goes to her parents' house and there's usually a cookout and a gathering of family and friends. Most Sundays she attends church with her family and then they have a meal.

I usually join in once every six weeks or so but every weekend is too much for me. The big disagreement came when I mentioned that it would be nice to go away for Easter weekend. She looked at me like I personally put Jesus on the cross. Easter is for church and family, she said. If I didn't get that, maybe I didn't understand her at all. 

Am I being unreasonable to want to take my girlfriend away for a holiday weekend? What's the big deal about Easter anyway? And do I come off like a jerk if I say I don't want to spend every Sunday with her family? Look forward to hearing your thoughts and the BnB readers. 
T in Phoenix

Hi T-
I'll keep this one short and sweet. First, you are right - it's not at all fair for her to expect you to spend every Sunday with her fam. Second, church is important to her so this is something that if you stay together, you will have to work out. Third, you are not being unreasonable to want to take your girlfriend away for a holiday weekend BUT... Fourth (and final), Easter is pretty much the cornerstone upon which Christianity stands. Even half-assed believers carry themselves to church or some flavor of celebration on Easter Sunday. Knowing your girlfriend is as faith-based as she is, you have to respect that. Overall, I think a conversation about expectations and what's next is in your immediate future. Good luck!

BougieLand? Whatcha got for T today? Family, Easter, Church-going - what to do?

Just yell at a bougie chick? Really?


I was going through emails making sure I haven't missed any requests or Ask a Bougie Chick questions. For the record, I've missed quite a few. I'm working on it, hang in there. But while get my peruse on, my eye fell across a few letters with interesting subject titles. One was literally entitled "Truth you need to hear about yourself" and the other had the subject "Go to Hell" - now that's just wrong on so many levels.

After reading a few lines of both, I've decided they are in a category new to BnB: Yell at a Bougie Chick. (Let's hope this doesn't become a thing) Take a peek at some excerpts and see what I mean..
Hey Chele,
I guess you're doing your thing but I think the overall message you are sending to people is irresponsible and elitist. You put up these posts acting like being a stuck up snob is something to aspire to. I don't think you're better than anybody else and the sooner you get over yourself the better. You're not that cute, your boyfriend's not that hot and your books have no social value at all..

I only started reading you because I thought you were about something but you are really in it for you. I hate people like you. I've had to put up with that my whole life.

{...three more paragraphs of the same} So in closing, I'm unsubscribing, unfollowing and throwing out the book I bought. Good luck in your self-absorbed life.
-CPW
Ummmm, well let me digest some of that. Okay then.

Hey CPW, you may call me Ms. Grant since you took kind of a tone with me right out the gate there. Irresponsible? Elitist? You lost me. Did you read any of the Bouge Rules? Sounds like you have me confused with someone who stole your lollipop and threw it in the mud at recess... in kindergarten. I don't feel any need to defend myself to you, I'm not sure I'm who you're mad at. As for the books/blog posts: love 'em or leave 'em alone. But the man? He's hella-hot, hate if you want to. Thanks for sharing, OneChele

Next up, Allen... who swears I ruined his relationship.
My girlfriend reads this f**king blog every damn day like it's her Bible. And now she thinks that I don't do enough for her or period. She's not happy with my job or my clothes or my eating habits or our sex life which she has started calling cocoa thanks to your inane made up chatter. She was perfectly happy with me before she started reading you and now nothing is "fabulous" enough for her. This is bullshit. I'm blocking your web page and you should be ashamed. She bought one of your books this weekend, guess what I'm using to start the bar-b-q? -Allen
Hey Allen, not to rile you up any further but I suspect your girl was unhappy long before she happened upon BougieLand. I'm catching a whiff of insecurity wafting from your direction. Also, the correct term is bullshiggity - just a little more of my inane made up chatter. "Fabulous"? I rarely go on about fab life, bougenificence? Yes. By the way, censorship of your girlfriend's reading/web material is just wrong. For the record, they did print more than one copy of my books. You may go out and purchase each and every one in your metropolitan area and have a massive bonfire. Hope things get better for you, OneChele

Am I the ONLY one who hates when people feel the need to announce that they are leaving? Just go. We'll survive. Did BougieLand break up Allen's happy home? Do ya'll have thoughts on CPW's haterade-fueled rant? Do share...

Sacrifice


After the last time I tried to talk about some Jesus in BougieLand and a Holy War broke out in the comments section, I'll just say I hope everybody has a wonderful day today. For my non-believers out there, this really isn't your day. I get that. 

Many of us will be celebrating Easter Sunday and giving thanks for the miracle of The Resurrection. The greatest sacrifice, the purest love. 

Whether you hie thee to a church, chapel, temple, brunch, bbq, Basketball Baptist, Television Tabernacle or Pillowtop Pentecostal - here's a wish that you take a moment to embrace the concept that there are people in this world that made sacrifices for you. Sacrifices born out of love. Be thankful for that. Be respectful of that. And pay it forward.

 Happy Easter everybody.

Ask a Bougie Chick : No God, No Good-Good?


In this episode of Ask a Bougie Chick, we have a heartfelt letter from a 23-year old young lady. She just graduated from college in December. She met a handsome graduate student about eight months ago. They are having some issues... take a look:
Hi BougieLand! 
I'm not the type to ask for advice or have people all up in my business. But when I told a few people close to me about my situation, I felt like they gave me answers based on their experiences instead of what's best for me. Having read your blog for over a year now, I know that your readers offer their opinions straight up which is what I think I need. 
My mom is a single mom who has dated alot in my lifetime but never married. I wouldn't call it a steady stream of rotating men because that sounds disrespectful but then again, I guess that's what I just called it, huh? 
I have never wanted to be like that. I want long-term stability in every area of my life. One thing I do appreciate about my upbringing is that my mom made sure we were exposed to the church. I loved (and still) love going to church and growing in my Christian faith.  
Also, I just finished a degree in business administration and am gearing up to go to law school next fall. I want to eventually became an international attorney. Last September, I met a guy who is in the MBA program here. We fell into instant like. 
Two major problems - 1) I don't want to stir the cocoa until I get married or feel I'm the path to that level of commitment. 2) He won't go (refuses to go) to church with me and isn't a very religious person. Actually, he doesn't believe that God truly exists. 
Lately he has started putting pressure on me about the cocoa. He says that Christian or no, a 23-year old woman is a grown up and grown ups in grown up relationships have relations. He said I shouldn't be "saving it for Christ." I know it makes me weird that I'm hesitant to dive in.  
But I'm not even as upset about the cocoa as I am about the Christianity. I mean if this is a man that I want take seriously and have "grown up relations" with, I need him to be a faith-based man. That's just not negotiable in my book.  
What do you think? Should I just walk away? Should I try harder? Should I give in? I just don't know. People around me are saying he's a good man and I should give him what he wants before he leaves me and that there's plenty of time for him to find God. I'm confused. 
Whatever help you can give, I'd really appreciate. Thanks and I love your books!
-Sheryl 
Hey Sheryl,

Sorry sweetie, I don't like your man based on what you've told me in this letter. "You shouldn't be saving it for Christ" is real shady and borderline blasphemous, keep an eye out for thunderbolts. Joking. In all seriousness though - let's look at the cocoa question right quick.

If you're not ready, you're not ready. If you want to wait, you should wait. These decisions are yours and yours alone. Many a Christian woman (show of hands, please) have started off saving themselves and then, well, you know: Life happened. But as far as breaking that covenant you made, it's between you and Jesus not you and some dude. Don't let "some dude" pressure you into doing what you don't want to do. Believe me, if you really (really, really) wanted to - you would do it and pray for forgiveness later. It's the single Christian woman's constant dilemma.

As for the Christianity itself. I'm going to step back from the religious part for a second and say this -  a man who wants to be with you will respect your beliefs and  interests. The unwillingness to go to church knowing how important it is to you is a red flag. IMHO.

Now back to Jesus - I grew up in a Christian household and I fall off the path on the regular (amen and amen) but I couldn't seriously consider a lifemate who couldn't tip up in the church house with me. That's me. I need a man to have a religious foundation and a hunger for Christian knowledge because life. is. hard. Sometimes there are no other places to turn, no other answers to get than from Christ. Again - this is me. My path. My ideology. My rules. Sing it with me - You gotta know G-O-D if you wanna be with me. 

I'm not telling you kick him to the curb and move on; but you are clearly a smart and determined girl. Apply some of that same analytical thinking to this situation. And discuss it with him, see if there's a possibility for compromise. [Do NOT use "if you come to church, I'll give you cocoa" - Don't barter the coochie for Christ.] Ultimately, the ball is completely in your court. What will and won't you do? What does your heart, mind, body and spirit say? Let us know how it goes.

BougieLand, whatcha got for Sheryl? Please share your thoughts, insights, experiences and opinions? And if you were in Sheryl's shoes... what would you do? Fellas - if Sheryl was your little sister, what would you tell her? The floor is yours...