He Said/She Said

He said/She said but who's right?

Today's Ask a Bougie Chick comes from Donald and Cheri in Newark. Donald and his girlfriend of six months had a little contretemps and they want us to weigh in on who's right and who's wrong:

Hi Miss Michelle,
We've been dating long enough to call it exclusive but not long enough to have all the issues ironed out. Me (Donald) and my girl (Cheri) are single professionals in Newark. I work in Manhattan, she works in Jersey City. We kinda live together. Like she has her own spot but she's here all the time or most of it.

Not that it matters but I'm black and she's half-black and half Puerto Rican. Here's the deal, a few months ago my ex came by really late at night (after midnight). I was just going to ignore the door but she was texting and calling and could see a light on from outside. It was plain she wasn't going away. Cheri was like, just go open the door, tell her you are with somebody and shut it down. I went down and told her I had company. She went away.

A few nights ago, she came back. Again after midnight, same routine. This time Cheri is like, doesn't she know you have a girlfriend? Why is she here again? What is going on? Well I didn't tell her I had a girlfriend, I told her I had company last time so maybe she's just checking. Cheri goes to the door with a lot of attitude and long story short, they get into it screaming and shouting in the street and I have to step in between before things go from verbal to physical. After the ex leaves, Cheri wants to know why I didn't make it clear that I was in a relationship and she shouldn't come around and what was I going to do about it. I wanted to know why Cheri had to take it to a ghetto level.

I think she's wrong, she thinks I'm wrong. What do you think?

*exhales* Well, wow. First off, this letter is wrong for putting two L's in my name. Moving on. Next, I think of the A, B and C of you? You're all three wrong. Your ex is wrong for rolling up. It's hella-rude to drift by somebody's spot without calling first, particularly after 10:00pm. That's kinda hoodie, sir. 

Your girl is wrong for getting all up in it. She took a bad situation and made it worse. She could've taken the high road, after all, she was nestled up next to you, she already won.(Assuming you're a prize?) Anyway...

You were wrong for not breaking it down to the ex so it would be forever broke. When the relationship ends, so do the late night drive-by booty calls. Unless there's something else you'd like to share with the class? Your role as the one chick's ex and Cheri's new boo is to draw the boundaries and set the rules and make sure everybody adheres to them.

Ya'll all acting a little special. Chill needs to be achieved across the board. Good luck.

BnB - what say you? Who's right, who's wrong? How to avoid this? And have you been in this situation? If so, how did you handle? Do share...

Answering Letters from He Said/She Said Week

I received a number of quotes and questions for He Said/She Said week, thanks for all the input! I didn't even get to two or three of the categories, one of which was: "Is it really all that?" Oh well, blog fodder for later. We did have two questions that I wanted to address though.
"What does it mean when he says, "Don't ask me who I'm sleeping with, I think that's an inappropriate question because I don't ask you who you're sleeping with because I don't care." I was shocked! I replied that I wanted to know if he was having sex with other women because of my own health safety. He replied, " We (me and him) have protected sex, so what does it matter if I am having sex with other woman!" and, "You are very insecure, I don't care who you are sleeping with. I just care about the moments we have and I don't care about others outside of that time." 
Ok - we have protected sex when we are fully engaged in the "act" but we do not have protected sex when we have oral sex (please forgive the grown talk Chele). So I was sitting there pissed because, I am thinking - ok dayum, you are having sex with other people and I am giving you a head job! So, I said will all seriousness, "I'm not into threesomes!" He said,"WTF are you talking about." I explained –“If you’re having sex with me on Monday, someone else on Tuesday then me again on Wednesday, well essentially we are having a threesome.” He was like "That's sounded so dumb!" 
I said, "Wow - then what are we?” - He was further agitated and said, "Dayum, why do you want to put labels on us! - just enjoy the experience, stop being insecure and let nature take its course." 
I hung up on him and have not' contacted him since but he has called and emailed me several times. 
He is kicking 50 in the *ss (49), so I am a little shocked he is this immature or Chele am I being insecure?
~Beautiful in BougieLand
Hey Beautiful,
You're not being insecure at all. He's running old school game and you caught onto it. When folks have no defense for their actions, they flip the script and make it about you and your so-called issues. No sir. Damn some nature taking it's course. He's old enough to know better. But as I'm sure you figure out, there's no age limit on ratchet.

However, I would strongly recommend that you avail yourself of a flavored prophylactic for future below the belt kissing. Better safe than sorry. Get tested, lose his number, block his email and consider yourself all the wiser.

And the second note:
To BougieLand:
Ok here's my question what does it mean when he/she says,"I know that's what you said, but I thought you meant..." oooh that is soo a relationship killer for me. Where do folks get that from?
Thanks, TSB
Umm-hmm. Game recognize game. Basically, you're being told that they heard what they wanted and acted accordingly. This is why I use the psych 101 tool of "mirroring". I say something, you say it back and then we repeat and I follow up with, "Are we on the same page?" That way not only do I know you heard me, I know you understood. If someone wants to play dumb later... they get the side-eye. 

I had a boss once question a document I sent out to the company. When I pointed out that she had signed (and dated) the draft; she said "Just because I signed it doesn't mean I read it and agreed with it." Even though it explicitly said "By Execution Below"? Okay, I knew my days there were numbered. I have no patience for bald-headed barefoot reindeer games. No, I don't know what that means but I heard it somewhere and I'm using it.

So what you BougieLand, anything to share with TSB or Beautiful in BougieLand? Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

"I don't think you can handle me" & other red flags.

Someone cue up MJ's "Man in the Mirror" because we're all going to need to hold hands and sing along. I'm sorry to tell some of you this but it's possible (in fact probable) that the problem with your relationship foibles and fails... [drops voice to a whisper] just might be you. [raising voice] Yeah, I said it. You just might be the problem. Okay, none of you Bougienistas. Other less evolved folks... ha! To be less confrontational let's just say the people you might hear some of these phrases from need to point the finger at themselves. How's that?

There are some utterances (less dramatic than 'the stick turned blue' and 'call the bail bondsmen') that are just red flags. Signs that scream "Danger, Drama Dead Ahead!" Let's take a look at a few:

I don't think you can handle me - Also stated as "Are you really ready for someone like me?" (Ebonics translation: I don't think you're ready for this jelly.) Ur, um - what? Are you a thoroughbred horse that needs to be trained, tethered and tamed? Are you so very special that one must aspire to be with the likes of you? Or are you really just a legend in your own mind? I get it, you're platinum service on American Airlines and everyone else is peanuts on Southwestern. But do try and remember... everyone has to start somewhere. (Ebonics translation: You ain't all dat)

All [plug descriptive words in here] men/women ain't sh!t - This is usually said with fists balled up and anger infused into every syllable. Was it Katt Williams who said if all you seem to find are 'ain't sh!t' folks you need to decide what it is about you that attracts 'ain't sh!t' people? Umm-hmm. Nuff said.

You're going to miss me when I'm gone - Earlier in the week, someone said they were told "you're going to miss out on me." Also sometimes stated as "you'll never find anyone else like me!?" (said in a plaintive wail) Really sir? Madam? Like that? Something tells me we're willing to take the risk.

Men are intimidated by me - No. They are not. Okay, maybe 2% of them are... but you don't want that 2% anyway. More than likely you are walking around with your mean-mug-don't-even-think-about-it look on your face and he didn't feel like getting his Roman Warrior on. [Roman Warrior creed- Brave men go where lesser men dare to dream] Unless of course you are just that one evil emasculating heffa running amuck scaring the shiggity outta all the good men who really wanted to date you. You are jacking it up for all us. Stop it.

Women don't know how to deal with me - Once had a ninja tell me I simply wasn't prepared for his "mental mind" and needed to get to "his level." For real though? Never mind he turned out to be a complete and total dog. In my opinion, when guys say this... start looking for the flaws. Major, major flaws.

My last boy/girlfriend (ex-wife/husband) used to... - Don't tap the brakes, slam the car in reverse hitting the eject button as you go. It's one thing to do a comparative analysis in your head between this one and that one, but to say it aloud? And generally more than once? Why don't you go back to them if life was all that rosy and perfect? Oh, they don't want you back? Hmm.  Buh-Bye now.

Again, I don't say these things to be mean but to let you know what to look out for. If you're hearing stuff like this often... be prepared for "issues".

So tell me BougieLand, what phrases make you press pause and think, "Ruh-Roh"? Found yourself guilty of saying one or two? Do share!

Next: Wrapping up He Said/She Said Week.

"What had happened was..." and other signs of freaky-sneaky

Let's face it, bad things get said right after "What had happened was..." In fact, I would suggest that folks just retire the phrase. Nothing good ever comes of it. Anytime your S/O has the guilty face paired with a shaky "what had happened was..." you're already knowing - it ain't good. A lot of people have different viewpoints on cheating. Some will overlook one indiscretion but when your S/O starts TigerWoodsing it... no bueno. [Sidebar: Remember when TigerWoodsing referred to dominance on the golf links? Moving on.]

Let's look at some other phrases that may cast suspicion on fidelity ever after.

There's something I need to tell you - Usually followed by "and don't get upset". Rest assured that whatever comes next will get you upset. Unfortunately, this phrase prefaces a lot of bad news. But as far as the freaky-sneaky goes... would you rather your S/O told you they cheated or would you rather you find out from someone else? Really, is there any good way to find out?

Baby it was just that one time - Also "It won't happen again, I promise", "It was a momentary mistake" and "I'm sorry I did that to you." Uh-huh. It's up to you. Purportedly you know your beloved better than anyone else. Was it just that one time? One tequila shooter too many? You'll have to decide and move forward from there. Just make sure that a few months later, you're not listening to "It will be different this time, I swear."

She/he means nothing to me - Code for she/he means something to me but if I say that I know you're walking. This is almost worse than the admittance. I'd almost prefer it if you cheated on me for someone you cared about, that at least has some purpose behind it. But hittin' for hits' sake? I don't know. This might just be me, let me know your thoughts. Why do I keep hearing Usher's Confessions playing in my head?

She/He is just a friend - Hmm. This one is tricky. She/He may just be a friend. But then again... at some point your friends need to fallback and respect your relationship. And is he/she just a friend waiting for a chance to get out of the Friend Zone? Have they already made a move and are now just laying in the cut waiting? There are boundaries. Friends don't text/call you in the middle of the night, show up in random places unexpectedly, drop hints about how life was back when you were single... don't get me started. I've been in too many situations where my S/O's "friend" was a smashbuddy-in-waiting. And then the waiting was over. There are friends, then there are friends. Make sure the lines are drawn clearly.

So tell me BougieLand, what are some phrases that set off the warning bells for you? Have you used them? Is there any good way to find out some freaky-sneaky was going on? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Tomorrow: "I don't think you can handle me" & other red flags.

"I'm not ready to settle down" & other signs that you're stuck in the Smash/Friend Zone.

"I'm not ready to settle down" - well, that's something folks should say early and often if that's what they really mean. But if that's being uttered right after naked aerobics, it could mean something else. That Law & Order "doink-doink" sound you hear? That is someone being placed firmly in  "friend zone" or "smash 'n dash" limbo. Buddy or booty call, those are the only options made available to some. Let's take a look at some other phrases that are the difference between Mr/Mrs Right and Mr/Mrs Right now.

I love you but I'm not in love with you - I'm sad to say I have used this one and received the laser beam side-eye. What you're really being told is that while they have feelings for you, there's not enough sparkle/chemistry to make it work as a romance. Chemistry (generally) is either there or not, hard to manufacture (worse to fake).

We're so good together... in bed - Anytime a qualifier is tacked on, you already know. If you were hoping for more, don't stick around. Just pick up your boxer (or panties) and roll out. Beware of follow-up statements such as, "I have to get up early in the morning" and "Let yourself out." Hmpfh, may want to double-check the nightstand for services rendered payment. Just sayin'.

We just weren't meant to be together... that way - Again, a qualifier but in a different way. Simply put... they aren't feeling you like that - keep your clothes on. You may also hear,"You're such a great person" and "You're the best friend ever." Enjoy the Friend Zone, you're in deep.

I don't think I'm cut out for marriage - Please see "I'm not ready to settle down" above also refer to "I'm not marriage material", "I have years before I'm going to think about that", "Commitment is not my thing." Come on now, do they really need to tell you more than this? Do they need a sign saying "I'm just a player" tattooed on their nether regions before you catch a clue? 

I don't want to ruin our friendship - Resist the urge to say "This conversation isn't helping" and listen. Is it that your friendship is so great, it can't go to the next level or that the person isn't feeling you that way or that they are truly scared they can't be what you need and the friendship will be impacted. There's generally always more to that statement than what's on the surface.

I should've met you years ago -Also disguised as "Our timing is never right" or "Maybe if things we're different." It's terrible to hear but it doesn't always mean the person isn't interested in you in that way. I have heard cases where the planets did eventually align and folks were able to make a go of it. 

I'm glad we're keeping this casual - Sometimes stated as "Let's just keep things simple." Stock up on flavored massage lotion and Trey Songz tunes, you're the cut buddy. Simple = naked when needed. Casual = you're not the only one I'm naked with. If you're cool with it, cool. Now, the casual cut buddy can be elevated to legit relationship status but one (or both) of you is going to have to keep your clothes on long enough to talk about it. Good luck.

We'll have to take time one day to talk about the non-verbal signs that you're stuck in the friend zone (the back pat vs. the hug, the cheek vs. lip kiss, among others). The non-verbal signs that you're "just the smash 'n dash" maintenance worker are fairly obvious... or they should be.

So tell me BougieLand, what catch phrase clichés have you heard that let you know exactly where you stand? Have you used these? Have any tales of escaping the friend/smash zone? Do share.

Tomorrow: "What happened was..." & other signs that some sneaky-freaky may be going on. 

"We need to talk" and other signs a break up is near

Every one knows that "We need to talk" means two things: either someone actually needs to talk or someone is about to get placed curbside. But let's take a look at a few other phrases that might spell doom for a relationship:

I'm trying not to hurt you - This is generally uttered by someone (male or female) who has already hurt the hell out of you and wants to be let off the hook for it. Furthermore, they will do it again. Also beware of "I don't want to hurt you" and "I hope this doesn't hurt you." I'm always confused by this one. If you don't want to hurt someone, take steps to make sure you don't. Am I oversimplifying?

I just need space - This means they've already found an alternate space (away from you) and just need you to be aware of it. And the follow-up question to this is, "Space to do what, with who?" If any of you have an example where someone "took some space" and then came back all excited about the relationship and it worked out - please share it. This one also comes in the form of "We need to take a break" and "Let's just take a step back".

We've grown apart - It's already over, you're just now finding out about it. Usually stated when you have nothing left to say and the thrill is gone. This is sometimes stated as "We're just in different places right now". Resist the urge to fling hot grits while screaming, "I thought we were in a relationship!" Oh, is that just me? Never mind. Moving on.

You're too good for me - This means "I actually think I'm too good for you but I can't say that." Really, if someone tells you this - just agree and keep it moving. Seriously, your response should be, "Yes, I am too good for you. Glad you recognize it." As Maya Angelou says, "When someone tells you who they are, believe them."

And let's not forget the ever popular:

It's not you, it's me - Similar to above because guess what? They think that it is you, they just don't want to say it. Not only is the problem you, they've probably already found somebody else that they believe is an upgrade. There's nothing you can say to this one. If someone is wickety-wack enough to use that phrase on you, you're well free of them.

I don't say these things to be mean, I say them in the spirit of education. If you're hearing a lot of these phrases coming your way... trouble is a-brewing. At the very least, you're in for some "deep conversation." Life is too short to encourage the continuation of drama and co-sign on clichés. 

Tell me BougieLand - do you have other catchphrases that point to relationship doom? Have you heard these? How'd that work out for ya? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Tomorrow: "I'm not ready to settle down" and other signs that you're stuck in the Smash 'n Dash or Friend Zone.