The Top Three signs that sumthin' sumthin' just ain't right

After talking about Brian/Otis/Brainard the other day, I was swamped with emails from women and men who found themselves in similar situations. Bamboozled, bewildered, led astray and stole on. It was enough to make me want to launch a show: "Who the Bleep was I Dating?" - I have enough material for at least three seasons. Hell, half of Season One would be my BougieTales of Dating Woe alone.

So it occurred to me that mayhaps we don't know what to look for? We don't recognize those red flags when they are waving so brightly in the wind? (Or maybe we do and just ignore them). Plus, it's been a  while since we had a Relationship What Not To Do. Therefore, I've cobbled together a little list for the gent and the ladies. If you see more than one of these going on with your new boo, it might be time to pump the brakes and throw it in reverse. Just saying. Here we go.

Three signs that sumthin' sumthin' just ain't right:

1. Money is funny - When you are first seeing someone, money should be a lowkey discussion. Who is paying for the movie and can I pick up the tip for dinner type of discussion. If someone comes at you out the gate either with a tale of brokeass woe or a bunch of ballerific bling - hold up. Fellas, first few dates and chick is talking about needing some help on her phone bill? No. Ladies, second date and he's buying jewelry? No. In these cases, go Goldilocks Philosophy - you don't want too much or too little - it needs to be just right. There's plenty of time down the road to get into his child support payments or your student loans. But anytime someone is either asking you for money constantly or giving you money constantly - something else is going on. Trust me on this one.

2. Job is sketchy - Unemployment is real. Underemployment is real. We get that. But if we've been going out for three months and you've had (and lost) five jobs - that's side-eye worthy. That whole "someone was out to get me" clause - only works the first time, maybe two. Also, if you say you have a job but you have all sorts of free time and no diggity dollars in your wallet? Suspicious. True story - chick told dude she was a bank teller at Bank of America. At some point, they are in a store together. The total comes to $11.18. She handed the checker a twenty and then argued that she should get $10.82 back. Ma'am... So sure, you can ignore that first seedling of doubt but uh... After that, the perennially "misunderstood" slacker gets tossed into the "can't keep a job category" and left behind. (P.S. People who work at the FBI generally do not go around announcing they work at the FBI - just a tip. Use ti as you will. 

3. Your name is what? - Okay, we all know people who have a few names. A person who is the III may go by Trey; if your name is Daphne, you may go by D. You may have childhood and friendship nicknames from along the way. You may have a Twitter name or have been adopted. Heck, you may have legally changed your name once. I understand if you reach a certain point in life and don't want to be Dick LaRue or Chastity Gaines. I get that.You may have been married and your last name changed. But if you are Jolene Smith and have ID in the name of Cassandra Martinez - Imma need some explanation. If you are known in California as Quentin James but known in Arizona as James Quincy - why might that be per se? Don't let they spy thrillers fool you. regular folks do not have multiple IDs in various names. They really don't. 

Other signs to look out for:
4. Baby can't stay the night... ever. People who cannot stay the night are supposed to be sleeping next to someone else, live further away than they let on, or can't miss  bed check at the halfway house/parole office meeting in the morning. 
5. Living situation stays iffy - first they live there, then leave, then in with relatives, then somewhere else. 
6. Too much love too fast - Sure I believe in love at first sight but I still say if you met someone on Friday and they want to take you home to meet the parental units on Sunday and move in with you Monday - beware. 
7. Mood swings - Hormones (female AND male) are not to be trifled with but when a person is coming across with more personalities than Sybil (Google it)- there's a problem.
8. No past & no people - No one comes from nowhere and knows no one. If everything about your new boo is a blank slate, you may want to collect fingerprints and DNA. I'm just saying.

I'm sure there are a million more I could come up with, but I'll turn it over to you. BougieLand - what's your red flag? What's the sign that sumthin' sumthin' just ain't right with someone?

From future Mrs. to Miss-Me-With-That in 24 hours - A Bougie Bachelor Chronicle

Buckle up, BougieLand. And then let's count how many relationship "What Not To Do's" went down. Without further ado (but with a little bit of my editing), the heretofore delinquent member of the Georgia Boyz with his own Bachelor Chronicle:
Bougie People,
I'm Shawn. The Keyser Söze of the UGa APhis living lives in the Greater Dallas Metroplex. Word on the yard is that someone has started referring to us as The Georgia Boys. Which would be okay if it didn't sound like I should have a banjo in my hand and a Fry-Daddy sitting on the front porch or standing on the wrong side of Peachtree wearing a trench coat and a ski mask in June. Where was I? Oh. Deep inside your mental minds with my Keyser reference. I'm in the background, doing what needs to be done. If we were Boyz II Men with extras, I'd be... oh, still Shawn. This is all you need to know about me. 
I have had a girlfriend. One year, two weeks, one day and eighteen hours that lasted. She was in serious contention to become Mrs. Söze. Paula and I met at work: dated, clicked, boom. We are both in technical jobs, we both come from large families, we have complimentary tastes in food, movies, music, life plans. I tend to take a direct path from A to Z, she sometimes gets hung up around J and K but ends up at the same place. We vibed. We spend spent a lot of our time together but still maintain separate houses. Overall, the going has been was easy. 
Not to say that we haven't had ups and downs along the way. I've found that as a grown-damn-ass man, I prefer to be asked to do something rather being told or ordered. I prefer that a potential lifemate actually express her displeasure for something I've done rather than go mute, breath fire out of her eyes and when asked what the dealio might be, receive the ever-so-helpful one word answer of "nothing" or my favorite "figure it out."  
She, no doubt, preferred that I stay and finish an argument rather checking out after a certain amount of time and retreating to Shawn's Man Cave with Bose headphones, an Xbox controller and a medicinal bottle of aged amber beverage. She also did not care for my obsession with Atlanta Braves baseball, my ability to tune her out from time to time and the odd habit I had of throwing all the clothes into the washing machine regardless of color and delicacy. I'm a man. I do man things, okay? 
As I said, we had our ups and downs. But things have had been good. Almost eerily good. Until last weekend when we went from "Oh baby, move a little to the left" to "Everything you own is in a box to left" in about 24 hours. Friday, I had finished breakfast and was walking towards the garage when she stepped into the kitchen wearing some applause-worthy lingerie. She asked if I felt like being a little late for work. Hell yes I did. And I was. Very late. So late that I ended up staying late to wrap up a project making me late to pick her up for dinner. Once a month group dinner with the Georgia crew and significant others.  
Maybe I was still hazy from the breakfast booty but Paula looked especially lovely that evening and I said so. Her reply, "I hope you appreciate it." That gave me pause and all my happy haziness went away. Every once and a while, she could get in "a mood" of sorts. I hoped it wouldn't be one of those nights. But my hopes were in vain. 
Somewhere between salads and entrees, Trey someone started teasing Michele and 3N about weddings. In true bougie gangsta fashion, 3N said, "Shawn and Paula have been dating a lot longer, why don't you start planning their honeymoon for them?" Laughter from everyone but Paula who announced. "Why aren't we?" 
"Why aren't we what?" I looked at her from the left and sideways knowing she was not truly trying to have this conversation at table full of people. 
"Why aren't we planning our honeymoon?" 
"Because I haven't proposed?" I could have said it nicer but facts is facts, people.  
"Why haven't you?" Ask anyone, she was almost shrieking at this point. 
Now everybody at the table is giving each other the "this is mad awkward" looks and praying for food to arrive, a tornado to strike, some kind of diversion from the scene in front of us. "Paula." I said as calmly and quietly as I could. "Do you want to go home and discuss this?" 
"No, I want to discuss it here and now. Why haven't you proposed yet? And for the record, if you don't propose before Christmas, we're done." 
Please scan up the page to where I unequivocally stated how much I hate being told what to do. I'll wait.... okay. To try and diffuse the situation, I smiled and said "Well, this drama right here is not helping your cause." 
She told me to do something anatomically impossible to myself. Picked up my damn car keys from the table and walked out. After I finished dinner - what, I wasn't supposed to eat? I accepted a ride home and broke into my own damn house. She was standing in the kitchen and asked me, "So are you going to marry me or not?" 
"Not tonight, I'm not." 
"I'll be by for my stuff in the morning." I tried to talk to her. She walked out. I locked the door behind her. I tried to call her, she blocked my number. And that was that. So perhaps someone in this magical place you call BougieLand can tell me - what in the entire eff was that?
On the one hand, Shawn could have handled this with a wee more sensitivity. But in Shawn's defense, I've never seen her act like that. Ever. She's been just really good people. Until she flipped out at the table in the middle of a crowded restaurant. Have you ever watched a relationship break up right in front of you? Not comfortable. BougieLand, we're taking bets that they'll be back together in two weeks blaming this entire incident on a hormone imbalance. Then again, maybe there's some subplot going on that we don't know about. But in the meantime - what's with the ultimatums?! WDDDA? Thoughts, comments, just glad it wasn't another of Trey's stories this time?

5 things I've said to men that I wish I could take back...

A few years back, I was doing some youth mentoring over to the church house. One of my young mentees called me recently a-weepin' and a-wailin' over the sudden and immediate loss of her boo thang. She was so distraught that for a moment, I thought perhaps he had died. Turns out he's still alive and well... just pretending she no longer exists. After piddling around with the story, it comes out that they had a fight. Some things got said and in the heat of the moment she snapped out, "Stuart would never have said that to me." Stuart being the ex-boyfriend. No bueno. One of my exes used to call this "bringing up old d**k" - it's highly frowned upon. 

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation or an argument when someone takes it one step too far? Someone drops a comment that might be forgiven but will live on in infamy. I'm not proud of the fact that I've used my tongue and wits as a combined weapon of mass destruction. Hopefully, I've learned something along the way. But in the past, I have definitely lobbed some conversational bombs that wiped out months of good will and pleasantries. My only excuse was that I only did it when I was severely provoked and I've already warned the person that I'm about to go nuclear. Which is no excuse at all really... Le Bougie Shrug, I'm flawed. . 

Sometimes you want to be heard. Words are like weapons. If you think your gentle jabs of conversational thrust and parry aren't getting through, you switch to knives, if the knife thrust isn't deep enough, out come the .22 bullets, then the big guns and so it goes until you've gone full Seal Team Six on somebody who didn't want to hear it in the first place. Oh, is that just me?

Let me be real, I'm not proud of it but I have probably nuked more "coulda-been-somethings" relationships in my time than we need recount. The least I can do is let ya'll learn from my epic failures experiences in the following "Relationship What Not To Do" (RWNTD) list. You ready? Take a deep breath, it's going to get a bit rank...

1. Just be a man about it! - What's bad is that we weren't even in an argument. I was frustrated and upset that things weren't going the way I wanted them to go and I wanted him to own the issue. Instead of politely saying, "So tell me how you feel about that?" I said the other thing. The minute I said it, I wished it back. [That never works] The man was the color of dark chocolate and turned damn near white. Don't challenge a man's manhood. I don't care if he's dressed like the Tooth Fairy swinging from a rainbow. Just don't do it. Find another way to make the point that you wish he would take control of the situation without the verbal neutering. How in the heck we moved past that one, I don't recall. I know I apologized. I know I cried. I'm sure I did a few other things to reassure him of how very manly I thought he was. Moving on... just don't ever say it.

2. You don't own me! Oh Michele. He knew that. He really did. But what you did right there was 1)Piss him off and 2)Make him want to prove that he does own some part of you. Never turns out well. If your man has any kind of spine (and mine always do); these words are the equivalent of pulling on your tap shoes and telling Sandman Simms "Challenge!" [It's a Cosby Show reference, what can I say - I'm Bougie!] Anywho, just take my word on this one.

3. That's the stupidest thing I ever heard - Well, it wasn't the stupidest thing I ever heard, I just didn't agree with what he was saying and didn't want to talk about it anymore. He kept talking about it even after I asked him to move on... four times. Plus he had that whole smirky "we'll talk about what I want to talk about" grin on his face. So I snapped. Newsflash - no one likes to be called stupid. Remove the word from your vocabulary whilst talking directly to a person. Situations can be called stupid, inanimate objects can be called stupid, people.... not so much. Unless they are Republican and running for President, then you can say what you want.

4. & 5. I wish I'd never met you and I don't think I ever really loved you. Known as the one-two punch, the double tap, the alpha and omega of Get Out of Relationship Free phraseology. You pull this one out when you literally hope to never see or speak to this person again. When all you feel is hurt and you want them to feel it too - this is your go to language. But even if it's true (and it rarely is), you aren't helping any damn body by saying it. Quite frankly it's just mean and more than a little spiteful. Months afterward, I still got the snarky "Still wish you'd never met me?" Le Sigh. 

I can't be the only one whose mouth gets her into hot water from time to time? I feel fairly certain BougieLand has a few out there to share. Thoughts, comments, insights? Let's hear your best: BnB's What Not To Say... The floor is yours. 

RWNTD*: A Look Back

Well BougieLand, that was quite interesting this week. I appreciate almost all the comments and interaction. I'll try and have at least one more Relationship Week before year end. I can't do them too often, you guys will get spoiled and people get all worked up. Plus, I keep swearing that this is not a relationship blog. *crickets* Whatever.

Here are a couple polls for your enjoyment and a musical reminder. 

Just so we end on an upbeat note, here's a little Al Green for you. Enjoy your weekend.

RWNTD*: Doing too much

Let me share this letter from a gent we'll call Tired Dude and then we'll chat about it:
Dear Chele,
I know I’m going to sound selfish but hear me out - my girlfriend is trying too hard. Or as you like to say, she’s doing too much. Dropping by on the way to work to bring me a breakfast biscuit is great. Driving 32 miles to bring me a four course meal in the middle of the day when I told her I was going to be in meetings? Too much.
She texts at least twenty times a day. Calls just to "check in", shows up at my job, at the gym, at my house unannounced and uninvited. Given a chance I would invite her along but I don't get a chance to miss her. She is pressed! If I post something on Facebook she comments and likes it to death. She tweet-stalks me… I can’t breathe. Can I give you some of the backstory?
We met over a year ago, introduced by friends. In the beginning, all was well. She was a sweet girl, I’m a nice guy. We hit it off, talked, and laughed. Had things in common. Somewhere around the one year mark (two months ago) something got strange. She started being clingy and needy.
This may be TMI but she is wearing me out. Like everything has to be on and perfect, she’s pulling out sex tricks I’ve never even heard of and some I never wanted to. Sorry but it’s not fun when someone is trying that hard. I’ve tried to talk to her about just easing up a little bit. She cried and asked me what she was doing wrong. After that I just shut up. I don't want to break up with the her she was before her crazy alter ego took over.
Today, I came home from work and she had the landlord let her in so she could wash my clothes and clean the apartment. Not that I'm not appreciative but I'm looking for the bunny on the back burner next. 
Have any insights for me? A brother is tired.
I can actually empathize with his dilemma. In a similar scenario, I once dated a brother that stayed pressed. Like calling twice an hour, coming over and sitting right under me for hours, wanted to hold hands 24/7, all up in my personal space... I'm just not that clingy. He actually said, "I need us to share every thought and deed." Yeah, um - I needed space. It ended badly. I blogged about it in a tragic TapBack Post. So yes Tired Dude, I've been there.

Here's the deal, Tired Dude. First of all, respect for the Fatal Attraction bunny reference. Your girl "will not be ignored!" [apologies] Long story short, TD:  She wants a commitment, probably a ring. You passed the magic "12-month" time period and she wants to lock it down. Unfortunately, she's been brainwashed into thinking she can cook, clean, cling and coochie her way into Mrs. Tired Dude status. You're going to have to tell her (not ask her) to fall back and let you breathe.

Maybe if you let her know what your "future intentions" are for your relationship, she'll calm down. (Provided she's in your plans.) Sometimes the uncertainty mixed with the biological time clock can make a woman a little crazy. Have a little patience but be firm about what you want and what you're thinking. Sounds like she'll cry but you'll have to put the foot down and let her know she has got to stop being so "thirsty". Though I don't believe in ultimatums - she needs one: Back up or be gone. Chill or check out. Then I'd give her a little (very little) time to readjust the cling-factor. Let us know how it goes.

Don't know why I remember this but way back in the day, Brandy (the singer) had a reality show about her pregnancy on MTV. Her baby daddy (producer Robert Smith) was bailing on her all the time to go play ball (or whatever) with his boys. Brandy stood in the driveway screaming, "You'll be back jocking as soon as I'm fine again. You'll be back!" That threw me. And it applies to this post - she was just a little too thirsty in that relationship.

As a matter of fact, people - stop doing too much. Take two steps back from your S.O.'s breathing space and do you for a second. Trust if the relationship has any kind of staying power, they'll holla. Fellas you don't have to call/text fifteen times. We got the first message, we'll get back to you. Ladies, you don't have to pull out the whole bag of tricks to lock a brother down. If a man is into you, he's into you. If he's not, hanging sparklers out of your vijayjay isn't going to help. NO, not even if you serve him a perfectly grilled steak first.

Stop tricking for treats, please people. Get some pride about yourself. Be you and if that's not enough for your S.O. - you're with the wrong person.

Bougie out, ya'll. What cha got for Tired Dude and folks that are doing too much? Thoughts, insights, comments? The floor is yours.

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not to Do - Hope you enjoyed the week!

RWNTD*: Get Real Already: Don't Date what you can't deal with

My blog cousin Slim Jackson wrote a post over at Three Ways To Take It on women who do not appreciate the random small gestures that men make. He felt that some women expected men to jump through hoops for their love. And he further goes on to say that it's really hard for men to even remember to make that effort because they are so caught up in their day to day lives. 
The effort isn’t because we’re reluctant. It’s because sometimes we get caught up in the flow of life and forget. Other times we don’t do things simply because we know that within hours, the gesture will be forgotten because it’s expected or because shorty got used to the small acts. I know women that have dated really nice guys who did stuff for them all the time, but let that dude mess up once. There’s a chance she’d hold whatever he did over his head for 6 months to a year despite everything else. I can speak to this because I’ve been that guy multiple times before.
First of all, that's a trifling chick who can't break off a "thank you baby" on the regular. Second of all, I absolutely do not cosign that it's so very cumbersome for men to remember to do nice things. Quite truthfully if a man slaps a post-it note on the mirror once a week saying "Love ya Babe!" - a woman is over the moon. How hard is that? Moving on.

Maybe it's just me but I'm that girl who appreciates the small everyday things as opposed to the grand gestures. I actually teared up one time when an S.O. brought me some yogurt and a bottled water. The thing is, for whatever reason, I don't expect a whole lot. Love me, respect and appreciate me, talk to me, listen to me like you give a damn, be an emotional support. I'll do the same. Everything else is frosting on the relationship cake.

Without getting into a whole "who are these women and why are you dating them" swirl, let me address a broader issue... it's time to get real about relationship expectations.

I have to be with a considerate talker so I date men who communicate. I made a conscious decision that it's more important for the man I date to be considerate, a listener, and a gentleman rather than fine, successful and fly. I just happen to be lucky enough to be dating someone who is all of that but this is like my 212th time at bat. (translation - I've done my time knocking it out of the park in the minors, it was time I reaped the rewards of the big show and made the All-Star Team. If you don't know baseball lingo, that went right past you)

My point is if you want a woman to appreciate you... date an appreciative woman. What's more important - that you have the shiniest dime or a dame who loves your dirty drawers? Who's to say you won't find both?

Women keep talking about how they want to get married and then they date completely unmarriageable men. Men that are already married, determined to stay single or just not suitable. How's that gonna work?

Don't date what you can't deal with. It's just that simple. Gents, if you don't want a gold-digger, stop trying to attract women with your income. Ladies, if you don't want to be treated like the recreational chick, stop passing it out like an all-you-eat buffet. Both guys and girls, if you're not a patient person - why are you with someone who is high-maintenance and needs hand-holding?

I'll wait while you think on that. 

Let's talk for about your "must-have" lists. I have seen both men and women who are completely unreasonable in what they want. Brains, beauty, bank - okay those I expect to see but when you start tacking on specific physical characteristics and the tiniest personality traits... you're doing too much. You really have a six-page list of characteristics Mr. or Mrs. Right must have? C'mon now people... it's not like custom ordering a car, shiny chrome and GPS are nice to have but do you need them? (I'm not even to get into people who expect a platinum platter mate when they are bringing paper plates to the table. Good luck with that.)

Ladies and Gents - understand this. It's rare that your significant other is going to undergo huge transformations in personality. At most, they might change some habits or traits. Usually, you get who you get. If dude is a playa with his d!ck in the streets when you meet him, just assume that's who he's going to be. If a girl is gorgeous but selfish as all hell when you meet her, just assume that's her and know that the gorgeous may not last. 

All of this to say, get your priorities right and chose wisely. Be realistic about what you want versus what you need. And then once you've got that person... know who you've got and don't expect them to be anyone other than who they are. Pick someone you want to be friends with first. 

I'm getting kinda preachy so let me wrap it up. What do you think about small gestures men make? Are people unrealistic with their dating expectations? Have you seen these "must-have" lists, do you have one? How long is it? Ever dated someone you wanted to "change"? How did that work out for ya? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Wrapping up the Week: Doing too Much

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not to Do Week

RWNTD*: Who's the rabbit?

Guy wants girl, girl finds out and flings herself at guy. Guy gets what he wants, loses interest moves on. Guy approaches girl, declares his fervent interest, girl takes advantage of all the fervent interest and puts guy in friend zone. Just two examples of stories we've all heard before. What went wrong?

Broken down to the most elemental basics, relationships begin with the chase. Sometimes a short chase, sometimes a long, drawn out exhausting chase where you wonder if the prize is even worth it at the end... but I digress. It's a rabbit hunt if you will. Someone's got to be the hunter, someone's got to be the rabbit.

In a traditional male-female meme... the woman is the rabbit. Let me repeat that for every damn body: The WOMAN is the RABBIT. Not the man. I don't care how many mainstream media outlets try to convince you that there is only one decent heterosexual black male left in the Western Hemisphere. That's no cause to fling your drawers at everything with an XY chromosome. Seriously girls, stop doing the modern equivalent of clubbing men over the head and dragging them back to your lair. 

Ladies, your job is to fluff your tail and present yourself as something the hunter wants to take home and keep. Your job is not to grab the gun and chase the hunter down. It's your forest, run until you get caught. Unless you don't want to be caught, in which case just stay in your hole and make it as comfy as possible. Whatever (this metaphor is killing me).

Simply put - Ladies, quit chasing! It's not attractive, it reeks of desperation and it rarely works. I understand we're all liberated, hear-me-roar and all of that but in my very humble opinion, some traditions need to stay right in place. He is man, you are women... let him come to you. Or at the very least, be slick enough to let him think it was his idea to approach you.

And gents, you don't get off easy here. A friend of mine used to say that when you're hunting and the rabbit comes to you... there's something wrong with that rabbit. Do you really want the rabbit that jumps in the pot and says, "Cook me?" Don't you want to work for it a l'il bit?

You should at least meet half way. And I mean some of you fellas have got to step your chase game up. Smiling at me across a room tells me that you're polite, not that you're interested. The black man head bop as you walk past? Again, that's a greeting not an acknowledged interest. Not trying to be difficult or play hard to get, we ladies just need you fellas to make it plain without being sleazy. "How are you doing today?" Is lovely. "Shake something for me, shawty." Is not. But ya'll already know this. You catch a rabbit with a carrot (or a carat), think on the metaphor.

Agree? Disagree? Do share your thoughts on the chase - and why it gets harder to figure out who's wearing the cottontail and who's dangling the carrot

Tomorrow on BnB: Get real already. Don't date what you can't deal with.

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not To Do

RWNTD*: Don’t give a test you’re not sure they’ll pass (pt 2)

Yesterday, we learned about the woman who basically self-sabotaged her relationship trying to run game on her man. Today, let's learn about a man who thought he was running game but in the end... not so much. Let me break down his letter for you:

Bless His Heart Dude (BHD) meets Somewhat Needy Chick (SNC) at church. She is (according to all the church saints) a "good woman" who has just had a few bad breaks in life. Had a baby young, got screwed over (literally and figuratively) by her baby daddy and was working at having that better life. It did not hurt that SNC was bangin' of body and cute of face.

BHD is in his late twenties and tired of that single life. He wants to settle down with a "good woman" and "get on with his grown-up life." He decided to give SNC a try. They dined out and on the first date, she's not quite as "refined" as he would like but he saw through lack of etiquette, diction and table manners to something that both interested him and attracted him.

Fast forward to two months later, BHD moved SNC and baby-SNC into his crib. Now from his letter I can't tell if that was the test or this: He gave SNC a credit card and told her "Use it for emergencies." [pause for the side-eye] He didn't give it another thought. She adored him, was rubbing him the right way and he had an instant family.

What he did think about was the fact that not only was she not a great housekeeper, she's not a great housemate. In fact, she's sloppy and her four year old has picked up the same habits of just leaving things laying around and assuming someone else will clean it up. BHD hired a maid/cook/nanny [do we need to pause again?] and kept rolling. After all, this was a "good woman."

So her round-the-way friends appeared to have set up headquarters at his house and SNC couldn't keep a job, this was what a "grown-up" relationship was about, right? Putting up with the good and the bad?

At least that's what he told himself right up until the credit card company called him at work and asked when he planned to settle the balance on his card. He would pay it off over the phone, he told them - how much was it? $14,632 they told him - which bank account did he want them to take that out of? After his heart started beating again he found out that SNC had not only used the card like her personal checking account but had gone online and transferred money to her personal Paypal account $1000 at a time. She had the billing address and primary phone number changed so he would not get the bills. And she was apparently very fond of a website that overnighted Christian Louboutin shoes direct from France.

He had her and the little one out by week's end. He prepaid a month at an extended stay hotel to get her out. He had to change locks, all of his cards and bank accounts and file a fraud alert. She had opened up a store and gas credit card using his information. She had told people she was his new wife. He said he's still discovering her fraudulent acts.

His question to me was... where did he go wrong?

To which I'm tempted to respond - where did you go right? You got bamboozled by the beauty + booty combination then you moved a virtual stranger and her son into your home. You turned a blind-eye to every flaw. And then you gave this stranger a credit card in your name with a $20,000 credit limit.

Let me ask you this - what was so "good" about her that is PG-rated? She wasn't up to your "refinement" standards, you weren't comfortable with her lifestyle, she was a slob who couldn't cook or keep a job and turned your house into the neighborhood hang-out. She better have been turning you inside out all day everyday. For the record, not everybody who goes to church is a Christian. Next time, I would take things slow. Check some references, keep your credit card (and other things) in your pocket for a minute. And don't let a cute face fool you.

Hmm, just re-read this - am I being too harsh? I should probably be more sympathetic, huh? BougieLand, whatcha got for BHD? Ever been the victim of identity theft from a S.O.? Thoughts, comments, insights?

Tomorrow on BnB: Who's the rabbit?

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not To Do

RWNTD*: Don’t give a test you’re not sure they’ll pass (pt 1)

Normally, I'm a tactful person but I received the most-stupidest (yeah, I said it) letter from a grown woman recently that I simply must point out the rampantly ignorant error of her ways. I'm not going to cut and paste the letter because it was long and painful to read. Let me paraphrase:

Thirty-two year old woman met "good man" also thirty-two years of age. Grown-Ass Woman (GAW) and Grown-Ass Man (GAM) are six months into the dating thing and it's all good. But GAW has doubts, is GAM really all he is cracked up to be? She thinks he's The One but does he feel the same way?

GAW devises a plot [if I soundtracked the blog here's where I would insert the ominous piano chords] to test her man. She enlists a "friend" [the quotes will be self-explanatory shortly] to help her with this test. The plan is for cute sexy friend (CSF) to roll up on GAM and see how he responds. Does he take the bait? Does he flirt? Or more?

To GAM's credit, the first time CSF ran game on him he smiled and politely declined her offer of naked olive oil slip 'n slide and went on about his day. He even went so far into the Good Man Handbook as to tell GAW that some random broad tried to pick him up while he was out drinking with the boys. They laughed about it.

GAW in her infinite ignorance sends CSF after him one mo' gin. He flirts back a little bit longer but sends CSF packing with the specific words, "I'm seeing someone else but I'm flattered." Again, he tells GAW and even says, "Why is this woman so persistent?" GAW answers with a laugh, "I guess she sees something she likes." She calls CSF and tells her to stand down - GAM passed the test and she's satisfied he is a "good man". 

Unbeknownst to GAW, she just hit the nail on the head. CSF did see something she liked... a lot. Having decided that GAM was an awesome catch, CSF went after him with a full scale attack. CSF even used information gleaned from conversations with GAW to hook that man and reel him in. Her intel was apparently considerable. She had that man's head turned around for months. GAW knew something was going on with him but wasn't sure what. CSF's slam dunk move (the one that won the game) was to tell GAM that GAW had sicced her on him but she couldn't do it anymore because she fell in love with him and she couldn't stand to see him deceived. He deserved so much better!

What do you think happened next?! Oh yes, GAM dumps GAW in an angry huff. He and CSF are now engaged to be married. GAW lost her man and her friend. She's spending her free time writing me twelve page emails chock full of bitter expletives about how she's been betrayed.

Sister-girl... betrayed my ass - let me count just some of the ways you JACKED this up yourself:
One - you were happy but you rocked the boat because of your own insecurities
Two - you sent temptation his way. Not once but at least twice.
Three - NEVER tell your girlfriends EVERYTHING about your man. That can bite you in the ass so many ways. 
Four - how good a friend was she if she was willing to go along with this?
Five - True, GAM could've resisted but that's a moot point now, isn't it?

Girl, I'm sorry but you're stupid. Put plain, you let the enemy into your camp having already handed them the blueprint and strategy to get to the prize. WDDDA? No, I'm not absolving your trifling "friend" or your former boyfriend but you have got to see where you brought trouble to your own doorstep. 

For the record ya'll - I don't like "tests" in relationships. I think time, judgment, intuition and observation will tell you what you need to know about someone. What say you, BougieLand? To test or not to test? Any insights on the story I just shared? Would you ever do such a thing? Thoughts, comments?

Tomorrow: Pt 2 of Don't give a test you're not sure they'll pass, a man's story. 

*RWNTD: Relationship What Not to Do

This week on BnB: Relationship “What Not To Do” Week

Thank you so much to the 112th person who tweeted, emailed and Facebooked me to ask when the next Relationship Week was going to be. Well, here we are. Relationship What Not To Do (RWNTD) Week. We're going to talk about the viability of "testing" your S.O., who should chase whom among other fascinating topics. Drop by and join the discussion.

Disclaimer: I am not a relationship expert not do I care to be. But I've lived and loved and I have eyes, ears, a brain and a keyboard. Let my tragic yet never dull dating history be a lesson (or two) unto all of you. Here endeth the disclaimer.