Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When to let go

Lets talk about hanging on too long.

I was talking to one of my friends and she mentioned to me that a woman she knows was with a man for several decades and she found out that he was getting married to someone else in a few days. Wow! So that made think about how much is too much? When should a person let go?

I remember several years ago, an older woman told me that if a man hasn't married you, or asked you to marry him in 2 years, he's not ever going to marry you.  Now as a young[er] woman, I didn't really take heed to what she told me.  At that point in my life, being in a relationship for 2 years wasn't a long time.  To be honest, I've probably been in about 2 or 3 relationships that lasted longer than 2 years.  Most of the time, i get tired of people long before 24 months is up.  A lot of the time, the guy i was dating either cheated, constantly lied, or worse... had a baby and I wasn't the mother.  So that meant that I was out like scout on a new route in that relationship.

Sometimes i feel like my "impatience" hasn't been the best thing in my life and relationships.  As I think about it, i could have probably forgiven that man.  I could have tried to give him another another chance.  <-- That's not a typo.  "Another another" chance means that he was already given another chance and he effed up his second chance.  I look back over things and I realize that we were both young[er] and not really making good decisions.  We probably weren't thinking about the future.  We were stuck in the meantime.  If people thought about their future and made decisions based on that, they'd probably make MUCH better decisions regarding their relationships.

So I asked the question, How long should you stay with someone before they ask you to marry them? Someone told me that a piece of paper doesn't matter much.  Another person says 3-5 years.  One woman says that she lived with her ex for years like a married couple, only to come to the conclusion that it was a bad relationship that she was trying to make good.  Another woman gave her BF an ultimatum.  I remember 2 good friends of mine gave their BF's ultimatums back when we were in our early 20's.  Both of them are still married to this day.  They're going on 20 years of marriage.  Both of them. Do ultimatums work? Heck yeah! Either you ultimately live happily ever after or you ultimately end up single lol.

I've never been in a situation where I had to make a serious decision to let go.  Probably because the relationship wasn't THAT serious.  It was easier to walk away from those situations because there wasn't much vested in things.  But how hard is it to walk away from someone who you've been with for YEARS? At some point, you have to learn to live for yourself.  Happiness will come.  Happiness is just a decision away and is waiting for you to grab hold of it and claim it.  The choice is yours.  

The Phaedra Way...when the going gets tough

Kenny Rogers sang a song that says You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. How would you have handled the situation with Phaedra and Apollo?

Every Sunday night I watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta like clock work.  I have to admit that I've seen every episode of that show since the day it hit the airwaves.  And while I don't completely agree with the shenanigans that often occur among the cast members, I find the show to be entertaining for the most part.
So the onset of this season started out with the situation between Phaedra and Apollo and his legal proceedings.  I couldn't help but notice how it seemed that Phaedra had completely washed her hands with her husband.  And that got me to thinking...

If you husband or significant other was going through something similar, would you stick it out with them, or leave them? Would you support them through a period of incarceration? One thing that I never quite understood was people taking children to a jail or prison to see a parent.  Now don't get me wrong here.  I'm not saying that it's wrong.  It's just something that I don't any value in or even how it benefits the children.  In my opinion, the incarcerated parent is selfish by committing a crime that would put them in prison. So why should they get to see their child while they're locked up? They had all the time in the world to see the kids BEFORE they got locked up.  So why would you subject a child to seeing their parents in prison garb, with bars clinking all around them? To me, that's just not a positive example to set for kids. But to each his own...

But back to the subject at hand.  Is Phaedra's disposition on the situation wrong? There's always two ways to look at a situation.  And while both have their own reasons for what and how things went wrong, They both can be held accountable for the mess that happened in their marriage. For example, Apollo's record is not clean and was not clean when he and Phaedra began dating.  Clearly he was fresh out the pen and she was fully aware of his situation.  Apollo even mentioned on one episode that Phaedra made booty calls to the projects to visit him while he was sleeping on a blow up mattress.  She wasn't a stranger to his living and financial situation prior to their marriage. So why is she acting like all of this was a big surprise that came out of nowhere? From my experiences and my friends' experiences in relationships, a woman knows what their man's issues are even if they don't want to admit it to themselves or any else.  I can't speak for men, but us women tend to think that marriage or and extra dose of support or some loving is going to change a man and his ways.  A friend of mine got married quite a few years ago.  She and her husband were separated in less than 6 months.  So when we talked about it, she was going on and on about how he didn't want to work, he's lazy, etc.  My response was, You knew that when you married him.  Don't act like this is new to you.  He didn't work and he was lazy while you were dating and you thought marriage was going to make him want to get a job?  My real question is, why the hell would anyone marry someone who doesn't have a means to support themselves?  If he or she can't support themselves, then they sure as heck won't be able to support you.  Phaedra knew what she was getting herself into when she married him.

Let's not forget that Ms. Parks is an attorney. Law is a well respected profession not to be taken lightly.  Since I've been studying for the LSAT exam, I have a true respect for attorneys now.  And from judging these test requirements,  it's safe to say that you have to pretty smart to get into Law School. It would also be safe to say that a person of her intellectual caliber would be a bit more privy to knowing where the household finances are going to, and most importantly in their situation, coming from.  If I were her, I'd ask where the money was coming from? Especially if he didn't have a job. Apollo had mentioned that the mortgage was $3500 and his wife told him that he had to pay it. So if this man didn't have a job, where was this money coming from? You can't tell me that she didn't know something about something.

The question that I want to ask is how much are you willing to overlook in a relationship?  Would you be willing to overlook criminal activity? On any given day, I can flip through Instagram or other social media outlets and see how girls are referring to themselves as "The Main".  WTF? Seriously, if you're not "The Only", then you need to bounce.  Point. Blank. Period.  I know that relationships are give and take. Sometimes you give more than you take and sometimes it's reversed.  But I can't and won't ever be in a situation where I would have to refer to myself as "The Main". That won't ever be overlooked.

I believe, although I can't speak for certain, that in some situations, there should be some understandg and support.  And although a crime is a crime, just as a sin is a sin, keep in mind that Apollo didn't commit something serious like murder.  I think that Phaedra could have at least stuck it out with him at least until he went away.  But there's an old saying, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. And Phaedra got gone!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The empty cell phone

Let's talk about snooping.

A friend of mine dated a guy about 5 years ago who seemed like he had it together.  He was caring, concerned, and most of all, mature. They had so much in common and were on the same page.  They even talked marriage and future plans.  It seemed like she had finally met the man that would settle her down.  Everything was right on track.  Until she looked in that cell phone.  As most people do, she looked in the phone when she had an opportunity to do so.  You know those opportunities.  When he's in the shower, outside, or someplace where it's easy to look before he comes back in the room.  Before she did it, I told her what my grandmother always said about snooping. .. "If you go looking for something, be prepared for what you're going to find out."  She did it anyways lol.  Interesting enough, there wasn't anything in his phone.  And I mean NOTHING.  Nothing from his mama, his sister, or even HER.  I never told her, but that seemed really odd to me.  Why wouldn't you keep messages from your girl?  Was there something more to it? For me personally, If i'm dating someone, I keep their messages. I liked rereading something that might have made me smile...so I can smile again.  I like rereading comments that might have made me laugh.  And I like rereading those "good morning" text that I get. But a completely empty cell phone had me baffled.  There weren't any incoming or outgoing call logs either.  Weird!...but none of my business, so I never gave her my opinion because she never asked for it.

Fast forward about 4 years.  They are no longer together.  That situation only last for a little over a year.  In the end, she found out that there was someone else in his life.  Then she asked me what I thought about the empty cell phone situation. I told her that I thought it was odd that he didn't keep any messages [from her] or have any phone logs in his phone.  She agreed.  Let's just say that hindsight is a emm-effer, ok? 

I asked people if they ever looked through their significant other's cell phone.  Most of them had never done it and said that if they didn't trust their significant others, then they didn't need to be with them.  I completely agree! Just a couple of weeks ago, I told a friend of mine that when I met him, I REALLY wanted to take him seriously. We had some common interests and such and seemed to be on the same page about future goals. But as time progressed, I knew that I wasn't the only person that he was interested in.  And if anyone knows me, they know that Bessie don't play second to NO ONE. And I told him this.  It wasn't that big of a deal but sometimes if you don't  put it out there, people won't know how you feel or stand about something that you feel strongly about.  At this point in my life, I'm not interested in playing a game of "Duck Duck Goose" with other women with this man. We'll remain platonic friends for now.

So as I'm writing this, I'm asking myself would I have issues with another guy looking in my phone? At this point, because I'm not seeing anyone seriously and not in a committed anything, no I wouldn't have issues with it. When I meet a guy, and they ask me what my status is, I tell them I'm dating.  I'm not married, I'm not in a relationship, and I don't have anyone that I would consider to be my "Bae".  I'm dating. Simple as that.  I have nothing to hide.  If i were in a serious relationship, I still wouldn't have a problem with letting my significant other because again, I have nothing to hide.  

People always say that when you go looking for something, you should be prepared for what you're going to find.  When you go snooping, you should be ready for the outcomes of that snoop.With that being said, if you don't trust your partner, then chances are you shouldn't be with them. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Make a Wish

I'm a member of a lot of Facebook groups. So many, that I can barely keep up with them really.  Earlier this week, one of the moderators of a group that I'm a member of posted this picture (see above) and asked for comments.  I responded one day.  Then about 2 days later, I responded again. My first response was to wish for a good score on the LSAT test.  I was in the library studying when I posted that response lol.  A couple days ago, I responded that I wished for a husband.  My response was: "Today...I wish for a husband. Not anyone else's husband. One for me and me only. A good hearted man with a sense of humor means to support us (family), and he HAS to be taller than me! (lol)" I was just writing what was on my mind at that very moment.  I had no idea that my words would be so appreciated by the other members of the group.  The responses after my response were such uplifting and supporting.  Some were thanking me for being able to be so open and honest.  In all actuality, I was sitting there with my checkbook trying to figure out who's getting paid and who's not.  That's a ritual that I engage in every other Thursday (the day before payday).  Yay me…
When I was a child, I used to make wishes all kinds of stuff.  Falling stars (if you ever saw one), kissing my food up to God if it fell on the floor lol are just a couple.   But that day, I had to be brutally honest with myself.  Over the years, I always said that I didn’t really want to be married.  It was never something that meant a lot to me.  I was perfectly happy dating and having my fun.  But as I got older and closer to God, I realized that a husband is what I need in my life.  The Bible validates the ideology of marriage and family.  It’s about time that I start to take head to those teachings. 
When I mentioned this, I was surprised to find out that there were A LOT of ladies in our FB group that felt the same way. I was just writing what was on my mind at that very moment.  I had no idea that my words would be so appreciated by the other members of the group.  The responses after my response were such uplifting and supporting.  Some were thanking me for being able to be so open and honest.  In all actuality, I was sitting there with my checkbook trying to figure out who's getting paid and who's not.  As a single mother, it’s difficult to cover everything. Yes the bills are getting paid, but what happens when an unexpected expense pops up? Where’s that $600 to fix the brakes on the car going to come from?  There’s no one there to cover the other expenses if an emergency comes up. I could go on, but I think my point is made here.
I remember reading about Rosa Parks and how she became one of the catalysts for the Civil Rights Movement back in the 1960’s.  Among all the acclimates and such, when asked why she did what she did, Mrs. Parks simply replied that she was tired.  She was tired.  She sat down because she was tired.  Who knew that simple thing would spark a national movement and make such a significant mark on history?
People say that big things come from little thoughts. All I was doing was sitting here the other day, looking at my checkbook, trying to figure out who's getting paid this week and who's not. That’s it.  Nothing else.  I was thinking about those 2 disciples Peter and Paul.  How one was going to be robbed in order to pay the other lol.  I wasn’t thinking how my response would motivate and uplift strangers, but’s exactly what happened.  I went back to FB the next day and noticed that I had a lot of mentions and most of them were from the members of the group.  I was a real eye opening experience to say the least.
Now don’t get me wrong here.  I’m not looking for someone to be a financial support.  Me and my checkbook was just the catalyst for my feelings. But if you can’t fund this operation, you need not apply. I can do bad all by myself.  In reality, it would be nice to have someone to do things with or just to be able to consult on things with someone.  Most people don’t know how mentally exhausting it is to have to make EVERY household decision for yourself.  I would love to say to some of these AAU coaches (for example) “Let’s see what my husband, or his father, has to say”.  It would be so nice to be on a road trip and not have to drive all the way there AND back! It would be nice to have someone to be a wife to.
When I wrote what I wrote, I didn't think I’d open up doors for other people to confess their truths. I was only thinking that I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of being bored on weekends. I’m just tired! But I’m glad that I said what I said because I now know that others feel like I do. I need help. My child needs a father. I need a mate/companion (husband). Although there was a plethora of things that started to run through my mind at that time, the most important thing was that I’m finally to the point where I can be honest with myself about this.

Oh...I should mention that I would like my husband to be Jalen Rose.  Just had to throw that out there lol

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My response to the Mercer County Free Press Article

You are absolutely correct.  You are NOT a professor.  Nor are you a good "reporter".  Your article didn't amuse anyone or make any point, other than you are exactly how you described yourself... a non-Nobel prize winner "writer".  

I can't help but be offended at the lop-sided misconception and presentation of your article that was presented in the Mercer County Free Press recently.  Because of the many inaccuracies in your poorly researched article, I feel compelled to enlighten you on a few key points.

We are not all in poverty.
It's impossible to imply to that everyone who resides in the City of Farrell lives in poverty.  According to the 2010 Census (www.census.gov <--use that link to research your next article) 85% of Farrell residents have a high school diploma or higher.  Keep in mind, this number is only counting people ages 25 and up.  The average college graduate is 22 years old, therefore their numbers aren't being counted.  There is still an older population in the city that are immigrants and came up during the heyday of the steel mills.  During this heyday, it was perfectly acceptable to drop out of school, go down the hill, and work in the steel mills.  These residents are probably included in the 15%.  Eighty-five percent, compared to 82.1% of Reynolds residents. (http://www.city-data.com). The average persons per household is 2.4 people and median income for residents in the City of Farrell is roughly $30,000/year.  The mean income is around $39,000/year.  The per capita income rate is $17,000/year or so.  So if there's approximately 2 people living in one household, and let's say that that household income is $17,000/year, that still doesn't meet the 2014 Federal Poverty Guideline of $15,730 for a two person household.  Now this is a blanket statement sort of.  I realize that there are some who do live in poverty in this city, but there's a lot more of us who don't and never did. 

Our children are not "at-risk"
Exactly what are our children "at-risk" of? Is it drug dealing? Drug use? Guns and weaponry? Could it be that our children are at-risk of being exposed to racism and negative connotations/stories written about them for no particular reason? The term at-risk is defined as "Being endangered, as from exposure to disease or from a lack of parental or familial guidance and proper health care: efforts to make the vaccine available to at-risk groups of children." 
The last I checked, a lot of children in Farrell aren't suffering from any diseases, receiving a lack of parenting or familial guidance. Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that there aren't children who've made a mistake or gotten into some trouble. What I'm saying is that EVERY child in this city should not be categorized as at-risk.  Again I say, the only thing that most of our kids are at risk of is people like you who spread stories like yours about their community.  Farrell is a very loving and caring community and I'm proud to say that I'm a resident here.

You felt funny being a white person in Farrell? Imagine how Black people feel being ANYWHERE in Mercer County
Being followed in stores, looked at fearfully, and turned away from jobs are just a tip of the iceberg for minorities in Mercer County.  What a joke! I can tell you this, Black people are probably more accepting of a white person coming, visiting, living in an area that has a high minority population, than white people are accepting of a Black person living in a high non-minority area.  I'm willing to bet that it's much easier for a white person to come live in Farrell than it is for a Black person to go live in Reynolds.  
I remember 14 years ago when my parents bought their new home.  A neighbor came out of his house and said right to my mom and step dad's face "When you guys moved in here, I said There goes the neighborhood". Really?  Prejudgement can only lead to the revelation of a person's lack of knowledge and acceptance of minorities.  For the record, my mom owns a childcare center and has done so for the past 20+ years.  My dad retired from the State of PA 4 years ago and now owns his own business as well.  

Everyone standing on a street corner isn't selling drugs
They're just loitering, sir. Albeit, loitering is against the law, but one is a felony and the other a misdemeanor. #LawSchool2015

People sitting on their porches or stoops aren't afraid of anything  
This city is deeply rooted in southern tradition and culture.  The Sharon Herald ran a story a few years ago about the city's ties to Cheraw, SC.  Many years ago, my grandparents came to Mercer County by way of Cheraw, SC. because my grandfather had gotten work in the steel mill.  They raised 8 children, all high school grads, some college grads, and all went on to continue the middle class lifestyle that my grandparents set up for them.  And as far as people sitting on the porches/stoops because they are afraid of something, well that's just not accurate either.  I know in your article that you likened this trait to Pittsburgh's Hill District, Harlem, NY, and Philadelphia, PA (all MAJOR cities, mind you), but the comparison is like apples and oranges.  You should know that sitting on the front porch is a southern tradition. Can you see the connection?..a city deeply rooted in southern immigration displaying southern traits and traditions.  Oh! the irony!

I was always taught not to stoop to anyone's level when they hurl insults, etc. in my direction.  I've lived in this city my entire life and I've witnessed all kinds of racial comments made towards the residents and students.  In high school, being a part of a top state level volleyball program, we had the opportunity to play in many different areas and school districts.  In the course of my 4 years of playing volleyball for FASD, i can remember being called Black bitches, [housing] project dwellers, poor n*ggers, etc. We were children and these insults were from so-called adults.  All because we put the smack down on their kids' teams.  Don't hate the player, hate the game.  I neglected to mention during my original publishing that Of the 7 seniors on my high school volleyball team, 4 of us graduated with HIGH honors. And ALL of us went on to college.

The media would want everyone to believe that the City of Farrell is some kind of cesspool of crime, delinquency, and uneducated people who sit around all day and do nothing.  It would want you to believe that it is a city of dilapidated buildings that are boarded up or falling in.  The last time I checked, there are buildings like this is every community in Mercer County.  There are very nice areas in Farrell that get overlooked because people are so busy trying to find the negatives in the city.  Had you driven a few blocks south, you would have seen the beautiful new 3-story apartment building that was built last year.  And you would have seen the 10 new single-family homes that were also built last year. I should mention here, that more homes are being planned to be built soon.  But instead you chose to showcase some the oldest buildings in the city.  Some of these building are nearing 80-90 years old.  So of course they would be falling in.  When's the last time you saw anything that was 80 or 90 years old that didn't need structural support? Even humans this age, need some kind of help to hold them up, else they'd succumb also. 

Furthermore, your comparisons are, upon first reading them, very offensive, but upon reading them again, I find them quite amusing.  Amusing to the point where I, and most people in Farrell, and also a few people who don't live in Farrell, can laugh at YOU and your poor portrayal of comparison and contrast.  As a high school Freshman who took a Sophomore English class, I had the pleasure of learning of such (comparison and contrast and properly writing them) in greater detail while in Mr. R's classroom.  

And finally, the mere fact that you have an Editor's position in a publication, shows that White-privilege more than likely played a significant part in your appointment into this position.  Here's another link for you to research "white privilege" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege)  ...always check your facts before you publish them.

And while I do not consider myself a writer, nor an expert, I'm willing to believe that my upbringing, sense of community pride, and my BA and MA have played a significant part in my ability to respond to your "article" so eloquently. I hope to get my point across to you by addressing your stereotypical perceptions of people and situations that you know nothing about first hand.  I'm just a Black woman who has 2 college degrees and is preparing to enter Law School next fall... who just so happens to live in Farrell, PA. 

Now I understand that my response may seem lopsided or even one-sided.  This is because I DELIBERATELY wrote it to be so.  I read your article quite a few times and I see how you [attempted] to address racism in your words.  I think that your approach needs work, but I can [almost] see where you were going with this.  My suggestion would be to not make a city look so bad while attempting to make another look better in your effort to address racism in Mercer County, PA.  If you're going to attempt to compare apples and oranges, at least be a fruit farmer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When to forgive

It took me 7 years to forgive this man.  Seven years to finally get to the point where I could say his name and not want to spit on him. It was that serious. We'll in my mind it was.  It wasn't like I was consumed with this situation for 7 years. It's just that I let it live in me for that long. I never sat around and let it overcome my thoughts and emotions. To be honest, I never thought about him until someone mentioned his name to me.
Last week I was listening to a song that he recorded for me. He wrote and sang the song just for me.  I don't know how the song got on my iPhone playlist but there it was.  Just a few days before that I was struggling with the concept of forgiveness and how to apply it to certain situations in my life.  I REALLY listened to the words of that song and there was my A-ha! moment.  I heard his point of view of the relationship. When I heard that song, it made me think if him and how I had to begin the process of forgiveness to begin to move on with certain aspects of my life.   And while I had gotten past hating him, I'd never really gotten past the extreme hurt, humiliation, and degradation that I felt during that relationship.

Forgiveness is a way to shed the hurt, pain, and emotional baggage that's probably weighing you down in life. In your path of forgiveness, you'll feel and emotional rush that's a new beginning.  Like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.  When I decided to forgive him, I unblocked him on Facebook lol. That's my way of moving on. He's still blocked on twitter, Instagram, and all the other social media sites, by the way lol.  Dude was a little out there, and a sister is NOT THAT crazy, ok??

So in the 7 years that's gone by, I can honestly say that the hurt lingered up until 3 days ago.  And that's only because I let it.  I didn't do it on purpose, it's just something that happened without me really knowing.  And holding on to hurt for 7 years will take a lot out of a person let me tell you.  And just 3 days ago, I felt my whole spirit being lifted when i said to myself, "I'm not mad anymore".  There was a point in my life, where I wished that person nothing but the worse in life.  I didn't wish that anything bad would happen to him, i just didn't care if it did or not.  Slight difference here lol.  And while I will never sit down and break bread with this guy ever again, I'm ok with hoping that he doesn't choke on  that bread...ok..i went too far with that one.
I was reading something the other night on "How to forgive".  I didn't learn any more than I had already known. It talked of all the typical things...Let go, Don't be angry, Let go of hurt, etc.  But one thing specially stood out to me.  It referred to revenge.  It said that best type of revenge is to lead a healthy and happy life.  I think I've done that.
I'm on a good path now.  I admit, it's very hard to not have an ill feeling towards someone who mentally and physically abused you.  But that's God's issue to handle now.  I've learned and moved on.  I've learned that even through a negative point in my life, I can be true to myself and say that I learned  A LOT during that time.  I've learned both good and bad lessons, and I fully intend to apply those lessons to my current and future relationships one day at a time.
Until next time... :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Keeping Secrets

A couple weekends ago, I was channel surfing trying to find something to watch.  I have to admit that summer TV programming is the pits.  I ended up watching an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.  Yeah...the programming was THAT bad.  On this particular episode, Khloe was going through marital issues with her husband Lamar Odem.  She was talking about how he was giving interviews and speaking with various news outlets about how "well" their relationships was going and saying that he had hoped they would be able to work out their differences.  Meanwhile, Khloe was telling her sisters that she hadn't heard from her husband in months.  She went on to say that there were so many times where she lied to cover up things that he had said or did that damaged their relationships.  About how she lied to her family and friends about giving away her tickets to see Beyonce on her birthday and telling everyone how wonderful her birthday was with her husband.  She mentioned that there were so many times in her marriage where she lied to her family and friends to cover up her husband's behaviors and actions.

So that got me to thinking about how many times I've lied to people to cover up a partner's let down, aggressiveness, abuse, or whatever.  As I sat there thinking about it, I realized that I've done that A LOT.  I remember as far back as middle or high school and a situation arose where I felt like I had to lie about something someone did or didn't do to me.  In the past, I've hidden the fact that I was stood up for dates (lol), cheated on, lied to, lied on, and so on.  Most of the people who I talked to said that they had lied to cover up abuse in a relationship.  I've done the same.  It wasn't physical abuse, but it was emotional abuse.  And I can tell you this right here...emotional and verbal abuse creates the same amount of hurt and wounds than physical abuse does.  Sometimes I think that it might be worse.  A bruise will heal.  A put down will be with you for the rest of your life.

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking that there are other ways of keeping secrets in relationships.  Dating is hard enough these days.  Imagine dating at 40+ and pickings are slim.  Most guys that I or my friends meet are just as bad as having a 20-something around.  The lies are just as grand, the net worth is just as low, and the assertiveness to succeed is in the toilet.  At least with a 20-something year old, you know what to expect from them.  Nothing.  It becomes a problem when 40+ year old men are in the same financial situation as a man who's 20 years younger than them.  And God forbid they ask you about yourself or your background and you actually tell them.  For instance, if you tell them that you own your own home and car, or have a college education, they immediately categorize you as being "independent".  Of course, we're independent.  Who else to we have to rely on other than ourselves?? We can't rely on 40+ year old single men because they can't even rely on themselves.  I once dated a man, and I use that term VERY loosely, who lived in his father's house, drove around in his deceased grandmother's car, and slept in a hand me down bedroom set.  And had the nerve to try to make me feel bad because I was afforded the opportunity to attend college (he was afforded this opportunity also, but didn't take advantage of the opportunity. Yeah he flunked out).  He had come from a similar background as I did.  Both parents, middle-class family, etc.  The difference between him and me was that I appreciated the opportunities that I was given.  I took constructive criticism and applied it to my life plan.  I didn't blame other people for the mistakes that I made.  And I damn sure didn't try to make anyone feel bad for being successful in life.  But every time something good happened in my life, he did everything in his power to try to make me feel bad about good things.

I say all this to ask this question...  How many of you have deliberately not mentioned something significant in your life to a potential mate for fear of "scaring them off"? Do you consider this outright lying or is it lying by omission? Would you feel offended if/when you found out the "truth" about the other person? I'm sure it happens more than people realize it does.  I admit that I do it often. If somebody considers me to be a liar, then so be it lol.  But the reality in life is this: there are A LOT of men out there who are intimidated by a somewhat successful woman.  There are a lot of men who might feel like they don't have much to offer a woman who already has a house, car, job, education, etc.  Yes, I am aware that there are a lot of men out there who ARE comfortable with women like this, it's just that i haven't met very many of them.

What are your thoughts? I would like to have feedback on this subject because for some odd reason, I'm feeling like this subject is going to come up again ;-)

Please leave comments below... Thank You!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

When to say "I don't"

The other day I had to let someone down "easy". I was talking to an old boyfriend and he asked me if I ever still thought about him? I told him hell no, I don't think about him.  What's there for me to think about? How he just bought a new house with all brand new furniture that's he's probably going to move his girlfriend into? Or how she get the "benefits" of being the woman in his life and not the side chick.  I went to say that I'm a good woman, a good mother, I'm educated, I own my own home and business, and pay my own bills. Yeah...basically I'm an ADULT.  But back to what I was saying.  And because I'm ALL of the above, he has some nerve even coming at me like that.  The nerve of some men! To think that I'm putting myself out there like that to be ANYBODY'S side woman, sex partner, or whatever men are looking for these days.  How dare he insult me like that??  The conversation ended with him saying, Let me call you right back. ...I never heard from him LOL I have to be honest and admit that I did think of him every once in a while, but he'll never know that! But I also had to tell him the real truth of the situation.  

There is another guy I went out with this year who kind of falls into the same category.  He lives in another state and comes in the area from time to time to see his family.  He was in town a few months ago and we went out.  After he returned home, I noticed that, although he did a lot of talking of "us" while he was HERE, he never said much about "us" while he was THERE.  For example, he never invited me to visit.  He never even talked about me visiting.  And then he said those words..."Let's just see how things go".  I'm not stupid.  I know exactly what those words mean when they come from a man.  Needless to say, I never once tried to contact him again, nor did I accept any of his calls, texts, emails.

Now it may seem that I'm quick to kick a dude to the curb.  Actually, I'm not.  But what I am quick to do is see right through bullshit lines that most men spew.  It's a gift lol  Another incident happened at Sheetz last week.  There were a group of men down there in what looked like fireman uniforms.  So i asked them were they firemen? Turns out they work in Marcellus shale industry and were in town on a job.  So he asks me, what i was doing later that evening? Long story short, we ended up talking for a while.  So I asked him if he was involved with anyone.  Ladies it's important to remember to ask a man if there's anyone else in his life.  This way you know from the rip what his intentions are.  So his answer was...and make sure you're sitting down for this...I'm not seeing anyone but I live with my kids' mother. WTF?? I walked away and left him standing there LOL  Like for real...who does he think that's going to go over on? 

I was telling a friend of mine and she said to me, Apparently, these guys don't know who you are! And then I realized that she was 100% correct! So my question for all you men who's intentions were/is/are to take me as a joke is, "DO YOU KNOW WHO THE HELL I AM??" As a matter of fact, there are a lot of men who don't know who the hell a lot of women are.  If they did, they wouldn't act like 40+ year old babies.  And yes, there are a lot of women who are just as guilty as men are in this situation, but I'm not talking about them right now lol.  I could write an entire series on women, and i might get around to it one, but right now we're talking about the guys. I will say this though, there are a lot of really great guys out there and sometimes they fly over our radar.  Shoot us, ok? Things happen sometimes lol.

So when do we learn to say "I don't", instead of "I do"?  This is not in a matrimonial type of question, but a relationship question.  There comes a time in life when a person just has to say I don't.  I don't like a certain situation.  I don't like how this person is making me feel.  I don't like where this relationship is heading.  Yadda yadda yadda.  It's ok to say "I don't" to  situation in your life.  Instead of staying in a situation where you're unhappy or being used or abused, it's ok to chuck up those deuces and handle your business.  I'm a true believer that God didn't put on this planet to be miserable in relationships. He put us on this planet to be loved. And if being loved means that you have to say "I don't" to some things, then by all means, go for it! Just be sure to say "I do" when the time is right ;-)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My natural hair journey

Hello All!!

This blog isn't about relationships, so to speak.  I've been on a natural hair journey for 2 years now.  I must admit that the journey has been a very pleasant one.  

My natural hair journey began in a somewhat nontraditional way. I never did the "big chop", which probably made my journey easy to begin with.  My hair was cut short and i had that haircut for about 2 years.  Then I had micro braids in my hair for a few months during the summer of 2012.  Once i took the braids out, I really couldn't figure out what to do with my hair.  I had a couple of wigs and some ponytails that I'd worn for a minute during that summer as well.  In August of 2012, I just washed my hair and twisted it up and let it air dry.  This picture is what it originally looked like.  

I got A LOT of compliments on my new hair style, so I kept it.  I never thought once that this was the beginning of a hair journey for me.  I even liked it myself, which is hardly unheard of lol.  I'm usually not a person who is a-ok with my hair styles. I change my hair very often.  This is what my hair looked like in April 2014..

It doesn't look like much growth, but I can assure you all that shrinkage is real! It seems like the longer i went without a relaxer and the more I washed my hair, the more shrinkage i got! I had my hair blown out and pressed June 2014 and it's well past my shoulders.  
A lot of people have asked me what products  I use.  For my shampoo and conditioner I use Tresemme products.  I've been using Tresemme since I was in college.  A friend of mine introduced me to it and it worked well on my hair.  Back then i was the relaxer queen so i was surprised to find a shampoo and conditioner that i liked for my hair.

Now it took me a minute to find a product that worked well on my natural hair texture.  I've probably tried and thrown out about 5 different brands of natural hair products.  I'm mentioning this because when you're on a natural hair journey, it will take you a minute to find the right products for your hair.  Not all natural hair has the same texture or ability to hold moisture.  My hair holds moisture for a day or two, but after that, it's a rough dried up mess lol.  I started off using Curl Control by Beautiful Textures.  This is when i was twisting my hair weekly and letting it air dry. 

A friend of mine, Jennika had a lot of BT products that she didn't want anymore and gave me the moisture butter (seen below).  One day i had washed my hair with the full intent of twisting it and letting it dry.  Well an emergency came up after i had washed my hair and put the hair butter in it.  I just let it air dry and that's how I found my "latest" style.  No more twisting!! Yes!  Just wash and go!
I haven't really given much thought to how long I was going to stay natural.  At this point, I haven't had a relaxer in my hair in nearly 2 1/2 years.  My hair has regained it's natural texture from before i got my first relaxer when I was 10 years.  I've given myself 5 years to see how much growth I'll have with out the relaxer, or creamy crack as the natural hair bloggers call it lol!  

I just wanted to share with you all the products that I use because I get asked a lot what I put in my hair.  I hope your natural hair journey is as fun and enjoyable as mine!

Monday, July 28, 2014

What's on my mind: The Growth Spurt

What's on my mind: The Growth Spurt: "It's not that you think you're better than people. Sometimes you just outgrow people and their lifestyles." -Kavon Wright...

The Growth Spurt

"It's not that you think you're better than people. Sometimes you just outgrow people and their lifestyles." -Kavon Wright, 2014

I was recently in a group text conversation with my friends from college and we were talking about our next reunion trip. I'm looking forward to our trip to the islands next year! As I was talking (texting) my friends, it took me back to IUP in 1991 when we all met during summer session 2. Our bound got stronger during Spring 1992 when we all became members of Alpha Angels. That was the beginning of our life long friendship and many, many, many stories that I could share, but I'll keep to myself because I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is in the State of Pennsylvania lol...just kidding! I often joke around saying that we could have been the original Bad Girls Club when we were in college.

It's been 23 years since we entered IUP as Freshmen and our friendship has NEVER wavered. We've never had a falling out. We've never had a big blow up with each other. We've never moved on past our friendship. There was a time, however, when we didn't see each other for like 15 years lol But when we caught up with each other, it was like old times again. We picked up exactly where we left off. Trading insults (in jest) and partying hard like we always did. My friends always give encouragement, but keep it real with me. They make me feel ok about being tall,...because those who know me, know that I'm not THAT fond of it. ...but it's a blessing from God. I remember a time during my junior year in college when my Grandma passed away. My cousins were already home and knew that my grandma had passed, but my family didn't want to tell me until i got back home. My friends drove me halfway home on a whim (after we'd stolen a half tank of gas from the Sheetz near campus lol).

I was thinking about how I don't have as much personal contact with my high school friends as I do with my college friends. It's more like when I see them, we speak, etc. Always cordial, but more than likely it won't be a planned event or activity like my plans with my college friends. Then I realized, that sometimes you just kinda outgrow people. It's nothing bad, but sometimes in life, your goals and vision becomes different from those people who you shared a common bond with years or decades ago. My high school best friend is totally off my radar now. I'll see her every once in a while, but it probably won't ever be something where we plan to get together and kick it. And this doesn't bother me at all. I'm good with knowing that people are in your life for season and reason. We had a good friendship when we were 16 years old, but now we don't have much in common. Again, this is ok. Life moves on. It's called growth.

Have you ever gone through a growth spurt in your life? A time in your life when it seems like things that held your interest are no longer interesting anymore? Personal growth is a natural progression in life and should be embraced. The issue that bewilders me is when a person is stuck in a certain period of their life and just won't move on. I've said in previous blogs that I've dated athletes in the past. With almost every last one of them, they were stuck in the past. Stuck in their heydays, so to speak. Their conversations were always about when they played where and what they did or had back when they were playing. That is a turn off. For me, growth was learning that I'm not an athlete's "wife or girlfriend". I really can't deal with the self absorbed mentality that some of them possess.

I remember talking to a friend about how he sometimes has issues with being around some family members and how bad he feels about it. I told him that even though they're family, sometimes you outgrow family too. It's not that he doesn't love them, he's just in a different place in his life than some of them are. He's past the wilin' out, drunk in the middle of the street, loud in restaurants lifestyle that some of his family still engages in. And that's ok. Reason...season.

As I look back over past relationships, I can honestly say that i REGRET quite a few of them, but I can appreciate the learning experience that I got from those relationships. But I asked myself if I had to do it all over again, my answer is a resounding HELL NO. I remember years ago when I used to have a laundry list of "requirements" for my future husband. I must have been out of my mind lol. During my relationship growth spurt, i realized that some things just aren't as important as other things in a relationship. If i were married before, I'd probably be divorced by now because of my immaturity relationship-wise. I know now that I'm mature mentally and emotionally and most importantly, I know my worth in a relationship.

It's ok to embark on a journey of growth. If anyone tries to hold it against you, then it's time to move on from them. A true friend would not try to hold you back from whatever is on your horizon. Sometimes you have to move on from things that you're comfortable with and be open to something that's totally outside of the box.

Reason...season...Let Go, and Let God

Special shout out to Robin, Lena, Marsha, Japraunika, Ametria, Inge, Carol, Story, and Michelle for inspiring this post. Love you girls!!! "All for One, Spring 1992"...except you Carol! lol

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guys to stay away from

I apologize for not posting sooner.  It's graduation season and I have had cake orders out the wha-zoo! I'm not complaining! I'm thanking God for the blessing of my business.

So, it's been a while since I've written anything.  Usually when I write, of course I have to be inspired by something.  Last week I was cleaning out my son's room because we were having new furniture delivered and I came across some old cell phones.  In today's day and age, old cell phones are like old songs that you hear on the radio or TV.  When you hear an old song played, it will automatically take you back to where you were when that song came out.  I was watching the BET Awards last week and the segment with TROOP, Sylk, and Color Me Badd took me right back to my last year of high school and my first year of college at IUP.  Shout out to my cousin Devon's (aka Mingo) best friends, TROOP.  I'll be needing your guys to come sing at my wedding...if i ever have one lol. (Six degrees of separation again)

So back to the cell phones.  I looked at some of my old phones and I could remember who i was dating when I had that particular phone.  I tossed them all right in the garbage.  Sort of a symbolic gesture, i guess.  Throwing out the garbage in my life.  But those old cell phones serve as this latest blog topic....  Guys to stay away from in the dating world.

This is obvious and should go without saying, but stay away from the 2-timer.  If you caught "your man" messing around and didn't check his ass about it, you're setting yourself up to be the victim of a 2-timing man.  Especially if he knows that you know.  It's like giving him a free pass to cheat.  There's a saying that I like to mention often...People will only go as far as you let them go on you.  If you let him go too far too many times, it's a wrap for you and that relationship.  And because there was no checking of the cheater happening, more than likely your 2-timer is going to be your 3, 4, 5 or more-timer. Bounce out now.

Then there's the jealous or "i'm in competition with you" guy.  His jealousy can easily be mistaken for him "caring" about you.  But beware! If he's jealous of his own mama, then he's going to be way more jealous of you!  If he can't stand his baby mama, chances are he's going to end up hating you too.  I dated a guy like this before.  He always felt "some kind of way" when I wanted to talk about my accomplishments at work or in my personal life.  He always found some kind of way to downplay whatever good I was going on in my life.  He was in a perpetual state of muck and mire and his goal was to bring me down to his level of constant wallowing. This guy wants you to give give give while he takes takes takes! It doesn't matter who has what in the relationship, as long as both parties are equally invested in the success of the relationship. He's mentally draining and it's easy to find yourself so stressed out that you want a cigarette and a Pepsi to calm your nerves and you don't even smoke or drink soda. This guy will take you so far out of your emotions that you'll get to the point where if you saw him on a dark road during the worst blizzard of the year with no coat and shoes on...you'd ride right past his ass and think nothing of it.  Save yourself from having to do some repentance and just bounce out now.

The Control Freak can easily be confused with a man who's so in touch with you and cares so much about you that's it's unreal! And guess what?..it is! The Control Freak is that guy that knows what outfit you were wearing when you went to Pittsburgh with your girls the night before.  Even though he didn't see you BEFORE you left your house or AFTER you came home.  He knows everything about you, although though you've haven't disclosed much information to him. He's that guy who will have his boys out watching you because he's somewhere with his side chick doing dirt.  He's also that guy who does a heck of a lot of "parkin lot pimpin" outside the VFW or Razzcal's trying to see what you're up to. The Control Freak will want you to think that you're the one doing wrong in the relationship, when really it's him.  He's a smart dude, but the Control Freak also is a weak ass bitch.  He wants to control you because he can't control anything else in his life.  I dated a Control Freak before (of course I did! lol) and it was the absolute worse relationship that I had ever been in my entire life.  It's easy to get sucked in by this guy because you can EASILY mistake his controlling for caring.  And once you realize what a nut case this guy is, you're usually in way too deep.  The best way to handle a Control Freak is to turn the tables on him and call him out on his own inconsistencies, low self esteem, bitchassness, or whatever. And then ...yup...Bounce out!

And finally there's the guy who's just a little too in touch with his feminine side.  If you're dating a guy and he actually WANTS to go to the mall with you EVERY time you go, then this is a red flag.  Especially if he goes into the stores that you go in to.  If your man goes to the mall with you and hangs out in Foot Locker, Champs, or the Apple Store, then he's ok.  But when this guy insists on going into Nordstrom's shoe department with you to help you pick out shoes, then you might wanna re-categorize him to the "i'm not sure if he wants a man or a woman" category.  These guys are hard to spot at first because they come of as masculine and their conversation is of a heterosexual lingo.  But give it some time and his daisies will start to show.  A friend of mine had a guy call her to tell her that he had seen a really pretty nail polish that "would look so good on her fingers"...wtf?? And she thought that was a compliment.  I tried to explain to her the red flags that popped up in that statement but she wasn't trying to hear it. I got 8 sisters and I don't need a man to go shoe shopping with me.  Just gimme my money and I'll show what I bought when i get back home ;-)  But seriously, if you happen to encounter this guy in the dating world...yup...Bounce out! 

I'm sure there are more "guys to stay away from" that can be listed but these are just a few I wanted to mention and laugh about.  

Stay in touch! And don't forget to sign up for email distribution of my blog! :-)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The perfect wife

I'm the perfect wife.  There's no if's, and's, or but's about it. I'm educated. I have my own home.  I have my own method of transportation.  I own my own business.  I work full-time. My child is well cared for. I have a good personality.  I'm smart. And I like sports. So the million dollar question is...why am i still single?
The joke around these parts is that all of the halfway decent Black men are either gay, in jail, or with white girls.  People say that there's always some truth to humor. I digress...
I asked people, particularly men, what their criteria were for a "good/perfect wife or significant other"? A good friend of mine, Hatt Mosey, had a laundry list of things that he wanted in a mate.  He offered them with a sense of humor though.  That's just how Hatt is lol.  He mentioned that he wanted a spunky girl with class, is educated, street smart, loves Mom and Dad, not the loudest thing in the room, knows how to be sexy without everything hanging out, healthy, artsy fartsy, and mentally attractive.  There were more, but I edited his list down a bit lol.  I told him that his list described me EXACTLY, but I couldn't go out with him because I had dated his cousin before.  Twice.  Double mistake.  I digress...again.
I have a few friends who left the area and come home with husbands in the past.  But why does a woman have to leave the area just to find a husband? I'll tell you why.  The reality is this, Black women in this area have a greater chance of an airplane falling out the sky and landing on their houses, than they do finding a suitable husband.  I know that's kind of extreme, but it's the truth.  I remember talking to someone a few years ago.  They asked me why i wasn't dating anyone seriously?  I asked them, who was i supposed to be dating around here?  And then i told them that if they can name ONE man around here for me to date, I'd date him.  There was a LONG period of silence after that.  By the way, I'm still waiting to hear an answer from that person.
Once someone asked me if my standards were high?  Ok that's any oxymoron within itself.  But I answered the question in my head.  Are my standards too high?  What are my requirements? Notice I say requirements and not criteria.  Here's my list of REQUIREMENTS in no particular:
1. Be taller than I am.  That right there eliminates 95% of the men around here.
2. Be gainfully employed.  At my age, I'm tired of meeting men who are "still trying to get themselves together".  Seriously, how long are you going to take? The average lifetime for a man is around 75-80 years.  If you're 40+ years old, what the hell are you waiting for?? Half your life is over and you still are trying to get yourself together? I can't right now...
3. He can't have children that are younger than mine.  That's a child support issue that I won't even get into right now. 
4. Treat my child as if he's their own.
That's it.  I'm serious.  My requirements aren't much.  I'd like to date a man who I can wear heels with while I'm out with him and I'd like for him to be able to buy me a damn cheeseburger if I want one. My standards are not high. 
Now if you ask me what criteria I'd like to see in a man, I'd have to say that my number one is that he definitely has to have a sense of humor. Also, someone who's like me.  Faithful, respectful, artsy fartsy lol, and likes sports.  And since I'm a mother, he's got to be able to relate to my child and respect the relationship that we have in place already.  Still not a lot.
Most of the guys who responded had the same answers...have a sense of humor, faith, be trustworthy, communicate, etc.  Seems like a simple list, right? You'd think so, but it's not always true.  As I read the responses, I'm thinking to myself that I know quite a few single women who have those same qualities that these single guys are saying that they want in a woman.  
So again I ask, why are there so many single Black women around here?  Here's my theory.  When our parents' generation was in their 20's & 30's, the area was booming economically.  There were plenty of jobs to go around and families were financially set.  These days, that level of work is no longer an option around here.  But I'd like to know where the ball got dropped in between our parent's generation and our generation in regards to the workforce? How come a lot of men around here don't work? This is a serious question and PLEASE reply with serious answers. And somehow the ball got dropped with buying the cow and getting the milk for free.  But that's another blog topic.
Anyways, the "ideal" Black woman is THE single woman around here.  I can't remember the last time I saw an educated, professional Black woman get engaged to be married.  I can't remember that last time I saw a "good/decent" Black man get engaged to a Black woman.  I've seen them get engaged to white women though.  Now, this isn't about race.  I'm making a point based on the notion that some Black women want to date/marry Black men.  If you like to date other races, more power to you.
So does the perfect wife exist? Yeah, she does exist.  It's just that she's the single woman who's being overlooked.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A matter of opinion..standing on a soap box

Last week, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania declared that it is unconstitutional to ban gay people from being legally married to each other.  Of course, the social media world went crazy! There were opinions in support of and some against the ruling.  And since Pennsylvania is one of just a few states to legally recognize marriages between two women or two men, one can say that while it's not unprecedented, it's still kind of "new" in this day and age.

Ok let me say this right here and right now, I am in no way saying that I'm FOR gay marriage, and I'm not saying that I'm against gay marriage.  And while some people are either strongly for it, some are strongly against it. I guess, to each his own.

While I have no personal opinion about the legalities and such, I do feel some kind of way about the negative comments being made against same sex marriage.  I do believe in freedom on speech and the right to have an opinion about whatever their heart desires.  But let's keep it real here.  Having an opinion is like having a "you know what".  Everybody has one.  And while everyone has an opinion, I begin to take offense to those who act like they never committed a sin or two or three or four in their lifetime.  I don't always comment on things that i see, but i do read every thing that i see.  I often keep my opinions to myself out of respect to that person.  

I noticed though that a lot of negative comments were being made by "Christian" folk.  Now don't get me wrong here.  I was born, raised, and baptized in the AME church and I will never stray away from my beliefs and the teachings of the AME Church.  I believe in what the Bible says is wrong and right.  I believe and respect what is "pleasing in the eyes of God".  With that being said, I know that I've stumbled QUITE A FEW times.  I've sinned more times than i care to admit. I've broke way too many commandments in my lifetime as well.  However, I recognize that I'm not perfect and that my sins are no greater and no less than the next person's sins. I grew up believing that not one sin is greater or lesser than the other sin. A sin is a sin. Ok so my question is this.  How come the "Christian" folk don't get this? 

Donnie McClurkin says in his song, "A saint is a sinner who fell down and got back up". We are all sinners saved by the grace of God.  And while you can have an opinion or a belief about something that the Bible says is wrong, tell me this, did you have such a strong opinion of your actions when you were breaking the Laws of God? The last time I checked, fornicating, lying, cheating, stealing, lusting, gossiping, adultery, trespassing, coveting, etc. were ALL sins listed in the Bible.  I'm sure a few of you have engaged in these "accepted" sins at some point in your life, haven't you? 

It's easy to stand on the proverbial soap box and "preach" about what's wrong and what's right.  Just understand that everything in your life isn't pleasing in the eyes of God.  It doesn't matter if you've answered the call to God, become a deacon or a stewardess, head of the choir or usher boards or whatever.  You're a sinner just like everyone else on this planet.  So instead of standing on that soapbox, get off of it, and move on.  Again, I'm not saying that a person can't have an opinion or that they can't or shouldn't have and respect a religious belief. All I'm saying is, don't forget where you came from.  

Let me end this with a quote from the Bible.  You know, that book that has all the laws of God in it?  "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." John 8:7

Until next time,

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Impersonal Person

In an age of technology, there has been an over abundance of acts that have outweighed the personal-ness of our lives.  Today, I received a plethora of text messages saying "Happy Mother's Day".  I understand that the opportunity to send a text message to a friend or loved one is much greater than actually catching that person on the phone and having a conversation with them.  I'll admit, had i received a phone call from every person that text me this morning, i would probably still be talking to people on the phone.  I'm ok with receiving a text message from my friends and acquaintances because we're all busy people and it just makes more sense to get a message from them.  But what happens when a person texts you or posts something on Facebook, in serious obscurity mind you, when they should be the person who calls you personally.  These people are parents, special friends, or significant others.  At what point should the line be drawn on the determination of The Impersonal Person? I got a text message from a guy this morning and I have to admit, i was HIGHLY offended.  We're not in a relationship, but our situation merits more than an impersonal greeting.  I didn't respond to his message for about 6 or 7 hours.  Probably because I wasn't going to respond. I wasn't expecting any kind of gift or anything, but I sure wasn't expecting an impersonal text message.  So i responded by saying that i was highly offended that, basically, he didn't think enough of me to pick up a phone and say Happy Mother's Day dog.  He didn't respond.  I think  i made my point.
I was waiting for another well wish from someone close to me.  I never heard from them, but as i was pouring through the many well wishes that i had gotten on Facebook, I saw that "well wish" buried in an obscure comment that i wasn't even tagged in.  Talk about a hurt piece. Sometimes I wonder why I even care so much. 

I'm writing this because we as a society have to get over the impersonal actions that we exhibit on a daily basis.  I admit, I'm a texter too.  My reasoning is that I'm at work and it doesn't look right to be sitting in my office talking on the my cell all day.  But texting kills a relation ship.  Texting will lead to all kinds of problems, with the main one being misinterpretation.  How many times have people gotten into texting arguments over a misinterpretation of the tone or words texted? There's no personal tone in texting and a few words can be misinterpreted and before you know it, all heck done broke loose! 
But at what point is it ok to text and not to text? Who is it ok to text and who is it ok to call? I read Steve Harvey's book a few years ago, "Act like a Lady, Think like a man".  And based on what I read, clearly the writing is on the wall.  If he thought enough of me, he wouldn't be that Impersonal Person and send a text  message to me on a day that's set aside to celebrate motherhood.  All I can say is that, I won't be having any more dealings with this guy any more. 

Disclaimer: This will be the first and last time i write about a personal incident that offended me.  I will continue to write about experiences and not feelings.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Having a relationship after the relationship?

I always hear the question, Can men and women "just be friends?".  Of course i took to Facebook and asked the question, "Can men and women be "just friends" and remain platonic? I got varying answers from men and women lol. Women saying that yes they can and men saying that the "line" will probably get crossed at some point. (Duh!) I want to thank everyone who responded to my question.  I got a couple of inbox responses as well.  Y'all funny!!...in my Randi Hall voice lol

As I read through the responses, I got to thinking that I do have a friend who's the opposite sex and we've been friends for a LONG time.  But the friendship that we have now did not develop in the traditional sense. It actually started about 25 years ago. When I was 16 years old, my cousins and I went to Kent State University to visit our sister/cousin Darci.  We always went to visit her for the weekend to go to parties up there.  I have to give mad props to Darci for allowing us to come visit her like that! Back to the conversation... I was 16 years old, 11th grade, and at a college party in some gym or some facility on campus.  My memory eludes me right now.  I don't remember much about that night, which is odd because I have a really good memory. But the one thing that i remember about that night is seeing some random guy walking around the party with a red sweatshirt and some weird looking white letters on it.  He had a red and white cane and was doing, what I found out later, was called "twirling".  All I know is that i could not take my eyes off him! And when he saw me, he couldn't take his eyes off me either.  As I'm writing this, I'm thinking about the Six Degrees of Separation Theory again. That night at the party, this guy walks right up to my other cousin, who went to another college, and just started talking to her.  Come to find out, they went to the same school and knew each other.  So he asks my cousin about me. Years later he told me because he thought i was so cute (i hate that word lol).  My cousin shot him down QUICK ok? All i can remember hearing was my cousin saying, "She's only 16!" lmao

So fast forward 2 years.  I'm a Freshman at IUP now.  Eighteen years old.  Still a baby and ain't even know it.  I remember the first night we were in the dorms just sitting around trying to figure out what to do.  It was me, three of my cousins, and another friend we had graduated high school with just a few short weeks earlier. So, in walks these two guys, one in a Black and Gold t-shirt with Greek letters and another in Red and White t-shirt with Greek letters. I thought to myself, "Clearly these guys were hoopers". Both were tall and very athletic looking.  I could tell just from looking at them.  Yeah, i stereotyped them lol.  Ok so anyways, i said hi, he says hi, and then he sits down.  Like somebody invited him, right? We all start to talk and then he says my name is "DT". I'm like huh?? I say to him, do you remember me? He looks at me for a second, and then realizes who I am.  Only I'm not that 16 year old he met at Kent State a couple of years earlier. lol...I was legal now *crackin up*

Over the next few months there was a lot of waving as we walked past each other in The Grove,a few run ins at some on and off campus parties, and a lot of clandestine messages from his boys and roommates.  By that time, i had already done my personal housekeeping.  He just needed to do his. Eventually we let ourselves officially be a couple.  We ended up dating for about a year and a half.  And during that time we spent a lot of time with family.  I spent some time with his mother (may she Rest In Peace) and he spent a ton of time with  my family here.  It was fun and we had a good time with each other.  Yes, there were some bumps in the road.  A LOT of bumps in the road.  More than I care to remember.  But that kinda went with the territory.  Basketball player, fraternity guy, popular. It was what it was.  Ultimately, we went our separate ways because i got fed up with his ass (lol).

Then one day out of the clear blue, YEARS later, he calls me!  I mean like 10-12 years later.  He said that he was cleaning out some old stuff and found my old phone number.  He dialed it to see if anyone would answer.  I didn't lol, but he left a message.  Imagine my surprise when i heard his voice again.  We talked for hours.  I told him about my son, he told me about his and his daughter.  This was also when he dropped that bomb on me that his mother had passed! That hurt my heart! Real bad. I had told him that my Aunt Patricia, who adored him, had passed away also. There were a lot of coulda, shoulda, woulda statements too.  What if we had stayed together? What if I were his kid's mother? What if he were my son's father? How different would our lives be?

A couple years had gone by and we had talked sporadically.  Nothing major really. Just the usual "How's everything going?" type of conversations. About 4 years ago he called to say that he and his son were driving through the area and wanted to know if it was ok if they stopped by? That was the beginning of our friendship.  Our relationship is so much better now that it was 20 years ago.  Probably because we have so much more in common now than we did back then.  We both have very athletic sons and they get along like brothers.And because his son has already been through the whole college recruiting/selection process situation, i ALWAYS call him for advice regarding situations for my son when it comes to athletics.  When he and his son come around, it's like a big ole happy family minus the "relationship" among the parental units lol.  Our friendship is way stronger than our relationship had ever been.  There is a mutual respect for each other and there's no proverbial line to NOT cross because we've already been down that road.  And because of the past relationship, I think this is what makes our friendship stronger than most.  "DT" is the first man that I ever loved and the first man that I ever felt love from (other than my dad).  He introduced me to different things that I probably wouldn't have given the time of day to if it he hadn't been in my life.  I used to HATE riding around in his car listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers (lmbo) but to this very day, I love that band! I had a flashback when they performed at the halftime show for this year's Superbowl.  He always told me how smart I was and that I inspired him because whenever he came to my dorm room, I was always studying.  That was a front, by the way.  My books were always open, but I didn't study as much as I should have. By Spring semester of my Freshman year, I was spending WAY too much time at the Alpha house. We used to kick it hard at the house too lol.  Whenever I and one of my cousins hears the word "beverage" we crack up laughing because he used that word often.

Some people say that men and women can't be friends. Some say they CAN be friends.  I'm still on the fence about that.  I haven't met a guy yet who wanted to "just be friends". My personal experience is that there's always a slight motive for the friendship.  That's just natural human emotions.  "DT" loves me and I love him, but it's a different kind of love now.  It's a "friend til the end" type of love.  So even though the progression of our friendship could be considered [very] nontraditional, we embrace it wholeheartedly. We're thankful and grateful for our friendship and how it's blossomed over the years. We have a relationship AFTER the relationship.
...i can just hear Mossie saying, Yeah right! lol