Friday, April 25, 2014

Background Checks on potential mates??

DVC (he knows who he is) mentioned on FB the other day that it's a good idea to do some kind of background check on a potential mate.  I agreed, some else didn't. No big deal.  That's the law of averages.  Everyone is not going to agree with everything that everyone says. I do want to mention that one person, who's married likened it to snooping, while those who aren't married was all for it.  Since i'm a numbers person and social researcher, i thought maybe i'd ask some people if they were down for checking potential suitors out?

Let's be clear about background checks and the definition of such.  In my mind, when i hear background searches, etc., i'm thinking Googling, taking a peak at his FB, or something that takes just a few minutes and costs no money.  I don't see it as "snooping" so to speak.  I see it as finding out what you might be getting involved with.

When I was in college, there wasn't a Google or FB or other types of social media. It's amazing how much things have changed since the early 90's.  Back then, all we had was word of mouth.  If you asked someone about someone else, you'd get all kinds of different answers about that person.  Just like we do now.  Human perception is still very subjective and always will be.  Back then though, a person could hide their past.  They could have a completely different life somewhere else and no one would ever know about it. These days, you can't hide from no damn body.  Somebody is always posting a pic of you, your friends, family, etc. and tagging you in it.  And while we're on the subject of tagging...i HATE when people tag me in a pic that is NOT of me.  If you want me to see a pic of something or someone, just tell me to look at it.  When you get tagged in a pic, all the dang comments come to your notifications/email and you're sitting there wondering who the heck is such and such that just commented on some picture that i didn't even tag?? Can't stand that.  Anyways, back to what i was saying.  No Google, FB, IG or Twitter meant that there was a relatively obscure knowledge of anything that anyone didn't want you to know. Somebody who lived in a certain part of a city could be dating other people in different parts of the city and chances are, no one would know about it (for a while at least).

Earlier this week, I sent out a text message to some of my friends asking them, "Question? If you started dating someone that you didn't know, would you do some kind of background check on them? If so, a formal one or just a Google search?" My goodness! I got some good responses! What caught my interest was the differences among men and women.  I was expecting more women than men to say Yes they would do some kind of checking.  I was WAY wrong! A lot of the women responded saying that they would do one, but after a certain amount of time elapsed.  A lot of the men responded that they would indeed do some kind of check before even going out with a woman.  Interesting...

So does this mean that women are more accepting of a potential mate's flaws than men are? Is it men who are superficial? Or are women more gullible? Unfortunately, I can't answer that question.  For me personally, I'd definitely consider doing Google searches on any man that I meet. Not because of the "nosy" factor, but because I have a son and I'm not taking any chances on potentially dating anyone who's a child molester, pedophile, etc.  There's a protection factor that single moms MUST consider when entertaining offers of dates and stuff from potential suitors.  It's better to be more careful, then regretful.  I will admit that one time i didn't Google a man that asked me out last year.  Only because my older cousin knew him and vouched for him. That was good enough for me.  We went out a couple of times, but the distance factor eventually got the best of the situation. So yesterday i decided to Google him. All i can say is that i wish i had done that last year.  I was pleasantly surprised! So I texted "TL" to basically let him know that all the while we went out, i had absolutely no idea who he was (lol).   And then that made me think of the flip side of things.  Would i prefer the element of surprise or just knowing someone's background BEFORE i went out with him? I'm still on the fence about that one. I jokingly told "TL" that had I known who he was before i went out with him, i probably would have never gone out with him in the first place.  I don't date athletes anymore. 

So back to these background checks and such. My cousin in Vegas who's like my brother, we are on the same page as far as checking in on potential suitors.  We both said to play it safe from the very beginning.  A couple other friends of mine says that she would wait a few months, then check. Another friend asked me what would i be looking for if i did a check?  Marcus, who's more than a friend, but not a "boyfriend", gave me an interesting response.  "The bottom line is you can't trust a background check.  That shows past history and can't guarantee future behavior.  You're still taking a chance." He continues, "Even in the stock market they use the disclaimer that past performance doesn't guarantee future performance." That about sums it up.  

So at the end of the day, the question remains.  Is it ok to do a background check/Google search, or should you just go with the flow? In doing a background check, are we looking to hold people's past behaviors against them? I guess it all depends on the situation.  A good friend of mine, who's also a single mother with a son, seems to be on the same page as i am.  It's better to be safe, than sorry.  Again, every situation is different, but whatever position you choose to take, i hope that in the end, you're happy with your decision. 

Until next time,


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Of Height and Men...random thoughts

Tall chicks got it bad.  Everybody says that they wish they were tall, but nobody really wants to live the life that a tall chick does.  We catch heck from every angle.  Now don't get me wrong.  I appreciate the 5'10" that the good Lord blessed me with.  Even if it IS biologically mind boggling.  I have short parents. And at 5'10", i'm considered to be a short, tall girl.Yes, there are variations of tallness people. But most people want to be tall because they can't reach the box of Cheerios way in the back on the top shelf of the highest cabinet in the kitchen.  Hate to break it to you, but that's not a reason to ever want to be tall.  That's only a temporary fix to a temporary problem lol.
So, i'm sitting here thinking about issues that tall chicks have to deal with on a regular.  My list will get longer i'm sure, but here's a few things just off the top of my mind.

#1 Clothes! Why can't i buy one pair of pants (not jeans) at Shenango Valley Mall? JCPenney "claims" to carry tall clothes, but you have to order them and wait for them to come in and then see if they fit right.  Because God forbid that a manufacturer makes the exact pants in the same style and fit. Seems too much like right.  But nope! I can only hope that the same style and size pants fit the same.  I once bought pants from JCP; same style and size, but different colors. One fit great, the other was a nightmare.  And sleeves! Do i dare mention sleeve issues? ...i'm getting a little ticked off as we speak lol!  The store down the hall from JCP sells tall jeans in their store.  Sad that  I can only buy jeans in ONE store in the entire mall.  And yes, I have every pair they offer.  They're only 4 styles.

#2 Short guys! Why are short men inclined to think that every tall chick will take them seriously?  No disrespect to the vertically challenged cats out there, but they're not my cup of tea.  I'm a tall girl who likes to wear heels.  I don't want to be walking around with Arnold Jackson at my side.  With that being said, the next short dude that tries to holler at me is getting body-slammed on sight.

#3 The old(er) lady in the grocery store.  You know her.  The one who always wants you to get the bottle of whatever off the shelf for her because, as she puts it, "You're nice and tall".  B*llsh*t lady!  You're lucky my mom taught me to respect my elders.  But really, that's getting real old to me.

#4 Stereotypes.  All tall people do not/did not hoop! I hated basketball.  I like to watch it, but i never liked playing it.  And i never did play it.  Too much contact for me.  I liked volleyball because i didn't have to worry about guarding or letting some sweaty person get that close to me.  I guess I'm kind of a germaphobe.  Truth be told, i'd rather been a Golden Girl (dance line in the band) or something like that in high school.

I'm a short girl trapped in a tall girl's body.  I have no biological reason to be tall.  Besides my cousin's daughters and my son, I'm the only tall person in my family. But my cousin's kids are supposed to be tall.  Their father is 7'1" tall.  I'm glad that i have some Twitter friends who are tall and we can compare notes and shopping sites.  Although I've never met any one of them personally, they are a great bunch of girls to bond with.  I look forward to one day meeting them in person.  ...then I can be the short girl of the group :-)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Friendship Factor

This is my first attempt at "putting myself out there" so to speak in regards to relationships.  I usually don't talk much about the happenings of what goes on in my social life so here goes...

I'm a marriage magnet.  Interesting because I've never been married. And I've never been "officially" asked either.  But still, I'm a marriage magnet.  (I'm crackin up as I'm writing this!) The reason why I'm a marriage magnet is because the last few guys that I've recently dated or went out with are all either (now) married or engaged to be married.  Yup.  My last count is 4, I think. In the past year alone.  

Back in my early 20's or so, I remember telling one of my Aunts that I didn't want to get married.  She was appalled! It didn't bother me one bit actually.  And now that I'm in my early 40's, i still feel the [almost] same way, but for different reasons.  Now, I'm still on the fence about marriage because I haven't met that one man that made me go crazy like that. No one who i feel like i could do the "Until death do us part" dance with.  Ok let me say right here that I'm not a picky person and my expectations are not high.  In fact, now that i think about it, they might be too low.  And judging from the bunch of liars and cheaters that I've dated, i'm going to say that yeah, my standards are too low. Anyways, where was I? On the fence about marriage at 41 years old.  I am.  I admit it.  No shame to my game.  Do i believe in love? Of course! I just haven't found love with the right man...yet. Or maybe i have? My lips are sealed!

So that got me to thinking about MY role in the Friendship Factor.  People who are close to me knows that I'm not much of a relationship type of girl.  Relationships are way too stressful for me.  Sometimes i just don't have it in me to deal with ups and downs of relationships.  I don't have to answer to anyone, and no one has to answer to me.  And most importantly, I don't have to be bothered with a man if i don't want to be! I've had this mindset since my late 20's/early 30's and it's worked out pretty well for me.  There were a few times when I went against my beliefs and let myself get into a relationship.  It blew up in my face every time.  There were babies on the side, other women/girls on the side, abuse, and a whole lot of lying! By the way, I can't stand liars.  I really can't.  I don't see the need to lie about stuff.  Especially at my/our age.  Seriously, at what point in your life will you realize that lying gets you absolutely no where? I always tell guys that I meet/date that I'll deal with the situation a little better if I hear the truth from his mouth.  If i hear things out in the streets, they'll have to deal with Bessie, not Kavon.  And those are 2 different people! ...I'm still crackin up.  

Ok, so it's safe to assume that I don't do relationships because I don't have the patience to tolerate the nonsense that comes with them.  So how does the Friendship Factor fit into all of this? Well, problem #1 is that I (unintentionally) designate myself to be the friend because I rarely ever want a serious relationship.  I mostly deal with guys who don't live in the area and it's hard to have a serious relationship when it's long distance.  Long distance "relationships" is not a preference.  It's just how things work out.  Truth be told, the real reason why i don't go out with guys in the area is because i have three immediate families (Wrights, Smiths, & Stewarts) and mostly everybody in this area are my cousins lol.  

Problem #2 is that my "caring" side always gets the best of me.  Yeah, I'm the one who guys can call and talk about their issues with other women.  Shouldn't be an issue, right? After all, i am JUST the friend.  And Problem #3 is my go to statement of "You ain't my man, and I ain't your woman. You don't have to answer to me, and I don't have to answer to you."  ...SMH

So now that I've likened myself to Biz Markie and painted myself into the "Just a Friend" box, I'm having different thoughts about it.  I realize that in the past year, I've talked 3 exes into marriage or the thought of marriage, and it wasn't with me lol! And the other one, well that woman can have him.  And yeah, I'm feeling some kinda way about this right here.  But I can only hold myself accountable for the situation(s).  After much self-reflection, I now have a new outlook on relationships and my approach towards them.  Listen up fellas because I'm talking to you all.  #1. I don't give a flying F*CK about what your ex girlfriend said or did, or didn't say or didn't do.  Don't call me with that chitter chatter wanting to bump your gums about how you want to be with a chick who, clearly, doesn't want to be with you.  Steve Harvey once said that men are natural hunters.  Conversely, women are nurturers.  Men hunt their prey, even when the prey is running full speed ahead away from them.  Their goal is to catch it, and make it theirs even though the prey is running away from them. Does that make sense?  #2. It's like that old Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote situation.  Urban myth has it that the coyote actually did catch the Road Runner.  And when he got him, he didn't know what to do with him. So he let him go.  Guys spend a lot of time chasing women.  They will do a lot to woo you and get you to become interested in them.  And when you do, they don't know what to do with you, and then all of a sudden he's gone.  Been there, done that! I refuse to be anyone's Road Runner any more.  If you're not interested in the outcome, then don't go through the motions. #3. If you have a woman, lady friend, girlfriend, or whatever you call her, do not step to me.  The other day, someone asked me why don't women ask men if they have a woman or not when they first meet?  My answer was simple.  It's because women are naive enough to think that if a man is trying to holler at her, he must not have a woman in his life.  Else why would he try to start something up with another female when he has one at home? Common sense, right?  Well men aren't common creatures.  So right here and right now guys, do me a favor and save my breath.  The breath that i'll be using to ask if you have a significant other in your life when you approach me.  If you do, keep on walking, 'cause i ain't talking. Point, blank, and the period! (in my Tamar voice).

And yes, it appears that I'm changing my mindset as i progress through writing this.  I'm a woman and I can do as i please! ;-) *crackin up again*  But on the real, I had a chance to talk to a good friend of mine who came into town this past weekend.  We've been friends for nearly 20 years so we talk about anything with each other.  Our conversation lead us to both discover that we are marriage magnets.  It's happened to him too.  A few times.  Neither one of us could figure out why until we had this particular conversation.  It's the label that we put on ourselves that did us in.  So from now on, and my cousin J will be happy to hear this, i'm no longer putting the "Friend" label on myself.  Am I opening myself up for the possibility of a relationship? God only knows what he has in store for me.  But in the meantime, I'm chillin. 

Until next time,