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!! 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