Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Through the Rain

"I can make it through the rain, I can stand up once again on my own. And know that I'm strong enough to mend."- Mariah Carey

One of my weekday rituals is taking time out of my day to go online and listen to the Strawberry Letter on the Steve Harvey Morning Show online.  This morning’s letter just about broke my heart.

It was from a woman who described herself as being fairly skinny and not possessing the qualities that men want.  She pretty much ended it by saying that she planned to kill herself when she turns 40 if she does not have a husband or children.  That’s right- kill herself because of a lack of a man and children.

Now many people will tell her to go to church and God will work it out while others will call her crazy.  I just say is she just missing that much general love from her life.  Are there no family members and friends?

I will admit taking my own life crossed my mind a time, or two, or ten during my high school years.  I could say that it was because of the terrible relationship I had with my parents or the fact that I felt all this pressure on me to be this excellent student and was not feeling it.  But at the time, most of my thoughts were on my on-again, off-again boyfriend.  And we were off and I didn’t handle it very well.  I tried to go for the cop out, but luckily I had a grandmother who watched me like a hawk whenever she sensed something wasn’t right with me.  But my depression was fierce at the time, because not only could I not deal with him not wanting me, but I couldn’t deal with everyone knowing he didn’t want me because we went to the same high school.  I did and said things I was not proud of.  And he continued to have this effect on me into my early 20s.

But I did realize after high school and getting away and building a real network of people I became friends with and could trust, ending my own life never came to my mind again when it came to the situation.  Some other crazy things may have crossed my mind, but hey, I didn’t act on all of them and I lived to talk about it.

Not only that, I now have people who I know care about me and can relate to me. And when I’m feeling low, I know who I can talk to without judgment, but with a comforting shoulder.  It probably helped that that I learned to love me more as the days went by. And it also helped that I come out on the other side of 90 percent of life’s events stronger than when I went in.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Living Proof

“Everything you say to me. And everything you do. You can't deny the truth. Cause I am the living proof.”- Mary J. Blige

It’s been a few weeks since the movie The Help came out.  Most of the hoopla over how the movie took black women back millions of years has subsided.  No one is talking anymore of how it was too kind of its portrayal of Mississippi during the time period of the 1950s and the 1960s.  All of this probably has to do with the fact that most Americans have short attention spans and earthquakes and hurricanes were thrown in over the past week for good measure.

However, as someone who normally remains quiet on a lot of this issues because I don’t think like many of my peers or I can find a way to see other perspectives, I decided to use this as an opportunity to have a discussion with one of my favorite people in the world, my grandmother.

See, my grandmother was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, and, for that reason, she was very familiar with Mississippi affairs during that time.  She just didn’t have the luxury of worrying about it.  She was too busy working.

My grandmother was raised on a farm where her father was one of many sharecroppers.  They picked potatoes, peas, cotton, all sorts of things.  Instead of finishing the 10th grade of school, she went to the fields to work and help the family.  And not only did she help hers, she helped other families, including poor white families. 

Back in those days, she recalls the members of poor white families who lived nearby coming to her house, knocking on her door and asking for the excess crop.  Since it was going to go bad anyway, her father always responded positively.  And that was pretty much her only recollection of dealing with white people in Mississippi.  She said they were always nice and she, along with her brothers and sisters, often played with the white children.

To my grandmother, race and Civil Rights were often issues that the  “city folk” in Jackson and the other “big” MS cities concerned themselves with.  It took her moving to Detroit to finally encounter racism in-person.

Now I know that many people do have stories like this, but this is the story of my grandmother.  And it offered a different perspective which is why I am not a fan of people always acting like everything regarding race was a collective experience.  Luckily, since the movie was about the 50s and 60s, many survivors of that time are still around. And we should take advantage of their presence and seek them out for their various perspectives.  I’m sure no two stories will be exactly alike.

Friday, August 26, 2011


"Cheers to the freakin' weekend. I drink to that."- Rihanna

Well, it's another Friday. Time for a feel good song.  I'm going on a bar crawl tonight so I figured this song was fitting.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Eyes Don't Cry

"My eyes don't cry no more. My heart don't ache no more. Since you walked through my door,  I don't have to no longer be blue."- Stevie Wonder

Back to offering positive music on Fridays.  When I think of this song, I think of doing the Electric Slide in Detroit- the only hustle that I am good at which is pretty much a social felony for a metro Detroiter.  Moreso, I think of trips to Boblo Island, this amusement park that closed down.  While it couldn't compare to Cedar Point, that boat ride was everything.  On one floor, you had arcade games while other floors had dancing and eating venues.  That boat was definitely a highlight of my childhood and every time I hear this song, I think of doing the Electric Slide on that boat. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tell Me

"I can make you feel happy and so nice. Just tell me what you desire."- Toni Braxton

The other night, I was engaged in a very interesting discussion with my niece who has been married for four years about some of her married male coworkers who are on the prowl due to wives who refuse to have sex.  Mind you, these guys and their wives are in their mid to late 20s just like us.  Suddenly, she said "If there is one thing I learned about marriage, putting out is key."

Now people always say vajayjay won't keep a man, but I know withholding it after giving it up probably makes him turn in other directions way more quickly.  Plus, I never quite understood withholding it because punishing him would mean punishing myself and why on Earth would I do that?  Like trapping a man by getting pregnant, it's one of the manipulative devices that women use that usually winds up fucking themselves over.

I wholeheartedly believe sex plays an important role in a relationship.  But I've also have been informed before that I have a high sex drive for a woman so that may have something to do with it.  For that reason, I discussed this notion with a few of my friends who are in serious relationships or marriages and they told me how sometimes it's easy for the sex to get too routine or you're just tired and figure you can do it tomorrow.

I call BS for these single women.  Now, I understand being really tired from time to time because it happens to the best of us and having sex while tired often leads to alright sex at best and who wants to go through so much trouble for alright sex.  However, I was recently informed to no longer think of how I spend my day as "time management" but as priority management.  We make times for things we deem a priority.  For example, a woman may have 50 million things to accomplish in a day but if she meets an attractive man, she will find a way to fit that man into her day even if it means staying up until 2 a.m. in the morning.  Why? Because, she has deemed that man some kind of priority.  If marriage or sustaining a good relationship is a priority, sex and physical intimacy should be a priority as well.

Now, if it's too routine, that's where communication comes in.  Like Toni says in the song, she's down for poles, toys, lingerie, just about anything besides a threesome.  The only way to change anything in the bedroom (or whatever venue you choose, I'm not judging) is to open your mouth and say what you want to try or ask what he wants to try.  If you're in a marriage or a serious relationship, one would think trust is shared and that trust should extend to fantasies.  If you're going to be a whore for anybody, may as well be your husband.

All I know is 20s and 30s is too young to be too tired to enjoy your significant other.  I once heard the story of a woman who was good and in her 60s still having sex with her older husband after he had a stroke.  Mind you, she spent most of her day watching all of her grandchildren and tending to him, helping him with the things he could no longer do while also cooking and cleaning.  And I don't even want to imagine the work and maneuvering involved with having sex with a man who can only operate one side of his body.  I know women in their 40s and their 50s with children and grandchildren of varying ages who still purchase lingerie and enjoy their husbands of decades.

I know we have a reputation as a lazy generation, but damn.  After reading what I just wrote, I can see why guys may be going older.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Real Man

"You say you're lookin' for a money man (I want the dough).  A bank account full of benjamins (I want the Benz).  You ain't got a penny to your name." - Keith Sweat

This past weekend presented me with the opportunity to observe a regular ceremonial display of desperation- the wedding bouquet toss.  Women were jumping with arms outstretched, claiming how they needed the bouquet.  And oddly enough, having known quite a few of these women, I witnessed that desperation and income appeared representative to an indirect relationship.  That's right.  The broker the chick, the more her arms were outstretched.  

Add to this scene, the fact that I've noticed that the ladies who talk about wanting a relationship the most are the ones who are not in any position to support themselves.  They are living at home with their parents or living with half a dozen roommates.  Not saying anything is wrong with that, but living in such situations may be a good indication that you should primarily be working on yourself and being able to attain things for yourself.  But no, these are the women who make the most demands on guys.  I've witnessed it with my own eyes.

 Another interesting thing I notice is that these types of women also say things like "I need a man to..."  On the other hand, most of the women I know who are completely holding their own prefer to say things like "It would be nice to have a man around to help with..."  One is looking for a provider while the other is looking for a partner.

I will never understand how a woman can bring almost nothing to the table besides her good looks and her vajayjay and demand so much.  Furthermore,  the last man who "provided" for me was my daddy and while I love him, I know the strings and control that came with that relationship. I think I'll take a partner who works hard like me and will help me along the way.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Take Off Your Cool

"Baby take off your cool. I wanna see you. I wanna see you."- Andre 3000 featuring Norah Jones

I know that I spoke about a song that was ruined for me by someone.  Now it's time to tell y'all about a song that brings about a pretty vivid, satisfying memory.  Though I will not share all the gory details of the memory.  I've already had a TMI moment today. *smile*

Anyway, this song takes me back to my younger days at good ol' Howard University-THE REAL HU.  I was a college senior preparing to take the world by storm, working long hours at a campus newspaper.  Anybody who knows what a production night is like at a newspaper can tell you that you may want to have somebody on standby to give you a massage afterward because it is stressful and tiring as hell.

So on one of these nights, I fell for a "come over".  Everybody who has ever attended college should know what a "come over" is and you shouldn't be falling for them anymore long after college is over.  So I went and it was the same week that the Speakerboxx/The Love Below CD came out.  So he was playing it on blast.  One thing led to another and all I can recall was Andre 3000 was playing in the background, it was great and I got sprung.  He didn't reciprocate, but every time I hear that album (which of course I ran out and got that same week) I think of that time.  And despite the fact that he didn't reciprocate (well not the way he did during the come over), I still smile.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Number One

"I'll be my number one. I'll put me first, like you don't do. No second place. No number two. There's only room for one. I'll be my number one."- Chrisette Michele

Since I went to the Chrisette Michele/Avant/Tank concert, I have been blasting her music frequently over the past weekend. 

As for this one, this is one of those songs that I work everyday to take to heart more and more.  See, I come from a long line of passive aggressive women and somehow I absorbed that ish.  I say "yes" a little too easily at times and I go with the flow a little too much.  Part of this comes from the fact that I hate confrontation.  Growing up, I too often witnessed when confrontation went violent.  There were moments when I dished out the violence.  But that story should come another day.  All I know is in the end, I figured it was easier to go along to get along.

However, when other people caught on to the fact, it started getting a little more difficult.  Because they knew I was quiet, they felt like they could say whatever the eff they wanted to me or about things I cared about.  They loved dealing with me because they knew I would take their ish.  Then they started wanted me to do what they wanted me to do or felt like they could control me.

Well, more and more I felt like knocking someone the eff out.  I haven't hit anybody since 2004 and sometimes, I still have a yearning to do so. In all honesty, if alcohol recovery is anything like my urge to hit people when it is at its worst, I seriously feel downright sorry for alcoholics.  That is some ish to deal with. 

Back to the point of the blog.  Yeah, so people got wind of this and felt like I was their puppet to an extent.  Well, guess what it took me until to my late 20s to learn the word "no."  If not that, I did learn how not to say the "yes".  And there have been a couple of "hell nos" thrown in for effect.  

I'm only going on vacations I want to go on. I'm only dating if I feel like it.  I'm only going out when I feel like it.  I'm going to do things that I'm interested in doing despite what others may think.  

It's just that life is so not about doing what others want you to do.  It's not about living up to others' expectations.  It's about doing what you want to do and feel comfortable with.  And hell, if what you're doing is not "right", it's about being able to live with it yourself.  At this stage, we all know what consequences and repercussions are.  It's about being your own Number One, believing in yourself and acting for yourself. 

Plus, being Number One is great. I should know because I am a dovely Ace. (Had to go there ONE time.)