Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

You know that the end of one year/beginning of another is always a time where I get reflective and introspective on this here blog. And this year is no exception. Here's a post on my little happiness project that I plan to apply in 2010. We'll see how far into the year I get before I abandon ship! Lol! Thinking back, I may have already done a very similar post in a year gone by, but I'm too lazy to confirm that, so if this is redundant, then please just take the repetition as a sign that I'm a zealous advocate for the point I'm trying to get across! Happy New Year, snitches... I'll see you in 2010!

I moved to NYC for one reason, and one reason only: because I thought it would make me happy. Before moving to NYC, I was profoundly UNhappy. And who wouldn’t have been unhappy living the life I was living? I was 30 years old, a resident of my parents’ house, still sleeping in my childhood room (albeit in a big girl bed!), governed by the house rules (curfews and sht), working a job that I couldn’t have cared less about, in a city that I was generally bored with. It was a miserable existence.

All of my visits to New York were mostly sunshine and rainbows, and it was the place where I felt the most alive. The most, authentic me (if you will) made an appearance every time I visited my friends there. And I liked the authentic me. I thought it’d be cool for the authentic me to stick around. And, so, after my 30th birthday, I made it my business to become a resident of NYC. It was the first thing I affirmatively decided on my own without any influence from my parents, extended family, and friends. It was what I wanted to do and, whether it made sense or not, I was going to do it. I’d lived 30 years, and not very happily and this was my first step toward the happiness that I believed had eluded me for so long.

And so, I went. I found a job that I really like (I don’t love it, but I like it, and that’s enough for now. One hurdle at a time!), happened upon a decent roommate, and moved into a great space. So far, it’s been really good. But am I any happier than I was in DC? I’m not sure that I am. Now, I’ve only been there a couple of months, and I haven’t really had the time or the opportunity to explore the city the way I’d like to explore it. That’s part of it. But the other part of it is that I recognize that I’m me… authentic, real, unchanged… and I’m going to be just little old me no matter where I am located.

An acquaintance of mine tells this story of how she lived in DC all her life and knew that NYC was where she really wanted to be. Times got hard after grad school and she had to move back to DC and stay in her parents home, in her childhood room, and wait for months to receive a job offer from an employer in NYC. She was miserable while at home in DC. She was depressed, drank a lot, smoked a lot, didn’t eat. And when the call finally came, it was a job that she knew she would hate but because it would get her to NYC, she took it. She never looked back and is now, in the words of the all-knowing and all-wise Oprah, living her best life.

I guess, in a way, I thought I would have a similar story. And, maybe I will. After all, she worked that shitty job that got her back to the city for almost a year before she found one that she could stomach. And even after that, it took her about seven years to reach what is sure to be the pinnacle of her career. So, I’ve got a long road to travel (or maybe not so long at all… who knows?!) before I reach my final destination in my NYC life.

Or, maybe none of that will happen to me at all.

One of the reasons I was so drawn to Mystery Man is because at first glance, you can tell that he is a genuinely happy, content, secure, and settled person. I was attracted to that because I was none of those things. I wanted to get to know him… to delve into his personality and get inside his head to get a sense for how he managed to be so put-together all the time. Well, what I found out was that Mystery Man had problems just like the rest of us. There were times when he was sad, dissatisfied, flustered and uncertain. He was human… go figure. But what he explained to me, and this is something that I carry with me everyday, is that happiness is not a destination. He explained that it’s not about getting to a certain point in your life, and then you will be happy. It’s about deciding that you will be happy and then carrying on with the journey that is your life, carrying that happiness with you, and letting it shine through at every moment. That is how you live your best life.

There are times when you’ll hit roadblocks and obstacles and you’ll feel that if this is the best your life can offer, you’d like the opportunity to get back in bed, lie down, wake up, and start the day over again. But even in those times, you can choose to make the most of it. You can just make the decision to keep right on living your best life.

And the phrase “living YOUR best life” is important. That “your” makes it relative. What is your best life will not be the best life for someone else and vice versa. So, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to be sure not to compare my life to others. Some of my friends are doing really great, wonderful, downright FANTASTIC things. They’re experiencing some of the stuff I’d hope to be experiencing at this point in my life. But their path is different from mine. And my best life is going to look different from theirs. Not better, or worse… but different. And that’s okay.

I am writing this post from my parents’ couch. My office is closed from December 23 through January 4, so I actually had a winter break… a luxury I had not been privy to since graduating from law school. I decided to come back to DC to spend that time with my family and friends here, and was really looking forward to ringing in the New Year with friends at some crazy party. But, a day or two after Christmas, my ear started hurting, and then my throat started hurting, and then… I was officially sick. I headed to the doctor who told me that I had a very bad case of strep throat, and I was quarantined and put on a regimine of antibiotics. So, I’ll be ringing in the New Year from the couch, all alone… just me and the dog when 2010 finally gets here. Now, I could make the choice to be really pissed off about this. And, for awhile, not only was I pissed about my circumstances, but I also felt extremely sorry for myself and cried quite a bit. I’m not sure where the crying came from, but… tears did make an appearance.

Anyhoo, I now recognize that there’s nothing to be sad about. 2010 is upon us, and I lived to see it… in reasonably good health (strep throat isn’t the end of the world, after all… and thank God for penicillin!)! Many people can’t claim that victory. Plus, I’m employed, have a roof over my head, $20 in my pocket (okay… maybe a little more than 20!), a loving family, wonderful friends… these are all tremendous blessings! I am so grateful! And, while I’m still looking for love in all the (really) wrong places, and I’m not happy about my current status, I should make the choice to be happy about the fact that Mystery Man and I are exactly what we’re meant to be right now… great friends. He’s one of my biggest cheerleaders, and I his. We are there for each other, can discuss just about everything, and he’s just a great guy that I’m happy to know. For now, there ain’t no more to it. Fine. I’m happy anyway!

Maybe it’s time for me to just accept the fact that my life is what I make it. I mean, my friend could’ve lived her best life in her childhood bedroom, right in Washington, DC. I could’ve also chosen to do the same. Because happiness is not found in a place like NYC or DC or Atlanta or LA. Happiness isn’t found in another person. No, happiness is within YOU. Happiness is a choice… you have to choose it, in order for it to choose you.

So, on Thursday night when the clock strikes 12 midnight and 2010 is officially here in all of it’s glory, I’ll be in DC, holding it down live and direct from my mama’s couch, making a toast with my hot toddy, watching the ball drop… and I’ll be completely and totally happy about it all.

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Uptown Girl

When I arrived at the apartment, my cab driver actually helped me get my things in the front door. I was floored. I haven't always had the best experiences with NYC cab drivers, but he was pretty cool. I'd been to my new apartment exactly once in my life... the day that my mom and I had gone to look for apartments in NYC. I was determined to find the right place, but I didn't have much time to do it. I'd gotten the offer and they didn't want to give me more than two weeks to end my job and get settled in NYC. Well, I negotiated like my life depended on it, because... well... really, it DID depend on it, and they agreed to give me three and a half weeks. I gave my former employer two weeks notice the next day, and then I planned to take a week to get settled in NYC before I started work.

But in order to be settled, I'd need a place to settle-in! Several friends told me that everyone uses Craig's List to find apartments in NYC. Who knew? I certainly had no idea! So, I decided to check it out and see what Craig's List had to offer. My mom and I saw 8 places that day. Six of the places were "shares" where one person was looking to find someone to live with them in a 2BR apartment. The apartment I chose was definitely the best of the day. The woman who was my roommate seemed to be the most "normal" of the lot, the rent was reasonable, and the living space was clean, modern, and quiet. Can't beat that in NYC! I jumped at the chance to room with her, and the rest (as they say) is history.

So, here I was arriving in this place after only meeting my roommate and seeing my room once. I had no idea what to expect. When I walk through the front door, there is a black "doorwoman" sitting at the front desk. I tell her who I am and she hands me an envelope with my key. She doesn't smile, gives me the side eye when I thank her for finding my key, and doesn't respond when I say "Have a good one." Welcome to New York...

When I finally make it inside, my roommate is home and we go over some paperwork, and then she heads out for work. My friends Shari and Kim had invited me to have dinner and then to go see "Precious" (GREAT movie, go support it!!) as an introduction to the concrete jungle. I was exhausted, but I figured I'd be good as new after a hot shower and a nap. As I unpacked my duffle and tote, I realized that the one thing I forgot to bring with me is deodorant, so I ask my roommate to point me in the direction of the nearest drug store. She tells me that Duane Reade is about 6 blocks away. Waaaay too far to go for deodorant, in my opinion. So, she suggests that I try this little pharmacy that's a block away from our building. When I cross over to the next block, I'm surprised at how drastically the neighborhood changes. It was then that I realized... I'm in the 'hood! I'm okay with that, but it's still something that you have to be prepared for. I wasn't ready for that sudden realization!

At any rate, I walk into the pharmacy that was really more like a bodega with a few medicine bottles on one of the shelves in the back, and grab some deodorant. Then, I head back to my apartment. When I get inside, there's a different doorman at the front desk, so I walk over and introduce myself. When I tell him my name, he looks pissed.

"You have about six boxes back here, and they're big and they're heavy."

I peek behind the desk and recognize the boxes that my parents and I had shipped on Monday. The same boxes that weren't supposed to arrive until the next day. For once in my life, UPS was EARLY with a package. Of all the dumb luck! Not only that, but the flat-screen TV I'd ordered that wasn't supposed to arrive until Friday was there, too!

"I know you're new here, so I'm sure 'they'll' be more forgiving toward you, but this is a co-op and 'they' don't like packages to stay behind the front desk for too long. If I were you I'd go get a cart from the super and take the boxes upstairs now."

Uh... okay. First of all, who is "they" and, second of all, I was NOT trying to hear that I needed to carry anything upstairs after the day I'd just had. But, duty called, so I schlepped down to the basement to locate the super, found a dolley, and came back upstairs where the doorman half-assed helped me load the boxes on the cart, and then brought them upstairs and began unloading in my apartment. By the time I was done, I was a hot sweaty mess with a broken back... again.

But, I just couldn't bring myself to stay in the house on my first night in New York. So, I showered, dressed quickly, pulled my hair back, threw on some lipstick, and headed to the subway to take my first train ride as a "New Yorker" down to Lincoln Center to meet Shari and Kim for dinner and a movie.

Shari picked a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Now, if you know Brown GIrl, you know that I do not really dig "ethnic" foods. And that includes Chinese, Indian, Caribbean, Ethiopian, etc. So, I wasn't happy, but it wasn't until I sat down at dinner that I realized I hadn't eaten all day! Needless to say, I tore my dinner to shreds... I probably looked like an animal! But I was soooo happy to have my tummy filled that I didn't even care that I probably just looked like a pig in the middle of a very nice restaurant... We headed over to the movie, and that was fantastic... just PHENOMENAL (go see it! Really... GO SEE IT!), but by the end, I was physically and emotionally spent. It had been a LONG day. Kim drives (thank God!), so I didn't have to battle the subway this time... she just drove me home.

But as soon as I hit the front door, Karina called to say she was chillin at a friend's crib nearby and invited me to come hang. Of course, I couldn't say no... it was my first night in NYC! So I hopped in a cab and headed over. The "friends" apartment was a highrise on the 31st floor, and it had panoramic views of the city. Just... SICK views. So I took that in for awhile, chatted with a few other folks who were chillin over there, and then Jenna called and invited us to come have a drink at a wine bar near her apartment in West Harlem. Within minutes, we were out the door and headed crosstown for that drink. Jenna, Karina, and I chatted until about 1am, and then finally called it a night. I was beyond tired, and couldn't wait to hop in another cab (this cab riding WILL stop, because I will NOT go broke over transportation!) to head back to the apartment and spend my first night in my NYC bed.

In all, it was a good introduction to NYC. I had a good first day... long, but good.

And the next few days would be even more entertaining. Trust me...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Doin' It...

My parents kept poker faces about my move to NYC, but I think they were a little sad that I'd be leaving them... and so suddenly! Plus, for the first time in my life, I didn't ASK them what I should do, I TOLD them what I was going to do. Not in a disrespectful way, but I let them know that although I was taking the time to explain my decision to them (which wasn't really necessary, but I felt it was best to at least let them know WHY I chose to relocate) my decision wasn't up for discussion. That was a big step for me! But anyway, they claimed that they totally understood, and they were supportive of me in the best way they knew how. My mom has fragile hands and weak upperbody strength and my dad has had both of his hips replaced and is under strict orders not to lift heavy items. So, they couldn't physically help me move. Instead, they threw their money into the cause and paid for me to have my belongings shipped to me at my new apartment in New York. I couldn't object to that... afterall, it made perfect sense, and it was convenient... and they were paying! Yay, Mom and Pop!

It took me two weeks to pack, and repack, and then pack again, but in the end, I fit my whole life into six large cardboard boxes. On Monday, my parents and I lugged those six heavy boxes to the UPS Store (my mom and I did the lifting and my dad pushed the boxes into the store) and mailed all my crap (sadly, it was mostly clothes) to my new address. I would arrive in NYC on Tuesday, so my mom and I requested that the boxes be delivered on Wednesday afternoon, and we were told that was no problem. My mom's theory on this was that it would give me time to ease into this big change if I could have a low-key night on Tuesday and then wake up on Wednesday and move all my sht into the apartment. I agreed with that assessment and that's the way that I planned for things to occur.

On Tuesday morning, I got up bright and early and my parents drove me to Union Station where I caught a train to NYC. In addition to the six boxes that I'd shipped the day before, I also had a rather large duffle bag (on wheels, thank God!) that was filled to the brim with clothes and shoes and toiletries, and a large tote bag that housed my laptop, digital camera, iPod, reading material, etc., for the train. It was more than 70 degrees when I left, but I needed to bring my winter coat with me and in addition to the two pieces of luggage I was carrying and my incredibly heavy (as usual) purse, I was forced to wear the coat over my black fuzzy turtleneck sweater. By the time I got to the train, I was a hot sweaty mess. And then, I had to figure out how to get my bags on the train.

See, that's why I'd contemplated on taking the bus to New York, because the workers for the bus line will just throw your things onto the bus and then you keep it moving. When you get off the bus, they've already pulled your stuff out for you. It's really a very convenient, easy, and streamlined process. But... as you know, there are tradeoffs. You may end up sitting next to someone who smells, or someone who's crazy, or the bathroom which... smells crazy! It's just a smelly crazy experience, and one that I'm not willing to deal with in exchange for a little convenience. So, this is why on this particular day, I ended up throwing out my back as a result of lifting both heavy bags up onto the train, while three burly and bored-looking Amtrak employees stood by and watched... even after I called out for help.

But, I'm a soldier. I may be small, but I've got heart. And I got those bags onto the train with no help from the blasted Amtrak employees who continued chitty-chatting and smoking cigarettes while I struggled. In the end it paid off because I got to NYC in record time and the train was quiet and nearly empty, so I got a seat by myself and was able to stretch out for the duration of the trip. Nice! When we arrived in NYC, I took my things off the train (hurting my back AGAIN) in the process, and hopped in a cab, headed toward my new home and staring in the face of destiny.

I couldn't have been more excited, but I was also super-nervous. I hate unknowns and the worst thing about this whole process (which, of course, happens to also be the greatest thing about this whole process), is that EVERYTHING is an unknown. My living situation, my job, my social life, etc. What will happen? When will it happen? How will it happen? Will I love NYC and never want to leave? Will I hate it and go running back to DC? Nobody but God knows. But one thing is for certain... whatever happens, I plan to make the best of it. As my father always says "There ain't nothin to it, but to do it." So, I'm gonna do it.

The beginning...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Empire State of MINE

Guess who's bizzack!

Is anybody out there? I hope I haven't lost you. Are you still interested in hearing what I have to say?



Ooookay. Well, I wouldn't blame you if you never came back to this blog again. After all, I totally abandoned y'all and I'm sorry about that. But I'm back and I've got a lot of juicy tidbits to share. So, a lot has changed since the last time I posted. A few months back, I got a little introspective and decided it was time to finally get around to accomplishing some of the stuff I'd been wanting to do for YEARS, but was either too unmotivated or too SCARED to do them. At the top of that list of unfinished business - NEW YORK. How long have I been talking about this?! I've wanted to live there since 1999, so 10 years later... I got tired of talking about it and I finally decided to step out and do something about it.

I started applying for any and every job that sounded even remotely interesting, but I was certain to only apply to NYC employers. I've been stuck in DC for my whole life, and it's been great, but I'm very "been there, done that" about DC. It was just time to do something different. I've felt the pull toward NYC for a long, long time, but every opportunity that's ever opened up to me has been in DC. So, in order to insure that I wouldn't get "stuck" in DC again, my focus was only on NYC employers.

A few weeks ago, I spied a job that seemed perfect for me, so I applied. The next morning, a Friday, I got a call from the Director of the office, inviting me for an interview that coming Monday. I went up on the train (splurged on the Acela even!), killed it, and by Thursday had an offer. The terms of the position weren't perfect, but they were good enough... and it was in NEW YORK! I jumped at the chance, and finally, I could actually say that a dream was being realized... and not by accident. I worked this out purposefully.

So, yesterday, I officially became a New York City resident. I'm living in Manhattan with a roommate who's a Broadway dancer. So far, she's cool... TINY, but cool. Lol! (And you know that if I am calling someone tiny, they're pretty damn small). BUT... it's still early in our relationship! Check back with me in a month to see if that's the only thing I've got to say to about her! But for now, we're getting along quite well. My block is nice and my building is amazing... so, in all, I'm very happy.

But I've got to get used to this city living. I'm used to driving everywhere, wide open spaces, friendly people, chirping birds, and a slow pace. NYC gives me... well... none of that! This will be quite an adjustment, but I'm looking at it as one very EXCELLENT adventure! I'll be chronicling my transition here on this blog, so stick around if you want to hear some very... "interesting"... and inadvertently comedic tales about my life in the big city.

Stay tuned...

Friday, October 09, 2009

We Gotta Do Better

It's been two months, but I'm bizzack! Sorry to come back on a such a somber note, but I just had to share this. Peace.

The first time I saw "Boyz in the Hood", John Singleton's classic film about life in South Central L.A., I cried nonstop for two days. My father who had grown up on the mean streets of East St. Louis thought it was a good idea for my and my sheltered valley-girlish behind to see what was really going on in "our" communities, so he arranged a field trip for me and my equally suburban cousins to go to see the movie at the local theater. I had no idea what was in store for me, I just went along with everything and was excited to see a movie that had Ice Cube in it. I may have been from the 'burbs, but I was already in love with rap music and would've seen any movie featuring any rapper, regardless of the subject matter, at that point in my life.

Now, I say that my father grew up on the mean streets of East St. Louis and, at the time, they were relatively rough. But in relation to the roughness of South Central in the early 90s, he may as well have lived in Utopia. When my dad was a kid, the worst that would happen to someone was getting jumped. Back then, they fought with fists and usually someone broke it up before things got too bad. Sure, some of his friends died young but most of them died in car crashes, from getting improper treatment for easily curable diseases, or drowned in the Mississippi River. He lost other friends drug and alcohol addiction, and he was one of the few who made it out of their tiny depressed neighborhood. But, he felt that he got a sense of what it meant to grow up poor, and he knew that he had a lot of street sense... these were two things that he felt made him into the man that he is today, and these were two things that he felt that my cousins and I were missing. So, he would do little things to expose us to how other people were living. This was one of those "lessons".

On a Saturday afternoon, we went to see the movie. I have always been a BIG fan of TV shows and movies, so I was really excited about seeing how the story would unfold. We get to the part when Ricky (Morris Chestnut) was walking through the alley and the car rolled up on him slowly. The whole movie theater had been hushed all while he was running through the streets, and when the car pulled up and the semi-automatic weapon was pointed out of the window, there was a loud groan. Everybody knew what was going to happen. That scene is permanently burned in my mind. It was all in slow motion, and I felt like a rug had been pulled out from under me. I couldn't breathe. I was confused, and then the tears came. I sobbed audibly in the movie theater. And later, in the scene where Ricky's mom learned (too late) that he'd scored high enough to make it to college and get out of the hood, I burst open with fresh tears.

The drive home was quiet. All of us kids were in a daze and my parents were letting things sink in. When we dropped off cousin #1, I was still crying. As we dropped off cousins #2 and #3, I was still crying. When I made it home, the tears kept coming. And for a few days after we saw the movie, I would burst into tears at random times. It was very strange and my parents who are both therapists were concerned. They thought maybe I'd experienced some sort of post-traumatic stress as a result of seeing the movie. I guess their diagnosis was right.

The bottom line is that I was stunned. Stunned that people lived like that. Stunned that children and teenagers were killed for such trivial reasons. I mean, when I was growing up, DC was no "safe" place. When I was a child, people were getting shot and stabbed for their Jordans. Then, I got a little older, crack ran rampant throughout the city and people died daily in the drug wars. I grew up at a time when Rayful Edmonds ruled my city, so death and dying were not new concepts to me. (If you've never heard of him, Google him. He was major.) But still... those people I saw on the news weren't "real" to me. I didn't know them personally and had no idea of their stories (because the news did not do an adequate job of humanizing the victims of these crimes). Ricky changed all that. (And to this day, I cannot see Morris Chestnut without thinking "Hey! It's Ricky!" Lol!)

At any rate, eventually the tears stopped flowing, but I seem to remember a dramatic shift in my thinking after seeing that movie. I started to recognize that the world wasn't this safe, comfortable place where I'd been living my life all these years. I realized that there were people out there in the world who experienced that type of loss on a daily basis, having friends and family killed over dumb shit. My eyes had been opened to the harsh reality of our world and the fragility of life... that it could be gone in a second... taken away by someone who has NO RIGHT to determine when it should end. And that made me angry.

I got mad all over again when I heard about the video that showed the murder of 16 year old Chicago high school student Derrion Albert. I refused to watch the video because I knew that, for me, it would be just like watching Ricky get shot in the back all over again... except this time, it would be REAL. I couldn't watch. I wouldn't. But it still made me angry. How DARE this happen in broad daylight with a crowd of people watching it all go down? Who is protecting our children? Who is telling them that their blatant disrespect for their brothers and sisters is destroying our community? We're failing our children. We're not doing what is necessary to help them see that there is another way. Killing one another is getting us nowhere. But we have become so desensitized to killing... this kind of thing happens everyday in communities across the country, but unfortunately, it take something egregious like catching it on tape to cause any real outrage.

And then, just a few days later, Ashley "AJ" Jewell, the fiance of Kandi Burruss (formerly of Xscape and now a cast member of Bravo's Real Housewives of Atlanta) was killed outside of Body Tap, a well-known strip club in Atlanta. I'm saddened by AJ's death... I wasn't exactly a fan of his in life (although I was only going by what I saw on the show), mostly because he was the father of six children by four different women, which is overdoing it just a tad if you ask me (condoms, anyone?!). I tweeted about the fact that I found his obvious promiscuity and aversion to prophylactics to be a symptom of severe lack-of-judgment-itis. But the fact remains that last Friday night, when his grown ass stepped out of Body Tap to fight another grown man in the parking lot, he didn't take into consideration that he might be putting his well-being AND that of his SIX children at risk. Why, oh why, are you 30+ and still fighting in (or outside of) the club? I'm floored! So now, a woman is without a fiance, and six children are without a father. And what kind of example was AJ setting by even taking it there in the first place?! We need our men to stand up and show us what's right. Lead, don't follow. Use your head sometimes! Don't always be lead by the rules of your testosterone fuled pissing contests. Sometimes when I get angry, I don't break things or scream and shout, I cry out of frustration.

I read the headline about AJ's death and I got choked up. I didn't know him personally, I didn't have to.

These young men are gone too soon.

And I'm pissed (and still crying).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Shoe Game

This past weekend Bestie and I took a long overdue trip to the City to visit Jenna. We had an absolutely fab time! A good friend invited us to a white party on Saturday night, and even though I think white parties are lame (nobody has any business throwing a white party unless you’re name is Diddy and your venue is the Hamptons), I made a good effort to find a cute white dress and I recruited Bestie and Jenna to come along with.

Before I left Jenna’s apartment, I threw on a pair of gold flip flops and wrapped my heels in a plastic bag, which I tucked neatly in Bestie’s oversized handbag. I adore fashion just as much as the next chick, but I’m well aware that my feet have an expiration date and I can only rock out in heels for so long before I have to make the switch to a more comfortable pair of shoes.

We pre-gamed at this Moroccan restaurant that Jenna’s current boy-toy owns, and he kept our glasses filled (and didn’t charge us!). So, needless to say, by the time we made it downtown to the white party, we were a bit tipsy. It honestly never even occurred to me to change my shoes, and once I saw the early-birds at the party, I wasn’t impressed by anyone enough to be concerned about my footwear. I didn’t get any cell service in the venue, so I walked away from where Jenna, Bestie, and I had posted up near the bar and towards the hallway. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted two men checking me out, but I didn’t see anything particularly interesting about them so I continued on in my attempt to find a signal for my Crackberry. Just as I pass the duo, one of them leans down and says, “I hope your heels are in your bag, baby. I don’t know what’s wrong with all these women wearing flats. Y’all don’t believe in heels these days?”

This stopped me in my tracks. I turned and looked him up and down. He was wearing a white and turquoise Western style (think Cowboy) shirt, and a matching hat.

“You’re wearing a cowboy costume and you’re worried about me wearing FLATS?!,” I snapped. “You’re kidding me, right?”

He chuckled and I kept walking, but he got in my head. When I returned from checking my messages, I asked Bestie to hand over my heels and I slipped them on. By the end of the night, my feet were numb, but I endured the pain because I figured if that fool from earlier had a problem with women in flats, a lot of men probably did. And not that I was at the party to attract or pick up men, but... let’s face it - everybody wants to be attractive to someone and apparently this heel thing is a big deal!

When my book club read the Steve Harvey “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” book, I got to the chapter of frequently asked questions and someone asked Steve whether men prefer women in flats or heels. His very enthusiastic answer basically said that men will choose heels every time and, in fact, he’d never even MET a man who would say that he preferred to see a woman in flats. He said that if men had their way, they’d even put heels on gym shoes. That’s how much it matters. My heart sank... I was really hoping that he’d say that it doesn’t matter. I’d like to think that Steve Harvey doesn’t speak for all men, but my gut says that he does.

I had a friend in law school who told me that she didn’t feel like she was dressed unless she had on a pair of heels, which I thought was ridiculous at the time, but she actually meant what she said. By the time we graduated from law school, I’d never seen her in anything less than a 2-inch heel. She took her shoe game very seriously, and I couldn’t be mad. In her heels, she looked like a grown-up, and I looked like her kid sister in my flats and sneakers.

I’m definitely the shortest chick in my crew and also the one most likely to wear flats. I have what some would call “bad feet”. They’re cute... I keep a pedicure (even in the winter... I hear some women slack in the winter time...) and my shoes are always cute, they just might not be HIGH. That’s because, for me, comfort is the top priority. When I go out, I like to be social, carefree, and I party hard. How can I do that when my feet hurt?! Impossible!

So, I’ll tell you my secret: I tend to carry large bags because I always have a change of shoes handy, and I have a cute pair of flats that are appropriate for every occasion! I love putting them on after I’ve been suffering in heels at some event and walking comfortably to my car while I watch other women hobbling along with pinched feet after a long night in stilettos. Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for those women, but I’m proud of my foresight.

For instance, about a week ago, I’d been wearing a cute pair of heels at work, but when it was time to head out for lunch, I knew I wanted to try a new place that was a couple blocks away. I reached into the box of shoes I keep under my desk and slipped on a pair of flats to match my outfit. I walked past Starbucks and there was a young lady standing outside in a chic outfit and a haute pair of stilettos. She was propped against the wall in a pigeon-toed stance... you know that position you take when the balls of your feet hurt so bad, you’re trying to keep from toppling over?! Yeah... that stance. I looked at her and threw her a sympathetic smile as I skipped past in my ballet flats. Sure, she looked great in her heels, but I felt a whole lot better than she looked!

And then there was the time a few weeks ago when one of my girls ended our night early because her feet hurt too badly to carry on. We started at one end of the city and then got the invite to go downtown to check out the rooftop of the new W Hotel. My girl Pam was wearing a pair of streetwalking stilettos, which looked fierce, but also looked a bit masochistic. You could take one look and know that she wasn’t going to last long in them. Now, the W’s rooftop is arguably the sexiest spot in the city and we’d even been told that without a reservation we could NOT get in. Well, we didn’t have a reservation, but thanks to a friend of a friend we got in with no problems. When we got upstairs to the roof, we took in the beautiful view of the city, got a few overpriced drinks and commenced to people watching. There was a lot going on, the vibe was cool, the drinks were good (although overpriced) and everyone was having a great time. All of a sudden in the middle of things, Pam announces that her feet are hurting and she’d like to leave. Ordinarily, we’d blow air-kisses and send her on her way. Tonight, we’d all driven over to the W together, so we had to leave with Pam in order to get to our cars. Thanks, hooker heels, for ending our night before we’d even begun!

So, is this what it comes down to? Women must suffer in an attempt to try to attract the opposite sex? I rebuke that! But, sadly, I think it’s the truth. Men like women in heels. And they particularly like women in the most complicated, highest of high, most uncomfortable heels they can find. I’d like to tell you that if a man really likes you, he’ll like you regardless of the shoes on your feet, and I think that’s partially true. I know that even me - Miss Anti-Heels herself - will put on a pair of heels if I’m going out with a man because I feel like it formalizes the outing if I wear heels, like maybe he’ll notice that I put some effort into my appearance just because of what I’m wearing on my feet.

And one of the things that I hate to see more than anything is a woman hobbling along in heels, obviously uncomfortable, walking alongside her significant other who’s rocking sneakers. You like heels so much, but yet you’re wearing comfort footwear while I’m suffering next to you all to in an effort to appeal to you? Fck you, dude. Seriously. YOU put on some stilettos and traipse around in them all night and see how you feel. It’s just not fair! It just seems so shallow. But, then again, LIFE is not fair. *sigh*

An acquaintance of mine used to always say that stilettos were certainly created by a man. And not just ANY man, but a man who doesn’t like women. I’m going to have to agree. But I also have to admit that, despite the fact that I fight wearing heels tooth and nail, I recently bought my first pair of stilettos. I’m 30 now... it’s about time. They’re fantastic and REALLY high. But, hey, I hear “stripper-chic” is the new trend. And with these heels, I’ll fit right in. They’ll for sure make Cowboy (and other guys like him) proud.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Million Little Pieces

I’ve been farting around at work all day and could’ve used this time to catch up on some blog posts, but instead I’m spending my time playing around on Twitter (check me owwt!) and Facebook. I gotta get focused.

This weekend, the Kappas took over my city for their Konclave and their presence made for quite the interesting weekend. On Wednesday, I received a text from Mr. Ex saying “Hey Brown Girl, I’ll be in town this weekend and was hoping you might be interested in having a drink with an old friend :)”. Um… a fcking smileyface?


Clearly this dude is off his rocker if he thinks that I’m going to voluntarily meet up with him and we’ll smoke the peace pipe together. Never gonna happen in a million years. I figured that Mr. Ex was coming to town because his older brother is a Kappa and they must have decided to make their way south for the Konclave festivities. I was disgusted that he AGAIN tried to reach out to me. But in a way, I was sort of glad that he had given me a heads up that he was going to be in town. As usual, I was out on the town with the Conglomerate (that’s what my friend Erica calls our little crew) for the whole weekend and knew there’d be a chance that I could run into him at any one of the parties that we hit up and that would’ve been uncomfortable for everyone since Mr. Ex regularly acts a fool at the most inappropriate times. And let’s not forget the time I ran into Mr. Ex’s brother on U Street during Inauguration… so I know that the brother and I have similar tastes in party venues, which could make for a precarious situation.

I haven’t seen him in person since the middle of 2007. It’s been two years. If I saw him, how would I feel? What would I say? Would he look the same? Smell the same? If I hugged him would I feel the same? Would I feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders? Would our encounter bring back all the memories of our bad times, and cause me to have a new appreciation for the single life when we parted company? Or would I look at him and realize that I have some regrets, and then I’d discover that deep inside… buried beneath my disdain for him was a small part of my heart that wished things could’ve worked out between us?

Well, it turns out I wouldn’t have to find out.

I made it through the entire weekend unscathed… no Mr. Ex OR Mr. Ex’s Brother sightings. When I crawled into bed at 3am on Sunday morning, I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn’t have to face him. Upon further reflection, I’m not sure that I’m ready to see him. Even all these years later. He cut me deep. And the wound, although far from fresh, has not fully healed.

Another Monday comes and I make my way to lunch with the Girl from Marketing. I was waiting in line to pay for my food with my Crackberry buzzes, I break it out and check my messages and feel nothing but annoyance when I discover that a text message from Mr. Ex is waiting for me. This dude does NOT give up! WTF?! Turns out it’s actually a 4-screen text, which is equivalent to a modern-day 4-page letter (R.I.P. Aaliyah), explaining that he still loves me and desperately wants us to be friends. I waited almost four hours to send a response and when I did, I was disappointed that there was no real venom in my words. I just don’t have anything left for him. He’s literally drained me of all emotion. I have no passion, no zeal when it comes to him. I basically just told me that, as usual, he’s about a week late and a couple hunned bucks short, and that I wish nothing but the best for him, but I respectfully request that he leave me alone.

I’m ready to move on with my life. In fact, I’m not just poised and ready, I’ve already done it. I have never been so happy to see a person in my rearview mirror, but I see him back there, running behind the car, refusing to let me go. Man… eat my dust!

So, anyhoo, since Mr. Ex there have been a couple of men who’ve taken my heart by storm. I saw this tweet earlier today that was so poignant: “Hearts will be re-broken in an effort to heal properly.” It’s so true. My heart broke, only to become whole again. And became whole again, only to be broken into a million little pieces by someone else. But that’s life, right? We live, we laugh, we love, we cry, only to do it all over again.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Why "settle" is not a dirty word

Alright, so obviously I totally dropped the ball on reporting about my diet on a daily basis. Given my post history, I should’ve known that I wasn’t going to follow-through with that! Before I go into today’s post, let me give a brief update about the new eating plan. So far, I’ve lost a grand total of 11 lbs, and I’m going into my fourth week on this program. I’m VERY pleased with the results and I’m looking forward to taking off a few more plans before I transition into a more normal eating pattern.

Right now, I’m eating roughly every two and a half hours, which averages out to about six times per day. Before I started this plan, I would’ve NEVER thought I could eat six times per day. I mean, I like to eat just as much as the next fluffy chick, but… six times per day is A LOT! My meals are so tiny, though, that six times is just right, and even though my meals are small, I’m never hungry because as soon as my stomach starts to rumble, it’s time to eat again. Hallelujah! I even managed to stay on this plan while I was out of town (my cousin passed away and my dad and I flew to his hometown for the funeral). I always, ALWAYS gain weight whenever I’m away from home, but this time, I lost a few pounds! Amazing!

Anyway, I plan to stick to this plan for a few more weeks because I’d like to lose at least another 10 lbs. I’m shooting for a grand total of 30, but I don’t know if I’m going to use this plan to lose all of it. I’m currently researching other options and might transition to something else before the month is over. We’ll see! I know that some people might advise me to stick to what I’m doing since it’s working for me. Why fix what ain’t broke, right? But, at the same time, I think the reason a lot of people end up cheating on diet plans is because they get bored. And this plan doesn’t leave me with a lot of options on a daily basis. I could see how one day I might just be like “Fck it!” and eat an entire pepperoni pizza. And that would just be sad! So, maybe it’s better to just find another diet plan that’s equally as good and go from there.

In any case, I’ll keep you posted about my progress and I’ll share information about the next plan I decide to try out.

Now… without further ado, let’s move on to today’s topic.

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.” – “Carrie Bradshaw”, Sex and the City

When did “settling” become a dirty word? I mean honestly, if you tell a woman she’s “settling”, it’s like you’ve called her a btch or something. It’s just become a nasty term and I’m not sure why.

The quote above (in bold) is a quote from my favorite TV character of all time, the ultra-fab Carrie Bradshaw from my favorite show, Sex and the City. And I totally understand where she was coming from with it. I mean, sure, I’ve dated guys that were only given the time of day because I was completely bored and needed something to do to occupy my time until the next Mr. Right came along. And, then, I’ve had those experiences where I date someone and immediately there are sparks (a.k.a. “butterflies”).

Admittedly, the butterflies are the better feeling (duh!), but Lord knows that those damn butterflies are elusive. They are RARE and it takes the perfect combination of a lot of factors to be all cosmically aligned before they make an appearance.

And what do you do if those butterflies are misleading. What if you meet someone, feel butterflies, and it’s obvious that the feeling is not mutual. That happens, too, and it SUCKS! Or, what happens if you meet someone, feel butterflies, he feels ‘em too, but sooner than later the butterflies fade? You went with your gut and your gut lead you in the wrong direction? You’re left alone with the memories of the butterflies and not much else.

Anyway, so I’m stuck in a predicament. Saturday night, I went out with my friend Teresa from law school, and I met two guys. Sparks flew with one of them… like, they were popping all over the place and even Teresa noticed. The other guy? Ehhh… not so much. But he was perfectly fine! He is a nice guy, respectable job, normal looking, pleasant smile, kind and courteous. The other guy is just… dreamy! I don’t use that adjective often, but… it’s true! He’s got all the things I’m looking for. He was smart, funny, kind, great career, etc., plus he was super-cute in a quirky sort of way (the guys that I’m most attracted to aren’t really “traditionally” cute). I liked him right off the bat for no particular reason at all. And he was so charming! We spent the evening, laughing and giggling, and while the other people around us were talking, we made faces at each other across the table.

So, here’s the thing… even though sparks flew between me and Prince Charming, he didn’t ask me for my number and I left without getting his. The next day, I took matters into my own hands and decided to let cyberspace bring us together. I immediately logged-in to Facebook, found his profile and sent a friend request with a short note reminding him of who I am. That was Sunday. Today is Wednesday and I still haven’t been confirmed as a friend. (Brown Girl Note: I swear that FB has changed up the entire way the dating game is played!)

Now, there are a lot of reasons why he might not have responded to my request. Maybe he’s not as stuck to FB as I am and logged in this week. If he has logged in, maybe he just hasn’t looked at his friend requests yet. Or, maybe… he’s just not as into me as I was into him.


Mr. Right Now called me Monday evening. He was very nice… nothing to complain about, but there definitely weren’t any sparks flying. He wants to hang out this weekend and I’m going to meet up with him and give him a chance. After all, personality matters most, and maybe after getting to know him, sparks will fly. But I’m still disappointed that I’ve been put on “ignore” by Prince Charming.

So, anyway, I told my girlfriend Monica that I’ve decided to go out with Mr. Right Now and she scolded me!

“Brown Girl, you’re settling! That is so upsetting… you’re better than that,” she said.

“Huh? Settling? Look, I’m not gonna stalk Prince Charming. There’s no point. I threw the pass and now he can either fumble or score. The ball’s outta my hands now.”

Monica let out a big sigh. “I just hate to see my girlfriends settle. I mean, it’s not like you could get somebody you actually like. Why go out with someone you’re not really interested in?”

“He’s fine! Nothing is wrong with him. No, I’m not crazy about him, but I wouldn’t say I’m ‘settling’. And, besides, what’s so wrong with settling anyway?”

Now, don’t crucify me for saying that, but in all honesty, I really do find it confusing as to why the settling thing is such a big deal. Obviously, everybody wants to fall madly in love with someone with the hopes of having that person be equally as mad about you. But, how often does that REALLY happen? When I was a kid, my dad told me to “like those who like you”. And, my Godmother told me that “In a relationship, there’s always a person who loves more than the other. Make sure you’re the one receiving the extra love and not the one giving it.” I’d never put much stock into either of these two pieces of advice. Why would I? I was young, and idealistic, and still had crushes that drove me to distraction.

These days I’m different. Some might call me cynical, or jaded. I’d say that the better word for all this is “realist”. The truth is that my Godmother is probably right. There are definitely people who are in lopsided relationships, and why not be the one to come out on top instead of being the one who is constantly getting kicked in the stomach by love?

In 2008, an article called “Marry Him!” was published in the Atlantic. The author basically said that women have two choices – either to be alone, or settle for someone who will marry them. And she argued that, really, there’s nothing horrible about settling for someone who loves you. She also said that she was tired of married people patronizing her about the fact that she was still single. And while her position was radical, controversial, and completely extreme… she made a whole hell of a lot of sense!

Anyway, the second it was published, it met a shitstorm of controversy. Women were emailing the article to friends, and posting it on blogs, and talking shit about the author and her position on the issue. But in reality, I think the article hit home for a lot of women. I mean, nobody WANTS to settle, but we’ve also got to recognize that women have been fed a line of bullsht about how we’re all princesses, and that one day Prince Charming is coming along to save the day. But when it’s time to fight the dragon and get rescued from the ivory tower, what if Prince Charming never shows up. Or, what if Mr. Right Now shows up before he gets there and does an adequate job of taking me away from alla dis here? Should I tell Mr. Right Now to keep it moving and stay locked in the tower until Prince Charming finally decides to show up (if he even shows up at all!)? I should think not!

But honestly, the most profound part of this particular article (in my opinion) is when the author says that many times we marry the person that we’re absolutely crazy about… but how do we know they’re not just “settling” for us?

That’s a rather UN “settling” thought, isn’t it?

If I decided to heed Carrie's advice, and wait until the butterflies show up again, I might be waiting forever! And besides, sometimes the butterflies are a little off schedule and show up when you least expect them. I'm not desperate for a man, but I'm definitely interested in dating one again some day! Whether women want to admit it or not, that is a priority for most of us. Let's be real with ourselves and others... everybody wants companionship. Nobody sets out in this cold, cruel world, intending to be alone...

So, I’ve given up on Prince Charming. Sure, it’s only been three days, but with communication being nearly instantaneous these days, I doubt he wants to connect… we definitely would have by now! And that’s fine.

Despite Monica’s tongue-lashing, I’m going to go out with Mr. Right Now and I plan on having a good time. Nobody is saying that I’m going to marry him (that’s certainly not in my plans), or even that he WANTS to marry me in the first place. After all, Mr. Right Now is a kind and decent guy (from what I can tell) who wants to spend time with me. And that’s what I need in my life… Right Now. ;)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting Un-Fat Part II

Just FYI - I got the term "un-fat" from an acquaintance who mentioned that he'd begun a running program and was ready to stick to it... and he coined a battle cry of "Let the Un-Fattening Begin!". I liked it. Because I don't want to be skinny or even thin... I just wanna be UN-FAT. See? It works. By the way, said acquaintance has lost 40 lbs since his first day of un-fattening, which - all things considered - hasn't been so long ago. I only hope I can do half as well as he has!

DAY 2: Tuesday, July 14
For the first three weeks of this diet you are not supposed to do any strenuous exercise, which was music to my ears… mainly because I am hella lazy. I don’t like the gym, don’t enjoy working out, but I’ll do it because I think I have to. So, don’t let a doctor tell me I don’t need to exercise because I won’t! But then I realized that I’d probably have better results if I did a little bit of something, even if it was a quick walk or some light stretching. So, I grabbed Capone and we went for a stroll through the neighborhood. It was a fun time and I felt great afterward, so I’m sure I can continue to do this throughout the three weeks without any adverse effects. Besides, I think that mandate is really for people who’ve never exercised before. Unfortunately, I HAVE exercised before and probably should continue to do so because my body only takes a few days to fall completely out of shape!

No headache today, but I did experience a few… ahem… digestive issues late in the afternoon. Luckily, they didn’t really hit until I got home from work, so I didn’t have to torment my coworkers with that. Really, it was more embarrassing than anything and I’m not sure what exactly brought it on. Everything I ate today was rather tame, but something clearly didn’t agree with me! I’m happy I had no headache, but I also had a cup of coffee this morning. I tried sweetening with a little Truvia and some fat free cream and it was disgusting, so I poured most of it down the drain. But at least I got a little caffeine pumping through these veins.

I didn’t encounter a work-sponsored lunch today, but my assistant asked me if I wanted to head down to this Asian restaurant for a bento box, which I love! But I had to tell her no. I don’t really want to share the details of this diet plan with anyone because the last thing I need is to be discouraged by criticism and skepticism, so I’ve just been telling people “I’m on a new eating plan” and I’m leaving it at that. No further explanation required… respect it and be gone!

Dinner, my most liberal meal was great! Pork chop (the other white meat), broccoli, and salad. Yummy!

DAY 3: Wednesday, July 15

I’m a little discouraged because I don’t notice any difference. Now, you may be chuckling to yourself says “silly girl, it’s only been two days. Wtf are you talking about you ‘don’t notice any difference’?” Well… it’s just as I said… I don’t notice any difference. I lose weight quickly and my father even says that I can exercise once and you can immediately see that I’ve done something to help me get my body together. That should be even more incentive for me to do stuff, right? Wrong! Up to this point, nothing has lit a fire under me that burned strong enough to make me get off my ass and do something about my body. Well, until now…

Anyway, I don’t see a difference and it sucks. My clothes still feel the same, my tummy hasn’t gone down any (it’s usually the first thing to change), but I’m not gonna get discouraged. I’m just gonna remind myself that this is weight loss and weight loss takes time. Quick fixes are short term resolutions, but not long-term solutions. Yes, that’s it. And really, I’m doing well. Haven’t even thought of cheating even though the food is nasty! What I wouldn’t give for a burger right now!
According to my mother (who is still not on the diet pending approval from our doctor), it takes three days for the body to go into ketosis, which is the fat-burning zone. Who knew? So today is my first day of fat-burning. Seems like a lot of fat should’ve been burned by now, but hey… it’s only been three days! I still don’t feel a difference in my clothes and it would really hurt my feelings if I’d make all these sacrifices and then not lose weight! Ugh!

No headache tonight and no… digestive issues (thank God!), but I did have a weird rumbling in my tummy late this evening. AND, my stomach growled ALL DAY! But I went for another walk and it was nice. I don’t have my usual stamina (which wasn’t much to brag about to begin with), but I am walking pretty briskly, which the doctor says is fine. He has confirmed my suspicion that the limit on exercise is pretty much in place to help people who are not ordinarily involved in healthy eating and exercise to get fully adjusted to the healthy eating before they begin an exercise regimen (I had a hard time spelling this word for some reason!).

Dinner tonight was broiled lemon pepper salmon, spinach, and fresh tomato slices in a lemon/balsamic vinegar dressing. Wasn’t quite the burger I was craving earlier, but still delish!

DAY 4: Thursday, July 16
Alright, you beat it out of me. I cheated. Here’s what happened: I planned an event tonight… it was a cooking class in a gourmet kitchen. The menu consisted of six appetizer/small plates and I was involved in cooking all of them. One of the items was a mini Cuban frita, which was a mini-burger with ham, swiss cheese, roasted garlic mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and pickles. Then, you put all those ingredients into a panini press, which causes everything to meld perfectly… que sabroso! Given my cheeseburger craving from yesterday, I took one look at those things and knew I was a goner! I had to have one! So I did. Just one. And it was all that I dreamed that it would be… and maybe even a bit more! Thank goodness I got the recipe because I’ll be making them again once I’m able to be more liberal with my food choices (which won’t be for a long while, but at least this gives me something to look forward to).

Today, I had NO issues… no headache, no digestive issues, no stomach rumbling. Well, my stomach did growl, but it wasn’t the echoing thunder that I heard yesterday! I did so well sticking to the diet this morning, and I had gone into the cooking event with my eyes open. I figured that I’d have to eat at least one of the small plates. But, to keep it real, it probably shouldn’t have been the burger of all things! No sense crying over it now, though. Whats done is done and now it’s time for me to put this cheat day behind me and move forward!

Mommy finally got the okay to start the plan. Yay! She is ready to start, but is jealous because I am almost half a week ahead of her. I told her not to worry because I’m sure she can catch up, especially in light of my slipup with the cheeseburger tonight. She told me that eating that burger could’ve thrown my body out of ketosis and if that was the case, then it would take me another three days to get back into it. Ugh! I wish I’d know that before I ate the cheeseburger! I figured that I’d just ramp up the exercise, drink copious amounts of water, and eat right for the rest of the week and I’d be fine. Apparently, it’s not that easy! This especially sucks because today is the first day that I actually noticed a difference in my clothes and in my body generally when I looked in the mirror. It was a welcome sight! And now I may have counteracted the work that I’ve put in these last three days! Grrr!

The real test will be this weekend. Alcohol is not a part of my diet and even though I am a one-drink girl, that ONE drink has become a pretty big staple in my weekend activities. I’ll just get a mocktail (probably club soda with a twist of lime) and nobody will notice the difference… especially if they, themselves, are sloshed! So, I’ll be good. But the food thing… that’s gonna be hard. With some planning it doesn’t have to be difficult, but we’ll see how it plays out.

Tomorrow is Friday, which is Day 1 of the “real test”… will I last through the weekend? Stay tuned…

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ready! Getting Un-Fat Part I

I finally decided to do something about my body image. Like, something drastic. I’m not getting paid to big-up anybody’s company on this here blog, so I won’t go into detail about what I’m doing, but should I stick to it (which is the biggest “if” in the world!), then I should have some pretty spectacular results. So I figure since I’m doing something drastic, something that all people talk about doing, but most never do, and I also like to write, I might as well journal my experiences. Now, please know that this will not be easy for me. And I’m still going to write about all my romantic foibles, but I also think some people might want to know that I do more than sit around and complain about my job, write funny stories, and pontificate about men, love, sex, and relationships. For real… I do have other things going on in my life and this weight-loss effort is one of them.

I’ve explained that this has actually been an ongoing battle for me over the years. I started off as a skinny kid and progressed into a chubby tween, lost weight and became a slender teen, and packed on the pounds again in college. Since then I’ve never managed to get that “Freshman 15” (which in my case was more like the “Freshman 40”!) off my very small frame. And the fact that my frame is small actually exacerbates the issue… a bunch of extra pounds doesn’t spread well on a short person’s body. As such, I haven’t been happy with my outward appearance in quite some time.

Sick of being overweight, I decided to go on a healthy eating/exercise kick a few months ago in preparation for my 30th birthday. I stuck with it and shed about 11 pounds, but went through something (Hormones? Depression? Who knows?) that caused me to pack on half of that before I even left to go on my trip to the Caribbean.

Yet another failure, which didn’t sit too well with me. *sigh*

The worst part about it is that everyone in my family kept warning me that if I didn’t lose the weight before I turned 30, it’d be next to impossible to get it off. That’s NOT the thing that I wanted to hear from folks, but it was enough to kick my butt in gear. I’d had some success with the last diet/exercise program that I’d tried, so I considered just going back to that. But, then, my mom stepped on to the scene and my plans changed.

Now, I’m sure all our parents have quirks and my mother, God bless her, is no exception. Mommy is obsessed with the business of losing weight! She has every weight loss book known to man and every workout DVD ever made. Weight loss, health, and wellness are more than just hobbies to her, they’re passions. I think her fascination stems from the fact that she spent her whole life as a thin person and then put on a bit of weight later in life. She’s still not “fat”, but she definitely has put on a few pounds since her 40s. But please don’t get it confused, my mama looks great! She’s going to be 60 this year and I swear on a stack of Good Books that she doesn’t look a day over 45. Ask anybody!

Mom came to me recently and told me about a very extreme diet that her sister my aunt has been following and, in six weeks, Auntie has lost 25.5 pounds. My mother was encouraged by this news and decided that she wants to try the diet, too, but was afraid to take on the commitment alone. (My mom’s other quirk is that she always wants us to do things “together”.) My personal belief is that weight loss comes much easier when you have a partner, so I was all about jumping on this bandwagon with her. we took the plunge together and hopefully we’ll both have results worth writing about.

I haven’t decided whether I will blog about this daily, weekly, or sporadically (a.k.a. whenever I get the urge to write about it), but I WILL write about it. This post will cover the first four days and we’ll go from there.

I’m a bit shy about sharing this with the world, but I figure that if I mess up, the WORLD (cause every person on Earth reads my blog, right?!) will hold me accountable! That’s a great incentive.

DAY 1: Monday, July 13
Yesterday, Auntie came to talk to Mom and me about this new program that she’s on. It’s medically-supervised, so I’ll have to meet with a physician and a dietitian weekly, but it’s probably for the best. I have to admit that I’m scared shitless. I mean, this is a radical program, but luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of prep work or anything. All it’s asking from me is a little discipline… and that’s the though part!

Last night, I took pictures of myself in my one bikini and, let me tell you… it was NOT pretty! I want to burn my memory card so that there’s no evidence of the way that I look in a bandeau top and bikini bottoms, but if I burned the evidence then I’d have nothing to use as my “before” picture when I finally (hopefully) get to be an “after”. *sigh* I can’t believe I’ve let people see me naked and I’ve looked like this. I look at myself in the mirror everyday and all it took was a photo to make me see what’s been there for awhile. I tell you, a picture really is worth a thousand words! Oh well, it’s just more inspiration to get right!

It turns out Mom can’t start today because of restrictions as a result of a preexisting condition, so I’m on my own. This will be hard for me because this is a busy time for me at work with lots of fancy lunches and dinners and its going to call on my non-existent discipline and restraint! I was excited because it looked like the week would be clear of temptation, but as soon as I got in the office, I realized that I had a lunch meeting. The lunch was a great one – with shrimp, steak, chicken, grilled veggies, Caesar salad, fruit, and fresh-baked cookies and brownies. I thought about not partaking at all, but then I grabbed three shrimp, some grilled peppers, and a few lettuce leaves. Just having that little bite helped me to feel like I was part of the event, but I didn’t go overboard and didn’t break plan. I was SHOCKED that I had the discipline to be conservative with my portions. That’s usually a big problem for me. Even if I don’t eat all the food, I just like to see it on my plate. A full plate is just so comforting to me, but guess how I solved that problem? I used a smaller plate! I got one of the dessert plates (but none of the desserts!) And put my food on there. it made it seem like I was eating a lot more than I really was. I was proud of myself!

I left work and my head was pounding, but I’m not sure if that was a result of the diet or of the fact that I’d skipped my coffee this morning. It also could’ve been because I was hungry, so I went home and prepared a very quick and sensible dinner – Chicken with spinach and salad and that really hit the spot.

Auntie sent me a text tonight to check in and I let her know that everything was good and that I appreciated the support. She is my inspiration! I want to be like her!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Shallow like a kiddie pool

Welp! I’m still in mourning over Michael. That’s why it took me so long to come back to this blog and post something. I was emotionally-drained. I loved me some him. And now he’s gone. I was devastated! I didn’t think I’d be able to watch the memorial, but not only did I watch the live streaming coverage on CNN (brought to you by Facebook) DURING the workday, I DVR’d it and have watched it again several time since then. This can’t be healthy!

It was a life-changing moment, though… one that I will probably remember until the end of my days. And I’m not the only one who feels that way. On the night that Michael passed, the girls and I had dinner/movie plans. The details were sketchy and Michael’s death hadn’t been confirmed when we met up at the restaurant after work. While we were there, CNN broke the news that he had, in fact, passed away. We were sitting at the table, getting misty-eyed and talking about how unbelievable the news really was. Our cocktails arrived, and Teresa looks at me and says, “You know, no matter where life takes us, no matter where we end up, we will always remember each other because we were together when we received the news about Michael’s passing.” There was an empty water glass on the table, so each of us took a turn pouring out a little bit of liq for Mike and then we did a toast to him. Because the whole situation was putting a damper on the night and more than one of us were dabbing at our eyes with our cocktail napkins, we dashed off to see “The Hangover”, which left us crying (but this time because of laughter!).

But I am comforted in knowing that I’m not the only one who’s obsessed. The media can’t keep his name out of their mouths, so this will be an ongoing topic of conversation for the foreseeable future. There’s no doubt about that. But, I vow that I won’t dwell on it for too much longer. Instead of mourning so hard, I should just be celebrating the fact that God blessed us with such a tremendous talent. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Now, on to today’s post…

Major personal admission forthcoming:

I once broke up with a guy b/c he owned a cat. Okay, actually, he owned TWO cats, which turned out to be a problem for me. In my opinion, a straight guy wouldn't own a cat. And, if he wouldn't own ONE cat, he damn sure won't own TWO. I called him "Cat Daddy" behind his back. Not only did this dude just own the cats, he was also borderline obsessed with them. He gave them real names (Serena and Angelica), and he would talk babytalk to them and coddle them like toddlers. But they were cats. That sht was lame. And so I broke up with him. Now, of course, I didn't tell the dude that the reason he didn't stand a chance with me was because of his taste in pets. At the time, I made up some other reason for why things wouldn't work out (I can't remember exactly what I said), but we went out separate ways and I didn't miss a beat. And one day years later I was having a cup of coffee and thinking about my life when a memory of Cat Daddy popped into my head and I realized that sometimes I am shallow.

Nobody WANTS to be shallow, but all of us fall victim at one point or another, and I was saddened to realize that I'm no exception. So, anyway, I was faced with my shallowness again recently. I met a guy. Nothing new. The Earth did not move, and sparks did not fly, but he was nice and he seemed really into me. We met halfway through a bourgeois happy hour and within an hour of the first word spoken between us, he handed me his credit card and told me to buy drinks for me and my friends. See? Generous. At the end of the night, I was still debating whether I would give him my number, but he asked for it so nicely I felt compelled to give it to him. So I did. He sent the first text before I even made it to my car.

I noticed that he didn't use any punctuation in the message. And, while this isn't, like, a dealbreaker, it also didn't really work in his favor. I couldn't help but think that Mystery Man texts in full sentences and uses proper grammar, too. And then, I admonished myself for using Mystery Man as the standard to which I compare every single man that I encounter. I gotta stop doing that! And anyway, the punctuation thing was annoying, but it was a text and everyone knows that you use shorthand in a text message situation. No biggie.

He called me a couple of times and the conversation wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't the most stimulating. We had a few laughs, talked again the next night and had a few more laughs. On the third day after we met, he sent another text:

Guy: How was your day (noticeably absent punctuation)

Brown Girl: Fine & yours?

Guy: Not to bad

I stared at the screen on my Blackberry for a while. Did this guy really just type "Not TO bad"? Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a stickler for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. (even though you can't always tell from this blog, which I rarely edit or proofread before publishing!) So, it bugged me that he hadn't used the right to/too/two. But, again, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, this kid was supposedly a college graduate, so it had to be a slip of the finger. The next day, he text me again.

Guy: Playin bball today what are you doin (noticeably absent punctuation)

Brown Girl: Brunch & movies with a friend. What time is your game?

Guy: At too but I shouldn't be done to late

Okay, now if you're like me, the "too" and "to" mixup jumped out at you right away. What does this guy have against the extra "o" on the end of that "too"? How could he mix up "too" and "two"?? To make a long story short, we exchanged text messages a few more times over the course of a few weeks, but I noticed that this guy was consistently challenged by the difference between to/too/two. I don't know what's so hard about it because it's something most people master in elementary school! EARLY elementary school at that. And the fact that he kept getting those three words confused really bugged me!

Eventually, the texts stopped coming. He'd initiated all of them anyway, and it was my duty to respond whenever one was received, but soon I stopped responding and he stopped initiating.

Now, the truth is, if I'd really been feeling this dude, I probably wouldn't have let his difficulties with the English language get under my skin. But since I was on the fence about him anyway, it was enough to push me over the edge into "not interested" territory. So, again, I'm faced with the realization that I'm somewhat shallow. But I think I'm justified in finding this whole to/too/two thing disturbing. I don't think it's unreasonable to desire a man who has a basic command of the English language. Do you?

For the record, I think the cat thing was worse. I probably shouldn't have ditched a guy because he was showing so much interest in his pets. It probably just meant that his heart was kinder than most... Oh well, that's water under the bridge now.

For what it's worth, I did feel bad about ditching the dude with the language issues, but I'm a writer who loves words and would prefer my partner to have a similar respect for the English language. I think to/too/two is setting the bar pretty low, actually, sort of a minimum standard. The next guy that I allow into my life should at least be able to tell the difference between the three. And, if that makes me shallow, then I'll be that.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009)

Yesterday, my life was forever changed. The "King of Pop", Michael Jackson, died suddenly after suffering cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. (If you didn't know this, you must be living under a rock because there's been wall-to-wall news coverage for the last 24 hours.)

No, I didn't know Michael personally, but his music and his videos were pretty much the soundtrack to my childhood. And, everyone knew that you better not talk shit about my boy MJJ in my presence or else you would get a pretty scathing (and vulgar) earful. I have so many memories of Michael. I inherited the Jackson 5 "ABC" album (on vinyl) from my older sister. She was born in the early 60s, so she'd actually owned the album when she was a kid and by the time I got it, it was well-worn and the grooves were almost flat. I played that thing on my Fisher Price record player over and over again. We also had the soundtrack for "Going Back to Indiana", and my mother has an audio recording of me singing that song at the age of 3 (and I knew all the lyrics!).

The first album that I ever bought was Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" and then I followed that with "Thriller". I was freaked out by the video, but I couldn't stop watching it. My aunt bought my cousin Michael's red jacket with all the zippers from the "Beat It" video and I begged my mother for one, but she wasn't having it. I got Michael Jackson's "Moonwalker" video on VHS for Christmas one year and watched it so much I knew all the lines from the movie, all the lyrics to the songs, all the dance moves. I was hooked!

As I got older, my affection for Michael grew even more and I became a true fan. Everyone in my family knew how much I loved him. Whenever he was giving an interview or making an appearance, someone would call or text me to let me know that I should switch to such-and-such channel to watch. And, just a few years ago, my father bought my Michael Jackson's #1s album for Christmas. I couldn't have been happier.

But the best memory that I have of Michael was when I actually got the chance to meet him in person. My brother was invited to a private reception for him at the home of a big-wig entertainment executive and was told that he was allowed to bring a guest. Well, he knew that if he took anyone OTHER than me, our relationship would never be the same because I would never forgive him. At the end of the night, the organizers set up a receiving line for people to go up and shake Michael's hand. The line was so long that we kept our seats on a nearby sofa and waited for things to die down. Eventually, we made our way up to the velvet rope, which was being guarded by a beefy bald man, and were about to be turned away. "Please, man. My little sister (at the time I was about 25, but I guess to him I will always be his "little" sister) loves Michael and I just want her to have a chance to shake his hand," my brother pleaded.

I could tell that the tough-guy was cracking and after a minute he actually cracked a smile and let us through the line. We were the last ones through the line and it was rushed, but I did get a chance to shake his (gloved) hand and tell him that I was a HUGE fan. He smiled and said, "Thank you. God bless you," and then... it was over. We were ushered away. It sucked because cameras weren't allowed, so I didn't get a chance to take a picture of this phenomenal moment. I didn't want a picture to prove the meeting to other people, but to prove it to myself! Even today, looking back on that night that I met Michael, it doesn't seem real. But I do know that I was blessed to have the opportunity to interact with the "King of Pop".

He was a very peculiar person, I won't deny that. He lived in an amusement park and had a chimpanzee for a best friend. He was really out there. But genius is a lonely thing. It separates you from the rest of the world. He lived a very troubled life, plagued with scandal and controversy in later years. He was never truly comfortable with the man that he was born to be. Being a brown girl with a broad nose and kinky hair (without a relaxer), I can understand what it's like to want to look different. Unfortunately, because he had the means to change his appearance, he did. And because he had the money and power and influence, he had no one who dared try to stop him. Michael, poor thing, was a tortured soul who's only consolation was to put everything he had into his music... which, in turn, was his gift to us.

I hope he has found peace and that he is finally able to see himself for the gifted and special person that we all thought he was.

Music will never be the same as a result of Michael Jackson. If it wasn't for him, our current R&B stars would be devoid of personality. Think about it... Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, and Usher would've had nobody to swaggerjack!

John Mayer put it best, I think, when he posted this tweet on Twitter: "A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us." We are forever changed and forever in his debt. Gone too soon, but never forgotten. We love you, Michael. Rest in peace.

Here are some of my favorite songs of Michael's. Rock on!

Got to Be There

I Want You Back

Remember the Time

Off the Wall

Billie Jean (Most Famous Moonwalk at 3:39 and 4:28)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Letting go...

I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to formulate a five year and 10 year life plan. I want to set attainable goals and come up with the best methods to achieve them, but… this is really hard! A lot harder than I thought it’d be. And I’m beginning to realize that the reason why it’s been so hard for me to achieve goals is because I don’t really have any goals in mind! That’s scary! I was always the kid who knew exactly where I wanted to go and how I was planning to get there. And somewhere along the line, I lost my way. It makes me sad and scared and frustrated to think that I don’t have any clear plans for the future.

I really tripped out when I wrote out the heading for my plan

“Lovely Brown Girl
5 Year Plan
(Deadline: 2014)”

Seeing 2014 written out seemed so surreal to me! And to think that a date like 2014 is only five years away! That seems a bit crazy…

The only thing I do know is that in the next five years I’d like to be making more money… and I’d like to have a kid. And maybe be married.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking… that sounds backwards. The thing is, I KNOW I want to have a child. And I’d prefer to be married before that happens, but the likelihood that I’ll marry in the next five years seems particularly slim these days. I’m not giving up hope or anything, but it just seems so far-fetched!

The closest I’ve come to linking up with a guy who wanted to wife me was The Older Man. He was a really great prospect. He was mature (or so I thought), professional, spiritual, respectful, protective, kind, full of compliments, attractive, and marriage-minded. But, for some reason, even when things were good, I was constantly pushing him away. He even said that for some reason I loved to tell him no. Anything and everything he asked me, my answer was always no. And, even before things fell apart, that’s why we could never progress past a certain point.

This weekend, I sat back and reflected on all my past relationships and realized that none of them have been particularly healthy, which was, on the one hand, shocking; and on the other hand, not at all surprising. I analyzed every relationship I’ve ever been in… including those that were “unofficial” and those guys that I “just dated”. My dating relationship with The Older Man replayed itself and I had an epiphany of sorts: one of the reasons why I was never able to go with the flow of that relationship was because, in my head, I was still tied up in knots over Mystery Man. Even though I didn’t move forward with anything with The Older Man until Mystery Man made it clear that he wasn’t interested in pursuing anything with me, I hadn’t fully let go.

I realize now that wasn’t fair to The Older Man. Even if circumstances hadn’t gotten in the way, the potential seed of our destruction had always been there, lurking under the soil anyway. We never would’ve made it anywhere because he wasn’t the one I really wanted. And coming to that conclusion led me to another revelation: I was guilty of doing to The Older Man what Mystery Man had done to me. I’d moved into a new relationship too quickly. I’d thought only of myself, without taking the feelings of the person who really liked me into consideration. I’d tried to cover a fresh wound with the flimsy band-aid of a new relationship.

None of that stuff ever works. The only things that truly get a person out of your system are space and time. I didn’t give myself either of those things. Oh sure, I told him (and myself) that I needed space… and that he needed it, too. But I’m still his friend on Facebook… I still check in with him from time to time. I can’t seem to leave him alone. And, so, probably the next guy that comes into my life will meet the same fate that The Older Man met.

As I sat there thinking on these things, I started feeling overwhelmed. This was a lot of information to process… a lot of inconvenient truths made themselves apparent.

I still think about him a lot. I wonder whether he thinks of me. I wonder why all the things I hoped for with him never actually materialized. I wonder why he didn’t want those things with me at all. And, typically, by the time I get to that final question, I feel hurt and then… anger. But, for some reason this time, although the hurt was still there the anger had nearly dissipated. So, now I think I get it. The things I felt for Mystery Man… those are the same things he feels about his ex. The same way that I couldn’t move on from him… and couldn’t let The Older Man into my heart, that’s the same reason why Mystery Man kept pushing me away. I kept wondering how he could think I was wonderful, and beautiful, and smart, and funny, and all those things that he always said I was, but then couldn’t bring himself to be with me. How could I not see? I did and said all those same things with The Older Man. He didn’t stand a chance. I guess I didn’t either…

But, nothing I did was done out of spite. I never meant to hurt The Older Man and I didn’t mean to cut him out before he could even really take a shot at building something with me…. but I did. I hope I won’t make the same mistakes with someone else. And I hope that, if by chance I do make those same mistakes, that they will be patient with me and won’t hate me in the end.

I don’t hate Mystery Man… I don’t think I ever could. He’s a good person and will always have a place in my heart (just hopefully in the future not such a big place). And now that I’m getting a better idea of where he was coming from, I’m not even angry about the way that things turned out. I am finally realizing that, as tempting as it might be, you can’t hold someone’s love against them. He loves her and not me and, even though that seems unfair, I gotta just let that go.

And, so, I begin again.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Online Dating Bytes

Three new posts in as many days? I'm on a roll! I've got more to post, too! I should hold back and just post one every week and then at least I could be consistent, but... I'm gonna go ahead and post them as they come to me. I'm going to try to do at least two posts a week from here on out, but I've made that promise before... several times. And I've never held up my end of that bargain. So, I'm gonna stop lying and just commit to posting when I can. And hopefully "when I can" will translate to at least twice per week :)

As I was walking home from the train today, I was hit by the most overwhelming sense of loneliness! It was a gut-wrenching feeling that left me scared shitless. It’s not that I haven’t experienced this feeling before, but today I noticed it had a new intensity that I was not at all prepared for. I mean, I’m 30 fucking years old with no man in sight! To me, that’s sad. And it’s scary! If anybody had told me when Mr. Ex and I went our separate ways 2.5 years ago (describing it as “going our separate ways” makes it sound so civilized, and it really wasn’t at all) that I’d be single at 30 with no prospects on the horizon, I would’ve found that laughable. Today, it is my reality. And it sucks. Sometimes I’m okay with it… sometimes I’m not. Today was one of those “not” days. *sigh*

I guess that’s the same feeling (or something similar) that my homegirl was feeling when she notified me that she was going to start actively participating in online dating. I listed as she explained why she had decided to go that route and I actually provided her with some pretty sound advice on the issue. But I wish I could’ve been more supportive of her decision. It’s just that my homegirl is a black woman, and she’s seeking an educated black man. Online. And I have my theories about why she will be more likely to get struck by lightening than to find a man that meets her standards through an online dating site.

So, of course I’m not just going to tell you that I have theories about a particular subject and then not tell you the theories right?! Well, my main thought about this is that in theory, online dating is a great concept! It gives you an opportunity to make contact with a potential suitor… without actually having to make physical contact. That’s awesome! It also easily connects you with people that you might not ordinarily meet. For instance, maybe your soul mate lives in Philadelphia and you live in Atlanta. In the “old days” before the internet, you would only have a chance of meeting that person if you went to Philadelphia or if s/he ventured to Atlanta, or if a mutual friend introduced you… something like that. The chances that you’d cross paths with that person while sitting in your living room were pretty damn slim! But now, all you have to do is logon to or or Yahoo! Personals, set your search terms to meet your criteria, and you are instantly connected to likeminded singles around the world.

It works for a lot of people! On a weekly basis I read the B.I.O. section of the Washington Post Express, which is where the paper publishes wedding announcements. I would say that probably 80% of the people featured in B.I.O. met online! I also watch “Platinum Weddings”, “Bridezillas”, and “Who’s Wedding is it Anyway”, and a large majority of those couples also meet online. But the thing is, most of the people that publish their announcements in B.I.O. and are featured on those wedding-focused reality shows are… well… they are… not black. I’ve heard of and have known personally so many people who met their significant other/spouse on sites like J-Date or or whatever, but those people are all white!

See, black men… black men in DC especially… aren’t really hurting for dates. And, if they want to become involved in a relationship, it’s really rather easy for them to meet a very deserving woman just by walking out of their front door. It really is that easy. Around this town, a guy can trip over 10 beautiful, successful, educated, witty, and VERY SINGLE women just going from his house to the grocery store. The market is flooded with these types of women. And all these women are looking for the same (or similar) type of man. So, my thought is that any man worth his salt who even remotely meets the standards that women have set for being “eligible” won’t need the assistance of the internet to find a date.

I belong to this social group on Facebook that’s always sponsoring speed dating events in DC. Every time they host something, the group always sends out an email that says something like:

“Speed dating event in 2 days! Registration for women is closed. More men needed!!”

See how sad and pathetic that is? Women have overwhelmed the registration for the event while men are elusive. And if men know that tons of women are going to be in a given spot, why wouldn’t THEY be flooding the group with registrations? The answer is that men don’t need to participate in something like speed dating because they’re not desperate for dates!

So, what makes a man eligible? Well, if he’s employed, reasonably good looking, semi-literate, clean, and… well, really, for a lot of women, that’s about all it takes. Sad, huh? Yeah, the bar is set pretty low. I guess I should add “breathing” to the list. Anything else? Hmm… maybe I should add single, but then again, for some women that is not a requirement (shocking!). Any man who meets these minimum requirements probably has at least two women in the queue. While women who bring a lot more to the table than this are sitting around twiddling their thumbs on any given Friday or Saturday night.

But I digress…

Those same men are not going to end up paying money to participate in an online dating service when they can pull chicks for free. So who are the black men who actually throw dough at services like or or Outside of the (very rare) exceptions, the black men you’ll meet on the internet are likely womanizers, illiterate, seeking random sex partners, or socially-inept weirdos. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

I kept this theory to myself but I eventually ended up sharing it with my homegirl. Especially after she started sharing some of the messages she was receiving. Which proved my theory.

Like I said, in theory, internet dating is AWESOME. Like, I mentioned J-Date before. Just in case you were wondering, J-Date is a dating website that pairs up Jewish singles. My coworker met her husband on J-Date. My colleague who’s a few years younger than me met her fiance on J-Date. Apparently, she has three friends all around her same age who are all engaged and they ALL met on J-Date. After hearing these stories, I am thinking – wait a minute… you just go online, plug in your search terms and walk away with a cute guy and a 2-carat Tiffany engagement ring?

Sheeeeiiiiiiiit! (a la Clay Davis)

Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

I wish there was a J-Date for black folks. A B-Date, if you will. But unfortunately, as soon as sites pop up, they become hoodielicious (a word from my good friend) and or slutted out with people posting half-naked pictures and making open propositions about random sexual encounters. Just take a look at BlackPlanet. It has become a thugged out haven for illiterates and semi-professional prostitutes. And then, there’s It started off pretty well, but as I was helping my homegirl sift through profiles on that site, I realized that none of the decent looking me on the site knew how to spell. But, wait… I guess that’s okay because it’s actually not one of the eligibility requirements I outlined above. *rolleyes*

I can’t tell you how many times a week I hear the question “Where are all the good black men?” It gets old. I’m tired of hearing it. And, I’m not one of those people who believe that there are no “good” black men out there. I think they’re out there... I just don’t think you’ll find him online.