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. ;)