Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No beef...please

The honeymoon is o-v-e-r.  For a while we were floating in pure "you can do no wrong" bliss, but that ended like cold water to the face in the middle of a sweet dream.  Now don't get me wrong, we still have GREAT days.  Better than great.  Super fantastic days.  "I'm so happy I'm going to bust out and do a James Brown dance" type days.  But lately, most days leave me caught between exhaustion and seeing red.  I'm talking MAJOR BEEF.  Then the games begin...the blame game, who can hold out speaking the longest, then cat and mouse make up (He tries to reconcile, I reject it.  Then I try to reconcile and he rejects it because I did).  It lasts for DAYS...and the once obnoxiously harmonious couple turns into to a pair of fools...too stubborn to apologize, too prideful to accept blame/responsibility, and too jaded from past relationships to listen, think or see clearly.

The sad part is the arguments are all a series of molehills made into mountains:  which couch to buy, you don't say thank you, you didn't leave where you were to meet me me fast enough...you called me "lame"...and the silly list goes on!  To his credit, he may argue me down and never apologize, but he makes note of everything and makes adjustments to avoid the same problem in the future (that's what really matters, right?).  To my credit, I may get PISSED, but I can't stay mad long.  I can go from seeing red to hugging it out in minutes.  I call it "self-correction."   He calls it "crazy," and
my sudden change of heart usually aggravates him more and we end up in ANOTHER round of cat and mouse.  Yes, my "self-correction" is definitely ummmm...bipolar-ish...but I can't always keep these raging hormones tamed...at least I have an internal checking mechanism!  Sheesh...

Not to diminish the reasons he (at times) irritates me out of my right mind, but what calms me is knowing that he is still my guy...that I do want to keep, love, honor and cherish.  So choosing to stay mad is choosing to live in misery, when I just want to get back to my "Hey! Get On Up-Ah!" James Brown dance, and this incredible friendship that we share and fun we have together.

But how do we kill this defeating cycle? How do we lock out negative energy like doubt, fear and mistrust so they don't erode a relationship worth preserving?  It doesn't help that many variations of "maybe this isn't meant to be" has spilled out of my mouth in the midst of our challenging times.  I know, you don't say that!  I don't even MEAN that or want that! But I'm a girl, who once upon a time loved a boy that cheated, so I left.  Then loved a boy that wasn't ready, so he left.  Then loved a boy who then impregnated another girl and chose his family.  Then was engaged to a boy, who quit.  Then loved a boy who disappeared. Maybe I don't know how to pick them, or maybe I drive them away...but in the back of my mind I'm afraid this relationship won't last either. 

So "Go! I don't care!" I say...when I really want to say "Please don't you leave me (too)"...For him to answer my (arms crossed) "Maybe this isn't meant to be!" with "Stop it woman.  We'll get through this and I'm here to stay."  But he's no mind reader, and today, I love not a boy, but a man.  And especially with his flaws, I have never met a man so perfect for me.   They say it takes 22 to days to form a new habit, so I'm off...to shed this baggage and renew my faith in true love and build a habit of harmony and peace in our relationship.  And maybe...just maybe he'll let down some bags too.  Because honestly, as much as I adore his angel daughter (my little jellybean), I don't know how much more I can take of him comparing me to her mother, spawn of Satan, Queen of Darkness.  *Eyes rolling* I mean really...really?!

Hopefully I can find a way to get these feelings out of my head and off the computer screen to reach the one person that matters in all this...to build a future better than the best of our past.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Don't Rain on My Parade


Unless you are blissfully happy...and unless you're in a place where I want to be (happy, married, financially stable with children)... or unless I ASK...stop offering me advice on how to live my love life!

We all have expectations, dreams of grandeur for the ideal mate...but if anyone has tried every possible pathway to happiness, read every book, overturned every rock, and nursed every ounce of possibility and potential, it has been me.  What did I learn?  To stop trying to force a square peg in a circle hole.  To stop searching, and allow things to BE ("kun fa-yakunu" Quran, 36:82).  To let go and let God.

And now, I've literally fallen into something special and rather than being able to freely celebrate this refreshing moment...and this smile etched into my face...I'm left to address the naysayers. *side eye*

I am muslim, he is christian.  And although I admit, this difference can present a challenge...this isn't our challenge.  And although it seems on the outside looking in the focus is on our theological differences, he and I are on the same page.  Our disagreements are about whether or not a tv belongs in a bedroom (and it most certainly does NOT) and where the hamper belongs...not on faith in our relationship...present or future.  We're actually, extremely solid and secure.  He says I look phenomenal in my scarf...and rather than exchange Christmas gifts, we have chosen to make New Years our shared gifting holiday.  I rock with his family traditions, norms and customs, and he rocks with mine.  We say grace together in english and arabic...but most importantly we're really happy with our blended culture.

What about the kids?  Seriously? Check yourself before you wreck yourself.  Respectfully, I think everyone should focus on their own children, and we will do the same for ours.  There are many more factors that can result in a confused, maladjusted child other than different religions.  And any theologian will tell you, when assessing moral obligations and values, monotheistic faiths are more similar than different.  But most importantly, I think my married L.A. girlfriend said it best "You could marry your brother, who was raised in the same household as you, and still have different views on faith, family and marriage".  There are more dimensions for a healthy successful relationship than how we worship.  Both my parents were muslim and after 26 years, divorced.  I'm sure we all know several marriages that have failed.  How many divorces do you know were due to differences in religion, culture or race?  I'm sure it exists, but I honestly don't know any.  Nope...actually, the couples I know are still married.    

Admittedly, my mother even expressed her worries (deeply rooted in her fear that some smooth talking man will come along and sweet talk her daughter out of her panties).  However, after giving her my speech about celebrating a beautiful moment, trusting the 30 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER she raised, and not clouding my joy with her endless worries, I think she too has come around to share in my happiness.  "What if everything happened the way it did so you two could meet?" she asked me recently. *big victory smile*

We all have a right to find our own happiness, defined by our own terms...not limited by the constraints, expectations, prejudices, fears, personal desires of others...regardless of who our naysayers may be.  True love is rare, but true love is real...so excuse us as we continue on this beautiful journey despite the
rain.  This parade is nowhere near over. *My pumpkin pulls out an umbrella*  Plus, I have someone making sure I stay dry to enjoy every moment.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bursting the Bubble



I recently took the plunge, good people.  Wait, that sounds a little bleak.
Take 2: I recently leaped, on faith, into (drum roll please) a RELATIONSHIP. And like my brother said, it's not official until it's on facebook.  So as my status reveals, I am officially in girlfriend mode.  No more theory, wanting, wishing or dreaming...my knight in shining armor has arrived...full in living color.

I know you're wondering who he is...Remember Silly Puddy?  Mr. Ringtone? (October 21st)  He (my once secret crush), is now fully (adorably and unbelievably) committed to me.  Yes, the little man in side of me is doing back flips. *blushing*  I wish I could say I can take full credit, but truthfully, we fell in sync so harmoniously I have to look to the heavens as the grand orchestrator of this connection.   He is a dream, and he has driven this relationship and plans for building our future together so sincerely that he leaves me speechless.  He adores things about me no one has ever even noticed before...the bump on the bridge of my nose, the intonation in my voice when I tell a story, and especially my random phrases like "little brown babies" or when I call him "pumpkin".  When he visits my desk in the morning, he calls me "stunning" as if he's never laid eyes on me before. Me...the same old girl, with the same old look every day.  I've been given compliments before, but not like his. "Stunning" was definitely a first...and it makes me melt every time.

But for some reason, although I've leaped out there with him...I'm completely afraid.  I have taken all the other irons off the fire, so he's absolutely the only one, without regret or remorse.  BUT how many times have I landed here? How many times have I fallen quickly into a too good to be true?  The fairytale with the unhappy ending?  Men who fall in love with me quickly, but out of love with me faster?  What the hell am I doing wrong...and what the hell do differently to keep the best one yet?  He doesn't understand my apprehension because he has never felt this way about anyone else.  So here I am scrambling, trying to get my mind right, so my hesitation doesn't adversely affect our relationship and his conviction that we are meant to be...because I want to believe it too.

First, it was my hesitation to put our relationship status on facebook, then meeting our families, and most recently posting pictures of us on facebook.  The CRAZY part is the OLD me, would have been complaining because my guy DIDN'T want to do those things.  And now, when I have a man who does, I don't know how to act!  It's not that I don't want to publicize this incredible connection I have with my pumpkin, it's just I don't want to look like a fool if...well, you know.  So living in our bubble is bliss.  Safe, secure and free from judgement, outside opinions, unsolicited advice and PRESSURE.  I don't want to be asked "Is he the one?" or to be told "Just take your time" or to be questioned about our marriage plan, religious/lifestyle differences and how will we make it work.  I don't want people to distract me from loving my life, and him...from enjoying this moment with my friend who I'm also lucky enough to have as my man.

So as we continue to build and perfect our "we", inevitably I will move closer to bursting the bubble...opting instead to free fall into love with someone who is so deserving.  I'm getting there...I just hope he is patient with me.  But something this great is hard to contain, so I'm sure very soon, I will expose our happiness freely with all who care..  Plus, hiding is for pu**ies anyway, and imma thug. *mean mug, b boy stance*

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

With Difficulty Comes Ease


I've been stressed before...but not more than a good pep talk from Cool Pops could fix.  But at this very moment, it's like I'm standing in the middle of a building, watching the walls crumble around me, and all I have is one brick in my hand.  I don't know where to begin...I don't know how I got here...and I'm here in the middle of this big mess alone.  

My girlfriend told me I'm one of the most resilient people she knows...that I can bounce back from anything...but the knots in my stomach just keep tightening.  I googled "de-stress techniques at work" but somewhere between inhaling in my right nostril *pause for 5 seconds* and exhaling out of my left nostril, I realized this was more a confusing distraction than a solution. Moments like this you wish for your knight in shining armor to remind you that you don't need this job...you have his support, and the support of your family.  But *finger snap* back to reality, I DO need this job...well, I need A job.  I just really want to continue to excel in this job.  

My manager expressed her concern that it appears I struggle performing through conflict, and need to always  be in a favorable environment...and although I don't know how much she has been able to observe of me outside of this clusterphuk...she is right that I do crave positive working environments.  I do thrive in supportive, encouraging environments where my voice is heard, and my ideas are recognized...but don't we all?  Is that really such a bad thing to not want to be miserable, disrespected and stifled? Have I deluded myself by expecting this utopia?  

Inevitably, any job has its challenges.  Perhaps always expecting blue skies is the real failure.  So as this looming gray cloud still hovers above my head, I've decided to remember that this too shall pass.  "Verily with every difficulty comes ease."  And as I fight to not let them see me sweat, cry, stumble or vomit, I will also fight to emerge a better woman.  But do trust...that whenever the leadership gods smile down on me and grant me my own kingdom, I'll do my damndest to make sure no woman in my reach has to endure this battle...and to prove that positive, collaborative and encouraging work environments yield better results any day.  Just you wait.   

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Hope



I've tried to forget about you, you know.  I mean, REALLY forget about you.  I deleted your numbers, blocked you from my facebook page and blackberry messenger.  I searched your name in my outlook, and deleted all our emails too.  At home and at work. Excessive?  Eh...maybe.  But keeping all those communication roadways open in anticipation that you'll head back my way is...torture.  So since I can't make you call...make you explain why you left...I can put up road blocks and chart a new direction. How long am I to expected to keep peeking down the road, hopeful to see your headlights?

And just like I said, there would be another...and just like I said I would (neck roll) I gave him your nickname too.  He said all the right things...was completely dedicated to me. Matter of fact, he was everything I wished you would be. But...he wasn't you. He wasn't my Captain, my Light, my Star.  So lately I've been in agony wondering why when my mind moves ahead, does my heart lag behind?  Why do I still miss you so much?

Like a madwoman I pulled up an old phone bill online to find your number...I had deleted our call history from my phone in an attempt to survive such moments of weakness, but as they say: where there's a will there's a (omg, I don't believe I'm admitting this) way. I texted you that I missed our friendship.  Your callous reply: "Too soon."  Really, Guy? You told me you were boarding a flight then parted with "You are loved". Hushdafcukup...really? What kinda, ambiguous, non committal statement is that?  

What the hell is going on with me!? I'm a THUG...not some desperate can't get man (can't keep a man, maybe...but let's not quibble over small details) spinster!  One would think that I'd easily forget about what was, focus on what is...and keep it moving.  Well, jerk, I can't...but I'm damn sure doing the best job I can pretending.

Okay, the truth is I didn't delete everything.  I've kept the voice notes you sent of every song you sang for me.  I don't even like them all!  Wait, let me rephrase.  You don't even sound good in all of them.  Maaaaybe 4 at best.  But I love them, because they represent the you that I miss...the "us" that I can't replace as hard as I try.

My FFF (fab, fly friend) says I can't look to you for closure, rather look within.  But everything in me...in my heart...has me staring at that road block, still hoping you'll break through.  However, the truth is...I know you went back to her.  Yes, the one that cheated on you...with a basketball player.  The one you lived with...spent the last 4 years with. And like Michael in The Office, I've most likely romanticized this entire relationship to mean more that it ever really was.  That your time with me was merely an escape away from the woman you really loved.  The reason you were such a dream...the very reason I fell in love...was because you were pretending with me in an attempt to escape the hurt of loving someone who, based on their actions, you shouldn't.  Gosh...I.am.so.there.

I'll be in your city next weekend, but you know that already.  I'm not going to call you, or even email you this letter, because my last attempt to reach out to you left me feeling like a hoochie groupie (and I ain't neva been nobody's groupie)...but I still have hope you will call...hope that you will still want to see me, because you miss me too.  I still have hope that how you said you felt, and that the next 60 years you said we were destined to spend together is real.  Either way, I have hope.  But if you don't call this weekend...I hope she cheats on you with a basketball player (again).  *dead face*  I said I'm a thug. *mean mug* 








Mom:  No, we didn't.  It's just a song for dramatic effect I promise :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Silly Putty


I told myself I wasn't going resort to digging through the crates again...in search of a Mr. Oldie but Goodie to put back in rotation to pass time.  Hell, I even told my girlfriends I was through looking to the past...but there are certain men that just make me melt...the charming charismatic ones that can't be tamed.  I know, doomed from the start.  But for some reason, the competitor in me draws me to them like a moth to a flame.

This Monday, he walked by the conference room while I was in a meeting.  I glanced up the same moment he did.  It had been months since we locked eyes.  I had made a point to avoid eye contact and act as if I didn't know him since the day I found out he was gaming me.  I was more upset at myself for even crushing on him than anything else.  I mean, we met at work!  And although we work in unrelated departments and aren't breaking any ethical rules...it had catastrophe written all over it.  We had only known each other for about a month, but he seemed overly interested, and I started crushing big time.

We met on the elevator one morning before work.  He was tall, handsome and very well dressed.  My close, gorgeous, very well dressed girlfriend was newly single, and I immediately wanted to set them up.  He and I exchanged emails, and instantly a friendship sparked.  I was new to the company and he was the second person I met under 30...I genuinely thought we'd be friends...and that he'd be perfect for my girl.

Unfortunately I quickly learned that men don't want to be set up...or at least they don't take it for the compliment intended.  When I tried to set up my new work buddy with my FFF (fab, fly friend), it was as if he was obsessed with knowing why I wouldn't date him...why I would want to hook him up rather than get to know him for myself.  I confessed that I was looking for someone that shared my faith...his unexpected reply was that his father shared my faith, and his mother did not...and they are still happily married.  He was persistent.  I was complimented...and soon began to entertain the thought.

We went to dinner one day after work and his phone rang.  He frantically reached to silence the ringer but it was too late.  Instantly I understood his panic.  The ringtone was Drake on auto tune singing "baby you my everything, you all I ever wanted..."  I coughed out a laugh in disbelief.  "Wow...she has a ringtone?" I ask smiling.  He doesn't respond.  He drives me to my car in silence, offering no explanation.  My pride was bruised, but I had enough dignity not to be THAT chick that starts mouth poppin, neck rollin, finger pointin, or 20 questions askin over ANY DUDE.  Before hopping out of his car I asked if he had anything to say.  He replied "Have a good night."  That day was the last day we made eye contact.

That is, until last Monday...8 months later.  3 days passed after seeing him during my meeting, and I couldn't stop thinking about him.  He was under my skin...and once again I was drifting toward the flame.  I sent the first ice breaker email (I know!!) to which he quickly replied.  One email turned to 10, and soon he stopped by to see me at my desk...unexpected and uninvited.  Not like I minded, but mentally I was NOT prepared (thankfully it was a great hair and wardrobe day, but my mind was in complete disarray).  Unlike my ex that looked closer to Sherman Klump the next time I saw him, the work buddy looked FANFREAKINTASTIC.  I wish I was lying to you.  He looked better than I remembered, and he had gotten a few more gray hairs in his beard.  You know I love some salt and pepper in my life.  I honestly think my upper lip started to sweat!  I tried to play it coy and nonchalant, but I involuntarily turned to putty.  I was actually nervous! Over a boy! At 30!

I know I deserve so much more...an explanation, hell an apology for not being honest about baby girl on the other end of the ring tone.  All the more reason why my philosophy is against considering men my age...this is all so childish.  But there is nothing better than being in the presence of a man who makes your heart skip a beat.  Well, maybe there is...it is definitely better to have someone you trust feel the same way about you.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that deep down inside...I still want to tame this one.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Salt and Pepper Seduction


I've flirted with the idea of an older man (see: Dr. Dynamite), but at 18 years my senior, AND after my mother said he could be in her dating pool, those fantasies immediately evaporated.  But over the last month, largely due to Mr. Day 19 (see: Four Seasons)...I noticed something pretty attractive in older men:  They know what they want.  No filter, no games, and no fear of commitment.  I think I'm on to something...

But in most cases, an older man equals a divorce plus at least one child and that child's mother.  With Mr. Day 19, it meant two divorces and two children with two different mothers, and was borderline two damn much.  But, I saw the potential for the large family I've always wanted.  If I could, I'd have three boys and a girl...but as I get older that baby making plan is slowly decreasing.  Only children are lonely children, so now, I pray I can squeeze out a two piece.  But with a blended family, I can have more kids...without the birthing plans and labor pains.  I LOVE the idea...and I know without a doubt that any child of my husband will be loved as one of my own...because it's a piece of him.  

"You date suits" my guy friend once told me when asked to describe my type.  And although my heart has skipped a beat or two to a bad boy in my day...they were much more corporate thug or suburban thug, than county prison thug.  My friend was irrefutably on point.  Aside from a tall, masculine man with a great smile...a good suit has potential to render me speechless.

So aesthetically, I've revised my prototype.  I still need a suit in my life.  Still six feet or taller with a smile not hidden behind a deceptive scowl.  But deeeefinitely 6-10 years older than me.  4 shakes of pepper, 1-2 shakes of salt. Preferably divorced once (I'll pass on the repeat offenders), with children. I'm so sincere about wanting to be a step mom!  I know this may sound odd, but if I've learned anything about myself in this year of revelation and introspection, I've learned that I need a dependable, family oriented man that is stable, secure and sure.  Sure of himself, and sure about what he wants. Nothing against my twenty something/early thirties guys, still living on the edge, going hard in the club over the weekend, waiting for the perfect 10 to drop out of the sky and miraculously erase their desire for anyone but her...but I'm not that chick.  I don't pretend to be nor do I want to be that chick.  I'm not perfect, but I AM amazing.  And I think most men need until about 36 to realize that beautiful, loyal, amazing, loving, intelligent and imperfect may just be the perfect combination after all.

The newest prospect (courtesy of Match) has be by 10 years.  He is all of the above and lives locally.  Trust that I'll keep you posted as I conduct this little social experiment.  Not sure of his salt and pepper ratio just yet, but I'm all the way seduced.  Stay tuned...

Sidebar: Ladies, if you're a hands person and buy into the myth...please take a look at those little people hands that belong to Denzel!! *Gasp* TRAGEDY! But see!?!?  There is always a design flaw.  You gotta be leery of super fine. Because either they're stupid or...well, like Denzel...you know.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Four Seasons


During a weekend trip to visit with my friends, the new guy and I make plans to go to brunch that Sunday while I'm in town.  We've known each other for 19 days, and he said he wants to show me how much he appreciates me for being in his life. He said he was wearing a suit (HUGE for a non-ironing, jeans and gym shoes kinda guy) so I dressed up as well.  Pulled out my favorite crystal necklace and purple suede heels and felt like a movie star.  His jaw dropped. Nailed it :)  He was intent on keeping the restaurant a secret, but eventually we pull up at the Four Seasons Hotel.  He held my hand as we walk down a huge winding staircase and through the double wooden doors.  "Your table is ready sir" the host states.  The most beautiful flowers are waiting for me at our table.  The card reads "Our future is limitless".  The servers are smiling, complimenting my flowers, my shoes, my outfit.  One gay server kisses his fingers and calls me "flawless."  I was on sensory overload as the grand orchestrator (Mr. Day 19) sits to my left beaming as I take it all in.

Don't get me wrong.  I seen some nice isht in my day.  But I was BEYOND impressed.  The menu was mind blowing, but I froze in my seat for what seemed an eternity when after 3 plates he says "I need to take you somewhere, are you ready?"  I just knew this fool was going to drop to one knee.  It was that kind of moment, yet absolutely NOT the moment at all, and I was afraid that the only thing left was a ring in a glass of sparkling cider.  I was NOT ready.  I let go a huge sigh of relief when instead he leads me to the dessert room complete with chocolate fountains, and every type of dessert you could ever imagine.  It was the best brunch ever.  But tragically, I was very much aware that I was not interested...in him...AT ALL.  But after all this planning, I was determined to be not just a good date, but a fantastic date.  So I laughed at his jokes, stroked his ego, and adoringly caressed his face like he was all that mattered in life.  He deserved to feel like a King...even if I had to fake it. And all the while in the back of my mind, I was planning my exit strategy.

Ok, maybe I should catch you up on how we got here.  Two weeks after my rekindled love of yesterday went on hiatus, I was on to the next.  Now wait. Before you start thinking it, let me reassure you...I am not scared of lonely, or unable to exist happily single.  I can do single.  I have, and will if I must (AND *insert neck roll* make it look good)...but certainly not by choice.  So unapologetically, good people, we're keeping it moving.

In two short recovery weeks filled with denial, heart ache and despair...after feeling like I had no more to give, God shocked my system to make it very clear who was in control...and it wasn't Satan (see: Slap in the Facebook).  I was introduced to the new guy on a Wednesday.  Thursday he drove 3 hours to meet me for dinner to break fast for Ramadan, then drove back home. Before he left we visited the nearby masjid to pray together, then later enjoyed great conversation over a shared ice cream sundae.  At every moment, he pulled my chair closer, and gazed adoringly into my eyes.  He...was...ready. Ready to commit, ready for love and ready for a wife. Considering the last vanishing act I witnessed, it was everything I wanted. He was handsome, and attentive and spontaneous and he came to my city... just like that, to see me! Not because he was in town for business, or visiting friends, but to see ME. period. *big smile*

But here's where keeping it real goes wrong in 5...4...3...2...

The next day (Friday), he tells me he has visions.  And from the moment he laid eyes on me he saw a vision that I was going to be his wife, and our first child will be a boy.  He understood my request to take things slow, but wanted me to know that he was sure, and was willing to be patient with me along the way.  I think to myself, "I deserve this" and ignore the faint alarms going off in my head.  After 10 days he's planning premarital counseling sessions and asking me about rings.  I learn that he was married TWICE before and has two children.  I had mixed emotions.  Divorced twice? At 37? But his boys were beautiful.  I realized I want to be a step mom.  I wanted to be THEIR step mom.

But yes, the alarms did get a little more audible when he put both boys on the phone without warning or discussion, called me non-stop throughout the work day, told me constantly how much he missed me, and asked me to call his mother to introduce myself all in the first 20 days...but deep down inside we all want to believe in love at first sight, right?!  Your ego wants to believe that all this is possible because you are just that hot.  But that's a farce.  To really know me, and love me...damn sure requires more than 20 days.  Ain't no shallow ponds over here, champ...by any means.

I declare it takes four seasons to know a person.  12 full months to not be the fool who rushes in (that was sooo 2009).  Now I know, you really don't know someone until you live with them, or work through adversity together, or experience tragedy and loss together...but that's phase II love.  But as I seek to conquer phase I love, I just need four seasons to be sure of how I feel.  So ironically, at an otherwise perfect brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel, I decided I need more than the guy who fell hard over the pretty face.  I need a guy who through the fall, winter, spring and summer, saw me in each light, fell in love for all he saw, and captured my heart in the process.  At that moment *ahem* I'll be ready for that *cough, cough, hint, hint* glass of sparkling cider as he sings the International Players Anthem.  I chooooose yooou babe.  Aww.  Yesss indeeed ;)

                            

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Slap in the Face(book)

Ok...well, that's not exactly true.  I am on facebook...but I do believe that the puppet strings controlling my life have been handed over to Satan, and facebook is his muse.  Rather than take down pictures and erase all the ex-beau pics last year, I curtailed a world-wide breakup by suspending my facebook account.  Periodically I'd sneak on to look at pictures, and to slowly reselect "friends" that earned the right to know all my bin-ness.  But for 7 months I was 98% single sexy and facebook free.

Then reality kicked in...and I realized that without a virtual thumb print, in many ways you don't exist.  I mean, of course if your peer circle is Blanche and the Golden Girls you're fine with your corded house phone with no call waiting...but for everyone else, social networking is a must.

So after my 7 month social hibernation, I reactivated my account, and jumped back into the virtual world like I never missed a beat.  That's when the Devil (I'm sure in an effort to humor God) grabbed my puppet strings.  I started reaching back (like I always do) trying to rekindle love I thought I new...when I SWEAR I had resolved to to myself to move forward, not backward.  And eventually...I even pulled up my ex-beau's page.  I know...I know...but I was curious.  He had gotten a little stockier and it made me feel good to see him looking worse than I remembered him with me. (Don't front, you would too.)

But right in the middle of my NEKKID moment - my try-and-be-patient, open-up-and-give-your-best moment - with my rekindled flame of yesterday, facebook slapped me in the face.  I mean Rick James "What did the five fingers say to the face" kind of slap.  I pulled up my ex's page and he is...

ENGAGED!  9 months after our engagement ended, and Sherman Klump (yes I'm exaggerating but roll with it) has found him a WIFE, and I can't even lock down a solid relationship.  To add insult to injury...or a kick in the gut to my Rick James' slap in the face...the same DAY I find out about the engagement, my rekindled flame pulls out citing that he loves me but needs to take a step back and be honest with himself so he can be 100% with me.  "I'm not throwing in the towel, I just need time to find clarity.  I'm not confused, just unsure" *bbm dead face*  Real quotes...and it smelled familiar...just not sure if the scent is "other woman" or "bullsh*t".  Either way, what is clear is that once again "he's just not that into [me]."

And so now, I'm in this weird space. In the middle of Ramadan, fasting without food or water from sunrise to sunset, at the most humbled and vulnerable place I have ever been, and feeling like Satan is manipulating my life and God is laughing at it all unfold.  Forget about the slap...and the kick in the gut...it's this ongoing joke at my expense that hurts the most.  



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nekkid

I know, I know.  It's been too long.  But rather than us chatting poolside, attempting to catch up on the last six months...imma just go ahead an jump on in like we never missed a beat.

I have to admit that on more than one occasion I've had one of those caught naked dreams.  Crazy enough, it's the same exact dream every time.  I'm in a grocery store by the meat and cheese section.  I'm carrying one of those hand baskets, then suddenly a draft from the deli section seizes me and I realize all eyes are on me. Basket drops.  Hands immediately cover the goodies, and like Forest Gump, I take off running.

Although it seems like ages since I've had that dream, that familiar feeling of involuntary over exposure hit me...today.  And although it would be much more publicly humiliating to be caught naked in a grocery store, I must admit that being caught emotionally naked comes in at a close second.  Well, before I go there, maybe I should confess.  Yes, good people... I (capital, bold, italicized). Am. Open. Over someone Incredible. But today, catching a faint breeze from his cold shoulder has me thinking about lacing up my Nikes.

But like Andre 3000 in The Morning After, I find myself scrambling to figure out what he's thinking and how I really feel.  Do I really want this? Is he even the picture I paint him to be?  "Be cool, be cool...but what if [he's] the ONE?"  Ok, the scenario wasn't exactly the same.  No need to worry, Mom.  No, there was no girl searching for her panties. Pause. However, I did start breaking my own rules...*bbm can't look face*

Ladies, do as I SAY and not as I (lost my damn mind and done) DID:

1) Don't bring him around your friends until you've met his.
2) Don't even talk about him to your family until you've met his.
3) *MOST IMPORTANT* Don't drop any "L" word until he's said it first.
(I said I lost my damn mind...)

Why are these rules?  Because acting otherwise will have your tail out, exposed and more vulnerable than you'd ever want to be.  TRUST.

Once upon a time, HE was open over ME...and I walked away.  This time around, I was so fixated at going in 100% no boundaries, earning his trust, proving myself and rebuilding something beautiful, that I forgot to protect ME.  So here I stand, fully (emotionally) exposed, and he's chillin at the door in his coat, hat and shoes! Perhaps it's my fear of rejection (Dear Lord, please grant me mercy because I think I've already suffered through my fair share), or just impatience.  But right now, all I want to do is escape this foolish feeling and move on to the next (default setting). I've wasted enough time tilling barren soil.  All these seeds I've been planting...is it too much to want to finally see something beautiful grow (and LAST)? Absolutelynot.

(Grabbing a sweater) But I can't run away just yet.  I still believe.  So I guess for now, I'll grab a cup of mint tea, plop my tail on the couch and tuck my pride (and Nikes) away.  Hopefully soon he'll take off those layers and sit next to me.  Hopefully. Soon...  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yesss!

Just doing a little happy dance, because I just received a fantastic email from Mr. Mystery Man.  What a nice way to wake up ;)

Have a great day good people...hope you find reason to do a happy dance today too!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Click n Tell

One thing is for sure...I may be single...but the well sure ain't dry.  Praise be to God for that...and for great girlfriends and hookups.  Although the revolving door of my life seems to be moving a little too fast for my taste, it is nice to see I'm still getting steady traffic ;) Well anyway, on New Years Eve I was in Michael's with my simplistically elegant girlfriend (see: 2010 Simplicity) shopping for supplies for our 2010 vision boards when my phone rang.  Another girlfriend - I'll call her my lifesaver to avoid confusion - called to say that she met this guy months ago through a mutual friend and decided to set me up.  All she knew was that he was kind, shared the same religion, age and that he was good looking.  She had already put it all in motion sending pictures and contact information to him, so all I had to do was wait.

And that I did...for over a month.  After a couple days Mystery Man was demoted from a top draft pick to a bench warmer and I chalked it up as a nice thought.  I was surprised when I did finally receive an email from him. I really thought he wasn't interested (I mean who waits over a MONTH to send an email!?).  Anyway, his email was nice and brief, but very clear he had struggled trying to figure out how to break the ice with a person he'd never met.  In my attempt to respond I too faced the same struggle.  I mean ME, Queen of over-communication, Ms. "I say I'm going to keep it short but I still write 6 paragraphs" sat staring at the computer screen for HOURS not knowing what to say. I know I've me an unofficial hype (wo)man for edating...but I never actually exchanged emails with someone I didn't already know! So this whole get to know you process via email is a brand new beast.

Anyway we did push through the awkwardness and exchanged a few nice emails, but all of it was...vanilla.  Sweet and good, but nothing exciting. Bor-ring.  I mean, I'm not vanilla! I'm sooo cherry jubilee or maybe even cookies n cream!  But definitely.not.vanilla. I confided in my lifesaver...and she challenged me to be M-E.  She challenged me to channel my inner ping.

So with this in mind, I started writing him, and like magic, my fingers didn't stop moving until I had finished a fantastic, funny email full of life and personality. I read my completed email over and over, smiling like a proud parent...confident that FINALLY I was able to share a little of my flavor...my cherry jubilee.  And for the first time in dating (trust me, I'm using this term very loosely, lol), I.was.just.me.

On the train ride home listening to my iPod, the Miseducation of Lauren Hill spoke the words in my heart:

Let me be patient, let me be kind/ Make me unselfish, without being blind.
...I know I'm imperfect, and not without sin/ But now that I'm older, all childish things end.

I'm all grow up, and right now all I want is to be me, adored for who I am, as I am. My guard is down, and my heart is open. So as I patiently await a response to my email we'll see if this evolves into something substantial...but either way, the greatest gift any day is finding your voice. Find yours...and tell him.  It'll be alright ;)


Sunday, February 14, 2010

ValenTIME

I know I said I'm a hater by nature, but on the day that usually resurrects the latent hater in all single women, I.was.overjoyed.  I love LOVE.  I love seeing happy couples, I love seeing men, young and old, with bouquets of flowers obviously for their special someone.  I know that feeling...and although it's been a while since my heart has skipped a beat, I'm proud to say that I do get joy in seeing others happy.  

I ventured out downtown today in search of an apartment and saw a man pick up his girlfriend and twirl her around romantically before giving her a kiss.  It was sweet and spontaneous...and coming from a girl who's walk often resembles a sashay or a periodic skip...I couldn't help but smile at their PDA.   

On the way through the underground walkway to catch my train, I passed the flower shop that makes me smile each time I walk by.  For some reason as I hurry by, I imagine my future husband bringing me flowers on his commute back home.  So when I see couples living in my dream it reaffirms my hope that one day soon, it will be me.


Today a close friend called to wish me a Happy Valentine's Day.  It was around 6pm, and he asked had I already gone out for the day on my date. I replied I had gone out, but not on a date.  "Why" he asked. I laughed and replied "Does everyone have to have a date on Valentine's Day?"  He answered "No, I just thought you would."  His response reminded me of the time I called eHarmony's customer service to cancel my subscription. She pulled up my profile and replied "You are so pretty, I can't believe you haven't found someone yet."  lol.  In both instances I was extremely complimented.  I mean, I know both comments reaffirmed that I AM still single, but it's still a great feeling to know others view your single status as illogical.  


So to my single-etts, I hope you enjoyed your Valentine's Day as much as I did.  Because I'm sure very soon it will be you being swept off your feet for an endearing kiss, or your Mr. Right boarding the train with a beautiful bouquet for you, just because.  At least when it comes to love, it's not always about the now...but the ever after. And when your Valentine does arrive, I promise he will be right on time. Just don't stop believing.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dr. Dynamite

I had been boycotting Match for a while because (as I like to say) "my desired demographic is limited", lol. Well anyway, in my boredom for a new story to tell, I decided to jump back in the online game for a bit to fulfill my curiosity. I had a few emails sitting in my Match inbox, and they reel you in to subscribe because you can't check emails without given up that green. Well, in reluctantly signing back on, I realized you are granted three days free. Niiiice...I can check my email, delete my ex's profile AGAIN from popping up when I search, see if there's anyone worth talking to and cancel before having to pay!

The emails were garbage. I ran a quick search and the ex didn't pop up. I laughed to myself realizing the block feature works only when you subscribe. Funny. I know what you're thinking...don't go there. No bad blood...it's just a little painful when he's the most attractive guy that pops up in my search...every time. Ok, "painful" may not be the right word, but I definitely think it's a cruel joke that when I search 1) there's only about 10 men that meet my parameters (3 in the United States) 2) His handsome smiling face is always sandwiched between the shirtless mandingo from the UK and Dave Chappel's homeless looking cousin. Ok, that made me laugh out loud. I think God has a sense of humor.

Anyway, on Day 2 of the free trial I get an email from a familiar face. I.was.shocked. We knew each other from a past life...I was probably 19 and he was in his mid thirties. Nothing romantic, just crossed paths many years ago. Anyway, he hadn't popped up in my search because he's out of my age bracket. And although the email was harmless...it was clear he was reaching out to say more than just hi/bye. I immediately read his profile and I think I fell in love. He was kind, and intellectual...and had me thinking if I could happily be his spoiled tender roni.

I googled him...and fell deeper. I read about his dissertation and publications, his travels and interests. He had a reserve about him that had me enchanted. And although I hadn't ever been attracted to anyone that much older than me, something about him captured me. My girlfriend joked and said he wasn't my type because I like "cool guys"...but hands down his intellect had me at hello. His intellect was my new cool.

We talked over email for a couple weeks, and my mind was twisted. He never expressed any interest in me, or desire for anything romantic...but we did discuss views on marriage and relationships in a very generic way. I'd be a fool if I didn't know he was interested...but he wasn't inappropriate at all...as if he was waiting for me to be overt. However, if I flirted, he didn't flirt back...and slowly I realized I was wrapped up in a real life fantasy!

My mom didn't hate on me when I told her about him...but gradually I think she started to think he was too old. I joked and said "Well, he's not old enough for you to consider him for yourself, so I'm ok." She responded with a drawn out "Wellllll?"

Hold up! Did she just hesitate? OH H-NO! He's in my mother's pool of potentials? Notgonbeabletodoit.

I feel bad because I went from telling the man that I wish I could bake him muffins to take to his office, to taking days to respond to his emails. Horrible right? Gosh I wish he was 10 years younger...if so, I'd add the Mrs. to his Dr. Dynamite in a heartbeat. I'm just not quite ready to consider men who could be my step-daddy. No sir. Throw a ping. on that.







Mama Nose


"There are one too many women living in this house" my mother told me. I think I was 11. And she was right. As long as I can remember I've been an independent thinker, the person who approaches the world as if knowing all the answers to everything. By the time I turned 21, I started to figure out my life would be so much easier if I listened to my Mom's advice instead of fighting it. The strange side effect is I'm also slowly morphing into my mother. I realized this when I held up the line in the department store searching for a receipt in the pile 'o receipts I keep neatly tucked in my wallet. Mumbling to myself I said "No she won't give me no store credit...store credit, hmph! I'm going to get my CASH back as soon as I find this receipt." Oblivious to the stares of impatient customers behind me, I find the receipt and hold it up like a prize. "I knew I had it!" I look around, and noticing the expression of the strangers around me I shake my head. "I am my mother's child" I tell the salesclerk in disbelief. No one, and I mean no one, can hunt out a receipt or coupon like my mother.

It was a running joke in our family for years when my mother pulled out coupon for our family dinner at Red Lobster. I was probably 8. The waitress said "Mama be cuttin' those coupons!"...it was HILARIOUS, and we all laughed because it was so true. But it wasn't about cutting coupons, or being cheap, my mother was just wise enough to plan ahead and spend wisely. And although I haven't developed the coupon cutting habit just yet, I've grown wise enough to consult her with my large financial decisions. And although I still run around like a know it all periodically, I appreciate my mother for setting such a great example in so many ways and always knowing when I need her.

Most recently I've been struggling with this property I've been maintaining in CA...that I love. Fortunately when I moved back east I was able to rent it...but this market isn't doing well...and I've had think hard about keeping or selling the house I thought would put my children through college. *dramatic sigh* I talked to my mom, and she helped me gain perspective and setup my options. Later that night she sent me great email...as if she knew what I needed to hear to not feel so burdened by my pending financial decisions. As if she smelled it in the air. Mothers have a nose for these kind of things...and similar to when we were young and only she could smell that the stove pilot was on, she still knows when her children need her. And although no one can get under my skin like she...I hope she "nose" how much I love her too. So I don't mind morphing into my mother. If I could be half as endearing, and together as she, I'd still be one baaaad mamma jamma ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ice Cube'd

I was pretty excited after my girls' weekend o' fun despite the lost wallet. I decided to register for an accounting class for kicks at the nearby community college, and was able to get the class paid for AND get VIP access in the registration line all during my lunch break.  I floated back to work on Cloud 9, still in shock that a $650 course would only cost me $30. Not even an hour after my return, I receive a call from the college alumni office.


"Miss, I think I have some very good news for you."


At this point I'm thinking "Is she going to WAIVE the $30 TOO? No way..."
I manage to reply a cool "Okay?"


"We received a call that someone found your wallet in a cab.  They called our office and I pulled your student record.  I was not sure if you wanted me to share your telephone number, but I can conference her in so you two can speak."


Speak? I'm speechless! How did...What?!?  I spit out a "Yes! Please!"


We were connected and I thanked her for grabbing my wallet and finding me.  I thanked her for proving my theory that people ARE inherently good. I confessed that I believed someone would call me.  Many people say karma is a b...  but I beg to differ, because without fail, my karma is good. Like, I can't believe this is happening good.  Like, there's gotta be a God good.


During my girls weekend I remember discussing trust.  One girlfriend confessed that her trust must be earned, requiring people to prove their worthiness before she lets down her guard.  I told her that I believe life is much more enjoyable when you assume all people are deserving until they prove otherwise.  I shared my belief that people are inherently good, and ultimately all we can control is what we put out into the universe in hopes to positively impact the lives of others.  But trust is like charity.  The blessing is in giving...not how the recipients utilize that gift.


I trusted that an honest person would do just as I would, and find the owner.  She did.  And as I wait for my wallet to arrive, I am thankful to God and the universe for this example when both my trust and faith in the goodness of the human spirit were justified.  The only thing that can complete a moment like this is theme music. Too easy...








Monday, January 18, 2010

Dude, Where's My Wallet?

Out hanging with the girls. Fab time.  We decide on Indian for dinner, and aside from Arab, and Mediterranean, Indian food is my absolute favorite. Something about garlic naan and chicken tikka saag make my insides jump for joy.  But back to the story.  I reach for my wallet to grab the travel size hand sanitizer stashed in my Coach clutch.. Ok.. not in that pocket...(checking the other side) or that one either. Where is my wallet?? Not AGAIN, I think.  I'm notorious for leaving something.  Keys, sunglasses, purse, phone, something.  And without fail when I'm juggling more than three things in my hand.  Two things at a time I can handle...one item per hand.  But when I get to three, inevitably something gets left. And sure enough I did it again. This time, in the process of managing an umbrella, my recent purchase of The 5 Love Languages from Borders, watermelon sour patch kids, a pack of Doublemint gum, my cell phone and my clutch wallet. Somewhere between the checkout at Borders, pitching my umbrella, hailing a cab in the cold rain and arriving at our Indian restaurant I managed to keep track of everything BUT my wallet.  smh.


Our appetizers arrive at the table in the midst of my realization, and my girlfriends quickly move to act. One calls the cab company to try and track the driver.  One searches diligently from the door to under the table to make sure it didn't fall on the floor.  The other girlfriend grabs my Border's receipt to call the bookstore.  I say aloud "Nana Danso."  What? (They ask in unison).  Nana Danso, the driver's name.  I don't know why his I.D. card stood out to me as I sat in the back of his cab for the duration of the ride, but for some reason I had fixated on it.  1) I know a "Nana" and 2) "Danso" reminded me of Danskin...you know the athletic gear.  Idk, but it did. For the moment I thought this was a divine sign.  And although 3 hours later I am still without my wallet, I'm hoping I remembered his name for a reason and that Nana Danso comes through.


As I realized my friends hadn't touched the appetizers poised to co-conquer my dilemma, I gesture towards the food "Eat! We can't let this situation ruin our dinner. I insist"  As I finished cancelling my cards and freezing my account spending I joked "Since this meal is on you guys, I will be sure to enjoy it thoroughly."  We all did.


My girlfriends commented on how calm I remained, and joked about how frantic they would have been if in my shoes.  Hearing that I was pleased. Almost proud, but I'm not sure I can take credit for my calm.  I mean, it's not like I haven't lost my wallet before.  But as I think about it...even then my temperament was the same.  In the midst of a crisis I usually do stay pretty calm.  But why, oh why, when it comes to matters of the heart does every mole hill appear to be a mountain?


So even though I'm still praying that Nana Danso re-emerges into my life with my wallet, I may chalk up the $60 and Best Buy gift card it contained to a lesson learned. Perhaps my lesson is to tap into my inner Spock (one time for you Trekkies) and apply my stoicism in the midst of relationship situations when I'd normally over react.  Perhaps playing it cool in the midst of a crisis needs direly to be sprinkled across other areas of my life as well.  Ahhhhhhaaaa! (said in my best Eddie Murphy Coming to America Jewish Man in the Barbershop Voice).  I think I'm on to something.  But as we wait patiently for a subject to test this new theory, please send up a prayer for my wallet to make it back home safely.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grey Days

I've always been sensitive.  Tough exterior, and childhood bully, but as long as I can remember I was a big crier. Yes, I'm warm and fuzzy, I skip AND cry...but for some reason I'm still told with my 5'9 frame that I can be "intimidating". Go figure.


But as an adult, I've evolved. Being composed is having control. Tears are weak. Big girls don't cry. We eat ice cream by the pint and shop our worries away. So I don't cry. It's not like I suppress it, but for some reason rarely does the hand I'm dealt feel cry worthy.


I mean, I'm not suffering through the aftershock of a 7.3 earthquake in an already impoverished nation.  I'm no soldier in this endless war, or a spouse who has to explain to my toddler that daddy's never coming home. No.  My life isn't tear worthy.  And I guess my tear ducts agree...or they're on strike.  Well, except for Thursdays.


But like a snake sheds skin, women NEED to shed tears.  Tears are cleansing...a relieving opportunity to let go, feel (pause) and move on.  So TGIT.  Thank.God.For.Thursdays.  THANK GOD for Grey's Anatomy. Because of Grey's I can cry.  And not a mild cry...I'm talking about a "Don't call me I can't pick up" cry.  An "I know my nose is dripping but I can't move until the commercial" cry.  And I know it seems silly, with the predictable scripts and endless round robin soap opera relationships, but Thursdays are cathartic.


Christina and her stoic exterior, yet innate need to feel believed in. Meredith learning to love and be loved without ever seeing what that really looks like. Bailey and her failing struggle to give 110% to career, motherhood and being a wife and the tragic consequences. And even though I can relate, it's not me.  I can cry because it's THEM. THEIR pain, and not.me.


If I had to diagnose myself, I'd say that perhaps I'm suppressing my true feelings.  But honestly, it doesn't FEEL that way. And although this nagging pain across my shoulders suggests otherwise, I don't even feel stressed.  I think just like men need avenues to channel their testosterone and aggression (usually through recreation and violent sports), I need my weekly fix to balance out all this estrogen.


So after nearly two months feeling like Amy Winehouse searching out a pipe...Grey's is back, and so is my habit. Please know that once again Thursdays are sacred time and I can not be reached. The DO NOT DISTURB sign is in full effect and thanks to Private Practice, hours have now been extended from 9-11pm.  But don't worry, Friday morning I will emerge a refreshed and recharged woman counting down the days till we can do it all over again.  Ahhh...simple pleasures.  But now that I've had my weekly fix, excuse me as I go find a Massage Envy so they can holla at this shoulder pain.  eeemmeeediately

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flashback

I know I'm too old to pout.  But have you ever had a moment that reminded you of the past and your stomach dropped a little?  I'm there. Today. Two years ago...smh.  So much has changed in a couple years, yet remained the same.  Ok, enough of the ambiguous language.  I just had to poke out my bottom lip real quick...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snow Unhappy

After appreciating the beautiful, picturesque (yet very brown) landscape of California, it was nice to return home to the lush green of the East Coast. Springtime Philadelphia left me in awe, and I found myself noticing the incredible and historic local architecture in a way I had never before. Previously I HATED the North East for its pollution and overpopulation, but gradually I developed an appreciation for my city and the opportunity to re-experience it as an adult. Summer was HOT, and to a summer baby, I enjoyed every day.


But then the season changed.  It was cool (ok) initially, but only for a New York minute. Very soon my grumbling evolved in a outward disdain for the cold, winter, this dreary city, and most recently...the snow.


The first snowfall began on a Saturday.  Truthfully, it was one of the most beautiful moments to see the pure white snow fall so delicately and abundantly.  23 inches.  But like a needle pushed across a record, my nostalgia was interrupted at 8pm by 1 word. My father: "We need to go out and shovel before that turns to ice."  I know, that was 12 words, but my problem was the "We".  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, was he serious?  I've purposely purchased property so I DIDN'T have to worry about trifles such as mowing and shoveling.  I haven't pushed a shovel since my teens.  Was he SERIOUS?  Yes. Tragedy.


So I pull out my insulated rubber boots I still had from Inauguration and threw on my brothers old ski coat and went out to brave the cold looking like an overdressed sumo wrestler.  We were the only ones initially, soon joined by our Indian neighbor who just moved from Florida and never managed snow.  Luckily the snow was powder so after an hour or so we cleared our driveways and front walkway and helped our elderly neighbor do the same.  Needless to say I was warm and stayed dry, so it wasn't too bad...until the next morning.


Sunday, 10 am: "Come on, we need to get out there again" he says.  I looked around trying to figure out who he was talking to then pull the covers back over my head.  It can't be me. He heads out without me and I peek outside to see the few extra inches that accumulated overnight.  He can handle that without me (I think to myself).  I hear all the neighbors talking and working together and soon the rumbling of a snow blower.  I'm saved!!  Knowing my dad he'll borrow the snow blower and be done with it. 3 hours later he comes back inside.  Not unusual because he's like the Mayor...talking, waving, taking pictures and kissing babies...so I knew "shoveling" was really "social hour".  But anyway, he comes back in and I'm reading a book.


"I was waiting for you" he says. "Really? I heard you go out and then heard the snow blower and thought you didn't need me" I reply, kinda feeling guilty. "No, I needed you" (no he didn't) "Everyone else was out there with their children" (ok, it's all starting to make sense). "I need you to help out."  I reply "But Dad, I was out there with you last night, I did help."  At this point I'm thinking "Give me a break.  I'm a young lady! MEN are supposed to do these things, anyway." Ok, that was a diva thought, but seriously, isn't there someone we can pay to do that kind of manual labor?!? Sheesh!


"I need to be able to show you certain things so you know how to do them."  I choked. Is he kidding?  I'm almost 30, and we lived in CHICAGO!  It's not that I don't know HOW to shovel, I don't WANT to shovel.  He can't possibly think THIS is a skill 1) I don't have 2) need to develop. But I've been guilted.  Needless to say, if it snows again the streets of Philadelphia will be seeing the return of the overdressed sumo wrestler (smh in disgust).  But dearest Philadelphia, and dear God, right now I'm only asking for two things: 1) DON'T let it snow anymore 2) PLEASE make sure this time next year I'm living someplace where snow boots, shovels and rock salt are all distant memories.  Ameen.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Telling Secrets

I wish I could say I read The Secret...but sometimes the rebel in me fights to go against the grain.  Now we can all occasionally benefit from being the lone sheep (individual) that strays away from the herd (maintream), but I'll save that subject for another day.  On this day, I wish I had listened when Oprah endorsed the book in 2007. 


But anyway, like I said I still haven't actually ever read the book...but one day in 2008 while rummaging through the stacks of movies accumulated from my dad's care packages, I ran across The Secret DVD.  Prior to watching the documentary, the word "Believe" had always been a source of personal inspiration (believe in the God, believe in the your dreams, believe in the goodness of others, etc.).  After watching the DVD, the word became my personal mantra.  Essentially the concept of The Secret, is that the key to a prosperous life is to believe in your limitless possibility.  If you're into the power of positive thinking, I won't ruin it for you so you can read/watch for yourself.  However, in the spirit of New Year's resolutions, and personal growth, taking a tip from The Secret may help us all be more successful at attaining our goals, and welcoming into our lives the things we deeply desire.


Often times we seek to break bad habits with the thoughts like "today I will stop..."  Unfortunately many of us don't realize that merely how we communicate our goals can affect our success achieving those goals.  The problem is that when we communicate our desires, often times we say what we DON'T want, so our mind still visualizes the bad habit or negative behavior we seek to correct.  For example if I say "don't run out in the street"...what does your mind see? Take a moment. Most likely you still see a child, or a person running out into the street (contrary to what you said).  Crazy right?  So whenever we speak in terms of negative action, our mind and subconcious still visualizes the behavior or things we DON't want, vs. the positive things or behavior we truly desire.


Napoleon Hill, an early pioneer for personal success literature, is often quoted for his statement "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." So the key is utilizing positive language so your mind can visualize positive action.  So "don't run out into the street" becomes "wait at the bus stop" and "I want to stop eating junk food" becomes "I will drink two glasses of water and five baby carrots when I need a snack."  I was amazed at how this philosophy translates not only to how we communicate to ourselves but to each other.  How often do we tell our partners and friends what we "don't like" or they "don't do" without actually really communicating the image of what we really want?


Think about it...and try the concept on for size.  I bet you will emerge a "believer" too :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Simplicity

I've always prided myself for being "down to earth."  You know, fly enough to kick it with the girls, but cool enough to hang with the boys.  And although my look is pretty conservative, I swear my alter ego has locs and is tatted up with a nose ring.  Somehow I've always managed to feel like a chameleon, able to adapt in any environment among anyone...but lately I have moments that cause me to question my "realness."  Moments that have left me feeling as if I am really pretentions, superficial, and judgmental.  Call it age, but I think my comfort zone has decreased in radius...and I don't approve.


I started to wonder if I'm missing the simple splendor of life while observing a friend in her elegant simplicity.  Her apartment is cozy yet unassuming and deliberate.  There is no obnoxious flat screen tv, cable, or even high speed internet, rather a big bookshelf filled with books that paint a picture of a life well lived and well traveled.  At Whole Foods, I watched as she delightfully and fearlessly sampled from the food displays.  The organic cocoa walnuts in an open bowl, the sundried tomato veggie dip, and the freshly sliced pineapple.  She urged me to try, and FINALLY, I realized she wouldn't let me refuse.  I (hand dramatically placed on chest) don't. eat. from open food displays (I thought to myself).  After my FOURTH piece of deliciously juicy omg, can't get enough pineapple, I started to wonder how much I (hand dramatically placed on chest) have been missing out on.  How much I haven't enjoyed because I dismissed it/him/her at first glance.  It was like the matrix was revealed and she was Neo.  Suddenly I realized how little wiggle room I left to enjoy the unexpected.  Am I really a *gasp*control freak?


In the recent age of self-help advice, and Steve Harvey's "Act like a Lady, Think like a Man", I've been poised to map out exactly what I want and communicate appropriately.  I've been challenged to define the mold I fit into, and proclaim to the world definitively what I want from life, friendships and relationships and refuse to deviate or settle for anything less.  However, in an effort to blossom into my better self, I've abandoned my inner chameleon to be replaced by high standards, unwavering expectations and the predisposition to plan and play it safe. 


Granted, I want the best for myself and believe in the power effective communication and visualizing your desired reality...I'm there.  I just know that perhaps the best part of me (or anyone) is the ability to appreciate others for who they are, AS they are...not constantly measured by a lengthy checklist I've created as a barometer for what is "acceptable".  The reality is, I'm not too confident that God isn't still working on me, so I've decided to release my inner control-freak and reopen my heart to whatever He brings in my life.  Once again living, loving, learning and appreciating without boundary.  So I declare 2010 the Year of the Sponge.  A year I declare to humble myself, and hopefully absorb the lesson(s) intended for me.  Oh, and the checklist? Still in effect, but with the help of my simplistically elegant friend, the list is miraculously holding at #3...and never felt so complete.  Have a wonderful New Year, good people, and may this year be equally enlightening to each of you.  And if you have the chance, stop and sample a little pineapple on me.


Curious to know my new checklist?
1) Relationship with God (shared values)
2) Kind/Gentle Command (ability to lead with respect and kindness)
3) Strength and Stability (personal, professional and financial)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Magic Lamp











A great friend shared this song with me today...I needed it.
But she's always on point like that. 




Some things don't make sense...but this beautiful mess is life. is love.
Remembering that makes me smile.


Riding the subway to visit this same girlfriend I found a seat next to a teenage couple.  They were standing but both huddled affectionately together holding the bar attached to my immediate right.  Their puppy love was radiating.  It made me smile, and remember that feeling of being young, fearless and in love.  I remembered those moments, feeling as if time had paused, and nothing else mattered or moved but the two of you. So brave, so sweet, and so innocent.  You would think that by now, I'd be a love scrooge, but amazingly I remain a hopeless romantic. Seeing happy couples inspires me to believe that the fairytale does still exist.


So real talk, like finding a magic lamp in the least expected place, I rubbed.  Seriously.  I deliberately (but inconspicuously) rubbed my knee on the back of the teenager's leg in hopes that their fearless love would rub off on me.  I don't even need three wishes.  One wish is all I need...and I promised to keep that part private :)  But, if believing in true love carried me this far, I'll still hold on for a little longer.  My magic carpet still has some miles left, lol.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stop This Train

It seems that so frequently ended relationships are likened to transportation. The funniest is "Girls are like buses, miss one next 15 one coming."  Ok, I admit that was Gucci Mane, and really isn't a coherent statement, but you get the gist.  Lately, my friend's declaration that "this train moves forward, not backward" has been resonating through my mind.  I wish it was that simple for me.  To move onward to new faces and new places without glancing back at the past.  Even though the train moves forward, every other boxcar has seats facing backward.  Everyone knows facing the opposite direction can give you motion sickness...I'm just not sure why I always end up with the wack seat.


Perhaps it's so difficult because in my world, stalkers keep honing devices charged up on their hip. Is it just me?  Why do these characters (of all people) always come back STRONG when I'm single. Every time I'm having a Beyonce me, myself and I moment, the phone starts ringing with those familiar old catastrophes?  Whiskey tango, big brother are the cameras on?  Why are THEY all of a sudden calling, NOW?  We all can use a beautiful distraction periodically...and it's nice to have familiar folks remind you that through it all they'd still ride out with you (ha, another one)...but I'm sick of the same tired cycle.  So (insert stalker names here), I know how things used to be, but I'm heading in a new direction (I'm on a roll, lol). Forget switching seats, just stop this train. I'm hopping off.  I think I'm going to walk for a while until I figure out a better way to reach my destination.





Hijab Hotseat

We'll call him "Mr. Officer". And although he was below my height preference, he looked awfully good in uniform. *sigh* Yes. Yum. Well, shortly after our first meeting he texts "so I guess you don't cover?" Wow...for the record I do "cover" thank you very much. Despite my affinity for tight jeans, I do try to keep my goodies tastefully covered. I'm sure my mother would argue I could be more modest. Don't tell her, but she's right. I'm working on it. But I knew Mr. Officer meant my hair. I did cover my hair, once. It was my last year in college, and although my attempted style was more J-Lo tie-back or Lauren Hill remixed with a hat and scarf...I did it. For me. For God. For a year. I'm sure to many the decision was strange, but for me, it was a protection from vanity and unwanted attention. It saved me, and helped me graduate...and for the first time in my LIFE I made straight A's.


I uncovered my hair for graduation, and made the decision to assimilate to the norm of Corporate America. Religiously, I studied the schools of thought on hijab (click to Wikipedia it), the Qur'an and sunnah (reports on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad, may God be pleased with him) and perhaps for my own convenience accepted that the decision remains with the woman.


I responded to Mr. Officer, deliberately clarifying "My Hair? No. Does your mother cover her hair? Is that your preference?" Initially, I was caught off guard, but just as I WOULD PREFER that he were 3 inches taller, he has a right to prefer a hijabi, especially because his mom covers as I suspected. Now one thing is for sure, although I tend not to tout my knowledge of my religion...I'm no slacker. I know what I believe, why I believe it...and if you give me a minute I can also authenticate it with doctrine. Don't play me. However, this was only our second conversation...so I'm giving Mr. Officer a pass for attempting to school me on what "God obligates" for women. Out of respect for him and my sisters who do cover their hair I concluded the convo stating this isn't about right or wrong, but two different understandings. I even said I would keep him in mind for any hijabi friends. It ended well...but truthfully the discussion got under my skin.


I immediately started researching the issue, poised to "school him" on the really real. But realized my issue was with me, not him. I deleted the email. I spent the next few days in the mirror putting a scarf on, then pulling it off... figuring out if I could wear one for the rest of my life. I have always loved what it represents, and the strength of the women who cover their hair for their beliefs, especially in the face of present day hostility. I think the conversation with Mr. Officer got to me because the real reason I don't cover is because I haven't found the inner strength to be so different. I love what I believe, and do long to be identified for who I am and how I've been raised. I wish I was brave enough to be the friendly, familiar face to work against the picture of insanity and extremism that has infected the image of a beautiful faith. But the truth is, I'm not. However, something within me has changed, thanks to Mr. Officer. One day I do hope to have that strength....not for him (absolutely not) or because I think I have to. But for God and for me. Because I'd much rather escape my vanity and be admired for my actions, words and my faith than anything else. Wow...message, lol. Throw a "ping." on that b...