December 28, 2009

Adjustments..not Resolutions

The year is drawing to an end. I really DON’T like making “New Year’s Resolutions”. Instead, I’ll just make some “New Year Adjustments” Therefore:

In 2010…

I will finally do something that has held me back from being an adult...which is not give a damn.

I will no longer tolerate the excuse of “I just got busy” with men re: their disappearing acts and lack of communication. I’m sorry...I’m not here for your convenience or entertainment.

I’m taking brothers at face value. You want to “do me”. Fine... let’s cut to the chase so I can decide if ou are worth my time or not. I don’t need the “sweet talk” and altruistic motives if all you want to do is bone. That can be established in 2 conversations.

I will not feign excitement or longing over someone who won’t be excited over me. I won’t act like I miss someone who damn sure didn’t miss me. No...”Miss me?” won’t work. And no...I’m not “excited to hear from you”

Serial texters are OUT. Guys who actually call and want to date me...are IN.

I will not accept bullshit, uncreative and thoughtless dates, acts, and people.

There will be no more second, third or even fourth chances. Burn me once…we are done.

No longer will my own needs be neglected. I shall put ME first…all secondary (with exception of spiritual relationships and family).

I will no longer have empty, meaningless sex that leaves a void.

I will be careful who I allow in my personal space.

I will nourish my creativity.

My kindness and sweet, laidback demeanor will not be mistaken for weakness.

I’m not changing who I am to fit your standards of beauty..womanhood, or size. I am comfortable with who and whose I am.

I won’t sweat it if I don’t have a date or a relationship. So-the-fuck-what! Who cares! *shrug*. Which brings me to my next point...

I am going to keep my heart open and not let cynicism creep in. It's so easy to do.

My education goals are of the utmost importance.

I need a clear and defined new style. I’ll be OVER 30 now… more playtime w/ the style game. Time to step it up. I need a style makeover from the inside out.

My health will no longer be neglected. Those “few little pounds” must be tackled and a physical done.

I will listen to the Lord more and my “gut” is never wrong. Avoid the pitfalls of “worldly” needs.

Travel….is a necessity and not a luxury.

Fear is not in my vocabulary.

My family relationships need to be nourished and some repaired and some I just “wash my hands of”

Numbers will be erased, Facebook connections deleted, and “friendships” severed that are unhealthy and not beneficial for me.

I won’t party in the same places..I will try and get out and meet new people…

December 21, 2009

What We Can Learn from Strippers

Last night, I went out with a girlfriend and her guy friend to a strip club. It was supposed to be a far larger group outing but it ended up being small. We went to which is right around the corner from my house. It’s larger than most strip clubs…and in’s about as normal as anything to see straight women and couples and friends having a blast at the strip club. The women are sort of secondary to the outing itself. But….they are still there. Ass clapping and boobs shaking all over the place. And in ATL…we get totally naked (which is why we might be the strip club capital of the USA…) I turned down dances with politeness...and some of the girls were really beautiful…others...looked like Gucci Mane… (LOL)…

In my observation of the scantily clad women and their moves…I feel we have a lot to learn from strippers and strip clubs in general. As I sat there swirling in Black and Mild smoke and the scent of Bath and Body Works/Victoria’s Secret Spray…..I realized a few things.

Emotional detachment is definitely a key to relationships. Strippers don’t have anything invested in these customers. They separate their emotions from how they feel. Sometimes I wish I could look at relationships that way. Sometimes I get to emotionally invested when I shouldn’t. Get in. Get out. It’s just a job. Speaking of which…

A job is just a job. On the surface, these girls seem to be pretty low brow for taking their clothes off. But I’m sure some are working their way through college or even professional schools. One girl said...”I don’t do this for my man...this is just a job”. One girl, who hit on me consequently, was taking more cash from the fellas than the chicks, although it was obvious she was digging on girls a little bit harder than most. (LOL).

Learn to be flexible. I don’t mean just simple agility on a pole, I mean literally flexible and changing with the times. True, the whole “flexibility on the pole” is def something to aspire to, but just going with the flow. I saw them move and sway with ease to the music…as soon as it changed tempo...they moved to another beat. You got to learn to be that way in real life.

Sex Sells for Everyone. There were about as many men as women at the club and not all of them were lesbians. There were couples there too, enjoying the view (and no doubt getting turned on). Girls who got the most cash were the ones who performed the nastiest, dirtiest routines. I did little mental notes because I wanted to learn how to “shake it fast for Daddy”… (When I get a man….LOL).

You May Not Be Perfect, but You are Perfect to Someone Out There. There were all kinds of women...thick ones...skinny ones...Big butts...flat butts (well...not too many of them). One of the guys we were with was VERY particular. HE didn’t like certain girls...he wanted petite girls with BIG butts. I, on the other hand, found women who looked shapelier to be nice. He goes...”They are flabby”. I was like…hmm…these girls are perfection to someone…not everyone. You have to view yourself that way. You are perfect...but may not be perfect to someone else.

If you get rejected, someone else will want you. Strippers have to deal with rejection all night. People turning down dances. Turning down the advances of gross fellas but no sooner do they have to deal with a rejection, they get a tap on the shoulder for a dance. They take it all in stride…and just keep it moving (literally…LOL).

I can’t say that I am a frequent customer of the strip club world. But, I will say I have a greater appreciation for what they do. Maybe when I go back, I’ll get a little lap dance (or two), throw some stacks, and keep what I’ve learned in mind.

December 20, 2009

Changing Forward to the Past

As 2009 slowly comes to an end and the holiday season slowly draws to an end, I realize that so much has changed. Yet, is “real” change ever possible… regards to forgiveness.

My ex husband and I have come a very, very long way in terms of being cordial and forgiveness. You see, there was a time where I really hated his guts and wanted nothing to do with him. He broke my heart into tiny shards of bloody glass and I didn’t want to even speak to him. He tried to send me text messages..I’d send ones back..cursing. I didn’t want him near me. He sent flowers via my mother and I got so angry I threw them on the ground in front of my apartment (Later, I went back and picked them up…and sat them on my counter..). In other words, I didn’t want to have anything to do with him.

Earlier in the summer, my mother had gotten very ill and was in the hospital. We thought she had a stroke but it was due to improper dialysis. She asked for my ex husband and he came. At the time, I was seeing someone and when I told him my mother was sick…he wanted to know if he needed to come down. I said ex was here., he got super angry. “Why is he around?? Makes no sense!”. I kinda knew then me and that person would be over because he didn’t understand. I had spent 7 yrs with my ex husband…almost 3 of them married…he had become attached to my mother was his mother. Little did I know in our time apart, he had kept in contact w/ my family..being around my mother, etc. Before the divorce, he and my father had started to forge a bit of a relationship, but ultimately that was broken. Nevertheless, he loved my family..would do anything for my mother and me. He brought me food on Memorial Day that he cooked because he knew I hadn’t eaten.

After that, we sorta eased back into a friendship. We would casually talk or meet up for a bite to eat somewhat casually. We didn’t really engage in anything deeper than that. Ultimately, I allowed him into more of my space..and we were able t be around each other more. I’d cook dinner. We’d go out. Just as friends. I was able to open up and love him again as a person. I missed his humor and his sensitivity. Those were the things I fell for him easily over. And that was fine…that is until recently.

Oh nothing bad or anything happened. But recently he asked me to be the mother of his get back together..and to start over He has expressed it several times.. Now statistically, remarriage of the same spouse after divorce usually ends in another divorce 84% of the time. I really am not trying to be another statistic. I’m already in that great 61% of first marriages ending in divorce. Also, I feel like we are really good as friends..I don’t want to mess it up. Besides..I haven’t been successful at dating. I don’t even know if I should rule out any other potential mates.

I love him. I always will. But the same spark I felt as a college senior and on my wedding day is no longer there. I am reminded of the pain often. The disappointment. The broken promises. I am not saying that a person can’t change, but if their change does not mesh with your change, then it isn’t feasible to me with that person. I’m going in a different direction in my life and I am not sure where being remarried to him fits in.
The question remains: Is change ever possible?

December 4, 2009

Dating in the Recession: Tips for (and from) Brothers

Although President Obama says that the receission is almost over, times are hard. Everyone is pinching pennies and trying to make things stretch and meet. Especially during this holiday season, the recession can be especially tough. To make matters worse, dating during the recession (coupled with the holidays) makes things especially tough. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. But trying to tell that to men is like talking to a brick wall.

Recently, I encountered a guy who was in a financial bind. He had been unemployed for some time. I found it strange that I had to pay for my own lunch or suggested any dates . Finally, when he asked to go out again for lunch, he refused to pay and even asked me to contribute my very LAST amount of cash to lunch. I was hurt. I felt like I wasn’t worth the time or effort. He later told me that he was quite ashamed for his behavior , apologized and said he was “barely” making it. I felt horrible yet understood.. Had he just been honest with me, I would have understand and together we could have thought of some really great, fun, inexpensive and creative things to do. Had he taken the time to know me he would realize that spending ample amounts of cash on a date doesn’t impress me. Just be open, first and foremost.

Since I’ve been divorced, I’ve been on very few dates. The number one complaint of most men is that dating is expensive. Yet the best dates I went on didn’t cost much. $1 sushi and a matinee…free tickets to a sporting event, etc. Women may appear to be hard to please but we really aren’t. We love spending time at home but we don’t want to be relegated to the house due to funds. There has to be a balance of going out and staying in. Any real woman worth her grain of salt would understand. In talking to my girlfriends we all said the same thing. All that is required of a great date is effort and creativity. We aren’t asking for much.

Some date ideas that would work during this recession include:

It takes very little effort to pick up a some take out and a movie. But make it a “theme” night: Pick up some Indian food and rent some Bollywood.

Look for free shows and openings. Often emerging and independent artist have shows that are discounted.
Window Shop and have an inexpensive lunch in the mall.

Get more bang for your buck. Find a place that has dinner and an activity (i.e. Dave and Buster’s or Andretti's)

Instead of taking her to lunch, try packing a picnic lunch and bringing it to her office.

Coffee and a bookstore! Browse the books and drink a simple mocha! Hmmmm!

Bring out the kid in your(or competitive nature) and take some retro games (Connect 4, Battleship, etc,) or get intellectual with a game of Scrabble or Trivia Pursuit. Wanna be naughty? Some “Naked Twister” would do the trick. :)

Is the weather bad outside? Do an indoor picnic, complete with candles from the dollar store.

Can’t afford a massage and spa day? Pick up some inexpensive supplies and give each other massages and spa treatments.

It’s the holidays and you can’t afford a gift. Make something! Make a card..make a meal and deliver it.

Try cooking a new and exciting dish together.

Take an inexpensive class. Dance classes can be $10 per visit. Cooking classes can be $20-50 per couple. Not too expensive at all.

Go to the super early matinee (before noon). Most of those movies are $5 and grab breakfast! VERY simple and inexpensive (or make breakfast….)

Want to try a new spot but the dinner menu seems pricey? See if they have a lunch menu or special. Better yet, look in your local “Savvy Shopper” and clip coupons for new restauraunts you may want to try. Often times those circulars and newspapers have deep discounts.

Sign up for a site like or for discounted prices and deals!!

Be a tourist in your own city. Look up historical and cultural events

Get hot and sweaty and go to the Gym and work out together. If your apartment complex or job has a free gym, take an advantage of it.

Can't afford dinner? What about dessert? Go to a dessert bar or an ice cream shop!

Finally….Ladies, pay sometimes (Yes..sometimes..not ALL the time). In this day and age, don’t expect a man to pay for everything 100%. I am of the rule “he/she who asks pays”. There is no shame in that. And if YOU are struggling financially, be honest and upfront.

So what do the fellas have to say. Here are some quotes from some of my Brothas:

TJ: “Women don’t like be stationary. Sometimes when it’s not complex it’s not a quality date. Sometimes they fail to appreciate the simplicity of a date. A great recession date would be going to the park, having a picnic there, and research and see if there is a concert there….and you can have a walk. Low cost and simple…and women won’t be stationary.”

CW: “NYC in the summer time is recession proof. Free events all around just gotta find them. By winter, we need to be in my house, in front of my fire place, keeping me warm! *wink* “

JT: “My tip is there are always cheap dates that a man can impress a woman with parks,museums,CNN, Etc....especially in ATL.”

MW: “First thing, be upfront with the finances. If you wanna go out or someone wants to go out with you, let it be known if you can swing it. Find free things in the city paper. Transportation cost, food cost, meet somewhere economical for both parties or yourself."

JW: “One of my favorite, inexpensive dates is to go to the zoo. I go ahead of time and see what animals are there. I look them up and then when I take her, I can play curator/guide. I also love to just stargaze.”

What about you? What are some great recession-proof dating tips?

December 1, 2009

Still Running

One Year Ago Today…

It was a very cold day in Atlanta. The wind was blustery and I wore a brand new red Calvin Klein suit, matching red and black Calvin Klein stiletto pumps, a new attitude and my hair in a high bun. Red is my favorite color-my power color. It made me feel confident and protected. My red Chanel lipstick was the perfect match.

We rode to the courthouse in silence. The tension was palpable but no one wanted to address it. I mean, just a month ago we had signed the papers, had everything notarized and filed it with the court. So quick. 30 days. And I would go from Mrs. back to Ms. What was there to say?

We sat in the courtroom which seemed like forever, with other couples that were getting divorced as well. They seemed to be across all socio-economic backgrounds. But we appeared to be the youngest. He walked out for a while and I feared he wouldn’t come back. (He later told me he had contemplated just walking out. But what could what that have done…he didn’t need to be there for it to be final…).

As soon as he walked back in, the judge called us back to her chambers. She preferred to handle these matters of a domestic nature there. We raised our right hands, swore what we said was the truth, and that was that. On December 1, 2008….we were no more. We parted ways.

I sat in the car waiting on my mother. I pulled out a piece of paper. A letter I had mistakenly saved on my hard drive. With its generic name, I thought it was something I did and blindly saved it on my jump drive. It was from “her” (one of many it seems)….expressing her disappointment that things didn’t work out and he had already moved on to someone else... A someone, his cousin, had surprisingly known and encouraged him to be with. I said...”I found this”. He read it, shaking his head and said “No. you don’t understand…she had feelings of me….It wasn’t like that……” I just turned my head, not wanting tears to fall, and got out the car.
My mother and I went to have lunch and she just held my hand across the table. I bit my lip to not cry....Later that night, he came and packed up the rest of his belongings.

Divorce is a devastating loss. I had to mourn an almost 7 year relationship and watch the disintegration of a marriage within a year. It was hard to pick up the pieces, but I did. I picked up my broken heart, dusted myself off, and pressed forward. Sometimes I ran too fast. Sometimes I got down and tired. But I kept on running. I ran into some jerks. I ran into more heartbreak and disappointment. I ran into roadblocks and had to take a detour. Divorce was the ultimate detour….a detour from motherhood, being a wife, having a family of my own. But I kept running. You gotta keep running.

I’m not sure where this next year is going to lead me, but it just has to be better than the last. I had highs and this obviously was the low. The good thing is I’ve learned to be on my own…secure in my own skin and in who I am. And I know what God has for me…it is for me. Whatever and whomever that is. I didn’t let this situation change me or my attitude toward love. I still believe in love. I’m still a romantic (despite nothing overly romantic happening to me this year). I still love hard (and paid the price for it). I still play hard. I still laugh and I still just want to be happy. Sadly, I’ve locked a large part of myself away, only allowing people to catch a glimpse of me. One day, I’ll be able to open up. But until then….

I’ll keep running.


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