Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good Riddance

Trash bin
So yesterday was Good Riddance Day in New York's Times Square — a time for folks to say goodbye to some of their worst memories of 2011.

According to an article in the New York Daily News, more than 250 people lined up in front of two truck-sized paper shredders to symbolically get rid of their most painful memories of the year. People brought bills, pink slips, credit cards, parking tickets and breakup notes.

One lady who found out her husband of 18 years was cheating shredded his driver's license. A mother of five whose husband and brother were sent to the Middle East this year, shredded their deployment papers. A middle-aged writer said he wanted to forget about his "unaccepting family."

I had a great year professionally, but I would love to put the last dude I dealt with through the shredder! (LOL !)

Is there anything you want to say Good Riddance to? What's your worst memory of 2011? What event - or person - would you put in the shredder?

Holla at me !

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Love and Lost - Hollywood Style

Man, it's a lot going on in the land of entertainment and I'm just catching up.

Just today I've learned that Sinead O'Connor is divorcing her fourth husband after being married only 16 days (yes you read that right - 16 DAYS- though some reports are saying 18 days).

Deion Sanders has confirmed his divorce from his wife of 12 years, Pilar. According to news reports she's suppose to get a pretty hefty house. I wrote about the couple's then-rumored divorce in September. Check out the post here.

But while some folks are busy breaking up, others are making a lifetime commitment like singer John Legend who proposed to his girlfriend of four years, model Chrissy Teigen over the Christmas holiday. According to the report, Teigen tweeted "He went to Jared." LOL

Matthew McConaughey also got engaged over the holidays. He finally asked his baby mama, Camila Alves, to be his wife. He has two children with the Brazilian model. Oh, and did you hear Maria Shriver is having second thoughts about divorcing Arnold? As you recall, the former California governor fathered a child with the couple's housekeeper of 25 years. I guess Maria is still deciding whether termination is the best decision.


And lastly, we finally learned of the official cause of death for rapper Heavy D, who passed away on Nov. 8 at age 44. Reports revealed that the hip hop artist died of a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that started in his leg and traveled to his lungs blocking his arteries.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home for the Holidays

I will not be going home for the holidays.

I had made a pledge last year that I would find a cheap trip to the Caribbean for Christmas instead of traveling to visit family in Mississippi.

But I didn't find a cheap trip, so I'll be here.

A friend called me this evening to "check on me." There was sadness in her voice. Man, the last thing I want is someone feeling sorry for me.

I'm fine, I assured her.

And right now, I am okay. I mean my dad did call earlier today and reminded me that this would be the first Christmas I won't be home (can anybody say guilt trip). But I was just home last month and I don't think my family really understands the financial cost of returning to Mississippi in less than a month, renting a car for a week and buying gifts for everyone. For someone who hasn't gotten a raise in 8 years, well, I just couldn't swing it this time.

But of course, there is more to it than just the financial cost of going home. Check out my blog post from last year. Indeed, it was Hugh Grant's character in the movie, "About a Boy" who lamented that how you spend your holidays reflects your status in life.

Anyway, I promised my family I'll be home in the spring - when airline tickets would be cheaper and I'll be able to spend more quality time with them without the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

I'll call them on Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

So Tonite

... on RHOA (Real Housewives of Atlanta), a lady mentioned that she dates wealthy men and they give her an allowance.

wow - How can I get a gig like that?

LOL !

(just kidding yall)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dear Me

So I'm driving home, listening to Michael Baisden and he has an excellent question today:
What would you tell your younger self?

Wow.

I would tell younger me a lot. Here are just a few things: If it doesn't feel right it probably isn't; listen to your gut; have courage, be fearless, take risks; be proactive and take initiative; seek out mentors in your field; speak up, say what's on your mind, stand up for yourself; ask for what you want, what you deserve; stay persistent, stay determined; be polite, it gets you places; condoms are your friend; eat right and exercise consistently; smile; laugh often; be reliable, dependable, responsible; you have choices - you can do this or you can do that; think before you respond, it's all in how you react; a good attitude is a great thing; faith, focus, follow-up.
When it comes to men: The Maya Angelou quote, "When people show you who they are, believe them — the first time."

So, I ask you: What would you tell your younger self? about life? about love? about career? about pain? about triumphs? about success?

Let me know.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alone Time

Tonite I attended a holiday dinner with some of my exercise associates. One lady was telling me about her speed dating experience last night. She's divorced with 2 kids - one is 20 in college and the other is 15.

She met her ex-husband in college more than 20 years ago. She was 22 when they got married. Her mother and grandmother tried to persuade her not to marry the guy. Her friends boycotted the wedding.

Why? I asked.

He was mean, she said.

Well, why did you marry him? I asked.

I thought he would change, she told me. I believed that when I became his wife he would treat me nice.

Well, she was wrong.

She told me about a road trip they took early in their marriage - her daughter was 5 and son was 1 at the time. They were going to visit her parents and she told him to pull over at a rest stop so she could use the restroom.

He refused. He wouldn't stop.

Anyway, that should have been a clue but she stayed with him for 13 years. "I really fought for us," she told me. "I really wanted my kids to have a real family."

Interestingly, her brother was dating a young lady the same time she was dating her husband. But her brother didn't get married.

"My brother said he would rather be alone than marry someone he wasn't truly in love with," she said. "Well, I was more concerned about being alone than love."

Today her brother's married (with two kids) and she's divorced. He waited until his mid-30s and, according to my friend, found the love of his life.

So tonite I ask: As we get older, how important is love? Is it better to have a companion that is " just okay" than to be alone waiting for "the love of your life" that may never show up?

Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Doctor Visit

So I went to the doctor yesterday for my annual checkup. She looked at my chart: You get your first mammogram next year -(reminding me that this is my last year in my 30s).

You still single?
Yeah. Nothing's changed, I said. But don't be surprised if I tell you I'm getting married next year.
She smiled.
Though I don't have a boyfriend, she still had me tested for HIV, HPV, chlamydia, etc., which was cool. She also gave me tests to check my cholesterol level and signs of diabetes.

How's work?
It's alright.

Any major family losses or diagnosis?
My aunt died last month of kidney failure and leukemia, I told her.

You doing self breast exams?
I shook my head no. I hadn't been.
She gave me a "you know better" look.
sigh.

Are you taking your Vitamin D and Calcium?
I'm not. I mean I bought them last year when she told me that I should take them, but for whatever reason I just can't seem to take them. They're still on my night stand.
She was disappointed: You really need your Vitamin D and Calcium. They help prevent osteoporosis. Try to get them in at least 3 times a week.
(yeah, yeah) - So I took them this morning after my boot camp.

Have you taken your flu shot this year?
I don't want a flu shot, I protested. (I'm such a baby)
She smiled. okay.
(whew)

I'm glad you're exercising she said. That's helping to keep your bones strong.
Finally some positive news! (LOL !)

She continued with my exam, giving me tips along the way. I like that my doctor is so thorough. But the visit is also a wake-up call of how I could do, should do, better healthwise.

So today I'm asking: How's your health? What are some things you could improve on?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pretty Woman



As you may know by now, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain suspended his campaign after persistent questions about his alleged 13-year affair with Ginger White.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, White gave details about the affair and discussed her own problems with sexual harassment in the workplace.

There are so many things that disturb me about this story. Please read the article - the entire article - here.

The 46-year-old divorced mother of two mentions in the piece that she believed Gloria Cain, Herman's wife, "engaged in willful self-denial"- that basically Gloria knew her husband was cheating and chose to look the other way. White told The Daily Beast's Leslie Bennetts: “I think certain women see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear. I would be surprised if some of these wives are surprised to know what their husbands were doing. Women have intuition. I think a lot of women are comfortable, and they don’t want to realize if they’re being cheated on. I don’t think a lot of women want to face up to that.”

In the story, White also mentions that she continued to have sex with Cain off and on for more than a decade because she needed his financial help. She confesses in the article that she's taken money from other men as well: “There are good men in corporate America, and there are bad men in corporate America, and those bad men take advantage of women in fragile situations — women who are struggling,” White said. “When I was having trouble making a payment on something, there was this powerful man saying, ‘I’ll help you out.’

hmmmm. It pays to be pretty.

White told Bennetts that "getting men to supplement her income that way started becoming a game." She said: “It was easy for me to get help like that.You have to be just as clever as they are, just as cold as they are, just as calculating as they are — and sometimes beat them at their own game. But I don’t want to be depicted as a woman who sleeps with men for money. I am not that woman."

Okay, if you say so.

White has been married three times and has two children by her first husband. I ask: Was there no one else in her life that could help her out — Family? Friends? Maybe she had too much pride or was too embarrassed about her financial situation to reach out to those close to her. I don't know.

But do you think White was a victim or was she just playing the same game men play? They were able to get want they wanted and she was able to get her bills paid.

Anyway, please read the story and let me know your thoughts.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A "Leftover" Woman?

I was looking at the Today show yesterday and one of the anchors mentioned a story on "Leftover Women."

Now, I had never heard of this term before so I did a Google search and found this Ms. Magazine article that was published online Nov. 22.

According to the piece, a "leftover woman" is used in China to describe "an urban, professional female over the age of 27 who is still single." The Chinese term is called a shengnu.

The article notes that there are 3 types of "leftover women":
1) The first type are women between the age of 25-27 who "still have the courage to fight for a partner."
2) The second type are women between the age of 28-30 whose careers leave them with limited opportunities for romance.
3) The third type is a woman over age 35 and "has a luxury apartment, private car and a company."

The author states that the derogatory term is the Chinese government's way of "warning women that they will become spinsters if they do not marry by the time they turn 30."

The New York Times wrote about the shengnu last year. Check out the article here.

This piece was a little more positive noting that a shengnu was a woman who was "well-educated, well-paid and independent." The NYT story, however, pointed out that these women were also referred to as 3S women: "single, seventies (most were born in the 70s) and stuck.

The NYT article quotes a 2009 story from the China Economic Net which mentioned that, "A successful woman wants to find a more successful man. While a successful man’s ideal wife is not necessarily successful but gentle and virtuous."

Hmmmm, sounds like America.

I'm not quite sure what to think of this. First of all, I hate the term "leftover" to describe a woman. It reminds me of an old meal nobody wants the next day.

Anyway, thoughts on this?

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Positive Role Model?

Sunday evening my mentee and I were in my room watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta. During a commercial break she asked me where were my boyfriends,why didn't I go out.

I just stared at her. I didn't know what to say.

I must be a sad sight: a woman over 30 at home every night, watching reality TV.

I used to be much more social. I would attend events or functions several times a week or go out dancing on the weekend. I was a member of professional organizations and was involved with my alumni and community groups.

Today my life is work, Jazzercise and volunteer projects. (I do go to church on Saturday nights).

Hmmm, what happened?

"I do need to go out," I finally said to her.

"You need to do Match.com," she said.

I laughed. I've done Match, I told her.

"What happened?" she asked.

"I didn't find a match," I answered.

But I had to wonder what kind of example I'm setting for my mentee. I could teach her how to get into college, how to write an essay for a scholarship or do a cover letter for a job interview, but I can't teach her about love - lasting love.

I've failed at relationships. When she sees me, she sees a college-educated professional alone on a Friday night (and Saturday night too), a single woman.

I once read an article (man I wish I could find it) that basically said Condoleezza Rice and Oprah were not good role models because they put career before family.

I want to be a positive influence. But am I a good role model for my mentee? What is my life teaching her?

Thoughts?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grateful

Lately I've been doing a lot of complaining. Well not really complaining, but more of questioning where I am in my life right now.

I've been thinking a lot about the "What ifs" — What if I had gone out with him? I might be married by now. What if I had taken that job in New York 10 years ago? I would be further along in my career. What if, what if, what if...

But in a conversation with myself this morning, I said, "Lottie, you can't live your life on the what ifs."

Today is a day of thanks giving. And what I've been reminded of sitting here in the Dallas Fort Worth International airport (lol), is that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I may not be married (or even close to it). I may not be where I want to be professionally, but I am blessed. I am truly blessed.

As I look at my life, I am thankful for all that God has given me - a beautiful, loving family, wonderful, caring friends and professional opportunities I only dreamed about a few years ago.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in what we don't have, we don't take time to be grateful for the little things.

So while I have a few regrets, I am thankful for my blessings. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my fridge - enough said. I have nothing to complain about it.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

His Female Friends

So, if you were married would you want to know all of your husband's female friends?

What if your husband didn't see the need to introduce you to his female friends? Would
you be upset? Jealous? Suspicious?

What if you found out that your husband or significant other was communicating
with someone (a single woman) during his work hours, when he leaves the house or before
he gets home? Would you be hurt? Would you automatically think he was cheating?

Do you think single women should be friends with married men without
being friends with their wives? Why or Why not?

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today, Going Forward

I'm trying to keep my head up, have a positive outlook. But it's hard when the past keeps rearing its ugly head, biting me in the a$$.

For whatever reason, I keep getting reminded of the mistakes I made in my 20s - how I dismissed the good guys, the marriage material.

Indeed it was just this week when I spoke to a guy who was interested in me in college. Today he works for a Fortune 500 company, financially successful, happily married with kids.

Me? Alone in D.C.

The devil is laughing at me for sure.

It was the third time this year that's happened to me. The young guys who I dismissed in college are now successful men who are happily married with kids. It's like they're throwing it in my face: I'm rich. I'm happy. I'm married. And where are you? Struggling and alone. How you like me now?

How could I have been so stupid? Why didn't I make better decisions?

Oprah has said: "We are where we are today because of the choices we made."

I've made some really bad choices. I chose to date losers, men who I knew weren't about nothing. And I'm paying for those choices today. Look at me - single at nearly 40.

I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. I know I can't change the past. I have to move forward. But it's hard when you're alone and you haven't had a date in a while or a LOVING long-term relationship since college.

I'm struggling. I regret the choices I made. I wish I had made better decisions when it came to men. I believe my life would be different today.

But I take full responsibility: I am where I am today because of the decisions I made. I can't blame anybody but myself.

So today going forward I just have to make better choices. Hopefully it's not too late.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Nice Young Man

So, I went to see Michael Eric Dyson interview hip hop advertising giant Steve Stoute about his new book, The Tanning of America at Busboys and Poets this evening.

While waiting for the evening to start, I struck up a conversation with the young man sitting next to me. A native of Albany, N.Y., he had been in D.C. only a few months. He was a recent graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia (a human biology major) and wanted to work for a community health center. He was reading a book on the globalization of the achievement gap when we started talking.

I was impressed. He was 23, smart, ambitious and kind. Perfect for my mentee !

But she wasn't having it. She gave me grief about "interviewing" him for her (but I really wasn't). She didn't even meet him and wanted to dismiss him.

sigh...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Young and Foolish

I had a little talk with my mentee the other day. A few weeks ago, a 34-year-old bus driver picked her up at 3 in the morning (it was closer to 4). I was extremely upset (and that's putting it mildly).

I told her that kind of behavior was very unlady like. I let her know that that old man had no respect for her by coming to get her at 3 in the morning and more importantly she was disrespecting herself by leaving at that time.

You need to date someone your age, I told her.

These young boys play too many games, she said.

And what does that 34-year-old man want with someone 23? You don't think he's playing games? I asked.

I don't understand it. She's a 23-year-old college graduate with her first professional job. She's smart. She's kind. She's a beautiful person. Why is she wasting her time with a 34-year-old bus driver - who has a kid ! (doesn't she know he probably picks up a lot of women on his route?)

But she likes him. He's got her nose wide open.

I want her to date a nice, college-educated professional her age - someone 24, 25. So I encouraged her to join the Urban League's Young Professional Network, where she'll meet upwardly mobile young men who are just starting their professional careers.

She rolled her eyes at me.

They're boring, she said. I'm young. I like to have fun. You don't know me. I like to party.

I do know her. She's exactly like I was at 23 - young and foolish.

Listen, I said, when I was 23 I partied. I partied hard.

"For real Lottie?" she said surprised.

I had to break it down to her: Girl, yes. I was in a new city. I had my own apartment. I had a car, a job. I was out all the time. I went to clubs, stayed out late, sometimes I didn't make it home til the sun came up. (I mean it's your 20s)

She couldn't believe it. I guess she thinks I'm just an old fuddy-dud who only goes to work and church. But at one time in my life I had a very active social life (and did things she will never know about - lol).

I wanted her to understand that I was her age once and met a lot of guys who I shouldn't have given the time of day, men who meant me no good. I want her to learn from my mistakes and make good decisions about the men she chooses.

Something I didn't do.

Like her, I had a long-term college boyfriend who was a good guy. Like her, I broke up with my good boyfriend after college because I wanted to be FREE. Like me, she's making all the wrong choices when it comes to men.

I am now paying for the choices I made at 23. I've been "free" for nearly 20 years now.

I know I can't tell her what to do, she's an adult. But I don't want her to be like me: Almost 40 and unsuccessful at love.

So, what do you guys think? Am I going about this the wrong way? What should I do? What should I say? Should I just leave it alone and let her go about her life? How can I get her to understand that this 34-year-old man (with a kid) isn't about anything real?

My mentee has so much going for her. Her life is just beginning. I don't want her to throw it away on a man who ain't about nothing.

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Here

As I celebrate my last year in my '30s, I can't help but to be contemplative, reflective: How did I get to this place in my life? How did I end up here?

This was not the plan for my life. But then again, there was never a plan.

I had dreams, for sure. But I never had a plan. I never knew how I was going to achieve my dreams; how I would become the person I wanted to be.

That's how I ended up here. I guess when you don't have a plan you just take what life offers you.

I'm not proud of all the decisions I've made, professionally or personally.

But I'm here now. So what do I do?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Girl You're Fine, Just the Way You Are

So I just finished watching the latest episode of the Millionaire Matchmaker. Have you noticed how often Patti tells people to change their look: sex it up a bit, she tells women. Straighten your hair, better yet darken it. Get some extensions. Get a tan. Wow. That's a lot more than just wearing high heels and a hot cocktail dress.

There's a new show on VH1 titled Why Am I Still Single? This show features a pair of twins whose purpose is to give people makeovers. They do hair, makeup, brows, wardrobe. Another show, Tough Love, also on VH1, includes a makeover segment too — new hair, new makeup, new clothes. The show's male host claims to know what men like.

Okay.

I know the purpose of these makeovers is to help you be your best you; to help you look as attractive as possible so that you can attract the person you desire. It's all done in love. I get that. Men are visual. I get that too.

But...I don't know. I know folks who don't go through all that — new hair, makeup, fancy clothes — and still manage to find a mate. They find somebody who loves them for them (warts and all).

I just feel like in a way these shows are telling women they aren't good enough as they are. Like - you don't have a man because you don't have the right hairstyle or you dress too frumpy or you don't wear enough makeup. I have a problem with that.

I believe you're fine just the way you are and there is someone out there who will like you just the way you are. (Now I didn't say you would like them back - LOL !!!)

Anyway, the overweight lover said it best with a little help from Al B. Sure. Check it out below:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

She's Grown

Earlier this week (Sunday) my mentee moved in with me. She had been living with her cousin in Fort Washington since graduating from college in May.

I was proud of her. She had her bachelor's degree and had become a full-time working girl. She seemed to be on the right track.

So when she contacted me a few weeks ago to see if she could stay with me until her apartment was ready Dec. 1st, I said sure. I mean I had a full size futon in my basement, cable tv and a full bathroom - what more could one want?

We agreed on how much she would pay to stay with me. I made her a key, gave her the code to the alarm and told her she was responsible for her own food (lol).

So last night, as I was driving home from an event, I got a call from her. It was 9:37. She told me she was going on a date.

When? I asked.

Now, she replied.

"Now? It's too late," I told her.

He's already here, she informed me.

Is he in my house? I asked.

No Lottie, she assured me.

Then she said, "I won't be back tonite."

"What!" I said.

I was devastated.

I dropped my friend off and headed home. MAD !

I called another friend and told her that my mentee had just left for a date and said she would not be returning that evening. It hit me: She was spending the night with a man.

"She's grown," my friend informed me.

I couldn't say anything. She was right. My mentee is a 23-year-old woman, not the 12-year-old girl with braces that I met years ago.

But still...

I felt used. I believe she moved in with me so she would have the freedom to come and go as she pleased. I honestly believe that behavior wasn't tolerated when she lived with her cousin in Fort Washington, so she decided to come stay with me.

I am not her parent. So I basically have no say when she can come and go - or do I?

Anyway, last night I had to think about how I was when I was 23, 24, 25. And I wasn't so innocent.

I lived in Ohio, then Atlanta, and eventually moved to D.C. I had my own apartment. It was furnished. I had my own dishes. I was grown.

Like my mentee, I had broken up with my college sweetheart of 4 years and felt free. I dated. I went out late and came in early (during the wee hours). I was an adult.

So, why was I so upset when my 23-year-old mentee told me she was going out on a date at 9:37 pm and that she was not coming home?

I don't know. She is an adult. She is not 12. But I also think it's about respect. I think the only reason she wanted to stay with me is so she could come and go as she pleased. I know she wouldn't have done that if she lived with her mother.

But I'm not her parent.

What do you guys think of this situation?
What would you do?
Any advice?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Single Woman

I was closing on the refinance of my home this morning and I caught something on one of the pages: LOTTIE JOINER, A SINGLE WOMAN.

I flipped through a few more pages and there it was again — LOTTIE JOINER, A SINGLE WOMAN.

I asked the closing agent, what is this?

I mean, I've closed on a home before and I don't ever remember seeing that - ever. Maybe I just overlooked it the first time.

"Oh, we put that so no one can come in and claim your property," she said. "No one can come in and say they are married to you. We know you are the sole owner.

"We do that for men too," she assured me.

But it bothered me. I'm not quite sure why. But it did.

Later on today, a writer asked me if I knew any couples she could interview for an article on dating. She wanted an African American couple under 40 who was not married yet, but dating, in a relationship.

I thought for a second; of my close circle of friends I couldn't think of one who was in a relationship. Sure, I know folks who are married. I know people who date every now and then. But I couldn't think of one person, not one, who was currently in a serious relationship, dating someone for a length of time.

hmmm.

Thoughts?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cheating to Stay Together

I came across an article on The Daily Beast a couple of weeks ago titled, "Is Cheating the Secret to a Happy Marriage?"

In the piece, journalist Jessica Bennett talks to author Iris Krasnow about her new book, The Secret Lives of Wives. Krasnow, a professor of my alma mater American University, conducted two years of research and interviewed more than 200 women to find out the secrets of long, successful marriages.

Some of the "secrets" were obvious: take a separate vacation or have hobbies outside the home. Some pushed the envelope a little, like have a "boyfriend with boundaries" - someone you flirt with and do everything except have sex.

But the "secret" that surprised me the most was cheating.

"To expect one person, man or woman, to make you happy for the rest of your life is a ticket to divorce," said Krasnow in the article.

The book features a number of women who've gone outside their marriage to stay married. The Daily Beast piece quotes four of them:
"If you avoid getting caught, a little affair can perk up a marriage," said a 50-something woman from California.
"My husband is only capable of doing so much, and it's not enough," said one lady who cheats with her landscaper.

"A husband is your costar and a rock in your life, but if you're a multidimensional person, you need a lot of different colors on your pallette," said a 59-year-old actress.


The article goes on to note some startling statistics: 65 percent of women and 80 percent of men said they'd cheat if they knew they wouldn't get caught. And about 4 million Americans consider themselves swingers.

Bennett writes, "one thing's for certain: a life centered around one man is simply not enough."

Though Krasnow has been in a monogamous marriage for 23 years and has four children, she stays in touch with her ex-boyfriend and is friendly with an attractive male neighbor. She tells the author, "Every woman should feel free to create her own marriage."

hmm. okay. I agree.

I don't know guys. Am I living in some kind of fantasy world? I know I am a hopeless romantic, idealistic at times. But is it wrong of me to think I can have a long marriage without stepping outside the marriage? Is it realistic of me to believe that I can have "til death do us part" without cheating on my husband?

There's nothing wrong with a little flirting. But to actually have an affair with someone in the name of spicying up my marriage? hmm. I don't think so.

But this is the thing - I'm not married. I don't know what it's like to be in a marriage. People tell me that marriage is hard work and it takes a lot of compromise and communication.

I'd rather do that than cheat.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this article? Do you think cheating is one of the solutions to having a healthy marriage - why or why not? Would you cheat to keep your marriage together - why or why not? Is it a "successful" marriage if you have to cheat to stay married - why or why not? Would you have someone on the side to keep your marriage spicy- why or why not?

Alright, let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The List

My co-worker always complains that women are too choosy. I know I have a list of qualities I would like in an ideal mate. But the more I watch Millionaire Matchmaker, I think its the men who are choosy.

I had already seen the show that aired tonite. It was a re-run. Patti was charged with finding love for two men who were in the self-help industry. Isn't that ironic? They were in the business of helping people succeed, but they needed Patti's help in finding love.

Anyway the dude Gary was the one who had me laughing with his long list. The 47 year-old motivational speaker said he had to have someone who was:
1) 5'2, 110 pounds
2) Between the age of 29-33
3) Blonde (like Jessica Simpson)
4) Feminine
5) Not career-oriented
6) Domesticated
7) Willing to travel at will
8) Christian
9) Eager to have kids (twin girls)

So Patti of course told him to narrow his list down to 5 non-negotiables. He said his mate must be:
1) Godly (Christian)
2) Gorgeous
3) Not Career-oriented (He absolutely did not want a woman who had a career. He wanted someone to support him and what he was doing and not be distracted by anything else.)
4) Domesticated (someone who enjoys spending her Sunday cooking dinner all day)
5) Must want kids

He chose a lady who could be an older version of Jessica Simpson. One of the first questions he asked her was, "What do you have to offer a man?"

Huh?

The question stumped her. She had never been asked that before; me either (lol).

So if you were on a date, your first date with a guy and he asked you - What do you have to offer a man - what would you say?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love on Top

Okay, this is my new favorite song. I can't get it out of my head. I keep listening to it over and over and over again on my Ipod. In fact, I want to do this song for my first dance at my wedding. I'm trying to think of choreographers who can create a routine for me and my husband. It's gonna be fun. Can't you see me on TOP of the staircase coming down to this song? Man, I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Manifesting Love (Part 3)

I have SO many things I want to write about. But first I wanted to get through this series on Manifesting Love. As you recall, a few months ago I listened to a teleconference featuring relationship expert Mat Boggs and motivational speaker Lisa Nichols who discussed the 3 Secrets of Manifesting Love.

The first secret was to stop self-sabotaging yourself with negative thoughts. The second secret was to "joyfully receive" when a man offers to do something for you or to help you out. So here is the last of the 3 secrets to Manifesting Love: The Law of Elasticity.

According to this law, women should not obsess when men don't call back right away or if they hang out with their friends all night because, well, they'll eventually be back (elasticity - get it?). Boggs explained that men have a chemical in their brain that gets triggered when they do masculine things - like when they achieve something spectacular or produce something extraordinary.

Anyway, a woman's chemical suppresses the man's chemical and as a result, he feels the need to just get away, hang out with the guys, do something manly. When he comes back, he'll be in a better mood, feel better, be in better spirits.

wow. Did you know that?

So I guess the whole point of this law is: Let your significant other have his fun with his friends, trust that he just needs to be around masculine energy and don't nag him about where he is, when he's coming home or why he didn't call you last nite. Know that he'll be back soon - elasticity.

Sounds simple doesn't it: Don't smother him, let him have his space, etc.

I do believe that each person in a relationship should have their own lives. For example, I may marry a man who is into watching football all day on Sundays. Do you think I'm gonna be mad cause he wants to hang out with his friends, drink beer and watch a game? Hell No! I will be going out to brunch with friends, shopping, volunteering or at a spa. I will not be begging him to pay attention to me or spend time with me while he's watching a sporting event with his friends. (I like basketball, so I'll watch basketball with him if he wants)

When one of my friends was dating her husband, she couldn't call him before noon on Sunday because he worked a late shift and then he watched football all day with his friends. So we would go to church, go get lunch and just hang out.

But the key is the man has to be trustworthy. I know a guy who is a member of a fraternity. He's married. He would tell his wife that he was going to a fraternity meeting, but instead he would meet up with young ladies he had met at fraternity parties.

So the next time you obsess about where your man is, why he didn't call you back or if he's really playing basketball that late - trust that he's just doing a little male bonding and he'll be back by your side soon.

Thoughts?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Her Three Sons

A little before my Jazzercise class on Saturday, one of the students raved about her son's recent wedding. She has three sons. Her middle son, age 25, is the one who got hitched.

She was excited. But she lamented about her eldest, who had been dating his girlfriend for 10 years. She wants him to settle down also.

"I told him she was a good girl and that he needed to go ahead and marry her," she told me.

"How old is he?" I asked her.

"33," she replied. "He told me that they just got approved for a $250,000 loan for a house."

I stopped what I was doing. What?

"Yeah. I told him if they were gonna buy a house they may as well get married," she continued.

What did he say? I asked.

"Well, he just sort of shrugged," she said. "My youngest son is 20. He said he wasn't gonna get married. He said he wants to take care of me and my husband."

I laughed.

But I had to wonder what's going on with that oldest son. He's 33. He's been dating a young lady for 10 years and now they've been approved for a certain amount to buy a home. So, why not marriage?

I know couples who lived together before they got married. But I don't know if I know of anyone who's purchased a home with someone they were not married to.

Anyway, son No.1 may surprise his mom and go to the justice of the peace right before closing on his new house (lol).

What do yall think of this situation?

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sister Wives

So, I've seen a few episodes of Sister Wives, a show on TLC about polygamist Kody Brown, his four wives and their 16 children.

Initially they all lived together in one house, but now each wife has her own separate home. Kody runs around to make sure each wife is getting enough attention. But there's been some complaining about him spending more time with one woman over another.

Anyway, I was wondering: If I was one of the Sister Wives, do you think my husband would mind if I had a boyfriend on the side? I mean, do you think he'd notice? I could spend time with my other man while he's with his other wives. Do you think the other Sister Wives would tell on me? (Lottie has a boyfriend)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stood Up

On Sunday, my friend Tanya sent me the latest Washington Post Date Lab article. It featured a woman who had been stood up on her "Date Lab" date.

The 50-year-old computer software tester waited a little more than 30 minutes before realizing her blind date was not coming. Read the entire article here. She seemed to take it in stride, ordering dinner and chatting up another customer at the bar.

But I was thinking: How rude ! Dude is an idiot ! He wasn't apologetic or showed any kind of remorse. He didn't even try to make up a lame excuse. Instead he refused to answer his phone or return the Post's phone calls. What a coward.

Anyway, I think he did her a favor. Just think, if he's not going to show up for a date arranged by a national newspaper and written about for a national audience, then he's not going to show up for other, more important things - like a real relationship. Better for her to find out now than later. Remember: When people show you who they are believe them - the first time !

It's ironic that Tanya sent me that article Sunday, when I was suppose to meet up with someone that afternoon - and he was MIA (lol).

We had made plans earlier in the week to meet at the National Harbor at 4 pm on Sunday. Saturday morning he text me, wanting to know if we could do dinner that evening. I told him Sunday was still best. He text me again Saturday evening, wanting to know if we could meet up that evening. I told him no again, explaining that I had to teach Jazzercise the next morning and needed to prepare for my class.

Anyway, Sunday comes. After my Jazzercise class - around 11:30 a.m. — I text him to see if we're still on for 4 pm. I didn't hear back from him until 3:45. He sent me a text informing me that he was just leaving Richmond and would come to the city.

WHAT ? !

As you may know, Richmond is 2 hours away - which meant he wouldn't get to the city until around 6 or so. I told him not to bother coming. I had already made other plans.

So dude sent me a text at 10:20 PM: "Can I come over?"

I was livid: You got some nerve, I replied back. Don't contact me again.
And I blocked his number.

I'm so sick of this: meeting these dudes who are unreliable, irresponsible, not dependable. I want to meet a nice man, a good guy. I want someone HONEST, someone who does what he says he's gonna do.

geez...

Anyway, what are your thoughts on the Date Lab no-show?
What are your experiences with no-shows?

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Searching for Mrs. Huxtable

So last night on the Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti was trying to find love for a 38-year-old Nigerian businessman. Ayinde was a former professional volleyball player who currently owns a successful radio internet company.

This was his second time using Patti's service. He didn't think his first match was intelligent enough. So he was back again determined to find his "Mrs. Huxtable."

Ayinde explained that he wanted someone who had beauty AND intelligence AND personality.

"I deserve a 10 on the inside and a 10 on the outside," Ayinde told Patti. "I want the 'AND' not the 'Or.' (beauty and brains, not beauty or brains)

Patti asked the entrepreneur what were the top 3 things he was looking for. He said: 1) intellectual curiosity 2) spiritual, but not religious 3) business acumen.

Check out their conversation here:



So Patti set Ayinde up on 5 mini dates. They were all gorgeous. Most had college degrees. I believe the majority had their own business.

Ayinde asked each young lady where she attended school and her occupation. He asked one if she had read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. She hadn't. He asked another if she spoke any foreign languages. (He speaks 8).

He didn't choose the one who went to Brown University or the one who went to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill or the young lady who attended Texas A&M. He chose someone whose favorite movie was Zoolander.

Anyway, they go on their date and he gives her low marks because she isn't "established" enough. (She owns an aromatherapy cleaning service). He also didn't think she was down to earth.

Ayinde is ultimately disappointed, not having found his Mrs. Huxtable. He tells Patti her service doesn't work. She is pissed. Check out their exchange here:


Okay this is the thing: Ayinde needs to save his money and stop using Patti's service. He should leave California and move to D.C. I can introduce him to PLENTY of women who meet his requirements: smart, beautiful, down to earth. There are more than enough qualified candidates here in the nation's capital.

With the number of single, college-educated professional Black women out there (hasn't he read any of the articles in the past 2 years), why do you think Ayinde hasn't found his "Mrs. Huxtable?"

Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Money & Friends, Money & Men

So, I'm watching an old episode of Sex & The City and Carrie needs money. She has to find a new apartment, but doesn't have enough for a down payment. The bank will not give her a loan because she doesn't have good credit or enough in her savings account.

She goes to her ex-boyfriend, BIG, and tells him about her problem. He writes her a check for $30,000.

When she tells her girlfriends that BIG gave her money to put down on a New York apartment, they have mixed feelings.

Miranda offers to give her the money instead, at least half. Samantha offers to give her the other half. Charlotte doesn't say anything.

Later, Carrie confronts Charlotte about why she didn't offer to loan her money (like Samantha and Miranda). Carries tells Charlotte that if she was in trouble and needed money she would be there for her.

So my first question is, if you were in financial need would you accept money from your man - your boyfriend? Does it matter how long you guys have been dating? What if he was your fiance? What about your ex-boyfriend?

Now, $30,000 is a lot of money. Would you lend that much to a friend of you had it to spare?

Let me know your thoughts.

Women and Leadership

female boss
A couple of days ago I was listening to a local gospel station on my way in to work. The question of the day was: Who were the better leaders - men or women?

Well, this woman calls in. I would say she was maybe mid-30s, mid-40s. She said that men were the better leaders because women were too emotional and vindictive by nature.

Whoa ! That's pretty harsh.

But what do you think of what she said?
Do you think women don't make good leaders because they're too emotional?
Do you think women are vindictive by nature?

What has been your experience with a male or female boss?
(I must say that when I was in school, I felt that my female professors graded harder than my male professors. But maybe that was because they were trying to get me to do my best.?)

Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where You At?


So yesterday I was listening to the entertainment report on the radio and heard that R&B soulstress Jennifer Hudson has postponed her wedding - again.

According to the report, this time its because her fiance, David Otunga, has refused to sign a prenuptial agreement. Media outlets are crediting the urban gossip website MediaTakeOut with the exclusive news. Here's the brief post.

As you know, Jennifer and David have been together a few years now and have a 2-year-old son. Otunga, a Harvard graduate, appeared on the VH1 reality show I Love New York 2 and is now a WWE wrestler. And Jennifer, who's lost more than 80 pounds, is riding high with a great new album and as a successful Weight Watchers spokeswoman. (I don't even need to mention girlfriend's Oscar).

Of course, this is just a rumor. But do you think it's wrong for Jennifer to ask her fiance to sign a prenup?

Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lawn Care

I woke up Friday morning to my neighbor across the street mowing my lawn.

Now, this summer he asked me if he and his sons (4 of his 10 kids live with him at times) could cut my grass. He made it seem as if the young men would be making money for the summer.

So I said, sure. (I mean, why not give young people an opportunity to earn some honest cash while they're out of school?)

But this idea turned out to be a disaster.

First of all, I don't carry cash. So, as usual when someone cuts my grass, I wrote a check. When I asked him for the correct spelling of his name, he said "What am I going to do with a check?"

I told him that I always pay my lawn people with a check, but I could stop by the bank to get some cash. Well of course, I never remembered to stop by the bank. He would send his son over to bang on my door every night - until I had the money.

One evening I had come home from teaching a Jazzercise class and was in the shower when I heard loud banging on my door. It was 9 pm. It startled me.

After that, they would wait for me to either leave out in the morning or come home in the evening and ask me when they could cut my grass again. They live directly in front of me, so they always saw when I left out and when I came in. It became sort of annoying.

My neighbor assured me that he got his bank account "fixed" so I eventually gave them a day and time to cut my grass again.

Well, the second time they did my grass, I wrote a check again. But this time he told me he couldn't do anything with a check on the weekend because he wouldn't be able to cash it until Tuesday.

Again, I kept forgetting to stop by the bank to get cash. And that meant more banging on my door every night and more watching me come and go every day.

This was becoming more than it was worth.

My previous lawn guys would do my front and back yards and I would leave a check in my mailbox for them. Simple.

So, I had decided that I would go back to my old lawn guys. It would be less of a headache.

But Friday morning I woke up to my neighbor mowing my lawn. I was like WHAT? I did not ask him to mow my lawn and he did not ask me if it was okay to cut my grass that morning.

Granted, my grass was a little high and needed to be cut. But I believe as the homeowner, I should decide when I want to get my grass cut and who should cut it.

Anyway, as I locked my front door and walked to my car, he came running over (because you know they watch when I leave out and when I come in) asking when I wanted him to do the backyard.

I asked him why he cut my grass. He said it was high. I told him that he should have asked me. I explained that I would pay him for the front, but I did not want him to do the back.

Well, he was PISSED.

He said he didn't want my money and that he had enough customers anyway.
I insisted on paying him for the front, but he walked away.

What do you guys think?
Do you think I was wrong to ask him to ask me to cut my grass?
Do you think it was okay for him to just come over without an appointment and do my lawn?
And what about the whole "checks" thing?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Manifesting Love (Part 2)

In my last blog, I wrote about a teleclass I listened to by relationship expert Matt Boggs and motivational speaker Lisa Nichols titled "The 3 Secrets to Manifesting Love."

I noted how we may be self-sabotaging ourselves with our own negative self images.

Tonite I want to talk about Boggs' second "secret" to manifesting love. Boggs calls it the Law of Polarity - basically that feminine energy attracts masculine energy.

"A man's sense of self-worth or manhood, is what he's contributing to you," said Boggs. "Your ability to receive from him ignites his masculine energy and your feminine energy."

Women should learn how to "joyfully receive" Boggs said.

hmmmm. Okay. I can do that. (lol)

Then Boggs said something that was quite interesting: "There is one thing that men want more than sex and that is to have their thoughts respected." Men "want respect," Boggs emphasized.

"When you don't allow a man to step up and lead, then you are communicating 'I don't trust you to provide for me and your ability to take care of me.'

Boggs continued: "A man will seek you out when he feels like a man in your presence."

hmmm.

I remember the time I went out to dinner with a guy. It was a popular restaurant and there was a wait. When the host asked for his last name to put us on the waiting list, he could barely open his mouth to tell the host his name. So I spoke up for him, for us - and spelled HIS name out for the host.

Geez. But I guess he didn't feel like a "man" in my presence. Now that I think about it, maybe my actions "disrespected" him.

Anyway, what do you think of what Boggs' said?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Manifesting Love (Part 1)

In August, I listened to a teleclass by motivational speaker Lisa Nichols and relationship expert Mat Boggs. They lectured on the "3 Secrets to Manifesting Love." They claimed that they could help listeners increase our ability to manifest and experience love.

Ha (I'm still single).

Anyway, one of the "secrets" Boggs said was to change our self image. He asked, "What is your hidden self-image?" He noted, "It's always in alignment with your current results."

hmmm. Interesting.

Boggs said that our thoughts, beliefs and actions have a direct impact on what we get out of life - including love. He noted that we may actually be self-sabotaging ourselves by what we think of ourselves.

I liked where he was going with that.

"Who do you believe yourself to be?" Boggs asked. "How much love do you believe you deserve?"

I hear ya Matt: How many times have we put up with some bullsh$t because we thought we couldn't do any better? How many times has our low self-esteem caused us to deal with guys we knew were no good, but we kept going back anyway (out of loneliness maybe)?

I guess there was a time when I didn't have the most positive self-image. I came up with a whole bunch of reasons why I couldn't attract the type of guy I wanted: I had natural hair. I'm overweight. I wasn't tall. I lived in a bad neighborhood. I wasn't polished enough, yada yada yada....

But once I started having a more positive image of myself, I began to attract guys. Now, am I attracting the type of guy I want? Naw... not really. (LOL !!!)

However, I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and concentrate on my assets. In fact, I am convinced that I am great catch - LOL !!! I know that I am not the most beautiful, the most fit, the most successful or have the greatest personality. But I do believe I have a lot of good qualities and a lot of love to give someone special.

Think about it. Men like women with confidence, women who are self-assured, women who BELIEVE in themselves. The comedian Monique ALWAYS has a man (good-looking men too).

So I ask:
Do you have a positive image of yourself?
Have you been unconsciously self-sabotaging your love life with negative thoughts of yourself?

Have you ever thought you couldn't get a date because of your weight, height, skin color or some other physical superficial trait?
Do you believe you haven't found love because of your education or your success?

Do you believe you're a great catch?
Have you ever let your insecurities get the best of you?
Do you believe you DESERVE good love?

Here's your assignment. Puff your chest up. Stand up tall. Hold your head up high. Now say with conviction: By golly, I am a damn good catch ! - LOL :)

And believe it !

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Mom at 50


As you guys can see, I'm in a writing mood.

Anyway, got my New York Magazine today. On the cover is a woman over 50 and pregnant. The cover line says, "Is She Just Too Old For This?"

I flip to the article and see the headline: Parents of A Certain Age. Right above, there's a question — "Is there anything wrong with being 53 and pregnant?" (Read the story here.)

hmmm.

I love my twin nephews and my niece. I LOVE being around them and miss them when I'm not with them. They bring a sense of JOY in my life and just the thought of them makes me SMILE. (Adam saw the nail polish on my toes and innocently asked, "does that hurt?" - lol) But as I get closer to 40, I wonder: Do I want to be a mom - NOW?

I see how my sister juggles three kids and a job — and man, it's hard work. It takes a lot of strength, energy, patience and selflessness. I just get tired thinking about all the stuff she does. It's a big sacrifice. You no longer just have yourself to think about.

So, I have to confess, right now, at this moment, I like my freedom. I can go wherever I want when I want (money and time — and deadlines — permitting) and do what I want to do without worrying about the safety and well-being of another person. I see how my sister is limited in what she can do and where she can go because she can't find a babysitter for the twins or Gabrielle, my niece. She has to take off work when one of the kids is sick and I can't tell you the last time she was able to sit peacefully and observe a church service (those twins are something in church). It can be daunting at times (my sister has called me in tears).

I have to be honest: Do I want to deal with all that at 50? (when other moms are shipping their kids off to college)

But all around me, I see women choosing motherhood — by any means necessary. And they are HAPPY.

So what do you think?
Is 50 too old to START a family?
Would you want to be 53 and pregnant?
For you, is there a cut-off age of when you want to have children? 45? 50? 60?
What are some factors that you will take in consideration in deciding whether or not to have children after age 40?

Let me know your thoughts.

Sanders vs. Sanders


There's a RUMOR going on that Deion Sanders served his wife, Pilar, with divorce papers. According to this piece on BlackAmericaWeb.com, Mrs. Sanders was taken by surprise.

An article on the website HelloBeautiful claimed that the former professional football player and spokesman said: “Enough is enough. I never signed up for all this. Enough is enough. If I wanted a model or a television star I would have married one a long time ago. All I wanted was a housewife.”

Lately Pilar has been seen on VH1's Football Wives and most recently Single Ladies. She and her husband of 11 years even had a show on the Oxygen network called Pilar & Deion: Prime Time Love. I read on Bet.com that the model and mother of three is trying to expand her brand with a new perfume and is even dipping into music.

But according to several news outlets, including this piece on thegrio.com Deion has emphatically denied filing for divorce, posting on twitter: "Ladies and gentlemen I never address IGNORANCE but I must at this point. I've never filed 4 divorce and hadn't made a statement to ANY media... When we start viewing, relying and believing gossip sites for information it says alot about oneself! God bless u all, Live, Love and Laugh!"

Well, I have to say this - none of us really knows what's going on in this marriage. On the outside, they are a beautiful couple indeed. But no one knows what goes on behind closed doors and out of the reality spotlight.

I hope these RUMORS aren't true: that Deion is leaving his wife because she wants to pursue a career outside the home. As an NFL wife, she supported him through the ups and downs of his football career. Now I hope he supports her as she tries to make a name for herself on her own.

Thoughts?

Morning Quote

I came across this quote this morning in my inbox from Oprah.com and had to share it:
“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert

Wow.

This is a powerful statement. And isn't this what we all want — to have someone, despite all our faults and imperfections, love us anyhow?

aaaahhhh....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Loving Him (Part 2)

So today I want to talk about Daddy issues.

On one of the episodes of Basketball Wives, cast member Evelyn Lozado confronted her father about not being there for her growing up. She said during the episode, "When you don't have a father in your life, that's just such a big part of your life missing." She noted that she was looking for love in all the wrong places because she didn't have a father and that a lot of the bad decisions that she made had to do with the fact that her father was absent from her life.
Check out the video below:


hmmm.

As a child, did you see your parents in a loving relationship? Was your father in the home? Do you think the relationship you witnessed as a child between your parents has any impact on your romantic situation today? If your father wasn't in the home, do you think that has had an impact on how you relate to men?

Think about it.

How did your father treat your mother? Did you have a positive example of Black Love in your home? Do you want someone like your father? Was your image of men shaped by your relationship with your father?

A male friend told me that his mother and father were always loving toward one another and his father taught him to always respect his mother. He said more than anything he wanted the kind of relationship his parents had. He got married right after college and today he and his wife have five children. He adores his wife like his father adored his mother.

So I ask: Is your expectation of a relationship based on what you learned or witnessed growing up? (How can you do any better when you don't know any better? How can you emulate what you don't see?)

Do you believe your single situation today has anything to do with how you learned to relate to men growing up? Did you have a male figure in your life to show you how you are suppose to be treated?

Man. I got a lot of questions - LOL !

Let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Loving Him (Part 1)

This afternoon I was reading the Huffington PostDC and came across an article titled, "How to Make a Man Fall in Love with You." Well you know I had to check it out.

In the piece, author Dr. Ali Binazir lists 3 ways to make a man fall in love with you. I was most interested in the last reason which was: Bring out the Best in Him.

According to Binazir: "A man will steadily fall more and more in love with a woman who steadily helps him become more and more the man he has always wanted to be. Not only can you help nurture the vision that he has of his own greatness, but you can go one step beyond and encourage him to be even bigger than he has ever imagined himself... He will feel taller, stronger, more capable, more masculine. And chances are that he's not getting anything like that anywhere else. Which means that he's more likely to stay with you for the long run."

This was interesting to me because we always talk about what a man is suppose to do in a relationship. He's suppose to be the provider and the protector. He's suppose to court us. He's suppose to take us out... and pay always (LOL) .

But I ask: What is your role in this relationship? Other than allowing him to call you and take you out on dates, what are you bringing to this (and don't say sex)? Are you encouraging? Are you supportive of his dreams? How are you helping him reach his goals? Are you a Help Mate? This is suppose to be a partnership, but is he doing all the work? Or do you believe your companionship should be good enough?

Think about it. Is a relationship suppose to be only what a man can do for you?

My former co-worker's wife BELIEVES in her husband and will tell anybody within earshot how great he is. She supports his goals and is his biggest cheerleader, doing everything SHE can to help him achieve his dream. No one and I mean no one, is better than HER man - lol! They've been married 25 years (and counting).

So, this week I've decided to do a series on this topic because I've come across several articles that talk about what attracts men.

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts on Dr. Binazir's theory. What do you think of the concept of being encouraging, supportive, nurturing? And if you're not, does that mean you're selfish?

holla at me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wedding Plans

I was watching an episode of Basketball Wives LA (my new guilty pleasure) and one of the cast members said she was engaged for 9 years. She and her fiance ultimately broke up.

So, just a simple question today:
Would you be in engaged for 9 years? Why or Why not?

Once you get the ring, how long does it take to walk down the aisle?

I understand that there could be unforeseen circumstances — a family death, financial problems, conflict with setting a date because of other obligations, I mean anything...maybe the beautiful venue where you really, really wanted to hold your ceremony is so booked that it isn't available until 9 years from now and that's the ONLY place you want to get married. It's your dream spot - lol...

For example, I have a friend who was suppose to get married in August, but she postponed her wedding until next year because her aunt is suffering from cancer and could die any day now.

But she had already planned the wedding (got her gown, flowers, reception hall, etc.). She's waiting a year - not 9.

I don't know. It seems like an engagement goes beyond just having a ring. It's something about planning a wedding that makes it more concrete - hey, we're actually doing this, we're gonna be husband and wife.

But even PLANS change...(Cookie had planned a wedding twice before she and Magic actually tied the knot.)

Anyway, I'm going on and on now. So let me know your thoughts.

Monday, September 19, 2011

When a Man Cries

Yall know I'm a hopeless romantic. So when I saw former pro-basketball player Doug Christie break down while saying his wedding vows (for the 16th time) to his wife Jackie during the most recent episode of Basketball Wives - LA, I was moved.

He choked up during the part, "in sickness and in health. I will cherish you for as long as we both shall live."

For a man to let his guard down and show his vulnerability, show the world how much he loves his wife — that's beautiful to me.

But I wasn't the only one moved. All the guests were crying too. (LOL)

Take a look at the Christies exchange vows for the 16th time and let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Virtuous Woman

On a recent episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stanger enlists the help of relationship expert Dr. Pat Allen to get to the bottom of why William, a successful entrepreneur, can't seem to find love.

He tells her he wants a girl who makes him pursue her.

Dr. Allen tells him, "All she's got to do is keep her legs crossed. You've been had by women who've been trained to seduce you because you got a couple of bucks in the bank." (wow, I went to the wrong school - more on this later.)

He admits that after he has sex with a woman, he loses interest.

"A woman who passes the test of virtue, you can take home to your mom," Allen tells William. "Men fall in love with virtue not vaginas."

Interesting...Do you agree?

Check out the video below and let me know your thoughts.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Caller

On my way to Jazzericse this morning, I was listening to the Audrey Chapman Show. The relationship expert was talking to Ralph Richard Banks, author of the new book Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone.

An older gentlemen called into the show. He talked about how great Black women were, how they were the backbone of the Black community and a lot of other nice, uplifting stuff.

Audrey asked him if he was married. He said no, but had lived with someone for 15 years. His lady love had died. At 58, he's now realizing how great she was.

Audrey asked him why he never married her.

He explained that he was a writer and never, really had a steady job. He believed that a husband is suppose to provide and felt that he was not financially stable enough to get married.

"But what was the difference between living with someone for 15 years and marrying them?" Audrey asked.

This man hemmed and hawed and gave some type of non-answer.

"She probably wanted to get married," he finally surmised with a bit of regret in his voice.

But Audrey made it clear: She wanted to get married.

It was sad to hear because this lady had been with this man for I don't know how long, lived with him for 15 years and died without ever calling him husband. And at nearly 60 he's thinking about what could have been.

hmmmm.

Maybe she didn't want to get married. Obviously she stayed with this man for 15 years without a ring. Maybe she was content with the way things were. If she was unhappy she would have left - right?
Do you think they would have married if she had demanded they get married (or else I'm out)?
Do you think he used his financial situation as an excuse?

Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Hairy Situation


I had a hair appointment this morning. I was on time.

I, along with 3 others, sat in the reception area waiting for our stylists to show up. I was happy that I had picked up a muffin and juice on my way in. Starving, I had skipped breakfast to make sure that I got to my appointment on time.

The receptionist finally said, "Lottie, Suzie (not her real name) said she's on her way." This was about 9:10.

On her way? My appointment was at 9 a.m. and she's calling at 9:10 saying she's on her way?

I was a little dismayed. First of all I park at a meter and made a special stop at the bank to get quarters - enough to last for my appointment. But I realized that I would have to keep feeding the meter before my appointment was up.

After checking to see how much time I had left on the meter, I went back inside to find the shampoo lady getting her hair washed.

Huh?

Isn't she suppose to make sure that customers get their hair washed before she decides to take care of her own locs?

This appointment was not starting off well.

Anyway, the shampoo lady finally decided to wash my hair and I'm disappointed. The water is too hot and she's rough - maybe she's in a hurry ?

I don't know. But I tell her the water's too hot and kindly ask her if she could be a little more gentle.

A little aside: One of the things that I really enjoy is getting my hair washed. I love the scents of the different shampoos and conditioners. But most of all I enjoy the nice head massages that I usually get.

My stylist finally shows up. It's 9:35.

She's smiling, unapologetic about her tardiness. She does my hair, I give her a tip (but not the usual amount) and I'm off. But I'm really thinking about going to another hair salon.

See, this isn't the first time I've experienced this type of behavior at this salon. There have been many times I've shown up for my appointment and my stylist isn't there yet. Most of the time she apologizes for her tardiness. The excuse use to be traffic.

Well, she had a baby in May and came back in July. I do understand that she has to work out all the kinks of being a new mother.

But...

I've been going to this specific salon for about 3 or 4 years now, just a little bit before I decided to loc my hair. I chose this salon because it is close to my job - less than 5 minutes. I purposely book my appointments during the middle of the week - a Tuesday or Wednesday - to make sure I'm not waiting for hours on a Friday or Saturday. I also always make sure that I'm my stylist's first appointment so that I can get in and out. But most of all I like the great hair care they provide - like the herbal treatments - and healthy products they use.

I've tried another salon before and it isn't the same. My hair doesn't feel or look the same and doesn't last as long. (Must be the products.)

So I ask, am I going a little overboard with thinking about finding another salon?
Do you think I should be a little more understanding since my stylist recently had a baby - trying to juggle her new role as a mother with her job?
Should I dismiss the tardiness, just over look it?(What about respect for my time?)
Should I require more professionalism out of a salon (why is the shampoo lady getting her own hair done before the customers?)?
Should I just suck it up because this is how hair salons operate?

Shouldn't good customer service be just as important as good hair care?
What would you do?

Let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

So what gives

I met three guys this weekend.
Two of them asked for my number.
One of them called tonite.

Ironically, the one I was most attracted to didn't seem that interested in getting to know me.

I met him yesterday at the National Council of Negro Women Black Family Reunion celebration. I had decided to check out the festival before going to church.

I walked into the Health pavilion and saw a table for vision screening, another for body wraps. I stopped at the My Weight Doctor booth to get some info on weight loss.

As I walked out of the tent, a man walked out beside me.

"How you doing?" he asked. He was tall, dark with a shaved head. He had on a crisp white shirt. Neat, dark denim jeans. More than casual brown shoes. A gold ring on his pinky finger.

"I'm great. And you?" I asked.

"I'm doing pretty good."

He had a nice smile.

"It's such a nice day. But the ground is still wet from the rain earlier this week," I said.

"Yeah the ground is damp."

We kept walking and talking and walking and talking. He told me his name. I told him mine.

I learned that he was from Texas. He's lived in this area (Va.) for two years and works in Fort Belvoir. He likes it here. Lots of stuff to do he said.

I told him that the event used to be bigger - 2 days.

I saw him look over at one of the tents where a young dance company was performing. He seemed like he wanted to check them out.

"Well, I won't hold you up," I said. I held out my hand, "nice meeting you."

"It was good meeting you to Lottie."

"Alright, talk to you later," I said.

And that was it. I walked away.

He didn't ask for my number, my card or anything. At that point, the ball was in his court and I believe that if he was genuinely interested in me he would have asked how he could contact me, stay in touch.

But he didn't.

So, what gives?
Do you think he was married? I didn't see a ring (but that doesn't mean anything).
Do you think he has a girlfriend and was just being polite?
Why was he doing all that walking and talking?

Maybe he just wasn't into me after our conversation.

I don't know guys. What do you think?

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Weighty Issue

So, I'm up again at 4 a.m, flipping through tv channels. I land on Bridezillas. It's one of the "Where are They Now" episodes.

Anyway, I was appalled when I saw that one of these obnoxious bridezillas had weighed her bridesmaids on national tv and then got rid of the ones she thought were overweight.

What?!!

First of all, these were women SHE asked to be in her wedding. Didn't she know what size they were when she first asked them to be a bridesmaid? If she was so concerned about their weight, why ask them at all?

But that's not even the point.

These were supposedly her good friends who SHE wanted to be part of her special day. She's known these women for years. I'm sure she didn't care about their size when she needed to get out of a difficult situation or needed a shoulder to cry on during a personal tragedy.

So, why all of a sudden are these women not good enough? What does size have to do with friendship?

I was disgusted.

I think it's rude to ask someone to be in your wedding and then throw them out because they don't meet YOUR weight requirements - they're not the size YOU want them to be. It's hurtful and a disregard for others' feelings.

What do you think? Have you seen a situation like this?

Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Big Sexy

The new TLC show Big Sexy follows the lives of plus-size women who confront the realities of living in a world that doesn't value women over a size 2.

Comedian Erica Watson was on the most recent episode. Check out what she says about dating:


Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Being a Girl

brushes at the ready!

I know image is everything. Appearance is important. (yada, yada, yada)

But man, being a girl is expensive - the hair, the nails, the waxing (all over - lol), the makeup.

Let's not talk about clothes or shoes — or the undergarments that make us look good in those clothes.

By the way, has anyone found stylish high heels that I can walk in, dance in or stand in for more than 2 hours? geez...

And what about the dang accessories to go with the outfit - the fashion belts, jewelry, cute handbags.

And then you want me to do what? $%#t!

Even though I don't consider myself high maintenance — minimal makeup, conservative clothing (for the most part), comfortable shoes — I feel like I need a raise just to look presentable !

I know, I know: Some guys are into grooming just as much as some women. But I'm just doing a little venting on this rainy afternoon.

I have to admit though, don't you feel good when you look great? It's definitely a confidence booster.

So, tell me:
Do you know anyone who won't leave the house without makeup? Will you?

Do you know someone who will refuse to attend an event because her hair isn't done? What about you?

Have you ever decided not to go somewhere because you didn't have anything to wear (even though you have a closet full of clothes)?

Can you tell when someone's feet hurt in her super cute shoes?

Has there been a time when you've thrown on sweatpants, a baggy t-shirt, old sneakers and a hat to make a quick run to the grocery store - and then ended up in Target?

How do you look when you go to the gym? Does your top match your shoes? Are you fully made up or do you wear a scarf to protect your hair?

Would you date a guy who gets manicures?


Tell me your stories about being a girl.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Right Way


Last week I had the pleasure of being a substitute journalism professor at Howard University. I taught a Magazine journalism class, which consisted of 10 ladies and one man. I asked them who they liked and they all said - BEYONCE !

Beyonce? Why?

They were thrilled about her new baby bump.

One student explained: "She did it right. She concentrated on her career, became successful, met someone, fell in love, got married and now she's having a baby."

The one guy said: "She not having a whole lotta babies out of wedlock." (Was he making a snide reference to Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu?)

And another student told me: "She is showing us that you can have it all — the successful career, husband and family. She's a role model."

"And he loves her," a student in the back added. "Did you see how happy Jay was?"

They all nodded in agreement.

I smiled. I know these students probably look at women in my generation and shake their heads. We are the ones that the news stories are about: successful Black women who can't find a mate.

They see Beyonce not only as their role model, but as a peer to look up to: If she did it, so can I.

They want the career and success, but they also want a family. Beyonce is showing them that they can have it all.

Thoughts?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Call Waiting


Yesterday after my Jazzercise class one of the students, a White male between his mid-40s or mid-50s, came up to me. "Can I call you sometime?" he asked.

"Sure," I replied and wrote my number down on a piece of paper.

A few weeks earlier, he had come up to me and slipped me his number. I put it in my purse, but never called him. So I guess he thought it would be better if he asked for mine.

Last month, the men of Omega Psi Phi fraternity held their centennial celebration here in the nation's capital. I met several guys, one was a doctor from Tennessee.

We talked a good while and he gave me his card before I left to go home. (My feet were killing me!) Not once did he ask for my number or inquire about how he could keep in touch with me.

A few people have asked me if I've heard from the doctor. I haven't heard from the doctor because I refuse to call the doctor. I don't think "The Doctor" was that into me. If he was - he would have asked for my number or my card or a way to contact me. Instead he wanted me to call him the next day - I guess maybe to hang out.

But I had to put that weekend in perspective. For guys, it was a weekend of fun. They were hanging with their bruhs, who knows how many other women "the doctor" gave his number to; better yet, who he had waiting for him back in Tennessee.

Did I miss out on a good thing? Who knows? I doubt it.

But I'm sticking to my belief: If a guy doesn't ask for your contact information (number, email, business card), he's really not that interested in getting to know you. He's just not that into you.

Thoughts?
Let me know how you feel.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Can You Have It All?

Bethenny Frankel brings SkinnyGirl Margaritas to Dallas

Success. Marriage. Family.

A few years ago on the Real Housewives of New York, Bethenny Frankel tearfully confessed to her then-friend Jill Zarin how she longed for a husband and family, yet her career was just taking off and she wanted to realize her dreams, be successful.

Jill gently told her, you can't have it all. She had to choose: successful career or family.

Well, Bethenny has it all. Earlier this year she graced the cover of Forbes magazine. Frankel, 40, had recently sold her Skinnygirl Margarita drink for $100 million. She also is a New York Times best-selling author and has her own show on Bravo, Bethenny Ever After about, guess what - her family. She has a handsome husband and beautiful little baby.

She's living her dream: family and success.

But can you really DO it all - and be successful at all of it?

I recently interviewed an entrepreneur who once owned a billion dollar company. She sold her company after she had a child. She learned, she said, that she couldn't give 100% to her company and 100% to her child. She wanted to be a great mother as well as a great business owner. "I didn't have 300% inside me," she said.

Oprah has noted the sacrifices it takes to be a great mother. She's said that she could not have done her show the way she did it, if she had had children. She also has said that if she had gotten married she would be divorced because with marriage there are expectations.

Those expectations may have led to the breakup of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. They married, had twins and everything seemed cool. Ironically once Jennifer re-entered the workforce — as a judge on AMERICAN IDOL, commercials for L'Oreal and Gillette, a new album — her marriage unraveled.

Obviously we see women everyday who are able to juggle careers and family. There's no better example than Michelle Obama, an Ivy-league educated professional who is able to carry out her duties as First Lady, be a supportive spouse to the President and raise two well-adjusted children.

But you also can't ignore the fact that two of the most powerful Black women in the world, Oprah Winfrey and Condoleeza Rice, don't have families.

So I ask:
Is it possible to give 100% to a family and 100% to a career?
Does your family life determine how far you can go with your career?
Can I be super, uber successful and have a supportive spouse who understands my ambition or will I be expected to put my career on hold to be the supportive spouse of a successful mate?

whew.

Let me know your thoughts.