Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Clean Slate

Last night I think I experienced my clean slate.  Yes, I feel that I am official free of man complications this morning.

It all started with my ex ex.  I guess I cannot claim credit for this one.  For the past the month or so I felt like the ex ex has been distant.  We were trying to do the friends thing, but all of a sudden he kind of dropped off the face of the earth.  I even deleted his number a few weeks ago, because I was tired of putting in the effort.  I felt like he had really stopped being a friend and I didn't know why.  Maybe he was dating someone and it was getting serious.  That is a strong possibility   But since he would not talk about the topic of this friend I have no idea.  Or maybe something is going on with him more personal.  I don't know either way, but I did try and there is only so much I can do.  Regardless, I don't need a part time friend.  So maybe I confronted him at a inopportune time.  But I haven't heard from him, so I feel like this is the clean slate I was looking for.  The friendship had become a little uncomfortable anyway, and maybe was not in our best interests.

Next is the non communication from a new guy that I met a few weeks ago.  We have been texting regularly for the past few weeks.  We had plans a couple of times but it didn't work out due to scheduling conflicts.  So tonight was supposed to be our date make up night where he made up for cancelling on me (and I looked extra fly too).  I tried texting and I called.  I have heard nothing back in response.  The sad thing is I am not that mad.  I am disappointed  more than anything because I thought it would be a new start.  The sad thing is that things like this have happened to me in the past.  I decided my online dating life is taking a hiatus and I  shut down my account, at least for now.  Why do people go ghost out of nowhere?

Finally the recent ex.  I did what I should have done months ago.  I told him that we can no longer be friends.  I said some other stuff too, which I immediately deleted.  I think it said something like he doesn't want to be with me yet sends mixed signals, I didn't want to be hurt again, and that he didn't appreciate me before and he doesn't now.  Now this might seem out of the blue, but there are a few situations that are precipitated this.  I have wanted to tell him so many times that I didn't want to be friends.  I never had the courage.  Well it is not courage that was the problem, the issue was not being able to deal with the possibility that he didn't value my friendship enough to fight for it.  Well seeing that he never responded, I assume that it is a done deal.

So this morning, I feel like I am starting off anew.  It is time to move on and maybe I need more time to be alone.  Tomorrow is November 1st right? To new beginnings.... :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Are We Hyper Paranoid?






I am sitting here waiting for this "Frankenstorm" Hurricane Sandy to really show her teeth.  All the forecasters predict that this storm is going to be a doozy.  As a result schools, courts, transportation and even the government is shutting down.  I have seen the images on tv of what is already happening and the storm has not directly hit yet.  I believe that over preparation is better than under preparation.  Part of me wondered if there was an over reaction.  Now I don't think it is.  However, part of me wonders if in general if we have become a hyper paranoid society?

I don't believe that this societal paranoia is an overnight development.  It all began in the 80s shoot maybe before that.  Let me first preface to say that I am a child of the 1980s.  I definitely was not babied as a child.  Unless I have forgotten my childhood (which is possible), I do not remember my parents being overprotective.  Anyway, at some point someone, probably some doctor with a book, decided that parents of the 80s babies had to show more nurturing and love to their kids.  Kids didn't need tough love anymore, now they needed hugs and kisses and lesson on self esteem.  All of a sudden we had medal for last place. Failing grades were changed from F's to E's as to not hurt a child's psyche. The use of antibacterial lotions and the overuse of drugs has made it hard for kids to fight off the common cold.  Parents started fighting their children's battles.  If a child didn't like a grade a parent made a call and threatened the teacher's job.  So now we have generations of kids that never had the ability to tough things out and learn how to make mistakes on their own, courtesy of overprotective parents.

Now I do have to admit.  We live in a different society now.  People aren't as friendly.  The moniker of it "takes a village" is no longer in place.  We have become an individualistic society.  There is an increase in the amount of violence and sex shown by the media and we are becoming more sensitized as a result.  This is definitely not a world where you can feel safe by not locking your doors at night.

You have to admit the media and the government are contributors to this society of worry.  For many years the government has trounced on our fears in order to win support.  Remember the war propaganda from World War II.  The same still held true for the "War on Terror" and the weapons of mass destruction.  We were so ready to get in a battle that costs millions and thousands of lives with very little evidence.  And the media market is owned by only a handful of people.  Do you think that maybe they are profiting with each new disaster or potential super disease?

So maybe some paranoia is to be expected.  But how can we balance our fears and not let our paranoia become part of our stress?  Sometimes I feel like my friends and family can be too paranoid.  My family told me no longer to call late at night to tell them I was going to crash at a friends house.  They were too paranoid about receiving bad news at night...  A few weeks ago I had a friend who was scared to jump on a trampoline because she was sure she was going to break something.  Once, she loosened up and let go, she had a blast...and broke no bones :)    Another friend told me that because of her profession she worries about potential brain damage of her nephew when he skateboards.  Is there a difference between natural paranoia and hyper paranoia?  Or maybe part of this worrying increases with age and knowledge?

What can we do?  I don't know.  To me things are going to happen.  There is no way we can plan for everything.  So why stress out over things we can't control.  The only thing we can really do is take life day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute and be as prepared as you can, the rest is in God's hands.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interracial Dating

Interracial dating has long been a topic exciting strong opinions.  I began to think about this topic more over the summer when our church had a series on interracial dating.  It was a very progressive topic for a very progressive church.  Our church is encompassed by multiple races and ages and is a safe haven for those of us that live in or near the racial utopia that is Columbia, MD.  And I am sure the fact that our pastor is black, while his wife is Korean can't hurt either.  

But I am embarrassed to say that even after sitting through the series and even having friends that I love and respect who have been in interracial relationships, as a black woman I still have trouble accepting a black man with a non black woman.  And let me be more specific.  My issue is not with interracial dating in general.  As a black woman I have often talked about "getting my swirl on" or "trying something new," a.k.a, dating outside my race.  I even find myself looking at couples with a black woman and non black man in awe.  Part of me gives a proud head nod to those women.  However, despite my admiration for the black woman/white man combination I still have the problem with a black men dating a white women.

Why am I embarrassed?  I am embarrassed because it is 2012.  I have been blessed to grow up in various locations around the country.  I have friends that span all races and ethnicities.    Above all that, I believe in love.  I think people should have the right to love anyone they want.  So why can't I get over this?

Maybe part of it is the disparity between educated black men and black woman.  More black woman are in college then black males and the disparity just increases the higher up the educational ladder you go.  Finding a black man who shares my educational status is already difficult, black men know this.  Therefore, they have their pick of who they date.  Many, not all, then play the odds and date numerous women at once.  The plight of the black woman dating and finding marriage is a subject that pops up every few years by the media, but it is not what I want to focus on here.

Many times when you find a successful black man, you will find a white woman on his arm, not all times, but many.  I will be even more specific.  I think the issue is not a black man that finds one white woman that he loves.  I think the issue that myself, and many other black women have is that black man that dates exclusively white women or exclusively non black women.  It is like a slap in the face!  

Why do they have the non black female preference?  Here are some theories.  Some just straight up don't like black women.  They say that we are too loud, too bossy,  and ask too many questions, so you know, they use the usual stereotypes heightened in the media and other entertainment outlets.  Maybe it has to do with slavery.  A time where black men were constantly emasculated by white slave masters who violated their black wives and continuously ripped apart families leaving the black woman to become the matriarchs of the family.   Maybe their dating preference is a way to stick it to "the man" by dating his once forbidden white female stock?   Perhaps black men have fallen victim to the white aesthetic of beauty?  Society is constantly defining the ideal beauty as being a blond haired blue eyed fair skinned woman.  Possibly, black men lack confidence in themselves.  They could have been that guy that liked to listen to Nine Inch Nails or enjoyed reading rather than playing sports.  The non black girls may have been the only girls to accept this boy for who he is.

What do I think?  All of the above?  None of the above?  A combination?  Who knows!?  I am no psychologist!  But everyone has their own experiences and their own perceptions.  It is unfair to judge black men as a monolithic group.  A black man's dating preference is an individual preference, much like my own.

And even though it makes me uncomfortable sometimes to see the pictures of a black man with his umpteenth white wife or girlfriend is it about him and his preferences or is it about me?  In other words, is it that man that is bothering me or the fact that I feel rejected by a group  that historically was supposed to be my strength and support.  A black man is the only other person that can truly understand my plight.  And maybe I feel hurt, because I don't look like the woman that you will see on a billboard.  I thought that my black man would love my curly hair, my curves, and my caramel skin because we are one in the same, but maybe he is looking at me with disgust.  Maybe it is when society tells me that I am not smart enough, successful enough, or beautiful enough that I thought that you, black man would have my back but then I find out you don't?  It hurts to think that you don't see me as your black queen.

The truth is though, regardless if I feel hurt by my black brother choosing a white woman over me, it's none of my business.  We are far removed from the days of Loving v. Virginia.  People of all races can marry and date who they want, at least in the United States.  Hell, more and more states are even allowing for gay marriage.  So who am I to judge?  


Monday, October 22, 2012

You're a Jerk




Wah, wah wah wah wah "You're a jerk!"
Why you trippin? I ain't even do nuttin "You're a jerk!"
"You're a jerk!" I'm a jerk? You ain't never lie
But ay, do me a favor, call me jerk one more time
"You're a jerk!" (I know) "You're a jerk!" (I know)
"You're a jerk!" (I know) "You're a jerk!" (Ay, ay)
"You're a jerk!" (I know) "You're a jerk!" (I know)
"You're a jerk!" (I know) "You're a jerk!" (Ay, ay)
"You're a jerk, jerk, jerk, jerk" (Jerky)
"Jerk, jerk, jerk, jerk" (Jerky)
"Jerk, jerk, jerk, jerk" (Jerky)
"Jerk, jerk, jerk, jerk" (Jerky)

--- New Boyz "You're a Jerk"


I'm tired of dealing with jerks!  This weekend I was out with my mom.  I was kind of tired, and tired of being out with her all day.  I decided to kill some time by hanging out at  one of my favorite places, the bookstore.  I figured it would be a good time to do some research for this blog so I picked up a few dating books.  My favorite was Are All Guys Assholes?  by Amber Madison.  The premise of the book was to say that not all guys are not assholes, but instead guys are more softer creatures than we think and are just trying to keep up appearances because of the roles that society has created for them.

Now while I was reading this book I thought that the premise of guys not being assholes, or who I would like to start calling jerks, was malarkey (thanks VP Biden for forever adding this word to my vocabulary).  Let me back up.  I certainly do not think that all guys are jerks.  But I think that a majority are.  

While I was reading this I began thinking about the jerks that are in my life.  I can't certainly blame it all on them.  No, it is my fault for repeatedly letting them back in my life.  But honestly, why am I getting irritated and annoyed with someone that I am not married to, or even dating?  To quote Sweet Brown,"Ain't nobody got time for that!"

What makes them jerks?  To me jerks are the ones who seem to really only care about themselves.  They might act like you mean something to them, but in the end they only care about you enough for what they can use you as and then when they is over they are over, over you.

So I think about these jerks.  I think about the good times that we had and I forget about all the other times when they were jerks.  I contact them, or let them contact me thinking that we can be friends and that maybe it will be nice to have a friend around.  NO they are not friends of mine.  It is time for me to get wise and let go.  The only jerk I want to have is jerk chicken, not jerky friends.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Giving back

When I went to law school I wanted to be Angela Davis, except not get arrested.  I had visions of helping the community, the black community.  While I was in school a lot of people thought that I was crazy.  Or more often times than not many felt as if they wanted to work for a few years and then they could focus more on giving back.  The truth is there are so many ways to give.   You can give money or you can give you time.  You give a little or you can give a lot, but the truth is you need to do something, and waiting is not the answer.  Why give?  Because before us someone did something to help us out, so we would have a better life.

However, what is your disposition when you give?  Do you give because you like doing it or because you think it is the right thing to do but you are not really into it?  God cares about your disposition and where your heart is.  You should be giving because you love God, not because you believe it is a chore.

I have been thinking a lot about disposition lately.  I have some friends who sometimes seem to have the biggest hearts but at the same time can be the most judgmental people that I know.  It seems like they are living a parallel life.  How can you care so much about giving back to the community and serving others yet your attitude is one of judgment and believing yourself to be better than others?  Can you help others while your nose is turned up at the people around you?  I am sure that they don't even realize this dichotomy in themselves.  Is it  even worth pointing out?  Probably not.

During my unemployment stretch I have learned a serious lesson in humility.  And many times when I volunteer or see people on the street I think I could literally be where they are.  We all think we know everyone's story, but we don't.  You never know what situations that you might come across.  One day you  might be that person that needs help....

I still want to be Angela Davis, but in a different capacity.  I have grown and I know that giving manifests in many different ways.  I also feel that I am better equipped to help others having had my own struggles.  I thank God for allowing me for my own experiences to allow me to be able to give back to others with a renewed perspective in tact.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

We Are Young



We are young, heartache to heartache we stand 
No promises, no demands 
Love Is A Battlefield 
We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong 
Searchin' our hearts for so long, both of us knowing 
Love Is A Battlefield 

-----"Love is a Battlefield" sung by Pat Benatar



I am thirty one.  Most of my friends are in their late 20's and early 30's.  Many of my friends are single.  Older people tell me that we are young and that there is plenty of time to find love.  But is that true?

As a black female various media outlets have analyzed the plight of the educated black female and her odds at finding "true love".  The summary is the same, the more educated we are the harder it is to find a man.

Then there is that baby clock thing that concerns everyone.  Since I am not too keen on having kids at this point, my own clock is of no concern.  But to my friends, their clock is beating both loudly and persistently.  I think most people would rather have a baby before marriage.  It has become more apparent through fertility education that once a woman hits 30 her odds of conception is far smaller than when she was in her 20's.  So as a woman gets more into her 30's the numbers are just not in her favor.

Yeah, we are young and not supposed to worry about these things, but how can we not?

You know what makes it the hardest?  The past.  I know I have written about my exes a lot, but they are my frame of reference.  I think that hardest part about moving on, letting go, forgiving, and starting over is remembering the good times.  Because it is those times when you both clicked so well that made you overlook a little red flag here and there.  Being in love is this incredible feeling that you don't want to let go of, no it is quite the opposite.  When you are in love, especially in the beginning you just want to hold on to that feeling as long as possible.  It is that feeling when you think about that person when you wake up and when you go to sleep.  It is the little laughs that you shared and the little things that you found resistible about that the other person that makes it all worth while.

So what do us young folk do?  We struggle and become saddened at the thought that we may not be able to get that feeling again.  That we may never be able to build a foundation with someone who will make us happy.  We began to ponder the thoughts of never having our own Romeo, or Cliff Huxtable, or Barack Obama.

But there is something worse than the waiting itself... it is that feeling that you really maybe single involuntarily for the rest of your life, a point that few of us really discuss.

So yes, we are young.  But I think that we have the right to be worried.  I think we have the right to be loved.  I think we are entitled to a love like our parents had and the right to start our own family should we choose.  But don't lose faith.  And remain hopeful that the waiting, is to your benefit and not your detriment.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Perspective

Today my uncle was in a car crash.  It happened in the morning as he and my aunt were going on their daily morning walk.  He was doing the right thing, trying to get in his exercise, trying to prolong his life.  But while he was trying to prolong his life he could have also lost it.  Thankfully, he seems to be fine.  He might have a dislocated thumb and he does have a concussion; however, things could have definitely gone a different way.

With the hustle and bustle of the events of the day and going to work I pushed a lot of my own feelings aside.    Years of having family members die/and/or in and out of the hospital, emergencies now seem to leave me numb.  When I finally got the chance to reflect on the day so many thoughts and feelings were put into perspective.  It made me remember something that I learned long ago, that life is so precious, family and friends are so precious, and you never quite when they will leave you or when you will need them.

I also witnessed the sadness and the strength of my aunt.  As much as I sometimes have a roller coaster relationship with my family, hearing my aunt cry over the phone as she was trying to tell me what happened broke my heart.  Trying to picture how she felt witnessing the man she loves in an accident, well, I can't even imagine what that would be like.  It made me long for those who have passed.  It made me think about will I ever be in a position where someone will feel the same about me if I am hurt or sick?  It made me think that maybe my anti-dating, man-bashing days should come to an end.  That maybe I am ready to love again.

My lingering thoughts about my uncle's health all day made me realize how all the stupid battles that I have fought are indeed just stupid.  Because in the end, all you really have is your friends and your family.  Arguments about putting away the dishes or texts messages about laundry are really just trivial.  When someone in your circle is faced with a tremendous hardship you put those silly things aside and you rally.

Today my uncle was in a car crash.  And today I received the jolt I needed to dismiss my funky attitude, to say goodbye for my despair, and to embrace a goody but oldie perspective on life, love, and all the things in between.