Monday, July 30, 2007

Okay so when I sat down to write the previous post this was supposed to be a part of it but when I started to flow, it just didn't fit. However, I really wanted to blog about this so I'm posting 2 in one day. Don't faint. Pigs ain't flying. As far as I know, hell hasn't frozen over (I know someone I can ask though, if you're curious. LOL). It's just one of those days. (hey remember that song by Monica??? Yeah I took it back. LOL)

They say that "art imitates life"(SIDEBAR: who's "they"??? I'm curious?? LOL). I have never paid much attention to that statement until recently. The idea for my book came to me about 5 years ago. Without going into too much detail ( I do want you to buy the book, ummmkaaaay???? LOL), the main character unexpectedly hears from someone from her past. So you know where I am going with this right? LOL A couple of weeks ago, when I was still very much in the trenches of the bullshit detailed ad nauseum in previous blogs, I get a email telling me that I have a message from Spalding on MySpace (let's call him Spalding for the purpose of this blog) . I see this email and I think to myself, " I only know one Spalding. But nah it can't be." I immediately log into MySpace, thinking the name must be a coincidence and this is actually someone trying to get me to listen to their music on their page. I opened the message and just reading the first 5 words I knew it was him. Here's the background story. Spalding is a guy I dated in high school. I haven't seen or heard from him in about 10 years. Before, during, and after the manchild chronicles, he has been that one guy I think about from time to time. The one that makes me wonder how my life would be different if things between us had been different. The only one who still owns a piece of my heart. A friend of mine referred to him as my standard - the one guy I measure all others against. I thought about that and it is indeed true. Spalding is my barometer as to whether a guy has passed or failed in my life. So sitting there reading that email, I couldn't help but realize that when I finally got serious about my book despite the madness going on in my life (or maybe because of the chaos???? hmmm, something to think about), here he is, just tiptoeing back into my life in almost the same way it happens in my book.

Since that initial email, I have spoken to him a few times on the phone. The first time we spoke, I couldn't believe he was on the other end of my cell phone. His voice initially was not what I remembered. But then I heard it. That certain swagger he has in the way he puts words together. His half laugh, half chuckle. It was there, probably never left. We speak as if an entire decade hasn't passed. We've caught up on family and friends. We've laughed over long repressed (but not forgotten) adolescent memories. He's read my blogs and we've discussed the manchild chronicles, and he completely gets me, without me having to explain the whos, whats and whys. I'm amazed that after all this time has passed and after the detours our life journeys have taken us, we still inexplicably understand each other.

While I know where the story is going in my book (thus far), I have no idea how Spalding and I will play out in the pages of my life. I don't know how long we will remain in contact. Hell, it may be another decade before we speak again. (I hope not.) But if the feeling I have now is any indication of where my story is going, this is going to be one hell of a read.

Now maybe I should write a book about how I won the lottery and see what happens. LOL

First off I would like to apologize to anyone who reads my blog. I've gotten the calls, emails, texts, and/or IMs inquiring about when the hell I am going to post again. I have been extremely busy lately. No my lack of blogging is not due to any emotional turmoil. I am past all that foolishness (still on the fence with the whole love thing but that's another topic for another day). There have been sooooo many things I want to blog about but to write it the way I want to would require an extra 2 hours added on to the day. Besides work and trying to keep up with my social life, writing this book has become my priority. This book is my baby (my unnamed baby but that's besides the point. LOL). I wake up in the middle of the night and jot stuff down, sometimes falling asleep with my glasses on (nothing new) and pen in hand (and yes I have woken up in the morning with ink all over my face. Must be trying to write in my sleep. LOL). I change the crap that I write as soon as it gets a little funky in the story. I now carry ginormous handbags just so I can carry my notebook with me where ever I go, in case inspiration hits. I feed my notebook several times a day with words, sentences, conversations, paragraphs, and chapters, just so it will have a balanced diet. I fret over its future constantly. Is this any good? Will anyone besides my friends read it? Can I really be an author? Will it become an Oprah's Book of the Month?? (hey, a girl can dream, right??? LOL) I want only the best for my baby and when I'm ready, I want the world to see how beautiful I see it to be. And now matter how many other books I may write after this, this one will always be my baby, the one I learn from and the one I cherish.

So please forgive me if my blogs become more sporadic than they are now. It's not that I don't love this blog. I really do. I still have so much more I want to say here. But I'm a mommy now and I have a baby to tend to.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Okay I had no intention of posting another blog this quickly about dating but this one has me stumped. I will most likely ramble and you probably won't even like this post but I need some clarity and you guys know I always feel much better after I get shit off my chest, my heart, and my brain. Maybe once I get it all out, I can make better sense out of the situation. Or maybe my readers will actually comment and leave feedback. Well my readers besides Rashad. He is consistent and loyal. He reads AND comments on every blog. He's the best, supreme, and after I shitted on the bitch....... (sorry inside joke. Rashad, stop laughing! LOL).

Okay heeeere we go........ (gotta say it like Slick Rick in "A Children's Story" for full effect. LOL)

Once upon a time, not long ago.....
I met this guy. Let's call him Text. Text because our sole means of communication is via text (duh!). I can count on one hand how many times I have spoken to him on the phone over the past month or so. Text and I "speak" daily via text or IM. The difference between Text and Hustle and Suit (damn this sounds like the title of an Outkast song...LOL) is that Hustle and Suit actually pick up the phone, and our phone conversations last longer than 2 minutes (actually, checked my call log for this one. LOL). So after a couple of weeks of text messaged convo, Text decides he wants to see me. The night in question we both had plans but agreed to meet at an outdoor bar prior to our other commitments. I meet him at the bar, all is good (yeah I was 15 minutes late. told you I'm working on it..LOL). We are laughing and joking, good times all around. He asked what I was drinking, I said water. He asked why. I told him I didn't feel like it because it was really humid outside and I wasn't feeling all that great (truth). He asked the bartender to bring me a glass of water. The bartender brings over a bottled water. He didn't blink, everything is cool. He had 2 drinks over the duration of our mini-date. So our mini-date ends. He pays the tab. He goes his way and I go mine. The evening doesn't end without (of course!!) a text message conversation.

Second time I saw him he picked up some Caribbean food for me (which I love), and we just hung out, talking (more like debating the finer points of life). So by now we have gone back and forth over text messaging about when we are going to see each other again for a third time. Finally he "says" to me: "Its ur date so u plan it. I respond " I don't know what u want to do. whatever is cool w/ me" He tells me that he recently got his ass kicked in bowling and could use the practice. I tell him that there is a really nice bowling alley here in Harlem, black owned (right fist in the air for my people!! LOL). He asked do they serve drinks. I tell him about their bar and lounge on the second floor (should I have questioned whether he was an alcoholic or if he was trying to get me drunk??? lol). He then asked "are you going to feed me?" Now, I thought this was odd but then I thought about the delicious jerk chicken he bought for me, and replied "surrrre, they hv food @ the bowling alley." Because of a hectic schedule on my end right now, I couldn't set a date until today for this bowling date. I texted (is this a word?? LOL) him today " what day next wk is ok 4 u 2 go bowling?" His response: "u want 2 take me bowling on friday??" Take him bowling??? "ummmm ur taking ME bowling. friday is good 4 me." He then unleashes a text tirade telling me that I said I was taking him bowling and apparently the plan was a farce because it appears that I don't want to see him. And he doesn't like the games I'm playing. Huh??? Games?? What the hell did I miss here???

Okay here are my arguments on this case:
1. Dude has yet to take me out on a "official first date". Meeting for a drink to kill time does not a date make. And your honor, may I clearly point out I had a bottled water while he consumed 2 alcoholic beverages. Now he may count bringing me something to eat as a date but damn, can I sit in a restaurant??? Can you eat with me and share conversation between bites??? Can you stare into my beautiful brown eyes across the table and compliment me at least once (am I asking for too much? NOT! LOL)????

2. It was his damn idea to go bowling. No, he didn't say " I want to go bowling." but he put the suggestion out there and I happen to know a venue to facilitate the activity. So if this was his idea why am I expected to be his Suga Mama for the night??

3. Okay I know this is going to sound really shallow and bourgie, and stuckup but fuck it:
Bowling: $8 per game + $4 shoe rental, each per person. And lets say we bowl 2 games.
Drinks: $40, for 2 rounds (but if he's an alcoholic for real this could easily double).
Can't forget about food: approximately $20-$30 for 2 people to dine on bowling food.

Dude spent $4 for bottled water and I would say approximately $8-$9 on the jerk chicken.

So how is it that he spends less than 20 bucks on me (I'm not counting his 2 drinks. He drank them, not me!!! LOL) and I am expected to pay at least 100 freaking dollars on a guy that has yet to take me out on a real date??? Can someone out there help me??? Am I wrong in my assessment of the situation? Have the rules changed that drastically in the dating world? If so, was someone supposed to send me a memo or an email 9or in this case a text message...LOL), something before I curse this dude out??? Which by the way I haven't. I live up to my bourgie roots and responded: "it seems we hv a misunderstanding. call me later 2 discuss." This was 6 hours ago and Text has yet to call. If he doesn't call and texts me instead, I doubt I'll respond. My thumbs are tired.

Goodnite! Knock 'em out the box, Rick. Knock 'em out, Rick. Knock 'em out the box, Rick.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Over the past couple of days I've gone on a few dates, dipping my feet back into the dating pool. Testing the waters if you will. Who knew I was such a cheap date??

Date #1 lets call him Suit. Suit is tall, dark, and well he's average looking but has a smile to die for. He's a Wall Street man - you know the type: Brooks Brothers suit, Brunomagli wingtip shoes freshly shined by the old man at Grand Central Station, Wall Street Journal neatly folded under his arm. The type that plans to be on the cover of not only Black Enterprise but also Forbes magazine. In our pre-date conversations I've learned that Suit went to the right schools for undergrad and grad, because he got in and also for the networking opportunities each school afforded him. He is in his mid 30s, no kids, never been married. After a slew of Treo to Blackberry text messaged conversations, and a couple of very brief phone conversations thrown in for good measure, we finally were able to coordinate our schedules to go out on an actual face to face date. Suit suggested a Zagat top rated restaurant (yes I checked...LOL) for dinner. I arrived on time (for those who know me..YES ON TIME...LOL) at the restaurant, dressed in a simple but subtly sexy sundress with my shoe game tight. As I approached him at the bar, he was on the phone. Since it was a work day, I figured he was wrapping up some last minute business. Ten minutes later, he profusely apologized and we were seated immediately. Conversation was pleasant but predictable. The meal was incredible, and according to him the wine he was drinking was really a good year. The only downfall to the evening was the incessant vibrations from his Blackberry. Every couple of minutes or so, he would pause our conversation to have one with his Crackberry. After he finished phone call or text I would have to remind him where we left on in conversation. After the fourth time this happened I was beginning to feel like a court stenographer retelling someone's testimony during a trial. I spent most of the meal, eating in silence - not because the food was so amazing but because my dinner companion was on a date with his Crackberry. Each instance he would promptly apologize, briefly explain business reason for call, then ask an update on where our actual conversation left off. At the end of the evening, in proper prep school fashion, I allowed him to kiss me on my check with promises to do this again, as he helped me into my taxi. We have since resumed our Treo to Blackberry text messaging relationship.

Now on to Date #2. Let's call him Hustle. Hustle owns his own business. Don't let the moniker deceive you - his business is legal. Hustle is tall, somewhere around 6'3", dark (like milk chocolate) and handsome with a killer smile. (hey I'm a sucker for a smile! LOL). Hustle is in his mid-30s, divorced, no kids. In his Che Guevara Tshirt, jeans, and sneakers you would never know this man has the business savvy of Bob Johnson (minus the whole perpetuating the stereotypes of Black folks for the comedic pleasure of white folks.) Our Treos have a text messaging relationship as they speak almost daily. Our most recent date was not our first date. We go out whenever our work and social calendars are in sync. Whenever we are together we talk and talk and talk. Politics, religion, men-women relationships. money, business, movies, TV, cultural differences, history (his, mine, and the world's), you name it. We have more topics that a week of Jeopardy episodes. Now this date in particular was prefaced by a conversation about salad. Yes salad - you know lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Hustle claims that he knew a place that made the best chicken salads in the city. I asked him what was so special about some chicken on top of lettuce and tomatoes. He told me I would eat my words with my first bite of this salad. The time arrives for our date. I meet him about 15 minutes later than I was supposed to (hey, I'm working on it. LOL). We drive to an Italian pizza shop - the kind where you can buy pizza by the slice. "Are you telling me that this hole in the wall has the best chicken salad in the city??" I asked. "Look up at the sign, punk!" Sure enough there was a ginormous (SIDEBAR: did you know my word is in the dictionary now?? I've been saying it for years. Now I gotta work on getting celebritous in the dictionary!! LOL) banner above the store proclaiming "BEST CHICKEN SALAD IN THE CITY PERIOD". We walk in and place our order with an older gentlemen who looked about 8 months pregnant under his tomato sauced stained apron. Hustle slides 20 bucks on the counter. Prego hands him his change and our beverages. We sit at a table decorated with red and white checkered table cloth and topped with a glass vase with one silk rose. He with his Corona and I, with my bottled water, continue the ebb and flow of our conversation. About 15 minutes later, Prego slaps 2 red cafeteria style trays on the counter and announces, "You're order is ready." Hustle goes and retrieves both trays and places the prettiest grilled chicken salad in front of me. The mozzarella cheese was slighly melted by the warmth of the grilled chicken underneath. Hustle waited for me to taste the salad - said he wanted to see me eat my words. I picked up my plastic fork and dug in. That first bite was like a first kiss - full of anticipation but worth it in the end. That salad was AMAZING - the best salad I've ever had. Period. The grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, fresh mushrooms, roasted red peppers, black olives, mixed greens, and green peppers all made for a very delicious meal. Conversation ceased again. This time because the food really was delicious. The only thing I said between bites was "Oh my God. This salad is soooooo good. Mmmmm." and his response was "Told you, punk!" To steal a line from a friend of mine: Good times indeed.

Both dates were cheap dates. On the surface one would say Date #2 was the cheap date. He gave the man 20 bucks for 2 chicken salads, a Corona, and a bottle water and still got change back. Now while Date #1 spent way more monetarily on me, he was cheap with his time and attention. And where Hustle didn't break bank to try to impress me, he lavished me with great conversation and attention. But overall, both cheap dates were the best dates I've been on in a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time. In their own way, each man wanted to impress lil ole me. And they each succeeded in their mission.

So who will I go out with again? Both of them. I'm relearning the art of dating. I'm not leading anyone on. They both know from whence I came, and where I am in life. They respect that and still would like to spend time with me. Now it would be naive of me to think that neither one wants the keys to the garden. But right now that's irrelevant. I'm just testing the waters and the waters feel really good. I'll dive in when I'm ready.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

During my recent travels, I decided to conduct a little social experiment. Stepping out the box or should I say stepping over, around and through the box is pretty normal for me. Coming up with this idea while as zany as it was falls right in line with my "hey! Why not?"philosophy on life.

My friend, Rashad, has written in his blog on several occasions about how he reads Playboy during his morning commute. According to him, he is genuinely reading the articles, but I know he also wants to see what peoples reactions are. I mean, can you imagine getting on the subway with your IPod in one hand, newspaper in another, racing for a seat, and the only seat available is next to a dude reading Playboy at 8 am like its the Wall Street Journal?? Every time I read his blog or talk to him about his reading choice, I laugh hysterically, secretly wishing I were on the train with him to see people's reaction to him.

So the night before I left town, I was inspired to try my own social experiment. I was at my best friend's house, just chilling, doing what best friends do: talking shit. During the conversation she tells me about a bachelorette party she attended that weekend., and of course the conversation turns to the entertainment. While describing his ummmm shall I say skill sets, she tells me that he kept talking about being on the cover of the recent Playgirl magazine. Oh really?? I asked her if the issue was on the newsstand. She wasn't sure so we looked it up online (ahhh the power of the Internet! LOL). My plan was coming into play. Over whatever the hell we were drinking that night I told her I was gonna buy Playgirl at the airport in the morning. She gave me that "no you're not!" side glance, and we both fell out laughing. When we came up for air, I said I was going to buy it , read it at the gate, and document people's reactions to me. I rationalized that this would be great material for a character in my book (SIDEBAR: writing this book has been an unbelievable journey. I am sometimes in awe and amazed at the words I've poured onto paper. I still can't believe I'm living out my life's dream. Hopefully one day you will read it). And besides after all the manchild drama of the past few weeks I needed to feel like the lyrics to a Prince song:

"Let's go crazy/Let's get nuts/Let's look 4 the purple banana 'Til they put us in the truck, let's go!"
(SIDEBAR: I had noooo idea these were the lyrics to the chorus of the this song. Purple banana??? what the helllll???? Prince was on some shit!!! LOL Still one of my favorite songs though.). I needed something to feel as carefree and giddy as this song makes you feel when you hear it. Don't front. Right now, the song is playing in your head and you want to get up and dance around the room like a fool, head bobbing, fingers snapping, kicking your legs out in front of you like a rockstar. LOL

The next day I carefully chose my attire from the casual Gap section of my closet: blue and white seersucker pants (not too tight, but hug my now lil booty just right..LOL), white tank top, white fitted jacket, white leather flip flops. I carried my brown suede Coach carry on bag (yeah I know it didn't match the outfit but its the biggest one I can get away with carrying on the plane with my notebooks and the rest of my government sanctioned crap. And it says stylish, sophisticated traveler). If my social experiment were going to work, the people needed to believe that I at least appeared to be a sensible, classy, normal traveling woman, who would probably read Marie Claire, People, and maybe Time instead of Playgirl. If I wore anything from the club section of my closet, no one would have thought twice about my reading choice. I almost wore my glasses to the airport to make the look more authentic but everyone knows I never leave home in my glasses. NEVER. lol

Despite a small glitch that morning, I arrived at the airport 2 1/2 hours early - plenty of time to breeze through airport security and get my experiment started. I was giddy with excitement, not just from my trip but from what was going to happen as I waited at the gate before boarding my plane. Passing through airport security, I saw a newsstand to my left and a Starbucks to my right. I must admit I was a little nervous, so I made a detour to the Starbucks. Nothing like a Venti skim, sugar-free, iced cinnamon dolce latte - no whip to steel my nerves (it was too early in the morning for a shot of Patron Silver at the bar, well at least for me.LOL). So now I'm armed with my expensive, but diet-friendly coffee beverage (with extra espresso shot, thanks to the cutie making my beverage. heyyyy!), and I begin the walk across the way to the newsstand. I step into the enclave with bright lights and shelves of magazines, books, and overpriced snacks and beverages (they are going to hell for charging $5 for bottled water that cost $1.39 at RiteAid). I scan the shelves to direct me to the Women's section of the magazines. You know where they clump all the beauty magazines and gossip rags in one area?? As I walk past the Men's Section (sports, cars, electronics, etc.), I notice Playboy on the top shelf wrapped in strategic graphic-printed plastic. When I arrive at the Women's section, I immediately look up to the top shelf, looking for my own strategic graphic-printed plastic wrapped magazine. All I found on the top shelf were magazines about knitting and traveling. I walk over to the counter to ask the women working there if perhaps the Playgirl issue was sold out. In my best prep school voice: "Umm, hi. yes. I'm looking for the recent issue of Playgirl magazine. I can't seem to find it." And in response, I got "Playgirl? Weaintgotdat. But Playboy is ova dere. Get dat instead." And again in my prep school voice: "No, umm, I'm looking for ummm Playgirl not Playboy. Why would I want to read Playboy? " "What's wrong with reading Playboy?" was the response from the large woman with the wife beater on under her airport issued smock from behind the counter (did I fail to mention the Allen Iverson-esque cornrows and rings on every finger??). Aww shit, this is not how my social experiment was supposed to happen. I walked out of the newsstand deflated (and a little scurred 'cause big momma was eyeing me like a slab of ribs on the grill..LOL).

I arrived at my gate, sipping my latte. I started thinking. Why wasn't Playgirl sold at the airport??? Why is it in 2007, it is socially acceptable for men to read whatever the hell they want wherever they want but I, as a woman, am limited to tips on summer makeup trends, knitting, and who is sleeping with whom in Hollywood??? What about the smut for da ladies??? Since I had time to kill, I walked to another newsstand (you didn't think I was going back to big momma did you??). This time I scanned the Men's section. There were at least a dozen magazines with scantily clad women on the cover from Maxim to King to Playboy (well from what I could see through the graphic-printed plastic wrap). The only smut for da ladies were those Harlequin type novels but damnit they don't have pictures, and I didn't want to read about how some lonely desperate woman's breast heaved from the heat her lovah's passionate kiss was sure to bring to her boring dull life. blah blah blah.

As I walked around the newsstand, I realized the only magazine of its kind that I could think of was Playgirl. However, I could think of a multitude of smut magazines for men. In this world of "equality" where is the equality in the adult magazine trade. I'm not talking about straight porn but a little smut is good for everyone - men and women. I want my smut too!!! I want access to it when I want it (at the airport where no one knows me and I will hopefully never see these people again! LOL).

I walked back to my gate, and in my caffeine induced haze, I came up with a plan. I wondered if Big Perm (ahem, I mean Al Sharpton) would march for my right to smut magazines, a "Smut 4 Da Ladies' campaign. Would he lead protests outside of LaGuardia Airport because I was denied the right to my smut??? Would he rent a steamroller and roll over copies of Ladies Home Journal and Redbook until my need for smut in the airport was met??? Would his hairline revert back to its natural state after his fiery passionate speech about women having equal rights in this society?? Damn, maybe I need to lay off the caffeine.

My social experiment may be halted for now. Next time I will just bring the damn magazine with me, and avoid another encounter with Big Momma. Now excuse me while I go looking for that purple banana.

"I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!"