Monday, December 31, 2007

Dear 2007,

When you were a baby 364 days ago, I don't think either of us expected you to turn out the way you have. As you entered this world, we both had such high hopes for what you would bring to my life. Now as I put you to rest, I see my hopes then and my hopes now are intermingled in a web of similarities and vast differences. Neither one of us looks the same physically or emotionally as we did when we met on January 1 at the stroke of midnight. I never imagined your tenure would play out this way. Did you?

This year you brought me oceans of tears and pain. But you also gave me seas of smiles and infinite happiness. You reminded me of the sorrow that death brings. But you also revealed the joy a birth brings to the lives of those around me. You changed my entire perception of love but forced me to witness the beauty of it in the lives of others.

2007, for a while there I thought you had placed a revolving door at the entrance to my life with the influx of people running in and out of it. But as you got older, I realized that I was cleaning house to make room for the invaluable people I cherish more and more each day. You have introduced me to some characters this year. Some I will never forget. Others I have forgotten already. You brought someone back into my life that I never thought I would see again, the same someone who I'm not sure if I will see again. You introduced me to someone who's company I thoroughly enjoy without any pretense and few expectations. You opened my eyes to see the true spirit of the people around me, good bad and fugly (fugly = fucking ugly, in case you were wondering. hahahahahaa)

2007, you helped me to find my voice this year. The voice to sing the melody of my dream to write professionally. The voice to stand up for myself in a way I never knew I possessed. The voice to say some really difficult shit when it needed to be said. The voice to laugh at myself. The voice to ask for help even when my pride was trying to silence me. The voice to be courageous enough to post some of my innermost feelings on my blog page. The voice to shut up when I've said all I care to say without repeating myself over and over again.

I have christened you my Year of Lessons, 2007. I've learned that the depth of my strength is infinite. I've learned that the plate the Lord serves me is larger than I ever imagined because He heaps loads and loads onto it and apparently its never more than I can handle. I'm still standing with His help and guidance, of course. I've learned that dating is actually fun, and that I'm in no rush for anything. I've learned that the nice and easy pace of a slow grind is waaaaaaaaaaaay more intoxicating and satisfying than the punishment of the BANG BANG BANG pounding (still not going to shed a tear though, hahahahahaha). I've learned how to check my emotions at the door before they cloud my judgement on the reality of what's at hand. I learned how to walk it out, how to drop down low and sweep the floor with it, dance like a soulja boy, shuffle with cupid, and manage a drink while I 2 step (actually, I learned that a while ago but I think I perfected it this year...hahahahahaha). I've learned that everything happens for a reason and to embrace the lesson each experience brings my way. I've learned that I am no closer to being perfect than I was 364 days ago. I've learned that meaningless people provide opportunity for meaningful introspection.

While I can't take you with me into 2008, I will never forget my Year of Lessons. Some years blur and fade into the next. But you will always stand out as a year of preparation for the next chapter of my life. I'm thinking of dubbing 2008, my Year of Lessons in Action. What do you think? I figured I learned so much from you that I might as well put these lessons into motion. All in your honor.

I have to go now. I need to prepare for the arrival of 2008. This year I'm welcoming '08 in style. If I ever get nostalgic for the memories of you and I together, at least I have this blog to come back to. Thank you for everything.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

For me, Christmas this year was pretty quiet, just the way I like it. Here are some highlights from the occasion:

*Call me Betty Crocker. I was a baking fool on Christmas Day. I made a sweet potato pie, 2 sweet potato pecan praline pies, and a rum pineapple upside cake. I even thought of making a sweet potato cheesecake but thought that would be overkill on the sweet potato. I made the pies to take over to my aunt's house for the family gathering. The cake was for a gathering at a friend's house later on that evening. There is something about the holiday season that always puts me in the mood for baking. I love the smell of sugar and cinnamon baking in the oven. I would bake everyday during the holiday season if time and my waistline permitted. But I know before the season is up, I have to make my spiked apple crisp. It's my favorite desert to make and to eat. Its not too sweet and with a hint of alcohol, served warm with a tablespoon of ice cream, its a taste of heaven for me. I think nothing of the gym as I savor each bite. Damn, maybe I will stop by the farmer's market and pick up some apples this weekend.

*I received many many many text messages from friends, family members, etc. sending holiday wishes my way. I can always tell the mass sent texts versus the personalized ones. Its so convenient. Compose one thought, send to everyone in your address book. 2 minutes and you've reached out to everyone. You still have time to enjoy your day and everyone you care about received a heartfelt sentiment from you. Everyone wins. There was one text message I received that literally made me pause. It was from a friend of mine that I haven't spoken to in a couple of months. Normally, for me that isn't cause for great alarm but with this particular friend it was. I have known him for over 5 or 6 years and I would count him in the Top 3 male friends of all time. We have seen each other through a lot. I always joke that if he ever ran for office, he would have to put me on the payroll because I know too much. I've thought a lot lately about why we aren't speaking. I surmise that it boils down to a break down in communication which in turn led to hurt feelings (well at least on my part). I had all intentions of reaching out to him on Christmas, just to simply say 'Merry Christmas'. But he beat me to it. His message was simple but it made me shed a tear. His message made me realize just how much I do miss our friendship. Hopefully, we will find each other again in the new year.

*I saw The Great Debaters. Its ironic how I saw a movie about the power of words but struggle to find the words to describe it. Powerful is an understatement. Amazing is selling it short. It's interesting that shortly before this movie came out, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal on the great debate on the need for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in today's "equal" society. Except for in the areas of amenities (i.e. no air conditioning in a dorm in the south should be a health hazard; f**k landmark status ...hahahahahah) and food (Gourmet Services is an oxymoron), I've never regretted my decision to attend an HBCU. Watching The Great Debaters reinforced my feelings of pride and being part of a fabric of history and tradition by attending Hampton University. All of my friends who attended HBCUs have a pride like no other in their respective school. For us, homecoming is like a family reunion. For us, any and all accolades attained by our alma mater are bragging rights. For us, its a badge of honor. And the Great Debaters, captured that brilliantly. May I also add that Nate Parker, the actor who plays Henry Lowe in the movie has a certain je ne sais pais quality that was a definite bonus to watching the movie. As always, I'm a sucker for a smile. (hahahahahaa). Oh and I am sooo in love with the fashion of the period. The hats, the dresses, all of it was oh so chic and feminine. I really think I am going to incorporate it into my new wardrobe.

*Overall, Santa was good to me. Still no laptop but I have a feeling its in the works. Thankfully, my grandmother didn't give me any neon green undies this year, and actually gave me a Macy's gift card. I was soooo shocked . That's the best gift she has given me in my adult years. I didn't even have to pretend to like it. So far the only tangible gift that I received from my letter to Santa was the Victoria's Secret gift card. Sexy Little Things, here I come!!! hahahahahaa

This Christmas was a good one. Not so much because of the tangible gifts. I just remember closing my eyes Christmas night without any thoughts of holiday stress. I spent it just the way I wanted to - some family time, some friend time, and most of all some me time.

Monday, December 24, 2007

At this precise moment, at this very second I am supposed to be finishing some holiday shopping. Yes, on Christmas Eve. In New York City - a city that is already overcrowded with residents and tourists. But add the holiday crunch to the mix and this is my recipe for pure hell on earth.

Usually, when I go holiday shopping, I have a list and I know exactly what each person is getting and where I can go to get it. This minimizes my time in the stores. I get in, pick gift, stand on line, get out. 30 minutes tops in each store(mostly because of long lines). However, this year for the people still remaining on the list, I have nooooooooo freaking idea what to give them. Yes, I know its the thought that counts but I like my thought to be appreciated. I think about the person, think about their likes, and give them gifts accordingly. And I've done that for the most part with my very modest list. But these last couple of gifts have me stumped. I can't even begin to imagine what to get. I can't even think what store I should go to where I can look for an appropriate gift.

I know that sitting here writing this blog (which hands down, I think is the worst blog I've written to date...hahahahaha) is my own diversionary tactic. I could have gone yesterday but the weather was crappy. Honestly, I just have no desire be out in the crowds or the foolishness that is waiting for me once I step out the comforts of my home. I wish I could re-gift. But I don't think my grandmother's husband would appreciate a gift basket of fruity gels, lotions, and candles from Bath & Body Works.

Ok, I guess I've stalled enough. I have to get out there and get some fantastic gifts, hopefully at fantastic prices. Is there anyway I can convince one of you to go shopping for me??? No? Nothing I could do?? Damn. Well, do you think a 75 year old man would like the scent of Cherry Blossom in a lotion or shower gel??? No? Damn.

Wish me luck. Deliver me from the hell on earth that awaits! hahahahahaha
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Most Sex and the City fans remember Berger. He was a guy that Carrie dated who broke up with her on a Post It.

watch from the 2:26 mark to see how it unfolds.

While I'm not Carrie (she has a laptop), I received my own Post It via text late Thursday night. Yes a TEXT MESSAGE. While the text didn't say "I'm sorry...I can't...don't hate me", the sender sent the same message with "its me and my fear of being an asshole....this is lame and generic but we can at least still be friends". Now here's the background story. I met a guy a few weeks ago. I haven't blogged about him to date simply because there was nothing to tell. Burger (as he is now christened) is my age, lives in Brooklyn, single (supposedly), and very witty. He and I have had some really interesting conversations over the phone but nothing else. I thought about blogging about him a few days ago and naming him Mr. Telephone Man for that reason alone but I guess I will save that moniker for someone else.

Now, I have always been under the assumption that if you meet someone that you're interested in, you usually follow up a few phone conversations with making plans for some face to face time. Well, apparently I was wrong because no matter how great the conversations were on the phone or how many times Burger would say "I'm looking forward to seeing you again", he never made any plans to actually hang out. While I was very clear from our very first conversation about my take on relationships at the present time and my current dating status, he was still interested at least on the phone. After a couple of weeks passed, still no plans were made. Which initially was cool with me. I honestly was just enjoying the conversation. But after a while, the phone got heavy and my arm fell asleep. I began to wonder if he was just looking for a "phone a friend". With all this damn time spent talking on the phone, the inevitable happened - a disagreement, a difference of opinion occurred on the phone. It was so freaking weird. I kept thinking to myself: "how the HELL did I get here?" This is supposed to be fun, light, easy breezy, not serious, contentious, draining. So fast forward a week. No conversation with Burger since the disagreement. He didn't call me and I wasn't going to call him. It just wasn't that serious to me. He was the one who seemed to have a problem with my stance on the issue. I was cool with it. No pressure, no worries.

Thursday night, while I'm out with my friend DeeDee at a hilarious event (the original topic for today's blog), Burger and I are having a text message convo (too noisy to talk on the phone). The convo is heating up. He is actually initiating dialogue about seeing me. Holy cow, Batman. But then the Joker steps in, and my cell phone battery died. End of convo. At least for the moment.

When I get home, I plug in my phone and call him. Primarily to feed my curiosity as to where the text convo was going. He answers and we fall right into "phone-a-friend" mode. In the middle of telling him about my crazy evening at a "holiday party", my phone alerts me that I have a text message. I figured it was DeeDee telling me she made it home, so I didn't check it immediately. Burger and I keep talking, keep laughing. After a few minutes, I reach for my earpiece so I can answer DeeDee's text while still on the phone. Only it's not DeeDee's name I see on my screen.

"(Burger), did you send me a text message?"
"No, I sent you a couple of emails."
"My phone is telling me you sent a text."
"Ohhh, you're just getting that???"

And that is when I got my version of "I'm sorry...I can't...Don't hate me". My digital Post It came through while I was actually on the phone with Burger. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I couldn't believe it. Apparently, he sent the text while my phone was dead, and it didn't come through until after my phone charged for a while which was while I was on the phone with him. In all of the hours of phone conversations with Burger I was speechless. Not because I was overcome with emotion, more so because the digital Post It was sooo random and so out of left field. How do you tell someone you want to see them and then turn around and tell them you can't date them or get to know them further? All because I was "right" in a previous disagreement and you fear looking like an "asshole"? What kind of bullshit is that?

"Wowwww. Okay."
"Is that all you have to say?"
"What else am I supposed to say ? You must know from all the phone conversations that I'm not the chick to ask you 'why?' or to ask you to reconsider your decision. It's cool."
"But you're okay with this?"
"I'm okay with what??? If you're asking me if I'm okay, HELL YEAH I'm okay. If you're asking me if I'm okay with how you feel, HELL YEAH I'm okay with how you feel. Trust and believe, I am not devastated because the only time we spent together was on the phone. It's not that deep. I'm just a little caught off guard but it's all good."
"I know it's me. And I know I'm wrong. But I'm like this with everyone....and..."
"It's okay. Really it is. I'm not upset. It is what it is."

I changed the subject and we spoke a few more minutes about an article he emailed to me. I could tell that the conversation just wasn't there. The tone and the flow was no longer at ease. There was nothing left to say. The Post It said it all. He ended the call with a promise to call "soon" but I knew when I hit the end call button on my cell phone that it was just that - The End.

I pulled out my Sex and the City Complete Series Collection that night. One of the first things that struck me after I read the text message was: "Damn, why does this feel like a Sex and the City episode???" So I flipped through my collection to re-watch those episodes. Now here is where my Burger and Carrie's Berger differ. Carrie and Berger dated for a few months (episodes) before this epiphany to bail struck him. Burger and I haven't even met for a burger with cheese. Berger left this Post It for Carrie right after he spent the night with her. Burger hasn't spent any nights with me unless they were the free nights and weekend kind. Carrie was angry and hurt. I was confused and cracking up. Confused by the "at least still be friends" part. The wording implies that there was once more than that, and I wasn't aware of that deal. If you only speak to someone on the phone, can you really be more than "phone a friends"? Cracking up because it was just that damn funny and I could hear my friends saying "Only you, Janelle. This shit would only happen to you." hahahahahahahaha

Watch from the 1:57 mark to see Carrie tell her friends. Then watch from the 4:41 mark for her "Carrie-ism".

In my situation, I am not searching for the lesson learned. I am not looking to leap from confusion to Confucius. I'm just chalking this up to one of those weird dating experiences. Well, damn, would this even be considered dating? I'm not foolish enough to believe that the reason he gave me was the real reason why he made his decision. However, I don't care to know what his reasons really are. My friends have their opinions (they pretty much are on the same page as Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha) and I'm pretty sure while you are reading this, you have your own hypotheses. I'm just glad he revealed himself this early before I invested anything more than my free nights and weekend minutes.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dear Santa,

I hope all is well and you aren't too stressed out YET. My last letter to you was a wish list for others. This one is alllll about me. As I've said before, I've been pretty good this year. So if you're still using the whole naughty or nice barometer, I believe I fall closer to nice. (Yes, Santa, I've been naughty on a few occasions but it was requested so I believe that honoring that request was indeed nice! hahahahahaha)

So the following is a list of what I want for Christmas:

A laptop. Santa, this is more of a need than a want. I would totally be finished my book by now if I had a laptop. I get sooo bored sitting in my big leather computer chair at this big desk writing. I am a social writer. I need to be out and about to feed my creativity. I am that chick parked at a table in Starbucks with a Venti skim sugar free cinnamon dolce latte no whip, writing until my brain is drained from its caffeine fueled high. I'm that woman with books of photographs scattered around the universe of my writing at the library, pulling visual inspiration from the pictures around me. Yes, I could go out and buy said laptop but a gift from you or one of your loving elves is sooooo......inexpensive. For me, of course.

A Starbucks gift card. Santa, everyone knows that I am totally addicted to Starbucks. Especially now in this cold, heartless weather condition we called winter. So why not feed my addiction? It's not like it's crack. Its a coffee beverage and only 160 calories for a Venti skim sugar free cinnamon dolce latte with no whip cream. And it would be a perfect companion to the laptop, so my writing experience at Starbucks would be completely gratis. For me, of course.

Underwear. Ok, Santa, I'm sorry to make you blush. But here's the deal, you know I've lost over 35 pounds this year, and you've seen all the clothes I've given away. Nothing fits and that includes the undies, especially the cute stuff. I need new cute Vicki's Secret sets. Wait, scratch that. Not cute as in stripes and polka dots and little girl patterns. Cute as in sexy, hot, steamy, seductive (and still comfortable. Have you ever walked around with a pearl g-string on all day, Santa??? Probably not.) Since you don't know my size, a gift card from Victoria's Secret will do (Sidebar: If it's on my body, how is it Victoria's Secret?? Isn't it my secret??? My name isn't Victoria. Annnd, with those bright pink bags, stores in every shopping area, and commercials on regular TV 1,000 times a day, how is this place still a Secret????). Plus, I don't want any beef from Mrs. Claus when you bring home bra and panty sets in my size and not hers. And yes, Santa, this is gift is for me. Of course. And maybe for another set of eyes. But primarily for me. hahahahaaa

A literary agent and publisher. I understand, you can't place these people under my tree on Christmas Day because of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment laws. But Santa, a multi-book deal and the people to make it happen would be greatly appreciated. I will even shout you out in the Acknowledgements of the first book to show my gratitude and to prove once and for all that you really do exist. Who needs a Miracle on 34th Street???

A vacation. Santa, I'm in desperate need of a vacation. Somewhere hot, sunny, tropical, and fun. Somewhere that I can relax on the beach for a couple of hours daily. Somewhere that I can have adventurous fun. Somewhere that I can experience local culture and learn something new about the people and about myself. Somewhere that will fill the memory card for my camera with amazing pictures. Somewhere that I can take my laptop and write of the experience until my heart is content or until I pass out - whatever comes first. hahahaha

More. Santa, yes, I want more. More time with my loved ones. More fodder for this blog. More trust in myself. More opportunities to leave my footprint on this world. More money. More decisions to make. More steps in the right direction. More passion.

No mo'. On the flip side, Santa, I want no mo'. No mo' drama. No mo' excuses. No mo' negativity. I've learned all I needed from these experiences. So instead of taking the drama, the negativity, and the excuses with me, how about I just take the lessons learned and nothing else??? It will make my laptop bag soo much lighter to carry.

Santa, I know you have sooo many other letters to read and requests to honor or dishonor. But thank you for reading mine. Oh, and my mother got a 92 on her final so she will definitely remain on the Dean's Lists. Thanks again, Santa!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Life over the past couple of days has thrown me some doozies. Some shake my head, fall to my knees and pray really hard shit. But right now, I just don't have the fortitude or the verbiage to document the weightiness of it all. Nor the desire to lay my emotions bare for heightened scrutiny. I recognize that reflection, prayer, continued action, and constant prayer are all that I can do on these matters. But I still turn to my refuge for some comfort and solace. With the weight of my world on my shoulders, my mind wants to frolic in fields of frivolity, to bathe in seas of endless laughter. So I made a list of topics that amuse me and if I post them here I hope they amuse you as well. A complete distraction is what I need to keep going. To keep praying. To keep doing. To stay focused.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Since Christmas is less than 2 weeks away, I figured I've put off my letter to Santa long enough. And since Santa is one of my millions of readers, why not post it here instead of mailing it. I save money on postage and I save a tree on this paperless letter. Just keep those brownie points coming, Santa.

Dear Santa:
As you already now, I've been pretty good this year. Not seeking a nomination for sainthood but overall, I've been loving, kind, selfless, supportive, giving, good-natured, truthful (for the most part), hardworking, etc. etc. (Santa, on second thought, you may want to reconsider that sainthood application...hahahaha.) In the spirit of the giving nature of this season I am writing to you not for myself but for what I wish for others. In no particular order here's my Christmas wish list:

My Grandmother: Santa, can you please give my grandmother a high grade spam filter on her computer. Better yet, make that a filter that will trash all the "AOL will send you a check if you send this to 20 people" emails and the "Beware there's cancer in ketchup" emails and the computer virus threats that were supposedly heard on CNN but are nowhere mentioned on the CNN website. Despite my protests to her 20 email warnings a day, she still sends them out. Oh, and could you tell her that yes, I love Jesus and that I pray for her, the refugees, the troops, the sick children, Bob Barker and cures for every disease on the face of the planet so there is no need to bombard me with 20 more emails directing me to do so. Oh, and please tell her that my faith in the Lord is not dictated by how many emails I forward.

Al Sharpton: Well, Santa, initially I was going to ask you to give him a years supply of Creme of Nature No-lye Relaxers but since all of his friends, business associates, along with all records for his organization and business ventures have been subpoenaed by the Feds and the IRS, I changed my mind. Can you either please give him a Johnny Cochran-esque lawyer or a one way ticket to Cuba? I don't want to see Big Perm go down like that and be without....his hair care products. They won't give him a touch up every 6 weeks in prison. And that sight would be a crime.

My neighbor: Santa, please please please give this man a clue. I don't care how snazzy he thinks his jogging suits with the matching Kangol turned to the back are. I don't care how loud he makes his girl scream in the middle of the night. I don't care how many times he grins in my face in front of said woman or his friends with teeth missing all on the side of his damn mouth. I don't care how many times he gives me a compliment or asks me "where's the party at tonight?". Santa, can you please clue dude into the fact that I DON'T WANT HIS OLD ASS!! There is no drug or alcohol concoction that would even make me consider giving him the business. I've tried to be polite, Santa. But I think he's too dense to realize that I have been brushing him off for years. So maybe with your gift of a clue, he will just say "hi, neighbor" without the head to toe gazing and keep it moving.

My Legions of Fans, My Millions of Readers: Santa, please give them all fingertip exercise machines. That way their fingers will have the strength to type a comment on this here page. I can only assume that weak fingertips is the condition that is keeping them from posting a comment on their favorite website. hahahahahaa

Rashad: Santa, this is my most loyal reader and commenter. Please grant him everything on his Christmas wish list before he shits on the bitch. (Santa, if you're not a Biggie fan then you really won't get the joke. hhahahahahahaaa)

Alllllllll of my friends (the real ones not the fake ass wannabes): Santa, I have been blessed with a great group of friends that has expanded exponentially over the past year. If I were to list a wish for each and everyone of them, we would be here until June. So please give them a token of my love, a gesture of my thanks, something that lets them know just how much I love them and would be lost in this cold heartless world without them in my life. There is no amount of bling to compare to my true friends.

My mother: Santa, please give her at least a B+ in her class this semester. She is stressing out and therefore stressing me out. I took the class 10 years ago, how am I supposed to help her now??? I am sooo proud of her decision to return to school. So please, please, please, give her at least a B+ so she can remain on the Dean's List, and thus stop stressing me out.

Hustle: Santa, please give this man a vacation. That's all I'm gonna say. Oh wait, can you also tell him that he is not going to win but he can keep trying. He'll know what that means. hahahahahaha

Santa, there are sooo many people that I have wishes for. Like Michael Vick ( a hood repellent that gives him some damn sense when he's making millions of dollars to know he can't participate in hood activities no mo') and Don Imus (nappy headed grandchildren who grow up to be nappy headed hoes) and Rudy Giuliani (20 sessions of speech therapy to correct that damn Daffy Duck lisp) and George Bush (an eviction notice from the White House sooner rather than later. Oh wait he's never there in the first place, never mind.). I could go on and on but I need to start working on my own Christmas wish list. You didn't think I would completely forget about what I want for the sake of others???? Shiiiiiit, save that for the saints.

Thanks, Santa!!!!



Sunday, December 09, 2007

Last night, on a whim I was invited to see The Color Purple. I was lounging around in my house uniform of tank top and shorts , replaying a recent phone conversation with a friend in my mind, while also trying to figure out what I was going to eat for dinner. I had already resigned myself to the confines of my very hot ass apartment for the evening, when my phone rang. My girl, T. asked if I wanted to see The Color Purple because she had an extra ticket for last night's performance. I said, "YESSSS!" Those that read my blog faithfully (Rashad), may remember that I saw the show last year around this time. I had 90 minutes to shower, curl my hair, apply makeup, get dressed, and make it downtown. Now for those that really know me, know that I needed about 30 more minutes in that time frame.

I arrived at the theater approximately 2 minutes before the curtain went up (hey I made it, ok??? hahahahahha). While I had seen the show before, this is was the first time I saw the show with Fannie Mae, I mean Fantasia, in the lead role. A few changes but the show was beautiful, just as I remembered it to be. The music, the actors, the set were all in sync, in a type of fluidity that grabbed a hold of you from the opening number. If it weren't for the teenager sitting in front of me who kept bouncing her seat back onto my knee, my attention would have never left the stage.

Throughout the show I couldn't help but think of my earlier phone conversation. I'd wished my friend were with me to see this play. It spoke on a lot of what we were discussing about faith in times of hardships. Its easy to have faith when everything is right in your world. But in those moments when you feel that you can't breathe because of the pressure from the weight of the world is when you have to lean a little bit harder on your faith and beliefs. I realize in typing this that I should be the last person talking about faith and trust because of my own struggles with the concepts of late. However, what's wrong with wanting the best for a friend, even when you can't envision it for yourself??? Does that make me a hypocrite?

During intermission, I ran into a girl who went to Hampton while I was there. If I'm not mistaken I believe she was Ms. Hampton University at some point. I could be wrong, but I think I'm right. I was walking past her section to return to mine, when she said, "Heyyy girl!!! How are you? I haven't seen you since back at Hampton" It wasn't until she said her name that I vaguely remembered who she was. We hugged, chatted for a minute, I told her to enjoy the rest of the show and went on my merry way. This phenomenon always leaves me shaking my head. This girl was definitely at least 2 years ahead of me, I think. We shared no class together, no mutual organization affiliation that I can remember, and I don't believe our circles of friends intersected at any point (unless one of my boys was banging one of her girls but that hardly ever connected back to me. hahahahahaha). If she was in fact Ms. Hampton , she was a quote on quote celebrity on campus, and I would hardly put myself in the celebritous category at least not at the time..hahahahahaa. While people tell me often that they remember me from college, I can't think of anything memorable I did during my time at my Home by the Sea. While the social butterfly in me blossomed during those years I was never a cheerleader (even though I could shake it, shake it, SHAKE DEEEES like I was on the squad...hahahahahahaha), I didn't pledge (the all important status symbol at a Black college), I was President of an organization but it wasn't that big of a deal. I guess at the end of the day I'm always questioning how people remember me and why?? What footprint did I leave for someone to even care to remember?

When the show ended, I didn't cry like I did the last time. And I was very conscious of that. Yes, I knew the ending because I'd seen it already. But shit, I've read the book a couple of time and I can quote the moving on a whim ('it's gon' rain on yo head." "You just a big old heffa. Ha Ha Ha" "You sho izzz uglay". I really could go on and on...hahahahahaha). This time around I was very conscious that the emotional out pour wasn't there for me, and I have to admit it bothered me a bit. I could be trite and blame it on the hunger battle being fought in my stomach but I recall the same battle was fought at the end of the show the last time. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it. Maybe I'm over analyzing me these days. I still really enjoyed the show and would see it again. It was a beautiful evening with friends and at the end of the day that's all that really matters.

Oh by the way I would like to thank my millions of readers for spreading my disdain for grocery store attire in the theater. I saw not one sweatpant or baseball cap all night. Definitely an upgrade. Keep the movement going, people.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

On Monday I received an email. This email has permeated my thoughts all week. Everyday I sit at the computer and check my email, there it is sitting in my inbox marked unread (which is a lie because I did in fact read it). I could ignore it or I could give some generic response, but what point would I make by doing that. I know I have to respond eventually. I just needed some time to think about it. This was the email:

Take your time, really think about it..... WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY? I mean everything from the simplest of joys to the warmest of feelings to even the shit that's so heavy you tear up...

It was so random yet so thought provoking, so window to my soul. How the hell can I answer this?? Even sitting here writing this in the back of my mind I'm struggling with the answer. I could be psuedo-intellectual with my response and say something like: Life and the sum of all its complexities and nuances make me happy. But that my friends, while very true, is a shitty ass response to a very un-shitty question.

I know I could answer the proposed question. But what if every single answer is analyzed and probed for deeper meaning like that ink blot psychological exam? Can't a donut from Krispy Kreme when the "HOT NOW" sign lit make me and my inner chubby girl happy without some deeper darker meaning??? What will my answers reveal about me? And is that the me I want to reveal? Will I reveal too much??

In no particular order, the following make me happy:

* Laying out on a tropical beach with the sun kissing every pore of my exposed skin makes me happy.
*Looking down at my toes in one of the following colors - after sex, bourdeaux, fishnet stockings, capri, clam bake, fifth avenue, material girl or wicked after a fresh pedicure accompanied by iced chai latte painted fingernails makes me happy.
*Laughing until my cheeks hurt, my eyes squint and my sides ache.
*The "Hot Now" sign at Krispy Kreme makes me happy. (sidebar: THANK GOD they closed the Krispy Kreme on 125th street. My inner chubby girl would have won the battle and the freaking war!)
*The memories of the hand in hand slow walks with my great grandmother or the memory of me yelling across the street 'Granny, here cooooomes the bus" whenever I was leaving her apartment in the Bronx to come home.
*The memories of crawling into my grandfather's lap with my Mickey Mouse fork in hand and telling him: "It does, Poppa. For real, it tastes better on your plate. Canihavesomepleeaaaaaasssseee???"
*Writing the grandfather character in my book in the vision of who my grandfather would be if he had lived beyond 5 years of my life makes me happy.
*High heel shoes make me happy. Very high. Very happy.
*Finally finding a pair of jeans that fit my new frame makes me happy.
*Good consistent toe-curling, skin tingling, mind numbing, legs trembling, praising the Lord repeatedly, multi-orgasmic sex makes me happy. Very happy. Very very happy. Yeah I said it. (don't think I will add this one to the email though...hhahahahaha)
*Buying anything on sale makes me really happy. I'm a whore for a bargain. hahahahahahaa
*Celebrating my birthday as the National Holiday it is destined to be makes me happy.
*Filling the pages of my passport makes me happy.
*Sweet affection makes me happy.
*Staying in a warm comfy bed on a cold dreary and or rainy day makes me happy.
*Flipping through a photo album and reliving the memories they bring makes me happy.
*Taking pictures to capture new memories.
*Holding my friend's son and the way he looks up at me with those big beautiful brown eyes makes me happy.
*Spending time with my sisters and realizing that we are more alike than different makes me happy.
*My friends, my precious precious gems in all of their beauty, sophistication, intelligence, psuedo-ignorance, comedy, drama, love and support always makes me happy.
*Dancing makes me happy. Dancing to my favorite song of the moment makes me happy. (I really think I think I'm Beyonce sometimes on the dance floor....hahahahahahaha)
*The sound of music makes me happy (not the Julie Andrews movie, the actual beat and sound of music....hahahahahaha)
*A compliment makes me happy.
*A sugar-free skim cinnamon dolce latte with no whip makes me and my svelte figure very happy.
*The woman I am - at this very second, this precise moment in life with all of my quirks and inconsistencies makes me happy.
*A great tasting drink makes me happy. (not in the "I'm an alcoholic I need help" kind of way. More in the "I'm out having a good time life couldn't be better" kind of way. hahahahaha)
*Leaving the salon with my hair freshly pressed makes me happy.
*Trying something new makes me happy.
*A big bear hug, completely wrapped in his arms, safe from all the bullshit and the drama of life makes me happy.
*Writing brings me joy.

I could go on and on and on and on and on. As I began to write, everything just started to flow. But I still worry if I have revealed too much or too little about me. What are my ink blots saying about me? I challenge you to think about what TRULY makes you happy. What do your ink blots say about you?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hustle: The blog of Blue bringing his brother is hysterical.

This is the text message I received Friday afternoon. Yes, Hustle, a guy I'm currently dating. Someone who has intermittently been mentioned on this here page. A guy I have been dating for months reads my blog. As you can imagine my already large beautiful browns bugged out of my head. Like those cartoon illustrations. OH SHIT!! OH SHIT! OHHHHH SHIIIIIT!!! was the thought screaming in my head.

Me: ummmmm, I didn't know you read my blog. (prime example of me playing it cool. hahaha)
Hustle: I see everything.
Hustle: You scared?
Me: Scared? Why would I be scared???
(prime example of me talking shit but hey, you can't let them see you sweat, right?? hahahaha)
Me: U scared?
Hustle: Nope.

While the text version of me gave the impression of " So what?! I don't care", the real me was FREAKING THE FUCK OUT. I felt like I was just busted by my parents sneaking in after curfew (never happened by the way...hahahah). I tried to figure out what he was thinking and most importantly how long he's been reading.

I'm conflicted. A part of me is flattered. He takes a moment out of his day to read my thoughts, to see what I have to say. I'd like to think he's a fan of my writing and realizes that I actually have some talent. But I realize that's my ego talking. And a part of me is tickled that he's stroking it (*I'm referring to my ego. At least for the moment...hahahahahaha) On the other hand, I am terrified. See up until now, the person he knows me to be is the one I've allowed him to see. While he and I have very deep, extensive conversations, I'm aware that I very rarely talk about my feelings or my innermost thoughts. But now he's pulled back the curtain and taken a peek at the real me. Well at least the real me I post. And I can't front, when I read that text message, I had a fleeting thought and wondered if he was still interested in me. What does he really think of me now???

It just seems weird to me. Especially when he called me later that day and we talked about Blue . Yes, we discussed my chaperoned date with Blue, and some of my other blogs that he's read thus far. How do you talk to a guy you're dating about a guy you've gone out on a date with??? I haven't seen that article in Essence or Marie Claire. Should I pick up GQ to find an article on such a conversation??? Will we now be discussing his current dating adventures????

Yes, Hustle and I are just dating (despite the protestations from a small group of friends. you know who you are, damnit! I can't hear you!!! hahahahahahahaah). Yes, we enjoy each other's company when we're together. We laugh, we talk, we joke, we sit on his living room floor and eat takeout while watching Weeds or Californication or some other show he attempts to get me hooked on. But when we're not together, its like recess. What happens in the playground, stays in the playground. I don't know what goes on in his playground, and up until Friday, I thought he didn't know what was going on in mine. Have you ever been in a fitting room and forgot to lock the door behind you, and the minute you are most naked, the door swings opens and there stands the fitting room attendant with a "oh I'm sorry"? That's exactly what Hustle's confession of reading my blog feels like. Slightly embarrassing, but nothing tragic or life altering.

At the end of the day, it is what it is. There's nothing I can do. I'm not going to shut the site down. And I damn sure am not going to stop writing about my life and my thoughts. While this particular post is probably one of the hardest blogs I've written, I know there is one particular reader who is getting a kick out of seeing me squirm. With his permission, I will continue to write about him and with my blessing, I will continue to write about everything else in my life.

So with this posting, I would like to officially welcome Hustle to my website. Welcome to my wonderings and the stories of my life. We can even continue to discuss them if you wish. Yes, I will be squeamish and yes, I will squirm and attempt to change the subject but I will at least try to discuss my thoughts with you. And yes, I will soon be writing about our current ongoing battle. I told you: you are not going to win. As a certain rapper said: I will NOT lose. hahahahaha