Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Countdown

Traditionally, at 11:59:54 we begin a countdown that ushers us into a new year in unison. Whether you are in a club, at home with friends, or in the center of town waiting on that ball to drop, those last five seconds are the same for eveyone.

In a matter of seconds you can leave behind the tears, frustrations, and angst of the year's past while welcoming the hope of another year's future bit. I get the warm and fuzzies just thinking about it! In honor of the countdown I have compiled a list of the five things I will not miss about 08.

Out with the old....

5. Money Woes
The struggling economy with a less than modest paycheck were not haut in 08. Let me tell you! I will gladly say my goodbyes to the credit card debit (to be paid off by June-Woot!), high gas prices, and all things low budget.

4. TPain and the overindulgence in autotune
Now Ms. S politely reminded me that T Pain isn't exactly going anywhere. But I can say goodbye to his contribution to the demise of music as a whole. You can't even hip hop that is dead anymore. He has shown up in places where good musicians are and ruined them entirely...It's like a cancerous infection that has spread through all genres. Nothing is safe or sacred!

3. Politics; Republican style
I don't even want to go into detail. The names alone should cover it; George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and John McCain. I would include Joe The Plumber but he isn't a registered voter, he has no say so.

2. Being unhappy at work.
I have struggled. Struggled... to stay put. But 09 is mine and this job is not. I paid my dues and the dues of people who left business unfinished. I got to go people!

1. Drama
If it wasn't a relationship problem, it was a family problem, or a friend's problems. Foreclosures, incarcerations, health issues, job loss. My loved ones have been through it and back this year. It was hard to find happiness.

And I can woosah, now that is it all less than 10 hours away from offically being "in the past".


Monday, December 29, 2008

Black Women Walking

A few days ago KB and I were talking and he asked "how often do guys hit on you". Without so much as a second thought, I replied "every single day". The surprise on his face called for further explanation. My response?

"I am very shapely. It has nothing to do with my beauty, my smile or anything I could actually consider an attribute. It is my body. No matter how how pissed I look, how tired or exhausted I am, whether I am dressed professionally, in Uggs and jeans, or a burlap sack...they look at me and think sex. That is it. So it is hardly flattering."

He sighed. I sighed. Nothing more was said.

On a daily basis, I am inspected by the men I come into contact with. In the same way that a food is checked for quality assurance, myself and millions of other black women, are dissected by the men we walk by. There is always a feeling of being scrutinized. We are judged by some misogynistic criteria, after which we are catcalled. Every single day.

On one particular day, in 1998, 16 year old Adailah Gaither was gunned down at a bus stop for refusing to give a young man her phone number.


Let that soak in for a moment.

For refusing to give a young man her phone number. While nothing I have gone through equates such a tragic end to her young life, the thought has crossed my mind. I have wondered if saying something in my own defense would lead to some sort of violence on more than one occasion.

But my experience is my own. And the next woman may feel very differently. Which is why I was surprised that this young girl's death has inspired a documentary. In the film, Black Women Walking, several ladies detail their experiences being harassed by black men in passing.

Upon hearing about the video, my initial reaction was..."ok??" How could a documentary define this phenomenon? I wasn't sure that this was something that needed extensive exploration. I've talked about my own experience in a post or two, but the magnitude of the problem was lost on me until watching a youtube snippet.

What really hit home for me was the young woman who said "Anytime I pass by a black dude, or a big group of them, I expect something to be said. And sometimes I am actually surprised when they don't say anything at all."

Her words were so simple, but when she spoke them I realized that it really isn't about how shapely you are. It has nothing to do with weight, complexion, height, or any of our vast differences. It is a scrutiny that knows no preference...other than female. How many of us are going through this daily?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The End of the Experiment

Gifts aside I have gotten more out of the experiment than I ever anticipated. I truly feel closer to my man and more secure in our relationship. We weren't headed to Splitsville but we might have been on our way to monotony. The Five Love Languages gave me a reference point, a compass, and a flashlight. With those tools I was able to lead us into a better understanding of each other's true needs.

I know all the ladies are curious about the big gift. Well all but Ms. S because I was chatting with her when I figured out what it was. I can only say that Diamonds are Forever. It's not a ring but I did get some bling.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

Merry Christmas to all my readers and loved ones. I hope that we can all take time before (or after) opening presents and reacquaint ourselves with the real reason for this season.

Love and laugh...enjoy the company of others. But most importantly be thankful for all the things that you do have, in this economy blessings fall short.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

She Said 'This Will Come Back to You'

And it did...

Tuesday afternoon I sat in McDonald's finishing up my lunch and playing Bejeweled on my Blackberry. An older disheveled woman sat down at the table adjacent to mine. I noticed her because she coughed a couple times, which always makes me uneasy (see the movie Outbreak). I made a mental note to focus less on the game and more on my meal.

She excused herself and asked if I had the time. Even with my limited social skills, I immediately realized this would be a sign of the onset of a conversation. I stopped playing the game and let her know what time it was.

"I am hungry. Do you know if this restaurant will accept food stamps?" she asked. I sighed, realizing my "I doubt it" would almost certainly be followed a financial request.

I have grown skeptical of all people in the Downtown Boston area. Having worked there for a year, I have heard heartfelt stories of struggle and stories of straight up, organic, bullshit. But more often than not, it is hard to differentiate the two. I've taken this to mean that I should trust no one. But a voice in my heart said "trust her".

She did not ask for my money. I finished my meal in silence. The voice said "offer".

I struggled. I tried to reason that the money in my pocket was not my own. My aunt had given me a $20 to buy something for her and I was carrying her change. "Give it to her" the voice petitioned. The inner rebellion withdrew and although she still hadn't outright asked for my help, I gave her $5.

She showered me with praise and thanked me continuously. The woman was obviously grateful and sincere. Just as I stood up to leave she said "God will bless you. This will come back to you."
Sure, I'd hoped it was true but I did not give it to her in the hopes of reciprocation. My journey in The Experiment has taught me to give without inhibition. The voice, the Lord's voice, told me to...and I did what I was told. No (further) questions asked.

So I went to the ATM and took out a $20 so that I could give my aunt her change. I thought nothing more of the incident.

Until today.

I came home from work and checked the mailbox. Amongst the bills and Christmas cards was an envelope from my weekend job. A check was enclosed.

Now this is a place where I do administrative work twice per month. I was not expecting a check, a bonus, nothing of the sort. The only thing I am waiting for from them is my W2 and the year isn't over yet. Curiously I read the letter before opening the check.

The letter says that a former resident has donated a significant about of money and that they have chosen to pass that donation onto the staff. The check...a modest $25...instantly brought me back to her words.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If It Isn't Love

(No that is not a plug for my book...glad it's in your thoughts though. Coming soon I promise!)

Call me a Bostonian but I think New Edition hit the nail on the head with that one. For those who lived under a rock in the late 80's the song I am referring to has a line that says "If it isn't love, why does it hurt so bad...make me feel so sad inside".

Before I go any further, I would like to put my disclaimer out there. Early! For reader clarity, I do not mean emotional, physical, or verbal abuse. I am referring to sibling rivalry, the rough patch in an otherwise heaven sent union, teen angst, and the like.

Why does love hurt? Not only the act of loving those we are are committed to, sometimes loving family and friends can be strenuous. We grow weary, we pull away, but eventually we go right back. Why? Love is such a powerful emotion that pain will inevitably be associated with it's adversary...hurt. I guess, Newton's Law applies to emotion too; for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction.

Think about it. Do we care as much if it isn't love? Of course not. Think back to your most recent argument, fight, the last time you shed tears and retrieve the hurt feelings. Omit the loved one and replace it with someone you have no feelings for...does the situation pan out the same way? Do you feel the same frustration?

This time recall the perfect place, the perfect time, and most loving experience. Remember this isn't just about your boyfriend or girlfriend so don't get all freaky. The impromptu snowball fight with friends, the time you and your brother beat your mother at scrabble...those times. If you replaced that loved one with (again) someone you have no feelings for, is the memory as meaningful?

If it isn't love, no it doesn't hurt as bad...but it also doesn't feel as good. And I, for one, am willing to sacrifice a few heartaches for some good quality experiences.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not Enough Time

With Christmas nearing it is time for all the last minute shoppers to rustle up all the tokens of love that are leftover from mall sales. Me? I finished my shopping weeks ago: I have a few accessories to pick up here and there but the bulk of my shopping is done.

KB? Lord, give me strength. He has made several failed attempts to go shopping. Is he putting forth a genuine effort?.. probably not. But he does have four days left, so I will save my unkind words til the 26th.

Today, under the stress of a fast approaching deadline, he revealed that his intent was to go to his friend's family jewelry store and buy me the diamond stud earrings I have been fixated on for the past two years. But intent and $0.99 can buy me a jr cheeseburger deluxe at Wendy's.

Wait. I said I was saving the unkind words. But fo' real y'all, I just don't get it. Male ehem readers...please explain this to me. You have the entire month of December to visit this store. You know what you want to get. Why is it so hard?

I have never dated a man that was so clueless when it comes to gift giving. I am trying to be objective but I don't get it. Here I am making an effort to be more affectionate, to perform more acts of service. I am not really feeling the reciprocation, though.

***3:00 am update. As an insomniac I am usually up at this time. Today when I woke up and headed to the living room to watch tv, I found KB sitting at the computer. He switched the screens and steered me toward the couch, instantaneously. My thought? It's either porn or gifts, lol. Turned out to be gifts.

I guess the moral of the story is, I cannot expect anyone else to operate the way I do. Just because my Christmas shopping was done before November ended doesn't mean everyone else's was or even should have been.

Do I think he'll come through? Honestly? Hmph, I plead the fifth. But I will acknowledge that he is trying. And I am definitely not mad at the gift he has his sights on!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fuck You-Bullshit

Slightly different than Denial, bullshit is a bold-faced lie.Bullshit is the communication of fallacies to protect one's own interests. I, my dears, am extremely allergic to bullshit.

It literally causing a chemical imbalance in me. Nothing infuriates me more than bs and being accused of bsing. Why? Because bs is not the kind of lie that you tell for the greater good "no, you do not look fat", "yes Santa will still come visit us even though we live in the bricks", "let him go girl! One day he will realize exactly what he is missing". No BS is bland, tasteless, liaration*

Fuck You Bullshit. I'm getting all congested just mentioning it, can smell you from a mile away.

Bullshit is easily detectable. Remember "Stutter" by Joe? "I can tell you're lying cuz when you're replying stutter stutter, st-st-stutter stutter"

Here's the top eight list of suspicious behaviors (i.e bs detectors):
-A change in the voice's pitch.
-A change in the rate of speech.
-A sudden increase in the number of "ums" and "ahs."
-A change in eye contact. Normally, one makes eye contact one-quarter to one-half of the time. If suddenly, at the convenient moment to lie, he's staring at you or looking away, beware.
-Turning his body away from you, even if just slightly.
-Suddenly being able to see the white on the top and bottom of a person's eyes, not just the sides.
-A hand reaching, even if momentarily, to cover part of the face, especially the mouth.
-Nervous movement of feet or legs.

Consider yourselves immunized!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dear Readers

It is hard to believe that I am fast approaching my centennial. My 100th post. There are people out there who do not comment, but are just as amused my by ramblings as Ms. S, MyMoneyDream, RunningMom. It's true!

I want to get to know you guys better. I have readers in Lebanon, Italy, South Africa and have no idea what brings them here. I feel like JayZ, "You could be anywhere in the world but you're here with me. And I appreciate that". So to show you just how much I love you guys, I have decided to do a contest. This contest is only for the shy! I encourage you all to voice your opinions. Let yoour voice be heard!

Comment on a post written between today and my 100th post and I will randomly choose one lucky winner. I will announce said winner on the 100th post*; they will receive a $10 iTunes gift card**. What say ye??

*anticipated contest end date is January 9th
**yes $10. It's a recession people!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Asleep at the Wheel???

As the day trickles to an end I figured I'd visit my go to spot for a good laugh. Everybody needs a good chuckle on a Monday right? This is one of my favorite blogs because it confirms that the residents of Boston are indeed one of a kind. The Boston Police Department has a blog that updates visitors on some of the more peculiar offenses that have taken place in the city. At the risk of public embarrassment, I had to share with my readers, the ridiculousness my fellow Bostonians get themselves into.

With this one I found myself at a loss for words (Yes KB, we know, me with nothing to say is nothing short of phenomenal)

Asleep on the Job

This morning around 1:25AM, officers from District A-1 (Downtown) were on patrol in the area of 75 West School St. in Charlestown when they went around the back of the building. There, officers observed a man sleeping in the driver’s seat.

Officers checked the registration of the car and that checked revealed the car was stolen in the South End on 12/13/08. Officers woke up the sleeping suspect and placed him under arrest. During an inventory check of the car, offices recovered jacket with a plastic bag with several pieces of jewelry in a plastic bag with price tags along with a cell phone. When asked about the jacket, the suspect denied ownership of the jacket, however officers found pictures of the suspect in the cell phone. The suspect was arrested and charged with Receiving a Stolen Motor Vehicle, and Receiving Stolen Property.
Now see, I told you. No words.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fuck You- The First (and sometimes lasting) Impression

Ms. S and I have been discussing the roles male friends play in our lives. While we both agree that these friendships are solid and genuine, I feel as though my friendships with will forever be tainted by the first impression of me.

Of my three closest male friends (one of which I refer to as my brother) two of them came into my life trying to get into my pants. They got to know me for who I am, through being politely rejected. The third, was a little more subtle in his quest because I had no idea he even looked at me that way until we came back from hanging out one night. We were too intoxicated to dare drive anywhere so I crashed on the futon in his dorm.

***admin note: Before the story continues, I will reiterate that this was (and is to this day) one of my dearest friends. There were many sleepovers, many drunken nights, no fondling, no kissing, nothing. It was completely natural for me to spend the night in his room. And UNHEARD OF for him to expect any to come of it.

Imagine my surprise when he suggested that I join him in the bed? Miraculously the room stopped spinning, and suddenly I was sober as hell. I spoke without slurred speech when I replied "I am quite comfortable right here, THANK YOU. And if you do not stay waaay over there where you belong I will kick you in your neck." Yes, he too, was declined. Just not as politely.

The question remains, how did three of my bestest friends every get the impression that they, that WE, could have been anything more? Dare I ask, as Ms. S so boldly did? Seems silly, when I already know the answer. When the fellas met me, they saw a pretty face and curves, as do most men. They had scandalous thoughts, as do most men.

They didn't know me for me yet; even though we are as tight as Mariah Carey's clothes now...they weren't looking at me for anything resembling friendship back then. That's the reality of it.

Fuck You, first impressions. My body is a wonderland but your name isn't Alice.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Slow and Steady

Per the request of Running Mom and Ms. S here are a few updates with regard to The Experiment. Which has been in effect 9 days;

1. We went out to eat. Virtually unheard of since our first year together.
2. I woke up yesterday morning to find the entire kitchen and living room spit shined, polished, and showroom ready. The man cleaned!
3. I am hearing "thank you" more frequently (though to be completely honest it sounds rehearsed)

Though this is not a drastic improvement I would definitely say we are on the right track. As always, stay tuned.

**Admin note: I was sorting (read NOT snooping) the laundry and found a picture of the Coach purse I want printed directly off of Coach's website. Which would explain his being so adamant about going to the mall alone. I may actually be getting what I want for Christmas. MAY being the operative word.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion

May the smiles of many friends dance in your heart

Did you know that the happiness of those around you is contagious? A recent study suggests that simply surrounding yourself by positive energy will ultimately inflate your own happiness. It is virtually an emotional virus.

To piggyback off of Friday's post; I've been thinking about happiness and contentment for a few weeks. I don't think it would be far-fetched at all to assume that it is an emotion we are all in pursuit of. An ideal. If there is anything you could do to achieve that you would certainly do so. So take a fair assessment; are the people in your immediate circle happy?

I realize that there are more than enough melancholy friends in mine. People I talk to on a daily basis that don't really have very much good news to share. I will absolutely include myself in that, because I know I am guilty of ranting. Going forth, I will have to make it a point to spend more time with happier people. Smile for no reason at all. And say hello to the friends of friends who always have a smile on their face. And maybe my new found glee will, in turn, rub off on the discontented few.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Crackberry Anonymous

My name is Dorchester's Daughter and I am addicted to my Blackberry

(readers collectively say "Hi DD!)

It's been 4 days and you'd think it was surgically implanted to my hand. You know what? that I say that, may not be such a bad idea, lol. I am already that person who does not look at you when you are speaking because they are discussing while distracted.

All hell broke loose when I turned it on initially and there was already a Facebook application. Didn't even have to download it? This can't be right. You mean I don't have to sit in front of my computer ignore random friend requests? Let the annoyed say Amen!

Last night I went on and downloaded ringtones for KB and my mom*. Today I am going to grab Bejeweled** and Ms. Pacman. There are free applications and downloads on the Blackberry website.

During the work day she sits right beside the computer monitor. Just can't bear to put her in my purse. Dare I miss something?! Good Lord hold my hand...or take it out of my hand. Either way, cuz I just know this thing is gonna be trouble.

Somebody help me!

*Can I just tell you that the ringtone for my mom is hysterical. If any TMobile customer has any sort of anxiety at all about seeing their mom's name on the caller id, please download Katt Williams "your mother is calling".

**The game that damn near cost me my education in college. I don't even know how many classes I missed because I spent 4 and 5 hours straight trying to beat my own high score.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's Just Like a Mini-mall

I'd begun this post trying to explain why this was initially so funny to me. I flustered with the right words. Nothing sounded witty enough, intellectual enough, ironic enough. No words could quite capture why I sat here and watched it 3 times over and over. I even came up with a few anecdotes about my relationship with the cousin who introduced it to me. But nothing I wrote captured the very essence of it's hilarity. Finally I realized, some things just don't need to be explained...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Fuck You- Pessimism

By definition, pessimism is the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems. Not to be confused with being realistic, pessimism is almost flu like. It starts in your head and pretty soon your whole body aches as a result. I've been feelin that ache these past couple days. I need to recoop and regroup!

There is nothing wrong with being a realist. I am and always will be...but at the same token I find myself walking that very fine line between the two. And lately it seems like I am spending more time on the pessimistic side of the field. All that is going to change!

Fuck You. Pessimism meet the emotional equivalent of Theraflu, Sudafed, and Nyquil. I am about to be over you.

Moving forward my new motto is...

Believe while others are doubting.
Plan while others are playing.
Study while others are sleeping.
Decide while others are delaying.
Prepare while others are daydreaming.
Begin while others are procrastinating.
Work while others are wishing.
Save while others are wasting.
Listen while others are talking.
Smile while others are frowning.
Commend while others are criticizing.
Persist while others are quitting.
Believe While Others-By William Arthur Ward

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Progress is a slow process

and patience is a virtue.

To night I got a little bit of that old romance back. Those butterflies I had early days when I literally thought KB was my Prince Charming. I felt them.

The most insignificant thing will invoke that in a woman. Guys need to know that.

We went to Applebees. Now I did say insignificant, did I not? Well Ms. S. knows more than anybody else but I have been dying for KB to take me. We usually eat cooked meals, leftovers, etc. He isn't into eating out, doesn't trust restaurants, needs to see who is cooking his food, and a laundry list of other excuses.

But I wanna go to Applebees! They have that $20 deal going on and I have been fascinated by the idea of an appetizer AND two entrees for $20. In this economy?! So I watch the commercial like a 3 year old admires the newest Tickle Me Elmo....just hoping that one day we will go.

Well tonight after work, we changed into our sweats and headed on down to our neighborhood Applebee's (did I mention it is literally on my street?).

I had the best time I have had with him in months. MONTHS! I laughed so hard I had a cramp in my side. For the life of me I cannot remember what the hell was so funny! But we laughed!... Together! And not at a tv show or movie! We laughed with each other.

Talk about a breakthrough!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The First Hurdle

Remember when Sisqo went solo (I swear I am going somewhere with this)? He had a song called Is Love Enough? And even though it has only been 24 full hours since I committed to trying to love KB better, I find myself wondering is love enough? Is it?

I know y'all are like "Dang, this heffa gave up already?!" Well, no I haven't given up per se...I am just trying to be emotionally aware of the affect this commitment will have on me. I've been making a conscience effort to try to be more like Beyonce 'n dem, in Cater 2 U. The mannerisms and behaviors of a catering woman are not inherent in me. These are learned behaviors.

IN learning, I've been very introspective. So when I notice that I have to make a conscious effort to smile while I serve his dinner or iron his clothes, it's a red flag.

Maybe it is my need for instant gratification. There needs to see some level of sincere gratitude. I understand completely that having a "traditional" woman is desired; a man wants the kind of wife who serves him his dinner on a piping hot plate, clears the dishes, lights a candle, and then rocks his world. I get that. Hell I might even date a woman, if I could have that!

But let it be known that we (myself and 95% of the women I know) are not like that. We work just as hard, and need just as much respect. So when I am making a significant effort to be more representative of that image, I deserve a thank you. I deserve a rose every once in a while. I deserve reciprocity. And I do not think I can wait however long it will take for him to acknowledge that I am doing what does not come naturally to me, to make him happy. I am not going to get that if he is viewing it has me "finally" coming to terms with the role I am supposed to take as the woman of the house.

I can't give up, though. Once I give up on trying, I give up completely. I already had one foot out the door and if THIS doesn't work, the other will soon follow. More than anything, I want to see if this change will make a difference. I just don't want to get to the finish line and have done all that I can, and get absolutely nothing in return.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Experiment

I read The Five Love Languages in about three days. It was really a common sense look at why KB and I don't see eye to eye. The things I am looking for a symbol of love are not on his radar, and vice versa. It really is that simple. So many of the things said in our big fights were indicators but nothing made it as plain as Gary Chapman.

The most important lesson learned was that the emotionally high of being "in love" only lasts for so long. After that it is about making a choice to do the things that express love in your partner's eyes. Not in your own. Me buying KB all the gifts in the world is not going to show him I love him in the way that making him breakfast would.

In light of this ah ha moment, I have conjured a plan. Twice a day for the next 24 days, I am going to speak to KB in his primary and secondary love languages. If all goes well, he in turn, will be so overcome with love that he will buy me a wonderfully splendid Christmas gift (which would technically be him speaking to me in my primary love language). And the holidays will indeed be happy!

Stay tuned!