Tuesday, October 31, 2006

America's Most Dangerous Cities

I was really scared to peek at the list. I didn't want to see my hometown on there. Now, I'm not saying things aren't bad there, but, it ain't on the list folks. Check it out...

Information From AP -- Compiled By Morgan Quitno Press
10. Gary, Ind.
9. Youngstown, Ohio
8. Oakland, Calif.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
6. Birmingham, Al.
5. Camden, N.J.
4. Compton, Calif.
3. Flint, Mich.
2. Detroit, Mich.
1. St. Louis, Mo.

Pasted from <http://blackvoices.aol.com/black_news/canvas_directory_headlines_features/_a/americas-10-most-dangerous-cities/20061030090909990001>

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Radar

Imagine an air traffic control terminal. There is a blue screen, a few dots sprinkled about and a glowing white vertical line that sweeps back and forth across the semi-circle shaped screen. Each time the line passes across the smattering of dots, there is a very calming beep. However, when one of those dots, moves towards the edge of the screen, an alarm goes off.

This is the male radar. And ladies, we are the dots. I think men have an internal mechanism that psychically checks the status of each of the dots, or loves, in their past. As long as you're single when the monitor line passes over you, he'll hear a calming 'beep'. However, the minute you start dating someone that is of value and that you might start digging, his alarm goes off. Of course, since this mechanism is sub-conscious, he doesn't know why he's calling you out of the blue. He just felt compelled to call you to 'see how you're doing'. Or he was just thinking about that time when you and he went on vacation and how nice it was. To the younger woman, this can be confusing. Does he like me still? Does he want to get back together? Etc.

Once a woman reaches a certain age, she knows all about The Radar. She knows that once he's loved her, on some level he'll always feel like she's partly his. She also knows that his alarm can and will go off, even when he's happily involved with someone else. The alarm call, doesn't mean he wants you back, he just senses that he's about to not be able to ever have you again. You see, even if they don't want you, sometimes people like to know that you're there 'just in case'. I know, it sounds crazy, but, it's real, trust me on this.

Sometimes, the alarm is based on a signal to the man that his window of regret is closing. Surely, you've ended at least one relationship on bad terms where the guy was an @ss. You went away frustrated. Analyzing it with your girls, 'how could he do something like that?' What you don't know is that he realizes that he was a jerk but, pride has kept him from apologizing. Then, before he knew it, a week became a month which became a year. You've worked through it, chalked it up and moved on. And the minute you stepped towards the edge of his screen, he is ravaged with regret and he wants to tell you what a mistake he made.

I'm sure there are other reasons for the alarm. I think most men of a certain age can and will analyze their own behavior to figure out the best way to proceed when the alarm goes off. Instead of calling you, they may go and have a drink with the fellas. Who knows.

Ladies, there's nothing we can do about the radar. If you were lucky enough to have found love then unfortunate enough to have lost it, you may get an alarm call every now and then. You just need to know what's really going on and react accordingly.


Happy Monday

I took a much needed rest this weekend. It was fabulous! I caught up on my Battlestar Gallactica episodes on On Demand. I washed 6 loads of clothes, finally returned those things sitting by my door, bought a new iron and hung out with my girl. Pretty chill and uneventful.

Then the weirdest thing happened. First, let me give you the backstory. Rewind the clock to the early spring. He was rude, I called him on it. He wasn't trying to hear me. We broke up and it wasn't pleasant. In the interim, no contact in either direction. Until Saturday, he sends a text message, 'Can I borrow a dvd?'. When I saw the message, I was confused. Surely homeboy wasn't sending me a text after 6 months of not speaking...to ask for one of my dvd's. So, you're probably wondering how I replied. I thought of a few really clever quips but, I didn't send them. Afterall, I don't respond to messages from strangers. LOL I think this storyline might develop further, I'll post what happens.

What was the dvd? Does it matter? You can get basically any DVD you want from Target nowadays.

That was just really random.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I'm back

I totally over scheduled myself this month. I've done 2 cancer walks, 2 birthday celebrations, 1 chair dance class, 1 pole class, 2 brunches, 3 dinners and 1 trip to the salvation army. Next month, I am going to chill...for real.

I've got a dilemma and I'm not sure how to handle it. The girl that sends the forwards now sends these 'Words of Wisdom' emails every day. About a year ago, I asked her to take me off of her distro list. I don't mind the personal emails, but the forwards and the not so wise words of wisdom annoy the heck out of me. The mails stopped for a few months, but, now I'm getting them again. For a while, I was just deleting the mails without reading them. Lately, I've been thinking, why should I have to do that if I didn't want the mail in the first place?? I don't want to hurt the girls feelings but, I'm tired of being inconvenienced. I know if I confront her, I'm going to sound annoyed and maybe not so nice. What would you do?


Friday, October 13, 2006


Happy Friday the 13th!

Be careful not to step on any cracks, else you break your mother's back.

Watch out for black cats crossing your path.

Don't sweep anyone's feet, but if you do, spit on the broom so they won't go to jail.

What are some of the crazy, nonsensical superstitions that you grew up hearing?



I had to call my mom to get more of those crazy superstitions she told us when we were kids. Here's what she came up with:

  • Don't brake a mirror, else you'll get 7 years of bad luck.
    Don't buy a man a pair of shoes, else he'll walk away from you.
  • For that matter, don't give him a watch, else he realize it's TIME to leave you. (can't help but laugh at that one.)
    Don't open an umbrella indoors. I don't know what bad thing will happen if you do that.
    If you spill salt, you must throw some over your right shoulder. Please don't ask me why.
  • If it rains while the sun remains shining, it means the devil is beating his wife. I bet y'all didn't know that Lucifer was married did ya?
  • You must flush shedded hair, if you throw it in the garbage, you will get a migraine because the birds, I guess at the landfill, will peck it. I know, don't ask.
    And finally, if while walking down the street with a companion the two of you walk on opposite sides of a pole, you MUST say PEANUT BUTTER/JELLY and I haven't the slightest idea why.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

They Don't Really See Me

When you go to the eye doctor, they do a test where they show you a row of letters, usually black, on a white background, and you have to let the doctor know when the letters comes into focus for you. Once you've taken the test many times, you know that the biggest letter on the first line is the letter E. Because you've seen it before, sometimes, your mind compensates for the fact that it's not in focus and allows you to 'see' it even though it's very blurry. I think being black in a mostly white environment is like being that out of focus big letter 'E'.

I work in an office with 2, no make that 3 black people. There is one other black woman and a black man. None of us look alike. This week, we have an in-office visitor, a black woman from another office. In the black community, no one would say that we resemble one another. However, today, when I returned from a team lunch, the project Big Cheese said to me, 'Hey, good to see you. How was your flight?'

I stopped, gave him a quizzical look and replied, 'This would make a great skit for 'The Office'.' He chuckled.

'I was just kidding. I knew it was you.'

I gave him a smile that said, 'sure you did buddy.'

The Office is a popular show around these parts. The often politically incorrect jokes make many of my co-workers feel that they are not alone in their stupidity.

It's not like BC doesn't have a personal relationship with me. Oh wait, maybe it's just me that has the relationship with him. We had one on one conversations many many times. I think the issue is that maybe he only knows me in the context of being the smaller black girl in the office. Now that there are two smaller black girls, he's just confused, right? I know he doesn't think that we ALL look alike, right? I really think that unless you have an intimate relationship with a white person, they don't really 'see' you. You're just a blur that they know in a particular context. That intimate relationship can be physical, emotional, mother/child, or the like.

It was soo funny when he realized his mistake, he was quite embarrassed. I wasn't really offended, I've been the only or one of a few chips in the corporate America cookie for a long time. As long as he doesn't get me mixed up with anyone when he's assigning promotions next year, I'm cool.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Great Expectations

Most of us know that in life, when we expect the worst, that's usually what we'll get. But, how do you react when someone has expects the best of you? Are surprised? Do you try to meet their expectations or do you think something is wrong with them for being so optimistic?

I consider myself an optimistic realist. I know bad things can happen but, I hope for the best. That same MO applies when I meet new people. But, I've found that some people, men especially, don't know how to respond to a woman that expects great things from them. It's funny because, a lot of men will get on a woman's case if she is bitter about past experiences and thinks all men are trifling dogs. But then, that's what they expect. Black women are arguably the least desirable of any group on the planet. We're supposedly overweight, bitter, gold diggers, promiscuous women with bad attitudes. I'm none of those things, so according to some people, I'm 'different' than my sisters. I always argue that there are a lot of women that don't fit that horrible stereotype. And there are plenty that are fans of the black man. Then, I follow that up with the same argument I'd have with a girlfriend that says all men are dogs. If you think all black women are a certain way, that says more about your maturity and choices than it does about the women you're criticizing.

I think it also says a lot about a person's motivating factors. Some people like being the underdog. They like to prove you wrong. 'Oh you think all men are XYZ, then I'll be just the opposite to prove you wrong.' This might speak to a man's competitive nature. Some men like to feel like they've overcome a hurdle to be with you. They've earned their spot. That's cool and all, if that's what gets you going. But, wouldn't it be nice to meet someone that from the beginning treats you with respect and support and expects you to be honest and loyal and generous and humble? What if you didn't have those first 6 months of proving that you were a good man. What if instead, she thought you were a good man until you did something to mess it up. Isn't that a novel idea?

People have said that I live in a bubble. I find that insulting. Just because I can be optimistic, doesn't mean that I haven't had my share of disappointments. That's one of my blessings so, I'm going to ignore all the negativity and continue to have great expectations. Who knows, maybe it'll catch on.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Speaking in Tongues

I'm still trying to process an experience I had in church on Sunday. There was a point in the service where the pastor asked us to hold hands and pray together. This was especially helpful to me because my heart has been heavy with a family issue over the past few weeks. So, I'm holding hands with my group and praying for strength when the woman next to me sees that I'm upset and begins to pray for me. That was fine. I can always use more prayers. Then, as she starts to get revved up, I hear something like...

"Boom shack alacka sheemus"

On reflex, I opened my eyes. Did she really just say that? Then, I admonished myself for the chuckle that I felt coming on. "Lord, please forgive me", I said. I have never heard anyone speak in tongues up close before. And to be honest, I felt a little uncomfortable, and I don't know why.

I'm an introspective person, so, public personal displays aren't really my forte. But, I can't judge another persons expression to the almighty. Occasionally at my church, someone will shout or yell "Hallelujah". I often wonder what it's like to have that kind of feeling wash over me. When I feel especially humbled or blessed, the tears will flow, but, that's about it. Am I not really feeling it? I'm inclined to believe that God made me the way I am and that's fine. I still can't help but wonder what it's like for the people on the other side.

Is speaking tongues a gift? Or is it like skatting in jazz. You just make up words to express a feeling? I know it's viewed differently by different denominations. I want to be clear that I'm not making fun of that woman. After she prayed for/with me, she said, "everything is gonna be ok." I believe that. Surely God put her in my circle for a reason and I respect that.

The funny thing is, I watch all of the supernatural movies and I know that miracles and unexplainable things can happen by the grace of God. When I see things happen in real life, why do I question it? Was this one of those events?

I have to ponder this some more.


Monday, October 02, 2006

First Date Don'ts from My Archives

A friend of mine was prepping for a first date last week. While we were talking about his plans, I gave him tips based on some of the worst dates I've been on. I figured I'd share my top 3 bad dates/outings with all of you.

Go easy on the ketchup.
Mr. Ketchup and I went to a popular pizza restaurant for dinner. When the waitress came over and asked if we wanted an appetizer. He asked for the restaurant's appetizer sampler platter. I whispered to him that I didn't want an appetizer. He said, 'that's cool. This is for me.' I said, 'the whole thing?' he said 'yeah'. Not wanting to judge, I proceeded to order my food. When the appetizer platter came, the guy asked the waitress for ketchup. I looked at him b/c I had never known anyone to put ketchup on loaded potato skins, buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks. When I asked him about it, he just said, 'I like ketchup.' Alrighty then, the plate was covered in ketchup, I could barely see the food underneath.

The moral of the story: Show your good table manners. Save the ketchup finger licking for a later date. While you're at it, put a little distance between your face and your plate.

Poop at home.
Mr. Poop got his name because after eating the dinner he prepared at my place, he disappeared into my bathroom for about 20 minutes. Now, I don't keep magazines in my bathroom. I like to get in and get out. I'm not much for lounging on the toilet. So, after about 7 or 8 minutes, I went near the door and asked if everything was alright. He said yeah, so I went back to watching TV, but, I was thinking, 'This fool is gonna have to get his Poop Butt up outta my place.' How do you tell someone that you don't want to see him anymore because he had a BM on your first date? I couldn't figure it out, so, I just stopped answering his calls. I figured after 3 calls, he'd get the message. Unfortunately, he didn't. He proceeded to call me about once a week for about 6 months.

Moral of the story: Go at home. If you absolutely HAVE to poop at your date's house before y'all are comfortable with each other. Please PLOP & FLUSH immediately, that minimizes the smell.

187 is not just a number.
Many years ago, my girl and I had gone out to a club to dance our booties off. While we were there, we ran into some of her friends from back in the day. The guys seemed cool in a friendly kind of way, not in a romantic way. At least for me, there was no love connection. Since we were having fun bugging out, we decided to go get some after the club food. So, we're sitting up in IHOP and we all started talking about work and stuff like that. Then dude proceeds to tell me that he's trying to make a new life for himself. I'm all about positivity, so I was like, 'yo, that's cool.' Then, he said that he had been 'away' for a while. Being the sheltered nerd that I am, I said something like, 'oh, were you on vacation?' Dude proceeds to tell me that he had been locked up. Now, I understand how our brothers can get caught up in the system for dumb stuff, I asked him what he was in for. That's when he told me that he had 'taken somebody out' but 'it was justified'. I immediately lost my appetite and started ducking every time a car drove by the restaurant window slowly. He and his friend asked my girl, 'yo, what's up with your girl?' I said something dumb like 'I get seizures when I'm sleepy'. As soon as we were out of there, I reamed my girl for having me hang out with ex-cons. Now, whenever I meet any of her friends, I'm sure to ask her how she knows them and if they've done any time.

Moral of the story: Keep the first date light. Feel the person out first before spilling your sordid history.

Dates are all about making a good first impression, especially first dates. So, relax and be yourself. Save your bad habits til at least the 2nd date. :-)