Blame It On Me

Recently I watched an archived  episode of The Dr. Phil Show (don’t judge) about a morbidly obese woman who had gained  over 100 pounds throughout her two-year marriage.  Her spouse was completely disgusted, embarrassed and turned-off by her weight gain that he claimed led him to begin an extramarital affair.  He, and a number of the shows guest found his infidelity acceptable under the circumstances of her rapid weight gain and past unwillingness to control her weight.

The possibility of actually retiring at the age of 55 might actually be feasible if I could have pocketed $1 for each time I’ve heard a woman say, “all men cheat,” or heard a man explain his infidelity with the simple reminder, “I’m a man.”  Oh ok. Well why didn’t you say so?  I’ll just pack my things and go now. Take care.  WTH?

Upstanding men who do not make a habit of cheating – yes, they do exist. At least one I know of for sure.  Right, honey?  I said RIGHT? – should be offended by the “I’m a man” statement used to rationalize blatant disrespect.  I think most of us can agree that, “I’m a man” is a piss-poor excuse, not a justification for cheating. But are there some excusable reasons for infidelity?  Apparently so.

Tune into any of the 1,001 court shows, talks shows, reality talk shows and you’ll witness a number of men and women cheating on their significant other citing that their infidelity is the reaction to first being cheated on.  According to this rule of thought, cheating is not only acceptable, but also warranted.

There is a number of excuses that cheaters have been known to give:  “I’m not built for a long distance relationship”; “I can’t stand your mom”; “you’re boring in bed”; “you knew that I was unhappy”; “your middle toe is longer than your big toe.”  Blah, blah, blah.  The common denominator is that all of these excuses blame the “victim” or the person being cheated on leaving behind the notion that the act of cheating is not the decision of the cheater, but controlled by the person being cheated on.

I’m a firm believer that despite how many home cooked meals one makes, kegel exercises performed throughout the day, or how beautiful one is, it doesn’t guarantee that infidelity will be prevented.  Infidelity is a choice that one makes.  It doesn’t “just happen.”  There is no justifying it, but maybe you disagree…

Bob Marley on Christmas – It’s Our Tradition

My family isn’t one to really use the word “tradition” to reference our holiday celebrations, but on each holiday the expected ritual is that we  all gather at my grandmother’s house for gift exchanges, my grandmother’s soul food, and my aunts baked from scratch cakes.  We spend the evening playing a game of Scattergories where my Aunt Dorothy will inevitable cheat and have all of her answers ignored and thereby be declared the loser before the game ever begins, followed by the family sitting (some standing as we are a very large family) watching terrible homemade movies that always, always, always ends in laughter.  The older I get the more I am reminded of how my childhood growing up in San Francisco was abundantly rich filled with “traditions” and unwavering relationships.

As my little one is growing up right before my eyes I ask myself this holiday season, what traditions will we create as a family?  What will my little one say of her childhood; how will she complete the sentence, “We always did _____ for the holidays?  The only way to foster traditions are to first create them.  This year we’ll continue with the traditions that started when I was a graduate student dating my hubby, then boyfriend, along with the traditions that came about with the birth of our baby girl, and start new traditions that one day my daughter will say, “As a child we always…”

  • Fixed Thanksgiving dinner so that we’d have leftovers cooked in our own kitchen.
  • Wore festive pajamas for major holidays.
  • Unwrapped 25 books – some handpicked by me at the library, some store-bought.  Mommy would wrap each book and place it under the Christmas tree for me to unwrap each night beginning on December 1st leading up to Christmas day.
  • Listened to Bob Marley, a CD Mommy and Daddy coined “our Christmas music,” while decorating the Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving.
  • Exchanged Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve.
  • Scoured the “Black Friday” ads and got a head start shopping on the morning of  Thanksgiving.
  • Watched Christmas movie classics while sprawled out on the sofa under the handmade quilt “Created with Grandmother’s Love.”
  • Drank hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and a peppermint stick.
  • Mailed Christmas cards to my family and friends.
  • Read the story of Jesus’ birth.
  • Stayed up late on New Year’s Eve dancing, flipping the channels between New York’s Time Square ball drop and Nick Jr’s countdown, eating hors d’oeuvre’s and sipping sparkling apple cider from a plastic champagne flute…fancy!
  • Using my acting chops in the church’s annual Christmas program.
  • Ice skating, or more aptly, falling on the ice, with Mommy and Daddy.
  • Had a never ending playlist of holiday music.

Follow me on Pinterest for holiday tradition ideas.  What traditions will you uphold or create this year?

Quote of the Week

“Simply put, whatever we give our emotions, energy, time, effort and devotion to that is what we worship. Worship is what we spend our time prioritizing. It’s the thing we enjoy the most. What we wish we could do longer but don’t always have the time. Worship is about what we adore more than anything else….”  – Pastor Swann

I encourage you all to be careful where, and in what we place our energy.  Where your energy is, so is your heart.  This quote can be the great catalyst for change…on the precipice of greatness.

We Can’t All Be Brides…or Bridesmaids

2013 is a year of wedded bliss amongst my loved ones.  I couldn’t be happier for them or feel luckier that I am not the bride-to-be with a list of to-do’s, responsibilities, and unpaid balances gnawing at my very existence.

But I digress.

The top of the new year begins  with the celebration of vows exchanged between two of my alumni who have been together since our freshman year of college – I am talking over a decade!  I have never been to a winter wedding, and in the harsh New York winter no less, so understandably I’m already on the hunt for an outfit that meets the unspoken rules of wedding guest dresses:  conservative, but not too stuffy; sexy, but mindful of how far of a plunge the neckline takes (unless of course your aim is to leave with a groomsman or two); flyy, but nowhere near as beautiful as the bride; and please, oh please, no white, eggshell, cream, or any other shade that could possibly be mistaken for white.  If the last rule is not strictly adhered to you could find yourself eitherr thrown out of the wedding and the brides life or jumped by a group of the brides drunken aunts, sisters and cousin, or all of the above.  Here are a few, affordable (well mostly affordable) finds for a fall/winter wedding.  A husband edition may be called for…

15 Lies and Alibis – The Good One’s Never Die

1.  “It’s not you, it’s me.”  – Nope.  It really is you I’m just trying to be nice.

2.  “The doctor will be with you in a minute.”  – Get outta here!  In all of my 29 years I have yet to see the doctor in “a minute,” or even a few minutes.  Saying, “The doctor will be with you in 13 minutes even though there is no wall clock in this cramped room to help you gauge how long you’ve actually been waiting,” is a lot more accurate.

3.  “It’s not what you think.”  – It’s exactly what you think and it’s what you saw too.

4.  “All the good ones are taken.” – This lie must have originated from a woman in an attempt to ward off the competition.

5.  “I don’t need anyone.”  – We ALL need someone.  We weren’t meant to live life alone.  We need one another.

6.  “My child would never do that.” – Yeah he would. And he did.

7.  “Just 3 easy payments of $19.99.”  – Lol.  Don’t forget the shipping and handling.  It may also be helpful to have a magnifying glass on hand to read the super tiny print rapidly scrolling at the bottom of the television screen.

8.  “Satisfaction guaranteed.” – Satisfaction is subjective; thereby, never guaranteed.

9.  “We’re just friends.” (Smile.  Giggle.)  “No, really.”  – The smile followed by a giggle is a bit of a giveaway.

10.  “I’m only 5 minutes away.”  – If anyone feeds you this lie take off your shoes and coat, fix that sandwich you’ve been craving and finishing watching that House of Anywhere, USA episode, because the person feeding you this lie hasn’t even pulled out of the drive way.

11.  “I’m 100% natural.” – They don’t move and you wore a size 32A just last week.  But they look great!

12.  “Why am I being pulled over?  I was doing the speed limit.  Maybe 3 miles, no more than 5 miles over the speed limit.” – Take it from an avid collector of speed tickets from all across the country: this lie NEVER works.

13.  “I’m allergic to latex.”  – As a woman I am obligated to add this one.  (I would’ve added a different, wildly popular lie closely related to this one, but since my mother and mother-in-law sometimes pay my blog a visit I figured I’d keep it classy while educating the masses.  Lol.)

14.  “I’ll pay you back when I’ll get my tax return.”  – CLASSIC!

15.  “I never lie.” – This must be your first.

What did I miss?  Share a classic lie or give us a sneak peek to the next great lie destined to be coined a future classic.

Dr. Brainwash, DDS

“Raise your left hand if you feel a sharp, uncomfortable pain.”

Involuntarily my left arm stiffens.  My hand eager to shoot up, because thanks to Dr. Brainwash here, my mind tells me that, already, I feel a “sharp, uncomfortable pain.”

“I’m going to break a piece of the crown and then pull it off with my pliers.” 

Say what now? I wonder if I’d be overreacting if I accidentally, on purpose elbow Dr. Brainwash in her abdomen, flip over the tray holding all her weapons medical instruments, and take off Jackie Joyner style towards the EXIT leaving in my wake the mouth prop and makeshift bib whose purpose is to keep my sweater free of the blood that is sure to follow the tooth-yanking-plier-episode that Dr. Brainwash so casually describes.

Buzz. Thoughts of planning my departure interrupted by the sound of the dental drill chipping away at my tooth.  The sound is both sharp and uncomfortable.

Now? Should I raise my left hand now? 

“You’re going to feel a little pinch or two?”

Which is it?  A pinch? Or two?  No time for indecisiveness here Doc.  If it’s one pinch I may only need to elbow you once.  If it’s “two” that may call for an elbow and maybe a mush to the face.  What to do, what to do?

“Are you numb yet?”

Umm, I’m not sure.  If I say no I’m in for another pinch…or two.  If I say yes, and I’m not completely sure, I may learn the hard way.

Wide eyes darting from left to right, reluctantly I mumble, “I think so.”

“Ok.  We’re going to separate the tooth from the gum so that it will be easier on your next visit to place the permanent crown.”

Separate?  My mother paid good money for several grape flavored retainers years ago to prevent this very thing.  What type of killer dentist is she?  I gauge the EXIT to be just ten to twelve long paces away.  I have lost weight over the past year so my elbow should be sharp and pointy.  Yeah, she isn’t the only one who uses “sharp” as a method of intimidation and pain.  Ha!  I’ve got her number.

Two hours later.  (Seriously, Dr. Brainwash tortured me for over two hours.)

The ice queen receptionist (aren’t the front desk personnel supposed to be nice and bubbly?) tells me that my insurance coverage absorbs 90% of the procedure cost.  Yay! Finally I get to put my left hand to better use reaching for my debit card.

“Your portion is $426.78.”  Is that a smile I see on the face of the Ice Queen?  Well, isn’t this about a blimp?

In that case let me write a bogus check.  Nah.  I don’t think that would be the best move.

Torture used to be free.  What happened to the good ol’ days?

They, whoever they is, says “beauty is pain,”  but this is overkill.  Visit two aborted.

Grown Folks Register to Vote

The Democratic and Republican campaign trail has been aflame with insults, overwhelming media messages, accusations, some truths, and many untruths.  I have come to view the 2012 Presidential Election as down right disgusting and disrespectful truly bringing to the surface some very ignorant people. To be honest I have had enough of the 2012 election and although tomorrow may for some  be thought of as the beginning of the end, I am convinced that it will likely be the beginning of more madness.

Throughout the 2012 campaign celebrities have been more vocal than in the past about flaunting their support for the presidential candidate of their choice.  There has been much drama surrounding the choice that some, particularly celebrities, have made regarding who they will cast a ballot for on tomorrow, November 6th.

This is my third (geez I’m getting old) presidential election where I will exercise my right to vote and with each election I’ve noticed the growing trend of people, and even social media and the blogosphere, inextricably linking one’s political ideology to one’s belief on racism and loyalty.  The Republican party is NOT synonymous with racists.  The Democratic party is not synonymous with “victims.”  As voting is meant to be a right, so is freedom of choice.  We as Americans have the right to decide who most closely embody our ideals.  This is our right.  Personally, I consider it our duty. This is why I applaud those who, despite having different views and ideals than I, are engaged in the electoral process and have or will exercise their right which is more than I can say for those who have completely checked out, or more accurately, have not checked in…to even register!

I cannot understand how an adult – a grown person who is actually a tax paying citizen in the U.S. of A– cannot even be registered and nonchalantly admit (in what I heard to be a Homer Simpson voice), “I’m not voting.  I’m not even registered.  I have never voted.”  What? Huh?  Workplace politics helped to refrain my true response.  Though, to be honest, I’m not sure that my true response would have been any different than, WTH? which is exactly the eye crossing, head scratching question that fogged my mind the moment the shocker rolled off my colleagues’ tongue.  My colleague is not alone in her refusal to vote.  There are an alarming number of people who are refusing to vote this election.  Some taut that neither presidential candidate is worthy of his/her vote.  Ooookkkk.  Well what about those running for state and local office?  Those candidates aren’t worthy of a vote either?  The candidate, who will certainly not be chosen by those who refuse to participate, will greatly impact the lives of those who do and do not exercise their right.

To not exercise this right which still is not afforded to all Americans, is so terribly selfish and in some ways immature.  Our participation in the voting process is much bigger than us.  It’s much bigger than tomorrow.  Its impact will be felt for generations.

Vote.  It is a sacred right.  It is a responsibility.  It’s bigger than you.  It’s bigger than one day.  And you will feel it, for better or worse.

Whoever you decide to vote for is completely up to you. Here’s a guide to hopefully help you make a decision this Tuesday, November 6th. Vote. Your voice could totally change the course of the lives of many, including future generations. If you’ve already voted – hooray!

Whoever you decide to vote for is completely up to you. Here’s a guide to hopefully help you make a decision this Tuesday, November 6th. Vote. Your voice could totally change the course of the lives of many, including future generations. If you’ve already voted – hooray!

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The Pot Calling the Kettle Disrespectful

Inspiration can be found anywhere and at any time.  I know this because recently I stumbled upon a nugget of inspiration that came in the form of very old web article posted by Greg Dragon, founder, publisher and editor-in-chief at The Hall of The Dragon Magazine.  Mr. Dragon dubbed himself the “professor-guru” of women and their – or, I suppose our – conniving ways and the “sh*t” women – or we, I guess – do to disrespect men.

I know, appalling right?  He considered himself doing the men a favor by “schooling” his fellow species on the evil, sneaky, and disrespectful ways of women. One woman nibbles on a forbidden fruit and suddenly we’re all “evil” seductresses.  Sigh. 

Mr. Dragon warned men to study their “man bible” and pay attention to a few of the following “slights” that women do and self-respecting men should not, despite how fine a woman is, put up with:

  • Wearing an ex’s jewelry – “How can you respect yourself, you making love to your girl and some dudes name is tattooed on her back… she holds your hand in line affectionately with some man’s ring on her finger. Check yourself, check her and look into it.”
  • Going through [his] cell phone – “One way to avoid it, check her hard the first time it happens. Second time you catch her, cut her off, it’s not cool. Do not go through my email, and leave the cell phone alone.”
  • Flirting with a guy via text message or social websites – “If you are married to her and she’s doing this something is very wrong bro.”
  • Allowing her to keep you on the sidelines – “…if it’s worth it to you to be this woman’s male girlfriend, go right ahead.”

I admit, here, there, and everywhere are a few trifling women who should be avoided at all cost. However, Mr. Dragon failed to mention all of the stupid and disrespectful things that some men do.  But, since we, Dear Lady Reader’s, happen to be good, considerate, and respectful women, we’ll pick up his slack.  Shall we ladies?

Yes.  We shall.

Fella’s Stop with This Foolishness:

  • Keep your hands, vulgarity, and verbal assaults to yourself – A lack of self-control is a sign of immaturity and ignorance.
  • Lying for no good reason – Save your lies for when you really need them – getting out of a speeding ticket, perhaps?  If it was you who returned the milk carton to the refrigerator with just a corner of milk remaining just admit it.  It’s only two of us in the house.  It’s kind of obvious.
  • Staring at other women whether or not you’re in our presence – Beauty is everywhere.  Even here with the woman you chose to be with.  Don’t stare.  It’s disrespectful and can be hurtful.
  • “I’ll call you later.”  – Certainly “later” could mean 20 years from today, but really dude?  YOU said you would call.  YOU.  Why on earth would you not follow through with what you said?  You said you would call on your own volition. The old adage has not lost its zest, “Say what mean, and mean what you say.”  Follow through is attractive.
  • Being selfish – Selfishness could apply to a host of different situations and scenarios.  To be specific, stop being selfish in the bedroom.  You are not the only one looking for a “happy ending” so please don’t try to beat us to the finish line every time, especially when you don’t have enough stamina to hit another lap.
  • Behaving like a single-married/attached man – Whether your ring is on or off, you’re still married.  And in case you’re unclear on what a married man should not do, I’ll make it plain.  Married men don’t date or have sex with single women, single men, or other folks who they did not recite vows to in the presence of God.  They also don’t have bachelor pads and pays bills at someone else’s home.  Maybe your mom.  Maybe.  Sometimes.  Lol.
  • Living on the down-low – There are a growing number of men who are openly gay.  If you like men join that growing number instead of endangering the lives, self-esteem, and hearts of the woman who you use as a front to protect yourself from…what?  Criticism?
  • Being cheap – I’m sure I’m not speaking for us all, but I know I speak for many when I say I rebuke the gesture of going dutch on the first, second, or third date.  If we’re going dutch it’s officially not a date.  Thanks friend.
  • Lastly, claiming you’re all that and then some in the bedroom – Stop it! Lmbo!  Just stop!  Your cover is blown.

Thank you Mr. Dragon for the inspiration.  We’ve run out of time here, but consider yourself schooled.

**There is certainly truth in every word, but this post was done in humor and good spirit.  Thank you Mr. Dragon for your insight.**