Ever notice how a single blade of grass can grow in the cavities of asphalt and concrete, it’s sheer will for life indignant, persistent to rise despite the weight of cement and the danger of a million trampling feet or heavy weight vehicles?
In my life I am attempting to make a conscious effort to be like the grass, impervious to elements and changes designed to put weight on me. I admit, professional, I adapt to change extremely well. I am a problem-solver, independent thinker, and a creative innovator (SN: This my friends is why I am the resume and interview queen! Can you hear the confidence in the words “problem-solver” and “independent thinker”? I’ll have to elaborate on my interview genius in another post…lol) skilled at tackling crisis’ and difficult changes. Although, personally, I admit that I sometimes tend to easily get on edge so to speak. I don’t run from change, but I do not embrace it in peace. I can become easily irritated, often becoming short with those closest to me. In other words, I am weaker than a blade of grass.
Thank God that with each day comes new opportunity to learn, to do better, to set a goal(s), to reach a goal(s). As of late, my daily goal of seeking and staying in peace is showing itself to be within my reach. I am so happy to be on the right track especially knowing that the concrete is being formulated and readying to be poured. I need my armor to protect myself, and, as much as I can, my family from the dangers that are both “seen and unseen.”
I am uncertain how the upcoming changes in my life and my family’s lives will affect our relationships with one another or impact our daily lives. But what I am certain of is that there are allowances for an abundance of opportunity. Opportunity to grow in Christ, to better ourselves individually and as a family unit, to fine tune our relationship, to hone skills that in the daily hustle and bustle of our lives as parent, spouse, employee, son, daughter, aunt and uncle we have allowed to become rusty, and to pursue personal and professional endeavors that we would have made excuses to not tend to had we not been pushed in a corner by these changes and forced to evaluate all that we are not doing to lead a bountiful life.
I may be naïve to feel a rush of excitement given the dangers seen and the dangers unseen that are sure to lie ahead, but I’ll be honest, I am excited. I’m looking forward to learning how strong of a woman I truly am. I’m looking forward to showing my husband how much love I have for him and that the vows that I so thoughtfully wrote and recited to him almost 4 years ago are not empty, but words in motion.
I can’t see the dangers that lie ahead but I know they are there. I am not afraid. Instead, I am protected and fitting myself with the armor of peace…and faith.
This post was inspired by life and the words spoken by two people who are so worthy of being quoted.
I hope that this post provokes dialogue, thoughts and actions that you may not have otherwise had this evening without visiting Be Quoted. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read my rants.
Be Heard – share your comments.
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…
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.
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.**
The moment I read this quote it reminded me of a response I once gave someone who asked me how’d I know I wanted to marry my husband. He questioned whether I married him because for the 2 grueling years I was in graduate school he came to visit me every month by plane despite the distance between us; or was it the fact that he supported me during some of the worst times of my life; or, maybe it was because he had been consistent for the 5 years we’d known each other before we wed?
I confess, all of the aforementioned were befitting reasons to marry him, in addition to him being a beautiful man inside and out. But I reconciled that I said “yes” (or some unintelligible babble that was equivalent to the word yes) to the proposal and 9 months later “I do,” because of all the things he makes me want to do for him.
Love and relationships are not only about how that person makes you feel and what he/she could do for you. It’s about the actions conjured up by the shared love between the two of you. Actions you’ve never cared to think to do before. Believe it or not, we all love to give and with the right person there’s no need to question or second guess giving freely. When it’s right there’s no need to solicit friends opinions, asking, “Do you think I should…?” You do for the one you love because you feel there is no other viable choice. It’s what makes you happy. For this, you are grateful to “your love” for helping you tap into a benevolent love that in the end leaves you open for receiving the love that you’ve deserved all along. I said “I do” because my husband was, and still is, the kind of man whom I want to make a sandwich, sweet tea, and a slice of Death by Chocolate cake for. I’ll search near and far for a made-from-scratch recipe because his love puts me in a benevolent mood (usually…lol). LoVe…
High school for me is reminiscent of house parties, prom, football games, testing the waters – intermittently “waters” tinged with marijuana and rebellion – and of course boys, especially the hormone laden scheming kind. These high school memories are not mine alone, I share these memories with a high school friend who had more than enough experiences with boys, especially the hormone laden, conniving, scheming kind.
My girlfriend and I recently laughed at our many experiences that back then were more tearful than hilarious. Her long-time high school sweetheart (“long-time” in high school was a whooping 6 months or longer) had cheated on her. Since I’m well out of high school it’s now safe for me to confess that after we learned of his cheating we semi-stalked the guy to get a glimpse of his new girl who had to obviously be very special if he’d risk losing my friend (because high school guys are so deep and give such significant thought to the consequences of their actions).
We went looking for trouble and we found her, and him, at the skating rink. We were shocked to see that she was a two-eyes-nose-and-a-mouth-kind-of-a-girl. This in our cool, high school lingo meant that she was a Plan Jane. No shimmer. No shine. Just plan. This discovery only revved us up. He cheated on you with her? Wtf? (Sorry Mom, but the f-bomb was also a staple in our high school vocabulary.)
Partiality aside, that young lady was certainly not unattractive, just not as special and shiny as my girlfriend. If she’d been a piece (another term frequently used in high school. I’m having fun now. Maybe I’ll break out an old pair of Saucony sneakers or burnt orange Wallabees!), I would’ve shrugged and offered my girl a consoling pat on the back. While I’m sure she had a wonderful personality and great girlfriend qualities, she wasn’t what most would have then described as a piece. That only added insult to injury. I’m sure I sound shallow recalling my teenaged thoughts and experiences but at that time we were only thinking about the shame and embarrassment that my friend would never get over (she got over it in a week when she met her new boyfriend) once everyone found it she’d been cheated on with a Plan Jane!
Now here we are over a decade later and I don’t believe that our feelings on the matter have changed very much. Our stalking tendencies have definitely tapered off but only because we can’t drive the streets with our toddlers in tow. Instead we do it within the confines of our own homes where we can keep an eye on the children while spying our way through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Hello 21st century technology!
Perhaps our fretfulness over whom our ex is dating is actually an unspoken insecurity. To have an opinion or sensitivity about an ex dating someone who doesn’t meet your standards is quite odd. Let’s face it: Most of us aren’t usually concerned about the happiness our roaming ex has found with his/her new mate. If an ex is seeing someone who, according to our infinite wisdom , is not up to par, it may be an implicit reflection of our own insecurity. Just maybe we collect stock in the choices of our ex’s because our ex’s did, after all, choose to be with us. So either the ex may feel his new mate is keeping in line with his/her standards or the mate is, heavens forbid, an upgrade!
…My personal belief is that maybe his new chick is wack and somewhere during the course of our relationship he realized he couldn’t hang. His self-esteem took a tremendous blow and this new chick is the best he could do. Well, at least he’s had better at one point in his life. He can die a happy and fulfilled man. 😉
Disclaimer: This post was published in complete fun. We are not stalkers and we aren’t not cool enough to have neither a Twitter or Instagram account. Hope you enjoyed it.
There must be a direct correlation between the sh*t mothers do and say to their sons that have honed certain characteristics that their partners wish would disappear. Do you know him? How about his mother?
Mama “That’s my baby” – This mother breeds the quintessential Mama’s Boy. She still washes his clothes, plans and prepares a weeks worth of home cooked meals (sounds wonderful, but let the MAN get it how he lives), and essentially cripples him to be dependent on the her for everything from housekeeping to relationship advice. She is the first woman, and as a mother, I admit, probably the woman who loves him more than anyone on this Earth, to love him (and his dirty drawers). She cannot be replaced. And this Mama will make sure that her son forever cleaves to him and keeps her number one. Always. He has no reason to stray from her. After all who else is going to iron his drawers, wake up at the crack of dawn to fix him a T-bone steak and eggs, fresh squeezed orange juice, and perfectly toasted bread with the edges cut off? If that’s you, honey you are badd!
Why We Don’t Like Him:
In general, women are attracted to men of power and strength. The sheer definition of Mama’s Boy does not equate to power or strength. While initially we love that he loves his mother and is respectful of the woman who gave birth to him, we don’t care for men who are easily influenced (at least not by someone other than the one he’s sleeping with) by any person outside of the relationship. In a committed relationship we desire to be number one on his list of priorities. If his top priority is fulfilling Mom’s every want and need, he will clearly not be able to save room for you at the top of his bucket list.
Mama “You’re my King” – Now I’ll probably catch a bit of heat of this generalization. It’s somewhat of a double-edged sword in the sense that a mother should teach her son that he is to be the man of the home, but not her home. I confess that I take slight issue with mothers who raise their young boys to be the king of the castle. At 7 years of age a young boy shouldn’t be burdened with the load of being the “man” of the house. While it’s great to instill self-esteem and a sense of manhood into a growing young man, as a child or adolescence he cannot be made to feel as though he is responsible for the home. Because he carries the weight of being the King of the castle every decision is his to make. Every problem within his reign is his alone and the solution is up to him to create. This Mama produces a man who is in a constant state of stress and anxiety and usually isolates himself and has the tendency to be angry, but is unable to communicate his frustration.
Why We Don’t Like Him:
The King either begins believing the hype that Mama has created and can be ridiculously arrogant or frustratingly non-communicative feeling that he is solely responsible for every problem, decision, and solution. He will not solicit your input on many matters. It’s safe to say that it’s common knowledge that most men aren’t as great of communicators as their counterparts, but The King may be even less of a communicator because he is use to reigning independently. Getting him to share his frustrations may be a challenge, but if he’s not too egotistical to allow for a Queen to rule along side of him, he could be a keeper.
Mama “Don’t Be a Punk” – Hear ye, hear ye: A man can be sensitive and affectionate without being deemed a punk or a sissy. That being said, I personally don’t care to be on the arm of a man who cries at the drop of a dime or needs a hug for every time that his team loses a game. If he did he wouldn’t necessarily be a sissy, he just wouldn’t be with me. But I digress. This Mama will straighten her son out by switch or verbal cues at the first sign of a tear. “Quit being a punk!” She might yell. This Mama gives us the indifferent man who is liable to toss the pink tie you bought him no matter how good he’ll look wearing it with his gray suit citing that pink is for the likes of Cam’ron little girls.
Why We Don’t Like Him:
He quite often will struggle with expressing his feelings and may not even have any empathy towards your emotions. Because he has been stifled, his upbringing can lead to a host of personality disorders. Narcissism and anxiety to name two. Try dealing with a narcissistic man who by definition can be hugely hyper sensitive to any form of criticism no matter how much honey you put on it. Dealing with this type of man can be very challenging and can ignite feeling of stress and anxiety in you. Thanks a lot Mom!
Mama “You’re Too Young to Settle Down” – This man could easily be pushing 50 years old and this Mama would still be telling him he’s far to good-looking and too great of a catch to settle down with her, her, or her. No one is ever going to be good enough for her son, and frankly, you could be in the way of him meeting “The One.” This Mama has sacrificed so much for her son to have and be all that he is today and doesn’t want for him to ruin his life by settling down too soon with a good digging hoochie like you! He is career oriented and is collecting women as his own little display of conquests. He has no need to settle down and Mama feels he’s just not ready yet.
Why We Don’t Like Him:
It’s clear. This guy is not interested in commitment. On paper he’s wonderful. He has all of the qualifications of a pretty decent guy. Problem is, his Mama has already told him that he is more than qualified as top-tier dating material and has encouraged him to live wild and free because he’s just too young, and apparently, too flyy, to settle down with one woman. He’ll likely be pretty up front with you when he says that he’s not looking for anything “serious.” He’s simple having a good time and will settle down in 3 to 5 years (although this was also his timeframe 3 to 5 years ago) when he’s truly ready to meet “The One.” To get to the point, he’ll lay you down, but that’s about it.
Mama “Abandonment” – This Mama either physically or emotionally abandoned her son leaving in her midst long-term damage of his psyche, his future relationships, and even the relationship he may have with his own child(ren). Mama’s actions will likely set off long-term effects in the form of low self-esteem, anger issues, withdrawal, and even the possibility of a cyclical effect that may impact his actions as a father resulting in him abandoning and neglecting his own child(ren).
Why We Don’t Like Him:
Well, we usually do like him. We want to save him and shower him with the love and affection we believe he missed out on as a direct impact of his mothers’ failure to care for him as a child. When we learn that we cannot rectify his past or the behavior of his mother, we sometimes learn that we don’t like that we are met with the resentment meant for his mother. We don’t like that he carries bitterness that will not allow for him to nurture our relationship.
Clearly, a lengthy post could be written detailing all of the sh*t mothers shouldn’t do and say to their daughters and even a post about the sh*t fathers should say and do, but instead the post focuses on the relationship between mother and son. And let’s face it, these men, God love ‘em, need some guidance. So mothers, please do the ladies of future generations a favor by not doing and saying sh*t that will cause the little ladies in the making to curse your name under her breath each time she and her mate (your son) get into an argument.
I can never remember the obviously boring conversation leading up to thought provoking dialogue that sticks in my mind or conjures up a myriad of emotions usually ranging somewhere between fascination and annoyance.
Close to a year ago I had a conversation with a loved one that proved to be no different from that of what I just described. For the life of me I can’t seem to recall what we were babbling about – English literature, world poverty, going green? But I can remember the month, the faded red Urban Outfitters blazer I had on (super cute by the way), and where we were when she nonchalantly said that if a mate can leave a relationship after one instance of infidelity then the love shared between the two must not be “true love.” That statement left me wondering if the love between my husband and I is a sham or if I’m just a mean, immature, prideful person because I can’t see myself writing off his indiscretion as a free pass.
Not to say that she would easily forgive and forget his infidelity, but her level of forgiveness supersedes that of mines. I am a true lioness and although I should probably feel ashamed to admit it, I am prideful and don’t care for the taste of betrayal and choke on the bitterness of disrespect.
After almost a year of mulling her theory on infidelity and forgiveness, I found myself in a laugh out loud conversation with another friend – this one a male – discussing ??? (Blank stare, sound of grass hoppers.) We somehow landed on the topic of marriage and infidelity and how we presume we would react if in the face of such a tragedy. Of course I shared with him my loved ones’ theory and requested his opinion.
His opinion: “I don’t think that love has anything to do with it.” Well then. That single sentence response in and of itself shed new life on the theory and took my mind further from the mind monotony of “say what now?” I found myself in after the theory first reared its head. Oh, but he wasn’t done. He elaborated on his feelings by saying – quite matter-of-factly- that the act of infidelity is less about love and more about the unfaithful partner seeking out what he or she is missing, be it sex, intimacy, or conversation. (But I’ll save that for another day.) He feels like to forgive betrayal is not because you truly love, because according to him, love isn’t a factor in the process of forgiving. Instead it is because the one betrayed simply surveys his/her options: divorce, separation, can of whoop a**, jail time, forgiveness, and makes a choice. Well then?
To the left with both the theory and the response to the theory. Let’s suffice it to say that both of them may be right if that’s how they believe they’d react to the infidelity of a partner. Let’s also suffice it to say that infidelity and how one may react is a boxed surprise that can only be unwrapped for the special occasion.
For those of you who may have been faced with what I consider the difficult task of forgiving an unfaithful partner, what does love have to do with it?