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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What's Your Preference - IKEA, Home Depot or Ready-Made?

I'll admit, I don't like to put together any furniture. My husband handles all the heavy lifting in that respect.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not the total girlie-girl who cant take the trash out or use a Phillips screwdriver, but since those X+Y chromosomes are around, hell...let them put those genes to some good use. :)

Here's a thought - even if I know that "Assembly [is] required,"  why do I get so annoyed at the idea of having to put furniture together? I mean, when I bought it, I knew I'd have to put the work in eventually, right?

[Stay with me - I have a point...]

I watched the movie "He's just not that into you" and I must say, I was very impressed with how balanced the story was (not just targeting or bashing one gender). I really enjoyed the movie. [Yah, for a great movie rental.:)]


The movie briefly touched on the age old subject of settling for what you're not getting in a mate while hoping that they'd change for the better. Well, I had a conversation with my friend "Cynthia" who had a date with a gentleman, who (she later found out) had some baggage. Not significant (initially) - but enough to make a girl reconsider another date.

First date: WONDERFUL. Dinner, lots of conversation (3hrs), he looked great...basically the ideal first date, minus any awkward moments, anxious wonders, or inappropriate expectations.

After the first date, Cynthia was optimistic. They talked on the phone and he said, "I see our second date as us just hanging out at home and watching movies." [Insert crowd booing, hissing, car screeches, the nines.]

To my friend, she asked herself, "why would he tease me with a spectacular first date and then not wanna keep the momentum going?" Now she admitted that she was not asking him to spend tons of money but asked what happened to "wining and dining" a gal, or as the older folk call it "courting?"

After they talked a bit (remember this is all before their second date), here's his story...

  1. He relocated to California in pursuit of a "job in the business."
  2. He moved here with no housing, lives in a shelter, and all of his minimum wages (from his two jobs) went toward food and living expenses.
  3. He has a child, which he had not seen in several months (and to his own admission was not able to send money or support the child due to the relocation). But take note - Cynthia did meet him in the club so he's got money for something. I guess a shot of Patron and a good Jay-Z song is hard to pass up. I digress...
  4. He's attended at least five trade schools. With this recent relocation, it's his sixth new career. I guess he's literally a "jack of all trades."
Cynthia and I talked for a while about this situation and she said she was going to tell him to concentrate on himself. Basically, she was giving him the "take care speech."  It wasn't about spending money on her, but in my opinion, too much may have been divulged before anyone made an investment, which is why I think Cynthia was turned off.

His story would have either invoked empathy or struck the resemblance of someone who's unfocused and cheap. Unfortunately, it was the latter.

Cynthia told me, " I cant deal with an IKEA brand, I need a ready-made man or better yet a man in the vain of Home Depot's motto, 'you can do it. we can help.' "

I hollered. The only problem...he needed too much help.

Here is my perspective: At least he told her that "assembly [was] required." She was informed well before she was five months or one-year invested and in love. At least she knew what she was getting and had the immediate option to either "put it together" or return it.

That guy had a rough story, but I must least he told her. Part of me feels bad for him...


Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Jig Is Up (Here's a long one worth the read)

There are many meanings of the word "jig." One that I found especially interesting was courtesy of : "Angling. any of several devices or lures, esp. a hook or gang of hooks weighted with metal and dressed with hair, feathers, etc., for jerking up and down in or drawing through the water to attract fish."

I'd been receiving issues of "Field and Stream" for months and quickly discarded it because it was one of many in my "spam-mail" collection. It was enough to be bombarded with e-mail but getting physical mail that I didn't want was annoying - until now. I started reading an article in the magazine called, "King Lure" and it talked about different jigs (affordable ones, their purpose, etc). I thought, "Hmm. Now here's a topic."

A jig varies in shape and size. Based on the rod and line, it can also produce varied results. Like a jig, men (or women) can be alluring, weighted with "psychological" metal and dressed to impress - all while fooling their intended target. So I wondered, are we the jigs wavering through the dating waters searching for the right one or the fish,  waiting to be hooked? Sometimes we're both.

My friend "Cynthia" went on a blind date (as suggested and set up by a mutual friend ) with a guy who showed up looking dapper. Unfortunately, he had a striking resemblance to her ex-boyfriend. Yikes. Ok people, let the maneuvering (or wavering) begin.

The date started with intentions of just having lunch, but with great optimism and promise (the hook) - the date was expanded to include a late night party at a swanky LA club. 

Into the water ... 

They had lunch ...and ...he grossly inhaled his food. He then said, "Oh, I'm just a fast eater." Apparently, my friend's face showed signs of caution and worry. When they left he said, "You know you got parking since I paid for lunch. I know how you California women are." (Da da da daaa....There's the weighted metal and all it's glory.)

Right before leaving, he ranted about how he wanted to watch the Laker game. Cynthia said she would rather go to the gynecologist than watch the game, but decided that the gyne could wait and headed back to her place. At home, she handled a few items around the house while he watched the game. After a bit....he randomly (and surprisingly, I might add) lights a joint. Yes. Reefer, grass, marijuana - A JOINT! My friend doesn't smoke and let me remind you that this is their FIRST DATE and furthermore, he did not ask if he could light up in her house. After a few words...Wiggle. Wiggle. Pull. Pull. And...he's still hanging on.

Cynthia pressed on. After all, he knows where she lives (which is not a common dating practice for her) and she decided that it could not get any worse. (Deeper...)

He falls asleep on the couch. Snores. He wakes up and says, "My stomach doesn't feel good. I really need to take a sh*t and shower." [Yes this is what he said - no exaggeration.] She gives him a towel and lets him clean-up before going to a friend's birthday party. (Shallow waters...)

At this point, she's completely disgusted by him but decides to get through the evening. (Side note: If you knew my friend, you'd realize that her patience in this was an amazing feat because right when he asked her to pay for parking, she would have "cut the line" and had a few choice words.)

At the club, she talks with her friends (and by now she just wants to enjoy the evening and be done with this fool). Suddenly, she looks around and can't find him. Finally she finds him...cozied up with another woman. She walks over and says, "Awe, are you two on a date?" (lol) She informs him that she's leaving in a few minutes (they rode together). Now I know what you're thinking. She would have left him, but ...he knows where she lives (his car is parked outside of her place). Damn. Back to the water...

Because he was drunk my friend decided to let him sleep on the couch so that he did not injure himself or anyone else on the road. However, she did so with the warning, "If I feel the heat from your hand on my bedroom doorknob or the turn of your eyes in the direction of my bedroom, I will hurt you!"  Enough said. (lol)

Bright and early (7 am) she woke him up so that he could leave. Well, like most men, he awoke with ... an erection. He began his alluring prance to which she politely told him how she's just not that into him. (Score!)

He dropped his pants and said, "You are going to turn down this?"

My friend politely answered, "You know, people that know me know that I don't turn down anything but my [shirt] collar but ...I don't want you like that."

Wiggle. Wiggle. Pull. Pull. And...the fish (or opportunity) was lost.

No closing remarks this time, just two questions: Are you the jig or the fish? Are you searching or waiting?


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Definitions (Part 1)

Different. The very nature of the word can spark uncanny debate, feverish hate and even passionate admiration. From culture to ethnicity, religion to gender --our differences are what makes us unique, yet divinely connected.

Since Adam spared a rib and Eve was created, we've been innately connected but cosmically different in our actions, what governs our decisions and more importantly - our emotions/feelings. Although of his body and in his image, men and women are simply...different.

I met a 38-year-old woman who met her (then) common-law husband before they were teens, had seven children and more than 25 years of relationship tracks. The husband takes a job in another state (to help provide for his family) and before you know it, he's living two lives fresh with two lovers, several kids and a slew of emotional ties. After several months of frequent flier miles and secret rendezvous, he decides he's not in love with his common-law wife anymore and going live in another state with his new family. The woman became content with the notion that they would not be together because after years of struggle, she too wanted to part; but like some, was too accustomed to their monotonous relationship. Bottom line: she felt she'd invested too many years to leave, he felt the same but in the end, he made the change. He made the difference.

There are many layers to this scenario, but it begs the question of what defines us. Someone said to me that the man in this situation is commendable because at least he (or someone) took ownership of his (or their) feelings. In that moment, he was idolized for being more of a "man" because complacency and settlement was the sin. What do you think?

I asked the men of my facebook family, "What defines a man?" and here is what was said: 

Henry T., Chicago, IL - His relationship with GOD 

Hassahn P., Los Angeles, CA - I believe that a man is defined by knowing the difference between being a male and a man. A male can be on any animal species and have natural male instincts in which they live by. A man on the other hand has those same instincts yet the ability to reason and know when instinct is needed and when true thought is needed. For instance, when it comes to relationships, it is natural for a man to seek out women. That is truly instinctive but a true man has to realize that if he has a great woman at home then he needs to curb that instinct and think logical. Unlike lions or most mammals in the animal kingdom, we have the ability to reason which sets us far apart from our male counterparts although some of us tend to not act like it. Now that I got the science out of the way, I also believe a man is strong mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A man is balanced knowing when to exude strength and when to show vulnerability. Once he recognizes that in some instances vulnerability is ok, then he truly will begin to recognize his true strength. A man is also a teacher and student pointing again to the balance of life. A man is a provider and not an enabler; he knows how to provide to not only himself, but also to those around him. He knows how to be a provider without enabling the abilities of those in his circle. A man is confident enough to lead yet humble enough to follow. I could go on and on but I will stop it here. In closing, a man represents the true balance of what God intended us to be. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Shades of Gray

I've always loved the color spectrum. Its vibrancy and the ability to show how primary colors when mixed, can create other colors. Each color, although independent, was connected. 

The black and white spectrum was most interesting to me because the shades of gray were seamless from black to white. When I think about that, it reminds me how all of our actions are connected, one flowing into the next - seamlessly, fluid and sometimes clouded.

A fellow blogger posted a piece called Innocence in Infidelity? which talks about her best friend's untimely connection to a married man. After reading the blog I started thinking about the question she asked, "Is it ever OK to cheat?" I definitively answered in the realm of my black/white spectrum, "No."

Then I thought about how there are many situations that are clearly black and white. But what about the areas of gray? Pending divorce. Separation. It's all the colorful history we don't know that affects our actions...and I preface that by saying, "in some cases."

My husband and I were talking about people who commit crimes (like robbery) that inevitably go horribly wrong and the offender gets hurt. I said, "If you go into a place with the intent to rob it, you get exactly what you deserve." My husband then said, "Well what if that person is stealing to get food for their kids."

The colorful details are what consoles us, condemns us and even confuses us. Usually our actions are dictated by the moment and our personal feelings. Life is about deciding which spectrum you are working with - black and white or color. Naturally in color, things are more visible, more intriguing (or less) and more appealing (or less). In black and white, there is no variation. It's either right or wrong, yes or no, cheat or not. But what about the gray? Gray is just the watered down version of the definite.

So, is it OK to cheat? Not to me. I still like my black and white spectrum. I just omit the gray...and dye it brown. [Smile]


Friday, November 28, 2008

Falling Out of Love

I'm working on a book which requires me to examine our innate ability to know when something is wrong - whether it's in a relationship, with our families or on the job - as women, we know when something is not quite right. I've interviewed lots of people about relationships ... so tell me what you think about a fictional situation I call, "Love's Latest."

We often ravage the magazines looking for the latest fashion trends – from the newest Roberto Cavalli trouser to the latest Gucci bag. But like most fads and trends, they change quickly – in one season and out the next. But some say if you're lucky, you've missed it without noticing or got just enough of it to transform your life.

For Phyllis, "love" was like vintage Mary Janes – old, never out of style but worn sparingly. She dated her husband for more than five years and they've now been married for a little more than two. When asked why they waited to get married, she said, "It never seemed like the right time."

They met in college, he pursued her for more than two years, but according to her she didn't want to settle down. So once she decided, "Ok he's a good guy," they started dating. They talked about having kids, religion, their childhood – everything you would discuss as you're building a new relationship. About one year into their marriage she felt as though the passion was starting to fizzle. Not just physical intimacy but the spiritual connection she says she thought they shared. Naturally, Phyllis decides, "Maybe there is something wrong with me." She went into her, "Superwoman fix it" role.

After six months of trying to "fix" their marriage, he told her he wasn't happy and wanted a divorce. It was as if one day, he woke up and fell out of love.

Is this possible? Can you be in love one day and out the next?