What’s In a Title?

Nowadays, everyone hates labels. I guess it’s some Millennial thing. Labels have a tendency to box people into categories, and sometimes it can be impossible to rid yourself of a label that has basically become a part of your reputation. A label can minimize a person to a one-dimensional being, robbing him/her of all complexity. My peers from school and I are fully grown adults, yet some of us still bare the labels that were bestowed upon us in high school, particularly the more unsavory ones (hoe, slut, player, weirdo, etc). The negative perceptions of a person always tend to overshadow the positive ones. Science has shown that our brains have a way of planting the bad things in our brains more firmly than the pleasant ones because processing negative experiences requires more mental effort. We use stronger language to describe our negative 6e23daa7794130a4e612bd2bac7525bc-mean-girls-bulliesencounters and tend to stew over them for longer periods of time. Like with everything, though, there is always another side to consider. Humans need labels. Pointing to things and naming them are one of the first stages of language development. It is how we categorize and reference things, how we can separate what’s good for us from what isn’t. Language is our most powerful tool, and by labeling people, we give them a role in our lives. Mother, sister, husband, friend, co-worker and so on and so forth are just a few titles most of us are familiar with, and if you have any of these people in your life, you have certain expectations of them. Where it tends to get murky is when it comes to romantic relationships. A situation in which two people have a romantic interest in one another and are not entertaining others is typically labeled a relationship. For the price of that title you are usually compensated with commitment, monogamy and companionship, and for someone who is not 100% invested in you, giving up the thrill of the single life to sleep with the same person every night is too high of a price to pay. So what do some people *cough cough* (men), tend to do? They hit you with a bunch of semantics to tip toe around committing to you in an effort to have their cake and eat it too. Before you know it, you’re knee deep in a Situationship.

“You Ain’t Even My Girl”

Being an adult is tiring. I feel like adulthood is a scam. As a child, all I longed for was the freedom that came with being “grown.” The ability to make my own decisions seemed like heaven. The beauty of childhood is the naivete. My inexperienced mind did not realize the amount of responsibility that came along with the freedom to do trivial things like stay out as late as I wanted or eat ice cream for dinner. As I became an older teenager, I was able to get a taste of the adult life without having to purchase the whole entree. Back when I was a young and dumb 19/20 year old, I was allowing my love interest at the time to get all the benefits of a relationship from me without requiring him to complete the package. I was brainwashed with all the “we don’t need a title” rhetoric and just went along with it because in my mind we were practically in a relationship, anyway. He was in my apartment majority of the time, didn’t want me dating others, and led me to believe he wasn’t seeing anyone else either. To put it simply, I was an idiot. During that time in my life, I didn’t know how to put my foot down and require more. I knew that I ultimately was not going to get the commitment I wanted, so tumblr_ntxt9tjvuq1uab7s4o1_1280I just decided to leave things alone. After all, he was around consistently, so that must be a sign that he was really into me, right? WRONG. I was dead wrong, because every time I would complain I would get the reminder that we are not even a relationship so I have no right to air any grievances towards him. No matter how close you may think you two are, if there is no verbal agreement that you two are exclusive, you are single. I allowed this man to have all of the benefits of a boyfriend, without him taking on any of the responsibilities that come along with that title. I was nothing more than a temp-agency girlfriend. At a temp agency, they send you to a company to work there for a varied length of time and while you give that company the benefits of your employment, when all is said and done, you gotta get up outta there. They may like you, but you’re not what they’re looking for long term. You work there, but they offer you no benefits and you ultimately leave with nothing until you’re sent somewhere else. The old me would ask him why aren’t we together, or when are we going to make it official, and I would get those cliche responses typical of someone who isn’t interested in you long term. “I’m just not ready for a relationship right now.” “You know I have feelings for you, why complicate things with a title?” “I’m not good enough financially right now to have a girlfriend.” Deep down I knew this was a crock of b.s., yet I continued on anyway like the poor fool I was. If a man is truly enamored with you, you will know because he will tell you and take you off the market. If at any time during the early stages of dating you have to ask yourself “what are we doing?” just know he’s doing him, beloved. You should go do you, too.

Bonds > Title

I think my favorite excuse people use to sidestep a relationship is the notion that a “bond is better than a title.” This is just silly, to put it mildly. It saddens me that women are buying into this propaganda. A bond is cute, but how many others does he have a “bond” with? A title is not a bulletproof vest for your relationship against cheating and other detrimental actions, but there needs to be some type of foundation there. When you neglect to specify what type of bond you have, the doors to a world of ambiguity burst wide open. Are we bonded as friends? Temporary companions? F*ck buddies? Which is it? An old friend of mine was navigating the foggy waters of Bond-land when she texted me crushed one day. The man she thought she was so connected to introduced her to his best friend as “this is my friend…”. This was after months of dates, humpin’, Netflix & chillin, learning all about each others’ pasts and him telling her how close he felt to her. giphy1They spent so much time together, she was sure he saw her as much more than a friend. Sis didn’t know that a bond without a title to go along with it is just a Situationship. So much time and energy was invested into this bond, yet it was worthless when it was time to cash it in. It is so important to be honest with yourself and your potential bae when you begin to communicate what it is you are looking for. If you are 100% sure that you just want companionship without the strings and stress that can accompany commitment, open your mouth and say that. If you realize down the road that you were misguided about your wants and now you want something more serious, be clear about your needs. If you’re dealing with a man, you have to be upfront. It’s key. They don’t pick up on hints and passive aggressive moves to try and signal what you want will end with your texts saying Read 9:57PM. At the end of the day, you have to be prepared for rejection. He may not want what you want, and that’s fine. He’s not the only man left with a sausage dangling between his legs. Nurse your ego back to health and keep it pushing, but don’t become a thirstbucket who is content with being a half-ass girlfriend. Life is too short.

He Just Doesn’t Like You Sis

There are levels to liking someone. I’ve liked a lot of guys who I didn’t want a relationship with. Frank Ocean said it best “No, I don’t like you I just thought you were cool enough to kick it.” Lust easily blinds us to the real ins and outs of someone’s personality because we are led on a string by physical attraction. Liking someone physically and/or sexually does not equate to liking who they are as a person. When you’re just riding around having a jolly good time and neglect to learn anything about his habits, goals, dark past or 325 credit score, you can’t say you like him because you don’t know him. Knowing that he taught his little brother how to throw a football does not mean he would be good with kids. His conspiracy theory about Earth being flat does not mean he’s deep and doesn’t conform. Now think a little harder about this; if you barely know him, you can guarantee he knows beans about you. If the sex is good and the stress is low, a man who isn’t already captivated by your dazzling personality isn’t going out of his way to learn more about you than what you’re offering up as free information. During the dark days of me selling myself short, I thirstily asked Situationship Boo what he thought of me. He said, “you’re cool.” I was flabbergasted. tenorCompletely bewildered. My ego took about 27 hits at once. I’m COOL?!? Just cool? Where was all that sweet talk in the beginning where I was told I wasn’t like other girls and I was so great to be around? I thought because I was going to a major university, didn’t live at home with my parents, received my Associate’s Degree and high school diploma at the same time, read a bunch of books and didn’t have a baby daddy that I was wifey material through and through. All that education I had and I couldn’t see past my own ego. He just didn’t like me like that. It doesn’t matter how good you look on paper or in person, if you two aren’t vibing on more that a physical level, you will remain just someone who is convenient for the moment. Instead of being basic AF and asking him what he thought of me months down the road, I should have spent those early days seeing if our connection was something worth building on instead of going with the flow that ended up flowing absolutely nowhere. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you have the personality of Tiffany Haddish, talent of Beyonce and sex appeal of Rihanna, if he doesn’t like you, he just doesn’t like you, beloved. Someone being present in the moment and giving you a few hours of their time here and there does not mean he wants a relationship with you. He can shower you with compliments, take you out for your birthday and snatch your soul every night, but if he hasn’t told you he wants you just for him, move on. Him beating around the bush when you mention a relationship isn’t because Mercury in Retrograde is putting a damper on his communication skills. You are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’ll be someone’s. Remember that when you see him on Snapchat a few months later with a girlfriend.

 

 

You’re a Loyal Fool

Women are nurturers. Many of us love to fix broken things and heal what has been hurt and/or damaged. Whether it be by nature or nurture, we have the propensity to see past any trespasses made against us and see the good in people and to also help it manifest. Perhaps it’s due to the maternal qualities that reside in a lot of us and is further strengthened by how young girls are socialized to be caretakers. These are redeeming qualities, however, this mindset becomes toxic when some women interpret it as an obligation to tolerate disrespect, inconsistency, infidelity and a myriad of other problematic actions. Have women really become so thirsty for a man that any man will do? In some instances, I believe that is the case. For a lot of us, however, I believe it has been ingrained in our psyches that as long as he is providing some semblance of care, shut up and “let a man be a man.” Throughout countless generations and still in some cultures today, women have been forced to depend on men for survival. Women in Saudi Arabia were just given the right to drive, for goodness’ sake. American women did not begin working consistently until the 1940’s, so it was essential to secure a husband swiftly, otherwise end up destitute. Being an unmarried woman was not a good look, and many women were forced to marry ain’t sh*t men just to have a roof over their heads and some food on the table. Divorce was frowned upon just until relatively recently, so a lot of women just had to endure a bad situation. This created some “stand by your man” mentality that has trapped women in bad relationships for eons. giphy A lot of us watched our mothers and other women in our family tolerate treatment they did not deserve, masked under “he’s a good man, he just blah blah blah.” We love to make excuses in an attempt to justify the bad behavior from people we love, absolving them of any responsibility for their actions and sweeping all the issues under the rug. No matter your reason for staying with a man who doesn’t value you, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It will never be worth it. You’re holding yourself hostage for what? Hope that he will change? Have you given up hope that there are any decent men out there, so you’re just going to settle for the best of the worst? Is there some sort of trophy for being loyal to someone who couldn’t care less if you cry yourself to sleep every night? I don’t think so. The return on your investment for supposedly helping a man become a better person will be zero. 10x out of 9 people don’t change, and if they do, it will because they want to, not because of anything you’ve done. I don’t have the energy to take on projects, and if I wanted to raise someone, I would get pregnant. Do not make yourself responsible for the growth of other people.

Your Man is Not Gucci Mane

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From the outside looking in, it appears that Gucci Mane has made a miraculous transformation since being released from prison. The man is literally glowing. He and his new wife Keyshia look like they’re on cloud nine, and they had a breathtaking wedding. We do not know the details of their relationship, but they appear to be madly in love. Keyshia was Gucci’s ride or die, supporting him through prison, years of alleged drug use and a career that comes with copious amounts of glamour and temptation. They have become relationship goals for many, proving that if you stay loyal, you will be rewarded with a ring and a lavish lifestyle. Apparently women these days do not know how to hold a man down properly and leave as soon as a problem arises. We should all be more like Keyshia, right? That’s what I have been seeing so much of. Your man deserves for you to be a loyal doormat while he runs wild through the streets, and you are a bad partner if you require more of him. How dare a woman expect loyalty from her significant other?! How preposterous! That logic irks me beyond belief. Sure, there are men who put up with women who do not treat them right, but the difference lies in that this is not an expectation of men.22490034_1532633586780060_8010361249584378024_n No man is raised to “stand by your woman” no matter what she does. Have you ever watched a movie or show where a man’s peers were telling him how good of a woman his significant other is despite her constant cheating and troublesome behavior, and that he should give her a chance to change her ways? We aren’t talking about one mistake or slip up during the relationship, but an overall toxic and emotionally draining environment. Everyone is going to make mistakes, it’s human nature, but your whole relationship should not be a merry-go-round of screw ups and empty apologies. If Gucci Mane truly made a turnaround, that’s great. Apparently Keyshia saw something in him that I would not have stayed around to uncover, and we have to stop preaching this twisted rhetoric that if you allow a man to drag you through the mud long enough, you will come out clean on the other side. A relationship is not supposed to be in a perpetual state of turmoil. Romantic love is not supposed to hurt, and while it requires work like any other relationship, it should not be a constant uphill battle. This all goes back to the sect of gender roles that require women to be submissive and subservient. Many say that women will put up with anything for money, and many say that taking care of someone financially entitles them to do whatever they’d like. This is not 1888, and you don’t have to put up with anyone’s foolery in order to prevent homelessness and despair. I didn’t know that the only thing a man was supposed to do was provide financial support. It may be better to cry in a mansion, but who wants to be hurt at all? If you allow a man to disturb your inner peace just for a designer bag and some jewelry, you don’t love him, you just love the fancy lifestyle, and you certainly don’t love yourself. 

30th Times’ a Charm

“Maybe he will finally get it this time!” This is the battle cry of someone fighting to hold on to a relationship with a person who doesn’t act right and who likely never will. You lie awake at night wondering what you can try next to show him how good of a catch you are and how foolish of him it would be to let you walk out the door. You’ve seen the potential in him, and you just know that you are the one to turn this pauper into a prince. He’s shown you who he is a multitude of times, but you know that’s not the real him. He’s just been hurt by these no-good women out here. If you are taking the time to truly get to know someone, you wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place. People are unable to hide their true colors for long, and time reveals all, but of course, women love to fall in love with potential. I’m not sure why so many of us think we have the supreme power to manifest change in people, but no one is that powerful. We do not have this level of control over anyone, and trying to control things you have no power over will lead to disappointment every time. When some people realize that actively trying to change a person doesn’t work, they try the wait and pray approach. They walk all over you again and again, but you have the patience of Job; you tell yourself this time that God is working on their heart, and if you just be still, you will come out on the other side stronger than ever. Get a grip. Your efforts are futile and you are letting the best years of your life pass you by waiting on a loser to see the light. Being in a bad relationship just for the sake of being in one is selling yourself short.

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We all know those “at least I got a man” type of women, even though their man is unemployed, unfaithful, ugly and God only knows what else. But hey, any man is better than no man, right? Internalized misogyny is a real killer. Some women are so brainwashed they feel it is better to allow emotional and sometimes physical abuse from a boyfriend or spouse than be single and date until a suitable partner is found. To make matters worse, a lot of women are allowing men they aren’t even in relationships with dog them out. They hope if they prove their loyalty to him, he will bestow the honor of being his girlfriend upon them. Countless women give their unwavering loyalty to men who would be gone at the first dose of disrespect. It is time that we become equally intolerant. Instead of building up a hopeless charity case, find someone who matches or even exceeds where you are in life. If you find that all you attract are men who have nothing to offer besides penis and a headache, it’s time you go inside and examine yourself. You clearly don’t think you deserve anything better. The universe gives us back what we put out, and it is impossible to attract something that is not present within yourself. I do not find it impressive to be the woman who finally made the most wild man of them all act right.  All that means is you were the one foolish enough to stick around long enough for him to either get tired of his current lifestyle or all his other options showed him the door and you were the only one dumb enough to still be there. You are not Cesar Milan, but instead of teaching dogs how to behave, you have a knack for training problematic men. I have yet to read any type of content regarding a man helping build a woman into the person she is meant to be, stand by your queen while she’s down, or anything pertaining to men tolerating disrespect while a woman grows and matures. This does not have to be a double standard that withstands the rest of humanity, but it will be as long as women keep buying into the notion that you should be loyal to a fault while you do not receive the same treatment in return. Love is conditional, and not everyone should be entitled to your heart.

Closure: Necessary or Overrated?

I absolutely love writing about the characters on HBO’s “Insecure.” I love discussing them. I love analyzing them. To put it simply, this show fills a TV void that I didn’t know I was missing. Sure, most adults can relate to the perils of dating and friendship drama, but as a young black woman, Insecure just hits that niche spot. It feels good to be represented on mainstream television as a black millennial, and I’m sure the men of the #LawrenceHive can agree. Throughout all 16 episodes, there have been many times where I have been Issa. I have been Molly. I have been Kelli. I have been Tiffany, who endures the “light skin” jokes. In the finale of Season 2, titled “Hella Perspective”, I am sure many of us have been Issa or Lawrence, closing a chapter with someone in which we care for deeply. Despite their ever-present love for each other, they both got the closure they needed, which will hopefully put an end to them acting out their pain in an onslaught of meaningless encounters and projections onto others.

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The finale sparked some interesting conversation regarding closure, specifically whether or not it is needed to move on with your life and open your heart again. To some people, yes, it is a key part to healing and finally realizing that this is curtains closed; the ship has sailed, and you can now begin a healthy relationship with someone else. To others, however, closure is a futile attempt to gain clarity on what went wrong, and even an excuse to see the person again and drag out the ending process until there is absolutely nothing left. In a perfect world, closure sounds nice. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a final conversation with your old boo, where both of you address where you went wrong, take the appropriate amount of responsibility, then go your separate ways with a clear conscience and no hard feelings? Ha! Too bad that rarely ever happens. Thank you Issa for putting false hope in our hearts.

You Want Answers & You Want Them Now

One of the Google definitions of ‘closure’ is “a feeling that an emotional or traumatic experience has been resolved.” We often hear of friends saying they got no closure at the dissolution of a relationship. We hear it acted out on scripted television and reality shows. Something ending abruptly or painfully often leaves us with questions unanswered, anger, confusion, etc., and by receiving “closure,” we can tie up those loose ends. We are a logical species, and being unable to understand others’ behaviors leaves us quite unsettled. This leads us to seek answers. We tell ourselves we want the truth, no matter how ugly. I can’t speak for everyone, but there hasn’t been a time where I have gone this route and received the results I so desired. It was just more of the same: pointing the finger back at me, dodging the questions, and either failing to see their part in our demise or shutting down completely. I finally realized one day that if I was not getting the communication and other things I needed while we were involved with each other, what would change in a matter of weeks? Most people don’t reach some sort of epiphany where they can wake up and realize they were a piece of sh*t and have a burning desire to own up to it all. I would leave even more angry and hurt than I was before the encounter, causing me to questions my judgment and decision making ability.giphy3 This does not mean I believe Insecure dropped the ball by allowing us to witness a healthy conversation between Issa and Lawrence where they both accepted their failures in the relationship. If anything, it should serve as an example to the rest of us. The reality is that this is the sort of closure that most of us will most likely never experience at the end of a relationship, and that does not go to say that Issa and Lawrence floated to this moment after months of soul searching. They had their fair share of drama and pain. All of this inner turmoil can manifest in a plethora of ways, like “hoe phases” and picking up random girls for threesomes at the grocery store.

Closure Puts Those Demons To Rest

Hurt people, hurt people, including themselves. While I no longer seek traditional closure at the end of my relationships, I can understand why some people feel like they need it. During a couple of therapy sessions after the end of a tumultuous relationship of my own, my therapist told me it was normal to feel the grief I was experiencing. I learned that after a bad breakup, our brains have the same or very similar reaction as when a loved one dies. We experience the same phases of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, etc. Heartbreak takes a serious toll on our mental health. Pain can manifest itself in many ways, and in Issa’s case, it came out in a self-proclaimed “Hoe Phase.” That lifestyle does not suit Issa. She isn’t cut out for it. Her “hoe-tation” left her even more unfulfilled and frustrated, and a lot of it was awkward to witness, from random romps with her neighbor to unintended facials, Issa failed at being sexually liberated. Her attempts at embracing the single life were unsuccessful because she sought empowerment in ways that were not compatible with her personality. She asked Molly to teach her how to “hoe,” without even stopping to realize that the hoe life has brought giphy4Molly nothing but pain and disappointment. Lawrence, on the other hand, used Tasha as a rebound to distract himself from the pain of betrayal, and ended up hurting and embarrassing her as he lead her on and drowned his sorrows in her vagina and home cooked meals. He then went on to have random trysts with strangers just out to use black men for their so called sexual prowess, and projected his trust issues onto Aparna, who could prove to be a promising match for him. So what did we learn at the end of the finale? Both Issa and Lawrence have gained some much needed insight on what they each could have done differently. They’ve accepted reality and the beef has been cooked up and eaten. Now they both can go out into Singleville with a clear mind and date with dignity. Closure goals, no? Unfortunately, most of our closure looks more like Issa and Lawrence’s 30 second silent romp at the beginning of the season.

Closed Relationship, Open Legs

Raise your hand if during those “lets just meet up and talk this out then go our separate ways”  discussions you did more f’ing and less talking? Or even if you didn’t end up taking an unintended dick appointment, you just opened the can of worms again and invited the drama right back into your life? I can’t lie, my hand is raised too. I was lying to myself when I was either initiating a meet-up or agreeing to one that we were just there to talk. Deep down, I just wanted to see him again. I would get cute, rehearse my speech in my head, and hope that he would either see the light or that my good looks would make him realize what he was giving up. I ended up wasting my time and he was wasting his. Sure, we were done, but after those meetings texts were still coming through, pictures still being liked, and neither of us would throw in the towel until someone else entered the pictured or it had finally run its course. I stopped torturing myself like that long ago. When a breakup is fresh, don’t tempt yourself with a meeting in which you know will put you in a vulnerable position. I have become a part of Team No Closure because unless both people walk into these encounters with honest tumblr_ow3paalzpv1txl6nno8_r1_400intentions and a clear mind, you might as well abort the mission. This is where I applaud the closure scene between Issa and Lawrence, because they took advantage of an opportunity to clear the air. While I still think these are not typical results (still possible though), it did not occur under the guise of “ay, come through we should talk” or “you left your hat here, you wanna come grab it tonight when I get off work?” It was organic. The moral of the story is, if you are out to seek closure, do so with a clear mind. Give yourself time. Give the other person time, and don’t be offended if they tell you to kick hot rocks with no shoes on. Conversations such as these should only be had when your emotions are not running high and you aren’t stuck in the past, being a professor of revisionist history. My current version of closure is learning to accept an apology that I may never receive and moving on with my life. An understanding of why you hurt me does not make the pain any less devastating, and a half-assed sorry is not a percocet for my broken heart. Most people’s egos will not allow them to become vulnerable and hold a mirror up to their wrong-doings, so I would rather not even try and end up disappointed. To each their own though, and I hope we all can seek the closure we need within ourselves.

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Black People Hate Each Other

There is nothing on this planet quite like a Black man. My father served as my first example of their resiliency in the face of adversity, their remarkable ability to exude warmth despite experiencing so much coldness from the outside world and the drive to succeed while playing with a hand of cards that would have made most give up and surrender themselves to a world that seemed hellbent on keeping them down. My dad is just one example of Black men who shatter the stereotypes that Black men are lazy thugs who do not take care of their hoard of illegitimate children, and for that I am remarkably proud of him. In a world where Black men and women are undervalued and
underrepresented, it is important that we uplift each other, yet the division between Black men and women is quite astounding and deeply saddening. Of course men and women collectively have struggled with relating to each other and finding common ground on issues such as equality, but when you live in a patriarchal society that is nothing beyond the norm. The issues within the Black community go much deeper than your old everyday “men are dogs” rhetoric. What happened between us that caused such a divide? Scroll through social media and you will see a plethora of harsh comments from Black men regarding Black women, Black women stating how they don’t need a man and how n*ggas ain’t sh*t and both sides recalling instances of how not having a father in their lives has affected them.

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Slavery: The Side Effects

Whether or not people want to believe it, slavery still has long standing effects on its descendants. In the scope of human existence, 200 years post slavery is merely a drop in the bucket of time. In fact, it is so recent that you could likely track down the owner of your great great great grandparents. So what does this have to do with the division between Black men and women? Everything. During slavery, it was key for slave owners to dismantle any type of unity between slaves. Slave marriages were not legally recognized and married slaves were always reminded that at the end of the day, they were both property of their master. Rape was a common method used to exercise this power, and the Black man was powerless to come to the aid of his wife, no matter how angry or provoked he felt. This created a resentment in the Black woman, as she had to live knowing that the man she bore children for and loved was powerless to protect her. On the other hand, the Black man had to carry the shame that he could not save his wife from being a victim, while also struggling with the fact that she had been with another man, regardless of the lack of consent on her part. It did not matter that this was just a consequence of the time period; a human being is going to feel the emotions appropriate for the circumstances. 7eb0f0eb2cca50cc2f872a5f0fde2f37The lack of rights for a slave did not make either party feel better just because that was the way things were. A husband and father are protectors, and having to witness your warrior powerless against your attacker will create a lack of trust, be it consciously or subconsciously. He could not shield his wife from being a victim, he could not prevent his children from being sold.  Aside from the violent nature of rape,  during and after slavery, Black men and women were not typically attracted to each other. Black women were (and often even now) portrayed as the “mammy”, overweight and in a position of subservience, usually around to clean up after White people and nurse their children. The Black man, on the other hand, was emasculated on a daily basis; how was he to respect himself or command respect from others? Not only was his manhood diminished, but he was also put into the role of the jester, the ‘schuckin and jivin’ minstrel. Of course there was still love among slaves, but is it unreasonable to presume that the level of respect and attraction was low? Slavery has had a significant impact on black love, and the black family has suffered because of it.

Family Feud

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Fast forward to now, and it is easy to see the continued discord between the Black man and woman. It is almost like we are socialized to not be together. Have relations improved much 200 years post slavery? I would have to say no. I could open any of my social media timelines right now and see an overabundance of disrespectful comments from Black men pertaining to Black women. The negativity spans across hair texture, skin complexion, attitudes, child support spite, parenting, body type, the list is endless. Black women express disdain for the Black man as well, but not at the concerning rates that Black men do. Lack of ambition and the absence of having the Black woman’s back are the main complaints; quite honestly the rest of the dialogue can be applied to any man. Brothas are extremely misogynistic towards sistas, and rap music has been a long time contributor to this issue. When our Black men grow up listening to “Bitches ain’t sh*t but hoes and tricks / Lick on these nuts and suck the d*ck,” why are we surprised when they lack respect for Black women? The number of male role models in the Black community are slim, so the rappers became the role models. Young Black women who were exposed to this type of music at a young age became desensitized to it; disrespect towards women became normalized for some in the Black community. Just because you are a fan of rap, however, does not mean you go out and disrespect women or tolerate disrespect but it is who-needs-black-girls-anymore-i-aint-say-it-i-6624607important to realize that the entertainment industry does have an effect on how we view each other. Each day I witness Black men and women at war with each other, and I always find it so interesting that I do not see other races putting each other down at such alarming rates, or at all. Never have I seen any of my White, Hispanic or Asian social media followers say their own women are trash, their men are deadbeats or put them down while uplifting another race. Is there anything wrong with dating outside your ethnic group? Absolutely not. What is wrong is condemning your people in the process. I have always found it astonishing that many of the qualities Black men shame Black women for, they also possess: darker skin, coarse hair, animated personalities, etc. It is definitely worth assuming that there is some self-hate stirring around within them that needs to be sorted out. Disassociating yourself from your own blackness will not make you less Black. If you hate yourself, you will want to distance yourself from anything that reminds you of the thing you are running from. The divide and conquer tactics used during slavery are still working. Black families in America have the highest rate of single parent households due to factors such as mass incarcerations and poverty, creating further resentment between the Black man and woman. Just like during slavery, many fathers were not present. Whether it be by choice or force, the consequences remain the same. There is a lack of trust between Black people that other races do not experience, because they did not face the trauma of slavery and Jim Crow. Willie Lynch’s method to control slaves was to spread fear, envy and distrust between them, and it is blatantly obvious that these tactics have been tattooed on the psyche of Black people. Fortunately, I have been noticing a slow but steady spread of unity within the Black community.

Spread The Love

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Thanks to social media, I have been noticing a lot more positivity spreading between Black people. This is not to say that there has been a lack of Black unity altogether, but I attribute the increase to the alarming rate in which Black men and women are being targeted and killed by police, and to some extent, our collective disdain for Trump. Regardless of the reason, it is refreshing and beautiful to witness. It is very important that we hold ourselves accountable for perpetuating the hate we experience from the outside world upon each other. I frequently see Black women (and men, however, to a lesser extent) on social media call out other Black people who spread false narratives regarding our people and who also perpetuate stereotypes. It is vital that we educate each other about the tactics that were put in place to ensure we never unify or view each other in a positive light. After all, by continuing to remain spiteful towards each other, the vision racist America had for us since we were brought here on slave ships remains successful. Sure, we have accomplished great things as a people and have conquered monumental obstacles, but our interpersonal bonds must be strengthened. 9b01c1750a0102e6f63f3e2cfd6d40a6Black people have to separate ourselves from the image the media has constructed. Black men are more than rappers, athletes, and criminals. Black women do more than have babies out of wedlock, twerk, and have attitudes with anyone who crosses their path. Our accomplishments are always seen with an asterisk by them, and we participate in the practice of not supporting each other. This can change! Support the ventures of your friends, encourage our kids to pursue their dreams, even if they are not the most practical. Until we let go of the mental chains of slavery, we will remain limited, our full potential imprisoned. The lack of trust between Black men and women needs to be repaired, as it is on life support and has been for quite some time. We are in need of open and honest dialogue, free from any spite or negativity. Communication heals, and it is time we begin this process. Our future generations will thanks us!

 

 

What’s Your Body Count?


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I have such a love/hate relationship with Black Twitter. It’s free entertainment and endless jokes. I am often amazed at the creativity and comedic prowess that our counterparts possess. As with anything, though, there are two sides to every coin. While I hate to love the intriguing, brash sense of humor of the Twitteverse, there are often sexist and misogynistic undertones that consistently grace our timelines. One of Black Twitter’s favorite topics and debates: How many people have you had sex with, also known as the body count subject. Similar to the controversial topics of $200 dates and “should you make your man’s plate?”, the body count debacle seems to cross my timeline a few times a month. Every now and then I will throw in my 2 cents, but most of the time I sit back at the round table and observe the same old arguments on how many bodies its normal for a man to have at a certain age vs. how many bodies makes a woman a “hoe” by a certain age. All the same cliche stereotypes and gender biased views that seem to never really get old. I assume we keep recycling the same topics because like in any debate or argument, one side will try to sway the other to agree with their point of view. Mostly its a male vs. female debate, although every now and then you will see a sprinkle of agreeableness between the two sides. I find it quite problematic that in 2017 we are still going back and forth on this. Old habits die hard, or in this case, old sexist ideologies. 

Be Free, But Not Too Free

The male viewpoint of the body count debate is obviously a direct representation of the majority of males in everyday life. I am sure it isn’t too difficult to figure out their stance on the matter. The quantity of men a woman has slept with is a direct correlation to her level of hoe-ness. The higher the number, the less likely you are to have a man commit to you, the looser your vagina becomes and you apparently command less respect than a woman with only a few notches in her belt. Of course no one is born thinking this way, and our society isn’t the only one who carriers around these sexist beliefs. Women in the Middle East are still getting stoned for adultery. In patriarchal societies, women and men are socialized to believe that proper and respectable women keep their legs closed. Pop culture in America is fueled by sexuality and sexualized images of women, yet a woman who is sexually liberated faces backlash from not only men, but women too. I remember just a few days ago on Twitter, there was conversation stirring regarding a woman  in her 20’s who had 42 men under her belt. tumblr_niv4i5uvmq1tqakyso1_500
 I didn’t delve into it too much to get any context, but this woman’s integrity was questioned. Is 42 a lot? For argument’s sake, let’s say the woman in the above scenario is 27 and has been sexually active for 10 years and single for the majority of this time-span. That’s an average of 4.2 men a year. Does that change the perspective at all? Maybe, maybe not. She caught major shade across the timeline for this confession, though. One guy tweeted that dating a woman with 42 bodies is equivalent to chewing a piece of gum that was previously chewed by 42 other people. Another said that after 42 bodies your soul is already dwelling with Lucifer. Some tweeters erred on the side of minding your own business about who people are hopping into bed with (I second this), and others called men out for their glaring hypocrisy. Regardless of your views on sex and morality, is it reasonable to literally demonize a woman because her lifestyle is not in alignment with your views? 

Pot, Meet Kettle!

I really wish at this point that I could stop referring to double standards when comparing the sex lives of women and men, but double standards fuel sexism. It’s mind boggling that so many don’t realize that continuing to judge women based off how many men they’ve been with makes them sexist. Women who co-sign these beliefs don’t realize they’re contributing to the problem, or maybe they don’t see the problem at all. Who knows? Either way, if it had been a man in his 20’s who admitted to having 42 bodies, no one would have blinked an eye. Most of us would have probably kept scrolling and continued talking about how much of a baby Lebron is being and retweeting Trump jokes. In contrast to tweets about a woman with that many bodies dwelling with Lucifer, I saw people saying they expect a man in his 20’s to already have 40+ bodies, like that is perfectly normal.tumblr_ns2p9pbyi51t1ou0yo1_500 The logic behind it was that women get “entered” while men “enter,” so it is more of an impact on a woman to allow so many men access to her body. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as a man you don’t find it necessary to use some discretion when it comes to whom you’re sticking your most cherished body part into? 9/10 of the men who were throwing shade at the woman with 42 bodies would probably still try and get in her panties if given the opportunity, and would happily be Mr. 43. What’s even more funny is that some of them have probably had an escapade or two with a woman way north of #42 and had no idea. So many men love to play the “I may f*ck her, but I would never wife her” card, but you don’t see them throwing their playa cards away for Tina Two Bodies either. The number of people you get naked with is not a testament to your character, per se. Of course there are men and women who use sex as a coping mechanism or for other reasons that aren’t good for the soul, however that’s a subject for a different day. A woman should be able to be as sexually active as she wishes to be without facing slander and backlash from people who ultimately need to mind their own business.

It’s Just Sex, Not Love

Evidently, it is a foreign concept that women are capable to have sex with a man without developing romantic feelings or attachments. For some women this may be true, but for many it isn’t. Yes, there are a plethora of scenarios where a woman states she isn’t looking for anything but fun, then turns around a month later asking “what are we?” Don’t let this fool you into thinking that every woman who is willing to get it poppin’ with you also wants to put a ring on it. Just like men, we treat those we are only sexually attracted to differently than those we see as potential mates. Men who still have 19th century mindsets get shook by this rationale; they don’t know how to contend with a woman who steps outside of the little chastity box that the world has created for her. Men are privileged of course, and by women remaining subservient and dependent on them, their authority is not challenged. No privileged group wants a level playing field, because it’s fun to stomp on the little guy!tumblr_oamyb8qhjs1uaedmbo3_400 Besides, if men couldn’t call women hoes, what else would they do with their time? That was a joke of course, but society as a whole needs to realize that a woman’s sex life is none of anyone else’s concern and no one has the right to dictate what is appropriate behavior for the next person. If it works for them, why are you bothered by it? Everyone was raised differently and we’ve traveled different paths. There isn’t a one size fits all manual to life that works for everyone. As long as we are all being safe, what’s the big deal? Everyone is entitled to live a life that fits their own moral compass and nothing is wrong with having your own opinion. However, there is a such thing as an opinion that lacks substance and does more harm than good, so keep those to yourself. I have seen men imply numerous times that they are entitled to sex from a woman who gives it up to everyone, and that “hoes” don’t have the right to turn down a man because her vagina is an equal opportunity employer. How stupid is that?! Not only stupid, but absurdly disrespectful.  Just because a woman has an active sex life does not mean she’s obligated to drop the panties for anyone who decides they want a turn; just because a woman decides to lie down with you does not mean she’s planning a wedding in her head with you. It is always blissfully refreshing to see men who have transcended above the small thinking of labeling women. I know men who argue more for the rights of women than plenty of females I know of. Perhaps there is still hope for us yet! After all, it’s not wise to throw stones when you, too, live in a glass house. I prefer to mind my own business, and whether or not someone else is leading a more conservative or liberal sex life has nothing to do with me.

We’re All A Little “Insecure”

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SPOILER ALERT: If you are not yet caught up on the show or have not started it yet, this post contains spoilers. Everyone else, please continue 🙂


Insecure has captivated me. The release of this show just further reminded me how absent authentic Black characters are from mainstream television. It is a breath of fresh air from all of the reality shows depicting petty drama, forcing us to watch 20 year old reruns of Martin just for a little comedy. Issa Rae only served us 8 episodes of Insecure so far (thankfully, we’re getting a season 2), but she managed to develop very complex and multi-dimensional characters in such a short season. 8 episodes, 30 minutes each, and I easily feel like I thoroughly know them all. Each of the main characters are relatable in some way, and most of us have been either Issa, Molly or Lawrence at some point in our lives. One of the main themes in the show is the relationship between Issa and Lawrence. The show begins and it is the morning of her 29th birthday. While she was on Facebook looking over her “happy birthday” posts, she gets a message from a guy named Daniel wishing her a happy birthday and her face lights up like a Christmas tree. I had not yet noticed Lawrence lying in bed behind her, sound asleep. Without knowing it, we are almost immediately introduced to the temptation she will face for almost the entire season. Her lack of fulfillment is obvious. tumblr_of6io5hbnm1swms2fo4_400She often complains to her best friend Molly about how boring their relationship is and how she is exhausted from carrying the emotional and financial weight of it all. Lawrence is out of work after his app failed, and mostly sits around the house in dingy sweatpants complaining about his bad luck with interviewing. To add to Issa’s growing resentment of him, he forgets her birthday. After 5 years and no growth as a couple, she was basically over it. If you want to create a perfect recipe to push your woman to the next D, do all of the things that Lawrence was doing. Unlike men, the majority of women who may have cheated did not do so just for sh*ts and giggles. There is no thrill of the chase, no sliding in DM’s just because its Monday. Emotional needs aren’t being met. Justifying cheating is not what I’m trying to do; I’m talking about causation, not morals. How well did Issa communicate her needs and concerns to Lawrence? Not very well. She had numerous opportunities to elaborate on what she told him the night she and Molly went to the open mic. You really can’t tell someone how you don’t intend to spend the rest of your life sitting on the couch with them, leave for 2 days then come home acting like that whole conversation never happened in a matter of hours. By this point, Issa’s main concern is Issa. She has vowed to begin giving zero f*cks and to start killing it at work. She did not have much concern for strengthening her relationship, but realizes she still loves Lawrence nonetheless, so she continues going through the motions of it all. After Issa and Daniel had their almost hookup after the open mic, I figured he was pretty much out of the picture. He was completely thrown off by the word “relationship” coming out of her mouth, so I thought that was a wrap. I should  have known better, considering they chose to bring up how Issa has always had a weakness for him. Although Issa was vulnerable to cheating due to the fragile state of her relationship, I also do not fully believe she would have turned Daniel down, regardless of how things were with Lawrence. The one that got away is now back in your life and showing interest in you. You have shared history to pull from, allowing you to reconnect, and it would just feel right. She subconsciously placed herself in a compromising position, and the cheating commenced. 

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Issa wasn’t the only one in the relationship faced with temptation. While she was ignoring Lawrence and complaining about his lack of a job, the bank teller Tasha was uplifting him at every turn. Pretty face, bubbling personality and boobs to die for were there waiting for him every time he went to deposit his unemployment check. She joined him for lunch, and came to his job at Best Buy showing him how good she looks when she isn’t dressed in her work clothes. Tasha was putting herself out there with no shame. No matter when or where they were interacting, Lawrence never once acted inappropriately. It was more than obvious that Tasha had an interest in him, yet he politely told her he had a girlfriend. Major respect for Lawrence. Despite his flaws, he was 100% committed to Issa. He was too comfortable in their way of life to realize that the relationship was densely clouded with communication issues. He was genuinely taken aback when Issa essentially told him that he was boring and that their relationship was boring as well. tumblr_oh0w6502ys1rxovx9o1_400She did not do him any favors by waiting until she was fed up to express any concerns. He never noticed anything to be wrong, but sometimes we cannot see past our own set of problems. Lawrence was feeling extremely discouraged after his app failed and continuously passed over for jobs after several interviews. He was watching his friends’ careers take off while he was living off unemployment checks and his dwindling savings account. As a man, his ego had taken several L’s. No one wants to fail. No man wants to put himself through college and amass all of this debt just to watch his woman take care of them both. His pride was clearly damaged when he had to go and work at Best Buy. While Issa congratulated him, Tasha from the bank acted as if he had just landed a job at NASA. Her support for Lawrence was unwavering and seemingly unconditional, so it made perfect sense that she would be the one he rebounded with after Issa crushed his soul. I was kind of curious as to when they exchanged numbers, because I would have thought that to be a very important interaction. 

Was Lawrence Wrong?

Twitter has had a very interesting reaction to the finale of Insecure, and the men and women (not surprisingly) are taking opposite sides. The men are cheering Lawrence on as if this is their version of Lemonade, and many women think he took it too far. As a reminder, while Issa was out of town for Kelli’s birthday, Lawrence calls and tells her he misses her. He wants to talk when she gets back. Issa leaves right away, with Molly eventually deciding to drive her home. She walks in and sees Lawrence’s keys on the counter and you can see the hope spark in her eye. As she walks into the bedroom, it takes a moment for her to register what she is seeing. Lawrence’s pillow is gone and so are all of his items off the nightstand. She looks over to the closet and sees that all of his clothes are gone, except for his Best Buy t-shirt. Strong statement or nah? He essentially left Issa and the old him behind, the Best Buy shirt reminding her that the growth she so desperately wanted from him will not be something she gets to experience. This is my take on Lawrence’s Revenge: he was not wrong for sleeping with Tasha. He was a single man. While him luring Issa home under the premise of having a conversation seemed harsh, I get it. He was hurt, and he knew how much it would hurt her to come home only to have her hopes painfully dashed. It was behavior I did not expect from Lawrence, especially after hearing how unimpressed he seemed hearing about his friends’ profane exploits and thoughts on Black women. By using Tasha as a rebound, he personified the lifestyle his friends were bragging about. Rebounds never work out, and now he has used someone who is genuinely interested in him just to soothe his ego and enact his revenge on Issa. But you know what they say: “hurt people, hurt people.” Lawrence is a perfect example of that.tumblr_ohd2541dd41qm5jggo1_1280 What makes Insecure such a good show is the realness of it all. He did what any man would have done. When it comes to love, sex and infidelity, people rarely take the high road. The double standard men have with cheating is that it is fine as long as they are doing the cheating. If the roles are reversed and they are the one who was cheated on, rarely are men forgiving. They have very fragile egos, and most can’t take that kind of betrayal. What Issa’s tryst with Daniel also showed us is how vilified women are if they ever make a mistake and step out of their relationship. Most of us watch Ghost cheat on Tasha every Sunday on Power, yet he does not face the same backlash. I could name countless examples. Women who cheat often face the ultimate punishment and rarely have any sympathizers. We are faced to wear some type of Scarlet Letter for eternity. For example, the character Judith in Tyler Perry’s “Temptation” was bored in a stagnant relationship and Tyler Perry decided to suddenly turn a nice, sweet woman into a drug using, disrespectful monster who ended up with HIV. The film basically told us that the moral of the story is if you cheat on your husband, the consequences are dire, if not deadly. Unfortunately, double standards are a part of the world we live in, and if Issa ever gets Lawrence back, I doubt he will ever be able to fully forgive her. She hurt him, made him feel like an idiot, and he will probably make her pay for it every chance he gets. Looks like we’ll be waiting an entire year to see what happens next.

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How’s Your NFL Season Going?

Before I get deeply into this post, I am just going to say I am a Patriots fan. I love the Patriots, I have XLIX (49) tattooed above my left ankle in celebration of our Super Bowl 49 victory and if they are playing, consider me busy. I am not a journalist, so I can be as biased as I want to and freely express how I believe this is the greatest football team ever, Tom Brady is the Goat and so is the genius Bill Belichick. Yes, I receive much hate and I embrace it. I have to constantly endure all of the “cheaters” rhetoric, the Seahawks fans that I’m surrounded by in Seattle hate me (don’t be mad at me because Russell Wilson threw an interception in the endzone) and when I run into other Pats fans, we gotta high five each other. Being from tumblr_nj60yxko6g1qh3pr2o1_400North Carolina, I grew up with my family always rooting for random teams. The Panthers didn’t come to Charlotte until the late 90s, so it wasn’t odd to just pick a team and roll with them. My dad is a Raiders fan, mom Broncos, Uncle was a Cowboys fan, an Aunt was for Green Bay. By the time my sisters and I became interested in football, my dad told us that we didn’t just have to go for who he likes; my older sister decided to go with the Panthers, little sister the Colts and I went with NE (I didn’t know they were good, I swear). Anyway, those are my boys. I watch the Super Bowl where we beat Seattle all the time. It’s good TV. During the game I was flying back from Cabo. I said a prayer before we left for the airport and asked God for the W. Prayers do get answered. My friend and I were trying to stream the game on the plane without much luck, and it was while we were running to our next gate that I found out we won. Everyone started calling me like I was playing in the game or something. I felt like I should have gotten a ring too. Of course the world tried to rain on our parade with the Deflategate scandal. Will it tarnish Brady’s legacy? Maybe, but people tumblr_nj4lqcgx6s1tnx0qco1_400love to hate on the greats. I didn’t want next season to start because I was enjoying my reign as Super Bowl champs. The next season I had to watch Denver go to the Super Bowl and try not throw my TV out the window while doing so. Even still, they barely beat us in the AFC Championship with our millions of injuries. Our o line was being held together with string and scotch tape. Either way, my Pats look better than ever this season, Brady is killing it and we are on the way to doing some great things. I would like to see us converting more on 3rd down, Gostkowski needs to get his life together, and we need to ease up on the holding penalties. Sunday against the Steelers is going to rest on limiting LeVeon Bell. Can’t have them running all over us. I’m so grateful for DirecTV Sunday ticket. I can always watch my games and all the others. Can’t beat a Sunday full of football.

Everyone Else

2001There are some interesting things going on around the rest of the league. I always love to see how each new season is different than the one before it. The Panthers are on a tequila-esqe Super Bowl hangover, players are protesting police brutality, the Redskins are winning games. Even the Raiders are winning games. The Bills don’t look like a total train wreck. On the other hand, some things have stayed the same. RG111 is hurt, Tony Romo is hurt and the Browns are terrible. The Giants are still inconsistent, and it’s apparently driving Odell Beckham Jr. crazy. He’s crying, attacking nets, hugging nets, and giving every one a lot to talk about. According to him, football isn’t fun anymore. I’m sure losing isn’t fun. I bet dealing with all the politics of football isn’t fun either. You can’t celebrate, you get fined for wearing different cleats, the refs are either throwing too many flags or missing blatant calls. But we all know the Giants lowkey suck. I would be upset if I had to play on that team too. Odell barely does anything all season, then breaks out and has a stellar game last week. Because of this game, I lost in fantasy. But that’s what I like to see. Don’t allow your inner petty side to overshadow your talent. I would not want to be remembered as an over-emotional crybaby when I could be remembered as an elite wide receiver. I am curious to see where he will end up in a couple of years once he is a free agent. I don’t really see a ring in his future if he stays with the Giants. The player I am really curious to see where he will end up is Dak Prescott. Dak in tandem with Ezekial Elliott has been killing it. I still can’t dakbelieve sometimes that I am watching Dallas play. Dak’s QBR is 103.9. He completion percentage is 68.7. He broke Brady’s record of the most completions without an interception. All of these great stats, and Jerry Jones still wants to give Tony Romo the starting spot back. What is wrong with Jerry Jones!? You would think Tony Romo was his own son. I wouldn’t care if he was my son, you gotta sit down bro. Romo is ridiculously inconsistent, he’s getting old and he’s made of glass. I wouldn’t have the time to run a franchise where my quarterback gets hurt faster than some feelings. Jerry Jones needs to start looking towards the future. Cowboys fans nationwide will hate him if he messes up the good thing they have going with Dak and Zeke. Jerry will make Jason Garrett put Romo in, he’ll get knocked down and before you know it, his back has broken into a thousand pieces again. Over the past couple of days I have heard that Jerry might not put in Romo, but if it were me there would be no question about it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Tony Romo. If he wasn’t so delicate I think he would have been a great quarterback. He’s certainly had his moments. Romo will likely be ready to play within the next few weeks, so I can’t wait to see how this pans out.

Who Are These Minnesota Vikings?

Am I the only one still in shock over Minnesota? I mean, they’re undefeated. Out of nowhere they have an elite defense and are looking great on offense too. An offense being led by Sam Bradford. SAM BRADFORD, PEOPLE! He has a 70.4 completion percentage. Not too shabby. This is all without Adrian Peterson, might I add. A backup quarterback and running back are stomping all over the NFC North. tumblr_n6xukehrnl1qhkbk8o1_400
Green Bay is 2 games behind Minnesota. They’re barely hanging on to second place, because Detroit is gaining on them. Aaron Rodgers is out there looking rather struggly. Any one know what his problem is? I mean he’s not terrible, but he and Green Bay collectively don’t look like the Packers I know. We can also cease the talk about him being better than Brady. Whatever the reason, they’ve allowed the Vikings to take control of the division. It was like after the kicker missed that field goal in the divisional playoffs last year, they decided enough was enough. Out of the seven previous Vikings teams that started off 5-0, two went to the Super Bowl and three went to the NFC championship. Who knows whether this 2016 squad will follow in those footsteps; they can flop any time, but so far, so good. The Vikings look elite, but I certainly don’t think they’re invincible. I still think they can quite possibly lose to Dallas in December (with Dak as qb) and Green Bay will be a lot tougher the second time around just due to the fact of it being a divisional tumblr_n6tnonmakg1qhkbk8o1_400game. So much of the league sucks right now, so if the Vikings keep this up who’s to say they wont go 14-2 or 13-3. They have some really easy teams left on their schedule: the Bears, Colts, Jags…it’s really not fair. We’ll get an upset in there somewhere, I just can’t wait to see who will deliver them their first L. It’s interesting that they look much better than they did last year when Teddy Bridgewater was starting. I hated to see that he injured his knee, I really wanted to see how he was going to do this year. I’m sure Teddy feels the same way. It would suck to lose your job to Sam Bradford. But this is football, and you will get dropped faster than the Warriors blew their 3-1 lead. I truly believe that if the Pats had Brady in Week 3 we would be undefeated too, but unfortunately here we sit at 5-1. Nothing to complain about obviously. We’re still sitting at the top of the AFC. Undefeated means nothing once playoffs come. We’re not even halfway into the season. Minnesota has a lot of football left to play.

My Fantasy Nightmare

Last season, I killed it in fantasy. This season, I’m getting killed in fantasy. Life comes at you oh so fast. I think I had four different teams, and I won in them all. I felt unstoppable. I was blowing people out. I was the Patriots of each of my leagues. I was like “why do people think this is so hard?!” Well, now I know why. My fantasy this year is an absolute disaster. Out of my 3 teams, I have a winning record in one. In my family league, I am 0-6. You can just call me the Cleveland Browns. This is so upsetting. I hate losing. tumblr_nbjnuxode31qdt5vso2_r1_400
I have a great team, too. Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Vinatieri, T.Y. Hilton, etc. yet I lose and lose. And its not that I’m getting blown out, I lose by a few points. If I was a quitter, I would just quit. Every week I feel like I am getting mentally and emotionally stomped on. I can’t stress about UW on Saturday (Go Huskies!) stress about the Pats on Sunday, and stress out about Fantasy Football the rest of the time. I consider making trades and dropping players, but for what? Everyone sucks. I might as well just keep my team that looks phenomenal on paper, even though they turn into scrubs when I really need them. I was so close to beating my brother in law last week, then the Jets play Monday night. Brandon Marshall balls out then I lose. My mood quickly changed to something resembling the Jordan crying face meme. By this point I’ve turned superstitious and believe I won’t win until the Browns win. If the Browns are destined to go 0-16, then I guess I am too. The Browns play the Jets on October 30th, so I might be able to secure my first W. This would be a great first win, because I hate the Jets. I’ll win in fantasy and real life, because a Jets loss is always a win for me. Fantasy is fun, but at the end of the day, my main concern is the Patriots and Brady knocking everyone down on his revenge tour.

Week 7 Picks

Here are my week 7 picks:

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  • Packers
  • Giants
  • Chiefs
  • Colts
  • Vikings
  • Bengals
  • Lions
  • Raiders
  • Bills
  • Ravens
  • Buccaneers
  • Falcons
  • Pats
  • Seahawks
  • Broncos

Happy week 7!

Why Are You Mad At Me?


We all have our opinions. Depending on the subject, we may even want to add our own 2 cents into the conversation. Well I want to add my 2 cents into why some women feel as if it is their duty to confront the other woman when they find out their boyfriend or husband is cheating. I have been on the receiving end of this, and it gets on my last nerve. It has never escalated to a physical fight (I’m wayyyy too above that) or in person encounter; just texts and/or internet messaging. The badge of a full-fledged side chick has never been a part of my wardrobe, and whenever I was involved with a man who was in a relationship, it was unbeknownst to me. This topic takes me back to high school. Whenever a girl didn’t like me, it was always because her boyfriend did. How is that my fault? HOW SWAY? Is it my fault that you chose a man with wandering eyes? I think not. Anyway, here I am, 7 years post high school graduation and every now and then I will get hit up by some random girl asking me why I am talking to her boyfriend. I don’t want your man, boo boo! I can smell your insecurity through the phone. Last time I checked, I wasn’t in a relationship with you, so who I talk to really isn’t any of your business. So you confronted him as well? Good for you! giphy3You should have if you felt he was acting inappropriately, but leave me out of it. Perhaps I ignite some of your insecurities because since your man is seeking attention from me, I must have something that you don’t have. That’s why you’re mad right? Well guess what? It’s never that deep. Men get bored and they seek out attention from whoever, depending on the timing. Or, maybe you’re just an irrational human being and take everyday conversation to mean something that it’s not. Either way, you should check yourself. Even if I did want your man or was aware of the situation, the beef that develops within your relationship is your problem and yours alone. This mentality does not apply to my family members or friends. I would first of all know their relationship status, and I have no desire to become involved their current or past flames. However, if I don’t know you from Adam, I really don’t care about your relationship. Rude? Maybe, but do I care? Nope! Have you ever considered taking some responsibility for the man you chose? If you had taken more time to learn his character you could have identified those traits that would suggest infidelity. Even though you dropped the ball, no, it is still not acceptable for him to cheat or act inappropriately. But people also shouldn’t cut you off in traffic or not say ‘thank you’ when you hold the door open for them. You can’t control others, but you can control how you choose to respond to the situation. I know that being petty is trendy now, but your pettiness might get your feelings hurt. I am not above hurting feelings to maintain my peace of mind. You take a risk every time you decide to get bold and confront someone over some foolishness. How do you know they’re not crazy? Better not risk angering a hornet’s nest. Probably one of the best reasons to take your issue to the source instead of involving people who really aren’t a factor in your problem.


200

Why Are You Blaming Me?

So now I just want to get to the nitty gritty of this post. If your man is stepping out, WHY ARE YOU ON MY LINE ABOUT IT?!? I am not in a relationship with the two of you. I don’t owe you any loyalty, and don’t try to throw me any bullsh*t about respecting your relationship. I do not know you, so I do not owe you any respect. If you’re married, then there is a certain level of respect people should have for your relationship, so I am not talking about that, but I have had girls come at me for men who aren’t even their boyfriend. That’s next level pathetic. You are mad at a stranger for not respecting your relationship instead of focusing your anger on the person who agreed to be loyal to you. tumblr_ni1nouOGii1sk4npzo1_500This is like on Maury when the alleged baby father comes onto the stage with his new piece, and the baby mama decides to throw insults at her. Backwards, much? You aren’t going to leave him anyway, because if you were, you would be busy kicking him to the curb instead of trying to beef with the profile picture on my Facebook page. Why expel so much energy just to go back to him tonight? You are going to drive yourself insane trying to police his phone and social media for other women. If a woman likes his most recent photo, why are you making it your business to tell her to leave him alone? Your jealousy is going to get the best of you, and I most likely won’t be all that friendly once you contact me because now I’m annoyed. I am not responsible for the actions of your man, so you are out of line to reach out to me. What is your motive? To get me to stop talking to him? Well you’ve succeeded because no one is worth the drama, but you haven’t really won. Once he realizes I’m over it, he’ll be on to the next. In addition, if it has been nothing but innocent conversation, you’re just pushing him away by acting crazy. Men are going to have female acquaintances, co-workers, classmates, etc and you will be the one miserable in the long run because you’re psychotic. If your dude has been having a full on affair with some chick who had no idea about you, then I’m not blaming you for maybe wanting to get a little insight. This post isn’t about you. This is for the Tommie’s from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta who make it their business to eradicate any female who even looks their man (or pretend man’s) way. Maybe your relationship isn’t even really worth it if you spend your free time lurking on girls’ Instagram photos to see if he’s liked their posts and spend the rest of your time starting drama. But hey, what do I know? All I know is I would appreciate it if you weirdos would leave me alone. This hasn’t happened to me in quite awhile, but I’m sure it will again. And I will tell you what I have told the others: “I have no interest in taken men, so I would appreciate it if you would refrain from contacting me further and take this up with him; do not make your personal problems mine, thanks!” And that’s it. I’ve had them try to start arguments and that’s when I hit them with the good ol’ block. The ‘block’ feature is the best invention since caller ID. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Never in life will you get me to argue with you about some dusty dude who has clearly shown you he isn’t worth the dirt on the bottom of your shoe. I save petty arguments for the basic birds. The moral of the story is, if you find your bae in my inbox, go take it up with bae, and let me live in peace. Deal?

It Doesn’t Cost $200 To Date Me

“Chicken wings and fries, we don’t go on dates” -Future

If you are familiar with Twitter, at some point you have surely seen the debate on the $200 date. I have no idea where the notion that a proper date is at least $200 originated from, but apparently if you can’t afford to take a woman on a $200 date you’re broke, and if a man has never dropped that much money on you during a date, you aren’t worth the investment. During my time on Twitter, I have never seen the logic behind this dollar amount, but I have deduced that a fancy dinner and drinks at a commendable restaurant adds up to about this much. Dating is not just a black and white process, so you cannot realistically place a dollar value on a date. It will all depend on the area you live in and what you choose to do. With house dates becoming so popular, I have been amazed that this is even a topic of discussion since so many women are content with Netflix and Chill. I have been on cheap dates where wtumblr_nl27yzhfpq1spnc0yo1_500e have done simple things such as go-karts and grabbing a bite and had an amazing time. I’ve been on fancy dinners where even the taste of a $50 steak couldn’t stop me from being bored to tears over how dull he was. An expensive dinner can’t make up for a lack of chemistry, so I cut ties and decided not to talk to this person again. Go Kart guy and I went on to have more fun together and he spent much less than $200. So how do we find the happy medium between $200 dates and Netflix and Chill? Does a man see you as less valuable if he invites you over to his house instead of the Metropolitan Grill? I would say no. At the end of the day its a tactic to get into your pants, some just put more effort into it than others. Of course as a man gets to know you and likes your personality he will want more than sex, but we can be realistic and accept the fact that men are creatures of conquest. Does it cost $200 to date me? Absolutely not. Will I go over to your house to eat Pizza Hut and watch reruns of House of Cards? There is a better chance of it snowing in hell. With that being said, lets break down the cost of what I feel is a reasonable date.

A Date With Me

First things first, I enjoy food. Going to dinner is a great chance to have a conversation with a person. You can obtain information that is important to you, like their occupation, how they treat the server, etc. It doesn’t have to be a 5 star seafood restaurant, but I’m also not going to Popeye’s. Let’s say we end up at The Cheesecake Factory. The food is pretty good, not too expensive, and it is close to where our next activity will take place. I place my order, he places his:

  • 2 beverages – $20
  • 2 entrees – Pasta for me, ribs for him – $48
  • 1 slice of cheesecake – $8
  • Tip – $15

Total for dinner = $91

We both enjoy live music, and not too far away there is an outdoor concert. The only cost is a small donation for whatever charitable cause they are performing for. I throw in my own $5, he puts in $5. Boom. There is a date for under $200. For $96, I have enjoyed great conversation, had a good dinner and an activity was included that barely cost any extra money. All it takes to have a great date is some creativity and effort. The dinner scenario was just an example. There are plenty of things two people can do together than can cost a
lot less than a $96 dinner. Dinner and movie dates may be cliche, but it is important to choose something that allows you to see how a person is when they are out of the comfort of their own home. If a man wants to take you to see a Broadway show and follow it up
tumblr_ng2fr8cycl1su7a71o1_500with lobster tails, there is nothing wrong with that. If instead he suggests something that involves barely $5, like a hike followed up with a stop at the frozen yogurt shop, the important part is that someone is willing to put in the effort to create a bonding experience with you. If you like someone, how can you truly get to know them if you don’t ever do anything but sit in their house and watch movies? You’ll end up moving too fast and everything will fizzle out before it even gets a chance to get started. Don’t sell yourself short. I have seen tweets that say things like “girls expect $200 dates but aren’t even worth Burger King.” Whether you agree with the concept of a $200 date or not, every woman is worth being shown effort. Don’t fall into the Twitter propaganda of settling for McDonald’s and Redbox because you’ve been made to feel bad for expecting a real date.

Why Don’t Men Want To Date?

To be real, I can see why a lot of men these days are unwilling or skeptical to take women out on dates. Why would you fill your car up with gas, put on nice clothes, pick her up, pay for a dinner, then have no guarantee of a reward at the end when you could call over 1 of many options who would drive to your house, have drinks, maybe even bring you food, then give you a happy ending? That’s like going to Pizza Hut to pick up your pizza when instead you could have all the goods delivered right to your door. Men are winning nowadays. So many women are so thirsty for attention they will accept house dates when they know they want to be taken out and treated like the queen that they are. In a nutshell, men have been spoiled. For arguments sake, lets say Brian has met two women this week. Cassie is smart, pretty and seems to have standards. Nina seems to be a lot of fun, looks average, but they seem to get along pretty well. He currently has Adriana on the back-burner for when none of his more appealing options seem to be cooperating. It’s Friday night, and Brian is bored. What better to do than to call up one of these new ladies he has had his eye on? Cassie is busy, he doesn’t feel like dealing witdateh the complaints of Adriana tonight, so he calls up Nina. She is excited to hear from him, and suggests that they check out a happy hour near her place and maybe catch a movie. Brian does the math in his head. Drive to her area, pay for the movies, happy hour and movie snacks. He thinks “I just met her, do I really want to be spending money on someone I might not even like after its over? Nope!” Brian does what these new age savvy guys do and says “I’m pretty tired from work, but I’ve been wanting to see you. You should come to my place and watch (insert popular show) you said that you liked and we can have drinks here. I can pick up the Crown Apple you said you liked.” In the mind of a girl desperate for attention, this doesn’t seem like a bad trade off. She agrees, and Brian has just gotten everything that he wanted and all he had to do was stay on the phone for 90 seconds. Nina begins to like Brian and he thinks she’s cool to keep around, but he now knows that she will lower her standards for sweet talk, so from here on out all she gets is house dates and cold Crown Royal Apple. Soon, Brian will meet someone who won’t settle for cold pizza, and Nina will be pushed out the door. Men respect standards. The good thing is that there are still plenty of men willing to date. Just don’t be surprised if they try you with the basic chick act first. If I was a man, I probably would. If Future is telling me you can still get what you want by giving women chicken wings and fries, I’m gonna offer you chicken wings and fries.

Men-Get Creative!

Some men are intimidated with the art of dating because of the monetary importance that is placed upon it. If you are in college and you are being asked out, it is silly to expect a young college student to have fancy date money. If you are talking to a man who has a moderate income, don’t offend him by turning your nose up at his suggestion of doing something that doesn’t cost a lot. As I’ve said previously, the most important thing is that a person is puttingnf and cill in effort. That doesn’t mean you are expected to pay for your own meal on the first date, but keep things in perspective. Is he making time for you and showing interest? During the date, did he pay attention to the little things like opening your doors and making sure you got home safely? If you’re dating someone just to see how deep their pockets go, you have a totally different objective. The point should be to create a bonding experience with someone to see how compatible you may be. If you have no idea how to date on a budget, check out Pinterest. You can find plenty of cheap date ideas on there. Picnics, hikes, paint nights, carnivals/fairs, there are plenty of things you can do that will not make you go broke.There really is no excuse for accepting little to no effort from the person you are interested in. Dating is an investment of your time and energy. If you spend your time and energy sewing seeds of nothingness, you are going to get nothing in return. Realistically, dating costs money. If you are involved with a man who doesn’t even have the money to take you to see The Revenant, he clearly can’t afford to date. Men may ask you to come over and chill because it’s easy, but it also may be because they are struggling financially. This is when you have to start analyzing behavior. Sure, the funds may be low, but this is when you have the opportunity to get creative. If someone is really interested in you, time, money, or Donald Trump’s Mexican Wall can’t keep them away. Your company is priceless, so don’t be afraid to make your expectations known. If they flake on you or make you feel bad for having standards, they are simply not the person for you. No, you will not cook for him. No, you will not check out his favorite show on Hulu, but yes you will accept his offer to treat you like the queen that you are. Fellas, you can date on a budget! Don’t be discouraged. Is there a special lady you’ve had your eye on but student loans or a low paying job is holding you back? Here is your answer:

The Trendy Picnic

I am not the only woman who loves to eat. When a woman gets asked out, her mind usually has visions of sitting down at a restaurant. Well, you might not have restaurant money. Plan a picnic! Here is how to look like you’ve gone all out without having to make a payment arrangement with AT&T next week.

date idea

  • Step 1: Check the weather and choose a location that you know won’t be overly crowded. Try to have a nice view. You’ll be able to converse and enjoy your food without distractions. Don’t forget a nice blanket and appropriate utensils. Borrow it all from your mom.
    • Cost – $0
  • Step 2: Figure out what she likes to eat. You don’t have to eat turkey sandwiches just because its a picnic. You don’t even have to know how to cook. Go to Costco and pick up a small meat platter, pasta salad, fruit, cheeses, something to drink and a few chocolates.
    • Cost – ~approx $30, maybe less
  • Step 3: Bring music to set a nice mood. Bring a game you both likes, like dominoes, cards, etc. One great way to gain insight to a person without feeling weird is to bring The Book of Questions. It’s very engaging and interesting. You can order it on Amazon. You still get to eat, enjoy her company, and learn about each other.
    • Cost – $8.95 for the book

Total for your date: approximately $38.95

Not only did you just do the smart thing by not putting yourself in a tough spot by shelling out money you don’t have, I can guarantee that you have impressed this woman. You didn’t take her back to the same old place she’s been 100 times, you stepped outside of the box. This has shown that you know how to plan, be creative, and engage a person without feeling inadequate because you are not making six figures.