This is Me

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Keep Them From Making The Big Ones

I have frequent conversations with both genders about the mental state of women.

Just the other day a friend asked me why his sister allowed herself to remain in an on- again off-again relationship with a grown "male" (not a man) who has no job, constantly asks her for money and openly cheats.

On the surface, it boggles the mind why women put up with bullsh*t just to say they have someone.

We all sit on our friends' couches on Friday nights and say loudly "If it had been me that never would have happened! What is wrong with her?"

But what we tend to forget is that we've all been there.

A few years ago (or weeks) that was us on our friend's couch crying, wondering why a man we love so intently would hurt us like that. And then the philanderer calls, apologizes, sweet talks us enough for us to take them back because the good times were so good or just because he cheated doesn't mean he doesn't love us, etc., etc., etc. *insert excuse here*

I honestly don't know a woman who hasn't been hurt, but eventually the majority of us grow up, realize our self-worth and find a man who treats us like a Queen.

Unfortunately, some women never reach this level of maturation. Sometimes a woman's lot in life is to stay with a man who doesn't respect, love or cherish her until she dies a bitter old woman.

And that breaks my heart.

So why do we do it?

Well, for many reasons.

#1. Sometimes the idea of being alone for the rest of your life is far scarier and hurts worse than being cheated on. (I have experienced both so I can honestly say the pain from both run neck and neck, depending on the day).

#2. Sometimes we don't know any better. We believe all men cheat and it's just our goal to find one who makes us number one (as opposed to the ONLY one).

#3. It's also been drilled into our minds via the media, magazine images and even cartoons that a woman isn't valuable unless a man wants her... and it starts before we even enter kindergarten. Think about all the Disney movies you watched as a young girl: Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty.... movies about women who aren't happy until a man comes to save them.

The only way to stop the cycle is to recognize it and make sure you don't pass it on.

I'll demand respect from the man who wants to be my husband and father of my children so I can lead by example.

If I have a daughter, I'll teach her to love herself first before she loves anyone else; I'll teach her that not everyone out there is good; and I'll share with her all of my past mistakes so she won't give too much of herself to the wrong people.

If I have a son, I'll teach him how to cook, wash his own laundry and clean up after himself (because some men think the job of a wife is to be his maid.) I will also share with him all of my past mistakes - and the pain that came from them - so he won't be one of those men who treats women with disrespect and without any regard for their feelings.

I'll teach both of them that being single is okay, being in a relationship doesn't define who you are and you don't have to "have someone" to feel good about yourself.

And I'll do all of this talking early. I won't wait until after my daughter feels pain to speak up. Everyone makes mistakes, but hopefully talking early will keep them from making the big ones.

Monday, May 16, 2011

OMG

*beeeeeeeeeeeeeep* "This is a public service announcement."

I... had... a... DATE!

A REAL date where he came to my house and picked me up, opened my door EVERY time and PAID.

I want to shout it from the rooftops!

I know for some women this occurs all the time, and they don't accept anything less (which is great), but for me, this is new.

I'm 32 years old and there's only been one ex-boyfriend who has opened the door for me. That was on our first date. He never did it again.

So, having been on my own for so long (which started when I was young since I'm a military brat) and having been single for so long, I'm REALLY independent.

I'm the one killing roaches, fixing things, taking out the trash, washing my car, checking the oil and tire pressure.....

I have my own drill. My own tools.

I wear the words "I don't need you" on my forehead and no one has been willing to put in the work to remove it.

And I'm not saying this guy is the one who will. He may get tired of courting me after a short amount of time.

But this date really wasn't about him. It was about me.

I'm independent to a fault. When he suggested the movies my first thought was to meet him there, not let him pick me up.

When we got to the movie theater my first thought was to open my own door, not wait until he got around to my side.

I had to tell myself the entire night "Wait. Let him do it."

That was a lot of work! LOL

It's second nature for me to do everything myself. I'm programmed to do everything myself.

I've got a friend who, when we go out, walks in the door when I open it because she's used to having the door opened for her all the time.

(Uhhhhhh, chick - I am NOT your boo. I opened that for MYSELF! *I see you Stephanie!* LOLOL)

Allowing a man to put in work is difficult but I know that I need to allow myself to be courted because I am worth it (and I haven't always felt that I was worth it, unfortunately).

So far, I get a really good impression from this guy.

He's sweet (and would probably be sh!tting bricks if he knew I was blogging about him *gasp*), but one thing I'm not doing is fantasizing about him being "the one."

I'm just enjoying a man treating me like I'm special (besides my dad!).

I need to allow myself to be like my friend - to get used to the door being opened FOR me. To let it be second nature.

*big sigh*

Because I'm worth it. #message!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Am An Individual....

When Barack Obama was elected president, I naively thought that getting him elected was the hard part and everything else would be smooth sailing.

I had no idea it would be so hard. The hate tripled, and it wasn't just coming from small-minded country folk.

The hate and fear mongering came from the educated as well, including the media via pretty much every show on Fox News.

I got tired of hearing about approval ratings slipping, the unemployment rate being all his fault (really?) and all the other media spin, so I chose to stop watching the news.

I picked and chose what articles I wanted to read to stay up on current events, but I didn't let the negative ones raise my blood pressure or bring me down, simply by choosing not to read them... until last week.

I made the mistake of reading an article about President's Obama's approval slipping with Hollywood.

Some actors/celebrities wrote him a letter urging him to make it legal for homosexuals to get married.

Okay. I was fine with that. Then I kept reading.

Matt Damon, one of the actors who signed the letter, took it a step further and actually said because teachers' salaries are still tied to test scores, he "no longer believed in audacity" and did not agree with the way President Obama was running the country.

Stop the presses! Jason Bourne is disappointed in the way the President is running the country!

After getting angry and vowing to boycott all Matt Damon movies from here on out, I reminded myself that everyone's entitled to an opinion.

But I am also entitled to mine.

For him to get on television and actually say President Obama is not doing a good job because what's number 10 on Matt's list is number 15 on Obama's is narrow-minded.

President Obama has made an incredible dent in his list.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was repealed; people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied medical coverage; and he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making it easier for women to sue for unequal pay. His accomplishments go on and on.

But Matt Damon thinks all that's irrelevant.

Yes, teachers' salaries are still tied to test scores, but in some areas that works. It won't work for all of them, but not one federal policy will work for every single school.

(Personally, I think education should be a state issue, not a federal one. Every single community's needs cannot be met by the President. It's impossible for him to understand every county's, every city's, every state's problem with the public educational system because every problem is different.)

No, homosexuals still can't marry, but President Obama has made some changes and I believe he will eventually make it possible for them to do so.

What people don't seem to understand is that not everything can be force fed. Some things need to be pushed through while others need to be "massaged" through.

As cliche as it sounds, change does take time. He said during his campaign that not everything was going to get done in the first four years, but everyone wants what they want NOW.

Let's remember that the President can't do anything on his own.

There is a system of checks and balances (Congress/Senate) that keep one man from having too much power.

That's a good thing when the wrong person gets in office, but not so much when you've got a man trying to make changes to the way things are done and no one wants to help.

The Congress and Senate are full of 60+ year old white men (both Republicans and Democrats) who are used to doing things their way and are from a time where Blacks were "seen and not heard."

They are doing their best to make his time in the White House miserable, despite all the good he's done, and it doesn't help when the people who voted for him contribute to the divisive Republican agenda by slamming him via the media because he didn't do things their way, especially those who haven't ever held office.

There's no one answer to all of life's problems.

President Obama cannot please every single person and you shouldn't expect him to.

It doesn't make sense to vote for someone who you think can/should meet all your needs as an individual because that's never going to happen. Vote for someone because of the person he is and how he treats people.

I voted for him because I trust his judgment, not because I expect him to pass a law that makes sure I (regardless of everyone else) get a job or a raise or a new boss because mine doesn't treat me well.

I am one person. You are one person. An individual. He's not going to please every individual every time. But if you look at yourself as an individual that's a part of a larger community, then you'll realize that what needs to get done FIRST is what's most important for the majority, not just you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Miss Keri Bay-bee.... Thinks We're Stupid

With the multitude of one-hit wonders and microwaved singers in the business, artists need to do whatever they can to make themselves stand out.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

For every Beyonce, there are about ten Teairra Mari's. (Who's Teairra Mari you ask? Ummmmhmmm.)

When Keri Hilson released "Turning Me On" and "Knock You Down" in 2009, I liked them enough to sing along when they were played on the radio. I liked her even more when I found out she had been in the business for a while writing songs for other artists.

"Okay," I thought. "She's got talent." So I put her on my radar....

...until I heard "Pretty Girl Rock." Sometimes a catchy hook is all that is needed to sell a song (and the song is quite catchy), but for a grown woman with a master's degree, I feel I would be disrespecting my professors, my parents and even my younger sisters who look up to me for liking that song.

"My name is Keri. I'm so very
fly oh my
it's a little bit scary.
Guys wanna marry.
Lookin' at my deri"

W....T....H....

Really? Do you think we're stupid? Aren't you a "writer?"

(Well, hey, everyone's a "writer" these days).

I think Miss Keri Bay-bee thinks we're stupid.

She thought putting the word "pretty" in a song and dubbing it an "anthem" would make EVERYONE jump on the Pretty Girl Bandwagon, despite the lyrics. (Can't you see those chicks now? "I'm pretty because Keri Hilson said I am! That's why I bought the song!")

You know what those lyrics amount to?

That's "1 fish, 2 fish, red fish, blue fish/green eggs and ham" rhyming right there.

So is that what happened?

Did Dr. Seuss help you write Pretty Girl Rock, Miss Keri Bay-bee?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Even My Issues Have Issues

Last week, Facebook was all abuzz with the numbers game: you send a person a number and that person posts that number in his or her status with a statement about you.

For example, I send Jack the number 6, he posts in his status: "6 - I think you are a talented designer and I can't wait until you make it big" or something to that effect.

I took the time to find some very nice and insightful things to say about people and expected the same in return. Instead, I got some really generic and unimaginative responses.

I told one guy in particular that he's quite fine but underneath all that, I'm proud of what he's accomplished and can't wait to see what he does next.

What does he post for me?

"15 - if I was the man then that I am now, you would have had to wear safety pins on your underwear to keep me from getting to you."

Really? That's it? So there's nothing you like about me other than the fact that you want to get in my pants?

I thought the numbers game would give me some insight into what other people thought of me, but instead no one put much thought into their comments at all.

That REALLY bothered me.... and I just figured out why.

For those of you who are new to my blog, I grew up a military brat. I was the "new kid" every few years, which is already hard, but for a shy gal like me, it was extra difficult.

Constantly moving essentially means growing up without friends. For some reason, people don't feel the need to let any new people in their circle. They've got the friends they grew up with and are not interested in adding more. (I don't understand why females are like this, but it gets worse with age.)

I became invisible. Inside I screamed "I'm a GREAT person. Why don't you want to know me?!?!" but on the outside I just let them walk past me. I felt like I walked around with a cloak of invisibility on.

I think I was so upset with the numbers game because it was just another reminder that people really don't pay attention to me. They may say "hi" every now and then or comment on one of my pictures on Facebook, but they don't really KNOW me and aren't interested in getting to know me.

The few people I spend time with think I'm exaggerating because I'm quite outgoing when I'm around people I'm comfortable with, but that only happens when I'm comfortable.

*sigh*

I asked those guys why they didn't have anything else to say about me and they thought I was overreacting. They didn't get it.

But that's okay. I get it. I can recognize my drama and govern myself accordingly (like no more numbers games for me-lol).

Everyone's got issues, but at least I know how to deal with mine and move on.

On to the next one because I know I've got more.....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Little Peace and Quiet

All jokes aside, I joined eHarmony for 3 reasons:

#1. To say that I did it.

#2. Because they gave me a deal.

#3. If not to find the beginning of "that" final relationship, at least to start dating.

It's been a very long time since I've had a date and an even longer time since I've been in a serious relationship.

I spend every weekend pretty much alone.

Every now and then my one friend and I will go out to dinner or to a movie, but for the most part I'm alone.

So I guess I joined eHarmony for 4 reasons:

#4. To put an end to the loneliness.

I was excited about the "possibility" at first. Every week I logged on and sorted through match after match, but after a while the excitement of the "possibility" wore off. I got bored and I didn't
know why.

One weekend I traveled to another city and had lunch with a group of girls I hadn't talked to in a while. As I listened to them talk about their relationships, I started to feel anxious. Suffocated.
Once again, I couldn't understand why, and let it go.

After I returned home I realized how good a time I had just being out with the girls in a big city with so much to do. This was the social life I had been looking for. Right then I got it: I don't want to be in a relationship.

I want a social life with my fabulous group of female friends. I want my "Living Single" days.

After my college graduation, my life went from "A Different World" to "Girlfriends" without the girlfriends.

I need more people in my life; not a man.

Once I started ignoring my age and started paying more attention to how I feel, I realized that I don't want the responsibility of a relationship. I don't want to have to talk with my significant other first if I want to do something without him.

I go where I want when I want and I don't have to talk to anyone before I do.

I can't tell you how liberating that feeling is.

Too bad I've spent the last 9 years not understanding that feeling. It was always there, but it was hidden underneath all those layers of loneliness.

I'm still lonely, but at least I know what 'type' of lonely.

This is where being alone comes in handy.

With some thought and time, I can figure out what it is I want without other people's opinions making a difference, opening myself up to more of who I am and what I want out of life.

Three months of eHarmony may have cost me $60 that I really didn't have (because I mean it when I say I really would rather have bought some shoes), but it definitely wasn't a waste.

Now I can watch romantic movies without getting depressed; I can see other couples holding hands and comment on how cute they look together instead of getting upset.

I know who I am.

Of course, who I am will keep changing, but I will always know what to do in order to figure myself out.

All I'll need is a little peace and quiet.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Can Hear Them Whispering In My Ear

I know you've all been waiting with bated breath to see how my social calendar has filled since joining eHarmony.

It's been two months, I've already been billed for my third and final month, and I've been matched with over 60 people. So how many dates have I been on?

Wait for it....

0.

Yep! The big ol' goose egg! Nada! Zilch!

Every time I see an eHarmony commercial highlighting those who found love I yell "Yeah, right! Y'all are LIARS!" at the TV.

In all fairness, it's not their fault. Well, it is, but it isn't.

Remember the questionnaire that took me 3 hours to fill out? Once you've been matched, there is a similar loooooong process to go through to actually get in touch with those people.

If you like what you see, you:

#1. Send them a series of (5) questions for them to answer.

#2. They answer yours, then send theirs.

#3. You answer theirs, then send your list of "Must Haves, Can't Stands." (Like "I must have someone... who is an active member of church" or "I can't stand someone.... who treats people with disrespect.")

#4. If they still want to communicate after reading your list, they send theirs.

#5. If you like theirs, then you send a more in-depth series of questions (3) that he/she has to answer with his or her own words, as opposed to selecting from a list of answers like you do for step 1.

#6. I believe this step occurs when you are able to communicate via email, but I'm not too sure because I haven't gotten to this step yet!!!!!

*#$!^%!* Enough already!

I've been in communication with a cutie from Tennessee for the past month and a half! What happens if we don't get to talk face to face (or at least on the phone) before my membership ends?!?!?!

*gasp* I'll be alone forever, that's what!

The other day I thought about joining for another few months since he is so cute and since his beliefs fall right in line with mine, but then I realized that's what they want me to do!

The process is designed to keep you coming back for more! If the communication is only half-way finished or you haven't found anyone and you're tempted to opt-out, they start whispering in your ear... "You can't quit now. What if you miss out on your.... *pause for effect* soulmate?"

It's just a trap to get you to spend more money!

*slamming my hand on the counter and raising my voice*

And I don't spend money unless there's a DEAL on the table!!! (which means that if they do send me another email deal, they got me for another 3 months....)