Diary of A Mad, Interesting Woman

Welcome to the random (and sometimes ratchet) ramblings in my head about life, love and pop culture.

Tag: women

Unconditional Love

Pic of us

One of the longest, most intimate, time-consuming, ridiculous, heart-wrenching and powerful relationships in my life is with a woman … and I’m not talking about my Mother.  Actually two women.  For nearly 20 years, I have been in love with two women.  They have been my road dogs, my confidents, my diary, my sounding board, my fashion advisors, my edifiers, my good times, my shoulder to cry on and my “do you remember that time when …” partners.  We have experienced just about everything you can possibly imagine and we’ve done it all together.  Men have come and go.  Jobs have come and go.  Other chicks that thought they understood friendship have come and go.  Through it all, we have been hopelessly committed to each other.  We made a pact years ago that no matter what comes and no matter how much it hurts, we will love each other and ALWAYS be honest with each other until the last of us takes her last breath.  We’re a tripod.  Together we’re powerful and can do anything.

No sooner than you make that level of commitment to another person, you will be tested.  It’s as if the universe, Murphy’s Law and the devil all sit down for drinks and say, “Okay. These bitches think they want to be friends for LIFE. *insert doubled over, finger pointing laughter* Well, let’s see just how bad they want it and what they’re willing to endure to have it.  Five bucks say they’ll have destroyed each other by the time we’re done with ‘em.”

In the beginning, things were good.  We argued sometimes, but we always got over it.  Hell, two of us even got into a physical fight over a broken VCR.  Chile … THAT was a day.  But, we moved on.  We always did.  We stuck together and got through the tough times as one.  Then, one day, things changed.

I fell in love.  Hard.  And my love was moving to Los Angeles for a new job.  Not only did he decide to move, but he declared and decreed that he wanted me with him.  Steve Harvey says a man shows his love by “professing, protecting and providing.”  He did ALL of that and then some.  So, I moved to California to begin my new life.  I don’t know that I fully assessed how it would affect my tripod.  I thought they’d be happy for me, and though we wouldn’t see each other as often, things wouldn’t change.  There’d be more phone calls and budgeting to fly to see each other, but we’d be fine.  Boy was I wrong.

In every relationship, there is a “star”.  The person that everything revolves around.  The person that brings the fun.  The person whose participation is necessary in order for the group to have a great time.  The person whose opinion weighs the most.  The person everyone comes to for advice and leans on for stability.  In our tripod, that person is me and I had NO idea. Well … maybe a small idea, but I don’t think I realized the responsibility that role carries.  I was off living a “fabulous” life in Los Angeles.  The other two were home missing me and feeling shredded by my decision to leave.  While they were happy for me and in awe of my bravery to follow my heart, they were also a bit disgruntled that I not only contemplated leaving, but I actually did it.  Little did they know I was completely miserable.  I missed them so much that I cried every night the first six months I was gone.  I wanted so desperately to have my love, my career, my family and my girls.  I wanted it all, but life wasn’t working out that way.  I felt like I had to be happy with only two thirds of the life I wanted.  I finally brushed away the tears and decided to move forward.  I loved my girls.  I knew that would never change.  I no longer wanted to miss present blessings wishing for something different.  I had to grow up, put my “big girl panties on” and live.

When I moved, the distance created the opportunity for negativity, judgment and resentment to creep in.  If felt like every five seconds we were in a silent fight about something stupid.  You know what a silent fight is, right?  It’s the fight you have without actually fighting.  No one actually verbalizes a hurt or disappointment.  Instead you are “chilly” with each other over the phone and smoothly throw “shade” with a chuckle and a “Girl, you know I’m just playing with you!”  Meanwhile, you’re talking to the other friend about “this bitch this” and “this bitch that”.  Yeah … there was a LOT of that happening.  And it was beginning to take it’s toll.  You could feel the shift happening though none of us wanted to consider that we were … growing apart?  Nah!  That’s not possible!  We vowed unconditional love for life, right?

Years later we (Hubby and I) finally moved back to the South.  We were all so happy because we just KNEW things were going to be just as they were before I left.  We were closer so we could see each other anytime we wanted.  We could just pick up where we left off.  Yeah … that didn’t happen.  I had a career and they had new lives.  They had introduced new friends (something I was NOT at ALL happy about).  I was married and soon to have a baby.  We weren’t in college anymore.  We were adults.  If we were going to have that close bond we once shared, it was going to take a lot of effort … effort that neither of us was willing to give.

Then, it happened.  The fight.  You knew it was coming, right?  🙂

One day (and I remember this day so clearly) I was called by one member of the tripod and told that she didn’t like my attitude.  She said I was acting “high and mighty” all the time.  She said that I was judging her and “feeling some kind of way” about her life choices.  She was tired of the shade I was throwing and wanted to put the sh*t out there.  Now, you should know that the day she decided to hit me with these headlines about her feelings, I was at the mall shopping for an evening gown because I was to be honored by an amazing organization at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  This was a HUGE moment in my life.  And she knew that.  In my mind, she ruined something very important to me to call me and tell me some sh*t that didn’t amount to much.  She wasn’t calling to tell me she was dying.  To me, and I am giving you my side at the moment, she wasn’t telling me what she was REALLY mad about.  Instead, she was creating a fight about some completely unsolvable sh*t in her head because she wasn’t brave enough to tell me what she was REALLY freaking mad about.  And. That. Pissed. Me. Off.  World War III was officially on and popping.  I was now mad at her.  She was mad at me.  Our other friend was stuck in the middle trying desperately (and failing) not to take sides.  The legs of our tripod had been kicked out and we didn’t give a damn.

We became frenemies.  We still spoke on the phone, but not as much.  We were there to support the BIG moments in each other’s lives like birthdays and child birth, but our hearts weren’t in it.  Truth be told, we only did it so that “that bitch can’t say I wasn’t there for her BIG moment”.  And what’s worse, we were tearing each other apart.  Things got bad.  Real bad.  We went from rarely speaking to total radio silence.  I was a new Mom and desperately wanted her to be a part of all of the special moments she was missing, but pride wouldn’t let me call.  Pride wouldn’t let me admit that I still needed her.  It was like one of those T.V. moments when Good and Evil pop up on your shoulder.  Good told me to call my friend because I missed her.  Apologize for hurting her and move forward.  Evil told me that this man-less, jealous bitch could kick rocks with open-toed shoes down a dirt road in KKK country.  I sided with Evil.  Ridiculous.

Though I moved on, I was in agony.  It was like someone had chopped off one of my limbs and I was feeling phantom pain from where it used to live.  Even my smile was hollow.  I was totally and completely miserable.  It was that moment I decided to let God in.  I finally got on my knees and prayed about it.  I decided to get past my sh*t, and again, grow up.  I told Him that I didn’t know how to get past my own hurt to love her unconditionally as I pledged years ago.  I didn’t know how to just let it all go and move on. So much had happened.  So many awful things had been said.  How could I possibly right the wrong?  Could we really move forward?  Unconditional love sounds good, but the work that’s required to provide it feels impossible sometimes.

After much prayer, God finally revealed to me ALL of the things I’d done to hurt my friend.  It was like a “Who’s Who” list of all my sh*t.  I was horrified.  He showed me how I’d taken her for granted.  How I’d thrown my life choices in her face and judged when she didn’t parallel her life to mine.  He showed me how I’d left her alone when I knew all she needed was a call, but I didn’t feel I had time or just didn’t feel like being bothered.  He told me (and this makes me cry even as I type this) that I’d literally broken her heart.  She needed me and I abandoned her.  I went off to my “fabulous” life in California, rubbed it in her face and never checked in on her.  When we did talk, I was passive aggressive (a skill I learned from my mother) and made things seem like she was causing our fight.   I changed and I didn’t take her along on the journey.  I “grew up” and I punished her for not being clairvoyant.  I wronged her.  I hurt her deeply and had the nerve to be angry about the way she tried to communicate it.  I valued my “moment in the sun” Beverly Hills awards ceremony over her needing me.  I turned my back, walked head high into my destiny and never looked to my side to make sure she was still with me.

When she called that day I should have dropped everything and ran to her.  Why?  Because I promised her I would.  The moment she tested that, I dropped the ball like Braylon Edwards.  I was ashamed.  So, so ashamed.  I’d charged her with the responsibility of being the friend I was unwilling to be.  I expected her to live a truth I was unwilling to accept.  I expected perfection from her, but accepted huge, gaping flaws in myself.  I’d even wrote her a letter (standing very tall on a soap box) and made the future of our friendship her decision by way of her immature, unloving choices.  Yeah, y’all.  I went there.  ALL the way there.

Long story short, I made it right.  After understanding my role in the breakdown of our relationship, I realized what was required to make it right.  It took maturity and most importantly it took humility.  I had to humble myself and be wrong.  No ifs, ands or buts.  I had to make up for all the ways I destroyed the most precious thing in my life.

I am proud to say we fixed things and we are stronger than ever.  I’ve learned how to really and truly love my friends.  I understand that loving them doesn’t mean shoving my opinions down their throat, only accepting them when they agree that I’m right or when they play into my ego of being our “star”.  Loving them is being willing to be Robin instead of Batman.  Hell, sometimes it’s being neither.  There are times when your role is to play background to the background.  Sometimes, you’re only the grip on the set of the movie and you definitely get no love during the Oscar speech: still important, but there’s no prize or acknowledgment for your contribution to the journey.  Loving them is lovingly sharing the truth they need in the moment when their spirit is open to receive it and not shoving it down their throats because “it’s the truth and she needs to hear it now!”  Even if that means not sharing the truth at all for a time and allowing them to reach it on their own.  My 20-year history with these women has taught me so much about my ability to love, but more importantly, it has been my greatest joy.  I am who I am because these women carried me to this place.  They’ve always been my safe place to land.  It’s tough to fail with that type of safety net in life.

Real, true unconditional love is the hardest love because is it a perfect love.  It’s a Godly love.  I challenge you to audit your life and find those places where you’re failing to provide it.  Once you reach an understanding of the responsibility to give it and receive it, you’ll reach … heaven.

All the best, AskThePRGirl

To Gym or Not to Gym …

Gym or Not Pic

I know it’s imperative to take care of self.  We should eat right, get a minimum level of exercise a few days a week and drink plenty of water.  Can’t argue with it.  Wouldn’t dream of trying to convince someone otherwise; however, I can’t stand working out.  Not because I’m lazy.  It just doesn’t fit into my routine.  You saw the list (see last week’s blog post I Don’t Know How She Does It).  Who has time to add an hour workout on top of the 157,000 things I’m responsible for every day?? A woman that’s fitting in gym time deserves to be nominated for “Woman of the Year” in my book.

I’ve been told it’s about prioritizing.  Ideally, if I make it a priority to work out a few times a week, then it will happen.  The reality is that in order to work out something has to be sacrificed and most often its time with my family.  I already feel like my son sees me walking out of the door more than I’m in the home these days.  I can’t take any more Mommy guilt.  Isn’t that funny?  When sacrifice is necessary, women tend to forego personal things.  Things that lift our spirit.  Things that keep us healthy.  Things that keep us sane.  Things that get us from Sunday to Sunday.  How many times have you thought:

 “I can’t go to dinner with the girls.  I should have movie night with Hubby and the kids instead.”

 “A massage would be so nice right now.  I’m going to buy X for the house instead.  No sense spending money on a one time thing.”

 “I’ve been dying to read that new book everyone is talking about.  I should read to the kids instead. Besides, I’m too tired to stay awake.”

Everyone who knows me knows that I prefer to get my cardio one way and one way only – underneath or on top of my husband.  If I’ve got to huff, puff and sweat, I might as well enjoy it.  All that effort deserves fireworks during and at the end.  I’ve never experienced fireworks at the gym.  A real orgasm burns anywhere from 150 – 300 calories depending on who you ask.  If I have sex with my husband at least two to three times a week, It counts as one gym day in my mind.  That’s logical, right?  I mean, my husband is magical in our bedroom and I’ve been known to draw a scream or two. In my mind, I’m burning more than the average woman.  #IJS #TMI

Either way, my girlfriend Jules called requesting that we take kickboxing cardio at our gym followed by a little light lunch.  Instead of fighting it, I said, “Why not?!”  I pulled out my cute gym outfit (the one that hasn’t been worn since I bought it a year ago on sale at Kohl’s), my cute gym headband, sneakers and set out for the gym.

Now, here’s the problem with going to the gym when I haven’t been there in a while:

  1. As cute as my gym outfit is, it’s still wrapped around all of my … er … girth.  So while other ladies, like my girl Jules, are walking around looking extra cute and tiny, I’m walking around looking like I actually need to be at the gym.
  2. The gym feels more like a nightclub than a workout facility.  The beautiful people walk around and pretend to workout rather than actually bursting a sweat on the machines.  I see more women in makeup than I see with crotch sweat (a telltale sign that you truly worked out).
  3. The men stare.  Now, I know I draw eyes wherever I go.  I’m sexy.  Yeah, I said it.  I’m thick, and even though I don’t have J. Lo booty, I ALWAYS draw male eyes and attention.  That’s not arrogance, that’s confidence. I might not be the best-looking girl in the place, but my confidence combined with my cuteness draws ‘em in every time.  While I’m generally okay with stares, at the gym I feel a little self-conscious.  My cute outfit hugs ALL of my … er … girth.  The only person that can stare at that without making me feel a little shy is my husband.
  4. Gym classes are designed to point out those of us who haven’t been there in while.  The class starts with everyone doing the same moves in unison.  Roughly 15 minutes into the class, you begin to see a few people modify steps, stop for water and bend over heaving for air.   Those are the folks that haven’t been in a while.  Approximately 15 minutes later, a few more folks tap out.  This process continues slowly, but surely, exposing the people who don’t workout.  That process of elimination and impending reveal stresses me out.

With all of this in mind, I still agreed to join my girl at the gym.  Unfortunately for me, she didn’t want to take a simple beginners step aerobics class or yoga or even a mild morning on the elliptical.  She wanted to take kick-box cardio.  In my mind I’m thinking, “My fat ass has NO BUSINESS in kick-box cardio.  None whatsoever.” I literally can’t think of a reason other than a fetish for public humiliation that would make me agree to kick-box cardio, but I went all the while thinking, “Jesus be fence ALL around my stupid behind.  Lord be a lasso around my life.”

Thankfully, I made it.  I made it through the class without passing gas (a workout hazard), throwing up or passing out.  I actually looked like I had taken the class before.  I only stopped for water once.  Color me surprised!! I guess there is something to that spin class I sporadically show up to!  I left feeling so good.  I felt so proud and sexy.  I actually felt more energy when the class was over than I felt walking in.  Who knew?!?

One phone call from my girl and a little bravery in my cute gym outfit helped me realize that I have to make more time to take care of myself.  In addition to letting myself off the hook for failing to get it all done around the house, I’ve got to stop feeling guilty about taking care of me.  Truth be told, I need that spark of energy I felt after yesterday’s class.  Maybe I could get more done on my list if I wasn’t always running on fumes.

What could you be doing to take better care of yourself?  Whether it’s going to the gym, treating yourself to a massage or making time for a little mani/pedi action, start telling yourself that it’s okay.  You’re just as important as every other thing you’ve prioritized in your life.  Besides, there’s no reward for running yourself into the ground.  There’s no blue ribbon for killing yourself and failing to take a moment to celebrate all of your hard work.  No one and nothing is going to validate your lack of commitment to self.  Whatever’s feeding this sadistic behavior must stop.

So, to gym or not to gym: that is the question.  Whatever the “gym” is in your life, say yes.  Whether your “gym” decision involves getting your hair done, date night with someone special or seeing a matinee movie, choose it.  Every time.  Choose you.  As I said in the November 2012 issue of O Magazine within “What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself” (shameless self plug, I know), I’ve learned:

“That I am not the titles I wear.  To outsiders I am a wife, mother, sister, best friend and business executive, but at one point, the responsibility that comes along with these roles took over my life.  I had no idea what I was really feeling besides overwhelmed.  I’ve now learned that I need to take care of myself in order to care for everyone else.”

I challenge you to do the same.  Be good to yourself.  It’s okay.  Real talk – those who persecute you for it, don’t really love you.

All the best, AskThePRGirl

Semi sort of kind of random P.S.  Isn’t is uber cool that President Obama was sworn in for a second term today?!? Moments like this make me so proud to be an American.  And the FLOTUS’ new hair!! WOO! Loving everything about it! Happy MLK weekend, y’all.

I Don’t Know How She Does It

i dont know how she does it

Recently I was given an offer I couldn’t refuse: an executive position at an international public relations powerhouse with an impressive salary and a flexible work schedule.  I got the job on my terms, and in my field, that’s saying A LOT.  PR agencies are notorious for long hours, negative political cultures and conveniently void of minority senior talent.  Taking this job was a HUGE step for me.  I’ll explain why in a bit.

I started my own public relations business in 2010 after having my son so that I could make money and be available to my family.  Truth be told, my last agency job was an incredibly negative place that discriminated against mothers and black women.  So, as soon as I had a child, the heat was turned on.  It didn’t matter that I was out performing my peers and managing 4 different accounts with teams in 5 different states.  All that mattered was that I wasn’t blond, I wasn’t playing the game and I didn’t kiss ass.  I understand that corporate jobs require a bit of political finesse in order to make it.  You’ve got to “go along to get along”; but, I have a slight issue with that.  I’m a strong, smart, confident, articulate, assertive businesswoman.  If I were a white male, I’d be a young, hotshot CEO by now.  I’ve got bigger balls than most men and I ain’t afraid to whip ‘em out and smack you in the forehead with them if you get in my way.  I play nice, I play fair, but I play the effing game. Once you step into my court, even if I don’t win, you’re going to know you went to battle with me.  I leave scars.  A friend of mine said, “It’s like having PTSD.  I can still work, but I get the shakes and feel the need for anxiety medication if I think I’m in for another round with you.”  Yeah.  I’m a bad b*tch … but in a good way :-).

So, when my “style” and my dark skin and my kid and my “aggressive” behavior stopped working for my last agency, I struck out on my own.  I really wanted to dedicate myself to my son and I knew that I could pull in some good money by contracting my services.  Even if it wasn’t a lot of money, I’d still be able to contribute to the family.  I’m blessed because my husband’s job covers all of our expenses and our necessities.  My financial contribution to our family has always been our “extra” money like: the savings, vacations, extra curricular activities for Noah, etc.  You can imagine how those things dramatically shift when I don’t have money coming in.  Under Haley Communications, I worked like mad, was able to almost double my salary from my last agency and I did it all on my own.  There’s not a day that I don’t praise God for that blessing.

It’s been such a pride thing to start up my own shop and actually thrive, so when my business took a bit of a hit in 2012, I panicked.  Should I go back to work?  Should I give up the autonomy to do what I want to do with a project rather than trying to appease some idiot manager?  Should I put my son in school full-time rather than have him home with me two days a week?  Can I handle managing my household and working 50 – 60 hour weeks?  Can I?  Should I?

After much prayer, Hubby and I decided that the best thing for our family and me would be for me to return to work.  I still consult for clients with Haley Communications, but this job would give me the reach to whole new markets.  I was excited and scared all at the same time.  It’s not that I didn’t think I could do the job, but I’m responsible for more than just this one role.  I’m also a wife, mother, sister, daughter and best friend.  With those roles comes an awesome amount of responsibility and their own separate job description.  I wondered how I would serve each of those roles adequately without losing my freaking mind.  I literally began to doubt whether I could do it.  Hell, even my friends were giving me a doubtful side-eye glance.

According to the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It (and I imagine this must be true on some level) there’s a study which showed that 64% of women with small children don’t sleep through the night.  Why? Because at night, women all around the world do “the list”.  Here’s my list on any given night:

  • Plan this week’s dinner menu
  • Schedule a dentist appointment for me
  • Schedule a dentist appointment for Bryan
  • Schedule a doctor’s appointment for Noah
  • Finish Start the laundry
  • Fold the load in the dryer
  • Mop the kitchen floor
  • Clean out the cubby in the kitchen
  • Take down the Christmas decorations
  • Buy M&Ms for Noah’s art project
  • Buy pull-ups for Noah
  • Potty train Noah!!
  • Call my dermatologist
  • Order contacts
  • Clean the guest bedroom
  • Vacuum
  • Clean Noah’s toy corner
  • Take clothes to the drycleaner
  • Pick up clothes from the drycleaner
  • Clean the house (bathrooms, living room, kitchen and bedrooms)
  • Call Orkin
  • Get the estimate for the renovations
  • Call the contractor about upcoming projects
  • Schedule time with manager to discuss budget for client X, Y and Z
  • Delegate items A, B and C for client X’s project D
  • Schedule time with partner agencies to discuss ongoing initiatives in 2013
  • Learn client Y’s products
  • Draft content for client Z’s marketing magazine
  • Decide creation direction for client’s marketing materials
  • Draft two blog entries for Client X
  • Call husband and remind to … sigh … just do it yourself
  • Order Noah’s custom birthday party invitations
  • Retrieve kid’s names from school for invites
  • Address / Send birthday invites
  • Plan party menu
  • Research sitter / nanny services
  • Research housekeeping service
  • SEX! Jeez … have sex with husband
  • Wax … everything
  • Make hair appointment
  • Buy tampons
  • Get a manicure / pedicure
  • Schedule Noah’s birthday party and alert family
  • Buy suit for little brother in law school
  • Call BFF to get the download on her personal life/advise/love/release
  • Call to check on little brothers
  • Call mother
  • Call mother-in-law
  • Don’t smoke. Don’t buy cigarettes!!!
  • Go to the gym *inner laughter*
  • Tell Hubby to … ugh … who am I kidding?? Just do it yourself!
  • Noah’s crying … go check on the baby

Seriously.  This is the sh*t that goes through my head on any given night.  Not to mention that at some point in my crazy busy week it all has to get done.  Somehow I have to split myself into 5 or 6 different people to yield maximum results.  So … how does she do it, you ask?  She doesn’t.  Most weeks I achieve a small percentage of the things on my list.  And slowly, but surely, I’m learning not to beat myself up for it.

When I first had my son, it used to tear me apart that I couldn’t do it all.  In my mind, I saw my Mother do far more with far less and all on her own.  She never complained.  She never hinted that it couldn’t be done.  I saw her raise three kids alone with no money and we NEVER went without.  Somehow, she always came through.  With that example in mind, I set out to be the perfect wife and Mom.  I set out to be just like her.  I cleaned my own house, I cooked for my family every night, I served my husband on-demand *smile*, I worked 50 – 60 hour weeks, I nurtured my son and I was dying.  I was literally on the brink of a nervous breakdown.  The thought that I was failing at these tasks was tearing me apart.  I couldn’t fathom hiring someone to help because it felt like an admission that I can’t take care of my family.  I’m not woman enough to be all that I need to be to operate in this role.  The thought shattered me.

And then one day, God spoke through my friend, Julie Gaskin.  We were having one of our random weekly girlfriend lunches and I blurted it all out.  I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I buckled to the pressure.  I ranted about failing Bryan, my inability to be perfect, my lack of confidence and my fear that no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to please everyone or get everything done.  She touched my hand, looked me in the eyes and said, “So what?”  I looked at her in amazement!  What the hell do you mean “so what!?!?”  She said with love, “You do an amazing job as wife and mother.  So what if you can’t clean the house and do all that other sh*t too?!  Hire a housekeeper.  Get a sitter.  Do whatever you need to do to reduce the stress in your life so that you can focus on the stuff that matters.”

I couldn’t take her words in at that moment, but today I totally get it.  Sometimes (like right now) the house is a mess and the Christmas decorations are still up and the baby is sick and the laundry is waiting. Sometimes you have to give your husband a quick noonday love session rather than an all night, Beyonce “Dance For You” fantasy fest.  Sometimes you need to sleep in rather than go to church (yeah … I said it).  Sometimes, you get to be imperfect.  And it’s okay.  You juggle, prioritize, and more importantly, you let yourself off the hook!  I realized that the only person putting pressure on me … was me!   I’m learning to give myself a break.  No more browbeating.  No more feelings of failure.  It’s time to celebrate the things I can accomplish in a week and praise God for the time given to complete the rest at another time.

As long as your family is feeling loved and your house hasn’t burned to the ground and the car is still running and the phone is still working and God blesses you with another day to check off a few things on that ridiculous list, count yourself lucky.  Life will be a crazy, unorganized mess, but it’s your mess.  And somehow, someway you’ll find a way through it.  Just like me.  Trust me. You’re not a failure simply because you’re not a magician.

God bless every working Mother out there.  And remember, while you’re busy wondering how to get it all done, everyone else is looking at you thinking, “I don’t know how she does it.”

All the best, AskThePRGirl

“Reality” Television

TLC-the-sisterhood-reality-show

I don’t comment often on reality TV especially those shows that perpetuate negative female stereotypes.  If you surveyed 100 people and asked, “Based on reality television, are women crazy and can they get along?” I think it’s safe to guess that the majority of those folks, if not all, would confirm that all women are crazy and we do not get along.  I won’t say too much about this topic specifically because I’m currently in the process of writing a book about it, but I will say that it’s extremely disappointing that there are zero positive representations of women on television today.

Back in the day, I had the Golden Girls, The Cosby Show, Empty Nest, 227, A Different World, The Facts of Life, Fresh Prince and dozens more that provided satire and positivity at the same time.  I could look on any given night and see many different facets of women, how we relate, how we love, how we care for our children and how we take care of ourselves.  Today, that’s not the case.   Today I Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23 because that b*tch is probably a card carrying member of The Bad Girls Club who wears slutty clothes in hopes of one day becoming one of the Basketball Wives.  Seriously?!?  When did it become popular to exaggerate and perpetuate negative imagery of women??

My decision not to write about these shows doesn’t mean I don’t watch them every now and then. I don’t talk about them publically because I think they get enough attention; however, there is a new show out that really floored me.  It doesn’t take much to be drawn into any of the “Wives” shows because they are much of the same. Throw five or six broads together who have never hung out before in life, have very little purpose outside of their proximity to a little fame and small fortune purchased by their snatch and see how many different ways they can tear each other apart.  Pretty simple formula, right?  This week, I happened upon “The Sisterhood”.  First let me say it comes on after the new T-Boz reality show, which is … just … so utterly ridiculous that it makes me question how TLC ever became a symbol of female empowerment to begin with.  There’s ghetto and there’s the T-Boz show.  I’m a little thrown by that whole debacle.  But, I digress.

“The Sisterhood” is an Atlanta-based reality show about Preacher’s Wives, or as we call them in the south, First Ladies.  It features five women as they share the experience of being a First Lady as well as the joys and hardships that come with the journey.  I tuned in to get an idea of just how ratchet this entire thing would be.  After it was over, I dialed my best friend @NikkiMo75 to discuss.  She accurately categorized it as “shade in the name of Jesus”.  I howled laughing at her description because it was dead balls accurate.

What troubled me about the show was the character (and I’m calling her a “character” because I’m hoping she doesn’t behave this way in real life) Tara Lewis.  She and her husband Brian relocated to Atlanta because Brian was to become Senior Pastor at a 300+ family church.  Apparently he was fired 6-weeks after taking the job. According to Tara, the church leaders were not in agreement with Brian’s vision, her wardrobe choices and even the way she worships.  While that’s surprising I think what was more shocking to me was the huge social and religious stereotypes being perpetuated by this couple.  For example:

  • Brian’s “urban” dialect (Sorry … that’s the best way that I know how to say that. I’m sure I’m going to be called out on the next Black in America series within the whole “talking black” section. Jesus help me).
  • They are an “upwardly mobile couple” going … where?? And how?!?  They have a nice house and car, but no family, friends, job or mention of a past job.  Meanwhile she’s enjoying mid-day gym workouts, has $1K worth of weave in her head, nice clothes, and $10K+ set of boobs.  Were they slangin’ crack rocks in L.A.?
  • They can’t have a conversation without throwing Jesus into it. I’m sure even the Lord wishes they would keep His name out they mouth at this point.  I can feel my sweet Jesus roll His eyes every time Tara says, “I’m Kingdom”.  GTFOH.  I’m. Just. Sayin.

One of the biggest things that irritated me was Tara’s conversation with Domonique and Ivy.  The ladies came together to get to know Tara better, but truthfully were trying to see if she actually stacked up to all of the crazy they’d heard.  I mean, let’s call a spade a spade.  We can say all day that they were simply trying to have a “ladies lunch”, but really they were setting her up and she fell tragically.

During their conversation, Ivy and Domonique were trying to make the point that even though they are preacher’s wives, they need a space where they can show their vulnerability and share the hardships of life without being beat over the head by the responsibility of their title.  Tara was so busy showing that she was “Kingdom” that she missed the entire point.  Well … I don’t want to say she missed it.  I believe she is intelligent and clearly understood what they were asking for; however, she’s so busy playing this Kingdom role that she missed a clear opportunity to build this Atlanta friendship network she’s so desperately seeking.  She insisted that she speaks the Word at all times and she won’t have her life choice suppressed by women who would carelessly discard God from the conversation.  In her mind, He’s first and so she shall present Him first in all things.  The Problem: her delivery was foul and completely disrespectful.  If your sister comes to you and says, “Hey Girl, I need a safe place to bare my soul” and you respond by literally shoving the Bible down her throat and screaming that she better get on her knees and trust God, I’m going to go out on a limb and say your argument has lost ALL effectiveness.  Not to mention that your antics have completely dismissed God from the entire situation.

The conversation bothered me for one main reason.  It totally irritates me when people use God and/or spiritual principles to back up their fooleywang.  Tara is ridiculous and so was her entire participation in the conversation, but her persistence in saying her behavior was  “Godly” is insane.  She couldn’t have been further from God if she’d bungee jumped naked off the side of the devil’s balls while fellating some random dude (in my humble opinion … no shade intended).  God calls us to meet people where they are and certainly is disappointed when we use His principles as weapons.  She’s not “Kingdom”, she’s ridiculous; and, she shamed the very God she claims to serve by trying to align Him with such disrespectful behavior.  Imagine if Jesus would have treated people with contempt and pride while trying to conform non-believers! There’s no way He would’ve been as effective.  If she really wants to be “Kingdom” then perhaps she needs a refresher course in what that really means.

I don’t know if I’ll continue to watch the show.  Honestly, I may tune in when I need a moment to disconnect from reality and kill a few brain cells.  I will challenge you to remember that the “reality” you’re consuming isn’t actually real.  If you are conducting yourself anything like the characters we seen each week; if you’re taking sides; if you’re claiming you love one character over the other when they ALL are morally reprehensible, please do me a favor and KYS.  Just kidding.  Just remember that it’s entertainment.  It’s something to do.  Make sure it doesn’t begin to shape the way you treat people or the way you relate to people.  Especially women.  Please sisters, let’s be better to one another.

In the words of Forrest Gump … that’s all I have to say about that.

Later Alligators, AskThePRGirl

25 Things I’ve Learned About White Women From Reading Erotica

I dedicate this entry to my absolute favorite authors in this space: @E_L_James, @BethKery, @SylDay, @SylvainReynard, @SaraFawkes, @JenniferProbst, @Megan_Hart, @SC_Stephens_, @TinaReber and @JamieMcGuire_.  I have read each of your books over and over again with new zeal and discovery each time. Thank you for providing a fantasyland for an overworked Mom to escape.  Oh … and my Husband thanks you also 🙂

And to the one woman who encouraged me to make time for myself and read … My Sissy, @Celedon_Chic. You are my sunshine …

25 Things Blog

I love white women. Perhaps not the way a “Polo wearing, golf playing, sweater around the shoulders, country club membership” black dude loves white women, but I do have a great appreciation and respect for them. They are among the most cultured, sophisticated and politically savvy people in existence. I don’t think there’s anything they can’t do. I believe they come out of the womb knowing how to throw a good dinner party and give a solid BJ. And how can you not respect a woman who can do that?! Epic. Mad respect.

I’ve grown up in a predominantly white environment my entire life. Since the age of 10, I’ve lived in predominantly white neighborhoods, attended white schools (including college) and even went to a majority white church until I was 16.  Even my best friends (and still most cherished relationships) as a kid were white so needless to say, I felt pretty confident that I’ve been schooled in the thoughts and methods of this mythical creature. They are extremely loving, giving and when it comes to having a good time … you don’t know partying until you’ve experienced it with them. I have woken up with my false eyelashes on my bare naked foot after a night with one of my white GFs. Meanwhile, this heifer is fully dressed, making coffee and looking like she just stepped out of an issue of Sorority Girl Today. I’m thinking, “How does she do that?!?” Magic. It happens in the womb. You’d think white women were God’s chosen people instead of the Jews. Maybe He just likes them a whole lot. I dunno.  Oh, and don’t make her mad because she will go to work on you … and then she’ll go to work on you.  You’ll end up jobless, manless and bitter while she sips by the pool and thinks, “Pity. She should’ve quit while she was ahead.”  I’ve seen it happen.  My girls don’t play!

After years and years and several special relationships, I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about them … until this year. By popular demand, I read E. L. James’ infamous Fifty Shades of Grey series, which literally sent me down a rabbit hole chasing books in the same genre. Why? Because not only was I getting a glimpse into their sexual fantasies (something they NEVER discuss publically because it’s in very poor taste), but it’s as if I was catching an intimate glimpse of they’re inner thoughts about themselves, life and love. At first I started to discount it as a European thing because you know those folks have VERY evolved ideas around human sexuality; but, as I continued to find more and more authors like Beth Kery (one of my ABSOLUTE faves … no one is more deliciously dirty than my girl Beth), Sylvia Day, Sara Fawkes and Sylvain Reynard it was clear that this isn’t simply a foreign thing.  I mean … the Fifty Shades phenomenon has conservative American, sterling silver tea set, Martha’s Vineyard vacationing women reading erotica out in public.  Hell, I went to have my Mercedes routinely serviced a few weeks ago and THREE individual women were reading erotica right before my eyes in the waiting room! Wanna talk about mind blowing?! Consider my brain evaporated.

Upon further research of several different books, which my husband has thoroughly enjoyed, I began to see themes.  And after many glasses of wine with my Sissy @Celedon_Chic, it hit me.  By God, I believe I’ve learned at least 25 things about white women that hadn’t occurred to me before.  Some of the realizations were simple “oh yeah, that makes sense” thoughts.  Others were, “WOW. Really?!”  Even more astonishing, and perhaps a bit comforting, was that their desires and fantasies aren’t too different from my own.  Actually, they really are my own.

So … here are 25 Things I’ve Learned About White Women From Reading Erotica:

1. They love wealthy men.  Not rich. Wealthy.  I’m talking he must own part of a major metropolitan city, jets (plural), clubs (plural), small people and politicians.  It’s sort of like that old saying, “I want a lady in the street and a freak in the sheets.” Well, that’s what my Anglo sisters fantasize about. An extremely wealthy man who is pleasing and very well behaved in public and gets VERY dirty at home … and in elevators … and pools … and boathouses … and boats … and … well, you get the picture.

2. While the man must be wealthy, they don’t like to feel like a gold digger.  It’s very important that he understands that his money is HIS money and they are not with him because of the money … even though it’s a required prerequisite.  Very peculiar.

3. Her man must be well equipped in the *ahem* pants areas. I’m talking long, strong, take a hit of a freshly rolled joint before recreation activity can begin.  She wants to see it and pause.  A good … long … pause.

4. Her man must be in pristine physical condition.  An Adonis.  A Greek god.  A literal deity in physical form.  So beautiful that he makes her feel a bit self conscious about her own appearance.

5. While the Adonis she is dating makes her feel self conscious about her appearance, she’s actually the perfect woman.  Perfect hair.  Perfect body.  Perfect … everything.  So perfect in fact that he’s never seen a woman like her that was able to turn his head AND keep his attention.

6. She and ONLY she beguiles her man. So much so that he can no longer see other women.  Can’t imagine what another woman could have that would be more intoxicating than what she provides.  So … basically her man doesn’t cheat.  Ever.  Why? Because she’s the most beautiful woman in the world and has platinum between her legs … even if she’s a virgin.  Mad. Respect.

7. She has confidence / self-esteem issues. She never feels pretty. She has to be reassured that she in fact is beautiful even though she just happens to be the most beautiful girl in the room.  Every man wants her.  Every woman wants to be her. And even though she has a PERFECT body, breasts and hair in EVERY book, she’s oblivious to the point. I don’t get that.  Hear me and hear me good, people.  I DON’T NEED NOBODY TO TELL ME THAT I’M THE HOTTEST THANG WALKING THIS PLANET. It’s nice when others notice, but please believe when you do notice, you’re catching on to something I already know. Ya heard me?

8. She likes to be dominated and yet assert her independence.  She likes when he’s aggressive in the bedroom and even outside to a certain extent, but when he crosses this invisible line in her head, all bets are off.  In my opinion, the dumbest arguments arise from this very issue.  It’s sticky to tell a man, “control me, but don’t control me.” But … I digress.

9. She loves the “F” word.  LOVES it.  Enough said.

10.She loves the “P” word.  It’s literally printed in Beth Kery’s Wicked Burn 64 times.  64 TIMES!  I counted on my Kindle reader app.  Now, maybe this is just a dirty little fantasy for my girl Beth, but I’ve literally read it in these books more than I’ve seen my own … *ahem* P.  I’m 33.  I’ve seen my own a healthy number of times.  Perhaps not more than the aesthetician that waxes me, but I’m aware of what’s going on down there.

11.She likes dirty talk. Ok … not dirty.  Filthy.  The filthier the better.  I’ve read things that have literally made ME blush (and smile wickedly).  Like … put the book down a moment and stare into space to let it sink in.  There is a scene in Sylvia Day’s Bared to You that literally … I mean … the things Gideon says and does to Eva sometimes just … woo child.

12. She’s into sex toys.  I’m talking things I’ve never even heard of and surely wouldn’t know what to do with if I came across it.  For that, Hubby and I would like to thank E.L. James and Google.

13.She is open to BDSM.  Don’t know what that is? I suggest Google.  I will say that some of the stuff I read sounds really painful.  Painful enough that I’d probably slap the whole sh*t out of my Hubby if he suggested it, or introduced it without permission but, it does make for an interesting read.

14.She loves classical or eclectic music while having sex. That’s only peculiar to me because I typically don’t associate sex with classical music.  It’s good music for reading or quiet meditation.  But sex??  I prefer a good rhythm and blues playlist. I need a man begging, or confessing his love, or confirming what’s about to go down in the room to a sexy guitar or an 808.  You know, stuff like that.  It’s just a preference.  Perhaps I need to look into a little Bach to get down with the get down.  *shrugs*

15.They have insatiable sexual appetites and don’t seem to ever get tired … or sore. I’m telling you, some of those times Christian climbed on Ana in Fifty Shades I would have had to tell him to find something else to do.  Surely with all the money that you have, there must be a hobby lurking around here that you can turn your attention to.  My precious needs to rest.  Please and thank you.

16.When venturing into unknown territory, like a salacious, toe-curling sexual relationship, someone she trusts must validate her feelings/decisions.  Typically a girlfriend or gay boyfriend.

17.Her friends are always her polar opposite.  If she’s quiet, awkward and demure (as she most often is in these stories), her friends/confidents are vivacious, brave and unbridled.

18.She loves her mother, but often make drastically different life choices.  And, generally in the stories I read, she’s always a daddy’s girl.  THIS I love.

19.She loves a man who can speak without speaking.  He speaks with his eyes, with his hands and with his body.  WHOLE conversations are happening in these fantasies and very few words are spoken.  Lots of “ohs”, “ahs” , “shhh” and “please”, but not much more.

20.She is fixated on a sexy head of hair. Nothing like when her guy runs his hands through a perfect head of hair in frustration or as a prerequisite to some dirty interlude.  Either way, it drives her wild!

21.Having sex with a complete stranger isn’t always just a wild fantasy. Of course this could simply be Beth Kery’s fantasy, but this theme exists in many books. Perhaps not a complete stranger, but it doesn’t take several dates to get into her pants. No judgment. Just an observation. I went to college. I understand how this can happen. Again, Europeans are light-years ahead of the US when it comes to sexual themes and sexual choices. I consider American white women the new age, worldly woman of the States.

22.She is often betrayed by her own genitalia. When a man controls her body, there is always an instantaneous pull and/or reaction in the groin area. Think Ana/Christian in Fifty Shades or Eva/Gideon in Bared to You. How often does she feel that “familiar pull” down nether which betrays what she actually wants to do? She wants to talk or leave or fight, but with one look from him she is rendered unable to make the choice her mind wants. OR did she really just get what she actually wanted all along?!? These women are Jedi masters. Who knows?

23.She has a great career with endless possibilities. She’s a Dante scholar-to-be studying at Harvard, an Art Historian / Curator at the Chicago Metro Museums of Fine Art, Book Editor for up and coming publishing house. The list goes on and on.

24.When participating in a life altering, sexual / love relationship, she constantly doubts the viability of it.  It’s not enough that he’s perfect, she’s perfect and they both live in perfect worlds.  No, something is going to tear it ALL apart at any moment.  Something is going to stop her from having this dream life that she doesn’t deserve.  Yeah … she can get real Harlequin Romance / Scarlett Ohara on ya on a moment’s notice.

25.There appears to be very few pops of “color” in her world … outside of her wardrobe.  *side eye glance*

Every point doesn’t apply to EVERY woman.  These are simply themes that are heavily present in EVERY book I’ve read. Perhaps it simply makes for good reading.  BUT … it does make one think.  If ALL of these stories carry the same theme and the erotic genre is gaining popularity, wouldn’t that say that these ideas and fantasies are present in a majority of white women?  Yes!  And while I’ve enjoyed erotica featuring black stories from authors like Zane and Eric Jerome Dickey, I must say it’s been interesting to take a peek behind the veil of my Anglo sisters.  Very interesting, indeed.

Laters baby (and happy reading), AskThePRGirl