Tuesday, November 30, 2004

"...And our time apart is our time apart" aka "Exactly who is benefiting from this friendship?"

The old friends with benefits gig. It always seems like one of the parties is settling for what they can get at the time. Maybe my emotions just aren't Y2K compatible, because I view it as potentially insulting. "You're cool in small doses, and I'll even grant you the privilege of having sex with me on occasion, but don't expect anything else." Okay, maybe that's sort of extreme, but there are FWBers that think just that way.
You may ask what's the problem with that if the individuals have a mutual understanding. If both individuals feel that way, I have no problem whatsoever with FWBs. I say to them, do you. The actuality is that more times than not, the relationship is slanted with one person's feeling being slightly more invested than the other's. In the alternative, if one person is seemingly attentive, it could make the other reason in his/her mind that the situation is becoming a relationship. Unless "rules" are followed, you run the risk of endless misunderstandings. You have to balance when you're not calling enough, when you're calling too much, where you can go, where you can't go, what days are off days, how he/she will/should react if they see you on a date, how you should react if you see him/her on a date, what happens when I/he/she meet(s) the person I/he/she REALLY want(s) to be with...The list is never ending. That sounds like a lot of emotional work for a non-relationship.
And that's sort of puzzled me...What happens when the more relationship oriented (and damn what you heard, most of the times at least one of the parties is) person meets someone ready to give them what they want - a relationship? Or maybe even more potentially heartrending, what happens when the presumably non-relationship oriented person meets "the one" and it's time for the buddy to go? "Whew, this was fun, but I'm on to better things. Well...holla!" Is that how friends treat one another?
I guess it's evident that I'm just not feeling this line of thinking. I've been on both sides of the FWB fence, and to be honest, neither one is that great. In situation #1, you've got the person that you're digging that isn't ready for a relationship, at least "not right now." However, they are not adverse to a no-holds-barred sexual free for all. Not the greatest feeling in the world. In situation #2, you've got the person that you think is nice, in fact too nice to say no to, but you're just not "feeling" them. Whether the reason is deep, superficial or in between, you know that nothing deep will ever transpire between the two of you - on your part, at least. That person is temporary and you know it. Unfortunately, THEY don't know it. Who wants to be the one to say "Remember when I said it's not you it's me? Strike and reverse"? Unless you're a cold hearted person, that's not an enviable position either. It could also make you question your past unrequited feelings.
FWBs are basically an easy out for the emotionally scarred, the irresponsible, the playas and folks who already have SOs. It's for those that want the comfort of being with someone familiar, without the responsibility. If they forget an important date, birthday, significant event, so what, they're not your man/woman. Sort of a hetero DL subculture. However, they are becoming more mainstream than traditional relationships. Somebody decided that labels aren't cool and the public has run with it. And in a sense, I'll agree that labels are meaningless. Lauryn Hill said it best "Father you saved me and showed me that life Was much more than being some foolish man's wife." I feel that so deeply, because I was in a completely meaningless marriage and it sucked. I had the label of "wife," but my "husband" was a cheater, an alcoholic and an abuser. He didn't have enough love for me to stand up and do the right thing, whether it was to clean himself up or walk away with at least a fragment of the person I was. It seemed to be his mission to make my life as difficult as possible as often as possible. So much for "to have and to hold." If the shit ain't sincere, the label is meaningless.
If you do care about a person though, to say that a label is unnecessary is a copout. If my dad ever described me as "this chick that grew up in my house", I'd faint. If my son or daughter were to ever call me "the broad that feeds me", I'd die. Why? Because I've developed a connection with them. Society at large acknowledges that connection. Why then, is it deemed unreasonable to desire the relationship label. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying relationships should be rushed into, because that's not the thing at all. I just think that where one puts their genitals should be given the same consideration as where one puts their labels.
Life is about change, especially this techno age that we live in. But damn...Let me hold on to something. I've switched from floppies to CD ROMs, upgraded my cell phone no less than 4 times, buy DVD's rather than VHS cassettes now and upgrade my computer regularly. At this point, I'm not interested in upgrading my heart.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Guilty Pleasure

I absolutely despise reality television. I hate it. I don't want to sit around watching people "live" when I could be living my own life. I'll admit, I've occasionally glanced at "The Apprentice" and "America's Top Model", but it was usually a result of channel surfing and I paused for a few minutes. I think the idea is moronic and has gone too far.

That being said, I love the show "Cheaters"! It is hilarious to me. I don't even think of it as reality TV, because some of the individuals are completely detached from reality. The premise of this Dallas based show is priceless. If you are in a relationship (or merely believe you are in a relationship) you call the show and they basically stalk your significant other on your behalf. If you live with them, you can even authorize them to set up surveillance in your home. Words like "tryst" "philanderer" and "illicit" are used heavily on this show.

They follow the "offender" around until they've caught them in the act, usually more than once and subsequently show the poor victim whatever pictures or footage they may have. Then the victim is notified that their SO is currently with the person and given the opportunity to confront the cheater and bring them to justice! What ensues is pure comedy. The only thing missing from this domestic blitzkrieg is camoflaged personnel dropping from helicopters. Of course the cheater has NO clue what's going on, so after the initial shock and obligatory expletives, we hear the other side of the story.

I personally find it priceless when the other side of the story shows that the "cheater" didn't even know that they were dating the other person. The poor sucker went to dinner with the person a couple of times, possibly got the booty, and for whatever reason figured it to be ancient history. Then there's the unforgettable guy that told his wife "We can get past this baby...Bill did it to Hilary and she forgave him." Who can't love a show that showcases gems of this sort?

As horrible as it sounds, my favorite is when the the host jumped on this guy's boat and the guy stabbed him. He was pallid and groaning, and though I knew I SHOULDN'T have laughed, I couldn't help it. The producers had to have seen it coming? The viewing public certainly did...and I think we all laughed.

I do have one beef with the show though. It's totally filmed in Dallas. You would think that the Dallas population at large would have gotten hip to that by now. In any other circumstance, I would strongly advise the citizens of Dallas to do their cheating elsewhere. However, if I did that, what would I watch on a dateless Saturday night?

Mom's Haiku

I recall her love
She used it like a blanket
And it sheltered me.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Makes Me Wanna HOLLA!

The sooner that the black community stops thinking that Oprah, Iyanla Van Zant and Essence Magazine are some all knowing triad, the better off we'll all be. Just because we heard/saw it from them does not make it a fact. I applaud their positive messages, however, I think we sometimes take them too seriously. Oprah get's her name stamped on books that she simply read. She did not write, edit or publish the books, she simply read them. Am I the only one in this world that finds this disturbing.

Black relationships across the nation were in total upheaval after Oprah and Essence gave us a"peek" into the life of DL brothers. When were closeted gay men a secret? And it's not that far a stretch of the imagination to think that some men will qualify their acts as them not "being gay" because they have wife/girlfriend/family. So I'm puzzled by the fact that once Oprah said it, a large part of the sister population was questioning her man about his habits. Everything from boys' night out to just a lack of relationship drama made the insecure sister wary of her SO's sexuality. Let me put this issue to rest...If ya man spends his free time away from you, he's not really your man. Handle your business. Don't go on Oprah acting shocked, or write E. Lynn Harris to thank him for illuminating your path. Your good old common sense told you what to do a long time ago and it's on you if you didn't listen to it.

Then there's the issue of women loving thugs. Eddie Murphy told you about 20 years ago why that happened...he made her go "OOOOOOOHHHHHH" and she's been hooked ever since. It's not rocket science. If a woman is crazy enough to stay with a man that is no good for her, count yourself blessed that you don't have to deal with her on that level and press on. Be forewarned, the next brother that proffers this argument in an attempt to get sympathy will swiftly be offered cheese to go with his whine. When it's your time, it's your time, so stop being stressed out by the choices of others.

After much research, I have also discovered that white women are not on a crusade for black men. They want A man, and if he happens to be black, so be it. This man will be with her for one of two reasons: 1) He in honestly in love with her and nothing you can do will change that, so stop hating; or, 2) He thinks she's better because she's white and therefore, he is an idiot - you should be thankful that you're NOT with him. Here's a thought...just like women don't like whining men, men don't like whining women. There is nothing sexier than a happy person...try it!

Finally, I have a major beef with the tremendous amount of money that the "experts" are making telling us things that we already know. For example, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. These people made a killing telling us that men and women think differently...duh!
Then there is the barrage of magazine articles by, usually single, women that tell us how to please your man. HUH?? Do you know "my man"? Here's an idea ladies...ask your man what he wants and be sure you're prepared for whatever answer he'll give you. Chances are, he'll tell you. Once that's done and you've implemented the suggestions, turn on the game, fix him a sandwich and shut the hell up.

My personal favorite is the Franklin/Covey phenomenon 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Basically, you sit in an overpriced seminar for 3 days replete with accessories that are also overpriced when you have to replace or refill them. They inform the masses that they should prioritize their lives and do things in order of importance. Gee Franklin/Covey...thanks for saving the day. No one needs 3 days and a $100+ day planner to tell them that. My mother told me that when I was about 5 and it stuck with me. Right around the same time she told me that boys and girls think differently and ask people questions and they'll answer you. I guess anyone crazy enough to pay for learning things they already know deserves to spend every dime.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Mellie Mel Posted by Hello

Newbie Alert

Rumor has it that blogging is therapeutic and a good writing exercise so I'm trying my hand at it. I'm staring down the barrel of my 28th birthday and I'm not as freaked out as I thought. Being within sneezing distance of 30 is actually quite cool. What better way to welcome changing times than to develop a new, constructive, hobby?

Once upon I time I thought that by this age, I'd be an up and coming attorney, happily married, possibly pregnant with my first child and owning a home. I did get into law in a manner of speaking - as a legal secretary. Not quite part of the vision, but c'est la vie. Currently, I'm a freshman at UNO, majoring in business admin and minoring in computer science. That is subject to change. Never quite got around to being HAPPILY married, but I'm ecstatically divorced. I have two very beautiful children that light up my world and a small, but very loyal circle of friends. Though things have not gone precisely as planned, the detour has been interesting...and quite fun.