Throwback Thursday — In Honor of Montana: Giving Thanks

20 11 2014

This past Monday marked 7 years that Montana passed away. Seven is a really long time y’all. But I think he would be happy to see how I’ve grown as a woman since then. And so to honor him and the part that he played in that growth, I want to dedicate this throwback Thursday to the first man who told me that my smile made him smile.

Rest in peace babe.

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In Honor of Montana: Giving Thanks

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” ~ Psalm 119:71

It’s been five years. Five years since I met the man who would change my life and my perspective on so many things in less than a 2 month time period. And while it doesn’t seem that long ago, this past Saturday actually marked 5 years since he died – since he was killed, actually.

It’s kind of amazing how time works. There are days when it feels like I met him a million years ago. Like the girl who I was at that time wouldn’t even recognize me. Like it was another life being lived, and I only watched it on TV.  And then there are times when it seems like just yesterday that this cute, tall, dark chocolate drop of goodness slipped me his phone number in one of DC’s most popular eateries. He was so slick about it, in fact, that for a minute, I didn’t realize it had happened. It wasn’t until I walked out that I noticed the receipt that read “Simply beautiful. Call me.” It listed his number and name, and that was it.

I naturally thought this man was a smooth operator and was not to be trusted. Who could be that slick and not be a shyster, right? It should be noted that I met him at a time when I was beyond jaded about the men in my life. I didn’t trust anyone, and without realizing it, I’d created this slightly dark and twisty outlook. I didn’t want people to hug me. I didn’t like cuddling. And most importantly, I didn’t believe anything any man said to me. Anything.

And yet, over the course of 2 months, this man knocked 90% of those walls down. I don’t know how he did it. One day I was doubting that he even actually knew who I was, (When I was finally convinced to call him, I argued him down that he probably gave that message to several women and didn’t actually know who was calling him. I shut up when he described my entire outfit and gave a very accurate description of me, down to the freckles on my face and the nail polish I had on.) and the next thing I knew we were texting each other silly high school ish like, ‘just thinking about you boo,’ and ‘I heard this song today that reminded me about you.’

Somehow, this man had taken me (dragging and screaming, mind you) to the point where I was not only ok with seeing him everyday, I wanted to. To where I was growing comfortable with having honest and vulnerable conversations with him. And then, of course, out of nowhere, it was all gone.

Read more here.





What’s Hugs Got to Do with It

18 11 2014

hug

Not sure if you all remember, but a couple years ago, I started embracing (pun intended) the beauty of hugs.

I decided to let go of my fears of emotions and enjoy the feelings you get when hugging or letting someone hug you. And I have to say, it really has made a big difference in my life. For one, I find that I’m less bitter and cynical about relationships. For two, I’ve become more comfortable with being me and expressing whatever emotions I have for a person.

Now, granted, I’m not saying all of that happened just because I came around on hugs, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence they have coincided with each other either. As Mandy Pants said back in the day, “humans need to be touched.” And I was essentially missing out on basic human interaction that was needed to survive by limiting this type of interaction.

Since then, however, I’ve clearly come around. I mean, I really believe in the power of hugs now y’all. Annnnnnnd physical touch became one of my top love languages! Who would have thought??

But here’s the thing. Once I got past the power and beauty of hugs, then I was able to just get into the pure awesomeness of them. Especially when done with boo thangs and potential boo thangs.

I thought about this other day when I came up on an old article about the 7 cute hugs a guy can give you.

Let me just say off top, I’m a fan of all of the ones they mentioned. The catch, the spin, the lift, the head rest etc… but my favorite one? The kind of hug I remember just walking down the street later? Oh that’s the combination of the squeeze (which I call the bear hug) and the long one.

Listen. That combo effect? It’ll melt even the stoniest of hearts and leave tingles all up and down your spine.

Okay let me stop telling on myself.

All I’m trying to say is that as a woman dating someone who doesn’t live in her city, sometimes the highlight of my time with sgwmms is the 1 minute hug we do where we just stand there squeezing each other tight. Sometimes that hug then turns into fits of laughter as I try fail to exert my strength on him. And sometimes… it’s… just… heaven.

Plain and simple.

Either way, though, it’s absolutely something I realize I was missing out on for all those years. And I’m so glad I eventually learned the errors of my ways.

But what about you all? Do you have a favorite hug between you and your guy (future, past or present)? Have you tried all of the ones they mentioned in the article? If not, do you have one that piqued your interest?





Accidentally C-blocking Our Friends

13 11 2014
Photo: tomorrowsmemorieswa.blogspot.com

Photo: tomorrowsmemorieswa.blogspot.com

The other night I ended up at a bar with a bunch of girlfriends, talking girl talk, laughing, drinking whiskey, and giggling about boys.

Well as we looked around the bar, we realized there were several said boys in attendance as well. But, I noted, we were in far too large of a group of women for any of those guys to approach someone in the group.

“Yea you know the only guy who would do that is the kind of guy you wouldn’t want anyway,” one of the girls said.

“Right, because I mean, who wants to walk up to a group of like 6 girls and try to talk to just one of them? The odds are not in your favor.”

Exactly.

But really, why is that?

Wouldn’t you think if you have a table of single women who like dating and someone wants to ask one of those women on a date, everyone else would be down for the cause? Wouldn’t you think the other women would revert into wing women essentially? I would think so.

And yet, that’s not what happens in real life. We know this because there’s a reason men don’t tend to walk up to groups of women by themselves. Because far too often, they are instantly grilled, pulled a part, sized up, and judged before they even get out something beyond “hi.”

Thing is, we all know this. We all are completely aware of this phenomenon… and still the six of us sat at the bar/table giggling, not having anyone walk up to us, laughed about why, and didn’t do anything to change it.

It wasn’t until one of the girls walked away to go to the actual bar that she found herself being approached by a guy. And you know what he told her right? “I was hoping you would go do something on your own so I could talk to you.” Mmmmhmmmm. Theory confirmed.

So why do you think this happens? Why do we accidentally c-block our friends when we’re out? I’m not saying you should change the amount of people you meet up with, because that would just be crazy… but somewhere along the line, we’ve made it uncomfortable for men to do what we claim we want them to do just by hanging with our girlfriends. And if everyone is supposedly on the prowl, then aren’t we hustling backwards here?

What do you all think?





Five More Great Fall Date Ideas

11 11 2014
Photo credit: Darby Baham

Photo credit: Darby Baham

Autumn is in the air. And despite the fact that it was 40 degrees this weekend in the District and snowing last week in Chicago, I’m determined to try to enjoy the fall season before it officially turns into winter.

It’s such a pretty season, really. The leaves start turning to these beautiful amber and golden colors, and they litter the ground everywhere, making folks (me) want to skip everywhere they go so they can kick up fallen crispy leaves along the way. The weather, when not being all wonky, is the 2nd perfect blend of seasons (spring is the 1st lol)… sunny but not hot, brisk but not cold. You might need a jacket but it can be one of those cute nonfunctional ones instead of the big bulky utility ones that you have to wear when the temp drops to 30 and below.

And you know what else autumn brings? Really cool opportunities for dates.

Such as?

Such as watching the sunset from a really cool outside setting. The great thing about the fall is that since the sun sets so early, you can make plans to watch it set about 5:30 on a Saturday and not have to worry about it getting to be too late. Bonus points if you can find a historical or beautifully landscaped spot to do so. Monuments in DC maybe? The Empire State building in NY? The observatory in LA? All really great options.

Attend a music festival – most people tend to think of these happening in the summer, but really your best bet is to find one in the spring or fall so the weather’s not too hot because you’ll be there all day. Voodoo Fest in New Orleans is a great suggestion – and if you get your tickets early enough, not that expensive to get down there.

Basketball game — Last time I talked about attending a football game, but how did I forget to mention the basketball options? Well there are plenty of pluses here. A: it’s indoors, which is great if it’s 40 degrees in your locale. B: you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to go. Now you probably won’t be courtside, but basketball games do have fairly reasonable options when it comes to pricing! And there’s nothing like adding a little competition into a date if you end up going to a game where your teams are playing each other.

Be a tourist in your city, but not just in any random way. You can do fun stuff like a city wide scavenger hunt or one of those double decker tours if you live in a big tourist city. But go all out! Maybe come up with accents and different names and play around like you have no idea of anything in the city. You’re bound to meet some interesting folks, maybe learn some things you didn’t know before, and get some good laughs in as well.

Go for hot cocoa and s’mores. Everyone always thinks of ice cream dates for the summer, but what’s the equivalent when the cooler temps start settling in. Hot cocoa! Google some of the best places in your city for hot cocoa, get a cup each, and just walk around getting to know each other. The hot cocoa will help keep you warm on your walk and maybe inspire some canoodling between the two of you as well.

Any other ideas you all have?

And what’s your favorite date you’ve gone on in the fall? What made it so nice?





Tips for My Future Husband — #20

6 11 2014
Photo: derrickjaxn.wordpress.com

Photo: derrickjaxn.wordpress.com

Get Silly with Me

Y’all remember that song, “Get Silly” from a few years ago? It was super catchy, had a fun dance, and we, of course, had no idea what they were talking about — but it was fun! So it was great.

Well, I heard it while out at a Halloween party last Friday night, and it gave me the perfect idea for my next tip for future hubby.

You see, I already talked about wanting him to laugh at my jokes, but I don’t want to just stop it there. I want us to have fun being silly with each other.

I actually found myself talking about this the other day with a bunch of girlfriends. We were out at a bar, and one of the girls wanted to know what we all thought was the most important thing in a relationship outside of trust (which is incidentally, my number 1). I said the ability to have fun with each other. But as I was describing it, and giving an example of what I meant, I realized that fun didn’t quite give the most clear description.

Why?

Well, I think you can have fun doing things like watching a movie or attending an art show or scrapbooking. But what I really meant is that I want the ability for me and my guy to enjoy those things, but also enjoy cutting the fool with each other while we’re doing them. I want that guy who’s going to be up laughing with me for hours and then when we try to figure out what the heck we were laughing about, we have no idea. I want that guy who I can lay in the bed with and just be goofy with without a care in the world. I want that guy that’s going to turn a music festival into a giggle festival. Who can keep me in stitches, not because he’s a class clown or something like that, but because we’ve cultivated a friendship that just oozes pure unadulterated fun.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are times and places for serious conversations and serious occasions. No one is trying to be silly at a funeral or something like that, right? But even at the stuffiest gala, wouldn’t it be nice to know you’re sitting next to someone who can quickly make a silly face at you (that only you can see) and then go back to proper decorum afterward? I think it would be.

In fact, I think it’s one of the biggest keys to keeping a relationship alive and thriving — just how much fun you can have with each other. And so I hope future hubby takes that into account. This future wife (me lol) just wants to spend as much time possible laughing and enjoying life (preferably with him by my side).





Express Yourself… by Voting

4 11 2014

My senior year of high school happened during the infamous 2000 Presidential Election.

And because most of us were at least a few months shy of being able to actually vote, we held an election at my school. Now, I don’t remember the exact tally (because I’m old y’all — for real), but it was basically a landslide for Al Gore. I mean, such a landslide that even though I knew it would be closer in real life, I was genuinely shocked by just how close it ended up being. And then, even more so, that George W. Bush won* (it will always have an asterisk by it, as far as I’m concerned).

I can’t begin to describe to you how devastated we all were that we couldn’t have actually voted when those results came in.

I mean, we wanted to vote before then. But we REALLY wished we could have voted after.

And I’ve yet to let an election pass by since then where I haven’t voted. Mostly because I didn’t want to experience that feeling again. That feeling that if I could have/if I would have just voted, then maybe the outcome would be different. But also because I knew, even then, that as a black woman, I stood on the shoulders of two groups of people who had to fight for the right to vote in this country. And I didn’t want to let them down.

There will be lots of people who speak differently today. Who say and believe that voting doesn’t make a difference. They will say that your vote does not count. Or that it’s not worth the hassle. That it’s all rigged anyway. Or even that the candidates are all the same, so who cares who wins?

But I say that if you have ever wanted to express yourself and your opinions on the matters that affect your community, voting is one of the most powerful ways to do it. By voting, you effectively say — “I stand for this.”

And in a country where too many people feel that their voices are unheard, far too many let that opportunity slip on by. Far too many of us purposely put ourselves in the position to end up just like me and my classmates in November 2000 — wishing we could have made a difference, but powerless to do anything about it.

Don’t let that happen to you. Not on this day. Not for this election.

If you haven’t voted already (by early voting or absentee), please do so today.

And when you’re done, encourage someone else to vote too.





Argue with Me… #SoIKnowItsReal???

28 10 2014

There’s a scene in one of my favorite shows, Grey’s Anatomy, where Meredith and Derek get into a really heated argument. Because Meredith isn’t used to being in a relationship, she assumes that the argument is an indicator that she and Derek have broken up. So when Derek shows up at her door like normal, she’s super confused. She’s all like, “didn’t we have a heated argument today?” He says yes. She says (and I’m paraphrasing the rest because I don’t remember it verbatim), “I thought that meant we broke up.” He says, “No, it just means I didn’t like you at that moment. But we’re in a relationship. We’re going to disagree. Couples argue, Meredith. We’re a couple.”

Oop. He got her straight!

But actually, full disclosure, he got me straight too.

You see, I found myself in a similar situation earlier this year. I got into a heated “discussion” with a guy I’m dating, and before I realized what I was doing, I’d assumed that meant we were done. I was sending angry memes to my friends (because I don’t put them on social media lol) like the one that says “I tripped and fell into some feelings. I’m okay now. I brushed that shit off.”

I was all “if this is too complicated for you, just say it. Just say it!”

I mean, I was really done y’all.

And then we talked again, and I realized — wait, this dude still thinks we’re dating. I mean, I was really sitting there like, “but didn’t we just have this horrible row, how could he still think we’re dating?” And that’s when it hit me — I’d fallen into that same trap Meredith had fallen into. The one that would have you believe if you disagree, that automatically means you’re over.

Really, when you think about it, it’s kind of easy to think that. At least I can see how it happened for me. You see, for the past several years, I’ve been involved in relationships or dating situations that never lasted past the 6 month mark. Why that is the case is for another post, but what I realized about those relationships is that there was no sense of investment there. So of course if we got into a really bad argument, it was easy to just end it.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Maybe it didn’t end in that specific fight, but if it didn’t, it was pretty soon thereafter.

Which brings me back to the fight earlier this year. Because of all those other experiences, I believed the same thing was happening then too. And like Meredith, I had to reconfigure my mindset to allow for disagreements that don’t mean the end. Because Derek was right, couples do argue.

It’s like this saying I used to hear growing up – you know you’re in a real relationship when you have your first fight and you make it through it. Now I understand. Of course, you shouldn’t fight all the time. And it shouldn’t be with the intent to hurt the other person, but disagreements are bound to happen between two individuals who have their own beliefs and their own experiences.

It’s just a matter of how you react to the fight that tells you whether or not you think the relationship is worth continuing.








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