All Wedding Everything

16 10 2014
Photo: 365til30.com

Photo: 365til30.com

Recently, I found myself a bridesmaid to one of my very best friends.

Well you know what I learned about being a bridesmaid?

Your friend’s wedding (and weddings in general) tend to begin to consume the conversation.

As in, my friends and I would be talking about normal topics and all of a sudden, someone would mention something we still had left to do for the wedding and the conversation would go a little something like this.

Friend/Other bridesmaid: OMG, did you get your dress back from the tailor yet?

Me: Not yet, I get it back on Tuesday.

BM: Oh ok, I got mine today. It looks really good.

Me: Oh that’s great!

BM: Yea, I was pleasantly surprised since it’s not a color or style I would have picked, but it really does look good. Speaking of colors or styles I would pick, just so you know I plan to have a black and white wedding.

Me: Oh yea?

BM: Yep. And I want it on [redacted date], and I’m going to have all my bridesmaids where [redacted color].

Me: That’s so funny. I was thinking sometime in [redacted month] would be good for me since it would have to be in New Orleans, and I don’t want anyone dying from heat exhaustion down there.

BM: Oh good, I’m glad you’ve thought about me, because I absolutely would die if you tried to have it in July or something like that.

Me: Nah, I wouldn’t do that to you lol.

Here’s what funny about this conversation and the other ones very similar to it — none of us (the other folks in the bridal party who were not already married) are anywhere close to actually getting married to even be discussing things like this. But it’s what happens when wedding stuff is on your brain. Or at least it’s what happened to us.

I found myself sending my girls potential bridesmaid dresses and discussing colors and locations and potential bridal shower ideas and all sorts of things that NO ONE should be discussing prior to being in the position to discuss it.

Now, let me be clear. It’s not that any of us are anxious to get married. I tell people all the time that while I would prefer to get married one day, I’d rather be happy and single than married and miserable, meaning I’m not looking to marry anyone just to say I’m married. Heck, I’m still at the point where I actively correct people who say I have a boyfriend and let them know that “I’m dating someone, but he is not my man.” So the conversations weren’t prevalent because of some deep desire I have to be married that I was finally letting out.

No, they were cute, frivolous conversations about what we would and wouldn’t do when it was our turn. They were often funny, sometimes serious, but if anyone had ever listened in without our knowledge, they probably would have thought we were crazy. Why are these very single girls speaking about what they’d do on their wedding day as if it’s anywhere near happening for them, they’d wonder. And all I’d have to say to them is that it’s because weddings consume.

That’s what I learned as a bridesmaid. They consume your thoughts. Your conversations. Your actions (who wasn’t on a diet to look good on those official wedding photos??). Your everything.

So while I am so very happy that I had the immense honor to be a part of one of my besties’ days, and to stand up with her as she pledged her vows to her husband in front of God and her family and friends, I am also so very happy that it’s over.

Maybe now, the wedding talks can pause for just a bit. At least until the next friend gets engaged.





Lost for Words

14 10 2014

“When I try to explain it, I be sounding insane. The words don’t ever come out right. I get all tongue-tied and twisted. I can’t explain what I’m feeling. And I say baby, baby, baby, baby I… what I’m trying to say is you’re my everything, baby. But every time I try to say it, words, they only complicate it.” ~ Ariana Grande

Have you ever been so in like that you find yourself tongue-tied sometimes when it comes to expressing that to said person?

I know I have. On more occasions that I care to admit, especially for someone who manipulates words for a living.

I’ll find myself babbling on for minutes when a simple “you make me smile” would have sufficed. Or end up saying really lofty and dramatic statements like “my whole being feels safe when I’m around you,” when I really just wanted to say that I’m comfortable around him but not in a way that makes me complacent — just in a “this feels natural type of way.”

What’s amazing is that I can write this out fairly succinctly for the blog, but just as with Ariana G – when I’d try to say it to the guy, I’d get all flustered and suddenly be at a loss for words. All at once, I’d begin to doubt the words coming out of my mouth (as I was saying them!!), so I’d try to switch course and end up sounding like a crazy person.

Am I the only one who has experienced this? I feel like I’m not, but because it’s happened so often for me, I have of course attempted to figure out why.

And what I’ve come up with — at least for now, is that I’m thinking it’s less about not being able to find the right words and more about worrying what those words mean to me that gets me stuck. Like if I say out loud that dude is one of the reasons I’m happy, it makes it more real, harder to take back, and let’s be honest — gives it much more power. I know we’re not supposed to talk about that side of liking someone — the scary, what does this mean for me, how does this change me side. But it’s there.

Anytime you start thinking “we” and not just “I,” it’s there.

And I think that scary factor or the concern that I sound insane is what makes the words then become so complicated. At least for me. At least when I try to express them to dude.¹

And it ends up sounding like, “Baby, baby… baby, baby I…” LOL.

What about you all? Do you have any stories of times when your words came out like a crazy person while you were trying to express your feelings to someone?

1 Not as much anymore, because I’m getting more comfortable with just letting my feelings be what they are, but you know, I’m a work in progress, so sometimes, it’s still like that.





Love Jones Thoughts Part 4: In the End, Darius was Wrong

9 10 2014

love jones2

Remember the final scene of the movie, where Nina and Darius meet in the rain, after they haven’t seen each other in a while? Right before they start kissing and before he admits that his love for her is urgent like a motherf-cker?

Remember how she tells him that as usual his timing couldn’t be worse? And after he declares his love, she asks him that all important question, “How do we do this?” She lives in New York, as you might recall. And he… he lives in Chicago. Do you remember what he says in response? Of course you do — that’s an iconic scene. It’s something that anyone who loves that movie can quote to you. He tells her that he doesn’t care about where they live, and basically that it doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately,  Darius (in that moment) is really really wrong.

Well maybe wrong is harsh. His statement is super over-simplified though, because if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past year is that it absolutely matters when the person you want to be with doesn’t live in the same city as you.

I didn’t always believe that. As a matter of fact, in my younger days, I had a number of long distance relationships that I tried. All were fairly brief (5 months or less), and all probably wouldn’t have worked even if the guy lived in my city. Therefore, I found myself believing that it wasn’t the distance per se that broke us up, rather it was the distance that exaggerated the things that would have broken us up anyway.

And yes, to some extent that was true. I look back on those relationships now, and while for the most part, those men were good guys — they definitely were more lesson learning opportunities for me than potential for lifelong partners. That’s not to put all the onus on them. I still had a lot of growing to do as well, but I think because I knew deep down they were temporary,  I gave long distance a pass. An excuse.

I’d eventually end up viewing one guy as a coward for not wanting to try it, not because he didn’t want to be with me, but because he claimed he did. And I felt like, at the time,  that he was either a liar mcliarson and didn’t really want to be with me or he didn’t have the fortitude to deal with a little difficulty. I mean, all these other guys were willing to do it (and by all, I mean like 3 — let’s not get crazy here), so what was his deal?

Well. Y’all. I’ve been trying to date long distance recently, and…

I know something different now.

Long distance is hard.

And it’s not just that it exaggerates the problems you may have. The constant scheduling is also extremely exhausting. The fact that you can’t see the guy you like on a random Tuesday is frustrating. The desire to disconnect is an ever present little nag in your side. The reality that you’re not really in that person’s life on a normal basis is a bit defeating. The difference between length of time you’ve been dating and actual real times you’ve been with each other is jarring. It’s just… hard.

That’s not to say I don’t think you should do it. Obviously, I’m doing it (or trying to do it or something, I don’t know y’all lol). Or that I don’t believe it can work. It just means that I think being realistic about the difficulties involved in it may give you a better chance at surviving it. Digging your head in the sand and acting as if it’s a natural thing to do surely isn’t the way. That I know. Which is why when I hear Darius say he doesn’t care about where they live, I know he’s not thinking past that moment.

And that sounds really romantic.

But it’s not long-lasting.

Maybe that’s why the movie had to end on that scene. Seeing them try to navigate life together in a long distance relationship would have killed all the positive vibes we all had at the end.





Love & Sex: Do You Need Either One for the Other to be Great?

7 10 2014

cuddles

Love.

And sex.

Many would say the two are very mutually exclusive things. Meaning that you can have great sex without being in love, and you can be in love but not have great sex. That the greatness of one is not dependent on the existence of the other.

A few years ago, I would have probably been a part of that many. Now, though, I’m starting to wonder just how exclusive they are. Don’t get me wrong — I still think plenty of people are capable of having great sex without having emotions involved. And I think there are occasions where two people can be in love and have bad sex, although, damn — that sounds awful. Where my opinion wavers a bit is on the complete separation of the two.

So basically, I’ve been wondering just how much the two can exist by themselves without the other? Can you be in love and have lots of bad sex or no sexual chemistry whatsoever? And if you’re in love and you have not so great sex, does that make you begin to question your relationship? And if you have great sex a lot with someone who you initially had no feelings for, do you necessarily begin to start having feelings for him or her?

It’s a lot to ponder, I know. But I guess it’s just because I find that we talk a lot about love and a lot about sex these days, but rarely on the connection between the two and definitely not on what makes either great. Even our music tends to separate them as if they have nothing in common. It’s either a freaky deaky sex song or a love song, rarely ever both.

What I think I’m leaning towards is something I recently learned about bourbon — that while all bourbon is whiskey, all whiskey is not bourbon. Which means while most people in love have great sex (or sexual chemistry if you’re waiting), everyone having great sex does not need to be in love. So depending on the person, some folks can have great sex without being emotionally connected to the other individual involved (although I do think this concept has a time limit — you have sex with someone enough over a long enough period of time and someone will catch feelings). But I do think that it would be difficult to have lots of bad sex or not have the desire to tear your significant other’s clothes off when you see him or her sometimes and still count yourself as being in love.

But I don’t know. I could be wrong. And maybe I’m making the association between the two too important. I know for me, I’ve certainly had times when they weren’t connected in anyway. But if you were to ask me to rank my sexual partners over my adult life, I’d definitely end up ranking the ones I had feelings for higher than the others in general (with an exception or two scattered in there).

What do you all think? Are love and sex connected more often than we’d like to admit when it comes to making either better? Or do you think they’re two separate entities that can sometimes join up together, but are perfectly fine on their own?





Throwback Thursday — “Celebrity” Shoe Spotlight: Olivia Pope

25 09 2014

On this Thursday, I have to share with you guys one of my favorite posts from the recent past — the shoe spotlight of Olivia Pope. Especially because ABC’s Scandal has its fall premiere tonight!! Check out the post, and get ready for the opener. I can’t wait to see what kind of foolery happens.

______________________________________________

Photo: PopSugar.co.uk

Photo: PopSugar.co.uk

Olivia Pope, while not a real person, is a woman after my own shoe-heart, because she loooves a good sassy pump! Not to mention, she’s had her fair share of shoe moments already in the brief history of the show, like when she wore heels to the woods and the President had to switch her shoes to boots, or when she spent quite some time choosing between two pairs of heels for her date with Jake before finally deciding to cancel at the last minute. And who can forget her running/strutting away from the President in her stilettos only for him to grab her arm, pull her into a closet, and well — we know what happened then. Now, if you haven’t had a chance to watch Scandal (shame on you!), something you must at least know is that the woman is just as known for her fashion as she is for her scandalous decisions and the way she “handles” top notch crisis situations.

And since the heavily anticipated season premiere of Scandal debuts tomorrow, I figured this was as good a time as any to spotlight some of my favorite shoes the leading lady has worn on the show, as well as some moments when Kerry Washington has shown her own pump acumen. Come take a journey down memory lane with me, and then let’s get ready to see what shoes she comes blasting out with tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!

View the slideshow of photos here.

And then make sure to come back after the show is over, so we can dish about some of the shoes worn.





Tip: How to Get Out of Your Work Black Pump Rut

23 09 2014
Photo: musingsofacitygirl.com

Nothing wrong with these… unless you find yourself wearing them EVERY DAY. Photo: musingsofacitygirl.com

Look at your shoes.

That’s right. Go ahead and look at them right now.

If you’re a woman and either on your way to work or at work — answer these quick questions: Are they black pumps? And are they the same ones you pretty much wear every day??

If so, this post is for you.

It’s really easy to get into the work black pump rut. I’ve fallen into it a few times myself, and we all know the extensive color collection I have in my shoe closet.

But why is it so easy? And how do you get out of it?

Well the first question has a simple answer. Anyone who goes to work outside of their home knows how a routine makes life much easier. You figure things out like, “if I make my lunch the night before and pick out my outfit before I go to bed, I can wake up and be out of the house in less than 45 minutes.”

But then life happens, and you realize often the last thing you want to do is pick out your clothes and all the accessories before heading to bed. So what do you do? Wake up the next morning and throw some black pumps on. Or leave your black pumps at work because you already know that’s what you’re going to wear every.single.day.

It’s easy. It’s simple. It’s convenient.

It’s also extremely boring.

So how do you fix it once you realize you’re in the rut?

I have a few quick and easy tips.

1: If you have shoes already at work, bring them home. This will force you to have to think about the shoes you’re wearing prior to when you get to the office.

2: Start to plan (maybe even just once a week) your outfit based on your shoes. Most of us do this the other way. We pick out our clothes and see what shoes match or don’t clash, but that makes it really easy for the shoes to become a non-factor.

When you plan your clothes around the shoes, you put the shoe at the forefront of your mind, and make it less likely that you’ll end up wearing some boring old thing.

3: Be creative. I know what you’re thinking. Some of you are saying, “but I don’t work in a creative environment, so I can’t rock my favorite hot pink pumps. Maybe not, but you can find other ways to wear even a black heel. Maybe it’s a textured heel instead of regular leather, or one with a peep-toe or a suede pointed toe.

My point is creativity doesn’t have to mean loud; it just means different.

4: Remember to have fun. One of the easiest ways to have fun (for me lol) is to play around in my shoe closet. I would suggest every woman take some time out to remember why you bought the ones you have in your repertoire. Pull a few out, and strut around your place. See how great they look on your feet. I bet that will make you want to figure out a way for others to see them on your feet more often as well.

Any other tips you all can think of that I missed? And do you ever find yourself in such a rut? If so, how do you get out of it?

PS: Thanks again to everyone who has offered their prayers, thoughts, and kind words in light of what’s been going on my life recently. It’s more appreciated than I could ever say. 





The Dash In Between

10 09 2014

I was supposed to be working on a cute post about getting out of your black pump rut for work this week. I also probably would have written something about domestic violence in light of the Ray Rice video and the reactions to it. But I can’t even begin to put those words down onto paper or computer right now. I can’t think of anything really, except life and death. And I know that’s not uplifting or what anyone probably wants to read — but it’s true.

You see, for the past few months, death has been happening all around me. And I know that’s true for everyone, but it seems to have been more than the usual amount for me. Except it wasn’t any folks connected directly to me. It was family members of friends, best friends of my parents, best friends of my friends, loved ones of people I know. Death was all around me, but mostly directly affecting the people I love, not me. But it was never ending.

I even mentioned to a good friend one day that I was beginning to worry that every time a friend or family member called me at an odd hour, someone had died. And that I would go through the pain of wanting to be there for them, but not being able to physically be there for them. It’s what spawned my post about long distance relationships.

About a month ago, my mom called me during one of those odd hours to tell me that my great aunt had been rushed to the hospital for a possible stroke. She would eventually recover but still needs to go into physical therapy to regain most of her movement back. Still, I felt it getting closer.

A week ago, my mom called to tell me that my grandfather had been rushed to the hospital as well. He needed surgery and wasn’t doing very well.

I was spinning and sick to my stomach. This was it, I thought. Death was ready to take my grandfather (my second dad) away from me.

Thank God I was wrong. He made it through surgery with flying colors and was back telling me how I needed to watch over my sisters within a week’s time. He’s had a setback since then, but we’re hopeful the worst is over for now. He’s not back home from the hospital yet though.

At the time I heard he’d made it out of surgery, I was overjoyed with the news. I think I danced around my apartment for like 2 hours straight that day. Especially since Joan Rivers was a celebrity example of how surgery at an older age can be very dangerous. But it was one of those moments where even in the midst of happiness,  there was a foreboding feeling included.

This Sunday, one of my bosses was murdered.

Murdered. In her own home.

The only other person I’ve ever known to personally to be murdered was Montana. And I think right here in this post is probably the first time I’ve ever used that verbiage for what happened to him. I have to say, it’s a very surreal feeling. This same lady who’d just walked into my office on Friday, saying “Baby, how you doing today?” is gone.

This same lady who was one of the toughest, sweetest women I’d ever met. And I know that sounds odd — but that was her. You didn’t want to do anything stupid because she would get you in check real quick, but she’d also do everything in her power to help anyone who needed it.

She was one of the people I was planning to introduce a friend of mine to who’s looking to get into government communications, because she just had so many years in the field and so much respect from her peers and employees.

And now she’s dead.

Murdered.

In her own home.

From what seems like (as of now) a random person who decided to attack her.

How do you reconcile that within yourself? I certainly don’t know. I keep expecting her to walk into my office even though I know she’s not going to. So obviously, I’m not the person to tell anyone how to deal with things. I mean, I am the same person who didn’t go back to the restaurant where Montana and I met for three years after he died.

You can’t really do that with work though. Gotta go there.

I have to look at the special projects she and I started, but hadn’t finished, sitting in my office still. I have to work on tributes and memories and coordinate with the media. I have to try to shut down my feelings at work as much as possible, which means they come flooding in as soon as I walk out of those doors.

As soon as I get home and I’m in my quiet place.

One of those thoughts/feelings that comes rushing in at times has been around living the best dash in between possible. You know the dash, right? The one in between your born date and death date that they put up when you die? The dash that basically represents your life and what you did with it.

I’ve been contemplating my dash a lot lately. Even before this week, but especially this week. Wondering if I died tomorrow would my dash be one filled with adventure and stories of a life lived to the fullest. Or would people speak of my dash as one that hadn’t quite gotten started — one that they wish they could’ve seen me enjoy more.

I don’t really know, honestly. I know I have some great memories and travels to include in my dash so far, but I also know I’ve often lived a cautious life, been hesitant to take real risks, and had to push myself to get over my fears. And while that’s beginning to turn around — I also know very assuredly now that tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

And so we’ve got to cherish every moment of life that we have. I’ve got to cherish every moment of it. And do a better job of making sure that dash in between represents the best damn life possible — one filled with love and joy and courage and hope and adventure and excitement and goals achieved (silly and important). That it’s one I can be proud of.








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