Girl Talk Episode 7: How to Know if You’re on a Date

31 12 2012

So it’s not quite “bright and early Monday morning,” but it’s still Monday, December 31st, right?! And this month’s podcast looks at what a few of us consider dating and also how women and men can know when they’re actually on the date. Didn’t know that was a question? Well, listen in and see what we had to say.

Feel free to join in on the discussion in the comments section below. And don’t forget, you can check out the previous podcasts by clicking the Girl Talk Podcast tab at the top.





Gifts for EVERYONE!

21 12 2012
Photo Credit: kveller.com

Photo Credit: kveller.com

“YOU get a gift! And YOU get a gift! AND YOUUU get a gift!” – paraphrased from Oprah Winfrey.

Ask any of my close friends and they’ll tell you that I love giving presents. I’m no saint, of course, so I love getting them too. But even if there’s no implication of reciprocity, there’s something magical about seeing the way that the people you care about light up when they open up a gift that they love. And how do I ensure that my friends and family will most often love their gifts?

Simple: I listen to them.

If you know someone well enough, and you listen to what they talk about (outside of the concept of presents), you can very clearly get an idea of what they’d like. So you may not always hit the mark, but more than likely – you will. In that same vein, I feel like I’ve come to “know” several of my readers. And since I “listen” to your comments, here are some gifts/wishes I’d like to bestow upon you all right in time for Christmas. Hope you enjoy!

1. All the bear hugs and forehead kisses your heart desires.

2. An amazing pair of heels that fit you, flatter you, complement your style, and allow you to walk in them for more than 2 hours.

3. Love and support while you chase your dreams and embark on all the various journeys in your lives.

4. Great, mind blowing, call your girls in the morning to shout, make you want to cook for him naked and have flashbacks all day type s.e.x.

5. The perfect date with an amazing guy, in the perfect dress and the perfect shoes, with a perfect ending.

My hope is that all those things come true for every single on of my readers. Is there anything you’d like to wish for everyone?

Merry Christmas you guys and please, do enjoy the holiday season!!!

PS: I’ll be taking off next week, so the blog will officially be on vacation. But come back bright and early Monday morning, December 31st. I’ll have a brand new episode of the Girl Talk podcast for you.





The Power of a Hug

19 12 2012

When was the last time that you heard them say? Mother or father, I love you, and when was the last time, that they heard you say, daughter or son, I love you? ~ Stevie Wonder, These Three Words

About a month ago, I wrote the following as part of my comment on the blog post of one of my favorite readers, 29tolife:

But the ever-wise Mandy Pants, who always finds ways to break things down for me, once told me that my thoughts on cuddling and hugs were absolutely ridiculous. She said that while she understood where I was coming from, humans need to be touched. So I was missing out on basic human interaction that was needed to survive by limiting this type of interaction and that was why it had become even more intimate to me. Her theory – if you limit something you’re supposed to have, any version of it will then be overwhelming for you. Like how a vegetarian would get sick if she all of a sudden decided to eat a drumstick after years of not eating meat. But that if you began to enjoy it, you’d realize just how much you needed it in your life.

And in the midst of all that went down in Newtown, CT, in China, in Indiana, and in Los Angeles in the past week, (not to mention Chicago, New Orleans, and Baltimore every week) those words kept coming back to me. They kept replaying in my head… just how important it was to make sure we all knew that we were loved. Like Stevie asked, when was the last time they heard you say it?

But while saying “I love you” is great and needed, there’s also no denying the power of a hug. I’ve seen the strongest dudes break down and cry because someone gave them a meaningful and sincere hug. I’ve seen the biggest smile curl up on a woman’s face after witnessing someone give her a nice, long bear hug at the end of her day. Heck, I’ve even noticed what hugs do to me, which is why I avoided them for the longest time.

You see, the thing about hugs is that when you receive one (and not a raggedy half-arsed church hug with the pat on the back, a REAL hug), you can’t help but let your guard down and allow yourself to be vulnerable, even if just for a brief moment. It may not last long, but in the 5 to 10 seconds it takes to physically show someone you care, that person is allowed to take in that energy and just FEEL the love.

I know this may sound hokey and mushy, but it’s true. Why is it that most people’s instinct is to give someone a hug when something tragic occurs or even to excitedly hug someone when you haven’t seen them in awhile? It’s because as humans, we need that physical reassurance. We need person to person contact. We crave it. We long for it. We search for it… even when we don’t realize it.

But sadly, we’ve grown up in a society that demeans emotions. We laugh at people when they cry. We judge people when they need time to recover. We even look at people funny when they get very expressive in church (don’t lie – either you do now or you did). And guess what – we also withhold those powerful hugs. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re afraid to let too many people in or what? But we’ve definitely made it so that a hug is something that rarely happens, and when it does – it’s so quick and impersonal, it loses its impact. I’ll admit, I’ve even been in situations where I desperately wanted to hug someone because of something they told me, and I didn’t – because I didn’t know how he or she would take it. What kind of craziness is that?

All of this brings me back to the excerpt above. MandyPants was so right: humans need to be touched. So while I know it’s not always  as simple as I’m making it seem and there are certainly, certainly mental health concerns we also need to begin to address in our country, I would still like to implore you to give someone a hug today. You never know what that will mean for them.





How to Pick out the Perfect Date Shoes

17 12 2012
Take my advice and you won't need to buy bags of shoes for your date.Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk

Take my advice and you won’t need to buy bags of shoes for your date.
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk

Shoes are the punctuation to your outfit. They should say something, and it shouldn’t be, “I wore these for five hours in line for the IPhone 5.” ~ Terri Trespicio of GalTime.com

I think it’s pretty safe to say that most people enjoy the act of dating. You get to go out and do something fun with someone who has at least somewhat peaked your interest. Combine that with the thrill of possibly spending time with someone who makes you laugh constantly or you know, makes you want to tear his clothes off (whatever works for you)… and it’s easy to see why, as messy as it can be sometimes, dating really can be quite fun.

But the lead-up to the date is really where the pressure can begin for a woman. All kinds of questions are going through your mind. “Will he like me? Will I like him? Is this going to be the most boring 2 hours of my life or the most exhilarating 4 hours?” And of course, there’s the all important question: “what outfit do I wear?” Well for me, and many women like me, an equally important question is “what shoes should I wear?”

So in the midst of what many like to call, prime dating season, I’d like to offer up a few questions to consider that will help you decide on the perfect date shoes. They are:

Do I know where we’re going?

This is so important because the shoes that you would wear to a dinner date are not necessarily the shoes you’d wear to go paddle boating or even to a concert. If you do know where you’re going, you must plan accordingly. Sit down dinner shoes can afford to be a little riskier in the heel size, but the last thing you want to do is wear 6-in heels to a date that’s going to include a romantic bike ride through the city.

If you don’t know the details of the date, it’s best to err on the side of caution. I would most likely choose some flats with embellishments on them. These should NOT be flats you would wear to a board meeting. They should be flats that make just as much of  a statement as any heels you would slip on your feet.

Is this a first, second, third, or more date?

Not that you would want to stop trying to dress to impress after so many dates, but this is more so about providing for variety in your wardrobe (which shows the ability to be flexible within yourself). I once went on several dates with a guy and all I ever wore were heels. Sure, I like a good heel, but on most days at work, I wear flats. He never knew that side of me and honestly, it was indicative of the fact that he never got the chance to learn much about me outside of the put-together diva who can strut down the street in 5 in heels with no worries.

Also, it’s helpful to understand the progression in most dates based on the number of dates you’ve already been on. So if you’ve gone on a coffee date, a dinner date, and a museum date, chances are the fourth one might be more active and you should think about dressing the shoes down a bit.

What do I want my shoes to say about me?

I know. Most folks are going to be quick to say that most men don’t care what shoes a woman has on. And technically, that’s probably true. But, if you think he doesn’t notice them and make judgments about you because of that, you haven’t read this blog post before. Here’s a spoiler – men do. We all do.

Can I walk in these?

Oh my gosh. This is so critical. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a woman walking down the street on a date, and I can immediately tell her feet hurt. She’s doing that weird, awkward thing where your arch doesn’t move. And chances are she’s walking reaaaallllly slowly. If I can tell that, the guy she’s with can tell too. And I guarantee you whatever bonus points she thought she got for rocking the come-get-me pumps that night, she lost when she couldn’t walk in them.

Those are the four most important questions I can think of right now. Do you think I’ve missed any?





Tips for My Future Husband – #7

14 12 2012
Penny GIF

Anyone who watches Happy Endings knows that Penny is the epitome of “quirky.”
Photo credit: backhandspringsthroughbridgetown.blogspot.com

Appreciate my special brand of quirkiness…

“Penny, I’m sorry I freaked out, but you’re just a little weird, but I like that you’re a little weird.”

I heard this quote on Happy Endings the other night and instantly knew what my next tip would be. You see, I think it’s very important to not only know that we all have our own little quirks, but to love the person we’re with because of those quirks. Notice I didn’t say, despite.

And boy, do I have some little eccentricities (and that’s not even accounting for the fact that I write a blog that talks about my love life or wouldn’t let people legitimately hug me for years). Here are some of my highlights:

1. I’m a total nerd for quotables, be they in a movie, TV show, in a book, in a meme… wherever. If I feel it can relate to me in any way, I’m making note of it (and trust me, I find all kinds of ways for them to relate to me).

2. I’m really particular about things that have to do with New Orleans, which might be cute until you’ve seen me turn my nose up at something not being authentic or question the validity of something else like a hundred times in a month.

3. I love and need my dance parties. On the upside, I love it when folks join in too, as long as their excitement level is where mine is.

4. I will easily jump into song or some slang version of a different language in the middle of a sentence. I also think I’m a dj in my mind.

5. I’m a total Christmas groupie. Like, legit mush ball for the holiday. I dress up. I decorate the place (not just putting up a tree). I sing Christmas songs constantly. I go to take pictures with Santa in the mall, still. I own a Santa hat, Christmas lingerie, and like to get Christmas colors painted on my nails.

Anyway, those are just some of the quirky things about me. But whoever future Mr. D-Magic is can’t come up in here trying to take those things away from me. He can’t begrudgingly accept them, but wish I’d stop. He doesn’t necessarily need to partake, but I’d happily settle for him giving me a ‘that’s my wife and I love her’ look when he sees me doing either of them.

Why’s this important? Like I mentioned before, we all have our quirks. But the last thing I want to do is spend the rest of my life with someone who wishes I were different. I want him to appreciate me for me, to love me just as I am, and he can’t do that if he doesn’t love ALL of me. And that includes the things that make me weird.





Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree: Shoe Story

12 12 2012
Photo Credit: Cora Atkinson

Photo Credit: Cora Atkinson

“On my mama, on my hood, I look fly, I look good. Test my swag, wish you would, I look fly, I look good!”

At 7:30 am my phone began screeching out the sounds of I Look Good by Chalie Boy, alerting me that I was receiving a text message. I rolled over, slightly lifted one eye long enough to see that my friends coming from out of town were leaving Philly and on there way to DC, pressed the silence button on my phone, and quickly went back to sleep. I would process their message a couple hours later as I found myself rushing to get dressed for the Annual White House Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

But in that moment, sleep was my main focus.

At 9:00, I rolled over again, 30 minutes before I’d set my alarm to go off, and finally processed/panicked that they left their house at 7:30 that morning. “Oh shit,” I thought. “Who knew they were leaving so early?” Quickly, I rattled off the list of things I needed to do before they got to my place, and before I could even finish, I knew what 7:30 meant. It was way past time for me to get my arse up.

Luckily, I’d decided on my outfit a couple days before. Since I knew it would be cold, I’d planned an outfit of several layers including tights, tall socks, a long john shirt, leggings, a thick sweater with a collar that could become a hoodie, heavy coat, wool hat, and my new favorites – my grey knee-high boots I’d gotten as a random gift from my mom a couple months before.

I was so excited anytime I wore these boots, but today was going to be extra special – I’d be celebrating the lighting of the National Christmas Tree with the President of the United States in these boots. Sure, he wouldn’t actually see them, and I’d be sharing the moment with several thousand other people, but still – combining my favorite holiday, spending time with some of my favorite people, and being in the presence of a President I like (and voted for) – you can’t beat that with a stick!

So with my excitement in tow, I set about trying to finish as much as possible before I would need to leave the house. And I was almost done with everything when I got the call saying they were downstairs and ready to head out. CRAP. I’d managed to finish everything, but not be completely dressed. I slid on my shoes, thankful that I’d managed to break them in during homecoming, and after a few minutes, made my way downstairs to have someone help me bring everything to the car.

The rushing that occurred that morning would unfortunately be pretty indicative of the rest of the day, but even with the sense of urgency in the air, my excitement had yet to leave me. And it wouldn’t. By the time we finished eating lunch and getting Starbucks to go, we found ourselves damn near skipping to get in line for the ceremony, half of us with boots on, creating our own little inadvertent musical with the sound of our shoes clacking on the sidewalks. We’d gone to the ceremony the year before, but this time, we were more prepared and better layered. This would be good, we thought.

But after standing in line for hours, listening to carolers sing and discussing everything from Instagram to horrible roommate situations, and then sitting for hours waiting for the ceremony to start, the coldness began to make us a little delirious. How else can you explain our impromptu Christmas concert we decided to give everyone in our section? Oh and it was extensive. While carrying the beat with my boots (partially to keep my feet moving and warm), we began a song collection that included such gems as Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, Donald Lawrence’s Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, TLC’s Sleigh Ride, Jackson 5’s I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and more.

You would have thought we were a part of the show! Well, until you actually heard our voices. But the singing was indicative of the fact that the cold air hadn’t broken us. We were still in the groove and when they ceremony finally began, I was like a little kid, swinging my legs and boots in my chair from being so giddy. I mean the show began with Babyface and Neil Patrick Harris… that’s definitely enough to make a girl swing her feet, right?

By the end of the evening, we were dragging our tired and cold selves out of the park and to the Metro.I noticed at one point there was a distinct difference in the sound of our boots on the pavement now: instead of a skipping sound, it was more of a sliding sound, probably indicative of how much we’d worn ourselves out. But then I looked up and saw our expressions, even as tired as our legs were, the excitement was still there. And in that moment, a little skip came back to me and my boots, and I was happy to have shared that experience with them.





30 Year Old Eggs

10 12 2012
Photo Credit: thekitch.com

Photo Credit: thekitch.com

So as I near the point of no return, ie my 30th birthday lol, a couple things have been going through my head, not the least of which is a nice little statistic that was given on the TV show, New Girl, the other day. In the episode entitled, “Eggs,” they mentioned that by the time a woman reaches 30, she’s lost about 90% of her eggs. That’s a whole lotta eggs dawg.

No. Really. 90%

So here’s the thing about that statistic: I am nowhere near ready to have anybody’s child and I am 5 months away from being 30. In fact, just a few days before that episode premiered, I was speaking with one of my girls about how I feel like I’m not grown enough to be turning 30 come May 2013. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not having one of those “oh God, I’m going to be 30 and haven’t done anything with my life” moments. Quite the contrary – I’ve done a lot. I enjoy what I do for  a living and I see the continued opportunities for growth. I love the family and friends I’ve surrounded myself with. I love being able to travel wherever I want, as long as I have the money and the time available from work. But you know how you have an image in your head of what something is supposed to be? That’s how I feel about being 30.

I don’t feel like my lifestyle or my mindset fits what I feel like a 30 year old should. In my head, a 30 year-old woman should be wearing skirts and be dressed to the nine all the time (think Diahann Carroll in any of her older movies), should have a fully furnished house with husband and kids, still manage to be completely graceful and fly at all times and basically have her ish together in every way. She should feel, I don’t know – grown.

Me though? I appreciate the times I can wear my HU sweatpants, pull my hair into a ponytail, rock no make-up, and just chill on the couch in my little one bedroom apartment. I have no real obligations outside of myself and I like it that way. I enjoy my position as tia and nanny and awesome big cousin, and while there are certainly times I get my fly or graceful girl on, I would never lie to you all and say that’s something that happens 24-7. I get that these expectations might seem a bit cray cray, but the point is I’m not there.

Now, what does this all have to do with my eggs? Well, the bad part about me not wanting kids right now and not feeling like I’m grown enough to be responsible for the life of a little bitty baby is that I may not have much time to get to the point where I do feel ready. Need we forget – 90%. And as I get closer to 30, I worry that by the time I do feel ready, it may be too late. What if I don’t feel “grown” until I’m 40 (Jay Z did say 40 is the new 30); will I have 1% of my eggs left at that point???

Anyway, in the show, two of the characters make an appointment with a gynecologist to get a test that’s supposed to tell you just how many eggs you have left (this test is real, people!). But before they do, they have a funny, but telling conversation that I think somewhat explains how a lot of women like me feel:

Jess: 90% of our eggs, huh? That’s crazy. I’m panicking. Are you panicking?

CeeCee: God, no. Babies wreck you, Jess. They literally eat your body.

Jess: I’m 30. I’m single. And I just started a new job. Tonight, I used a bread roll to wipe butter off my face and then I ate the bread roll. So I essentially used my face as a butter knife. I don’t think I’m ready to bring new life into the world, but what if all that’s left are the weird eggs and the evil eggs?

Of course, by the end of the episode, we learn that CeeCee needs to get pregnant now if she ever wants to have a baby. What?! Do you know how much that scared the ish out of me? And subsequently several of my single and childless friends? What do you do if you’re told that you all of a sudden have to grow up right right now and take on a role you didn’t foresee yourself doing for another 4 or 5 years? Chances are, you sound like CeeCee:

CeeCee: Sadie basically just told me that if I want to have a kid, I’ve got to start right now. Right. Now. I thought I had all this time. I didn’t want to have to think about this.

Man, that resonated with me so much. Clearly, I would freak out because I’m right there with CeeCee right now. Yes, I’m turning 30 soon – but in my mind, that’s not old enough for me to be someone’s mommy. I know people who are, but me? That’s such a scary thought. Let’s just hope my 30 year old eggs cooperate and hold on for dear life until the time comes when I am.