What My Drink of Choice Says About Me

31 03 2015

I’m a whiskey girl, well bourbon to be exact, but we’ll say whiskey to keep it simple here.

So when I saw Elite Daily did a post on the 10 Reasons Why You Should Always Go For the Girl Who Drinks Whiskey, I got super excited. Yes! They’re going to give me all the ammunition I need to show why men should be lining themselves up at my door, I thought.

And they did, I guess… but really the only reason they gave that lived up to my excitement was #1 — she’s a little badass. For reasons, obviously.

More importantly though, the article made me think about how our drink choices really come to be synonymous with our attitudes in life (well, that is, if you drink alcohol) and how mine show just how much I’ve changed over the years.

You see, I wasn’t always a whiskey girl. At various times in my life, I’ve thought of other beverages as my signature drink. For example, in my teens, I was all about rum cocktails and white Russians. That was when I thought I knew what I was doing in life (and with my drinks), when I really had no clue whatsoever. In my college years, I would drink just about anything (except beer, I was never that desperate), and that’s kind of how my life was. I tried what felt like everything in my career (went from newspapers to broadcast to magazines to websites in a 4 yr span), in my boyfriends, and in my hobbies, and still never quite felt comfortable in my skin.

In my early 20s, I was all about the beloved Cognac named Hennessy. This was when I finally started making decisions in my life, and so while I had narrowed down my signature drink to one (and my career to one), it was really more of a reflection of what I wanted to be. I wanted to be the risk taker that that drink implied, but I wasn’t. Hennessy was almost like my alter ego.

In my late 20s, you’d mostly catch me partaking in a glass of wine. By this point, I’d settled into my career and was all about relaxing and unwinding when I got the chance — a beach (any beach!) was my idea of the perfect vacay. And while I was looking to be more refined, it was also the beginning of me not worrying so much about how I was perceived by folks who barely knew my middle name.

And now, well now, I love a good bourbon drink above all.¹ Which, if you believe Elite Daily, means I’m in touch with my emotions, I don’t believe in half-arsing things, and of course, that I’m a badass. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that! It’s just that I think my drink and my attitude in life are less about what make me a catch and more about what makes me happy. But if the two work together,  I won’t complain.

What about you all? Do you have a signature drink? And if so, what do you think it says about you? Buzzfeed has a funny list here which I completely disagree with for whiskey which you can use if you need to.

1 That’s not to say I won’t drink wine or Hennessy or a rum cocktail every once in a while (because I still do), but my preference will be bourbon if offered the opportunity.





Confession: I Grew Up Thinking Nearly Everyone was Black

14 03 2014
Even this guy? Yep, he was just Creole (ie Black). Photo: www.preventblindness.net

Even this guy? Yep, he was just Creole (ie Black).
Photo: http://www.preventblindness.net

Growing up, my family was your typical family from Louisiana (and probably other places as well), so basically the color spectrum didn’t have a thing on us. There were people in my family with blonde hair and blue eyes, olive-toned skin with jet black hair, red brown hair and green eyes, dark brown skin and brown hair, white hair with caramel, mocha, chocolate, and whatever other flavors you want to use as a substitute for shades of color. We had them all. And everyone very much identified as Black.

So to a kid who considered herself an observer, that meant that if Aunt Marie was Black (who looked like a Golden Girl) and Uncle Curt was also Black (who looked like a smaller Michael Jordan)… well heck, then who wasn’t Black? As far as I was considered, very few people. Blackness included everyone!

It didn’t help matters when my little cousin walked up to my grandfather one day, and with all sincerity asked him, “Hey Pawpaw, are Mr. Paul and Ms. Catherine a part of our family?” Mr. Paul and Ms. Catherine were dear friends of my grandparents, and so they were regular fixtures in their home. You could see how a little kid might be confused when everyone else there was a part of our family. My grandfather responded, laughing at the little boy, “No, Jason, Paul and Catherine are white.”

My cousin looked at my grandfather, cocked his head to the side, and said, “But aren’t you white too, Pawpaw?” “No, boy, I’m Black,” my grandfather replied. “Oh ok,” said Jason, as he walked away still confused.

I wasn’t confused at all though. To me, it made everything perfectly clear. My theory had been proven correct. Mr. Paul and Ms. Catherine were the odd people out — because everyone else we knew must have been Black.

Looking back now, I can see just how naive I was to think this, but in my little head — I just knew I was right. So whenever I saw anyone that maybe didn’t fit the stereotype of what it looked like to be Black, I just automatically equated them with being Creole.¹ Such was the case with Santa Claus. Now, you have to understand that I grew up listening to a song entitled, “Santa Claus is a Black Man,” but any time I went to the mall, my Santa looked like the one above. The only possible rationale for a 6 year old who thought she was smarter than everyone else? Duh — he must have been Creole. And therefore, still Black.

On and on, I went about thinking this about most of the people I met (I won’t tell you just how long, that’s for another day) unless I heard them identify as something else. And in fact, even now I still instinctively assume most people are Black. I know it’s not true, logically, but I can’t help it. For example, my friends and I were watching a repeat of the BET Awards one Thanksgiving, and on the show, they were doing a tribute to Charlie Wilson. One friend asked the room, “wait, is Charlie Wilson’s wife white?” “No,” I immediately countered. “She’s obviously Black.”

“Darby, contrary to what you may believe, everyone isn’t Black,” another friend said. And it made me laugh, because it was true. I was so quick to say this woman was Black without knowing anything about her. I’d still made the same judgment call that 7 year old me made anytime she walked down the street. And while mine was fairly innocent, I’m sure that we all do this in some form or fashion in other ways as well. Without even knowing it, we make calls throughout life about people, places, and things that stemmed from early on beliefs we had as a kid.

Care to share any of your crazy theories from your younger years on this Friday? I’d love to hear some!

1 I realize now how crazy it was that I attributed Creole Black people to always having non-brown colored skin, but again, this was my thinking as a kid. I know better now.





In My Dreams

28 02 2014

In my dreams, we are happy.

We are both filled with hope and expectations, enjoying just the mere presence of each other’s company.

Just us.

Me.

And him.

We are laughing heartily, because that’s what we do when around each other. But we are not laughing out of obligation. Our sounds come roaring out of us like water from Great Falls — booming with power but unable to stop the flow.

Our hands are sometimes entwined, fingertips dancing along each other’s skin. Embracing the other without even having to envelope because the slightest touch is intimate.

We are close. But not invading either person’s space. Our limbs have no concept of needing room from the other. At times, we are simply quiet. Breathing the other’s air. His chest lifting when mine does. Our heart beats synched to a perfectly timed beat. At others, we are again boisterous, giggling from the inside jokes only we know.

At no point are we scared.

Instead, we are comfortable. Comfortable in our skins. Peaceful in our happiness. Sure. Sure of the purpose we hold in the other’s life. Certain that God put us together for a reason. Maybe even a lifetime.

This is what I see in my dreams.

I see his eyes staring into my soul. His nose breathing in my scent. His lips curling up into the slightest, contented smile. I see us throwing caution to the wind and trying out this thing neither of us knew we wanted. Any hesitations halted by the pure joy we experience when we are in each other’s arms.

What I don’t see is a utopia. This is not a fantasy. It’s a real, living, breathing choice we’ve made to trust and honor and be open. My dream is not about frolicking in the meadows or traipsing across the country. It’s about two people who realized, somewhere along the way, despite what hardships are sure to come just living life, they are happier when life includes the two of them. I am happier when my life includes him.

We are free in this dream. Free to laugh, love, and be in the moment.

We are simply… us.

Just me.

And him.

Blazing our paths through this crazy world and grateful to have the other along for the ride.





What if We All Spoke in Song Lyrics for a Day?

29 01 2014
Photo: susannahartigan.com

Photo: susannahartigan.com

Have you all seen any of the videos of the woman who walks into Best Buy and uses only song lyrics to speak to people? It’s truly one of the funniest video series I saw in 2013 and a testament to Ellen’s genius. But it’s obviously meant to show how crazy it would be if we all talked in the way that our favorite songs do.

Except, that got me to thinking, well what if we all actually did talk in only song lyrics for a day? The twist being that it could only be songs on your most recent playlist, not necessarily the most popular songs out right now. Wouldn’t that be the most interesting experiment to watch unfold?

Can’t you just see it now? A woman going up to a guy spitting Tupac’s Hit Em Up and the guy responding with Dru Hill’s Five Steps?? Ha! Besides the funny aspect, it would also give us an awesome glimpse into what that person is currently thinking in their heads.

You know how you always hear folks say things like, “I wish I knew what he was thinking right now,” or “I wish girls were more transparent with their feelings”? Well, here’s the perfect opportunity to do so.

Why? Well, I’ve always believed that music is a great truth teller of your inner emotions. If you’re in the mood to feel inspired, you may put on some Gospel. If you’re feeling particularly rowdy and feisty, it might be some Aerosmith you reach for instead. Feeling like no one believes in you and you want to show them something, you may just turn on some Drake Started from the Bottom or Worst Behavior. In the mood to get a little frisky with your boo-thang, Miguel or Beyonce’ might be on your playlist.

Either way, you see where I’m going here. Rarely ever does someone’s personal playlist serve as an opposite emotion of what they are currently feeling. The exception being if you’re feeling down about something and you pick upbeat music to help get your psyche back up.

What do you all think? Could this experiment work in real life? I think it would certainly be pretty eye opening for some folks. Only concern is how awful would you feel if you called your dude up, singing something like “It’s like I can feel. It’s like I can breathe. It’s like I can live. It’s like I can love for the first time” and he responded with “I’m a player. Girl I thought you knew. When you started messing around with me, you knew I wouldn’t commit to you.” EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! Maybe we shouldn’t do this after all lol.

Interested in learning what some of my song lyrics would be? See below for a small spattering from my current playlist.

“Baby, in our wildest moments, we could be the greatest, we could be the greatest.”

“Before I met you, I never knew my heart could dance.”

“Baby, it’s a prime time for our love. Ain’t nobody peaking but the stars above.”

“Something always brings me back to you. It never takes too long.”

“Because I’m happy… clap along if you know what happiness is to you.”

“I wonder what would happen if you say what you want to say and let the words fall out. Honestly, I want to see you be brave!”

What would be your top 5 right now?





#ThatAwkwardMoment when a Sex Song Plays at the Wrong Time

18 11 2013
Photo: healthwatchman.com

Photo: healthwatchman.com

At the end of a date a couple years ago, I found myself in a very awkward situation. The guy and I were making random chit chat as he drove me home from the restaurant, and the next thing I knew Freak Me by Silkk came on the radio. I’m sure if someone else had been able to see into that car, they would have probably cracked up laughing at the sight.

There we both sat trying to act like we didn’t hear this extremely sexual song playing on the radio while we continued our conversation about whether or not guys and girls could be truly platonic and how to know when a guy likes you.

Talk about awkward.

I mean, have you heard the lyrics to even just the chorus of Freak Me lately?

“Let me lick you up and down till you say stop; Let me play with your body, baby, make you real hot; Let me do all the things you want me to do; Cause tonight, baby, I wanna get freaky with you.”

Considering this was the third or fourth date with this guy and we’d yet to even kiss, I’m pretty sure I was dying inside the whole time the song played. Oh and did I mention that it wasn’t playing lightly in the background? It was definitely on loud enough for us both to hear it, acknowledge it, and then act like it wasn’t quite possibly the worst song to serve as the background to our conversation. And he never turned the radio down or off.

Remembering this moment made me think of other moments when sex songs have served to turn what would have been a perfectly okay situation into #teamawkward. For example, in college I remember having a meeting with my executive team for the Howard University Association of Black Journalists in my room one afternoon and hearing the distinct sounds of Imagine That by R. Kelly coming from someone’s window in the dorm. Another time I was visiting a friend in her dorm room, and as we were both whining about our loved lives, we heard her suite-mate start blaring R. Kelly and Biggie’s classically inappropriate song, F**king You Tonight. And then we heard ummm, other sounds begin to join the song.

What can you possibly do in those situations except let the song play and try not to crack up laughing at how awfully awkward things have just now become? Or in the case of my date, continue on with the conversation as if neither of you hears the new soundtrack to your thoughts.

What do you all think? How would you handle a musically awkward situation? And have you ever encountered such problems before? I’d love to hear what other songs have made it into the awkward conversation hall of fame.





What You Won’t Do For Love?

4 11 2013

Last week, I read a very disturbing article about a man who’d cut off his penis, rode his bike to the hospital, forgotten to bring the penis with him, rode his bike back home to get said dismembered organ and then rode his bike back to the hospital in an attempt to get it reassembled. Needless to say, they told him that was impossible. And while this instance was brought on by the man’s own doing and depression, the article also mentioned another instance in which a penis had been cut off by a jilted lover.

My first reaction was – wait this happened to more than just the Bobbit guy? But then, it also made me think about how people react when they hear that the person they loved did them wrong. It may not always be a slice of a penis, but intense reactions happen nonetheless.

For example, after watching the newest episode of Love and Hip Hop New York, I’m sure many women proclaimed that if a guy did to them what Peter Gunz did to his live-in baby mother, they would cut him.¹ I certainly did. I even had a whole conversation with one of my girls about that being how fools get cut and women end up in jail.

But I wouldn’t actually do it. Those were just words that people say.

And yet, as much as people (women in particular) joke around about cutting someone because of wrong doing, the fact is there are definitely real stories of people going crazy and injuring/killing their lovers. Hell, there’s a whole TV show called Snapped that’s all about women who snapped and committed crimes against their partners.

It makes you wonder what it takes to get to that point. Like, do you already have to be a person who is prone to violence or is it one of those things that could really happen to anyone given the right, horrifying circumstances? And then can you actually consider that relationship one that involved love? Or was it maybe one of obsession or co-dependence instead? I honestly don’t know. This is one of those posts where I don’t really have an answer.

What I can tell you is that I don’t think I could ever see myself physically hurting someone because he hurt me. I’m just not built that way. And I was also never one of those women who were into the idea of damaging a guy’s car or property when that was all the rage either. But don’t you think those women who snapped felt the same way? Wouldn’t they have believed that they would never fall to acting out, damaging property, injuring, or killing someone until they actually did it?

It’s a scary concept. That love can drive someone to do hurtful things. It’s certainly not what they talked about in the fairy tales they told us as kids.

Have any of you ever done something you never thought you would do in the  name of “love” or because you were hurt by someone? Know of any good stories that don’t involve you? And what about the idea of love being the culprit — do you believe that or do you think other factors are in play there?

1 If you don’t watch LLHHNY, the season premiere showed us that while his live-in girlfriend and baby mother of two thought she was his defacto wife, Peter Gunz had actually gone off and married someone else recently. The live-in girlfriend had no idea, especially because he was still sleeping at home as if nothing had changed.





Soo… That Means I can’t have Amazing Sex and Flat Abs too?

11 10 2013
Pretty sure covers like this are exactly what the writer was talking about... but I love it! Photo: Cosmopolitan Magazine

Pretty sure covers like this are exactly what the writer was talking about… but I love it!
Photo: Cosmopolitan Magazine

A few weeks ago, an internet post went viral entitled, “How to get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex, and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps,” and basically (spoiler alert!) –> it had nothing to do with the first two parts of the title.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it was good and sound advice about living the best life you can live without getting caught up in frivolous things. And I agreed with damn near everything in the posting… except, the whole time I kept thinking “so does that mean I can’t do all those things, live happy, AND still have amazing sex and flat abs too?”

Okay, I was probably being a bit of a contrarian (to myself, no less), but the more I thought about it, I really wondered if people truly believed it had to be an either/or type thing here. I mean, listen – I get it. It’s very easy to find yourself focusing on things that some might consider unworthy topics — you know “petty” stuff like fashion, sex, relationships, pop culture, sports, and even obtaining flat abs – but I’ve always railed against this thinking.

For one, who has the right to tell someone else what’s important to them? I hate conversations like that, and I avoid them just as much as I avoid best rapper ever conversations. Both are entirely subjective and speak to what’s important to that specific person, but I’ve never believed that things I consider special have to be special to everyone else.

Second, and maybe even more importantly, I hate this thinking of only being able to do one thing or the other. I read the Washington Post and the DC City Paper regularly, but I also have a subscription to Cosmopolitan and buy Marie Claire often. I don’t think I should have to give up the latter two to be happier in life.

The fact of the matter is I read the first two to stay an informed person, but the magazines are actually for my pleasure. I enjoy reading about the 15 Quirky Things I can Do in Bed with my guy so that the next time I should have a guy in my bed, we might have some new thangs to try. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! It’s fun!

So here’s my piece of advice that I’d like to add to the writer’s advice if I should be so bold to add on to someone else’s writing (let’s call it #9): Do all of those eight previous things, and then if you still want to do 500 crunches a day and sex it up in your boudoir, go for that too! Because, in the end, it’s your (ridiculously informed, self-aware, kind, grateful, fulfilled, and happy) life, and you shouldn’t feel the need to limit it.

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Hey guys, guess what?! This Monday is a holiday around these DC parts, so you won’t see a new post that day. But Choices, Voices, and Sole will be back bright and early Wednesday morning!

Hope you enjoy the weekend 🙂