Can you tell compatibility by music tastes?

2 12 2014

If it’s one thing Twitter is good for, it’s to read some of the dating fodder people come up with. And one that’s always interested me is when people make comments about who they wouldn’t date based on the type of music they like.

You know how those look. It’s something like —

If she can’t recite all the words to every WU song ever, she can’t be #bae.

Or even…

The best way to turn me off is to tell me you like Drake music. #wecanneverevergettogether

(Incidentally, I totally wouldn’t meet the criteria for this fake tweeter.)

But he/she brings up an interesting point. When thinking about deal breakers in dating or relationships, should we consider music tastes? And what does someone’s music tastes tell you about him or her specifically to let you know compatibility would be a concern?

Let’s take me for example. I love all kinds of music, but that’s also because I hail from a musical town. So on any given day, you could find me rocking out to anything from rap to gospel to country to pop to zydeco to jazz to heavy metal and several things in between. Y’all remember when I gushed over the Grammy museum?  My love for music is real.

But… if you asked me to tell you what my favorite form of music is, what I listen to probably 85% of the time, what gives me the goosies or makes me break out crying or inspires me to write blog posts and maybe even mark a song down as a possible for a very distinct future playlist? It’s going to be R&B.

My first cassette tapes and CDs that I purchased as a kid were R&B. I listen to it while writing. I listen to it while on the subway. I listen to it while I’m working it out on the elliptical or treadmill. And you have to know it’s my go to genre if I need to come home and pull out my fake microphone and have a good dance session all alone.

But does that mean I shouldn’t date someone who would prefer to listen to KRS One and Rakim over Luther and Patti? Does that mean I’d need to throw out my Young Money CD collection (Drake and Wayne have made a LOT of music) if I want to date a guy who’s not into mainstream music? IDK. There’s something about that logic that seems a bit off.

I get where it comes from though. It’s great when you can enjoy something you love with your partner, and a lot of us love our music. We get invested in it, and the artists we like (hello Aaliyah movie backlash). I’m not exempt from this either. I’m in heaven when a dude likes the kind of music I like as much as I do. But I don’t know if I’m ex-ing him out the game immediately just because he’s not trying to go see the Tupac hologram in concert with me.

And while I’m not super big on the whole opposites attract thing, I also think there may be something to be said about dating someone who can expand your horizons. Or at least someone who can say, “boo I know you don’t normally like pop music, but watch what I can do to this Rihanna song and trust me, you’ll see there’s some merit to the art.”

What do you all think? Can compatibility be determined through music likes and dislikes?





Waiting with Bated Breath

26 11 2014

You’d think I would be done getting to this point.

I thought I was.

I thought I was cynical enough that I wouldn’t be surprised or heartbroken. And yet, there I was Monday evening, waiting, knowing full well the result — that they would decide not to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown, for slaughtering him in the streets and letting his body lay on the ground for 4.5 hours.

How could you not know the result, right? All the tea leaves were there. They kept putting off the announcement like a man avoiding a conversation with his girl when he knows he’s wrong. They called for the National Guard to assist them. They waited 50-11 days to let us know the decision. You don’t do all that to say, “yes, there will be a trial.”

Still, I waited.

I waited with less than 1% of hope that this country would surprise me. I waited knowing differently, but hopeful. Past the initial 6pm est promise and past 9pm est.

And when I walked into my place at 9:29pm and turned on MSNBC, I wasn’t shocked to see Bob McCulloch saying what I already know he would say. I was exhausted. And hurt.

Tired of letting that 1% of hope shatter my whole heart. Hurt because I know to so many people Michael Brown might as well have been an animal. They certainly don’t see him as a human being, as an American, as a frightened child knowing he was about to die by the hands of a man sworn to protect him.

Exhausted because Michael Brown is but one of many. He, as his own person, shouldn’t be forgotten in the midst of people working to create and support the movement. But he is certainly not alone.

My heart breaks for his family and his friends. My heart aches for the mothers and fathers who fear for their sons. I weep for the soul of this country and its citizens. But I still am not shocked. I’m not surprised there are those who don’t get the anguish; they’ve never had to worry about their son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, love one walking out the door and being killed just because of who they are.

I’m not shocked that ABC reportedly paid that officer (I refuse to type his name anymore) $500,000 to tell his side of the story. I am not surprised.

I am exhausted.

I am filled with sorrow.

I am trying to pray my way out of these feelings, but I am not not hopeful that will change. I am not hopeful this country will change.

They took away my 1% Monday evening.

It’s all gone.





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?





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.





From Vacation Passes to Pregnancy Ones?

23 10 2014

First there was the vacation pass — you know, the leeway some couples give each other to do as they please on vacation with friends without repercussions.

Then there was the celebrity pass — the game couples play where they list the 1 or 2 celebrities the significant other could get with without any repercussions.

And now there’s… the pregnancy pass?? The allowance some women give their husbands to have sex with other women while they are pregnant (without repercussions to the relationship).

What???

Does anyone find this as disturbing as I do?

Now I’m not going to lie, I’ve jokingly discussed the celebrity pass with a boyfriend or two. And I guess it seems a bit “safer” since the likelihood of your boo meeting his/her celebrity crush is a lot slimmer than them seeing a random cute girl in Brazil. But truthfully, even that’s dangerous in this day and age where everyone is a social media account away. And I would have been quite upset if it had actually happened.

This pregnancy pass thing, though? It just seems to me folks are trying to find any way possible to have open relationships without calling it that. And if that’s what you want, I’m saying — just own that ish. Don’t be carrying on like you’re in a monogamous relationship, but you just happen to be open to the idea of your husband having carte blanche for 10 months.

Naw.

Now I get that there are some factors in play here. Some women think they won’t be in the mood to have sex while pregnant. Some men think they won’t find ol’ girl attractive or that they’ll be too scared to hurt the baby and all that jazz. And to those concerns, I say to all parties — man up.

When you are in a relationship, especially a marriage, you make a commitment to fulfilling the needs of your partner (sexual and otherwise). That doesn’t mean you let someone else fulfill those needs while you’re on sabbatical for ten months, and it certainly doesn’t mean you drop your wife for almost a year because her belly is almost as big as her boobs. Besides, from the pregnant women I’ve talked to (and the ladies on The Real), pregnant women are typically “ret to go” any time, any place. So you might as well take advantage of the situation. No?

What do you all think, though? Did you have the same “naw” reaction as me upon hearing of the pregnancy pass? Or do you think it’s a legitimate suggestion? And have you heard of or participating in any other types of relationship passes? I promise — this will be a no judge zone.





STAHP with the Mandals Madness!

8 07 2014

I have a personal plea that I have to get off of my chest, y’all.

Do you know what’s even less sexy than Rick Ross boobs on a man?

Than murses?

Than 50-year old men who still wear braids?

Thank over 25-year old men who think Four Loko is a viable drinking option?

COMBINED??

Men wearing mandals.

I know, I know — some of you are thinking “but men need to let their twinkle toes breathe too!”

Nah. Nope. They Don’t.¹

I’m not saying you have to wear Timberlands in the summer, but as for me and mine, there’s no easier way for my Little Mermaid to dry up than to be in mid-scan of a guy and notice dude is rocking the latest mandals with his outfit.

Actually, that’s not true. He could rock a mandal with a slingback, which is about as quick a turn off as a tear drop tattoo for me. You’re both obviously prone to bad decision-making as far as I’m concerned.

You know why mandals are so bad? Because they just scream 60 year old man who’s said eff it. Now, at 60, you may very well feel that way. My grandpas wear mandals all the time, but they’re both 83 and are notorious non-f*ck givers.

Dude who’s 35 — you have no excuse!

When I see mandals, I immediately picture that you must also have a kango hat, a really loose fitting linen suit, and some gators in your closet somewhere. Basically, I envision you being way too comfortable at the Zanzibar.²

And that just will. not. do.

So please, fellas, this is my official plea — stahp the madness.

I’m all for you getting your pedicure or body scrub on to keep your feet looking nice — just keep that showcasing for when we’re at home and you’re walking around barefoot.

In exchange, I’ll promise to only wear my Birkenstocks at home too.

Deal?

Please note — nothing in this post applies to Idris Elba. I’m aware he likes to rock a mandal every once in a while, but Idris is so damn fine that he got Taraji to open the door for his stranger arse in the middle of the night (in that upcoming movie). And I don’t know any black woman in the history of black women who open their doors for strangers.

1 Although Addidas slip-ons and flip flops are alright. I’d still much rather you wear some boat shoes or sneakers, though, for your casual look.

2 Shout out to my DC folk who got that reference!





Could Have Been a Love Story

1 05 2014

If you’ve never heard of or seen the video above, do yourself a favor and watch now, please, because it’s one of those videos that’s so simple but so poignant all at the same time.

What’s striking about the video and its message is that while it is likely to be a fictionalized performance to make a point, it’s something that could very well happen in real life. And actually, let’s just be real — it happens all the time. It happens over texts or messaging (like in this instance), but it happens during in-person conversations as well, and it also happens in our heads (don’t act like you don’t have conversations in your head sometimes — not like a crazy person, just… oh whatever you know what I mean). It’s this constant need to either censor our real selves or not be too open to others.

But why is that? What is it that causes us all to instinctively back away from being open and vulnerable when given the chance?

I’m assuming it’s the common misconception that vulnerability equates to being weak. Except that what’s funny about that equation, is that for many, we see vulnerability as strength in others. Just not when it concerns us. It may also have to do with fears of rejection or of looking “too thirsty.” Or wanting to appear nonchalant about something or someone. Fear of the unknown and things we can’t control.

Brene’ Brown of the famed vulnerability and shame Ted talks says it this way:

Yes, we are totally exposed when we are vulnerable. Yes, we are in the torture chamber that we call uncertainty. And, yes, we’re taking a huge emotional risk when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. But there’s no equation where taking risks, braving uncertainty, and opening ourselves up to emotional exposure equals weakness… Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to life.

In other words, if you don’t allow yourself to be open to being vulnerable, you’ll end up like these two talking around each other, neither one being honest, neither one coming out of the conversation with a good feeling about it.

And since I brought it back up, let’s go back to the video for a second. Can we all admit we’ve been there at least once? I watched the thing and had more than my fair share of flashbacks to times when I wanted to say something to a guy, but didn’t. Or wanted to speak up at work and didn’t. Wanted to try a new activity and didn’t. And then inevitably, I’d end up wondering what if. What if I had gone against that voice in my head telling me it didn’t take all that? What if I had just said what was on my heart to say? What could have been different? I mean, these fake people could have been a love story, y’all, but they’re probably not the only ones! But because two people refused to say what they really wanted to say and express the excitement they really felt, they weren’t.

What’s more tragic than missing out on a beautiful love story because you were afraid to show just how much you liked that person? Or missing out on your calling in life because you didn’t know how your innovation/creation/project would be received? I would argue not too much. And yet, we still do it. We still censor ourselves. We still hesitate when it comes to taking risks with matters of the heart and matters that call us to act on faith and not by sight, whether that’s in our careers, in our love lives, in our relationships with family/friends, etc…

But I think we should all collectively ask ourselves – where has that gotten us thus far? And then commit that we won’t allow ourselves to become a “could have been…” story any longer.