The Random Pop-Up and its Implications

4 09 2014
Yep, it's absolutely like the joker popping out of a box... Photo: lessons4medicos.blogspot.com

Yep, it’s absolutely like the joker popping out of a box… Photo: lessons4medicos.blogspot.com

Girls. My girls. Has the following situation (or something similar) ever happened to you? It’s a random workday evening. You’re just coming home from the gym (and if you’re anything like me, that means it’s anywhere between 8:30 and 9:30pm). You check your phone — because that’s what most people do when they’ve been away from their mobile device for a bit — and then you see this ish:

Hey.

Sigh. Now, “hey” by itself is not a bad thing to see on your phone. I get some heys that absolutely make my day sometimes. But this one? This one is from an ex who you haven’t heard from in quite some time.

No explanation of the reappearance. No further thought. Just hey.

I’m asking (obviously) because this happened to me recently. And since this particular ex went ghost as a way to end things, I was Ray Charles to the bull sh*t, and told him as such.

I also decided to pose a similar question to the fellas on my Facebook page recently, just to get a sense of the mindset of a man who does the random pop-up.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

The status gained over 60 comments from both men and women, but the responses from the guys? Oh, the responses from the guys were classic and varied and mostly landed within one of these two categories:

A) Don’t be so quick to dismiss dude. He could be legit and you never know what could happen between you two.

B) Dude is a lame. And he just wants to see if he can hit it (either again or for the first time). He’s bored. His team has dwindled down.

Now, listen. As I mentioned to one of the guys firmly on team A, I am not at all opposed to a genuine reconnection with someone from your past (and those who really know me, know that’s true lol). In fact, I admitted that most people would probably not be offended by someone from their past reaching out and saying something like, “Hey, I know it’s been a while, but I heard something the other day that reminded me of you. Just wanted to see how you were.” But sending just “hey” implies to the other person (ie me) that you’re more like option B than the first. It implies that you’re putting a feeler out there, but you’re not committed to it.

And that (and the assumption that comes with it that any woman will still be available and/or want to still talk to you) is what I was and am offended by.

It’s funny, because I ended up having an off shoot conversation about all of this with a co-worker of mine a few days later, and of course, his first response was, “Well any guy who does is, it’s because he knows he can get back in there at any time.”

“Knows,” I asked incredulously.

“Yea, I mean c’mon, we all know that every woman has that guy who can pop back up in her life anytime and she has to think twice about ignoring him.”

“Yea,” I said, “But the problem is that every guy thinks he’s that guy, and most women only have one (if that). It’s like how no guy thinks he’s had a woman fake an orgasm on him, but most women admit to having done it at least once. The math doesn’t add up!”

And even if the math added up, it would still be some bull that you think, as a man, you can pop back up in someone’s life without any hesitation or explanation. That women are just sitting around waiting to be “re-chosen.” Please.

All of this brings me back to my original question, ladies. Has this happened to you? And if so, how did you handle it? I chose the “you can miss with the bull” route right after he tried to tell me how much he missed me and our conversation. What was your path?

Also, have you ever pulled the random pop-up on anyone? Were you successful in reigniting a relationship with him or her?

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The Easiest Way to Guarantee Less Sex from Your Partner

24 07 2014
A view of the spreadsheet in question... Photo via NY Post

A view of the spreadsheet in question…
Photo via NY Post

If you were to happen to be wondering what the easiest way is to make sure your partner wants to have as little sex with you as possible — I’ve found it for you! (Not sure why you’d want to do this if you’re not celibate or a virgin or taking things slow… but you know whatever works for you.)

Create a spreadsheet detailing all the times you’ve asked her for sex over the past few weeks and she’s turned you down. Oh, but don’t forget to send it to her as she’s heading on a 10-day trip. AND you can’t leave out the fact that you won’t miss her on those 10 days, because it’s not like if she were there, you’d be having sex anyway.

Oh…. what’s that you’re saying?

That’s not something you’d actually like to do? Hmmm. OK. Because I mean I thought that was the goal… no sex for you and your lady. No? Oh.

Listen, I get it. I’m sure this guy was super frustrated mentally and physically about the lack of sex in his marriage. I would be too. And I also get that asking your partner for sex is something that leaves a lot of people feeling extremely vulnerable.. and then to be rejected almost every time he asked — I get it. It’s not a good combination.

However, this spreadsheet business won’t produce the effect he’s looking for. Shaming your wife into more sex never does.

And really, what they should be getting at is why she doesn’t feel comfortable having sex with him anymore. Could it be because he sounds entitled to her body? Or not at all interested in the fact that she’s admitted to feeling less secure because of recent weight gain?

I’m sure it’s a combination of those and more. And while I initially laughed at the craziness and audacity of the spreadsheet, the more I thought about it, the sorrier I felt for the wife. From the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem as if she has the most supportive husband in the world. Maybe he is — but that spreadsheet doesn’t show it. It shows all the times he made note to himself that she didn’t fulfill his needs.

But here’s the thing. It’s no secret that guys want sex (ladies do too, but we’re talking about the guys here for a second). So if your lady is constantly rejecting that, you have to know there’s a deeper reason behind it. She’s not actively trying to not fulfill his needs, but I’d be willing to bet she felt like he wasn’t concerned about hers.

Wouldn’t it have been better for him to say, “Hey babe — I noticed that you haven’t really been eager to make love these days. Is there something going on? What can we do to get our connection back?” I mean, c’mon — that would have been so much better! And guess what? It probably would have actually gotten him what he wanted, because she would have felt like he was so sweet for being concerned about her.

This spreadsheet, on the other hand, was an attack. A hurtful attack by someone who felt rejected, but not anything that would actually help their marriage. I hope he’s learned that by now. At the very least, Reddit users have told him so.

Have you ever done something like this before? Not necessarily creating a spreadsheet of all the times your partner rejected you, but acted out in anger and hurt and realized later that a better way was available? What did you do to resolve it? Maybe we can give this dude some suggestions too, because he’s got a lot of making up to do.

 





The 30 Million Word Gap

8 11 2013

I’m lucky. Or as a good friend of mine who doesn’t believe in the word “luck” would say — I’m blessed.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget this is the case, but whenever I do, I’m reminded in the most revealing ways just how much this is so. I’m healthy; I’m alive; I have all my senses (although not always common sense); I have a crazy, beautifully dysfunctional family that loves me dearly and friends who mean the world to me; and I have a great job, but also I have the drive/ambition to continue setting my goals higher in my career.

But that’s not the only reason I’m lucky. I’m also lucky because I grew up in a family that reads. I grew up with a house full of books and encyclopedias (when people still had physical copies of those) and around adults who regularly read the newspaper as they sipped from their mugs of coffee or cafe au lait in the morning.

I’m lucky because I was raised by parents who fostered my love of reading and writing and showed me and my siblings how much fun you could have with the written language. Clearly something clicked because I work in communications and spend most of my days writing and one of my sisters was an English major in college who now works as a Pre-school teacher and is very interested in what can be done to improve literacy within pre-4 year olds.

What’s interesting, though, is that before this week I probably wouldn’t have listed the literacy part of my life as one of my blessings. Mostly because it’s something that I kind of took for granted. I realized that not everyone grew up like I did, but I didn’t fully understand that having books in our home, and having parents who read all the time and encouraged us to do so greatly impacted my way of life.

I found out, however, when I attended my first meeting this week for a group that I’ve committed to volunteering with for at least the next year. This organization places volunteers at specific locations once a month to read to little kids, ranging in ages 4 to 12. At the meeting, we learned what would be expected of us as volunteers, how the reading sessions normally go, etc… but what impacted me the most was the section on why we do what we do.

In that section, the program manager cited a study that found that by age 3, a child from a lower income family will likely have experienced 30 million less words than that of a child from a higher income family.

If your mouth just dropped, you are not alone. I was floored. The guy sitting next to me who happened to be the only other Black person in the room was floored. We both looked at each other with one of those “you’ve got to be kidding me” looks. But as the program manager began to explain some of the reasons for the gap that were found in the study, I sadly could see how it could be true.

After leaving the meeting, I texted my sister about the study because clearly it’s right up her alley with her interest in early childhood literacy. I was hoping she was going to complain about the bias of the study and say that she doesn’t see that gap with her students, but she did no such thing. In fact, she all but declared it completely accurate without ever having read it yet. Her most distressing comment to me about it? That when she asks the kids open ended questions like they’re trained to do to push their critical thinking and language skills, you can clearly tell that the lower income children know what they want to say but don’t have the language to convey their thoughts, but that the higher income students could hold adult conversations with you.

How does that not just break your heart? It certainly broke mine, but more importantly, it made me want to make sure more people knew about this problem.

So please, if you have a moment, take some time to read the following links and learn more about the 30 million word gap… and then if you have even more time, do what you can to read to a child in your life as much as possible. I know I plan to, even more so than I already do now.

1) The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3 by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley

2) The 30 Million Word Gap





The Ineptness of Congress

4 10 2013
These folks... Photo: www.reuters.com

These folks… Photo: http://www.reuters.com

By now, we all know that Congress has failed to pass a bill to fund Federal government operations, thus creating what has been popularly called a government shutdown. (And if you don’t know the basic details of this issue, please at least read this article so you don’t find yourself getting made fun of by Jimmy Kimmel on national TV anytime soon.)

But what you may not know is just how inefficient they’ve been even before this debacle. Well, since I didn’t want to completely scare you all, I’m only going to give the number of all the bills they have yet to pass in 2013 (or as the GovTrack.US site says, the bills and resolutions currently before the United States Congress) — 5, 588. These include some biggies, like:

H.R. 2083: Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act

H.J.Res. 71: District of Columbia Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

H.R. 2756: Redistricting and Voter Protection Act of 2013

S. 1: Immigration Reform that Works for America’s Future Act

S. 707: Student Loan Affordability Act of 2013

You know, because these aren’t that important, right? <– sarcastic font.

And here are the few times they have been able to come to some sort of agreement (from January to July 2013) courtesy of Slate.com.

HR 258: Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (A new version of the law against claiming, falsely, to be a veteran. The last version was struck down by SCOTUS.)

HR 325: No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013 (The punt that delayed the debt limit.)

HR 475: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include vaccines against seasonal influenza within the definition of taxable vaccines.

HR 1246: District of Columbia Chief Financial Officer Vacancy Act

HR 1765: Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 (The sequestration “fix” that put air traffic controllers back to work.)

S 716: A bill to modify the requirements under the STOCK Act regarding online access to certain financial disclosure statements and related forms. (A disemboweling of the ban on insider trading by Hill staffers.)

S 47: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

HR 307: Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013

S 622: Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Act of 2013

HR 41: Hurricane Sandy relief bill

HR 152: Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013

HR 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

HR 360: To award posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley to commemorate the lives they lost 50 years ago in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

HR 1071: To specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.

The Freedom to Fish Act, which opens boating access around dams in Kentucky and bill sponsor Sen. Lamar Alexander’s native Tennessee.

Yes, that’s right — only fifteen effing times!

Sigh. And Public Enemy thought 911 was a joke.





#theCuddles Part 2 – Really, People???

24 06 2013
Photo Credit: marchtomastery.com

Photo Credit: marchtomastery.com

(Some) People will do anything to keep from feeling lonely.

This past weekend I learned that this includes paying someone to come over and cuddle with them. Like, literally – paying to have a stranger come to your home and wrap her arms around you for a specified portion of time. What part of the game is that, y’all?

Now, you may remember that I have a love-hate relationship with cuddling. But despite the fact that I typically ran away from even the thought of cuddling with someone I didn’t have strong feelings for, I have recently begun to have a bit of a change of heart on the matter. Maybe it’s because I’ve stopped running from a lot of my feelings within the past year or so, but the truth is (and get ready for a shocker) – I actually really enjoy cuddling.

I think it can be something really amazing between two people. It’s relaxing. It has restorative power after a long day of work. Heck, it can even be quite sexy if done with the right person.

But y’all – you will never get me to change my belief that it’s still intimate as all hell. I know that may not be the case for everyone, but it is for me.¹ To me, there is something uniquely intimate about allowing someone to wrap his or her arms around you or lay on your chest, breathing your breaths, falling into synch with your cadence of inhale and exhale. And while I have somewhat relaxed my standards on who I cuddle with nowadays, there’s no way I can condone paying for a stranger to come to your home and perform this intimate as hell act with you.

The company that provides the service speaks highly about the “simple restorative pleasure of touch” and even uses this lovely line –> “Though science has unquestionably supported the psychological and physical benefits of non-sexual touch, Americans distinctly lack it.” when seeking to make its case for the okay-ness of the service.

But for real, y’all? It’s just not. I can understand how they get clients though, because cuddling can be really enjoyable. And they are right about the healing powers of touch. In fact, I just learned that a hospital in Kentucky gets volunteers to come and hold many of the premature babies throughout the day, because doctors have found that it helps them heal faster when they have a human connection holding them and rocking them throughout the day. But… but, those babies are not grown-ups with options to actually meet people and create real life intimate partnerships.

I mean, is this what we’ve come to as a generation? We’re so hard up to experience intimacy with people that folks are really out here paying to fake it? I know there’s been lots of talk out lately about how we seem to have lost a lot of the human connections with people, because we spend so much time on our computers, on social media, on the phone, watching TV, etc… but there just has to be a better way than this.

Right?

1 For example, some people may think that kissing is a more intimate act.





No Babies Allowed!! (at least not now)

10 04 2013
Photo Credit: gapitc.org

Photo Credit: gapitc.org

I guess I should start this post with a quick disclaimer. I love children, especially the ones in my family. My best friend will tell you how I can play around with my God-children for hours. And I want some one day. Today is just NOT that day.

So why did I title a post No Babies Allowed when I just admitted to loving children? Well, a couple weeks ago, I had some strange encounters with children that kind of gave me the creepy leepys. Not strange as in they were screaming and carrying on, because I see that all the time on DC Metro. No, no – strange as in they kept coming for me!

First, I had this 10 month old baby that was pure fighting his dad to get to me. He was reaching out for me and trying to climb over the chair bar on the train. I mean, he was really putting in effort. And every time his dad tried to turn him around or pull him away, he would clearly get pissed at him and start screaming until he let him go back to trying to reach out to me.

Since I’m not a crazy person, I didn’t actually pick up the child. But it was the hardest thing in the world to have a little baby reaching out to me when you know you can’t pick him up. I ended up just sitting there trying to wave hi to the little boy. It was also quite awkward, because the dad felt the need to keep saying how sorry he was and that his son wasn’t normally like this. I tried to assure him it was okay, but it was a tiny bit unnerving when it kept going on for more than 10 minutes.

That by itself would have been nothing to write about. Oh, but the very next day, I’m walking down the street and this little girl who couldn’t have been more than 4 comes running to me. Like, she booked it! And then immediately latches onto my leg, looks up and notices I’m not quite who she thought I was, but she stayed on my LEG! Again, I didn’t know what to do! Do I hug her back? But I don’t know this child, and I don’t know her mom, who was taking her sweet arse time to come get her off of me.

After that, I had to say a little prayer and let Jesus know that ain’t nobody trying to have an immaculate conception up in this piece right now. And by nobody, I mean me.

But y’all know I’m big on signs being present all around us. So of course I started wondering if this was just a two-off thing or if God was trying to tell me that my eggs aren’t as low as one might think even though I’m that much closer to 30? Doesn’t He know that I need to find someone I actually you know, like, before I can handle information like this???

So, uh yeah, in case it needs to be said – let this be on wax: there are no babies allowed in these parts right now. One day, yes! I even have potential names for said future babies. But right now?? Unh uh! I am so not for it.

Please and thanks.





The Most Cringe-Worthy Question a Woman Can Hear

27 03 2013

I’m pretty sure every woman has been through this experience at some point — you meet a guy, think he’s cool and cute enough to want to get to know, and suddenly in the middle of the conversation, he hits you with: So tell me, why are you single?

Sigh. Cringe city.

Not because there’s anything wrong with me being single, but because the way that the question is posed assumes something is wrong because I’m single. It’s like the guy wants me to turn to him and say, “Well honestly, there’s something I should tell you –> I have a horn that grows out of my butt. It’s the only reason I haven’t been able to keep a man thus far, you know.”

I mean, really, what kind of answer are men expecting here? Also I’m pretty sure there’s nothing that the woman could say that would actually satisfy the question, mostly because I don’t think it’s the actual question men want to ask (but that’s for another discussion).

Some of my well-intentioned guy friends have suggested that the question is actually meant as a compliment. That the guy is basically saying, I see this pretty girl who’s hella cool, and I’m wondering why no guy has scooped her up yet. But there’s so much wrongness in that “compliment,” it’s laughable.

First, it assumes I’ve wanted to be “scooped up” recently. Second, it assumes that the guys I’ve met who have wanted to “scoop me up” have been guys I was actually interested in. And third, and most importantly, it still assumes there just has to be something wrong with me he’s not seeing yet! I mean, why else would I be single right? It’s not as if women actually enjoy dating and being single. Noooooooooo, every. single. woman. wants to get married tomorrow! Scratch tomorrow, make that yesterday! Last month!

Sigh.

The reality is that at different times there have been a variety of different reasons why I was single. There were times when I’d just come out of a relationship or just gone back into the dating pool after grieving over a relationship. There were times when I was just doing me, enjoying dating multiple guys and having a grand ol’ fabulous single gal life. And there were times when I just hadn’t met the man I wanted to be in a relationship with. But at none of those times was something wrong. And I’m sure that most women would probably be able to offer up plenty of those same reasons if they weren’t so insulted by the question!

I actually, honestly, think it’s one of those guy/girl misinterpretation things. I don’t think a guy is really trying to figure out what’s wrong with me when he asks the question, but it just never sits right with me. And neither do its cousin variations, like “damn, how come aint nobody wifed you yet!” Or “why don’t you have guys lined up waiting for you?”

These always, ALWAYS get the eye roll. It may be an internal eye roll, but it’s an eye roll nonetheless. So can we make a pact? Can we come up with a better way to ask whatever it is you guys want to know when you’re asking this question? Or better yet, can you ask something a little more relevant, like “What kind of music do you like,” or “What’s the last play you saw,” “Who’s your favorite sports team,” “Biggie or Pac?”…. cuz really, anything, ANYTHING would be better. And maybe those questions wouldn’t make me want to look the guy in his face and say “Fool, aren’t you single too? Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong with you?!”