Posts Tagged With: Love

The Clock Is Ticking

“On everything that you start in life there is a timer. Knowing that time is ticking we should probably get to it, huh?” -Me

I POSTED THAT LITTLE QUOTED FACTOID to my Last Native Facebook page on Saturday. While I get little lightning bolts of cool things to say and post from time to time I can’t say that I completely came up with this one on my own. I was given an assist by the man I like to call “The Coolest White Man To Ever Walk The Earth” and that, of course, is the man known as Sting. I came to know of Sting and The Police at a very young age and knew that he was no ordinary White guy. Some rockers seemed to be abstract just for the sake of being so but Sting, even when his songwriting tried to be mysterious, made plenty of sense to me. On Saturday when I found myself listening to one of my favorite Sting songs, “Seven Days” from the album “Ten Summoner’s Tales”, over and over and over again last Saturday afternoon the message of time struck a chord with me. There’s a large lesson in that tune’s incredible rhythmic timing, but like most good messages, they most often go unheeded. Continue reading

Categories: Attempts at Seriousness, Humor, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Discomfort of Love

Happy Valentine's DayAHH, THE DAY OF LOVE, Valentine’s Day. Money will be spent, flower and candy will be delivered, proposals will be offered, dinner will be had, and love will be made, all in the name of Cupid. I’m not one of one of these “down with Valentine’s Day” people that you may see around town. While I know that love should be shown EVERY day of the year, I certainly don’t mind lovers having their day to go all out for their special someone. I enjoy it actually. Now I can never trot myself out as some expert that knows what love is all about, if that were the case I’d have a significant other of my own to squeeze today; for all that I do not know about the ins and outs of how love works, I do know one thing, two things actually, about what ought be…and of course those things were taught me to me by my parents, who will celebrate 51 years together in less than a month; those things are that love is about acts of sacrifice and acts of loyalty. I have several pictures of my parents, far better than the one that I’m going to share in this blog but I think it fits. Continue reading

Categories: Family, Holidays, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Love in Varying Degrees…

I pity people sometimes.

Not regular you and me common sense type people but sad sack lemming types that believe anything their half wit BFF tells them or gives weight to anything spoon fed to them by a reality show housewife; especially when it comes to love. If you let some people tell it, love is a unicorn dancing in a field of smurfberries being ridden sidesaddle by a mermaid. I mourn for those that don’t have examples of a love not shot through its heart with a high caliber rifle, I wish they could see it like I do, or have seen it like I have.

I’ve written here often about my parents, my worrywart father and my too-silly-for-her-own-good mother. Last month the two of them celebrated a half century of marriage. 50 years together, three children, two grandchildren, and a slew of adopted kids, most of which are my friends who know they can infiltrate our family functions and eat as much as they like without consequence. My mother’s favorite saying is that she hasn’t always liked Dad, but she never stopped loving him, and that’s what made staying together so easy. It’s easy to see a couple like that, that’s been together since the beginning of time seemingly, and say to yourself, “Man, that’s what love looks like right there!” and you wouldn’t be wrong. But that’s not the only face of love.

Continue reading

Categories: Atlanta, Attempts at Seriousness, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

My Hall of Fame Speech (if I had a chance…)

The NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony last Saturday night was a lot of things. Emotional. Heartful. Inspiring. It was also a bit of a blow to fatherhood. In the 6 hours worth of speeches from the inductees – okay, the speeches weren’t quite that long – Mama and Grandmama got the lion’s share of the praise from a good number of the players, Richard Dent and Marshall Faulk being the exceptions, and furthering the cause for women who wish themselves Happy Father’s Day every June. While it’s not the first time that any of us have heard an athlete say that his main goal in being successful was to buy Mama a house/a car/some jewelry/a rocket ship, it did solidify the fact that Mama trumps Daddy in the battle at home almost always. Like Chris Rock said, all the good songs are written about Mama – Tupac’s “Dear Mama”, Boyz II Men’s “A Song for Mama”, and “Sadie” by the Spinners (to their credit there was a Daddy reference in there) – while all Dad gets from the songwriters is “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”. It’s an all too real reminder of the state of fatherhood in “The Community” and illustrates why some people say that there are no more real fathers out there.

I offer this as an antithesis to that argument.

I am a thirtysomething year old man pushing perilously close to that dreaded “F” word that comes after thirty-nine though my boyish good looks would lead you to believe otherwise (shameless self love). Most men my age go through life at this stage without much fanfare; I have a few friends with sons, daughters, wives or girlfriends that think they hung the moon but for the most part guys have grown accustomed to going without much credit or pats on the back or even attention. It’s just the way with guys that aren’t singers, actors or comedians; you do something cool, and you keep it moving. I was presented with an opportunity to speak in front of my church a couple of weeks back, a simple task really, I was asked to put together a brief memorial tribute on behalf of the music department. I’d be on the microphone for 45 to 60 seconds tops. Outside of a few presentations at work I hadn’t done much public speaking so I figured this a prime opportunity to get up in front of people and justify all that tuition money Mom and Dad spent on me as a Communications major. Get up, speak eloquently, and sit down. It was a simple mission, one of those aforementioned things that guys my age do, don’t expect anything from, and usually forget about within a few months. Not important at all in the grand scheme of things except for the fact that my Dad showed up.

I didn’t know he was there, didn’t see him from the podium as I stood to speak and looked out over 2500 or so people, perhaps if I would have if I didn’t get a bit of the jitters and look down at my script a little more than look out at the people I was addressing. I was up there a little longer than I thought that I would be, about 90 seconds, but I made it through okay. Ol’ Dr. Fulmer back on the campus of Georgia Southern (Go Eagles!) would have been a little peeved at my lack of eye contact but I think a “B+” would have been in order. After Church, I reached in my pocket and turned my cell phone back on and there was a voicemail message from my Dad in his usual baritone.

“Hey, Man! This is Dad. Came to see you speak at church today. You did great. Tried to wait for you to come out but I didn’t see you. Maybe I’ll see you at the house a little later on. Talk to you later.”

The tiny speech was nothing to me. A little over a minute addressing the congregation, half of which were probably flipping through or doodling in their programs, a chance for me to utilize some public speaking skills in front of a decent sized gathering. But to Dad, it was more than that. It was just like every soccer or football game that I played in that he attended, just like every little thing in college that he drove 3 hours at the drop of a hat for to see me in, it was just Dad supporting his kid, his thirtysomething almost “F-word” kid doing something that wasn’t a big deal to me but was obviously big enough for him to get up, skip his own church to come to mine to see me speak for 90 measly seconds…just because I’m his kid. That’s it.

I’d like to be a Dad, I really want to be a Dad actually, but I think sometimes I’m afraid to because there’s no way I can be the father that my Dad is. To be so selfless and have the ability to think that every moment, no matter how immaterial I might think it is, is important. There’s something regal in that, something that is insanely incredible about how much love it takes to think that everything is significant…and while I can’t really fathom it, I’m glad that I have a Dad that can.

It’s unlikely that I’ll ever make the Hall of Fame in anything, maybe a bestseller list one day, but I don’t know that I’ll ever have the opportunity to openly buck the trend and thank my Pop openly in front of millions on TV, but I’ll take solace that the 100 or so that may trip over this page will know that there’s one Dad in our Community who is a great man. If you’ve got one too, call him and tell him so, he may have turned off the radio in disgust because “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” was on. 🙂

~thanks for reading

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Categories: Decatur Stories, Family, Relationships, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Unconditional Love and the Dodo Bird

Hey all.  I visited my parents the other day and just looked at them, together. Just happy for the most part, except for when my Dad goes all Sagittarius and gets on my Mom’s nerves; you can read about their story here. Then I took a little time and teased a childhood friend of mine yesterday about his day long publicly flirtatious back-and-forth with his wife via his Facebook page. After that I took a look at some pictures I have at the house of my grandparents, who were together for 55 years, and other family members and friends who have had the ideal “Black Love” relationship. And then I silently mourned. I mourned because it is the opinion of yours truly that the idea of love unencumbered, love unconditional, and love in completion in “The Community” is dead. Now, mind you, I don’t think that love as an ideal and emotion is dead, just the idea that love is something that one can be ultimately successful in. That’s dead, extinct, just like the Dodo Bird, in this society, in my opinion.

Love in its simplicity can no longer exist for the simple reason that people won’t let it; it seems they would rather focus on everything that can derail an otherwise ideal situation.  You can’t go online without being force-fed statistics on the plight of the Black relationship. The headlines read like a clarion call of disappointment and dread.

70% of Black women are single

42% of Black successful women don’t have a man

Marriage Eludes Black High Achievers

More than half of Black Men Are Fed Up with Black Women

While these items, all of which were among the thousands of hits that came up with a simple experimental Google search, were probably meant to spur discussion on the dynamic between men and women in “The Community”, they succeed to only drive a deeper wedge between two groups that are the hope for future generations of people. Blog writers, in a search for traffic and comments, focus on the items that divide and the comment vultures start flocking almost immediately because as we all know you can draw more people with despair than happiness. Movies and plays are almost always focused on love gone completely wrong because, as the saying goes, art imitates life. Or does it?

Is art only portraying what is being lived by people in various Metros around the country or is it painting an unreal actual that people are coerced into thinking is real? My parents told me so years ago when I was a teen that “You find what you’re looking for and you are what you take in.” Unfortunately a lot of otherwise intelligent people are being hooked by the statistics of the pundits and the wailing of the whiners and believing that love can’t be found, and if you find it you’re instantly thinking of what can go wrong because of whatever reason you just read about in that link you were sent to your email, not because you legitimately believe in your heart of hearts. The more often you read about everything that is wrong with relationships the more you’ll believe it, and then when you start to believe it you start to look for it, then before long you’re believing that love can never happen for you because of what a bunch of other people wrote. And that’s why the quest of a Black man and a Black woman finding an unsoiled love free of preconceived notions and perceptions is dead. It’s dead because people are lazy and would rather have their ideas fed to them and then believe whatever it is that the most people are believing or talking about. Because of this the most inane of arguments and discussions get unnecessary run all because people don’t wish to think and live for themselves; this is an awful way for love without condition to die, isn’t it?

Now, none of this is to say that love is not without its issues. As long as things cost money there will be issues in a relationship. However what I am saying is that with the speed that news and opinion travels via the internetwebthingy and the propensity for said news and opinions to grow out of control, chances are slim that news of the demise of healthy Black relationship are unlikely to stop anytime soon, especially with the frequency that people like to hear about such things via blogs, TV, radio shows, etc. Hopeless romantic as I am, I choose to believe that such a thing for me is possible even with my quirks and otherwise questionable loose ends. And if, at this moment, you are without a relationship I challenge you to believe the same. I challenge you to ignore the statistics, to ignore those “link sharers” and others that choose to perpetuate the myths that love is impossible for whatever the reason is this week. Focus on happiness, and perhaps happiness will be on the other side of your search; but if you search for what is wrong with everything then don’t be surprised when that’s what you come across; like my parents said, you find what you’re looking for.

~thanks for reading

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Categories: Attempts at Seriousness, Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Intimacy in Reverse…

Kiss. It’s more than a 70’s glam rock band or a funky little ditty by Prince but it’s the most recognizable show of affection in the world. There are several firsts in all of our lives but there are few that stick with us like our first kiss, not the playful peck on the lips that we get when we’re on the playground in the 5th grade, or in my case the 2nd, but that serious first kiss; that eyes closed, head tilted, tight embrace, tongue dancing kiss that leaves us breathless at its conclusion.

I know where mine was.

I thought I’d been kissed until Cheryl, a piano playing performing arts student at my high school, really let me have it in the Avondale Mall arcade next to the Pop-A-Shot machine. I think I legitimately heard angels singing while Cupid beat-boxed a smooth groove in my ear as she taught me the way of the grown up kiss that afternoon after school. For the entirety of our torrid 5 week 10th grade love affair we spent a lot of time repeating that feat until we did what most high school sophomores who think they are in love do, we broke up. But the kisses didn’t stop, they continued with the next girlfriend, and the one after that; and it got to the point that kisses really weren’t all that big a deal. In fact, a girl didn’t even have to be a girlfriend anymore as kissing was no longer a girlfriend thing, it had degenerated to a simple mark maker; to send her back into her parents’ house just before her curfew thinking, “Damn, he was a really good kisser” and be anxious to go out with me again sometime soon. The kiss, which had started as something shared with that one special girl, had become nothing more than a high school aged calling card that said, “If you want some more of this lip action, baby, you know exactly where to find me…but don’t call after11pm because my parents don’t like that.” I’m guessing that it’s very much the same now.

Intimacy is a lost art probably because most people don’t know what it really is. Things have graduated to the point now that if you asked a random teenager on the street what intimacy is, the chances are likely that he or she would immediately equate it to sex. Even among adults there seems to be a disconnect with how to show affection to someone of the opposite sex without knowing the locatation of their birthmark and where all their moles are. And while there are several ways to show affection to your love, significant other, girlfriend, boyfriend, boo, shawty, or sweetheart there is only one that openly denotes to the outside world that this person that you see me with is mine.

And that’s holding hands.

No matter how much a woman thinks her man is the sh*t and no matter how good he lays it to you when you need it laid down that dude ain’t really feeling you if he’s not willing to get you by the hand and walk at least a city block holding onto you, and not that BS locking pinkies mess either where we can immediately disengage if one of our boys should pop up further down the block. The same thing works in reverse, if a dude is on some real Ralph Tresvant “Sensitivity” type stuff and is reaching for a lady’s hand while out and about and she steady reaching in her purse for something instead of grabbing back then it’s likely dude is nothing more than a jump off that is simply blessed to spend the afternoon with her in public for a change. Back to the original point though, when we have you by the hand that’s a declaration to whomever, our boys, our ex that we run into downtown, and whoever else we come across that this one right here is the one that we’re ridin’ with. Anything less than that and you’re just some chick that we’re walking next to that we can quickly label a friend if a cutie in a form fitting sundress walks by.

My most recent girl would often check me, “Lock my fingers!”, she would say as we walked down the street or in the mall or in the park and I would, not because she was crazy and I was afraid of her – much – but because she was mine and I wanted to because she was my chick, inside and out, vertically and horizontally. Most dudes are too cool to put themselves out there like that but it’s amazing what we’re willing to do for the right woman.

This is just my opinion though, strangely enough, a number of this new breed of woman out here really doesn’t check for that type of connection anymore long as you get her a new bag or feed her shoe habit a little bit, so your results with your lady may vary. Just know that kissing is passé, and sex while entertaining and fabulous exercise isn’t the intimate act that it once was; if you’re looking for a way to know if someone is really checking for you, ask them to hold your hand in public, they get extra points if they do it at the beach or the mall or anyplace that would damage their chances to hook up elsewhere.

To the group, what are your thoughts? What’s intimacy to you and your mate and how do you show it? Is it a spiritual connection? A physical one? Is it even important to you in the first place if someone shows in a public way that they belong to you and you them? Share and share alike and have a great weekend.

~thanks for reading

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Categories: Decatur Stories, Humor, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Not All of You, Just Enough of You

I don’t delve too much into the male/female dynamic too much on this blog because I don’t want to be that dude. Plus, it seems that every blog run by a man is offering his two cents on the matter of the Mars vs. Venus goings on between ladies and gentlemen in and around the world. Typically I leave such matters to those bloggers. However there is one thing. As mentioned in a blog not too long ago I come from a family that has generally had a good experience with love. Though I’m not yet married, the relationships that I have been in have generally been healthy and, though ended, I sit on good terms with a number of women that I once called “girlfriend”, “significant other”, etc. Also in my love lifetime, I’ve been cheated on, dumped, and occasionally felt disrespected. It’s happened to the best of us whether you know of it or care to admit it or not. And in this knowing is the main difference between men and women.

When I was in the 5th grade I took a stab at playing little league baseball for the first time; for the most part I stunk to high heaven, I was a good athlete and a great fielder but for some reason I couldn’t hit that ball to save my soul and no matter how well you catch and throw, if you can’t hit you become a pariah among your fellow 11 year old teammates. About 3 games into the season we’re having batting practice and I’m flailing away with the bat, tears are starting to well up in my eyes because my teammates have been counting strikes and they are now up to “Strike 8!” The head coach, a Jamaican cat named Coach Bennett, shook his head and said, “Ay mon, do dis for me, ok? Settle down; take a deep breath, ‘n jus relax, ok?” I wiped my eyes took a practice swing, forgot about the snickering pre-teens behind the backstop and the next pitch I sent a screamer right over the pitcher’s head into center field. The next pitch I turned on was a shot right down the third base line and the next one after that nearly cleared the fence in left center field. Suddenly the laughs had turned to cheers, my teammates high fived me after my practice session and, no, I wasn’t automatically a little league All Star but things were better simply by simplifying things and just hitting “de damn ball”. Now, what does that story about 11 year old redemption have to do with male/female dealings? Glad you asked.

When mess goes wrong you got two choices, only two. You can dwell on it, let it get in your soul and fester and grow into something that looks like bitterness or you can take a deep breath, settle down and get back after it. I won’t paint in broad strokes here and say that all women do the former but it’s a good number. In fact, the number is so big that you’ve let your disenchantment become marketable; women’s (not all of you, just enough) inability to turn the relationship page has made a small fortune for Steve Harvey and Hill Harper. It has provided fodder and dramatic material for any playwright that titles his work in the form of a question (“Why Did I Get Married?” or “Why Am I Not Married?”) or a direct petition to a higher power (Lord, Send Me A Man! or God, Send Me A Man! or Lawd, Why The Men You Send Keep Beating Me?). Women’s (not all of you, just enough) inability to turn the relationship page sends you to your Facebook page to write that pain driven status message that read something like:

“90% of all my fellow beautiful women are being cheated on right now, just open your eyes and see it, girl!”

And if you’re not the one typing that tripe then you probably have someone on your list that does. Women’s (not all of you, just enough) inability to get back in the batter’s box and swing again drives you headlong into the church of All These Men Ain’t Sh*t. Women’s (not all of you, just enough) need to scream to the high heavens created where you, too, can friend them on Facebook and tell your own tale of fear and loathing (hyperbole, much?) to the others hurt or pathetic enough to listen.

Men don’t do that.

Admittedly, we probably don’t wallow because we’re usually the ones that do (read: get caught) the majority of the dirt, that’s my word, not on some ol’ win the female crowd for the sake of staying on your good side BS. I’ve done enough dirt in my day to know how we get down sometimes. That said, women are not without fault in the failings of relationships yet the wailing doesn’t prevail as loudly, if at all, from the men that have been wronged. Yes, a man doing so would move him into “punk” category both with his boys and surrounding ladies but it doesn’t make the desire to vent, lash out, and type a Facebook status quoting, “B*tches ain’t Sh*t”, from that great Negro poet Dr. Dre any less strong. The main factor though, other than the fact of a man losing universal respect for crying over love gone wrong, is that there is no win in that game. I think that’s the thing that men get, and one of the main facets that I’ll never understand about women (not all of you, just enough).

Is it just because women, the fairer sex, are the more emotional? Is it because you process your pain differently? What is it that justifies in the task of blanket blaming, that if one does it the other will too, and so will that one, and so will that one over there. I’m sure there’s not one answer or reason why, it’s kinda like that old question about how many licks it takes to get to the center of a blow pop; and even if there is an explanation my male brain probably wouldn’t be able to decipher that area of the Matrix but I figure it is worth a try anyway. But since other men out there are making a fortune trying to help you out I’m gonna offer something for free. Instead of running to your circle, instead of scathing Facebook messages, instead of creating a website, instead of blaming everybody but the right person (in some cases, self) simply settle down, take a deep breath, and relax. That’s for free…you can have it, courtesy of Coach Bennett.

~thanks for reading

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Categories: Attempts at Seriousness, Relationships, So Incredibly Random | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Proof That Love Still Exists…

March 9, 1962

49 years ago today my parents stood at the altar of a small church in Atlanta about 1500 feet from where I’m typing right now and said I do to one another and they have, for 49 years. That’s unfathomable, especially in these times when marriage is downplayed and more than half last about the same amount of time as a Presidential term of office.

49 Years. Of everything that I have to be proud of about my parents I think that it’s this thing here. I often asked my parents how they’ve done it for this long. The first response from either of them is the same, they both laugh and they say, “I don’t know”. How does a country boy and a freckle-faced city girl meet up at age 15 or so, spend days “courting” on the porch, attend the same college for a while, then say we’re getting married, and then stay put for good? That’s Disney stuff; it really doesn’t happen does it?

Mom laughs. She says, “When I met your father I thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He was the most handsome boy I had ever seen and I knew I wanted him to be my boyfriend, and then I knew I wanted him to be my husband.”

Dad smiles and shrugs and succinctly (as always) says, “You just know who you love I guess.”

49 years. Longer than that if you want to tack on the years that they held hands down the halls, went to school dances and football games at old Howard High School and Clark College. They are the anomaly that is not seen, especially in “The Community” and if they are seen they are overshadowed and ignored due to modern day relationship drama, issues, and nonsense.

“Relationships are work. No one wants to work at it anymore. They’d rather complain and then leave it alone when the 1st or 2nd fix doesn’t work.” That’s what Dad said to me one day when we were standing in the kitchen having one of our many man to man talks in the kitchen over a turkey sandwich. “Part of the problem is people getting involved with any ol’ body, you get the right woman and you’ll be willing to work through the problems. You get with somebody just because, though, you’ll just throw her back like a fish you caught that was too small.” Then he chuckled and ate a few potato chips.

“It ain’t like I haven’t wanted to throw him off the deck in the back yard.” Mom told me that one day when I was in her sewing room. She was hard at work with another one of her seamstress masterpieces and entertaining me with tales of her relationship with Dad. “He’s stubborn and he won’t talk for nothing sometimes, he just gets on my nerves. But then I look at him and I see that boy walking down the hall at school or coming up my Daddy’s front steps and I can’t help but love him all over again.” She smiles at a memory in her head and then continues to work her magic with the sewing machine.

49 years. That’s 17,897 days of waking up to the same face to smile at, set of eyes to look at, and pair of arms to have around you. 49 years. That’s 2,556 weeks of decisions to make, children to raise, and conflicts to resolve. 49 years. That’s 429,240 hours to love, honor and cherish ‘til death do us part. That’s a long time, that’s a commitment, and an accomplishment worth praising but, man, it’s still hard to even think of a relationship that long and still, here they are. Same as they ever were, the soft spoken country boy and the city girl still adorned with the freckles.

“Hmm, 49 years. That’s just too long to be with any one person, huh? We ought to just break up on general principle?”

That was my Mother talking last night while I was hooking up the new Zuma/Solitaire Machine (a.k.a. Computer) that my Dad bought her as a wedding anniversary gift. Dad was sitting in his comfy chair eyes closed and hands folded on his belly; he answered with a deep grumbling sound that was a mixture of “I don’t know” and “Really, woman, are you serious?”

She was fiddling with the owner’s manual of the new computer flipping the pages and reading nothing in particular; without looking up at him she noted aloud, “I’ve carried your name more than twice as long as I carried my father’s. People don’t do that anymore, huh?” to which Dad simply replied…

“Nope.” Then he reclined in his chair eyes still closed and gave a pleasant sigh that sounded like it was spangled with a little pride.

Mom looked over at him, smiled, and said, “No, I guess they don’t. But we do!”

So if you’re out there and you tire of the ranting of the day regarding what men and women won’t do, take a minute and look at an example of what a loving couple can do, with a little effort and a lot of love. Thanks Mom and Dad, you guys are the best!

~thanks for reading

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Categories: Atlanta, Attempts at Seriousness, Family, Relationships | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

The Shallow End of the Pool

Hey all! It’s not unlike me to let women in on a few secrets about us men. I figure the more you know about us the better off this Mars vs. Venus relationship thing will work out between the two sexes. Now its not that women have to know any secrets because, fact is, you guys hold just about all the cards and all the power if you know how to wield it. But still, sometimes you guys need a little bit of help along the way so here I am to let you in on a little something that you may or may not know.

Men, at our core, are shallow, crass, and liars for sport that love breasts and booties and don’t mind looking at either of them openly. There I said it. You knew this right? 90% of you did and probably were nodding your heads in agreement with every description I rattled off up there, right? Well here’s something else that you probably don’t know, and if you do know it then you’re not prone to openly admit it…Women are ten times worse at all of that save the love of breasts (dependent on if she plays for both teams – yeah, I said it). The only other difference is the vagina and the woman’s ability to lie more effectively.

When I was in college my sister had this champagne colored convertible BMW 325i. It was awesome; premium sound system, leather seats, power everything and usually during homecoming she would let me borrow it to roll around campus in. We would switch out cars and for a week she would drive my little blue Ford Escort and I’d have the convertible, and more attention than I would have all semester. Two stories in particular…

I was going to the post office one morning, top down-music up, and this gorgeous, I mean GORGEOUS woman pulled up next to me. Guessing she was about 25 or so, long jet black hair pulled back in a ponytail, shades, tank top, nice even brown complexion, she blows her horn twice to get my attention and then gives me the two fingered police wave into the parking lot at the mall and smiles. I’m 19 so I’m already excited, smile back and hit the blinker to make the right turn. She steps out of the car and displays long legs in some short white shorts and walks over to the car. I can’t remember her name now but she introduced herself, removed her shades to reveal stunning light brown eyes (not contacts, I looked for the rim around her iris), said that I was cute and that I had a nice car. Now remember I’m 19 and a sophomore in college home for the weekend and still pretty stupid when it comes to women. I thanked her for the comment and told her that the car wasn’t mine; her face dropped a little, noticing that I tried to fix it by lying, “It’s me and my sister’s car, we share it” which wasn’t a total lie but since I wasn’t paying any of the note it was a lie. She still asked for my number, I gave it to her and she actually called once, my mother answered the phone and when she handed me the phone she said, “Hmmm, some woman on the phone for you” without covering the mouthpiece. I never heard from her again after that conversation.

I brought the car back to campus in Statesboro, GA for Homecoming that next weekend. I played it right; I didn’t even go in any of the parties, just parked it out front – top down, music up – and sat on the hood with a few of my friends. 15 minutes later this pretty girl walks up, smiles and cuts right to the chase, “Ooh, can I sit in your BMW?” I hit the unlock button on the keychain and granted her entry. She settled into the soft leather seat while OutKast blared on the speakers, I sat down in the driver’s seat next to her and we made small talk. We were in a psychology class together I think, she lived in Winburn Hall which might have been problematic because a girl that I was digging on at that time lived in Winburn. But we wouldn’t get that far because…

“You got a girl?”

“Me? A girlfriend, nah. I’m chillin’.

“Really? Whose shoes are those in the back seat?”

Behind the drivers seat was a pair of high heel shoes that belonged to my sister. Dammit, why do women keep shoes in the car!? Time for spin control.

“Those are my sister’s shoes.”

“Your sister?”

“Yeah, she was in the car and left them…” – as if that wasn’t bad enough here I go again with this – “we share the car from time to time and I have it now.”

Conveniently one of her girls walked by to go in the club and she had to go. I did get her number but she didn’t answer when I called.

Moral of the story is: Just lie and say the car belongs to you and stick with it!


Those two episodes planted the seeds though. As I got older and bought my own convertible as a graduation present to myself after college I learned that as shallow as I was, women rivaled that and I knew immediately that it was going to take more than  being a gentleman to get a pretty girl’s attention.

I took myself out to dinner the other night and nearby was a table of 4 women who were talking about men of course, in particular, about the fact that they were tired of men showing off what they had to get their attention. They went in with the “I don’t care what he has” and the “I ain’t impressed with his car” and the “show me what kind of man you are, material don’t matter” to which I nearly choked on my grilled chicken and baked potato. Now, these four dear women may very well have been the exceptions to the rule though I highly doubt it, bless their mega Coach bag toting hearts, but what they failed to understand is that men have been conditioned; every man has a “BMW story” that made him believe that what he amassed meant more than what he was composed of. A man can speak properly, open doors for you, be saved/sanctified/filled with the Holy Ghost but if he makes $10/hour and has two roommates he ain’t getting your attention, I don’t care how much you’re frowning and shaking your head “no” right now. And even if dude has a nice place it has to be REALLY nice, why? Because we remember that you like really nice stuff, nice stuff makes you happy, nice stuff turns you on, and if we ain’t got it, the next man does and you’ll go find it.

Because we know this, because we know that you’re just as shallow as we are we try to amass ridiculous stuff like cars and jewelry, etc. We learn to talk fast about what we do have and lie about the rest (which is counterproductive because women lie better and can see through it) and basically become human peacocks strutting around with all the stuff that we think you want to see ONLY to get your attention. We keep playing the mental film of our “BMW story” and put flash ahead of substance in order to simply gain women’s affections. I guess women do this too, or else there wouldn’t be a need for push up bras, huh?

So all that to say this, it’s your fault, ladies. You are all responsible for our obnoxious side, for the quick talker, for the gold teeth, for the chains, for the gentleman that you’ll meet tonight that spent his light bill money on his gear for the club, for the man on Saturday that you’ll see polishing his car for hours on end, for the guy that you’ll meet at the Super Bowl party Sunday that talks incessantly about what he has and how much he paid for it. For, you see, he has been conditioned by some woman that planted the seed that he needed stuff to get stuff and if you don’t have stuff then, frankly, go stuff yourself. So don’t be mad or shake your head at him when you see him strutting by, be mad at yourself…or that shallow woman sitting next to you. And if that woman next to you has jet black hair, an even brown complexion, pretty light brown eyes, about 5’10 and at this point in the calendar about 45 years old tell her Skrap said to go stuff herself.

~thanks for reading 🙂

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Categories: Atlanta, Decatur Stories, Humor, Relationships, So Incredibly Random | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Open Letter To God – 2010 Edition

Hey God, what’s shakin’ –

When I was a kid one of the life lessons my mother told me was if I was going to ask you for something then I needed to be specific about my requests lest I end up with what I want under unusual circumstances. Remember last New Year’s Eve when I wrote down my wish for a new job? I probably should have told you I didn’t want to lose the one I had first then sit in unemployment hell for 7 months in order to get it. Point taken and lesson learned. So this year I’ll try to make this as poignant as I can in as simple way as I can so that this year nothing gets lost in translation. Sound good? Okay, cool.

There’s lots that I want for 2011, I’d love a new car, I’d love financial independence, I’d like a new house with a pool in the backyard or at least the ability to do some major tinkering to the one that I have. I’d really like to buy my Dad a car, I’d love to pay for my nieces’ grad school efforts and I’d really like to have the movie Inception on Blu-Ray(okay, that one is easy, I’ll take care of that one as You have other things to do). I’d like a new computer because I’ve just about killed the one that I have. I really want to lose 50 pounds and I really need to pull that guitar over there out of the corner and restart my lessons or I’ll never be able to play and woo some woman someday…and speaking of that.

I mean, I know you know the situation considering You’re up there looking at all the mess that goes on down this way so obviously you see the fact that I’m not the most adept when it comes to the fairer sex. I don’t think that it’s for lack of trying; I’m a good dude, perhaps too good for my own good. My friends down here say that “I’ll never get a woman because I’m simply too nice”. I guess that’s a burden that I’ll live with, You sent me down here to a good set of parents that taught me how to treat people so if being too nice is what’s going to keep me solo then I’ll deal with that…I guess.

Now I’m not going to come here and talk that “Woe is me, nobody likes me at all, goodbye cruel world” type mess because that won’t fly. It’s not that I don’t have dates or luck with women. I do. I’ve had some great ones come my way, even the ones whose names ended with “a”; but there was always something that went awry and things came off the tracks. But since Heaven’s switchboard is probably jammed packed at this point I’ll cut to the chase.

I just want an unconditional admiration. Not too much to ask right? I mean, you can relate with that because of the whole “No other gods before me” commandment you threw in there. And while I’m not speaking on terms that grandiose I do want a woman to look at me and say,

“That dude, I’ll ride with. No matter what. I’ll take his imperfections, the fact that he may snore a little, that he’s a little messy but will clean when prodded. I’ll endure his silly streaks and try not to choke him when he’s not paying full attention because he’s playing NBA Live on PlayStation. I’ll take the fact that he’s not a rich man or the consummate social butterfly I’ll take the fact that he no longer looks like the picture of the soccer player he was a few years ago that he keeps on the refrigerator as a reminder not to go for that second helping. I’ll take that dude as he is because I think he’s perfect the way he is. And we’ll have children, and a nice house on the corner, and I’ll smile when he’s sitting at his computer with our son balanced in his lap trying to write something impressive for his potential legion of fans because he’s mine and You sent him here for me specifically for me to love.”

That’s what I want a woman to say when she looks at me. She can be someone I’ve never met, she can be someone that I’ve known for years, or she can be someone that I’ve dated before. Just keep me away from the women that are extremely interested for two weeks or a month only switch field to say that they aren’t ready to date, then I see them out the next month with their new boyfriend or have someone tell me “hey you know that girl you were seeing that said you were moving too fast is pregnant by some dude, right?” Just set the right woman’s mental GPS for wherever I might be at the appointed time as I’m really exhausted with living a reverse Lifetime movie. Now, that said…

Fix me.

Primarily, fix me.

I am not so naïve to think that I am not in some way culpable for the shortcomings of my life and relationships, both romantically and platonic. You have to consider the common denominator in such cases and that common denominator is me. So, whatever it is about me, I just ask that you pull out Your tool kit and fix me and in the process shape me into the man that You envisioned me to be when You sent me here in the first place. Help me to be a more responsible, loving and caring person. Help me to consider others a little more thoughtfully. Help me, quite simply, to be a man worth loving. And when you’re done tinkering and shaping me up I’ll not only be worth loving but I’ll be ready to take on every challenge You have for me here, perhaps not single handedly sending my nieces to grad school, but other challenges I think I could handle.

So I guess that’s it. 2010 was an interesting one. Lost some friends, gained some more. Cried a little, laughed far more than that. Didn’t write nearly enough, but I started a pretty cool blog; You should probably read it sometime when You’re not dispatching angels. Thanks for my friends, for my family, my parents, and my job. Hopefully when I write this version of this letter next year I’ll be doing so as a better dude based on this year’s request.

Thanks, God!

Happy New Year, all. Love one another.


Categories: Attempts at Seriousness, So Incredibly Random | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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