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Did I Shave My Legs for This?

God, if I'd known dating would've been this tough, I'd joined a convent years ago.

Regal Plight

Regal Plight

“Mr. and Mrs. Grandberry, she’s already reading and only five,”

“Way to go Kay, you’re so smart, the smartest girl alive.”

“Ashley you’ve read five books today, your peers only two,”

“Don’t be boastful, that isn’t the polite thing to do.”

“Ashley what’s wrong, did you have fun today?”

“No mommy, I don’t like feeling this way.”

“I read five books, she only read a stupid two,

“It’s not fair, I wanted to help with the book fair too.”

“I got it Sadie, I’ll talk to her, leave it to me,”

“You’re six years old now, it’s time I make you see.”

See, what, what is Papi talking about now?

“You’re different than others, I’ll show you how.

“What do you see when you look, look here,”

I don’t understand Papi, please be clear.

“You see you are smart, you’re my ashcake”,

“But this information is for your own sake.”

“Smart, but you’ll grow into a black woman,

“You’ll carry the brunt of humanity, the brunt of man.”

“I have to work twice as hard to even get by,”

“You’ll have to work thrice as hard, here’s why.

“We live in a world where equality is always a fight,”

“You heard me, from now you’ll be trying to get that right.”

“See that girl is perceived as great just because she’s white,”

“I know baby, I know it’s simply not right.”

“I’m not giving you an excuse, that is not my intent,”

“Trust me this lesson will become your heaven sent.”

“So you stay the course, pray and always work hard,”

“I’m giving you the game, not a race card.”

“Alright, I got it, I’ll do as you say,”

“Ill make a way even when there is no way.”

“Grandpa says that’s what he did after World War II,”

“Thanks for telling me what I must do.”

“Ashley, you’re so smart, but watch that mouth,”

“Wow! Such worldliness from a girl from the South.”

“You’re so pretty, very pretty for such dark skin,”

“Exactly where did you got to school again?”

“Did you do well, among people like that?”

“What exactly do you mean by “people like that?”

“I mean it should’ve been difficult, very hard for you,”

“No…. My Papi taught me what I had to do.”

“Ashley you’re so strong, but dial it back some, “

“Don’t be so serious, learn to have fun.”

“Wow girl you wore that, dancing in the streets,”

“A true lady wouldn’t do such, they’d be more discreet.”

“Hey baby, I love just how popping you are,”

“But you’re bougie baby, your lifestyle, attitude so far.”

“Why can’t we kick it, just because I make less?”

“Naw, it’s because I don’t settle for mess.”

“Why aren’t you married yet, you’re getting old,”

“Because I refuse to settle, as I was simply told.”

“Papi told me I had to be thrice as expected,”

“And because of such, settling isn’t respected.”

“So yes I am strong, because I know when to be weak,”

“Yes, I exude intelligence whenever I speak.”

“My niece should be degreed, because I have two.”

“And on my way to three like I must do.”

“White America sees me as a broodmare, whenever I walk by,”

“And pass judgment on me before I even say hi.”

“Refuge doesn’t even exist from my fellow black men,”

“They rate me on my hair, my shape and even my skin.”

“You see my refuge is only in my abilities,

“Because with them I created beautiful possibilities.”

“I know all aren’t the same, I believe some are true,”

“Regardless, I know just what I must do.”

“Most will judge me, good, bad, it matters none,”

“Because they can’t take away the work that I’ve done.”

“So yes, I represent Nubian strength, education too,”

“Southern twang, African love, pride of my hue.”

“Perceived as bougie, because my standards are high,”

“And I refuse to let life’s adventures pass me by.”

“I’ll keep thriving and shining, as you should aspire to,”

“Regardless of the strife, I know just what to do.”

SMOOCHES

To my dear sweet friend EJ, I miss you old boy. Today I texted with KeKe, Erikis made the honor roll, I know you are so proud. I am too. I’ll see her tomorrow at the fair and give her a present and remind her that although the black woman’s plight is heavy she can wear the load as well as the crown that you gave her as her father. Keep watching over her and leading the way. Keep an eye out for me too… my crown is still steady but sometimes my regal gown is stained with tears because things are hard although I refuse to give up.

Build Only to Be Broken

Greetings all!  Fall is upon us and I don’t know about you but I am looking forward to some Pumpkin Spice everything, cool weather and college football.  But what I am not looking forward to is a fall without Power and Insecure.  It’s a shame, the end of summer brings an end to some awesome shows.  My last couple of blog posts used Insecure episodes to highlight some of the things that are going on in the dating world and this post won’t deviate.  Today I want to reflect on the notion of how Black women are expected to build up the black man only to take the risk of probably being broken down by that same man in the future.

Love is a many splintered thing.  For someone who has been burned a couple of times I can tell you taking the plunge is still a very scary thing for me.  Because I want to be with someone whom I can trust.  You cannot love someone that you don’t trust and being able to trust someone requires a great deal of vulnerability on the behalf of both parties.  However when you bring a lot to the table, you’re overly cautious about whom you will allow to sit at said table, especially if that guest doesn’t bring the same.  The previous generations, or the generations who raised we millennials don’t always understand that a lot of us just aren’t willing to risk it all for someone who has nothing because there’s a lot that stands to be lost here.  Things such as your financial stability, your sanity, and your dignity.

For instance, my mother is from the baby boomer generation and so was my father and there was nothing wrong with her building up my father after his divorce from his first wife because he was a man who wanted to build again.  He offered love and support and they were able to merge whatever they had together because it was understood that he’d be good to her and she would the same because they were in it for the long haul.  In turn, they had a Brady Bunch type of thing for well over 30 years and until he took his dying breath, he loved my mother, he said it when necessary and showed it every single day.  I am an embodiment of such.  We have famous examples of similar situations like Samuel L. Jackson and his wife, Tonya, who helped him through his addiction and I wholeheartedly believe that he would never walk out on her.  We have Denzel and Pauletta and even Barack and Michelle for Christ’s sake but things just aren’t like that with our generation anymore.

Now don’t get me wrong, after watching Black Love on OWN last week, we were reminded that Tia Mowry risked a lot to be with Cory Hardrict because he didn’t have much and they are an awesome couple but I’m telling you for every one of them, there are about four Kevin Hart and Torrei type situations.  We have cautionary tale after tale about how we are expected to be ride or die and soon as they get on, they ride the hell out of our lives leaving us broken while they are all the more stronger from our influence.  But this entire narrative has been written for years.  We have so many expectations attached to our very existence that screams for us to put up with a lot in order to get a little reciprocity in the long run.  Allow me to elaborate.

Black Girl Magic vs. White Girl Mantra

Going to a PWI has allowed me to see a lot and understand plenty as it pertains to different cultures.  Not to mention, my family is one that has allowed me to embrace a lot of differences, I am grateful to them for that.  But let’s face it, we are taught completely different things as young women and it’s taken a different toll on our lives.  White women are taught that a man should simply have their shit together while in pursuit. That’s why most white girls meet their mate in college and stick to his ass like glue so when he gets that architect job with that six figure salary two years after graduation, they will reap the benefits of such.  They will follow him to whatever city he’s going to work in and pretty soon they will receive a beautiful diamond engagement ring.  Let’s talk about the ring, the ring is always beautiful, they are taught that the stone had better be worthy of their existence or else he’s not ready to marry her at all.  White girls are taught that they can have a career as well, but that man had better be a breadwinner or else he’s not marriage material.  They are to work together as a team in order to achieve a certain goal.  He’s the quarterback, she’s the receiver.  That’s it.

We are taught differently.  We are taught to be strong.  We are taught to be educated, work hard, love yourself, get a great job but when faced with love, we’re a bitch if we demand that that man has his shit together.  He’s a work in progress sis, ain’t nothing wrong with that.  You’re supposed to help him.  So what, you have your own apartment and he still lives with his mother, help him, let him stay with you.  So what, he has a baby mama, she ain’t made from the same stock as you, ignore her and help him take care of the child.  So what, you make 98,000 a year and he’s barely clearing 50,000, work with him sis.  So what, he cheated a couple of times, black men aren’t built for monogamy, we’re descended from Solomon.  So what, you’ve worked 55 hours this week, he’s trying to work on his small business you should come home and still help him with his books and make sure he has food on the table.  So what, he gave you a cloudy, ugly cluster ass engagement ring, it’s still a ring, you’re getting married sis, he asked, so stop tripping.  So what, y’all been engaged for over two years, just be patient.  In our narrative, it isn’t team work, it’s modern day slavery again.  You are the house wench, field hand and broodmare all rolled into one and he’s the master.  He can do as he pleases and you do all of the work and smile like a jackass just because he’s there. Generational Black Girl Magic

The Fall-Out, The Outcome

Statistics show that there are an alarming rate of black women, especially professional black women who have never been married, about 42%, damn near half and we’re still out there trying to discover what’s the issue.  While on the other hand if you find a 35 year old white woman who has never been married, that’s the equivalent of finding a genuine Louis Vuitton at a flea market, very, very rare.  The white women are married off and we’re still dealing with the fall out of mass incarceration, ghetto mentality and systematic oppression.  But putting all of those things aside, with the available black men that are left we are held to damn near impossible standards which were highlighted in last night’s Insecure.  Lawrence had the nerve to call Issa a “hoe”.  Now don’t get me wrong Issa shouldn’t have cheated on him but as Derrick told him in a previous episode, he needed to look at himself a bit.  For five years that woman put up with him, paid the bills, went to work day in and day out as he sat his depressed, needed a shave ass on the couch and ate cereal and didn’t even have the initiative to offer grade A sex when she got home.  I’m like bruh, you been at home all damn day at least you could deliver the dick.  LOL!  He didn’t even do that.  All the while she’s had one indiscretion, you’re passing out the H card?  Really?

Work In progress

As black women we are expected to be chaste, educated, beautiful (although being held to an impossible standard of beauty by virtually every damn demographic), work hard, be successful, fertile and giving all the while putting up with your lack of education, drive, ambition just to build YOU up.  We’re expected to fix all of your faults, to be a mom, kama sutra, pastor and counselor rolled into one in order to help you to reach your full potential.  Consequently we’re told not to trip if you can’t rise to the occasion, or simply refuse to do something with your life.  Then if the inevitable happens and you leave us after you’ve become a shining example due to our pouring into you, we’re supposed to remain calm and play nice with our fucking replacement who gets to reap the benefits that we cultivated.  Okay…..  Yeah, fuck that shit…..  I am NOT doing it.

**drops mic**

SMOOCHES!

Last Sunday, my dear sweet friend EJ would’ve been 32, that makes two birthdays that we didn’t get a chance to celebrate.  I know you’re celebrating in heaven old boy.  I miss you and I still cherish our friendship.  Especially on days when the opposite sex is so damn challenging for no real reason.  With our friendship, you loved me unconditionally no matter what.  If more people loved their lovers as they were their friends, life would be much easier.  I miss you more than words can express and I pray you’re celebrating in Heaven because although cut down short, your life is always a cause for celebration.  Rest on dear sweet friend. 

Which Molly Are You?

Greetings all!  I certainly hope that things have been going well for all of you.  In addition, I hope that you enjoyed my last blog post  where I spoke about how society normalizes behavior that is far from normal or even healthy in many aspects. Today’s post somewhat goes deeper into deviant behavior that is not exactly praised but highlighted in our culture, mainly popular and addictive television shows.  It deserves exploration because it is definitely art reflecting reality.  Part of the reasons these shows are so addictive is because it represents a lot of real shit.

Molly and Issa Dancing

Last week, we discussed how the characters in Insecure represented a couple of society’s ills and I still would like to explore this addictive comedy to validate my thinking however I will only reflect on Ms. Molly with today’s post by asking the question, which Molly are you?Molly in White

First off, let me say, if you aren’t watching Insecure, you are losing.  I am forever grateful for the two men who turned me onto the series last year and it will go down as one of my all-time favorites.  Issa Rae is the bomb and “Issa” is a hot mess that I absolutely adore. Coming from a hot mess who’s wrapped in a blessing, I know exactly what I am talking about.  LOL!  If you do watch the series, you probably saw the latest episode where Molly completed the ultimate no, no….. She had sex with a married man!  Willingly…. He didn’t hide his ring or try to say that his marriage was crumbling, she willingly had sex with a married man.  We all heard that can of worms opening and gasped through that passionate sex scene.

Girl…. Really?  In all fairness, let’s explore Molly’s character and what she represents.  I like to categorize Molly using a trinity, three ways to sum up her character thus far. There’s the Molly from season 1, “the sexually expressive”, hey it sounds much better than hoe.  Then there’s the Molly from the beginning of this season, “the smart Molly” and lastly, thus revealed from last Sunday night, “the hella stupid Molly” who went against her better judgment and you could even see it in the love scene, there was hella apprehension on her face about what the hell she was doing, even though she was enjoying it.  Why is being naughty sometimes sooooo good?

Molly #1, The Sexually Expressive

Last season Molly was all over the place in the dating game.  She had like three dating apps that she was using in order to meet men and she and Issa were trolling clubs looking to “run into” Daniel on Issa’s behalf.  The entire first episode of Season 1 where Issa rapped “Broken Pussy” may have been the springboard to send poor Molly into a downward spiral of sexual exploration with numerous men.  In fact, the last episode of the first season ended with Molly bedding a man-child who was so out of sorts with the entire notion of a one-night stand that the poor dear asked should he turn on some music and could barely get his pants down to his ankles before Molly was on him like white on rice.  Molly and LS Dude

Are you that Molly?  The Molly who used sex to prove that she had some kind of control over her life, especially when she and Issa had a disagreement about how none of the guys she picks are good enough.  Issa made a valid point last season when she said that Molly had impossible standards that she held to each of the hopefuls that she dated.  But it seemed as though Molly was very misguided during season one as many of us are when we’re jumping in and out of bed with random guys for whatever reason.  Thank God she’s smart enough not to let anything damaging happen like getting knocked up or getting an STD despite the fact that we haven’t witnessed many condom wrappers in the series.  We will assume that such an educated and independent woman has the good sense and smart fortune to invest in Trojans.  The lesson that we could all stand to learn from “The sexually expressive Molly” is that she was no more fulfilled with each encounter than when she started with the numerous bedfellows that she’s shared with.  Sex cannot fulfill us unless it’s with someone special.  It’s not brain surgery, we all know this.  Don’t go looking for a meaningful relationship through animalistic encounters.Molly and Issa Mad

Molly #2 The Smart Girl

As season two of Insecure began we all got a chance to see a more focused and intelligent Molly who had an agenda of advancement in the workplace and accepting responsibility for her actions by attending therapy to work out her issues.  We were all rooting for this Molly because it seemed as though Issa was starting to lose her damn mind a bit and we all know that it’s not healthy when both besties are screwed up, someone has to have their shit together or else the entire situation will go down in flames.  We can all remember a time when we were a hot mess and our gal pal was a fucking mess too and next thing you know you were in need for reinforcements.  No one wants that.  Even though it makes for good television, deep down inside we’re looking at entertainment for some truth and guidance when the world is just too much.  Right now we’re living in Trump’s country so we all need a release as much as possible.  The momentum with this Molly was building as she was branching out to colleagues in Chicago and helping Issa to move on but lo and behold before we knew it, familial ties and nostalgic relationships from high school blew that progress to shit.  I’ve always said that going down memory lane is a tricky trip that if you’re not careful can lead you towards some bad ass decisions.  What we could all learn from this Molly is to stay smart and don’t let other’s bad judgment like Dro’s open marriage deter us from building on the progress started.  Never take four steps up and then allow someone else to knock you two steps backwards, willingly.

Molly #3 Hella Stupid

Molly and DroCome on, we all knew that she was going to let Dro get some eventually.  Come on, her latest date was hella dry, hella boring and she wasn’t feeling him at all.  Not to mention Dro is hella sexy and he knows her, a lot of the guess work is already complete here.  We could see that Molly was feeling Dro.  But one does wonder just why was she feeling him?  Was she feeling him because he represented her childhood or was it because he was already taken by someone else?  As much as I hate to admit it, there is a devilish allure to a man who’s doing right by another black woman.  It’s a sad truth.  We all have looked at a married man who’s taking care of home and gotten a little moist at his presence because we want the same.

But the smart woman dismisses those ideas especially if he’s coming on to you.  Because when you act on such you’re becoming a cliche and a home wrecker at that.  No one wants to be a side piece.  It doesn’t even sound appealing.  We’re all sitting back and waiting to see what we can learn from this Molly but I’m quite sure this lesson will be a hard lesson learned because I cannot see how this will turn out well.  But who knows?  The only thing I can tell you is that I’ve never heard of a happy result after having sex with a married individual.  Sometimes I wonder if the encounter is even worth it.  We saw how Dro was putting in work on Molly but through her orgasmic facial expressions there was hella apprehension and contemplation on her face all because she knows that it’s wrong and she knows the fall out is bound to be terrible.  Also Molly was being hella hypocritical for even sleeping with Dro in the first place after getting mad that her father didn’t live up to her romanticized version of the ideal husband, after stepping out on her mom.  This is the classic conundrum though.  You get mad at someone for doing something stupid and then you go out and do something stupid as well.  Hmmmm….. I guess we’ll all be watching tonight and for the remainder of the season to see what happens when hella stupid Molly has to live with what she’s done.

Which Molly are you right now?  Are you sexually expressive and using such actions to navigate through life?  If so, be responsible and just know it’ll probably pass.  Are you the smart Molly?  If so, stay that way.  Continue to progress in that direction and don’t let any devil invade your space and sway you from that way?  And if you’re the hella stupid Molly, do everything you possibly can not to stay that way for too long.

Today is a special day.  Today is the birthday of my best friend to whom I pay tribute to in every single blog post.  My dear, dear friend EJ.  He would’ve been 32 on today.  Last year we lost him before his 31st birthday and each day has been a struggle for all of us to deal with his loss.  For me it’s difficult because he was one of those few friends that I had that never judged my diversity, he embraced it.  He understood that I was different and he never ever tried to get me to conform to the box that so many wanted to shove me into.  It’s rare that a father has a best friend, and then his daughter becomes best friends with his son, but I did.  With that I feel blessed and I feel a deep sense of responsibility.  Because of such, know that as long as there is breath in my body and I have means to do so, your family will always have me.  Rest in love brother, I hope you’ve had a great celebration in heaven and tell Papi I said be good. 

SMOOCHES!

 

The Masses are a Mess and it’s making Society Sick….Are you ill or well?

Society

Greetings all!  I pray that your summer is winding down to being a season of revelations, fun and accomplishments.  It has certainly been such for me.  I’ve gotten my pain in the ass older brother married and off of my hands, I’ve been working hard in my role for the advancement of education here in Memphis and most importantly I ticked off a coveted event from my bucket list earlier this month by attending and participating in the Caribana celebration in Toronto, Canada.  The entire experience was both liberating and powerful.  It prompted me to write a poem, entitled “Black” which I posted on this very blog so check it out in my previous post if you have the desire.  That event was positive however now I want to reflect on some of the negative things that are going on in our society.

If you think about things that go on in the world, you may have come to the realization a time or two that history is known to be repetitive at times.  Often more than a few times.  Biblically we’ve read about how God continued to bail out his people over and over again and if you are a history buff like me you’ve noticed that this nation has the tendency to get complacent and wind up in similar situations as time goes on.  Today I want to focus on how our complacencies with the status quo in relationships has caused some psychological issues within society that has warped our perspective upon dealing with the opposite sex.

One thing that is a constant, pleasant staple here in America is good entertainment.  No matter what is going on in the world, we can count on having something great to watch on television and now for two seasons we’ve had a show that I adore by the name of Insecure which airs on HBO.  I believe that it is one of the best shows that has ever graced our television screens.  Insecure is a black show that is filled with a lot of the real world issues that professional black women and women in general face when it comes to love, dating and relationships.  Therefore because the show is so real, it has become highly relevant and because it is relevant the events of the show solidify my points in this very post.

Society is known to sometimes “accept” things that just aren’t right nor are they healthy.  Many things that we know are morally wrong are often normalized by the masses or the majority.  Think about it.  It was a time when blacks and people of color couldn’t even mingle with white people, that was a practice that was carried on my the masses.  There was a time when women weren’t allowed to even vote.  That was an act carried on by the masses at that time.  Was it right?  No.  Morally we know that many things are wrong and here we are embracing acts in relationships where we know the shit ain’t right which will cause a lot of issues.  Personally I think there are some normal practices in relationships that I regard as mental issues and disorders but we tend to sweep them under the rug because they are “normal” just because they occur regularly.  But just because something goes on regularly or society normalizes it doesn’t mean that it’s healthy, oftentimes it’s probably harmful.  So let’s explore a few things that have been highlighted in Insecure that I deem as ill to relationships by normalizing them.

Illness #1 “Being a hoe”

IssaThis whole phenomenon of normalizing “being a hoe” is comical and scary at the same time.  Now I do realize that Insecure is fiction.  But great fiction is built from reality and truth be told that a lot of us think it’s perfectly fine with calculating a period in our lives for being a hoe.  Usually it’s supposed to be after you’re healing from a gut wrenching break up like both Issa and Lawrence are going through on the show.  During one of the beginning episodes of this season after Issa came to the realization that Lawrence wasn’t coming back for reconciliation, she asked her BFF Molly could she teach her to be a “hoe”.  Wow.  Imagine if there was a class for that.  Molly fired back with “that’s disrespectful…..but yeah, I can.” The simple fact that Molly prefaced the response with “that’s disrespectful” is a clear admission that this entire “being a hoe” phase may not be the best approach towards getting over Lawrence.  Obviously Issa hadn’t been out there in quite some time and she needs a tutorial on how to be bad, however being out there in the first place is what got her in the cheating predicament.

Let’s go deeper.  Saturday’s episode highlights Issa out with her girls and she runs into the man that she cheated on Lawrence on with in addition, she winds up rejected by a superficial possible hook up with some guy from a dating app.  Again, she’s participating in unhealthy behaviors that are adding to her insecurities.  Insecurities don’t make us weak, they make us human but as time goes on you should try and fix your issues not add to them.   These unhealthy “hoe” behaviors aren’t just detrimental to women, they can be bad all around.  After some naughty behavior with two white strangers that Lawrence met at the grocery store he can be found sitting outside of Issa’s apartment building obviously contemplating on the state of his life.  I think that Lawrence is really not cut out for this hoeish male lifestyle that’s being encouraged by his friend Chad because since he’s left Issa he is definitely anything but happy and in turn he’s hurting others (Tasha) and himself.  Lastly, there’s the idea of the “open marriage” dynamic being introduced through Molly’s childhood friend, Dro.  Even Molly who in the past has had some questionable “hoe behavior” knows that his set up with his wife is unhealthy.

Illness #2 “Threesomes are normal”

Threesomes alone have been very controversial for me for quite some time because of two reasons.  Number 1, I believe in equality and number 2 because I am territorial and what is mine, is mine and no one else.  I am one of the most loyal lovers out there and when I had a cut buddy I was even loyal to him because I don’t believe in being out there like that.  The sheer notion of watching another woman touching my man regardless if I’m involved or not is a psychological event that would be nothing short of trauma for me.  My man is my man and I don’t want anyone else having anything to do with him in a physical manner, well when I have a man. LOL!  I imagine that I’m not the only other woman out there who feels that way and personally I don’t want to sleep with a woman, I like men.  Therefore I don’t think it’s normal nor is it healthy to normalize threesomes because oftentimes it opens up a can of worms that bite at different wounds. Lawrence and Beckies

However there is a hilarious quality to the concept.  Which occurred in the last episode of Insecure when Lawrence pissed both female participants in the tryst off when he couldn’t deliver pleasure to both ladies.  The entire scene mirrored what I told an ex-boyfriend when he continued to ask me could we do something similar.  First of all, he didn’t always deliver an orgasm to yours truly and now you want to bring another woman into our bed? No way!  Hell no and after he kept bringing up the proposition, I fired with the following.  “Ni$$a you’re 50% from the field in your stats with pleasuring me, what you gone do? Piss both of us off?” Needless to say he was mad as fuck when I let out that tidbit of information but it shut the conversation of the possibility down and he started to pay a tad bit more attention to yours truly in the bedroom, over time his average rose but I rose out of the relationship when his curiosity continued.  His ass ain’t happy now in his current relationship which brings me to this realization, if men would focus on loving the woman that they are with in multiple ways regularly, a threesome wouldn’t even be on their radar.  Lawrence represents what I knew would occur if I had participated in such with my ex which should be an eye opener for a lot of men out there.  Focus on your strengths and continue to build them.  Satisfy one and make it a consistent practice.  Lawrence Bed

I’m not condemning those who like it, if you can handle it without feeling isolated, horribly influenced, jealous and insecure do what you do but truth be told, it’s not normal and for many, it’s not healthy either.  How many times have we heard that the girlfriend loses her man to the woman who was the guest star in their love scene?

Jay-Z recently said on 4:44 “What good is a menage -a-trois, when you have a soulmate” and truth be told he’s right.  I guess maturity does come with age in HOV’s case.  I mean he’s got the baddest chick in the game on his arm, why would he even be interested in another chick in the scenario?  But your girl should be your Beyonce and you should treat her as such, if you aren’t, then either she or you needs to be checked.

Getting to Wellness….

Instead of being a hoe after a break out, try the following:

  1. Learn a new language
  2. Start a blog
  3. Take a cooking class
  4. Go traveling
  5. Read more
  6. Start a book club
  7. Volunteer with a worthy cause
  8. Seek a therapist to work on your issues.

Everyone handles things differently but consciously being a hoe regardless of your sex can lead to issues like low self-esteem, lack of fulfillment and deeper insecurities.  God forbid if you forget to use contraception like a lot of the characters in Insecure and you wind up with a disease or an unwanted pregnancy in real life because Issa and Lawrence are fictional representations of what could happen if you are irresponsible after a breakup.  Truthfully, I believe that both Issa and Lawrence should both get over themselves and get back together because it’s obvious that they still want each other.  But perhaps it will take time and deeper thought about the situation before they wind up making it back to one another.  I just hope they don’t make any more bad decisions that prove to be detrimental.  Perhaps that’s how we’ll get better as a nation as well, we should take time out and think about things before we just decide to go along with the masses.  Because what the majority are doing isn’t always the best for your well-being.

SMOOCHES!

As I reflect regularly on all of the relationship blunders and lessons that I’ve learned, I’m so glad that I have been blessed with some influential friendships.  Especially the friendship that I shared with my dear friend EJ whom I lost and I dedicate each blog to.  He was a man who did what he had to do despite the masses and his influence will forever be great upon the choices that I make.  I miss you dearly old boy.  Rest in peace and eternal love, because I will always love you and cherish your memory.  

My Black Magic

Ashley Carnival

My blackness is…

Bold,

Outrageous,

Loud,

Relentless,

Unexplainable at times.  

You see Melanin courses through my skin as a gradual release cap of youth and vitality,

Equipping me with an exterior that defies gravity and reality.

My eyes, darkened with the shadows of pain and disappointment while lightened with the possibility of progress and excellence,

Filled with honor and promise, setting their sights on definite prominence.

My scalp produces curls softened by the oils plucked from Earth’s nectar and her roots,

Curls that are a regal crown, covering my desires, my wishes, my truth.

Lips are accentuated with the sensual and luscious texture of Caribbean fruit…. Millions divest thousands to replicate the pout that I was blessed with.  

My cheekbones need no contour, they rest as high as the Himalayas, with a smile so powerful that Kilimanjaro becomes a verb, no longer a noun.

Of course my blackness is a threat.

That much natural beauty is sheer power.

I am dark.  I am light.

I am brown.  I am the light.

What is silicone?  Such an atrocity has never befallen upon my bust, this creation…. With the same hue as Serengeti dust.  Pugnacious they are, protruding mounds of nourishment.  Silicone?  Blasphemous.  Mother Nature gave me these.

My hips, stability agents of my womb…. My fertile valley, the gateway and portal of tomorrow’s Nefertiti and Seti.  Age is no restriction.  Four decades had passed when my paternal grandmother continued her legacy.  Only hearing the whispers of Ashanti, Ala and Bast to guide her womb.  

No wonder our blackness is a threat.  

That much fertility is infinite power.  

Magical hair, skin, lips, bust, hips, womb… descendants that you couldn’t annihilate, eliminate, exterminate from this earth.

Descendants of the original people, daughters and sons of the ultimate Mother.

Goddesses and Kings who created your mathematics, military strategies, artistic standards and religion.

Of course our blackness is a concern.

That much knowledge is definite power.

I am black….

I am African-American….

I am country….

I am Creole…

I am Caribbean…

Black is African.

Black is African-American.

Black is Latin.

Black is West Indian.

Black is Caribbean.

Black is Creole.

Black is Aboriginal.

Black is British.

Black is French.

Black is Spanish.

Black is Black.

Black is Resilient.  Black is Resistant.

Black is Stubborn.  Black is Strong-Willed.

Black is Forceful.  Black is Sovereign.

Black is Gifted.  Black is Educated.

Black is Limitless.  You cannot destroy us.

No wonder you are afraid.

Despite your hate, we love.

Despite your anger, we smile.

Despite your persecution, we persevere.

Despite your denial, we progress.

Despite your barriers, we build.

Despite your religion, we worship.

Despite your distrust, we believe.

My blackness…..a blessing, a gift for me.

My blackness…..a threat to mine enemy.

My blackness…..an honor bestowed by God.

My blackness…..an heirloom of Mother Africa.

My blackness…..a beauty to a friend.

My blackness…..a treasure to my family.

My blackness…..an understanding to God’s children.

My blackness…..an aphrodisiac to my lover.

Blackness. Bold. Loud. Incredible. Relentless. Powerful.  Magical.

 

SMOOCHES!

My Black Magic has been brewing for years and it has been cultivated by my relationships with many influential people, including my dear friend EJ to whom I’ve dedicated each post since his untimely passing.  His friendship made me proud, it made me strong, it made me grateful.  His guidance often came to me through tough times.  Times when others didn’t understand me and sought to tear me down, he understood me and urged me to only be me, once he said to me “Ashley fuck these people who talk shit about you, they think they know you, but they only know of you.  They don’t know you like the people who care for you.” That piece of advice is something that I will treasure always, it gave me the courage to shun other’s negativity.  Rest in Love brother.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fear of Falling

Greetings all!  I pray that your summer thus far has been filled with as much fun and sun as you desire.  For me, it’s been filled with work and reflection.  In my profession, I’ve been reflecting on the past school year in order to determine the direction for the schools in which I service and working towards planning for a positive goal while in my personal life I’ve been reflecting on the notion of actually allowing myself to “fall in love” in the midst of the craziness that the world has to offer.  Unless you’ve been under a rock the last couple of days, I’m sure you’ve heard a great deal about the relationship of yet another Kardashian.  However this time, the tea spiller isn’t female, the star of the madness has been the elusive Rob Kardashian, the brother of Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie.  Rob is the Kardashian who usually flies underneath the radar and up until about a year ago, I believed his role out of the spotlight was intentional however now I’m not so sure.  But before I elaborate as to why this whole relationship fiasco is related to my topic at hand, I think I should discuss some essential information.

In today’s society, falling in love is still popular, but it’s not as easy nor romanticized as it has been in the past.  The entire notion isn’t truly thought of as romantic anymore, it’s downright damn scary.  I’m not going to lie, falling again scares the entire shit out of me.  I also know that I am not alone in such.  There are tons of women and men who feel the same way as I do.  People have ulterior motives these days that are deceitful, evil and sometimes deadly.  Not to mention, the things that block you from even getting to the romantic side of things, the limitations.  There are tons of limitations out there that take the pleasantries and beauty of the idea alone.  Not Sure1

Limitation #1—Communication

Sunday afternoon I spent the afternoon with one of my girlfriends, we spent a great deal of our time watching a romantic classic, Love Jones, which just turned 20 years old and we noticed some things in the film that we weren’t cognizant of prior to Sunday.  It’s amazing how you can look at the same movie again and again and see something completely different at each viewing.  Upon viewing this movie with today’s trials in mind we realized that even 20 years ago, Darius and Nina were having the same communication problems with the opposite sex despite the fact that now we have social media, smartphones, texting, email and who knows what else that is meant for the sole purpose of communication.  Darius and Nina would’ve spared each other so much time and heartache if the other one just said exactly how they felt about the other one as opposed to playing games and not saying what they felt.

love jones 2 love jones 1

They are no different from we millenials today.  Here I sit writing a blog instead of picking up the phone and telling the guy that I like, that I like him.  I fail to communicate such for probably some of the same reasons that Darius didn’t want to tell Nina that he didn’t want her to go to New York or the same dilemma that Nina was faced with when she saw Darius at the store with another woman.  Fear of rejection, fear of disappointment, fear of being played, fear of not being in control.  Proper communication can eliminate all of these things.  Instead of texting someone “wyd”, just pick up the damn phone and call them and ask them out later on, even if it’s just for a walk in the park.  But instead, today’s man is too afraid of being called “thirsty” therefore their communication skills are sorely lacking.  In addition, we aren’t completely off the hook as women as well, because we could let guys off the hook every now and again and express through communication that we’d actually give that guy the time of day if they admirably pursued us appropriately.

Limitation #2—Perception, Deception and Betrayal

Back to this Rob and Blac Chyna debacle, quite frankly, this shit is sad.  Not to say we didn’t all know it wasn’t coming.  Everyone knew that Rob was a sucker as stated by Snoop Dogg, he got “licked”, that’s what suckers do, they get licked in more ways than one.  But Rob represents what a lot of us must do in order to fall in love, which is being vulnerable.  Too often, people are taken advantage of when they are too vulnerable.  Now Rob allowed Chyna full access to his heart and consequently his money which is what made him a damn fool for love.  But perception is a son-of-a-bitch.  Rob probably believed that he was truly in love with someone who felt the same because it was perceived as all of the things that he wanted.  From an outsider’s perspective, Rob is going through some things and he’s appeared to be going through such for quite some time with his dramatic weight gain.  The weight gain coupled with his last name being synonymous with the personification of “picture-perfect” and “red carpet ready” allowed him to be a perfect target for an opportunist.  Chyna probably represented the perception of true love and in turn deception and betrayal wasn’t far away and we’ve seen such in the last couple of days.  She’s been seen with another man in the mansion supplied by her baby’s father and former fiance.  With the fall out the perception is that she never really loved Rob at all, she was just out for the money and payback to the family of the girl who stole her first baby’s father away.  Even though many see this as pure and utter entertainment, the fact remains that this is real life and an adorable baby girl is caught in the crossfire.

Rob Perception

I’m not going to lie, one of the many reasons why I’ve been extremely careful over the years is because I don’t want to be involved in a similar shit show once love has turned sour.  One of my biggest fears is getting knocked up by someone who I will one day hate.  Therefore I watch what I do and most importantly whom I choose to entertain.  Although I don’t have pockets as deep as a Kardashian, I’ll be damned if I dish out my coinage to a man.  It’s just not going to happen, relinquishing of funds is attached to a level of vulnerability that I’m just not ready to pursue and I’m not sure I ever will because I refuse to even entertain a man who makes less than me.  Call me shallow, call me vain, call me what you will but it’s a deal breaker for me.  Sometimes celebrities can serve as a cautionary tale for a lot of us because they live their lives in the public eye.  Rob and Chyna’s hot mess can teach all of us a thing or two and the list of celebrity characters is endless, what about Mary and Kendu?  Mr. Isaacs had us all fooled, we all thought that he was a great wholesome man but it turns out he was just as opportunistic as Blac Chyna, the only difference is that he drug his deception out over a longer period of time.  Chyna PregnantChyna services

The Fear of Falling

Will Smith said that the best things in life are on the other side of fear.  I believe this is true.  In a viral video, he describes the feeling of skydiving and how the fear can be a barrier but the feeling of actually going through with the feat is incredibly exhilarating.  I’ve experienced rollercoaster rides, ziplining, rock climbing, being on a turbulent plane ride for the first time and the feelings afterwards were in fact incredible.  They were satisfying, gratifying, and utterly beautiful which is much like falling in love, or similar to what it should be.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.—–This scripture alone describes what love should do for us.  It shouldn’t be a situation where evil is erupted but protects us and arms us with trust, hope and perserverance.  

Luke 6:31

Do to others as you would have them do to you.—This is my favorite scripture as it pertains to love.  Treat me as you want me to treat you.  Relationships can sometimes become messy and filthy due to the dirt of contemporary life but if you treat others as you wish to be treated you should be able to freely enter into new love once a failed relationship is over.

Because I’ve never had a malicious intent when involved with the opposite sex in the name of love, someone such as myself shouldn’t have the fear of falling but truth be told the worldly influences that we face are disheartening.  Because of these limitations, those like myself have developed weapons to combat those wicked ones who use the name of love for ill intentions.

Weapon #1—Discernment

Psalm 119:66: Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments.—–Discernment isn’t a bad thing but my level of discernment is compiled of divine intervention, woman’s intuition and use of intelligence.  All of those things encourages me to look at love or the possibility of it with a fine tooth comb and I am very particular and careful with whom I choose to entertain.  Others should learn to develop this skill, Lord knows Rob Kardashian should have.  I don’t think of him as a complete victim but the truth of the matter is that he was a sucker and he got licked.  No one wants to be in that type of predicament and it’s doubly awful when the entire world knows what’s dirty in your laundry.  In today’s society, it’s not hard for the public to be aware of what’s good and bad in your relationship so if used properly, discernment may save you some heartache in the long run.

Rob Overkill

Weapon #2—Extreme Caution

With the weapon of discernment, one must proceed with caution of what they do, when they do it and who they choose to do it with.  I’ve become a master of such over the years because the amount of people that I even entertain has become incredibly small and not just in the prospect of dating but in life in general.  It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

Facing the Fear

So what or how can we overcome the madness of the world and experience the joy of falling in love the right way?  Truthfully, I don’t have the ultimate cure however I believe that if we use those weapons against those limitations and put our faith in God he will lead us towards someone that we can be transparent and vulnerable with.  Until we are faced with that person, God will send us signs of uncertainty to wake us up if we’re faced with false perception of love because as it says in Corinthians, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  God will send you signs as to whom you can let your guard down with and be completely vulnerable with.   It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  You can rest assure that a person who is only looking for monetary trappings or materialistic trappings is a self-seeking person which is contradictory to the fifth verse of this scripture.  So the signs will be there if you should head for the hills if this person is only seeking things for one’s self.  Lastly, Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love shouldn’t be filled with insecurity and uncertainty because you’ll feel protected and hopeful.  So in closing, I think I will use these tools that I’ve crafted with the help of the man above as a parachute when I fall again just in case I’m not taking the plunge with the right man. Teach you to love

SMOOCHES

One of the many tools that God has given me over the years is the blessings of great friends.  Some of the principles that I live and love by are ones that were cultivated by my dear friend E.J.  He and I used to talk for hours about relationship woes.  When things didn’t sit quite well with me, I always knew he would tell me what I needed to know and not necessarily what I wanted to hear.  For him, I was the same.  I miss him for 100,000 reasons, and dealing with dating in this day and age adds another reason to miss him when I’m having trouble with discernment.  I miss you brother and I pray you are at peace.  You are loved and you will never be forgotten.  Rest on. 

 

 

Single and Sweet? or Awfully Attached?

Greetings all!  I pray that your spring has been filled with nothing but blessings and sheer happiness.  For those of you who check out my posts regularly, I am eternally grateful and always eager to hear your insight on my insight.  With that being said, as my spring has been filled with new experiences, the same relationship status lingers….simply single.  There has been virtually no interesting prospects and the threat of my status changing is no where in sight however I am continuously optimistic and having an awesome time with life in general.  My work is great, my family is well and my friends continue to fill my life with delight.  In fact, one friend presented the topic that I choose to discuss today….  Why is it that so many people act like they’re afraid of being single?  Why is it that being single is deemed as such a tragedy while we witness so many people who are attached and they are anything but happy?

So today, I choose to elaborate and ask, would you rather be single and happy or unhappily attached?  Unfortunately, in many situations, this is the reality that one is faced with.  You either learn to blissfully get along alone or you keep someone in the slot just to have someone there but you’re not happy with that person for the larger sense. Let’s explore this.

Pros and Cons of Being Single

Pros:

  1. You don’t have to answer to anyone.IMG_3534
  2. The only baggage that you have to deal with is your own.
  3. Ample free time to hang with friends and family.
  4. Ample free time to simply be alone.
  5. You have more money (no gifts, no double groceries….etc.)
  6. You’re thinner.
  7. The world is your smorgasbord and you don’t have to feel guilty about your pleasures.IMG_3531

Cons:

  1. There are times when you’re lonely… and restless. LOL.
  2. Couples activities that your attached friends invite you to, like weddings…. yuck!
  3. There’s no one to comfort you in ways that a significant person does.
  4. Your battery consumption is out of control.IMG_3532
  5. There’s no one to comfort you when it’s that time of the month or you’re just being bitchy.

There’s good and bad in everything, but honestly I cannot find more cons for being single because for me, it’s sweet.  Yeah, I get lonely at times and sometimes I have those days when I say “God where is he, where is my Dwayne, where is my Darius, where is my Lance?” and the stereotypical black male archetypes continue but at the same time, my weekends can be summarized as two day adventures with some of the dopest people that God has ever put on this planet and I don’t have to answer to a damn soul as to why I spend more time with all of my guy friends or who was singing next to me on the Trap Karaoke video.  Also, there are those times when I just want to lie in the bed and do nothing and the entire bed is all mine.  Yes, it’s awesome.IMG_3535

But can my life be summed up as being single or attached?  Absolutely not, it’s so much more.  A career that fulfills me, it keeps me busy, challenged and always on the go.  It’s a blessing to have a career that sends you on multiple paid trips to learn and explore.  Not only just that, I get to volunteer with my community and I have hobbies like this blog that bring so much joy to my life.  It’s sad that sometimes society reduces you to only being single or a couple and if you are single, the only thing you’re concerned about is finding someone to fill that void.  What a joke!  There is no void, when you wake up one day and discover that you’re secure within yourself, you are completely fulfilled with the gifts that God has given you

.IMG_3530

Attached and it’s Awesome… or is it Awful?

Everyone knows those couples who you genuinely admire and even are a tad bit envious of because they have a bond that exudes true bliss.  Then on the other hand, everyone knows someone who is a serial monogamist or that person who’s in a situation and you wonder why the hell they are continuing with the charade?  Let’s be honest, being attached can be scary, it’s a scary world out there.  How many times have you turned on the news and there’s a person who’s dead at the hands of their significant other?  Here in Memphis sometimes it’s like an epidemic therefore a single woman who’s careful about those that she chooses to entertain shouldn’t be regarded as a tragedy, instead she should be deemed as intelligent.  There are times when being alone is the best decision.

IMG_3529

TVOne’s Fatal Attraction should wake up a lot of people about moving too fast in the name of “love” or in my opinion not being lonely.  That winking good looking truck driver could be the next sociopath featured on the news for targeting vulnerable women.  Truth be told we all know some people who are involved with some crazies.  How many of us know women who have these volatile and abusive relationships consistently?  Or better yet, how many of us know that man who cheats on every single woman that he’s involved with?  How can you be truly happy with someone who doesn’t respect you?  There are so many people out there who are so insecure with themselves that being without another person bothers them so that they are often plagued with deep depression if they are single for long periods of time.  I know some people who all fit into these categories and so much more.

The Couples No One Envy

  1. The “habitual break up to make up” couple who has been on again off again so many times that no one even bothers to ask anymore, they just watch their behavior instead to determine their status. IMG_3525
  2. The “show off” couple who broadcast every single superficial move that they make together on social media.  But the truth is that their loved ones really know that they just have an unhealthy attachment to one another.
  3. The “dictatorial” couple where either the man or quite possibly the woman is the one who wears the pants and dictates virtually every move of the opposite person.  Because of their relationship, loved ones walk on eggshells not to get the other one in trouble at the hands of the shot-caller.
  4. The “I don’t know why they are still together” couple who throughout the years of their long and drawn out relationship the situation is always filled with drama and turmoil that you hate to see either one of them coming.
  5. The “together for the child(ren)” couple who only deal with one another because the man doesn’t want to pay child support and the woman wants to keep a tight rein on her baby’s father.
  6. The “mix-match” couple where they are so damn different that it causes issue after issue and you know that it’s just a situation made completely out of convenience rather than a union made of love.IMG_3528

No one wants to end up in either of these situations, especially when bliss is so far beyond reach with these idiots.  Why even bother?  If a person can’t compliment your life why even bother?  These are questions to situations that I just don’t understand.  However I’m sure that these serial monogamists don’t understand me either, which is why I was asked this simple yet complex question recently?

Don’t you JUST get lonely sometimes and want someone to talk to?

JUST…. After I rolled my eyes about three times, and remembered that everyone doesn’t think like me….my response to this question is this….

What if I JUST wanted someone….

And JUST wound up with anyone….

JUST wound up sleeping with anyone….

JUST end up pregnant by anyone…

JUST left alone by anyone…

JUST dealing with the aftermath… JUST because you JUST wanted someone….

This is JUST not my cup of tea… my JUST looks like this….

I JUST choose to love myself and be glad,,,,

I JUST channel my energy towards something constructive…

I JUST hang out with my friends…

I JUST stay true to myself.

I JUST remember my standards…

I JUST be cool….

I JUST be….

Being single isn’t a tragic event and it shouldn’t be treated as such no matter what stage of life someone is journeying through.  Because if it’s not real, why would you want it?

IMG_3526So in closing, until I meet someone worthy, someone I genuinely like, I won’t just be with anyone… I’ll just be my fabulous, single, self. IMG_3533

SMOOCHES

While I’m just being me, I want to reflect on how blessed I’ve been in having had and known real friendship.  God gave me a great friend, E.J., he simply didn’t look at me differently when I shunned men who were wrong for me.  He applauded me like he did in many other ways.  His friendship was a force in my life and I miss him dearly.  He was a representation of a great man and knowingly entertaining one that he would turn up his nose at would be insulting to his presence in my life.  Rest in Love E.J. and know that your spirit lives on. 

 

 

A Fine Line Between Compromise and Putting up with some sh&t!

Greetings all!  I hope the emergence of spring has brought new beginnings to your lives in every single aspect as possible.  New beginnings are beautiful however be sure that through new relationship horizons you aren’t just swapping sugar for shit.  By now you can tell that I plan to go there.  All the way there.

For my regular readers not only do I appreciate you but you’ve gotten to know me better and you know that I don’t play about my standards.  They are up there.  I think I am fucking awesome and that’s what I want in a man, one who is fucking awesome.

“I reflect what I expect”-A. Grandberry

With that being said, I’ve learned that sometimes in life you have to say what you don’t want in order to discover exactly what it is that you do what.  Here are a few things on my unwanted list.

  1. I’d rather talk to no one than a MF that’s going to WYD me all damn day.
  2. I’d rather spend time with a battery operated device than lie with someone who makes me want to throw up.
  3. I’d rather read a book that I’ve read 10 times than spend time with someone who is one dimensional.

That’s just a few but I have a list that is a mile long.  Last month I wrote about how society doesn’t even allow women to have the same standards as men are allowed to have while now I’m going to reflect on how women are expected to just put up with so much more than men are when it comes to relationships.  I have it broken down into four categories: expectations (I’m going there again), sexual histories, sexual demands and true desires.

1. Expectations

You say I’m spoiled, I say I’m appreciated,

You say I’m unrealistic, I say limitless,

You say I’m picky, I say I’m selective,

Settling would be a slap in the face of the village that raised me.

When you grow up in a loving household where you have two parents who do every single thing in their power to make sure their children are good and most importantly who love one another it sets the bar high.  I never saw my father mistreat my mother nor did I see my mother take my father for granted.  Until the day he took his last breath, all i ever saw was laughter, love, growth and appreciation.  With that being said, I expect the same.  I will give the same and I want to share the rest of my life with someone that I don’t need, but I want.  Recently someone said to me have you ever heard the phrase “like what likes you.”

Tammi Laughing

I laughed so hard at this uttered phrase  because their justification was that I should be so grateful that any man with a pulse and a penis “likes me”…. That is the most absurd thing that I’ve ever heard.  I am a woman of quality, I’m not going to list my qualifications, you know them.  When you are a woman of quality many men will like you, but are many men worthy of you?  My response to that is, “I bet there are a lot of women who are pushing up daisies simply because they liked what the fuck liked them!” How many times have we watched series about the demise of women at the hands of men they were involved with and when certain information was told you wondered “what the hell was she doing with him anyway?”  For me, dozens of times.  Well if I simply liked what liked me, I’d entertain, the following: The stereotype who has five children with four different women (one set happened to be twins), a potentially psychotic maintenance man, a dope boy who works for Verizon by day and moves weight at night and a close-minded idiot who has virtually never left the Tri-state area. So simply liking what the fuck likes me, just ain’t gone get the life that I desire and deserve.  Thanks but no thanks.  The compromise that lies with expectations is simple.  I know that the probability of me finding a man who looks like Trey Songz who makes 6 figures and has no baggage is highly unlikely.  But being equally yoked is a blessing.  1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals”, Phillipians 4:6 says “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” and Proverbs 12:4 says “an excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.” I don’t know about your God, but my God is not going to allow me to be some crown to a man who’s left an irresponsible trail of broken promises behind nor a man who jeopardizes my safety because of the profession that he’s chosen simply because he didn’t want to take his ass to college.  I can compromise with someone that has potential, but if there is nothing that I can work with and any interaction with that person makes me want to roll my eyes until they look like a slot machine, no thank you.

2. Sexual Histories

“This city is too small”

Translation: They’ve fucked a lot of your acquaintances.

It’s a sad and simple reality.  When you mention a guy’s name and your friends know him intimately it makes you do a double take and there’s a lot of ways that you can take that.  If the friend is dear to you and very close the only way to handle it is just to say no, you’ve either got to cut him loose or have friction between your girlfriend because women are wired completely differently.  We’re very much like cats, finicky and oddly territorial as are men.  If you and the friend aren’t that close then you can risk it.  With that being said no one calls that man a hoe when that happens continuously however if a woman does it, there’s a big discussion and issue to be had.  I’m not oblivious to the fact that it just doesn’t look good for a woman to have had a lot of sexual partners but why does it seem okay for men to do what is considered taboo for us?

This is an old question.  A question that is probably older than any person walking this earth however just like a man doesn’t want a woman who’s been around the block more than a few times, I don’t want it either.  If I take my man to a Greek function and I hear about him with multiple members of all four of the female black letter organizations then we have a damn problem.  “Baby, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.”  I do believe in second chances but when it gets to be something repetitive then we’re going to have some issues that will reoccur as well.  No one wants unnecessary issues.  They say that every person is linked to each other through 6 degrees of separation, if you discover that your man or woman has slept with every third person or so in your personal or professional circle, uh…. yeah…. you may have some things you need to discuss.  Where is the compromise here?  You can compromise if it occurs once and that friend that may have shared something intimate with your possible mate isn’t that close or doesn’t have an issue with such.  But if this continues to happen over and over again, there is no compromise.  It’s time to simply move on or deal with the fallout.  Be sure before you make the decision.

3. Sexual Demands

“Society is ugly, there are a lot of things that the masses accept that are not only immoral but will make you feel empty and sorrowful.” -A. Grandberry

Where is the compromise here?  When should you compromise and when should you flat out say hell to the no?  I’m always appalled by some of the things that women allow themselves to indulge in when it comes to the sexual desires of their men.  But where does the line between desire and demeaning exist?  Sexual desires are weird and sometimes taboo.  There are some things that turn us on and we cannot explain why nor where it comes from but my question is, why ask your partner to do something that you know you wouldn’t do if the tables were turned or better yet, something you know they wouldn’t be entirely comfortable with?  A few things that I’ve heard or have come face to face with are the following: anal sex, sex tapes and threesomes.

Men and the ass are always a funny combination.  Some women are into the backdoor adoration but some just aren’t.  My thing is if your woman doesn’t like it then why do you insist on such?  A woman has the right to say no just like you have the right to say no to the finger in the ass.  LOL! Yes I went there.

Secondly, the sex tapes are a bit taboo.  A lot of us are curious as to what we look like but there are a lot of women who are downright terrified of the fact that the footage could be released.  Who wouldn’t be, no one wants to see themselves in action for the public unless they’ve chosen that line of work.  So if you know that isn’t something that your partner doesn’t want to do, why would you insist or even trick them into being intimate while you secretly film them?  Yes, it happens.  When this sort of thing goes down, there is no compromise.  Leave it alone. And if you’re with someone who sneaks and does it, you’ve been violated on a whole new level.  This is an ultimate betrayal.   It’s a breach of trust, without trust, there’s no solid foundation for a relationship. If someone feels strongly about something, respect their wishes and leave it alone.  Why potentially bruise a person’s self-esteem just because your level of freak isn’t equal to theirs?

Lastly, threesomes….. le sigh…. I get so sick and tired of people acting like this shit is normal.  No the fuck it ain’t!  A queen doesn’t share her throne, that throne marks her place in the kingdom, why on earth would I allow another female to position herself to potentially overthrow me?

I am a woman, I love being a woman, most importantly I am a woman who feels strongly about her sexuality.  I strongly prefer the penis over any other alternative out there, with that being said, why do you think it’s cool for your woman to want another woman or for you all to share even if it’s only for one night?  If that’s what you like, that’s what you like, but for me, no likey… I love men, I like the penis and that’s all I want.  Also, I don’t like to share.  Talking about a mental breakdown, seeing another woman all over my man would cause a major problem with me.  I don’t like to share, if you loved me, you wouldn’t either… I AM ENOUGH!  Also the notion of bringing another person into the relationship regardless of the sex is never a good idea.  At first it’s all peachy keen but soon enough something bad happens.  Have you heard about the whole Mel B and Stephen Belafonte divorce drama?  They invited the nanny into their bedroom and coupled with their other issues, they opened a Pandora’s box of misery for the Spice Girl and now all of their dirty dealings are laid out for the world to hear about…. well isn’t that fun?  Mel B.png

Besides most men barely know how to give 100% pleasure to one woman are you aiming to piss two off at the same time?  The entire threesome conundrum is something that I will never understand, if it’s two men and one woman it’s not considered the same, but if it’s two women and one man, it’s okay? Huh, I will never get it because either way you slice it, someone is the clear winner in that situation and for me, it wouldn’t be me because I don’t like women.  I love men.

There’s hardly any compromise in a situation like this because if you ask someone to do something that they aren’t physically comfortable with regardless of the outcomes they are going to feel slighted.  Instead of searching for someone else to add to the equation how about perfecting the connection between the people in the relationship?  And please, men don’t try and guilt trip a woman into adhering to your sexual prowess simply because you are a man with these lame ass excuses:

  1. Monogamy isn’t a characteristic of men, why do you think there are so many women in the world?
  2. It gets boring with one woman all of the time.
  3. Would you rather me cheat with you or on you?

Women don’t fall for that shit, you are enough.  And when it comes down to quality even though I’m uncertain about what goes down with other couples but I’m sure Barack wouldn’t ask Michelle to get down like that, nor would Rev. Run ask Justine, Grant wouldn’t come at Tamia that way nor would Denzel step to Pauline with such a request…. so don’t you allow some MF who’s barely clearing 45,000 a year who drives a Dodge Charger to trick you into being a sexual deviant for his benefit.  His ass will be just fine.  If you asked him to have another man in the bedroom he’d lose his damn mind, so put your foot down and if he can’t accept it, well, there’s the door.  This is one of those things where just because “everyone else is doing it,” doesn’t mean you have to unless you want to.

Hell, Tiny left T.I, Paula left Robin, Lala left Melo and Angelina left Brad, you certainly can start over again.

Compromise is a wonderful thing if both of you stand to benefit someway and the other person doesn’t feel had or used.  But if there’s a chance that it’s just going to make the other person miserable for the long haul, it’s just not worth it.  If you know that you cannot be with a man who has more baggage than an airplane carousel then there is no justification for giving him a chance.  If the idea of dozens and dozens of the people who you interact with daily have been intimate with someone that you’re spending time with makes you crazy, then leave it be and if your sexual desires are going to make your partner feel disgusted and unworthy then you have to decide which is more important, that person or the desire?

So ask yourself, are you truly compromising or are you putting up with some shit?

responsibilities

SMOOCHES!

Over a year ago, I lost a friend, a dear friend, a friend who filled my life with laughter, realness and tolerance.  Each day without him is difficult, but he will always be with me.  EJ your life was unnecessarily cut short but your legacy lives on and your spirit travels with me always.  I love you, I miss you and I will never forget you brother.  Rest in love and rest in peace.  

The Double Standard with Standards

Greetings all!  I pray that you are all staying warm.  The Eastern part of the United States is being slammed with snow storms and frigid temperatures and being single in this weather is no picnic, trust me.  I’d much rather having a warm body to keep me warm as opposed to my Saints blanket but just like I prefer the Saints blanket, I won’t allow just any old warm body to cozy up to me.  With that being said, I’ve been reflecting on this realization that I’ve come to in 2017.  “I wish men were held to the same standards that women are.” That quote comes from yours truly.

“I wish men were held to the same standards that women are.”-A. Grandberry

Let’s face it.  Women are held to a higher standard.  We have to be two times better than a man at work and in other areas to even be considered in the conversation all the while being compensated at a smaller salary than our male counterparts.  So it’s not that foreign that when it comes to our personal lives women are supposed to accept and be happy with less while providing more.  Let’s dive into my psyche a bit.  What is it that Ashley wants from a man?

Ashley’s List

  • Ambitious–I have aspirations for my life, so you must have that as well.
  • Fun– I am silly, cooky and different and the last thing I want to come home to is the same old, same old.
  • Funny–80% of the time, I’m telling dirty jokes and checking, so you’d better be able to do the same.
  • Adventurous—If given the choice of going to dinner and a movie or going zip-lining, I will choose the latter almost every time.
  • Loyal— I’m many things but a slut ain’t one of them and I don’t wanna be tied to one either.
  • Loving– I am.  I love hard and I show love therefore I want the same.
  • Attractive– I like what I like and I refuse to be with someone that I don’t want.

My list is quite simple but there’s some things that must be understood.  Living here in Memphis, it’s not easy for me to find someone who are all of these things that’s closer to the age of 40.  So it’s understandable that I like younger men.  Last week, I entered my Magic year, 32.  When I date, I tend to date guys who are right around that age or younger.  In 2015, I dated a 26 year old and even though we didn’t make it, I don’t regret that decision at all.  It was an enjoyable experience.  However when I tell people this, including my friends, I get the eternal side eye and shade-filled comments.  Which I understand but again, I like what I like.

What I Bring to the Table

Ashley’s Qualifications

  • 32 years old  (you could never tell by looking at me)
  • Two Degrees
  • No children, Never been married (No baggage)
  • Own Place
  • Own Car
  • 9 year career, recent promotion
  • Recently lost over 20 pounds and counting
  • The product of a loving mother and wonderful father who loved and shared together until my father journeyed to heaven.
  • Adventurous
  • Ambitious
  • Despises Drama
  • Philanthropic
  • Versatile
  • Always down for a fun time

Now here comes the rhetorical questions, looking at my resume, would you recommend a woman like that to your brother, your cousin, your friend?  Or if you’re a guy, would you want to date a woman like that?  Of course you would.  I know you would, I am tooting my own horn, I am a catch.  With that being said, I bring all of that to the table but as a woman, I am NOT supposed to demand a man who is youthful, who is ambitious, has no children and no baggage.  Why?  Why is it that my demands seem unreasonable but I am all of these things.

Again, society doesn’t hold men to the same standards as they hold us.  I usually categorize potential men using the L.A.M.B acronym.  Gwen Stefani has Love, Angel, Music, Baby but I check for Looks, Ambitions, Morals and Baggage sweetie.

Looks

The Perception

“God doesn’t like ugly and neither do I.”

Quite frankly you have to be attracted to the person.  No one wants to look at someone that doesn’t tickle their fancy.  I don’t look 32 and I don’t want a man who looks 42 so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me dating someone who’s 28, 29, 30… Hey if I meet a Nas who is 42 but looks much younger, I can roll with it.  We say as a society all of the time that looks don’t matter but we all know that that is complete bullshit.  Beyonce wouldn’t be Beyonce if she looked like an aging second grade teacher.  Be honest.  Every woman wants a man who has something about him that is attractive.  Never did I say that I have to have a polished male version of perfection but If I’m not feeling someone, I’m simply not feeling them.  Some people can muddle their way through interactions and then become attracted to a person, but I can’t.  Either I’m instantly like “damn, I can get with that” or “not going to happen”.  I know who I am and I hope you know the same.  Last year, I went out with a guy that I was not feeling at all and I wound up extremely disappointed because he had the nerve to say something about my exterior all the while he looked as if he could’ve been the love child of Charles Barkley and Marla Gibbs.  But yet here again, we are held to a higher standard than men are.  We could get as close to looking like Beyonce as we possibly can and because of that, we have to be content with the Jay-Z.  But truly he isn’t THE Jay-Z.  Because THE Jay-Z is worth millions and has a lot going for himself but we’re supposed to be content with Jay-Z looks without the Jay-Z ambitions, drive and goals accompanied with tons and tons of baggage!

Why is it that I can’t say that I’m not attracted to the superficial exterior of a man, I’m not going there with him?  I’m quite sure if I didn’t look the way I looked, he wouldn’t want to go there with me.  I’ve been overlooked because I’m too dark, I wear weave, my butt isn’t big enough, when I was 20 pounds larger I was overlooked plenty and even ridiculed.  I dealt with it, but I can’t express similarly.

 

Ambition

My mother and father instilled in me a sense of ambition.  They told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be.  I want to be plenty, I want to be a pioneer for education, an accomplished writer, philanthropist and businesswoman.  I’m well on my way to doing that.  I have plans to be all of these things and I want a man who wants to hustle towards more as well.  When I say hustle, by no means do I want to be with a dope boy but oftentimes meeting a black man who does want to hustle equates the same.  Now I know I’m going to take some flack for that statement but that is what I’ve run into.  Previously, I took a chance and dated someone who I had a fascination with against my better judgement.  Quite frankly, I knew better.  He was the antithesis of what I wanted and he did hustle.  He had a steady 9 to 5 but lo and behold on the side he did dabble in illegal activities.   He knew how I felt about that, he knew I didn’t like it.  But just like society tells us that we don’t have to have a man with real aspirations, that fool tried to guilt me into feeling like I should settle with his version of “hustling”as well.  But you see the literal definition of ambition is an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment but there is no honor in drug-dealing because no one really comes out of it without doing time or winding up dead. Which is one of the many reasons why I just couldn’t get behind such a lifestyle.  Whenever I tried to convince that fool to take his skills to attain a degree or some means towards legally achieving more, there was an excuse behind an excuse and so forth.  Luckily, the relationship didn’t last because quite frankly there was no future with someone like that.  What I truly love about men who are ambitious is that their mindset is limitless.  When you are dealing with someone who doesn’t have vision, they are filled with limits.  How exciting is that?    

Morals

What a novel concept!  Does anyone ever consider morals anymore?  Sometimes I think people just operate without even thinking about karma or the afterlife.  Karma is a bitch who has everyone’s address therefore you must be careful what you do and how you treat people.  Because morals are important to me, I just can’t see myself kicking it with a dope dealer nor a man who’s got a kid by every chick on the corner.  Don’t see the distinction?  A great woman by the name of Oprah Winfrey said “avoid men who have a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?”  I will take advice from Oprah any day before I take it from many of the women I know.  You have to admit it, Queen Oprah has a point.  We don’t think of this in the realm of morality do we?  But truth be told it is tied to morals.  Morals are rules, principles and a certain code of ethics.  Ethically speaking who just goes around irresponsibly getting any and everyone pregnant.  That says a lot about your character as well.  But again, if a woman says that she’s not dating a guy who has kids all over the place, she’s given the everlasting side-eye.  Well bring on the side-eye honey because if I can keep the babies and drama away, then any man I’m with should be held to the same standard.  If you have more than one baby mama, then there cannot be a future for you and I.  If you think of me as a snob for having that standard, then I’ll be that.  Hey, I’ve been called worse.

Baggage

If I don’t come into a situation with a fucking steamer trunk full of shit why the hell should I put up with such?  We all see how society allows men to get away with such but as soon as a woman has anything similar it’s a problem.  Have we not witnessed this same scenario time and time again on reality tv?  Take heed to the Rasheeda and Kirk Frost situation.  Here Rasheeda met this man when she was a teenager and has spent most of her life with a man who had six children before she and he wed.  Now eight children, countless years, building a life on her achievements and he continues to find excuses to cheat on her and treat her as if she’s the one who’s unworthy.  Fuck that shit!  However this situation isn’t the only one we’ve witnessed.  Take a look at Yandy and Mendeecees, Peter Gunz, Amina and Tara and I’m quite sure there are countless professional athletes who are prime examples of baggage not being worth the headache.  But far be it from a woman saying that she’s not going to put up with the baby mommas, rap sheets and bullshit.

Thus….

I have standards that I intend to keep.  There has been times when I’ve thrown caution to the wind and stepped outside of those standards and it has never ended well.  Ask yourself this, would you want to hook your brother, friend, cousin or yourself up with a woman who had no ambitions or goals for herself, she doesn’t care about her appearance, has six different children by six different men and has countless interactions with a long string of men. Hell no.  You wouldn’t want that chick around but if a man is all of those things, as long as he has a pulse and a dick, it’s quite alright.  I’m not saying that people with such baggage are bad people, I’m just saying it’s not something I’m willing to deal with.  It’s simply the truth.

When it comes to looks, black men give us hell.  We are supposed to be fine, so we have to work out to keep things tight, therefore we must wear weave or braids because our hair sweats and we have to go to work, we do this and…. they criticize that.  They criticize everything but we’re supposed to just be quiet and take it anything they offer.

 

bonnet

So far be it from me to demand that I have to be attracted to the man that I choose to date. In short, if I don’t like a ragamuffin with crusty ass hands and choose to voice it, I’m being unreasonable.

Then there’s ambition.  Some men respect that and reflect that while some resent it and deflect such.  If I took the initiative to attain credentials and I’m grinding towards achievement and you choose not to move similarly, we just ain’t gone make it chief.  In today’s society, it’s just not smart to have one trick.

Morals are important.  No one wants to lie next to a potential sociopath.  If you’re selfish and you don’t care about doing what’s right then it’s only right that I show you the door.  A person who is reckless with his well-being could give a damn about anyone else’s and no one needs that aggravation.  Studies show that over half of the women incarcerated are there because of the influence of a man and a disproportionate amount of women are killed or abused at the hands of a man that she was involved with.  Therefore I don’t believe in being with someone just for the sake of being with that person it could be hazardous in many ways.  That yields pain and hurt and hurt people hurt people.

Lastly, baggage has it’s place, and if you can’t handle it, leave it alone.  I know what I can deal with and what I’m not willing to accept so why even bother and waste someone’s time?

Society's PerceptionWill men and women ever be held to the same standard?  Probably no, but it doesn’t truly matter in the long-run, what truly matters is the standards you’ve set for yourself and the ones you have in place for a potential mate.  Life is too short for you to be stuck with someone and you’re wondering why the hell they’re in your life.  Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jesus didn’t die on the cross for me to wind up with a person that I don’t want and he didn’t die for you to get saddled with such also.Womens Plight

SMOOCHES!

 Last year, I lost a friend, a real friend. A friend who was always there regardless of how much time had past or how circumstances turned out. His name was EJ and I miss him dearly. Being me isn’t easy because I’m not always understood, I have a different way of looking at things than most but nevertheless he never knocked me for that, he embraced it and provided me a way of looking at things as well. If you all have the blessing of having a friend who is big enough to admit when they were wrong, embrace them. Because he embraced me and I embraced him through the right and the wrong, I am a better person. Rest in love and eternal peace, dear sweet friend.  

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