The Wrap Up… or Break Up

Today is the last day of regular blogging for Jai de Vivre and myself. What a year. Each of us debated about the best way to end a regular tie with the blog. It’s not like we had a huge blow up fight with the blog or like the blog cheated on us. In the standard idea of a “relationship” it’s just time.

For the most part, I try to end relationships with as little drama as possible. My hope is that once the relationship is finished, part of the “growing” process is to take the experiences in the relationship and incorporate them in a way that will ultimately make me a stronger, more intelligent, well-rounded person. This is no different. The things that I have learned will somehow be incorporated into my new life in New Orleans. A life that will likely be filled with shenanigans that I would like to liken to The Hangover, minus the marriage to a stripper. Though I will likely meet a few…

Jai de Vivre revisited some of her favorite discussions this week. As an overall wrap up, I will give a summary of what I have learned from our discussions on this blog.

1. “Strictly platonic” is sometimes bullsh*t: We hotly debated the ability to have a close platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Some of the fellas debated that there is no reason to maintain relationships with ex-boyfriends. The argument- 1) it is impossible to maintain a friendship once it has already hit the relationship mark and 2) it could interfere with the new significant other. The debates seems to be particularly elevated in cases where one of the parties is single. Part of the reason for this is the risk for developing emotional infidelity in a relationship. It’s not “physically” cheating, but it is still painful for the significant other. Ironically, the women argued that relationships can be maintained with ex-boyfriends as long as their are clear boundaries that both parties followed. So ultimately there was no consensus in this matter.

2. You can’t make a hoopty into a Lincoln: Many women get into relationships with men they need to “fix”. I agree that I am willing to date a man with potential since I am convinced that we all continue to bloom over the course of a life span. What I cannot accept is someone where there is a substantial disparity in our life paths. Potential is someone who is on the path, but hasn’t quite made it there yet. Perhaps he has the tools, motivation, and ability, but just needs some support. Either way, the person has to have my common basic values. I’m not going to try to make an unfaithful man faithful or a thug into a metrosexual. If he has potential, fine. If I think he needs to be fixed, then this is not the place I want to be.

3. I can sleep with as many men as I want as long as I’m a discrete ho: As allueded to in past posts, there are gender differences in sexuality standards. Women like to minimize the number of partners, but men recognize that this is a lie (“You have only been with 5 men… Ok were you born with those extra jaw muscles?”). I like that I can take this attitude with me to New Orleans. Not that I consider my p***y to be liberated; I have no interest in threesomes or being some love-crazed psycho-jumpoff but if I choose to actanabsolutedonkey engage in some grown business it’s nice to know it’s ok as long as I maintain my lady stride.

GF, do you agree with my “life lessons” or am I truly misinformed?

Thanks for a wonderful year!

*YouMissMe*

REVISITED: Andre the Giant

I had such a hard time picking just ONE more for this little retrospective.  My runners-up were Say My Name and Role Maintenance, which if you haven’t been reading that long, I encourage you to check out. Good reading, if I do say so myself. Anyway, Monday is our official anniversary. Thanks for hanging with us!

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Andre. Little Andre had ridiculous skills on the basketball court from the time he was very young.  He was the star of his little league team and the apple of his coach’s eye.  For a long time, all Andre cared about was stepping up his shooting game.  He was focused on basketball and didn’t pay attention to the hype about his talent. Yeah, he was good. That was truth- gospel- what more to talk about?

Our perceptive hero didn’t stay long with his head in the sand.  As Andre got older, he started to notice that he could get whatever he wanted just by being good at something he already loved to do.  He noticed that people wanted to be around him, cared about what he had to say (no matter how mundane), and really didn’t expect him to be good at anything else.  He also started to notice…the girls.  By the time Andre got to high school, he knew that he could pretty much pull any chick he saw.

Andre went to college on a full basketball scholarship.  He walked onto campus feeling like HNIC from day one.  Here again, he didn’t have to study, converse, give compliments, pay bills- other people did those things for him.  Andre knew this was the life he was meant to live.  And he lived it to the fullest until the day that disaster struck.  Something so horrifying, so heinous, so calamitous, it’s almost too devastating to relate…he tore his ACL.  Dear Reader, you may have seen this coming, but alas, poor Andre most certainly did not.  And he was entirely unprepared to live in a world without basketball (or basketball boppers).

Never a quitter, our intrepid hero soldiered on. With difficulty, he completed his demanding course work and when he finally received his Bachelors of Basket Weaving, it was a hard-fought journey.  He then began the arduous task of joining the workforce. In these trying economic times, it wasn’t easy, but Andre is nothing if not a fighter, and he eventually found a position. 

With a sense of accomplishment, Andre assessed his life and become aware that something was missing.  What was that nagging, that feeling of insufficiency? Oh, yes…the woman behind the man.  Where was his soul mate- Mrs. Right?  Or for that matter, where were all the Miss Right Nows?   He’d never had this problem before…hmm, puzzling…

 Blissfully unaware of his complete lack of personality, looks, skills in or on the telephone/dance floor/bedroom/dinner table, Andre set off to find his perfect match. And sadly…met a young Jai de Vivre.

Our wily heroine, having had some experience with the phenomenon known as the washed-up-student-athlete, quickly escaped his clutches. Confused for a moment- didn’t that dumb b*tch know a good man when she saw one- our hero rallied and ventured forth anew, unfazed on to the next one. 

Fair lady reader, have you met him?  Or one of his cousins, the Overweening Greek or the Pretentious Intellectual?  To the gentleman in our audience, is there a female equivalent?  Come forth with your tales of woe and adventure!

~Jai de Vivre

REVISITED: Candy paint and bad dates…

Ok, so maybe I’ll just revist them.  That’s ok. So many of you responded positively to this post that I feel certain that you’ll be ok with seeing it onemogain…

Several years ago, I met this guy at a sorority convention. He’s my frat brother and so he and many other bruhs were in attendance. We exchanged numbers and commenced a long-distance flirtation. He lived in Virginia. I live in Texas. We had many a late-night convo. He made wake-up calls when I had to be up early the next morning. I sent him those cute “I’m thinking about you” texts in the middle of the day. We commiserated over how our friends made fun of our bougie tendencies. We gave each other nicknames. I wasn’t in love, but I liked him real hard.
The day finally came that I went to visit my BFF in D.C. – just 3 short hours from where he lived.  Joy! We immediately made plans to meet up for at least one night of my stay. I spent hours packing the exact right outfit. I spent extra money getting my sexy on.  I was whipped, dipped and flipped. Waxed, exfoliated, and manicured. Fresh dressed like a million bucks. #yougetthepoint
For brevity’s sake, I’ll leave out many of the lesser details. But the basics go like this.

He came straight from work and picked me up in what looked eerily similar to the Bonneville my daddy had in 1983. To be completely accurate, I should say that it resembled our old family car in shape alone. In color, however, it diverged wildly because it was teal. With sparkles. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t one of the standard offerings. Couple of other things I doubt came with the original model : power windows and locks, TVs (yes, plural) and spinning rims.
I. Just. Couldn’t.  So, I suggested that we park and walk to one of the restaurants in the neighborhood.We were seated for dinner and it was a complete disaster. A couple of conversational highlights:

  • “You look like you’re going on a job interview” (in reference to my outfit)
  • “My friends call me bougie because I’m the only one in my family who’s never been to jail.” (You ain’t supposed to- low expectation having muthafcuker!)
  • “Where the forks at?” (Said while actually holding the silverware wrapped in the linen napkin)

To say that the young Jai de Vivre fell for an okey doke is an understatement .  Later, I tried and tried to figure out how I could have missed the red flags that MUST have been there.  Like, I was certain that he didn’t have those beads on the ends of his cornrows when I met him.  And, he must have used his work voice on the phone. And really, how could I know that he wears his gold boots to work?!

I ordered a salad, ate quickly and left early. He walked me back to my friend’s complex where his car was parked. I felt relief as I pictured myself safely ensconced back in her apartment, calling all my homegirls for the post-date wrap-up. With two or three minutes left in the game, he went for the hug. And abruptly pulled back.

Did he change his mind?

Realize that I just wasn’t feeling it?

Nope, he needed to take off his gun.

His.

Gun.

And really, how else could you end such a ridiculous evening?

My story was worth it, because after my friends died, came back to life and then died again, laughing at my story and then spent an hour GOING IN on me and my terrible love life, I learned a leasson. About love, first impressions and candy paint…

I showed you mine. Tell me yours.  Share your bad date experiences and what pointless/meaningful thing you learned.

~Jai de Vivre

Leave the Playground Years Behind

The Gators lost this weekend. College losses generally f*ck up my mood in general, so perhaps my viewpoint today is slightly skewed by my foul disposition.

I have a fb friend that enjoys the attention she gets by posting porn-esque pictures of herself as her “profile picture”. It annoys me for many reasons, but there is a feeling of pity for her. Po thang. These picture are symbolic of the “LOOK AT ME!” theme of childhood and adolescence. At some point, we have to leave childish behaviors on the playground and grow up. Sit down some place and get some sense. Other stupid childish things that some adults do-

Ridiculous facebook foolishness: Obviously I am annoyed by attention-seeking childish pictures. Facebook arguments, krazee spellqs uf werdz, and play-by-play updates on the status of your tumultuous relationships are also on my list.

Being nasty, sloppy drunk: Getting a little tossed now and then is one thing, but getting sh*tfaced and subsequently overly emotional, poorly coordinated, and overall stupid is something to leave behind the second you turn 23. I’ll give you until then since you need at least 2 years to grow up after you are legal to drink.

Wearing short shorts. There are few things more crazy than seeing some child’s mama running errands in some itty shorts that look 2 sizes to small. This is made better by seeing her go to the club in a short skirt that is not returning the love. Women eventually have to go through a period of acceptance. Repeat after me: “I am no longer 16. I look like a gotd*mn fool in these shorts”.

Chasing after a man that doesn’t want you: My mama’s friend hid in a bush to see if her good for nothing man was truly going where he said he would be. Ma’am, at 53 years of age? I remember hearing “stay out of the Bushes.” I’m sure this slogan works for this scenario as well.

I could go on, but I won’t.

REVISITED: Sometimes they live…

I can’t belive it’s been almost a year since my first post here on Grown Folks Talking! As we approach our anniversary, we’re going to revisit some of our favorite posts! Hope you enjoy… 🙂

Recently, I was doing some grocery shopping. I rarely go out alone in public without either my cell phone or my iPod. On this occasion I was chatting it up with my homegirl about my plans for an upcoming dinner date. I was getting her opinion on what she thought I should wear, when the high-school aged checker interrupted my conversation, talking bout some, “That sounds sexy. If I took you to dinner, would you wear that for me?”

Unprofessional? Yes.

Unmannerly (I was on the phone)? Yep.

Confusing? Not at all. He’s a teenage boy. That’s what they do. Try to holla. And I’m sure the lady behind me in line got a little adolescent game thrown her way as well.

Fast forward a week or two and damn if the exact same thing didn’t happen at another grocery store. Only this time the perpetrator was 15-20 years my senior and the MANAGER of the store! Still unprofessional, still rude, but now. I AM confused. And although this is far from the first time this has happened, I, frankly, find it alarming. I have no idea why I’m suddenly such a hot topic with the baby boomer set. Don’t you play golf with my daddy?!

While it is always flattering to be approached, I have no desire to be the remedy to your mid-life crisis. There are several reasons I think I’ll stick with the millennials. Here are a couple:

1. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Further, some of those old dogs have EXTREMELY unattractive habits. I once had a boss that would piss all over the toilet. It was like he peed part of the time with the seat down, realized what he was doing and put the seat up MIDSTREAM, deflecting urine onto the floor and surrounding walls in the process. Fortunately for the entire single female population of D/FW, he’s already married. But what if he got divorced? What if he was back on the market and trying to get at you? What if you dated him for a while only to find out that NOT ONLY would he not put the seat down, but he also apparently pees with his eyes closed and from a distance? He’s been doing that for 50 years, do you think YOU could get him to stop? Not bloody likely.

2. To stick with the canine analogy, some young dogs (namely, me) have no desire to play fetch. Or in other words, I ain’t trying to learn your old-school ways. I am aware that any new relationship requires some process of discovery. What are your SO’s preferences, habits, pet peeves, etc.? It’s only fair for me to find these things out; I want him to know mine. HOWEVER, I don’t want to be with someone who sees my relative youth as an excuse to “train” me. I got a couple degrees, I don’t need a mentor and I already have a father. Kthx.

3. Sometimes they live. For all my gold-diggers out there, an old man might seem the answer to all your bopper dreams. You’ll get you a sugar daddy to bring you up out the strip club. He’ll buy you all the House of Dereon that your closet will hold, pay your car note and b/c you got that good-good, he’ll eventually wife you and give you permanent access to the bank accounts and credit cards. The final step is that he’ll politely and conveniently die early in the marriage so as not to tie you down for all of your best club-hopping years. But sometimes they live. And then you’ll be saddled with his “wrinkled body with his loose skin and…old balls” forevermore. Which brings me to…

4. Viagra. It’s hard out here for…well…for everyone, actually.  Good news for some and bad news for countless others.

Well, Grown Folks, what is your policy on dating grown-er folks? Do you have any experiences you’d like to share?

~Jai de Vivre

Pretenders

My dad never treated me like a little girl. He showed me how to fix cars and electrical installations in the house. He told me to be self-sufficient and confident. I learned growing up that the confidence that I possessed on the inside would shine through on the outside. I also learned that sometimes people are full of it. Pretenders. When someone does something contradictory to the actions of a confident person, it throws you off. I tend to know these people when:

1. A person talks a lot, but really doesn’t say sh*t.
Sometimes I have the displeasure of being near someone who is clearly talking out their a**. Nothing of sustenance was said, yet the person keeps talking. You start to realize that they talk to appear popular.

2. A person that speaks loudly.
It’s like those people who speak loudly to sound smart. Same principle applies. Like drunk people, a person talks loudly to sound like they know what they are talking about.

3. Patting yourself on the back too much.
It’s great that you think you are great, but must we hear your resume of ridiculous accomplishments?

GF, how are you able to identify people with false confidence?

Woman up?

When I was much younger and idealistic, I told my boyfriend at the time’s mother that I hated the word “ladylike.” I didn’t like it because I believed then (and I actually still do) that the word implies that there are standards for good behavior that are imposed on women, but not on men. I didn’t like the idea that I have to display proper manners, but anyone who just happened to be born with a penis could act a straight donkey and get away with it. Just call it “mannerly” and sit down was what my 18 year old self argued.

Like I said, I don’t disagree now, but I am mature enough to understand the realities of the world we live in. Whether we like it or not, there are different rules for men than women.

For example, you hear little boys being told to “man up” or “be a man.”  I don’t think the reverse “be a woman” is nearly as universally used. I’m not even sure I know what that would look like. To some people, I think being a woman has something to do with femininity and domesticity.  To others, I think it would mean the ability to do lots of things and be good at it. I think my definition would fall in line with that. And for others, it would be based on sexuality.

I think of being a man as being willing to be a provider and protector to those who are physically or in some way weaker than they are. Also, I think they have integrity; their word means something.

What does being a man or woman look like to you?

~Jai de Vivre


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