Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Black Women and Sexuality

As a woman of color, I have often wondered how my race and sexuality have affected my life as a whole. When forced to think about the findings, they somewhat border on uncomfortable.

Although I was raised in an urban community, I went to a predominately white private school. I went to school with beautiful blondes and brunettes and their equally stunning, blue-eyed, brown-haired "boyfriends". I was just one of the very few black people in school. At times, it was unsettling and noxious on the way I viewed myself. But back then, in the heart of all private schools, the low ratio of black to white was all I knew. It was normal.

Because of this, I looked at the pale skinned damsels that surrounded me, with their long, flowing hair and their bubbly personalities, and saw that as the epitome of beauty. My hair did not lay flat like theirs, nor my skin that pale. Of course I got this message all around me— remember the Teen magazines and the Clueless movie of our generation (apart from the fabulous Stacey Dash)- its all around us.

Other than the strong black women in my family, I did not have any black role models to look up to. And the ones who did exist, where the supermodels, the movie stars, and the singers- all type casted as the "typical black woman"- angry, bitchy and whorish. Why would I accept them into my life as role models, when society portrayed them as such? I deserved better.

In the crusade of creating an identity to which I was comfortable with amongst my peers- my choices were based on my peers; it was either fit in or be an outcast.

As I got older, this "identity" trickled its way into various areas of my life. I was faced with even more overt reminders that the social standard of beauty favors the pale-skinned, long haired damsels, which of course transformed my sexuality & expression of it.

The first porn I ever watched featured a busty blonde with gorgeous green eyes & perfect skin. The porn was tasteful and sensual. The woman was stunning. Her nipples were pink. I "identified" with her; I identified with that kind of societal accepted beauty. And I than later I had my belief system challenged to the core when I willingly sought out a porn film that starred black women. These black women were being objectified before my eyes, diminished to voluptuous asses and chocolate skin against the backdrop of white penises.

I didn't find their excessive expression of their sexuality beautiful, sensual or tasteful. I found it degrading and humiliating. The black women’s beauty was merely a fetish. I watched as they gyrated, made it "clap" and whipped their cheap, waist-length weaves from side to side, and felt deeply horrified.

I thought. Is this is what I look like? Is that how I am viewed?

And so began my real battle with self-acceptance and the long, hard journey of coming face to face with the me who I want to be.

Until the universal assumption of beauty shifts dramatically, until both men and women from all ethnical backgrounds are celebrated in the mainstream, until we have a surfeit of powerful role models amongst our own unique ethnical culture, the struggle will continue.

The hardest part about this is that I’ve had to reteach myself how to be unconventionally beautiful & sexual. No longer could I rely on what blonde Cosmopolitan covergirls or svelte supermodels were parading before my face. I had to find my own way. I had to redefine the perception of beautiful that I was constantly being bombarded with. This is still quite challenging in a world where the skinny blonde woman is seen as the absolute epitome of sexy.

In the last year, I have started owning up to the lies that were bestowed upon my impressionable mind during my youth.

I am learning to have utter awareness of for my heritage (starting with going natural and catapulting into new state of consciousness). I have sought out women of my color to look up to, finding them in the strangest of places, from Tumblr accounts that celebrate the diversity & gorgeousness of black women to the uber-confident women that crowd the streets of Manhattan. I have worshiped my own body, my supple curves, my caramel skin, my round rump. I have danced seductively to honor my sexuality.

This kind of reconditioning is never ending. Until the day I die I will always be reminded that I do not fit the standard mold of beauty. Truth be told, a lot of us don't- so why do we allow it to define us?

The assumed conventioneer expression of attractiveness bores me. I now relish in the fact that I stand amongst a tribe of unique, abnormal, alternative beauties, with kinky hair, chocolate skin, & otherworldly exotic features.

Instead of feeling sorrow for not fitting in, I feel unadulterated joy for standing out [round rump and all].

Friday, January 15, 2010

An American? I Assure You, You Are Not.

On Tuesday afternoon, a 7.0 earthquake shook Haiti and Haitians alike to the core. Those of whom are/were and have family's in Port-au-Prince have been glued to some form of news feed in order to find out developing details. Those who simply care about the human race, have also been glued to their own news feed, to see how they can help, because every little bit does help.

However, in the course of the last two days, although entitled to their own opinions, their have also been those whom simply don't care. Why? Well, because it doesn't affect them in any way shape or form. Now, one does not have to care because it was Haiti. One does not have to care because it happened to be a black nation. One doesn't even have to care because it was a natural disaster that happened to to an already unfortunate nation, that has been plagued by many natural disasters, along with political unrest and overall anarchy. But perhaps, one SHOULD care because, we are a global community. One man's unfortunate situation, maybe yours one day and I gather you would want the rest of the world coming to your rescue and aid.

With that being said, there's a Facebook group that has the audacity to be anti Haitian at the moment. Are you kidding? Whoever created this group, please tell me you grew up under a rock, and was not fortunate enough to be likened with the emotion of decency, at no given time. Not only is that cruel and disrecpectful but they actually said that the money being given to Haiti should be reinstitued back into America. Financial recession, or not, I don't see shops like Gucci, and Chanel closing down, do you? We may need it, but they definitely need it much more. Rest assured, fellow Facebook group creator, you are not an American, not in the in the true sense of enthnicity and ancestry. American citizen, perhaps, as most of us are. Our roots, our culture, our backgrounds, all that makes us who we are has no America attached to it. We ALL came from somewhere, and when YOUR somewhere is in need of help via text donations and such. Perhaps we all should also be creating our very own anti-[insert here] Facebook groups.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Che Who?!?

If you go down to Manhattan, in the yuppie village area(s), you'll get a glimpse of all the street vendors/ city "stores" trying to sell their overpriced t-shirts and "NYC" paraphernalia. Why would I pay 15 dollars for a shirt that screams New York City, when all I had to do was take the railroad to get here. As a matter a fact, I take my little suburban self back over the bridge and pay half the price for the exact same t-shirt and perhaps some earrings while I'm at it.

Although being from New York, I'm not going to lie, some of those shirts have definitely caught my eye, as well as my wallet. But what I see to be a reoccurring statement is everyone, or at least enough people, wearing those oh so fashionable Che Guevara tees. I mean, I'd like to think that the average person at least knows who he is, but then again, the average person doesn't seem to know much about American History let alone, Latin American history. I mean, oops, did i burst someone's bubble out there. You did know he was Argentinian right?

Is this what the fashion statements have been reduced to, throwing counter-cultural political figures on 100% cotton shirts that are made in China?! Does this mean, that in about 10 to 15 years, we can look forward to George W. Bush's face, effortlessly Andy Warhol-ed on one of those fashionable shirts? If I were you, I'd start pre-ordering now, they may run out, and fast. Imagine our faces, when we see the next generation, our children, walking around with George W. Bush shirts and Starbucks coffee cups, but then again, I highly doubt Bush's face will become as iconic.

Why Che? Is it what he represents? His ideology? His work? Or maybe the imagery on the shirt just looks "cool". Nevertheless as a youthful generation, we typically criticize those who stand out and make their voices heard because they are going against norm, while secretly, we ourselves, want that Che Guevara shirt, that shirt that represents rebellion, change, radical thoughts and anything that is not mainstream. All those shirts, paradoxically, gives us a opportunity to state that we are rebels, and so is everybody else, for that matter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For.

Last night, a majority of us witnessed one the most historical moments in political history. For whom that which this event holds of major importance and significance, this will be our moment to remember. We will think back to where we were when we heard that Barack Obama had won the presidency, just like those of the baby boomer generation whom all remember where they were when they heard of John F. Kennedy's demise.

This is our moment. We did it!! For the first time in history, our generation had a voice, the 18 to 24 year old demographic had a voice that was both positive and loud and refused to be silenced. We woke up at 6am and went to stand on line and waited. Waited for that moment, when the curtain closed and was us or our choices, our futures and our children's futures. We went home promptly and tuned unto CNN and watched diligently.

We waited patiently and counted effortlessly as the electoral college votes went up and up. And let out a sigh of relief as if out prayers had been answered. It has been done. We did our part, now lets hope, that the Obama Administration does theirs.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Ubiquitous "Nice" Girl

So lately, I've been reading "Why Men Love Bitches" by Sherry Argov, granted this book gives some interesting insight as how men see the women that are labeled as "too nice" and those that are labeled as "bitches". Now, do not misconstrue the term bitch, as what we as a society naturally know it to mean, a female that is mean, bitchy, simply intolerable or anything of that nature. According to Argov, a "bitch" is simply a woman who puts her wants, needs, and generally herself before anyone, especially a man, in a nice way. No emotional rollercoaster here, take it or leave. But what does that say about the "nice girl"?

Well here it is: This one is for the nice girls. To the nice girls who are overlooked, who become friends and nothing more, who spend hours fixating upon their looks and their personalities and their actions because it must be they that are doing something wrong. This is for the girls who don't give it up on the first date, who don't want to play mind games, who provide a comforting hug and a supportive audience for a story they've heard a thousand times. This is for the girls who understand that they aren't perfect and that the guys they're interested in aren't either, for the girls who flirt and laugh and worry and obsess over the slightest glance, whisper, touch, because somehow they are able to keep alive that hope that maybe... maybe this time he'll have understood. This is homage to the girls who laugh loud and often, who are comfortable in skirts and sweats and furry boots, who care more than they should for guys who don't deserve their attention. This is for those girls who have been in the trenches, who have watched other girls time and time again fake up and make up and f up the guys in their lives without saying a word. This is for the girls who have been there from the beginning and have heard the trite words of advice, from "there are plenty of fish in the sea," to "time heals all wounds." This is to honor those girls who know that guys are just as scared as they are, who know that they deserve better, who are seeking to find it.

This is for the girls who have never been in love, but know that it's an experience that they don't want to miss out on or better yet, those who have been in love, and due to the outcome, their cynicism has taken over. For the girls who have sought a night with friends and been greeted by a night of catcalling, rude comments and explicit invitations that they'd rather not have experienced. This is for the girls who have spent their weekends sitting on the sidelines of a beer pong tournament or a shot taking contest, or playing Florence Nightingale for a vomiting or a comatose guy, who have received a drunk phone call just before dawn from someone who doesn't care enough to admit it sober but doesn't have an issue blowing up their phone in the middle of the night after a few drinks. This is for the girls who have left sad song lyrics in their away messages, when their hearts have been crushed, who have tried to make someone understand through a subliminally appealing profile, who have time and time again dropped their male friend hint after hint after hint only to watch him chase after the first fat ass girl in a skirt. This is for the girls who have been told that they're too good or too smart or too pretty, who have been given compliments as a way of breaking off a relationship, who have ever been told they are only wanted as a friend or "I'm just not good for you."

This one's for the girls who you can take home to mom, but won't because it's easier to sleep with a whore than foster a relationship; this is for the girls who have been led on by words and kisses and touches, all of which were either only true for the moment, or never real to begin with. This is for the girls who have allowed a guy into their head and heart and bed, only to discover that he's just not ready, he's just not over her, he's just not looking to be tied down; this is for the girls who believe the excuses because it's easier to believe that it's not that they don't want you, it's that they don't want anyone. This is for the girls who have had their hearts broken and their hopes dashed by someone too cavalier to have cared in the first place; this is for the nights spent dissecting every word and syllable and inflection in his speech, for the nights when you've returned home alone, for the nights when you've seen from across the room him leaning a little too close, or standing a little too near, or talking a little too softly for the girl he's with to be "just a friend". This is for the girls who have endured party after party in his presence, finally having realized that it wasn't that he didn't want a relationship: it was that he didn't want you. I honor those nice girls, for the night his grandmother died or he crashed his car and you held him, your broke your plans, you rushed over just so you can be there, thinking that if you only comforted him just right, or said the right words, or rubbed his back in the right way then perhaps he'd realize what it was that he already had. This is for the night you realized that it would never happen, and the sunrise you saw the next morning after failing to sleep because you watched him sleep.

This is for the "I really like you, so let's still be friends" comment after you read more into a situation than he ever intended; this is for never realizing that when you choose friends, you seldom choose those which make you cry yourself to sleep. This is for the hugs you've received from your female friends, for the nights they've reassured you that you are beautiful and intelligent and amazing and loyal and truly worthy of a great guy; this is for the despair you all felt as you sat in the aftermath of your tears, knowing that that night the only companionship you'd have was with a pillow. Why? Because, even when offered by another guy, you wouldn't dare let him near you, in fear, that the hurt and pain would reappear, this time from a different source. This is for the girls who have been used and abused, who have endured what he was giving because at least he was giving something; this is for the stupidity of the nights we've believed that something was better than nothing, though his something was nothing we'd have ever wanted. This is for the girls who have been satisfied with too little and who have learned never to expect anything more: for the girls who don't think that they deserve more, because they've been conditioned to accept the scraps thrown to them by guys.

This is what I don't understand. Men sit and question and whine that girls are only attracted to the mean guys, the guys who berate them and belittle them and don't appreciate them and don't want them; who use them for sex and think of little else than where their next conquest will be made. Men complain that they never meet nice girls, girls who are genuinely interested and compelling, who are intelligent and sweet and smart and beautiful; men despair that no good women want to share in their lives, that girls play mind games that girls love to keep them hanging. Yet, men, I ask you: were you to meet one of these genuinely interested, thrillingly compelling, interesting and intelligent and sweet and beautiful and smart girls, were you to give her your number and wait for her to call... and if you were to receive a call from her the next day and she, in her truthful, loyal, intelligent and straightforward nice girl fashion, were to tell you that she finds you intriguing and attractive and interesting and worth her time and perhaps material from which she could fashion a boyfriend, would you or would you not immediately call your friends to tell them of the "stalker" or "annoying" girl, who called you and wore her heart on her sleeve and told the truth? And would you, or would you not, refuse to make plans with her, speak with her, see her again, and once again return to the bar or club or party scene and search once more for this "nice girl" who you just cannot seem to find? Because therein lies the truth, guys: we nice girls are everywhere. But you're not looking for a nice girl. You're not looking for someone genuinely interested in your fantasy football game, or that argument you keep having with your roommate; you're looking for a quick fix, a night when you can pretend to have a connection with another human being which is just as disposable as the condom you were using during it.

So don't say you're on the lookout for nice girls, guys, when you pass us up on every step you take. Sometimes we go undercover; sometimes we go in disguise: sometimes when that girl in the low cut shirt or the too tight miniskirt won't answer your catcalls, sometimes you're looking at a nice girl in whore's clothing - - we might say we like the attention, we might blush and giggle and turn back to our friends, but we're all thinking the same thing: "This isn't me. Tomorrow morning, I'll be wearing a teeshirt and pajama pants, I'll have slept alone and I'll be making myself breakfast. See through the disguise. See me." You never do. Why? Because you only see the exterior, you only see the slutty girl who welcomes those advances. You don't want the nice girl.. so don't say you're looking for a relationship: relationships take time and energy and intent, three things we're willing to extend - - but in return, we're looking for compassion and loyalty and trust, three things you never seem willing to express. Maybe nice guys finish last, but in the race they're running they're chasing after the whores and the sluts and the easy-targets... the nice girls are waiting at the finish line with water and towels and a congratulatory hug (and yes, if she's a nice girl and she likes you, the sweatiness probably won't matter), hoping against hope that maybe you'll realize that they're the ones that you want at the end of that silly race.

So maybe it won't last forever. Maybe some of those guys in that race will turn in their running shoes and make their way to the concession stand where we're waiting; however, until that happens, we won't be holding our breath. You see, because us "nice girls" , one by one are turning into "bitches".

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Some Kind of Fake Democracy

The feeling is familiar. I had it four years ago and four years before that: a sinking feeling in the stomach. It's a kind of physical pessimism which says: "It's happening again. The Democrats are about to lose an election they should win - and it could not matter more."

In my head, I'm not as anxious for Barack Obama's chances as I was for John Kerry's in 2004 or Al Gore's in 2000. Simply because the non-understanding of the US democracy was lacking. I piggybacked my parents ideas of politics, but now I understand far better due to the tremendous of my own life in the coming years. Simply, he is a better candidate than both put together, and all the empirical evidence says this year favors Democrats more so then in the last few decades. But still, I can't shake off the gloom.

Look at yesterday's opinion polls, which have John McCain either in a dead heat with Obama or narrowly ahead. Given the well-documented tendency of African-American candidates to perform better in polls than in elections - thanks to people who say they will vote for a black man but don't - this suggests Obama is now trailing badly. More troubling was the ABC News-Washington Post survey which found McCain ahead among white women by 53% to 41%. Two weeks ago, Obama had a 15% lead among women. There is only one explanation for that turnaround, and it was not McCain's tranquillizer of a convention speech: Obama's lead has been crushed by the Palin bounce.

So you can understand my pessimism. But it's now combined with a rising frustration. I watch as the Democrats stumble, uncertain how to take on Sarah Palin. Fight too hard, and the Republican machine, echoed by the ditto-heads in the conservative commentariat on talk radio and cable TV, will brand Democrats sexist, elitist snobs, patronizing a small-town woman. Do nothing, and Palin's rise will continue unchecked, her novelty making even Obama look stale, her star power energizing and motivating the Republican base.

So somehow Palin slips out of reach, no revelation - no matter how jaw-dropping or career-ending were it applied to a normal candidate - doing sufficient damage to slow her apparent march to power, dragging the charisma-deprived McCain behind her.

We know one of Palin's first acts as mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska was to ask the librarian the procedure for banning books. Oh, but that was a "rhetorical" question, says the McCain-Palin campaign. We know Palin is not telling the truth when she says she was against the notorious $400m "Bridge to Nowhere" project in Alaska - in fact, she campaigned for it - but she keeps repeating the claim anyway. She denounces the dipping of snouts in the Washington trough - but hired costly lobbyists to make sure Alaska got a bigger helping of federal dollars than any other state.

She claims to be a fiscal conservative, but left Wasilla saddled with debts it had never had before. She even seems to have claimed "per diem" allowances - taxpayers' money meant for out-of-town travel - when she was staying in her own house.

Yet somehow none of this is yet leaving a dent. The result is that a politician who conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan calls a "Christianist" - seeking to politicize Christianity the way Islamics politicize Islam - could soon be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Remember, this is a woman who once addressed a church congregation, saying of her work as governor - transport, policing and education - "really all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God".

If Sarah Palin defies the conventional wisdom that says elections are determined by the top of the ticket, and somehow wins this for McCain, what will be the reaction? Yes, blue-state America will go into mourning once again, feeling estranged in its own country. A generation of young Americans - who back Obama in big numbers - will turn cynical, concluding that politics doesn't work after all. And, most depressing, many African-Americans will decide that if even Barack Obama - with all his conspicuous gifts - could not win, then no black man can ever be elected president.

But what of the rest of the world? This is the reaction I fear most. For Obama has stirred an excitement around the globe unmatched by any American politician in living memory. Polling in Germany, France, Britain and Russia shows that Obama would win by whopping majorities, with the pattern repeated in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. If November 4 were a global ballot, Obama would win it handsomely. If the free world could choose its leader, it would be Barack Obama.

The crowd of 200,000 that rallied to hear him in Berlin in July did so not only because of his charisma, but also because they know he, like the majority of the world's population, opposed the Iraq war. McCain supported it, peddling the lie that Saddam was linked to 9/11. Non-Americans sense that Obama will not ride roughshod over the international system but will treat alliances and global institutions seriously: McCain wants to bypass the United Nations in favour of a US-friendly League of Democracies. McCain might talk a good game on climate change, but a repeated floor chant at the Republican convention was "Drill, baby, drill!", as if the solution to global warming were not a radical rethink of the US's entire energy system but more offshore oil rigs.

If Americans choose McCain, they will be turning their back on the rest of the world, choosing to show us four more years of the Bush-Cheney finger. And I predict a deeply unpleasant shift.

Until now, anti-Americanism has been exaggerated and much misunderstood: outside a leftist hardcore, it has mostly been anti-Bushism, opposition to this specific administration. But if McCain wins in November, that might well change. Suddenly Europeans and others will conclude that their dispute is with not only one ruling clique, but Americans themselves. For it will have been the American people, not the politicians, who will have passed up a once-in-a-generation chance for a fresh start - a fresh start the world is yearning for.

And the manner of that decision will matter, too. If it is deemed to have been about race - that Obama was rejected because of his color - the world's verdict will be harsh. In that circumstance, Slate's Jacob Weisberg wrote recently, international opinion would conclude that "the United States had its day, but in the end couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race".

Even if it's not ethnic prejudice, but some other aspect of the culture wars, that proves decisive, the point still holds. For America to make a decision as grave as this one - while the planet boils and with the US fighting two wars - on the trivial basis that a hockey mom is likable and seems down to earth, would be to convey a lack of seriousness, a fleeing from reality, that does indeed suggest a nation in, to quote Weisberg, "historical decline". Let's not forget, McCain's campaign manager boasts that this election is "not about the issues."

Of course I know that even to mention Obama's support around the world is to hurt him. Incredibly, that large Berlin crowd damaged Obama at home, branding him the "candidate of Europe" and making him seem less of a patriotic American. But what does that say about today's America, that the world's esteem is now unwanted? If Americans reject Obama, they will be sending the clearest possible message to the rest of us - and, make no mistake, we shall hear it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Learning to Love My Non Paris Hilton Bikini Body

I flipped through the racks of swimsuits, my fingers sliding past the size zeros. After not consistently exercising most of this year and last, I’d put on nearly 20 pounds since last swimsuit season. Now I was an 8, just a few Whoppers away from double digits, even though some parts of my body are already there. Finding my new size felt like a trip down Memory Lane: After zero, there was size 2, which I wore in the senior year of high school when I was Tae-Bo loving vegetarian; 4-6, my size before I started dating my college sweetheart, despite all those appetizer samplers at Uno's ; and just a few years later, an 8, closer to a 10, but for all intents and purposes, I'll stick with the 8. Trying to squeeze into anything smaller might well violate several states’ obscenity laws. Time to super size my swim wear.

Then I saw it: one of those amazing fake one pieces that have the holes in strategic places to make it look like a two-piece. The sexy suit to end all sexy suits. It broadcast the kind of confidence I used to have, the thing you’d wear as a top to a club with a pair of jeans.

I found one in my size and headed to the dressing room. I stripped down without looking in the mirror. Then I pulled the suit bottom up over my underwear, latched the plastic bra hook in back, and tied the strings tight behind my neck, lifting each breast into place, a little extra up top being the only bonus of my weight gain. Then I looked at myself.

Now, at high point of summer, I was all kinds of shades of chocolaty brown — I needed to shave, and the brutal fluorescent lights revealed lumps and hairs and veins and bulges. I looked like a python, all right — a python that had just swallowed an entire family of rabbits.

So, then, why was I tempted plunk down $86 on the bikini? Staring at myself, I decided that it would be my motivation, chanting the “If you buy it, you will diet” mantra of so many dumbly optimistic women before me. I had to hit the beach at least a few more times before the summer was over, and this suit, if anything, would remind me how I wanted to look.

With it strung across the top of my mirror, I hit the gym after work nearly every day and sulked over salads in the cafeteria while my officemates gorged themselves on sandwiches and barbecue Kettle Chips and Pringles. When I went on weekend events, I mumbled something about not wanting to waste 200 calories on anything that wouldn't be burned off withing the next hour. I might have been rigid, dull, and controlling company, I reasoned, but damn it, I’d look good in my underwear, I vowed.

After a few months of yo-yo dieting, gym dedications that weren't any longer then 10 days consecutively. I had lost a few pounds, not nearly as much as I had anticipated, but something was accomplished.

Soon I was lying on Jones Beach, novelty beach towel coming between me and the sand, in my two-piece bikini, deciding the python print would still have yet to make its debut appearance. I sipped on water while my friends passed drinks and snacks. I wanted a piece more than anything in the world, but even on this proof-of-heaven blue-sky day, I was too stuck inside my own head to acknowledge that I actually looked damn good in a bikini.

On the trip home, I seethed about the stupid swimsuit that had whipped me into such a vain panic, ultimately ruining a shopping trip, a date, and countless lunches. That’s when I had my forehead-smacking moment: Basically, I’d sold out who I was to look like someone I used to be. Unfortunately, I was no longer a speedy Gonzalez type metabolism burning 18 year old and I was okay with it. I'm 23 years old, I sit at a desk for 8 hours and I have learned to accept the curves of my body, my Beyonce-esque derrière, and seemingly I don't have to be rail thin to look good in a bikini.

Soon after my beach trip, I found myself digging through my underwear drawer when I spotted the bikini that started it all. With about a month and half left of the swimsuit season, would I make a real attempt to wear it out? Sure. But, more importantly, would I go back to being the girl who orders soft-serve ice cream and fries with cheese and bacon, who plays beach volleyball without needing to first check for a riding swimsuit bottom or reach for a cover-up? Hell, yes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Instructions for Life

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Memorize your favorite poem.
  3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, "I love you," mean it.
  5. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
  11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slow but think quick.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Call your mom.
  16. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.
  17. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  18. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
  19. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  20. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  22. Marry a man you love to talk to. As you get older, his conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  23. Spend some time alone.
  24. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
  25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  26. Read more books and watch less TV.
  27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll get to enjoy it a second time.
  28. Trust in God but lock your car.
  29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
  30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
  31. Read between the lines.
  32. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
  33. Be gentle with the earth.
  34. Pray — there's immeasurable power in it.
  35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
  36. Mind your own business.
  37. Don't trust a man who doesn't close his eyes when you kiss him.
  38. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
  39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth's greatest satisfaction.
  40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
  41. Learn the rules then break some.
  42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
  43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  44. Remember that your character is your destiny.
  45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mr. Big or Aidan?

We all have them, those two men our lives that fall into one category or another...

First, there's Mr. Big: the unattainable, mysterious, aloof, sexy only-in-you-eyes kinda guy that we all desperately want, but cannot have. Can it really ever work out with a Big? In real life, most likely not, you know this, but that doesn't stop you from wanting him all the more: you have several break-ups, and lots of great sex, but ultimately a Big's commitment-phobia and refusal to grow-up results in either a) termination of a relationship or b) an unhappy relationship. Very rarely do people actually change! They try, it lasts for a few months, and then it goes back to the same way it was before, all drama and problems included. Preserve what you have, while you still can.

And then there's Aidan: the cute, scruffy, does EVERYTHING right guy. The "I won't stop til I get you" type of guy. He's artistic, emotionally available, willing to make it work, appreciates you for yourself. And yet you still look back to see what's going on with Mr. Big...

Will we never learn?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two Birds with One Stone

...So Barack Oboma pretty much has locked in the Democratic Presidential Nomination, who would of thought, there's a Black man being considered for the Presidential nomination, let a alone a Black man with the last name of Obama. Maybe the state of this country is not in such disarray after all considering he is the first minority in over 200 years to get this far. Not to mention, there are now talks of bring Hilary Clinton as his running mate. The souls of Southern conservatives are probably turning in there graves as I type. A black man and a white woman?!? Thats one hellova one-two punch, if I may say so myself.

Change is welcomed. Change is encouraged. Change is needed, in order to progress, to raise up and further more, move on. As attributed to Aesop, "United we stand, divided we fall." How more united can we be with these two birds? Only the coming months can tell, they better not screw it up.