Today’s Word is… SMOOCHR

So over the past 24 hours, the internet has been abuzz about Smoochr, a new dating app aimed at African Americans that allows you to choose a mate based by complexion, hair type and size of your lips. (I wish the internet would put some respeck on the letter e, e did nothing to deserve Judy Winslow treatment)  My first thought was that it had to be a joke, otherwise this is the most ridiculous thing I ever seen.  Of course, the thinkpiece industrial complex took over and varying pieces about how troublesome and problematic this app was hit the web because why ignore something you dislike when you can join it, take screenshots and write 700 words about it.  I have 7. The app is fucking stupid, The end.  

To be a wee bit fair, most online dating platforms are. While Smoochr is getting deservedly dragged for being the digital brown paper bag test in 2016, I couldn’t help but wonder about what WOULD be the hero black e love deserves, that it needs; the quintessential black dating app.  (My vote is soulswipe because the name remains hilarious to me, but the correct answer is and always has been Twitter)

Until now, as I roll out my blueprint for the black dating app we need, Chose© (patent pending…don’t steal my idea, Ill come find you, Liam Neeson style) style.  Chose or Chs because dropping vowels is cool or something, will cut through a lot of the bull that dating apps have today, starting with questions that really cut to the core

Height: 

Height with timbs/heels:

Height next to actual 6′ person:

What is your body type:

What is your preferred body type

Have you actually dated a someone of said body type?

If no, please adjust your preferences accordingly

When was your last dental exam?

Do you actually like to read books for leisure?

Which Jamie Foxx Hairline are you

Drums or Flats?

Do you drive?

Do you have regular access to an automobile ?

Do you luh God? 

Have you or ever set foot on the island you rep 

Are you employed and receive pay regularly?

Can you actually afford to date regularly? 

Are you single?

Would someone be upset if they heard you say you were single?

What body type was your mama back in the day

What was her type after she had you

Are you a sapiosexual?

If yes,  go away. 

Are you Black Lives Matter or wrong?

Please upload a photo:

Do you dress like this usually?

How old is this photo?

If > 12 months,  please upload recent photo:

So then, where Smoochr and other dating sites always slip up is they completely disregard the whole dating part.  My solution…Reviews. Maybe he was musty, maybe she is boring or not quite over her ex. Reviews hold people accountable, you wouldn’t stay at a hotel that was rated 2 stars why should you date a 2 star ass person?   Also you yourself get valuable feedback and now your friends can stop lying to you about how great you are. Chose© look for it in the app store and Google Play the day after Frank Ocean drops, the Eagles win a Superbowl and the police go 365 days without killing an unarmed black person. 

-Stan- 

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Today’s Word is… COOL


Boy meets Girl. Boy likes Girl. Boy wants to get to know Girl a little better. Girl starts off talking about her love of motorcycles (Boy is afraid of them, still a thug tho), she casually mentions how she’s watching a comic book movie or sports when he hits her up.   Boy and Girl have a lot in common*, she’s a tomboy who also loves, heels, makeup and dresses. Ironically enough, Girl actually doesn’t like to go out, Girl wants to hang out have sex, eat pizza and laugh at bad movies. Boy really likes Girl, but he’s not necessarily looking for a relationship just yet. Girl understands*, she doesn’t trip off of titles anyway.  If its meant to be, it’ll be….

So, seemingly boy hit the jackpot; the attractive, low maintenance unicorn!  Or as it was explained in Gone (head and get that divorce,) Girl, the cool girl.  The description of the cool girl illustrates what dating has become, courting for men has been reduced to mere availability while the women respond in kind with acquiescence.  The cool girl has tainted the already shallow dating pool, with expectations and bars so low you could trip on them.  There has been pushback against the cool girl, largely from women who are challenging women to be better, expect better, have some dignity; you don’t have to hide yourself to get chose. Sound advice that I hope works because, I am soooo sick of the “cool girl” too.

I’m actually turned off by the cool girl.  I’m Prince Akeem to the bullshit.  For starters,  its blatant manipulation.  Play it cool, wait for him to fall and then unload a bunch of repressed feelings.  The Steve Harveyisms would lead you to believe that once you trick a man into loving you, you straight.  (He’s also 3 times divorced so clearly results vary).  I date to know who you are and you’re simply trying to be what you think I want.  I’m/it’s not that deep.  Akeem was at least a prince, I’m just a guy with a beard and a 401k.  Ultimately, for the white readers who didn’t see Coming to America  Akeem went for (the lightest woman in the movie because this was 1988) the woman who wasn’t a doormat. The Boy from the beginning? Ended up dating someone else. Because we all know how it goes with the “cool girl ” she takes on more and more resentment in lieu of accountability and then suddenly showing up places uninvited because you need to talk, or faking your own death and framing him for murder (stupid movie) seems perfectly rational because how dare you ain’t lose all this self respect for no reason. 

All that to say, for who, for what?  I can lie on a resume,  charm in an interview but eventually the time will come where I have to prove I’m proficient in Excel.  As will the time when women who adjust all try ear standards for a man, gets one and now they stuck in a Sportscenter and chill, dating without labels, texting sporadically, picking up checks, never get jealous ass relationship.  Are there women who are genuinely down for it? Sure (And apparently they all exist on Twitter).   But the majority?  They are 3 “its cool”s away from staging a murder.  Stay woke.

-Stan- 

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Today’s Word is… COPS

[Editor’s Note: I had a post in mind but in light of recent events, I really have nothing to say.  Maybe later this week.  So, I went back to tweaked an old post… RIP Alton Sterling]

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So it was about 5 years ago, I had just moved into my first apartment.  I got up went to work and when I got home there was note on the door by a neighbor, “the cops stopped by looking for you”. My reaction, well, now this is odd.  They had also left a voicemail on my home phone saying they needed me to come by the station.  Total, help me sing. I go to the station, wondering every bad decision I’ve made in the past year and wondering who got some bail money, if necessary.  I just moved here, I’m a law abiding citizen, what could they possibly have to say.  I get there and…..they were just returning my wallet.  I had lost it weeks ago, already went through the arduous task of replacing everything in it and just when I made peace with the fact that it was lost in the sauce lost in the game…here it was.  Won’t He do it.   I had a talk with a few officers, talking about how I just moved out here, sights and sounds stuff like that.  They recommended a bunch of places that I probably would never set foot in, and then I was on my way.  Over the years, I would get familiar with the cops of the town, they walked the streets regularly, most lived in the town, whether I was in a suit or baggy camo shorts and a fitted; they waved, made meaningless small talk and essentially, treated me like a neighbor.

It was a whole new dynamic I wasn’t used to.  Prior to this point, I’ve been falsely arrested twice, weapons drawn on me, followed home, stopped and frisked on my own porch, called bitch, nigger, punk and thug, witnessed a family member being assaulted, knock on wood the only thing that hasn’t happened yet is someone I knew personally being killed.  (So you see why I may have been anxious about going to the station in the opening).  Of course, this was in my old neighborhood, where I was still for the most part a good kid.  The cops there maybe lived in the neighborhood, they didn’t know me by name which was ironic because I was getting frisked and name ran 3 times a day.  Me and my friends would take alternate routes home, keep our bookbags on so they would believe we were actually students, we would split up into separate groups of 2-3 because a large group of us together was just asking for it.  It was almost like having a playground bully except you couldn’t stand up to him, you just learned to stay out the way.   It wasn’t even worth explaining to our parents, hell, people have gotten hauled off for “disturbing the peace” just for defending us.

For what its worth, I do respect law enforcement and the thankless job they have. However, recent events has really made me reflect on my personal experiences with the boys in blue; which as you can see were two very different ones.   The glaring difference being the connection between officers and community they are serving.   In my old hood, we were treated as the enemy, to the point our mere presence was enough to drive them mad.  Their job wasn’t to serve, it was to eliminate, we weren’t allowed on these streets anymore and they made sure we got the message.  [These days the old neighborhood has got a face lift, a lot people have moved because of rising rent and the old park has been remodeled and named in honor of one of the lone white residents (who is actually a close family friend, so no shade or whatever). Funny how that worked out.  Shoutout that G’Cation, I’m sure the corner store will become a Starbucks one day.]

So what happens public servants are treated as guard dogs instead of part of the community they are supposed to be a part of?  Well, this does.  A cop familiar with his community could’ve told Eric Garner or Alton Sterling to cut the shit and go home, Tamir Rice to not flash his toy in public, Mike Brown and his friend to get out of the street.  Instead, they just saw targets, saw “the enemy” and acted accordingly.  So as the President on down asks, how can the police improve relations with people of color, it starts by establishing one period.  It starts with humanizing everyone and not thinking every brown person is The Incredible Hulk.  It shouldn’t be my job to make person who swore to protect me feel safe.  I shouldn’t have to pull my pants up, wear my cap forward and grin ear to ear just to be viewed as an equal.   In the same way I don’t view every cop as the same one who choke slammed me in that pizzeria, every cop shouldn’t view me or anyone else as a “demon”.  That doesn’t start with video cameras and fashion, it starts with empathy, acceptance and community.  Until police officers, truly love and accept all civilians, sadly I expect more of the same.  Living in a reality where myself and anyone I love being one bullet away from becoming a hashtag.

-Stan-

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July 6, 2016 · 9:50 am

Today’s Word is… RIGHT

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“You know what your problem is”

(I always think I’m right.  I get that a lot.  At least 3 this year alone.    Maybe there’s something to it.  I don’t know if I agree.  Or is this me trying to be right again? Shut up.)

“You always got to be right”

(See, I knew it)

Conventional wisdom says, pick your battles, know when to hold em know when to fold em all that jazz.   Conflicts are to be expected, but how one is handled is the difference between #relationshipgoals and #foreveralone.  A struggle I have, admittedly, is not so much picking battles but understanding every battle doesn’t need to be won.  Its a struggle we all have really, we’re conditioned to defend ourselves mercilessly, in service roles its taught that the customers are always right (they aren’t,  like ever, also this is why I don’t work in service…I can’t take a stranger popping off to me any ol type of way because they probably make less than me at their job).  Being right all the time doesn’t just come off as stubbornness but dominance.  Why even address issues when you know they are just going to talk their way out of it/or are so stubborn that even if you are right, it’ll go unacknowledged.  Arguments become about wins and losses and not about the mutual understanding that is ought to.

I’d like to think that I’m open minded and accountable.  I think a lot about the things I say before I say it, especially in text, but its also a double edged sword.  After I’ve thought deeply, prayed, sought advisement on something,  it only makes it that much harder to set it aside because I know I’m right.  Its not that I don’t see the other side of things, its that I did see it and I KNOW its wrong.  But “why can’t youbjust see things my way” can turn into “why they ain’t returning my calls” real quick. So deference is necessary.  No one wants to lose all the time.  Except the Sixers.

No one wants to lose ever, really.  Just as I said earlier I can’t work in service, I’m also the customer who will read you for filth if I want something. (Only in live chat tho, I’m not trying to argue on the phone for hours…you can catch these Twitter fingers tho).  Just as I can view my own hypocrisy there, I can recognize that I’m really not trying to deal with someone who gotta be right all the time.  Its why I clash with people who are a lot like me.  Like this one girl who had the audamndacity to (redacted). When you’re just trying to flat out rationalize fuckshit,  clearly this isn’t about a mutual understanding anymore its about not being wrong. 

Ultimately,  sometimes its as simple as, you want to be right or be happy.  You proved your point…but now you embarrassed them.  You proved your point…but violated trust in the process.  You proved your point…but now they just go to someone else with their problems.   Ain’t no award for that.  Just hurt feelings and ego boosts.  Being right just ain’t worth it sometimes,  just ask Meek Mill.

-Stan-   
 

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Today’s Word is… WORK

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I woke up and checked my phone; hour before my alarm.  I could just go back to sleep…nah why chance it, I’ll just make breakfast.  I was excited, nervous, anxious…it was my first day at my current employer, Nunya Damn Business Associates, after months of interviews, scouring job postings, and watching way too much television I was actually leaving the house to make money for a change.  Black or white shirt, solid or pattern tie, glasses or no glasses.  After enough fretting I was closing in on the hour I thought I had by awaking early, it was time to go.  It was a confident subway ride, other professionals dressed to their respective jobs, I felt like I belonged.  I arrive at NDBA early, the cheerful receptionist who recognized me from my interview weeks earlier greeted me with a congratulations.    Someone was paged down to meet me in the lobby and I was greeted with

“Wow, you’re right on time”

“Um, nigga duh” I thought

“oh yeah the commute was quicker than I expected” is what I said with a smile. 

That was 3 years ago.  Still smiling through my real thoughts.  These days I’m peeling myself out of bed at my 5th alarm, if I’m wearing a tie its for plans after work and the cheery receptionist is an old white dude who I may greet with a nod if we make eye contact but otherwise I can’t hear him over the trap music in my headphones.  I smile and greet people I encounter en route to my office where on a good day I can hide for the next 8 hours.  I just don’t have patience for the shenanigans some days.   I’m the only black male in my department, amongst the youngest here…I’m well aware I’m the Rudolph here.  So trust, It’s for your benefit, and mine.  I’m accustomed to a certain standard of living.  And I actually do like my job.  I don’t like awkward and uncomfortable and so I smile, nod, chuckle…live to fight another day.  But with each smile, there’s a part of me who really wants to say…

Why are you asking me what I’m listening to when I’m about 95% sure you have no idea who it is?

Don’t call me “T” put some respeck on my name

I’m eating teriyaki wings but you are telling about this great soul food you had one time

Do you really think the new girl is cute or you just assume because she’s black I’m attracted to her

Of all TV shows you watch, Empire was the first one that came to mind huh

Unless you know my brother,  who I remind you of is wrong

Sombreros and fake mustaches for Cinco de Mayo, huh

“50 Shades of Chicken” as a gag gift for the Yankee Swap couldve went really badly…

Or was you assuming we wouldn’t go for what was clearly a book

Why are you so surprised I like baseball

Don’t ask me what slang words mean; urbandictionary did that so I dont have to go through that

You don’t need to remind me of when I’M taking time off

No I’m not on BLACK Twitter, or any Twitter….in fact, what’s Twitter?

Again, I get it.  The desire to connect and such.  But for myself and others in the same position we have our digital water cooler, podcasts, social media, blogs…outlets where we can chop it up with our folk so I don’t necessarily need to make awkward conversation with Alex in Sales.  So which is healthier, an office culture with people of whom you don’t identify with or logging into the matrix with your peers but are still essentially words on a screen? I need both*.  I need a dose of blackness when I feel alone at work and to talk to actual people when I feel alone at work. Of course, the true answer is more diverse, happy work environments but you know, glass ceilings and all that.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… UNCHOSE

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The first time I came home from work to an empty apartment, realizing I was the one who didn’t take chicken out to thaw; because no one else lives here anymore

SO, this is life now?

The first time I stumbled into said empty apartment from drunken shenanigans, fell out on my bed fully dressed, spread out and was like…

So, THIS is life now?

The first time I had to buy condoms declined plans because I wasn’t trying to go alone

So, this IS life now?

The first time I got the thanks but no thanks text not long after a few dates I thought went fairly well…

So, this is LIFE now?

(Quick aside: She even spelled my name wrong in said curve text, no respeck on my name…It wasn’t even like I was that into her but it was the like the first time I got curved in like a good 6 years, I hope she falls down steps. On principle.  Just kidding. Mostly.)

Chilling at a family function, seeing my immediate family all with their respective spouses/baes and there I was with a phone and a drink realizing that EYE was the single one.

So, this is life NOW

See, I’m just a bachelor *Ginuwine voice*.  By happenstance. I’m not grinding, working on me, taking myself off the market because someone auntie told me that love comes when I least expect it so technically I’m not looking yet I am still looking with one eye (No Fetty). I’m single because I am, and I don’t need any of the excuses single people use to say to the(ir blogs)mselves that they are good with being single.  

I’m also not tripping off being single; besides no one wants to hear the siren of the young, iight looking and unchose.  Hell, even I hate it. Even so I typically get the same platitudes of “psssh you’re young”, “one day”, or “this could be us but you playing”.  They would be correct but I’m not trying to hear that either. 

Single has its highs and lows and it seems in this day and age, you gotta pick a side and roll with it.  Whether its the person who is always miserable about being unchose or the one who swears pizza, porn and Netflix is all they need in life…they are equally annoying. They both would fare better  somewhere in the middle, where you’re not throwing yourself at anything yet still leaving the house looking like you remotely care. I like to think I’m in that middle largely with some days I’m feeling more column A or B, that’s just how life works. 

So, this life is now… I can have 3 dates in a week or barely leave the house. I can leave town to turn up for a couple days just cause.  I can see a cute baby on the train and it fuck up my day.  I can redeem some of these birthday dinner offers.  I can finally see what is so special about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  I can see if a LDR is worth the hassle.  I can look in her eyes and see all the possibilities. I can hear her favorite song and wonder if she’s well.  I can join an online dating site for longer than 3 hours.  I can check my lease and see if I can get a puppy. I can chat up the girl at happy hour or I can lurk her timeline for subtweets.  I can just live my life, essentially. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… MARTIN

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Martin Payne was the original Twitter niggas before Twitter niggas existed.  Quick witted but scathing, loved his woman but not at the expense of his street cred, always ready to fight but never ready to fight at the same damn time.  Dragged women for weaves and their weight…..he was before his time.  Above all else, Martin was good for saying something on his radio show or to his boys that got him in trouble at home.  The best example being in the very first episode:

“Let me tell you something about my girl Gina, GINA worships the ground I walk on.  If I tell Gina to jump, she says ‘how high?’ I tell her watch her head cuz she going to the moon…she don’t give me all that backtalk because she know she got a man who can…..De-liv-ah”

(Yes I did that from memory, its my favorite episode). Of course, Gina got home and reminded him who really worships who

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This was 24 years ago (feel old) yet it’s probably more relevant today than its ever been.   Why? Because just as Radio Martin wrote a check Martin at home had to cash, in this day and age its not uncommon to find yourself in situations where you have to be mindful of what you say because you never know who’s reading.

In the episode Martin was clearly wrong, but in real life its very easy to slip up and have a Martin moment.  We’re increasingly passive aggressive in this social media era, communication has been reduced to subtweets and memes.  I have to check myself sometimes, as much as I want to say “she gets on my fucking nerves” and hit send, I need to be cognizant of the fact I’m sending this to 3500 strangers who can do with it what they wish. (A few months back I made a cheeky crack about my ex girlfriend and it blew up to the point I’ve had a stranger in real life point at me and be like “pull the plug”…Twitter is amazing and frightening at the same damn time). As the great philosopher K. Omari West describes it, I’m just talking like it’s you and me.  Which it is, but then it isn’t.  Lord knows my Twitter has gotten me in trouble over the years, much like Martin I tried to trivialize, tried to get indignant but at the end of it, like Meek Mill or Azaelia Banks, I was catching this L. (Shoutout to the white reader who doesn’t get any of these references). 

Just as I have had my Martin moments.  I’ve had my Gina ones too.  Have a little squabble, you’re like Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I’m gonna shake it off, shake it off (see, I got you) and then log on social media and there’s that passive aggressive meme, subtweet or Beyoncé lyric, and I’m like WTF?!?  Now she got other people in our business?  Letting some other dude know something is rotten in the state of Denmark?  Be ready to lose my mind up in here, up in here.  I’m (something like) a writer, I like to think I’m subtle and clever with my shade, while she might as well post my picture with a red circle around it like “this is exactly who I’m talking about”.  Gets on my damn nerve.
(So as you can tell, this may or may not happen occasionally)

Two Martins seldom work, you both sending shots, until someone goes for the jugular and now you’re screenshotted on BlackSportsOnline.  We are a society that promulgates our thoughts now, for better or for worse and someone gotta be the Gina and maintain the order offline.  It’s not even a gender thing, we just seen Beyoncé just drag Jay for half an album and he can’t fire back, he just gotta love them ankles and listen to Dangerously in Love to remind himself she still loves him.  Actually, Bey might be Martin AND Gina, Jigga is just Cole.  Poor Hov.  He stabbed a guy and now he’s this.  Anyway, sometimes you just got to respect how people choose to express themselves, provided they aren’t flat out disrespectful. 

Me, I’m very much a Martin.  I’m going to say what’s on my mind whether social media or here.  I’m respectful and will elucidate on something said if necessary (I just really really don’t like to).  My ideal match gets that about me but can also hold me accountable if I stray too far off the reservation.  Sometimes I say things she might not like or agree with but respects my right to say it. Or…maybe she’s better off just blocking me and refusing to read this blog (Hi).  Maybe we are just too woke for our own good these days. We wouldn’t be here if our grandparents knew everything the other was up to and thinking about.  While the onus is on a Martin to not be out here talking reckless especially in public, a Gina gotta understand that every word isn’t meant for her eyes and ears.  But we know most people aren’t that understanding so just watch what you say in these stweets…lurkers be lurking. 

-Stan-

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