Monthly Archives: June 2013

Today’s Word is… FAN

My four passions, art, writing, women and sports. One of those passions, I have yet to date a woman who shared it.  Now if you guessed “women”, you are incorrect and clearly missed the dead giveaway in the title. The correct answer is sports, I’ve yet to date a sports fan, which is perhaps rare these days.  I’ve dated women who tolerated sports, they’d sit and watch a football game with the promise I would channel surf during commercials and agree to sit through a reality show to be named later.  I’ve dated women who watched enough local news to know Aaron Hernandez is not the same guy from the State Farm commercials *le sigh*, but anyone who isn’t transcending the sport, she.o.e.n.o. 

This was my random thought as I was half zoning out talking to this woman at Happy Hour. I bore easily.  Anyway, she was explaining how she became a fan of her teams; Heat, Giants, Yankees, Lakers. She was from DC, I think. I wasn’t sure if she was just a bandwagoner or a troll. Now I’m from Boston, Massachusetts born and raised, on the playground is where I spent of my days, my local team fanhood was instilled from birth, I couldn’t imagine rooting for anothesr team, let alone THOSE particular squads.  She waved to someone she knew, I made a sly remark about how Heat fans are always looking for the next thing, she fired back about how she ain’t know Boston fans came in black.  Quick on her feet.  She gets a point.  

Shots were downed and fired and it turned out she was cool for a Laker fan.  Perhaps too cool to be one as fans of teams have certain stigmas to them. Studies (and by studies i mean just made this up) suggest that the team you root for is indicative of the types of people you date. So for fun I decided to do some of the more common fan/dating stereotypes.

Cowboys fan- The Cowboys fan is loyal to a fault.  Came for what you were, won’t leave for what you keep telling her what you might be

Lakers fan – She’s dramatic and confrontational.  Everyone is hating and jealous of her, according to her. More about being seen than you know, seeing you

Heat fan- She down for as long as you’re up, enjoy her while it lasts

Eagles fan- You know shes not in it for the superficiality, you aint got much.  She’s one of the realer ones, forgiving, honest but keeps getting her heart broke

Knicks fan- She’s extra.  She on cloud 9 she’s at rock bottom with hardly any middle ground.  The fights are devastating, the small gestures mean the world to her.  

Celtics fan- She’s the type who likes to remind you what you put her through.  She was there for every trial and tribulation and will constatly say she at the brink but never go anywhere  

But of course I’m only speculating….cause I aint ever date sports fan. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… NEXT

There’s few places like the barbershop.  It’s the daytime gentleman’s club, the man cave, the original #blacktwitter.  Over the years, I’ve heard it all in the barbershop from when I was a kid to now.  Of course back then I was just laughing when they did just to fit in, now I’m a grown man who not only knows exactly what they talking about, but equipped with a few tales of my own to tell. So during my last visit, the topic broached…well I surely can’t say it here.  I will say the shop was evenly split between pro and against.  Team Pro debated valiantly and close their argument with the age old defense:

“What you won’t do, the next one will”

This mantra I typically see hurled towards women, that you must always have your head on a swivel because they outchea plotting on you, is something I’ve only half agreed with. While I agree that in a relationship you should always continue to evolve and never assume their satisfaction, the next one will logic is flawed.  One should be driven to please their partner not just who else might could.  S/Os don’t play defense. 

Bringing it back to the barbershop, the discussion switched to the man, the myth, the legend; the “next man”.  The next man, side dude, dirty mack, mister-ess etc, is an interesting character.  He serves different purposes to the relationship. Obviously to her, he’s the complementary piece, what she’s not getting from her she will get from him.  Attention, affection, affirmation. However, the next man is always a role player at best.  No matter how many voids he fills, and even though studies suggest women who are unfaithful typically develop some true feelings for the other man, he’s just the complement, rarely a real threat to the incumbent. Been there.

As for the man, his job to make him extremely uncomfortable.  Men are ego driven, if she was to leave for any reason, the last thing a man wants is another man.  There’s nothing more humbling than losing your queen to a personified Trey Songz record.  With that, it was the next man who got men to wear thighs like Bane masks, the next man who threw back throwbacks (sorry Hov), the next man who got you banging out that extra set at the gym, the next man made you want to learn how to cook. The next man continues to set the bar higher and higher and forces you to adjust to the new market.  He’s a necessary evil, as without him enters comfort, a gift and a curse.  There has to be a healthy fear that if you’re not handling business, you’ll become expendable. 

Here comes the M. Night Shyamalan plot twist. The “next man” represents what she’s not getting from her man, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s another man she’s getting it from. The “next man” can be freedom, a clean slate, being able to trust again. That is what makes the next man the ultimate temptation, and while she must resist, the man mustn’t make it too easy.  The other grass will always look greener when you’re not watering yours. The next man is always lurking in the shadows waiting for that 3rd missed call, waiting for you to not notice that new haitstyle, waiting for you to say “nah, I :don’t do that”.  

So how legitimate of a threat is the next man? As legitimate as you let him be.  There’s a reason Mark Sanchez and Kyle Orton kept hearing Tim Tebow’s footsteps while the Peyton Mannings and Tom Bradys chilling out miaxing relaxing all cool.  If I know I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be, there’s no need to be out here overcompensating like some of my fellow barbershop patrons.  I respect the respect the game, that should be it, what the next man eat….

-Stan-
   

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Today’s Word is… POPS

So I’m randomly chatting to this woman, cute smile, sense of humor, whathaveyou. We’re give brief bios when she mentions she has kids and waited for the look of defeat in my eyes.  I proceeded to make normal conversation, much to her surprise.  She thinks maybe I misheard her, so she attacks from a new angle explaining how hard it is to date as a parent and went on saying things you really don’t say to a guy you just met.  Going back to the parenting/dating conundrum, she said she struggles to meet guys who can get past her children, I countered she seems to place them in the way.  I went on to say that there’s two sides to a mother, the parent and the woman, and sometimes she and suitors never focus on the woman.  And like that shields was down, but that’s a different post entirely. 

Anywho, I was reading another blog on what makes a good father. Now I have no lil Stans running around so I couldn’t relate on that level, so I thought what makes my father a good father.  I couldn’t help but think about that conversation with the woman before and my theory on the two sides of a parent.  If you’ve read long enough you’d know my relationship with my father is unique, he was always  provider, care taker and disciplinarian but as a man, I hardly knew ye.  I know I can call him for anything, I know he proudly served his country and worked to give me everything I covet. But his favorite color? I don’t know…blue?  Actually I think it is blue.  Whatever.

What I did learn about him, came from my mother and loose lipped relatives.  My father was the king of compartmentalization.  He never let us see his struggles as a man.  He quit drinking and smoking shortly after I was born. He’ll play 5 basketball games in a row and never let me know he’s sore (though I would be dude plays defense like a Bad Boy Piston). He’s not rich but you could never say he was broke. It goes without saying he wasn’t perfect, but he’d be damned to let me or any of my siblings know his flaws.  He was Superman.  

These days he’s hung up his cape, and it’s still awkward to see him as Clark Kent.  Instead of telling what’s what, he just gives his perspective and leaves it to our own interpretation.  Talks went from “wear a condom” to “are you sure you’re in love with this woman”.  I never heard him complain about work, I never heard him gush over my brother’s mother the way he does his new fiancee.  Perhaps, it simply takes a man to know a man. 

It makes sense now, but it hadn’t always.  My sisters were spoiled, my older brothers were equals, my little brothers were babies, I was just….me.  I saw our relationship for what it wasn’t rather than what it was.  As gifted as I was I was still a child, and a child was kept in a child’s place.  Could he had did some things differently? Of course. Could I had made life easier? Indeed. With that understanding and the lessons learned, we’re able to move forward in the next phase of the father/son dynamic. So this Father’s Day especially I take time to reflect on the father I have and the father I hope to be one day, Superman with a bit more tact, the great parent and just as great man.

Happy Father’s Day.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… TIMING

The modern workplace is biased against the childless. Yeah, I said it.  Unless your boss is a complete douche, when it comes to attendance, parents typically get an unspoken pass as long as it involves their child.  Understandable because you don’t want to come between one and their child, you gon make someone around you catch a body like that.   If I was a parent, I wish a boss would tell me I can’t get my sick kid from school, I’d smack the Windsor out his tie.  It’s the ultimate trump card, you can’t top it.  Me, oh forget my plant, pet or date, you gon’ get this work.  No convenient excuses at my disposal.  In break ups, there’s few convenient outs.  You can be the first “technically active” gay athlete in major professional sports or you can play the timing card.  Timing puts a neat little bow on everything; I’m not looking for this right now, now in a couple years I probably will be and if they ever build time machines I would go back and warn me now not to step to you yet but for now, yeah it just ain’t going down like that. Okay, maybe not so neat.   However, the premise is legit, sometimes it’s just a right person, wrong place, right time thing.

Doesn’t mean I necessarily agree. 

Personally, I never bought too much into it.  I can think of maybe two relationships that might’ve lasted longer had we met today rather than when we did. The rest, if it didn’t work then it wouldn’t now.  “Perfect girl, wrong time” is pretty much the same as someone being “overqualified”, it sounds good but….you’re still being rejected.  I said the other day, relationships are an agreement of expectations, “timing” only comes in the way when one or both parties are not holding up their end of the bargain.  You’re expected to be faithful, you knew that when you came in, temptation knocks on the door and suddenly you’re just not in the right place for a relationship, OK. Of course, there’s times when maybe you realize you bit off more than you could chew. Example, You’re expected to make reasonable time for your partner, you understood this initially, it’s when you keep getting  calls about how you never call that you realize, maybe I’m not quite as ready as I thought. 

We prioritize everything, you don’t spend rent money on clothes (I would hope), you don’t choose your friend over your child (I would hope).  Timing plagues a relationship because at the end of the day, their happiness is just not that important.  I’ve played the timing card a few times, it made sense in the moment but I knew deep down if I wanted her bad enough I would’ve made it work.  I’ve had the timing card played on me, if she wanted me bad enough she would’ve made it work.  We kid ourselves sometimes, leave false hopes and open doors and then when someone who is worth prioritizing comes along, ol girl still holding her ticket wondering how she got skipped in the line.  You wasn’t ready for a relationship like last week now you you’re swooned.  Timing didn’t change, your priorities did. 

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but why not be real and not try to rationalize is using the logic of rappers and ball players.  Moving an hour away shouldn’t of been a hinderance, but I allowed it to be.  Plenty of full time students balance school work and a boyfriend, she didn’t want to be one of them.  Rather than state so we play to egos, convince the other that they would be perfect in a different time, give theories that are impossible to prove.  What’s the perfect girl, if it’s not the perfect time? Actually, the perfect girl makes it the perfect time.

-Stan-   

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Today’s Word is… REASSURANCE

One of my guilty pleasure shows to watch is “Hardcore Pawn”.  While I typically hate seeing black people making a fool of themselves on national TV, the hilarity is too much to ignore.  When there isnt a crackhead trying to get a deal, there are genuine sellers who come in with impressive things and it’s crazy how quickly their figure drops.  I’ve seen guys come in expecting thousands of dollars and wind up leaving with $50.  Some had unrealistic expectations but for the most part its because Les, the primary owner, no matter what the price is, will drop it about 75% and you can just see the defeat in the seller’s face.  Some will come back but for most its that first blow that you know they lost.  No matter how much research they did online prior, no matter how much money they actually need, once they start to feel uncomfortable and insecure, it’s over.  You want to yell at the TV, “dude he’s robbing you blind” but that’s the power of insecurities, Les makes your most prized possessions seem like trash.

In relationships, insecurity works the same way.  No matter how pretty you are, how great a mate you think you are, if the person you’re appealing to says it’s not good enough, you feel its not good enough.  The inverse would imply that if that same person made you feel like Beyonce Michelle Oprahma, no one can tell you nothing.  In Hardcore Pawn, Les isnt in the business of boosting egos, he’s a shark, he will break you down, and make you feel lucky to take that $50.  In relationships, the manipulative type will make you feel worthless and that you’re lucky to take whatever semblance of a relationship they are offering.   But in an ideal relationship, a healthy one, the person will constantly reassure.

Admittedly, it was something I never put too much stock in.  It was frustrating honestly, you know I love you, you know you’re beautiful, do I really need to say it over and over and make a Bruno Mars song out of it?  I’m with you I’m not going anywhere, why isn’t that enough?  Apparently not. As I continue to meet more and more women who are dealing with security issues, it’s almost a requirement. 
To be fair, men and women do like some reassurance, at work and at home.  If my boss said, “of course I think you’re doing well, did I fire you yet?” I would probably laugh at the sheer bluntness but I guess I would not quite feel too secure or special.   But as far as relationships go do men need reassurance too?  Men are demoralized, labeled ain’t sh t, rejected constantly, yet we take it all in stride.  Or do we need to be reassured of the things we didn’t get in the last relationship, typically trust, respect, communication. Relationships takes its toll on both sides and somewhere we have to  recoup those losses from our next mate whether its fair or not.

So as tedious as it seems, I’m sure whomever I meet next wants to be reminded she’s beautiful, that she’s more than good enough for me. I will want to be reminded I’m trusted, that my words still have meaning. She wll reassure me of love as I will her, even billionaires want to know what they’re worth.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… MOTIVATION

Haven’t did a diet/fitness post in a while, primarily because there’s nothing new to report and I might’ve gained a few pounds….a couple times.  I’m getting my act together, slowly which is much harder to do in the summer.  It was this time last year when I started to take the foot off the gas, I had lost 50 lbs in 4 months, you couldn’t tell me ish.  Fall rolled around and I pulled through, holidays was the worst days, I was sipping egg nog when I was thirstay.  Spring was just…and now I’m here.  The final 25 ish lbs is now a steeper 40, the issue: Summer is the worst the to get motivated.

It’s too hot to do anything some days, ain’t nobody got time to be cooking, cookout season, pretty ladies everywhere you just want to get fly and be out.  But no, I may not be excused.  Well over a year into this I thought I’d be done, or been quit and just found a woman with a penchant for teddy bear brothas and my blog would be about the transition marriage, kids and sh t.   But here I am, on another muhfuggin nutrition and exercise guide because you know, I’m not a dieter, I just dont eat a lot.  The Manly Man guide, Thinsgiving and the What Would Jigga Do plans worked out pretty well for myself and others who played along, this one will be I don’t know I got nothing….maybe I will think of something and this sentence never happened, if you can read this then I failed. Welp.

1) Water man, water man, water man, water mighty good man- I honestly been slacking on my water, went from 15 cups daily to chugging down a bottle just to make 8.  Personally, I just hate having to use the bathroom every 25 seconds especially at work.  Summer makes this a bit easier as it’s hot as hell and I’m not likely to drink anything else. 

2) Get me on the court and I’m trouble- How can you get a triple double in a pick up game, what the hell was they playing to? 50?  Anyway, while I’m not the biggest fan of the gym in the summer (i still go because strength training is still important), nothing beats a jog or running some ball while the sun goes down and mosquitoes chill….slightly. 

3) Flex In the Kitchen- The kitchen isnt just for women who says Koby is in the Super Bowl to get some attention on Twitter.  Take full control of what you’re eating, make it yourself.  Basically avoid take out at all costs, when it is too hot to cook, but there’s always sammiches. With no mayo, it’s gross.  Just thought I

4) Can’t see it coming down my eyes, so i gotta make this log cry- I used to log everything I was eating, then i started doing it mentally, then I stopped caring.  Its a tedious task, but in an era people take pics of their food before they bless it, why not just log it and hold yourself accountable. 

5)”Eat clean” – Michael Douglas- You know the usual sneak a veggie in each meal, yogurt for breffis, all that good stuff there’s a million blogs and articles on

This time last year, I was sure by August I was gonna be walking around with no shirt cuz i don’t give a fuh bout my haters long as my beaches love me.  It ain’t quite work out that way, we’ll see what happens when August 2013 comes around, quick math says 16 lbs @ 2 lbs a week, which would bring me…..exactly where I was in August 2012..D’oh.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… ROSTER

“That’s a really nice shirt, where’d you get it”

I think I made up some lie, because well, I ain’t sh t.  However I know exactly when and where I got this shirt.  Macy’s….in 2006.  I had bought it for an interview for some job I never got, and while I should be happy that

A) I can fit clothes from high school
B) I pulled it off

It also made me realize C) Why did I still have this shirt that was actually a size too small for me back when I bought it 7 years ago.  I think I was gonna return it.  Probably I don’t part with much.  I still have sneakers from high school, I’ll never wear again, throwback jerseys, Facebook pokes from girls I was crushing on freshman year of college.  There’s a lot of unnecessariness in my life (yes unnecessariness is a word, or maybe it isn’t who cares).

This came to mind when I got a reader email (love those btw), it was a lengthy convo so I’ll paraphrase: basically she was asking for advice about a guy she was talking to for a minute but it’s never materialized to anything but also he seems to have no qualms talking about other women to her.  She clearly seemed to know what time it was and just needed confirmation but her final follow up was interesting, “why do guys always need to have extra women they know they don’t want?”  She also mentioned he’s twice gotten into exclusive relationships with other women,  but never her. Why?

Contrary to popular belief men will put all his eggs in one basket if he feels its worth it.  In the meantime, he will establish a roster of complementary pieces who all fulfill some need, like the Denver Nuggets.  Men see, court, conquer women and when they ultimately figure out she’s not it, instead of counting their losses they find other uses.  Sex, advice, network, flattery, just someone whose company you enjoy, or even someone they themselves are trying to get see them in a different light.  Most single men aren’t alone, there’s always someone.  Like an NBA roster, most would send the whole team away if it meant getting someone they felt was worth it. 

I have a roster, not intentionally it’s just how it plays out.  I’m not exactly juggling 6 women at the same time, but I pride myself on being a good judge of character, if I like you as a person why wouldn’t I want to keep you in my circle in some capactiy.  I’m in a few rosters, I’m a nice guy, maybe not her cup of tea but there’s no reason to shun me completely….I think.  The issue with rosters, is no one likes feeling like they aren’t good enough, why her and not me just as my reader inquired?  It’s humbling to know you’re only a role player in his heart and often most would leave before they accept it. Hi Miss.  However, it’s reality, we all can’t be the love of everyone’s life.

-Stan-

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