Monthly Archives: September 2013

Today’s Word is… FRIENDSHIP

I’m not a relationship expert, I don’t even play one on TV.  This blog is more or less me thinking out loud and when readers do reach out for my perspective, tell me about a post they like, or just to #heyboo, I appreciate the love. My gmail aside from sweet nothings from a special someone, is otherwise full of bullsh t any other time, no matter how many things I unsubscribe from….I’m rambling.  Anyway, when readers do ask for my perspective on an issue, I try to be as objective as possible.  I try to take myself out the conversation, but this last one, it really touched on a pet peeve of mine. 

Quick summary: So the reader was friends with this guy, they dated briefly but then he told her he was busy with school/work and it was best they just be friends.  Reader agreed, but of course it turned into a FWB thing, the reader thought she could win him over eventually, when he declined again she blocked his number and on social media, now misses him wants to fix things…..as long as they get back together. 

So after getting more information I responded she should respect his wishes and work on the friendship. 
“Okay….but how long do I have to be his friend before I bring up us”
“Do you want him or you just want a man”
“I want him to be my man”
*throws phone*

This reason this grinds my gears is because of the notion that friendship is somehow a downgrade.  She doesn’t care about him or his wishes not to be in a relationship.  The situation brought me back to “Miss”, who most of y’all know the story of.  What hurt me more than the complete 180 shift in personality is that she pretty much deemed a friendship that budded over years completely irrelevant because she couldn’t have what SHE wanted.  I told her things I never told anyone, I loved her just not in the way she desired, and all of it was just a facade apparently.  The reader who says she loves this guy more or less is brushing off his friendship as some sort of prerequisite course and it’s pretty disheartening. 

Friendships don’t just happen, this isn’t Facebook.  While I believe friendship is an important foundation to a relationship, that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.  People whine about the friendzone all the time but it’s really just an overbearing sense of entitlement; “I’m attractive, we get along great, we’re both single, how dare you not want to be with me.  You dated whatshisname and he wears tube socks with dress shoes.”  Spare me.  There’s people I’ve known all my life I still wouldn’t call them a friend.  I have friends now that at one time I was the one who wanted more, should I be bitter about and block their number, or just accept another good person in my circle, even if not in the role I intended.               
              
Ultimately, me and the reader reached a consensus to stop being intimate, try being his friend and if she’s still so madly in love it hurts her core not to have him call his own , then she can gradually drift away and wished her luck.  Although in full disclosure I don’t buy the too busy thing….actually that’s another post entirely.

-Stan-      

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Today’s Word is… REBOUND

“Do you have a brother”
“A few…why?”
“Oh you just look like this guy…a younger version though”
“cause I’m young and I’m black and my hats real low”
“Silly….”

She didn’t know my brother.  I didn’t know the guy she was referring to.  I would come to know of him as her ex of 3 years who cheated on her, got the other girl pregnant and ultimately just started over with her.  Cold game.  IShe was a grad student who was only on campus sporadically but as we got to know each other she would come by more and more often and yada yada yada we’re dating.  It was a quick transition from that random question at the campus center, I fell for her, at least the idea of her. She wanted to finish school, move away and settle down, I coveted the same thing.  However our reasons differed, I wanted that life, any life with her, she wanted the life she envisioned with her ex.  I was pretty much just the lightskinned Aunt Vivian filling the role.   

More likely than not, we all end up with someone who was someone else’s queen/king before you got there.  They hit it hit it hit it hit it hit it first, and there’s nothing you can do about it but put your behind in your pants, or your past behind ya.  The difference between being a fresh start and a rebound is simply how over the ex they are.  I was naive in the opening paragraph, I knew she wasn’t over her ex, hell I literally reminded her of him. However, she said she was over it, I gave her the benefit of the doubt.  I like to say now that even then I knew better but she was a rebound of sorts, I had a couple heartbreaks under my belt I just wanted to be done, she was pretty, smart, life of affluence, that’s more than enough to work with, right? I mean she would return those feelings eventually, I’m nothing like her ex.  Nope. Wrong again.  Rebounds seldom work, love is energy and energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transfered. F ck you science.  

Fresh starts are a different story, you’ve ended things, you’ve reflected, you’re ready to start over.  Sometimes, we ruin potential great things because we don’t let go soon enough or we think we let go and we’re not as healed as we thought.  None of my tweener/rebound relationships worked because I just wasn’t ready, I would say pretty much every even numbered girlfriend.(that’s probably not actually true but just go with it, mmkay.)  While I’ve used time (and this blog) to reflect and grow I can say I’m ready to go, no Derrick Rose.  Of course, it takes two to tango, so how to tell if I’m THEIR rebound or fresh start.  You can’t just have to trust their words and your own instincts.  Granted, I whiffed before but I can either run from it or learn from it (for those keeping score that’s 3 Lion King references, triple word score).  You can’t change the past, you can’t undo memories, only have to be patient and create new ones.

-Stan-   

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Today’s Word is… MOM

Guess I gotta make this blog cry…

It has now been four years since my mother passed, as I’ve told you before. With each day, week, month and year, I mourn but I try and push through as she would want. I struggle to keep her ultimate legacy, her family, intact to mixed results. Of course it is the last quarter of the year it’s the hardest, she passed in September, her birthday in October, and then of course the holidays and gaping void that exists at those most intimate family moments. I can’t help but think back to that last afternoon, four years ago, with hindsight as that would be the last conversation, I or anyone would have with her. In the back of my mind I felt it would be, but I didn’t want to believe it. I take solace in the fact that her last words were that she loved me, but again, what would I have took that opportunity to say to her knowing I would never have that chance again? What would I say now?

I would thank her. For everything. She was my source of confidence, my number one fan, my inspiration. She helped make me into the man I am today. I was only 21 when she left, what happens now as I near my late 20s and things start to get real. My wife will never get her seal of approval, my children will never know their nana, I’ll never be able to get her a house. That’s the crazy thing about life, it just keeps going on. I’m eternally grateful for the 21 years I had her, but it’s still a troubling thought to think about the next 21 without her. She lost her mother young and even as she left town, married and had 5 children there were moments where she just felt empty that her mother wasn’t there to see her life’s work. I think about everything that’s happened in the past 4 years, I finally listened to her and got into a long term relationship, I finished school with little to no help, now I would’ve been able to take care of her if needed.

I still think back to that last conversation. What if she knew it would be the last one? What would she say to me differently, what would she want me to pass on to my siblings, what did she always want me to know? She was only 47 when she left, her baby had just turned 20, she was able to hold each of her two grandchildren, but there was so much life ahead. Would she had found love again, she never saw any of us get married, she never got to celebrate 50. Would defeating cancer gave her a new lease on life, would she had battled the demons within? Would she ever mended the bridges that burned? I’ll never know. She’ll never know. I can only hope she left feeling fulfilled, and that she’s truly looking down with pride.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… DATING

If you’ve been reading long enough you know I have a healthy disdain for dating.  If you’re new here, Hi I’m Stan, thanks for reading, I fugging hate dating.  I used to enjoy dating, meeting new people, all my stories were fresh, a reason to get out the house.  What’s turned me off to dating is the paranoia these days, it’s played or get played round here.  In the new wild west of dating, standards are just out of control, everything you say/don’t say do/don’t do is broken down and projected 3 months into the future, the slightest differences in opinion become long drawn out battles out of fear it might start a trend.  The advice blog/book has become the new stretgy guide, because you gotta know what he knows before he knows you know so you know how to defend yourself.  Yes, that was meant to sound as ridiculous as it does.  Okay, I’m ranting….my point being that dating has become more about getting the most for less and not letting the other person have leverage over you, and this is what we choose to do? In our spare time?  For our own enjoyment?   

Picking battles is more art than science.  Why is it important to you?  Is it because its what your mama say, grandma say ma-ma-ku-sa or you are just so worried this one will get over like the last one did?  I have my standards as do most people but the reasons I do is because I feel I wouldn’t be happy in a relationship without it. For example, I’m an expressive person, obviously it’s not going to work with someone who hates confrontation.   I also don’t eat lunch meat (y’all can go head and stop side eyeing), does that mean I won’t date a woman who can’t cook? Probably not.  It’s pretty much shooting yourself in the foot dismissing people for things other people think you should find important.

The reason I hate dating is it’s so full of rules an standards that people aren’t even trying to get to know me they are just filling out a checklist.  I’ve gone on first dates where she paid, I’ve had sex on the first night, I’ve asked grips out via text, I’ve “chilled” for a first date.  Now would I do any of those things now, probably not.  But I ultimately ended up in a relationship with all 4 of them, because at the time I wanted to be with only them.  A man committing himself to one woman without any sort of mind games or tests.  What a novel concept.  I’ve also met celibacy girl, I only date men above 6 ft girl, I don’t date black guys girl (have I told y’all about her before, I gotta work that story into a post some day), and men pay for everything girl.  I never cared to keep up with them so I could lie and say they are still alone, actually yes, they are all alone because of their stupid rules and by laws.  I’very said before, there is no cheat code or filter to finding a perfect mate.  So why not just make yourself available and enjoy dating the old fashioned way? 

-Stan-      

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Today’s Word is… SHADE

Whenever colorism is discusssed, it’s usually in reference to women: the glorification of “redbones” in rap, how Beyonce seems to keep turning white for certain photo shoots, Oprah’s “Dark Girls” documentary.  However, colorism is just as prevalent in black men.  It took me a while to come into my own, in my 25 years I can’t say for sure if I fully am. My father, brother, and two closest friends were all lighter skinned men, all ladykillers, while I just sat on the outside looking in wondering if something was wrong with me. I looked at lighter skinned women who seemed to be lauded and applauded as the standard of beauty and wondered if I was good enough for them. My feeling of self worth went well beyond my play with the ladies, teachers being taken aback by my intellect, police interactions, just day to day interactions with people, there was always some sort of stigma attached to my dark skin. Sometimes people not even realizing what they’re doing, others being very aware of some unspoken privilege they were granted in society.

I remember one day we was getting ready to go somewhere, he’s looking in the mirror, “You know? Mo girl finds me ugly”. He was good for those type of quotes, his whole persona seemed to be modeled after the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. My mother passed by as he said it, “Why?”. “Why what?” “Why no girl finds you ugly”, he almost answered but even he knew better than to take that bait. My mother, a deep ebony colored women from whom I take after, smiled at me and shot him another look before passing on. In her eyes said everything I need to hear at that moment, she adored both her kings and contrary to his arrogance, we were equals. I tried to internalize that message as years passed when just the opposite was stressed daily.

Fast forward a couple years, there was this girl I would see around the way, she wasn’t like the more…let’s say “unfiltered” women who lived here, she was different. We would develop a friendship and as time passed the friendship grow increasingly more flirtatious.  I was way too shy/oblivious to pull the trigger I was just happy to have a girl pay me any mind.  Anyway, one day she would somewhat shock me, my best friend tried to get at her.  She was flustered describing the scene, she never knew she was his type, “you know how lightskinned dudes be” said. Then of course, came the Leonidas kick to the friendzone: “i mean I still like you, but if I can have him…”.  Part of me wanted to point out the irony that she was 50 shades of brown herself, but I was just thinking about this vicious rejection I was getting at the moment. She saw him and saw an upgrade from me, hell an upgrade from herself. Sadder when I think about it now.

The years that followed, I would counter the insults, pretend I perfectly understood how I would “fit a description of a suspect”, and stopped getting annoyed by being told who I looked like. In popular culture, there’s movements of empowerment and the celebration black beauty. They say dark brothers are “in style” now, but trends fade. What’s most disheartening about colorism is the divide within the divide. While my friend would sometimes claim his Italian roots, it didn’t stop authorities from asking him the same questions as me, if my brother were to fall for darker skinned woman and his child looked more like her than him, would he still make that same boast? I might make a tongue in cheek remark about a lightskinned man, but who knows his plight. As if being black in America isn’t already something to overcome.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… FALLING

I guess this is a sequel? Meh, sequels never live up to the hype.  Remix? No, those suck too.  Okay, a new post that’s closely related to an old one? Yeah, let’s call it that.  I told you before I was in love 4 1/2 times. Well we can safely bring it down to 4 now. I say that because that 1/2 upon further review, the call’s been overturned, I will not be charged a timeout.  At that time, I was falling in love, at least I thought I was, if you’ve been reading for a while you know how that all worked out.  Falling in love is somewhat of a different monster than the actual feeling of love.  To again quote Love Jones “falling in love ain’t sh t”.  We’re attracted to who we are attracted to, we share things with that person, we develop a bond and suddenly you find yourself really wondering why you’re smiling like a fool whenever you hear from them, why they plague every free thought, and most importantly why they scare the living hell out you. 

Falling in love is scary for multiple reasons. For starters, you know what’s going on in your mind but never theirs.  You tread lightly, because no one wants to put themselves out there and realize they are on an one way street.  It’s hard to be falling for someone and know they don’t quite feel the same way.  You can try to grin and bear it, but ultimately resentment will grow.  You were there for the same moments and conversations I were and you really aren’t feeling me?  Profess feelings and you just going to shrug and say why not, like I’m just sending a friend request?  Even the most mature person can’t play themselves to that extent.  At that point and you just need to get as far away as possible.  At least for a while, maybe it’s selfish but we all need to be sometimes. I’ve surely been on both sides of that coin. 

Falling in love is scary because now that you found love in a hopeless place, what’s supposed to happen?  Are you ready for a relationship?  Are they?  If not, why say anything? “I think I’m falling for you but I’m not looking to be with you right now”, you probably will get throat chopped.  Relationships require accommodation and sometimes you just can’t make it work.  Personally, I don’t agree with that sentiment, we’re never too busy for anything we truly want.  If your biggest deterrent of giving yourself to someone is the inconvenience then maybe feelings need to be reevaluated.  Was that a shot at myself? Idk, moving on. 

The scariest thing about falling in love, falling out. The initial feelings of falling are euphoric and peaceful but eventually the pessimist in you can’t help but think about the last time.  When you find yourself feeling the way you used to feel….thinking about the possibilities you lost hope on….you want to believe it’ll be different, but can you be sure?  You can’t.  Love isn’t fear, it’s…..peace.  It’s security, it’s worth the trouble, it changes perspective.  Falling in love is scary because there’s risks, but to that same extent there’s just so much to gain.  Still ain’t sh t tho.  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… AMNESTY

“Can I come over”

A text from “Her”. I thought about what would happen if I said yes.  How we would have dinner as if nothing’s changed, how I would look at her the way I always did, how she would blush.  How we would convince ourselves what’s about to happen is perfectly alright. How the next morning we would discuss where we go from here, we remember we weren’t on the same page. We’d soon go our separate ways, we’d reach out to be friends again because pride won’t allow us to be bitter over what’ll never be.  Then on some lonely night, she’d text again

“Can I come over” 

“That wouldn’t be a good idea…have a good night”

I would awake to a four page letter (Double Aaliyah reference score) about how she merely wanted to hang out with a friend, if we were friends this shouldn’t be an issue.  I picked up my phone, thought about all 6 hypocrisies I could call her on, but thought better of it.  I deleted the message, her number and reached out to someone more worthy of my time.  Why waste my energy on a debate, why devote my time to something that clearly annoys me, why have this clutter in my way when there’s something that has much more potential.  Taking a page from the NBA, I’m just going to have to amnesty her.  

For my non sports savvy readers, the NBA’s amnesty clause, permits a team to still pay a player but have them completely off their books with no penalty.  Reasons vary, rhey cost too much, needs to make room for better players, just aren’t good anymore, regardless, when a player is amnestied, they are out of their consciousness.   In my case, “Her” just has to go.  Will I always have some feelings for her, yes, does she add value to my life?  Ultimately, no.  Clearly we can’t be friends, it’s not worth a detriment to future relationships to keep her as a friend, and the ship on us as a couple as sailed, hit an iceberg, sank and Leonardo DiCaprio died even though Rose could’ve fit him on that door and balanced the weight.  So as I held my phone this morning, thinking of something to say to potentially appease her feelings and preserve the fledgling friendship, is it even worth it?  Not anymore. 

The NBA only allows one amnesty a season, I’m not in the NBA, I’ll amnesty once every NBA, NFL, MLB, winter, spring, summer, fall, Netflix, cuffing season.  As I have throughout the year simply separated myself from the unnecessary distractions in my life, love, socially or career.  No need to even burn bridges, just cross and don’t look back and get the same effect. There’s just so much else to be worried about.

-Stan-       

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