Monthly Archives: January 2014

Today’s Word is… TIP

Editors Note: I actually wrote this a year ago and at the time thought maybe I was in my feelings about it and thought better of it.  Now a whole year done passed and I don’t have anything else to write about, why not?  And for the record, I still don’t think I’m wrong. 


So its Valentine’s Day and I invite my sweetie out to a nice evening of dinner and drinks.  When deciding on a venue, I take a friend’s advice and skip restaurant chains and try a nice upscale place in town with a solid Yelp rating. You know, one of those restaurants that don’t put prices on the menu so you just gotta pray that bill don’t look like zip code when it comes.  Anyway, so the plan was to meet up after work, I was in my business casual work attire, she shows up in a sweater and jeans, whatever dress codes usually only apply to black men anyway. 

Our waitress comes, I order for us.  The waitress smiles and says she always finds it cute when the man orders for two.  My date suddenly has an issue that I ordered for her (we discussed what we were getting like 10 seconds prior).  So our food arrives and before its even blessed she takes out her phone and takes pictures (pet peeve of mine BTW).   It’s a weeknight so I only have a beer while she orders several drinks (she makes note she orders them herself after the waitress’ comment).  She complains the drinks are too light but keeps ordering more because that makes sense.  The waitress checks on us occasionally like most waitresses do but my date thinks there’s an ulterior motive.  So anyway, we finish eating the check comes…..steep but not devastating.  Now my thing with tips is I usually try to round bills to easy whole numbers makes it easier to keep track in my head.  The waitress was polite, fast, courteous and I’m 1/4 bougie on my mamas side, I tip generously.

My dates still pretty drunk so we walk and talk and for a while the night was salvaged.  Now we’re in the cab headed home…

“So….how much you tip the waitress?”
“Idk…10..15 percent”
“Like the number amount, how much did you give her”
“A dollar per side eye you gave her tonight”
“Why can’t you just tell me?”
“Why do you care?”
“Because I don’t get why its such a big deal, just tell me..I mean she was all over you, I don’t know why we went there anyway…”

This went on the whole ride, nevermind how much I just spent on her she was not going to let this go.  We get to my place, no asking how much I tipped the cabbie with the Duck Dynasty beard, no real thank you for dinner, only more ranting about just the tip. Night ruined, mood killed, I didn’t even care to ask “just the tip?”  Next time I’m just going to Chili’s…with a waiter.  And tipping like a cliche black person. Vuck Falentines Day. 



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Today’s Word is… ANEW

“You just looking giddy over there, you gotta be talking to some new _____ old _____ don’t make you giddy like that”

Love, they said “love”. We’ll go with that. A colleague’s observation when I got a message at lunch. He’s wrong and right, I wasn’t talking to anyone “new” per se but he’s right in the sense that there’s something to meeting someone new. Not to say that wives/girlfriends don’t make a man just as happy but even before that person became said wife or girlfriend, they were just a stranger, follower, acquaintance and as time wore on the relationship blossomed. Regardless of where we stand currently, I fondly remember how I met most people or rather, when/how they blossomed into someone important in my life. Anyway, it did spark spontaneous debate on old vs new, one I found interesting as the married and single guys went the opposite as one would think, guess it’s a grass is greener thing.

They want some new trim, we lust for some trust- Andre 3000

Myself, I was split. I’ve mentioned occasionally here that I hate dating now, it’s harder to get to know people these days when every feeling is a status update and every action is a precedent. There’s blogs/books/seminars that think they are giving women “the playbook” when really they are just building up paranoia with nonsense like “If he gets his steak medium well he’ll leave you for a white girl”. New loves come with a whole new set of luggage you’re going to have to get over. Every woman you met is single for a reason, she broke someone’s heart and/or someone broke hers. You helped your ex get over her insecurities now here she comes with a brand new batch for you to alleviate all over again. You yourself had your own intimacy issues and now you gotta slowly weed her in because the last time went SO well. Your last ex didn’t mind texting, this one is traditional, she doesn’t do that thing you like, you’re not as attractive as her ex and it’s written all over her homegirl’s face. It can be a headache.

Of course there’s the benefits to starting over, you’re chance at redemption, a comeback for love, a clean slate. She doesn’t have years of evidence of you being an asshole (yet), your stories are interesting again, you’re following a loser ex, in her eyes you’re already winning. You both have the hindsight of failed relationships and know exactly what to do now (presumably). You want to know more about each other, it’s a new quest to conquer. There’s just a little something extra in someone else wanting you. But of course, new doesn’t last forever so what do you do then? Just keep going conquest to conquest, serving as a mere projection that never becomes real, therefore can never disappoint. Maybe. Some do. Works for them. Just saying.

My married colleagues can say it’s cool to keep having new adventures, they can live vicariously through me (although my life is really not as fun as they assume) and they can do that because while new love is fun, convenient and there’s just something special about it, nothing tops stability and consistency. They can pretend they want to head to happy hours and scope new talent but they head to the crib to their wives and watch HGTV. New adventures are fun while they last; I miss when “Dessi” was just some girl I sorta knew, I miss when “She” was just my friend, I miss when I couldn’t wait to hear from “Her” but eventually the glimmer fades and they become a blessing earned or lesson learned. Meeting new people can only hope to recapture that same excitement and some times it does but honestly, the shit just gets old.


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Today’s Word is… HONOR

I’m a fan, I don’t stan. I don’t blindly support people just to do it, I look at things objectively. I love my New England Patriots but everyone knows Brady fumbled in the “tuck rule” game, I love comics but I’m not going to dress up and go to Comic-con. Kanye West is one of my favorite artists but I’m not about to cosign 73% of the bullshit he says or does but for the 27% he is right, I will defend accordingly. So recently, Kanye found himself in the news for cold clocking some dude who called Kim out her name. Reactions went from “it’s just a name” to “publicity stunt” to Ye is just out of his damn mind. My reaction was taking the celebrity element out of it, a man hit another man for disrespecting his woman, that’s normal right? Some people on Twitter agreed, others did not. Yes, violence is not the answer all that jazz but I guess I’m old school in believing that if you talk out your behind, prepare to have a foot in it. Chivalry has been on life support for years now but defending a woman’s honor has that died out as well?

Full disclosure, I pretty much grew up in a house full of women, I took out the trash, I killed the spiders, I walked in the house first on New Years (still don’t get the meaning of that). I was also the second youngest so when it to hierarchy I only had my little sister under me. I was her protector, she was rough around the edges, she followed me around played like one of the boys but she was still my baby sister, mess with her you mess with me. Didn’t help she had a reckless mouth, but it didn’t matter because if a boy jumped up he’d get beat down. My mother, herself having three big brothers, made sure of it. Fast forward a bit, I still have that mentality whether it’s my sister, a girlfriend or even a little homie. Granted, I’m a wee bit too old to be fighting, especially in this brave new world of camera phones, Worldstarhiphop and dudes busting guns because they never learned a right cross. Somehow it’s weak or simping to defend your woman yet there’s prisons full of men who would do anything for their hitta their hitta. (Which speaks to the unnerving sentiment on black men and their women but I won’t go there…today.) Obviously, I never go looking to start confrontation but sometimes defending her honor is necessary.
For example, a little while back I found myself in some situation (I’m pretty sure I told this story but I don’t remember the post) and yada yada yada I had to take it to that ghetto university. Now the situation could’ve/should’ve been avoided and when it was over, I made sure to let her know how I felt about us both being put in that position. However, in the heat of the moment I wasn’t going to sit back and say “this your fault”.

You already know doe, you on ya own thats motto ninja YOYO

The other backlash with Kanye was that it was just a word, sticks and stones bruh. I guess I can’t say much seeing as how I reacted to being called that word and perhaps it was a silly reason to call in the cavalry, but for all we know she could’ve been having a rough day and just needed to talk and Kanye being a man felt the need to defend his lady, I can’t find fault in that. If I’m with a woman, I step away for a second and some dude heckles a bit, I’m not going to walk up swinging. If I come back and she’s visibly upset, I’ll probably have a word with him. If she tells me about it on the ride back, I’ll probably be frustrated but I can understand her reasons for not telling me sooner. Some people can laugh off insults, harassment while others are rattled and need support, when you start saying what one should and shouldn’t be able to tolerate it’s kind of a slippery slope.

At the end of the day, when it comes to defending a woman’s honor, it’s risk management. I’m not a 12 year old boy who could deck a kid and get away with it, I’m a grown man with things to lose. It’s just a matter of if that person is worth risking it for.


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Today’s Word is… BREAK

Ha ha ha ha ha ha check out this bizarre

What’s breaks, breaks is when you don’t text me before you go to sleep

Breaks is when ya moms don’t stop me in the streets

Breaks is when I see you, a subtle smile like “I see you”

At least that’s what I thought it was. Apparently I was wrong. I always looked at breaks as breakups, I’m no longer committed to you, you’re no longer committed to me. Maybe we’ll reconcile, maybe we’ll won’t, go fly your pretty wings elsewhere. Others look at them more as trial version breakups, the space is there, but the freedom…not quite. Some people believe in relationship breaks, sometimes people actually need time for themselves to sort things out or absence does make the heart grow fonder. I know of separated couples that eventually righted the ship, I also know people who are celebrating “anniversaries” like they wasn’t with someone else for a good 1/3 of it, I’m sleep tho. Different strokes and all that. I personally don’t believe in them, if you’re in a relationship with someone you shouldn’t need weeks or months to decide if you want to be with them, that what was supposed to be the courting phrase. Rather, if you need the time then actually break up and accept the consequence of breakups which is that they are free to go. I can think of maybe one time I actually reluctantly went on a break and I knew rather early that it was over. But that’s just me. Basically these are the breaks, word to Kurtis Blow.

The universal code for “I had a s/o off campus/still fair game”

Pause break- Essentially they want to be with you, but it’s really inconvenient to be in a relationship right now. This is really popular in college, when guys and girls were on campus on their worst behavior but never fear significant other they’re gonna get right back…eventually. There’s an immunity clause, the Ross Gellar defense, that will protect them from any wrongdoing while on this break (see Wade, Dwyane…for what it’s worth I think the “break” is more for Gabby’s image, he cheated, she forgave because he’s an NBA player and she’s 41 and not trying to start over but has an image to maintain).

Denial break- Like my lone example, it’s over but in the back of one’s mind it’s not. They agree to be just friends but they still hit you up daily, they are plotting to win you back or fix whatever reason you gave to end it in the first place, don’t believe them just watch. It’s like getting a 6 week layoff notice and thinking if you work hard those six weeks you can be rehired, that 6 weeks that should’ve been spent looking forward was wasted looking back. One the other end, the one in the drivers seat is not helping the situation, they still mess around, mislead, and they themselves aren’t moving forward.

Single is single, relationship is relationship. When things start to get muddled not much good comes from it. Titles define accountability, you can’t tell a single person what to do, you can’t just make someone in a relationship go away and come back at your nearest convenience. Breaks do both. You shouldn’t need a break from the person you’re with to find yourself, if you do why are you even holding the door for them. You shouldn’t need a break to rekindle the flame, you can be spontaneous now. Commit or quit, don’t be a bitch about it.


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Today’s Word is… INTIMACY

*Blows dust off keyboard*

You ever just wonder what your ultimate legacy to someone is now? You break up, fall out and now you’re forever a memory, a part of their narrative, a part of their story. In 25 years I’ve met my fair share of women, now am I just a sweet guy it didn’t work out with or a narcissistic asshole. Am I even remembered at all? The things I shared with them, are they still locked away or am I now the butt of insider jokes with their homegirls. Perhaps I just over think about things. I’ve had my struggles with intimacy, feeling emotional closeness and connection with another person. Being vulnerable, open, unbridled…it didn’t come easy for me, as it doesn’t for most men. We’re taught from an early age to be competitive, that feelings are a sign of weakness and to avoid vulnerability and dependency at all costs. Women are much more intimate, well open to the possibility but when things get too real they too will shut all the way down, I just learned that the hard way. Anyway doe, why is intimacy so hard to achieve from either side, if you can’t trust them shouldn’t you be able to trust your own instincts? If you can’t trust those…then well, why not?

Well for one thing in this new era of #wecare, people are way too public about everything. This is the age of screenshotting messages, posting personal photos and if you had a bad breakup, a well executed rant has viral potential. Even as I clear my phones of contacts, messages, pictures today, it would never cross my mind to “leak” things sent to me in confidence regardless of how hurt I felt or how many subliminal messages they post. It’s hard to build intimacy when most people will betray you for a 15 minutes of internet fame. Then of course, there’s the bad history. You’ve tried to open up to someone to no avail or they simply wouldn’t open up to you and you’ve accepted it as the way it goes. You then settle on physical intimacy which is much easier to achieve. You kiss, hug, penetrate like you actually give a damn about them but then immediately after release you want to shove them off you and ask what they about to get into…not that I would…ever…do…let’s move on.

As I said I’ve had my struggles with intimacy, moreso because I found myself being the rock, but when it came down to my own needs she wasn’t there. When a man starts to look elsewhere for intimacy, well, you end up Gabrielle Unioned. I can say most men want someone they can be intimate with, which is why that old college girlfriend, or “best friend” never goes anywhere even if it’s not physical. They just want someone they can be honest with, who’s present, who they can trust, who respects their opinion, and appreciates them. In a perfect world, that person is their wife or girlfriend, in reality it’s their homegirl or they mama until someone else is ready to take that torch.

We all require intimacy in order to thrive. When we make the effort to give attention to intimacy, it’s not only our relationships that benefit but our lives in general. And as a result, so do the lives of all of the others with whom we engage. It’s a ripple effect, shut out people shut out people, intimate people are intimate to others. I’d like to think that most people I’ve encountered are more confident and trusting because I’ve always tried to be there for them. Or maybe I wasn’t, and now they can never trust anyone cuz of me, in that case, uh ooooooooh it aint my fault *Mystikal voice* (is he still out btw?)


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