Category Archives: Simply Stan

Today’s Word is… TWENTYSOMETHING 

So the other day, me and some people were discussing Xxxtentatacion (yeah I don’t know how to pronounce this shit neither, nor do I care to learn).  From what I understood, he made dark emo tumblr teen music and I’m #damnnear30.  Issa no for me dog.   I have bills, a 401k, and just left a farmers market… Nothing about XXXtentimesseven appeals to me.  Do your thing lil nigga, it’s just not for me. (actually don’t, I did a little more reading on this dude… He’s like a psychopath, like sentient Eminem lyrics, they need to just come collect him like they did Bobby Shmurda. Free Bobby Shmurda.)  Anyway, the whole conversation showed me how entrenched in my damnnear30ness I’ve become, I’m not quite old head status, I’m still good for eating a beef patty and chips for dinner and I laughed someone’s name being “Will Laycock” but otherwise there’s just some things I’m unabashedly too damn old for as grown man who’s #damnnear30.  How many? Damn near 30. Such as

  1. 18+ parties
  2. Any new social media platform, when Twitter goes I’m going down with the ship
  3. Cheap bedding from Target
  4. Dating women under 25
  5. Smoking weed (yeah yeah legal but personally I made it this far never trying it there’s no reason to pick up a vice this late in the game) 
  6.  Getting carded, like bruh I have a whole beard and my voice is deeper than yours how dare you
  7. Trips where I’m sharing a hotel room with anyone I’m not sleeping with
  8. Fist fights….well… Just don’t get hit in the face, you too old for fat lips.
  9. Not holding my liquor and being around others who can’t
  10. Flying Spirit Airlines
  11. Not being real about what you’re looking for whether it’s a a serious relationship or the opposite 
  12. Not owning a suit
  13. Posters on the wall without frames.
  14. Trying to keep up with these dance crazes, if you danced to Knuck if You Buck you cannot Juju on the Beat.
  15. That blonde Mohawk style 
  16. Hooking up at the movies
  17. Asking people on dates to the movies for that purpose 
  18. Sex on twin beds
  19. Wearing jerseys of anyone younger than you
  20.  Kicking it with “friends” you actually don’t rock with like that
  21. Living at home for free
  22. Getting your phone cut off…not storing your new number until you prove you can keep it
  23. Actually getting angry at alma mater/BGLO slander
  24. Lying to your parents bout silly shit* (if you’re American*)
  25. Hitting up promoters to get on the guest list, unless you’re visiting the city or it’s a birthday
  26. Drinking alcohol that comes in a plastic bottle; including the mystery punch that always pops up at kickbacks.  
  27. Reaffirming your blackness, a decade removed from being called oreo in high school 
  28. Not shooting your shot. 
  29. Trying to understand these newbreeds music tastes… We pretended Tony Yayo could rap and did the chicken noodle soup with a soda on a side.  We had to learn, so will they

Now, do I have to say that these aren’t set in stone and if you are my age or older don’t take offense? Well…actually, I don’t this time. Because I am judging you. I want better for you.   There are exceptions though, professional athletes tend to act about 5 years younger, rappers closer to 8. Mo money, no progress.  The rest of us have the wisdom to know better, so act accordingly.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SIMPLE

Men are simple.  It’s an adage as old as time itself; basically it’s Morgan Freeman.  It’s partially correct in the sense that men aren’t as complicated as made out to be; just about every “why doesn’t he…” question can be answered with a “because he doesn’t want to.”  Trying to find deeper meaning in direct ass words and actions is simply searching for an answer you like better or trying to make a Nicki Minaj verse profound.    He isn’t being complicated, he’s literally rhyming race with race and China with China.  He doesn’t want you, my dear.  That level of simplicity then gets applied to men in general; Be hot.  Have sex.  Feed him. Don’t nag. Your caveman will love you until he dies… Well except for the fact that he broods mostly at home but you see pictures of him on his line brothers page and he’s never been more ecstatic.  He comes home and says work is fine but the entire ride home he sulked thinking about the promotion he got passed over on.  He loves your family like his own but you barely know his and he never really speaks about that.  Turns out, he isn’t simple. Because no one is simple.  We all have our layers, needs, wants, desires.  

“Men are simple”  is a cop out, albeit self afflicted because we struggle with exploring our layers, expressing our true wants and intentions, and holding ourselves accountable to them.   It’s the logic upon which Steve Harvey has built an empire, psssh men are easy clearly it’s you.  Men themselves own it, but if all we need is sex, food and silence then why aren’t we satisfied?  Not too long ago I wrote about the “its cool girl” (#wellactually, it was well over a year ago… Time flying like a bitch ain’t it?).  The it’s cool girl is low maintenance, available, convenient because she is just trying to get chose. Then one day she looks up and realizes she isn’t happy because she lost herself in her relationship.  “Sex, food, silence” guy is the other side of that coin, he doesn’t feel, doesn’t care, doesn’t express what he wants because that’s woman shit.  It’s cool girl and it’s cool guy then find themselves in a unsatisfying relationship until one or both of them cheats or leaves. (Lawrence and Issa).  It’s cool guy might even be worse because he approached, courted and chose her and never really asked himself, is this what I really want?  

I’ve been it’s cool guy. I’m a pleaser, but sometimes I would get so caught up in trying to be any and everything for her that I lost myself.  Because she was fine. Because she passed the checklist.  Because she was my best friend.   I was getting the food, sex, silence but still not satisfied, still not whole.  I would get frustrated with myself; maybe I was being too picky, maybe I was just a fuckboy or maybe I didn’t know what I was doing.  (I still don’t know what I’m doing).  The answer was, I was being simple and simplicity bores me.  I need to be me, fully and understood as such.  Maybe if I knew then what I know now I would’ve been able to express what I needed and received it.  Now I do know what I want and still trying to find a way to articulate it. I’m layered but not unsolvable. Learn me. (okay…clearly still work shopping the articulation part) 

We all want the simple things but it’s time to stop being naive as if that’s all we want. Netflix is not a date.  Stop tweeting generalizations and call her.   Yes it’s still a fuckboy move if you’re really good to her whilst stringing her along. Basically, we all need to stop lying.  We aren’t simple.  Playing it cool helps no one. Just maybe if everyone kept it 100 about what they want, dating could be a wee bit less trash.  Instead, everyone paying the minimum wondering why they still in debt. Sad! 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… EVENTS

So this past weekend I was at a Must Love Beards party, a day party where men got in free, beard or not and the ladies paid a cover. I’m not presently looking for anyone, I was largely there to support the host and was curious at who would pay to attend.  (I found out later it was $25, and good on them because you must be out your damn mind, you tell me a club cost $25 I’m probably turning around.  $25 I expect a performance, a drink ticket, something.  Better yet I’m surprised women wasn’t just feeling up beards and saying “aye red Jordans… Whatever you ugly anyway”, if you gonna do it, DO IT.). Actually, the whole experience was an interesting role reversal as ladies showed up in their baddest dress and heels and the fellas were there in kicks and hats.  Plenty of dudes shot pool, only danced when Future came on, took some selfies and dipped.  So basically, the ladies seem to go through what we do just about every other time. 

I had a good time; as did plenty of the guys I talked to afterward.  A growing sentiment was there was finally an event that actually felt *for* them.    I’m not the biggest club guy myself but to my earlier point, between the usual dress code, music selection, cover charge, parking, expensive drinks it’s easy to see why men are typically like, yeah fuck all that.  You can meet a woman with a swipe of a finger now, why are you going through this? Clubs here are always women, dude bros, cat daddies, the promoters 8 homeboys and the people who just moved from New York and DC who will quickly learn this ain’t New York or DC.  Round here, Nightlife don’t love us, we don’t love it. Sad. 

I was talking to someone that night who asked, “so where the hell y’all be every other night?  It’s not like y’all don’t–” 

*cut to dance floor, circle of bearded bruhs like*

…like to dance.” I gave the same nightlife don’t love us speech but then we spoke more about how everyone says they prefer to meet people at events while not ever going to, you know, events.  I started to think about what typically gets men out the house in general (women, food, money), what typically deters men from an event (convenience, rejection, money) and the fact that some of our interests (sports, video games, women) don’t actually require us to go anywhere.  She asked so where would we go that isn’t a club/party and while personally I’m more of a festival, museum, movie kind of guy and those things I’m far more likely to bring a +1 than with some single homies or even go alone. So unless you’re shooting your shot while she’s in the restroom (I’m not saying this happened but I’m not not saying it) it once again doesn’t really solve the problem. 

I guess the solution is more Must Love Beard like events or just a shift in nightlife culture in general.  There’s always Greek events (even though no one wants the guy who still riding hard for his set in his 30s)(I’m just teasing) (No I’m not).  Just have to adjust with the times, with apps and social media at your fingertips, the promise of “women gon be there” no longer suffices. Til then men gon be over here at happy hour with half priced apps, swiping for a date to the pop up art gallery r&b brunch day party thing. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SNAPCHAT

I have a love/hate relationship with Snapchat.  Sure, the idea of a taking a picture with a puppy filter or spending time creating a cartoon versions of yourself is fairly puerile. At least,  that part at least speaks to the layer of corniness that lies within me.  I’m not one of those weird people who hate filters because how dare someone look more attractive in a picture they took themselves for public consumption.   I enjoy watching other people’s “stories”, Sunday morning is perhaps the best time, the people I follow tend to have…eventful Saturday nights, while I’m a child of God. (who watches ratchet snaps on Sunday mornings… I’m just a person).  As for what I hate… I mean besides the massive battery drain, really creepy snap map feature, and the false sense of security that is a “disappearing” snap that anyone with a jailbroken/rooted device and see and keep forever?  Ironically, it was the same thing I love about Sunday morning. 

It happened when went out the other night and found myself on the wrong side of the snap, everyone snapping themselves and no one really dancing.  Then the few who were, now they are being snapped.  I’m sure your curated snaps are lit but as someone who was there in real lif,  I was bored cuz everyone wanted to snap that Bodak Yellow was playing instead of dance to it. Gone are the days when you had to rely on the club photographer who takes the sweaty high res picture that is never as flattering as you thought it was that night.  Even just a quick few group pics, now everyone is damn Spielberg.  Doing a public service that no one asked for.  Everyone doesn’t need to be “there”.  I just watched a video of Steph Curry making fun of LeBron at a wedding and my first thought was, (lightskinneds have no couth) and the second was, you were a guest at that man’s wedding B, who raised you?  Or is that just the voyeuristic society we live in now. 

What is the point of paying for a concert that you gonna record for free?  Do people realize that dark clubs and deep bass don’t make for quality content?  So not only are you killing the vibe but then the snaps aren’t even coming out worth a damn.  (Also, how haven’t skrip clubs banned phones somehow, it feels like I shouldn’t be seeing half the shit I be seeing…again, just a person).   Why can’t I post an old picture without Snapchat telling everyone that it’s a 2 week old picture, why you so loud, Snapchat damn?  Is your relationship even real if you never make the snap? Apparently not.  Why do I sound so old right now? Gross. 

I mean, I’m not THAT much different.  I have a Snapchat, a Twitter, a Facebook, an Instagram, and a blog… I operate with a heavy inclination that people give a fuck. It speaks to the narcissistic society we live in now.  We document our lives in spite of the fact that most of our lives don’t warrant daily coverage.  Snapping your drive to work, telling some 17 part confessional most people just going to skip, the need to post content when there isn’t anything worth posting.  On vacation, celebrating, having a fun night then by all means take pictures, capture moments, share your world…in moderation.  Maybe Snapchat needs a limit, like after 5 snaps it should tell you to log off and enjoy the moment. Or maybe its just some shit I might be a little too old to understand.  I still don’t even know how the score thing works.  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… MENSHIPS 

You know what’s awkward? When you essentially spend an entire day with someone well into 2 am, you take their number, never call and then run into them again in public.  You know what’s even more awkward? When it’s a guy. So yeah…context.  You go out to a happy hour with someone, they get a text from someone and they split.  It’s still kinda early so you just finish your drink.  You meet a girl, y’all vibing and all that and she’s there with her homegirl who is talking up some other dude.  You don’t know him from a hole in a wall, but the black man synergy takes over and suddenly y’all setting each other up for plays like Kyrie and LeBron. 

Fast forward to now,  out of the 3 of them, it was me and him actually stayed in touch.  (damn I don’t even remember her name)  We’ll go out kick it and I’m the friend who is probably bailing early. Issa circle. A circle of life.  Even so, it’s more of a “shoulder to shoulder” type of deal, in that it’s more of an escort than a friend.  It’s more “where the wave at”, “niggas finna go hoop”, “you tryna match?” (I don’t partake in cannabis consumption, is that what the cool kids still say?),  “you fucking with this party?”.   It’s very loose and non committal,  I might see you there, I might not and there isn’t much expectation to do so.   Even childhood friends I can’t remember the last time I just went to, see them, and enjoy their company.  It’s like in this one episode of Family Guy, Peter calls Quagmire just to talk and he’s like…um…wtf is this about?  That’s most male friendships in a nutshell

With the exception of your family and your day ones, I would say male friendships are either accessible, advisory or ancillary (yes I only used ancillary for the alliteration).  Accessible is the convenient friend.  It’s your neighbor, your coworker, your classmate.  You see them every day so you #minuswhale talk to them.  Especially when you worked in retail, you needed those people to vent to, (cover shifts) and get you through this minimum wage hell.   Then, you graduate get a full time job and never speak to them again.  I’ve been out of school for 5 years, and outside of special occasions we just don’t kick it like that.  It’s all love when I see them but there’s just not much effort to see them.  I’m sure it’s different for Greeks (but I ain’t buy friends…. kidding, kidding). 

Then there’s the healthiest of male friend ships, Advisory.  Mentors, father figures, OGs…want to make an old black man light up, ask to pick his brain.  As a mentee, you can be vulnerable, unsure, even a bit thirsty in a way that doesn’t appear weak, but rather hungry.  Old heads lived it already, learned from their mistakes and can pass it on as a reliable source whereas your man’s from college even if he’s right it’s like…*piano notes*…. OK.  Mentors are kind of the cheat code to what a healthy male friendship should be.  A “face to face” friendship, except it’s not considered a friendship, maybe that’s why it works.  

Then to bring it full circle there’s ancillary; the friend who exists because you can’t do everything alone.  The workout buddy, the drinking buddy, not much unlike the coworker or the neighbor, they’re conditional friendships.  Like “Kyrie” is cool, but I’m probably never going to his house nor he mine unless there’s a cookout.  I might buy a round but don’t ask me for bread for real for real.  You need ancillary friends because there’s no tinder for a straight man to find another straight man to grab beers with.  (adds that to list of billion dollar ideas I should put into motion one day) 

Saying that out loud, sounds cruel tho.  Like why even bother? Men don’t have close friends while being fully cognizant of the fact that they might be shitty friends. Friends are empathetic, affectionate, needy…all traits men apply to women.  It’s as if to be a good friend you have to be feminine and you know men don’t play that.  That includes myself, I’ve written before how I’m “wow, that’s crazy” guy not necessarily invested in their growth because that’s “her job” .  I saw a tweet the other day that said men going to brunch together is gay, of course alcoholic orange juice and omelets won’t make me desire a man; but me and my niggas aren’t bout to grab brunch without women present.   (Unless it’s Vegas. That’s the exception.)  

Studies show men with friends are healthier live longer so maybe we all need to make new friends and keep the old.  Check in on folks, go out more, learn how to golf and all that good stuff. Or maybe I should get to work on that app.  

-Stan-

 
 

 

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Today’s Word is… FOUR

“Can’t turn a bad girl good but once a good girl’s gone bad; she’s gone forever, I’ll mourn forever, got to live with the fact I did you wrong forever” 

That was the realest shit I ever heard. I was only like 13 tho.  Even into my early 20s, “Song Cry”  was my heartbreak remedy.  I didn’t need begging R&B records, Uncle Hov said aye sometimes things break bad, you just got to accept the L and move on.  There wasn’t much personal accountability, it was I KNOW I’m flawed, but you were the best part of us, but now you’re as messed up as me.  How disappointing…welp. New steak, who this.  (issa callback).  Sometimes the villain wins, so yada yada yada Jay ends up with the biggest superstar in the world, lord knows what happened to the Song Cry jawn.  Fast forward to 2017, Jay is once again making the song cry… Except he is crying, and apologizing to himself, to his wife, to his kids, to his sister in law, to the nigga he stabbed, (not to Kanye, Dame, Foxy, or Beanie tho ) and even to me, the youth who fell in love with Jay Z. “Forever macking” Jigga was long gone, this was full blown Uncle Hov, humbled.   Of course, we get older we mature (And sure it took until he was the same age Barack Obama was when he was elected, but hey.) but ultimately, Jay was humbled by what humbles many men, heartbreak and fatherhood.  And sure being beat up in an elevator and being branded a cheater in front of the whole world helps too. 

The humility of heartbreak, actual heartbreak, not you gave your situationship an ultimatum only to learn you didn’t matter that much or your #WCW just doesn’t look at you that way, makes you take a hard look at yourself.  Someone who you thought would love you forever is done with you.  Heartbreak that “Song Cry” or a trip out of town for a few days can’t fix.  I’ve “loved” and lost, went through the motions of someone with a broken heart but in hindsight, my ego was just bruised.   I don’t date exes as a general policy, but maybe I just didn’t love them enough to really earn them back.  Far as I was concerned, they just went bad.  I’ve loved and lost, and it gets to me sometimes. Not just the humbling of being heartbroken but the humbling of being so wrong that I had to teach myself how to trust myself again.  That good girls weren’t just going bad, they were just over me.  Still wondering if it’s even possible to love me forever, am I always just going to burn hot and quick like a supernova.  It took Jay damn near 5 decades to figure out his flaws, what if I’m still blind to mine?  Jay and Bey got a happy ending, but they’re the exception, not the rule.  

The humility of fatherhood, of which I can only speak on as a spectator.  Jay Z who coming up was as chauvinist as he was clever is now close to breaking at the thought of having to explain himself to his children one day.  Most men have a fear their child will grow up and learn they ain’t shit.  Kids are unfiltered too, they go to school and tell all their friends you ain’t got no job and 3 roommates.  I think about my brother, who spent his last on my niece’s gift because *redacted family business* was worth not disappointing her.  I see my cousin at a cookout,  someone who one day *more redacted family business* and now is giving instructions on watching his daughter when all he was doing was going upstairs to shower for 30 minutes.  They are probably more daughter dads as their kids are daddy’s girls.  They make them want to be better men.  

The irony in a girl being born with the burden of a man’s emotional maturity; from her father to the ones she love to the son she may have.  It’s how Jay can say with a straight face that woman 12 years his junior matured faster than him, Kanye’s mother has been gone for a decade and we still blame her for not being around to check him.  Women are simply held to a higher standard, expected to take on a project and just hold on for dear life and hope it works out.  

 I’m not in the clear myself, the man I’ve become and continue to be also came on the backs of the women in my pasts’ emotional labor.  I’ve toyed with emotions, kept people around, tested the limits of their patience.  There was a time that’s where I got my confidence from; being loved, being wanted, even if I didn’t feel the same.  I’m still learning, still growing and I think I can figure it out before I’m 47. Maybe 30. 33?  Okay, at least before I’m somebody’s husband or father.  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… GEMINI 

When you tell her, you’re a Gemini…

So my birthday is in 3 weeks (ahem PayPal. Me/AyoTristan …kidding kidding, unless you gon do it), that makes me a Gemini.  I never read that much into astrology, maybe I’d read a horoscope in the newspapers on my morning commute but that was about it.  All I knew was Geminis were two sides, I always viewed it (correctly) as nuanced. It wasn’t until I started dating that I realized Geminis cause people to run for the hills and touch the bridge behind them.  Granted, some of the most notable Geminis include Kanye West and #YallMans so I can see that the property value on Gemini Island isn’t looking too great.  So allow me to try and defend my sign from all from all of these alternative facts because yall don’t have the answers Sway. 

I’ll cop to some of the stereotypes; I think too much, feel too little, bore too easily.  I’ll get an idea and not follow through, because I have another idea I need to follow through on.  I’m susceptible to whirlwind romances, because I’m wooed easily by witty banter.  I’ll tell you it’s fine while planning my actual solution. Whether I’m right or not, you’re probably not going to win an argument with me anyway.  Other ones, not so much.  Geminis are usually considered extroverts, while I’m an INFJ.  (Yes that makes me an intuitive introverted extrovert that adjusts his emotions based on a vibe you may or may not even be aware you’re giving…but I mean, at least I’m smart).  It’s not that I’m unable to be social, it’s moreso its really apparent when I don’t feel like it. (white coworkers however, completely oblivious to this and will continue to make fetch happen) 
The other common misconception is being two faced, when most of the time we are simply adjusting to the situation at hand, very efficiently.  I remember working in sales and being excellent and awful at the same damn time; if you were interested I could sell you anything, if you weren’t…then why was you still here, I could actually be selling to a willing customer.  Being pushy and persistent for the sake of doing so didn’t make much sense to me.  For who, for what? (I didn’t last long in sales). Dating not much different, walk out once and I’ll probably change the locks behind you.  That ability to shut down and move on quickly feels like there wasn’t much investment in the first place, when really its just “okay this is what this is now”,  make the necessary and keep it moving.  I wouldn’t even say I’m hot and cold, I’m hot then cold.  Then maybe lukewarm at best. But you remember how hot this used to be and can’t get used to this, you’re out and now YOU hate geminis because they are wishy-washy.  

Geminis are seen non-committal, simply because when you can see all sides of something, how do you then pick one.  Growing up in a house with 3 sisters, I mastered the art of simply articulating both their points and getting out the way before they realized I didn’t actually give an answer.  Hell, I just did it the other day when my boys got into a LeBron vs Jordan debate.  Depending on the day, time, weather, and what color I’m wearing my answer will probably change.  

So why is there so much hateration, holleration, in the Gemini’s dancery? Is it really just a matter of uncertainty?  Or the idea of being everything to everyone just on its face feels fake and disingenuous. Perhaps it’s the pressure to keep one mentally stimulated… Or maybe y’all just some low bottom haters. 

-Stan-

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