Tag Archives: men

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… APPRECIATION

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I like Valentine’s Day, it follows my typical formula of favorite holidays: positive, inclusive and not historically linked to white oppression.  I enjoy the holiday for what it is even though I haven’t had the most luck with it personally; I mean there was the time I was blown off so she could attend her godson’s birthday party with her ex, the time it got ruined because I wouldn’t tell her how much I tipped the attractive waitress, oh and the time when a certain someone went on about how she never got flowers before, I don’t just go and get some red roses, nah that’s basic I get a custom bouquet in her favorite colors, and she basically like these are very pretty, good looks fam.  You know how hard it is to track down some lilies in fucking February…wait, why do I like this day again?  Oh, I guess I love love and shit.  Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is about appreciating your partner, something that gets lost in the sauce, lost in the game so often.  Especially for my brethren.  Where the love, B?  Do men even get Valentine’s Day gifts?  Is that a thing? They have man crates now…it’s basically a gift basket but because of fragile masculinity they put it in a crate and you can open it with a crowbar.  This is really a thing.

Man Crates….yeah, well….YOU’RE A gift basket.

We seem to have reached two extremes, women who act as though their mere presence is appreciation and well, #PickMe twitter. The former, you take her on a weekend getaway for your anniversary and she might swallow and call it even.  The latter, you text a compliment and she might write an entire essay about how she prayed for this kind of love.  I can’t deal with neither; just give me something in the middle.

So, how do you show a man some appreciation?  Hell, I’m not even entirely sure how I want to be appreciated.  For the most part, I equate access with appreciation.  “I wouldn’t be out with you if I didn’t like you” or “You’ve done UVWXY and Z and I’m still dealing with your ass” were kinda hard to argue with.  Sex was even harder. (cuz you know people all place different value on sex and all that other stuff I don’t feel like getting into right now, maybe another post, probably not though).  I would say that’s how it goes for most men, we are affirmed by access whether its a phone number, accepting a date or a come thru. For the most part we carry on in relationships where we’re validated but maybe not valued if that makes any sense.   I would also say for most men their love language is physical touch, (but shoutout to the men like, yeah sex is lit but I like gifts more though…I can respeck it).  I’m a touch and quality time guy myself, so there’s not much complaining on my end either.

I dug a little deeper and asked a handful of women, without using sex how would they show a man they appreciated him.   The answers varied from simply telling him to wait why can’t we have sex again (gotta love the pick mes yo).  The most common answer, food.  I was expecting more genuine compliments, support their hobbies, thank yous, affirmations…you know, to bust the myth that a man is so simple all he needs is sex, food, and peace.  But the more I think about it…that’s a solid hand.  Maybe we are that simple.  Quality time is cool and all but turns out my love language is actually pasta.  So I guess this valentines day, show that special someone how special they are…feed them.  Or I guess, you can just get the nigga a man crate.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… READY

 

I never really believed in being “ready” for a relationship.  What was there to be ready for?  You want me or you don’t. Find someone you like,  be with that person, fin. To me, not yet means not you.  I can look back at the times when I was “working on me” or “needed time” and honestly say it was just never going to be them. (Sorry)   I know myself, and I know I’m not that selfless to pass up on someone special to work on me.  Someone “cool”? Probably. Even now, I could say I’m chilling on the dating front…the right person comes along and I’ll jump right off that cliff.  I don’t know no better. It’s the flaw of the romantic; to go with the possibility, the potential, the idea that you can go through it together. It’s sweet, but admittedly naive.  Life isn’t like the movies. 

In the romantic comedy,  the jaded, heartbroken career person gets pressured by their best friend to go on the date in the first place, they are charmed by the person, then they screw it up because jaded and heartbroken, and then they realize the error of their ways, and it’s happily ever after.  In real life, someone tells you they aren’t ready for a relationship, you try tirelessly to win them over to no avail, at best y’all are sleeping together, at worst you’re just “a friend”.  It cuts you like a knife, that they can’t see that this can be their forever but you also can’t bring yourself to leave because they make you happy. You’ve convinced yourself that one day your efforts will be rewarded, but they never are. You get fed up.  You call them out, you talk about everything you do for them…they will retort tell you they never asked you to.  You’ll be checkmated because they are absolutely right.   

Like the Great Auntie Maya says, When someone shows you who they are, believe them.  They tell you they aren’t ready for a relationship, believe them.  They change their mind…well… I’m torn.  My gut would say don’t; they had a chance and passed, now for all you know someone they DID want curved them and here they is coming back to you.  Keep your heart, 3 stacks.  My head would say, good… now make her earn YOU.  But I’m working on being a better person in 2017. My heart would say, this is still the person who made you excited about what’s possible again.  Yes, they are late to them the party but they arrived nonetheless.  
A lesson I’m still learning: everyone just won’t see things my way. (The world would be so much better if they did, instead we have Bigots in Chief and people still eating bland blood colored chocolate and calling it “velvet”).  As someone who knows what he wants the second he sees it, I can’t take it (too) personally when someone may just be too busy with work, or needs to work on themselves first, has their reservations, or kinda hates men at the moment.  That sometimes people just aren’t with trying to fix things on the fly.  (Inefficient, really…but I digress). So while for me, “not ready for a relationship” is a soft curve but for others it can mean just that.  Next thing you know you gonna tell me dogs actually eat homework.  

Pursuer privilege is also a factor here. If I’m not ready for a relationship, I can simply stop dating, stop entertaining, just chill.  I don’t really have to worry about someone coming along who is everything I want and having to really assess if I’m ready to do this. (Because women I’m don’t/shouldn’t shoot shots…but that’s another post).  For me to pursue someone on my own accord and then say I’m not ready.  It’s not me, it’s them.  Even if maybe I pursued them and they just went 0-60 with it, again…not my actual readiness for a relationship it’s my readiness for theirs. Saying I’m not ready, just sounds cleaner…and after I leave y’all this game don’t say I never gave you nothing:

(If they actually didn’t know what they wanted, they wouldn’t be shopping in the first place.)
Happy New Year. 

-Stan-

 

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Today’s Word is… HEARTLESS

 


Double standards are prevalent in our society.  Black people can say nigga, oppressors can’t.  Broke people can mock the rich but if the rich claps back it’s not a good look.  Big girls can post real men love curves memes all the skinny girl mocks the big girl it’s body shaming.  I don’t make the rules.  Write your congressman.  A double standard that isn’t as talked about is the post breakup double standard; the woman is allowed to throw on some Beyoncé, grind on some guy at the club, take a trip and live her best life.  Yasssssss bitch, fuck him…or something. 

I mean technicely speaking,  it’s counterintuitive that a woman’s best revenge is to go out and club like she and him both know it’s highly unlikely a rebound of note is going to be at Thirsty Thursday.  “I’m going out to flirt with a bunch of guys who aren’t looking for anything serious, that’ll show YOU.” I’m sure he’s hurting while he remembers you abhor heels, your friend’s messy cousin and half the songs on the radio.  Yet and still, she is having a good time without you, how could you not be offended? Did she ever mean anything?!?!?

Men on the other hand, have to show they care by…Misery? Alcoholism?  Begging?  I’m not quite sure.  We refocus our energy into our work, fitness, fantasy sports and it’s not enough because you were expected to shatter. Have you no heart? If a man were to be in the club turning up to that Bryson Tiller song with the Street Fighter sample and dancing with somebody cousin on snapchat….he is now a fuckboy who never loved her; that girl from the snap is probably his new girl, he works quickly. How can he just enjoy life like this? Did she ever mean anything?!?!?

The problem with that is that, you then appear heartless.  Men are routinely labeled as detached, emotionless even though studies have shown that men take much longer to heal from breakups.   It can be devastating; you met, courted and loved the wrong one.  It’s failure,  and while the typical response is to try again and erase the previous fail, it doesn’t actually work like that.   It might take a few more misses before you realize it’s your shooting form that needs the tweak.  Meanwhile each woman left in the wake is wondering why they wasn’t the one that made you realize that. Hell, they TOLD you that.  Why didn’t you listen? Did she ever mean anything?!?!?

Personally, I’m someone who suffers in silence.  If I’m downing tequila and scribbling hearts in my notebook while listening to 808s, that’s between me and God.  My social media and SoFW; business as usual.  I don’t like people in my business. Especially when the business is struggling. (Triple entendre alert).  Just because I let go, doesn’t mean I don’t care, or never did…but their narrative is going to narrative.  I guess it’s something I can’t change, no matter how much it bothers me.  Salute to all the boys who have been told bye in 2016, just know I feel your plight.  Stay strong.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SELFIE

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It recently occured to me, Me and Her never did it.

Me and Reine did it frequently.

Me and Ms. Avo did it a few times, now we do it ourselves for the other one.

She hated when I did it alone, thought it was weird; even though she did all the time, I always caught her.

Of course,  I’m talking about selfies.  I detest the word but a self taken photograph sounds way too official for a picture of your reflection in the mirror or self controlled mugshot.  For men, selfies have been a gift from gawd, especially when you can see anyone from your new boo to your favorite model or actress at any time without a photoshoot.  As for men taking them; they get a bad rep.  People point to vanity, narcissism and self importance.  True, but its also capturing a moment in time, ego boosting and well, kinda necessary.  Its a way to keep up with friends and family, a prominent part of dating now and well, I’m a grown ass man and will do what I please.

I have about 215 posts on Instagram, I would say bit less than a 3rd are “selfies”.  When I joined 2 years ago it was a good way to keep track of my weight loss, I could visibly see my face thinning, arms toning etc, there was the added element of putting it out in public that let friends and family take notice and their additional support guided me (perhaps I need to start doing that more….cuz, yeah).  I don’t think I’m over the top, the day I post 12 pics of the same damn outfit or start posing shirtless, please identify yourself as a reader and then kick me.  You’ll never catch me posing by some car that isn’t mine, or wearing somebody else’s chain, or tonguing down a significant other.  In that same vein, I want to see what my friends and family are up to, a Facebook update is just as efficient as that dusty wallet photo. 

Selfies are a pretty big deal in dating as well.  Men had a good run as “the visual creatures” but these days women tryna see something too.  There’s still no country for dicktures,  but isn’t a woman I met that hasn’t hit me with a picture inquiry of my face, my outfit, my dinner.  Dating long distance? Its almost a prerequisite (cuz #catfish).  Once again, selfies have replaced the wallet photo where a friend will quickly show a picture or social account of their newest flame or conquest.  And of course there’s the couple selfie; an unofficial rite of passage.  Every girl I’ve dated probably has a picture of me, not every one has one with me.  Shrug life.

We can pretend to hate selfies all we want, they aren’t going anywhere.  The 50th President of the United States will probably pass on the official portrait and upload his or her own.  Assuming they themselves don’t have any “other” selfies floating around the interwebs. Cuz, yeah.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SUPERWOMAN

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I used to be able to read the Iliad in Latin.

I used to know Pi to 20 places.

A Calculus textbook might as well be written in French, which I also used to know. 

I remember their birthday.
Most of their favorite foods.
I remember their relatives.
Stories of their past, their memories forever intertwined with mine as if I experienced them myself.

Eh, give me Latin.

Its a dead language of romance but still more valuable than the language of dead romance that is lost intimacy.  I think about the times I allowed myself to be vulnerable and while in the moment it was a feeling of peace like no other but when the love fades I’m just trying to get them secrets back.  I don’t want to be her and his pillow talk, a funny story she shares during ladies night, (or the subject of a blog, twitter rant, loosely characterized in a novel).  Ultimately, I got to take the L, because generally women want vulnerability.  Not shamelessly open, as she still wants to be one that turns breaks down the walls.  She wants to be Superwoman.  However, men typically aren’t looking to be saved.  At least I’m not.

In my experience, the most vulnerable of men are simply being manipulative. They are way more in their feelings, unapologetically broke, no plans just dreams, grinds no investments.  I look at my sister and Hurricane Buckfoy and all I see is a relationship of duty not love.  Mistresses know of the partner who makes him so unhappy, and she’s the escape. I have a friend who notoriously dates “projects” if a few things come together he’d be perfect but in the meantime she’s his everything and she accepts the role, cape flying in the wind.

Now to keep it all the way 100, I too have used vulnerability for gains.  Men and women both run that “I’m afraid of getting too close” game. I’ve thrown bones just because, nothing really humbling but enough to build some form of intimacy.  Then I’ve really felt close enough to open up to people, shared things I never thought I would. Its almost like an out of body experience, you are telling yourself shut up but you’re just flowing.   She just takes it all in, the secrets, the emotions, the feelings and no burden is too great, she’s Superwoman.  But once its all over, now what? 

Superwoman finds a new person to save, just as I find myself having to start over with a new one.  Maybe in time my Superwomen will become like Calculus, and I’ll become like the lines this one girl forgot during a play in middle school…..see why do I know that but can’t remember C++, this some ol bullshit.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… FLIRT

I’m out with a few colleagues, they’re as boring out of work as at work so I start to wander around a bit, I find myself at coat check ready to call it an evening.  On the way  out I run into a friend of mine, he’s with his own group.  I catch up with him as I get ready to leave, and a woman approaches.  She basically says her and her friends are looking for some company, so we should grab a table, recheck our coats *shot*, and  we’ll all have a drink.  Now I really only knew one guy in the group but she was cute as were 2/3 of her friends, we were all brothers in arms now.   The approacher seemed particularly interested in me, and we were definitely hitting it off then she went to the bathroom and next thing you know she was dancing with another.  Shrug life.  One of the dudes was stunned at the development was she just all over me, did I strike out that vehemently.  Honestly I was a little confused myself but I wasn’t going to play myself even in front of strangers.     In essence, I wasn’t tripping, she was just flirting as was I.  (Later I would link back up with her and exchange numbers, I might’ve just did so dude could see I don’t get played but that was more of an ego move, I really wasn’t expecting much more than mild amusement)

The other day on Twitter, I said the difference between flirting and misleading is interpretation.  Some people agreed with the assessment.  Likely shameless flirts themselves, don’t think they are doing anything wrong.  Others disagreed.  Some said it’s the intent that makes the difference.   However, intent is something you can’t control.  You never know what one’s intent truly is you can only choose how to accept it.  In a perfect world only people you would meet would be single, emotionally available, and your type.  The world isn’t perfect.   The girl from the bar could’ve truly liked me, just wanted to nab drinks for the team, or was too drunk to know what she was doing.  What I could control is how I interpreted it, I took it to be a fun night.   I guess I came a long way, because years ago I probably would’ve been blew her phone up, ready to claim her quicker than Manti Te’o.  But it’s never misleading when women do it…apparently.

but you said i was pretty

When it comes to flirting, women are Michael take your pick, Tyson, Jackson, Jordan, game six.  Men are taught to take everything with a grain of salt, don’t fall in love with strippers, all that jazz.  Men have over time developed the skills but when we do it it’s leading on or the blogosphere favorite “mixed signals”.  I’m accused of this a lot, part of it is because I’m an introvert, I pick up on vibes or lack thereof and act accordingly.  If I sense she’s into me, I’ll flirt (perhaps this does more harm than good, but completely brushing off someone because I have no romantic interest in them seems..mean *shrug*).  Also I’m one to call a spade a spade, I will kindly remind a woman who she is to me.  If you’re not the only one, just a friend, someone I don’t like in that regard, I will let you know shattering any illusion set forth by compliments and innuendos.     As I said it’s all about interpretation, my best friend is my best friend because she would never ever ever take me seriously, as I her, she could’ve had me at 16, she aint bout nothing.

Flirting is the lowest common denominator in men/women interaction, if you have nothing else to talk about, flirt, given they’re straight, attracted and not completely whipped, most likely you’ll get a response.  So how can you differentiate flirting and interest?  By acting upon it.  Communicating and not assuming, accepting a position and not spending time trying to change it.  Women who said I misled them, either didn’t come straight with their feelings, or otherwise convinced themselves I was playing games and not that I just wasn’t into them.  

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