To Otis

As a singer, music means so much more to me than just a song I would sing in a show. Music for me reminds me of a deep love, a bitter hard ache, a past love that still makes my heart smile, a day riding around Hawaii with a great friend, a slow dance under the stars in the rain, a broken heart still healing. Music is the tapestry that makes up real love.

The power of music was brought up yesterday while racking my brain on another topic. A day after my 38 birthday, I was reminded of local Georgia music legend, Otis Redding. While out having drinks, Otis was brought up in conversation. I told my friend, that I was introduced to this song by a gentlemen years ago. To say the gentlemen  was in awe of me was an understatement, and though I was flattered, he was married, and I have a hard line about married men. This lovely man in my past said to me “I would love nothing more than to dance with you to this song.” He was a bright eyed Georgia boy with a fitted UGA hat on, and the song was “These Arms of Mine”. I did give him that dance, and while dancing, I listened deeply to those words

 

These arms of mine, they are lonely
Lonely and feeling blue
These arms of mine, they are yearning
Yearning from wanting you
And if you would let them hold you
Oh, how grateful I will be
These arms of mine, they are burning
Burning from wanting you
These arms of mine, they are wanting
Wanting to hold you
And if you would let them hold you
Oh how grateful I will be
Every so often I am reminded of that song, that gentlemen and that dance. As I got older, I realized the power music has to transform and inspire, and Otis’ words began to take a new meeting. After drinks I played the song for my friend who was not familiar with it. It was a rainy day and after we got to our destination I thought “I wonder if this is what Otis meant?” In that moment, I wanted to slow dance again to that song, but now with a deeper understanding of the lyrics. The arms that were yearning and burning from wanting that dance.
I had a long drive home and as fate would have it, a middle Georgia radio station was playing back to back Otis Redding songs. On a long lonely stretch of highway, I rolled the windows down and sang my heart out to each one. When I passed Gray, Georgia and saw the small monument to Otis, I looked back at it a smiled. And when I finally made it home, showered and in bed, Otis again began to play in my head. Who knows if I will have another dance like the one I originally had, or if my drinking partner would have taken me up on the dance yesterday, but I fell asleep last night with Otis; wrapped in his melodic arms, and it was some of the best sleep I have ever had.
Otis-Redding

The Corruption of Youth

I woke up today at 11:30 am. Blissfully half naked and slightly hungover. And while scrolling through Facebook, I noticed that most of my friends have children who were starting school today. I wondered how they spent the night before the first day of school for their kids. Yours truly spent it corrupting the youth.

I went back to a place where I use to host karaoke. A fabulously fun bar in my hometown which is the perfect little college town. Accompanied by a dear friend who embraces my level of debauchery, we proceed to have a few drinks before karaoke starts. And all he could mutter with a devious smile was “I know you, and I hate you so much right now!” Innocently I asked him what he meant by that comment. “You are about to Corrupt the Youth.” he said, and then listed about 5 different scenarios that  would potentially occur that night. (I am happy to report however, that only 3 of the 5 actually occurred.)

You see, being of a certain amazing age, and having enjoyed my time playing in the Cougar Pond, I realized my new found charm. The Youth are a wonderful group of man boys who simply must, be taught. Well, “trained” would be the more accurate term. There may or may not be a video of me singing AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long” to a young lad whilst sitting on his lap. Afterwards, he and his friends looked at me with a sort of carnal curiosity. And I could not help but smile.

“You’re welcome, youths.” My friend, no longer shocked by anything that I do, looked at me in awe and very little surprise. The point of this little tale, and my current hangover headache, is that I in no way will apologize for being the amazing chocolate goddess that I am. Some people have their thing, their charm, their own appeal and others will find that intimidating. Some will even be jealous of it. But from this point on, I know longer feel the need to explain it or apologize for it. No one was hurt, no one died, the world continued to spin on its axis and little kids went to school today.

So here’s what I want you to do today dear reader…the key to my boldness, my approach of life, my “corruption of the youth” last night is a simple one: do that thing that brings out the inner awesomeness in you. It’s usually something that scares the crap out of you. The scarier, the better. And when you wake up the next day, slightly embarrassed and/or hungover, laugh. And never ever apologize for it!

An Observation of Beach Mom

I live in Panama City, Florida. Home to some of the most gorgeous beaches and playground of regret for college Spring Breakers. With the beach so close to me, I make it a point to go to my sandy backyard at least once a week. But now with school out, my normal less busy beach is home to families on vacation. And with families on vacation, that means kids on the beach, which means an increase in “Beach Moms”.

If you are new to my blog let me state two very important facts. 1) I do NOT have kids. 2) I plan on NEVER having kids. That being said, I do like them (in small doses). And I am a huge fan of my god children, who happen to be pre-teens. I don’t know what it is, but pre-teens love me and I genuinely like them.

For me, a day at the beach involves various beach staples:

  • Chair
  • Umbrella
  • Tunes
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks
  • Alcohol
  • and backup alcohol

I try to find a nice spot, near the boardwalk, close to the bathrooms and far far away from kids. I do this for the childs protection. “Beach Des” is a loud, fun, bodacious woman who embraces the relaxation that a day on the beach brings. This is the opposite of “Beach Mom”.

Beach-Bags-for-Moms-Families

I use to look at “Beach Mom” with her kids, 4 large beach bags, strollers, sand pail, snack packs, sunscreen, backup sunscreen and sippy cups with slight annoyance. “Great. Now I need to watch what I say, turn down my Ludacris on Pandora station and not do this shot of Patron while she is next to me.”

“Beach Mom” looked exhausted by the time she made it to the beach with kids, gear and husband in hand. She hasn’t even unpacked her summer arsenal and already, the beach has won. What was supposed to be a relaxing day out in the sun, has turned into day care with sand. The kids are screaming, there is never enough sunscreen, husband is attempting to set up the umbrella whilst wrangling a child and “Beach Mom” has just realized she forgot something that she desperately needs.

Once the entire tribe has unpacked and taken their spot (which is ALWAYS within ear shot of me) “Beach Mom” can finally “relax”. RELAX? Gurlll! I’m exhausted just watching that. And what is her reward? Photos on Instagram to show how much “fun” she had?

Sunday Funday on the beach! #vacation #panamacitybeach #family #blessed

No! NO! “Beach Mom”, you deserve so much more than that. Yesterday I saw one of these lovely creatures and I thought “I shouldn’t be annoyed at her. And I don’t feel sad for her. I want to help her.” I want to cheer her on when she has five minutes of consecutive silence. Or when her husband is far out in the water and she can check out the hot Lifeguard without judgement. I want to crank up the music when Nelly’s “Hot in Herreeee” makes her head nod and reminisce about her college years when she was sans kids. I want to dump that Yeti tumbler of Coke out of her hands a replace it with straight Vodka. And for the super stressed “Beach Mom”, I want to give her a shot of tequila…and maybe a Valium.

The “Beach Mom” and “Beach Dad” (I have seen this in action and it does exist, so shout out to you dudes!) realize that when they see me, they daydream of a beach day with quiet, sun, booze and snoring to the sound of the waves. They perhaps are slightly envious of my high level of relaxation and carefree fuckery. In the words of one of my idols, Lil Kim “If I were you/I would hate me, too”

So to “Beach Moms” everywhere I say to you, don’t forget that you are still a stone cold fox, in a swimsuit on the beach. The beach is meant to be fun and enjoyable and you freakin deserve that TOO! The memories that you make with your family will last a lifetime, so does regret. So go out there with clan in toe and a tumbler full of Margaritas and enjoy the beach. And I promise, if you make camp next to me and I can see that look in your eyes, that look of frustration and defeat, I got your back. This shot of Patron and Outkast song goes out to you!

 

Divorce

Journal Entry from November 4, 2010-

My whole life I have always wanted two things: to be completely loved by one man & to be rich and famous as an Entertainer. A few years ago, I remember telling my mother, that if I ever came across a magical genie and he told me that I could either have a famous, well respected acting/singing career or true love for the rest of my life- in a heart beat- I would choose the career. I felt that way because I thought I would never find a man who loved me. And I don’t mean just “love” me in the all encompassing, soap opera way. I mean someone who would love ALL of me.  The moody-spoiled-insecure-sometimes vain-sarcastic-not always skinny-loud-fake hair, nails, contacts-self centered-bitchy version of me.

When I look at that I think “Who the hell would want to be married to that?”Would you? The saying “You have to love yourself, before someone else can love you.” makes some sense. But if that is actually true, then it makes sense why I am where I am today. Alone. Alone in a condo I once shared with my husband overlooking a very calm bay with nothing to keep me warm but the blanket around me and the endless tears rolling down my face.

My marriage is over.

I write that, hoping that in the very smallest part of my heart that that statement is not true. But then there is the overwhelming obvious. The condo which is full of life is now quite. The games are all packed and gone. His clothes, shoes, bike, hat, smell. The smell is the hardest. That smell that I fell in love with that I only found in him, is gone. And who is to blame?

Most people would be quick to say that he is. Here is a man, who after a big argument and when I say argument I mean, I yelled and slammed doors and he just sat there. After an argument thought “I give up. I’m going home.” Home by the way is Canada. We lived in Florida. Not really a few stops kind of trip. Most would wonder, “Why did you leave? Was she so horrible? Could you work things out? Is your marriage worth fighting for”

I say our marriage is over because if he felt anything, he never would have left. So maybe he IS to blame? Or maybe it is me. After all I did tell him “Why don’t you just go. You left me once before!” (We will get to that later). Maybe I pushed him. In arguments, I always wanted the last word. And I always wanted to be right. I remember one time my husband said ” I know you have a degree in Rhetoric, so stop acting like this a debate you are trying to win!” I was so pissed! For one- he was totally right. And two- he actually called me out. And in that moment I thought “Well if he can call me out on my bull shit, maybe this guy can put up with me.” But perhaps that was just it. He was tired of ‘putting up with me’.

At one point he said to me that he was tired of the “verbal abuse”. Verbal abuse? Those words sent me into a tail spin. Was I an abuser? I went to the ultimate source to find out- Wikipedia. Technically, in some ways, I was. But I kept thinking to myself “I see nothing in what I was saying or doing that could really be abuse.” There were no tell-tale, Lifetime television for Women warning signs. No made-for-tv moment. I wasn’t enjoying my actions. No close up shot of his tears or me standing  over him in a power woman stance. No soft, yet artfully intriguing music. No clever emotion filled title “Bitter Love- A Woman Beyond Control”. For Christ’s sakes, I was not Valerie Bertinelli or Meredith Baxter Birney.

We argued like any couple in their first year of marriage. But the difference, the big difference, is I did and still do want to fight. For my marriage that is. And he does not. My marriage is over. And I want to know why.

 

What Grinds My Gears- Dating Edition

Before we get into the above topic, let me first say, that I realize the beautiful Charlie Foxtrot that is the woman currently writing this post. Meaning, I know I ain’t perfect. For serious, I just used the word “ain’t”. So if you aren’t already cringing at that, below is a list of a few things that I realized I hate worse than people who dress up their pets.

  1. Guys that try to pick up me at unsexy places, mainly the gym or in line at CVS whilst purchasing Plan B.
  2. Any dude who has one name, but goes by a completely different one. “My name is Ben. Actually, it’s Devin, but you can call me ‘Ben’ “. No I will not! “His mama, named him Clay, imma call him Clay!”
  3. Older married men who feel it’s cute to flirt with me.  I get it, your kids are away at college, but that wedding ring is still on your finger. Oh, and your wife is my boss, so…….
  4. Speaking of names, guys that attempt to use my name as a pickup line, as if I’ve never heard it before. “Desiree, huh? You know what that means in French, right?” I do, it means “Le Loser” now bring me a Macallan, neat.
  5. Oh, and guys that are amazed that I drink Scotch. Kiss my ass! Just because your alcohol tastes are reserved to the “Champagne of Beers” doesn’t mean you can judge me for being whisky cultured.
  6. Men that are shocked I don’t have kids. Well if you get to know me, you know I never want children. What should shock you more is that, I once tried to sell my eggs so that the world could be blessed with more sarcastic little princesses.
  7. Guys who judge me for having tattoos.
  8. Actually guys that judge in general. You’re perfect becauseeeeeeee why? Oh that’s right, because your mother said so and you were breastfeed till you were 7.
  9. Guys who want to out drink me on a first date. Actually, Capt. Douche, the idea of a drinking contest on a date is kinda childish. But since you brought it up and you are clearly in need of a serious reality check “Waiter, could you bring us 6 shots of Patron. Chilled, no salt, no lime.”
  10. Men who want to gush at how perfect their niece or nephews are. Well there is scientific proof that my god son AND god-daughter are the closest you can get to perfect, so you can suck it. And I also don’t care that your niece can say ‘hello’ in five languages. Hell, I can order a drink in four!
  11. Guys who act as is they’ve accomplished a major feat with me being their “First Black Girl”. What are you collecting vaginas like Pokemon cards now? Grow the hell up.
  12. And finally any man who tries to use Feminism to make it ok for ME to pick up the check. Sure, I offer almost every single time, unless I already looked through your wallet while you were in the bathroom and found that $100 bill. But don’t act like you are “Supporting Womens Rights” by having me pick up the tab. You wanna support Womens Rights, why don’t you buy the condom AND the Plan B pills, and I’ll pick up the movie from Redbox!

 

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