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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The Color Blindside

I can recall my very first celebrity crush. It was Peter Cetera. And I know what you’re thinking. Who is he? And more importantly, why him? The Karate Kid came out when I was young and the theme song was sung by the love of my life. The man that I actually wished on a star to marry. I know, we all have that one person that we are ashamed to admit that we had a crush on. But that man did it for me!

“I am the man/who will fight/for your honor!”

How beautiful is that? Peter Cetera was the lead singer of the band Chicago. He is also a white man. Here I was, this little chocolate princess from Georgia, hopelessly smitten with an older white male singer. And I remember at that age, that it seemed normal. I knew it was a crush, and I knew I was a child. I also knew that I would probably never meet him. But it didn’t matter. To me, he was handsome and talented. The fact that he was white, was not strange or odd. And to be honest it was his music that I love.

Even at a young age, color was not something that I saw. “Race Relations” was a term I wouldn’t understand until years later. To me, it is no surprise that having Mr. Cetera as my first crush, and the countless interracial marriages in my family, that I would find myself dating white men for most of my life. I have actually only been in one relationship with a black man. A fact that has shocked, confused and sometimes angered my family and friends.

 

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Being judged for my romantic choices has ranged from the occasional side eye, the slight pregnant pause in conversation to the blatant “So is this the first time you’ve dated outside your race?” awkward questions. To say that you shouldn’t let it bother you, is far easier said then done.

Now, the glances, the questions and the odd mannerism are sadly common place. They are so common that it is only when something new and shocking is said and done that I even take notice. But why should you become immune to that? Why sit back and be numb to the fact that in 2017 people will still look at your mixed race relationship as odd? And why not feel bothered by it?

Simple: because it’s who I decided to love. Same as how I did’t care that my first crush was an old crooner from the 80’s, is the same reason why today I choose to be with the person who makes me smile. Because I am the same little girl who wished on a star and didn’t wish for my perfect mate to look like me. I didn’t even wish for anything based on his appearance. I simply wished for love.

So my wish for all of you, who like me are in relationship with someone who doesn’t look like you, or believes in the same religion or even roots for a different team: whatever the world may say about the two of you, there is a more divine reason why you are with the person you are with. And no amount of hushed conversations or ignorant stares should ever make you feel like who you love is wrong.

 

The Tequila Factor

First off my lovelies, I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to get back to writing. Simply put, I’ve been busy and lazy. Well maybe more lazy than busy. But if I haven’t said it before, I tend to write only when motivated. Or whenever I have a great story. So, not to bore you with the dull everydayness of my life, I always like to offer my dear fans something of meaning, something of substance…or nonsense as a result of tequila.

As some of you may know, some of the best decisions I have ever made in my life are a direct result of tequila. I dare say, if I ever had a sister, it would be her. Tequila has never done me wrong, and whenever I see someone grimace at the mere mention of her name, I tend to question their sanity and their purpose in my life.

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This post is brought to you by Tequila. It happened like any other after work Happy Hour. A group of funny and talented young ladies gather to discuss the days events over a few drinks. This is perhaps my favorite type of gatherings. You know the ones. They start sweet and innocent at the start, then end up a full on challenge by an 18 year old waiter and the mention of making him call me “Mommy”.

No seriously…that may or may not have happened.

Everyone has that ONE drink. Either it’s one that you can’t drink because it causes you to become violent, or one that causes you to sing horrible karaoke, or the drink that causes you to make random road trips to south Georgia. Either way, I am fan of these drinks. I am an even bigger fan of knowing said drink, and forcing you to consume it. Because let’s face it, my friends are amazing, they are even more amazing drunk…and bonus points if I can do this with the help of Tequila.

Now before I go back to the events that occurred at Happy Hour, perhaps I should introduce you to the first time I met her. That firey latin temptress that has guided me through everything from a nervous performance, to making it through Thanksgiving dinner. Tequila and I met at my best friends wedding. Before walking down the aisle, my best friend was a bit nervous, so to take off the edge we had a shot of Jose Cuervo.

*Disclaimer*

“If I knew then, what I know now, Cuervo would have never touched my lips!”

What I do recall about that wedding was the fun that we had afterwards. My best friend is like a sister to me and the joy I had that day for her, was only matched by the immense fun we all had laughing and singing around a bonfire. I knew right then and there that Tequila and I would be great friends.

Fast forward to Happy Hour. I respond well to two things, pressure and making people feel terribly embarrassed. I respond even better to a good challenge. And not a “I dare you to get his number challenge” I’m talking a “I dare you to fake a British accent, tell him that you’re a Nigerian princess, get his number, all the while on your 4th shot of tequila, oh and manage to have his buddy pay for it” kind of challenges. But that is another post for another day.

This Happy Hour was met with all the things that make me love Tequila. Great topics, good food, mildly entertaining wait staff and a parking lot full of randomness. The common topic of course being men and dating. And that’s when it hit me, the start of several of these great stories is that ONE drink. “OMG, the night I had two shots of Jager….” or “…so after about 4 Jack and Cokes…”

And no, this isn’t to say that I’m an alcoholic or that my friends are, it is to simply say that Tequila for me is like that one love of your life. Just like Gin, Vodka or Rum may be for others. What ever your one drink is, it reminds you of a significant time in your life. It may be a happy time, a sad time, a time that makes you pee your pants with laughter or cry with regret. Either way you look at it, don’t think of that drink as the cause. Rather, think of that ONE drink as that ONE guy or girl that you reflect in loving memory with. Because let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for them and what you went through with him or her, you wouldn’t be the kick ass boss that you are today.

So let’s raise a glass to Tequila, to Scotch, to Absenith or Brandy…for the loves that we lost and the ones that we have yet to gain. The next time you are at Happy Hour and someone challenges you to your ONE drink, don’t run and hide, but simply take your drink and cheers with this toast:

“There will never be another you, there will never be another me. But two more of these here will make the better of us…me!”

Creating Mr Right

My favorite question from any of my girlfriends in regards to my dating life is “Well, what are you going to do?” What am I going to do? That’s what hanging out with my girls and a bottle of Jameson is for. What am I going to do? At the end of the day, I find myself saying the same thing, “I’m just going to create the perfect guy from a collection of guys from my past.” That’s a thing, right? Creating Mr Right? I mean, isn’t that what a B.S vision board is? A collection of all the things that you want in the “perfect” guy?

Alright, I’ll stop you right there. Because what I am proposing simply can’t be done. In many ways, not only do I want to “create” my Mr Right, I want the parts to match my fake masterpiece. To me, it’s not just about the inside, but the whole overall look. You know, rugged Gerard Butler jawline, Top Gun Tom Cruise smile, David Beckham butt, etc.

So if I really had to create my perfect Dating Frankenstein  based on past experiences, here’s what I would manufacture:

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Trait 1: The Bedroom

Let me just get this one out of the way, because to be honest, it’s pretty darn important. My “Mr Right” and I were, how should I say this….”Angelina and Billy Bob”intense. Now, I am sure there are kids reading this, so I will spare you the details. But what I will say is, he is number one for a reason. We all should aspire to hit such heights, so pay attention potential suitors.

Trait 2: The Personality

This one makes me very happy because the guy who currently matches this trait is someone I, to this day, still consider a very good friend. And that’s why he has a special place in my heart. From our love of football, to travel, to social views, if I had to make a “Mr Right” he would embody all of these things that I love and have in common with said individual. Even down to bonfires and country music.

Trait 3: The Family Life

Y’all know I don’t like kids. And they HATE me. However, I do have a great respect for those who have kids and date. I can’t imagine being a single mom and dating. And thank the Lord, I have yet to create a Spawn. (Fingers crossed that I never will) But there is a deep love of family from a particular individual from my past that I have always found his greatest quality. The way he gushes over his kids accomplishments and how he will drop work, his social life and almost anything else just to attend a Father/Daughter dance, is one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a man. My “Mr Right” must adore his family and their bond is one that is crucial to him. Points for being a Mama’s Boy!

 
Trait 4: The Diva Factor

There is no question that I have a tendency to be a diva. (stop laughing) I would say it has a lot to do with my job, but to be honest, I work best when I’m the center of attention. Things get done that way. This fourth trait is a tie held by two men from my past. The first allowed me to thrive in my Divadom. When I was onstage or walked into a room, his entire world shifted to me. What girl doesn’t love that? However, that can get boring and you need someone to put you in check. That’s where the second guy came in. Not to be blunt, but he was the one that would call me on my shit. Don’t get me wrong, he let me have my moment in the sun. I enjoyed being able to shine around him. But when the Sun got to Icarus level, he quickly reminded me of what was important. And the best thing about that, was that it caused me to realize there are more important things in life than if I go to a club with or without bottle service.

 

Trait 5: The YOLO Equation

And finally there’s the YOLO Equation AKA “You Only Live Once”. Every day you are on this Earth should be met with the chance to do something great. Whether it’s travel, or make music, to helping someone, or appreciating the world around you. This last trait is held by a man who lives by that law: You really only live once. So what are you going to do with that time? Sometimes I get so caught up in the next plan, the next year, the next 5 to 10 years, that I forget, that I have a gift. A gift that I love to use, and don’t really get to appreciate until I stop using it. I love music. Music and song is one way God communicates with us. And if all I have is that, and a way to express it with someone else who loves it as much as me, then I look forward to making beautiful music with my “Mr Right”.

 

Who knows. Maybe there is a guy who holds true to all of these things. (Oh and Honorable Mention: must cook, clean, can sing “You’ve Lost that Lovin Feeling”, play Poker, has a passport and a 720 or higher credit score.)  Buttttttt, in the off chance that everything above is all in my land of dating make believe, I only hope that I possess some of the same things that make me his “Miss Right.”

 

Cougar-in-Training AKA The Little Engine That Could

I, am not prepared to write this article. Even as I see the words pouring out, I am in strong denial. Because for one, I am NOT a cougar. I am NOT that old? Am I? I mean, black don’t crack and I come from some amazing genes, and as I look 40 almost in the eye, I still think this old girl is holding up just fine.

It has always been my personal preference to date older men. My first real crush was a lifeguard who I fell madly in love with at the tender age of 9. (He was 18.) I use to say that there were three types of men I would never date: Republicans, Alabama fans and any man more than 3 years younger than me. I mean, what would we talk about? What would we have in common? If I make a reference about Blazing Saddles, would he get it?

Fast forward to today.  I don’t know how to say this, but when he was born, I was….I was…13. THIRTEEN!!!! I could have been on an episode of “Teen Mom”. Dear Lord, there is a whole amazing decade of music that he doesn’t even know. I mean, he’s always had a cell phone. I remember not leaving the house without a quarter in case I needed to make a call.

But seriously, what am I doing? Who the heck do I think I am? A freakin gangsta that’s who!!! Here’s what I have learned so far in the land of the wild young stallions: every day has the true possibility of being a great, fun day. Their life is carefree and full of wonder. They aren’t jaded. They still have hope. HOPE! I’m pretty sure this is the type of change Obama wished for.

So we have few things in common. And sure I have consumed more alcohol this year than he has in his entire life. And, ok, we have very different views when it comes to politics and movies and sports and food. I forgot my point…..

Yes, my point is, why does it matter? The great philosopher, Aaliyah once said “Age ain’t nothin but a number, and a noun aint nothin but a thang.” Truer words have never been spoken. Do I know the course of my detour down Sesame Street? No. But what I do know is, that at my age who would have thought I would enjoy a rainy day in my pjs drinking craft beers and playing Mario Kart.

The Ghost of Loves Lost

My boyfriend and I are both divorced. I usually tell people, that I am happily divorced and that mine was not only an easy one, but a smooth one. But it doesn’t erase the pain and it never makes dating life any easier. As a divorcee, you always find yourself haunted by the ghosts of your past.

When it comes to the point of wanting to move on, it’s hard to erase that there was once a time where you saw yourself having to date again. No one goes into a marriage with that game plan. And when a marriage ends, no one understands how the heart and the head are to move on. But they do. We do. We move on and fall in love again, if we are lucky.

My boyfriend and I have two very different relationships with our ex spouses. In my case, there is zero contact of any kind. Social media, phone, email, etc. My boyfriend is the opposite. As he has stated several times, it is hard to just end something that was almost 12 years of his life. As his girlfriend, the woman he currently loves, this has been one of the hardest things for me to understand.

I am very much a woman who believes that the end is just that, THE END. It may kill me to move on, and the pain may last long, but my desire to be kind and friendly to an ex, has never been something I have been good at. However, my boyfriends greatest quality is his heart and his amazing ability to care. Throughout our relationship he has been very honest with his ex about his attempt to move on. He has spoken about me and his desire to start having a happy life. And as one might imagine, that has not gone over very well.

Looking at it from the outside, I can understand why. I have been that girl. The one who lost a love, realized what I had and was desperate to get it back. The funny thing is, we always feel like we are the only who has ever gone through this kind of heartache. But for once, I have found myself on the other end. The girl who now has to learn that the ghost of the past is now the third part of the relationship. Haunting us as an ever present shadow.

 

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So the question is, how do we move on? Or better yet, how I can I help and support the man that I love? I have found there are four very clear stages in regards to divorce. Denial, Anger, Apology and Acceptance. During denial, we can’t help but say all of the things that might remind us that we are NOT in fact, going through a divorce. “My marriage isn’t over. We can make this work. This is not happening to me.” They may seem outlandish, but these are the words that ring over and over again in our head. And though they may not seem real, and in most cases they are not, they are a comfort to us at that time.

Next comes Anger. I’m not gonna lie, this stage was fun for me because along with the Denial stage, you find yourself taking a lot of blame on yourself. But when you get to Anger, it’s very freeing to release the blame and just get pissed. “I gave this person the best of me. The marriage is over, so now what the hell do I do? How f&*^ing dare she?” You do have to be careful during this stage. If there is ever a time to be self destructive and say, sleep with alot of people, it’s during the Anger stage. So be sure to have an outlet. For me, it was hitting the gym, and cooking… A LOT.

After Anger comes Apology. If you notice, the stages get harder and harder. Often, divorcees feel like this stage is the time where you have to apologize to your former spouse. But it’s just as important to apologize to yourself. Divorce will take you on an emotional rollercoaster that one is never prepared for. At that time, you will feel you have let yourself and all those you love around you, down. But you haven’t. So it is important to apologize to yourself for having those feelings of fear and doubt. Then, you move on to your ex. But remember, a good apology is all about sincerity. Remember, they are going through pain, just like you, so think about what you would want to hear.

Finally Acceptance. I hate this stage. For one, it’s where I find myself with my boyfriend and I . Accepting that the past is the past, that you are in fact a good person who deserves happiness and allowing your heart to heal so that you may move on. Here’s the trick about this stage, it is the hardest because it takes the most time. For some people, like myself, this stage came pretty soon and I felt very blessed when it did. Did I fall and hit some big lows before I got there? Hell yea, I did. But once there, once at the light of Acceptance, life became a bit easier.

So all I can do now, is be there for my boyfriend through his various stages. I can laugh with him, cry for him, be a friend for him, but most importantly, know that this is his journey. And he doesn’t have to do it alone.

Falling for Superman

My blog has been suffering as of late. No good excuse. Work has been great, but not too busy. Friends and family are doing well. So I guess the only reason would be…him. I am dating a nerd. Now I don’t say that as if it’s a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. Because he’s pretty flippin nerdy.

Well first, let me start with a true and surprising confession. We are a Tinder success story. I know! It’s like a Great White Buffalo. But from the first time we started communicating, it was-easy. And I think that’s what you want in a good relationship. You want things to feel easy. And for someone like me, who is a total control freak, it’s refreshing to meet someone who has such a simple approach to things.

We both like the outdoors. We both have tattoos. We both like cartoons. But where I have an intense love of football (and he does not), he has an intense love…for comics. I am in no way kidding when I say that every Wednesday is Comic Book Day for him. Just like a real live Sheldon, he goes to three, count em…three, comic book stores, every Wednesday for the latest releases. The man is a comic savant. The characters, the story lines, the writers and the illustrators-he knows them all. And it’s kind of intriguing.

In addition to his love of comics, there’s his job. His job in the military is a technical one, full of acronyms, security clearance and really cool jets. On our first date, he made an attempt to explain to me what he actually does. I hate to say, I kind of zoned out a bit. So much of it went over my head. On our third date, he showed me part of his comic collection. His labeled, catalogued, pristine covered comic collection. Oh, and his love of Japanese anime. He would show me more and more of his collection and say “Yea, you probably don’t want to date me after seeing this.”

Almost six months later, we are still going strong. And if I had to pick a reason behind it, it’s because he’s such a nerd. You see, being a nerd just means you have an intense love and respect for one thing. I am a proud football nerd. Any of my friends will tell you that my life during football season revolves around UGA, the Falcons and Fantasy Football. And if you look at movies and shows like Big Bang Theory, or any nerd in your life, their view on relationships is a simple one- appreciate what you have as valuable.

In other words, that special someone in a nerds life, becomes their most valuable possession. And with being on the other end of that kind of adoration, it makes sense. I can understand his love of comics, because he treats me as if I were that rare book. And though I may not understand what he does at work, to see the passion in his eyes when he talks about and takes pride in what he does, it fills me with joy when he looks at me the same way.

So I am dating a nerd. We should all be so lucky to have someone who treats us like we are a one in a million, mint condition, autographed comic. We may be viewed and wanted by others, but it’s the one that holds us close that will forever call you ‘mine’.