After A Long Hiatus, I Have Returned

Oh, there have been a lot of events over the years, where I felt the urge to blog about it. But thankfully, I stifled the urge until it died. Sometimes it is better to say nothing, than anything at all.

Who needed my hot take on current events anyway?

What have I done during my years of absence? Moved from the suburbs to a rural location. I can walk and talk to cows from my house. I’m on a quarter acre of land, so that’s a sufficient distance from neighbors. And folks around here are pleasant without being nosy or looking to one-up anyone.

Did I mention it is cheaper here? Unlike my former residence where I had to carry cash or pay a toll just to hit the road, living is simpler. The lower stress makes the people more pleasant. And selfishly, any developments I see make me uneasy.

Go away, I say.

Am I happy? Life is what I’ve made it. I’m here for now. It’s satisfactory. Whatever I can change is something I will have to work towards, like everything else.

My goal is write about the few movies, TV shows, books (if I ever read again) and other entertainment that I want to review. If it’s about current events, maybe I’ll have a hot take, maybe I wont.

Cheers.

I hope everyone else is doing better than great with their lives.

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Continuing The Nice Good … Love Is a Numbers Game, Play It Serious

How to Play It Serious

The best information always comes from the comments section. I’d like to highlight these tips from Lisa:

I started reading BWE blogs when I was 27 and now I’m married at 32. I might still be thinking about all the time I have and feeling that there’s “no rush” if not for reading the blogs.

While there’s never a “rush” for love, there’s also no reason to be waiting around for some man to come along (or some man to shape up and marry you after umpteen years), when you can find someone right now who is ready for something real and serious — and he might just be white!

Wow, it’s been that long? 🙂

Lisa offers what changed in her approach to the dating game:

I guess I’d say that the other change I made was taking the process of meeting men a lot more seriously. I used to act in the “if it happens, it happens” mode, so I might have a dating profile up, but if I didn’t receive any responses in six months (for example), I didn’t care. I just figured it wasn’t my time and nothing more.

I later stepped up my efforts (and was successful, yay) and also made it a point to go to more social events. I didn’t have time to hope I met Mr. Right at the supermarket one day, although if it happened that way, it would be nice. I just started making more time to go out (and that does not mean to the club) instead of staying home all the time.

Last night, my husband and I went to a goodbye party for a co-worker who’s moving. While I’m no longer on the market, there were a bunch of single guys there that I would have been checking out… not saying any of them were available, but at least my odds improved by going to the dinner and meeting six unmarried men versus staying at home because I was too tired or something.

Plus, just being in the company of men can help you be a better dater, so that when you do get asked out, you’ll be so fabulous on the first date that he’ll want to ask you out again!

Wonderful testimonial. Each journey begins with the first step. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be hypercritical of yourself. You don’t have to look like [insert name of the latest superskinny supermodel or beweaved singer] to make things happen. Embrace who you are. Start looking. Get social. Make more friends.

Don’t linger on any man who will waste your time. Don’t ever let him get you on the phone talking for hours or more than 10 minutes at a time. Don’t let him text you (heaven forbid now, eh?) a million times a day. He’s wasting your time. This is part of vetting.

Listen to what he says, he’ll tell you what he’s looking for when you ask. And you must ask. Make it clear what YOU WANT. Don’t ever waver. You deserve better.

A Nice Black Man Offers His Perspective on Dating

I appreciate feedback from guys, and so we have the following comment from Bubby.

Well, speaking as a nice black guy, I always tell guys who’re nice who say that they are having problems meeting or finding the right woman, to look harder and to keep at it. Dating is a numbers game and you have to face your fears, face rejection and keep plugging away. If you approach twenty women, four may find you attractive. So sixteen women will tell you, no thanks. Now, are you gonna focus on the negative sixteen or on the positive four?

I chuckle when some of these cats say that women only want “bad boys” or “players”. Women are free to like whatever turns them on in a man and if you’re not what she’s looking for or attracted to, why get angry at her? We all know that men don’t want people telling them what to find attractive in a woman. Move on. There are plenty of women out there who will love and appreciate you but you’ll never find them if you’re too busy throwing yourself a pity party.

I’ve read these so-called seduction sites and they all reccomend that a “nice guy” change or incorporate some gimmick or routine into his “game”. I say be yourself. I say get a hobby. Do things that you enjoy. Get out and explore the world. Take a cooking class. LIVE.

But keep your eyes open and be prepared and willing to approach a woman that you find attractive. Be polite and courteous and see if she’s willing to give you a shot. The rule is: Men approach and the woman chooses.

Truth be told, some of these guys want women to fall at their feet just because they’re nice cats. They don’t want to put any effort into having a love life at all. That kind of arrogance isn’t sexy at all and women will avoid you like the plague.

Hey, you sound like my older brother and his friends!

We all do need to remove anger, hostility, bitterness, and sense of entitlement from our interactions with one another. I think we all improve if we just keep it polite, cordial and cool.

Guys may not realize this, but the fastest way to win a woman over is to be helpful and useful. That’s the one thing that I’m surprised so many miss. I’m not talking about replacing the plumber and being on-call like a hot-line, but showing a woman handyman skills and being reliable, gets you through the right door faster than playing the fool.

And if she cannot appreciate good favors, then at some point the next woman will.

Thank you for your contributions, Lisa and Bubby. 🙂

Cheers everyone.

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Black Women: Starting Over, Moving On and Out

When is the best time to move? NOW.

When is the best time to start over? NOW.

Spring is a marvelous time of year to run from wherever we are to someplace better. Right now.

The following quote comes from Monae:

It’s not that easy to meet white guys where I live. It’s not like they’re around, except delivery men. I don’t date at all now because the choices are bad. Plus, I am educated but only by going to the library, being on the internet and watching movies. I didn’t learn anything in school but it didn’t matter because I was beat down at school for trying to act white. Even though I know a lot I know I still sound like I’m from the hood, so I don’t know how many white men would want to talk to me just hearing the way I talk. What white guy is going to want to date a little black girl that sounds getto and still works at Long John Silvers when she is 24? How can I get away to somplace else. Thought about joining the army but I don’t think the army is for me.

GoldenAh

You have a lot of time to begin crafting the new you. You can start by not regarding yourself as ghetto. It doesn’t help to put yourself down. You want more out of life, and that’s the best thing in the world.

Before you think of men, ask yourself what do you want out of life? To go back to school, and pursue a degree (2 year / 4 year?)? Learn a specific trade? Maybe take a couple of courses for a certificate degree? Nothing is out of reach, and you don’t have to go into crazy debt to do it.

I recommend you move. You sound wise enough to want to cut and run, so Don’t Tell Anyone. Especially any negaholics who enjoy putting you down. Just run. First, research where you want to live (low crime rate, maybe a Community College nearby) and see about moving there. The new job hunt can start later, maybe even find a part time to help bridge the expense gap and save money. Real estate web sites give plenty of crime and school info. Or you can hunt for work in a new neighborhood, and once you have that new position, move somewhere nearby.

It’s not going to be easy making these moves, but stick with a plan: 1) move, then new job, or 2) new job, then move, THEN 3) more schooling in new area, or 4) 2nd job to save for new area… AND 5) widen your social circle by finding new interests.

The Ladies Respond

Here are the responses from many fabulous and helpful sisters. There can never be too much information in helping someone save their own life by changing it.

NijaG

As for your speech, that could be changed. You can buy a cheap tape recorder and practice your pronunciations and speech patterns by reading out loud. There are many books/tapes on grammar, enunciation, etc. I’m sure you can even find them online. Material geared towards people where English is a second language could be helpful.

Before even concentrating on men, think about the person you want to be and the life you want to have. I would say start with a short general life plan. Example, where you see yourself at age 30 and then break those down into yearly goals.

There are many books you could probably find on life/vision goals and planning. I would look maybe at Amazon.com for reviews and suggestions and then borrow from the library. There are also many career/job centers that offer counseling and advice for free. See if you can find out. The library may even have some info on this.

Formal education is key. The whole world is getting very competitive nowadays. There are many career fields that don’t require a traditional 4-year college. You can finish in 2-3 years depending. Whatever you choose make sure the schools are accredited and recognized.

While some people consider student loans to be a bad thing, they can actually be very helpful. Student loans are not only given to pay for education, put to sometimes help students live. If you start off at a community college or in-state school, the tuition rate are usually cheaper than private. Most times there is money left over. If you use the money wisely, this could actually help in getting you out your neighborhood.

I went to an in-state school, and with the money left over each semester, I was able to buy my books, and have money for at least 3-4 months rent. This definitely helped reduce some stress.

Goldenah has given some very good suggestions. Moving out from your environment and into a better one is so important. Roommate situations are very good place to start in order to cut down expenses. With the current economy you’ll be surprised some of the deals you can find in very nice neighborhood with homeowners looking to make some extra money by renting out extra rooms, garages, or basements.

Tracy

By being a self starter and studying on your own, you have shown that you are curious about the world and are ready for something more and better. Don’t knock the Internet – that is how I learned – in my thirties up to now at forty four – FOUR different languages! Speaking, comprehending and writing – so you keep looking stuff up and broadening your mind.

The only thing that I can add to the already great advice is this: BW are the best actresses in the world, so while you are bettering yourself, fake it till you make it!

That white girl accent you got in trouble for in high school – rock it girl! Surround yourself with greatness, visit a consignment shop and get some nice designer duds, treat yourself and act as the wonderful being you are! You will be surprised at how fast you get used to it!

Another thing – expounding on the Dont Tell Anyone – when you move, consider a studio apartment. DONT GET A HOUSE!! Some folks are nosy – cant find a job or a life but they can find you. So if that happens, don’t give them a reason to think that you are their ” home away from home”. This happened to a single girlfriend of mine – got a house with way too much space and soon she became a flop house for whoever wasn’t getting along with “mama” or “random trifling negro”. Don’t let that happen to you – minimalize while you maximize your life!

You can do it!! Good luck to you!

Oshun/Aphrodite

The cool thing is that there are tons of non traditional students (over the age of 21 who attend college full time)

AND college is the best place to meet WM.

AND men do marry down…I am not saying you are down or don’t strive, but most functional men aren’t looking for women to be breadwinners.

You are at an age where you can easily position yourself to marry UP…

Diction, the way you dress, and carry yourself can all be polished simultaneously- the key is getting into the environments where it will pay off so to speak.

Ruth

Monae –

I almost started crying when I read your comment, I wish I could just hug you and squeeze you and and tell you everything is going to be all right, and take you out of there tomorrow. But I can’t, all I can do is offer you some counsel.

Listen to these older sisters on here; they’re speaking the truth. You’re still very young, and the good thing is you have already figured out that you want to be better than you are now, and, that no one around that you know at this time is likely to help you towards that goal. There are a lot of black women who come to that epiphany very slowly. They don’t get there until they’re 30, or 40, or even 50 years old. So, you are way ahead of the game in that regard.

I’m not going to re-hash what the others said, it’s all good advice that I agree with. I’ll try to add some things here and there, based on my own struggles and successes. I’m sure some of it may possibly seem like overkill or “over the top” to you or others, but you just don’t know how tough some parts of leaving your current situation are going to be until the time comes.

First of all, get out of there first (start planning to do this tomorrow), and then after the first move, pick a place where you’re going to live for at least a few years while you go to school. Since you’ll be working jobs that don’t pay very much, just like we all had to, and those jobs exist everywhere, then it’s really just a matter of where you want to live. Most Western states and some Southern states have junior colleges and community colleges that are quite inexpensive in terms of credit hours. It sounds like you don’t have a car, so a city would be best. If it were me, I think I’d try a place like Seattle or Portland, Oregon. And maybe you could stay there for your four-year degree, too. But, that’s what the internet is for, check out lots of places. There are also two European countries (Sweden and Norway, I think?) that offer free tuition to any student that is accepted, if you think that might interest you later, as you get some credit hours under your belt. And European men love American BW.

Which brings me to my next point: Don’t get pregnant. Your dreams will be completely derailed by an unexpected pregnancy, so when you have sex, use birth control! I cannot stress this strongly enough. And use protection against STDs, too.

Buy everything you can used. Except a computer, definitely buy a NEW laptop, don’t buy a used computer. But almost everything else can be bought in good or great condition for a reasonable percentage of what it cost new, and the only one that will ever know you bought it used is you. And I mean everything – clothing, furniture, cars, dishes, stereos, etc. Craigslist, baby! You can buy quality brands if you buy used, and you buy quality, it will last a long time. Just don’t buy cheap stuff used. This habit persists with me today – when I finally got enough money from years of working, I bought a used ladies Rolex for $1800 (the exact same model is $11,600 new), which looks great and runs great, and my new husband just (laughingly) told me a couple of months ago that when he first met me and saw I had an old Rolex on, he just assumed that I was “from a family that had money” and had received the watch from a relative when she passed. Yes, that’s how a lot of white people think. He said he knew it wasn’t fake, because no one wears an old fake Rolex, and so he saw that I like quality, and, that I was frugal. That little stupid thing made me even more desireable to him; the fact that I didn’t need a new Rolex, that I was happy with an older one. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Not really. I was ecstatic when he pulled up in a perfect-condition 20 year-old Mercedes – that was much better than a shiny new luxury car to me. I still buy used things whenever I can.

Change the name you use. If you have a middle name that is what most people consider a typical name, than use that name. If people see “Monae” on a resume, you may as well put “I was born poor and black” at the top of the resume as well. I’m sorry, but this is the way people think. BTW, it’s the same thing when you see a resume from “Krystal” with a “K” – you know she’s white and was born in the South in a trailer park. I’m just sayin’. I speak from experience as my original birth certificate said Latisha on it. My middle name was Ruth (my grandmother’s name), which I hated when I was younger because it was so plain and boring, but which I started using when I was in my early twenties. Just like magic, I started getting a lot more interviews from my resume. When I got in front of them, I was still a black woman, but at least I was now in front of them with a real chance to impress them with what I knew. At least I got my shot at the job. And I got those jobs. Latisha is now no more. I legally changed my first name to Ruth years ago, and picked a new middle name to go with it. I know it seems like a huge, radical step, but if you don’t have a good middle name, think about legally changing your first name now, before you go to school, so it’s the same name as your school records later. My husband knows me as Ruth, which he loves, and thinks the Latisha thing is pretty hilarious. Uh-huh. I asked him if he would have gone out with a Latisha, and he said, “Hmmm, that’s a good question”.

Last item. When you do the things you need to do to improve yourself, your family and current friends will undoubtedly accuse you of not “keepin it real”. My sister still does, she still pulls that on me.

She has three children from three different fathers, none of whom have ever paid any child support, and she works as a shampoo girl at a beauty shop. She lives paycheck to paycheck, has bad credit, a broken-down car, is in very poor health due to smoking and her weight, and bounces from one bad man to another (but every one of these black kings is “the one” while he’s around).

So she’s definitely “keepin it real”. You know, I love her because she’s my sister, but sometimes I don’t like her very much. She’s made a lot of bad choices, and still has the nerve to tell me that I have turned my back on my race and my neighborhood.

Don’t let people drag you down, girl. Because they definitely will if you give them even half a chance to do so. Unfortunately, I came from a very toxic environment, the whole “crabs in a barrel” thing. I was bullied mercilessly at school for “acting white”. My own mother said I was a sell-out and a whore to the white man when I started dating my husband. This from a woman whose husband left when I was a baby, and never came back. I never even knew my father. And she said that about my future husband? That really, really hurt my feelings at the time.

Now, this same man makes sure that she has everything she needs now, she lacks for nothing. It’s his paycheck that’s providing it, and he’s never complained about doing it, he’s never hesitated to take that on. I have an MBA and I had a very good job (6 months pregnant now, so no job now because I resigned recently), and still, I married up! He’s a good man.

Keep moving forward, make something of yourself. Lots of successful people in America started out with nothing and they came from dirt-poor families. Lots of successful people have completely re-invented themselves in this country. You don’t have to be like you’re always been.

{{Virtual hugs.}}

I recommend you move. You sound wise enough to want to cut and run, so Don’t Tell Anyone. Especially any negaholics who enjoy putting you down. Just run. First, research where you want to live (low crime rate, maybe a Community College nearby) and see about moving there. The new job hunt can start later, maybe even find a part time to help bridge the expense gap and save money. Real estate web sites give plenty of crime and school info. Or you can hunt for work in a new neighborhood, and once you have that new position, move somewhere nearby.

It’s not going to be easy making these moves, but stick with a plan: 1) move, then new job, or 2) new job, then move, THEN 3) more schooling in new area, or 4) 2nd job to save for new area… AND 5) widen your social circle by finding new interests.

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Brain Dump Tuesday

Exposing the Hair

I’m looking for a weekly style in which I can wear my hair un-braided, uncovered and exposed. Perhaps a Bantu-knot twist-out, braid-out, or something. Weekly or bi-weekly flat ironing is a big no-no.

Expose my hair to the elements? Phew, I shudder at the thought. My hair doesn’t take to the air all that well. However, I want a new routine, and I like – and need to – switch styles.

Another Experiment Gone Wrong

I tried putting my hair in rollers. I used the smallest foam flexible rollers that I could find.

After washing my hair, I go sit under my bonnet dryer for an hour – low heat. Let’s just say, that it didn’t work out well. I had to resort to a brush (Oh nooooo!) to get my hair to behave.

I wont repeat the entire nightmare scenario, but I realize that I have to replace that old bonnet dryer. I get hard helmet hair from it. It is old, it has to go. It’s time to find something with that Ionic feature, which leaves my hair soft.

Next time I roll up my hair, the rollers must be fat and round, not thin. Live and learn.

Shopping in Nu Joisey

So, I spend the day with my Mom in northern New Jersey buying hair products: not chemicals, just rollers and other accessories. It’s cheaper up there. The shocker for us was how many of the stores were closed.

Oh, yeah, you know things are bad when black women aren’t buying hair products.

Something to think about: I like to look at the ingredients of a lot of products. Nearly every one of them whether for skin or hair starts has the main ingredient of petroleum or mineral oil.

Funny, how people are paying $8.99 plus for the same ingredient with different brand names.

I repeat, my staple is Castor Oil and aloe vera. If I buy a product these items, along with glycerin, must be the main ingredient.

The Health Club Gauntlet

Although I hate them, there is one very close to me that I am thinking of joining. I think I will sign up after everyone else has slacked off of their New Year’s resolution to join a club. I’ll give it about 90-120 days before the number of people dwindles to a reasonable amount.

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Random Thoughts for Today

Real Estate

I would love to purchase my neighbor’s town home. At the rate that the price of the house is dropping…. They’ve moved out, and I fear who will replace them. These folks were nice, quiet, non-smoking, non-nosy, and did not own a damn dog.

Those kind of neighbors are rare.

Mutts

Almost everyone around here owns a yapping, yelping, barking irritating beady-eyed little mutt. Some days I want to drop kick one of those furry pests, like a football, over a field goal. And they don’t clean up after the little sh*tt@rs either.

Neighbors I Don’t Want to Hear

Now, on the other side of me. I shouldn’t hear them, but I’m like a bat seeking prey at night. When I can’t sleep: I hear everything. It is not good.

One of them likes to play a very loud video game up to 2:30 am. One of them comes home at 1:20 am; another leaves around 4:00 am.

How do I know this? I’d make an excellent witness for the prosecution, or defense. I’m not a busybody, but my hearing makes me one.

I may have to invest in a good pair of ear plugs.

Wonder Woman

Sometimes I’m the most self-confident woman in the world. At other times, I’m a church mouse. I make very few decisions when I’m insecure. I do the same when I’m overconfident. That’s why I take so long to make decisions.

I try to make sure I’m not riding some strange emotional wave when I make up my mind. It’s frustrating.

Cryptic Attention Span

I have no right to be bored. Yet, I suffer from “been there, done that” boredom.

I need to be motivated. I keep trying to give myself something to be excited about. Lots of people are happy doing the same thing, having the same habits – over and over again.

I’m not of them. I’ve had this shifting attention span since I was a child. I thought as an adult it would go away. It hasn’t. I try to work with myself on this: how do I adjust to a changing interest in things?

I try to adapt to new interests, and make sure they don’t bore half-way through. Yet, I’m put off, if I want to get into something new, by the length of time, or money I may have to invest in it.

That’s why I can’t think of going back to school. I contemplated study nursing, or related to the pharmaceutical industry. I even attended seminars. In the back of my mind, a voice screamed: “No, I don’t want to go, you can’t make me!” So I’ve given that up. For now.

Still Seeking

People write or talk about living well, or making big changes. Not everyone can afford to do these things. I am tempted to sell the house (when the market improves) and just travel, or own a house on a couple of acres that runs on solar energy, and grow my own food.

Just a dream. I don’t do it because I can visit with people (family) who live like this, and in three days I’m ready to come back to my suburban life-style.

I’m spoiled rotten.

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To Pack It All Up and Move Away

I want to run away from this life.

Right now, more than ever, I’ve this intense urge to sell my crap; junk the stuff cluttering up my life.

Let go of my issues. Just leave.

My problem: I love my home.

It’s the first, and only one, I’ve bought. The neighborhood is s’okay; crime is nearly nonexistent. There’s a steep price to pay for living here: New Jersey is one, if not the most expensive state in the country. It also feels like the most depressing, isolating, and socially stagnant places in the world.

It’s weird how much I miss Brooklyn, when I could not wait to leave that place!

My current home is my comfort zone.

This is where I hide from everyone. I don’t believe I should need someplace that makes me reluctant to let go of. I don’t think it’s healthy. I should be able to adapt to any environment; enjoy myself. At some point, in the future, I know I will move.

My other issue: I wouldn’t know where to go.

I used to want to a second home in Florida. I used to want to work in Nevada. I used to want to return to England. I used to want to find a home in Canada. I used to want to relocate to Australia or New Zealand. I used to want to hang out in Spain. I used to want to chill down in the Bahamas, Barbados, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

I have the “grass is greener” syndrome.

I take this feeling to mean that I need to take a trip. I read about people who backpack around the world. I feel no envy. I’d rather go somewhere, hang out for a couple of days and return to my home.

There are places I’d still like to visit: Australia, Italy, Germany, B.C. Vancouver, the Netherlands, maybe India or Japan. I need to make plans, or I’m going to go crazy.

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Personal Goals: Starting All Over Again

I’m resetting the clock on my goals. I try to carry them out roughly every 3 or 6 months at a time. I don’t wait to make a New Year’s Eve resolution, I do this all the time.

Success?
Have I succeeded? In some areas, I’ve made progress. It is easier to change the external with regards to weight, hair length, skin, etc. than the internal.

My hair is still heading in a nice direction. I’m cutting off an inch, or more, at the end of October. On the full moon? Perhaps. It’s knotty at the ends, and I want to get the comb through it easier.

Next Goal:
I want to lose another 10-15 lbs. I won’t aim higher, because it takes a very long time for me to lose even a pound. I lose roughly 2-4 lbs a month, if I don’t slack off.

As for my hair, my goal is for it to reach 3-6 inches past the armpit. If I can wear it 2-4 inches past the shoulders, even with shrinkage, I’ll be pleased.

The 2 Most Difficult Goals
These long standing goals relate to dealing with people. I’m the introverted, shy, retiring, quiet type. Everything that I read, hear, and know about achieving these last 2 goals cannot be achieved without constant and continuous contact with people.

The Introvert’s Dilemma
These are very rough tasks to ask of an Introvert. It’s been a struggle all my life, and I have to continue to deal with it. There are so many things I could have accomplished by now if it wasn’t for my Introversion.

It’s like going through life covered in several suffocating veils. I spend half my time trying to yank these things off, while trying not to enjoy the cover, solitude, and isolation they provide.

No Time to Waste
It’s very very important for me to achieve these last 2 goals. To be frank, these are life changing and necessary.

So, from now until the end of the year, or the beginning of the new year, I’ve got major goals to continue carrying out.

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