Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why a Woman's Weave is None of Your Business

I wear a weave and I'm proud of it, dammit.

Well, actually I wear braids -- a style called tree braids that looks kinda like a weave because the braids are hidden.

No matter, posts like this one from a blog I read regularly annoy me. So does anyone who looks down on women who wear weaves.

Why? Because an outsider has absolutely no idea why a woman might choose to wear a weave. It's not always just a fashion thing, trust me.

I have various minor health problems. And somewhere along the line, my hair--already soft and fine--seemed to start growing more slowly in certain places. I don't know if it was the medications, relaxers, or what, that caused this problem. I just know that my hair is always longer on top and in the back than on the sides, and even though it's long enough to pull back in a ponytail, it's hard to find a style I can wear sans weave that doesn't look foolish.

So I embraced weaves. And braids. In short, I embraced what I feel looks good on me. I don't really care if certain people have an issue with it. It's not about them.

I know that my natural hair--now relaxer free and protected from daily styling because it's hidden and cornrowed--has its best shot at growing out in a healthy way as it's currently styled.

My advice for anyone--male or female--who feels you have a right to judge someone who wears a weave is to please consider this: You can never know another person's motivation. From cancer to arthritis treatments to a bad perm or coloring to simply being cursed with hair that just won't grow, there are plenty of reasons why a woman might choose to wear full or partial weaves or braids. You have a right to your personal preferences, yes, but broad generalizations about women who wear weaves are silly and usually false.

If you've been blessed with a head of healthy hair and you're happy with it and weave free, good for you. We're happy for you and trust me, we wish we could say the same.

Oh, but please don't consider this post a defense of bad weaves. It's not. I don't condone that at all. So, my fellow weave wearers, I just ask one thing: Keep it looking good ... because over-the-top, extreme, down-to-your-butt weaves are not cute, and overgrown braids or bad or poorly maintained weaves are NOT cool, so please do it right or not at all. :-)

He's Dating Her?! Hating On Your Ex's New Girl

By: Guest Blogger NINA LOVEHALL

I think there is something genetically inherent in all women that makes them believe they are smarter, more attractive, and just all around better than their ex's new woman.

You might be over the guy and have moved on, but sometimes it is just downright entertaining and indulgent to pick the new girl apart. The most necessary ingredient to do this effectively is to do it with your friends, who will wholeheartedly co-sign that you are indeed, smarter, attractive and just all around better than the new chick.

Even if Rhianna scooped up your romantic leftovers and is grinning ear-to-ear, best believe you and your girls will say despite her fame and beauty and fortune... "she let a man beat her bloody before she left. Then she went back and left again! Girl... you waaaaay smarter than that."

Sometimes you actually meet Ms. New in person (Which usually gives you the most and best ammo -- You can hear she has a lisp. You can see that's not her real hair or real hair color and that she needs a manicure. You may even find out if you have more education or a better job than her. And wait, is that a moustache???

Sometimes you see a photo (thanks to online social networking).

Sometimes your social circles are so small that mutual friends meet her or find out enough about her to give you the scoop, and now you've got enough evidence to let the dissection begin. You've probably even made up stuff about the girl off of what you've seen and heard to further solidify just how fabulous you are in comparison and just how low your former man has sunk when it comes to selecting quality women. And it's funny. Why? Because it means you're better than both of them! It's catty. Yes. It's not really classy at all, and yet even the nicest, most put together women still do it anyway because it feels so good.

We've all done it, myself included. Even as a grown woman, I've made jokes about my high school ex who is now nearly 30, still trying to get his rap career off the ground from his mother's basement and "going back to finish school next semester." He also has a propensity for dating 19-year-old girls. Yes, sadly enough, I've seen pics of him at the girl's prom and YouTube videos of her dancing provocatively to reggae. LMAO.

OK, now that I think about it, I've got so much dirt to clown him, it's almost heartless for me to go in on a young woman still trying to find herself, so she gets a reprieve. I've already won, even on my worst day! Tasteless to compare myself to a 19-year-old video ho wannabe--no contest. Guilty as charged. But oh well. It's good fodder over drinks and fondue with my girls.

But really. Is the new woman really that ugly? That unsuccessful? The most interesting aspect of all in this picking we do is everything is surface. We can never really know the girl, or how well she actually does compliment your ex behind closed doors. The new chick may not be as attractive as you, but she could be a sweet girl. Maybe she dances like a ho on the internet, but cooks like a dream and reads to children in the cancer ward of the hospital. You never know. And hell, you don't want to know that stuff because you want to talk crap about her, because you want to talk crap about your ex. That's really what it boils down to.

But you see my point? I just can't help it! Face it, neither can you. It's genetic, and it's honestly a victimless crime. You mend your ego, have some good laughs while everyone, including you, your ex, his new woman and hopefully your new, better man drive off into the sunset.

It makes me wonder, though, just how spot on our obviously biased assessments are of the new chick. Are her teeth really that crooked? Is she even that bowlegged? Because ironically enough, somewhere, some girl is looking at your Facebook page with her friends wondering what on earth your current boyfriend sees in you.

TALK BACK: Do you compare yourself to your ex's new woman/women and always feel he traded down? And if you're making these comparisons, is it still fair to say that you're over the guy?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is Sleeping Over a Dating Requirement?

It's an unspoken rule. If you're dating someone and especially if you have sex with that person, he or she should spend the night.

Or at least I thought it was an unspoken rule. But now I'm not so sure. Apparently, some people are just "weird." So for instance, if a man is interested in a woman, he may still prefer to sleep in his own bed, even if he's spent most of the day/evening with the woman. He may invest lots of time with her, spending hours talking, going out on dates, just kicking it--but he's not going to sleep over. That doesn't mean that the woman can't stay over at his house, however. That's fine. He's just not comfortable sleeping at anyone else's house.

I didn't know these strange people existed. So I recently surveyed a friend and two close relatives--all women. I asked them, is it just me, or is it a big problem if a man you're dating won't sleep over--especially if you're having sex? They agreed. It's totally unacceptable. And I was right there with them.

That is, until I talked to a male friend, who is engaged and says he doesn't even like sleeping over at his fiancee's house sometimes.

He'd just rather sleep in his own bed, he said.

Really?! But his fiancee is accepting of that, he says, and it works for them.

TALK BACK: Do you go through an adjustment period before you're comfortable sleeping over at the home of someone you're dating? If so, how long does it usually take for you to feel comfortable?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is It OK to Take a Doggie Bag Home From a Date?

You're on a date, and the food is delicious--so good, in fact, that you really don't want to leave any of it behind. Would it be tacky to ask for a doggie bag?

The ladies on Let's Talk About Pep debated this on Monday's episode. Pepa's friend Kittie said the food was so good on her date with the Toe Sucker that she took some home.

OMG, that's tacky--was pretty much how her girls reacted when they heard what she'd done. But the food was soooo good, she responded, so she just couldn't leave it behind.

A FabFem reader said on this blog's Facebook fan page that this conversation was the most memorable tidbit she took from the show. Is it really tacky to take leftovers home from a date, she asked?

I guess my answer is conditional: Is it the first date? The second? Or the 25th or 50th date? My rule of thumb is that if I'm just starting to date a guy, hell no, I'm not taking a doggie bag home. Heck, I make sure I leave some food on the plate so he doesn't think I'm greedy and have never had a good meal before. But if he's my man or damn near it and I really want to have some for lunch or dinner the next day, I would be OK with taking leftovers home. I don't think leaving the impression of tackiness is such an issue if you've been dating for months or years.

At least one columnist agrees. In the column, Table Manners, the writer suggests not taking a doggie bag home for at least the first three dates. It could leave a bad impression, she says, and it could even impede your date's ability to lean in for a kiss if the box or bag is blocking his way. (On the flip side, once you've snagged the man, our First Lady shows it's acceptable to take leftovers home. She was photographed on Valentine's Day last year carrying a bag home from her date with the President.)

Then there is the I-Don't-Care-Because-I'll-Never-See-This-Loser-Again-Anyway category. For me, that's Cutie With Attitude, who I've known for going on two years (and who I'll probably never see again after this incident). We went out to dinner two weeks ago, and I took leftovers home with me. But that was more to spite him since he made a point of telling me how much he hates my dog ... and he felt himself up at the dinner table (!). I took the steak leftovers home for my dog to eat, not me (and boy, did he love it).

TALK BACK: Is it OK to take a doggie bag home from a date? Does your rule of thumb depend on how long you've been dating--i.e. whether it's the first date or the 50th date?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Annual Cellphone Cleanout: New Year, Fresh Start?

By: Guest Blogger NINA LOVEHALL

We're barely two weeks into 2010, and it seems everyone is cleaning house and getting rid of dead weight. Folks are reevaluating what's important and trying to figure out how to make their lives better than it was last year. I think that's a great idea.

It's a clean slate. Even in the dating world, it appears that folks are "cleaning" out their cellphones, figuring out which folks to leave behind in '09 and which folks might have potential to go the distance in the new year.

Apparently a dude I met literally a year ago was doing the annual cellphone cleanout this past weekend. And apparently, I managed to escape the ditch pile and ended up in the unfortunate group of let's try again. We'll call this guy High Ass Hairline (HAH) because frankly, that's what I put in my phone when we exchanged numbers at a gas station during a time when I had low self esteem and already one terrible date under my belt after a difficult breakup. (The bad date involved my date getting into a fistfight in the parking lot and me driving away, past the brawl in disgust.)

Anyway, it was 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning when HAH called. I was sleeping in after traveling the night before. I answered and heard a male voice on the other end asking if I know who it is. I say no, he tells me his name and that we met a year ago at the gas station. So he's trying to ask me how I'm doing and make small talk....at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning. And I stop him in his tracks. I basically say that after a year, he doesn't really need to call me, and that I'm not interested in having any kind of conversation with him ... and that I have a man.

Dude goes into a tirade, which includes, "I know I didn't need to call you but I did. And all you had to say was you had a man. I'm a grown ass man. I don't know how old you are, but I can take it."

Because I love y'all, and needed blog material, I decided to dig deeper and ask him why after all this time, if we haven't spoken, would he call me now?

He said that he had been overseas, and that he also figured that if he wasn't the right man for me back then, who knows? He could have all of the qualities I need now. He called me "negative" and asked me if I ever read the book, The Secret, said that if I hadn't, I should read it. During his tirade, he told me that I should be flattered he contacted me after all this time and that I was still on his mind like that. I told him I wasn't mad and humored him, saying that I appreciated the fact that I had stayed on his mind for so long even after ignoring him. I said happy new year and bid him adieu. I honestly believe HAH thought I forgot about him, and that he could reinvent himself. Especially if he thought after time passed that he could be what I "needed" LMAO!

BACKGROUND: High Ass Hairline drove a sports car, was a peewee football coach, had a good government gig and had no kids. He bragged about himself and his home often. So much so that he always wanted me to come over. I didn't want a first date at someone's house and told him I was uncomfortable. He gave the excuse of me being immature, assuming he wanted sex from me. When he asked me to come over a second time, he was on his way home from work. I told him since he was already out, why don't we meet for a drink? To which he replied, "I had a rough day, I'd rather chill at home with you." To which I replied, "If your day was that rough, you are ill prepared for company. Hit me up when you are ready to go on a public date."  After that shutdown, I just kept ignoring his calls until he faded out a month or so later.

TALK BACK: Have you cleansed your phone of undesirable suitors in honor of the new year? Are you trying to go after missed opportunities in the new year? And are folks calling you now that the new year has rolled in?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

'Let's Talk About Pep' Reflects Sad State of Dating

If the new reality TV show, Let's Talk About Pep, is any indication, the world of dating for black women is a sad, sad, sad state of affairs.

I mean, I thought I had it rough. But Pep hasn't had a date or had sex in four years. FOUR YEARS! Whoa.

And when she finally did get a date, the dude's hair (was it an S-curl? A Jheri curl?) caught on fire as he tried to romance her in the hot tub. Oddly, this didn't seem to bother her. In fact, she left her girls wondering whether she had sex with him after his hair fire was extinguished.

I had a little teeny bit of hope for a date who took Pep's girl Kittie out. He was a bit boring but at least seemed like he was about something--at first. That is, until Kittie made it clear that she was bored with his talk of his business and financial planning. Then, I guess dude decided he needed to keep her attention by getting freaky. He started talking about his foot fetish at the dinner table in the restaurant. Then he took her to the strip club to "make it rain."

Really, dude?

I guess it worked for him, though. Kittie was all about it, getting freaky in the strip club, bending over, shaking her bootie as he threw money at her. 

The date ended with him sucking Kittie's toes in the car on the way home. Major FAIL. Yuck. Did this fool know he was going to be on TV? He's now officially a laughing stock and will surely get clowned by any woman he approaches who saw last night's episode.

Sadly, Kittie's date's behavior wasn't that shocking for me, since I recently ditched Cutie With Attitude, who has a foot fetish, too, and would cop an attitude because I would not send him camera phone photos of my feet and other body parts. He and Kittie's lame, freaky date would get along well, I'm sure.

TV personality Jacque Reid is another friend of Pepa's, and she's at the point in her life where she is less worried about finding a man and more worried about becoming a mother. She's nearing the end of childbearing age and has reached the point where she's ready to have a baby even if she doesn't have a husband. She took Lamman Rucker out to dinner to broach the subject of if he'd father her child.... and I definitely ain't mad at her for that. He's so fine that many women (myself included) wouldn't mind him being a baby's daddy. *Fanning myself* at the thought of Lamman's fine, fine, fine self. Oh boy, that's a gorgerous man. Wow.

A quick Google search suggests that Pepa is 42 or 43 years old. I am 29. I'd hoped dating would improve as I got older. But the hot mess I witnessed on television last night gives me little hope. No worries, though, I can always take Jacque's approach if all else fails in another decade or so.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thrill of the Chase: Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy

There's something to be said about how men respond to being ignored. It's totally counterintuitive for us as women, but it's like guys enjoy being ignored. It keeps them interested. Call it the thrill of the chase or whatever. Guys seem to love it.

I told you recently that I was holding out hope for Handsome Honey. Well, in addition to remaining hopeful, I also pretty much started ignoring him.

Like, not calling him at all. Like not sounding excited to talk when he first called me after not calling me for a while. Like being friendly but brief in our text message exchanges and sometimes not replying to his texts at all. And like going out on a date, albeit a bad one, with someone else.

And what do you know? I've talked to HH four times by phone in the past five or six days and I only initiated contact on one of those occasions, and that was because I had a problem that I needed his help with. Mostly he calls and says he's just checking on me. On Sunday he wanted to see me but I told him I was busy.

Today, when I called to ask him about my problem, he answered the phone even though he was in the midst of working on his home renovation. He took a break to see what I needed.

Now, I wasn't calling HH often to begin with, but in the past couple of weeks, my calls and texts have come to an almost complete halt. But maybe it's as simple as this advice from Yahoo! Personals: "By not calling him, he'll start calling you and wondering what happened."

Who knew?

TALK BACK: Do you think that ignoring a man makes him more interested in a woman? Why or why not?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Would You Date--Or Marry--a Weed Smoker?

I hate smoking. And for good reason. You see, I'm allergic to cigarette smoke. When I was a kid, simply being around my father's clothing after he smoked cigarettes was enough to make me start sneezing, have trouble breathing and give me a runny nose.

As I got older, I encountered a new type of smoke: Weed smoke. I never indulged myself; I was far too afraid of having an asthma attack to try that. But my friends smoked, some regularly and heavily. And when I was younger, it wasn't a big deal to date a guy who was a weed smoker, so long as he didn't smoke around me and wasn't into other types of drugs.

Now that I'm damn near 30, I'm annoyed by weed smokers. I don't like the smell, don't want to taste it when I kiss a guy, and don't like thinking he's under the influence or carrying weed on him when we're together.

But sometimes, I second guess myself. There's one guy (no, not this guy) who is a successful engineer who never smokes around me, but I know he smokes weed on occasion. He's 37, makes a six-figure salary and is otherwise a stand-up, good guy. Is it too rash of me to judge him for being an occasional weed smoker? 

I recently talked about this issue with a few family members, and they said as long as the guy smokes outside and never around me, I shouldn't sweat it. But still, I wonder, is this a compromise I should make in the name of love? Is it possible that my soul mate is a weed smoker?

TALK BACK:  Would you date or marry a weed smoker? Why or why not?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Day of the Year, First Bad Date of 2010

It's never a good thing when your date feels himself up before you have a chance to.

Having been stuck in the house a lot lately--because of snowstorms and being sick--I took Cutie With Attitude up on his offer to go out to dinner on New Year's Day. I hadn't talked to him in weeks, since I asked him to stop contacting me, but he reappeared during the holidays, as they usually do.

I thought a nice dinner date would be a welcome trip out of the house. I thought. And I kinda sorta had fun...at first.

That is, until CWA unbuttoned the first few buttons of his shirt and began rubbing his chest, doing an LL Cool J thing with his lips, while we were sitting at the dinner table in the restaurant.

As he felt himself up, he said, "You like that, don't you?"

Me: "No, really I don't."

WTF. Did he really think that was sexy?!? WHY ME?!?

It only got worse after that. Somehow the conversation turned to CWA's hatred for animals. Apparently a large dog bit him when he was a child. So, he told me, he hates dogs--and that includes my 4-pound dog. Any woman he marries better get rid of her dog if she has one, he told me. I told him that's too bad because the only way I'd ever consider getting rid of my dog would be if I fell in love with someone who was severely allergic to him. Otherwise, CWA can kick rocks.

Needless to say, I was happy when the check came, and I was very quiet the entire ride home. I was relieved that CWA did not attempt to come inside my place, but he did walk me to the door. When I got home, I decided to check out CWA's facebook page--He'd just signed up for fb not too long ago and we became fb friends while we were at dinner. I took a quick look at his page and went to bed.

The next morning, I tried to go back to CWA's facebook page to look at it in more detail--and guess what? He had deleted me as a friend on facebook! I texted him to say, "You deleted me as a facebook friend? Wow." He responded right away and claimed that he hadn't deleted me. He said he didn't know what happened. Must've been some sort of facebook glitch. Whatever, dude.

Do all of these dudes read from the same BS handbook of excuses? I'm mean, you really must be kidding me.

On to the next one.