Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not Every Sideline Chick Can Be Alicia Keys

By: Guest Blogger NINA LOVEHALL

The chance that a sidepiece will actually get the guy to leave his wife/girlfriend to marry her and live happily ever after is kind of like going to a Louis Vuitton store every single day believing that one of these days, there's going to be a sale.

It just ain't gonna happen.

Sure, women can buy a used Louis for a substantially discounted rate on Ebay or at a consignment store (if you are lucky), but even then, the bag is used, and its authenticity is questioned. It may actually be a real Louis, but you've robbed yourself of the joy of walking into the store and them wrapping it up ever so nicely and placing it in that box and walking out of the store with your prize nestled in that shopping bag. It's yours. It's new. It's real. It's got a guarantee. Plain and simple. That back room bargain always seems to taint the exclusivity of having such a luxury item in the first place.

It's the same idea if you're actively and knowingly pursuing a man who isn't your own.

But recently, international superstar Alicia Keys has done the almost impossible. She's made it snow in the desert. She's just sold water to a well. She's done what countless sidepieces over the ages have tried to accomplish but have often failed at.

She managed to get music producer Swizz Beatz to finally divorce his wife, and she's having his baby. It's been reported that they plan to tie the knot in the fall. (The jury is still out, in my opinion, until then. For a man to leave one marriage and jump into another... I don't know, girl, good luck.) But despite being called a homewrecker and having some serious Twitter beef with Swizz Beatz's ex wife, Alicia stuck it out and got the guy.

However, I want to send a message to all the sidepieces who now consider Alicia to be their patron saint and believe that her current good fortune is a sign of things to come in their own situations: Y'all are sadly mistaken and delusional.

I'm not passing judgment on her because I love A. Keys, too. She's an awesome musician and performer, and her humanitarian efforts really set her apart from a lot of other artists. She's beautiful, humble and has talent coming out of every pore. She's a hardworking woman, who like all of us hardworking women, deserves a real shot at love and happiness. She's certainly got that love glow going on these days.

But if you are out there creeping with someone else's man and you aren't Alicia Keys, chances are HE AIN'T LEAVING and when he does commit to someone, it probably won't be you.

I've seen this thing play out a million times. Monica has a great song from one of her older albums called Sideline Ho. She ticks off a list of things that if your "man" isn't doing with or for you, you are indeed the side chick, and he's not going to leave his main chick/wifey.

So sideline chicks, sidepieces, jumpoffs, breezies, shorties, or whatever you are, hold off on the tickertape parade for Alicia, and don't start up your own wedding registries just yet.

I will give Swizz Beatz credit for going ahead and divorcing his ex and giving Alicia that show of faith, but it's always a worrisome thought wondering once you get that man, if he'll do the same thing to you.

That's the other thing about a used bag. There is usually no return policy where you can at least get a store credit to start all over again.

TALK BACK: Have you ever knowingly gone after a man who was unavailable, hoping he would choose you?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nina's Prediction: Extreme Change May Lead to Love

By: Guest Blogger NINA LOVEHALL

A dear, dear friend of mine is taking a job overseas.

I'm thrilled for her, a little nervous about her safety or how how she will handle really bad bouts of homesickness, but still I look at this new adventure for her with great optimism and pride.

Not only is she going to embark on something that will help her professionally, but I do believe after having a lull in the love department, that area may pick up as well.

It's actually a secret thought that I've had since she announced her pending move.

Let's face it. My friend is an unapologetic, outspoken, out-of-the-box kind of thinker. She'll quit a job she hates with the quickness, she'll travel when the need suits her, she'll go back to school for another degree, she'll jump out of planes for fun or she'll learn mixed martial arts.

A conventional man can't handle her. She doesn't want a conventional man. And she's not going to meet her non-conventional man in a conventional way.

Why do I think will she meet an awesome guy where she's going? Because that guy is probably just like her. What makes this fantasy union in my head more fabulous (aside from the fact it's international and that's always sexy) is the fact that they won't even be looking for each other when they do meet. They'll both just be looking for adventure and will stumble upon each other in the process, in probably a really competitive manner-- which both of them will find hot and irresistible.  That's how I imagine it. She will be more vulnerable than usual in this strange land and can let go to this kindred adventurous spirit more so than while being here in the states, and from there, I think love may blossom faster than you can fill a 3-ounce bottle with your favorite hair product.

The fantastic, and yet equally frustrating thing about my bud, is her ability not to settle. That's in both her personal life and professional life.

It seemed that everything was stacked against her in terms of her dreams and trying to find her way. Keep in mind the dream job she finally snagged took around five years of dead ends and disappointments to finally achieve.

She had to face her parents bringing home job applications and watching her friends and even her younger sibling make great strides in their professional lives. I'd cringe for her when people would (sometimes harshly) ask what she's doing with her life. Even I wanted her to take a more safe route. Sometimes I thought she was being stubborn and unrealistic. I told her, "You've got to do something even if you don't like it, boo. That's life, that's being an adult. I hate seeing you in this situation." She'd take a deep breath. She'd tell me that something is bound to happen and kept relentlessly courting the companies she wanted to work with overseas and staying up till the wee hours of the morning watching television shows from that country of her desire and learning the language until something came through. Finally it did. And I couldn't be happier for her. 

That kind of faith, that kind of tenacity-- despite what even your closest family and friends say-- makes me quite sure that once her professional endeavors start clicking for her, love won't be too far behind. And when it comes, it's going to be just as exhilirating as her getting that offer letter and that plane taking off.

Do you think settling in life and settling in love go hand in hand?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beware of the Stalker Neighbor

I've said a time or two before that I attract crazies.

Today just solidified that I do it without even trying.

I walked out to my car at about 8 a.m. to head to work. I noticed a folded up piece of paper on my windshield when I got in the car. So I reached to grab it. There I found a typewritten note that said the following (punctuation and capitalization copied exactly from the note):

"Dear FabFem,
I have been attracted to you from the first moment I saw you. I was walking to the grocery store on a Saturday morning to get milk.
My first chance meeting with you was the snow storm. I was helping people get out of their parking spaces...and then comes this Angel of BEAUTY!!!
I did my deed, and then I gathered my courage to ask you for your phone number...and you said you had a boyfriend? I don't know if that was a nice way of letting me down or if you were involved with another man.? But if things have changed or if I can be a friend?...I was hoping you could call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX or XXX-XXX-XXXX. I would like to take you out to eat and we could get to know each other better!
I'm a little shy and clumsy when I try to talk to a Beautiful woman such as yourself for the first time.Which you probably noticed. That's why I decided to write what I feel!
Stalker Neighbor
[Real name omitted]"

The note struck me as a cross between sweet... and creepy. First of all, he approached me during the snowstorm? ... You mean the one in February? And four months later, you're still watching me and typed up a note to put on my car? Hmmm. Then I thought about if I remembered who this guy was. Turns out I do. I remember thinking he seemed creepy in person, so I told him I had a boyfriend (my usual line when I want a guy to go away am not interested). Little did I know, he didn't forget that conversation, even if I had.

Walking into work today, I decided to google his phone number. After all, he'd given me his cellphone and home phone numbers AND his e-mail address. A little googling got me his full name and address. Soon, I used that info to see if he had a criminal record, something a female cop once told me to do if I ever thought a guy pursuing me was weird, just to see what I'm dealing with.

Oh boy. I didn't expect what came next. Sometimes, information is power, and other times, it can scare the hell out of you. Turns out Stalker Neighbor has been charged in the past few years with stalking, assault, false imprisonment, disorderly conduct, trespassing, possession of a deadly weapon, and a peace/restraining order had been issued against him a couple years back. 

Whoa. Mind you, he lives like a block from me, and I think I can be pretty sure he's been watching me. Sigh.

I phoned Prince Charming, who when he isn't saving the day for me, is a police officer by profession. He wanted to go knock on dude's door.

But I couldn't let him do that. That could turn out really, really badly.

Instead, I okayed PC calling him. PC told SN over the phone that he was my boyfriend and that while I appreciated the flattery, I wasn't interested. He said SN took it well, said he understood and respected that.

Let's hope so. Meanwhile, I think I'll go buy some pepper spray.

TALK BACK: Have you ever had an overly aggressive neighbor who wanted to date you? How did you handle it?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

6 Signs the Guy You're Dating May Be Crazy Or Abusive

I've tried to work on my patience over the years.

You know, not be so quick to cut guys off over small things.

I try to see the good in people but also not ignore the bad. Unfortunately, I think I failed miserably when it came to Mr. Courtship.

Mr. Courtship said all the right things... at first. He took me out, we had great conversation, and he showed an interest in the people and things that matter to me most. And, perhaps the best part of all... He cooks. Very well.

But after a few weeks, I started to have some concerns about Mr. C. I realized that he was impatient, almost unreasonably so, at times. Not with me. But just over small things that it seemed unreasonable to get upset about.

And soon, his impatience did turn to me. Like one early morning when I didn't answer his phone call because I was in the shower. I called him back after I'd gotten dressed when I was in the car, on my way whereever I was headed that day. Sounds reasonable, right? Not to Mr. C. This fool actually suggested that I should get in the habit of putting my cellphone on the toilet basin so that I can hear it--and answer it--even when I am in the shower. I searched for a hint he was joking. Couldn't find one. So I moved on, with that tucked into my mind as a RED FLAG that I should keep an eye on.

Not long after that, I decided to cut Mr. C off, not just because of that incident, but because I caught him in a major lie and decided it was time for him to go. Unfortunately, I think he realized his time had come -- so he refused to answer the phone. I finally sent him a text message asking him not to contact me anymore. Then, four days passed -- mind you, we had talked daily since we met until then -- with no word from him, so I thought he was abiding by my wishes.

But on the fourth day, he called me around 5:30 p.m. I didn't answer. He then called three more times up until 7:30 p.m., when he left me the following message:

"Yo, you're gonna answer your God%amn phone. I'm going to f$%k you up. You better answer your phone. Why can't I get in contact with you at 7:31? Yeah, alright. You gonna get your @ss whooped."

Yes, I'm serious. He really did leave me that message for no reason other than I hadn't answered my cellphone for two (TWO?!) hours after not hearing from him for four days. And this time, I was sure there was no hint in his voice that he was joking. He'd never laid a hand on me and I never thought I had a reason to fear him...before that message.

I left him a voicemail the next day advising him that if he ever threatened me again, I would call the police and that I meant it when I told him several days prior that I was done talking to him. We spoke once over the phone after that--because I believe that when it comes to crazy people, it's good to know they're not coming to kill you where their heads are--and he told me he was over it and wouldn't bother me again. Let's hope he means that.

Meanwhile, I learned some valuable lessons from my experience with Mr. C (and let's call him Mr. Crazy from now on). Here are 6 signs the dude you're dating may be crazy or potentially abusive:

1. He complains constantly and/or always points out something he thinks you do wrong.
2. He always thinks you're wrong, even about stuff you know you're educated about.
3. He cuts you off mid-sentence and hangs up on you... say, once every week or two.
4. He gets an attitude when you don't answer your phone, even for reasonable time periods.
5. He complains when you go out with friends, even occasionally.
6. He gets mad if you speak to a friend or associate of his--and I do mean just "hello"--when he isn't present.

TALK BACK: Did I miss any signs a guy may be crazy or potentially abusive? Let me know by commenting!