Archive for the 'Humor' Category

02
Feb
12

When TOEs (Terms of Endearment) Stink

Single Independent SistahI’ve heard it said that more than any other word on the planet, a woman loves to hear the sound of her own name, but I won’t deny that hearing a tenderly uttered and perfectly timed “baby” or “honey” from the right person can sometimes send a little chill up the spine.

However, I’ve always found generic terms of endearment (TOEs) to be a bit insincere. If you’ve ever met a romantic interest who quickly started referring to you as “baby,” and then soon realized that he used the term for everyone and everything from the hair-net wearing grandmother at the interstate tollbooth to the voice that alerts him that his voicemail is full, then you likely feel the same way.

Finding out that a TOE you thought was reserved only for you rolls off his tongue like swag oozes from the pores of Barack Obama, is like realizing the birthday gift that your BFF gave you three years ago—the one you’ve placed in a special spot where you can gaze at it daily, the one that reminds you how close you two are, the one you consider priceless—came from the dollar store.

It’s not that it’s completely unappreciated now, but maybe it wasn’t quite as deep as you thought.

To be clear, I’m not completely against terms of endearment. My parents each had cute names for me when I was a child. One love interest used to refer to me as Miss Styles ‘cause he was a fan of my fashion sense. (That was before the recession hit.) I could appreciate these little nicknames that were bestowed upon me specifically by people who had picked out a particular characteristic or skill about me that was unique and therefore used to distinguish me from all others.

Most would likely find that sort of personalization preferable to being called “sweetheart,” “dear,” “baby” or some other generic moniker by a guy whose overuse of the terms makes one wonder, “Does he remember my name?” or “How many women did he just send this, ‘Good morning, babe’ text to?”

Of course, I know several stable, healthy couples who use those clichéd nicknames with genuine affection and respect, but he only uses the TOE for his wife, and she only uses it for her husband.

That could be the most important part of using a term of endearment. It works better when it’s reserved for one person. That’s what makes it special, and isn’t that the whole point?

When someone starts referring to you with a little pet name, the assumption is that there’s a level of intimacy. You two are so close that you’ve suspended the formality of government issued, birth certificate names. Instead, you express affection just when addressing one another. How cute!

That’s all lost when the TOEs are overused. That’s all lost when they’re used too soon.  Basically, that’s lost when they’re meaningless.

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06
Jul
11

Don’t Ask For a Smile

I consider myself a pretty reasonable person. I try not to let little things irritate me, but I’m human and like many, I have a few pet peeves. They may not seem like huge deals to others, but when confronted with these things, it’s easy to find me slowly counting backwards from 100 or repeating the serenity prayer to myself like an enraged Bruce Banner trying not to change into the Hulk.

So, I understand that I may be the only woman in the world who feels this way, but I admit that I get completely irked when a strange man asks me to smile.

For clarity, let me offer an example. I’ve parked my car at the local town center and am on my way into the dollar store. My stream of consciousness is something like this: “I wonder if Oprah still goes to the dollar store. Even if you have $1 million, there are some things that are just not worth more than a dollar. Like, I’d never pay more than a buck for a fly swatter. Does Oprah have flies? I mean, just ‘cause you rich doesn’t mean you don’t have flies. They’re not like roaches. If she had roaches, that’d be a problem. Can you imagine little roaches climbing out of Oprah’s bag when she gets to Harpo Studios? That’s some mess. Oprah got roaches, and Stedman says she brings her roach-infested lunches to work. That’s just nasty. Wait. Why am I at the liquor store?….”

So after leaving there, returning to the task at hand, walking two doors down and reaching my intended destination, some random guy who’s coming up the street loudly says to me, “Smile. Why you look so mean? It’s not that bad.”

Pause… Say what?

It seems like a small thing, and I’m sure the nameless fellow didn’t mean to offend, but let me explain what I hear when this is said.

Your Face is Whack: So, he didn’t directly insult my face, but then again, didn’t he? Basically, what I’m being told is that my face looks so twisted, distorted and unappealing that something must be wrong with me. I must be angry, having a bad day or maybe even contemplating suicide. The reassurance that things aren’t as bad as my face suggests just isn’t a compliment.

You Care What I Think: I don’t make a habit of asking strangers on the street what they think of me. The truth is that whether they think I’m fly or funky, it really doesn’t matter much. It’s true that you never know when you might bump into someone who may become a great friend, future employer or an otherwise significant part of your life, but more often than not, people whose paths you cross when running errands aren’t going to end up in your cellphone contacts list. So, the comments strangers voice about others reeks a bit of self-importance. However, responding with a, “Your opinion is worth less to me than this fly swatter I’m about to buy,” probably wouldn’t help the matter.

I’ve Got You Figured Out: Every human being is different. I do have friends who walk down the street showing off their pearly whites. I smile at strangers at times, like when people stumble on their own feet and try to play it off like they tripped on an invisible crack in the sidewalk. I smile at them so they know, “It happens to the best of us.” However, the absence of a smile on my face does not necessary indicate that I’m depressed or in a foul mood. The fact that someone I’ve never met would assume to know me well enough to interpret my facial expressions is just a bit presumptuous. No? That would be like assuming every random guy who requests that I smile at him is in desperate need of attention and validation from anyone who’ll entertain him.

As insulting as the delivery can be, I do assume the request is meant to be a compliment. However, if the goal is to solicit a smile from someone, in my unsolicited opinion, a simple “hello” would work a lot better.

10
Mar
11

What Your Naked Pic Really Reveals

By now, you’ve probably seen the naked photo of R&B star Chris Brown that was allegedly “leaked” by one of his exes.

Whether or not the photo was released by an ex or Chris himself is still in question, but it’s obvious that he’s the one who snapped the cell phone shot.

Seemingly alone and somewhat aroused, Chris felt the moment needed to be immortalized digitally. So, he did what any Atlanta pastor with a Jheri-curl would do, and he went to the bathroom to admire himself – and thought, “Why keep this to myself?”

How selfless.

I’m not going to overanalyze the situation, but here are five reasons why this is whack (not just for superstars).

1. It’s vain: I hope that everyone out there likes something about his or her appearance. I hope you love your height, or your smooth skin or your smile. Love you, but know that there is a line, and when you are overcome with the desire to share your assets with others – who probably haven’t asked – you’ve crossed the line from a healthy self-perception to narcissism.

2. It’s distracting: I’m sure the image of Chris’ naked body was distracting to many people – male and female – in several different ways. However, it’s clear that Chris, whose new album is coming out later this month, was not in the studio, writing songs, practicing dance moves or even taking anger management courses when he took the photo. Instead of working on his craft or himself, he was – as one of my cousins always says – worrying about the wrong thing.

3. It’s average: I mean, if you’re going to take a photo of yourself buck naked and send it out into the viral world, it should be something outstanding, unprecedented, awe-inspiring and unforgettable, in my opinion. I’m no expert, but I didn’t see anything that warranted a snapshot. One could argue that Chris is just another guy. His mega-career doesn’t guarantee a mega-member. I agree, but that begs the question: Why? Why take a photo at all?

4. It’s desperate: Are you looking for approval? Validation? Sex? Get a grip. I guess hundreds of fans posting flattering comments about your physique is an ego booster, but if you’re in need of a boost that big, then there might be other issues at hand. Instead of simply revering your reflection, a Stuart Smalley mirror moment might be more beneficial.

5. It’s dangerous. It’s a slippery slope. Once you start snapping and distributing nude photos of yourself, how far away are you from an actual sex tape? Is it like a gateway activity that leads to more risqué public behavior? How long will it be before he’s making out with women on a VH1 reality show, displaying no shame or self-control at all? Wait. I think I slipped into a Ray J rant.

To be clear, I’m not discouraging physically fit men from posting their nude photos online or texting them to ex-girlfriends, but know that more than just the goodies are being revealed. Such actions can offer a peek into one’s psyche, and although you can never really know what’s going on in someone else’s head, putting yourself out there like that, suggests quite a bit.

20
Dec
10

Are Ugly Men the Answer?

For the record, I don’t actually believe in the concept of “ugly.” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so even Boris Kodjoe is hard on somebody’s eyes, and the strongly unattractive probably have something beautiful going on: a nice smile, great eyelashes, healthy skin, etc…

So, my real question is whether or not dating a man who may be rating lower than you on the generally accepted scale of aesthetics is a good idea?

According to this article, which quotes a study in the Journal of Family Psychology, dating a less attractive man may lead to a happier relationship.

“It’s possible that a man who is less attractive than his partner feels so grateful to be with her that he works harder to maintain the relationship, amping up the amount of emotional support and kindness he provides,” says Benjamin R. Karney, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at UCLA. “Yet a man who is better looking than his partner knows he has lots of other options besides his mate, so he’s less committed to providing the emotional support long term relationships need to thrive.”

If you haven’t seen examples of this in your daily life, look at celebrity couples such as Beyonce and Jay-Z, Heidi Klum and Seal, and Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri, who are no longer an item.

Sure, many men assume that these guys won the hearts of these dime pieces because of their money, power and respect. I’m sure that didn’t hurt, but I also have an inkling that these fellas, knowing they might be at a slight disadvantage in the looks department, decided to sweep these women off their feet and treat them like they deserved.

As quiet as it’s kept, that often outweighs attractiveness. If he’s outwardly cute, but treats you like his concubine, instead of his queen, then he turns inwardly ugly real quick.

If his working harder to support you emotionally and be the best partner ever aren’t reasons enough to consider dating that less attractive guy, the article offers another reason.

“…you may find that your not-so-pretty man brings his A-game in the bedroom. ‘What I’ve seen from my clinical practice is that women who are married to men less attractive than them often have happy sex lives most likely because their mate tries harder to please them sexually,’ says Bethany Marshall, Ph.D.”

Since my mom reads this blog, I’m going to leave that right there.

So, while I’m not at all encouraging any SIS to date someone she finds unattractive, the pros of dating a guy who is less than a 10 might actually outweigh the cons, and that might be worth considering if a not-so-bad-looking millionaire man with a broom arrives to sweep you off your feet.

23
Nov
10

Giving Thanks For Your Jacked-Up Love Life

Your dating situation isn’t at all what you had hoped it would be this holiday season. Instead of gazing lovingly across the Thanksgiving dinner table into the eyes of your significant other as he passes you the pig feet, you’ll have to reach for those ham hooves yourself ‘cause the man in your life is either unavailable or just nonexistent.

However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything to be thankful for this Turkey Day. There’s usually a silver lining to every cloud or in this case, gravy for every helping of cornbread stuffing. Either way, remembering to count your blessings and focusing on the positives of your current relationship status – no matter what that may be – is essential for enjoying the holidays.

So, whether you lack a romantic relationship or are just struggling in one that’s not ideal, here’s help looking on the bright side.

Recently Broken Up: What’s good about being dumped right before the holidays? The obvious answer: you can shorten your gift list by one. That money you were going to spend on nose-hair clippers and anti-fungal foot powder for your man, you can put toward a spa day for yourself. Plus, be glad you’re not carrying all that dead weight to family functions and holiday parties where potential suitors and strategically placed mistletoes may be exactly what you need. While some suggest that the holidays are an awful time for breakups, the built in distractions can help soften the blow.

Still Single: Last Thanksgiving Day, you declared that you’d have a date when the holiday rolled around again. Here it is 12 months later, and during the one date you did have you were convinced a short, little man dressed in a red devil suit was going to pop out with his pitchfork at any second. At least that would have made the evening interesting. So, what is there to be thankful for?

First, be thankful that you have the freedom to do whatever it is you want to do. While some coupled folks have to always consider their significant others, you have the liberty to make autonomous decisions about how the thermostat is set and what Lifetime movie to watch for the umpteenth time. Second, be grateful for your circle of support and love that exists even without Mr. Right. The holidays are a great time to gather your friends together for some Beyonce-style Single Ladies celebrating. Finally, be happy that you love yourself enough not to settle.

No matter what your present love life is like, the bottom line is –  make the most of whatever that situation may be. That’s the message this Thanksgiving holiday. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and find reasons to celebrate where you are now while looking forward to the future.

If you’re in a long-distance relationship,
find out why you should be thankful here.

16
Nov
10

Tweaking the Girlfriend Rules for the 30-Somethings

Whether they’re de facto laws, verbally stated or even written down, most people are aware that there are certain rules when it comes to dating. For instance, it’s a violation to bring bridal magazines on the first date, so you and he and begin picking out colors the members of your wedding party will wear. Even if the periodicals are in your purse, don’t actually bring them to your date’s attention. Wait for the second date.

The dating rules between men and women are sometimes convoluted and often depend on the individuals involved and the specific circumstances, but when it comes to rules between friends who are both hunting for potential mates, the rules are hard and fast.

For example, if your best buddy is dating someone, you can’t date that same person.

That seems like a simple enough rule to follow. However, as you get older, the dating game gets tiring, and the pool of potentials shrinks. That’s when 30-something daters start to question whether those friendly rules of engagement should be broken?

Let’s examine a few of these dating rules and determine if they should be revoked.

Rule No. 1: Whoever Sees Him First Has Dibs – So, you’re out at a bar with your regular group, and you see a gorgeous potential spouse walk through the door. You’re mid sip on that drink you just ordered. You’re just about to gulp it down and verbally mark your territory, when your BFF declares, “He’s cute. I want to talk to him.” Now, you not only have a mouthful of martini to swallow, you also have to swallow that lump of disappointment and regret in your throat. The saddest aspect of this scenario is that even if he doesn’t seem too interested in your friend, the line has been drawn. Sadly, you can’t even flirt with him.

Rule No. 2: Approval Is Required – When you’re younger, your friends’ approval means a lot. You need that confirmation. You want to know they’re behind you. However, by the time you’re 30-something, you’ve likely questioned the influence you’ve allowed your friends to have on your life decisions, especially when it comes to dating. Let’s face it. These are the same girls who persuaded you to go out with the cute panhandler who flirts with you daily outside your office building.

What’s rule No. 3? Read the rest of this article here: 

10
Nov
10

Tips From the Hook-Up Handbook

So, I am sort of in the midst of getting hooked up with a random guy. I describe him that way ‘cause so far there’s little to suggest we’d be compatible. I consider it a compliment that the girlfriend responsible wants me to meet this fellow. However, this reminds me of a past situation where I was encouraged to go out with a guy solely based on the fact that we were both single. Honestly, that’s not criterion enough for me to want to meet a guy. So, for future reference, here’s my “I have someone I want you to meet” checklist.

1. We must have something in common (other than being single): Does he like to write? Does he like museums, too? Do we each possess a dry sense of humor? Did we both shock you with our vast knowledge of ‘80s hip hop? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then maybe I’d like to meet this guy. If the only similarity between us is that neither of us has plans for Valentine’s Day, then I’ll pass.

2. He has to meet your standards: If you know you’d never date this guy, even if you two were the last two living beings on the planet, then please don’t pass him my way. If he’s still living at home, has six children by four different women, and you have cause to question his sexuality, I take back my earlier sentiment about considering the hook up a compliment. I’m now insulted.

3. He has to be 100% single: My life is pretty drama free. Don’t introduce me to the guy who saw me on your Facebook page and asked for a hook up even though he’s still in a situation. I don’t want to create any love triangles or get involved with any guy who’s not only carrying around baggage, but is struggling trying to make room to stuff more crap in. I’ll stay where I am where it’s nice and roomy.

If the guy stands up to these top 3 criteria, I’ll be more than happy to take it from there.

At the risk of never being hooked up again, I’m posting this for every SIS out there who has been set up with a guy only to sit there wondering what in the world your friend was thinking when she decided to match you with him! The truth is that, she probably didn’t give it too much thought. She saw two pleasant single people, and decided to channel her inner Chuck Woolery. Don’t look at it as a personal reflection on you. Just send her this entry to help guide her if you think she might try it again. She’ll get the point.




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