Thursday, May 20, 2010

Savory Dreams, Famished Realities

I wanna send a personal shout out and a special (virtual) box of sunset blush to some very loyal DNT fans! Wanda Williams and the cubicle nation....thanks for your support. Don't get yourselves fired sure to push some papers around your desk or pick up the phone when you read. Keep the man off your back!


Like my DNT sisters, I, too, have been going through my own set of uphill battles. After a visit to the health fair at my "Clark Kent" day job, I realized I needed to make some changes in my life. My sugar was good, but the pressure was high and the stress level was ridiculous. My knees were in pain and I was out of breath at the thought of stairs. I was at an all-time low with my health.

After much contemplation and tears, I knew what I had to do. It had to be be done. Well, after a weekend of 20,000 calories I decided to get my body back. I got on a fitness program and started working on my fridge. Some things had to go.....and as you can box was the obvious.

Aww Lawd.....why my boxed wine? Isn't wine suppose to help something? Maybe heart health....brain function.....hell, even gout prevention.....anything?!? But I knew I had to do it.

Its been 10 weeks since I had a taste. (Well, there was that little foray with the pineapple mojito, but that didn't count)

I decided to get a fitness program going and build up an emotional support network. Surprisingly, this was the easy part of the deal. With the right activity, I know I can become a fitness beast...its only a matter of time.

As for my network, it consists of a sisterhood (and one bruh) who understand the struggle of being a "foodie" and the need for physical change. I knew I had the right crew of people together when one of my people said to me, "Why the hell do they put chocolate on pretzels? That's stupid! But now, if they wrap that pretzel with Swedish Fish, then we're talking!"....these are my peeps!

Lastly, I had to get my healthy food game up. DNT family, y'all just don't know, the sweet delectable reverie of words such as "breaded", "crispy", "savory", "deep fried", and "drizzled".....these words send my senses into a wondrous ecstasy of meals past. To have these words and the meals associated with them taken from me seems cruel and unusual. Its bad enough I'm on a "love sabbatical", but to take away the sweet and tangy flavor of sauce drenched southern fried soul is just a crime.

So I crunch my carrots broken-hearted. (Please don't feel the need to offer me food advice, cause I ain't gonna take it. Just let me sulk....thank you very much)

Sometimes I let my daydreams cheat on my regiment. My food fantasies are so graphic, they're damn near erotic.

This one time I dreamed that I lathered myself in Land O'Lakes butter and stepped into a tub full of sweet potatoes in Karo syrup. And out of nowhere Common shows up holding a spoon and a container full of brown sugar that he gently sprinkles over top of me. As we feast our way through together, its evident that we have to rinse ourselves off. From the shower comes the titillating massaging power of sangria. Oh what a vision!

Another time, I'm at a secluded oasis. There is a cool spring of strawberry mojito with sugar cane all around. Who comes behind me but Idris Elba, escorting me into the soothing and healing rum waters. And as we gaze in each other eyes, he tells me to close my eyes because he has a surprise for me. To my amazement a platter of Red Lobster's hot buttery biscuits appear. Idris feeds me biscuits as we marinate in mojito!!

Oooo, and then there was the time I was massaged into a therapeutically warm apple compote by Bradley Cooper. (Yeah, I said Bradley Cooper!) Bradley's experienced hands let me know he knew his way around an apple pie as he gingerly wrapped me in a flaky cinnamon crust. Putting me under a heat lamp, Bradley begins feeding me General Tso chicken. HEAVENLY!!!

But something always takes me away from my delicious thoughts. These thoughts probably will work against me, so I tuck them in my "wishful thinking" cabinet. As I crunch this bland-ass rice cake, I just hope that my healthy reality is all that its cracked up to be.

'Til Next Time,
~ T-Gyrl

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Share My World

Gone Too Soon

Ah....I have I been?? Well, the quick and dirty: Everywhere and nowhere all a bit too dayum fast! Let's recount my last few months shall we? I will warn you...this is too dayum long for one time consumption.
  • House flooded
  • Two week conference (my biggest one for the year)
  • Mom had her first heart attack which led to the car getting hit
  • Males are falling out of the sky (what the hell is that about)

Since the first three are self explanatory, we can focus on the last point.

Born to Amuse, to Inspire, To Delight
Here one day, gone one night
Like a comet, blazing across the evening sky

1st to man up: Dillon (or at least that's his name this week) is 6 and a student of mine which means he is either HIV positive or has AIDS. For Dillon, it's AIDS. Now, I say that's his name this week, because Dillon was abandoned by his mother and left at the center where I teach. Though we've located his grandmother and know his birth name he has decided that he will choose his moniker. A woman who didn't love him, nor a family that didn't know him shall decide what he answers to. So every week it's something different. LOL. This week - Dillon. He loves music and science and is always on the edge of his greatest adventure (self discovery).

I decided to spend mother's day with my kids (usually mother's day is tough for me, feeling the loss of my own children) and Dillon wanted to be sure I spent most of it with him. Imagine my surprise when, in the midst of his monologue on rock formation, Dillon (who was Brian then) stops mid sentence & peers into my face & sternly asks

are you cheating on me?
Me: no. I've told ya time and time again - you're the only 6 year old for me.
Dillon: oh. it'll hurt, but I can take it.
Me: I have someone I keep time with
Dillon: What's that?
Me: I share his time & he shares mine. But he's not sure if he's interested in me in an adult way yet. Nor I him. But you'd like him. He's a doctor, sort of. Really big into science.
Dillon: he doesn't know if he's interested? what's wrong with him?
Me: (sigh..out of the mouths of babes) nothing he just hasn't figured out if he wants me around all the time. he's gone through his rough spots so he's a bit shy about moving too fast and so am I for my own reasons.
Dillon: Hmm, it's good that he's smart. He's gonna need it. Almost as smart as me
Me: Why almost?
Dillon: (shaking his head and picking up his choo-choo that he named after me) he hasn't figured out how to get the girl yet! So he's only almost.
Me: Oh
Dillon: (crashing the train into the wall to get all the moving parts out to study)
Dr. Seuss books please! How do you make a red fish, blue fish? He doesn't tell me in the book.
Me: ok. You know, my friend? He knew Dr. Seuss' real name. Most impressive thing he's ever said to me.
Dillon: (in awe) he can play with my train.
Me: the one you just broke?
Dillon: it's not broken. it's more fun this way. now you can see how it moves. if he doesn't like that, he's not that bright. Dr. Seuss please.

Dillon died Monday, May 17th. I'd known him for 2 years and 3 days. I wasn't there to hold his hand or talk to him about all the different species of red fish (I made him look it up). But I can still hear his laugh. I still read Dr. Seuss books. I kept the million little pieces that made up Akande (his train) and all the things he taught me. And while death is par for the course in my class, he's still the only 6 year old for me. Maybe, when I meet a man worthy enough, I'll show him the pieces and I'll know if he's smarter than a 6 year old by the level of beauty he finds in being able to see what once moved me. Goodbye young prince. I wasn't ready for his death but I pray he finds a cute 6 year old angel that can teach him the beauty of keeping his train on the tracks. LOL

Shiny & Sparkly & Splendidly Bright

Man on 2nd:
We have the scientist. Hmm...while Dillon was willing to give up his choo-choo...not so sure I'm willing to give up mine. He's a good man. Impressive on paper (degrees, owns his own home, etc.) but that doesn't impress me much. All the things listed simply means we are bringing an equal amount to the table.
Now, he is one of the best kissers on the planet. Ladies, let's pause on that so we may take a moment and give homage where it is due! ok....back to our regularly scheduled program. He doesn't have children or any communicable diseases (that I'm aware of). He's there if I need him. Always wants to be sure I'm not upset or emotionally hurt. When I am around him, he takes care to make sure I know I'm welcome. Loves to cook. Has an insanely adorable habit of overthinking EVERYTHING. Doesn't mind singing me to sleep (great voice) or giving me massages (great hands). Adores his mother. Loves music and is always sure to cuddle or touch me. Now all of that - does impress me. Very much so.

So what's the hesitation on my end? There are a few things I need in order to take a man's expressed interest seriously. It may not make sense to some but who the hell cares? My life, Mm moments.

A good "bad" moment:
Since there was an interest expressed on both sides, I immediately started to wonder what an argument or even a debate with him would look like. Some may find this counter-productive but it works for me. I'm opinionated and educated. Most men hate it. So I need to know if we can argue. I can laugh with any jackass but can we have a productive argument? A good "bad" moment. LOL. I know from experience, that takes a rare level of respect & character.

Well the time came. He was in the mood for a debate, I guess, because it started over something simple. Can't even remember the subject. In any event, the answer to that stress test was a resounding NO. The conversation was so full of posturing and patronizing commentary I'd hate to see how this man deals when the subject is something either of us deeply cares about.

Can I rock with you:
We don't have to agree, but can I rock with you? When we first decided to rock for a few I told him something about him was intimidating. I told him that it may be his "intelligence". From his response, I'm sure he took this to mean the size of his degree scared me. He took it that way, because he doesn't know me & he didn't seek clarification (a habit of his). It's not all the things he does's all the things he knows that aren't really so that gives me pause. I often meet dudes like that and wonder if they can learn. I wonder if you can be open to and fully invested in the possibilities of life or just the probabilities offered by figures and charts. I wonder if you can be comfortable letting go and just seeing what happens or if all your steps are measured. Can you have a conversation about blue colors and respect movement based on feeling absent of thought and weighing the what if's. I'm sure he wonders the opposite about me. Can my ass focus? Can we communicate on the same level even if that level is facts and figures.. etc.

Of course I can. Other than theater, he doesn't know my degrees (which is why the verbally patronizing pat on the head of "I'm glad you thought of that" irritates me every time he does it) or that I was a poly sci major before anything else. He doesn't know that my favorite subject in school was science. That I was on every debate team (even in college. shh! don't tell anyone). He never asked, so I never told. He seems content with surface info and details from my childhood never fully asking the whole story. He's a good man whose life experiences are mostly through books and labs. So he believes there can only be one truth, his knowledge & faith limited by probability. And I, with all my degrees & monumental life screw ups, am a good woman whose life experiences are mostly through fights, jail cells & moving from country to country. So I believe the truth changes with the teller, my faith and movement based on the possibility

Sincere Words & Action:
We can add to that, the disconnect between what he says he wants and what his actions say he wants. He was very intent on letting me know his interest wasn't just sexual. Good, neither was mine. However, I can't figure out what the hell he is After all that, I've come to the conclusion (despite his claims to the contrary) it aint me. He's one of those, speak with intention cats. I can't stand that shit. We should but never actually makes the plans to do it. Or "I love spending time with you" but whenever we end up in the same space it's not because he initiated or planned it. It's a product of my effort or circumstance. All in all, I deserve to feel wanted & appreciated by the man to whom I'm giving my time and, despite his verbal claims that I am, I don't feel it, because I don't see it and that's a deal breaker. So even though the rest of it may be able to work out in a beautiful balance (if we let it), this lack of action on his part (which he conveniently calls "moving at my pace") enough for what interest I had to start to dwindle and allow for the very real possibility that his interest was never truly there or gone just as soon as it sparked. Problem: My interest isn't dwindling fast enough. LOL. I still believe in the possibility...

Like the loss of sunset
On a cloudy afternoon

Off to see my mom, make funeral arrangements for Dillon, get paint for the kitchen, reconcile my conference, and all around figure out next steps.

Gone too Soon...

Song: Gone Too Soon by Michael Jackson

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My momma told me

Imet and I...

Oh, wait...

Sorry for the hiatus. Things have been moving quickly. For a brief minute, I thought I was gonna be unemployed. But I'm not. God is good.

So as I was saying...

Imet and I are no more. Or at least, that's what it looks like right now. We haven't spoken in 24 hours. That is to say, 24 hours ago, he told me how he doesn't need anybody but God, and "how have you been supportive of me?", and wah wahwah...

I'm out.

I'm short on patience. Been that way for a long time now. You ever had that one relationship that splits your life into "before him" and "after him"? Yeah, I've had one of those. It's actually an amazing growth experience. After him, though, I learned to trust my own judgment more. You see, a lot of the things that wind up hurting us in the long run, we already saw coming far, far ahead of time. We may not have known what we were looking at. Or maybe we knew and didn't want to acknowledge it. Or maybe we acknowledged it but didn't know where to go from there, so we just awaited the inevitable. Either way, I would hazard an unscientific guess that, oh, 78% of the time, we see, smell or otherwise sense bullshit before it hits us full-on in the face.

And in that indescribable moment after shit has hit the fan, bounced off the blades and is now hurling directly at your left eye with laser-guided accuracy... in that split second of "fuck me, this is really happening", lo n behold, you grow.

So I grew. I kept the patch on my left eye and grew from that moment. And one lesson that I got from that shit patch was to trust my judgment more. Hence my shortness on patience. I will only extend so many chances for you to get your shit together these days. Is this necessarily the right move? I really don't know. It can be brash at times. But I'm enjoying the freedom to make a mistake and live with the consequences, rather than spend all my time deliberating on the decision itself.

"Piss or get off the pot."

"Pick a lane and run."

2 of my favorite phrases in life.

Imet... among other things, is immature. Well, maybe not so much immature for his age, but not mature enough for me. I'm a woman. Therefore, I'm naturally more mature than my male counterparts. This is how we have constructed society, by raising our girls to become women while they're still girls, thereby making them mature more quickly. Girls get taught how to nurture (Barbies, play cooking ovens, my little pony, etc), while boys are left to their reckless abandon, and taught to hunt/build/provide (GI Joe, tonka trucks, etc). It's also why most women usually marry older than themselves.

Imet is one year younger than me. You see how this is already a problem. But I thought, okay, I can deal. I can be patient. I can overlook the dumbshit he does, like calling me at 4am because that's when HE got up to study, knowing good and mutherfucking well that I have to be up in 3 hours for work, AND that I have trouble sleeping. PS , I'm writing this at damn near 1 in the morning, and I have to be up for work in about 6 hours. I overlook that shyt because I have seen, and acknowledged that it's a shit patch, and have braced myself accordingly. I overlook a lot of things like that. And to his credit, I'm sure he's had to overlook a lot of my accept-me-or-kick-rocks-with-ingrown-toenails behaviors. Whatever.

But for you to boldface tell me that you don't need anyone, that I haven't been supportive of you, that ... Dude, seriously?

Like most people (or at least, I think this is how most people think), I have a threshold for bullshit. This threshold is a moving target, depending on the audience. Family and other loved ones naturally get a much higher threshold. But once you cross that threshold, the door closes behind you and there is no crossing back over. And for someone like me who loves resolution - right or wrong - that's a dangerous thing sometimes. When that door shuts, it really shuts. Not because I'm just that strong-willed. Nope. I just... once you cross that threshold, I no longer see you as I once did. You've become this creature, and I just can't see you any other way than that.

Imet is almost there. Almost. Much to my delight and surprise, there's still a piece of me that is wiling to work with him. He's dealing witha lot. I mean, a LOT, at this time in his life. But that window is closing fast. Because it's not like I'm living the carefree life either. Someone asked me yesterday when/where I'm going on vacay. I laughed. "I don't do vacays. I save all my vacay time so I can spend it with family at our annual gatherings. I don't go anywhere." There was an audible sigh on the other end of the line. "I gotta get to somebody's beach, fuck THAT." I envied him his work-life balance. Especially since he has a kid. What's my fucking excuse?

I was discussing my Imet situation with mom today. That jewel has more wisdom than I think even she realizes. "What you call yourself, is what you will be called," she reminded me. As you regard yourself, so shall the world regard you. If you allow any man to take advantage of you, that is your choice. But

As I swirled that around in my mouth and mulled over her words, she hit me with another banger: a man is supposed to pamper you.

Wow. That lingered. Still lingers.

Have I ever had that? What is that like? I'm not referring to the occasional gift splurge and compliment. I mean... What is it like to be so loved that a man is protective of you, that he puts you ahead of himself, that he treats you like a pearl encased in an eggshell? What is that like? I look at my parents. I have no idea what their courtship was like. Well, not those sorts of details. I'm sure my dad was romantic, because he has the artist's heart.

And while that lingered on the brain, she hit me with this: "When your father was courting me, he was consistent. His actions spoke for him. He showed up. He was there. He did as he promised. He was consistent. He was there."

Ladies and gentlemen, this is my dad, till this day. What he says, never needs to be second-guessed. He wouldn't say it if he couldn't commit to it.

What is that like? To have a man who loves me so gingerly, so completely, so actively, so soundly, so assuredly, so protectively, so completely... what is that like?? I've told myself that I don't need these things. I don't need to fall in love. I don't need those warm, giggly feelings that you get when you meet someone new. Man, I don't even remember the last time I felt those. I figure, I've been there, done that and what did it net me? Not my husband. And isn't that the point of all this? I know, I know... date for dating's sake. Yeah, that was cool, and I've done that. But I'm not in that space right now. So I told myself, that as long as he was a stable character, treated me with respect, met the bare requirements of a partner, etc, I was good. He doesn't have to get me. I can find other outlets for my... personality. I can find ways to tuck it away. I can be less me. I can fit myself into this box, eat oatmeal for the rest of my life, and live a healthy relationship.

Why do I find myself yearning for just the opposite now? Why do I yearn to be heard, listened to, seen, appreciated, loved, in all my naked, flawed glory?

What is that like??

Imet is none of these things. Part of me says, I can nurture these things into/out of him. Perhaps that's true. But I don't think I'm going to find out. There's bittersweet release in knowing he's not coming back.

Regard yourself well. The world is watching.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The "A-Ha" Moment

Hey Folks,

So us lovely ladies of DNT have been on a little hiatus. Life caught up to us. Shit happens. But we're coming back with more tales of love and relationships for you. Hopefully, you're anticipating more from us.

Tippin' my glass to you,


....Here's a little teaser post for you all.


Since I've been on this writing va-kay, lots have happened in the world. One of the more frivolous events was the release of the new Ciara video called "Ride".

I'm sorry T-Gyrl, but is that something that we should be aware of? Is it really relevant?

Apparently so....according to all the Facebook statuses of a few of the guys on my friends list. I have never seen soooo many guys with advice to women on how to keep their man until this video came out.

I thought to myself: Self, what could Ciara possibly be doing to have so many men captivated and willing to believe that this very action will, in fact, make a man faithful, get him to commit and love you more than anything that you did prior to this video?

And then I saw the video....

I'm not gonna lie, my first reaction was sadness. My mind started racing. All the years that I have worked on accepting where I'm at and who I am and now here comes Ciara gyrating all that to hell. I started feeling bad about myself because hell, I'm working out trying to get my body right, but my shit wasn't going to look like that in a bathing suit (and a fur coat).

That sexy glam look wasn't me at all and to be told that this is how you keep a man satisfied hurt me to my core. Why can't I be encouraged to have a Window Seat like Erykah Badu. Being rid of societal and social restraints to be free and express myself as I am...naked. No touch ups, just perfect imperfections is all.

I was all ready to hate on Ciara when my nephew-son gave me a little man-spective on my "internalization" of Ciara's video. His words of wisdom resonated loudly down to my core.

He said, "LOL, she teaching you how to ride ittt!"


So, this wasn't a personal attack on who I am and the type of woman I have grown to be? Really?....OKAYYY!!!

I asked a few of my man-friends about the same video and their feelings behind it. After coming out of the gyration hypnosis, most of them told me that it was definitely about....ahem....the performance. Most of the guys, though impressed by Ciara's skill set, didn't feel it was a requirement that every woman possessed this.

I asked all of them...would you approach a woman in the club who was "dancing" like that? The answers varied from "No because I couldn't move with her" to "I gotta say SOMETHING".

One of them summed the video up in these thoughts: "...a woman dancing like that would be intriguing but if she doesn't have anything going on between her ears I'm not interested."

So I'm gonna keep doing me (and maybe delete some friends on Facebook, LOL!!)

'Til Next Time,