Monday, August 31, 2009

Mean Girls

Recently my mentee, Norquesha, returned to school at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C. This summer, I met one of her good friends, Carmen. She was smart, well-spoken and had plans to get an MBA.

Carmen revealed to me one day that she didn't initially like Norquesha because she would "walk in class with her head up and shoulders back."

"I said, 'Who is this little girl walking with her head up,'" said Carmen, laughing at her silliness.

I was like, "What? You don't like someone because how they walk in a classroom?" I was taken aback.
Norquesha is tiny, maybe 4 foot 9 (and that's pushing it) and 95 pounds soaking wet. I would always tell her to walk with her head up. But I never thought people wouldn't like her because of that.

Later on, Norquesha revealed to me that a lot of girls on campus didn't like Carmen because Carmen drove a BMW. Her father had given her that car.

Wow. You don't like someone because their parents gave them a nice car to drive?

But I had to remember being their age. Did we not like someone just because of how they walked or what they drove? I can't remember being so petty in college, but maybe I was.

Even today, I'm sure you've run into folks who don't like you for whatever reason - (maybe because you're hot and smart :)

What about you?
Can you think of a time you didn't like someone for superficial reasons? (she think she cute, she think she all that, she think she smart, etc.)
Have you ever had an opinion of someone before meeting them, but once you got to know them you realized that the person was really cool?

Are there folks who didn't like you for whatever reason (and maybe still don't)?

Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Affair of the Heart

On Good Morning America this morning,
Sheryl Weinstein talked about her
21-year affair with disgraced Ponzi
schemer Bernie Madoff. You can read the
story here .

In her tell-all book, on sale at a bookstore near you,
she reveals that she had an intimate, sexual affair
with Madoff for only a year and a half, but was his mistress
for 20 years. (She's been married for 37 years)

hmmmmm. I guess I can understand that - sex for only a year, mistress for 20 years.
I'm assuming they mostly went to dinner, long walks, long talks —
essentially an emotional affair.

Man, I would love that.

I mean, I would love to have someone buy me lots of
jewelry, clothes, cars, art and a fabulous condo (in the Caribbean)
— without ever sleeping with them.
They would give me gifts basically because they liked me.
We would have an "emotional" affair.

I like this idea. I can get all these great gifts, go
to the best restaurants, travel — without
feeling pressure to have sex with a man.
I mean, if he's giving generously, who am I to say no?

I'm down. I can definitely do this relationship.

Or can I?

I'm afraid I may not be able to do this because
of my doggone good heart. I know I'll feel guilty,
like I'm "using" the person or "taking advantage."

I'm so lame.

What about you?
Could you have "an affair of the heart" in which a guy
just buys you stuff but you're not sexually intimate with him?

But sometimes the "emotional" affairs are more dangerous
than the physical ones.

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Need Not Apply

Okay, I met a guy Wednesday night.
I had just come from my Jazzercise class and
stopped by Harris Teeter before going home.

As I was heading to my car with my groceries,
a guy stopped me. Tall. Dark.

"Hey, how you doin'?"


"You look like you workout? Do you workout?"

(I had my Jazzercise clothes on - a t-shirt that said "JAZZERCISE" and black pants)

"Yeah, I teach Jazzercise."

"I like women who look like they work out. My name is Ron."

"Hi Ron."

"What's your name?"

"Lottie." (see, I gave him my real name :)

"So, where do you teach? Can I take your class?"

"No, it's for women."

"I like to workout too. I play ball."


"Yeah. I played ball when I was in college in Arkansas."

"You went to school in Arkansas? Are you from there?"

"No, I'm from D.C. Where are you from?"


"Mississippi? How long you been up here?"

"More than 10 years."

"You mean you been up here 10 years and ain't married yet? I can't believe that."

(oh, here we go...)

"Well, can I take you out sometime?"

"Depends. Are you married?"

"I'm divorced."

"How old are you?"


"Do you have any children?"


"What do you do?"

"I"m a 12-year veteran of the police force."

"So do you always pick up women at Harris Teeter, Ron."

"lol, no."

"What did you major in when you went to school in Arkansas?"

"I went to school but I didn't finish."


"I was there 6 years and I was a semester from graduating when I left."

"A semester? Why don't you just go ahead and take those last few courses
so you can get your degree? It's never too late."

"Yea, I know."

"I tell you what Ron, we can go out when you enroll in school and take
those last few classes to graduate."

"lol, you serious?"


"Can I at least call you?"


We exchanged numbers and I left.

Later on that evening, I received a text from Ron:
"It was nice meeting you lady. Hopefully we'll cross
paths again. Ron."

Maybe I should have given Ron a chance. He seemed like an okay
guy. I have a friend who's married to a cop and he's really nice.
They've been married for 10 years and have three children.

And just the other day, a friend and I were talking about how
it really doesn't matter if someone has a college degree or not
because even the so-called "college-educated" can be idiots.

In fact, I have a friend who has an MBA and is happily married to
a manager of a department store. I have another friend who is a doctor
who is married to a mechanic. Both seem happy with their choices.
They obviously looked beyond the surface and found good, caring, kind men.
They are hard-working brothers who are all about taking care of their families.

I guess I'm learning that I shouldn't be so hung up on
college degrees. Some of the most successful folks didn't
attend or finish college. And I know a whole bunch of folks
that are smarter than those who did.

Who knows? Maybe Ron will text me again, and maybe I'll go out
to dinner with him.

It couldn't be any worse than Pookie #1 and Pookie #2....

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hard Times, Hard Choices

If you were laid off today and had a mountain of obligations (mortgage, insurance, food, gas, clothing, etc.), what would you do to survive? Would you, or could you, work as a stripper?

In her memoir, "Never Make the Same Mistake Twice," NeNe Leaks of the Real Housewives of Atlanta reveals that she became a stripper to survive hard economic times.

A recent story on has a few excerpts from Leaks' book on their website.
Leaks says she was about to be homeless when she answered an ad in a newspaper for dancers. A single mother, she needed a way to feed her son. She ultimately got a job at "the most glamorous upscale gentlemen's club in Georgia." Read the article here .

In her book, Leaks writes that, "“My son was in private school, his father wasn’t chipping in for pull-ups or food, I had no job and no money coming in, the rent was past due, and the super told me and my roommate that our condo owner was about to put us out. So I did what I had to do.”

Leaks says that the experience was “the ultimate power trip,” and helped build her self-esteem: “With every piece of clothing I took off, the more I got my life back. I worked this body like a well-oiled machine, and every movement got me closer to my goal of financial independence for me and my child.”

Obviously, NeNe felt she did what she needed to do to take care of her and her child.
I know one thing, she probably made way more than I do as a writer.

Today, she is happily married, lives in a beautiful home in an upscale community in Atlanta and is on a successful television show.
Not too bad for a former stripper (who can't do math). With all my degrees, I don't have that.

What do you think of NeNe's choice?

What about you?
If you were a single mother, out of a job and about to be
homeless, what would you do?
Would you strip?

Let me know your thoughts...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pookie #2

Okay, I had another date last night with a young man
who doesn't fit into my little box. As you may know,
I'm trying to "expand my horizons."

I met him in the Safeway last week. He's an electrician.
He seemed okay, so I decided to give him a chance.

Well, Pookie #2 was interesting. We had agreed to do something
Sunday evening. He text me Sunday afternoon and followed up
with a phone call to discuss details. We said we would meet
between 7 and 7:30.

7 o'clock comes.




7:27 - rrrrrrrinnnnggg.

"How come you didn't call me," he asked. "Aren't we suppose to meet?"

"I'm not suppose to call you. Boys are suppose to call girls," I said.
"Plus, we never said where we were going to meet."

"Well, what kind of food you like?" he asked.

"I can eat basically everything except seafood. I'm allergic," I explained.

"AH, MAN !!! You can't eat seafood? That means no crab legs," he said, a little frustrated.

"Well, what do you like?" he asked - again.

"Mexican, Italian, Thai, mostly anything, it really doesn't matter," I said.

Well, this went on for about 15 minutes until I ultimately just asked him to
choose a spot. At first he said Rosa Mexicana on 7th. "We won't find parking," I said.
Then he said his favorite restaurant was Outback.

We finally decided on McCormick & Schmick's in Crystal City.
He insisted on picking me up.
Learning from my previous experience, I told him I would just meet him.
But he kept insisting on picking me up.
I put my foot down and said I'll meet you at the restaurant at 8:30.

He called me at 8. "Have you left the house yet?"
"I'm leaving in 15 minutes because it only takes me 10 minutes to get there."
8:30 - He calls. "Where are you?" he asked.
"I'm at the light. I'll be there in a few seconds."

I arrive at the restaurant. He's there. We walk in together.
The host asks us if we would like to sit in the dining area or the bar.
He acted as though he couldn't open his mouth, so I said, "dining area."

We were seated. The waiter brought us a menu and water. We talked.

I learned that he's 34. He's never been married, has 4 children: ages 15, 9, 6 and 5. The last three children are by the same woman.

Strike 1.

After taking forever to decide what he wanted, we finally ordered: I had the grilled tilapia. He had the ribeye and shrimp.

Drinks? He ordered a Patron Margarita. I had sweet tea. (I had gone to a wine tasting earlier and didn't want to drink anymore alcohol.)

Once our food came, he asked the waiter to bring us some hot bread because he didn't want me to be eating the bread that had been sitting on the table for 20 minutes.
I thought that was nice.

We talk. He mentions that he wants to go to the Cadillac Ranch at the National Harbor to see me ride an electric bull.
"Why?" I asked.
"I just wanna see you ride the bull," he said with a laugh.
"Well, I wanna see you ride it," I respond.
"Oh, no. You won't see me get on no bull."

Check comes. He gives the waiter his credit card. The waiter comes back.
He signs the receipt.

"Aren't you going to leave him a tip?" I asked.
"The tip is included," he says. "Haven't you heard of gratuity?"
"They didn't include gratuity. Look at your receipt. We need to leave him a tip."
"naw, I'm cool. Plus, he would have to swipe my card again."
"No, he doesn't. He's already swiped your card. You just have to write in your tip."

Was he serious? I couldn't believe this guy didn't know how to write in the amount of his tip.
Strike 2.

So, I took the receipt. Looked at my tip card and decided how much tip we were suppose to leave the waiter. He was a little upset, saying he wasn't going to be able to eat lunch this week.

The waiter comes back and he asks if he could get a styrofoam cup to take his drink out. The waiter explained that he would get in trouble if his boss found out, but he'd
help him out.

I just about died. Who would ask a waiter for a styrofoam cup to sneak alcohol out of a restaurant?
Strike 3.

We leave out the restaurant and Pookie#2 walks me to my car. We talk for a little while. He wants to go out again, wants me to be with him on his birthday - Labor Day weekend. I explain that I'll be in Mississippi that weekend.

"Our next date is going to be at your house. You're going to cook me dinner," he said matter-of-factly.

"Hmm. No, I'm not." This guy had jokes.

I told him I couldn't date him. He asked why. I said that I really didn't want to date someone with 4 kids. Then he told me he didn't have 4 kids, that he was just joking.
I didn't believe him.

He wanted a hug before we left. I gave him a pat on the back.

I don't know. This date wasn't as bad as the other one. Pookie #2 was ghetto, but he also had a nice, gentle side that I could see. I actually laughed on this date.

Who knows, I may even see Pookie#2 again.
I mean, I do need someone to fix the electrical outlets in my condo.

What are your thoughts? I think I'm doing better...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Worst Date Ever

Okay, I thought I was being "open-minded", "broadening my horizons" when
I went out on a date with a fella I met at Ozios two weeks ago.

Bad idea.

I should have known when I met him that he wasn't my type, but hey,
I didn't want to be close-minded. Sometimes God shows you things in
packages you don't expect - right?

So the date:
First, he showed up an hour late. We went to TGIFridays, obviously
a big hang out spot for him and his friends. He left our table several
times (for long lengths of time), to go talk to his friends. He never introduced me when his friends came to our table. Then He got upset that some of his friends couldn't join us at the table (aren't we on a date?) and then he got upset with me because I didn't want a drink. (I declined to get an alcoholic beverage because I had school the next day and needed to be alert).

Anyway, we walked out the restaurant and he saw several women he went
to high school with and commented to me that all of them were "b$tches, I can't stand them. They think they're all that, and on and on and on." oh, my.

I explained to him how I couldn't stay out too late because I had school the next
day. (as many of you know I have class every Saturday from 9am-5 pm). He got
upset, "What are you, a little girl? You got a curfew?"

I definitely knew by the end of the evening that I was not interested in this person and would not go out with him again. But when we got in the car, he asked if he
could come over and give me a foot massage. Huh? Was he serious? "uh, no."
I just knew that would be the last of him. He couldn't have possibly thought this was a good date.

I was wrong.

He has been texting me nearly every day:
"When can I c u?"
"I need a pic of you to go to sleep"
"I'm here babe"
"U don't miss me?"
"Can I come c u later"
"it's going to be beautiful Wed. take off so we can go to 6flags"
"call me when you get out of class please"
"r u getting ready 4 school" (this was at 6:30 in the morning)
"r u ignoring me?"

When he called me last Saturday at 12:45 am (actually Sunday morning), I became afraid and called a couple of my friends. What should I do? One suggested I contact the police. But we learned from an acquaintance that he was out of town. I felt relieved. But I am going to have to eventually address the situation and let him know that I am not interested.

I thought I was being open-minded. But this is what I got when I didn't stick to my standards. What's so wrong with wanting a college-educated professional man who's never been married and doesn't have any kids?
This guy was rude, disrespectful and I really don't think he knows that. This is his normal.

I understand that by being so rigid, I could be missing out on perfectly good guys — good men who are caring and kind (and it shouldn't matter if they didn't go to college or are divorced or have a kid or two - right?).

Some think that I have "unrealistic" expectations.
I'm still open to dating guys who don't fit into a certain criteria.
In fact, I met an electrician in the Safeway this morning....

Tell me. What are your thoughts?