Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Little Things

Since I've been back on the dating scene, I've realized how much I've missed intimacy. Now I'm not talking about sex, but INTIMACY — those little things: holding hands, the soft touch on the small of my back, a warm embrace, a tender kiss.

Isn't it nice just to be touched? I swear, there's nothing like a good ole hug.

There is something about being coupled, in a relationship or dating that brings a little light in my life. When the jobs stresses you out or you're running from one deadline to another, it feels good to know that someone (besides your friends and family) is thinking about you during the day, someone cares about how your day went and someone wants to spend time with you.

What about when your sweetie texts: "thinking about you," just when your co-workers are getting on your nerves? That's a nice feeling. (In high school, I used to get little notes in between classes from my sweetheart. Now it's all about technology !)

What about the thought of meeting someone for dinner later or having someone rub your feet while he watches your reality TV - LOL !!! (sorry, I'm guilty of that).

Better yet, what about the call at the end of the night, just before you fall asleep, after a long hard day? It's good to know someone's in your corner.

When I worked as a radio announcer for WJSU Public Radio Station in Jackson, Miss., I often played a jazz song called, "The Thought of You" - aawwww, yes.

It's something about intimacy that lifts the spirit, those little things you know. Maybe it's the power of touch. I don't know, but whatever it is, I feel a little better.

What are your thoughts on intimacy?
What do you think about "those little things"?
Do you miss male affection and companionship?
Are you happier when you are coupled, in a relationship or dating?
Does life seem just a little bit better?

photo by annstheclaf.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marriage Material

Recently I was looking through a summer edition of Jet magazine with the original Foxy Brown, Pam Grier, on the cover. Grier is an icon of the '70s blaxploitation movies and at 61, she's as beautiful as ever.

Grier has been busy doing television, movies and promoting her New York Times best-selling memoir Foxy: My Life in Three Acts. In the book she talks about her tragic childhood, career, love and loss. She dated a number of famous men including comedian Richard Pryor and basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

According to the Jet article, Grier is still reeling from a recent breakup with a man she called, "Lance." The actress described her former lover as a blue blood from the East Coast. Basically he told her she wasn't good enough for him.

The news was painful.

"Lance told me that I wasn't 'country club,'" Grier told Jet. "That really surprised me. I didn't have an Ivy League education, but I'm well read. That's what hurt me the most when he did that."


I guess "Lance" felt that the beautiful and legendary Pam Grier was good enough to date for a while, but this award-winning actress was not marriage material - not good enough to be his 'country club' wife.

Ouch - that even hurt me.

But don't we know guys who will date the same woman for 5,10,15 years and then marry someone ELSE. To me it's saying, 'You'll do for now until I find "the one."' I know a guy who dated a young lady for about 5 years. He went to his college homecoming game and met someone else. They married about a year later. I wonder, was the first young lady not "marriage material"? She was a very sweet girl, but I remember the one he married was a little more polished, sophisticated.

I recall another guy friend I had known quite a while. He always dated wild women - loud, over-the-top girls who wore very revealing clothing. He ended up marrying a very quiet, soft-spoken school teacher. WTF? I did not see that coming.

I guess guys look for different things when they're ready to settle down with a wife - someone could be a fun girlfriend, but not marriage material.

Does this explain my present state of singleness?
I wonder if men see me as marriage material or just someone cool to hang out with until they find 'the one.'


Anyway, what are your thoughts on what "Lance" told Grier?
Do you think you're "marriage material"?
Has it been difficult to find men who are "marriage material"? (Because I don't believe we are the problem.)
Maybe I should ask a few men what kind of woman they consider marriage material because I know too many good single women.

Let me know your thoughts.

photo by geminicollisionworks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh, BOY !

So I went to the Washington Convention Center yesterday to pick up my registration for the Congressional Black Caucus' Annual Legislative Conference. I usually cover the conference panels and workshops for my job. I get great story ideas and make great contacts for future stories.

There were so many fine Black men in suits, I began having heart palpitations. I mean, I had to sit down for fear of having an anxiety attack. Jesus. They were everywhere: polite, well-groomed, smart. oooowweeee!!!

Most seemed like they had their sh$t together. They looked like they were about something.

But all that glitters ain't gold. Looks can be deceiving.

A few years ago when the Black MBA Association held their conference in D.C. I met three guys at one of the parties. One was an attorney and realtor with octopus hands and a vulgar mouth. Another was a Ph.D. candidate who lived in North Carolina. He was rude. And the last guy I met turned out to be a former felon. Yep. He had served time in jail for gun possession and holding someone hostage. I'm not kidding. I later learned that he wore one of those things around his ankle so law enforcement could keep track of his whereabouts - WHAT ???

I was floored. I had met this guy at the Black MBA party! But he looked the part — nice suit, polite, well-spoken, friendly. He fit right in with those well-educated, well-established Black folks with good jobs. (turns out he knew some of the people who worked for the club - security or dj - who told him about the party)

So lesson learned: Anybody can put on a nice suit. (and anybody with an email can get on a guestlist or show an email printout)

Anyway, back to the CBC. I'll probably do a reception or two in the following days and who knows, I may even hit a party. But I'm not "looking" for a man or expecting to meet anyone. Comedian Cheryl Underwood has often referred to CBC weekend as "Freaknik for old folks." LOL. There have probably been more than a few hookups over the years. On more than one occasion I've seen a married male friend chatting a little too close to some random chic not his wife. (innocent flirting right?)

What do you think?
Do you know anyone who met someone or "hooked" up during CBC weekend or any other big event — Howard Homecoming, fraternal conventions or association conferences (Black MBA, Black accountants, Lawyer groups, etc.)?
Do you think these kinds of conferences are good places to meet people for long-term relationships?

Let me know your thoughts.

photo by g-mikee.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Search for A Queen

First let's get this straight: There will never be another Aretha Franklin. Period. She has a voice that comes along only once in a generation - one that moves the soul and speaks to the heart of men.

Now that's that out of the way, it seems Ms. Franklin wants Academy-Award winner Halle Berry to play her in a movie based on the singer's life.I can understand why she would want to be portrayed by America's most celebrated African American actress today.

But "RE RE" has one of the greatest voices of all time and as a result, I would like to see someone known with powerhouse vocals to play her. You know, folks like Kelly Price, gospel singer Tarralyn Ramsey or the super-talented Jennifer Hudson, who sung her way into an Oscar win in her role as a Dreamgirl.

Others have mentioned Jill Scott and Queen Latifah as possible leads to play the Queen of Soul. But what about newcomers like Melanie Fiona or Jazmine Sullivan who seem to have that deep, soulful range that would be required to sing some of the Queen's classics like "Ain't No Way", "I Never Loved a Man," "Dr. Feelgood" or "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

These songs are timeless classics and it will take a special person, a unique personality and perhaps an absolute unknown to really embody the character of the Queen.

What do you think?
Who should play Aretha Franklin in a movie about her life?
Is there anyone out there today talented enough to take on the Queen of Soul's songs?

Let me know your thoughts.

Photo of Aretha Franklin by Soul Portrait.
Photo of Halle Berry by brava_67.
Photo of Queen Latifah by forcefulally.
Photo of Jennifer Hudson by IHEARTHIPHOP.
Photo of Jill Scott by

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What He Thinks

I received my latest Essence magazine in the mail last week with three gorgeous brothers on the cover - Boris Kodjoe, Blair Underwood and Lance Gross. Inside was a Sex & Love survey titled "Inside the Male Mind." The magazine polled Black men about their thoughts on Black women — from the bedroom to hair to commitment. The results were thought-provoking, eye-opening and quite revealing.

Here are a few results I found interesting:

56% of brothers were bothered by weaves and "fake" hair. In fact, 69% said they didn't care about the length of a woman's hair as long as it looked good. On the other hand 22% said they "hated" head scarves.
(I wore a head scarf for about a year. No wonder I didn't getting any dates!)

42 % said an attractive body is more important than a pretty face (really?); 33% said they admired the "butt" more than any other body part. (Finally someone who appreciates a bottom-heavy gal like me !)

49% of guys said they were uncomfortable dating a woman who is more sexually experienced. (What about the whole - 'lady in the street and freak in the bed adage'?)

71% said they would be disappointed if you didn't reach an orgasm. (ahh, sweet)

56% thought sex was "definitely better in a relationship."
(Yay! That's some good news!)

55% would not be in a relationship with a woman who did not perform oral sex.

67 % said they were not bothered when they saw a Black woman dating a White man.

55 % said they would respect a man who had a successful marriage over a man with a successful career - (WOW ! More good news)

48% of men surveyed said loyalty was the most important trait for a woman to have in a relationship.
(I think that makes sense, but I just wonder if that "loyalty" will be reciprocated)

43% believe 30-35 is the ideal age to get married.
(I was wearing a damn scarf during that time !)

So tell me, what do you think of these survey results?
Did any of the stats surprise you?
What was the most revealing or eye-opening?
(Pick up the latest issue of Essence to read all the survey results).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Soul Mate Wish List

So, I get an email from about finding your soul mate and of course I open it because, well, I'm trying to find my soul mate.

In the article, author Arielle Ford notes how she was a successful entrepreneur who had also created a nonprofit that raised a million dollars for homeless women. According to her, she had "an amazing life, wonderful friends" and a big, fun career. But at 43 she was single, "with no real prospects for romance."

So what did she do? Ford decided to use the same manifestation tools and techniques that she used to launch a successful career and nonprofit (such as prayer and meditation) and applied them to her love life.

The first thing she did, Ford notes, was create a Soul Mate Wish List. Before creating the list, she listened to her heart to decide what she most desired in a life partner. Ford writes: "By identifying what's really important to you, you'll begin to send out a strong and consistent signal that will draw to you a partner who has values and goals that are similar to yours."

Today, Ford is happily married to her soul mate. Read about her journey here.

In the article, Ford listed a few qualities and traits to consider when creating a soul mate list such as: Affectionate, Ambitious, Articulate, Beautiful, Caring, Charismatic, Considerate, Creative, Family-oriented, Fun, funny, Generous, Loving, Nurturing, Smart, Successful, etc.

I thought it was interesting there was nothing on the list about education instead she said ambitious, articulate, successful. There was nothing on there about marital status or children, instead she used the words, family-oriented. (I wondered where was I going to put 'college-educated professional never married no kids'?). There was also nothing about physical traits — tall, slim, short, athletic. Ford used the term, "beautiful," which could mean different things to different people.

So maybe I have been asking for the wrong thing: Always looking for those with superficial success instead of quality traits. I'll change my tune and see if I can finally draw that special someone into my life.

What do you think?
What are your thoughts on the Soul Mate Wish List?
Do you believe in such a thing?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ask... and You Shall Receive

I can't blame God.

I really can't. He's given me everything I've asked for.

I asked to meet a man: college educated professional, never married, no kids. And I've met those guys. But I didn't like them. (Paper boys-they look good on paper only.)

I asked to meet a man: serious about commitment, marriage-minded, monogamous. And I've met those guys (boy did I meet those guys !). And again, I didn't like them.

I asked to meet a man: down-to-earth, fun, cool to hang out with. And I've met those guys. I didn't like them. Have you ever heard of someone being TOO down-to-earth? (I'm so hood !)

I would always say, "I want a man who is really into me, someone who would worship me." (yeah, I actually said that) The last three guys I've met have really been into me, so into me that it was scary.

So, I can't complain. God has given me exactly what I've asked for. He hears me and he's answered my prayers.

So, what gives? Why hasn't it worked? Why haven't I clicked with anyone? Why haven't I met anyone I feel is worthy of a long-term relationship?
Maybe God is trying to tell me something, teaching me a lesson maybe?

What are your thoughts?
Why do you think I haven't met anyone I really want to be with, despite meeting men with the qualities I want?

Oh, yeah be sure to check out my blog tomorrow on the "Soul Mate List."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

So, I just learned he's divorced.

"Why didn't you ever tell me?" I asked.

"Why you just asking?" he shot back.

I was, I don't know, disappointed?

For our first date, I tried not to do my usual "interviewing" — where are you from? where did you go to school? do you have any children? have you ever been married? do you like what you do? — so I didn't. But as a result, I missed out on some very pertinent information. Information that I feel would have helped me decide whether I wanted to go any further with this person.

I know people get on me about "interviewing" men when I first meet them. But I believe by asking them certain questions upfront you can decide whether or not this is a person you are interested in getting to know better.

As I found out today, when you don't ask those questions, some folks are not going to volunteer the information. You just have to find out later — months later (maybe even years). It may be through casual conversation or worse, gossip. (Oh, and don't let me find you on Maury Povich saying 'He IS the father'!)

That's not cool.

I would rather know early on who I'm dealing with, than later on after I've gotten into a relationship or developed strong feelings for someone.

So, it came out today that he is divorced. He was married for two years in his early 20s.

"What?" I was livid.

"I didn't want to tell you because I knew how you would react," he said. "Plus, it was like 13 years ago."

Now that's just dishonest to me. Seriously.

Do I enjoy spending time with this person? Sure. Would I have gone out with him if I knew early on that he had been married before? Probably. I've dated divorced men. But he didn't give me a chance to make that decision. I was robbed of that opportunity.

Several years ago, I learned that someone I had been seeing for nearly two years was divorced. I had never known that he had been married in his early 20s. Like the current dude, he said, "you never asked."


So, I'm going back to the way I used to do things. When I meet someone who may be interested in me romantically, I'm going to ask UPFRONT the questions I want to know: Are you married? Are you separated (because you know some folks think just because they no longer live in the same house they're not married)? Have you ever been married? Do you have any children? If so, how many? Ages? etc. I'm just going to get it out of the way.

Now I may not ask at the first handshake or first hello, but you better believe our first telephone conversation will be about getting to know this person. Yes, I want to know if you have a job (or are in-between jobs because of the economy or working toward a job because you may have just completed school). Yes I want to know if you have children and if so, how many. Yes, I want to know if you've ever been married.

It is important to me to understand what kind of situation I may be potentially stepping into and it will allow me to decide whether or not I want to pursue a relationship with someone.

As I learned today, if you don't ask, you won't know.

What are your thoughts?
Do you think if someone is not forthcoming about their past it's like lying?
Do you think it's being dishonest?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Girl Talk

A few weeks ago, I had brunch with some girlfriends from my alma mater. We get together every so often to catch up and check in on each other. We know that living in D.C. is a long way from the dorms of Jackson State University in Mississippi. So we often dish about life: work, play and love. We laugh. We share. We remember the good ole times. And we offer support to each other.

So on this day, we met at a neat spot not far from downtown D.C. to celebrate the recent nuptials of one of the ladies in the group. During our nearly 4-hour gathering, we talked about everything from careers to traveling (Egypt anyone?) to possible motherhood, to, of course, relationships (why does the conversation always end up on men?).

The subject of homecoming and husbands came up. I mentioned that one of our school mate's husband loved our homecoming - the parade, the game, halftime, receptions and the after parties.

"I met her husband. Did he go to Jackson State?" asked one of the ladies who I'll call "Simone."

"No," I said.

"He looks like he does manual labor," said Simone.

Everyone froze. "What?" someone finally asked.

"You know. He looks like a blue-collar worker," Simone continued.

Now, "Simone" is extremely smart and super successful. She has a Ph.D. and a high level federal government job. She earns a pretty penny and owns a nice home in Maryland. She's not married and she doesn't have any children. She usually dates men who are "somebody" - men with multiple degrees or "good" jobs.

"He's a nice person," I said. "He works hard and he loves his family."

"Lottie, you don't have to defend him," someone at the table said.

But we all knew what "Simone" meant. Our school mate has an MBA and works for a top Fortune 500 company in the city. She's done pretty well. A few years ago she married a man who did not have similar education or the same professional experience. We knew that Simone was implying that our friend had married someone not on her "level" — just an average guy.

Our school mate, however, was blissfully happy. She had a beautiful home and an even more beautiful family (they have one child together).

On the other hand, more than half the folks sitting at the table that afternoon, including Simone, were single.

Go figure.

What are your thoughts on this? Do we know folks who actually feel like Simone but won't say it - too afraid of what others may think of them?