Thursday, October 27, 2011

She's Grown

Earlier this week (Sunday) my mentee moved in with me. She had been living with her cousin in Fort Washington since graduating from college in May.

I was proud of her. She had her bachelor's degree and had become a full-time working girl. She seemed to be on the right track.

So when she contacted me a few weeks ago to see if she could stay with me until her apartment was ready Dec. 1st, I said sure. I mean I had a full size futon in my basement, cable tv and a full bathroom - what more could one want?

We agreed on how much she would pay to stay with me. I made her a key, gave her the code to the alarm and told her she was responsible for her own food (lol).

So last night, as I was driving home from an event, I got a call from her. It was 9:37. She told me she was going on a date.

When? I asked.

Now, she replied.

"Now? It's too late," I told her.

He's already here, she informed me.

Is he in my house? I asked.

No Lottie, she assured me.

Then she said, "I won't be back tonite."

"What!" I said.

I was devastated.

I dropped my friend off and headed home. MAD !

I called another friend and told her that my mentee had just left for a date and said she would not be returning that evening. It hit me: She was spending the night with a man.

"She's grown," my friend informed me.

I couldn't say anything. She was right. My mentee is a 23-year-old woman, not the 12-year-old girl with braces that I met years ago.

But still...

I felt used. I believe she moved in with me so she would have the freedom to come and go as she pleased. I honestly believe that behavior wasn't tolerated when she lived with her cousin in Fort Washington, so she decided to come stay with me.

I am not her parent. So I basically have no say when she can come and go - or do I?

Anyway, last night I had to think about how I was when I was 23, 24, 25. And I wasn't so innocent.

I lived in Ohio, then Atlanta, and eventually moved to D.C. I had my own apartment. It was furnished. I had my own dishes. I was grown.

Like my mentee, I had broken up with my college sweetheart of 4 years and felt free. I dated. I went out late and came in early (during the wee hours). I was an adult.

So, why was I so upset when my 23-year-old mentee told me she was going out on a date at 9:37 pm and that she was not coming home?

I don't know. She is an adult. She is not 12. But I also think it's about respect. I think the only reason she wanted to stay with me is so she could come and go as she pleased. I know she wouldn't have done that if she lived with her mother.

But I'm not her parent.

What do you guys think of this situation?
What would you do?
Any advice?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Single Woman

I was closing on the refinance of my home this morning and I caught something on one of the pages: LOTTIE JOINER, A SINGLE WOMAN.

I flipped through a few more pages and there it was again — LOTTIE JOINER, A SINGLE WOMAN.

I asked the closing agent, what is this?

I mean, I've closed on a home before and I don't ever remember seeing that - ever. Maybe I just overlooked it the first time.

"Oh, we put that so no one can come in and claim your property," she said. "No one can come in and say they are married to you. We know you are the sole owner.

"We do that for men too," she assured me.

But it bothered me. I'm not quite sure why. But it did.

Later on today, a writer asked me if I knew any couples she could interview for an article on dating. She wanted an African American couple under 40 who was not married yet, but dating, in a relationship.

I thought for a second; of my close circle of friends I couldn't think of one who was in a relationship. Sure, I know folks who are married. I know people who date every now and then. But I couldn't think of one person, not one, who was currently in a serious relationship, dating someone for a length of time.



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cheating to Stay Together

I came across an article on The Daily Beast a couple of weeks ago titled, "Is Cheating the Secret to a Happy Marriage?"

In the piece, journalist Jessica Bennett talks to author Iris Krasnow about her new book, The Secret Lives of Wives. Krasnow, a professor of my alma mater American University, conducted two years of research and interviewed more than 200 women to find out the secrets of long, successful marriages.

Some of the "secrets" were obvious: take a separate vacation or have hobbies outside the home. Some pushed the envelope a little, like have a "boyfriend with boundaries" - someone you flirt with and do everything except have sex.

But the "secret" that surprised me the most was cheating.

"To expect one person, man or woman, to make you happy for the rest of your life is a ticket to divorce," said Krasnow in the article.

The book features a number of women who've gone outside their marriage to stay married. The Daily Beast piece quotes four of them:
"If you avoid getting caught, a little affair can perk up a marriage," said a 50-something woman from California.
"My husband is only capable of doing so much, and it's not enough," said one lady who cheats with her landscaper.

"A husband is your costar and a rock in your life, but if you're a multidimensional person, you need a lot of different colors on your pallette," said a 59-year-old actress.

The article goes on to note some startling statistics: 65 percent of women and 80 percent of men said they'd cheat if they knew they wouldn't get caught. And about 4 million Americans consider themselves swingers.

Bennett writes, "one thing's for certain: a life centered around one man is simply not enough."

Though Krasnow has been in a monogamous marriage for 23 years and has four children, she stays in touch with her ex-boyfriend and is friendly with an attractive male neighbor. She tells the author, "Every woman should feel free to create her own marriage."

hmm. okay. I agree.

I don't know guys. Am I living in some kind of fantasy world? I know I am a hopeless romantic, idealistic at times. But is it wrong of me to think I can have a long marriage without stepping outside the marriage? Is it realistic of me to believe that I can have "til death do us part" without cheating on my husband?

There's nothing wrong with a little flirting. But to actually have an affair with someone in the name of spicying up my marriage? hmm. I don't think so.

But this is the thing - I'm not married. I don't know what it's like to be in a marriage. People tell me that marriage is hard work and it takes a lot of compromise and communication.

I'd rather do that than cheat.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this article? Do you think cheating is one of the solutions to having a healthy marriage - why or why not? Would you cheat to keep your marriage together - why or why not? Is it a "successful" marriage if you have to cheat to stay married - why or why not? Would you have someone on the side to keep your marriage spicy- why or why not?

Alright, let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The List

My co-worker always complains that women are too choosy. I know I have a list of qualities I would like in an ideal mate. But the more I watch Millionaire Matchmaker, I think its the men who are choosy.

I had already seen the show that aired tonite. It was a re-run. Patti was charged with finding love for two men who were in the self-help industry. Isn't that ironic? They were in the business of helping people succeed, but they needed Patti's help in finding love.

Anyway the dude Gary was the one who had me laughing with his long list. The 47 year-old motivational speaker said he had to have someone who was:
1) 5'2, 110 pounds
2) Between the age of 29-33
3) Blonde (like Jessica Simpson)
4) Feminine
5) Not career-oriented
6) Domesticated
7) Willing to travel at will
8) Christian
9) Eager to have kids (twin girls)

So Patti of course told him to narrow his list down to 5 non-negotiables. He said his mate must be:
1) Godly (Christian)
2) Gorgeous
3) Not Career-oriented (He absolutely did not want a woman who had a career. He wanted someone to support him and what he was doing and not be distracted by anything else.)
4) Domesticated (someone who enjoys spending her Sunday cooking dinner all day)
5) Must want kids

He chose a lady who could be an older version of Jessica Simpson. One of the first questions he asked her was, "What do you have to offer a man?"


The question stumped her. She had never been asked that before; me either (lol).

So if you were on a date, your first date with a guy and he asked you - What do you have to offer a man - what would you say?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love on Top

Okay, this is my new favorite song. I can't get it out of my head. I keep listening to it over and over and over again on my Ipod. In fact, I want to do this song for my first dance at my wedding. I'm trying to think of choreographers who can create a routine for me and my husband. It's gonna be fun. Can't you see me on TOP of the staircase coming down to this song? Man, I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Manifesting Love (Part 3)

I have SO many things I want to write about. But first I wanted to get through this series on Manifesting Love. As you recall, a few months ago I listened to a teleconference featuring relationship expert Mat Boggs and motivational speaker Lisa Nichols who discussed the 3 Secrets of Manifesting Love.

The first secret was to stop self-sabotaging yourself with negative thoughts. The second secret was to "joyfully receive" when a man offers to do something for you or to help you out. So here is the last of the 3 secrets to Manifesting Love: The Law of Elasticity.

According to this law, women should not obsess when men don't call back right away or if they hang out with their friends all night because, well, they'll eventually be back (elasticity - get it?). Boggs explained that men have a chemical in their brain that gets triggered when they do masculine things - like when they achieve something spectacular or produce something extraordinary.

Anyway, a woman's chemical suppresses the man's chemical and as a result, he feels the need to just get away, hang out with the guys, do something manly. When he comes back, he'll be in a better mood, feel better, be in better spirits.

wow. Did you know that?

So I guess the whole point of this law is: Let your significant other have his fun with his friends, trust that he just needs to be around masculine energy and don't nag him about where he is, when he's coming home or why he didn't call you last nite. Know that he'll be back soon - elasticity.

Sounds simple doesn't it: Don't smother him, let him have his space, etc.

I do believe that each person in a relationship should have their own lives. For example, I may marry a man who is into watching football all day on Sundays. Do you think I'm gonna be mad cause he wants to hang out with his friends, drink beer and watch a game? Hell No! I will be going out to brunch with friends, shopping, volunteering or at a spa. I will not be begging him to pay attention to me or spend time with me while he's watching a sporting event with his friends. (I like basketball, so I'll watch basketball with him if he wants)

When one of my friends was dating her husband, she couldn't call him before noon on Sunday because he worked a late shift and then he watched football all day with his friends. So we would go to church, go get lunch and just hang out.

But the key is the man has to be trustworthy. I know a guy who is a member of a fraternity. He's married. He would tell his wife that he was going to a fraternity meeting, but instead he would meet up with young ladies he had met at fraternity parties.

So the next time you obsess about where your man is, why he didn't call you back or if he's really playing basketball that late - trust that he's just doing a little male bonding and he'll be back by your side soon.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Her Three Sons

A little before my Jazzercise class on Saturday, one of the students raved about her son's recent wedding. She has three sons. Her middle son, age 25, is the one who got hitched.

She was excited. But she lamented about her eldest, who had been dating his girlfriend for 10 years. She wants him to settle down also.

"I told him she was a good girl and that he needed to go ahead and marry her," she told me.

"How old is he?" I asked her.

"33," she replied. "He told me that they just got approved for a $250,000 loan for a house."

I stopped what I was doing. What?

"Yeah. I told him if they were gonna buy a house they may as well get married," she continued.

What did he say? I asked.

"Well, he just sort of shrugged," she said. "My youngest son is 20. He said he wasn't gonna get married. He said he wants to take care of me and my husband."

I laughed.

But I had to wonder what's going on with that oldest son. He's 33. He's been dating a young lady for 10 years and now they've been approved for a certain amount to buy a home. So, why not marriage?

I know couples who lived together before they got married. But I don't know if I know of anyone who's purchased a home with someone they were not married to.

Anyway, son No.1 may surprise his mom and go to the justice of the peace right before closing on his new house (lol).

What do yall think of this situation?

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sister Wives

So, I've seen a few episodes of Sister Wives, a show on TLC about polygamist Kody Brown, his four wives and their 16 children.

Initially they all lived together in one house, but now each wife has her own separate home. Kody runs around to make sure each wife is getting enough attention. But there's been some complaining about him spending more time with one woman over another.

Anyway, I was wondering: If I was one of the Sister Wives, do you think my husband would mind if I had a boyfriend on the side? I mean, do you think he'd notice? I could spend time with my other man while he's with his other wives. Do you think the other Sister Wives would tell on me? (Lottie has a boyfriend)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stood Up

On Sunday, my friend Tanya sent me the latest Washington Post Date Lab article. It featured a woman who had been stood up on her "Date Lab" date.

The 50-year-old computer software tester waited a little more than 30 minutes before realizing her blind date was not coming. Read the entire article here. She seemed to take it in stride, ordering dinner and chatting up another customer at the bar.

But I was thinking: How rude ! Dude is an idiot ! He wasn't apologetic or showed any kind of remorse. He didn't even try to make up a lame excuse. Instead he refused to answer his phone or return the Post's phone calls. What a coward.

Anyway, I think he did her a favor. Just think, if he's not going to show up for a date arranged by a national newspaper and written about for a national audience, then he's not going to show up for other, more important things - like a real relationship. Better for her to find out now than later. Remember: When people show you who they are believe them - the first time !

It's ironic that Tanya sent me that article Sunday, when I was suppose to meet up with someone that afternoon - and he was MIA (lol).

We had made plans earlier in the week to meet at the National Harbor at 4 pm on Sunday. Saturday morning he text me, wanting to know if we could do dinner that evening. I told him Sunday was still best. He text me again Saturday evening, wanting to know if we could meet up that evening. I told him no again, explaining that I had to teach Jazzercise the next morning and needed to prepare for my class.

Anyway, Sunday comes. After my Jazzercise class - around 11:30 a.m. — I text him to see if we're still on for 4 pm. I didn't hear back from him until 3:45. He sent me a text informing me that he was just leaving Richmond and would come to the city.

WHAT ? !

As you may know, Richmond is 2 hours away - which meant he wouldn't get to the city until around 6 or so. I told him not to bother coming. I had already made other plans.

So dude sent me a text at 10:20 PM: "Can I come over?"

I was livid: You got some nerve, I replied back. Don't contact me again.
And I blocked his number.

I'm so sick of this: meeting these dudes who are unreliable, irresponsible, not dependable. I want to meet a nice man, a good guy. I want someone HONEST, someone who does what he says he's gonna do.


Anyway, what are your thoughts on the Date Lab no-show?
What are your experiences with no-shows?

Let me know your thoughts.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Searching for Mrs. Huxtable

So last night on the Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti was trying to find love for a 38-year-old Nigerian businessman. Ayinde was a former professional volleyball player who currently owns a successful radio internet company.

This was his second time using Patti's service. He didn't think his first match was intelligent enough. So he was back again determined to find his "Mrs. Huxtable."

Ayinde explained that he wanted someone who had beauty AND intelligence AND personality.

"I deserve a 10 on the inside and a 10 on the outside," Ayinde told Patti. "I want the 'AND' not the 'Or.' (beauty and brains, not beauty or brains)

Patti asked the entrepreneur what were the top 3 things he was looking for. He said: 1) intellectual curiosity 2) spiritual, but not religious 3) business acumen.

Check out their conversation here:

So Patti set Ayinde up on 5 mini dates. They were all gorgeous. Most had college degrees. I believe the majority had their own business.

Ayinde asked each young lady where she attended school and her occupation. He asked one if she had read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. She hadn't. He asked another if she spoke any foreign languages. (He speaks 8).

He didn't choose the one who went to Brown University or the one who went to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill or the young lady who attended Texas A&M. He chose someone whose favorite movie was Zoolander.

Anyway, they go on their date and he gives her low marks because she isn't "established" enough. (She owns an aromatherapy cleaning service). He also didn't think she was down to earth.

Ayinde is ultimately disappointed, not having found his Mrs. Huxtable. He tells Patti her service doesn't work. She is pissed. Check out their exchange here:

Okay this is the thing: Ayinde needs to save his money and stop using Patti's service. He should leave California and move to D.C. I can introduce him to PLENTY of women who meet his requirements: smart, beautiful, down to earth. There are more than enough qualified candidates here in the nation's capital.

With the number of single, college-educated professional Black women out there (hasn't he read any of the articles in the past 2 years), why do you think Ayinde hasn't found his "Mrs. Huxtable?"

Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Money & Friends, Money & Men

So, I'm watching an old episode of Sex & The City and Carrie needs money. She has to find a new apartment, but doesn't have enough for a down payment. The bank will not give her a loan because she doesn't have good credit or enough in her savings account.

She goes to her ex-boyfriend, BIG, and tells him about her problem. He writes her a check for $30,000.

When she tells her girlfriends that BIG gave her money to put down on a New York apartment, they have mixed feelings.

Miranda offers to give her the money instead, at least half. Samantha offers to give her the other half. Charlotte doesn't say anything.

Later, Carrie confronts Charlotte about why she didn't offer to loan her money (like Samantha and Miranda). Carries tells Charlotte that if she was in trouble and needed money she would be there for her.

So my first question is, if you were in financial need would you accept money from your man - your boyfriend? Does it matter how long you guys have been dating? What if he was your fiance? What about your ex-boyfriend?

Now, $30,000 is a lot of money. Would you lend that much to a friend of you had it to spare?

Let me know your thoughts.

Women and Leadership

female boss
A couple of days ago I was listening to a local gospel station on my way in to work. The question of the day was: Who were the better leaders - men or women?

Well, this woman calls in. I would say she was maybe mid-30s, mid-40s. She said that men were the better leaders because women were too emotional and vindictive by nature.

Whoa ! That's pretty harsh.

But what do you think of what she said?
Do you think women don't make good leaders because they're too emotional?
Do you think women are vindictive by nature?

What has been your experience with a male or female boss?
(I must say that when I was in school, I felt that my female professors graded harder than my male professors. But maybe that was because they were trying to get me to do my best.?)

Let me know your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where You At?

So yesterday I was listening to the entertainment report on the radio and heard that R&B soulstress Jennifer Hudson has postponed her wedding - again.

According to the report, this time its because her fiance, David Otunga, has refused to sign a prenuptial agreement. Media outlets are crediting the urban gossip website MediaTakeOut with the exclusive news. Here's the brief post.

As you know, Jennifer and David have been together a few years now and have a 2-year-old son. Otunga, a Harvard graduate, appeared on the VH1 reality show I Love New York 2 and is now a WWE wrestler. And Jennifer, who's lost more than 80 pounds, is riding high with a great new album and as a successful Weight Watchers spokeswoman. (I don't even need to mention girlfriend's Oscar).

Of course, this is just a rumor. But do you think it's wrong for Jennifer to ask her fiance to sign a prenup?

Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lawn Care

I woke up Friday morning to my neighbor across the street mowing my lawn.

Now, this summer he asked me if he and his sons (4 of his 10 kids live with him at times) could cut my grass. He made it seem as if the young men would be making money for the summer.

So I said, sure. (I mean, why not give young people an opportunity to earn some honest cash while they're out of school?)

But this idea turned out to be a disaster.

First of all, I don't carry cash. So, as usual when someone cuts my grass, I wrote a check. When I asked him for the correct spelling of his name, he said "What am I going to do with a check?"

I told him that I always pay my lawn people with a check, but I could stop by the bank to get some cash. Well of course, I never remembered to stop by the bank. He would send his son over to bang on my door every night - until I had the money.

One evening I had come home from teaching a Jazzercise class and was in the shower when I heard loud banging on my door. It was 9 pm. It startled me.

After that, they would wait for me to either leave out in the morning or come home in the evening and ask me when they could cut my grass again. They live directly in front of me, so they always saw when I left out and when I came in. It became sort of annoying.

My neighbor assured me that he got his bank account "fixed" so I eventually gave them a day and time to cut my grass again.

Well, the second time they did my grass, I wrote a check again. But this time he told me he couldn't do anything with a check on the weekend because he wouldn't be able to cash it until Tuesday.

Again, I kept forgetting to stop by the bank to get cash. And that meant more banging on my door every night and more watching me come and go every day.

This was becoming more than it was worth.

My previous lawn guys would do my front and back yards and I would leave a check in my mailbox for them. Simple.

So, I had decided that I would go back to my old lawn guys. It would be less of a headache.

But Friday morning I woke up to my neighbor mowing my lawn. I was like WHAT? I did not ask him to mow my lawn and he did not ask me if it was okay to cut my grass that morning.

Granted, my grass was a little high and needed to be cut. But I believe as the homeowner, I should decide when I want to get my grass cut and who should cut it.

Anyway, as I locked my front door and walked to my car, he came running over (because you know they watch when I leave out and when I come in) asking when I wanted him to do the backyard.

I asked him why he cut my grass. He said it was high. I told him that he should have asked me. I explained that I would pay him for the front, but I did not want him to do the back.

Well, he was PISSED.

He said he didn't want my money and that he had enough customers anyway.
I insisted on paying him for the front, but he walked away.

What do you guys think?
Do you think I was wrong to ask him to ask me to cut my grass?
Do you think it was okay for him to just come over without an appointment and do my lawn?
And what about the whole "checks" thing?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Manifesting Love (Part 2)

In my last blog, I wrote about a teleclass I listened to by relationship expert Matt Boggs and motivational speaker Lisa Nichols titled "The 3 Secrets to Manifesting Love."

I noted how we may be self-sabotaging ourselves with our own negative self images.

Tonite I want to talk about Boggs' second "secret" to manifesting love. Boggs calls it the Law of Polarity - basically that feminine energy attracts masculine energy.

"A man's sense of self-worth or manhood, is what he's contributing to you," said Boggs. "Your ability to receive from him ignites his masculine energy and your feminine energy."

Women should learn how to "joyfully receive" Boggs said.

hmmmm. Okay. I can do that. (lol)

Then Boggs said something that was quite interesting: "There is one thing that men want more than sex and that is to have their thoughts respected." Men "want respect," Boggs emphasized.

"When you don't allow a man to step up and lead, then you are communicating 'I don't trust you to provide for me and your ability to take care of me.'

Boggs continued: "A man will seek you out when he feels like a man in your presence."


I remember the time I went out to dinner with a guy. It was a popular restaurant and there was a wait. When the host asked for his last name to put us on the waiting list, he could barely open his mouth to tell the host his name. So I spoke up for him, for us - and spelled HIS name out for the host.

Geez. But I guess he didn't feel like a "man" in my presence. Now that I think about it, maybe my actions "disrespected" him.

Anyway, what do you think of what Boggs' said?