Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good Riddance

Trash bin
So yesterday was Good Riddance Day in New York's Times Square — a time for folks to say goodbye to some of their worst memories of 2011.

According to an article in the New York Daily News, more than 250 people lined up in front of two truck-sized paper shredders to symbolically get rid of their most painful memories of the year. People brought bills, pink slips, credit cards, parking tickets and breakup notes.

One lady who found out her husband of 18 years was cheating shredded his driver's license. A mother of five whose husband and brother were sent to the Middle East this year, shredded their deployment papers. A middle-aged writer said he wanted to forget about his "unaccepting family."

I had a great year professionally, but I would love to put the last dude I dealt with through the shredder! (LOL !)

Is there anything you want to say Good Riddance to? What's your worst memory of 2011? What event - or person - would you put in the shredder?

Holla at me !

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Love and Lost - Hollywood Style

Man, it's a lot going on in the land of entertainment and I'm just catching up.

Just today I've learned that Sinead O'Connor is divorcing her fourth husband after being married only 16 days (yes you read that right - 16 DAYS- though some reports are saying 18 days).

Deion Sanders has confirmed his divorce from his wife of 12 years, Pilar. According to news reports she's suppose to get a pretty hefty house. I wrote about the couple's then-rumored divorce in September. Check out the post here.

But while some folks are busy breaking up, others are making a lifetime commitment like singer John Legend who proposed to his girlfriend of four years, model Chrissy Teigen over the Christmas holiday. According to the report, Teigen tweeted "He went to Jared." LOL

Matthew McConaughey also got engaged over the holidays. He finally asked his baby mama, Camila Alves, to be his wife. He has two children with the Brazilian model. Oh, and did you hear Maria Shriver is having second thoughts about divorcing Arnold? As you recall, the former California governor fathered a child with the couple's housekeeper of 25 years. I guess Maria is still deciding whether termination is the best decision.

And lastly, we finally learned of the official cause of death for rapper Heavy D, who passed away on Nov. 8 at age 44. Reports revealed that the hip hop artist died of a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that started in his leg and traveled to his lungs blocking his arteries.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home for the Holidays

I will not be going home for the holidays.

I had made a pledge last year that I would find a cheap trip to the Caribbean for Christmas instead of traveling to visit family in Mississippi.

But I didn't find a cheap trip, so I'll be here.

A friend called me this evening to "check on me." There was sadness in her voice. Man, the last thing I want is someone feeling sorry for me.

I'm fine, I assured her.

And right now, I am okay. I mean my dad did call earlier today and reminded me that this would be the first Christmas I won't be home (can anybody say guilt trip). But I was just home last month and I don't think my family really understands the financial cost of returning to Mississippi in less than a month, renting a car for a week and buying gifts for everyone. For someone who hasn't gotten a raise in 8 years, well, I just couldn't swing it this time.

But of course, there is more to it than just the financial cost of going home. Check out my blog post from last year. Indeed, it was Hugh Grant's character in the movie, "About a Boy" who lamented that how you spend your holidays reflects your status in life.

Anyway, I promised my family I'll be home in the spring - when airline tickets would be cheaper and I'll be able to spend more quality time with them without the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

I'll call them on Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

So Tonite

... on RHOA (Real Housewives of Atlanta), a lady mentioned that she dates wealthy men and they give her an allowance.

wow - How can I get a gig like that?


(just kidding yall)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dear Me

So I'm driving home, listening to Michael Baisden and he has an excellent question today:
What would you tell your younger self?


I would tell younger me a lot. Here are just a few things: If it doesn't feel right it probably isn't; listen to your gut; have courage, be fearless, take risks; be proactive and take initiative; seek out mentors in your field; speak up, say what's on your mind, stand up for yourself; ask for what you want, what you deserve; stay persistent, stay determined; be polite, it gets you places; condoms are your friend; eat right and exercise consistently; smile; laugh often; be reliable, dependable, responsible; you have choices - you can do this or you can do that; think before you respond, it's all in how you react; a good attitude is a great thing; faith, focus, follow-up.
When it comes to men: The Maya Angelou quote, "When people show you who they are, believe them — the first time."

So, I ask you: What would you tell your younger self? about life? about love? about career? about pain? about triumphs? about success?

Let me know.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alone Time

Tonite I attended a holiday dinner with some of my exercise associates. One lady was telling me about her speed dating experience last night. She's divorced with 2 kids - one is 20 in college and the other is 15.

She met her ex-husband in college more than 20 years ago. She was 22 when they got married. Her mother and grandmother tried to persuade her not to marry the guy. Her friends boycotted the wedding.

Why? I asked.

He was mean, she said.

Well, why did you marry him? I asked.

I thought he would change, she told me. I believed that when I became his wife he would treat me nice.

Well, she was wrong.

She told me about a road trip they took early in their marriage - her daughter was 5 and son was 1 at the time. They were going to visit her parents and she told him to pull over at a rest stop so she could use the restroom.

He refused. He wouldn't stop.

Anyway, that should have been a clue but she stayed with him for 13 years. "I really fought for us," she told me. "I really wanted my kids to have a real family."

Interestingly, her brother was dating a young lady the same time she was dating her husband. But her brother didn't get married.

"My brother said he would rather be alone than marry someone he wasn't truly in love with," she said. "Well, I was more concerned about being alone than love."

Today her brother's married (with two kids) and she's divorced. He waited until his mid-30s and, according to my friend, found the love of his life.

So tonite I ask: As we get older, how important is love? Is it better to have a companion that is " just okay" than to be alone waiting for "the love of your life" that may never show up?

Let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Doctor Visit

So I went to the doctor yesterday for my annual checkup. She looked at my chart: You get your first mammogram next year -(reminding me that this is my last year in my 30s).

You still single?
Yeah. Nothing's changed, I said. But don't be surprised if I tell you I'm getting married next year.
She smiled.
Though I don't have a boyfriend, she still had me tested for HIV, HPV, chlamydia, etc., which was cool. She also gave me tests to check my cholesterol level and signs of diabetes.

How's work?
It's alright.

Any major family losses or diagnosis?
My aunt died last month of kidney failure and leukemia, I told her.

You doing self breast exams?
I shook my head no. I hadn't been.
She gave me a "you know better" look.

Are you taking your Vitamin D and Calcium?
I'm not. I mean I bought them last year when she told me that I should take them, but for whatever reason I just can't seem to take them. They're still on my night stand.
She was disappointed: You really need your Vitamin D and Calcium. They help prevent osteoporosis. Try to get them in at least 3 times a week.
(yeah, yeah) - So I took them this morning after my boot camp.

Have you taken your flu shot this year?
I don't want a flu shot, I protested. (I'm such a baby)
She smiled. okay.

I'm glad you're exercising she said. That's helping to keep your bones strong.
Finally some positive news! (LOL !)

She continued with my exam, giving me tips along the way. I like that my doctor is so thorough. But the visit is also a wake-up call of how I could do, should do, better healthwise.

So today I'm asking: How's your health? What are some things you could improve on?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pretty Woman

As you may know by now, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain suspended his campaign after persistent questions about his alleged 13-year affair with Ginger White.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, White gave details about the affair and discussed her own problems with sexual harassment in the workplace.

There are so many things that disturb me about this story. Please read the article - the entire article - here.

The 46-year-old divorced mother of two mentions in the piece that she believed Gloria Cain, Herman's wife, "engaged in willful self-denial"- that basically Gloria knew her husband was cheating and chose to look the other way. White told The Daily Beast's Leslie Bennetts: “I think certain women see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear. I would be surprised if some of these wives are surprised to know what their husbands were doing. Women have intuition. I think a lot of women are comfortable, and they don’t want to realize if they’re being cheated on. I don’t think a lot of women want to face up to that.”

In the story, White also mentions that she continued to have sex with Cain off and on for more than a decade because she needed his financial help. She confesses in the article that she's taken money from other men as well: “There are good men in corporate America, and there are bad men in corporate America, and those bad men take advantage of women in fragile situations — women who are struggling,” White said. “When I was having trouble making a payment on something, there was this powerful man saying, ‘I’ll help you out.’

hmmmm. It pays to be pretty.

White told Bennetts that "getting men to supplement her income that way started becoming a game." She said: “It was easy for me to get help like that.You have to be just as clever as they are, just as cold as they are, just as calculating as they are — and sometimes beat them at their own game. But I don’t want to be depicted as a woman who sleeps with men for money. I am not that woman."

Okay, if you say so.

White has been married three times and has two children by her first husband. I ask: Was there no one else in her life that could help her out — Family? Friends? Maybe she had too much pride or was too embarrassed about her financial situation to reach out to those close to her. I don't know.

But do you think White was a victim or was she just playing the same game men play? They were able to get want they wanted and she was able to get her bills paid.

Anyway, please read the story and let me know your thoughts.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A "Leftover" Woman?

I was looking at the Today show yesterday and one of the anchors mentioned a story on "Leftover Women."

Now, I had never heard of this term before so I did a Google search and found this Ms. Magazine article that was published online Nov. 22.

According to the piece, a "leftover woman" is used in China to describe "an urban, professional female over the age of 27 who is still single." The Chinese term is called a shengnu.

The article notes that there are 3 types of "leftover women":
1) The first type are women between the age of 25-27 who "still have the courage to fight for a partner."
2) The second type are women between the age of 28-30 whose careers leave them with limited opportunities for romance.
3) The third type is a woman over age 35 and "has a luxury apartment, private car and a company."

The author states that the derogatory term is the Chinese government's way of "warning women that they will become spinsters if they do not marry by the time they turn 30."

The New York Times wrote about the shengnu last year. Check out the article here.

This piece was a little more positive noting that a shengnu was a woman who was "well-educated, well-paid and independent." The NYT story, however, pointed out that these women were also referred to as 3S women: "single, seventies (most were born in the 70s) and stuck.

The NYT article quotes a 2009 story from the China Economic Net which mentioned that, "A successful woman wants to find a more successful man. While a successful man’s ideal wife is not necessarily successful but gentle and virtuous."

Hmmmm, sounds like America.

I'm not quite sure what to think of this. First of all, I hate the term "leftover" to describe a woman. It reminds me of an old meal nobody wants the next day.

Anyway, thoughts on this?