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One of my favorite sayings from “The Game” character Tasha Mack is, “Emotional walls, girl…emotional walls!” It means that she’s in a situation where she needs to detach herself so she can do something without bias/say something smart/shank somebody/something. It probably (and by probably I mean “not at all” because she’s not a real person) came from a lifetime of having to sustain herself and her child in the hood and beyond. It was a learned behavior.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some time to reflect on myself and my own behaviors. Even a few months ago in this post, I wondered what I am giving off to attract the “type” of guys who become attracted to me. Now, for the first time in a looooooooooong time, I have started thinking about my past relationship. The one that ended over a year ago. Not about him (in the least), but about it. I’m trying to figure out my learned behaviors.

One thing I’ve observed from watching Sex and the City is that Carrie always took her cues from her relationship with Big. I’m pretty sure that her other relationships did not work because she was either acting like she was still with Big or behaving in the manner that would cause behavior she craved from Big. She kept things light. (He would withdraw if she went too deep.) She made insinuations until absolutely necessary. (He used directness as a way to highlight reluctance to commit, and she never wanted his mind to go there…and he knew it.) Laughing and banter is what cultivated their intimacy. (He would have been turned off by emotional outpours.) She learned the game and played it until she couldn’t. (I would normally reference a specific show here, but choose an episode with Big in it, and then pick an example. Don’t worry…the words will still be here when you get back ;). )

Anyone who has known me for at least 8 years knows about three different versions of who I am, and I’m willing to bet that they are all some variation of timid, subdued, and bold. Some people (who shall remain nameless) have referred to me as a nutcracker within the past year or so (how rude, lol). It wasn’t like this before. Oh, I’ve always been opinionated. Maybe a little less direct than I am now,  but I’ve never been afraid to express that opinion, but in relationships? I walked the line that was drawn. Tried to be ever-accommodating. I was vulnerable (not a bad thing necessarily) and though I was never overly emotional, I was not afraid to express my feelings.

My ex was very scaled back. He wasn’t overly affectionate. We had a highly intellectual relationship…our jokes about arguing over the correct pronunciation of Hungary during the Olympics at 4am, or the little Jamaican girl with the attitude on the Scripp’s Spelling Bee are some of my best memories of us because it was totally us. No one else would do it. Most of the time if we were together, people could only tell we were dating by the proximity of our seating, but they admired the yin and yang thing we had going. We held hands rarely, and usually in cases that dictated it – romantic dinners, walks on a beach, around other people who were holding hands. We danced together on New Year’s Eve at his uncle’s annual party. We sat opposite each other at dinner…never shared a bench like the people we sometimes made fun of (“Don’t they need elbow room?”) What’s funny is, I always wanted more (not a lot more because it would have been too much). He shut down if I “explained” too much and it seemed like it was emotional. He complained if I fell asleep on him while watching movies, because it would make it difficult for him to move around if he needed to do so.

So what did I do? I danced on New Year’s Eve. I sat on the opposite bench. I held hands quickly at traffic lights. I solidified my explanations to bare speaking points, infused with jokes so it never seemed too emotionally driven. I put my feet on him instead of my head. I allowed him to temper my emotional behavior because that relationship was my first “real” one. It cultivated “relationships” for me. In other words, I Carrie-d.

Now, I don’t understand real flirting with actual feelings involved. Oh I can play the game, but not when there’s anything to lose. It’s not in my natural reaction to be overly affectionate, even though I don’t dislike it at all. I shut down when I hear too much emotion in someone’s explanation to find the bare points. And I try as I’m learning. It comes out in spurts like cars with 9 tablespoons of gas. I’ll get very affectionate…and then go sit in my chair where it is impossible to sit next to me. I wonder if anyone else has this story.

I don’t think I want to stay this way, but I don’t want to Carrie either. What’s a girl to do?

Do you have any learned behaviors lingering from the past? Are they helpful? Harmful?



First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoyed time with family and loved ones. Now, something has happened that I consider a personal failure. I’ve betrayed myself, and there is no excuse for it.

*deep sigh*

I’ve joined Twitter.

This is like when Carrie signed up for email after saying it was unnecessary. (Season 4)

I’m so ashamed…follow me though, lol.




P.S. I’m updating from my phone. Aren’t I just savvy all around?

There are a few nostalgic moments in a relationship: Butterflies at a phone call, first kiss, the odd/awkward “are we together?” exclusive conversation, saying “I Love You”, and meeting the parents…

…but um…about that last one. Is that subjective? Like, does meeting someone’s parents show specific and important intent? For me, because my family and I are so close, if I was dating some random person, he could have met my mom just because she’s in town…and she’s made of awesome. It actually had nothing to do with my feelings for him, but rather, my feelings for her (shout-out to you if you really love your mom-dukes!). There have been many a person who met my mom, sister, best friend, etc…just because. However, I’ve found that if you are meeting the men in my family, you are important to me.

"Where I come from...meeting the parents? Oh so big." --Carrie to Aidan

Carrie had two encounters with parents: Big, whose mother she desperately wanted to meet…hmm…let me rephrase that. She desperately wanted for Big to want to introduce her. And then there was Aidan’s parents who she met once she scared herself (Season 1, “Oh Come All Ye Faithful; Season 3, “Drama Queens”). Mostly, it was about what meeting the parents represented: For Big, that she was “the One”…(which he said she wasn’t, but totally offered her an all expenses paid vacation. I can’t lie…I’d have gone and just been mad on the plane.) For Aidan, that she was “the One” – something she wasn’t ready for. But is it parent specific?

My mom and my sister are very close to me, so anyone around can meet them because they’re awesome. My brothers? Um…you gotta mean at least more than a little bit of something to me. But meeting my daddy??? Big chips right there buddy, Big Chips.

My dad isn’t nice for nice sake. He’s political, confrontational, argumentative, and always right. He’s a Lakers and Saints fan, and all hell and damnation to anyone who feels differently. He remembers facts and details down to the nth degree. He’s a conspiracy theorist. He was kicked out of school for participation in a protest. He’s in school for his PhD as we speak. He has a dry and sarcastic sense of humor, and is a bit more irritable in his age. And I love him for it. So do you think I would let any old body just meet my dad? Hell, you need to be trained and I need to be planning for you to be around for a while.

My best friend probably goes on this list as well. Because we don’t see each other often, we have to make a specific trip for introductions to be made. If this occurs, we are probably together for real.

Who is the person that your significant other has to meet for it to be “serious”? Is it traditional…like your parents? Or more non-traditional, like your barber? Berger had to meet the “Prada”…Do tell 🙂



P.S. My boyfriend is coming home with me for Thanksgiving. Pray, lol.

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